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Essential: Gillard pulls clear of a troubled Abbott

Tony Abbott is struggling with voters, and particularly female voters, according to new polling from Essential Research. And voters like Gonski’s recommendations on education.

Julia Gillard has pushed further ahead of Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister and the Opposition Leader has plumbed new depths of disapproval with voters, new polling from Essential Research shows.

In Essential’s monthly leadership approval questions, the Prime Minister has further narrowed her net disapproval gap, with her approval rating remaining at 41% and her disapproval rating falling two points to 49%. That Gillard is now into a single-figure net disapproval rating is a remarkable turnaround even from September, when it was nearly 20 points, let alone March, when it was nearly 30 points.

Abbott, however, has gone further backwards. His approval rating is down four points to 33% and his disapproval rating is up four points to 58%, giving him his worst ever net disapproval rating of 25 points. That’s still well shy of Gillard’s worst performance, however — at one stage she reached -36 points — which suggests he can still retrieve the situation with voters.

The Prime Minister’s lead over Abbott as preferred PM has also increased to 13 points, 45-32%, indicating she has decisively broken the long deadlock between the two leaders that saw them swapping small leads on that question for most of the last 18 months. Her lead is the biggest since February 2011, before the government’s carbon price commitment sent them plunging in the polls.

What appears to have happened is that much of the visceral dislike of Ms Gillard has vanished. At times the Prime Minister had well over 30% of all voters saying they “strongly disapproved” of her. That figure is now down to 24%, while simple “disapproval” hasn’t shifted anywhere near as much, and “approval” has steadily crept up.

And while Gillard continues to perform better with women — who are evenly split on her performance — than with men (net disapproval of -16), Tony Abbott has a huge problem with female voters. Both men and women don’t like Abbott’s performance, but this month his net disapproval among women blew out from -19 to -30. Gillard also now leads as preferred PM among both men and women, although among women she leads by a huge 21 points.

Gillard’s improved performance seems to be narrowing the gap between the parties, but only slowly. Labor’s primary vote remained at 37%, but the Coalition’s vote fell a point to 45%, on top of last week’s 2 point fall. With the Greens remaining steady on 9%, the 2PP outcome is now 52-48%.

Voters also indicated they saw the Gonski recommendations about increased schools funding as the most important reform currently before the government, with 31% nominating it as the most important, ahead of aged care resourcing (29%). The NDIS was nominated as most important only by 16%, with the Murray-Darling on 12%.

Asked to nominate preferred spending cuts to pay for reforms, slashing the Baby Bonus was by far the most popular option, with 53% of voters saying they favoured reducing the Baby Bonus to $2000 or eliminate it for people earning over $75,000. I

nterestingly, for all the claims of “class war” from the Opposition and the media, the support was almost exactly the same across Labor, Liberal and Greens voters. There was similar strong support for higher taxes on high income earners as the best method of increasing government revenue, with 46% nominating lifting taxes on high incomes, although Liberal voters (40%) were somewhat less likely to back that than Labor or Greens voters; 27% preferred no additional revenue measures at all.

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  • 1
    Jimmy
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Abbott, however, has gone further backwards. His approval rating is down four points to 33% and his disapproval rating is up four points to 58%, giving him his worst ever net disapproval rating of 25 points. That’s still well shy of Gillard’s worst performance, however — at one stage she reached -36 points — which suggests he can still retrieve the situation with voters.”

    While this statement is true, there is still plenty of time, you have to look at what has trigger3ed Gillards turn around and ask does Abbott have the capacity to do it.

    Firstly Abbott’s attacks on the Carbon Tax have been shown to be false, the automatically makes Gillard more trustworthy and makes here appear as though she knows what is going on while making Abbott look a fool who doesn’t know how the economy works.

