Sunday 20th of June 2021

we did not know he could nearly cry...

ag CP

Christian Porter has identified himself as the Cabinet minister who is facing a historical rape allegation.


Key points:
  • Christian Porter says he will not stand down as Australia's Attorney-General
  • He confirmed he knew the woman as a teenager but said the alleged incident "simply did not happen"
  • In an emotional press conference, he said he would take a "short period of leave"


The Attorney-General fronted the media in Perth to strenuously deny the allegation.

"I can say categorically that what has been put in various forms in allegations, simply did not happen," an emotional Mr Porter said.


"Nothing in the allegations that have been printed ever happened."


An anonymous letter sent to the Prime Minister had accused Mr Porter of raping a woman in Sydney in 1988, long before he entered politics.

The woman contacted police in 2019 but took her own life last year.

On Tuesday, New South Wales Police said there was "insufficient admissible evidence" to investigate, and that the case was now closed.

"Prior to last Friday's story in the ABC, no-one in law enforcement or the law or politics or the media ever put any substance with any specific allegations to me at all," Mr Porter said.

"I was aware over the last few months of a whispering campaign."


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rapes in federal politics are not surprising...

Australian of the Year and advocate for survivors of sexual assault, Grace Tame, says multiple allegations of rape in federal politics are “not surprising” – and has rebuked Scott Morrison for his response to the reports.

“It’s not surprising to me at all,” she said at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

“Cover-up culture, the abuse of power, is not unique to Parliament.”

In January, Grace Tame stood beside the PM when she received her Australian of the Year Award. Today, she responds to the language used and the way Scott Morrison reacted to rape allegations in Parliament House. 10NewsFirst

— Stela Todorovic (Stela_Todorovic) March 3, 2021


Ms Tame was named Australian of the Year, for her advocacy on behalf of sexual assault survivors, just five weeks ago.

On Wednesday, a cabinet minister is expected to reveal himself as the person accused of a rape in Sydney in 1988 – claims Mr Morrison said the minister “absolutely rejects”.

Ms Tame gave a major speech at Canberra’s National Press Club on Wednesday, speaking about her experiences, advocacy work, and plans to further support survivors.

“To my fellow survivors, it is our time. We need to take this opportunity. We need to be bold and courageous. Recognise that we have a platform on which I stand with you in solidarity and support,” Ms Tame said.

“One voice, your voice, and our collective voices can make a difference. We are on the precipice of a revolution whose call to action needs to be heard loud and clear.”

It comes after numerous allegations of rape inside the Liberal Party, kickstarted in recent weeks by the claims of former government staffer Brittany Higgins.

Ms Higgins says she was raped on a couch in the Parliament House office of her then-boss, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, by a former male colleague.

Two more women connected to the Liberal Party alleged the same man also raped them, with at least one more claiming to have been harassed by him.

Mr Morrison came under fire on the day after Ms Higgins’ allegations were published by News Corp, saying that he had fully understood the gravity of the situation after speaking to his wife Jenny.

“She said to me, ‘You have to think about this as a father first. What would you want to happen if it were our girls?’,” Mr Morrison said.

“Jenny has a way of clarifying things. Always has. And so as I’ve reflected on that overnight and listened to Brittany and what she had to say.”

Taking questions afterwards, Ms Tame was asked about Mr Morrison’s comments regarding his wife and daughters.

She gave a blunt response.

“It shouldn’t take having children to have a conscience,” she said abruptly, letting her words hang in the air.

She then added “on top of that, having children doesn’t guarantee a conscience”.

She was asked a follow-up question, regarding comments by Mr Morrison in 2019 about believing survivors’ accounts of sexual assault, and whether “those words ring true now”.

Ms Tame responded “clearly not”.

Earlier, she had been asked about the reports of rape in federal politics. She said she was not surprised, and that it was a broader issue that extended beyond Parliament.

“It’s not necessarily these individual cases. It’s the issue itself that is going to keep inspiring me to do this work. I was doing this work before it dominated the national stage,” Ms Tame said.

“It is heightened right now, because it’s happening in the centre of our country, in Parliament. But like I said, it’s not unique to Parliament. It happens everywhere.”

Asked specifically about her response to the reports connected to politics, Ms Tame answered “I would say not surprised. It’s a culture”.

Australian of the Year, Grace Tame says "cover up culture and the abuse of power is not unique to Parliament." She says she was doing this work before it dominated the national stage. SBSNews#auspol

— Shuba (ShubaSKrishnan) March 3, 2021


Ms Tame later said she had been “very supported” by the federal government in her work since being named Australian of the Year.

