Who is the Prime Minister of Australia

Allegations of abuse and sex orgies : Australia's government is sinking into scandals

Just a few weeks ago, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was seen as a role model for the EU. He went on a confrontation course with China and brought Facebook and Google to their knees with a new media law. That catapulted the hitherto inconspicuous head of government into the world news.

Before that, Morrison had rarely taken place on the global stage. During the 2019/20 bushfire crisis, he stood apart, his low level of commitment in the fight against climate change made him look backward. He seemed to have shed this image recently.

But while Morrison was flying high in foreign policy, a storm was brewing domestically. Within a few weeks, one scandal suddenly followed another: in the past week alone, it emerged that parliamentarians were celebrating sex orgies in the parliament building and prostitutes were being smuggled into parliament. The whistleblower, who passed videos and photos to the media, spoke of the “moral bankruptcy” in parliament.

In the weeks before, a young woman had also made public that she had been raped by a male colleague in a minister's office in 2019. That minister, Linda Reynolds, had not given her adequate assistance when she reported the incident. This alleged crime was joined a little later by an abuse allegation concerning the Australian Justice Minister Christian Porter, the highest authority for law and order in the country.

When the forests burned in Australia, he flew on vacation - to Hawaii

Regardless of the veracity of the allegations, Morrison acted very strangely. Similar to how he had once withdrawn during the bushfire crisis - at that time he flew to Hawaii on vacation and joked that he had to "not hold a fire hose" - the 52-year-old tried for weeks to sit out the scandals in his party.

[If you want to have all the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic live on your mobile phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices]

Especially when compared to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who mastered a terrorist attack, volcanic eruption and pandemic with human empathy and the ability to read the mood of society, Morrison pales in the eyes of many Australians.

Even people in his own ranks accuse Morrison of "moral decay"

Members from Morrison's own ranks are also now vehemently criticizing the moral decline. For example, the politician Catherine Cusack, like Morrison a member of the Liberal-Conservative Party, wrote in an opinion piece for the Guardian that there are “some young men with high salaries” in some of the offices of ministers and parliamentarians “aggressive factional work “Would afford. "You are intoxicated with both power and alcohol," claimed Cusack.

Most of the blame would be borne by the superiors. "They legitimize and tolerate behaviors that serve their own interests in order to gain and retain power."

Women across Australia are now angry about what's going on in the capital, Canberra, says Cusack. Not only personal experiences and solidarity with the victims played a role, but above all the feeling of powerlessness that many now feel when these scandals are apparently ignored.

Deposing Morrison is not easy - he has tightened the rules himself

Morrison himself still seems to be in a safe position despite the political quake. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that he himself tightened the rules and prime ministers can no longer be removed as easily as they were a few years ago. On the other hand, it is because his "Boys' Club" sticks together and some of his loyal party colleagues continue to stick with him.

In order to partially restore his reputation among the people, Morrison at least reorganized his government team on Monday. The two ministers who have come under criticism, Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds, are given new responsibilities, the previous Minister of the Interior Peter Dutton takes over the post of Minister of Defense and Karen Andrews is the first woman to head the Ministry of the Interior.

However, whether this will be enough to reconcile especially the female voters with Morrison and his party will not be seen until next year when Australia elects a new parliament.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page