Parliament On A Knife Edge Part III – Julia’s Haute Couture

I said the other day that the Thomson scandal threatened to blow up into Australia’s Watergate. Boy, I wasn’t wrong! The muck is being piled higher and higher. Now it’s reached the person of Julia Gillard herself.

OK, first a bit of background. Back in the mid-1990’s Julia, then an industrial lawyer for the Melbourne firm Slater and Gordon, was doing some work for the Australian Workers Union, a Slater and Gordon client. She met, and became involved in a long-term relationship with, the AWU’s Victorian State Secretary, one Bruce Morton Wilson. All of which is old news and unremarkable.

Now however, a statutory declaration has come to light, drawn up last year by former AWU president Bob Kernohan. In it, he states that acting on Wilson’s instructions, Gillard set up several irregular bank accounts into which were funnelled union monies used, among other things, on house renovations to two Melbourne properties, one of which belonged to Wilson, the other to Gillard. She has produced written documentation that she paid (subsequently, at any rate) for these renovations personally, and she is not being accused of unlawful gain for those, at least. The fact that she was co-habitating with Wilson, while both his house and hers were being renovated with union funds, through bank accounts she herself set up, while simultaneously taking instructions from Wilson as a Slater and Gordon client, suggest a mighty conflict of interest, at a bare minimum.

There is, however, the small matter of between $11,000 and $17,000 of union-derived funds, spent by Wilson, through one or more of these irregular accounts, at Town Mode, a women’s fashion house, on behalf of a “close personal friend”, who by this stage worked as a senior staffer for the Victorian government. The transcript of relevant hearings in the Victorian State Parliament can be viewed here.

Let them eat cake: La Gillardine faces the chop

If true, the allegations against Craig Thomson just became very small by comparison. Bombshell doesn’t start to describe it. Unless the charges in this declaration are entirely false (and Andrew Bolt in the link above claims to have verified them independently), there’s simply no way Gillard can survive this latest scandal. Her tenure as PM can now be measured in weeks, if not days.

The full Kernohan affidavit is due to be published on Monday, and I will be updating this story as it unfolds. In the meantime, have a listen to this.

Update 29 Aug 2011 0700: Well, the full Glenn Milne article, months in the research and jumping through legal hoops, has been published in The Australian this morning, and the new revelation is that the Melbourne house shared by Julia Gillard and Bruce Wilson was not only renovated with, but actually purchased with, embezzled union funds funnelled through secret bank accounts set up by Gillard, acting under Wilson’s instructions as a client of the law firm of which Gillard was a partner.

There is no direct evidence that Gillard knew of the purpose of these bank accounts. And Gillard, when interviewed by Milne (see link), characterized herself as being young and naïve at the time. But just how naïve does she expect us to believe that she was? A woman in her thirties, a senior partner in a law firm, former secretary of the Victorian Socialist Forum and seasoned political headkicker—young and naïve?? How could she not have known? The mere fact that she was a direct and mighty beneficiary of Wilson’s crimes means it does not pass the smell test, on even the most generous construction.

How naïve does she think we are?

Bah—she really is sunk this time.

Update 29 Aug 2011 10:30 – Wow! The Australian has pulled the Milne story (the link above now raises a 404 error) and issued the following retraction:

THE AUSTRALIAN published today an opinion piece by Glenn Milne which includes assertions about the conduct of the Prime Minister. The Australian acknowledges these assertions are untrue. The Australian also acknowledges no attempt was made by anyone employed by, or associated with, The Australian to contact the Prime Minister in relation to this matter.The Australian unreservedly apologises to the Prime Minister and to its readers for the publication of these claims.

Well, we’ll have to wait and see what comes of this. Milne has been on this story for years, they check and verify all their facts—and it’s pulled the morning it’s published? And what’s all this about no attempt was made to contact the Prime Minister? Milne’s story explicitly quoted from an interview he conducted with Gillard in 2007 on these matters.

And remember, both the Melbourne Herald-Sun’s Andrew Bolt and radio station 2UE’s Michael Smith claim to have independently verified the claims made in Kernohan’s statutory declaration (although Bolt is unsure of whether Gillard and Wilson were formally cohabitating—hardly a substantial factor in the allegations though). So someone here’s lying—big time.

Censorship and free speech! This is likely to be a bigger story than the story itself. More as it comes to hand…

Update 29 Aug 2011 12:00 I’ve been thinking a little more about this retraction. I wonder if it’s occurred to the editors of The Australian that, in stating these assertions are untrue, they are in effect accusing Bob Kernohan of lying in a statutory declaration, a criminal offence which, if proven, carries a prison term? Shouldn’t Kernohan be seeking his own court injunction to force The Australian to retract its retraction?

Watergate, indeed.

Update 30 Aug 2011 0715 – We now know it was a personal telephone call from Gillard to John Hartigan, CEO of News Limited (which owns The Australian) that resulted in the story being pulled. I guess now a precedent has been set. Even Andrew Bolt has been ordered to silence. I wonder if this is a permanent state of affairs.

I don’t get why this detail burned her—it’s a matter of record that they were in a relationship, in all likelihood she was staying nights if not officially living with him. Big deal, most fair-minded people would say. The guy was corrupt to his eyeballs, and that’s also a matter of record. Milne was careful to state there was no evidence that Gillard knew the source of the money with which Wilson bought his house. This whole thing smells.

Update 30 Aug 2011 2045 – Stranger and stranger. Now News Limited is hitting back. Read about it here. Jeez, tomorrow’s going to be interesting.

