In an editorial, The Australian rightly explains that Hon. Julia Gillard must answer legitimate questions anent matters which cast doubts on her truthfulness, integrity and competence:
Julia Gillard’s Labor Party and media defenders are deliberately conflating the forensically researched and substantiated reporting of this newspaper with a vengeful internet campaign directed at the Prime Minister. Former Labor leader Mark Latham, writing in The Australian Financial Review, has likened the online campaign to the American “birther” conspiracy [which exists only because the mendacious President Obama refuses to release his authentic birth certificate and other related material] and accused this newspaper of giving “succour” to its claims by assigning a "so-called investigative" reporter to the case. There is, of course, no connection.
The Australian’s Hedley Thomas is an investigative reporter of the highest standing who has won five Walkley Awards, including the Gold Walkley for revealing the truth behind the Mohamed Haneef fiasco. In fact it was Thomas who exposed the involvement of far-right activist and former One Nation adviser John Pasquarelli in promoting allegations against Ms Gillard. By winning the trust of numerous sources close to the Prime Minister’s former employer, Slater & Gordon, as well as others involved in the Labor Party and union movement (none from the Coalition), Thomas has uncovered important facts about Ms Gillard’s conduct as a lawyer and her departure from the firm in 1995-96. Yet she has refused to provide a full explanation of these consequential events which, together with the way she has obfuscated over the affair, raise questions about her judgment. By refusing to answer direct questions, Ms Gillard and her supporters seek to dismiss this newspaper’s revelations as part of a “scurrilous” campaign. To this end—and because this time-honoured tactic of smearing the messengers has provided the more incurious media with an excuse not to pursue the matter”the sleazy and possibly defamatory online campaign is helping Ms Gillard to shelter from accountability.On Sunday, Ms Gillard attacked our editor-at-large, Paul Kelly, arguably the nation’s most eminent political journalist, because he dared to follow up allegations made through this newspaper by former Slater & Gordon partner Nick Styant-Browne. “The central point was that the partner alleged you had to resign because of this issue,” said Kelly. “Is that correct or not?’ “Look, Paul,” Ms Gillard responded, “I did resign from Slater & Gordon, that’s a matter of public record. I made the decision to do that. I mean, join the dots for me, Paul. What matters about this today for Australia and me being Prime Minister? Just articulate that ... I did nothing wrong.”While Ms Gillard dodges the question, Thomas has now confirmed through a second senior partner at the time, Peter Gordon, that the firm considered “terminating” Ms Gillard’s employment over her handling of the AWU matters before accepting her resignation. Mr Gordon and Mr Styant-Browne are not “birthers”—they are experienced lawyers who have been cautious and deliberate about their statements. […]There are clear matters of public interest at stake, such as the Prime Minister’s character, and how this saga impacts on her efforts to tackle union corruption. So it is surprising some journalists dismiss the issue as blogosphere scuttlebutt over an old story. Dennis Atkins in The Courier-Mail says: “What is missing is any specific allegation and exact questions Gillard should answer.” The ABC’s Barrie Cassidy says “allegations were not put” to Ms Gillard. Mr Latham said our reporting has “not taken the story any further”. The editor of The Monthly accused this newspaper of a “creative interpretation” of evidence. These journalists may claim there are no new allegations that warrant a response but this is not the view of the former Slater & Gordon partners or senior ALP and AWU officials. Mr Styant-Browne says the matter is of “genuine public interest”. In 1996, then AWU national secretary Ian Cambridge called for a judicial inquiry as he feared “serious corruption” had taken place. Former attorney-general Robert McClelland, then a solicitor engaged by the AWU to recover the misappropriated funds, told parliament in June that questions remained unanswered and action needed to be taken to ensure this kind of corruption was not repeated. Mr Styant-Browne said he did not “contemplate” that Slater & Gordon would “spin the facts of (Ms Gillard’s) departure” in order “to protect” her.Ms Gillard has consistently denied any knowledge or involvement in any wrongdoing. In November 2007 she said she was “young and naive”, yet she had held the senior position of partner at the firm from 1990 to 1996 and was in her mid-30s when this work was being undertaken. These events demand a serious response from Ms Gillard addressing her conduct at the firm and why she didn’t open a file for her AWU work; her knowledge of how Mr Wilson used the association she established; why she left the firm; and what she subsequently did to ensure any misuse of AWU funds ceased.
