tip off

This is what the Right is expert at: smearing

Remember “Utegate”? The Prime Minister had been corrupted by the provision of a car. The Treasurer had provided special treatment for the PM’s mate. The media, and particularly News Limited, went into meltdown. The whole thing turned out to be the concoction of an embittered Liberal Party supporter inside Treasury.

Then there’s the Heiner Affair, a long-running claim that Kevin Rudd covered up child abuse in 1990. Angry right-wing bloggers continue to push this, with support from a News Ltd columnist.

And there was the Mark Latham “sex video” rumour in 2004, born on talkback radio and then given a solid boost by those noted pugilists Glenn Milne of News Ltd and Crikey’s own Stephen Mayne.

And there was Paul Keating’s corruption, supposedly over a piggery (Mayne was still running with that in 2008). Alan Ramsey gave some history about Keating and that “unrelenting and effective political grub” Tony Staley many years ago. And the incessant claims that either Keating was having an affair with a female journalist or a prominent businesswoman, or that he was gay (having been “spotted in Paris with an attractive young man” who inconveniently turned out to be his son, Patrick).

Not to mention Andrew Peacock calling Bob Hawke “a little crook” in Parliament.

Now, it’s unclear exactly what Julia Gillard is being accused of having done when she worked for Slater and Gordon (beyond having bad taste in men, which is something she admits). The firm has stated that she wasn’t sacked, and that there was no evidence that she’d benefited from Bruce Wilson’s actions. But they would say that, wouldn’t they, insisted a News Ltd journalist today, because Slater and Gordon “needs the continuing work that comes from a healthy caseload”.

What that even means isn’t clear — maybe Hedley Thomas thinks Julia Gillard will personally direct Commonwealth agencies to give the firm work. It’s the sort of tenuous, join-the-dots-and-hope logic that pervades these smears.

But if the actual allegation isn’t clear, yesterday provided some in the media with an altogether more serious charge than benefiting from dirty money or being sacked by a law firm: that of upsetting a journalist. And not just any journalist, but a senior journalist, a doyen of the gallery, Paul Kelly. “One of the nation’s most credible political commentators,” thundered The Australian Financial Review. Gillard had “sealed her own fate” thought Neil Mitchell, when she “personally attacked one of the most respected and experienced political journalists”.

An outrage, we can all agree — and, surely, another attack on News Ltd’s freedom of speech too?

Perhaps Gillard shouldn’t have pointed out with annoyance that Kelly was simply recycling old stories without putting any specific allegation to her. Perhaps the appropriate response was sympathy that Kelly, once a credible journalist and keen observer of Australian political history, had been reduced to yet another cog in News Ltd’s smear machine. “There’s no one asking me to ask questions,” Kelly insisted. No, he was merely rehashing the same vague claims that his newspaper, of which he is “editor-at-large”, whatever that is, recycled from right-wing hate blogs.

What are some of the sources for this stuff? Well there’s the website of ’70s Australian cartoonist Larry Pickering, whose misogynist drawings portray the Prime Minister as a dildo-wearing r-pist. Pickering was, many years ago, a Liberal Party candidate, but his main public profile in recent years has been in relation to a fraud probe. And there’s John Pasquarelli, best known for his role with Pauline Hanson (something The Oz has overlooked when it runs op-eds by him), but in the 1980s the Liberal candidate for Jagajaga, and who later worked for Nationals senator John Stone.

My point? Well, “I’m just asking questions”.

This is what the Right does. The Left has its own habits of misconduct, blind spots and hypocrisies, of course. But the Right specialises in smearing its opponents, particularly from opposition, and it finds a willing amplifier in News Ltd.

What’s changed, though, is that whereas muckraking and smearing used to be more difficult when there was only a limited number of media outlets, now anyone can do it. The mainstream media still likes to distinguish itself from bloggers and social media. News Ltd’s stout defender Mark Day once declared that blogging had the intellectual value of graffiti on a toilet door. The Oz used an editorial on the Queensland floods in early 2011 to attack social media for spreading incorrect information.

