Andrew Bolt, in “Union scandal questions have Julia Gillard on repeat mode” asks Julia Gillard, our evasive PM, pertinent questions:
Why did she help to set up an “AWU Workplace Reform Association” for her boyfriend without the union’s formal authorisation?Did she or Slater & Gordon bill the AWU for work on that association?What did she think that association would be used for? Did she tell Slater & Gordon it was a “slush fund” and when did she first know?Did she notify police of possible criminal activity?Why did she not open a file at Slater & Gordon relating to her work on the association?Should she have excused herself from this work given her relationship with Wilson?Can she rule out funds from the AWU or the AWU Workplace Reform Association being used to pay for her own renovations?When did she obtain receipts from her builder for her renovations? After AWU officials asked her why the builder wanted them to pay? What is the builder’s name?Did she or anyone at Slater & Gordon ask the AWU why funds from the AWU Workplace Reform Association were being used to buy a Fitzroy house in the name of Ralph Blewitt that was then used as the home of Bruce Wilson? Did she or Slater & Gordon seek AWU approval before helping in this transaction? Why not?In October 1995, Gillard said she had “no intention” of leaving Slater & Gordon. Days later she was gone. Why, and was she asked to leave?Has she returned any money to the AWU or Wilson that she suspected was misappropriated?Time for proper answers. As former Labor national president Warren Mundine told me yesterday, Labor “seriously have to deal with it’.
See Bolt’s “AWU scandal: Gillard’s non-answers deepen the crisis” and “How Gillard came to insult Kelly” and “Has Gillard permitted Slater & Gordon to release the interview”. See also “Gillard and ‘False Assertions’” for many other links.
An Australian Financial Review editorial rightly asserts that the “PM should answer legitimate questions”:
Only a tiny percentage of Australians have any idea of the circumstances surrounding claims of corrupt behaviour by an Australian Workers Union official in the 1990s that involved his then girlfriend and Slater & Gordon solicitor Julia Gillard [this is because, for too long, the media have ignored such claims]. A decade and a half later, there is no evidence to reject the now Prime Minister’s claim that she did nothing wrong [if the PM’s unsupported assertions are to be believed]. Yet the unanswered questions from this controversy are clearly a legitimate matter of public interest.UPDATE I: questions put to the PM by The Australian:
An agitated Ms Gillard yesterday sought to shut down questions about the matter, claiming it was dealt with on the public record 15 years ago. She said that she would not dignify a scurrilous and malicious internet campaign against her, arguing that the issue had nothing to do with her responsibilities as Prime Minister today. […]
Contrary to Ms Gillard’s protests, the media has not asked enough hard questions about her matter. If something comparable had occurred with Barack Obama [no, not Obama—the media have, for the most part, deliberately ignored that faker’s questionable past, and willfully failed to investigate his shady dealings] or Mitt Romney, US media outlets such as The New York Times would have devoted a mass of resources to the story. And contrary to the PM’s protests, the AWU controversy has direct relevance to her government today as it goes to the heart of union and Labor Party governance, as echoed in the Health Services Union scandal.
UPDATE II: Neil Mitchell, on 3aw and on his blog, also puts some questions to the PM:
UPDATE III: meanwhile, as usual, The Age and Labor MPs remains clueless:One: when did she become aware of the funds in this account were stolen and what did she do about it, then did she find out she had been conned and what did she do about it. Did she tell the union? The Police? What did she do when she found her boyfriend had been conning her?
Two: when did she decide to leave Slater and Gordon and why?
Three: can she show that none of these suspect funds were used for her personal gain (including to renovate her house)?
Four: she has allegedly said to Slater and Gordon this was set up as a slush fund. When did she understand that? And did she advise corporate authorities of that at any stage.
Five: when she attended the auction of the house was she aware the association she had established for her boyfriend was being sued to purchase it? Did she ask why? […]
Prime Minister, the allegation is that you may have acted improperly. You deny it. Nobody knows. But you won’t answer the detail that keeps coming up. There are now serious concerns around what happened in those days and it involves around $400,000. Those doubts go to the heart of your integrity. You keep asking why you should answer questions. Well, you should answer questions because your integrity has, rightly or wrongly, come under a cloud.
With a Newspoll due to be released on Tuesday, and a Nielsen poll coming next week, government MPs accused the opposition of muckraking.“This is completely a non-story and it’s a demonstration of the desperation of this opposition that they want to muckrake, that they want to kick this story along,” parliamentary secretary Mark Dreyfus told reporters.
