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PM vs press gallery: anatomy of a tense encounter

The Prime Minister’s performance at a press conference on the AWU issue yesterday was strong, but her critics have already shifted the goalposts. Crikey had a fly on the wall as Gillard took on the media.

Questions to answer”, apparently. So Julia Gillard strode from her office yesterday at 1.10pm, grim-faced, a little drawn, ready for battle with the press gallery, who had crammed into Parliament’s Blue Room, the aptly-named ministerial press conference venue. The strategy was simple: pre-empt the impact of the opposition’s much-trumpeted “grilling” of the Prime Minister over the AWU non-scandal, which had already been deflated by Bruce Wilson’s weekend remarks.

As time went on, though, it also occasionally seemed as though the Prime Minister had another goal. For so long confronted with vague claims about nebulous wrongdoing without any specific charges, as well as frequent misreporting, accidental or otherwise, of what happened, it seemed as though this was as much about Gillard directly hitting back at her tormentors as about presenting the opportunity to grill her. In this way, it often seemed as though it was journalists in the firing line, not the Prime Minister.

After a brief preamble to contrast the Coalition’s “relentless negativity” (check) with the government’s vision on such things as education reform (check) and the NDIS (double-check), she handed over to the hacks. But guiding her responses, in part, was her own desire to bluntly attack inaccurate reporting. On the first question, from The Courier-Mail’s Dennis Atkins, she went off on something of a tangent:

I have been defamed on a number of occasions with forms of words saying that I set up a fund or a bank account. Those defamations have been apologised for and retracted on a number of occasions. Despite that, those kinds of references are now littered through media coverage of all sorts: electronic, print and radio.

I did not set up a fund. I did not set up a bank account. Any such claim about me is a defamatory claim and I’d look to this press gallery to try and show some leadership in standards and accuracy here.”

Gillard was also keen to dispel what she called the “emerging kind of consensus … that I need to give a full and frank account of these matters” by detailing the number of times she’d addressed them over the last 17 years, including in relation to a Liberal Party dirt file. She also used the first question about Ralph Blewitt to rip into him with lines that were always going to make it onto the evening news bulletins.

The Gillard on display was forthright but, mostly, contained. She visibly seethed during an exchange with News Limited’s Steve Lewis, her eyes darting from side to side as she watched him speak to her. “Get the timeline right. Get the timeline right before you draw implications from it,” she told him. “I’m just asking questions,” replied Lewis. “I’ve taken a lot of questions on this and let me answer your question,” she snapped back.

She only broke into open anger once, toward Sid Maher, one of The Australian’s lesser drones. “You completely misunderstand everything to do with this matter and maybe that explains some things for us,” she began her answer to him. He then tried to argue with her mid-answer, prompting her to demand he not hector her. Later, in question time, she referred to him, possibly accidentally or possibly not, as “Sid Marris”, a former colleague of Maher’s who left The Oz years ago.

There was one moment of pure stagecraft. In the shadows of 2pm, with the PM glancing at the clock, The West Australian’s Andrew Probyn asked her about the conveyancing of Blewitt’s property and then drew his own conclusion, asking her “what would be the big deal in him being given a mortgage through Slater & Gordon?” Gillard seized on it: “Anybody got any contention about how Ralph Blewitt getting a Slater & Gordon mortgage goes to any conduct by me, or any assertions of wrongdoing? What is the big deal?”

Silence. Journalists normally talk over each other in an effort to get a question, but here was a moment of pure silence, held just long enough by the PM to make an impact, before she adjusted her hands to indicate she was open to more questions.

By the end of the day, after an anti-climactic question time in which the Prime Minister was supposed to be grilled but ended up mocking the opposition‘s conspiracy theories, the gallery was talking about whether the Prime Minister had done enough to lay the claims to rest.

It was always an absurd question, because there’s never been a factual basis for the smear campaign that could be refuted. There will always be more questions about ever more trivial matters: the focus has now shifted to whether Gillard was somehow acting inappropriately because the name of the organisation she gave advice on had “AWU” in it. I mean, seriously — that was actually the subject of several questions yesterday.

