Jason Ball gained some national notice when he staged his coming out in 2012 as the second Australian Rules player to do so. He maintained the continuity of this national action by throwing himself into the LGBTI cause. Wanting to do more to correct the attitudes of Australian society, he joined the Greens, putting himself forward as a candidate for the federal seat of Higgins traditionally a super-safe seat for the Liberals. In the 2016 federal election, he succeeded in eating into the margin of Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer, showing there had been a demographic change in the electorate favouring the left. Buoyed by the results, and full of confidence, Ball pushed on with preparations for the 2019 federal election. But, alas, Ball’s imprudent behaviour seems to have destroyed any chance he had.
In July 2016, Ball, unable to control himself, had a bout of furious sweaty sex with a campaign volunteer in a toilet cubicle of a gay nightclub. This tawdry behaviour might have gone unnoticed except for the momentum of the #metoo movement. The Australian’s Chip Le Grand, supporting Ball with some euphemistic journalism, has favoured us with an account of the incident (23 Jan 2019).
The ‘brief tryst… the innocuous sexual encounter,’ he writes, ‘took place on a night of celebration. The Greens were hosting a party to thank volunteers and staff who worked on the 2016 federal campaign… After the party function, [Ball] and a group of volunteers decided to kick on at a club in Prahran, in the heart of Melbourne’s gay precinct.
‘The sexual encounter came after everyone had been drinking and dancing. Ball and the volunteer had been dancing and flirting with one another. They have differing recollections about some details of what happened but parted at the end of the night on good terms. Early the next morning, the volunteer sent Ball a message to say he’d had a great time.
‘It was not until November 2017 that Ball learned something was terribly wrong. His friendship with the volunteer had cooled and he didn’t know why. He sent a message to check whether the volunteer was OK. The volunteer replied with a long, emotional reply in which he accused Ball of getting him drunk and abusing his position for sexual gratification.’
The Greens conducted an ‘independent investigation’ and came out with a verdict of ‘not guilty’. Ball’s conduct may have been ‘poorly judged’ but the ‘sexual encounter was an affair between two consenting adults.’ No ‘assault, sexual harassment and misconduct’ was involved and the volunteer’s charge that ‘Ball plied him with alcohol and misused his position of power as the Higgins candidate to take advantage of him were not substantiated.’
One finds this scenario often in #metoo allegations of sexual harassment or sexual abuse against men. The scenario of the subordinate woman as helpless victim abused by a man in a powerful position is a constant in the political discourse of the far-left Greens. The irony is screaming from the page. Ball acknowledged that being cleared of the charges might not help him. ‘All [is] up for grabs if weaponised by political opponents.’ He would know, wouldn’t he? Weaponising words and trivial occasions are what the Greens are so adept at. Le Grand embarrassingly says of this hypocrisy that the ‘Greens have a bittersweet relationship with MeToo.’ He means that Ball’s is not the only case of (alleged) serious sexual harassment by a Green’s member.
In November last year (2018), New South Wales Greens MP Jenny Leong delivered an ‘explosive’ #metoo speech in parliament ‘calling on her colleague Jeremy Buckingham to resign over sexual harassment allegations.’ She said she could no longer remain silent about Buckingham’s behaviour. She also charged Buckingham with an ‘intimidating manner towards her.’ Sound familiar?
In fact, Leong was not charging Buckingham with sexually harassing her. No, she was defending the allegations by a former Greens staffer Ella Buckland who ‘alleged Mr Buckingham touched her inappropriately in 2011.’ Leong then escalated sexual harassment and inappropriate touching to ‘Jeremy’s act of sexual violence towards [Ella Buckland] and the subsequent disgusting behaviour she has endured.’ What act could simultaneously come under the heading of sexual harassment, inappropriate touching and sexual violence?
Leong said, ‘Jeremy’s actions and behaviour, some widely reported and documented and some still held in confidence which must be respected, have had a real and lasting consequence on individual women, member and former member of our party.’ What those consequences were of actions and behaviours we know nothing about were also to remain a secret. Leong was equally vague about Buckingham’s ‘intimidating manner.’ But the style of her accusations and the emotion invested were recognisable.
