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Home » Australian Politics » Thomson & Slipper sagas – is Gillard teetering on the edge?

Thomson & Slipper sagas – is Gillard teetering on the edge?

(Reproduced from my home blog Alpine Opinion)

Caught in the middle between two goof-offs, Gillard has nowhere to go but out.

The news that the embattled and unpopular ALP member for Dobell, Craig Thomson, has, um, quit the ALP and will sit out the remainder of his term on the cross-benches as an independent, coming on top of the Peter Slipper issue is no coincidence.

PM Julia Gillard has clearly moved to distance herself from supporting Thomson ahead of the impending release of the damning HSU report and right now – at the very same time in fact – she is doing another ‘backflip’ on her position re Peter Slipper returning to the Speaker’s position anytime soon, even if cleared of any criminal charges.

Unlike just the other day, Gillard is now saying that the position of Speaker is so “important” and so “revered” that he must continue to step aside until the civil action re sexual harassment is also resolved.

Julia Gillard seems to be making it up as she goes and is clearly limping from one disaster to another. What does it all mean – an election pretty soon? Or just a new PM? I fancy the latter.

And I sincerely hope that the caucus finally sees the light and realises that Julia Gillard’s tenure as PM has been one giant mistake that must be corrected. Bring back Rudd pretty quick smart or face a political wipeout at the next election. I give her about 2 weeks.

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89 Comments

  1. Katherine says:

    I agree that the party only has one chance and that is Kevin Rudd. The people trust that he will bring reform and trust back to the party. Julia has made one mistake after another and even though she may have passed good legislation none of it is acknowledged by the people because we all stopped listening when she ousted Rudd. I hope they don’t waste time in bring Kevin back, at least he will minimize the damage dealt to labor or given enough time may even win the next election. I look forward to having my Labor party back! KR4PM

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    Agreed Katherine … and the link to your FaceBook Page is noted:

    https://www.facebook.com/KevinRudd4PrimeMinister

  3. Iain Hall says:

    Even the lefties at crikey are saying that Gillard is gone :

    The stench of death increasingly pervades this government. It may limp all the way to August 2013. Thomson, after all, apparently intends to continue supporting the government. But voters appear to have made up their minds, at least about the Prime Minister. And there’s no evidence she has the political judgment to turn that around.

    Rudd may be drafted Ray but I still think that they will be thrashed at an election, which may come sooner than you think

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    He’ll be back in May, Iain – which, funnily enough, is the month he originally intended to launch a challenge before Gillard forced his hand in February with a pre-emptive strike. Yeah, we ALP supporters are heartily sick of her. She has no substance, no inner belief, no vision and no ‘light on the hill’. She’s the opposite of what the ALP stands for. Rudd might be a bit of a spin doctor too but at least he’s believable and more his own person. And make no mistake, Iain, he will give Abbott one hell of a fight.

  5. Iain Hall says:

    Well Ray I actaully hope that you are right about a resurrected Rudd giving Tony a good run for his money because I think that it would be bad for this blog if the fight is too once sided against a mortally wounded and on life support Labor party because there are only so many ways that I can say that Labor are fucked before it sounds too full of hubris.

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    How do you reckon Abbott would have fared in the same position as Gillard, Iain? ie if say Windsor & Oakeshott had backed him as leader of a minority govt? Would he have called an election by now? Would he still even be PM? I reckon the opinion polls you see now would be reversed. It’s starting govt from behind the 8-ball and Gillard was doomed from the outset.

  7. Iain Hall says:

    well Ray
    If Tony were in minority government he would not be there on the basis of breaking a pledge about a Carbon tax so his standing with the public would have been far better than Gillard’s, he would not have had the scandal of Thompson hanging over his head either, nor would Slipper been such a big deal, on a broader policy front the boats would been stopped by a return to the regime that worked. he may have called an election by now and I think that he would have improved his position to a workable majority in his own right.

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    He’d have brought back a defacto WorkChoices, Iain, and that’s equivalent to Gillard’s carbon tax turn-around. The rest of your predictions are crystal-balling bordering on wishful thinking. Face it, Abbott would NOT have gone to an early election because he would have found opinion going against him too. And answer this: Would he have kept Slipper on, despite his known history of rorts and weirdo behaviour over 20 years? Of course he would have.

  9. alan says:

    I think whatever happens to Labor leadership, it is too late to stop the lunatic.
    He will win by a street although I am guessing with somebody else it would be by a walkover.
    So when he is loose to do what he wants and controls both houses, then bye bye Australia.
    George Pell is probably wetting himself with excited anticipation.

  10. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    Workchoices is “dead buried and cremated” and we both know that even if Abbott wanted to revive it (and there is no evidence does want ) he is astute enough about politics not to do that which he has promised not to do, Gillard on the other hand…
    As for Slipper at worst he would have been a troublesome backbencher sure to be disendorsed before the next election, Abbot would never have made him speaker,Gillard on the other hand…
    That aside Tony would not have had a Craig Thompson in his ranks…
    Alan

    I think whatever happens to Labor leadership, it is too late to stop the lunatic.

    Yeah so perhaps you had better get used to a coalition government because I reckon that Labor will be in the wilderness for a decade at least.

    He will win by a street although I am guessing with somebody else it would be by a walkover.

    Tony Abbott has done the hard yards so its only natural that he should get the reward, but to put it in betting parlance we will all be winners when Gillard and Labor are scratched.

    So when he is loose to do what he wants and controls both houses, then bye bye Australia.

    Hyperbolic bollocks Alan I predict a period of rather boring good governance and sound administration.

    George Pell is probably wetting himself with excited anticipation.

    Oh how your “I hate religion’ underpants are showing Alan

  11. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, if Abbott is elected he will change industrial relations to something similar to WorkChoices and just give it another name. It’s delusional to think he will go against standard Liberal hard-on-employees policies of the past.

    You can’t speculate on what he’d have done with Slipper anymore than I can. My guess is Slipper would have caused him a problem somehow. And so would have Sophie. In fact if Abbott were PM, then the current Sophie saga involving a shady deal over an old man’s estate would be a major controversy and she’d be in the spotlight more than Thomson.