See some of our previous posts:
UPDATE I: see “Julia Gillard urged to ‘take the gloves off’”, by David Crowe and Sid Maher, in The Australian, and Andrew Bolt’s comments thereon in “Labor Urged to Punish Its Critics”:“‘Young and Naïve’ and ‘the Benefit of the Doubt’” (21 August, 2012);
“Duplicitous Gillard and the Sham Entity”—Michael Smith video (20 August, 2012);
“More on Gillard” (20 August, 2012);
“Using the PM’s Defence” (20 August, 2012);
“Gillard and ‘False Assertions’” (4 August, 2012);
“Gillard and the AWU Scandal”—nine video clips (30 July, 2012
“‘Depart, I Say, and Let Us Have Done with You’” (21 July, 2012);
“A Song from Julia” (23 June, 2012);“The PM’s Distress” (22 June, 2012);“A Song for Julia” (5 June, 2012);“The PM Lied” (1 March, 2012);“Unfit to Lead” (28 February, 2012);“A Cowardly Kim Carr v. a Courageous Kim Carr” (16 February, 2012);“The PM’s Gag” (10 February, 2012);“Incredibly Challenging” (10 November, 2011);
“The Loathing of Julia Gillard” (22 September, 2011);
“The National Interest” (20 September, 2011);
“The Elocution of Julia Gillard” (18 September, 2011);
“Principium Exitus” (sadly inaccurate, 31 August, 2011);
“Another Story You May Not Read” (29 August, 2011);
“A Story You May Not Read” (29 August, 2011);
“A Clean Energy Future” (at The Friends of CO2, 18 July, 2011)
These guys are talking like tin-pot totalitarians from some Third World country, contemplating using state power to cow their media critics. Despicable:UPDATE II: see also Bolt’s “The AWU scandal: what Gillard’s 1995 interview reveals”.
Julia Gillard has lashed out at her online accusers over the circumstances of her departure from law firm Slater & Gordon in the mid-1990s, as her caucus colleagues urged her to “take the gloves off” in a fight with the press.
The Prime Minister took aim at news coverage of her personal life and blasted internet blogs for their “gender-based” attacks on her leadership, amid increasing scrutiny of her link to a disgraced union official and her departure from Slater & Gordon in the mid-1990s.
In a heated discussion within the Labor caucus, MPs urged backbencher John Murphy to “go harder” as he attacked News Limited, publisher of The Australian, over its coverage of the government.
Ms Gillard responded by vowing to proceed with media reforms by the end of the year, keeping the threat of regulation hanging over the sector. …
In caucus, Mr Murphy called on Ms Gillard to toughen the regulation of the media and take on News Limited over what he described as its campaign against the government. Observers said Mr Murphy’s remarks struck a chord with a group of caucus members calling on Ms Gillard to create a new authority to oversee print, online, radio and television news.[All journalists] should ask themselves [whether] they can afford to have this government returned, emboldened to wreak vengeance with new laws against free speech and a free press. It has already called a media inquriy into what the Greens called the “hate media”—newspapers criticised their policies and were sceptical of global warming theology.
It seems astonishing that such intolerance of debate—and such use of state power to stifle it—should occur in modern Australia.
UPDATE III: in “Case raises new questions over Gillard’s conduct as a lawyer”, Lenore Taylor and The Sydney Morning Herald finally deign to notice that something may be amiss. The case, of course, raises more than just Gillard’s conduct as a lawyer, but we can’t expect the SMH to demand integrity and competence from the PM any time soon.