‘On two occasions earlier this year,’ she charged, ‘Jeremy behaved in an aggressive and intimidating manner towards me, once in a public place and once in the corridors of this place. For a male Greens MP to behave in an aggressive manner, and intimidating manner towards a female Greens MP in the heart of her own electorate while people are passing by is clearly a sign of someone not being able to control their behaviour.’
I suppose it would be outrageous to suggest Jenny Leong is a touch too sensitive and that merely vigorously asserting one’s point of view is not necessarily intimidating. There are grounds for this suggestion.
Jeremy Buckingham rejected Leong’s ‘characterisation of a couple of conversations’ they had. There would be many males who would know what he was talking about. He added that the ‘allegations relating to Ms Buckland had been investigated by an independent workplace investigation specialist and there had been no findings of wrongdoing.’ That was obviously of no concern to Leong. But it did concern Greens MP Cate Faehrman who pointed out that once a complaint was rejected that should have been the end of it.
‘Unfortunately, a determined group of people in the party have relentlessly pursued Jeremy in a bid to force him to resign despite the investigation’s findings,’ she said. ‘As a woman, I am angry at the way this complaint had been used as a political weapon. This risks making it harder for all women who have experienced sexual harassment and assault to feel safe and supported to come forward.’ In other words, the political (mis)use of the #metoo movement to destroy your male opponent does not help women in the end – apart it being weak and cowardly. Faehrmann has made the right point, but she should reflect that Leong’s action is typical of the Greens.
I have absolutely no sympathy for the Greens. They are a cancerous far-left cabal infatuated with a Marxist and postmodernist dogma. However, I do have some sympathy for Jeremy Buckingham as a male – yet another male that’s bitten the dust because of…well, I can’t say, can I? But we’re not finished.
Dominic Phillips was the Greens candidate for the seat of Sandringham at the state elections in November last year (2018). From photos Phillips seems between twenty-five and thirty years. All was going well until party leader Dr Samantha Ratnam received a letter charging Phillips with sexual assault. Ratnam acted ‘very swiftly and decisively’. Phillips was booted – wiped from the Greens’ website. The accuser wished to remain anonymous, which request Ratnam honoured. To enhance the character of the former candidate it was revealed that Phillips had (according to the ABC) previously ‘liked’ Facebook pages that were ‘degrading to women and racist.’ Phillips said, fair go, that’s was when I was a teenager. Foolish boy. Facebook ‘likes’ are eternal. What did Phillips do precisely to the girl.
According to the Herald Sun, she alleged, ‘He coerced me into sex I did not want to have and raped me. On another occasion I remember having to physically push him off of me when he would not listen to me saying no.’ Learning that Phillips was a candidate in the state Election, she said she would have been ‘horrified if he got into a position of power where he was even more able to inflict lasting damage on women… Seeing him running in a political race, and the possibility that he will gain some amount of power, makes me sick to my stomach…The news hit me very hard and making the decision to say something or not has been a heavy burden. I never made a police report… I don’t believe he is the sort of man you want working for the Greens, a party that claims to believe women, support them and wants to make positive social change for Australian women.’
Why did she not report what from the above description could only be regarded as a very serious sexual assault? Why? Men are in prison for rape. There is no indication that the anonymous woman took the allegations further. She seems satisfied with the ruination of any political ambitions Dominic Phillips had. She seriously downgrades the act of rape. Or was there a question of truth…? Then, on the other hand, postmodernism asserts all narratives are of equal worth. None can claim the truth. Indeed, there is no truth against which to measure any and all narratives. Their utility in gaining power over opposing narratives is the point.
The media treated these cases only as scandals for the Greens party. As I say, I have no sympathy for the Greens party, but that does not extend to condoning unproven allegations that have all the appearance of wanting to destroy a (male) political opponent.