But did you notice the goalpost-shifting in all that? Until yesterday, the Prime Minister had “questions to answer” about the issue. Yesterday she stood there and took question after question. For many members of the press gallery, that’s no longer sufficient. Now, the real test is whether the Prime Minister has “laid the issue to rest”. If the opposition are still asking questions about the issue at the end of the week, Gillard will thus, by that logic, have failed.

For much of the press gallery, there’s always a new test for the Prime Minister, no matter how often she passes the ones they’ve previously set.

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  • 1
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    It is to be wondered why the MSM opposes any form of accountability for its endless stream of misinformation, slander, and straight out lies. Yet these are the foundation for their refusal to accept a referendum into their activities.

    If their egregious behaviour was mimicked by the medical profession they would all scream r-pe. Yet there they scamper, little chip-on-the-shoulder apes employed by money-bags Murdoch-and Fairfax, not so money-bags.

    Some day, one day, they will have to be held accountable-and elephants may fly.

  • 2
    Holden Back
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    So, is the PM allowed to set journalists a few tests?

    We could start with IQ tests and work our way up.

  • 3
    Karen
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Bernard Keane - great article - the Liberal attacks and those of their minion MSM journo acolytes have now reached the moment of high farce. Its great, Bernard, you’ve actually stuck to the facts and have pointed out, accurately, a complete absence of evidence to implicate Gillard in any wrongdoing, moral let alone legal.

    As a journalist, I would be interested to see who has financed Blewitt’s return to Australia and on whose advice.

  • 4
    Karen
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    And, as a member of the public, I’m getting tired of seeing that big, jaw-boned woman, Credlin going into Parliament briefing Bishop and Abbott on how to keep attacking Gillard. That black photo of her standing in Parliament next to Bishop with a lever arch folder sporting Gillard’s name over it was a shocker. I’ve never seen politics get so personal, thanks to that toxic combination of Abbott, Credlin, and Bishop. Wake up, Australia! You don’t want this cr@p running the joint next year.

  • 5
    cairns50
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    your article says it all,what can she do to lay these claims to rest, when the murdoch press tony abbott julie bishop,the shock jocks and all the other right wing nut case lackeys just keep going on and on about this

    very very similiar to the witchunt that occured when carmen lawrence was a federal member of the penny easton affair

    surely the australian public will wake up to whats going on and see this smear campaign for what it is

    another push by abbott to remove a democratically elected pm before an election is due

    a pox on all right wingers , every single one of you

  • 6
    cairns50
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    your article says it all, what can she do to lay these claims to rest, when the murdoch press with unlimited resources and money tony abbott julie bishop the shock jocks and the rest of the right wing nut cases just keep going on and on about this

    very similar to what occured to carmen lawrence was a federal member over the penny easton sucicide in wa many years ago

    surely the austrlian public will wake up to whats going on and see this smear campagin for what it is

    just another push by tony abbott to become pm before the next election was due

    he just doesnt get it, the independents formed a govt with labor not liberal

  • 7
    john2066
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Lets face it, when you’re dealing with Murdoch monkeys, you’re dealing with a human subspecies.

  • 8
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    The Libs will want to be very careful about this issue this week now, Gillard has shown that the issue has no merit and the govt is introducing legislation on some forward thinking popular issues, if the libs keep trying to go over things from 20 years ago I think it will blow up in their face. I think the public have moved on.

  • 9
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    .

  • 10
    minnamurra
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Our Prime Minister has more than dealt with all of this farcical nonsense - if it continues it will only underlines the misogynist nature of these great whites. Including the women who bay at their heels.