UPDATE IV: in “Renovator’s dream to legal nightmare”, Hedley Thomas of The Australian mentions the comical as well as the criminal aspects of Julia Gillard’s 1995 interview with Peter Gordon:
Julia Gillard faced her questioners in a conference room in Melbourne on September 11, 1995. A tape-recording device was on the table. A 25-page transcript would be produced away from the office, to limit gossip among secretaries and other lawyers.
After eight years of service, her plum job as salaried partner at Slater & Gordon lawyers, an entree to the big end of town in Labor politics and trade unions, hung by a fraying thread.
As a result of a tip-off to one of the other partners, she was now embroiled in a serious internal probe into her own actions in facilitating, unknowingly or knowingly, a suspected fraud involving hundreds of thousands of dollars by her then client and lover of the previous four years, allegedly corrupt Bruce Wilson.
The firm’s partners considered terminating Gillard, but in the end she would resign because staying on was not an option. The relationships, as former partner Peter Gordon revealed in eloquent detail in a remarkable draft statement leaked to The Australian this week, had “fractured, and trust and confidence evaporated”.
But before her departure, there was the questioning session. It was serious, yet parts were comical. As the transcript, provided to The Australian yesterday, shows, it covered Gillard’s florid descriptions of a cast of bumbling characters in disastrous renovations of her modest Victorian cottage in Abbotsford, an inner-city Melbourne suburb.
We hear of the Australian Workers Union’s Bill the Greek (aka Vassilis Telikostoglou), his mate Con “Spiri, Spiridis or Spiritis, or a word to that effect”, a slow-working but attractive Swedish builder, Taugney, and Gillard’s boyfriend, Wilson.
Between them, she explained with exasperation, they pulled off a home renovating disaster that left her fuming.
“The result was truly hideous and I think Geoff [Shaw] saw when he dropped me off one night and everybody else who’s passed my house has commented on it,” Gillard says, as she despairingly describes a low-level brick fence that Bill the Greek erected.
“I didn’t ask him to do that. In order to try and make it look less hideous, part of the work that Con was to do was to mortar it and put pickets on it …. to try and stop it looking quite as Greek, dare one say. He, you know, pleased as punch sort of said he had built it for me. Whether that means he himself did it, given Bill’s obvious difficulties with the truth, I no longer know.”
Peter Gordon asked: “What are Bill’s obvious difficulties with the truth?”
Gillard: “He’s just a big Greek bullshit artist.”
Gillard saw other defects. And Bill the Greek got another tongue-lashing.
“When I came home and saw the posts and windows which had got done in one day, I raised it immediately with Bill the Greek in fairly vociferous tones and said ‘this has just totally buggered up the job’,” she says.
“This is just hideous, you know, you need to talk to Con about it. I periodically raised with Bill ‘what on earth is happening with Con and these windows and these posts, and the tiling’s uncompleted and the fence is uncompleted’. Bill would say ‘I’ll fix it, I’ll fix it, but it never got fixed.”
The Australian has not been able to contact Mr Telikostoglou. […]
She told Gordon it was possible some work was funded from either the Australian Workers Union or the association that bore its name. She said: “I can’t categorically rule out that something at my house didn’t get paid for by the union or whatever, I just, I don’t feel confident saying I can categorically rule it out, but I can’t see how it’s happened because that really is the only bit of work that I would identify that I hadn’t paid for.”
Making it messier still was the fact Wilson, then a leading figure in the AWU with designs on a national leadership role, had run his allegedly corrupt activities through the entity, the AWU Workplace Reform Association, that Gillard had established for him. He told Gordon, the association was used as a “slush fund”.
Ordinarily, such circumstances should not have been insurmountable. Lawyers can hardly be held accountable for legitimate advice they provide to crooked clients.
