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Nov 30, 2012

Constant over-reach on AWU is no accident

The constant over-reach that has characterised the AWU scandal reflects its lack of substance. And there was plenty else happening in Parliament this week that didn't get a look-in.


Next time you find a press gallery journalist complaining about the dire quality of public debate in Australia, ask them what they did during the AWU saga.

In a week rich with policy issues of substance and import — the Murray-Darling Basin, a nationally important, years-long process over which many MPs have agonised, Australia’s UN vote on Palestine, the continuing controversy over offshore processing, the start of the government’s NDIS and education reforms — the focus of course was on what Julia Gillard did 20 years ago.

One of the problems with the analogy repeatedly used this week of the Godwin Grech matter is that in that instance, there were specific allegations of corrupt behaviour by the Prime Minister and Treasurer in the course of their roles as such, capable of being tested against specific evidence, evidence which turned out to have been fabricated by a Liberal Party mole.

It is only this week that we have arrived at an allegation about Julia Gillard doing something illegal over twenty years ago, and even that is problematic: it was advanced on Tuesday by Julie Bishop, retracted later that day by Bishop, advanced again by Tony Abbott yesterday, then retreated from yesterday (downgraded to “conduct unbecoming”) when he was put on the spot in Parliament, then advanced again after Parliament had risen.

This morning, George Brandis, continuing his self-conceived role as a sort of alternate High Court Chief Justice, laboriously tried to retool the allegations of criminality by shifting away from specifics about her letter to the Corporate Affairs Commission in favour of claiming, based on a reading of her 1995 exit interview, that Gillard always knew the Association was dodgy and therefore must have been acting illegally in advising on its registration.

But most significantly, Brandis declined to repeat his claim made yesterday under Parliamentary privilege that Gillard was a criminal.

There’s been a similar pattern in the media coverage: there have been four instances where media outlets have been forced to retract, apologise for or clarify claims they have made about what Julia Gillard did in the 1990s.

The most recent one was yesterday, by The Age in Mark Baker’s article, which had to be changed online because it claimed that Gillard has told the WA Corporate Affairs Commission that the AWU Workplace Reform Association had no trade union links. Remarkably, Baker today was trying to wish this away, claiming the only problem was “editing changes” at Fairfax, and that Gillard was “hairsplitting.”

If Gillard had told the Commission that the body had no trade union links, it would have been a blatant lie, and illegal. The claim was not merely wrong, but defamatory.

There’s a pattern in all this, in the constant overreach, amendment and overstatement by both the media and the opposition. It’s what happens when you have a smear campaign rather than specific, fact-based allegations of wrongdoing. If you don’t have a core of fact to rely on, you’re at constant risk of going too far.

The fact that both the opposition and many in the media have been guilty of this is perhaps the reason why Tony Abbott will walk away unscathed from this week. Abbott has made the most serious allegations possible against a Prime Minister, and one of his leadership group has demanded she step down, only to retreat from both of them when challenged in Parliament and fail to back up the claims.

Malcolm Turnbull must be wondering what he did wrong. When he made the same mistake, having been deliberately misled by Godwin Grech about the evidence, he was excoriated for it. No such fate for Abbott; indeed, his media cheerleaders want him to “stay the course”.

Unfortunately the only “staying of the course” that can be done will be through the media. The opposition and the media wasted four days of parliament on this issue this week. At some point, we might get to discussing issues of relevance to Australians in 2012.



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130 thoughts on “Constant over-reach on AWU is no accident

  1. Saugoof

    “A lie is half-way around the world before the truth puts on its boots”. Over a century later that is still the case. It’s disheartening when that seems to be opposition strategy.

    The other thing that’s puzzling me somewhat in this saga is the amount of coverage this non-entity has been managing to generate. Even if the worst sorts of hush-hush allegations turned out to be true which I don’t believe for a second, this still all sounds barely more serious than a “got shouted lunch but declared it on expenses anyway” type indiscretion.

  2. James Dean

    What I wanted to hear the PM say, all week –

    “Since you’re not interested in using this parliament to help me govern the nation, Further Questions Can Be Put On Notice.”

  3. Jimmy

    “. At some point, we might get to discussing issues of relevance to Australians in 2012.” Judging by yhe medias coverage of this issue we should wait for 2032 to discuss things that are relevant today.

    Any idot can see these allegations have no substance but it tkes a very special idiot to see the lack of evidence as proof positive Gillard did something wrong, fortunately the conervatives have some very special idiots.

  4. Julian Fitzgibbon

    The difference with Godwin Grech and the AWU is fairly obvious. Real money disappeared into the AWU and no utes were misappropriated in utegate. Further, Turnball relied on a forged document.
    Bishop, I think, may have tried to introduce a forged document on Tuesday when she waved around something she said showed a link between a “Kew Renovators” and “Town Mode” (a recipient of 17500 dollars from slush accounts in 1994), but the media stayed strangely mum about it and we haven’t heard a peep about this since. Apart from that they have been careful only to use material of impeccable provenance. The absolute reliance on documents does tend to handicap what the Coalition can claim as I understand many files have gone missing, both in WA and at Slater and Gordon.
    It would seem to me quite acceptable, as an example, for the Coalition to say since the Prime Minister can not recall the sum of 5000 dollars an AWU employee said he placed in her account, we are unable to rule out that she benefited from AWU affair until her memory improves. But even that inductive leap is a bridge to far at the moment for a Coalition ultra-cautious after utegate.

    I would simply say if she wasn’t ethical enough for Slater and Gordon, she is not ethical enough to be Prime Minister.

  5. BH

    Well puffy, Bernard. I dont count on the media ever looking at itself tho. Isn’t the agenda that the PM has to go down in a ballmof flame and the Sun God’s chosen one, the LOTO, has to emerge the victor?

    Writing about policy is too much like hard work. 2013 will be no different to this year. Abbott, while painting himself as gentle and polite, will still be fullmof smear. Woe beside Labor if they dare to challenge him omit. He knows the MSM will back him. Poor Australia

  6. BH

    Sorry Bernard – my first words were meant to be “well put, Bernard”

  7. Lady White Peace

    When will the Media be obliged to tell the truth just like the rest of us do??
    No wonder they are becoming irrelevant and losing readers. Spin, Distortion and Slander surely there is a law against this?? If not why not?

  8. Julia

    Depressing, isn’t it. I can’t help wondering whether the Lib’s strategy is premised on Abbott’s own behaviour in relation to setting up and actually administering a slush fund. He seems to be projecting his own experience onto the PM, for I cannot see any other reason as to why they all would seem so darned convinced of the BS they trot out day in and day out.

  9. Lady White Peace

    Yes Julia very depressing and very telling – just think they have no policies , they have no new ideas with which to enchant the public; SO they sink to the bottom of their barrels and find slime and sadly assume that everyone must be like them …
    and thus project their SLIME onto someone/everyone else.

  10. drmick

    It appears the press gallery are aggressively stupid and ignorant.
    The rest of the world picked up on “the” speech, while “they” were talking about how well their plan was going; missed the point entirely. The rest of the world have seen again what the aggressively stupid have not. What is it with that mob? Any wonder their papers are going down the drain. Good riddance I say

  11. Jimmy

    DrMick – On “the speech” even while the evidence was mounting that it resonated with the voting public and the rest of the world were praising it, the Australian journalists were busy telling everyone they missed the point and couldn’t understand what the all too clever journalists were saying or why they were saying it. After all apparently the journalists role is to tell us what to think, not report the facts.