  12. alan says:

    Actually I never gave it a thought until 5 or so years ago, when I was my father’s carer.
    When he told me he wanted to go into a home the only place I could get at the time was a catholic run one.
    He had a terminal illness, and the lengths they went to keep him alive, AGAINST his wishes, to assuage their own beliefs was truly amazing.
    Despite his constant agony.
    If they had have properly cared for him, I would have donated the bond to them out of gratitude when he died.
    Instead they got my loathing and nothing else.

  13. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    I don’t need to use a crystal ball to know that were Tony in the Lodge now that Peter Slipper may well be a problem but as a back bencher that is a far smaller problem that Gillard has created by making him speaker.
    Alan

    Actually I never gave it a thought until 5 or so years ago, when I was my father’s carer.
    When he told me he wanted to go into a home the only place I could get at the time was a catholic run one.
    He had a terminal illness, and the lengths they went to keep him alive, AGAINST his wishes, to assuage their own beliefs was truly amazing.
    Despite his constant agony.

    Well I’ve been there with my own father and may experience was quite different, in fact when he got Pneumonia and was taken the the PA hospital he refused treatment something that was respected by the doctors Frankly I find it hard to believe that a catholic home would be so keen to artificially extend someone’s life at the cost of extensive misery.

    If they had have properly cared for him, I would have donated the bond to them out of gratitude when he died.
    Instead they got my loathing and nothing else.

    Maybe you are confusing the drawn out and natural end with your own wish for a quick and clean end to your father’s suffering.

  14. alan says:

    Believe what you like, it’s really nothing to do with you.
    I would have been perfectly happy for them to just make him comfortable and as pain free as possible.
    I didn’t expect them to hasten his death, just not prolong his life, as best they could.

  15. Iain Hall says:

    What precisely did they do to prolong his life Alan?

  16. alan says:

    The doctors they have that kept reviving him incessantly.
    I didn’t even know until my sister told me what was happening(my father himself couldn’t).
    Then it hit the fan when I knew, and he was thankfully dead a couple of days later.

    My mother by contrast went into a council run facility, and her level of care was great and I couldn’t speak highly enough of those that cared for her.
    And oddly enough I would guess the carers were all lowly paid immigrants, by the looks of them.

  17. Iain Hall says:

    Did you and your sister tell them not to revive him?
    Because in my experience if the family makes a clear and unequivocal “do not revive” instruction to the doctors they are bound to respect that.

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    Maybe Gillard needs those doctors too?

  19. alan says:

    He did himself when he entered, anyway I am not getting into a discourse on this.
    I simply say I don’t like religion(before I just had no interest in it despite being a supposed catholic), and as far as I am concerned that’s sufficient, I don’t need to enlarge upon it.

  20. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    A do not revive instruction for Gillard?
    Now that is an idea that has merit!
    However I suspect that as she is already on political life support she has more to fear from someone wanting to pull the plug on the machine that goes ping than being kept alive against her will.

    Alan
    Sorry but it sounds more like an over zealous lot of medicos desperate to preserve life at any cost rather than any sort of expression of the catholic faith, which is generally rather sanguine about people dying when its their time. My point being why do you think that it was done at the behest of the catholic faith?

  21. Ray Dixon says:

    I’m suggesting she needs those Catholic doctors, Iain.

  22. Iain Hall says:

    Some how I think that she could be attended by the entire convocation of cardinals and the Holy father and every doctor who is true to the faith of Rome and her fate would still be certain death.

  23. GD says:

    A do not revive instruction for Gillard?

    They should have issued one for Rudd when he was first sacked, instead of continually reviving him in the hope that he can turn around the pitiful remnants of the once great (sarc) Labor Party.

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    Continually reviving him? Look, GD, Rudd doesn’t have a ‘terminal illness’, he has wounds (knife wounds) … but wounds heal.

  25. GD says:

    Agreed, it’s the Labor Party that has the terminal illness.

    Although I’d like to see Rudd come back. It would make the next election campaign a lot more interesting. The way it is now, you just want to look the other way and hope that it’s over soon. There’s no fun in watching Joolia slowly destroy herself.

  26. Ray Dixon says:

    Putting aside your ‘terminal’ barracking for old-fart, rusted-on conservative values & beliefs, GD, (how old are you again?) I’m glad you concede that Rudd would right the ALP ship and give your 50s man Abbott a genuine run for his money. In fact, he’d run rings around him. Who knows, maybe Abbott will have a few more ‘frozen moments’ and be seen as the real ice-man that he is.

  27. GD says:

    Whoa, Ray, I didn’t say all that. I said it would be more interesting. While Rudd would run a better campaign, he still can’t change what is inherently wrong with Labor today: abject socialism at odds with the average Australian’s views and needs.

    This includes the backsliding on industrial relations: ie the re-introduction of strike action at the drop of a hat; the Fair Work Australia Act, which ludicrously took three years to not come to a decision about Craig Thomsen.

    This same Fair Work has caught Labor on the back-foot because one of Joolia’s clauses (she wrote much it) is item 361, which states that claims of sexual harassment or racial discrimination are to be regarded as guilty until proven innocent. Hoist by their own petard in relation to Slipper.

    Will Rudd repeal the carbon tax?

    Because if he doesn’t, that’s another albatross around his neck.

    Finally, a resurrected Rudd would still have the motley, adolescent caucus that has stumbled from one failure to another to work with.

    No matter how much of a knight in shining armour Rudd is, the caucus is too dysfunctional and Labor’s policies are too far removed from the reality of the average working man or small business to translate into electoral success.

  28. Ray Dixon says:

    That’s all just political opinion, GD. Yours. And you are a rusted-on coalition man. A dinosaur (did you really experience the 60s btw?). Anyway, no disrespect intended, but all those things you mentioned can be addressed via leadership. Something neither Gillard or, more importantly, your man Rabbott possess in any great quantity. The fact is that Rabbott has NO POLICIES and Rudd is just the man to expose that. You did in fact say that Rudd could right the ALP ship – you just didn’t realise it.

  29. GD says:

    all those things you mentioned can be addressed via leadership.