    Secondly Gillard has been able to shift the focus on to voter friendly policies like the NDIS & Gonski, Abbott’s massive blackhole prevents him from being able to fully back these commitments (or make any other big promises) and his big spending policy to woo women (paid parental Leave) is seen for what it is, an overly generous bribe.

    Third Gillard has the power of incumbency which has allowed her to strut the world stage and take the glory of winning a seat on the UN security council, while Abbott blew his chance with SBY and overplayed his hand with the UN seat.

    Third Gillard is starting to get grudging respect for they way she has persevered through the constant attacks from News Ltd, the shock jocks and Abbott himself, while Abbott has only shown himself to be a negative attack dog, great at tearing things down but no vision other than getting elected.

    In short unless Abbott can quickly and dramatically re-cast himself and start outlined his policies and how he will pay for them he will have les time than it appears.

  • 2
    Jenny Haines
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    It is an interesting commentary on Australian politics that once the issue of the outrageous sexism against Gillard has been addressed and Tony Abbott starts to stumble because he has run out of ideas and strategies (that’s all folks, that’s all he has got!) that the polls start to turn around. Meanwhile asylum seekers are baking in the Nauru sun while on hunger strike. One of them at least is about to die.

  • 3
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    That’s good news and gladdens my heart. It was always beyond belief how Abbott with his total lack of humor and therefore vision could ever be considered an alternative PM.
    A man so clad in staid opinions and Lycra with that whiff of misogyny wherever he managed to stagger to. We don’t really want someone filleting fish or pulling tomatoes around.

  • 4
    Neuromantic
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what the impact of the St Johns College situation might be on Abbott’s popularity?

    We’ve seen yet another horror smash at the intersection of privilege and education - can Abbott or Hockey drag out the “class warfare” line with any credibility whatsoever now?

    Especially given their own upper-crust bullyboy “traditions” they were forced to address and the sniggering, 100% fake outrage from Abbott in particular, I think they should drop their Everyman act, it’s moved on from ridiculously see-through to just plain offensive now.

  • 5
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Stage one I hope is that the Libs find a new leader. Stage two is I hope ditto for Labor.

  • 6
    Jimmy
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Neuromantic - “I wonder what the impact of the St Johns College situation might be on Abbott’s popularity?” Absolutely nothing, that is a bloody long bow you are trying to draw there.

  • 7
    fredex
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    There is a lot of interesting stuff in this ER.

    The COALition continues to go backwards -slowly- whilst its current leader continues downhill - rapidly.
    His disapproval rating is so bad that more than a quarter of COAL voters disapprove of him.

    The question on which of 4 recent govt programmes [disability insurance ,extra school funding,ncreased
    resources for aged care, returning water to the Murray]
    is preferred as #1 is interesting.
    Firstly, it contrasts sharply with the lack of policy offered by the COALition and probably illustrates a major reason for the continuing swing to they govt - when it comes to policy and programme they are seen as positive [thats probably why the MSM prefer to comment on personality issues].
    Even if, or when, the COALition change leaders, the paucity of their rhetoric and lack of policies will bedevil the new leader.
    Secondly I’d have a hard time choosing between them, the 4 policies that is, and would like to see all 4.
    Perhaps a multiple option question from ER may have been more informative in this case.

  • 8
    eric
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Julia has been right all along.

    The she predicted the LNP lead in the polls would slowly disappear as people woke up to and got sick and tired of Abbott lies and his negative mantras.

    Another year of phoney Tony frothing at the mouth should make for a very interesting election.

  • 9
    Anne Cooper
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    And soon to come - Abbott’s close relationship to George Pell (who has his own history) and the Catholic church, the Barbara Ramjan’s defamation case and of course Abbott’s links to St Johns College. Surely fatal.

  • 10
    CliffG
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Goodbye Abbott. Good riddance! Maybe you could take up boxing or street-gang fighting!
    Or work for Cardinal Pell. He’s going to need help once an inquiry is established.

  • 11
    floorer
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Gillard and Howard both share a particular trait, tenacity. People liked it in Howard.

