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Parliament House Staff Appall Me


old man emu
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Parliament House contains 4,700 rooms. From what is being brought to light, one might think it's the biggest sex pit in the World.

 

I'm appalled at what is being reported to have happened there after close of business. Does this go on in the office towers of our major cities? Does the average Aussie get to participate?

 

And don't put it all on the male security staff. I watched the interview with the female security staffer who did a "welfare check" on the young woman allegedly raped in one of those room. What knocked my socks off, and I was bare foot at the time, was that the female security officer found a person naked in an office, and quietly left, closing the door "to preserve her dignity".  Does the medical to become a Parliament House security officer require that applicants have a blind eye?

 

Does that response to finding a naked person in a supposedly closed office sound like the behaviour of a normal person? Does that sound like the behaviour of one woman to another? She saw that the naked woman was breathing, so as far as she was concerned, the naked woman's "welfare" had been checked. Wouldn't any normal human being take enquiries further on finding a person in that state?  "It wasn't my place to [do anything else]. I can only think that finding people naked in offices in the early hours of the morning is a normal situation in Parliament House.

 

It sounds like the cleaners should be put through Parliament House, and not just to clean away the stains on the furniture. And the first before the broom should be Holier than thou ScoMo. What a lying hypocrite! He is supposed to be the leader of the Australian People, but shows not one of the cherished traits of leadership. And the same goes for all people showing similar behaviour. 

 

I'm getting sick and tired of blatant liars in positions of power over me. Sweep the lot away! Left, Right and Centre. And on their shirt tails, pin those Heads of Departments who aid and abet the lies.

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Careful OME - sounds like what you're suggesting is "draining the swamp", and you know how that turns out.

 

But yes the behaviour coming to light is appalling.  It's kind of like Parliament house got stuck in the 80's, where finding a naked person in any particular location, perhaps with a line of cocaine nearby, probably wasn't unusual in many workplaces.

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2 hours ago, old man emu said:

Does the average Aussie get to participate?

A little opportunistic, OME?? 😄

 

Seriously, it is a blight on our country.

 

Have just seen a report on the ABC. I can almost, but not quite understand why the security guard did not initially report it. She stated that when she first went into the office, Higgins was laying naked on the couch (from memory) and did not appear distressed, so she left to give her privacy. I can almost understand that, except that how many people do that, even if it were after sex, and not react to a stranger surprising them in the room? My guess is it is well known that this sort of behaviour can happen and security are proibably instructed to overlook it all.

 

SFM (Scabby F'n Morrison or Scabby F'n Mongrel) has covered this up by the looks of it. Apparently, his then cheif of staff and now head of the PM's Department ordered a delay.. SFM claimed in parliament that he did not know, about this, but in front of a select committee, the other scab, the the Chied of Staff, said he had both sent an email and spoken to Morrison informing him of such before the questioning in parliament at the time.

 

The that fella decided to use the AFP Commissioner asking him to delay investigation to not compromise the criminal investigation underway.. to which , in front of the same committee, the AFP commissioner responded that there was no such request made. FFS! They are lying when they know they will be contradicted.. yet, we still voted them in...

 

Given Labour has not been in total outrage over this suggests it has been rather a bipartisan issue, me thinks. We know that Shorten has been accused, but seems not to have performed anything illegal, at least.

 

Geez, and we think US politics is toxic!

 

Yet, I know, there will be a significant minority that don't see this as an issue - that see it is a normal part of life and people are wet snowdrops these days or something..

 

How do you fix this without draining the swamp? (Trump didn't drain it; he stocked it.. ) It will be interesting to see who's heads roll. So far, what appears to be a junior or mid staffer for a lewd act on an MPs desk. OK, it (and he) is sick, but in the end, apart from him showing himself to be a sick puppet, even if he didn't clean up after himself, despite the threat and fear the MP may feel, it is not rape; and accompanying suicide. The point I am making is that while we don't technically know if this was a rape or not, what we do know is that a woman has alleged and since committed suicide; her reaction to the intrusion of her space was definitely not normal, and there has been a "delay" to the investigation and the PM informed, and seem to have knowingly lied in denying it.

 

Maybe it's time for the Queen to step in and get control... Because what else can be done at this stage?

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8 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

She stated that when she first went into the office, Higgins was laying naked on the couch (from memory) and did not appear distressed, so she left to give her privacy. I can almost understand that, except that how many people do that, even if it were after sex, and not react to a stranger surprising them in the room? My guess is it is well known that this sort of behaviour can happen and security are proibably instructed to overlook it all.

