Poison Deviny

"Mark Latham writes today in the Financial Review that the government knew Slipper’s reputation for years before they appointed him:

'He is one of the most egregious Good-Time Charlies to ever prance around the edges of Australian politics. It is one thing, in desperation for numbers in a hung Parliament, to stumble upon tactical ploys which offer a temporary advantage. It is a different matter entirely to offer the speakership of the House of Representatives to one of the Parliament’s least-respected figures, especially when his clownish foibles were so well-known.'

Labor is paying a heavy price for putting backroom deals ahead of the public’s regard for moral integrity. Along with the HSU scandal engulfing Dobell MP Craig Thomson, the Slipper affair has eroded Labor’s “moral core”. “Reformers must take the party out of the soiled hands of Thomson and Slipper and return it to the values of Curtin and Chifley. Below are the documents filed by James Ashby in the Federal Court late Friday afternoon in support of his sexual harassment claim against Slipper. Remember the allegations are untested and Slipper denies them.”

Yes it is very moral to not pick a Speaker based on rumours, to use the verb “prancing” for a man being accused of homosexual harassment and to write that two men accused of “untested” “allegations” have “soiled hands” .
As Tony Abbott put it, the allegations go to the integrity of the highest parliamentary office in the House of Representatives. But calls by the Opposition yesterday for Slipper to stand down until the case is resolved were dismissed. The minority government’s survival depends on his remaining in the Speaker’s chair.
from this morning’s column Slipper scandal could be fatal. Better take that stethoscope back to the store Miranda
The parliament has no such incentive. The government’s strategy will be to buy as much time as possible to avoid being sunk. Anthony Albanese’s response yesterday suggests as much. “It isn’t appropriate to comment on the detail of legal proceedings,” declared the Leader of the House. He also pointedly distanced the government from Ashby’s legal claim against Slipper: “It’s important that we recognise the separation between the judicial arm and the political arm of the state.”
Gillard has no choice but to tough it out, bleeding integrity from every orifice, as she has been doing with Craig Thomson for the past eight months. Like a patient in palliative care, one by one the government’s options are closing down.
And the Liberals look good out of this? If the allegations are true they knew about sexual harassment by Slipper towards a staffer as far back as 2003 and as well as all his spending on the tax payer dime and kept preselecting him. And if a government had to stand down anyone who had allegations brought against them an opposition could set up accusations of members until a government falls, that is the precedent the Liberals would set by their “by any means” pursuit of government.