But Gordon and the other equity partners, including Nick Styant-Browne, had become aware of other disturbing complications. They held concerns about Gillard’s conduct, and the potential reputational damage and litigation risk to the partnership, already riven with tension. […]
Much of the transcript, tightly held since 1995, has been redacted to ensure no breach of lawyer-client privilege.
Gordon asked Gillard numerous questions about the circumstances of her legal work for Wilson and his sidekick and union bagman Ralph Blewitt, and some of the most concerning irregularities including her failure to open a legal file for the establishment of the association. She said the association was a “re-election slush fund”, meaning it had nothing to do with its stated purposes including workplace safety or training.
“It’s common practice, indeed every union has what it refers to as a re-election fund, slush fund, whatever, which is the funds that the leadership team, into which the leadership team puts money so that they can finance their next election campaign,” Gillard told Gordon. […]
The questioning of Gillard on September 11 and the subsequent transcript were significant steps in the firm’s investigation of her conduct. It would not be long before she was gone from the firm, her conduct questioned, her future employment uncertain, her relationship with Wilson over, and her accusers in the Labor Party lining up to provide information to Liberal figures to launch attacks on Gillard in Victoria’s parliament.
For the past 17 years the explanation of a scandal that has dogged Australia’s first female prime minister remained untold by Gillard, despite parliamentary barbs.
|36 St. Phillips Street, Abbotsford—long after Bill the Greek’s improvements|
UPDATE V: rather generously, the kind-hearted Larry Pickering, despite his recent attacks on the PM’s integrity, favours her with some gratuitous advice:
Do not answer any questions!UPDATE VI: at Kangaroo Court of Australia, in “Julia Gillard caught lying on the public record in 2007 about the Bruce Wilson AWU fraud scandal”, Shane Dowling observes:
Under no circumstances answer any question from anyone, including Paul Kelly. Do not make any statements. If you do, it will amount to self harm of suicidal proportions.
You know there is much material yet to be released: Transcripts, tapes, signed statements, affidavits, the evidence of Blewitt, Wilson’s media deal, McClelland, Cambridge, a Federal Court Judge, former partners, colleagues and associates, the AWU, the Law Institute, Vic Police FOI material and much more.
You cannot possibly know the extent of what will be presented as corroborated evidence. Get one thing wrong and you will be mercilessly beaten all the way to the gallows with it.
Keep stonewalling them, Prime Minister. You are on a hiding to nothing—unless of course you want to tell the entire truth. But that would be a silly and uncharacteristic thing to do.
Oh dear, silly me! Fancy teaching you to suck eggs when your army of well-paid minders would have already advised you of that.
Anyway, just hang in there, mate. It might all go away.
Evidence that has come to light in the last few days clearly shows Julia Gillard lied on the public record in an interview she did in 2007. The evidence shows Julia Gillard has given three different reasons [for setting] up an association that was used by Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt to funnel fraudulently gained money through. […]UPDATE VII: Andrew Bolt notices that yet another sycophantic apologist for Julia Gillard, Michelle Grattan, in “Still waiting for new material on a story 17 years old”, can no longer ignore the story completely (though, naturally, the servile supporter pretends that it might not be so very important, really, because, ignoring all new evidence, she sees no new evidence):
The obvious problem is Julia Gillard [wrote on the relevant incorporation form] that the association was for “development of changes to work to achieve safe workplaces”; she told Nick Styant-Browne [she] “understood the purpose of the association was to hold re-election funds for union officials—she stated it was referred to as a re-election fund or slush fund”; and she told Glenn Milne “she has strenuously denied ever knowing what the association’s bank accounts were used for.” Three different times three different answers!
