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The week in Parliament: from the strategic heights to muddy depths

You weren’t expecting high-minded policy debate in Parliament, were you? You only got muckraking, mendacity and malice this week. With barely an ounce of wit.

The week was, at least according to the government, given over to the clash of high-minded policy and strategic vision versus muckraking, mendacity and malice. The government wanted to talk about its “Asian Century” white paper and all the opposition wanted to do was continue its fear campaign over the carbon price, talk down the economy and throw mud at the PM.

Luckily the government, which complained about the lack of opposition questions about Asian engagement (it being, Labor now seems to think, the opposition’s job to play along with the government’s political agenda), was able to fill in the blanks and ask itself plenty of questions about the Asian Century. In fact, they never seemed to shut up about it. The count on “Asian Century” was down to single figures yesterday, but that was by far the lowest of the week.

We’re again reminded that, even if it apes the content of Keating Labor’s time in government, this mob can’t get within cooee of the delivery. Exhibit 1 in the death of conviction politics.

Visibly puzzling over whether to stick with Tony Abbott’s obsession with the carbon price or move on from a tactic that seems decreasingly relevant, the opposition settled for using Julie Bishop — being a woman and all — to lead the attack … indeed, be the entire attack against the Prime Minister over claims she did something somewhere somehow illegal or unethical or ill-considered before she entered Parliament. Despite a new round of efforts from the media to pin something on Gillard c.1995 via The Age, no one has yet come up with a specific accusation of wrongdoing, funny business or inappropriate behaviour.

The automatic assumption behind this now-extended campaign of smears, vague claims and general hysteria from media new and old over Gillard’s legal career is that it is in the public interest. Are politicians accountable after they enter politics for everything they’ve done before they entered politics, even when no specific allegation of criminality or unethical behaviour can be produced?

When Abbott was attacked over what remain unsubstantiated claims about intimidating behaviour toward a woman back in the 1970s, I suggested dredging up stuff from before his time in politics, particularly when it was in the distant past, was inappropriate and in fact downright damaging to the quality of public life. But clearly many in the media disagree, and think claims about non-criminal behaviour in relating to non-political events from the past are relevant to current political debate.

In which case, one wishes they would at least be consistent. We never hear anything of Bishop’s activities as a lawyer representing CSR in its efforts to prevent asbestos victims from obtaining compensation. In the one mainstream media article on this, from The Australian in 2007, she maintained she acted honestly and ethically. Quite how one acts ethically in trying to deny the dying victims of a company fair compensation is of course a matter between Bishop and her conscience. But if we’re raking over what female lawyers did before they entered politics, then there you go.

There’s other forms of consistency as well. I’ve always wondered why no one in the mainstream media showed the slightest interest in one of the biggest scandals of the Howard government, when its advertising committee directed millions of dollars in advertising contracts to Liberal Party mates. That wasn’t the subject of newspaper tattle and online smears, but a devastating ANAO report, including about some MPs at that point still in Parliament. Barely a whisper outside of Crikey.

Still, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, etc.

In what was another dire week for the quality of our political and policy debate, the highlight — or highest lowlight, perhaps — was Greg Combet’s Coalition leadership form guide. Having handed off his favoured “mendacious” to the PM, Combet ran through the Coalition contenders from Turnbull through Hockey, Bishops both Julie and Bronwyn, Scott Morrison (“spooked by foreign horses”) and Kevin Andrews.

Carefully prepared and probably rehearsed, it was nonetheless a reminder of what seem now-fabled earlier times when wit occasionally intruded into Parliament, rather than meaningless repetition.

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  • 1
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    This week to me reinforced the thinking that the ALP is slowly but surely getting back in the game because Tony Abbott and the libs can’t get past the carbon tax and smear.
    While BK is right that the oppostion doesn’t have to follow the govt’s agenda some questions on policy would be nice, after all the govt has the NDIS and Gonski in train, tabled legislation regarding poker machine reform, asylum seekers and their lost super amendments (amongst other things) and has a raft of savings measures resulting from MYEFO to get through but all we have had in QT for some time is power bill (which show if you use more power you pay more)and veiled accusations from 17 years ago.