Update 31 Aug 2011 0815 – And here’s the answer in Bolt’s column today. I’m glad he chose not to resign in the end, though he says he came close to doing so. But the real story now is the desperation of the Australian government to cling to power.

Update 09 Sep 2011 1715 – to bring the Thomson case further up to date, New South Wales police have formally dropped the investigation into Thomson, saying there is no evidence a crime has been committed in its jurisdiction. Labor supporters are trumpeting this decision as a vindication of Thomson, though on closer inspection, it is anything but. This is because all the NSW police were investigating was the possibility that Thomson’s HSU credit card was used fraudulently; that is, by somebody else. What the NSW police have said is, they are satisfied that the credit card was used for escort services by the person whose name and signature appears on the card. In other words, Thomson’s excuse that someone else’s signature was on the numerous brothel payment slips has been shot to hell. Meanwhile, Victorian police are now investigating Thomson’s possible crime committed in their jurisdiction—that is, embezzlement of HSU funds.

It gets worse. Fresh allegations against Thomson have been raised in this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald, that he and union boss Michael Williamson received secret commissions by way of open-ended Amex cards given to them by a contractor who has been publishing the union newsletter at a seemingly vastly inflated price. Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis has referred these new allegations to the NSW police in this letter, citing the secret commissions provisions of the NSW Crimes Act, an offence which carries a jail term of up to seven years.

This ain’t over, by a long shot.

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72 Responses to Parliament On A Knife Edge Part III – Julia’s Haute Couture

  1. farmerbraun says:

    Farmer Braun likes the top photo; just look at the length of that neck, would ya’?

  2. Kitler says:

    Well if Oz politics has gotten to the same stage as UK politics then they will ignore this minor inconvenience.

  3. Kitler says:

    farmerbraun then maybe you may like this….

  4. herptile says:

    I wish UK politics were as exciting. All we’ve got is Chris Huhne and his speeding points. This may bring him down but not the Government.
    The scandals over SamCam’s dad’s windfarm, and Miriam Clegg’s directorship of Acciona seem to leave folk non-plussed.
    ‘Ah, that’s what politicians do’ they say.
    Still good luck in your endeavours.

  5. Tucci says:

    Has anyone developed a timeline for Julia Gillard’s relationships – both professional and personal – with Bruce Morton Wilson? Let me see if I can wrap my American non-lawyer mind around this thing.

    Insofar as I can determine from the available information, the whole mess began while she was “an industrial lawyer” working in the private sector, as the result of her intimate relationship with an officer of her law firm’s corporate client, the Australian Workers Union. She was knowingly instrumental in the diversion of client funds to the personal pecuniary benefit of that AWU officer and herself. There is a statement from Gilliard “that she paid (subsequently, at any rate) for these renovations [on her own house funded by AWU monies] personally, and she is not being accused of unlawful gain for those, at least,” but it would be good to find find out how the diversions of Union funds – to Wilson’s house renovations and to Gillard’s – had been structured.

    It sounds mightily like Gillard, acting in a professional capacity on behalf of the AWU, had received instructions from a client officer to create “slush fund” accounts upon which Wilson had drawn for his own personal benefit and the personal benefit of Gillard to no legitimate business purpose of the client entity.

    That really does give the appearance of a terrible violation of the standards of conduct common to the legal profession in any country I can think of.

    From what I’m reading here, the intimate personal relationship between Gillard and Wilson continued into a period in Ms. Gillard’s life when she had left Slater and Gordon to become “a senior staffer for the Victorian government,” during which time Wilson had expended “$11,000 and $17,000 of union-derived funds … through one or more of these irregular accounts, at Town Mode, a women’s fashion house, on behalf of” Julia Gillard, who is presently characterized (by whom?) as “a ‘close personal friend’.”

    Whether or not those “union-derived funds” were ever repaid to the AWU is not terribly relevant to the fact that Union resources were turned to the personal benefit of an officer of the Union – Wilson – under an arrangement sufficiently irregular to bring to the reasonable observer the consideration of studied and repeated peculation, and Gillard (who had a professional responsibility to the AWU as one of the lawyers representing the Union in various aspects of the Union’s business) not only benefiting materially in Wilson’s actions and participating in these diversions of Union funds but continuing to receive material benefits from these activities while she was an officer of civil government.

    At the very least, this conduct on the part of Julia Gillard appears to be sufficient cause for actions leading to her disbarment or other disciplinary actions. What kind of bodies regulate the legal profession in Australia?

    Next, we have the conduct of Julia Gillard as “an officer of civil government” in the state of Victoria, apparently receiving a substantial material benefit from sources she had every cause to know was a potentially criminal diversion of AWU funds.

    English common law prevails in Australia, right? The concepts of “accessory before and after the fact in embezzlement” and “receiver of stolen goods” are acknowledged in Australian legal codes, aren’t they?

    Okay, it might be argued that these actions on Gillard’s part did not take place while she was an officer of the national government, but they still appear to be indicative of both professional misconduct and arguable criminality while functioning as an officer of state government.

    It’s as if criminal investigators and attorneys general with some guts were to look into the hermetically sealed records of “Harrison J. Bounel” (or whatever in hell his name really is) while he was functioning as a “community organizer,” or voting “Present” as an Illinois state Senator, and brought the man’s many unspecified but undoubted criminalities to a grand jury to get indictments.

    Our TelePrompTer-in-Chief might be walked out of the White House in handcuffs as he deserves.

    Same thing for Julia Gillard, perhaps?

    G’day Tucci,

    Expect to see the timeline analyzed in the media next week. I studiously avoided using the phrase “slush fund” up at the top, but thank you for getting my drift. The “close personal friend” characterization was made in the Victorian parliament (follow link above) and later clarified to identify Gillard explicitly.

