Yesterday the now infamous ‘Ray Griggs affair’ reached the Senate floor.
Senator Rex Patrick, a former member of the Royal Australian Navy, questioned why Defence is refusing to release the ‘reviews’ and ‘inquiries’ into the Vice of Chief of Defence Force.
We all know the answer to that question now that it has been revealed that the ‘reviews’ and ‘inquiries’ did not even provide the person who was hurt most by Griggs’ behaviour an opportunity to give evidence.
The reviews are already embarrassing enough. But opening the books now will only end careers just as the Chief of Defence Force job is becoming vacant (the current incumbent is due to retire in June).
So Defence has fallen back to the excuse of privacy, even though Ray Griggs was happy to brief an international audience about his affair back in 2015.
Senator Patrick also asked why the Vice Chief of Defence Force has removed the prohibition on sexual relationships within the chain of command. Given Griggs has run off with a sailor’s wife (who was rapidly promoted as well), the public deserves an answer.
You can watch the Senator’s speech below:
Defence, as usual, responded with non-truths. From The Australian:
A “bonk ban” between officers and their subordinates was revoked by Defence’s second in command who had entered into a relationship with a lower ranked officer, the Senate was told tonight.
But Defence rejected the claim, saying the policy was merely amended to remain up to date with “the law and contemporary society”…
…A Defence spokesman rejected the claim of a policy change, saying the fundamental position on inappropriate behaviour remained unchanged.
He said last year’s amendments reflected the normal process of reviewing and updating policies.
The old policy was 47 pages long. And the new one has just 9 of them. That’s a pretty fundamental change. And when it comes to specifics, the old policy prohibited sexual relations within the command chain. And the new one does not. But it does have anti-discrimination measures that will give a good lawyer a field day if anyone is ever busted down for dallying with a junior officer, all thanks to Ray Griggs.
If you don’t believe me, you can read the details and see the documents signed by the four-time wedding whizz’s own hand in this recent post.
Defence has battalions of PR staff who are allegedly there to assist in the defence of the rest of us from North Korea and crazed Islamic militants and even potentially from Deadly Killer Tomatoes. Unfortunately, however, it looks more likely that the Secretariat for Truth sees Australians as the enemy which should be subjected to an ongoing propaganda campaign.
But such campaigns are always laughable for their ‘inconsistencies’.
Malcolm Turnbull has just announced a ‘bonk ban’ between ministers and staffers. And yet Defence is claiming that its decision to lift the ban on bonking within the command chain is due to its decision to meet the expectations of ‘contemporary society’. Either Defence has not received the memo that the jig is up, or it’s just decided that the PM is not part of our contemporary society.
Mind you, this prohibition within Defence has always been in place because it was recognised that confidence in command was an essential element of the process known as ‘winning the war’.
So seemingly Defence has also arrived at the conclusion that in ‘contemporary society’ killing the bad guys better than they kill you is not ‘in’ anymore, but shacking up with staffers is (except the PM has made it clear that it isn’t). That’s not so funny.
It is all a little confusing but it does make sense if one assumes that by ‘contemporary society’ Defence means nothing more than the company Ray Griggs keeps.
Defence’s ability to pump this stuff out while keeping a straight face is almost worth the drain on the taxpayer purse. It’s like we get to live in an episode of Yes Minister 24/7. The downside, of course, is that we get to live in an episode of Yes Minister 24/7:
All of this leads to the inescapable conclusion that the policy situation within Defence is so muddled that the Head Honchos now comply with orders by breaking them. It’s the old ‘do as I say, not as I do’. But on steroids.
And it’s bad for morale, especially when the bottom line in this whole affair is that Defence leadership have just given themselves the go ahead to break up the families of subordinates if it suits their personal desires.
But it is good to know that in all this scandal, Ray Griggs has time for a joke.
He’s boasted to his Facebook friends that he and his wife are the best looking couple in the paper. And he’s also skited about his tawdry poetry:
And all of that just goes to show that Ray Griggs’ judgement is terrible.
This is the wedding day photo that made it to the media:
However, Griggs should laugh it up while he can. Because going off other recent high profile incidents this whole world may soon come crashing down…