The security guard was told to check on the welfare of a woman believed to be alone in the building. The woman was naked and, I believe, not conscious to her surroundings due to being asleep. But the security guard would not have known as she first saw her that the lack of consciousness was simply due to sleep. The first action we are taught when effecting First Aid is to check for consciousness. As I said, if any person came across another person laying naked, wouldn't that be cause for further enquiry? Especially if one woman came upon another woman in that state.

 

It does seem that using Parliament House for horizontal exercise is a common thing. So common that the normal human responses by others do not exist.

 

The fly in the ointment in this case is the fact that the woman went with the man to a place and at a time that a reasonable person would not generally consider to be a place for a sex tryst. That is a lot different from taking advantage of a person in a storeroom during business hours. There is no evidence that the woman was dragged into the building. So now we are struck with the problem of when does "Yes" become "No".

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You're quite correct OME, there is a fly in the ointment. As an insider to the poltics in Canberra, she probably knew that snake-pit that parliament is. So why did she go? Well, who knows.. maybe she was teasing? Maybe at first there was an indirect form of consent. Or maybe, she was pissed, so her judgement was waning, the pretences under which she was invited back were compelling enough, and she thought she was safe enough? Sadly, she is no longer with us, so we will never know. How many other rapes have happened in similar circumstances, where the woman was lured into the lair rather than forced?

 

As for consent, willingly entering into a building, even in the wee hours, does not necessarily form consent by itself. Surely, a positive sign of wanting to continue (amarousness, etc) would be able to be reasonably construed as consent, while a negative action (such as pulling away, pushing on the chest, etc) should be reasonably construed as declining consent?

 

Although, we know they were intoxicated, we don't know what other, if any, substances either were under the influence of - nor if there was any asymmetry in the level of intoxication between the two? This all throws a question over the allegation - absolutely. It may well have been a bit of "harmless fun" that say got out of control; or was later regretted.. If this was the case, why go for the rape allegation? But as you say, why would a security guard not raise an alarm? And why delay any investigation? Surely once the allegation was made, it would be in the interest of everyone involved to have iot quickly, but fully investigated and if there was no wrong-doing, the minister fully exonerated?

 

While I am a positive legalist (https://www.jstor.org/stable/1410187?seq=1), there are too many rats to be smelled to make this one go away.

 

From a conduct perspective, even if it were consulting, it is totally inappropriate to use public property - no less the parliament and ministerial offices - in this way..

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

Sadly, she is no longer with us, so we will never know.

 Jerry I think one who is no longer with us is the other high profile case.

 

 

OME I understand that this is not necessarily your opinion on the matter but you are point out perhaps what the defence legal team will argue

 

51 minutes ago, old man emu said:

 

It does seem that using Parliament House for horizontal exercise is a common thing. So common that the normal human responses by others do not exist.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, old man emu said:

There is no evidence that the woman was dragged into the building.

 

 

 

This is supposition we don't know if this happens often or not but inn any case it is a matter of whether it is common knowledge amongst all staff or a dirty little secret amongst a few and could a relatively young person who has not worked there for years and year be expected to know all the goings on.   As an example when I joined the RAAF someone directly above me called me into a room and asked if I could lend him some money because he had  had some sort of short term financial problem.   Wanting to help I loaned him some money, When I mentioned this to older hands in the place they all said "no don't lend him money, he has borrowed from half the people here" I has not been aware of that.   I believe that this woman was told by this fellow that he had to pick something up from the office. This sounds reasonable especially given the alcohol situation. 

Her appearance of not being coerced is also quite subjective.  This women had trouble putting her shoes on after security screening.   The notion that if you go to a place even willingly surely does not imply that everything that happens after arrival is ok or legal.  Whilst we are talking about appearances and whether they add anything to the case, the guards noted that when the man left by himself he seemed nervous and agitated, this may or may not relevant.  

1 hour ago, old man emu said:

So now we are struck with the problem of when does "Yes" become "No".

 

This suggest that there was a yes based on her going to an office with someone after hours.     

 

 

I would suggest that the fact that she was highly intoxicated would suggest that she was unlikely to have been able to legally give consent

 

Sexual assault – can you give consent when you are drunk or high?

 

Can you give consent when you are drunk or high?