UPDATE IV: when they relate to her own sordid past, our inconsistent PM regards legitimate questions anent her previous actions as maliciously irrelevant; when it concerns the Opposition, all previous history is somehow important. In June, for instance the PM told the ABC:
See Tim Blair’s “Young and Naïve Days” and Shane Dowling’s “Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard sets up Watergate-style dirt unit for opposition politicians”.You know, scrutiny of things like Opposition members buying shares in coal mining companies at the same time that they’re running round telling people that coal mining will end in this country, that’s a piece of information people are entitled to have.
I haven’t seen [her own office’s dirt unit] document, but I am talking more broadly about transparency and scrutiny in politics and how it’s relevant to political debate.
UPDATE V: listen to Ben Fordham interview Michael Smith on 2GB.
UPDATE VI: Ben Fordham and Michael Smith, as promised in their interview, provide samples of handwriting—above, a detail of the original application to establish the association which was, according to Julia Gillard herself, a slush fund for union officials; below, an attested example of Julia Gillard’s handwriting:
UPDATE VII: see “Duplicitous Gillard and the Sham Entity” for a video wherein Michael Smith and Prof. David Flint discuss the PM and her malfeasance.
UPDATE VIII (21 August): see “Law firm Slater & Gordon’s axe over PM Julia Gillard” in The Daily Telegraph:
Managers at law firm Slater & Gordon considered sacking Julia Gillard during a 1995 secret internal investigation into alleged fraud committed by her then-boyfriend and Australian Workers Union boss Bruce Wilson.
According to a leaked statement from then-partner at the firm Peter Gordon published today in The Australian, Ms Gillard’s relationship with the firm’s management had “fractured, and trust and confidence evaporated”.
The remarkable statement, drafted last week, described the fallout of the discovery of Ms Gillard’s legal involvement in setting up the AWU Workplace Reform Association, which was allegedly used by her boyfriend to misappropriate hundreds of thousands of dollars intended for the union.
However, Mr Gordon noted the Prime Minister’s repeated denials of wrongdoing, saying he formed the view “that she should be accorded the benefit of the doubt and her explanation accepted”.
Ms Gillard has strenuously denied wrongdoing or knowledge of the alleged major union fraud involving her then boyfriend Mr Wilson. […]
The new statement from Mr Gordon discloses the partnership considered “terminating” Ms Gillard after considering whether she was knowingly involved in fraud, but determined not to because it was inherently unlikely. “Nevertheless, the partnership was extremely unhappy with Ms Gillard considering that proper vigilance had not been observed and that (her) duties of utmost good faith to (her) partners especially as to timely disclosure had not been met.”
“Ms Gillard elected to resign and we accepted her resignation without discussion.”
Mr Styant-Browne told The Australian yesterday: “When I made public certain of the matters surrounding Julia Gillard’s departure from Slater & Gordon, I was meticulous to ensure a balanced account of the facts was given. I did not ever contemplate that the world’s only publicly listed law firm, Slater & Gordon, would spin the facts of her departure to the market in the way that it did yesterday so as to protect the Prime Minister's position.”
See “Law firm Slater & Gordon considered axing Julia Gillard”, by Hedley Thomas, in The Australian:
The Australian can today reveal that Mr Gordon, a senior lawyer now at a different firm, drafted a remarkable statement last week in which he described torrid fallout after the discovery of Ms Gillard’s controversial legal work for an allegedly corrupt union boss, her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson.
In the leaked statement, Mr Gordon notes the Prime Minister’s repeated denials of wrongdoing and says he formed the view “that she should be accorded the benefit of the doubt and her explanation accepted”.
But the statement confirms reports in The Weekend Australian on Saturday, which had relied on the firm’s former equity partner, Nick Styant-Browne, who broke a 17-year silence to reveal Ms Gillard left her job because the firm “took a very serious view” of her conduct. The Gordon statement goes further by disclosing that the partnership considered “terminating” Ms Gillard after weighing whether she was knowingly involved in fraud and deliberate deception of her partners, but Mr Gordon determined that he would not make such a finding because it was inherently unlikely. […]
The lengthy Gordon statement emphasises the seriousness of the matters under investigation in 1995 at Slater & Gordon, following the alleged misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars by Ms Gillard’s boyfriend and client of almost four years, Mr Wilson, from construction company Thiess and other big entities.