    How she expects to get through this lot with no criminal charges at all is beyond me – Oz

  6. fenbeagle says:

    Well it looks like she stuck her neck out there.

  7. yaosxx says:

    The Gizzard really is a Lizard! Can’t wait for her to be kicked out!

  8. Kitler says:

    Tucci from a law prospective she has crossed so many lines she is in serious trouble, it depends if anybody cares like the law. It depends how corrupt Australian law is?

    Msher could tell us as USA law is very similar to Ozzy law as to conflict of interests etc.

  9. Foxie says:

    A long neck like that used to be called a “brass neck” in olden times, Fen.

  10. Foxie says:

    Farmer Braun: Why do you like long necks? Oh I see… Deep Throat.

  11. benfrommo says:

    I could tell you from some limited legal knowledge about legal proceduer in the US. In every state she would be immediatly disbarred for this behavior (As a lawyer) and consequently be investigated by the Bar association in conjection with the prosecuters office for a number of charges that rather sound like mafia types. Racketeering…check. Obstruction of justice, check. Tax evasion: Probably. The disbarring would result mainly from the conflict of interest displayed and the wrongs committed for her clients. This would be immediate with an investigation under-taken to prove the allegations. It generally depends on the state, but most would in an egrarious case such as this yank the lawyer layer, pass on information to the prosecuters office and then turn around and produce a duel investigation.

    But yes, mafia type crimes which as mentioned under the RICO act apply equally to both parties in this case. They would be in other words a fairly nasty piece of work to deal with. In the US, a special prosecuter would be appointed at the federal level since most statutes broken are the prevue of the Federal Government.

    And let me be clear about this. Breaking state laws in the US lands you in prison which is bad enough. Federal Prisons are much much worse. The laws tend to make them harsh and they are not forgiving of anyone. In the US, she would be sent to federal prison and would be like-wise immediatly sent to digging trenches and filling them in for back-breaking labor. 8 hours a day…

    Being convicted via RICO has the added benefit of making sure you pretty much spend the rest of your life in misery. This is why only the truly fool-hardy go this route in the US.

    I might have gotten some aspects of the legality a little off, but rest assurred that most people who commit these crimes do not end up in “white collar” prisons because federal crimes such as those under the RICO act throw you away for quite a time.

  12. Tucci says:

    Ozboy had written: “I studiously avoided using the phrase ‘slush fund’ up at the top, but thank you for getting my drift.

    I don’t know how such matters are considered in Australia, but in these United States it’s not uncommon for corporate entities – and unions qualify as such – to create “discretionary spending accounts” for the use of certain corporate officers in the pursuit of legitimate business on behalf of the corporation. The “entertainment” of people whose decisions it would be to the corporation’s benefit to influence is one of these arguably legitimate business purposes. Ditto for “gifts” within certain limits and under other defined conditions.

    The borderline between “permissible gift” and “bribe” had best be quite explicitly set as a matter of corporate policy, or – per benfrommo – we’re looking at the corporate entity (the Australian Workers Union in this case) getting its figurative pecker stuck in the meatgrinder of Australia’s equivalent of the RICO statutes.

    These “slush fund” type accounts put at the discretion of corporate officers often permit wide latitudes when it comes to the officers’ decisions about when and what disbursements should be made, but I’d think that there would have to be some kinds of extraordinary and explicitly articulated justifications for residential property renovations conducted on a house owned by the corporate officer responsible for the control of the account(s) and a house owned by a lawyer engaged in her professional capacity by the corporation (the AWU) as a provider of legal services.

    Did the renovations undertaken on either residential property conduce to the benefit of the AWU in some way? Did those renovations enable Mr. Wilson and/or Ms. Gillard to “entertain” people whom it would serve the AWU’s purposes to favorably influence?

    Gawd, it might be a kind of saving grace for both la Gillard and her honey were they using their residences at that time as orgy pits in which they were gathering video and audio recordings of business contacts disporting themselves sexually with Cub Scouts and cocker spaniels, the better to blackmail ’em on behalf of the Australian Workers Union. That much the Union leadership could at least explain to the membership as activities accruing to the Union’s advantage.

    Dunno how the Town Mode expenditures – while Ms.Gillard was a state government employee – might be explained.

    Er, has Town Mode ever trafficked in bondage gear, perhaps?

  13. Dr. Dave says:


    Perhaps this level and intensity of scandal is new to Australia. What is it gonna take to drop the hammer on either Gillard or Thompson? Our utterly corrupt Democrat party has demonstrated a unique ability to make such unpleasant things “go away”. Bill Clinton had more dirt on him before he took office than Nixon did when he left office. Obama makes Clinton look like a piker. For a bit of perspective read just the Wikipedia entry about Tony Rezko.

    For former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer it didn’t matter if he spent his own money on prostitutes – he was gone in very short order. I would think this Thompson thing would blow up to its inevitable conclusion rather quickly. I mean…paying for prostitutes with other people’s money is in exceptionally poor taste, don’t you think? In the end it may prove to be more difficult to prove Gillard guilty of impropriety.

    Well, the genie is out of the bottle now, so to speak. It’s not as though we haven’t seen all this before in this country – in state politics, anyway. Former Western Australian premier Brian Burke ended up in the clink for seven months, thanks to an investigative journalist known around these parts as MemoryVault. So it could certainly happen at federal level.

