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Nov 27, 2012

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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117 thoughts on “PM vs press gallery: anatomy of a tense encounter

  1. Venise Alstergren

    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

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

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

  3. Karen

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

  8. Jimmy

    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. minnamurra

    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.

  10. pritu

    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.

  11. pritu

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

  12. mikeb

    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.

  13. zut alors

    ‘…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.

  14. Andybob

    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 !

  15. Phen

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

  16. GeeWizz

    [“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.

  17. GeeWizz

    Jimmy… tut tut tut….

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

  18. Peter Shute

    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.

  19. Jimmy

    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?

  20. Peter Shute

    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.

  21. Stevo the Working Twistie

    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.

  22. JacetheAce

    “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.

  23. Holden Back

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

  24. Microseris

    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.


  25. Salamander

    Why are you still writing about this crap?

  26. GeeWizz

    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?

  27. 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.

  28. mikeb

    @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?

  29. GeeWizz

    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.

  30. Jimmy

    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.

  31. Jimmy

    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?

  32. Will Arnott

    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.

  33. Jimmy

    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.

  34. TheFamousEccles


    “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?

  35. Suzanne Blake

    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

  36. Hunt Ian

    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.

  37. Karen

    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.

  38. michael crook

    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?

  39. michael r james

    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 .”

  40. CML

    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!!

  41. Venise Alstergren

    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.

  42. Mike Flanagan

    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.

  43. michael r james

    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.

  44. Salamander

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

  45. Mike Flanagan

    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.

  46. shepherdmarilyn

    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.

  47. qwerty bluett

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

  48. Geoff England

    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?

  49. Geoff England

    @salamander….cant wait till Friday? Make the time pass quicker ….try holding your breath.

  50. GeeWizz

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

    Wilson and Gillard are covering each others ar5es, that’s whats happening.

    Gillard tells us she was just the red-headed bimbo girlfriend and had no idea what her lover was doing and just helped set him up a slushfund… without opening a file at Slater and Gordon and had no idea what it was for.

    Gillard gives lectures about misogyny, but when it suits her she wants us to believe she was just a bimbo who got taken advantage of. Sorry… not buying it.

  51. Peter Shute

    GeeWhiz you don’t give interviews to the police ‘under oath’ and if the police wanted to speak to her they know where she is.

    Stop making silly claims.

    And if you think Gillard has something to answer-you go to the police. But beware, they will give you short shift if all you have is gossip.

  52. michael r james

    As many have predicted this is rebounding on the Coalition. Bishop is currently taking the flak (see extracts below), but everyone can see (literally, that priceless pic of Credlin & Bishop conferring after yesterday’s QT) that Abbott is the puppet master. As far as the party is concerned I would guess most would give Bishop a pass on this, but Abbott will pick up some more black marks for lousy judgment (and gutlessness in shifting this dirty job to his female deputy while smirking from the sidelines.)

    Even News Ltd cannot ignore it:
    [PAUL OSBORNE, 6.15 pm
    DEPUTY opposition leader Julie Bishop has backtracked on her claim that Julia Gillard helped “hide” the creation of an incorporated entity set up by two union officials in the 1990s.]

    [Jacqueline Maley, 5.37pm After weeks of saying Gillard had ”questions to answer” over the saga, but declining to formulate those questions, Bishop has now made allegations against the PM.
    The deputy Opposition leader has accused Gillard of breaking the law by helping to establish an AWU slush fund that she knew was set up for dodgy purposes. Gillard denies this totally.
    Bishop has produced no evidence to back up this claim. She will need to do so soon, or the whole line of attack will blow up in the Opposition’s face.]

    [Judith Ireland, 5.55 pm
    Cabinet minister Anthony Albanese said Ms Bishop’s position was “untenable” and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott had to either back her up 100 per cent or dismiss her.
    ”The Deputy Leader of the Opposition thinks it’s acceptable to accuse the Prime Minister of engaging in a criminal act on the basis of her star witness being this self-confessed fraudster and yet no evidence has been produced to back up that claim,” Mr Albanese told reporters in Canberra.
    ”Julie Bishop’s position as Deputy Leader of the Opposition is simply untenable.”
    Mr Albanese said Ms Bishop had needed to ”put up or shut up”.
    ”There are consequences for Ms Bishop’s political situation if it is not backed up.”]

  53. michael r james

    Oops, in my previous post, Paul Osborne is the News Ltd journo, while Maley and Ireland are Fairfax.

