Kiss of death

Federal Liberal Member for Mayo Jamie Briggs has indeed paid a high price for behaving badly in Hong Kong during an official trip in November last year.
The 38-year-old has lost a high powered job as a Minister, suffered public humiliation and caused his family some embarrassment and harassment.
He has also damaged the Liberal brand in his electorate.
Regardless of how people judge the severity of the incident, Ministers shouldn’t be affected by alcohol in a public place to the point where a young public servant complains about their behavior.
It’s not good for Mr Briggs’ image, particularly coming so soon after attempting to deceive the public on how he injured his leg the morning after former Prime Minister Tony Abbott lost his job.
Mr Briggs told the nation he hurt his leg on an early morning run – allowing everyone to assume it was a result of a jog around Canberra – when in fact he sustained the injury running through the Parliament House corridors during a wild post-spill party.
Mr Briggs’ reputation and this latest Hong Kong faux pas could play a part in eroding the 54% primary vote he recorded at the last Federal election.
With the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) now offering a candidate in this year’s election, Mr Briggs may well have helped the NXT’s aim of making Mayo marginal.
Mr Briggs first won the seat in the 2008 by-election at age 31 with just over 41% of the primary vote.
He went on to consolidate his voter base and become a rising star in Mr Abbott’s Government.
But there are ups and downs in politics and Mr Briggs is experiencing the latter, and it is entirely his own fault – as he openly admits.
Mr Briggs isn’t the first politician, public servant or business person who has had to cope with the loneliness of a demanding job requiring constant travel, or the traps of failing to learn moderation when wining and dining.
But MPs don’t really have a private life and eventually their actions – whether overseas or at home – come to light.
If Mr Briggs wants to emulate his political mentors and resurrect his political career, he’s going to have to rebuild the trust he has allowed to erode by taking the benefits of a safe seat for granted.