But the Gordon statement is in stark contrast to the official media statement on Sunday from Slater & Gordon.
The official statement, in the name of managing director Andrew Grech, was immediately endorsed by Ms Gillard’s office and some media outlets as a “clearance” of her. The statement, which was based on available records of Ms Gillard's employment history with the firm, stated that she took a leave of absence in September 1995 to contest a Senate spot before resigning in May 1996.
The Australian’s source for the Gordon statement, Mr Styant-Browne, a Seattle-based trial attorney and former equity partner at Slater & Gordon, said his motive in releasing the statement was to ensure the public and the media learned the truth about Ms Gillard’s 1995 departure, after a secret that had lasted 17 years.
Mr Styant-Browne told The Australian from his Seattle home yesterday: “When I made public certain of the matters surrounding Julia Gillard's departure from Slater & Gordon, I was meticulous to ensure a balanced account of the facts was given. I did not ever contemplate that the world’s only publicly listed law firm, Slater & Gordon, would spin the facts of her departure to the market in the way that it did yesterday so as to protect the Prime Minister’s position.”
Mr Styant-Browne, a longtime friend of Mr Gordon and the firm, had been in close contact with Mr Gordon last week for the purpose of agreeing on a form of words detailing their knowledge of the circumstances of Ms Gillard’s departure from the firm.
Mr Styant-Browne said that external lawyers for Slater & Gordon had written to him yesterday seeking his silence on the matters, and requesting a transcript of a tape-recorded interview that the firm did with Ms Gillard on September 11, 1995, as part of its probe.
The Gordon draft statement says of the events in 1995: “The nature of the wrongdoings allegedly required us, if we were to take an adverse view of Ms Gillard in relation to these events, to believe that she had knowingly participated in a fraud and deceived her partners about it for a year or more. While I was not close to Ms Gillard (and believe I had never met Mr Wilson), my association with her and my evaluation of her as a person led me to the view that this was inherently unlikely and not in her character. My examination of the material available to me at that time led me to the view that there was no sufficient basis to dismiss Ms Gillard for misconduct.
See “Slater & Gordon partners turn on each other amid gag threat”, also by Hedley Thomas, in The Australian.
UPDATE IX (21 August): see “Time to explain, Wilkie tells PM”, by Joe Kelly, in The Australian:
UPDATE X (21 August): see “Gillard under fire: ‘We gave her the benefit of the doubt’”, a “draft of a statement by Peter Gordon, former partner at law firm Slater & Gordon”, in The Australian. (See what may or may not be an earlier draft of that statement in “Young and Naïve” and “the Benefit of the Doubt”.)Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has urged Julia Gillard to make a parliamentary statement about her time at law firm Slater & Gordon, saying the Prime Minister should address “serious allegations” levelled against her to put the issue to bed.
The call came as Health Services Union national secretary Kathy Jackson pushed for the Australian Workers Union to be investigated over 17-year-old allegations that funds were received by union figures via a legal entity Ms Gillard helped establish.
While Mr Wilkie emphasised yesterday that he was not accusing the Prime Minister of anything, he said a brief statement to the parliament might assist in restoring clarity to the public debate.
“Serious allegations have been levelled at the Prime Minister and I think it would be helpful if she were to make a statement to the parliament to make absolutely clear her recollection of the events of years ago,” he said.
“I am not accusing her of anything and I have no idea if there is any merit in these accusations but they are serious accusations and she is the Prime Minister and a short statement to the parliament might clear the matter up and put it to bed.” […]
Former Labor senator Graham Richardson said last night Ms Gillard had “questions to answer” surrounding allegations that the Prime Minister didn’t create a legal file for Mr Wilson when he was a client.
“If it’s indeed true that she didn’t create a file, that’s a serious matter and you’ve got to say why,” he told ABC’s Q&A.
Ms Jackson, the union whistleblower, said AWU national secretary Paul Howes and his predecessor, Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten, needed to investigate the matter fully.
“(Mr Shorten) had no hesitation in making an application to the Federal Court to place the HSU into administration. Why did he not act in his union? Why was the money never recovered?”
UPDATE XI (21 August): bingbing notes that “the lefty luvvies are getting really nasty today”.