  54. Peter Shute

    Gonski Report
    Royal Commission into Child Abuse
    Abuse in the Defense Force
    Murray Darling solution
    Is the Carbon price working ?
    National Disability Scheme
    New media laws?
    ongoing refugees problems

    The front page of The Australian is a disgrace with it’s petty sensationalist headlines. Total rubbish and of no concern to citizens.
    Why doesn’t the Opposition do it’s job?

  55. zut alors

    This could prove to be Bishop’s ‘Utegate’.

    Frankly, I’d thought she was too canny to be Rabbott’s stooge.

  56. Mk8adelic

    GeeWizz … Maybe you need to expand your research beyond bolt, smith et al.

  57. pat drane

    Make no mistake – Gillard has a case to answer.

    Despite Keane’s bluster and poo-pooing – what counts here is the reasonable interpretation of what Gillard knew and didn’t know about her bedmate Wilson and his close mate Blewitt.

    You have to admire Gillard’s front – and the loyalty of her former bedmates. Even Emerson was on Sky News this morning trying to mount her defence.

    Clearly Gillard left Slater & Gordon under an ethical cloud. No legal firm stages a formal taped interview with a partner unless serious wrongdoing is involved. She has admitted she set up a ‘slush’ fund under a misleading name – clearly a cover for what could be a protection racket for big builders run by Wilson and Blewitt.

    Beyond reasonable doubt is a criminal standard of proof but a civil standard is ‘balance of probability’.

    Is it probable that Wilson, Gillard’s bedmate of 3-4 years did not tell her anything about what he and Blewitt were doing with the ‘slush fund’ she admitted she set up for his re-election? Answer – NO.

    It is a fact that Gillard provided a power of attorney for Wilson to empower Blewitt to buy a house with slush funds and a Slater & Gordon mortgage.

    Gillard now claims to know nothing of the 1993 mortgage until 1995 and had no idea what was happening with the ‘slush fund’.

    Gillard has just attacked Blewitt as a sexist pig, and liar. ‘His word or mine – she taunts’.

    Yet this the same Blewitt who was Wilson’s bagman in 1993 and shared dinners and fun times with Gillard and Wilson.

    The ‘balance of probability’ is that she knew about the activities of bedmate Wilson and Blewitt in 1993, she knew about the mortgage in 1993 (was there not 1993 paralegal memo to her about the trigger for mortgage penalty interest?) and Slater & Gordon made her an offer she could not refuse to avoid scandal and possible discovery of illegality, should she have post dated a document as an officer of the court.

    Gillard has fooled the Canberra herd for some of the time with her front, bluster and slippery tongue – she is not fooling all of us.

  58. HB

    can i share a fake? a prominently labelled file filled with recycled paper,

  59. tonyfunnywalker

    There is no contest here, Gillard has slaughterd them and I expect a raft of defamation claims. The Press should urgently read the issues in the UK not only Leveson but the child abuse allegations against a minister of the Crown. It has already claimed the DG of the BBC and its “quality reporting ” cost ITN $200K+ and the Peer is now going after the bloggers. A lesson to the numbnuts of the Australian press corps – better get a good lawyer soon?

  60. GeeWizz

    How bout a Royal Commission into Union Corruption??

    Surely Labor supports stamping out corruption in the Union movement. Right?

  61. AR

    Could la Reine Ranga be about to reascend her throne, ruler of all, polity & policy?
    GOOOO Gillard, the once & future PM, 2013 is yours.

  62. Ronson Dalby

    Unless I missed one of the 57 comments so far, not one commenter has sided with the Opposition in this matter except the redundant, unfunny comedian Gee Whiz.

    Probably one of the rare times one sees so many people agree on a topic.

  63. Bobalot

    Peter Shute,

    GeeWhiz is too much of a coward to do anything else other than nerd rage on the internet.

  64. Tim nash

    This one is obviously taken out of the “rainy day file” on what to attack the prime minister one.

    Why is Julie Bishop leading the attack? Opposition now aware having Tony attack Julia on personal matters is damaging. Interesting to speculate.

  65. Mark from Melbourne

    @gee whiz – royal commission seems a bit far but absolutely agree that there is room for a serious investigation into union corruption. But remember to be credible it needs to look into the corruption on the other side of the ledger. It takes two to tango…

  66. eric

    Wilson was just on the 7.30 Report and cleared the PM of any wrong doing!

    This affair has to be one of the low points in Australian political history and the slease being perpetuated by Bishop/Abbott and their cronies at News Ltd is just cringe worthy and drags them all down into the sewer but I suppose they have had years of dredging up shit.

    HOW about some POLICIES phony Tony???To think a gutter crawler like Abbott could be PM makes me want to vomit.