  12. Jimmy

    Julian Fitzgibbon – “It would seem to me quite acceptable, as an example, for the Coalition to say since the Prime Minister can not recall the sum of 5000 dollars an AWU employee said he placed in her account, we are unable to rule out that she benefited from AWU affair until her memory improves.” I put $5k into your account 20 years ago, if you can’t remember it we can’t trust you on anything else because I did it.

    And was JWH ethical when he bailed out his brothers business? Or was Julie Bishop Ethical when she delayed payments of James hardie victims until after they had died? Or was Abbott ethical when he punched the wall?

    Or was Tony being ethical when he said this “‘Bad bosses, like bad fathers and husbands, should be tolerated because they do more good than harm’” or “The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.’”

  13. shepherdmarilyn

    Baker did not declare his long friendship with Nick Styant whatever.

  14. klewso

    Bernard you make this smear campaign sound like a bull-shit auction….?

  15. (the other) HR Nicholls

    Mark Baker’s pathetic abrogation of responsibility for what he wrote goes to the heart of what’s wrong with mainstream media. If it gets rid of pissweak arguments like that, I say bring on press regulation.

  16. klewso

    Wasn’t Turnbull’s fault that he was unpopular in all the Right places?

  17. Vincent Matthews

    Bernard has exemplified journalism at its best. Years ago anyone starting work on a newspaper was told: The most important thing in journalism is accuracy.
    Now the philosophy is “Never let the facts spoil a good story.
    A former chief of publicity for a German government said :”If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes accepted as the truth.” This advice has been followed in Australia in recent months by journalists and politicians.
    (Logged in as Victor Terry)

  18. drmick

    So, because the accusers cant produce a document that doesn’t exist, they don’t have to apologise for their lies?
    This is free speech Murdoch style.
    He does it in the States, he does it in England and he does it here.
    The press, the opposition and the animals that dug this skeleton up are a pathetic laughing stock and much the poorer for their effort. It would be nice if they were a few million dollars poorer as well. It would also be expensive as the victim in this can get bucket loads of compensation even if she cant get an apology or her reputation back.
    Bring on the bride of finklestein.

  19. Frank Campbell

    “There’s a pattern in all this”

    There sure is, and trust Bernard Keane to miss that it’s all about trust.

    Missing letters, missing files, files not kept, bank records unavailable, memory blanks…all wreathed in clouds of extreme insult and Hyper Bole by Gillard’s low-rent lawyer obfuscation…
    that’s the pattern.
    Wilson and Blewitt are moral landfill.
    The question remains- was Gillard the third member of a corrupt clique?
    What was she doing in Boulder, WA, assisting Wilson to siphon funds from a union fund into his own “vehicle”?

    The pattern points to a conclusion: Gillard dumped the boyfriend and bagman Blewitt when the AWU woke up to the ripoff. She was in effect sacked by Slater and Gordon.
    Gillard was desperate. Her ambitions were jeopardised.

    Was she in it up to her ankles, waist or neck?

    Judicial inquiry.

  20. klewso

    As for “retooling”? Who’s more experienced than the supercilious fustian George Brandis – he seem’s to have one for every selectively conceivable occasion.

  21. zut alors

    ‘…George Brandis, continuing his self-conceived role as a sort of alternate High Court Chief Justice…’

    Well spotted, Bernard.

    Coalition leaders aren’t renowned for knowing when they’ve worn out their welcome: prime example, J W H0ward.

  22. Julian Fitzgibbon

    @Jimmy: ” I put $5k into your account 20 years ago, if you can’t remember it we can’t trust you on anything else because I did it.”
    But I do remember it – it was for procuring for you that girl and those two goats! How could I possibly forget that?

    Actually my point is not that this convenient amnesia proves Gillard untrustworthy – far from it, I expect she was frequently getting $5,000 dropped into her bank account – just until someone can come up for a plausible explanation (even if the explanation is that the AWU employee was giving false evidence from malice), there seems a reasonable possibility that she did benefit financially from the AWU affair. Not proof certainly, but a reasonably possibility. And who knows, that possibility might be sufficient to jog Gillard’s memory?

  23. JimmyF

    @Frank Campbell, I can’t believe that you are suggesting that lack of evidence is evidence of guilt. Let’s apply that to all criminal investigations, shall we?

    And let’s look at the $5K allegation, since you refer to “missing bank records” and it is the perfect example of overreach. Firstly, there is no evidence that any money was ever deposited. Secondly, if in fact it was, there’s no evidence that it was improperly sourced. Finally, if it was deposited and it was improperly sourced, there’s no evidence that Julia knew that it was improperly sourced. Given all this, it’s hard to imagine an allegation less substantiated and yet it is repeated ad nauseum, in the hope that somehow it becomes true. To be part of this cycle of smear does no-one involved any credit.

  24. Sharkie

    “George Brandis, continuing his self-conceived role as a sort of alternate High Court Chief Justice”
    I can’t wait for him to improve his legal argument by adding the words “…but mostly it’s the vibe”.

  25. Jimmy

    Julian Fitzgibbon – So are you admitting you are guilty of bea sti ali ty given you facilitated the act and profited from it, therefore given the logic used to find the PM guilty you committed the act?

    And there is one persons word one amount of $5k was deposited and no other evidence, plus given it was supposedly after a night at the casino there s the possibility that even if it did happen it was legitimate winning and nothing to do with the AWU money but form that you deduce she was in on the fraud and got multiple payments – give me a break!!

  26. Julian Fitzgibbon

    @Jimmy, bestiality!??? I honestly had no idea that is what you wanted the goats for!
    I don’t deduce she was in on the fraud, I said it was a clear possibility, but this combination of aggression, stonewalling, fast talking and amnesia is exactly how I would expect someone who was profiting from the fraud to behave.
    The best way to clear Gillard would be if we could determine what happened to the money, but neither Wilson, Blewitt or Gillard seem to know. So we end up coming back to Mr Hem and his bundle of $5K.

  27. shepherdmarilyn

    Why would anyone believe Brandis? He was the lead in the get Craig Thomson, get David Hicks, get Peter Slipper and has so far got nothing to show for it.

  28. Daly

    Thanks Bernard.
    But all those misled Australians who get their ‘news’ from any mainstream sources know no better as they have no facts to base any judgement upon. Your second para is the point and the shame of what passes for journalism in Australia today.
    Not one mainstream news source questioned the Opposition’s position in Parliament yesterday. To their shame they all fell for the ‘game’ and didn’t take any responsibility for giving voters facts. Disgraceful.

  29. drmick

    Jimmy. I am from the Oz; for a fee I will swear that i saw that animal fitzgibbon mating with a gibbon. There is justice your style Julian. some people will say anything and do anything for money; and some run the country inspite of the dags and fleas.

  30. Sharkie

    So Julian Fitzgibbon is running the, “I don’t have any evidence to back up my accusation, but I demand you produce evidence to prove it never happened” line.
    Julian, I hear you stole some money 20 years ago. Now prove it never happened and then watch me shift the goalposts.
    It’s a poor argument for a internet punter, it’s pathetic for MPs and journos to be running with this type of cr&p.