Asked about her conversations with government about responses to allegations of misconduct and assault, she admitted with a laugh that “we’re still figuring those things out”.

“It’s about solidarity … there’s nothing more empowering than empowering others,” Ms Tame said.

“The more we come out and speak about this, the more the conversation will be normalised, and the more the power will be taken away from predators and returned to where it belongs.

“I want to see more resources put into prevention of [assault] from happening in the first place. So that we don’t have to be scrambling when these things happen. Because they wouldn’t be happening.”

When asked about how people should speak about sexual assault, Ms Tame responded “there’s a lot of things in this world that are ugly and dark”.

“We have to remember that we’re all human beings. And that ugliness and darkness is unfortunately important because it helps inform how we move into the light,” she said.


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In Kanbra, the politicians have been doing it to the general public for yonks... We know who the latest culprit is, one of a minister's aide, but we're not allowed to say until the full police investigation... According to some people, he is protected species in Liberal (CONservative) circles and has deletes all his social contacts and all appearances in government journals... as if he never existed... But there are still a few traces which might disappear once they are exposed...


nothing in the allegations ever happened...


From Rachel Withers at The Monthly


Attorney-General Christian Porter has come forward as the government minister accused of raping a 16-year-old in 1988, denying the allegations and refusing to step down. Porter said that “nothing in the allegations that have been printed ever happened”, that he had never seen the accuser’s statement and that the allegations had never been put to him for a response. Porter admitted having spoken to PM Scott Morrison about the allegations last week, but, remarkably, said he had not been given a copy of the letter detailing the allegations. The emotional attorney-general admitted he knew the woman in question for a short time in the late ’80s but insisted that they had never slept together. Porter said he would be taking a short period of leave to assess and improve his mental health, telling the press conference that he wasn’t sure if he was okay. The only sign of anger came during questioning, when it was pointed out to him that he could not disprove the allegation. “Of course I can’t,” he said.

Porter, who can never be cleared or found guilty of the rape, spoke at length about the importance of the rule of law, raising fears over what it would mean for “every child we raise” if people’s lives could be destroyed by accusations alone (never mind what it means for the woman whose life may or may not have been destroyed by a traumatic incident). Porter claimed there would be a dangerous new standard set if he were to resign, insisting that he was protecting the rule of law by not stepping down. Porter also relied on previous allegations against former Labor leader Bill Shorten, as conservatives have done all week, noting that he now understood what it was like for Shorten to have to do the “difficult thing” in waiting until the police investigation had come to an end before speaking out. The two cases are not the same, as much as attempts were made to refloat the Shorten allegations late last week, with Shorten’s accuser still alive and able to give her account.

Porter, who was previously investigated by Four Corners over his behaviour and attitudes towards women, has been hounded by long-running rumours of sexism and inappropriate behaviour, including making unwanted advances to women while in federal office and public drunkenness, as well as allegations from his university days and his time as a Crown prosecutor in Western Australia. In the extensive questioning in today’s press conference, Porter was asked if he could be the subject of similar allegations to the one at hand or if he had ever asked someone to sign a non-disclosure agreement, both of which he rejected. He said he didn’t remember much of the debating championship week in question (other than “bowls of prawns”), but said he would surely have remembered a disturbing incident like the one being alleged in a trove of diary entries and statements.

The Morrison government reportedly hopes this afternoon’s statement will mark the “end of the matter”, and Porter clearly wants that to be so, but it’s almost certainly not. Four Corners journalist Louise Milligan, who broke the story of the letter from the deceased woman’s friends, hinted on Twitter late last night that she has more, saying that NSW Police was “very interested to know if I knew of other complainants”. “Not in your jurisdiction,” she replied. Porter will want to tread carefully here, and not make any claims that can be easily disproved by an award-winning investigative reporter on a mission.

In unfortunate timing for Porter and the government, sexual abuse survivor and Australian of the Year Grace Tame earlier today addressed the National Press Club, in a brave and eloquent speech that received a standing ovation and left many in the room close to tears. Tame once again recounted her story of being groomed and abused by her teacher as a teen, but she also took the opportunity to warn against commodifying victims’ pain, reminding journalists that while “listening to survivors is one thing, expecting people to relive their trauma on your terms, without our consent, without prior warning, is another.” Tame said that abuse of power and cover-up culture was “not unique to parliament” but was rife in Australian society at large.