    And we all thought Godwin Gretch was as low as the Opposition could stoop!

    My god, how utterly naive we were, eh?

    Since Tony’s python/cobra/octopus or whatever it was died of asphyxiation they’ve been floundering around for another pile of crappola.

    Looks like they found it in the News Ltd’s daily stool sample, I mean, Australian ‘newspaper’.

    Abbott really is a very sad specimen of humanity.

  68. klewso

    That 7:30 interview, what a courageous journo – prepared to open that can of “inappropriate relationships” worms?

    Imagine looking publicly at the relationships between a few journos (reporting news) in their various relationships with politicians – and how that could colour their perception, interpretation? Starting at Limited News?

  69. John

    Scan the comments… then understand, how many lefty’s say it’s alright. You’ve been cheated people, on large scale.

    But! As long as it feels good.

    Crikey is so far left.


    Scan the comments…and notice the couple of sad clowns who’ve got nothing but their own bile to spray around.


    You’ve been cheated too many IQ points to even make an iota of sense.

  71. GeeWizz

    So the fraudster says Gillard is innocent… right.

    Well that’s the end of the story isn’t it. Not quite.

    It’s usually when Labor thinks they are winning that they shoot themselves in the foot.

  72. GeeWizz

    The smoking gun in this case will be if as claimed $5000 from the slush fund was donated to Gillard’s personal bank account.

    No amount of excuses will then be able to cover up this corruption.

  73. Aliar Jones

    Note ‘if’ is instrumental in every GeeWizz post.

    IF you have any proof then let’s hear it…otherwise you’re as hollow as your puppet masters in the Coaltion.

  74. Hamis Hill

    A “good, loyal girl” is ordered “over the top ” into the concentrated fire of potential defamation action.
    She now “li es” in “no man’s land”, wounded, and there she will stay until the stench of decomposition fills the opposition trenches, destroying whatever morale is left in those cowardly ranks.
    There won’t be any rescue parties sent out, into defamation danger, to bring Julie Bishop back; Abbott, the hero, has left his deputy for dead.
    In 2013, voters will bury the opposition, bulldozing Abbott’s mountains of muck back over his minions while they cower, with nery a policy to defend themselves, in their coward’s trenches.

  75. Person Ordinary

    Julie Bishop will have to be removed, and soon. There will have to be a vote for the deputy position – this much is certain. But given Abbott is really calling the play, the real question is will the leadership be voted at the same time? It could be an all new team, and an all new game, as early as Christmas …

  76. mikeb

    I think JG is “guilty” of an error of judgement way back then and hence the hasty departure from S&G. Nothing more & nothing less. We’ve all stuffed up on the job at some point & had to accept the consequences. It’s a long way from being involved in illegal activities however and the sooner the oppo accept this concept the better off we’ll all be. As a deflection from TA it might be working superficially but I honestly think the general public (who probably have never heard of Smith or Bolt et al) are all over it.

  77. zut alors

    Pat Drane @ #59,

    The PM was quoting other people’s assessments of Blewitt, the terminology was not hers.

    It’s naive to assume that just because someone is your bedmate they are open about their financial (or other) dealings. Some people have secret lives about which their partners know nothing.

  78. klewso

    As I’ve noted elsewhere :-
    You can go on the word of a PM (with this having been done to death and no smoking gun found – and being revived by those playing the politics, including a politicised lump in our viewsmedia) or the word of a cabal that revolves around a “fellowship of the ring” of the calibre of Smith, Blewett and Nowicki with their “motivation”?
    Any wonder “climate change” gets such short shrift from the party that chose to follow the path of the latter?

  79. Mike Flanagan

    To those that demand a Royal Commission into some undefined and vague accusations of misconduct concocted by the Murdoch Press are not doing the Aggott any favours. The last thing he wants is facts and information put on the public discourse and agenda.
    Abbott, having failed in his original strategy to dislodge the Gillard minority government with an anarchist attention and manipulation of parliament procedures now identifies his political opportunity with the character assassination of Ms Gillard.
    And to those that suggest the Ankle Biter from WA should be dumped I suggest they leave her where she is, for she is a daily reminder as to how unfit the Coalition Party is to form government under the intellectually shallow and lazy leadership of Abbott.
    I’d also suggest that Abbott’s comments and prediction of a ‘dirty’ election campaign was actually a self synopsis of his own plans that had already been prepared by the Murdoch clan and his own office.