  • 11
    pritu
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    The Australian MSM have now achieved the condition in which the population at large read it like Pravda or Izvestia and their clones in the Eastern Bloc used to durng the Soviet era were read. It’s the same in many former soviet bloc countries an former colonies now run endlessly by a single party which owns the media and organises gerrymanders to stay endlessly in power. The reader is forced to look at the source from which the commentary is coming and then “translate” the material to rebalance it towards some kind of credibility. Ask anyone who’s come here from such places. Never thought it would come here. But, with Murdoch in charge, I don’t think we’ve quite reached the bottom of the septic tak.

  • 12
    pritu
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Should have proof read! Hope my previous comment makes sense.

  • 13
    mikeb
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    The haters will not let it go until they are satisfied, and that will only happen in the extremely unlikely event that Gillard is proven guilty of something or other (they are not sure what exactly). The amount of bile sourced from Pickering or Smith or Bolt that comes into my inbox from apparently intelligent people is amazing. They don’t want to know the truth. They can’t handle the truth.

  • 14
    zut alors
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    …it often seemed as though it was journalists in the firing line, not the Prime Minister..

    Ah, so that explains why I enjoyed the press conference so much.

    The Deputy Leader of the Opposition is revelling in the spotlight despite making a goose of herself in Question Time today. She revels in it when the Coalition Boys Club allows her a moment in the sun - clearly, they only use her as a cover but she’s rapt nevertheless.

  • 15
    Andybob
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the only hope for the conspiracy nuts now is to get Donald Trump to demand the release of ….something… in return for a five million dollar donation to a nominated charity. That’ll work !

  • 16
    Phen
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Good article - and without the silly misogynist angle that was trotted out yesterday without justification.

  • 17
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    The strategy was simple: pre-empt the impact of the opposition’s much-trumpeted “grilling” of the Prime Minister over the AWU non-scandal, which had already been deflated by Bruce Wilson’s weekend remarks.”

    So a prefossional conjob reckons the PM is innocent and we are meant to believe him?

    Has Gillard said anything bad about Wilson? Not that I can recall.

    From what I understand Wilson has never done Big House time and thats because of a lack of witness and evidence. Has Gillard gave a full and frank stat declaration to the police about her former lover?

    Perhaps they are covering each others backsides?

    The lefties will of course scream this is all just a big conspiracy theory… just like they did with Slipper… just like they did with Thomson… just like they did with the Obeids… just like they did with ALP National Secretary Williamson….

    I don’t think Gillard is telling us the whole story and I think the lefties know it.

  • 18
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy… tut tut tut….

    More leaks to come ol’ boy, this story hasn’t run it’s dash just yet.

  • 19
    Peter Shute
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Crikey is doing an excellent job on this matter.

    Is the problem with the Canberra press gallery that it is actually in Canberra ?. I follow Vic & NSW political correspondents and they are much more in touch with their readers and what they want to read about.

    This story is about to disappear up it’s own backside.The problem is Julie Bishop has opened the way for a good look into her own background as a lawyer and it isn’t a pretty picture.

    The MSM and Opposition think the public are ignorant as well. We have all had lawyers draw up papers for us to incorporate companies, set up trusts and so on. We know the solicitor isn’t responsible for what happens from then.

    Julie Bishop should have a libel writ slapped on her for the ‘bank robbery’ claim.

  • 20
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Geewizz - “So a prefossional conjob reckons the PM is innocent and we are meant to believe him?” But you have no problem beli eving the “professional con job” who is accusing Gillard?

    More leaks to come ol’ boy, this story hasn’t run it’s dash just yet.” If they want to have any impact they would want to be a whole lot better than the “leaks” that have gone before them - the public are over the issue (as reflected in the polls this week) and the more the opposition try to flog it the worse they will look.

    I don’t think Gillard is telling us the whole story” Well where is the evidence to support that thought?

  • 21
    Peter Shute
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear- GeeWizz also claims “there are questions to be answered”.

    This is a “when did you stop beating your wife” moment and is now verging on the ridiculous. All will be forgotten within the month.