Drugs and alcohol impact the normal, everyday functioning of the brain such as a person’s ability to make decisions, including the ability to decide whether he or she wants to participate in sexual activity with someone or not. Therefore someone who is drunk or high possibly cannot legally give informed consent. Anyone who is sexually involved with a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol is possibly committing sexual assault and possibly rape.

Even if someone seems eager to engage in sexual behavior they could be considered too intoxicated to give consent.

However, the issue lies in how intoxicated a person needs to be before they are rendered incapable of consenting. With regards to the courts, there is a fine line between sober enough to consent and drunk enough to be considered a sexual assault.

When it comes to consent, the law focuses on the thoughts and emotions of the complainant during the time of sexual activity. Defense could argue that the accused took “reasonable steps” to obtain consent or that the complainant was not drunk enough to nullify his or her ability to consent.

Who decides how drunk is too drunk to consent?

The law does not explicitly state how sober a person needs to be in order to make an informed decision. It is up to a judge to decide if a complainant was too drunk to consent. A person could be intoxicated but yet a judge could determine that he or she still had the capacity to consent.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, octave said:

 1.   I believe that this woman was told by this fellow that he had to pick something up from the office. This sounds reasonable especially given the alcohol situation. 

2.   Her appearance of not being coerced is also quite subjective. 

3.   The notion that if you go to a place even willingly surely does not imply that everything that happens after arrival is ok or legal. 

4.   Whilst we are talking about appearances and whether they add anything to the case, the guards noted that when the man left by himself he seemed nervous and agitated, this may or may not relevant. 

5.    It is a matter of whether it is common knowledge amongst all staff 

I did a bit of editing of Octave's post, simply to clarify my comment.

 

The problem that we who were not there are being confused by getting information in dribs and drabs. Until a full recounting of events, from both sides, is in the public domain, ie has been presented to a tribunal of fact be it criminal or civil we cannot be sure of our conclusions. We may form opinions, but opinions are a poor indicator of fact sometimes.

 

When I said that the problem is determining when "Yes" becomes "No", I was alluding to the idea that the timing of giving or retracting consent is at the crux of determining if the assault (and any physical contact is at Law an "assault") was legal or illegal. For instance, a standard tackle in football is an assault, but is legal because of the implied consent contained in agreeing to play "by the rules". Trips and high tackles are illegal assaults because they fall outside the rules.

 

A person may agree to certain assaults (foreplay) that would otherwise be illegal, but may draw the line at going further. Obviously, unless there are independent witnesses, which is rarely the case, it all boils down to "He said. - She said." That is the dilemma for a tribunal of fact to overcome.

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35 minutes ago, octave said:

OME what are your thoughts on the legal opinion that consent cannot be given if a person is highly intoxicared?

If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above 0.05 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, you cannot operate a private vehicle on a public road. It is a well known, and proven fact that a BAC at or above that level adversely affects the mental capability to comprehend sensory inputs and to respond appropriately to them.

 

It follows from that fact that as the BAC rises, decision-making ability diminishes. There is a failure to consider the consequences of words or deeds. However, according to advice given to Judges when directing a jury on the Law in these cases https://www.judcom.nsw.gov.au/publications/benchbks/criminal/sexual_intercourse_without_consent.html#p5-1566 it is the Crown's duty to prove lack of consent.

 

Consent

The accused does not have to prove that [the complainant] consented; it is for the Crown to prove beyond reasonable doubt that [she/he] did not. What then, is meant by consent?

A person consents to sexual intercourse if [she/he] freely and voluntarily agrees to have sexual intercourse with another person. That consent can be given verbally, or expressed by actions. Similarly, absence of consent does not have to be in words; it also may be communicated in other ways, such as the offering of resistance although this is not necessary as the law specifically provides that a person who does not offer actual physical resistance to sexual intercourse is not, by reason only of that fact, to be regarded as consenting to the sexual intercourse … [see s 61HA(7) Crimes Act 1900]. Consent that is obtained after persuasion is still consent provided that ultimately it is given freely and voluntarily.

[If applicable

The law provides that a person does not consent to sexual intercourse:

  • if the person does not have the capacity to consent to the sexual intercourse, including because of age or cognitive incapacity, or

  • if the person does not have the opportunity to consent to the sexual intercourse because the person is unconscious or asleep, or

  • if the person consents to the sexual intercourse because of threats of force or terror (whether the threats are against, or the terror is instilled in, that person or any other person), or

  • if the person consents to the sexual intercourse because the person is unlawfully detained [see s 61HA(4) Crimes Act 1900 and s 61HA(5) for other situations where there is no consent].]