Apparently, however, new media has undergone a credibility rebirth in the eyes of Holt Street.

Perhaps that’s why, last time we looked at how much trust Australians had in their media outlets, The Australian had fallen nine points and News Ltd newspapers were the least trusted metro titles. News Ltd ought to be careful. Eventually its trustworthiness will be down with commercial radio. Or, even worse, with the blogs that it now apparently trawls for material with which to attack the Prime Minister.

And all for what? As if there aren’t enough valid grounds for critical analysis of Julia Gillard’s prime ministership on policy and political grounds alone.

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  • 1
    NeoTheFatCat
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    What is really wrong, is that after loudly bellowing about alleged conspiracies and alleged wrong-doing which is subsequently found to be false, the media uncritically reports the next alleged conspiracy or alleged wrong-doing. Has no-one in the media heard about the story of the boy who cried wolf?

  • 2
    Michael
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    @BERNARD KEANE

    Oh but you miss the point young man.
    Gillard will be cooked slowly in her own juices not by the Liberals who simply need to eat popcorn and watch the floor show, but by Labor renegades from the ranks within.
    No one slices raw flesh like Labor and slice they will, especially when they finally realise what this hideous creature in the guise of a Prime Minister has done to their proud & ancient Party.
    The final capitulation & extinction of Labor cannot be far now.

  • 3
    geomac62
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I thought the PM response to Kelly was appropriate and straightforward . Put up or shut of have been my less polite response to some vague , rehashed gossip that has been done and dusted . Kelly like Henderson has long since lost any cred or semblance of being a working journo .
    So lets get this in perspective . Kelly can question the PM about unspecified wrongdoing yet not state what she is alleged to have done ? The PM asks who put you up to it and thats an insult ? This isn,t some new scoop but something that even a mug punter like me is aware of and knows it has properly dealt with long ago yet a seasoned journo ” respected ” and so on brings it up .
    Where was Kelly asking questions when the rodent got his brother off the hook with taxpayers money is the question .

  • 4
    cairns50
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    who says paul kelly is a respected canberra journalist ?

    no hes not, hes nothing but another news ltd grub impersonating being a hack

    every one you mentioned in your article are not worth the price of a bottled water

  • 5
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    And remeber the outcry when itwas revealed the ALP was buiding up “dirt files” for the coming elecetion.

    The double standards are breat taking.

    I saw Gillard slap down Kelly and he desrved it and I wish she would do it more often.

    He bridled at the suggestion somebody was telling to ask questions & considered it a baseless cahrge yet was quite as ready to make allegations about “something” on the same lack of evidence.

    Disgusting. Perhaps he has been corrupted by the News Ltd machine

  • 6
    klewso
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Mind over matter - don’t mind facts, they don’t matter.
    Even one of their own (up here in Q) has pointed out this pile of crap - then again after the bollocking, for pure mud-slinging politics, they got last time, what else could some of them do - trying to reclaim some sort of their credibility - but if your’re going to mix with pigs, expect flies?
    What more can you say? “Limited News” says it all.

  • 7
    klewso
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    When you say “Limited News” - you said it all.

  • 8
    James K
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    N - nothing
    E - ever
    W - worthwhile
    S - said.
    L - lets
    T - trash
    D - democracy
    instead

  • 9
    Mark from Melbourne
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately they are all playing the same game. AFR was calling it “the whole tawdry affair” and effectively ignoring the G&S press release. And tactics like “Gillard attended an auction….” apparently this is meant to be relevant but is really just a pretty scummy verbal.

    By all means, call a spade a spade and hold people accountable but these people need to a long hard look at the scummy tactics they use. It’s as if every one is trying to out do A Current Affair or This Day Tonight in the LCD journalism stakes..

  • 10
    dazza
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    This is an outrage. How dare the Prime Minister of Australia Not just sit there and answer questions, but then put a question to a journalist… and..and.. Make him cry.. maybe we do need that media inquiry right now!,
    Anyway, who influenced him to start digging, that’s what we really need to know??

  • 11
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Dear James K

    Are you sure you’re not FDOTM? Your acronym is of that quality.