  • 22
    Stevo the Working Twistie
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    If the Prime Minister has nothing to hide, she should come right out and show us her birth certificate. Oh, hang on, sorry, wrong conspiracy theory.

  • 23
    JacetheAce
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    So a prefossional conjob reckons the PM is innocent and we are meant to believe him?”

    I agree. Clearly, the word of an admitted s*x tourist and fraudster who is looking to obtain indemnity from prosecution is far more reliable.

  • 24
    Holden Back
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    But my professional conjob is better that your professional conjob - oh, wait.

  • 25
    Microseris
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    From my perspective, the only people who care about this issue is the MSM and Gillard haters.

    Pity they are not more passionate about issues which will actually impact our future.

    Next…

  • 26
    Salamander
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Why are you still writing about this crap?

  • 27
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy there were people accusing Gillard BEFORE Blewitt said anything on the matter and Gillard has admitted she set up the slush fund.

    That’s the thing… we are now meant to beleive the beneficiary of the slush fund and AWU heavy, former lover and potential ja1l-time recipient.

    Sorry but I’m not buying it…. why isn’t Gillard saying nasty things about Wilson and only against Blewitt?

    Whose covering whose ar5e here exactly?

  • 28
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Gillard should walk down to the police station tomorrow just like Blewitt did and give a full and frank interview to police over exactly what she knows under oath.

    Anything less is just a stunt.

  • 29
    mikeb
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    @geewizz - If the police needed info from JG I’m sure they’d ask for it. Perhaps the reason they are not asking is that they’ve got no new questions - much like the press corp and the opposition?

  • 30
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    The only people who don’t want us talking about this issue are the Labor hacks and their leftie mates.

    Just like they don’t want us to talk about Thomson.

    Just like they don’t want us to talk about Williamson.

    Just like they don’t want us to talk about the Obeids.

    Just like they don’t want us to talk about Ian McDonald.

    The public will talk about this issue and so will the press because there is a story here that needs to be told and will be told.

  • 31
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Geewizz - “Jimmy there were people accusing Gillard BEFORE Blewitt said anything on the matter and Gillard has admitted she set up the slush fund.” True but none of those accusations have ever been proved, in fact no one can actually say what Gillard is supposed to have done wrong, let alone what was illegal about her actions.

    Gillard should walk down to the police station tomorrow just like Blewitt did and give a full and frank interview to police over exactly what she knows under oath.” Why, should everyone not accused of any wrong doing go to the police and explain why they aren’t guilty of something they haven’t been accused of?

    If you think Gillard has done something wrong outline exactly what it is, otherwise give it a rest.

  • 32
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Geewizz - “The public will talk about this issue and so will the press because there is a story here that needs to be told and will be told.” And what is that story? And if it was such a story in the public eye’s why isn’t it being reflected in the polls?

  • 33
    Will Arnott
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Well it has done a nice job of distracting people from the fact that the carbon tax is not actually an issue. But I’m not sure that flogging the AWU yarn so hard is going to give Abbott what he wants. Today’s question time got to the point where the speaker, fairly, rejected questions because they were asking why Gillard didn’t save JFK from assassination.

  • 34
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Venise - “It is to be wondered why the MSM opposes any form of accountability for its endless stream of misinformation,” I think their logic (flawed that it is) will be that they are reporting allegations and ana l yzing the impact of those allegations politically, the fact the allegations have no basis and the political impact is negligible is of little consequence to them.

    Will arnott “Well it has done a nice job of distracting people from the fact that the carbon tax is not actually an issue” That is it’s sole purpose, to change the subject.

  • 35
    TheFamousEccles
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    GeeWizz,

    Gillard should walk down to the police station tomorrow just like Blewitt did and give a full and frank interview to police over exactly what she knows under oath.

    Anything less is just a stunt.”

    Now, it might be relevant to refer to an article available for viewing here on this very website, by Mark Latham, regarding precisely what I have you quoted as demanding. I guess it is likely that you have not read it and would dismiss it out of hand because it was written by Latham, but that’s your perogative. The substance still stands regardless of your leaning.