While journalists were asked to avoid mentioning specifics of the recent allegations dominating headlines, many questions put to Tame still referred to them obliquely, along with effusive praise for Tame herself. The Australian of the Year, who had recently been honoured by the prime minister, was asked what she thought of his recent “as a father” comments. “It shouldn’t take having children to have a conscience,” she said. “And, actually, on top of that, having children doesn’t guarantee a conscience,” she added, to a round of applause. She said the past few weeks had made her hopeful, saying that “people finding the courage to speak out” was “empowering”, but that she has not been surprised by some of the unhelpful dialogue. Barrister Kathleen Foley – who appeared on Four Corners’ “Canberra bubble” episode, calling Porter “deeply sexist” and a “misogynist” based on her time at university with him – also joined the conversation today, writing in the AFR that Morrison’s response to the allegations had been “nothing short of insulting”, suggesting he “take a leaf out of Tame’s book, out of Brittany Higgins’ book, and end his silence”.

Tame noted that a lot of resources were being put into responding to child sexual abuse, rather than preventing it. One might also note that irony of there being so much attention paid to the issue of child abuse by this government, which has spent the past five days refusing to address or look into allegations of a rape of a 16-year-old by someone within its own ranks. The government further highlighted this dichotomy today, with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton helping launch the AFP’s new anti-child abuse initiative, appealing to the community for help in identifying victims of online sexual abuse.

The Australian was enthusiastic in reporting the new initiative this morning (as it is with any child sex abuse-preventing initiative), but it too has become increasingly keen to shut down conversation about one very specific instance of sexual abuse. The Murdoch media, despite kicking off the conversation that brought about the Porter allegations with its reporting on Brittany Higgins’s rape allegation, has now gone hard in the attorney-general’s defence, dedicating its opinion pages to commentary on why Porter should be allowed to deny this and move on. National editor Dennis Shanahan argued that the precedent set by the Bill Shorten allegations, where charges were also not laid due to insufficient evidence, meant that the Coalition minister needed to be allowed to move on too – ignoring the very different circumstances here – while Paul Kelly insists that a rape trial by media is a threat to justice. “So far, only one side of this story is being propagated, based on documents prepared by the victim and her supporters,” wrote Kelly. 

Now that Porter has come forward to deny the allegations, both sides of the story have been “propagated”, as Kelly put it. But in this case of “she said, he said” (as Dutton would put it), only one person is able to address the contested allegations directly, because “she” can no longer say anything. The deceased accuser, who killed herself last year, has now had her story refuted, but cannot refute his in return, and can speak only through letters and friends. With Porter’s denial getting such a public hearing, it’s more important than ever that we also hear what she – and they – has to say.


National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732



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the matter isn't at an end...

Scott Morrison says the issue of Christian Porter’s historical rape allegations is closed, despite mounting calls inside and outside Parliament for an independent inquiry.

“I’m looking forward to him returning to his duties once that period of leave is completed,” the Prime Minister said on Thursday, in his first public statement since Mr Porter outed himself as the accused attacker.

“My judgment is based on the report of the police … They are the  competent and authorised authorities to make the judgments about any such allegations. They have made their conclusions and, as people have said in similar occasions in the past, that’s where the matter rests.”

Mr Porter vehemently denied the allegations he raped a woman – who has since died – in Sydney in 1988, saying in an extraordinary press conference on Wednesday that it “did not happen”.

Earlier on Thursday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also said “the matter is at an end”, following the Attorney-General’s denials, and NSW Police closing their investigation due to insufficient evidence.


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Sorry, Scomo, there is the need for an investigation... A woman died for what she believed was done wrong. "To tell the truth", when was the last time we could trust the words of a minister? And when was the police competent about such matters, when we sort of guess that the NSW police in, say Newcastle, were protecting pedophile priests... Sorry Scomo... go back to work in the covid vaccine factory...


And Frydenberg too... He would not have a clue:


Treasurer Josh Frydenberg insists historical rape allegations against Christian Porter are finished after the Attorney-General emphatically denied the claims.

But immense pressure remains on the Morrison government to launch an independent inquiry into the sexual assault accusations against the nation’s top law officer.

Mr Porter is expected to be on leave for about two weeks but refused to quit cabinet after vehemently rejecting the allegations.


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There is a need for a fair and comprehensive inquiry... because one can believe that "new information" will surface in regard as to who raped Ms XXXX XXXX (we know her name but we cannot name her publicly)... 99.9 per cent someone did it, 0.01 per cent she imagined the whole thing. Thus the inquiry has to find more about the case, even if the woman is dead as her death could be considered as "murder" by psychological trauma.


Please note:

The woman who accused Attorney-General Christian Porter of a 1988 rape told NSW police in an email she did not want to proceed with her claim against him in the days before her death for personal and health reasons.