    Rudd didn’t have it the first time around. He alienated almost everyone except the two GenYs he had advising him.

    Tony Abbott has shown leadership in spades, in the hard yards he put into the last election. The man has credibility. He may not become Australia’s greatest prime minister, but so far no one else has claimed that prize either.

    Australia needs a pragmatic alternative to this dysfunctional socialist government with their whimsical pipe dreams of magical green energy and their bizarre attempts to turn us into a socialist state ready for induction into Bob Brown’s one world government.

    OK, forget the induction into Brown’s one world government. The UN already has that in hand.

    As for Abbott’s lack of policies. I have previously posted the link to the Libs’ policy document. They have policies for all aspects of our economy, society, defence, immigration and welfare.

    Once again, I reckon you won’t even bother looking.

    You previously mentioned ‘vision’.

    Since Labor took office in 2007, their ‘vision’ has resulted in nothing but failure after failure. Perhaps it would be better if ‘vision’ was integrated with pragmatism, so that policies are implemented rather than scuttled. Perhaps it would be better if ‘vision’ equated to the betterment of society instead of yet another black hole in the nation’s economy.

    Thanks Labor, for a job not well done.

    It’s time to go. Rudd notwithstanding.

  30. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, need I remind you that you have previously (on many occasions) said that Abbott is not fit to be PM. Your change of mind reminds me of someone. Can’t think who …. oh, wait … Julia Gillard!

  31. GD says:

    you need to do better than that Ray…

  32. Ray Dixon says:

    Why? There’s not much to beat but hot air, GD.

  33. Richard Ryan says:

    And-And, Abbott would sell his arse to be PM—-but then on the other hand he is a gonna be Catholic cleric. Not all child molesters are Catholic Priests, but a lot of child molesters are Catholic Priests.After visiting Ireland recently, the Catholic Church there is f###ed, and Satan resides in the Vatican.

  34. alan says:

    great video……

  35. Ray Dixon says:

    Come on, Iain, where’s your comment on the Pyne & Brough meetings with Ashby?

    And on Ashby’s youtube support of yet another Slipper opponent for his seat (while still employed by Slipper)?

    This has got set-up written all over it.

    As I have always believed – since the Vietnam War days – you can:

    NEVER. TRUST. A. LIBERAL

  36. Iain Hall says:

    Three words Ray

    “Desperate Beat up”

  37. alan says:

    If he is on youtube campaigning for Brough, then there HAS to be something in it.
    Can’t find it though.
    Not to mention WHEN he resigned from the Liberals and went to work for Slipper would get any thinking person thinking.
    They would have know Slipper bats for the other side like Ashby, and they thought it an opportunity to do what they do well.

  38. Iain Hall says:

    From today’s OZ:

    Mr Brough said Mr Ashby had sought him out for help on the advice of local party official Valerie Bradford. Ms Bradford, a grandmother and 38-year member of the Nationals and now the LNP, had recruited Mr Ashby to join the party early last year after meeting him when he was working at a local strawberry farm as a marketing manager.

    Despite initially being “suspicious”, Mr Brough met the parliamentary adviser on three occasions in March and April – each time advising him he “needed to sit down with a lawyer”.

    “I said to him that my strong view was that you need to make sure you are on extremely strong ground because the media, the government and Mr Slipper will tear you apart,” Mr Brough said he told Mr Ashby during the second meeting in late March.

    “I said that you had better know that what you are saying is true and beyond any doubt.

    “And, if it is, my strong advice to you is to go to the AFP with your claims of criminality and you had better get yourself legal advice regarding the civil matter.”

    In between the meetings, Mr Brough said he consulted only a few trusted people about the allegations – without using any names – but that he brought a person “with a legal background” to the last meeting to advise Mr Ashby, who, he says, then informed them he had already engaged his own lawyers.

    Mr Brough denies ever speaking to any opposition MPs, their staffers or the LNP about Mr Ashby and his allegations.

    “I did not speak to Pyne, or Pyne’s office, or to Abbott or anybody like that,” he said.

    Mr Brough, who waged a two-year campaign in the LNP branch to oust Mr Slipper as candidate at the next election, said he had had little interaction with Mr Ashby before the “distressed” parliamentary adviser approached him.

    A local LNP branch chairwoman, Mrs Bradford said she had tried to convince Mr Ashby to reject Mr Slipper’s job offers, made before and after he was elected Speaker last November, and then progressively heard his allegations of harassment over the months he worked for the party turncoat, including being urged to shower with the door open.

    Mrs Bradford said she eventually had told Mr Ashby to contact Mr Brough over the allegations after seeing some mobile text messages allegedly exchanged between the adviser and his boss.

    “I had been speaking to James for weeks about what was happening and he was becoming really distressed,” Mrs Bradford said. “I told him to see a doctor, which he did, and talk to a solicitor, but he didn’t have one.

    “He had been staying with Mr Slipper and at the time he told me about the shower door incident, and the text messages and him even asking if he could kiss James.

    “In early March, James came back to town and he wanted to talk to someone who knew about the parliamentary processes and what could be done. He didn’t want to talk to an MP, and we talked, and I could only think of Mal Brough.”

    On the eve of Queensland’s March 24 election, Mr Brough said he had received a telephone call from Mr Ashby, asking to meet him. Mr Brough said he was suspicious of Mr Ashby, because he was a staffer of his political rival and a party member who had unsuccessfully run for election as an LNP official last year against Mr Brough’s own team, which eventually took over the branch.

    The former MP, who lost the neighbouring seat of Longman in the 2007 federal election, said he had relented and agreed to meet Mr Ashby on March 23.

    The meeting with Mr Brough and his wife, Sue, acting as a “witness”, went for several hours and initially focused on whether Mr Ashby was behind a social media campaign that had been attacking Mr Brough over his planned pre-selection bid, scheduled for later this year. “We went over that (the attacks) and around that for a very long time and the whole time there is this background, ‘There are things in Slipper’s office that aren’t right’,” Mr Brough alleged.

    “And I was going, ‘Yeah, well, surprise, surprise’.

