Grace Tame Wrote A Scathing Letter About The Government’s Decision To Promote Christian Porter
"There is no way this decision was accidental. It is a transparently deliberate, definitive statement that reeks of abuse of power and a blatant disregard of the people."
Yesterday, the government promoted Christian Porter to acting leader of the house despite the lingering allegations of rape surrounding him — and Grace Tame has slammed the decision.
Content Warning: This article contains discussion of sexual assault and suicide.
Porter was originally asked to step down from his role as attorney-general in March after the ABC published a report into an alleged rape of a minor in 1998 by a serving cabinet minister. While not named directly in the report, Porter identified himself as the alleged person, denied the claims, and then was demoted from his Cabinet position on March 29.
In response to the report, Porter sued the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan for defamation before discontinuing the case and settling out of court. As the alleged victim died by suicide last year, all investigations — including an independent inquiry into seeing if Porter is a “fit and proper person to hold any Ministerial position” — were dropped or blocked.
Yet, despite these unresolved allegations and the unanswered questions as to whether Porter is actually fit to hold a position in Parliament, the federal government decided temporarily promoting the former attorney-general was the right choice to make this week.
While only temporarily filling in for Peter Dutton as he commences his mandatory two weeks of quarantine following his sons getting wrapped up in Queenland’s COVID-19 outbreak, the move has rightfully angered Australian of the Year and child sexual abuse survivor, Grace Tame.
Accused rapist Christian Porter has been named Acting Leader of the House, despite not being the Deputy who would typically fill the role.
This position is embedded with the power to stop debate; to enforce silence; to suppress truth.
We’ve been played.https://t.co/NEOHkTCTlC
— Grace Tame (@TamePunk) August 3, 2021
In a scathing opinion piece published in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning, Grace Tame slammed the government’s decision to temporarily elevate Porter amid the allegations against the former attorney-general.
“Amid a burgeoning, pre-eminent mass awakening to the endemic issue of sexual abuse, this decision marks a proverbial slap in the face of our entire nation,” Tame opened her article.
“In light of my own experience, it’s hard to process how an accused rapist — albeit one who will never face prosecution — could be offered one of the highest positions of power in the country by none other than our nation’s leader himself.”
“It isn’t just Porter’s character that’s in question here, it’s the morality of our current leadership,” she continued.
Tame went on to question how the government could ever refuse the “bare minimum” of an independent inquiry given the seriousness of the allegations against Porter — especially when Scott Morrison has publicly spoken about wanting to support women better.
“If the Prime Minister’s recent rhetoric about wanting to support assault survivors and protect women’s safety was indeed true, he would surely go to any lengths possible to ensure there was not an accused rapist amongst his own staff,” Tame wrote.
“Clearly, it has been nothing but lip service. His actions speak volumes that drown out his every word. Not only has Porter been permitted to remain in office, he’s been temporarily elevated.”
“His are circumstances steeped in the protective privileges of a patriarchal Parliament,” she continued. “There is no way this decision was accidental. It is a transparently deliberate, definitive statement that reeks of abuse of power and a blatant disregard of the people.”
Grace Tame comes out swinging and voices the concerns of tens of thousands of Australian women at the brazen appointment of Porter. This is like waving a red flag at a bull and the LNP will reap the whirlwind.
— ShortInterlude2 (@ShortInterlude2) August 3, 2021
The Australian of the Year also noted that, despite having what she thought was a “productive meeting” with the federal government just last week, she felt the injustice of promoting someone like Porter into a position of such huge power was both “damn-near blinding” and “powerfully ironic”.
“Sexual abuse is an issue of human rights and should therefore transcend all divides; political and otherwise,” said Tame. “[Our Prime Minister] is determined to associate his party with outmoded, oppressive cultures and attitude.”
“Typically, one of the things the leader of the House does is shut down debate. The role is embedded with the power to enforce silence; the power to suppress truth,” she continued. “How powerfully ironic.”
Grace Tame then ended her piece by sharing just how insulting it is to survivors that Scott Morrison allowed Christian Porter to be promoted instead of investigated — a clear display of the prime minister’s “chilling apathy towards survivors”.
“This appointment is an insult to all survivors, and indeed the whole country,” Tame ended her letter. “It reinforces the idea that accused predators are too often protected, feeding into the already crippling fear of victims and bystanders. It is an act of emboldening perpetrators.”
“My heart breaks at the thought of survivors still living in silence, looking to our leaders for hope.”