    On top of that we had Hockey challenging the govt to “debte the economy” when all he really wanted to talk about is the surplus and Tony and Ms Bishop still telling us they will have policies later on.

    Another performance like this in the last sitting week and there will be planty of questions being asked by the liberal party big wigs over christmas.

  • 2
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    All to often politicians who want to remain silent. Will remark that they can not discuss something because it is before the courts or under investigation. Politicians use the legal process as a shield to protect themselves from the slashing sword of political process. We have access to the admissions of retired lawyer and one tome partner of Slater and Gordon Juilar Gillard. That she helped with what she knew was a union “slush fund” even though it was represented as something else. Her refusal to answer the questions asked by Julie Bishop on the floor of our Federal Parliament. We understand all our elected representatives accept the higher standards expected of them when they accept they have been elected. Refusing to answer these questions relating to her personal values, and the way she conducts herself when in a position of trust. Our prime minister continuing to refuse to answer important questions for us on the floor of Federal Parliament demonstrates a certain contempt for our Federal Parliamentary process. Edward James

  • 3
    Easel
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    ”..Are politicians accountable after they enter politics for everything they’ve done before they entered politics, even when no specific allegation of criminality or unethical behaviour can be produced?

    When Abbott was attacked over what remain unsubstantiated claims about intimidating behaviour toward a woman back in the 1970s, I suggested dredging up stuff from before his time in politics, particularly when it was in the distant past, was inappropriate and in fact downright damaging to the quality of public life. But clearly many in the media disagree, and think claims about non-criminal behaviour in relating to non-political events from the past are relevant to current political debate…”

    GOLD

  • 4
    Mike Shaw
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    In which case, one wishes they would at least be consistent. We never hear anything of Bishop’s activities as a lawyer representing CSR in its efforts to prevent asbestos victims from obtaining compensation

    Well now, had absolutely no knowledge of this what so ever. In any language this is so unspeakable and totally bereft of any semblance of conscience. Is it any wonder people just get so sick and tired of politics when the main players set such an atrocious example right before our eyes.

  • 5
    Arnold Cheeseman
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    @ Edward

    What a load of old bollocks!

    Gillard stood in front of reporters for 90 minutes and said “here I am, come and get me” and answered every single question without equivocation. In the end there was a big shrug of the shoulders and a ho hum.

    Leave it to the faeces flingers of the LNP to continue their sordid little campaign… I’m not surprised really, it’s all they really seem to know.

  • 6
    Gary Johnson
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Bernard

    You will end up very old one day. How do I know this? Because you just keep Coming of Age.

  • 7
    Arnold Cheeseman
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    @ Mike

    Not to mention Abbott’s reprehensible treatment of Bernie Banton.

    Must be a LNP trait to want to abuse the sick… how very Christian of them…

  • 8
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Let me put it another way. While the Prime Minister is in Federal Parliament, her answers are treated differently to any other place. She knows our Federal Parliament through its members is engaged in the peoples political business. Therefor she would understand we the people expect her to answer questions put to her on our behalf about her integrity. Should be answered in our Federal Parliament, so as to avoid any perception on our part that our Prime Minister may be contemptuous of our Parliamentary process. That said, we the people have her answers on the public record. Which permit us to understand she told her partners law firm Slater and Gordon she had helped set up a “slush fund” we may identify as the AWU Workplace Reform Association. We understand Information expected to be in a client file is not to be found. Edward James

  • 9
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Edward James - You really are full of it today aren’t you, Gillard answered every question the media could think up and those answers are on the public record but you think she should repeat them all in Parliament to honour the process.

    Pull your head out of your ar.e!