  31. michael r james

    I disagree with BK’s comment: “perhaps the reason why Tony Abbott will walk away unscathed from this week.” Although existing detractors of both Abbott and Gillard will have their blind prejudices confirmed (Frank Campbell, lookin’ at you), I believe more of the middle will have got a quite terrible image of Abbott–thru all the noise, his outsourcing of the sh!t-stirring to the hapless (and female) Julie Bishop looks terrible (his mention of gender in his 15 minutes merely reminded everyone of this), and at the same time the indomitability of Gillard also shone thru.

    In her analysis of the week, and of the year, I reckon at least one of the Canberra press gallery (in addition to BK), Laura Tingle, got it right: (this is open access):

    Canberra observed: Through the hurly-burly to a last hurrah
    LAURA TINGLE Friday 30 Nov 2012.
    The parliamentary year finishes with Labor recovered from oblivion in the polls but barely with its toes in the land of political contestability but Abbott a deeply unpopular Opposition Leader.
    But the Prime Minister has led her government safely through a wild parliamentary year and finishes it with both Abbott and Rudd diminished threats. It has not always been pretty or smart but in the tradition of Fantastic Mr Fox and the wolf, we raise a silent paw to the Prime Minister in homage to her sheer resilience.]

    I think Tingle also nailed the business about Gillard’s so-called defeat by caucus:

    “…that cabinet government is not just a good thing, but what we are supposed to do here in Australia. …. However it got to its final position, the government had an argument about it and got to a much better, more considered position than the one the Prime Minister had originally put up, that everyone could live with. (Even though abstaining from a UN vote is still objectively a pretty pathetic position.)”

    And Tony Jones should get a nod for interviewing Tony Windsor and discussing some of those more important issues on Lateline.

  32. Jimmy

    Julian – “@Jimmy, bestiality!??? I honestly had no idea that is what you wanted the goats for!” Doesn’t matter according to your logic (and that of all those who accuse Gillard) if I f..ked them so did you.
    And really on your willingness to accept flimsy evidence as proof all it would take is one person to accuse me of f..king them and you are automaticall y guilty.

    “t this combination of aggression, stonewalling, fast talking and amnesia is exactly how I would expect someone who was profiting from the fraud to behave.” It is also how you would expect someone who has been falsely accused who can’t remember something that didn’t happen to behave.

    Face the facts there is no evidence of wrong doing and all this talk of “clear possibility” is just BS

  33. michael r james

    Groan, in moderation again. Just recommending to Crikey readers Laura Tingle’s (open access) piece in today’s AFR (Through the hurly-burly to a last hurrah): ” ..a wild year ends with Tony Abbott a diminished threat.”

    Another point that hasn’t been quite nailed by BK or anyone and deserves to be: The Australian, via bloody Dennis Shananigans this morning on Fran Kelly/RN (along with Michelle (Gillard-should-resign) Grattan was the usual fair and balanced summation; not) more or less explicitly admitted that the months of unending accusations they have been printing (recycled from Michael Smith, Ralph Blewitt, Harry Nowicki) and briefing the Coalition on, has amounted to zilch, zip, nada, rien, nothing. He said it comes down to the “new” and serious revelations in yesterdays rag re the WA angle. The one that induced Abbott to go public with a defamation of the PM (and Brandis with his under senate privilege).

    Given their behaviour this week I seriously think the media should be asking for the resignations of Abbott, Bishop, Pyne and Brandis.

  34. Julian Fitzgibbon

    “Julian, I hear you stole some money 20 years ago. ”
    It’s true, but I am not a fit person to be Prime Minister.

    Let me put it this way, I have formed a judgement based on what scant evidence has emerged and my understanding of human nature. My judgement is that I believe a fraudster is occupying the Lodge, I don’t suppose she is committing fraud at the moment and I don’t suppose she has become PM just to get free home renovations at her house at Lalor (although judging by her exit interview at Slater and Gorden I would suggest perimeter security at the Lodge should be stepped up as she seems to have problems with unrequested tradies breaking into her home and spontaneously commencing substandard renovations). Some of her performances this week have even been quite amusing, especially the crack about Humphrey B Bear. But you can’t disassociate the performance from the substance, where Bishop was being coy about having a 10 minute phone conversation, Gillard was being coy about the disappearance of large sums of cash.

    The problem with having (hypothetically) a fraudster as PM is she probably isn’t a strong or independent leader, rather some people are able to pull her strings. Now whether this is for things that are annoying but essentially harmless, such as having to make sure David Feeney gets a Victorian Federal seat, or more serious things like agreeing to have US troops on our soil or trying to obstruct Palestinian recognition, who can tell? But surely there must be someone in the parliamentary party who can string some words together and hasn’t such alarming skeletons rattling around in their closets? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Labor party where the dirtiest politicians didn’t float to the top?

  35. Jimmy

    Julian Fitzgibbon – “Let me put it this way, I have formed a judgement based on what scant evidence has emerged and my understanding of human nature.” So in other words I vote Liberal and think they should always be in power so if someone in a pub told me the PM murderd someone I take that as a fact.

  36. Julia

    Seriously, if you haven’t done so (and I can appreciate why you wouldn’t of) you should check out Pickering’s Post. It is all written like some terribly, cheap trashy novel; and the worst part is a lot of it is being regurgitated as factual information! The MSM should hang their heads in shame… they have let a delusional nut job, aided and abetted by the Opposition, lead them on a wild goose chase. Idiots.

  37. Frank Campbell

    JimmyF: $5k then is about $10k now. Not small change for a salaried lawyer. Wilson says he might have deposited it in Gillard’s account. Gillard says she can’t remember, but “partners” might well put money in each other’s accounts. Indeed. The money was probably slush…

    The partisan bias in these posts is so very crikey: if it was Abbott, you’d all be saying “judicial inquiry”. So would I.

  38. oldskool

    I agree Frank just like the judicial enquiry into Howard bailing out his brother, or raising excise to protect Manildra after telling parliament that he didn’t meet with Honan when he did, or the AWB enquiry that specifically excluded ministerial responsibility….

    If Liberal supporters were even remotely consistent I could handle your whinging.

    Oh, yeah- it is totally reasonable that Tony ‘can’t remember’ whether he punched a wall, intimidating a female political opponent…


  39. ulysses butterfly

    Michael Williamson, HSU, Bruce Wilson. Spot the theme running from then to now. There’s method in the mad (monk’s) smear.

  40. ulysses butterfly

    Oh add in ICAC hearing into NSW Labor MPs and the crushing defeat of the Keneally ALP Govt. There’s a theme, whether you agree with it or not.

  41. Kate Ahearne

    This has been the most appalling, on-going beat-up. Lies and inuendo have been planted, nurtured, repeated and reaped. I don’t want to be governed by people who behave this way, so I’m begging the Labor Party to give me a decent, policy-driven alternative. If there is any actual evidence of criminality, where is it? When Parliament re-convenes in February, could we please get on with policy and legislation? In the meantime, I takes me hat off to Julia Gillard. I’m not her biggest fan, but I know I would never have been able to keep my chin up the way she has done, under the circs. So, let’s have policy about refugees that doesn’t shame us all, and let’s be glad that Palestine is one step closer to being a state – that is, a homeland. So please, whoever we are, let’s just behave decently and see what happens.

  42. Frank Campbell

    You’re right Oldskool…Howard’s brother, Keating’s piggery, Kennett’s wife using comcars to flog clothing like some bejewelled baglady..why isn’t there a permanent anti-corruption body to deal with politicians’ sleaze?

