We can do better

The testosterone-fuelled environment that is Parliament House in Canberra has been exposed in all its unedifying glory.

With the testosterone-fuelled environment that is Parliament House in Canberra exposed in all its unedifying glory, it seems counterintuitive that the Prime Minister needs to grow some balls.
Forgive the coarse terminology but that’s exactly what is required.
As the horror stories of sexual misconduct continue to roll out on an almost daily basis, Scott Morrison needs to show true leadership and start by sacking his abusive backbencher Andrew Laming instead of sending him off to ‘empathy training’ … whatever that is.
At least removing him would be a signal that Morrison is a man of his word and a man of conviction – but he isn’t.
The PM is no doubt a sound and solid citizen but his inability to allow his much-vaunted morality to override politics – to do what is right rather than what is politically expedient – leaves him exposed.
He could confront this festering issue and send a decisive message to all women – and men – that there are real changes taking place in the corridors of power by removing Laming, but the reality is Morrison prefers to accept his tainted vote.
This overt political pragmatism is conveniently forgotten during Morrison’s regular tear-filled statements in which he suggests the women in his life define exactly who he is and females in this country have no bigger champion than he.
They’re nice words but as soon as the microphones are switched off the politics returns, making the whole exercise appear rather contrived and hollow – as the Laming case proves.
The PM says he understands and is fighting ferociously for female equality … but neither he nor the Minister for Women had the courage to front up at a protest rally outside Parliament House recently.
Again, politics won out.
This week he rearranged the cabinet deckchairs but, with no new faces, it signalled a priority to do little else but limit the political damage.
More than 50% of voters are female and Morrison’s regular mistakes on this issue risk alienating a significant portion of them … as well as their male supporters.
It seems strange the professional politician is not attuned to this danger, particularly at a time when a true point of difference will be needed as the Coalition seeks a fourth term at the next election.