UPDATE VIII: in “Gillard’s big mistake”, Andrew Bolt spots the inconsistencies in Gillard’s narrative: the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association was formed, supposedly, to provide “development of changes to work to achieve safe workplaces” or, perhaps, “for the purpose of promoting and encouraging workplace reform for workers performing construction and maintenance work”, yet Gillard later admitted that it was in fact, to her knowledge, established and used, unlawfully, as “a slush fund”.Even Michelle Grattan at The Age now admits that perhaps, just perhaps, Julia Gillard didn’t quite do the right thing after all:Then and now, this matter is unsavoury. Even believing everything Gillard has said, it is clear that she did not follow best legal practice.
UPDATE IX: An End in Sight
UPDATE X: Larry Pickering adds another provocative article, “When Lawyers Lie”, to his Facebook page:It is not her lies
or self-serving evasions
but the cover-up
which now spells utter
doom for Julia Gillard’s
and not before time!
For incompetence, her mob
takes the bloody cup;
but, as is often
the case, truth will out, and we
can be confident
that, finally, meet
officials will launch a full
into how corrupt
she is, and how she managed
to serve the nation.
Judge Bernard Murphy was appointment by Julia Gillard to the Federal Court in April of last year.He declared yesterday, “My resignation was not in any way motivated by any suggestion of wrongdoing on my part in relation to Slater & Gordon’s representation of the Australian Workers Union or Mr Bruce Wilson.”Judge Murphy insisted he was not “sacked” from the law firm. He also said he resigned from the firm.“I was not involved in any investigation at Slater & Gordon in relation to my conduct in respect of the AWU or Mr Wilson,” he said.Technically correct, Sir. Carefully worded but grossly misleading. You must have been a lawyer, Sir?1. Bernard Murphy was not only present but assisted and advised Julia Gillard in drawing up that fraudulent document in order to launder misappropriated AWU funds.2. He could not have been sacked anyway because he was a Senior Equity Partner. He owned part of Slater & Gordon. The only way he could be removed from the firm was to agree to a settlement. Peter Gordon made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, with conditions attached. His subsequent resignation was a mere formality.3. No, he “wasn’t involved in any investigation”. But the investigation into Julia Gillard had certainly shown his complicity. He was caught red handed, had accepted the deal Peter Gordon offered, and left... just before Gillard was asked to.In 2010 he asked Prime Minister Gillard for an appointment as Judge to the Federal Court of Australia. Gillard granted her former boss’s request.As an aside, Gillard as Prime Minister, also appointed former AWU Secretary, Ian Cambridge, as a Commissioner of Fair Work Australia. The position commands a high salary.Ian Cambridge, along with Attorney General Rob McClelland, was the author of a damning and accusatory affidavit [available hence] concerning the Wilson/Gillard scandal. Ian Cambridge also has also demanded a Royal Commission into the AWU fraud.Ian Cambridge declared today, in answer to a question regarding his demand for a royal Commission, that “I am a member of a quasi-judicial tribunal. As a member of (Fair Work Australia) it is not appropriate for me to make public statements.”
UPDATE XI: see “Girl Talk”, by Peter Smith, in Quadrant Online:
UPDATE XII: Andrew Bolt, in “SMH, cursing, at last agrees Gillard must answer”, rightly condemns the belated recognition that, maybe, just maybe, a deceitful Prime Minister with a shady and possibly criminal past, who continues to lie pathologically within and without Parliament, might be worth investigating by Fairfax newspapers:Let’s see, in no particular order, and without trying to be exhaustive, Gillard says that the carbon tax was forced on her as a substitute for an ETS which she would have otherwise introduced. Yet we were all here when she went to the election with everything up in the air and in the hands of soon-to-be-established citizens’ assembly. Accused of reneging on a deal with Rudd, she took refuge in confidentiality; as she did to hide the blatantly obvious fact that she’d never spoken to Rudd about the government “losing its way”. She denied saying in cabinet that “elderly people don’t vote labour”. All of a sudden confidentiality was dispensable; as it was when she tried to explain away reports of her opposition to paid maternity leave in cabinet by saying that she was just applying rigorous scrutiny. She left the impression that the replacement of the RSPT with her cobbled-together MRRT would reduce revenue by only $1.5 billion, without telling us that Treasury had in the interim substantially increased projected resource prices. She let the “Dili solution” run as a concrete proposal until it came under scrutiny and then took refuge in the fine print of her announcement. Unbelievably, she said that she couldn’t recall seeing polling results immediately before challenging Rudd, and knew nothing of her staff preparing a victory speech two weeks before. She said that a report of the offer of a senate seat and the foreign affairs ministry to Bob Carr was “completely untrue”; before we found out that it was true. Even the deferential man himself, Peter van Onselen, in The Australian (“Excuse me miss, but the Prime Minister’s cheating”, 24 July, 2010), called into question her honesty in effectively claiming credit for particular educational advances which were none of her doing.Gillard leaves a nasty impression of someone willing to bury the truth to save her political skin; disquietingly, even when the truth is bound to emerge.
