by BETTINA ARNDT – HANG onto your seats, folks. This is the cultural moment we’ve been awaiting so long.
This past week the ground shifted, shattering the “believe-all-women” straight-jacket imposed on us by feminists for the past decade or two.
Saint Higgins has crashed from her pedestal, potentially bringing with her key government ministers.
The silencing of proper public debate about the weaponisation of this pivotal rape case has ended revealing widespread community contempt about the way this has all been handled.
In the future, when we look back at what caused it all to fall apart, who could forget the widely exposed video footage of the sneering Katy Gallagher, the current Finance Minister, shown in June 2021 attacking Defence Minister Reynolds for daring to suggest she knew about the Higgins rape allegation two weeks before it first surfaced publicly.
“How dare you!” she spat out, with faux indignation.
Now we have evidence from a five-hour chat recorded weeks before Higgins first hit the media, strongly suggesting Gallagher was not only involved from the start but “really invested” in using the Higgins matter to attack the government, according to Higgins’ boyfriend, a friend of Gallagher.
And she allegedly lied about this in Senate Estimates – setting herself up for a charge of misleading parliament.
Zali Stegall MP has accused the Opposition of using all this to make a “vile political attack” on the government.
Get that? She’s charging Dutton with launching a political attack for calling the government to account for Labor’s use of Higgins for the vile political attack which helped bring down the previous government.
And Labor achieved this by falsely claiming a government coverup of the rape allegation – another vile political attack. Enough to do your head in?
With the huge multi-ring Higgins circus bringing new excitement every day, it’s hard to know where to start with this update.
Revelations in Bruce Lerhmann’s Channel 7 interview last weekend could well turf Labor ministers out of their jobs and severely damage the government, plus there’s hope Higgins might be forced to return her multi-million-dollar compensation payment given the messy scandal now threatening major damage to major government players.
“How dare you!” bellowed Gallagher. The public is now asking her the same question. Ditto a bunch of other people.
How dare the malicious Brittany Higgins blatantly boast of using her rape allegation to seek to destroy the government that employed her? How dare Attorney General Dreyfus claim it was totally normal for him to bend the rules and dish out millions of dollars to Higgins as payback for this act of treachery?
How dare the Prime Minister pretend there’s nothing to see here? And how dare feminists claim such questions pose a threat to real rape victims, discouraging them from making complaints to police?
Before delving into all this, I must tell you that, contrary to the misleading media coverage, Bruce Lehrmann did not pull out of his first defamation battle with News Life Media (formerly news.com) regarding the article by Samantha Maiden, which, alongside Lisa Wilkinson’s hit job on The Project, led to him being identified as a rapist to the entire country.
It ended with a confidential settlement but unfortunately, the mealy-mouthed statement hammered out by the two teams of lawyers who achieved that result gives the impression that Lehrmann simply discontinued the action.
Lehmann, however, announced at the time that he was “extremely happy with the settlement” which included two components – the payment of legal fees (the amount wasn’t specified but Lehrmann’s comment suggests this was not a small sum), plus an addendum to the Maiden article stating it is not claimed that Lehrmann “was guilty of sexual assault”.
Does this amount to a compensation payout and correction? Looks like a duck, swims like a duck…
The claim that “no damages were paid to Mr Lehrmann” smacks of semantics but naturally most of the media, particularly News Life journalists at The Australian newspaper and Sky News Australia, were determined to play down this win for Lehrmann.
This is very useful for all of us keen to expose the appalling behaviour of media tossing aside the presumption of innocence to champion Saint Brittany.
We need to set the record straight about this settlement with News.
Don’t forget Maiden still boasts a Walkley Award, despite this legal settlement, for the story that the Walkley 2021 Yearbook boasted “sparked a political earthquake and mass protests”.
We’ve put together a draft letter to be sent to the Walkley organisation, asking for the award to be revoked, arguing the settlement makes clear Maiden breached media ethics in her reporting. Please use this to frame your own protest letters.
Lisa Wilkinson also still has her Logie television award for her Higgins interview on Channel 10’s The Project, despite the audio tape now revealing she coached Higgins, literally putting words in her mouth to ensure the rape allegation could be used to promote the feminist agenda.
It is outrageous that she retains this bauble, particularly since her Logie acceptance speech delayed the trial by three months.
Interestingly, Channel 7 now has the rights to the Logies. Given that the Lehrmann Spotlight interview has been such a big hit for Channel 7 we figure boss Kerry Stokes might relish the opportunity of making trouble for Wilkinson and Channel 10, but it might be best to wait for the Wilkinson defamation case to be settled to pursue this issue.
It’s not enough to just sit back and let all this unfold. This could be a tipping point and now’s the time to make our voices heard to ensure consequences for those who weaponised this whole issue to pursue their own agendas – with not one thought for the man they were stitching up.