    “It wasn’t until very late in the piece that he started to put a bit of meat on the bone, so to speak, and say that he felt he had been harassed, and talked about the Cabcharge stuff.”

    Ms Brough supports her husband’s recollection that Mr Ashby offered few details of the allegations at the first meeting and that he had said he wanted the former MP’s advice on what to do.

    The first meeting ended with Mr Brough warning him the allegations were “extremely serious”, he should go to the AFP over his concerns about Mr Slipper’s use of taxi dockets and that he would seek some advice on Mr Ashby’s behalf.

    The following week, Mr Brough said he had had another meeting with Mr Ashby in which he advised him to seek his own legal counsel and outlined the advice he had received, concerning the alleged sexual harassment.

    “I had taken some soundings as to all this – I spoke to someone in the legal fraternity – and I had learnt his (sexual) allegations were … a civil action if he chose to take it and the other matter was a criminal matter, if he chose to take it,” he said.

    Mr Brough said Mr Ashby then showed him a text message that went into more detail about his allegations against Mr Slipper.

    He said a lawyer friend was at the next meeting with Mr Ashby early last month and began to go through the material with the adviser, who then revealed he had engaged his own lawyers in Brisbane and was meeting them on April 10.

    “He rang me from Brisbane where he had some long conversations with lawyers, that was on the Tuesday after Easter (April 10), and that he was going to Sydney to have further discussions with lawyers,” Mr Brough said.

    He said he had “no regrets” about his involvement with Mr Ashby and dismissed the conspiracy theories that the adviser was placed in Mr Slipper’s office to entrap him and bring down the government, which had installed Mr Slipper to gain an extra vote on the floor of parliament.

    “All these people are crawling over it and I won’t lie,” Mr Brough said. “I just feel there is this storm of innuendo, that the LNP was behind it, that he (Mr Ashby) was a ‘honey-pot’ and it is all drivel.”

    Mr Brough said he believed he had a “moral obligation” to listen to Mr Ashby and would offer the same advice to anybody making similar claims.

    Mr Brough said he believed Mr Ashby had “clearly spoken to other people” when he was considering taking action.

    Sorry Ray but all of that seems both innocent and reasonable
    as for the you tube stuff look at his channel by double clicking the vid below:

  39. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain. From the piece you quote:

    The first meeting ended with Mr Brough warning him the allegations were “extremely serious”, he should go to the AFP over his concerns about Mr Slipper’s use of taxi dockets and that he would seek some advice on Mr Ashby’s behalf.

    The following week, Mr Brough said he had had another meeting with Mr Ashby in which he advised him to seek his own legal counsel and outlined the advice he had received, concerning the alleged sexual harassment.

    “I had taken some soundings as to all this – I spoke to someone in the legal fraternity – and I had learnt his (sexual) allegations were … a civil action if he chose to take it and the other matter was a criminal matter, if he chose to take it,” he said.

    Mr Brough said Mr Ashby then showed him a text message that went into more detail about his allegations against Mr Slipper.

    He said a lawyer friend was at the next meeting with Mr Ashby early last month and began to go through the material with the adviser, who then revealed he had engaged his own lawyers in Brisbane and was meeting them on April 10.

    They are his own words, Iain, and they amount to Brough admitting that he not only “advised” Ashby to taken action, he also sought legal advice on his behalf. Come on, it’s obvious.

    As for the YouTube video, it’s clearly Ashby’s channel and he’s using it to promote a Slipper opponent. This is QED stuff.

  40. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    if someone came to you and said that they believed that they were being sexually harassed by their boss wouldn’t you advise them to make a complaint?
    There is no wrong doing here in Mal Brough either being sought out or advising Ashby to seek out a lawyer or to lodge a complaint with the AFP There is no conspiracy here, none whatsoever, Heck I have had advice from you to complain to the police about a certain stalker, that does not mean that you are helping me “invent” the allegations in question as you are implying about Brough has done here. In any event who else should Have Ashby confided in to seek a remedy to his problems with slipper?
    As for Ashby’s you tube channel most of the pieces are news items he has recorded from broadcast TV and clearly not stuff he has produced himself.

  41. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh yeah, he just so happened to call Brough for advice, even though Brough didn’t know him!! And Brough is after Slipper’s seat. What an amazing coincidence. Serendipity.

  42. Iain Hall says:

    You didn’t read the source piece did you Ray? Because if you had you would have seen just How Brough and Ashby came to be discussing the issue. Check it out and get back to us.

  43. Richard Ryan says:

    LYING BASTARDS those Liberal Amigos —-Pyne is a complete lying pig, next time he might be reincarnated as a human.

  44. Ray Dixon says:

    Brough claims Ashby called him out of the blue. It’s not credible, Iain. None of it is. This Ashby looks sleazy and very sus.

  45. Richard Ryan says:

    IF they were ALP Politicians—Iain would screaming blue murder, along with his idol, Bolt.

  46. alan says:

    “IF they were ALP Politicians—Iain would screaming blue murder, along with his idol, Bolt.”

    exactly

    Must say that Michelle Grattan has lost the plot though.
    Calling Pyne, “sharp-as-a-tack”, had me in fits of laughter.

  47. GD says:

    None of what Pyne and Brough are accused of is illegal. What Slipper did is. Yet rusted-on lefties will grasp at any straw rather than deal with the stench in their own backyard.

  48. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    The story in the OZ that I quote from explains very well that Ashby was seeking advice about how things work in parliament and that he was pointed at Mal Brough as someone who knew the ropes and none of his reported comments and advisements to Ashby seems at all untoward. You and your fellow ALP barrackers are desperate for anything to deflect attention from Gillard’s ineptitude and it shows.
    Saying that “Ashby looks sleazy and very sus.” is just an example of your confirmation bias and that is no substitute for the lack of cold hard facts supporting your conspiracy theory.

  49. Richard Ryan says:

    ” All Liberal Politicians look sleazy, slimy, and very sus.” Shalom, Richard Ryan.

  50. Ray Dixon says:

    None of what Pyne and Brough are accused of is illegal. What Slipper did is.