[Further if applicable

In considering whether the Crown has proved beyond reasonable doubt that [the complainant] did not consent you may have regard to the following matters if you have found them proved on the evidence before you:

  • that the complainant had sexual intercourse while substantially intoxicated by alcohol or any drug, or

  • that the complainant had sexual intercourse because of intimidatory or coercive conduct, or other threat, even though that conduct does not involve a threat of force, or

  • if the complainant had sexual intercourse because of the abuse of a position of authority or trust.

In the present case, observations of the complainant as she entered the building would suggest that she was under the influence (intoxicated) as evidenced by her difficulty with her shoes. However, does that indicate her being substantially intoxicated. There has been no evidence given of the usual indicators of intoxication such as blood shot and watery eyes, slurred speech or confused word choice and the smell of intoxicating products on her breath. As a further caveat was her difficulty with her shoes due to the design of the shoes themselves (falling off high heels), or as a result of loss of traction with the floor?

 

So many unknowns!

 

And still we accept that an "assault" of a sexual nature can be quite legal until one party says or indicates, "No". How does the Crown prove when that occurred without independent witnesses? How much tissue injury is normal in consensual, energetic coitus?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, old man emu said:

 

So many unknowns!

 

There are some knowns and many questions.  Why did he leave her there?  Did he say "well I am heading off, are coming or staying?  Forgetting sexual assault for the moment the implications of her being found there the next morning would surely be uppermost in his mind.   I can only think of 2 alternative either she refused to leave or was not able to leave.   I find it hard to believe that she says "yeah I will have a nap and leave later" (without the Taxi they came here in)    or at some stage she was unconscious to the stage where he could not get her out of the building.  The fact that she did not react to security guards surely is relevant.   Her version of events is that whilst he looked for the item he said he had gone there for she fell asleep on the couch and awoke with undressed with him on top of her.   Whether or not this will ever be proved beyond reasonable doubt time will tell.   Being the most chartable to the man involved still leaves him looking pretty bad.  There is no scenario where he looks like a great guy. At the very best this man left an unconscious colleague undressed in a place where her discovery would cause all sorts of problems,   Certainly the security guards claims that it she was extremely intoxicated.   

 

 

 

 

Whilst proving beyond reasonable doubt is always difficult in these cases it is important that we don't just ignore this things.     

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Michelle Landry who knew the young man who committed the lewd acts in the office and was sacked says she feels for him. he was a good worker and will have to live with this. She also says that Labor and the Greens have a similar problem. Now if that is true it is certainly time that the place was cleaned out, but it sounds more loke Scott Morrisons always turning problems back to the oppposition.

Whatever happens I am astounded that a security guard would leave a naked woman in a ministers office, What would have happened if the minister came in before she left at 10am? Oh I forget, the minister would have swept it under the carpet and probably head the woman sacked.

So far we have two women who have had problems with the alledged rapist and we still have no idea who he is.

Supposedly Brittany Higgins has put the problem in the hands of the AFP but we hav no idea if there is any investigation going on. If the accusations are real I would think that the alledged rapist should have at least been questioned, because there can be no safety for other women while he is still able to rape them.

The whole government is corrupt, only wanting every problem to blow over and preferably be laid at the feet of the opposition. It would be good if women could come forward with answers to this problem as the government is never going to do so. They are going to have to bite the bullet and go to the police with their rape claims and stick with it until men stop behaving badly.

From what I see the government offices are far rougher  and filled with scumbags who cannot behave properly than the construction industry that I used to work in and which had a bad name for misbehaviour.

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2 hours ago, octave said:

Certainly the security guards claims that it she was extremely intoxicated.   

Way back there was a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. One of the many things that came as a recommendation was that severely intoxicated persons in custody have to be monitored regularly to ensure that their reaction to the poisoning by alcohol did not result in their inhaling vomit and choking. As a qualified Custody Officer, one of my tasks was to regularly check on the condition of intoxicated persons, and record that I had spoken to them. Anyone with a modicum of First Aid knowledge knows that alcohol is a poison and intoxicated persons require special care, from regular monitoring to provision of medial assistance. 

 

That all security personnel on duty that night, knowing of the presence of an extremely intoxicated person on the premises did nothing more than a look in, is something that would need addressing. Imagine the furore if the woman had died as a result of her intoxicated state. What comments would the Coroner have made? 

