When on Wednesday Cabinet Minister Michaelia Cash delivered her extraordinary threat to, “name every young woman in Mr Shorten’s office over which rumours in this place abound”, she didn’t just insult identifiable individuals — she also further debased our already-degraded political system.
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VIDEO: Michaelia Cash threatens to reveal rumours about Bill Shorten’s female staffers (ABC News)
Imagine if someone had said, out of nowhere and with no supporting substance, that they were ready, “to expose rumours that surround Senator Cash”, Senator Cash would be justifiably outraged. She’d say: “What are you talking about?” She’d want an apology.
And yet when Senator Cash — a former minister for women, incidentally — was challenged, she initially offered only the most qualified withdrawal: “If anyone has been offended by my remarks, I withdraw”.
It wasn’t until Thursday afternoon that she withdrew her comments “unreservedly”. There was no apology to the women.