    If it did, I bet your Commander-in-Chief would sit up and take notice – Oz

  14. Kitler says:

    benfrommo while you would think lawyers would be held accountable or more so than the regular Joe on the street unfortunately they are not, usually what happens is they asked to resign from the bar and never to practice law again. It is a rare day in Hell that a lawyer is brought before a court to face the real consequences it is rumored that the First Wookie was disbarred for a lot of what you mentioned.

  15. Amanda says:

    Speaking of haute couture, that suit in the top piccie is all wrong for her. Makes her neck look about three miles long and her head a bit undersized, somewhat like an ostrich. (Mind you, prominent necks are ‘in’, you know: have a look at William the Sparse’s wife and also the Windfarm Daughter.) Also, the suit flares unflatteringly at her hips, giving her a pear shape. On the plus side, she has a beautifully clear complexion and, given her age, maintains what I presume to be her natural redheadedness very well. Her face has a certain refinement and she is a handsome lady, I’d say. I don’t dye my hair so I’m not really up on this, but perhaps her hairdresser uses a product like ‘Just For Men’, which dyes only the white hairs (hair is not grey: it only appears that way at a distance because of the mingling of white with darker hairs). That way you get a more authentic dye job and retain your natural hair colour for the most part. I shall probably be using that product myself one day (though the men’s line has a very limited palette), or something like it. Assuming I get to be grey, assuming I live that long :^o

    It’s unfair, but a fact of life, that female politicians are invariably judged more harshly than male politicians on their appearance—particularly by female voters. And, well, it’s impolite to enquire as to a lady’s real hair colour (unless you, um, intend to find out anyway), but in Julia’s case, it’s something of public knowledge—interpret that as you will.

    Not that I care, but since you’ve asked, the fluoro orange you see on Julia today is, like so much else about her, a bit of an exaggeration; here’s her 1978 High School portrait:

    And the reason it’s fluoro these days:

    Bit sloppy really, given her current live-in boyfriend’s a hairdresser – Oz

  16. Ozboy says:

    …and speaking of Tim Mathieson (Julia’s boyfriend), how’s this for ineptitude on the part of Julia’s office…

    Julia recently offered lunch at The Lodge (the PM’s official Canberra residence) with her boyfriend, Tim Mathieson, as the prize in a recent Melbourne charity auction to raise money for the Children First Foundation. $10,000 was the winning bid, and the luncheon was scheduled to go ahead this weekend.

    No-one in Julia’s office, however, bothered to check until yesterday, when to their horror they discovered the winning bidder was none other than Melbourne underworld czar Mick Gatto. They have hastily cancelled what would have been a most colourful photo opportunity.

    Imagine America’s top mafia boss lunching with the First Lady on the White House lawn. You can read all about it here. Gatto is complaining Julia “won’t return my calls” and is suggesting she match his $10,000 if she wants to back out.

    You just couldn’t make this stuff up 😆

  17. Amanda says:

    OK, Oz, fair enough. But let me just add, notwithstanding Julia’s remarkable makeover, that people’s hair colour does change naturally. My own hair colour has altered dramatically in my lifetime (and texture, too, from straight to curly), while my boyfriend’s turned from distinctly reddish-brown to mainly brown over the course of a few years (we were very young). I have gone from being flaxen blonde to honey blonde to pinkish dark blonde to coppery blonde-light brown to you get the idea (especially since I don’t let the sun bleach my hair any more here in the subtropics — I always wear a hat). However, I don’t know *what* kind of climate you’d have to be in to get a red quite as punk-rock as what Julia has in that last photo.

    BTW, I judge all politicians by their policies first and foremost, which is why I love Giuliani even though he is no heart-throb; and I am not impressed by Ron Paul, who happens to be weedy and whiney-peevish in my book, but those deficiences wouldn’t deter me if I thought he was great. In Romney, however, we have a very handsome man who also happens to be (pace the purists) a genuine conservative. Which, let’s face it, is one hell of a combination!

    By “female voters” I wasn’t referring to you, Amanda (you can’t vote here anyway). But it’s true that womens’ magazines down here obsess about her hair, make-up, clothes etc. It’s tough being a woman in politics, I guess.

    Except that men in politics don’t have recourse to the kind of “innocent damsel wronged” excuse that Julia has always put up regarding her relationship with Wilson. That she was the innocent beneficiary of someone else’s wrongdoing is going to be pretty hard to sell to the Australian public this week, I’m guessing – Oz

  18. Amanda says:

    P. S. I can’t imagine anyone wanting lunch with her as a prize, unless she gave you a yacht or private plane to go home in… and keep as your own!

  19. Kitler says:

    ozboy so your criminals have a wicked sense of humour got to admire the guy. Why does Joolia remind me of The Penguin?

    Why does she always remind me of this? – Oz:…

  20. benfrommo says:


    You do have a point that yes it would probably work out as a back-room deal kind of thing. And they would probably be pardoned (assuming a similar position of power such as president (for PM) and the next president being the same party. The politics would apply more so then the general story of how things work.

    After thinking about this, the tale of Agnew and Nixon would probably apply more so then the special prosecuter going to town as it were. Allegations such as this would probably just result in the president losing the office, not being able to practice law anymore (if a lawyer) and some sort of fine to pay back what they got in ill-gains. If the deal was not sweet-heart like that, I am sure the next president would just pardon them.

    However, this might be the most likely conclusion to the story, but I also think the other route would be that the VP might just let them out to dry too. If the VP has political ambitions and wants to hold onto the office of president, they would very likely abide by what the prosecuters do (who I may mention will normally be appointed by the opposite political party.)

    Then they would wait until their final term and give them a pardon at the eleventh hour.