  43. shepherdmarilyn

    Iraq invasion, AWB – spot the link.

  44. fiona

    Mr Keane,

    The 1995 interview between Mr Gordon and Ms Gillard was in no sense an exit interview. Ms Gillard left Slater & Gordon some time after that interview.

    I do wish that the media – especially the new and allegedly more accurate media – could fact check. Especially given that that’s one of the major complaints against Old Media.

  45. AR

    As posted elsewhere,” what didn’t Gillard do, and when didn’t she do it?“.
    On tuther hand WTF are the tories playing at (I won’t call it ‘thinking’ – note MatBULL’s studied silence.

  46. Karen

    I have never seen a lazier, hypocritical and more hopelessly bereft )pposition who are seeking power on the back of personal attack and utter sh$t. In addition, not one question on policy in the last parliamentary sitting (except Turnbull on Palestine, rightly so), a sitting when the government introduced the NDIS. This is an outrage and a waste of tax-payers money.

    All we have from 20 years ago is Julia doing a freebie for her boyfriend (which lawyers do, so f–kin’ what) and getting absolutely shafted in the process by Wilson who feels, so guilty, that he’s come out and said Julia didn’t know anything. Even Blewitt has said it. Then, a letter to the WA commission which truthfully says Julia had incorporated an association and, big deal, if it happened to be for a trade union and slush fund. Where’s the crime? Given the l* e s and cr-okery in the Howard administration that Abbott, Bishop et al defended for all those years, as far as Im concerned all these hypocrites can go and get f–ked.

  47. Karen

    Unfortunately, we have now have a fight to the death and a
    titanic struggle for power with Murdoch and his lieutenant editors and national correspondents marshalled on one hand and Julia and her party on the other hand. Ltd News hoping to kill two birds with one stone: an inquiry to kill Gillard over the slush fund and the union movement at the same time. How convenient. How about an inquiry into corporate malfeasance, which is huge, more costly and destructive, you cr–ps!

  48. Karen

    Note to News Ltd and that d*ck Costa – there won’t be an inquiry because there aint no evidence against Julia. Choke on that as you would a cup of cold vomit and weep.

  49. Person Ordinary

    @Julian Fitzgibbon, you wrote ” … I believe a fraudster is occupying the Lodge …”

    You do realise that belief is intellectual failure, don’t you? That is, a belief is a decision to stop exploring for objective fact and to start finding deluded justification for contentions you judge to serve your self interest.

    Is it the case that everyone to the left of you can see this flaw, but they just can’t make you see it?

  50. GeeWizz

    Time for Royal Commission into Union Corruption says former NSW ALP Treasurer Michael Costa.

    I think now is the time for an inquiry unless Labor has something to hide?

  51. Person Ordinary

    … and surely we can all see the same flaw in GeeWizz, wherever we are on the spectrum?

  52. ajcroker

    Speaking of the Murray-Darling, where is Crikey’s commentary on the plan ????

  53. Apollo

    Well what media don’t love to get a scandal expose’? It’s been a very smart strategy by the LNP. Why talk about possible Labor reform achievements on the Murray, education or NDIS when you can kick your opponent down? And exploiting the asylum issue won’t win them much support because the public is highly informed public these days. They know the complex situation of refugee and economic migrant movements compounding together that no one seem to be able to come up with a solution to resolve, and the LNP’s favorite Nauru solution failed to be strongly effective just as the department of immigration has warned. No amount of spins from LNP, Greens and Labor will fool those in the middle who can get freely available facts and prefer post politics reality based solution.

    I think Abbott is on to a winner here and he might win the next election based on industrial reform issue. There are two under-current themes in this week attack and it does not matter whether JG is guilty or innocent. The first is to do with JG and Labor’s link to the unions which have been exposed to be corrupted while exerting tremendous power of influence on the Labor party, policy and the economy. The second is even if JG was innocent at the time, it looks like she is not very intelligent and does not have good judgement since she helped to set up some slush fund for her then-boyfriend and she was clueless about how fraudulent it was run. She did not do herself any favour either and casts doubt on her intelligence and judgment by following the Is.rae.li and US’ line on the Palestinians. Even the US public opinion is shifting away from giving Isr unqualified support and they recognise the need for equal consideration on the side of the Palestinians also, one thing the internet revolution has done is greatly empowering democratisation, the US public is not only able to fact check but instantly find information and opinions from around the globe, they are not trapped in the American media bubble that the government and the media machine are able to manufacture consent.

    I better leave it there, I won’t delve further into IR issue and might piss BK off again for “over reaching”.

  54. Julian Fitzgibbon

    “Is it the case that everyone to the left of you can see this flaw, but they just can’t make you see it?”

    Errr, I expect I am to left of most people here.
    Seriously, what is left wing about pocketing union money?
    What is left wing about taking kick backs from employers in exchange for using the workforce to handle contaminated soils?
    What is left-wing about union leaders taking kick-back from employers at all?
    What is left-wing about standing silently by while a member of your team is crucified in the media over credit-card vouchers with a misspelt name on them?
    What is left-wing about using behind the scenes muscle to sack journalists who raise questions about your past?
    What is left-wing about blocking Palestinian recognition?
    What is left-wing about the pointless operation in Afghanistan?
    What is left-wing about giving sycophantic addresses to the US Congress and allowing US bases in Australia?

    What the hell does “left” or “right” have to do with Julia Gillard and assessing from the public record the probability of whether she was pocketing AWU money in 5K chunks at a time? Are you really suggesting that the Left is so morally compromised that fraud and embezzlement are just their normal ethical standards?

    There was a politician once who said: “I didn’t leave the Labor party, the Labor party left me.” Frankly if the values that Gillard and her supporters espouse are left-wing, then I want nothing to do with it

  55. klewso

    It was good to see Windsor being interviewed by Jones (Lateline) – but it was pretty disappointing Jones letting that “media has dragged this to centre stage from the periphery” ball go through to the keeper – but then Windsor bowled that “The Australian/toilet paper comparison” – which proved too good again for the likes of Jones to face.
    Windsor can see what the press is doing – why can’t “journalists”? More of that “wilful blindness” – when it comes to their club?

  56. drmick

    those of us of the “what’s the softest tissue in the bathroom you can issue”, salute the Windsor sense of humour, timing, and intent.
    He is as cool as Keating and ha eyes and ears like a Hawke.

  57. Person Ordinary

    @Julian Fitzgibbon – my apologies if your contempt for the Prime Minister is more of a personal, not political nature. I think, as expected, you rather missed my point.

  58. michael r james

    Even PVO has seen the correct perspective (though he too has contributed to the same “white noise” he complains of. In today’s rag:

    [Political capital is finite, and the attention span of the electorate is not great, especially at this time of year and nearly 12 months out from the next election. An opposition needs to think carefully about what it wants to devote its time to attacking. There is an opportunity cost (so the jargon goes) when making such decisions.
    Having told us for years that the carbon tax, the mining tax and growing government debt were disastrous for the community, these triple issues weren’t even deemed significant enough to consume one opposition question during the final sitting period.
    Instead it focused attention on decades-old allegations.
    If the opposition doubts the need to focus on such contemporary problems for the government, so may voters. If that happens, next year when the parliamentary teams reload for another round of barbs after the summer break, Coalition attacks may start to sound like white noise.]

    The only error in the above is the “may” in his last sentence.