  • 10
    Timmy O'Toole
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    The Prime Minister gave legal advice and incorporated an association for a slush fund.

    That legal advice was ‘dodgy’ and ‘unethical’. It enabled illegal activities to occur because it concealed them.

    Associations are not incorporated (a) for union activities under the WA law or (b) to raise money for elections. Indeed, the objects of the Association do not even suggest fund raising or electioneering- they pretend to be an Association for Workpalce reform, which in the Working Nation era had a well known policy meaning (award rationalistion etc). The name and objects played off on that policy meaning. Hence Julia’s admission it was a slush fund puts that into direct contradiction to the impression she was trying to convey by its title and objects. This is deceptive and illegal — the offence is “creating a false document” and Michael Williamson (I believe) was recently charged with it.

    In addition, Julia wrote “AWU” on the title of the Association (it’s her handwriting). This is problematic for two reasons: firstly, her client (the AWU) had not passed a resolution according to its rules authorising this- there is no way she can claim, as an IR lawyer, not to know this was required; secondly, the “AWU” in the title allowed companies like Thiess to conceal the true nature of the payments to their auditors because it ‘passed off’ on the AWU’s legitimacy.

    In other words, the PMs intervention in misleading the WA Incorporation’s Office about the true purpose of the Association (as refelcted in its objects and the letter to the WA Incorporation Body arguing for its false ‘bona fides’), and placing AWU in its title, enabled Bruce Wilson to launder money.

    It could not have occurred without it because companies like Thiess would not have paid money to an unincorporated association without a union name in its title- their auditors would have discovered the payments and made inquiries.

    Furthermore, as I have explained above, the lack of legitimate reason for incorporating an Association for this purpose in the first place means Julia cannot say she was merely doing ‘legal work’ that was misused. (eg setting up a trust fund for a client that can be used for a legal purpose but the client then misuses; in this case, the Incroporated Association was not appropriate at law or in practice so Julia had to lie about it.)

    But they could do it when it was called the “AWU Workplace Reform Association” because it passed off on a legitimate organisation. Remember, the essence of money laundering and slush funds is concealment — and the improper use of “AWU” in the title provided that concealment.

    The slush fund then raised money illegally- though there is no proof that Julia knew about Thiess and other companies and how they placed money into it.

    At law though, given the illegal incorporation, not knowing about the subsequent illegal use is called “wilful blidness”.

    As an analaogy: setting up an improper association is like stealing a gun and then giving it to your boyfriend. Your boyfriend then robs some banks with it. You may not be involved with that but it was your theft of the gun that enabled it to occur.

    Wilful blindness, Bernard.

    Just like your analysis.

    Whether all of this matters 20 years later or not, Bernard, depends on your attitude to white collar crime. Should people who facilitate and undertake white collar crime be subject to a statute of limitations? They are not under the law — for any crime.

    Your unwillingness to engage with and reflect on complicated material reflects very badly on your practice as a journalist. This is aggravated by the fact that you are obviously a very intelligent person and a well reasoned analyst (based on your extensive writings in Crikey).

    My advice: eat a bit of humble pie and go back to the original documents. Get some legal advice on them.

  • 11
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Yes I do Jimmy. Is it wrong to expect our Prime Minister to respect our Parliamentary process? Edward James

  • 12
    Timmy O'Toole
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    In response to a few comments up there:

    (a) this is complicated. The Press Gallery, bless them, does not understand the law on these matters. This scandal is not suited to a press conference but a long analysis of documents and gathering of information. The current media cycle can be anathema to this.

    (b) The questions raised in parliament are about subsequent revelations. It was not known until recently that a defamation action occurred for instance- and was not raised in August. On my reading of the transcript, it was not disclosed by Julia in 1995 in her Slater and Gordon interview; nor was it mentioned in August. Indeed, the extent of Julia’s participation in the property transfer was not known or disclosed in Sept 1995 or her August 2012 press conference.