    Dear Suzanne Blake,

    Maybe you don’t work for Abbott

    Given that smear, slander, innuendo and out right lies are your stock in trade it must be that you work for Limited News.

    Certainbly no ethical organisation would employ you

  • 12
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Or, Gillard could just have answered the question put to her! What an outrage, that the sitting Prime Minister should actually be asked to answer what on balance, was a straight forward question? She didn’t answer it though, did she? Shades of her inability to answer other straight forward questions such as “whether she knew that her own office had prepared a victory speech two weeks before she knifed KRudd”.
    Why not simply say ‘yes’ or ‘no’? Not that hard, is it?
    One can only imagine how this story would be playing out her on Crikey if the inference of misconduct involved John Howard.

  • 13
    tinman_au
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Old school journalism is dead, welcome to the rise of public relations and marketers taking over the role.

    No wonder no one trusts them any more…

  • 14
    James K
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    news” papers should be made to legally change their name. “Entertainment rags”; “gossip pages”; “anything goes”…
    but NEWS? You have got to be kidding. They killed the meaning of that word years ago.
    They could protect the word by law. Like they do with things like “bachelors degrees” …. only use it if they pass a set of criteria…..

  • 15
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Dear Rehn John

    Did you what the interview.

    A specific question wasn’t asked.

    The PM stated there had been no wrong doing and asked if Kelly had a specific allegation to put.

    He didn’t it was just a vague smear and mud throwing that passes too ofetn for journalism.

    Put your partisanship aside and start working for democracy and decency

  • 16
    James K
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Rehn John - if the PM answered every “laced” question ever put to her she would be wasting time, fueling gossip and playing into the hands of the slimmy people who go by the name of … this is nearly choking in my throat as I type it… “journalist”.

    It is not fair that 98% of journalists give the rest of them a bad name.

  • 17
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Typo alert
    Did you what the inetrview should be Did yyou watch the interveiw?

    James K.

    Perhaps the reason papers are dying is not the internet but because they have forgotten their ‘raison d’etre” and hence have lost relevance and appeal. TV News is going the same way

    When this done even now the public laps it up

    If they got back to good unbalanced genuine reporting maybe they would grow.

  • 18
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Dear Pav
    Yes, thank you, I watched the interview. The question related to whether or not her resignation was influenced by the internal review findings of S&G into the AWU heads Wilson and Blewett. Gillard did NOT answer the question. And BK above conveniently omits the fact that the source for this information was actually a former partner of S&G who attended the very meeting with Gillard which discussed her involvement in the AWU affair, immediately preceding her “resignation”. If you think there is nothing here that warrants at least a grain of interest, then I am afraid it is not my partisanship that is the problem.

  • 19
    dazza
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    @RJ - She’s already answered what needs to be answered, even a blind Freddy can see that. However, the weasel got upset when someone asked HIM to be truthful. Gutter journalism at it’s best that not even Fox News could match.

  • 20
    geomac62
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Rehn John
    There was no straight forward question . When the PM asked if he had a specific accusation to make he had none . Has Kelly asked Abbott what knowledge he had of the Ashby sham considering his mate Brough is knee deep in it and Pyne as well ? After all its relevant to now and not a rehash from 17 years ago . Has he asked Abbott ?

  • 21
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Dear Rehn Jon

    James K expresses it a little better than I.

    It was not a proper question and merely an excuse to rake stuff up.

    Our PM put the question into context with her response and Kelly was unable to provide a justification for his enquiry.

    S & G have answered the issue and as to the “former” partner I am minded to the saying ( Shakespeare?) The truth told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.

    This is his statement that our PM could not categorically rule out getting a benefit from the improvements. Quite a proper response in the circumstances since anybody who has done reno’s knows that there are bits and pieces everywhere and if here ex boyfriend had helped her than is is quite possible he could have used a dodgy screw or nail with out her knowing. There was copius documents and invoices produced to show that if our PM had received any benifit it would have been trifling and inadvertent.

    That our PM gave the response she did proves her integrity.

    Our PM left S&G a year after the investigation had cleared her to take up a political appoitment.