    I could see that being a possibility too, and the person actually serving time equal to the political carear of the VP who became president. So at worst case, 10 years or so. Best case, 2 years or so. It all depends on the VP really who becomes pres. That power to pardon is the one wild card in the deck of what would happen to the previous president.

    Personally, its really a shame, but I have a feeling that a similar situation will probably end up happening in Australia. She will more then likely if the evidence is credible enough be removed in office shortly and elections being called.

    Odds are, I assume that the party will probably fight for her and as such she will receive a slap on the wrist in the form of disbarment, probation and paying back ill-gotten gains. She makes enough as PM that I am sure she can cover that fairly easilly.

    But in the end, the deal will be worked out in some back room among reps from both parties who will agree to elections blah blah blah and a couple other political consessions I am sure. But it might be interesting if they make her plead guilty to the Australian equivalent of a felony. I am curious how this unfolds now…If the allegations and proof are all true, I would fully expect elections being announced almost immediatly and the next elections being a true riot of the labor party in general.

  21. meltemian says:

    Must be the nose CA.
    Be fair she doesn’t really look like Danny De-Vito.

  22. meltemian says:

    Oz’ speaking of MV, how is he? Are you in contact? Give him my best and say I miss him and Thumper.

    No, I’m not in contact – my phone conversation with him in November was the last time we’ve spoken. It’s sad, ‘cos he and Thumper contributed much to this blog and I owe him much. If you’re reading MV, I raise my glass to you – Oz

  23. Kitler says:

    meltemian I was thinking of the Burgess Meredith Penguin.

  24. meltemian says:

    Well I’d need to see her with a monocle and a cigarette holder………..but I’ll give you the “crooked as a warped shillelagh” (spelling??)

  25. If true, what a bunch of dirty thieving B’Stards

  26. herptile says:
    With al this incredibly newsworthy stuff coming out of Oz., how come this is all we hear from the Telegraph’s ridiculous Bonnie Malkin ?

  27. G’Day Oz,

    Nice update. It looks like a lot of folks are anticipating a “witness” coming forward on Monday. This is on top of everything with Thomson, and it’s unlikely now that the coalition government can last for more than a few weeks, probably with an election by year’s end.

    Looking ahead, is Tony Abbott a solid conservative? He has been hedging his bets a little on AGW.

    Cheers, CSM

    Yes, Abbott’s a diehard conservative. A former Catholic seminarian, he’s on record in the past as describing AGW as “crap”; though these days he moderates such language, presumably as a sop to the “wet” faction in his party – Oz

  28. bowlsy says:

    2UE are trying to play an interview today with Bob Kernohan which has some damming info for Gillard. Was supposed to be on at 12pm but now 12:40pm and they are still waiting on their lawyers to approve go ahead. I have a feeling the the PM’s office is trying to block it. Listen in here:

    Thanks Bowlsy – got it on – Oz

  29. hope Michael can play the interview in his show this afternoon. He is obviously getting a little frustrated with the legal blocks that need to be cleared.

    If Julia thinks her lawyers can silence this forever, they’ve got another thing coming. I’m listening in as I work, and will alert the UK Tele when or if it airs this arvo – Oz

  30. Ozboy says:

    Well, Michael Smith’s 2UE interview with Bob Kernohan has been put off till tomorrow, due to (he says) the station’s lawyers wanting several extra facts corroborated, but what he strongly hinted at all afternoon was an injunction. We’ll see tomorrow. Can’t fool all the people, all the time, ya know.

  31. Ozboy says:

    Catallaxy is running with this story as well. The debate over there centres around the retraction, and the fact that publishing links to the story (which, though it has been taken down at The Australian, has been reproduced all over the blogosphere) constitutes republication and hence defamation. People over there who seem knowledgeable about this reckon it doesn’t, under Australian law at least (but hold off posting any such links until we’re sure). Do those concerned really think they can keep a lid on this forever? Or assume that everyone will be intimidated by their legal bluster? Or think, perhaps, that they might even edit out of history the parliamentary Hansard record of these charges? Arrogance doesn’t describe it: this is now into the realms of that wonderful Yiddish word, chutzpah.

    Michael Smith at 2UE sure wasn’t intimidated. In view of the injunction, the theme of his show this afternoon was Things I Did When I Was Young And Naïve 😆

    Hopefully we’ll get to the bottom of it all tomorrow. One thing’s for sure: Sydney radio station 2UE tomorrow afternoon will get the highest ratings in its 86-year history.

  32. Ozboy says:

    And how’s this for irony – check out the Google ads popping up on Andrew Bolt’s blog home page (see if you can guess which one I’m referring to):Let the lawyer jokes begin…

  33. benfrommo says:

    Keep us informed, been watching the blog over the last couple of days, as its hard to get news without a very specialized search here in the states for Australia and second only the sanitized news makes it over here. I find this entire thing fascinating.

    Especially now the stone-walling of evidence and not many people speaking out about that. I wonder really what average Australians are talking about right now in reference to all of this?

    If Labor had any credibility left at all yesterday, it’s gone now. It’s now a case of waiting for a sitting Labor or independent MHR to resign, declare bankruptcy, get arrested or keel over. On average there have been three by-elections each federal term since Federation, so it’s on the cards.

    One thing we’re seeing now federally is what we saw earlier this year in New South Wales prior to the electoral bloodbath Labor suffered in the state poll: the rats jumping ship. Back then, no less than 24 NSW state Labor MHAs (same as your state congressmen) announced they would not be recontesting their seats (‘cos they knew there was no point). Well yesterday, just after the morning’s events, Bendigo’s Labor MHR announced he would be retiring at the 2013 election, and there is speculation that at least four other Labor MHRs are considering retirement as well. These things have a habit of picking up momentum, like a snowball – Oz

  34. Dr. Dave says:

    Awww Dave, that’s a favourite of mine. Let me tell you, a teenage boy who can play that on the guitar has got the equivalent of… well, I’ll tell you later.