  80. Karen

    @ Pat Drane and Gee Wizz (Troofie) – your theses is undermined by (1) Gillard dumping Wilson in 1995 when she found about the fund, having realised she had been used (there has been no contradictor in this), (2) Wilson defending her when he didn’t have to and (3) Blewitt not having actually alleged Gillard knew anything.

    @ Troofie – if you want a royal commission into union corruption, then be balanced about it and demand one into corporate malfeasance, which is more costly to the community in terms of fraud and job losses. You barely get a peep out of this idiotic main stream media when a story from that side of the fence hits the fan.

    @ Mike Flanagan #80 – well said. The Opposition has hit a brand new low (if it could have got any lower) in engaging in personal invective, a lack of public discourse into policy (other than the corporate carbon tax), and correctly characterised (by you) the shallow, lazy leadership from
    Abbott and his handler, Credlin. The Libs made a capital mistake in getting rid of Turnbull. And they now look like a divided rabble – I actually don’t think Abbott has a lot of internal support. And it will only get worse for him as time wears on.

  81. Karen

    @ Mike Flanagan – actually, the Opposition does have some genuine new ammunition against the government. It relates to Australia’s abstaining from a resolution to support the Palestinian authority, which is WRONG. This is a break with the Hawke, Evans, Keating foreign policy line on this question and it should never have happened. Turnbull has been the only person to attack Gillard on this and, rightly so.

  82. Mike Flanagan

    Yes Karen; I am tired to death of the requirement for Murdoch’s approval of PMs. This one will do me, for she the first I’ve witnessed over fifty years prepared to take him on.
    Governments of both persuasions have cowed before his print and TV media and it has been a severe detriment to the advancement of the country and even our individual aspirations for society.

  83. Karen

    Agree Mike. Murdoch has been described (was it Conrad Black?), as a psychopath. Goes a long way in explaining his behaviour. The emperor has no clothes.

  84. GeeWizz

    [“The PM was quoting other people’s assessments of Blewitt, the terminology was not hers.”]

    If you repeat defamatory comments they are still defamatory.

    What she said the other day about Blewitt to try and cover her own ar5e is disgraceful and I hope he takes her to court over the comments.

    Why does Labor always attack the whistle blowers but never have anything to say about the alleged perps? Just like they attacked Kathy Jackson but have nothing to say about former ALP National President Michael Williamson or their good mate Thomson.

  85. GeeWizz

    [“@ Troofie – if you want a royal commission into union corruption, then be balanced about it and demand one into corporate malfeasance, which is more costly to the community in terms of fraud and job losses. “]

    Corporations aren’t ripping off Union members. Shareholders perhaps, but thats the risks you take on investing into a company.

    Nope. There needs to be a deep and thorough investigation into Union corruption because clearly there is clear evidence that union corruption has been rampant for decades now with union heavies stealing millions of dollars in lowly paid union members funds for their own party lifestyles.

    It’s a disgrace and if Labor have nothing to hide, they have nothing to lose. Announce a RC into union corruption NOW.

  86. pat drane

    Zut Alors @79

    Gillard admitted in 1995 to Slater & Gordon the association she set up for Wilson was a ‘slush fund’.

    Last night’s 7.30 Report showed Wilson still claiming that the Workplace Reform Assoc or whatever name it had was BONA FIDES!! Then he did not seem to find anything wrong with buying a house with its ’employer donations’. Then he seemed unclear about what happened to the house and the money!! Then he recalled that some of the money was sent back to the ’employers’.

    What he failed to mention is that he had hit the toe by then and the AWU cleaned up the cesspit he and Blewitt left.

    So Wilson is a reliable witness in Gillard’s defence and Blewitt is a scumbag???

    Wilson is still claiming last night that his ‘Association’ was BONA FIDES, when even Gillard admitted it was a slush fund!! Hello??

    Gillard was imtimately close to Wilson and they shared dinners and fraternal relations with Blewitt for several years.

    And you are claiming that Gillard might have known nothing about the house she slept in on occasion or any of the corrupt activities of Wilson & Blewitt??

    Gillard admitted in 1995 that the Wilson & Blewitt association was a slush fund but claimed to know nothing about its purpose in 1993 when she set it up – despite creating no legal file and being later formally interviewed by Slater & Gordon about the matter resulting in her resignation. Clearly Slater & Gordon wanted rid of her.

    Gillard quoted other’s abuse about Blewitt you say. Yeah, well clearly she would not have done that if she did not want to destroy the credibility of someone she was happy to associate with for several years, and who was bagman for her boyfriend.

    Gillard’s defence defies the circumstances – in fact it is incredible.

  87. Merve

    “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.”