    It contains exerpts of an interview with Michael McGarvie, the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner. It reads in part;

    While he would not reflect on the specifics of the Julia Gillard/Slater & Gordon matter, he was willing to answer the following hypothetical question: If a lawyer acts for a client and provides advice for the establishment of some kind of financial instrument but then years later believes that the client, in their use of the instrument, may have broken the law, such as in defrauding money, what are the lawyer’s obligations to report this matter to the police?

    McGarvie answered: “The lawyer has a duty of confidentiality to the client, meaning that he or she is under no obligation to report the client to the police. The lawyer has a permanent obligation not to disclose material relating to a person for whom they have acted.””

    But then, never let the facts get in the way of a good moral bile spray, eh GW?

  • 36
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    The PM’s performance was very weak, she deliberately did not answer questions in the Parliament or Press Connference, instead referring them to the transcript of previous press conferences.

    Shes knows she has an issues, which is why Albenses is taking poins of order to defend her and the Speaker has no idea but to side wil Albanese and protect the stench

  • 37
    Hunt Ian
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    GeeWizz, strike a light and listen more carefully. Gillard did not admit she set up the slush fund. She said that she provided legal advice on how to set up an association and explicitly denied that she set up or established a bank account. There is nothing wrong with supplying legal advice.

    The Republication Party campaign book is looking very thumbed. I don’t want you to keep on flogging a dead horse and I would rather you did not keep talking ignorantly about Thompson, Williamson, the Obeids and Ian McDonald. Each faces processes of inquiry of various kinds and each should be given their day in various courts and the Corruption Commission. Let those who are guilty of whatever offences be found guilty and those innocent found innocent. As a trade unionist, I am appalled at stories about people aping business executives and the access they have to excessively high incomes, which has all sprung up since Thatcher and Reagan led an OECD movement to up the share of profits in national income. I am glad that the HSU election has made a clean sweep of those in the HSU and I hope the lesson will be driven home: business executives may be given carte blanche expense accounts by company boards so that they can have all sorts of privileges legally but unionists and others should never seek to get aboard the gravy train. They should instead try to stop it before growing inequality degrades more lives.

    As for what GeeWizz has to say, I want to hear policies from the Coalition and not to have them try to win elections through smear and muck racking so that they can do what they like if they get into government.

  • 38
    Karen
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Troofie - why are you are conflating the Obeid and McDonald, Williamson and Thomson, AWU which deal with altogether different subject matter?

    No-one here has ever defended Obeid and McDonald. Williamson who has been slapped up with a multitude of charges hasn’t been defended on this site. And Thomson, well, still no charge (as many of us here believed would be the case).

    And as for JG, I’m amazed she hasn’t sued the Bishop in defamation. The way Bishop is going though, blinded by hate and envy as she appears to me that she is, I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets a writ slapped on her. And it couldn’t happen to a nice piece of work.

    And finally, any lawyer will tell you, advising on the set up of an association, is completely different from the running of it. Lawyers do it all the time.Bishop, a lawyer, knows that. As does Credlin.

    Finally, if JG was in on any scam, why did she dump Wilson in 2005 at the time when the allegations about the fund were beginning to surface. The only mistake JG committed was choosing this man as boyfriend, nice looking as he was at the time.

  • 39
    michael crook
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    The commercial media makes it’s money by selling advetising. The role of commercial advertising is to tell a lie, or at least bend the truth, to get you to buy something you otherwise wouldn’t want. These guys live on selling falsehoods it is what they do! Why expect them ever to do anything else?

  • 40
    michael r james
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Another QT finishes without Bishop or Pyne laying a feather duster, let alone a punch, on Gillard. Abbott remains seated and silent with his sh!t-eating smirk as usual. I think that picture of Bishop conferring, after yesterday’s QT, with Peta Credlin says it all: Bishop looks extremely tense. Whatever her history as a hardball lawyer, she doesn’t really seem cut out for this kind of dirty politics. And she is probably smart enough to see the potential, maybe inevitable, blowback. But obviously she has been commanded by Abbott and his dominatrix Peta Credlin.