  • 12
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Mitt Romney to was very negative on all things the Obama government had done and was still to do. The the polls were calling it to be a close and tight election and look what happened. Hmmmm I wonder?

  • 13
    Jimmy
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Bill Hilliger - The other thing the 2 have in common is that they aren’t willing to treat the public like adults and demonstrate how they will pay for policies that will have a larger surplus, tax cuts and spending increases.

  • 14
    Salamander
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    The LNP has a year to get rid of Abbott and they will. Hockey or Turnbull?

  • 15
    Kevin Herbert
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Governments lose power, oppositions don’t win power.

    This beauty contest between leaders is rank navel gazing.

  • 16
    Neuromantic
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy I don’t think it’s such a long bow, Abbott does himself no favours with a response like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QYJO-Gjr4rg

    For “bad behaviour by undergraduates” read life-threatening injury to a student, sexual harrassment and assault, intimidation and threats to whistleblowers, thousands of dollars of property damage, and well-connected parents using money and influence to try to silence the matter.

    Minimising the harm done to students and the fact that he can’t seem to keep a straight face about the whole thing adds to the impression that Abbott basically doesn’t give a rat’s. I’m sure he wouldn’t be reacting like that if it had been his daughter in hospital. (And also shows that you can have women family members and *still* not get why bullying women in ANY context is unacceptable. Or bullying anyone of course.)

    When Abbott, Cardinal Pell and the police keep appearing within the same paragraph, something is very wrong.

  • 17
    Harry1951
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    What Labor now must wish for is a slow “python squeeze” (to paraphrase Abbott) on his hold on the leadership of the opposition, strangling his leadership slowly but not “fatal” before the next election.

    I say this because Abbott’s replacement with a more moderate
    leader would in my view make a Coalition win in 2013 more likely.

  • 18
    pritu
    Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Harry1951 and others above yearning for a change of ALP leader. Forget it. Rudd is history. I was not a Gillard approver when Rudd was rolled. Her perseverance, grit, and sheer capacity for slog in the face of unrelenting flinging of personally foul crap in her direction for all this time has raised her in my estimation to the point where, despite being less than enamoured of some of the pandering to the redneck fringe on refugees, I see her now as the best leader by a country mile. Turnbull, by prolonged association with Abbott and his negativity, has lost much of the shine he had before his loss of the leaderhip. Calls for his being the knight in shining armour to lead the Coalition to a landslide now belong in the realm of wishful thinking.

  • 19
    Patriot
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    This is gold - Slater & Gordon has just thrown Gillard under the bus. From Fairfax:

    LAW firm Slater & Gordon has contradicted Julia Gillard’s claim that she was not in charge of legal work for the purchase in 1993 of a Fitzroy property later found to have been bought with stolen union money…

    ”The only documentary evidence Slater & Gordon was in possession of was that Ms Gillard acted directly for Mr Blewitt in relation to a conveyancing matter, a union dispute and a defamation matter,” he said.

    This is going to be bigger than Watergate. Gillard has to resign.

  • 20
    pritu
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    @Patriot. You wish. Dream on.

  • 21
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Patriot - It is a non issue, outside of fairfax no one is even running the story any more because it is from almost 20 years ago and no one can show she did anything wrong.

    Neuromantic - I am no fan of Abbott’s but that sort of behaviour is not restricted to 1 college, or even 1 university or even universities in general and Abbott had no influence over the actions. Only people already voting against Abbott will try to blame him or think his response was somehow unacceptable.

  • 22
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Tony aint popular, but the polls show the drovers dog could win against Gillard who is the most unpopular Prime Minister in Australian history.

    People will be voting just to get rid of Labor, no matter who is opposition leader.

  • 23
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Geewizz - Just once I wish you would make a statement based in fact.