As for the subsequent defamation battles, don’t believe the bluster about the risks for Lehrmann of being cross-examined.
One major reason Drumgold may have dropped the case was the realisation that Higgins would have to give evidence in the re-trial, despite his desperate effort to get the law changed to rely on her previous evidence.
She’s proved to be a trainwreck in the witness stand, unlike Lehrmann who smoothly handled grilling by barristers in the recent hearings about the out-of-time issue re the defamation action.
The top prize for effrontery from the media players in the defamation cases must go to the ABC which is now claiming it offered to make amends to Lehrmann over the broadcast of the National Press Club address by Higgins. Sure, they did – with an offer of $5000!
Podcaster Chad James has a very interesting discussion about the ABC defamation case which makes the telling point that the ABC kept the video of Higgins’ Press Council address up on its website until April this year – despite the criminal proceedings having been dropped late last year, and even after receiving the concerns notice of the defamation action. How malicious is that?
There’s much more worth hearing in this juicy podcast.
Every day, amazing little gems keep popping up – like the item on Channel 7 News in May alleging Brittany Higgins had previously had sex multiple times in her boss’s office.
This has since been removed from most media sources, but it was apparently included in text messages the police recovered from Higgins’ phone and referred to her escapades with previous boyfriends on the Minister’s couch.
Now to Bruce Lehrmann’s Spotlight interview. [Watch here.]
Note that the decision by Lehrmann to go public at this stage was prompted by various media outlets jockeying over who would release extracts from the audio recording of the five-hour meeting between Higgins, her boyfriend David Sharaz, television personality Lisa Wilkinson and her producer, where they maliciously plan to employ Labor politicians in their campaign to use the rape allegation to bring down the Morrison government.
Get a load of this choice comment from Brittany Higgins speaking about the Prime Minister: “He’s about to be f**ked over. Just wait. We’ve got him”. “I still hate the c***,” replied Sharaz, whom Lehrmann described as the “puppet master” who used Higgins to bring down the government.
Including that critical audio recording in the Channel 7 television interview was bound to be a turning point – as it has indeed proved to be.
That meant subjecting Lehrmann to a grilling, and overall, he’s come out pretty well.
For the first time, he is being stopped in the street by people telling him they now believe his side of the story.
Nothing has undermined Higgins’ already shredded credibility as effectively as the image of her in the Seven interview, skipping cheerfully through security, showing no sign of the drunken stupor she claimed in the statements to police.
I can’t begin to do justice to the revelations now emerging – the excellent Janet Albrechtsen and other journalists at The Australian are pushing out story after story spelling these out.
This mighty juggernaut has become the political story of the day, with the Opposition vowing to use this parliamentary week to pursue this agenda, Ministers Gallagher and Wong trying to backtrack on their alleged lies, the the Prime Minister looking like a rabbit on the railway tracks as he scurries away from press conferences, and finally most of the press starting to ask the right questions.
With many people now openly speculating that Higgins received her multi-million payout as a reward for helping bring down the Morrison government, Linda Reynolds has promised to refer the compensation to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, claiming the settlement breached rules governing how such claims should be handled.
The Australian newspaper’s legal expert Chris Merritt makes a series of key points in that respect, particularly that this payment was made without any finding of wrongdoing, and that the Albanese Government nobbled the mediation by preventing key ministers, Linda Reynolds and Michaela Cash, from giving evidence at the mediation by threatening not to pay their legal fees.
As Merritt explains, this made it impossible for officials running that process to “properly discharge their duty to protect the financial interests of the Commonwealth” – which could result in criminal sanctions.
Albanese is now protecting Gallagher by claiming the decision was made entirely by Attorney General Mark Dreyfus using his “exceptional circumstances provision” – where normal rules need not apply. We’ll see how that goes…
There’s blood in the water and thank goodness the Opposition is stepping up promising to pursue this agenda this week, with talk about possible Senate inquiries as well as the referral to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Opposition MPs need to hear from us, urging them on. This blog should give you plenty of information you can use for brief letters of support to Dutton and other Coalition MPs backing a concerted attack.
When the Higgins story first broke, back in February 2021, I received a flood of emails from people who felt her story failed the pub test.
The past six months have proved that instinct was absolutely right; as Higgins’ evidence fell apart in court, the ACT Inquiry revealed the extent of police scepticism at her allegations, and now her malicious scheming is fully on display.
It’s thrilling watching the mood shift on social media, as people gleefully respond to the concrete evidence about how this whole story was cooked up and weaponised.
The most delicious twist in this endless saga is our former Australian of the Year, Grace Tame, is no longer prepared to share her rape victim status with Brittany Higgins.
She has deleted an Instagram post in which she declared Higgins was her friend and a “national hero”.
This speaks volumes about Brittany Higgins’ fall from grace.PC