    It sounds so out of place here – Oz

  35. Oz, wtf is going on?

    I’ve just tuned into the show and it looks like the legal red tape has only increased since yesterday.

    As is being said in the phone in, this is extremely dangerous in terms of dissuading future whistleblowers. This is now becoming like communist totalitarian state rule.

  36. FergalR says:

    The Andrew Bolt & Paul Howes debate on 2GB yesterday was the strangest thing I’ve ever heard in my life (goes straight to audio):

    Guys, the gag’s been put on. Michael Smith said he still can’t play the interview he recorded over the weekend with Bob Kernohan, on the advice of 2UE’s lawyers. He says he’s checked and double-checked every fact, but still can’t play it.

    It’s about more than a simple defamation, of course. A government, and indeed an entire political movement is right now fighting for its life, and there are no lengths it won’t go to in order to survive.

    As to Bolt, the story he posted last Saturday has been pulled from News Limited’s website, and my links to it above are now broken. I suspect he may resign tomorrow: check out this – Oz

  37. Kitler says:

    Well this seems appropriate in the circumstances and let them try and call it defamation…..

  38. Pingback: Governments in Trouble and Censorship. « Knotted prop Blog

  39. farmerbraun says:

    Here’s Joolya’s new song:

  40. farmerbraun says:

    Foxie says:
    August 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm
    Farmer Braun: Why do you like long necks? Oh I see… Deep Throat.

    Reply: modesty ( and propriety) prevent FB from commenting further.

  41. Kitler says:

    farmerbraun being of a modest upbringing and somewhat sheltered life I have no idea what Foxie is referring to.

    Me neither 😉

    Having said that, could I ask as a favour that we all keep on topic this thread until further notice? The reason being, given Andrew Bolt’s (possible) impending resignation, I’ve alerted GE to the issue. If he decides to get involved (which he may ‘cos it’s topical and close to home for him as a journo), it could get a bit busy here for a while.

    BTW Kitler I liked your related article at Knotted Prop. Everyone check it out if you haven’t already – Oz

  42. Oz, resignation under pressure, or a principled resignation to protest stifling of free speech and to enable spilling of some beans?

    Mostly the latter I’d say CSM. Tomorrow will reveal which – Oz

  43. Kitler says:

    Ozboy unfortunately your government has put a legal dampner on discussion which make discussing the topic difficult. I wish to avoid getting you in trouble legally although mockery in my above posting of Nancy Sinatra fortunately escapes.
    One thought did occur to me since Joolia’s government is at best on a knife edge in a coalition with greentards and anti gambling nutters what was she thinking by introducing the one piece of legislation that would piss everyone off ie the CO2 stuff. That was a guaranteed electoral suicide.
    Being without even a slim majority the smallest scandal would destroy her hold on power, her enemies would exploit to destroy her and her hold on power whether true or not (let the courts decide).
    However using the law to bludgeon the opposition will in today’s blogosphere will have the opposite effect it will always raise questions of “guilt” or culpability at best. Most politicians of whatever party are guilty of doing things that can be said to be questionable, what was she thinking?

    You’re right Kitler, but try your best anyway. It sticks in my craw as a Libertarian, believe me: a death sentence for uttering the wrong word – Oz…

  44. fenbeagle says:

    Kitler. The lack of ‘thinking’ is what’s worrying me the most about CO2 and the politics surrounding it.

  45. Kitler says:

    fenbeagle exactly it’s all about money and taxes when the BRIC’s take it seriously so will I.

  46. Kitler says:

    Ozboy fortunately here in the USA the libel and slander laws are weak if I was back in blighty I would have my hands tied. I can exercise opinion here and as long as I do not accuse people directly or say allegedly I can get away with things. Which really pisses off the people in power here as does the right arm bears. The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when the wrote the constitution, they knew in the future some self righteous bastards would try to undo the good work they had done.

  47. Luton Ian says:

    The founding fathers did it themselves a few years later with the “Aliens and Sedition Act”.

    It corrupts, so it does.

  48. FergalR says:

    Have you seen the un-redacted statutory declaration? If it’s true the Labor party is screwed. I don’t want to put the link here in case that’s a problem for you. Guess it’s late there anyhows, I’m sure you’ll see it in the morning!

  49. Pingback: Oz: wtf? | The Digital Glebe

  50. Great info Oz.

    The declaration can be accessed via my blog.

    Thanks OL – Oz

  51. fenbeagle says:

    Bolt is back….

    Hope so Fen. We should find out in a few hours.

    I’m on the road today but will check in when I can – Oz

  52. Kitler says:

    Luton Ian the Aliens and Sedition act was squished rather quickly by the courts if I remember correctly. At some point or other someone in any government tries it on to see what they can get away with because the power has gone to their heads.

  53. Dr. Dave says:

    There’s nothing like a beacon of hope to put a smile on the face of the citizenry (or subjects as the case may be). Australia has the very real hope of ridding itself of the Gillard/Greens socialist boot on the neck of its national prosperity and liberty. This is quite exciting even for a citizen of the US. OZ has future PM Abbott just waiting in the wings.