    John Faine has also failed to see what is in all this. As a lawyer, much of what Gillard has done is just what all lawyers do, or much less. Lawyers have no control over what they advise on or set up. To borrow Bishop’s analogy, all cars that are used to rob a bank have been serviced by a mechanic at some time, and someone sold them the car.

    Lawyers do conveyancing in name only, it’s up to the para-legals to do what is little more than routine administrative work. The lawyers name is their only as a formality, and to give the law firm the excuse to charge the high fees they charge for what is a relatively trivial exercise.

  88. Merve

    “Peta “Lady Macbeth” Credlin “. When will the libs wake up and dump her.

  89. Karen

    Troofie # 87 – corporation malfeasance extends to shareholders (who suffer losses through through company fraud and/or resultant company liquidation), customers and consumers of their services (who suffer losses through company fraud and/or resultant company liquidation), not to mention employees who lose their jobs (through company fraud and/or resultant company liquidation). The losses are far bigger to the community. Those parties involved in fraud etc should be subject to the full weight of the criminal law and the corporations law. Frankly, I’d like to see greater sanctions included in the criminal law and a huge tightening of the corporations law, which is slack. But you won’t see that under a Liberal government.

    Yes, there’s union corruption and I unequivocally support that those involved should face the full brunt of the criminal law. However, its a leap to say that there is systemic corruption in the union movement, such as to justify a royal commission. HSU corruption as filthy and as rank as it is, does not a royal commission maketh. Neither does two ‘small fry’ fraudsters in the AWU.

  90. Karen

    @ Pat Drane # 88- you haven’t answered the three issues in my post #82, which undermines your thesis re Gillard’s alleged corruption.

    @ Merve #89 – the Libs should dump Credlin, because the rate she’s going, Abbott is going to get dumped, either by his party or by the electorate. And she’ll be in the gun as much as he. Credlin has really led Abbott into a narrow, nasty little eddy, focussed entirely on Gillard personal attack in place of policy. What a shambolic joke of an Opposition we have.

  91. CML

    @ Karen #83 – While it is a bit off topic, thought you should know that the ABC (radio) are reporting this morning that both Bob Hawke and Gareth Evans (and others), have advised the PM to go with an “abstain” on the question of Palestine at the UN. Actually heard Evans being interviewed, and he said it would be a catastrophy for Australian foreign policy in our region to vote NO on this issue.
    My own view is that we have to start somewhere with this Israel/Palestine question. There has been virtually NO movement on setting up a Palestinian State for over 50 years. I don’t think Israel is blameless in this scenario.

  92. Hamis Hill

    Twenty years ago was about the time that the Banks called in their loans to the Murdoch empire.
    The mad scramble to refinance depended, finally, on a last minute loan from a minor bank’s CEO, who was tracked down to sign-off on the last Sunday afternoon while riding on the back of an elephant on safari in India.
    So did Murdoch totally escape the control of his lenders?
    A free and independent press beholden to nobody?
    How about a Royal Commission into all the “Clientele” of any shadowy financiers?
    Gee whizz, patriot, Abbot and company; all employees?
    What do they want? The usual low wages and high interest rates? The recipe for the Liberal state governments’ deliberate “slash and burn” (deny the Feds a Surplus??) Australian East Coast Recession?
    The latter being the Liberal’s Xmass present to the voters of QLD, NSW and Victoria. Seasons greetings.

  93. pat drane

    Karen – let us answer your 3 points then….

    Pat Drane and Gee Wizz (Troofie) – your theses is undermined by (1) Gillard dumping Wilson in 1995 when she found about the fund, having realised she had been used (there has been no contradictor in this), (2) Wilson defending her when he didn’t have to and (3) Blewitt not having actually alleged Gillard knew anything.

    1) Clearly Slater & Gordon did not think that Gillard was an innocent victim of Wilson. Wilson’s in the ABC 7.30 interview last night said that he had trouble with the paperwork trying to set up the ‘Association’ and Gillard filled in the forms and made it all work. Not a simple routine bit of work flicked to the paralegal in the office. A lawyer would know that an incorporated association needs to be advertised and there is a duty of care to ensure it has a proper purpose.

    No Slater & Gordon file was created which is unknown in a legal firm unless Gillard was hiding what she was doing for her bedmate.

    Gillard looks unlike the innocent bimbo being used by a cunning Wilson.

    Slater & Gordon Partners – experienced lawyers found her explanations clearly unsatisfactory.

    2) Wilson can’t be very bright because he had not thought through his story on 7.30 report. The Report was cut off when more in depth questions about what happened to the house and money came from mild mannered reporter. Wilson was still trying to maintain that the ‘slush fund’ was bona fide…when in fact the AWU (when it found out about it) had to sell the house and repay money to the ‘donor employers’.