    ” but the polls show the drovers dog could win against Gillard who is the most unpopular Prime Minister in Australian history.” That may have been true 6 months ago but it clearly isn’t now. In todays newspoll (you know the one that is the accurate poll according to you) Gillard is 14 points ahead of Abbott as preferred PM and her approval and disapproval rating have improved dramatically, to 37-52 compared with Abbotts 27-63.

    It also has the tpp 49-51 which means it’s last 4 have been 50-50, 47-53, 50-50 & 49-51 which would indicate to me that it is a very close race with the ALP having all the momentum with the focus now on Abbott’s unpopularity.

    The media’s response to todays’ polls (blame the ALP’s “personal attacks”) ignore the fact that policies positions are driving the change in the polls as much or more than anything else. The carbon tax has failed to live up to Abbott’s predictions and the govt now has plenty of public friendly policies to focus on. If the libs don’t change tack soon they will lose the unlosable.

  • 24
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Jimmy,

    Dillards approval rating has been negative since the day she was “selected”.

    She has failed to ever post polling numbers about 50% for her entire time as Prime Minister, EVEN during her honeymoon period(a first in Australian history).

    So 50% of Australians dislike Dillard no matter what she does. The problem for Dillard is that she is seen as a illegitimate PM, put there by the faceless men and propped up by the Greens. Australians won’t be making that an ongoing problem, they will get rid of Dillard to make sure this blight is no longer on the Australian parliament.

  • 25
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Geewizz - “The problem for Dillard is that she is seen as a illegitimate PM” You can say that as much as you like but it doesn’t make it true. In fact you should read an article in the business spectator today which points out the “illegitimate” argument won’t work long term because it is nonsense.
    “Australians won’t be making that an ongoing problem, they will get rid of Dillard to make sure this blight is no longer on the Australian parliament” Ignoring the stupidity of the comment it is clearly inaccurate, the one true poll has the 2pp running around 50-50 for 2 months now - which means the ALP could quite well win the next election if it was held today. Given at one stage they were 10 points behind and there is still almost a year to run before the next election if the recent trend continues they will win easily.

    The libs have to change tactics, policy and probably leaders to be a chance.

  • 26
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Oh and Geewizz - for all of Gillards supposed problems she is still 14% ahead of Abbott as preferred PM - what does that say about him?

  • 27
    Pinklefty
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Jimmy — “If the libs don’t change tack soon they will lose the unlosable.” I like it.

    Julia Gillard is seen to be cynically, serially mendacious and the Labor Cabinet is replete with appropriate company.

    However, Tony Abbott has blind negativity and vacuous aggression coupled with a Shadow Cabinet of truly depressing mediocrity.

    The Australian electorate is more likely to go with the devil it knows, and time is now the enemy of the Liberals. Unless they can pull a ‘children overboard’ out of the hat at election time they will lose if they hold to their present course.

    Both parties need radical reform and neither is likely to do it without the impetus of a catastrophic defeat.

    Turnbull? … with that (Shadow) Cabinet? He should keep his head down until after the election.

    Rudd? … with that Cabinet? Same as for Turnbull.

  • 28
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Pink Lefty - The ALP have the advantage of a voter friendly platform leading into the election, NDIS, Gonski etc will play very well and the libs can’t match them because they are canning 2 revenue streams and adding big spending items in an unpopular Parental leave scheme and a worthless direct action policy.
    So it won’t just be the devil you know (although I agree that will be a factor) but who is offering some substantial policy beyond trying to take us back to the Howard years.

  • 29
    Neuromantic
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy, I agree to an extent *sigh*. It’s the bystander effect, which surely is a factor in the situation at St John’s (and other colleges) in the first place, and perhaps in Abbott’s response too. It must also at least partially explain the response of the various churches and other organisations to child sexual abuse on their watch. Obviously it should matter to everyone, regardless of political affiliation, whenever systemic bullying, abuse and criminal behaviour occur, regardless of who the perpetrators and victims are. “When good men do nothing…”

  • 30
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Neuromantic - Another long bow comparing St johns college antics with child abuse. St John’s was the type of “initiation” that has been happening for years over many and varied sporting clubs (my football club used to have the first time footy trip players do a nudie run down a rural road) and college’s that was taken too far. It hardly even qualifies as bullying let alone child abuse.