    (c) the relevance of new material? It goes to questions of concealment, which are relevant to her intention and knowledge. These cases are about documents and inference- you do not infer legitimate intentions from secretive and illegal practices.

  • 13
    GeeWizz
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy,

    Good to see Labor adopting all the Coalition policies.

    This week Labor is pushing to have the entire Australian mainland excised from Australia’s migration zone. Now back in Howards day when he tried to do this he was screamed down as a xenophobe, how inhumane he was and what a disgusting and intolerable policy it would be.

    Now the lefties just give a nod of the head and a big tick of approval…. hey and while we’re at it, send em off to Nauru or back to Sri Lanka

  • 14
    Timmy O'Toole
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    This explains it well:

    http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/past_catches_up_with_julia_gillard_cvGpE5WasnMZ7BHbsBKFUM

  • 15
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Edward James - How is it disrespecting the parliamentary process referring the questioner to your previous public comments on the topic.

    Geewizz - Hardly adopting all the coalition policies (it would be hard as the coalition don’t have any) but yes this plank of the Houston report was originally colation policy. I just hope the Libs can show they same maturity and accept the experts recommendations in full, even the parts they have originally opposed and put the national interest first.

  • 16
    JG Downs
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    @Arnold Cheeseman

    I remember the Banton case very well because I was going through it with my own father. I could write a book about the legal process and the suffering these legal technicians forced on these very good men. Sometimes there is little consolation for not taking the law into our own hands. Heaven & Earth.

  • 17
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy all those answers given to the journalist in the chit chat weeks ago were not under oath. Yet they have become our Prime Ministers default response to new questions being asked in Federal Parliament. None of those answers could be considered an acceptable response to those new questions now being pursued for us by Julie Bishop in our Federal Parliament. I would identify what our Prime Minister is doing as contemptuous of our Parliamentary process. Edward James

  • 18
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Edward James - “Jimmy all those answers given to the journalist in the chit chat weeks ago were not under oath.” Clown, neither are those in Parliament - in fact MP’s regularly use Parliamentary privilege to make accusation that they would be sued for had they made them outside of parliament.

  • 19
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    This link to the Brisbane Times and the current state of play for the Heiner Affair may hold some good news for labor supporters. Edward James .

  • 20
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/rudd-goss-could-face-inquiry-20121101-28mo5.html#ixzz2AxSkzcmR

  • 21
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy. I may not understand like you do. Are you able to explain parliamentary privilege, and why when it is often used to say things which if repeated outside parliament the politicians could be sued. Why would our Labor Prime Minister continue to refuses to answer these new questions being put to her on the peoples behalf by Julie Bishop inside Federal Parliament ? Help us out Jimmy! Edward James

  • 22
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    What a shame I am here on the net and on the piss while our Prime minister Juliar Gillard is at Point Fredrick near Gosford doing her political thing. Edward James

  • 23
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Edward James - “Why would our Labor Prime Minister continue to refuses to answer these new questions being put to her on the peoples behalf by Julie Bishop inside Federal Parliament?” - Because she has already answered them and that sort of muckraking does not deserve the PM’s time and effort! And Ms Bishop isn’t asking those questions on my behalf, I would prefer she focused on policy rather than slander on a 17 year old issue.

  • 24
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Jimy can you explain parliamentary privilege for me, because i just do nit understand what you are telling mr and other crikey readers! I understand the pejorative words you labeled me with are misused. But you must understand our prime minister had not answer the new questions yet. This string is part of the peoples court of public opinion so what the law is up to dose not rally play her. Edward James

  • 25
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Yes I recall watching while James Hardie moved their fiscal resources beyond the reach of tens of thousands of potential claimants. While our governments IQ dropped to a shoe size! Bernie Banton fought to the death for his brothers and sisters rights while piss weak political allsorts many with law degrees watched on and failed us all! Edward James