    In the US we have the very real prospect of President Perry in January of 2013. Perry’s not perfect. He has a couple of blemishes on his history as Governor of Texas (e.g. the HPV vaccine imbroglio and the trans-Texas Corridor debacle). I’m also uncertain about his position on immigration (legal and illegal). But lately every time he opens his mouth I like him even more. He has stated that AGW is bunk and that our SS system is a monstrous lie. Truth just oozes out o this guy. He’s as tall as Obama only his shoulders are about 50% wider and he looks like a man rather than a swishtail metrosexual. He grew up as a farmer/rancher, he’s a former AF Captain who flew C-130s. When he got out of the service he made a fortune in real estate and his record as Texas Governor leaves every other state gasping.

    Alas, I fear the the UK is screwed.

  54. Ozboy says:

    Here’s the answer, in Bolt’s column this morning.

  55. benfrommo says:

    Very interesting, its time for bed finally, but I did notice that as linked that the censorship has ended, but what will happen now?

    As Bolt explained (which my google search never picks up news from him I might note…) the original issue was never about Gilliard herself, just mistakes she might have made. In the US, she would be culpable under RICO as I stated earlier, but in Australia I think Bolt has a point that she would probably not be touchable due to “not knowing what her left hand was doing” so to speak.

    So once again, politicians panic, and try to cover up things and THAT is where they get into trouble. If they would just grow thicker skin, grin and bear it, no one would care.

    But her position is even worse now with possible speculation into censorship. Which of course brings out the question: So far we know her lover at the time was involved as a conman. But why would she censor this? It could be like I said just an over-reaction, but there might be more to this then we think. But that is just speculation on my part, I really don’t know.

    As for the censorsip goes: for you Australians, this is something to really demand justice over. Its one thing for classified secrets and/or libel from being printed (which is what I am assuming keeps your laws how they are in other words.) But to censor something that contains none of that? Very fishy and if she has the right to do that, she has power over the media and if she has power over the media, she controls it. No Government figure should EVER have any control or likewise connection to media because that would imply that the newspaper is nothing but a state mouthpiece and images of Baghdad Bob come to mind or perhaps even the BBC for the UK and/or NPR in the US.

    What are her recent polls showing her support at? I have been wondering after looking at her rather dismal public standing before, and now its gotta be going through the floor.

    That is my main question at this point considering everything going on. I also think its time to repost for you for a more American audience on my blog. This is shaping up to be rather major and I still think this week is when we will see some big things. Its only Tuesday and the media is already circling her. (picture vultures circling in on a dying animal.)

  56. fenbeagle says:

    Oz. Just trying to catch up quickly on these events involving Julia from before. There doesn’t seem to be any doubt that union funds were misused. But the blame for this all fell on the head of Julia’s boyfriend at that time? And Julia was considered to be entirely innocent and unknowing, despite her professional involvement in making it possible?
    (My spell check tried to change involvement into enslavement :-))

  57. Tucci says:

    At 7:36 AM on 31 August, Dr. Dave had written:

    In the US we have the very real prospect of President Perry in January of 2013

    …going on to extoll the man’s “daring” in stump speeches where he observes that the Federal Reserve System is a counterfeiting ring, Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, the preposterous bogosity of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) conjecture is “bunk,” and so forth.

    Of course, Gov. Perry wouldn’t be saying diddly about such things were it not for his observation that Dr. Ron Paul has made these unabashed declarations key elements of his public policy positions for more than a decade, and they’re all getting tremendous traction among independents and the more libertarian-minded (classic Taft/Goldwater) Republicans, especially since the global economic bubble-bust in 2008 and following the Climategate revelations of 17 November 2009.

    Oh, yeah. Dr. Dave failed to mention that Gov. Perry also has Good Hair. Per the observations of Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert and author of The Dilbert Future: Thriving on Stupidity in the 21st Century, who also calls it “executive hair”):

    Of all the things that influence elections, it appears that information is the least significant. Elections are won by the candidate whose staff members are the most skilled at manipulating voters. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because you have to be quite smart to figure out the best way to manipulate millions of Induhviduals into marching in the same direction. And if we get tall presidents with good hair who hire smart staff members, that’s not the worst thing that could happen.

    Happens, however, that in the present and past few presidential administrations, we’ve gotten blithering damned fools in the top slot – with “good hair” – backed by “staff members” who’ve been great at “manipulating voters” but who have proven catastrophically incompetent in the exercise of political power.

    Witness the damages done by “Harrison J. Bounel” (or whatever in hell his name really is), squatting unconstitutionally upon the presidential crapper just off the Oval Office.

    I suspect that Gov. Perry, ensconced on that same toilet in 2013, will prove every bit as idiotic as his predecessors (with the exception of Grover Cleveland and Thomas Jefferson), because he’ll enter that rest room with all the baggage of the same RINO/neocon establishment that made a horrible ruination of the country behind the figurehead of Dubbya.

    All the noise notwithstanding, we much acknowledge that almost everything Dr. Dave admires about Gov. Perry is second-handed from Dr. Ron Paul, who has clearly showed Perry “…the way to promotion and pay.”

    Why hire the superficial and demonstrably screwed-up copycat (I will not gloss over the Gardasil blunder, or any of Gov. Perry’s other baggage) when we can have the man who’s been sticking to his constitutionalist guns for 30 years and more in spite of all inducements to “go along to get along”?

    No, I want Ron Paul up there in the presidential debates against Barry Soebarkah (or whatever in hell his name is), not another Red Faction mainstreamer who can be successfully portrayed as Dubbya redux.

    And Dr. Dave really ought to want Dr. Paul – and nobody else – sitting behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office in 2013, if only because Ron Paul is the only candidate in this horse race who can most assuredly take the steps required to fix the horrible mess that has been made of the U.S. economy over the past half-century and more.