  • 31
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Neuromantic - Another long bow comparing St johns college antics with child abuse. St John’s was the type of “initiation” that has been happening for years over many and varied sporting clubs (my football club used to have the first time footy trip players do a nudie run down a rural road) and college’s that was taken too far. It hardly even qualifies as bull ying let alone child abuse.

  • 32
    macadamia man
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    @Jimmy

    Bull ying”? I like it …

  • 33
    Pinklefty
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy, I agree with your conclusions but not your reasoning. This is because I believe people are more likely to vote with their feelings (hearts) while you seem to believe that they will use some intellect (heads).

    Gonski (education) is a clear intellectual winner. But this is a country, among many, that adores its sportsmen and other entertainers while generally despising smartarses. Gonski won’t matter.

    The Carbon Tax is a gross iniquity that will end civilisation as we know it and usher in a new Dark Age. (Possible slight exaggeration.) But people are not now feeling pain and, unless they can be stampeded into anticipating pain, this won’t matter either.

    Don’t underestimate the NBN. I can play games and download porn so much faster when it is up and running. This one’s a winner.

    As long as Labor can project a more “voter friendly” image, the Liberals are in serious trouble.

    Incidentally, “the devil you know” was a deliberate (possibly excessive) oversimplification. I try to keep my posts short. It reflects my belief in people’s preference for certainty (the Government) over uncertainty (the Opposition). The Government’s diminishing obnoxiousness bodes ill for the Opposition.

  • 34
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Pink Lefty - The ALP have the advantage of a voter friendly platform leading into the election, NDIS, Gonski”

    Ad totally unfunded… we are still waiting for that elusive Once-In-23-Years Labor surplus by the way…

  • 35
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Pink Lefty - I think you are being far too pessimistic -

    This country may not have a history of loving intellectuals but every parent wants the best education for their kid - Gonski isn’t about high mindedness it’s about self interest - it will have an effect.

    The Carbon Tax - People aren’t feeling the pain they were told they would and there are article likes the one in the age over the weekend showing most people are either better off or $1-$2 a week worse off so it’s becoming an non issue - only for Abbott he is going to have to take away the compensation or (as he says he won’t do it) find some other way to pay for ie cut services - again it comes down to self interest.

    The NBN is definitely a winner.

    Geewizz - “Ad totally unfunded… we are still waiting for that elusive Once-In-23-Years Labor surplus by the way…” Would you have wanted the govt to have been running a contractionary fiscal policy in the last 5 years?

    And the funding hasn’t been allocated yet but it will be before the next election, Abbott doesn’t have that luxury.

  • 36
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Macadamia man - ““Bull ying”? I like it …” I wish I could say it was some clever play on words but it was just trying to get past the moderator

  • 37
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    It is hard to be “Imperial” as in “Holy Roman Empire” without being political.
    Abbott is “Roman” in the “Imperial” sense and his politics were always going to be illuminated by a Royal Commission into child abuse, by (among others) the Roman institution.
    This has been the kernel of his untrustwothiness ever since his betrayal of his Liberal Leader and Liberal policies for the sake of the Nationals’voodoo religious paranoia about supposedly pagan beliefs and motives of Climate Change Activists.
    Abbott’s deviousness and hidden agendas are going to be constantly mirrored by the information now publically enabled by the mere existence of a Royal Commission.
    This will merely confirm general suspicions about Abbott’s political ambitions being Roman and Imperial.
    In crimes against democracy and crimes against children, as far as the “Romans” are concerned, the motives co-incide and the opportunities are the objects of the “Imperial” policies.
    Abbott wants to win without revealing his policies; now you know why.
    All this evokes an instinctive distrust among voters,
    as the actions of Abbott and company continue to belie their words.
    Call it the Roman Institution, it most certainly is not now nor ever has been Christian, history tells us that much. By their actions shall ye know them.