    Wilson was trying to make out that HE did nothing wrong either, so his testimony about Gillard could not be remotely seen as reliable. He could not remember if Gillard got $5000 or not.

    3) Blewitt is in the same boat as Wilson – both unreliable witnesses without more documentation. Blewitt is seeking immunity from prosecution so might have some verifiable documents to implicate Wilson and Gillard.

  94. Karen

    @Pat Drane #94

    (1)If Gillard either had knowledge or was in on the scam, why did she wait to dump Wilson until 1995 as a boyfriend? The timing of the determining the relationship coincided with the surfacing of the allegations.

    Gillard not opening a file to advise on the setting up of the incorporated association for the AWU may have been on account of the fact that she was doing pro bono work. As a partner of the firm, Gillard may have felt (rightly or wrongly) that she had a discretion not to open up a file. In hindsight, not a wise move.

    (2) Agree that Wilson is not a reliable witness, however, why would he bother to come out and defend Gillard, especially given she dumped him and has had nothing to do with him since the proverbial hit the fan.

    Hem now reckons he put $5,000 in JG’s account on instruction from Blewitt. How convenient of him to say this AFTER JG said she had gone to the Commonwealth Bank to verify this deposit, only to be told that the Commonwealth didn’t keep records going back that far. Hem can say anything he likes knowing it can’t be disproved, at least by bank records.

    (3) Agree that Blewitt is even less reliable and, is arguably, the guy who is alleged to have benefited the most, if not entirely, from the scam. If I am incorrect about this, why did he flee to Malaysia. In any event, the Libs are pinning much of their hopes on Blewitt to implicate Gillard. Blewitt, for his part, now gets a free trip into Australia seeing Gillard as a potential meal-ticket for him to move back with the promise of immunity. Yet, notwithstanding, all of these treats and promises, not even Blewitt will go so far as to say, yeah, Gillard is in on it. And as for Blewitt having documents, I very doubt it, given his background.

  95. Karen

    @ Pat Drane – excuse typos and edits etc – its hard to proof read from the reply window

  96. geomac62

    Peta Credlin = pedal cretin , Apt considering abbotts liking for bike exercise , not much brain power required .

  97. pat drane

    Karen to answer this:

    “1)If Gillard either had knowledge or was in on the scam, why did she wait to dump Wilson until 1995 as a boyfriend? The timing of the determining the relationship coincided with the surfacing of the allegations.

    Gillard not opening a file to advise on the setting up of the incorporated association for the AWU may have been on account of the fact that she was doing pro bono work. As a partner of the firm, Gillard may have felt (rightly or wrongly) that she had a discretion not to open up a file. In hindsight, not a wise move.”

    She was not a 21 year old in her first year, she was in her early 30’s and a star Partner in a Labor Lawyer firm.

    The AWU was a big customer so if all was above board, and if she believed that Wilson’s Association was a bona fide AWU organ, why did she not open a file?? Surely it would have been a billable job for Slater & Gordon?

    If not, doing it pro-bono with no file simply confirms that she knew the Association was a slush fund right from the start. Her poor judgement and ethics at best, collusion with Wilson at worst. Again Slater & Gordon Partners thought it a job resignation offence.

    Dumping Wilson when the allegations surfaced simply shows the self-preservation instincts of the woman. Plausible deniability; “I didn’t know he was bent”.

  98. Hamis Hill

    The answer is that those with a propesity to crawl like maggots through muck have developed an imunity to disease.
    They will not be metamorphosising into beautiful butterflies.
    They make juicy snacks for crows but why dish this up for Crikey readers?
    Don’t they prefer discussions about policies?

  99. GeeWizz

    Looks like Gillard was a “Fixer”

    Having problems getting your illegal slush fund setup with the answers written on the establishment form? Why… Gillard can FIX that for you, and according to Bruce Wilson amend the answers so they don’t raise suspicions from the powers that be.

    All of the books of course so her employers don’t raise any suspicions.

  100. Jimmy

    Geewizz – The association Gillard set up wasn’t illegal – what it was subsequently used for was.