  59. zac48

    How typical it is that Gillard rationalists and supporters should continue to rant about the so-called insignificance of something that happened not even 20 years ago. The fact is her ongoing integrity, honour, character, honesty has been brought into question. She is the Prime Minister of this country, not an insignifcant fishwife from the Victoria Market, although it’s difficult to tell the difference sometimes. It is absolutely justifiable to enquire if these personal moral compromises are part of her apparently compromised character. It’s just unbelievably disingenuous to suggest that some sort of distance in time has any relevance to bringing the question of her integrity to the fore in the publics political and legal awareness. If that sort of spurious logic held any water whatsoever the world wouldn’t still be tracking down Nazi war criminals, would it? One of the important parts of this already stinking melodrama is that ‘every’ single lawyer/solicitor must be held to accountable for any sort of malpractice!

  60. oldskool

    If your post was first in this thread it almost might be excusable. Read everything else in this thread and see why your post is just so much right wing Lib bullsh!t

  61. Julian Fitzgibbon

    ” Read everything else in this thread and see why your post is just so much right wing Lib bullsh!t”
    How many times do I have to repeat this – there is nothing left-wing about stealing money. I wish people would stop pretending that this is just normal left-wing behaviour.

    The most delusional thing about the commentary here is about how the Murdoch press is carrying out a vendetta. Oh really? How come just about all the News Ltd papers are agreeing that Abbott went to far, why are they all agreeing there is still no reason to believe that Julia Gillard personally profited? Is anyone so delusional to think they believe that for a moment?

    In her exit interview Julia Gillard stated her renovations were managed by an AWU official Jim Collins. And what do you know, Jim Collins was one of the signatories for the AWU slush fund accounts. At what do you know, in spring 1994 there are two payments totally $17,000 to an outfit called Town Mode. What does an investigative journalist do when they want to know who owns a business? The easiest option is to use the online ABN look-up facility (although I am sure there a more extensive paper archives available).

    Try it, see how long it takes you to find a likely name behind Town Mode and then plug that into google to see if you can find a Melbourne builder. It took me 5 minutes. Do you really think News Ltd journalists haven’t done that? If News Ltd wanted to bring down Julia Gillard they could simply snap their fingers and do it.

    But why should they do it, when they now have a stick up her backside that they can twist whenever they want? Come on ALP, show you respect Australia and choose an honest person as your leader.

  62. Achmed

    Everyone keeps ignoring the press release on October 31 by Murray Cowper the State Liberal Minister in WA.

  63. zac48

    oldskool. One can only wonder at the brazen incompetence of this government. With not only so many large and expensive policy failures, from Pink Bats to the current failed ‘Refugee’ policy, to the compromised legal positions of not only Peter Skinner and Craig Thomson, but now the legal and moral position of Australias Prime Minister has been brought into question. Probably the greatest concern is the governments dangerous ideological behaviour. No matter what perspective one looks at it from, Nicola Roxons recent ‘need’ to officially give, quote, ”complete and unfettered power” over this country’s media/communications to Steven Conroy, should be of the greatest concern to every Australian citizen. Some of the implications of these new laws were reported in even the Age newspaper 30 Nov. The governments compromising the liberty of the individual e.g. ‘Nicola Roxons’ deciding whether anyone is allowed to smoke or not as just one example, but her new and successfull attempt to control the media and communications of this country cannot be justified, and borders on fascism. We don’t live in ‘The Peoples Socialist Republic of Australia’. The incompetence of this government and its socialist ideological leanings should frighten all Australians, comrade!

  64. Achmed

    Perhaps we should be examining Peter Slippers time with the LNP. Over 20 years he was one of Abbott best mates and they knew he was rorting the system and they knew of his behaviours but didn’t care and only made an issue of it when he left them.
    Pink Batts…I would like to see more media cover of the court cases prosecuting the businesses who stole and rorted taxpayer money from the scheme. Yep, Labor should have kept a closer watch, but the mistake was expecting business to act with some morality and to properly provide training as prescribed in the State Govt Acts,and to act with some ethics and not steal taxpayer money.
    Now we Abbott wanting to give business more taxpayer money by giving them taxpayer money from the budget because they are polluters

  65. iggy648

    zac48: Pink batts weren’t a failure. I got gold batts put in my house for free, and it’s saving me at leat $200 per year in heating costs. If all of the 2 million houses that had batts put in are making similar savings, that’s $400,000,000 a year Australians are saving, and will save every year. It’s also presumably saving a shipload of CO2. It also,created employment for thousands of people during the GFC. Shonky installations were done by shonky workers, sure, but that’s hardly the fault of the Government. And all that money is available for people to spend on stuff, which has to be made by other people, who pay taxes,…

  66. zac48

    Just a final comment before I go out and get drunk to celebrate the end of a vibrant Australian democracy…. In her final degrading abuse of Tony Abbott she made the ultimate Freudian slip. She said “You are not fit to *RULE*”. This is the context in which she sees the Prime Ministership of Australia. She sees herself as a *QUEEN*, a *RULER*, someone not to be questioned or challenged in any way. No doubt a generic leftover from her Welsh heritage. We don’t have kings or queens in Australia. Never have and never will. We have Prime Ministers that can be held accountable and we can have faith in and respect for. That counts her out completely.

  67. iggy648

    And I haven’t been keeping up with the Craig Thomson story, zac. The police raided his house in October. What have they charged him with so far?

  68. klewso

    Who wound Abbott up to take on this vendetta, with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer he possesses, that they can’t control?

  69. Suzanne Blake


    The Press Gallery has been VERY weak on this. The reason being, that if they upset Gillard and McTernan too much they get cut off, so that keeps them in check.

    We had our annual dinner last night with workmates from 25+ years ago, some of which are rusted on Labor and work in public education now.

    They have their mind made up on Thomson, AWU, Gillard, Obeid, and the rest and its not pretty for the ALP.

  70. IC-1101

    What I find disheartening about this entire saga is just how divided Australia is. If Tony Abbott supposedly pushes a woman into a wall, it’s about “character” and outlets like Crikey jump up and down like as if it is an integral piece of national interest.

    But our PM is brought into accusations that, even despite the lack of evidence, must have come from somewhere. Why is it that I read articles praising the PM, arguing their is no substance or argument, but if it is a conservative leader, then we must question their acts.

    Also, the whole “negative politics” sentiment is dangerous, because to remain positive without scrutiny is IMO a pathway towards social coercion, unsurprisingly a trait of leftist governments throughout history. How does one reman positive if they disagree?

    Questions have been asked about our PM, and they should be answered and concluded beyond a reasonable doubt, like any other citizen.

    And until outlets like Crikey stop taking sides and start at least, at the very least, acting a little bit skeptical about her (sorry, is “her” sexist?) past actions, then it will continue to be one of the most unbalanced, biased outlets out there.

    “Unfortunately the only “staying of the course” that can be done will be through the media. The opposition and the media wasted four days of parliament on this issue this week. At some point, we might get to discussing issues of relevance to Australians in 2012.”

    Bernard, where is your article discussing the waste of time used to attack the Opposition?

    Don’t go crying about the “media” (what is it exactly that you’re part of? Are you part of your own medium, one that represents the moral benchmark? Yep, that must be it! Only the Left isn’t biased!) and then commit the same unbalanced coverage of national politics that your Crikey colleagues also engage in.