UPDATE XII (21 August): Malcolm Farr, in “If the mud don’t stick, attack on another front”, tries manfully to defend the corrupt prime minister by asserting, despite the evidence, that “there is no strong evidence that Ms Gillard did anything wrong when she worked with Melbourne law firm Slater & Gordon and helped her then boyfriend, a trade union official.”
UPDATE XIII (21 August): Larry Pickering, in the seventh of his series, “Young and Naïve, Indeed”, writes:
It appears that Nicola Roxon and Peter Van Sumbugger are the only two people left standing who are young and naïve enough believe this is a Liberal Party beat-up.
Sorry Nicola and Peter, we have never spoken to any Opposition Member and it’s far from a beat-up. The continuous stream of information is coming from your side of the House and one other person the Prime Minister knew very well. There are some angry people on your Benches.
Well, you two, here’s more to cause you some indigestion.
Slater & Gordon handle unfair dismissal claims in their thousands. Gillard herself handled a few, so she knew exactly what it meant when she was called in for a taped interview... it was a precursor to her dismissal.
It’s a moot point as to whether she was given the opportunity to resign or not. All legal employees, short of an accusation of murder, are extended that courtesy because a “dismissal” could both injure the firm’s reputation and terminally end the employee’s career. Regardless, it appears to have done both anyway.
The fraudulent document that allowed the “slush fund” to be set up was first presented in Perth. It was taken to the Commissioner of Corporate Affairs who promptly refused to allow it on grounds that it appeared to be too much like a union.
Undeterred, Wilson asked Gillard to do it. Incredibly, Gillard agreed.
It was pointless to persist in Perth because the Commissioner had already knocked it back so it was off to Victoria and the offices of Slater & Gordon.
Now, even the most young and naive person on the planet would have known this was highly unethical at best and illegal on a number of fronts at worst.
There were three other people present when this document was drawn up: Ralph Blewitt, Bruce Wilson and senior equity partner, Bernard Murphy. (Bernard Murphy was the anonymous name The Australian redacted in its [“Gillard under fire: ‘We gave her the benefit of the doubt’”] story.)
In the record of interview Gillard stated that she “acted alone”. She lied. Was she protecting Bernard Murphy? If so, it didn’t help. Murphy hurriedly departed the firm on an agreed settlement prior to Gillard.
(Gillard was later to appoint Bernard Murphy to the Federal Court bench. Why did she do that? Was she worried he would disclose critical information relating to the blatant fraud?)
When the document was completed by Gillard it was signed by Blewitt. Wilson then took it to the Commonwealth Bank to open the now infamous account: the AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc.
It appeared on the record as an AWU account, it wasn’t, but it was ready to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars, attracting no tax, into Wilson’s pocket. More importantly the AWU had no knowledge of it. Yet the AWU was a client of Gillard’s in the form of Wilson. The law firm itself acted for the Vic AWU.
In a classic conflict of interest, Gillard was actually facilitating theft by her boyfriend from her own firm’s client, the AWU!
Gillard was also improperly acting for her criminal boyfriend who was also a representative of the AWU client!
Slater & Gordon is obliged to keep the Law Institute of Victoria updated as to who is operating on their Practising Certificate. The Law Institute claims privilege on this information. We have reason to believe Julia was removed from the Certificate in September and not in May the following year as they now advise.
When the fraudulent activity was eventually discovered Peter Gordon hit the roof, but his position was untenable because Slater & Gordon is hardly independent. Incredibly, if they sacked her, they would be exposed to a reimbursement claim from their own client (the AWU) for all monies stolen, plus costs. What a predicament Gillard had created. No wonder they were angry.
Because Gillard did not open a file on the case, to appraise others in the firm of her actions, her conduct may be subject to criminal charges and the Professional Indemnity policy would not have been exposed (you cannot insure against criminal activity).
Lawyers are now pitting their credibility against each other. In this fiery battle of recollections and taped records Nick Styant-Browne will emerge the winner.
That may sound a bit complicated. It is! And the more Slater & Gordon wriggles the more it will need the services of a good Left wing law firm.
UPDATE XIV (21 August): a “Statement from Slater and Gordon Managing Director, Andrew Grech, regarding the release of confidential information”:
Whilst it is understandable that there is great media interest in the details of discussions between former partners of Slater & Gordon and a former employee, we thought it would be helpful for the public to understand the need for legal practitioners to be cautious in relation to the release of such information particularly when it concerns the confidential information of their former clients.The implied criticism of Slater & Gordon to the effect that it should release more information misunderstands the obligations of legal practitioners in relation to confidential communications with clients.