The Sydney Morning Herald—unusually—writes a 5.30pm editorial to get up to speed on a scandal it has not just ignored and dismissed.To excuse its failure to report and hold Labor to account, the paper first peddles a false history of the scandal, and demonises the allegedly anti-Labor newspaper which has done most of the recent investigation:“And then” picked up? How vile. In fact, some of us have worked and written on this story for a year, long before Pickering got involved. Funnily enough, most of the early work was done by Michael Smith, part of the Herald’s Fairfax stable, who was then effectively sacked for asking “unauthorised questions” of the Prime Minister—a most shameful incident in Fairfax’s history of “independent journalism”. The Australian started to get involved when Robert McClelland—not Larry Pickering—raised the matter in Parliament, and has since then broken genuine, legitimate stories—almost every one of which the Herald tried to play down and pooh-pooh. This editorial now reads like Labor supporters vomitting at having to face facts at last about a scandal that good reporters should have probed from the start.
The reluctance [of Julia Gillard to answer questions] is even more forgiveable when the old issue is dragged out by a vitriolic blogger unabashed about employing personal invective and obscene cartoons, and then picked up by a news organisation that makes no bones about having the objective of bringing her government down.
But belatedly, hurriedly, the Herald joins the chorus of calls for Gillard to answer serious questions about serious matters. […]
Let me put this delicately, to avoid the attention of lawyers. Others in Labor—people with ambitions beyond the next election—may do well to consider that the bigger that interest in this scandal grows, the bigger the demand will be for everything and everyone involved in it to be exposed and examined. Even those who’d say they were but innocent bystanders. It’s the cover-up that gets you every time.
The SMH gullibly accepts (or pretends to accept) the word of the PM:
She has later admitted she was “young and naive” and over-trusting of Wilson.
That’s not a credible admission, but an audacious, though lame, self-serving excuse: a lawyer aged thirty-two, a senior partner in a major firm, who conveniently just happened to assist a major fraud, was merely the poor, innocent, unknowing victim of a cunning, criminal boyfriend? Ha! How, then, does she explain her subsequent support for, say, the criminal behaviour of the likes of that pornerastic peculator, Craig Thomson, in her older and less naïve years?
This blog, by the way, as can be seen in the list of our previous Gillard-related posts, in but one of many which have shewn an interest in this important story long before Mr Pickering’s amusing contributions first appeared.
UPDATE XIII: Paul Zanetti, at Pickering Post, contributes a defence of free speech and an attack on sycophancy in “Chewing Off Your Own Leg”:
UPDATE XV (23 August): in less than one day this post has lengthened considerably; further updates will be posted to ‘“Τετέλεσται”’.