    This apparent proof today is firstly nothing new and secondly doesn’t show she did anything wrong – even Abbott won’t outline what apparently it was she did that was illegal, just used the vague words of smear – “it may of been”

  101. Karen

    @ Pat Drane – the bald facts are entirely consistent with her Gillards claim that she didn’t do anything wrong. The bald facts are that in or about 1993 Gillard advised and facilitated (by completing a form(s)) an incorporated association on instruction from two AWU officials who became the office bearers of that association. One of the officials was Wison, a boyfriend. The work was done pro bono because Wilson was a boyfriend (much to the subsequent chagrin of Slater and Gordon). A letter apparently sent under the hand of Gillard was delivered to the WA Commission advising of this fact. Money went into the fund from various sources and was allegedly misused by Blewitt and, possibly, Wilson, although this has never been proven. It is then alleged $5,000 was deposited into Gillard’s account, which again can’t be verified by bank records, notwithstanding Gillard’s recent efforts to do so with the Cth Bank. Allegations of rorting wrt the association monies became apparent in 1995, at which time Gillard says she dumps Wilson for his apparent betrayal of her (an entirely plausible explanation, assuming she didn’t know of any malfeasance beforehand). None of the major protagonists in this saga implicate Gillard of knowledge or any other wrongdoing. This includes Wilson, Blewitt, Slater and Gordon, Nick Styant Browne who have no particular personal motivation to protect Gillard.

  102. Karen

    @ Pat Drane – that your hypothesis may have more substance, if there is further evidence. However, given the saga has been raked over for the last 20 years for political purposes, and nothing has come of it, it is unlikely that it will. At the moment, all we have are grossly defamatory comments made by Bishop who should have her bony ar5e put in a sling for it.

  103. GeeWizz

    Why did Gillard have to change the answers on the application form to get it approved for her lover?

    And why did she send a letter to the WA Corporations Body and l1e about it not being related to union matters?

    Didnt she say this was a union slush fund? Sounds pretty union related to me. Of course we later find out it was a bit like the HSU, everyones got their hands in the cookie jar.

  104. Jimmy

    Geewizz – “Why did Gillard have to change the answers on the application form to get it approved” That’s what Lawyers do – they know the correct formatting and wording of applications, their clients usually don’t.

    “And why did she send a letter to the WA Corporations Body and l1e about it not being related to union matters?” Did she l i e? Was the fund strictly “union related” – to me the whole point of the association was to be removed from the normal union operations.

  105. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    GeeWizz asks the questions, Jimmy answers them. Neither of them know anything – they haven’t seen the documents, they haven’t spoken to the ‘witnesses’, they’ve just read stuff in the media. None of the ‘media’ material is factual, it’s all speculation.
    GeeWizz thinks that Julia Gillard is in a corner and he’s (he is male?) going to hit her with something that will be a knockout. But he’s got NOTHING. AT. ALL. None of the ‘documents’ prove anything other than that Gillard provided ordinary (not extraordinary) legal advice to set up an association. She did not set up the association’s bank account/s, she did not transact any of the association’s business and there’s no evidence that she knew the potentially nefarious agenda of the officials for whom the association was created. In fact, the recently revealed correspondence with WA authorities seems to indicate that Gillard took all reasonable steps to make sure that the association that she was applying for would be legally kosher even if its agenda was ambiguous. The paper trail appears to bolster Gillard’s credentials not undermine them. Which is hilarious when you think about the disrepute this affair has now brought upon Julie Bishop and the Opposition.

  106. pat drane

    Karen @ 103

    A good summary of the Gillard position Karen – hinging all on whether Gillard knew in 1993 that the Association was a ‘slush fund’, when she was setting it up for her bedmate.

    She claimed that she only became aware of this in 1995 in the S&G exit interview, after allegations were made against Wilson & Blewitt.

    She has repeated this claim in Parliament.

    She told S&G partners in 1995 it was a slush fund for union election campaigning but the incorporation application form filled out by her described its purpose as ’development of changes to work to achieve safe workplaces’.

    When queried by WA Authorities about whether the ‘AWU Workplace Association et al’ was a trade union organ, she wrote to attest that it had nothing to do with the AWU Trade Union.

    Her office yesterday said: Ms Gillard ‘has no recollection of receiving or sending the claimed correspondence in this matter’.

    Clearly, Gillard’s claim in 1995 that she did not know that the Association was Wilson & Blewitt’s slush fund in 1993 when she set it up – is false.

    In that case – the likelihood is that she colluded with Wilson and Blewitt in 1993 to set up an entity labelled ‘AWU Workplace at al….’ to get ‘donations’ from big builders but was in fact a slush fund for Wilson & Blewitt’s re-election and subsequent fraudulent activities.

    Clearly that is why S&G considered her behaviour a ‘resignation’ offence.

    If she lies to Parliament – she is gone – that’s why she is stonewalling and blustering and her bedmates and faceless puppeteers are all rushing to the barricades.