    On what basis is there anything to answer?

    This is as ridiculous as the Obama place of birth beat up by the Tea Party

  • 22
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Rehn John
    If as you claimed you did watch the interview you must have done so through Right Wing smear laden eyes. This is how it went.

    Why won’t you answer the allegation?
    Are you making an allegation, if so what is the allegation?
    I’m not making an allegation so why won’t you answer it?

    Smear. Gillard refuses to answer allegation (not made to her).

    That partner you cite is also not making any allegations nor specific claims but some vague assertion with no evidence to back it up nor any corroboration from anyone else. So your partisanship is very much the problem.

    On the other hand Slater and Gordon have put out a clear statement on the matter that is being overlook by the Right in their desperation to keep the smear alive. Also overlooked is the fact that Slater and Gordon have stated that they keep their employee’s records in the strictest confidentiality but have released them at the behest of Gillard. Doesn’t look like hiding anything here.

  • 23
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    What I think is ridiculous is that time is being wasted on this rubbish when there is the release about Education.’

    I found it interesting to note that the fall in Australia’s rankings in the Education tables matched the rise of private school funding by Howard.

    Yet another failed Liberal policy that the ALP will have to fix

  • 24
    drovers cat
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    The only time I have come across an “editor at large” was to make sure an admittedly very good news editor with questionable people skills was able to be removed from the newsroom to work from home or wherever else he wanted - thus reducing staff turnover substantially.

  • 25
    zut alors
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I saw that part of the interview (repeated on ABC’s Insiders) and thought the PM answered Kelly’s not-so-veiled smear effectively.

    Agree 100% with Cairns50 regarding the fulsome description of Paul Kelly - more accurately a ‘senior political journalist’ than anything else.

  • 26
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Yep, you guys are right. Nothing to see here, move along!
    Never mind the recent findings of misappropriation of HSU funds by the former National president of the ALP! Anyway, Bill Shorten said that was just an isolated instance (although how he would know that, considering the secrecy of union finance non-reporting is best not considered); Oh and the ALP dominated line up waiting out the front of ICAC shows no indication that corruption in the ALP is inherently widespread. Oh and let’s just conveniently forget that the biggest “smear” as BK puts it, actually came from Robert McClelland, one of Gillards’ own. And don’t forget that unions do so much for their members that it should be entirely acceptable for union leaders to swipe a few lazy hundred G’s off the top from time to time (note the deafening silence from one P. Howes since Blewett’s recent admissions….”zero tolerance for corruption” ….Hmm).
    Something smells really putrid in the union movement hierarchy in this country at the moment, and yet according to BK, it is just right-wing smear? What an odd conclusion to arrive at when surrounded by so many instances of wrong doing. Or perhaps BK is actually saying that is it is not wrong to misappropriate union members funds? Perhaps that is it.

  • 27
    Edward James
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    What Julia Gillard was doing seventeen years ago as a naive young lawyer is as relevant to her standing in the political community now as what Kevin Rudd was doing twenty years ago. When he was Chief of Staff to Queensland Labor Premier Wayne Goss, when the Heiner Report was shredded. I understand matters related to the revisiting of Heiner Affair are being dragged back through the legal process in some magistrates court in Queensland. Meanwhile this repeating of unanswered questions comes down to the publics scrutiny of their personal integrity as politicians.
    Our perception of that valuable personal commodity, travels with politicians like baggage everywhere! The conversations are certainly interesting to people like me who have been left to fight systemic corruption because Labor are only too willing to accommodate it year in year out.
    I expect these two matters will continue to bubble along in MSM and on blogs, certainly increasing the turmoil among other Labor politicians at all three levels of politics. Surely party members can see the damage being done to the Labor Party. Our politicians generally must be aware of the damage this public political circus dose to our Parliamentary process.
    My guess public political judgement of these two and others won’t stop until such time as the targets Rudd and Gillard leave politics or seek relief in a law court! Edward James

  • 28
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Is it correct that in 1995 you had to resign as a partner from Slater & Gordon as a result of their investigation into misappropriation of funds around the legal entity that you had established?”