A statement released by police on Thursday detailed how the woman initially met with detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad on February 27, 2020 with a friend to support her, and their contact from then until her death later in the year.


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This in itself needs to be INVESTIGATED... We also need to know what was the response of the police when presented with the "evidence" brought to them by the woman. Was she dissuaded to follow the matter or had little chance of getting redress, thus decided to kill herself?...

we are sewer rats...

One of the nation’s most senior journalists was at the centre of a social media firestorm on Friday after describing Twitter users as “sewer rats”.

Chris Uhlmann, the Nine Network’s chief political editor, was widely rebuked for using the unflattering description when weighing into the debate surrounding the historic rape allegations facing Attorney-General Christian Porter.

“Top of the morning, sewer rats,” he wrote.


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Chris Uhlmann isn't a stranger on this YD site. His views on windmills and alternative sustainable power sources has been dismantled, especially in regard to the storm in South Australia that destroyed the grid... Yes Chris, we are sewer rats for not believing Christian Porter one hundred per cent. Demanding an inquiry into the woman's death isn't being disrespectful to Christian. 




loosing it...

Attorney-General Christian Porter continues out of sight on stress leave as he contemplates his future with his greatest ambition shattered.

There can be little doubt that his tears of anger and frustration at what he considers the unfairness of it all are as much prompted by the ending of his dream to become prime minister, as everything else.

Malcolm Turnbull, in the autobiographical account of his prime ministership A Bigger Picture, recounts a confrontation with Mr Porter in the days before the Peter Dutton coup that saw Scott Morrison come through the middle and snatch the leadership crown.

“The only emotional part of our discussion,” Mr Turnbull writes, “was when, utterly unprompted, Porter started to tear up at the other side of my desk as he bemoaned the narrow 2 per cent margin by which he held his seat and how he was now inevitably going to lose it.


Mr Porter on several accounts grew up with the conviction his destiny was to be prime minister of Australia.

He left a senior ministerial position in Western Australia at a time when he was heir apparent to then premier Colin Barnett to progress his Canberra ambition.

Though he said last week he has no intention of standing down as Attorney-General or quitting politics, he must realise that seeking to lead the Liberal Party and the nation with an unresolved doubt he is an alleged rapist hanging over him is a bridge too far.

Indeed Mr Turnbull, a bevy of senior lawyers, Labor, the Greens and most of the crossbench are calling for an independent inquiry to address that doubt.

Labor’s shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus says an inquiry could clear Mr Porter’s name because at the moment a preliminary police investigation has had to be ended “because of course the complainant is no longer with us”.

Mr Porter, however, is probably correct when he says such an inquiry couldn’t achieve an outcome to definitively clear him, and there is some precedent for this view.

In 2002, George Pell when Archbishop of Sydney, stood aside while a retired Victorian Supreme Court judge Alec Southwell inquired into claims by a Melbourne man Cardinal Pell had sexually assaulted him 41 years earlier.

Mr Southwell was not satisfied the “complaint had been established”, though he found the accuser had “spoken honestly from actual recollection”.

Cardinal Pell claimed exoneration and returned to his role while the complainant’s solicitor said his client had been vindicated.

Such an outcome would still leave Mr Porter, the first law officer of the land in an untenable position, for unlike Pell, the attorney’s political opponents would be sure to keep reminding voters about the cloud over his reputation.


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did not know he knew?...

The Political Right asserts that an investigation into the Porter allegation would mean the end of Western civilisation as we know it. It would trash the Rule of Law, the Presumption of Innocence, the Right to Silence, and many other rights – all individual rights that the Political Right so strongly resists putting in an Australian Bill of Rights. Which is so much poppycock.

The Government has been rocked: two Ministers have called time out from their roles, and the Prime Minister has taken advice from his wife on one – but not the other – scandal. What would Jenny say if one of their daughters claimed she had been brutally raped when she was 16 by another participant at an interschool weekend? Jenny – Mrs Morrison – would presumably be horrified. Which is not to say the allegations against Charles Christian Porter are true.

Events have moved quickly since it was revealed late last month that the 16 year old had, 32 years later, made contact with the NSW Police to complain about the attack she alleged was made on her in Sydney in 1988 by a now federal Cabinet Minister; that the complainant died by suicide in June 2020; and that a letter attaching 31 pages of documentation apparently from the complainant had been sent to Scott Morrison, Penny Wong and Sarah Hanson-Young, and apparently also received by the ABC.