  • 26
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Edward James - “Why would our Labor Prime Minister continue to refuses to answer these new questions being put to her on the peoples behalf by Julie Bishop inside Federal Parliament?” She has certainly not already answered them Jim. It is clear our Labor Prime Minister has an aversion to her young and naive past as a Slater and Gordon partner being exposed, because it is a sign post pointing to the sort of deep seated problems which people may perceive many Labor Party members carry with them into positions of power. Edward James

  • 27
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Edward - You keep focusing on the periphery issues of who did what 17 years ago (and by the way what wrong doing are you alleging) and I will focus on the things that will actually impact people lives, ie policy.

  • 28
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy. Let me tell you I consider the personal integrity of all our political allsorts when it is perceived to be above reproach to be a virtue of high value. and a good thing. In the same way I have much more respect for those posters using paid forums to push their political positions do not hide who they are. As you asked me Jimy It is my understanding our Prime Minister has admitted while an officer of the court she was involved in the creation of a “slush fund” with her boyfriend Bruce Wilson. Edward James

  • 29
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Edward ” As you asked me Jimy It is my understanding our Prime Minister has admitted while an officer of the court she was involved in the creation of a “slush fund” with her boyfriend Bruce Wilson” As an officer of the court? You might want to check that. And is what you think she did illegal?

    And could you please go through every MP and Senator’s lives and list which ones have a history clean enough to meet your level of personal integrity.

  • 30
    zut alors
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    On 23 August Gillard fronted the cream (?) of Canberra’s press gallery for ninety minutes as they threw every possible question at her regarding the Slater & Gordon matter. At the end of that marathon they were depleted, the subject was exhausted.

    A few hours later Abb0tt was interviewed by Leigh Sales on 7.30 - he insisted Gillard had questions to answer. Sales asked him, “what questions?” SEVEN times she asked him. And SEVEN times the opposition leader had no answer, he ducked and weaved, unskilfully attempting to create diversions. Like the Canberra press gallery, Abb0tt couldn’t contrive another question on the Slater & Gordon matter. Not a single one.

    I suggest we stop this now before we all go blind…

  • 31
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Jimy politics is a team activity. Unlike most people I won’t accept shonks taking my vote. What about you? Edward James

  • 32
    Edward James
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Good grief. Please do not concern yourself with the silliness which Leigh Sales and Abbott were indulging in way back back in August on the ABC 7 30 Report. It is just more chit chat and not under oath. Now with a few days left before the summer break in November 2012. and the slight possibility of an early election which would avoid Labor releasing a bad budget. Inside our Federal Parliament. A lawyer Julie Bishop and a failed lawyer Juliar Gillard, are doing battle under oath. One the Labor Prime Minister of Australia is doing a very good impression of a politician who is contemptuous of our Federal Parliamentary process. Edward James 0243419140

  • 33
    GeeWizz
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy:

    Eddie Obeid - NSW Powerbroker and NSW ALP Minister
    Michael Williamson - ALP National President and Union Heavy
    Craig Thomson - Union heavy and ALP Federal Member
    Eric Roozendaal - NSW ALP Minister

    Then by sheer “Coincidence” we had Williamsons daughter working in the PM’s office.

    The stench of corruption in the ALP is palpable… and now we learn of Gillard doing little side favours for her ex-BF setting up union rorts 20 years ago.

    Just how deep and long has corruption been running in the ALP and union movement? We are told that HSU was a once off, but clearly this runs deep in the Labor Party and for decades.

    We are just starting to get an idea of the ALP “family” tree and starting to see links and who’s doing deals for who.

  • 34
    GeeWizz
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Zut, new information has become available… a document signed by Gillard helself, 12 months after she reckons she had no more involvement.

    That requires answers…

  • 35
    Steve777
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Well if Julie Bishop has anything of substance she should pass it on to the Police, not waste the time of Parliament. And opposing justice for asbestos victims. Legal but hardly an honourable cause.