The release of confidential communications subject to legal professional privilege is a serious breach of a legal practitioners obligations.
On Sunday I gave a clear statement of what I understand to be the facts concerning the resignation of Prime Minister Gillard from Slater & Gordon some 17 years ago based upon the records that we presently hold.
Although I have sought to obtain the transcript of interview referred to by the Australian on Saturday 18 August 2012, I have not been provided with it by Mr Styant-Browne. I am therefore not in a position to comment on its authenticity or contents, even if my obligations of confidentiality to former staff permitted me to do so.
There is in fact no inconsistency of substance between Mr Styant-Browne’s reported version of events and the facts outlined in the statement already provided by me, or the draft working document provided in confidence to Mr Styant-Browne by Mr Gordon and subsequently provided to the Australian without Mr Gordon’s knowledge or consent by Mr Styant-Browne. Whilst there is a great deal of conjecture and commentary now in the public domain none of it contradicts directly or otherwise the factual account set out in my statement or for that matter the draft working document published in the Australian and Mr Styant-Browne’s own version of events. In particular to my knowledge no one has advanced any credible evidence that there is now any more substance to the allegation first made 17 years ago and denied by Ms Gillard at the time and since that she was in any way aware of or a knowing participant in any wrong doing concerning what has become known as the Wilson/AWU matter.
It is regrettable that Mr Styant-Browne has seen fit to release confidential communications. Slater & Gordon has said all that it currently can say based on its own records and subject to its obligations to former staff and former clients. We therefore do not intend to make any further statement unless and until new information comes to light which we are permitted or required to place in the public domain.
UPDATE XVI (22 August): in “They’re out to get PM, says her ex union lover”, Steve Lewis and Ian McPhedran report:It would be a tenuous case to argue the future Prime Minister had fulfilled that obligation on June 24, 1992, when Western Australia’s Commissioner for Corporate Affairs issued a certificate of incorporation (#1002262) to the Australian Workers’ Union – Workplace Reform Association (WRA). The successful applicant was Ralph Edwin Blewitt and the accompanying paperwork voluminous. Along with his request that the WRA be recognised as a legal entity, Blewitt also was required to announce the association’s inauguration in the Public Notice columns of the West Australian. Then there were the by-laws and statement of goals, which had to be lodged with the Commissioner and amounted to nine single-spaced pages. Each prepared by Julia Gillard.In his short-form application, Blewitt scrawled the association’s purpose as the “development of changes to work to achieve safe workplace”. In the Gillard-prepared rules, the grammar is better and the stated goals, which run from (a) through (h), are a round-up of motherhood statements. Among them, that the association intended to dedicate itself to “the more equitable distribution of wealth”, “the implementation of appropriate skills training” and “the development of unionism.” Twenty years on, in its cadence and cliché, the document remains a foretaste of the sonorous twaddle that fills so many a prime-ministerial address.Paperwork filed and legal niceties observed, the WRA and its two sole members, Blewitt and Gillard beau Bruce Morton Wilson, were free to administer a bank account, write cheques and—how lovely!—accept contributions from large commercial concerns.One has to wonder what Gillard was thinking when she played midwife at the WRA’s birth, “young and naive” though the 35-year-old partner in a major law firm may have been. As Michael Smith explains in a Cando.org video, the association appears to have violated a slate of laws, not least for having only two members when the mandatory minimum is five.And there is also the question of what Gillard understood to be the association’s real purpose. Blewitt listed workplace safety, and Gillard many other objectives. According to former Slater & Gordon partner Nick Styant-Browne, quoted in The Australian, she admitted when questioned by her S&G peers to having regarded it from the start as “a slush fund”. How WA authorities might have treated the application had that purpose been honestly stated can never be known.All of this, according to our Prime Minister, touches not at all on the matter of her moral and ethical fitness to occupy the highest elected office in the land. As she testily informed Paul Kelly, there is no “relevance”.Still, there is one item in the WRA’s bylaws which might strike even Gillard as germane. It is subsection (2) of Article 3 on the first page of the association’s registered rules:(3) The property and income of the association must be applied solely in accordance with the objects of the Association and no part of that property or income may be paid or otherwise distributed, directly or indirectly, to members, except in good faith in the promotion of those objects.It may not be “relevant”, but one wonders [whether] home renovations, the purchase of a North Fitzroy home and $17,500 worth of frocks furthered the goals of workplace safety.