    The only person who has been proven to have done anything “illegal” in this whole Slipper affair is James Ashby. He’s been convicted of misuse of a carriage device to cause offence. He’s the sleazebag, GD. As for Pyne & Brough, no one is saying their behind-the-scenes activities in aiding and abetting Ashby to bring Slipper down is “illegal”. It’s just: dirty, lying and hypocritical. Lacking in integrity and moral fibre comes to mind too. As does the term ‘not of good character’.

  51. GD says:

    dirty, lying and hypocritical. Lacking in integrity and moral fibre comes to mind too. As does the term ‘not of good character’.

    hmm…sounds about right, Slipper, Thomson and Gillard. Yep, spot on 😦

  52. Ray Dixon says:

    Your lot gets down in the gutter as much as, if not more than, the ALP, GD.

    And don’t forget, Slipper is a 20 year Liberal, not an ALP member.

    You endorsed him. You tolerated him. You excused him. You own him.

    And then there’s Slimey Sophie ….. Whoa, what till the Supreme Court hearing starts on her litlle expolit(ation).

  53. Richard Ryan says:

    Slimey Sophie——I like it——-

  54. Richard Ryan says:

    AND what about Abbott! what a crossed eyed lying c#nt that one is

  55. GD says:

    Great Bolt Report this morning. Alexander Downer in excellent form and robust debate by all. Bruce Hawker, labor strategist, laughing as he tries to defend labor: priceless.

  56. Iain Hall says:

    GD
    You are dead right about Sunday’s bolt report, it was a cracker with lots of sizzle!

    Richard

    You seem to be suffering severely here but I suggest that as it is almost inevitable that Tony Abbot will be our next PM and that his tenure in the lodge will be of a long duration that you begin a serious course in anger management now, lest you have a stroke or a heart attack from persistent high blood pressure.

    Ray

    And don’t forget, Slipper is a 20 year Liberal, not an ALP member.

    You endorsed him. You tolerated him. You excused him. You own him.

    What You need to remember is that he was well on his way to being disendorsed by the LNP which was a clear an unequivocal signal that the LNP had had enough of him. Ok its their bad for sticking with him for so long but then when he was finished with the LNP Gillard chose him for high office even though his rep was in the toilet. So which is worse a party that tolerates a backbencher who pushes the boundaries of bad behaviour developed over a long career, or a party that knows he is a bad egg and decides to use him to make a fancy pavlova that poisons the party. You want to blame the chook rather than the cook who knew the egg was bad, sorry mate but its won’t win on Canberra master chef 😉

  57. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, the Slipper appointment does not damage the Labor party per se, it damages Gillard. It was her call and her (poor) judgement that he be appointed. But don’t kid yourself that the Libs are any cleanskins in this matter – there’s just too much evidence to deny their involvement in the Ashby allegations. Now it looks like even Julie Bishop was involved. I have to point out to you that it’s only Lib supporters who deny the existence of bad eggs in their own camps, Iain, and that your continued support for the grubby tactics of Lib MPs is totally hypocritical.

  58. GD says:

    Barnaby said it best the first time:

  59. Ray Dixon says:

    Old news, GD. Get with the latest from your mate Barnaby:

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/opposition-slipper-story-slips-20120506-1y72f.html

    Nationals leader in the Senate, Barnaby Joyce, hit out at Mr Ashby, saying ”he seems only slightly less dodgy than Slipper”.

    Senator Joyce said the question was what Mr Ashby was doing at Mr Slipper’s house – where some of the inappropriate conversation was alleged to have taken place. ”He wasn’t dragged into the house,” Senator Joyce said, adding that Mr Ashby was ”not a boy in his teens but a man in his 30s”.

    Ignoring the elephant in the room, eh, GD? Maybe you’re spending too much time resurrecting the dying blog of Iain’s arch rival over @ AOL. Lost focus huh?

  60. Iain Hall says:

    Ray you can rail against Slipper’s connections with the LNP but the pale into utter insignificance compared to the crimes and dishonourable dealing alleged against Craig Thompson.
    The HSU report:

    Statement
    http://www.fwa.gov.au7 May 2012 1/4
    Outcome of HSU National Office investigation
    Monday, 7 May 2012

    Summary

    The General Manager of Fair Work Australia has completed her consideration of the HSU National Office investigation report.

    The report has been sent to the Senate Committee on Education Employment and Workplace Relations.

    The report found 181 contraventions of the HSU Rules, Schedule 1 to the Workplace Relations Act 1996 and/or the
    Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009
    (RO Act).

    Notices of contravention have been issued to individuals and the HSU National Office. The unionhas also been sent a rectification notice.

    The General Manager is instructing solicitors to initiate proceedings in the Federal Court ofAustralia in respect of the report’s findings.

    An independent review into the conduct of the Fair Work Australia’s investigation into the HSU’s National Office and Victoria No. 1 Branch will be completed before the end of July 2012.
    Background
    The investigation into the finances and financial management of the National Office of the Health Services Union was conducted by a senior manager of Fair Work Australia, known as the Delegate.It commenced on 27 March 2010 and concluded on 28 March 2012 when the Delegate provided the investigation report to the General Manager. An earlier inquiry, which preceded the investigation, commenced on 6 April 2009.
    Statement by Ms Bernadette O’Neill, General Manager, Fair Work Australia
    I have concluded my consideration of the investigation report into the Health Services Union (HSU)National Office and have sent a copy of the report to the Senate Committee on Education,Employment and Workplace Relations in response to their request of 4 April 2012.I am satisfied that providing the report to the Committee will not prejudice the civil proceedings that I intend to initiate.The Delegate’s investigation report found a total of 181 contraventions of the HSU Rules,Schedule 1 to the Workplace Relations Act 1996 and/or the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009
    (RO Act). One hundred and five contraventions are of civil penalty provisions. No penalty is available under the legislation for the remaining 76 contraventions. Under the RO Act,