  • 36
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Friday, 2 November 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    No-one asks the obvious question re Labor and Conservative corruption,are these the same people with different names?
    Now if you begin, as the right wing do, with the argument that democracy is bad, stupid, unnatural then you have a carte blanche to destroy it, and what better way than with a bit of corruption,(it was already rotten etc etc).
    So I wonder how, given that starting point of the right wings of both Labor and Conservatives, they avoid becoming corrupt?
    This is not an equal contest in any way when one side accepts and abides by the democratic principles and the other behaves as if it were a war to the death.
    The right wing, usually religious, are coached that when when fighting evil you can be evil.
    “Capitalists have an interest to deceive and oppress the public using every means at their disposal to have governments interfere in their favour”
    Why? because higher wages increase bank deposits and reduce the interest that can be paid to the minority, idle rich”.
    So while deceiving the public that they are engaged in a democratic contest to deliver the best governance for all voters, the right,Labor and Conservative,instead conduct a campaign on behalf of their wealthy employers to maintain low wages and high interest rates.
    This is deliberate.
    Incidentally every politician calls their election funds “Slush” funds.Be they Union politicians contesting union elections.
    An the “slush” funds are isolated from the other ordinary activites of the respective organisation which require money to expended.
    So, rather than being sinister, “slush” funds indicate a more open and accountable use of funds since they are clearly set aside for election purposes.
    Aren’t the Qld LNP in the middle of a slush fund scandal ie funds set aside for election expenses?
    And at any rate the policy greased pigs who went to the Qld state election with no policies are being mimicked by Abbott and company with the same objective, to traduce democracy and the principle of one citizen, one vote equality by instead governing for the benefit of a small minority of Plainly Superior Rich People who do not work for a living(Proves the point, to anyone with a brain, doesn’t it).
    So don’t bleat on, Edward, about the right wing of Labor being corrupt; that’s the only reason they are there!
    This can never be an equal game to that small minority identified by Adam Smith, 236 years ago, as the idle rich, who do not work for a living but live off the the interest on money lent out to others.
    If the Mosaic injunction against usury is ever made law these people will have to work or die.
    That is why they are so vicious and deceptive and why they employ right wing “religious” goon squad politicians to work their bidding. And if you cast these money lenders out of the temple they’ll nail you to a cross as well.
    Don’t be deceived!
    As for going on about the supposed corruption of Julia Gillard over OOh ooh “slush funds”,don’t be so bloody ridiculous. If you are looking for a sell out go to Manly. There’s an “aspirational” there with a $700K mortgage, on the up and up just trying to “better” himself as a loyal servant of Mammon.(Franco, Shicklegruber Mussolini)Who?

  • 37
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Saturday, 3 November 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Yes and your support of buying and selling refugees shows that you are no better Bernard.

  • 38
    Edward James
    Posted Saturday, 3 November 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    My often published attitude toward our shonky political allsorts and those who support them. Not just here but in my local newspapers Is a direct result of the way these grubs treat there constituents. Every election they go about seeking voter support. Edward James

  • 39
    Person Ordinary
    Posted Saturday, 3 November 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    … garbage article, garbage comments - Jimmy excepted

  • 40
    Person Ordinary
    Posted Saturday, 3 November 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    … and Combet’s bit was fun - Bernard at least got that right

  • 41
    Edward James
    Posted Saturday, 3 November 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Very ordinary stuff from Jim. He needs to work on his grasp of Parliamentary privilege and how his understanding should not be confused with what the Prime Minister seems to be doing, misleading the Federal Parliament. For example the Prime Minister telling Federal Parliament the questions Julie Bishop is asking. Have been answered and are on public record, could be considered misleading our Federal Parliament. What is happening begs people to read the last half of her QnA with journalist, which can be aessed here http://www.theage.com.au/polls/union-slush-fund-20121031-28k4p.html