Speaking for the first time, former Australian Workers Union official Bruce Wilson—at the centre of an alleged $400,000 union fraud—refused to answer questions about Ms Gillard’s involvement in creating a union “slush fund” while she was a senior lawyer with Slater & Gordon.He said Ms Gillard was “more than capable of discussing” the allegations that have dogged her since the mid-1990s.
More than capable, perhaps, yet she declines to do so.
But he savaged the internet bloggers and others who he claimed were “frothing at the mouth like rabid dogs”.
“The reason why I don’t want to say anything is there are some people—some people in the media—nothing I say is going to stop these people,” he said.
Well, as one of the rabid dogs, apparently, nothing he’s said so far—certainly not a silly, circular, self-fulfilling prophecy—is enough to stop me seeking the truth.
In “Silence does not serve her well”, Dennis Shanahan of The Australian explains that we have legitimate reasons to question Julia Gillard:
The government's specious defences and stonewalling attitude are ensuring the episode will continue to be scrutinised and publicised and, as a consequence, doing the Prime Minister a political disservice.It is fair and reasonable for politicians and the media to test the character, experience, judgment and integrity of those who hold or seek to hold the highest office.The simple fact of this latest episode in a long train of investigations and claims about the circumstances of Gillard’s resignation from the Labor law firm 17 years ago is that new and credible evidence raising new questions about the reasons and manner for the departure has emerged. […]These issues are new and go towards informing the public of the previous experience, professional conduct and attitudes of the Prime Minister, as well as her preparedness to confront criticism quickly and openly.Despite claims to the contrary from Gillard and her ministers, these issues are not “old news”, have not been addressed by the Prime Minister, are not malicious lies, and occurred on the very cusp of Gillard beginning her political career.
See similar reasoning in “Gillard’s conduct and judgment in public spotlight”, by Paul Kelly of The Australian:
It is no surprise that Julia Gillard’s tactic is to brand as illegitimate media questioning of her past conduct as a lawyer—but it is bizarre that senior journalists in the press gallery have the same view.
The stories published in The Australian by Hedley Thomas in recent days are neither hearsay nor recycling of scuttlebutt. They are based on previously undisclosed documents. The conclusions by Thomas have been balanced and measured. And they demand answers from the Prime Minister. […]
On Monday, The Australian Financial Review editorialised: “Contrary to Ms Gillard’s protests, the media has not asked enough hard questions about her matter. If something comparable had occurred with Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, US media outlets such as The New York Times would have devoted a mass of resources to that story.”This adverse judgment on Australia is correct. The PM, no doubt, will persevere with her tactic of trying to shut down the issue. That is understandable.But the issue goes to the question of Gillard’s trust—her critical political flaw—and this is the not evasionsreason it is so explosive.
In “Memo to Prime Minister: please answer the question”, Janet Albrechtsen, also in The Australian, agrees that we need answers:
UPDATE XVII (22 August): see “I should have opened file”, by Hedley Thomas, in The Australian; see also “What Julia told her firm” for a redacted transcript of the interview from 1995 wherein the galegnathous Gillard attempts to exculpate herself.Prime Minister, you once said News Limited had hard questions to answer. When pressed, you couldn't elaborate. Allow me to elaborate on some questions for you. Simply repeating that you have answered questions previously is a political tactic that treats voters as stupid. But we are not. You may have answered other questions long ago. But new information has raised new questions. […]Mark Latham chose to make fun of the matter in The Australian Financial Review yesterday. Yet only last month, the former Labor leader wrote a very thoughtful piece about union corruption at the HSU. Even this paper's own Peter Van Onselen declared on Sky News’s Australian Agenda on Sunday that he had made up his mind up on the matter.Case closed? Surely not. Sections of the media have their own questions to answer as to why they are not doing a better job. Just as you, Prime Minister, can do better than you have done to date. Please reconsider. Please answer the questions.
UPDATE XVIII (22 August): see “Gillard forgot? No, say lawyers”, in the Australian Financial Review:
Senior legal staff question how Julia Gillard could have “forgotten” to open a legal file when working on a case involving union official and her boyfriend Bruce Wilson in the 1990s.UPDATE XiX (22 August): once again, as with “Gillard and ‘False Assertions’” and some other earlier posts on Gillard-gate, a post grows unwieldy; please go to “Yet More on Gillard”.