UPDATE XIII: Paul Zanetti, at Pickering Post, contributes a defence of free speech and an attack on sycophancy in “Chewing Off Your Own Leg”:
UPDATE XIV (23 August): the editors of The Australian, rightly, have evidently decided to pursue the Gillardgate scandal relentlessly and with fitting assiduity, and the courageous Hedley Thomas is in the vanguard: today The Australian publishes, inter alia, “Julia Gillard set up ‘work safety’ entity that was a slush fund” and “Nicola Roxon worked on files after Julia Gillard left Slater & Gordon”, by Hedley Thomas, and “An old flame faded into black”, by Ean Higgins. The Age is finally covering the scandal with some degree of seriousness in, inter alia, “Did PM break the law in WA”, by Natalie O’Brien, “Should PM have ‘opened a file’?”, by Farah Farouque, “Julia’s big fat Greek reno”, by Tony Wright, and “Lawyers at loggerheads over resignation details” by Michelle Grattan.Members of the ‘establishment’ mainstream media club were caught out, embarrassed and humiliated. They’d missed out on, or were afraid to touch, one of the biggest stories in Australian political history. What to do? Some, such as Hedley Thomas and Matthew Franklin of The Australian decided to grab the ball and run, too, with questions to answer. Editor, Rick Feneley, of Fairfax’s Sun-Herald appointed reporter Natalie O’Brien to start asking questions and publish. Paul Kelly, respected political stalwart from The Australian took Gillard head-on, live on TV, in a battle of dogged questions and Prime Ministerial obfuscations.Others such as Peter van Onselen decided to defend the PM, attack Pickering on air, making a preliminary uninformed judgement call to absolve the PM, in an effort to placate her to appear on his little watched pay TV show. Fawning like a lovestruck teenager, he gushed on air, “I believe you, Prime Minister”. She eyed him up and down, snapping back contemptuously about his ‘grand naïvety’. It wasn’t one of the proudest moments in TV journalism, with van Onselen showing political and media students what not to do when faced with a unique opportunity to get facts on one of the biggest political story I can remember. Others decided to make Pickering the story, betraying their own journalistic responsibilities, scurrying to excuse their own public failures (‘there’s nothing in this’ they ignorantly informed a curious public, without actually having the facts), excusing and exposing their own ineptness, cowardice, tent circling, backside-covering, rank-closing and cloud gazing. Look everywhere but at the elephant in the room.
Mark ‘no mates’ Latham, publicly defended Gillard without question and for personal interest. A political freak show in his day and a cartoonists dream who lost the unlosable election to John Howard, Latham became infamous for his explosive temper, breaking a taxi driver’s arm over a cab fare dispute, smashing a newspaper photographer’s camera, attempting to veer his car into a TV news cameraman and intimidating an elderly lady at a children’s swimming pool. Protect Gillard at any cost, even if that cost is exposed in his own transparent bias, while revisiting his admitted hatred for Kevin Rudd. There’s a growing Rudd bloc within the ALP and Latham will say whatever it takes to keep his former rival from The Lodge. He sees Kevin Rudd shadows everywhere. To this end, he has attacked this story of Gillard’s past as a right-wing conspiracy. Far from it, I can attest this is all coming from ALP sources.
There’s not been one conservative piece of input into this. The likes of Nicola Roxon and Tanya Plibersek desperately turn their misguided pot shots at Tony Abbott for something he knows nothing about, except what he reads, and with which he has no connection. I occasionally read Latham as a reminder why he was not fit to be the PM—the AFR embittered village idiot who is published not for his insightful wisdom but for his outlandish view of the world. […]
The mainstream media majority is turning on itself and chewing off its own leg as it remains caught in a trap of its own making. The government so wishes this would all just go away. Caucus was in a tizz last night deciding the best way to handle this affair. As of writing Caucus has urged the Prime Minister to ‘go harder’ with media reforms and regulations. The PM vowed to proceed with media reforms by the end of the year. Shutting down press freedom and social media will sign the death warrant of the Labor Party for a generation, while making a public hero of Pickering. It will be intriguing to see [whether] the PM make another disastrous judgement call.
UPDATE XV (23 August): in less than one day this post has lengthened considerably; further updates will be posted to ‘“Τετέλεσται”’.