    More pathetic than the apparent no-substance argument plaguing the PM’s reputation? The downright militant commitment to her cause by people, like the author of this article, that don’t have the capacity to scrutinise their own.

    The next time there is a major outcry about the Opposition leader it will be my duty to ensure your coverage is compared to that of your coverage of PM scrutiny: balance.

    Crikey isn’t the only outlet that can critique.

  71. drmick

    Hey blot boy aka numbers & letters;
    same message to you as the rest of the “it must have come from somewhere” numbnuts; if you don’t have any evidence you don’t have a case. If you don’t have a case you should just pi$$ off and take your mates with you.

  72. Tim nash

    This is an example of how a comment section ‘works’. Some of these comments are like articles themselves and we have both sides of the argument and different divergent opinions.

    Everyone makes good points and the trolls are well behaved and we actually need them to enhance the level of the debate.

    This is where the internet really comes into it’s own and the readers become part of the debate.

  73. Achmed

    IC – 1101 – I suppose we could always rely on the unbiased commentary (sic) of Bolt, Jones and Co. I wonder did you make the same comment to them? Or is it only outlets that don’t lean your way that are biased?

  74. Suzanne Blake


    Bolt is an ex ALP staffer, who has woken up and is not blinkered

    “IC – 1101 – I suppose we could always rely on the unbiased commentary (sic) of Bolt, Jones and Co. I wonder did you make the same comment to them? Or is it only outlets that don’t lean your way that are biased?”

  75. Achmed

    Oh Suzanne…Oh dear..you mst be one hell of a rusted on Liberal, part of the 30% or a staffer for the Libs or Bolt to state that he is not biased.

  76. Tom Makin

    wouldn’t surprise me suzanne blake. the alp is overly complacent on industrial law and unions controversies.

    laura tingle went through welfare records and discovered that john howard was the biggest socialist in Oz history. go figure!

  77. zac48

    drmick, is that the best you’ve got….According to your perverted logic even Idi Amin would have been seen as just a poor, misunderstood, nice bloke trying to do the right thing by his country. The fact that nobody could get him into a court of law must have proved his innocence. You like to call yourself dr. is that just a play on words or are you quite happy to surgically remove the heart from Australian democracy. Personally I tend to think you’re just a jerk with a quirk and probably a plant for Slater & Gordon.

  78. Liamj

    Thanks zac48, for resorting to smear when asked for the evidence – ‘by your works shall we know you’.

  79. drmick

    That’s the problem with morons.They don’t have the facts, they don’t have the evidence so they change the subject.
    Idi Amin. 2012 Australia? yep close call.

  80. zac48

    Liamj…”resorting to smear when asked for evidence”…Now that’s a comment I’ve heard before, too many times. Straight out of the ‘Socialist Manifesto of The Australian Labor Party'(circ.2012)…drmick has got plenty to say. He might even be referred to as a third order troll. Probably getting paid cash in hand by either Julia Gillards advertising department or one of the many law firms that work for her. Someone must challenge his convoluted extrapolations.

  81. drmick

    Oh No. My cover is blown. I am jealous because you are the only one who hears the voices.
    Seriously. Do you join the Wiz and all of her pretend friends on the bus to the airport to act strangely just for the free cavity search?
    Get back to blots site.

  82. Achmed

    I look forward to Gillard addressing all the allegations. I look forward to the Abbott and the Bishop and thier supporters like Bolt, Smith, Pickering and Jones actually providing copies of all the so=called evidence.
    If they really have so much why not make copies and hand it out to the media, scan it and put it on the internet, take out a full page in a Liberal supporting newspaper.
    I for one want to see this evidence. I want Gillard to address it.
    The way the so-called evidence is being paraded one bit at a time makes me believe they are relying totalling on rumour, gossip and have no real evidence but are dragging it out to gain the maximum smear.

  83. zac48

    drmick. In the news tonight…. Miss Gillard is going to sling everyone in the country $250 just to keep their trap shut, but my name isn’t Bruce Wilson or Ralf Blewitt. Anyway, I haven’t even got my “Black Box” yet.

  84. Achmed

    zac48 what a sneaky disgustingly devious twist on what is proposed.
    IN WA the Liberals have put up energy prices by 60% in 3 years. The CT had less an impact on the price than the GST.

  85. Achmed

    “As far as I am concerned, what last week was all about was the coalition’s positive plans for the future,” he said.
    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/abbott-just-wants-to-talk-policy/story-e6frfku9-1226528316986#ixzz2DsRETOnT

    We now have an insight into Abbotts future plans (sic) for Australia and for how Parliament will operate under him if he is PM

  86. GeeWizz

    LOL Dillard talking about cutting power prices.

    What a f’ing joke. This woman PURPOSELY increased power prices with her Carbon Tax… now she’s telling us she wants to save us money.

    Is anyone buying this conjob of a PM?

  87. zac48

    Achmed…Gillard behaves like any other moral deviant, create a situation and then blame it on someone else. Just a cheap version of the old ‘three card trick’. If you’re suggestion that the carbon tax hasn’t had any impact on energy costs, you obviously don’t pay your own bills. It’s no coincidence that everyones bills have gone through the roof over the last 2+half years. Ever since Gillard had her chat with Pastor Bob Brown and the Green Space Cadets then pissing in the pocket of SP Ausnet et al prices have been on the rise according to the ‘boiling frog theory’….Have you got anything to say about Sth. Australia or Tasmania, or are they just victims of a coalition conspiracy.

  88. Achmed

    zac48 – Energy prices have increased in WA by 60% under the Liberals. But the fact is that in WA it had less an effect on prices than the GST. Your cognitive skills are sadly lacking if you read that I wrote that the CT hasn’t effected prices.
    “Everyones bills have gone through the roof over the past 2+half years” – interesting as the CT did not come into play until July 2012. So all those price rises before that are down to the energy companies and state goverments.

  89. Patriot

    Gillard on Meet the Press this morning said “sleaze and smear” 8 times. Only 21% of people in the Galaxy poll believed she’s telling the whole truth, yet she claims we’re not interested – she thinks we don’t care that she’s an habitual lіar. That explains a lot.

    The only way Gillard’s inevitable court appearances could be any more enjoyable would be if Judge Judy could preside over them.

  90. Tom Makin

    heheehee, you people have so much time on your hands. straying totally off the topics of this article.

    i’ve lost track of the carbon tax debate by the way. can’t remember if it was to increase price so people will use less, or it was taxing emissions on polluters but they’ll pass the cost onto the consumers anyway so the dynamics for saving incentive are overly complicated.

  91. Achmed

    Patriot – I’m waiting for the Abbott and the Bishop to actually show us some evidence. I have a strong belief in the judicial system and in the “innocent until proven guilty” concept. Something Liberals are tending to ignore a lot these days. Justice is just a word in the dictionary to them

  92. zac48

    The die was cast with Gillards meetings with the Greens and the energy wholesalers only hours after the coup. The carbon tax was the pay off for the Greens support, and to protect the incomes of wholesalers like the Chinese owned, Singapore based SP Ausnet, an agreement was obviously made to start increasing the retail cost of electricity from that time forward. They couldn’t possibly get away with doubling the price of electricity on July 1st. There would have been riots in the streets. Anyone who believes the Carbon Tax only took affect from 1st.July 2012 is a bigger fool than Craig Emerson ever was and he’s an Australian record holder… Why don’t you ask Gillard why Australians are paying at least 24 cents per k/watt hour for our electricity, when the Chinese are paying only 6 cents per k/watt hour for theirs, and they use Australian coal to do it with.

