Tasmanian MP Sue Hickey has told State Parliament that Liberal senator Eric Abetz said former federal staffer Brittany Higgins could have put national security at risk by getting “disgustingly drunk”…. “I casually asked the honourable Senator Eric Abetz if the minister allegedly accused of the alleged rape that occurred around 30 years ago was the honourable Christian Porter MP,” Ms Hickey told Tasmanian Parliament on Wednesday morning. “The senator quickly responded that yes, it was the first law officer of the nation, Christian Porter, but not to worry, the woman is dead and the law will protect him.”
Alas, the error the good Senator made was to assume that she was in any way worried how these more than thirty year old allegations might destabilise the government. Sen Abetz is alleged to have further added:
“‘As for that Higgins girl, anybody who is so disgustingly drunk, who would sleep with anybody, could have slept with one of our spies and put the security of our nation at risk,’ ” Ms Hickey said.
The report goes on:
Ms Hickey said she asked Senator Abetz why the security guards hadn’t stepped in knowing how drunk she appeared to be. “He responded abruptly that if any security member dared to question the validity of access to the Parliament, by anyone who held a security pass, they would be sacked,” she said. “I felt sick, knowing that the last line of protection for this young woman was not able to be provided due to the practices and protocols of that Parliament.”
No doubt the only answer is to set up a chaperone service inside Parliament House to provide that last line of protection. You know, as in the definition:
Chaperone: to stay with and take care of a young woman who is not married when she is in public.
The definition also added, “especially in the past”, but some ideas just seem to be perennial. If you cannot count on personal responsibility, obviously something else will need to be tried instead.