It was a tense Senate Estimates hearing that went dizzyingly awry.
Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash was repeatedly probed about her newly hired chief of staff when something snapped.
After warning Labor Senator Doug Cameron that his questions were embarking upon a “dangerous path”, the Minister for Jobs and Innovation launched.
“If you want to start discussing staff matters, be very, very careful,” she said. “Because I’m happy to sit here and name every woman in Mr Shorten’s office, over which rumours in this place abound.
“If you want to go down that path today, I will do it.”
You can watch Michaelia Cash’s outburst below. Post continues.
Despite being told to “take a chill pill”, the Senator’s words only snowballed in their toxicity.
“Do you want to start naming them? Do you want [me] to start naming them for Mr Shorten to deny any of the rumours that have been circulating in this building now for many, many years?
“Dangerous path to go down and you know it.”
After ex-Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s unbecoming fall from power – which simultaneously crushed a 24-year marriage and made a woman’s burgeoning belly the topic of dinner table conversations – it’s understandable that Senator Cash seeks to expose any wrongdoing she suspects thrives within the opposition’s walls.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s sex ban may indeed see other parliamentarians topple with the same humiliation. Some might even argue the ‘bonk ban’ was imposed for that very strategic reason.