    http://www.fwa.gov.au7 May 2012 2/4
    declarations by the Federal Court of Australia are the only potentially available remedy in respect of these 76 remaining contraventions.The contraventions involve the HSU National Office along with two current officials, a former auditor, and one former official. The great majority of contraventions relate to the former official.Notices of contraventions have been issued to the individuals concerned. I am unable to name the officials concerned for reasons that include privacy obligations and the fact I have no protection against defamation. The Delegate issued a notice of contravention to the National Office of the HSU on 28 March 2012.The investigation reveals an organisation that abjectly failed to have adequate governance arrangements in place to protect union members’ funds against misuse. Substantial funds were, in my view, spent inappropriately including on escort services, spousal travel, and excessive travel and hospitality expenditure.After considering the report fully I have concluded that it is in the public interest to act on all of the findings made by the Delegate. I have decided that the public interest strongly favours acting wherever possible to ensure that organizations and their officers and employees are properly held to account for the expenditure of the union’s funds. I consider that taking this action will have an important general and specific deterrent effect on this and other organisations.I am instructing solicitors to initiate proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia in respect of the findings made by the Delegate. In my assessment, some adverse findings were clearly available to the Delegate on the basis of the material in the report; some are more finely balanced. My decision is to take action in respect of all the Delegate’s findings, subject to a legal assessment by counsel that there are reasonable prospects of success.It is also possible that additional contraventions may be disclosed by the material in the report and I intend to take action in relation to any available additional contraventions identified by counsel.The public interest is more finely balanced in relation to the contraventions where no penalty can be imposed. Some of these findings relate to breaches of the HSU Rules that have had significant consequences, such as the failure to have internal policies governing the use of credit cards. The legislative scheme does not provide for penalties to be available for breaches of the union’s Rules. However, I am satisfied that it is in the public interest to seek declaratory relief in relation to these contraventions. I consider that there is a public interest in making such contraventions known to members of the HSU and that taking such action will enhance the accountability of the HSU and its officers.In relation to a single contravention by one person, I have decided it is not in the public interest to take further action. This is because it is a single and relatively minor contravention, and the factors put in mitigation by the person concerned have satisfied me that the cost and complexity of any litigation does not justify taking further action.
    Rectification notice
    I have also issued a notice to the HSU requiring it undertake numerous steps designed to ensure adequate governance arrangements are in place. The notice requires the HSU take the required action within 30 days in most cases. Under the RO Act, if the notice is not complied with the General Manager can apply to the Federal Court for enforceable orders to ensure compliance with the notice.
    Referral to the CDPP/Police
    As indicated on 3 April 2012 I adopted the recommendation of the Delegate and referred the entire report to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) for his consideration.

    http://www.fwa.gov.au7 May 2012 3/4
    I have further considered whether I am able to provide a brief of prosecution and concluded that Iam unable to do so.It is unfortunate that the legislative scheme that has been in place for many years and that I am required to act within, does not permit me to conduct an investigation into whether criminal offences have been committed, whilst at the same time it does not permit me to disclose information concerning potential criminal offences to the appropriate investigatory agency, namely state and federal police.I understand that the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has provided the report and related material to the Victoria Police and New South Wales Police Force. The CDPP sought my views prior to making that decision.I have also advised the Victoria Police and the NSW Police Force that Fair Work Australia will facilitate the provision of any further information being sought by police, to the extent legally possible.
    Independent review
    I also wish to advise that the scope of the independent review I have commissioned from KPMG into the conduct of the investigations has been finalised and are set out below.The review will be comprehensive. It will consider the adequacy of the investigations, the basis for any delay and the integrity of the investigations and whether there are any indications of interference.The review is anticipated to cost approximately $430,000 and be completed before the end of July2012.

    Now comparing that litany of villainy with the admittedly bad behaviour of the member for Fisher naturally makes one consider which is more serious.Frankly as bad as I think diddling the commonwealth over travel entitlements and sexually harassing a worker are, I think that rorting the union funds of the most lowly paid is orders of magnitude worse. And which party has bent over backwards to obstruct and delay the release of the report into investigation of the HSU?

  61. Ray Dixon says:

    No argument from me on Craig Thomson, Iain. I’ve never defended him and I’ve said repeatedly that he’s a sleazebag who should never have been endorsed. That’s one bad egg in the ALP basket for sure but it does not excuse, exonerate or lighten the inappropriate conduct of the sleazy types in the coalition. Your lot wouldn’t pass a lie detector test, Iain. On just about any subject. Pyne, Abbott, Bishop, Hockey, Robb and – worst of all – Mirabella are not fit & proper people to govern this country. Play point-the-finger as much as you like re Thomson but I wouldn’t trust the coalition on any score, on any level.

  62. Richard Ryan says:

    Downer with his English accent,a typical pommy bastard—–Keating gave the jerk heaps in Parliament. Bolt and Downer—good bed mates.

  63. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    You need to take a step back from your own partisan view about politics and realise that there are people of good intentions and ability on all sides of politics rather than just insisting that one side is good and one is bad as you do here.

  64. Ray Dixon says:

    That applies to you too, Iain. That’s my point – you are backing sleazebags.

  65. alan says:

    fwa report into hsu is now in public domain, for those that can be bothered.

  66. GD says:

    sleazebags? remind us who please?

    I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to comment that other blog.

  67. Ray Dixon says:

    I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to comment that other blog.

    That’s not what I said, GD. I said you were resurrecting a dying blog by doing so. That’s all. It beats me why you’d want to breath life into a corpse but you did.

  68. GD says:

    I did, Ray! And thanks for noticing. I’m all for free speech. It was refreshing (??) to hear some comment from the horse’s mouth. And your mate with the unmentionable screen name has taken the thread to all those nooks and crannies that the Labor Greens alliance wish would just go away.

    Way to go, SB!

  69. Ray Dixon says:

    Leon kills it, you revive it. Well done.

  70. GD says:

    Oh Ray?? Is that the raison d’etre of the Sandpit? To close down a Greenie blog? I’d rather be able to read, and in this case respond to their lunacy.

  71. Iain Hall says:

    Well I for one would miss our learned friend’s blog were he to give up on it. Where else could we find a Greenie who is so often so silly and inadvertently funny?

  72. Ray Dixon says:

    I’m starting to like Barnaby Joyce. Now he’s having a go at Mal Brough:

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/joyce-takes-brough-to-task-over-meeting-with-slippers-accuser-20120507-1y95o.html

    THE Nationals’ Senator Barnaby Joyce has turned on his prospective colleague, Mal Brough, saying he had no business meeting and counselling Peter Slipper’s accuser, James Hunter Ashby.

