I wonder how Jamie Briggs is feeling right now. Don’t get me wrong, I have no sympathy for the guy. He sounded like a bit of a creep and a poor choice for a minister. Still he must be feeling a little hard done by.
Many things in life are all about timing and in this respect Briggs’ sexual harassment scandal was as far removed from a well-struck David Warner pull shot as you can get.
You may not believe this, but not so long ago, the Prime Minister appeared to be demanding higher standards of behaviour from his cabinet. That's not a joke. When Turnbull first took over the leadership- to massive personal approval ratings- he looked ready to put his stamp on the government. After the dinosaurs like Abbott, Andrews and Abetz were stripped of their portfolios and exiled to the back bench on day one, those who were publicly caught out in the following months such as Brough, Robert and Briggs himself were asked to step down as well.
Fast forward 12 months or even less. Donald Trump’s similar views on sexually assaulting women seem to be a lot less limiting to one’s ability to hold public office in the eyes of Briggs’ own party (many of whom have been openly cheerleading for Trump and revelling in his victory).
Moreover, as the spectacle of the slowly imploding George Brandis, the ongoing incompetence by our treasurer and the blatantly improper pork-barrelling of Barnaby Joyce show, our straight-jacketed prime minister has rather lost his appetite for enforcing any standards of behaviour or competency.
It is actually hard to imagine what kind of scandal or criminal wrongdoing it would actually take for Turnbull to ask a minister to resign. Obviously making the mistake of showing compassion would be dealt with harshly but his cabinet has few who would be in danger of making that mistake.
So if poor old Jamie (I use that phrase rather loosely) had been able to keep his hands to himself for another 12 months or so, would he have still been asked to resign?