  58. Ozboy says:

    G’day everyone,

    I’m still on the road, I’ll be home in about 36 hours. I’ll leave this thread going till then, something new for the weekend.

  59. Dr. Dave says:


    I’m actually a big fan of Ron Paul. He is right on the money on virtually every issue. When I listened to him during that last debate I agreed with everything he said…except his position on foreign policy. And I even agree with some that. I would love to see the US pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq and either remove all our troops from countries abroad or give them the option to pay for our presence. But Dr. Paul’s position on Iran is just plain nuts. If left to their own devices, those fanatics in Iran won’t just develop nuclear bombs – they’ll use the damn things!

    Ron Paul is spot on with just about every other issue. Further, I would love to see a physician become President. Talk about historic! There are a hell of a lot more lawyers and minorities in this country than there are physicians. But in the end I’m a realist. There is no way Libertarian Ron Paul can possibly win the GOP nomination, much less the general election. Sure…I would prefer Paul to Perry. But it ain’t gonna happen.

    I like Rick Santorum and Herman Cain but again…it ain’t gonna happen. The GOP currently has three front runners – Perry, Romney and Bachmann – and Perry is way out ahead. Of the three, Governor Good Hair is the one who has most vocally articulated positions with which I agree. I think the HPV vaccine imbroglio smacked of tyranny. I haven’t been able to verify this, but I have heard that Perry’s wife is employed by Merck. Perhaps he was deluded into thinking he would lead the way to new era of herd immunity. I don’t know, but he has publicly admitted it was a mistake.

    I sincerely hope Sarah Palin does not get into this race. I’d rather see her unseat Mark Begich for the Senate seat in 2014.

  60. Kitler says:

    Sarah Palin is playing a weird game looks like she may be angling for a cabinet post in a Perry administration and I hope it comes true just to watch a lot of progressives have strokes.

  61. Kitler says:

    tucci sorry to burst your bubble a little Perry will be the next President he been bought and paid for by the Bilderbergers just like Obama was. Oh and Ron Paul can be a sneaky little toad when it comes to claiming he doesn’t vote for Pork barrel spending. The only thing I really back him on his quest to get rid of the Federal Reserve and find out just how much Tungsten is in Fort Knox.

  62. Ozboy says:

    At least we have the Taiwanese perspective. ROTFLMAO!

  63. meltemian says:

    Have you seen this Oz’? Could explain a lot. Link courtesy of Grandad at Head Rambles.

    I’ve alerted the keepers of The List – Oz 😀

  64. Julia Gillard has lost faith of Labor Party, unions, say senior figures

    Definitely some internal politics with Rudd, but this is also why the Thomson investigation is pretty key in forcing an election right now.

  65. Ozboy says:

    When even the left-wing MSM is in full “leadership speculation” mode, you know it’s all over for Gillard. The same thing happened in 1991 with Bob Hawke, and last year with Rudd. I’d give it a week or two at the most.

    It would have happened already, of course, but for want of an obvious successor. I think I told you some time ago that online gambling agency SportsBet stopped taking wagers on the next Labor leader, after some huge plunges in a short space on Simon Crean. He’s my tip, and an acknowledgement by Labor that they have written off the next election. Others are mentioning a Rudd return, but that’s not feasible without a major change of heart by the dominant Right faction (which engineered Rudd’s downfall).

    Oh, and back to our old friend Craig Thompson. Seems the $100,000-odd the ALP splashed out on his legal bills to keep him from bankruptcy weren’t that well spent after all:

    Gotta hand it to the Labor movement, financing all those renovations of its favoured few…

  66. Ozboy says:

    And now the government-owned media arm, the ABC, has sacked Glenn Milne, whose Gillard article in The Australian this week started the uproar on which this thread is based. Read about it here.

    Freedom of Suppress 👿

  67. G’Day Oz, hope you are having a good weekend.

    All this attempted suppression from Gillard and chums just shows how silly and small-minded they are, and will only result in the inevitable tidal wave being even bigger that will decimate the Labor party, the Greens, and union power. Onwards…..

    …and upwards 😉

    Things have taken a sinister turn overnight, with the news that Kathy Jackson – the HSU official who courageously referred the Thomson matter to the police, and has faced immense pressure from the Labor movement as a consequence (and features in the Taiwanese YouTube clip above) – has been said to have suffered a “breakdown”, has been declared incapable of speaking to the media, and is in the “care” of an un-named Melbourne psychiatric institution.

    I wonder if this is the same sort of “breakdown” Mikhail Gorbachev was said to have suffered when he went “missing” twenty years ago last week – Oz 😕

  68. Ozboy says:

    I’ll keep this thread going, but here’s something else to discuss meantime:

  69. Luton Ian says:

    As my mainland Chinese extended family say:

    “This place is more communist than China”

    They’re desperate. I wonder how they’ll explain their actions, when they end up in the Hague?

    G’day Ian,

    More silencing of the press today, with 2UE’s Michael Smith suspended for trying to air his interview with former AWU president Bob Kernohan, the substance of which Kernohan has formally attested to in a statutory declaration. If all these allegations are provably untrue, what do they have to fear? Let them sprout their allegations, then demonstrate they are false, and the accusers will look like idiots.

    The allegations are false, aren’t they? – Oz

  70. herptile says:

    I keep checking your blog Ozboy waiting for things to unravel. The political atmosphere must be like a tightly coiled spring waiting for ‘Events dear boy, events’ ! – Bufo-Toad

    G’day bufo,

    Word is that Labor’s powerbrokers have given Julia until the end of the year to turn things around. Otherwise, La Gillardine is for la guillotine – Oz

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