Swapping a psychiatric ward for a prison cell? Presumably Treasury officer Godwin Grech will eventually face criminal charges for improperly passing on information to the Opposition. The Australian Federal Police are currently studying this question but Section 70 of the Crimes Act is quite clear on the subject:
Disclosure of information by Commonwealth officers
(1) A person who, being a Commonwealth officer, publishes or communicates, except to some person to whom he or she is authorized to publish or communicate it, any fact or document which comes to his or her knowledge, or into his or her possession, by virtue of being a Commonwealth officer, and which it is his or her duty not to disclose, shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) A person who, having been a Commonwealth officer, publishes or communicates, without lawful authority or excuse (proof whereof shall lie upon him or her), any fact or document which came to his or her knowledge, or into his or her possession, by virtue of having been a Commonwealth officer, and which, at the time when he or she ceased to be a Commonwealth officer, it was his or her duty not to disclose, shall be guilty of an offence.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years.
Given the evidence contained in this week’s report by the Auditor General, if Mr Grech is not prosecuted then they might as well scrap Section 70. There are no apparent redeeming features to justify his behaviour in leaking actual material let alone his actions in forging some.
Labor not in a hurry. Not that the Labor Government will be in any hurry to see justice being done. While there are no charges laid against Mr Grech there is no need to worry about any of that sub judice nonsense. It can be open slather in attacking Malcolm Turnbull for being a man of extremely poor judgement.
The dream run continues. Kevin Rudd’s dream run just keeps on keeping on. This morning’s figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics again confounded the experts by showing no rise in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate which stays at 5.9%. While full time employment fell, there was quite strong growth in part time work.
I would have thought it well nigh impossible for a politician’s ratings to fall further than those achieved by Malcolm Turnbull so far but my guess is that I will once again be proved wrong. His standing is just going from bad to worse and now The Australian is seriously suggesting that Andrew Robb would be better vote winner! Perhaps next Tuesday’s Newspoll will see a new record low point for an Opposition Leader which must make an early election more and more tempting for Labor.
Don’t worry about waiting for circumstances that permit a double dissolution. Just get in quick before the Liberals have an opportunity to test The Oz‘s hypothesis.
Labor improves on the Crikey indicator. The Crikey election indicator, which gives a probability of victory based on what the markets say, has moved in Labor’s direction.
When it comes to assessing who Kevin Rudd is most likely to face as an opponent the Crikey Indicator is uncertain. It still has Malcolm Turnbull as the most likely Leader of the Opposition come election day but the probability of him being so is less than 40%. Joe Hockey, who keeps saying he is a non-starter, is given a 28% chance.
And talking of honeymoons. The history of the American pollster Gallup shows that it takes around seven months for a new president’s popularity honeymoon to come to an end.
The 55% popularity figure used by Gallup is around what a president averages throughout his term and Barack Obama has already been below it with his popularity falling briefly to 52% last month.