  93. Patriot

    It’s not up to Abbott or Bishop to produce evidence that establishes guilt. A complaint has been made to police regarding a serious indictable offence allegedly committed by Gillard. The police are investigating. When they have evidence they will refer the matter for prosecution.

    As for the allegations, if she has a problem and believes they’re false she can bring defamation proceedings as Lord McAlpine has in the UK. Put up or shut up, I say.

  94. Achmed

    zac48 so the Federal Govt in league with the Greens and Chinese owned companies conspired to get State govts, like the Liberals in WA, to assist in inflating the prices so the CT wouldn’t look bad? And the moon landing didn’t really happen and they do have the body of an alien being and the spacecraft in Area 51, and the CIA conspired with Castro to assassination JFK.
    Mate you get them doctors to review your medication and the nurses need to start locking their workstation

  95. Achmed

    Patroti..If they are going to stand in parliament and hold press conferences to make allegations then there is an expectation they have evidence. If they have evidence, as you say, put up or shut up.

  96. Patriot

    Prima facie evidence has been produced by numerous people. It is widely available and in the hands of the police.

    And before you ask, no, I will not rattle off the dozen or so names of witnesses and people who have investigated and produced affidavits, and no, I will not post links to the hundreds of pages of documents that constitute said evidence. You can Google all that if you have a genuine interest in the scandal.

  97. Achmed

    The burden of proof lies with the accusers. It is not incumbent on an accused to prove innocence

  98. Patriot

    21% in the Galaxy poll said they belіeve Gillard, Boy, are the belіevers over-represented here! What does that tell us about Crіkey readers? It tells us they’re gullible pinheads who belіeve everything Gillard says. I guess this shouldn’t really surprise anyone. These idiots belіeve Gillard can change the entire world’s climate with a tax on Australian businesses.

  99. GeeWizz

    Achmed… the point of the Carbon Tax was to push up the price of electricity.

    If you think this is a conspiracy theory please head down to your local looney bin(if you aren’t there already)

  100. Achmed

    pinhead patriot – has a ring to it

  101. Patriot

    Just Googled Achmed and… oh dear! Easily offended lefties probably shouldn’t watch.

  102. zac48

    Achmed. There are none so blind as those who will not see, comrade.

  103. Achmed

    I’m not really surprised at the way people jump to conclusions. I have never said I reckon the current CT is right. I have questioned Abbott’s plan. But in your tiny little minds that means
    1. I am a Gillard supporter
    2. I support the CT
    I dont support any type of carbon plan. If people are going to rant about voting for Abbott to get rid of the CT then they should be able to explain how Abbott’s plan is better. won’t cost taxpayers, be able to provide the costings etc.
    Either that or they are so much from the shallow end of the gene pool they agree with Abbott and last week in QT were the Liberal policies

  104. Achmed

    Patriot – its agood laugh. I had tears from laughing so much. Have all saved as favourites

  105. Patriot

    “It is not incumbent on an accused to prove innocence”

    It is once a prima facie case has been made. Gillard will have to respond to the evidence and offer an explanation. Something more substantial than “sleaze and smear” and “I did nothing wrong” will be required when she appears in court.

  106. Achmed

    The Prosecution must prove the case. And as this is now a Police investigation Gillard should say nothing. A person is not required to say anything that is self incriminating. And since she is claiming not to recall all the “facts” around the events she should say nothing until the evidence is disclosed. Becuase by law the prosecution must disclose all evidence including any evidence that may prove the accused is innocent.

  107. Julian Fitzgibbon

    ” And as this is now a Police investigation Gillard should say nothing”
    Achmed, everything you say is excellent advice. It is just not compatible with occupying the Lodge. You may recall what happened to the Governor General Peter Hollingworth – and there was never even a suggestion that he would be charged with anything.

  108. Achmed

    That statue that symbolises “justice” is blind folded for a reason and holds the set of scales for a reason. It is to symbolise that justice is blind to status, wealth etc and the scales of justice are balanced for all. (well thats the theory of the symbolism) Just because a person is in the Lodge does not mean they are seen as anymore accountable or less accountable under Law or less/more entitled to ‘due process”. Something that has been ignored consistently by the Liberals.
    They almost had me voting Liberal next election until I saw their willingness to ignore due process and have trial by ‘media’ in three prominent cases.
    Now ethics is a whole different arguement.

  109. Patriot

    This is now a slow-motion train wreck that will end with Gillard in gaol whether she resigns or not. There’s been a mini breakthrough in the contemporaneous Boulder Fatal Accident and Death fund fraud. The date of Gillard’s address to fund members in Boulder – which resulted in the transfer and disappearance of their money – is now known.

  110. Suzanne Blake

    @ Patriot

    “Just Googled Achmed and… oh dear! Easily offended lefties probably shouldn’t watch.”

    Yes, how applicable. Like his fearless dishonest leader.

  111. Liamj

    @ Patriot – heroic effort – when caught lying, unable to substantiate even make a clear assertion of wrong doing, doubledown and make a bigger claim! You should learn from Abbott & Bishop and fall back to a death stare, at least your hole wont get any deeper.

  112. IC-1101

    @ Achmed

    You missed my point.

    You’re also generalising by automatically assuming I subscribe to Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones etc. because I disagree with this article and Crikey’s politics coverage. That is a generalisation.

    To quote Christopher Hitchens:

    “There is a tendency on the Left, that if you disagree with them it must be for the lowest possible reason. If you’ve found the lowest possible reason than that must be it”.

    There is a fundamental difference: Andrew Bolt, as an example does not write for an outlet that proclaims moral superiority on media and political matters, and it doesn’t critique other outlets. At least not as an entire section on its own accord. Crikey, however, spends a lot of time critiquing the “media” (because Bernard Keane apparently isn’t part of the “media”: he must watch down on people from his Ivory Tower), and was a staunch support of the media inquiry. And yet, it offers the same unbalanced, unfair coverage as those the inquiry looks to criticise. What, because Crikey says it’s right that automatically makes it so?

    Also, I am not saying Bernard’s coverage in this instance is bad. In fact, I admire it and embrace it, because it’s opinion, just as I admire and embrace Bolt’s opinion (the day you stop embracing another person’s opinion is the day you tread dangerous water).. However, don’t critique the media and say it is unbalanced when your own coverage is just as one-sided and unbalanced. You either go down the pro-ALP/Greens route and ditch the media critique, or retain the media critique and offer both arguments.

    The Herald Sun is not obliged to offer both sides of an argument because:
    1. It doesn’t critique other outlets
    2. It is a free market: a publication is free to shape it’s content relative to its readership

    Those points also apply to Crikey…but it’s dangerous when an outlet advocates for media accountability and balance when it fails itself in that regard. If only one side is pushing the accountability, there is something wrong. That was at the core of the inquiry fundamental flaws.

  113. oldskool

    Also, I am not saying Bernard’s coverage in this instance is bad. In fact, I admire it and embrace it, because it’s opinion, just as I admire and embrace Bolt’s opinion (the day you stop embracing another person’s opinion is the day you tread dangerous water).. However, don’t critique the media and say it is unbalanced when your own coverage is just as one-sided and unbalanced. You either go down the pro-ALP/Greens route and ditch the media critique, or retain the media critique and offer both arguments.