 

The major point coming out of this is that no one is stepping forward to do the "I am Spartacus" thing.

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The security guard apparently said that when she opened the door and saw Brittany naked on the couch, she said something like "Oh!" and upon hearing that, Brittany rolled over, looked at her, then went back to sleep.

 

This would indicate that she wasn't unconscious but in a state of sleep.  As for being naked, yes it would be extremely unusual to find someone sleeping starkers in a workplace, but I guess the guard assumed they'd had consensual sex, she'd fallen asleep, and given she woke briefly to external stimuli it was unlikely that she was in serious need of medical attention.

 

So while it may seem unusual that the guard didn't raise the alarm, we have to look it at from her point of view.  The person seemed to be ok, they had a right to be in that office, it's probably not the only time the guard had witnessed bonking in the halls of power, and a large part of her job is probably discretion.

 

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Good point, Marty, bit I think, given it is a work place, the sitation should have raised more alarm bells than it extinguished. Unless she is a senior security guard/manager, in a workplace where this sort of ting is known to go on, it still appears worthy of reporting to senior/managing staff to allow them to make a decision.. if only to ensure her health and safety were taken into account

 

It is easier as armchair observers (and relatively bad ones at that in my case)... But there would also be the equivalent of SOPs about what to do in different situations - and while there probably isn't one explicitly for that particular cisrumstance, there may be one/some for general scenairos that this could fit into?

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As an aside from discussing the actions of the security staff, and in an effort to redirect the topic back to the original sentiment

On 22/03/2021 at 9:38 PM, old man emu said:

 

I'm getting sick and tired of blatant liars in positions of power over me. Sweep the lot away! Left, Right and Centre. And on their shirt tails, pin those Heads of Departments who aid and abet the lies.

 

I heard reported today that a long-serving female Senator has expressed disgust at ScoMo's approach to this incident. However, what riled me was her allegedly saying that she has not spoken against ScoMo out of party loyalty. So it seems for politicians that retaining power is more important than propriety. The whole mob disgusts me.

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3 hours ago, pmccarthy said:

So you want to Drain the Swamp?

 

Marty_d said that too. I doubt if you could find a civil engineering company that could complete that contract successfully.

 

However, it would be well worth suspending these politicians for a year and make them try to live in the real world for that long. Let them try to get a job using only their proven abilities to do the job, and not being given a hand up by their cronies in Big Business. Let them learn what it is like to deal with the daily struggles the rest of us do. Make them pay for licences, their car registration, power and water, mortgage/rent. Make them do what the decent husbands and wives do to have a home and feed, clothe and educate a family. And make them live only on the median wage ($1150 per week).

 

Those whom we elect to run our country are supposedly worthy of our respect. However, those currently lounging on the green sofas in Canberra are hardly showing that they are deserving of that respect. Australians are said to have great disdain for pomposity and how it is exhibited. It's time these pompous fools in Canberra were given a reality check.

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I think that publicly elected politicians, like democracy itself, are the least worst form of government.

 

Yes we can bitch and moan about their lack of touch with the real world, and their deficiencies regarding truth, morals and intelligence, but the fact is that to be a politician you have to WANT to be a politician, and let's face it, who does?

 

I listen to them (on all sides of parliament) being interviewed by media figures who are always angling to get them to say something controversial.  Then they work in a place where everyone lies, everyone is trying to get something from you, everyone is trying to sneak something past you, and half the place is trying to dig up dirt on you and stab you in the back.

 

Even when they're in the pub after work they're accosted by journalists and other MP's.  They're always in the spotlight and in reality always at work.

 

So while I agree totally that they should have a better code of conduct (with enforcement), a federal ICAC and closer scrutiny on their travel expenses, I can honestly say that much like people who clean out sewers, and catholic choirboys, they have a job that I REALLY wouldn't want.

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The reality is that wherever there is a conrolling/"controllee" relationship, or supervisory/supervised relationship where there is a relative lack of transparency, it will attract those with nefarious people to those positions. We have seen it in religious institutions, schools, prisons, politics, etc. I remember back in the mid to late 80's the exposee of bastardisation and butal practices at Duntroon. The only defence is absolute transparency, but this has a competing interest in areas such as defence, etc. Maybe an independent board of some sort, who are themselves held to account somehow..

 

Rather than strengthening transparency, the pollies know they are not that competent and rely on covering up to keep things from the public and their gravy train rolling. So, we can live in hope.

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