  • 38
    Karen
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Prediction: If Abbott stays as opposition leader, there are no political missteps by Labor, there is management of the asylum issue (which is slow-burning policy and political implosion waiting to happen), there continues to be focus on nation building social policy as is happening, including I hope a tip to high speed rail and solar thermal as aspirational policies for the next term, Labor will win the next election with the help of the Greens and who knows some remaining independents.

  • 39
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Karen - I agree with you except for the asylum seekers, I think that polictically that has been neutralised as an issue for the ALP, they will keep trying to implement all the recommendations of the Houston report and the opposition will block some of the points (like the Malaysia Solution) which will allow the govt to blame them for any further arrivals.

    On the ther side the treatment of asylum seekers would on;y see the ALP lose votes to the greens which would then come back as preferences anyway.

  • 40
    Harry1951
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    pritu: you misunderstand my point. I do NOT want a return to Kevin Rudd. I am saying though that Julia’s chances of being returned at the next election will be relatively greater if Abbott remains opposition leader, given his decline in credibility.

  • 41
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy there has been 14,000 illegals arrive this year under incompetent Gillard, how has the issue been neutralised??

    While the boats continue to come, Labor will be blamed.

  • 42
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Of course the demonising of “others”, in this case “14,000 illegals”, is part of that “Imperial” mind-set which, for example, permits the abuse of children “for their own good”, which then escalates to institutionalised sexual abuse.
    Blame this purposeful and premeditated demonising on Abbott and company.
    Find a helpless minority, persecute it, divert scrutiny.
    Might not be working anymore?

  • 43
    Patriot
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy,

    Not just Fairfax that’s interested. Most media are covering the story now. Crіkey and the ABC are unsurprising exceptions. Cheer up, but - the worst is yet to come. Victorian Police are also interested now. From Andrew Βolt:

    Police have asked lawyers for former AWU official Ralph Blewitt if he’ll talk to them about the slush-fund Julia Gillard helped her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson set up in 1993.

    Blewitt’s lawyer, Robert Galbally, of Galbally Rolfe, says Blewitt was “happy” to give police a statement if it included a “built in” assurance the evidence would not be used against him.

    He said a Victoria Police sergeant wanting to talk to Blewitt was now seeking instructions on whether this could be done.

    The slush fund, deceptively registered as the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association, was used by Wilson to misappropriate $400,000, some of which was used to buy a house for Wilson under Blewitt’s name.

    Gillard helped to register the slush fund, witnessed a document giving Wilson power of attorney to buy the property allegedly on Blewitt’s behalf, attended the auction and is said by Slater & Gordon in a Press Council complaint to have worked on the conveyancing.

    End game now for lyіng Gillard. How long before she’s asked to attend the station? This is bigger than Watergate.

  • 44
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Elsewhere the slush fund onanists have drowned in their own juices.
    Has someone invented a snorkel?

  • 45
    Achmed
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    SMH 17 October 2012
    Law firm Slater & Gordon yesterday said it could find no documents relating to the work done by Ms Gillard — a former salaried partner of the firm — in establishing the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association in 1992.

    All this supposed evidence and no one can produce one piece of paper

  • 46
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    How does a big law firm like Slater & Gordon(a Union based legal firm by the way) manage to lose all the documentation for a client?

    I’m guessing it’s there, they just aren’t looking..