    Mobius Ecko - for your benefit, above is the actual question put to Gillard by Paul Kelly. A simple answer of ‘no’ would have given her another half an hour to sprout on about her great new education revolution, but instead she dodged the question. Why? And why is it not reasonable for people to be interested in understanding why their elected leader is unable to answer such a straight forward question?

  • 29
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Dear Rehn John

    When did you stop beating your wife?

  • 30
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    You can resort to semantics, Pav, but the question remains, why can our elected PM not answer such a straight forward question truthfully.
    For many people, understandably, the value of anything Gillard says in future will be measured in terms of their perception of her ability to be truthful. And on balance, her utterances about education revolutions are worthless when the majority of her audience has tuned out.

  • 31
    Grindrod rozza
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    You sure the smear isn’t coming from sections of the labour movement or the Labor party itself? It might be a convenient way of getting rid of a leader who is going to lead them into extinction at the next election.

  • 32
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Dear Rehn John

    Why can’t you answer a simple question?

    I’ll tell you why.

    It was an improper question and not meriting a response. It wasn’t based on any realistic fact or reasearch. It was impudent and rude. I apologise for asking it just to make my point and would hasten to add that I have no reason to suspect that you indulge in domestic violence. .

    It was rumour mongering and muck slinging. Improper questions do not warrant a reply and a refusal to reply is a right.

    Any answer will be misinterpreted and twisted.

    There are some events in Tony Abbott’s past that reflect poorly on him yet he is not asked about them nor should he. They are ancient history and no longer relevant and it would be improper to do so unless a clear connection to his current role is establshed.

    If he was asked I would be making the same statements as I am regarding our PM’s recent encounter with Kelly

    If Kelly is a reporter of such renown and standing he knows this.

    It was a straight out put up job of an event 17 years ago that has been more than adequately explained.

    The only ones not satisfied are those who want to throw mud for political purposes

  • 33
    James K
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    There is no doubt that the fragile nature of the minority govt has contributed to the last couple of years being so horrible politically - whether Slipper, Thomson, or 17 year old muddigging…. and all the rest.

    The conservatives believe in power through any means. If it includes throwing as much mud as possible, (because some mud always sticks, even when unwarranted) - then so be it.

    Their day will come. I believe in the old saying “do to others what you want done to you”. It will be their turn to be the target soon. Unfortunately.

    But I just dont think Labor will be as cruel and as vicious. Not because there are not plenty of skeletons for them to uncover, but just because they are not as unethical. (They might come close at times,…. but not quite as bad!)

  • 34
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Yep, you guys are right. Nothing to see here, move along!
    Never mind the recent findings of misappropriation of HSU funds by the former National president of the ALP! Anyway, Bill Shorten said that was just an isolated instance (although how he would know that, considering the secrecy of union finance non-reporting is best not considered); Oh and the ALP dominated line up waiting out the front of ICAC shows no indication that corruption in the ALP is inherently widespread. Oh and let’s just conveniently forget that the biggest “smear” as BK puts it, actually came from Robert McClelland, one of Gillards’ own. And don’t forget that unions do so much for their members that it should be entirely acceptable for union leaders to swipe a few lazy hundred G’s off the top from time to time (note the deafening silence from one P. Howes since Blewett’s recent admissions….”zero tolerance for corruption” ….Hmm).
    Something smells really putrid in the union movement hierarchy in this country at the moment, and yet according to BK, it is just right-wing smear? What an odd conclusion to arrive at when surrounded by so many instances of wrong doing. Or perhaps BK is actually saying that is it is not wrong to misappropriate union members funds? Perhaps that is it.

  • 35
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    BK writes: “As if there aren’t enough valid grounds for critical analysis of Julia Gillard’s prime ministership on policy and political grounds alone.”

    Yes, but you will be hard pressed to read any of them under the Crikey/ABC led white-wash…..eh, Bernard?

  • 36
    Figaro
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    This issue had been laid to rest by the Prime Minister on earlier occasions. There was nothing left to answer. But I am curious why an ex partner of S&G has provide this rehashed information to News Ltd 17 years on. What motivated him?