Speculation centred on the identity of the Cabinet Minister because there were 16 possibilities – the number of men in Cabinet. Some observers recalled the ABC Four Corner’s “Inside the Canberra Bubble” program last November, which centred on Porter and Alan Tudge, and claims of inappropriate sexual goings on. That program delved into Porter’s reputation as a party boy during his extended sojourn at university in the decade or so following 1988. I wrote after the program that delving so far back seemed inappropriate.

In the aftermath of Brittany Higgins’ allegations of rape in the office of Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds, the AFP Chief Commissioner, Reece Kershaw wrote to MPs urging that criminal allegations be immediately reported to police. So when Morrison, Wong and Hanson-Young received the dossier about 1988, they each sent it to the AFP. (It should presumably have gone to NSW Police, as that was the force with jurisdiction in the matter; or perhaps the South Australian Police, because the complainant died there).

Morrison’s initial line was to say it was a matter for the police. That was a safe course given that the NSW Police had already indicated the case was closed with the death of the complainant. NSW Police has since reaffirmed that decision. NSW Police has not even sought to interview Porter to put the allegations to him.

Others have argued there needs to be an investigation into the allegations, given their seriousness, and the amount of detail apparently in the dossier. In response, the Political Right has asserted that such an investigation would mean the end of Western civilisation as we know it: it would trash the Rule of Law, the Presumption of Innocence, the Right to Silence, and all those other rights which the Right so strongly resists putting in an Australian Bill of Rights.

So much poppycock.

It is ironic that these arguments are being made in defence of the person – Porter – who has done more to undermine the Rule of Law than any Australian political leader.

Investigations/inquiries outside the processes of the criminal law are commonplace in Australia. About the same time as the 1988 rape/sodomy allegations hit the headlines, the report of an investigation initiated by Porter was given to his office into possible complaints about Dyson Heydon’s conduct while he was Trade Unions Royal Commissioner. Heydon has been the subject of numerous complaints about sexual harassment from his time as a High Court judge. They came to light when it became known that that court – the highest in the land – had commissioned an investigation into his conduct.

Of course, the Royal Commission itself was very much a political witch hunt by Porter’s Government seeking to wound Bill Shorten and Julia Gillard over historic allegations of misdeeds from before they entered federal politics – Shorten including over the granting of money by his union – the AWU – to establish Get Up, and Gillard over legal assistance to establish the AWU Workplace Reform Association and the purchase of a suburban property.

So how many inquiries are we up to, all into criminal allegations, but conducted outside the traditional pattern of the police investigating alleged crimes? And every week seems to see another Royal Commission established.

What Porter says

Porter held a press conference to deny the allegations. Amazingly, Porter said: “I have never been contacted in any substantive form by anyone putting to me the details of what appears is now being alleged against me,” and “All I know about the allegations is what I have read in the media.” All those words presumably mean that he has not seen the dossier – that Morrison did not give it to him; that Porter did not seek it out. Extraordinary! According to the Guardian, Porter’s response had been sought – by journalists from the ABC, Guardian Australia, Crikey, the Sydney Morning Herald and 3AW’s Neil Mitchell. They contacted Porter’s media advisers many times and were ignored.

Last November, Porter denied having been given a chance to respond to the allegations to be made against him in the Four Corners’ “Canberra Bubble”. However the program’s producer told a different story. According to the ABC, Porter later acknowledged “some back and forth” between his office and the ABC. “We wanted particulars,” Porter said, complaining that some comments made in the program “were never put to me”.

Malcolm Turnbull told that program that, when he was PM, he had carpeted Porter over reports of Porter’s carousing. Turnbull said:


“I had a meeting with Porter in my office and I told him that I had had reports of him being out in public, having had too much to drink and in the company with young women. He acknowledged that; he didn’t argue with that.”


Porter’s account of the meeting was again diametrically different: he said Turnbull queried whether there was any accuracy to the carousing “story” he had heard; and according to Porter, “the answer was no”.

In the Four Corners program, a former Liberal staffer who at the time was having an affair with Tudge said that she and Tudge were in Canberra’s Public Bar where they saw Porter with “someone in the corner, and they were clearly very intimate. … They were cuddling, they were kissing. It was quite confronting given that we were in such a public place”.

In a statement after the program went to air, Porter said many of the claims on Four Corners were defamatory and that he would be considering legal options. He later reportedly retracted the implicit threat of legal action. But he said he “categorically rejected” the “depiction of interactions” at Public Bar.

Perhaps more than with any Minister, it is important that the Attorney-General be of high repute for his credibility and integrity. It is way past time that Porter was dumped.


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debate and the gadflies...