by PAUL COLLITS – QUELLE horreur! This could set Australian-Franco relations back decades.
All that good work we did defending the French against the Prussians at Fromelles, the Somme, Bullecourt, Messines, Passchendaele, Villers-Bretonneux, Hamel, Amiens and Mont St Quentin in World War I has simply been kicked into touch.
Brittany Higgins is coming for you!
As reported by news.com.au: “Brittany Higgins and her fiance, David Sharaz, have dressed in matching white outfits to say “au revoir” to Australia.
“As they prepare to move to a remote village in France, the couple said their goodbyes to friends and family at Brisbane International Airport late on Monday night.
“Mr Sharaz was wearing a white T-shirt, a cream suit and white Nikes. Ms Higgins and her mother also donned white outfits – the women’s suffragette colour, which Ms Higgins wore at the Women’s March for Justice.”
My first thought was, would Brittany live in Brittany? Or would boyfriend Sharaz prefer Burgundy? Or Bordeaux, perhaps, sticking to the reds. (Will he have to change his name to Syrah?)
But no, it is the south of France where they have bought their first European property, courtesy of the Australian taxpayer and the Leftist females who have captured the commanding heights of the strangely generous Airbus Albo Administration.
There go my own retirement plans. It will have to be Budapest now.
Perhaps the Fitzsimons, if and when the missus gets clear of her defamation entanglements, will be regular visitors. Southern France for Chrissie?
I wonder if the French are ready for this new, quintessentially twenty-first century phenomenon, the celebrity rape complainant.
Where you can parlay ersatz victimhood into a comfortable life and career.
The Gauls may not have experienced this before. Where a young, absolute non-entity suddenly, overnight, becomes a national public figure, with book deals, television appearances, public speaking engagements, woke broadcasters and chief prosecutors fawning all over her, wall-to-wall lawyers, public relations advisers, Government ministers shelling out cash.
Good work if you can get it.
Yet even now, the press is fawning over her. The scene of her departure as described by one journalist as “powerful and symbolic”.
Wearing white connotes being “suffragette” adjacent. Sharaz said that the family was showing “solidarity for Britt”.
The same journalist opined: “Like last night, Ms Higgins deliberately and carefully wore white while addressing a mammoth gathering of equality supporters at the Women’s March in Canberra in early 2021.
“By doing so, she repeated a “powerful” trend that began some 115 years ago – and which advocates say is just as poignant today.”
Phoebe Netto, no less. Award winning agency! A platform Brittany never wanted? WTH?
Her public appearances were platforms. Network Ten was a platform. ABC was a platform. In fact, Higgins has never been one to avoid “making statements”.
It is just that the veracity of them is open to serious questioning, and the ones about which the truth value is dubious happen to be the ones that have ruined other people’s lives.
Forced to leave the country? Such statements show that public relations are a very short step from propaganda.
Team Higgins has consistently used the media, outside-of-court statements, embedded allies and carefully crafted strategies to craft a narrative, a narrative that portrayed another human being as a criminal. She is still using the media to craft a narrative.
The news.com.au piece is an advertorial, pure and simple, for a quintessentially modern “hero”. The hero of nothing and nowhere. Famous for being famous.
It reminds me of a gag from the comedian Gary Delaney about “legends” and bankrupting the currency of once meaningful praise.
“I think it’s sad when the word ‘legend’ has been devalued from pulling a sword from a stone to unexpectedly returning with crisps,” Delaney once said.
Higgins didn’t even return with crisps. She scavanged for herself nearly three million bucks, though. I wonder how much of that cache she has given to victim support groups.
Other supporters have emerged.
Michelle Staff is a researcher and PhD candidate at the Australian National University, as well as an editorial collective member of Lilith: A Feminist History Journal and research editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography.
“Wearing suffragette white remains a “powerful and highly symbolic gesture that reminds us just how long women have been fighting”, Staff said.
Child sexual abuse survivor and advocate Madeleine Heather said she will wear white this week in solidarity with Ms Higgins.
“Seeing Brittany Higgins leaving in white is such a powerful statement of solidarity,” Ms Heather told news.com.au.
“I hope Brittany and her family feel a sense of pride in reclaiming the power, leaving with her head held high with every hope for a successful and happy future ahead of her.
“I certainly feel a sense of kinship and solidarity seeing Brittany leave in white, and knowing how much Brittany has personally given to the movement of empowering victim/survivors, platforming women’s rights.”
Higgins’ excellent little adventure has caused untold damage to many.
A DPP’s career, a Senator (Linda Reynolds) her dignity and reputation for honesty, a public servant (Fiona Brown) her career and her well-being, and, most of all, an unconvicted – innocent until proven guilty – man his career and his mental health.
(NOTE: Bruce Lehrmann, the target of Higgins’ allegations, based on little if any corroborating evidence, has seriously considered suicide.)
As Pauline Hanson has said, “lynching of men is our national sport”.
Hanson was talking about that other rape allegation against Lehrmann, for supposedly not using a condom during a reportedly consensual encounter. Another story.
Bettina Arndt has recently been in Canberra advocating for greater awareness of, and attention to, men’s suicides.
These occur at rates substantially higher than those of women. Thankfully, Bruce Lerhmann is still with us, despite the various attempts at his public execution, outside the legal system and involving loud woke voices from the ruling class and a powerful PR machine.
The unlamented and now eerily silent Daniel Andrews said after the Pell exoneration by the High Court that, “we hear you”. He was speaking to those who he took to be victims of child sex abuse.
His exact words were: “I make no comment about today’s High Court decision. But I have a message for every single victim and survivor of child sex abuse: I see you. I hear you. I believe you.”
These words were very poorly disguised code for “Pell is guilty”. I wonder why today’s journalists do not see that Higgins’ stunt at the airport and the subsequent megaphone provided by the Murdoch press said, very loudly, much the same thing about Lehrmann (or worse still, perhaps they do).
Meantime, and hopefully without too much jet lag, Brittany and friend will shortly be safe in the village of Lunas, about an hour or so from Montpellier – yes, actually the world knows her precise destination, the location, no doubt, of further media opportunities – a long way from the firestorm that she lit.
Lunas is a “hidden gem”: “Driving through France, off the motorway, one can’t help but stumble upon example after example of tiny picturesque villages built hundreds of years ago. Many of these communes are still wonderfully, magnificently and thankfully intact.”
Sounds terrific. You can get a lovely, refurbished, four level stone cottage with three bedrooms and two bathrooms there for €110,000, or A$178,000.
There will still be plenty of money left in the bank, in other words. It is amazing the uses there are for Australian taxpayer funds.
When I say plenty of money, that is in theory, at least. There is the small matter of Senator Reynolds’ defamation case against Higgins with which to be reckoned.
And when you leave the country with such a case pending, the plaintiff (ie Senator Reynolds) can apply to have your assets frozen. Oops.
Come to think of it, it is funny that the Brittany worshippers had so little to say about what unkind observers might consider to be absconding in the middle of several legal minefields.
Whatever sartorial colors are chosen, the optics of the departure are not that good.
Perhaps this was one of those “look over there” strategies. We know how PR savvy she is.PC