    Is he perhaps a regular contributor to New Ltd - refer to this article in The Sunday Telegraph, March18, 2012 “The Billionaire Without Trust”

    We should be curious who his contact at New might be.

  • 37
    James K
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Rehn John - promise us that you will be this insistent and diligent in wanting any dirt againt the coalition examined over and over and over again, too… wont you?

    something about the wheat board and iraq comes to mind ….. I wonder if you will be so insistent that Mr Howard should be re-examined over that one again - maybe he did not really tell us all he should have back then…..

    come on, lets see some consistency here.

  • 38
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    James K

    And we mustn’t forget the AG report on Howards advertising that should have resulted in criminal charges. I have never understood why not?

    Yes there are some dodgy Union leaders & I’m all for cleaning them out but dear Rehn John please advise how many dodgy union leaders caused the GFC?

    How many rorted the LIBOR? All goos upportes of the conservatives there

    Cleaning those up will do alot more good than the pitiful rorts of Union leaders

  • 39
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    James K:
    I wasn’t aware that John Howard was on the board of the AWB at that time…. Gosh, you learn something everyday over here on Crikey. The home of fact and unbiased journalistic integrity.

  • 40
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Dear James K

    I think the reason the right want to do all this muck raking is because they don’t want to talk about the economy.

    One of the most consistent lies the Liberals have perpetuated is that they are :-
    a) Responsible convervative managers
    b) The ALP is spendthrift
    c) They are better with the economy than the ALP

    The current status of nearly all the indicators being better than Howard’s best despite the GFC ( the worst financail crisis ever due to no small part right wing deregulation of the finance sector)

    Today’s First Dog sums it up nicely.

    Them’s the facts and natually theu don’t like it. They lacl policies so all is left is the lies and mud slinging

  • 41
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    So the GFC was Tony Abbott’s fault as well, Pav? My goodness me. This just gets better and better.

  • 42
    Kevin Herbert
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Nice work Bernard Keane.

    While I have no time for Gillard & co, your overview of this matter is spot on.

  • 43
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Dear Rehn John

    When did I write that Abbott was responsible for the GFC.? Nver even crossed my mind

    Why are you making stuff up?

    That’s just a Liberal/News Ltd tactic

  • 44
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Pav, please. My sides are splitting I am laughing so hard.
    When confronted with criticism of Gillard for not answering a simple question, your response is “the right caused the GFC”. Mate, this stuff is ‘gold’.

  • 45
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Dear Rehn John,

    The AWB was subject to govt control & Howard appointed the Board.

    Reiths involovement was clear as a cabinet minister and all that saved him a was an inquiry with terms of reference that prohibited it reaching the truth

    That’s why he’s responsible. A far more direct connection than that of attacheing blame to the current ALP giovt and the shemozzle that is the HSU. A far more remote entity and genuinely independant of the govt.

    If you want to connct the unions to the ALP govt then AWB is a much closer connct and clearly so to any reasonable and unbiased observer

  • 46
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Dear Rehn John

    You realy are enoying your little fantasy.

    I respond to a spurious claimn on topic and then you wilfully misconstrue and misrepresnt.

    This is conclusive evidence of your sides dishonesty and why you object to being called to account.

  • 47
    Rehn John
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    How many AWB board members past or present make up the current opposition front benches, Pav?
    How many ex-union leaders/heavies make up the current government front benches, Pav?

  • 48
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Dear Rehn John,

    Dunno

    Don’t care

    Not relevant

  • 49
    James K
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Rehn John - Mr Howard was called before the inquiry re the wheat board scandal because they wanted to know how much he knew… are you unaware of that?
    I think you need to show some consistency here and insist that he be requestioned about how much he knew and how much he was covering up!
    come on… the fact that you immediately refused to consider something ‘from the other side” only proves you are some kind of liberal stooge blogging away for your mates.

  • 50
    geomac62
    Posted Monday, 20 August 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    No SB/whiz ? very strange . Still I imagine they are here in spirit .

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