    The Herald Sun is not obliged to offer both sides of an argument because:
    1. It doesn’t critique other outlets
    2. It is a free market: a publication is free to shape it’s content relative to its readership

    Please show where Crikey has been biased- pointing out that the opposition has not presented any evidence for their assertions is not bias it is reality.

    I have absolutely no qualms in not embracing Bolts ‘opinions’
    firstly he dresses his opinions as fact, when most of the ‘facts’ he presents are clearly wrong, and secondly he is logically inconsistent, search his opinion pages and you will constantly find contradictory posts.

    If you admire this poor presentation, then that says more about your biases, than mine. Bolts blog is written from a clearly partisan point of view- there are many posts on Crikey where Bernard criticise the Labor Party, and the Greens, however there are probably slightly more criticizing the Liberals, because they say more silly things.

    Finally any media outlet has the right to call out any other if they can show evidence of false or misleading information or hypocrisy- why shouldn’t they, it is a competitive market place; if your opposition is wrong its in your best interests to show it.

  114. Achmed

    Patriot – drawing a long bow there. Stating Gillards address to fund memebers lead to the transfer and disappearance of the money.

  115. Steve777

    “This morning, George Brandis, continuing his self-conceived role as a sort of alternate High Court Chief Justice, laboriously tried to retool the allegations…”

    Well, I suppose it takes a tool to do the retooling. Just imagine, George Brandis and Julie Bishop are likely to be senior ministers in a year’s time. It doesn’t bear thinking about. Julie Bishop, who used legal procedures to delay justice in the hope that her client’s victims will die. What evidence do I have to make this remark? Well, as George and Julie have shown, who needs evidence?

  116. Achmed

    Patriot so far I’ve read that two Units were bought in Kalbarri – both in the name of the AWU – that makes the AWU the owners of the properties. Not unusual for Unions to invest in property. Plenty of Unions do this and rent out the properties to members as holiday homes. The property in Boulder was purchased also in the name of the AWU.
    I have noted that the newspaper article written at the time states that Gillard spoke about the legal status of the fund. Hardly corruption or unethical, certainly not criminal.
    I have also noted the exaggerations of Liberal biased media. In the newspaper article written at the time 12 members attended. That has become “a significant number of concerned members” according to the right wing media. The amount of benefit in the newspaper artice written at the time was $2500, this has become $6,500 according to the right wing media.
    I dont know why they see this need to exaggerate and lie.
    If Gillard had knowledge that a fraud was being committed and that can be proven, not just speculated by a desperate Liberal right wing then the truth will out.
    But in desperation the liberal supporters choose to muddy the waters and rely on speculation instead of sticking to the facts

  117. Jimmy

    People calling for a judicial inquiry should read Michelle Grattan’s article today.

    Those claiming this is an ethical issue should remember this quote from abbott “”Misleading the ABC is not quite the same as misleading the Parliament.”.”

    The quote becomes more interesting when you think that he wasn’t misleading the ABC, he was misleading it’s viewers – ie the voters.

  118. The Pav

    I suspect that it is the Leader of the Opposition’s deliberate tactic to trash the brand “Australian Parliament” happy enough for all politicians to be branded as bad as he is by way of guilt by association.

    In this poisoned atmoshpere then his own dispicable conduct and behaviour is disguised.

    If the oposition spend all their time beating up this non-issue why is the govt held equally to blame for the poor debate?

    Of course if we had a fully funtioning media he would be called out and the blame sheeted home

  119. Hunt Ian

    Patriot should read Brian Toohy’s good summary of the non case in the Financial Review. He makes the point that there is no reason why an up and coming young lawyer with political ambition should bother with corruption of the kind cited.
    Patriot seems to know such a lot about what “witnesses” have given to the police. Does this mean that Patriot is a senior police officer? I will not wait with bated breath for any move from the police either in WA or Victoria.
    Patriot also seems to think that the onus lies on Gillard to establish innocence rather than on Abbot or Bishop to establish guilt. This remarkable inversion of legal norms is not explained. What Bishop and Abbott need to do is cite some evidence, otherwise we could all go around accusing others of crimes without a bit of evidence. So far, Patriot has not produced one shred of evidence for his defamatory claims.

  120. klewso

    Blot also presents in contravention of Limited News’ own PCP’s – aided and abetted at an editorial level.
    His conjecture and comment (feeding his audience’s prejudices) – feeding off unreality elsewhere – are dressed up as assertions of fact.
    A peddler of intolerance.

  121. klewso

    “The Herald Sun is not obliged to offer both sides of an argument because ….”?
    Read the Limited News PCP’s (“Professional Conduct Policy”) – by which they profess to be bound.
    Or should that be “hidebound” in their habits, contrary to that code?

  122. Patriot

    Ian Hunt, you’re an idiot. The case has been made for a formal police investigation of alleged criminality by Gillard and it’s already underway – no need for you to wait for anything.

  123. Achmed

    We’ll probably need to get the signatures carbon dated. Looked at Smith’s website. Yes Gillard signed a Power of Attorney but all we have is statement not made under oath that Gillard was not present. Noting this is a person who is stating HE wants immunity from prosecution. Yes Wilson bought a house, where is the evidence that AWU funds were used? And so far we only have the word of that same person making a statement not under oath that AWU funds were used
    Heard lots about misappropriation of funds to purchase properties in Kalbarri and that they were bought with AWU finds, oh but hang on, the properties were in fact owned by the AWU in the name of the AWU. Gone all quiet on that. OOPS they got that wrong. Next error coming soon

  124. The caravan moves on

    I’m sure that if the LNP had any real evidence in their grubby hands, rather than just heresay, they would have presented it by now. They are desperate for government at any cost so why would they wait a moment longer?

  125. klewso

    And if they’re going to run their publications for political propaganda purposes (to boost the electoral chances of their preferred side of politics to the derogation of the side they don’t like, to influence public perception of fitness to govern) they should be forced to ditch the pretence of these flag of convenience “codes of conduct” (such as “professional conduct policies”) that they sail under – pillaging credibility under the sort of protection such codes afford, as some sort of aegis, under which they seem to think they can allude to them, to justify all that is contrary to those stated ideals, to do whatever they want – it adds to the bad name that “self-regulation” has already.

  126. Hunt Ian

    Patriot, so I’m an idiot now because I do not expect Gillard to be charged by either the WA or Vic police. Tch, Tch.

  127. The Pav

    Dear Hunt Ian, your 127

    Yes you are an idiot for expecting the likes of Patriot not to descend into mindless abuse.

    Anyway Gillard is clearly guilty as the WA Cabinet Minister whose Dept was involved said the Theiss contracted for services and recived them so there was no fraud.

    This means Gillard fraudulently let wingnuts like Patriot delude themselves. A cutand dried case. Gillard should be immediately found guilty based on the complete lack of evidence. I mean she denied wrong doing but then she would wouldn’t she. If she was guilty she would deny wrong doing. She has denied wrong doing therefore obviously Gillard is guilty. Simple when you apply Patriot type logic isn’t it?

    It would seem that Patriot is now demonstrating that Patriotism is not only the last refuge of a scoundrel but also the refuge of mindless stupidity and insult!

  128. klewso

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she weighs the same as a duck, which would mean she’s made of wood, therefore she’s a witch!
    It’s all there in M. Python’s “Holy Grail” – I red it.

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