    Do they really want to be associated with these “colourful characters”? The four key players (whose rants and conspiracy theories are given oxygen by Hadley Thomas & News Ltd):

    Ralph Blewitt: former AWU bagman for Bruce Wilson
    Harry Nowicki: former personal-injury lawyer funding Blewitt;
    Michael Smith: sacked former shock-jock
    Nick Styant-Browne: former (disgruntled?) Slater-Gordon partner

    The two (Smith & Nowicki) are in full flight, feeding off each other’s outrage, delighting in the left-wing perception they are “right-wing misogynist nut-job conspiracy theorists swirling on the internet in their web of intrigue”.

    The part in italics is a direct quote from Smith reported by Crikey’s Matthew Knott who needed a stiff drink after the encounter. If any Crikey readers didn’t feel they needed a shower after just reading it, well they are probably GeeWizz or David Hand.

    And Crikey’s Andrew Crook:

    Nowicki, a former personal injury lawyer who was fined $15,000 for professional misconduct by Victoria’s legal services commissioner last year, confirmed to Crikey this morning that Slater & Gordon had done due diligence on his former firm Nowicki Carbone in 2010, because it was seeking to purchase a share of it. Crikey understands the purchase — potentially worth tens of millions of dollars — was derailed at the final hurdle when [Slater & Gordon withdrew[ after inspecting the firm’s internals.

    Likewise, “Nick Styant-Browne missed out on millions from Slaters’ float in 2007 (the partners got $14 million) and was reportedly also peeved because his commercial division oversaw the Blewitt-Wilson conveyancing file on the sale of the now notorious Kerr Street property in Fitzroy.”

    Again, hearing these guys one would have to wonder why anyone would either take them seriously or want to be associated with them. Yet, Julie Bishop is reported as meeting Blewitt (Shades of Turnbull and Godwin Gretch?) and (reported by Andrew Crook):

    “Last year, (Michael) Smith’s Central Coast wedding was attended by leading Coalition figures George Brandis and Barnaby Joyce .”

  • 41
    CML
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I am not a Gillard fan, but this whole business is crass and boring. The “old white men’s club” of the extreme right wing MSM should either put up or shut up!
    And that goes for the ABC, Julie Bishop and all the other hangers-on.
    Total blo+dy beat-up!!

  • 42
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    PARLIAMENT Today, 27 Nov ‘12: It is an appalling waste of taxpayers’ money to have the leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, allowing his little ankle-biter, Julie Bishop, to indulge herself (and, of course, doing his own dirty work) in a fruitless raking over of non-existent facts to smear the Prime Minister of this country.

    Mr Rabbott has lost all sense of reason and propriety in his vendetta against the Prime Minister. Listen son….You lost the election because Julia Gillard was smart enough to out think you on the Greens and Independents. “Get over it Tony, your mob was not born to rule the nearest hay-shed, let alone the people of this nation.”

    When the Opposition cozies up to the sub-criminal classes as the gentlemen discussed by Bernard, then pretends to come the high moral ground, the result is a comedy of Restoration dimensions.

    The thing that alarms me is the ease with which someone of the stature of Malcolm Turnbull goes along with this squaid affair.

  • 43
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Squalid affair”

  • 44
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Well said Karen.
    Gee Wizz; A careful apprasal of Ms Gillards past reactions to smear and innuendo has to refrain from publicly dumping on the concocted smear generators. It is only when the Murdoch Press and Canberra Press Gallery have developed their baying for blood to a crescendo that she has named her protagonists.
    I, for one believe that is to be understood having witnessed the last two and half years of showers of excreta being offered to the public as journalism.
    Bernard K should be congratulated, as he has been very consistent on these buckets being distributed by the Murdoch inspired Peta Credin.
    Sooner or later wiser heads in the Liberal Party will take note of one of their American Idols, Karl Rove, when he observed before the last Presidential election that he original believed the Murdoch Press were there to help the GOP and found to his dimay the the GOP was being manipulated by the Murdocracy.