    Edward James

  • 42
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    You read the articles?
    The fourth estate are like fast food outlets.
    The same limited set of ingredients delivered over and over again.
    Popular but predictable, the fourth estate are not so god-like as to deliver genius on a daily basis.
    The palace eunuchs of the press pander to an acquired taste of self-satisfied, general ignorance.
    There is no gold to separate from the gangue here; just the antithesis of intellectual stimulus.
    Remember Abbott’s only private sector income was as a one time article writer for News Limited.
    Does anyone listen to him either?
    It is entirely possible that some deadly and “useful” secrets about said organisation were garnered during that “insider” interregnum for this otherwise idle “political operative”( to be taken in the normal sense of a member of a totalitarian organisation intent upon the destruction of democracy).
    The free and fearless press! get your daily dose here! (or there).
    Perhaps it’s a Hotel California sort of thing for the eunuchs, the rush of insider knowledge that you can never leave?
    The only things new and worth reading are the headlines and the comments.

  • 43
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    There is no Heiner affair, never was.

    And Gillard the racist coward is still flogging off human beings to appease rednecks and racist bogans and ignorant morons like the press gallery.

  • 44
    Patriot
    Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    no one has yet come up with a specific accusation of wrongdoing, funny business or inappropriate behaviour.”

    She deceived the WA Corporate Affairs Commissioner regarding the incorporation of a slush fund. She back dated and bore false witness to a power of attorney used in the embezzlement of funds. She failed to disclose the existence of the slush fund in breach of the law and in derogation of her duty to her client, the AWU. She misled Parliament regarding her failure to disclose the existence of the slush fund.

    There you go, Bernard. Fixed that for you.

  • 45
    Roy Bean
    Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    @Timmothy O’Toole

    Your shot across Bernard Keane’s bow was a good one.

    You executed it with the skill and patience of a crocodile waiting in ambush for it’s prey.

    But the irony is he would actually agree with you within the context of any proved criminality in regards to Gillard or any other politician for that matter.

    I have read his article three times and the main thrust is that it high-lights the annoying tit-for tat banter from both sides that masquerades as politics.

    Even more annoying is that the MSM presents this as mainstream news which contributes to the even more dumbing-down process of the already sleep-walking gullible Australian public. I am sure you would agree with him on this.

    To the Abbott conservatives he is asking them to show policies or counter existing policy of the govt instead of muck-raking over alleged past misdemeanours.

    He also cited the example of Abbott and MSM muck-raking over an event, “alleged”? 30 years ago?..and that was very fair.

    Like most of us, including you, he sees these political shenanigans, and aided and abetted by the MSM, as diversionary and unserving of the public interest and that was the main apolitical thrust of the article. No political ideology anywhere to be seen, I thought.

    He was n’t taking sides, but more to the point he gave apolitical focus to the inadequacies and outright futility that masquerades as Australian politics.

    Thanks for your very informative post Tim. You might like to know that I do not agree with Bernard on everything. You are not an ” Ideologue.” Big Grin!!!

  • 46
    Zeehan
    Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    If you bothered to read all the documents in the AWU scandal, I doubt that you would call it ‘muckraking’. Arm yourslf with the facts first please.

  • 47
    Edward James
    Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Passing judgement on bad politics and the political allsorts perceived to be responsible in the court of public opinion, dose not require the rules of evidence which are applied in another place. Edward James

  • 48
    Roy Bean
    Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Nobody is or has, been defending Gillard.

    This is not politics, for once.

    I will study the docs.

  • 49
    Edward James
    Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Roy Bean There are useful links at 14 and 41 in this string the journalist QnA at 41 has the transcript, the questions about the fund starts about half way down. Edward James

  • 50
    Patriot
    Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Julia Gillard, go directly to gaol. Do not pass Town Mode. Do not collect a brown paper bag from Bruce Wilson.

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