Great journalism in The Daily Telegraph today with a comprehensive story on the sexual harassment and bullying of Labor staffer Stefanie Jones
For senior Labor people, all normal conventions of decency and morality are usurped by the immediate interests of the Labor Party (for Party read the most senior people in the Party).
Nothing precedes the interests of that group, aka The Party. Not the truth, nor the law, nor the rights of any individual.
The Party is a cesspit populated by vipers.
This level of endemic sexual harassment and bullying in any other institutional setting would have the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party calling for an enquiry. But this is Labor and it is a law unto itself.
Great job by The Daily Telegraph's journalists Alicia Wood and Andrew Clennell in getting Ms Jones to speak so freely.
Stefanie Jones: Former staffer blasts Labor’s sexism in wake of the Jamie Clements scandal
FORMER Labor candidate Stefanie Jones has broken ranks to expose the misogynistic culture in the party, claiming it is full of “filth” and has a “disgusting” attitude to women.
In an emotional interview with The Daily Telegraph, the 27-year-old yesterday revealed the reasons she agreed to drop an application for an apprehended violence order against NSW Labor kingmaker Jamie Clements after an incident in a parliamentary office, citing a lack of support from the party’s leadership and ongoing victim-shaming from some of her colleagues.
“I think if I had my time over again I would just run (away),” Ms Jones said of her decision to come forward with the complaint against NSW ALP general secretary Mr Clements. “I would never want to go through this again. It’s been soul-destroying. Everybody wants it under the carpet.
“There’s such a lack of support (and) as long as the party has people like (that in it), the filth ... the continuation of disgusting treatment of women will continue.”
Ms Jones claims Mr Clements, a married father of three, snapped last June after she revealed she was going to tell her fiance, Labor organiser Dave Latham, about a one-night stand they shared in 2013.
“(Mr Clements) turned, grabbed the side of the chair I was sitting on (in the parliamentary office in which she works) and said, ‘If you do that, it will destroy everything for all of us. Dave will leave you, that’s a terrible idea’,” Ms Jones said.
Shocked by his response, Ms Jones said she agreed to keep the fling a secret and Mr Clements left the room — only to return moments later and allegedly lock the door and demand: “ ‘I want a guarantee. I want a guarantee (that you won’t tell Dave)’ and stood over me and said ‘I want a guarantee, kiss me. Kiss me. You know you want it’.
“I got out from under his arm, tried to open the door, he held it closed and kept going with ‘You know you want it, I want a guarantee, kiss me’ ,” she said.
“I physically put my hands up and said ‘no this isn’t happening, this is not happening Jamie’.
“He then went into this moment of Zen and looked at me ... and then stomped out the door.”
Mr Clements denies the incident took place, but he admits he was in Ms Jones’ office twice at that time.
Ms Jones said she was asked by her boss, Campbelltown MP Greg Warren, what was wrong after he returned from Question Time later that day and she told him about the encounter. “He said, ‘what do you want me to do?’ I said, ‘can’t do anything’,” Ms Jones told The Daily Telegraph.
“I didn’t have anywhere to go and didn’t know what to do. It’s Jamie Clements, what are you going to do?”
Ms Jones yesterday agreed to drop her application for an AVO after Mr Clements signed a formal undertaking that he would not approach her for 12 months, sparing both the Labor Party and its general secretary from a potentially damaging hearing.
The Labor candidate for Cronulla in the 2011 election said she made the call in part because she could not bear the thought of spending two harrowing days on the stand, and out of respect to Mr Clements’ young family.
“(The undertaking) is basically the same as the AVO,” Ms Jones said of her decision.
“If he does something that breaches the undertakings, we go to court and we’re guaranteed the AVO. This is about me being safe.
“Quite frankly, as a human being I feel for his wife and his kids, mostly his kids. They’re quite young still. I (also) didn’t want to face two days of cross-examination from his lawyers.”
But, ultimately, she said she was disillusioned by the way the party’s “spineless” leadership had treated her, and that since coming forward she had been harassed by some of her own colleagues.
“I would say if you’re a woman in the Labor Party be careful,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking when you come forward; when you’re the person who has not done anything wrong and you have people openly calling you a ‘slut’; it could not be further from the truth.”
Shockingly, Ms Jones alleged a senior party official even called her fiance and asked what it would take “to make this go away”.
A leaked internal party review by former NSW Bar Association president Jane Needham SC commissioned in the wake of the incident condemned the NSW Labor Party’s culture and treatment of women.
The report was ordered by NSW Labor president Mark Lennon after complaints about the treatment of women in the state branch.
But Ms Jones said it took Mr Lennon “four months to meet with me and when he met with me he (was) with two lawyers and in that meeting he couldn’t give me any answers as to why nothing had happened”.
“The fact (Opposition Leader Luke) Foley has stayed quiet says worlds about him when you see how Turnbull handled (the Jamie Briggs issue). (Mr Foley) never wanted to meet with me, I never heard anything from him,” she said.