    Senator Joyce said Mr Brough, a fellow member of the Liberal National Party, should have twigged when Mr Ashby came to him that it would be improper to help him given Mr Brough was seeking to unseat Mr Slipper to re-enter federal Parliament.

    Senator Joyce said once Mr Brough did decide to get involved, he should also have spoken with Mr Slipper to hear his version of events.

    ”If you are going to play marriage guidance counsellor, you’ve got to hear both sides of the story,” he told the Herald.

    Senator Joyce is sceptical of Mr Ashby’s claim, saying on Sunday Mr Ashby ”seems only slightly less dodgy than Slipper”.

    Mr Ashby has accused Mr Slipper of rorting his taxpayer-funded taxi entitlements and has also lodged civil claims of sexual harassment in the Federal Court.

    Mr Slipper says he is innocent of all allegations.

    After first denying any prior knowledge of the legal case against Mr Slipper, which was lodged last month, Mr Brough admitted on Friday that he had met Mr Ashby three times.

    Mr Ashby had come to see him to discuss his concerns. Variously, Mr Brough advised him to go to the police, get a lawyer, and offered to arrange legal representation for him.

    Well said, Barnaby.

  73. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    from the SMH

    In an effort to distance itself further from the troubled MP and his role at the Health Services Union, the government said last night it would legislate to improve the financial disclosure and accountability of unions, increase penalties for breaches of the legislation, ensure future investigations by Fair Work Australia never again take so long, and that the body co-operated with police.

    Mr Thomson, who was recently suspended from the Labor Party, was found by Fair Work Australia to have lied when he denied using his union credit card to procure prostitutes – as first revealed in the Herald.

    ”I can only conclude that it was indeed Mr Thomson who used his credit card to spend the amount of $5793 for the procurement of escort services,” Terry Nassios, the director, organisations, research and advice, said in the 1105-page report.

    Mr Nassios’s damning report, the result of a two-year investigation, was released last night by the Senate committee on education, employment and workplace relations.

    The report contains damaging allegations against Mr Thomson, who was national secretary of the HSU from 2002 to 2007, when he entered Parliament. Denying he had ever used his HSU credit cards to procure escort services, Mr Thomson had provided ”information that is false or misleading”, the report said.

    He was found to have provided false or misleading information about the $103,000 in cash withdrawals made during the period he was national secretary.

    Allegations were also levelled against Mr Thomson that he spent more than $250,000 of HSU funds without authorisation ”to advance his prospects of becoming elected to Parliament” when contesting the central coast of seat Dobell in 2007.

    As national secretary, Mr Thomson spent $73,000 on wining and dining. Not all of this was on HSU union business, the report found.

    Even after he had left the union, Mr Thomson spent another $1425 of HSU funds for his personal benefit.

    Mr Nassios examined the six separate occasions credit cards issued to Mr Thomson were spent on prostitutes.

    ‘Mr Thomson claims that these transactions were incurred fraudulently by another person using his credit cards.

    ”However, the following matters overwhelmingly support an inference that it was Mr Thomson who used his own credit cards to make these transactions,” he said.

    For example, $2475 was spent on Sydney Escorts run by Keywed in April 2005. Mr Nassios found Mr Thomson’s mobile phone was used twice to call the escort agency on the evening of April 7, 2005.

    Seven separate transactions were processed by Keywed between April 7 and April 9, 2007 but they were spread between Mr Thomson’s two union credit cards, a Diners and a CBA MasterCard.

    The report concluded: ”If the transactions were all incurred by another person [as Mr Thomson had suggested], that person must have been able to transact on both cards.”

    The report found that ”a signature which bears a strong likeness to Mr Thomson’s” appeared on the receipt and that Mr Thomson’s driver’s licence details appeared on the back of the receipt.

    In addition, Mr Thomson’s own hotel accounts established that three times he used his HSU-issued credit cards to pay for phone calls from hotel rooms to escort agencies.

    Mr Thomson said yesterday: ”This whole investigation has been nothing short of a joke. It is unprecedented that an investigative body has such little confidence in its report that it seeks parliamentary privilege as a condition of the report’s release.”

    Of the 181 contraventions of the Registered Organisations Act that were identified, 156 relate to Mr Thomson.

    To think that Gillard governs courtesy of this man’s vote, Hmm that makes Slipper’s bad behaviour while a member of the LNP look like rather small beer doesn’t it?

  74. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, I’m not talking about Slipper’s “bad behaviour” (*). And yes, it’s a pity Gillard needs Thomson’s vote but that’s how it is and like it or not, Thomson is still entitled to sit on the crossbenches and cast his vote as he sees fit. He hasn’t yet been charged let alone convicted – it’s not a bloody school class room, it’s the real world of politics, Iain.

    And what if Thomson decided to vote in favour of an Abbott no-confidence motion, as he is entitled to? Would you then say “to think that Abbott governs courtesy of this man’s vote”? No, you’d welcome it and praise him.

    (* And still you avoid any criticism of Pyne, Bishop & Brough’s role in the Ashby matter. Instead you divert away from their dirty tactics. Looks like Hockey was involved too)

  75. Ray Dixon says:

    PS: You need to redo your maths, Iain. Gillard could govern without Thomson’s vote.

  76. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    In the very unlikely event that Thompson were to support a no confidence motion in the government and Tony Abbot were to be asked to be PM by the GG do you reall think that he would leave her digs without advising a new election at the earliest possible time?

    And still you avoid any criticism of Pyne, Bishop & Brough’s role in the Ashby matter. Instead you divert away from their dirty tactics. Looks like Hockey was involved too

    I divert from nothing Ray because nothing is precisely what that conspiracy theory has by way of substance. I’m still waiting for you to explain what advice you would give someone seeking the benefit of your experience about either sexual harassment or fraudulent use of cab charge vouchers.

  77. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, you just proved my point: Abbott would accept Thomson’s vote in the House provided he voted his way on a no-confidence motion. And so would you.