    I did say earlier that liars have to have a good memory.

  107. pat drane

    Karen: At the moment, all we have are grossly defamatory comments made by Bishop who should have her bony ar5e put in a sling for it.

    ‘Bony Arse’ – A little ungracious Karen?

    Clearly you prefer Germaine Greer’s ‘big arsed Julia’

  108. Karen

    @ Pat Drane – well, I nearly referred to Bishop as a shrivelled prune but thought better of it.

  109. Jimmy

    I think Gillard has summed up this latest piece of evidence perfectly – “So what”

  110. Karen

    @ Pat Drane – and referring back to my comment at #108, Julia, of course is no such thing – she is still a fresh faced, attractive 50+ year old, with a rubenesque bottom to boot. Greer , on the other hand, looks like Bishop, only worse. i

  111. Karen

    @ Jimmy #109 – exactly – “so what!”. Had the day off today and saw question time – well, Abbott was given the Warhol invitation to his 15 minutes of fame to “put up or shut up”. And he couldn’t. The wimp spectacularly failed. He couldn’t even provide bullets, let alone a smoking gun to accuse Gillard of misleading the WA Commission. In fact, he misrepresented the transcript of the Slater and Gordon exit interview – Gillard referred to it and specifically said she did NOT suggest the association was a trade union that required registering. She’s baying for blood, seeking an apology from Abbott for accusing her of committing a crime on the back of a false article in the SMH today about this issue that the SMH has now backed away from. Abbott won’t give it and has demanded a judicial inquiry. JG was so disgusted, she didn’t even bother answering the question, referring instead to him sitting in a bucket of mud and sleaze (aka known as sh$t).

  112. Jimmy

    Pat Drane – “When queried by WA Authorities about whether the ‘AWU Workplace Association et al’ was a trade union organ, she wrote to attest that it had nothing to do with the AWU Trade Union.” You fellin the same trap as Abbott – she said it wasn’t a trade union, not that it wasn’t linked to a trade union BIG difference.

  113. Venise Alstergren

    Breathless with anticipation, I switched on Question Time yesterday. Thinking to my self, “This is the day the Opposition will produce the evidence that PM Julia Gillard was a crim. This was what had had the Opposition in kiniptsions (sic) for the past few months. This is what the dishonourable leader of the Opposition had been waiting for. This is what the taxpayer has been paying for Tony Rabbott’s nasty vendetta.

    Did he produce any evidence? None that I’m aware of. Instead he pronounced the PM to show ‘conduct unbecoming.’ Coming from him this was a rich brew of poison.

    Looking slightly sheepish, Malcolm Turnbull didn’t seem overjoyed to be reminded of the Godwin Grech scenario which had helped to place the skids under him. What a bunch of embittered old men, and a couple of women, are, who inhabit the Coalition front/back benches.

    Tony Rabbott might care to pass my regards to his little ankle-biter. As with him, she is all front and no depth. I wish them all an unhappy Christmas, and a dreadful New Year.

  114. pat drane

    “You fellin the same trap as Abbott – she said it wasn’t a trade union, not that it wasn’t linked to a trade union BIG difference.”

    Is this Julia’s hair trigger defence? A semantic play on words saves Julia you hope.

    Ah – now lets look at the critical point – when did Gillard know – or more importantly should reasonably have known that the Association was a vehicle for a Wilson & Blewitt’s slush fund.

    Gillard’s defence is that she was a naive victim of Wilson’s devious plan for the slush fund and she only found out about it after allegations were made in 1995.

    Well what was this “Workplace Reorm Assoc at al” Gillard registered with the WA Authorities then?? She attested that it was not a Trade Union, and she had no idea that it was a vehicle for a slush fund in 1992. Well what on earth did she think it was??

    Wilson and Blewitt were not just a couple of blow-ins who were referred to Gillard the disinterested professional lawyer.

    Gillard was the bedmate of Wilson for 3-4 years and both close to Blewitt in this period.

    Gillard was brought up on this Labor movement stuff – she was a Partner in a Labor Lawyering firm – she was not a kid – she was in her early thirties and had as she says now signed thousands of documents.

    So the story that she had no idea that the Association was Wilson’s shush fund vehicle when she registered it in 1992 is pure fantasy – unbelievable and farcical as a defence.

    With her experience climbing the greasy poles of the Labor movement

  115. pat drane

    With her experience climbing the greasy poles of the Labor movement, working in a firm specializing in AWU work and compensation work – she would have been exposed to all the Labor ‘culture’ and plenty of Union rorters.

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