  • 45
    michael r james
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh Oh. The blowback may have come faster than expected. One retains a tiny bit of sympathy for Bishop who one suspects is a reluctant player in all this; and of course she is being forced to act as a proxy for the gutless Abbott. But you lie down with dogs, you pick up fleas. Those fleas sometimes carry lethal diseases like bubonic plague.

    From Fairfax’s The_Pulse just minutes ago:

    Reporter: Are you saying Ms Gillard is complicit in a fraud?

    Julie Bishop: The Prime Minister is yet to answer questions about her role. The AWU lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Reporter This morning you said the Prime Minister profited from the fraud?

    JB: No I didn’t. No, I did not.

    Reporter You said she, Wilson and Blewitt?

    JB: Wilson and Blewitt are the beneficiaries from the slush fund. I’m not saying she benefitted.

    Reporter: Are you saying she’s a knowing party to a fraud?

    JB: She was a knowing party to breaches of the law in Western Australia.
    Reporter: How can you say the association was secret when it was advertised?

    JB: It was a secret to the AWU. The purpose set out in that advertisement was false.

    Reporter: There are calls for your resignation? Meeting Mr Blewitt, was that a good idea?

    JB: Ralph Blewitt has met lots of people, I don’t think Mr Albanese has called for their resignation. Ms Bishop says she was contacted by former radio host Mike Smith. It was a chance meeting. It doesn’t compare to Ms Gillard’s four year friendship with Mr Blewitt. I had a ten minute conversation with him at most. He’d met with the police. I wanted to know if there were further documents.

    Reporter: Are you making accusations based on hearsay and rumour?

    JB: I’m asking questions. The Prime Minister is entitled to answer them.

    Reporter: Will you ask a bunch of questions on this tomorrow?

    JB: I don’t announce Opposition decisions before they are made.

    Reporter: You have accused the Prime Minister of being party to a fraud. Yesterday and today.

    JB: No, I haven’t. Those who stood to benefit were Wilson and Blewitt.

    Ms Bishop is saved by the bells, ringing for a division.
     —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  — x

  • 46
    Salamander
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    All you people obsessively w*nking off these non-events while the polls lurch on, pro-coalition 51-49.
    Can’t wait till Friday.

  • 47
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Venise A;
    Having watched the Aggott’s ankle biter at QT and a press conference I feel sure I am in harmony with some recently retired directors and senior management of Hardie Industries with their assessment of her ‘forensic legal’ mind. Most of whom have lost their rights to their economic sinecures, namely directorships.
    With regard to the velvet tongued Turnbull, one shouldn’t forget the name Godwyn Grech where Malcolm accused Rudd of being a liar in the parliament on just as spurious grounds that are being used against Ms Gillard PM.

  • 48
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    While you talk about this crap there is a young man now in hospital near death because the morons all insisted we have the right to rule the 7 seas and decide who sails on them.

  • 49
    qwerty bluett
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    i find this whole affair terribly confusing. everyone’s talking so loud and saying so very little.

  • 50
    Geoff England
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Julie “Medusa” Bishop and Peta “Lady Macbeth” Credlin are headed for a serious reality check when this whole thing goes out with a whimper and 90% of Australian voters move on, leaving the two, and their gimp, Abbott, up shit creek with no paddles.
    What a tired and desperate look the Coalition is these days. What a desperate, pathetic attempt at relevance……notice how the more same members of the Coalition, Hockey, Turnbull, are staying decidedly OUT of this pile of crap. Smart move boys. When Abbott, Pyne, Bishop and Credlin emerge from the primal sludge they have taken a swim in, they may well find that Australians are far more interested in what THEY are going to do (as opposed to UNdo) if they ever get into power. Black hole anyone?

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