Most of this federal parliamentary sitting week has been consumed by the fallout from the Liberal Party’s loss in the Victorian state election. The Victorian loss has sparked commentary that the Liberals are too conservative for mainstream Australia and espically in progressive Victoria. It saw Julia Banks quit the Liberal Party to sit on the crossbench reducing the Morrison Government to just 74 out of 150 seats in the House of Represenatives.
But a sideshow emerged in the Senate where the Greens took offence a comment from Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan on Tuesday. O’Sullivan was criticizing the Greens for regularly voting to set up Senate inquiries which they don’t turn up to. He compared their conduct to former Senator Nick Xenophon and singled out Sarah Hanson Young for being the main instigator of this type of conduct quipping she had “a bit of Nick Xenophon in her”.
The Greens took this a sexual slur against Hanson-Young with leader Richard Di Natale calling O’Sullivan “a pig” alleging “We have endured on this side, days of sexist filth coming from that man”. Di Natale was asked to withdraw which he refused so was suspended from the Senate for a day.
Hanson-Young then took to the floor to condemn the “disgusting slurs and abuse coming from a particular group in this place”. She went on to say “Real men don’t insult and threaten women. They don’t slut shame them and they don’t attack them and make them feel bullied in their workplace”. She named Senator Anning, Bernardi, Leyonhjelm and O’Sullivan as the culprits who she concluded “are not fit to be in this chamber … you are not fit to call yourselves men.”
Hanson-Young is currently undertaking legal action against David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democrats for attacking her character back in June for alleging she said in the Senate “all men are rapists” in debate over female self-defence.
But was this stance by the Greens in support for respect for women simply a stunt to detract from their own women problems and poor result in the Victorian election? Former Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber had called women in the Greens “fat, hairy lesbians”, “power pussies” and “hairy-legged feminists” and had a men’s room in his parliamentary office. He had also reached an out of court settlement with a former female staffer subject to sex discrimination and bullying.
Greens Victorian election candidates came under fire with its candidate for Footscray, Angus McAlpine, was revealed to have rapped about date rape. It’s Candidate for Sandringham, Dominic Phillips, “liked” Facebook pages “Period Pains, Try waiting for your porn to download,” “Twinkle twinkle little slut, name one guy you haven’t f–ked” and “I’d swim in the ocean for you … LOL jks, id get my turban wet.” Phillips was eventually dis-endorsed after he was subject to a rape complaint.
In New South Wales Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham was accused of an “act of sexual violence” by fellow Green Jenny Leong who called on him to step down. Back in August the ABC’s 7.30 aired a segment on sexual misconduct allegations being mishandled by the New South Wales Greens organization.
Liz Ingham who was a former staffer to Greg Barber summed up the situation perfectly when she said “The Greens don’t care what happens to women within the party. What they care about is their public image”. The Labor Party in Victoria was able to successfully attack the Greens on this issue during the state election campaign and defeat them in most inner Melbourne seats.
Sarah Hanson-Young has been able to obtain much commendation from the media and leftist commentators this week for her spray against conservative men, she and the Greens may have been successful in distracting them from the above scandals. Hanson-Young has also been able to gain additional sympathy due to a now deleted Spectator post about her delivery her spray showing her cleavage.
However, the Greens hypocrisy on women’s issues and their hollow virtue signalling against so called sexist conservatives should continue to be exposed. Choosing to take offence at comment is no where near the same realm as sexual misconduct. The Greens are the last people we should be listening to on these issues.