    I’m still waiting for you to explain what advice you would give someone seeking the benefit of your experience about either sexual harassment or fraudulent use of cab charge vouchers.

    If I were in Pyne’s, Brough’s, Bishop’s or Hockey’s position (that is, a position of conflicted interests) I would say:

    “Go elsewhere sleaze boy”.

  78. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    while I suggested that Abbott would most likely accept Thompson’s vote in a no confidence motion the rest of my comment postulates a scenario where Abbott would then go to an immediate election (which would deliver a very workable majority) so he would not actaully be governing courtesy of Thompson’s ongoing support in the house as Gillard currently does.

    If I were in Pyne’s, Brough’s, Bishop’s or Hockey’s position (that is, a position on conflicted interests) I would say:

    “Go elsewhere sleaze boy”

    How is there any conflict of interest Ray? and why would you prejudge anyone making such allegations?

  79. Ray Dixon says:

    he would not actaully be governing courtesy of Thompson’s ongoing support

    Beside the point, Iain. He would accept and use Thomson’s vote to get the nod and the go ahead to form government. Hypocritically though, Abbott (and you) claim Gillard shouldn’t accept Thomson’s vote to retain support. You can’t have it both ways, Iain. Would you accept Thomson in the house if he used his new status as an independent to support your side of politics? Of course you would. You said so.

    How is there any conflict of interest

    It’s bleeding obvious, Iain. Even Barnaby sees it.

  80. Ray Dixon says:

    PS: As for “prejudging”, that’s not the issue, either. As Barnaby said, Brough should not have been involved in aiding Ashby to bring down his rival for the seat. And Pyne shouldn’t have conspired against the Speaker. Look, you’re blowing a lot of hot air on this one, Iain, without knowing if Ashby’s case stands up. My guess is it doesn’t, and will be thrown out in the early stages.

  81. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    Beside the point, Iain. He would accept and use Thomson’s vote to get the nod and the go ahead to form government.

    I actually think that Abbott would not even move a No confidence motion unless he believed that he could count on either Windsor, Oakshott or both to support the motion in which case Thompson’s vote one way or the other would be of no consequence.

    Hypocritically though, Abbott (and you) claim Gillard shouldn’t accept Thomson’s vote to retain support. You can’t have it both ways, Iain. Would you accept Thomson in the house if he used his new status as an independent to support your side of politics? Of course you would. You said so.

    Actually I say that being in power because of the very crooked Craig Thompson is a measure of just how buggered Labor under Gillard is, I know all too well that Gillard won’t cut him loose even though he poisons her from his touch. The problem is all this talk about tainted votes may sound grand and principled but when push comes to shove on the floor of the house a vote can’t actually be rejected from any MP.

  82. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    As for “prejudging”, that’s not the issue, either.

    It is precisely the issue ray you have assumed that Ashby is lying and part of a conspiracy when you can’t possibly know either way.

    As Barnaby said, Brough should not have been involved in aiding Ashby to bring down his rival for the seat.

    That is bollocks, By the time that Ashby was seeking advice from Mal Brough Slipper had already been expelled from the LNP so Brough was in no way a “rival for the seat” any more than any citizen who could stand for election in fisher is. And further there is not a snowflake in hell’s chance that Slipper will even stand at the next poll because having done the dirty on the LNP he would be unelectable in the rather conservative seat of Fisher.

    And Pyne shouldn’t have conspired against the Speaker.

    How did he conspire against the speaker?
    where is the evidence to back up that claim?

    Look, you’re blowing a lot of hot air on this one, Iain, without knowing if Ashby’s case stands up. My guess is it doesn’t, and will be thrown out in the early stages.

    As I said you are prejudging it as your comment above shows clearly. I, and the opposition are saying that anyone who alleges wrongdoing in the workplace deserves to be heard and to have their case considered by the courts, especially when they have more than “he said she said” evidence of the harassment as Ashby does.

  83. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, “prejudging” the merits of Ashby’s complaint is NOT the issue. The simple point – which you fail to acknowledge – is that no Liberal party parliamentary member, or would-be member in the case of Brough, should have got involved. It smacks of set-up, Iain, and to deny that is absurd. Even Abbott is now staying ‘mum’.

    when push comes to shove on the floor of the house a vote can’t actually be rejected from any MP

    At least you now concede that Abbott’s (and your) call for Gillard to reject Thomson’s vote is bullshit.

  84. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    is that no Liberal party parliamentary member, or would-be member in the case of Brough, should have got involved.

    So just who should Ashby have consulted about his concerns about Slipper then Ray?

  85. Ray Dixon says:

    who should Ashby have consulted about his concerns about Slipper

    I dunno, Iain, but a solicitor sounds the logical choice.

    The point is that Pyne , Brough, etc should not have got involved and should have told Ashby from the very first contact something like, “good luck with that but in my position it’s not appropriate that I discuss it with you.”

    And that’s all.

    Pretty simple, Iain.

  86. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    Christopher Pyne has only been mentioned because he asked for Ashby’s email which given the fact that he is manager of government business is not at all untoward, especially as that email was never used.
    You ahve still not even come close to explaining why talking to Brough or anyone else is problematic let alone wrong all you keep doing is asserting some vague notion that its “inappropriate” what I want to know is why you think this, in what way is it wrong?

  87. Ray Dixon says:

    Pyne met him 3 times, Iain. What do you think they were talking about, cruising sites?

    You just keep proving my original point that you are being totally parochial and excusing the behaviour of those on your ‘side’ no matter what.

  88. Ray Dixon says:

    You ahve still not even come close to explaining why talking to Brough or anyone else is problematic let alone wrong

    Wrong way around – it’s inapproriate for Brough et al to speak to him. Do you understand ‘conflict of interest’ or not, Iain? What’s your definition?

  89. Ray Dixon says:

    Try this one from Wikipedia, Iain:

    A conflict of interest (COI) occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other. The presence of a conflict of interest is independent from the execution of impropriety.

    The involvement only has to give rise to the “possibility” of impropriety for it to be a conflict of interest, Iain. And Pyne, Brough, etc would have known that. Pity you don’t mate.

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