  • 47
    pritu
    Posted Wednesday, 14 November 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    @GeeWizz. Been reading your contributions to this conversation. Must say your side of politics is looking more and more rattled, if name-calling and sloganeering is all you’ve got to offer. The slogans have begun to back-fire - big time. Time to do some actual thinking, and to viewing the electorate as capable of listening to real arguments based on facts. Calling someone “incompetent” endlessly may have worked back in the 30’s through to the 70’s. Now it can only work for a year or two before it gets boring at best and begins to shine a torch on your own side’s offerings at worst.

  • 48
    Person Ordinary
    Posted Wednesday, 14 November 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    @Patriot and GeeWizz

    What do you guys see when you look in the mirror? It must be a little frightening …

    Or have I got you wrong, and you are really only trolling for fun - a little Schadenfreude to perk your limp experience? You seriously need some love, or real pleasure …

  • 49
    Neuromantic
    Posted Wednesday, 14 November 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Jimmy, I’m glad you had fun on your footy trip but this is simply not the same thing. Among the numerous examples of bullying and assault is a young woman being chased into a bathroom by three naked men and forced to hide in a cubicle until they gave up looking for her (Jessica McLean, New Matilda, 7/11/12). That’s not youthful exuberance, it’s “sexual behaviour that makes a person feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened”, i.e. sexual assault.

    http://www.thewomens.org.au/sexualassault

    There are obvious parallels in the failure in the duty of care by the Catholic church in both the St John’s case and the widespread child sexual abuse within the church. While there are also clear distinctions between the two situations, at the heart of both matters is systemic failure to adequately address the problems.

    St John’s College “Visions” include: “providing students with accommodation and surroundings that enable them to develop in a secure and caring environment” and “resourcing the College with well qualified administrative and pastoral care staff”. That the college has failed in both instances should now be beyond dispute. All colleges would claim similar missions and those that turn a blind eye to “traditions” including bullying and assault are equally negligent. The Catholic church is absolutely relevant to the discussion at hand because Tony Abbott aligns himself with that organisation. His failure to point-blank condemn the organisational culture at his old college is one of many factors that directly influences my decision as a voter.

    In relation to the Church’s handling of abuse claims, “…victims advocate Helen Last said the ”misdemeanours” included mismanagement of complaints, neglect, absence of promised pastoral support, conflict of interest and secrecy.

    They were experiences that victims described as ”wrong, un-Christian, confusing, cruel and unusual, intimidating, coercive, anxiety-provoking, distressing and re-traumatising”(Barney Zwartz, The Age, 14/11/12).

    Any organisational culture that fails to adequately address criminal behaviour and the coercion, intimidation and traumatisation of those in its duty of care is obviously deeply flawed.

    My point remains - minimisation and rationalisation are two of the major barriers to justice and cultural change. Systemic negligence enables bullying and abuse to occur. Of course I’m not saying Tony Abbott would condone the worst aspects of the church’s failures in these cases - the man is not a monster. However his “show of concern” regarding the St John’s situation was unconvincing to say the least. If he was the head of a college where this systemic failure was occurring, I would not have confidence in my child remaining at the college based on his mealy-mouthed response. Would you?

    And if I don’t trust someone to run a school it follows I don’t trust them to run a country.

  • 50
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 14 November 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Geewizz - “Jimmy there has been 14,000 illegals arrive this year under incompetent Gillard, how has the issue been neutralised??While the boats continue to come, Labor will be blamed.” Once again you ignore the questions I pose to you but expect me to answer all of yours!
    But in answering your question I will point out that your premise is false, there have been no illegals, just legal asylum seekers and say that the issue has been neutralised because the govt is doing what the coalition demanded they do in go back to Nauru & PNG.
    The govt said all along that reopening these detention centres wouldn’t halt the flow but had to do it because the libs wouldn’t support their alternatives, so now the “blame ” is shared because the it is also the libs policy that is failing.

    Patriot - Oh the independent Andrew Bolt says that does he, it must be true.

    And Geewizz - maybe the reason nothing can be found is that nothing happened to find? Or that a unimportant file has not been for almost 20 years?

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