all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

29 August, 2011

Another Story You May Not Read

Here is what may or may not be an article by Glenn Milne which is—officially, at least—no longer available on-line, with some names changed to protect the possibly guilty:
The real import of the alleged brothel-creeping scandal surrounding Craig Tomcat has been missed, and it is this:  key factions and unions within the Labor movement are now openly indifferent to the fate of either Julia Lameduck or the federal government.  They simply don’t care any more.  Lameduck has now lost all authority within the broader Labor movement.  By their actions in the Tomcat saga they have signalled a judgment that she cannot win the next election.  Settling internal scores and power struggles is therefore now more important than whatever happens to a lame-duck Prime Nanny who can’t haul her primary voting numbers out of the pathetically fatal mid 20s.
The Mafia-style dirt-covered shovel—code for digging your own grave—dumped on Friday at 3.30am on the doorstop of Kathy Jocksan, the union official who had the courage to refer
Tomcat’s activities to the police, may as well have been delivered to the Lodge.  For Lameduck it is now that bad.  She is simply regarded as collateral damage and large sections in the Labor movement are uninterested about whether she be terminally wounded or not as they go about their internal bloodletting.  It is about to get worse as elements of the Australian Workers’ Union seek to settle up with Tomcat’s accusers by demonstrating that Lameduck herself was implicated, albeit unknowingly, in a major union fraud of her own before she entered parliament.
On Friday, Michael Smith of 2UE contacted me to check the veracity of material in a statutory declaration drawn up by Bob Kernehen, the former president of the AWU, and dealing with the relationship between
Lameduck and Bruce Wolsin, which I outline below.
On Saturday, Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph columnist Andrew Bolt wrote on his blog:  “On Monday, I’m tipping, a witness with a statutory declaration will come forward and implicate Julia
Lameduck directly in another scandal involving the misuse of union funds.  Lameduck herself is not accused of any misbehaviour at all.  I do not make that claim, and do not hold that belief, but her judgment—and that of at least one of her ministers—will come under severe question.  She will seem compromised.  It could be the last straw for Lameduck’s leadership.”
Big call.  I do, however, have a good deal of knowledge regarding Bolt’s claims.  On Sunday November 11, 2007, just days before the November 24 election, I interviewed
Lameduck, then deputy leader of the opposition, in my capacity as political editor for News Limited’s Sunday newspapers.  The interview concerned the embezzlement of union funds—not disputed—and later the subject of a court conviction by a former boyfriend of Lameduck, Bruce Wolsin.  I had researched the piece for months.  It was the most heavily lawyered article I have ever been involved in writing.  The story said that as a solicitor acting on instructions, she set up an association later used by her lover to defraud the AWU; but she has strenuously denied ever knowing wherefor the association’s bank accounts were used.  Lameduck, then in her early 30s, was a lawyer with Melbourne-based Labor firm Slutter & Goldon.  At the time of the fraud she acted for the AWU.  She met Wolsin, then the West Australian AWU secretary, while representing the union in the Industrial Relations Commission.  Wolsin later moved to Melbourne to become Victorian secretary of the union.
“These matters happened between 12 and 15 years ago,”
Lameduck told me. “I was young and naïve.  I was in a relationship, which I ended—I did, I tell you, I dumped him, he did not dump me, I dumped him, I really did, and if he told you he dumped me then he lied because I dumped him, honest—, and obviously it was all very distressing.  I am by no means the first person to find out that someone close turns out to be different to what you had believed them to be. It’s an ordinary human error.  I am, after all, human.  See, there’s a tear in my eye.  See?  Well, you might not be able to spot it, but there’s a tear in my eye and a catch in my throat.  Okay?
“Anyway, I was obviously hurt, when I was later falsely accused publicly of wrongdoing.  I didn’t do anything wrong and to have false allegations in the media was distressing.”
She added, wistfully, “I was but a wee, slim lass at the time—this was before my behind ballooned out like a dead beluga’s bloated bladder, obviously—, and I can’t be held accountable for the slight mistakes of my youth.”
What the lawyers would not allow to be reported was the fact that
Lameduck shared a home in Fitzroy bought by Wolsin using the embezzled funds.  (By “shared a home”, of course, we mean that, though they dwelt in separate houses, officially, they were really cohabiting.  Come on, we all know heaps of people who claim to reside at different addresses, in order to claim benefits, but who are really living together.)  There is or was no suggestion Lameduck knew about the origin of the money.  We now await the issue whereto Bolt refers.
If it come, and if it be as powerful as Bolt suggests, it will be further evidence that the Victorian right represented by the AWU is involved in a life and death struggle with the right as represented by the Health Services Union. 
Tomcat was a senior official of the HSU for 20 years before entering parliament via the seat of Dumbell.
The HSU split several years ago into two factions. 
Tomcat was supported by Jeff Jocksan, Kathy Jocksan’s former husband.  This so-called old guard was the support base for Victorian right-wing power boss, David Weeney.  Weeney is now looking for a parliamentary seat because Lameduck’s abysmal numbers have made his third Senate spot vulnerable.
A defeat for the old guard by way of a successful prosecution of
Tomcat by police, would leave Weeney powerless and without a base or a seat.
Jocksan himself has been accused of using union money on escorts with enemies of the Victorian HSU boss releasing bank statements showing payments to the same Sydney brothel where federal MP
Tomcat’s credit card was allegedly used.  Jocksan has denied the claims. Ultimately at issue here could be the succession to Lameduck, and I’ll explain why.
When Kathy Jocksan called in the wallopers, the stakes were high.  Because a federal defeat for
Tomcat and his allies would enhance the power base of Victoria’s two other factional king makers, Bill Sherton and Stephen Cuntroy who are both aligned with the new guard in the HSU—and we all know what Sherton’s ultimate ambition is.
What a tangled web will liars weave especially when you consider
Tomcat is married to Zoe Ornald, a former Transport Workers Union official and adviser to former NSW Health Minister Reba Maeghar.  Alex Williomsan, daughter of HSU national president Mike Williomsan, is an adviser to Lameduck; and, of course, as mentioned, Kathy Jocksan, who blew the whistle on Tomcat, was married to former Victorian state HSU secretary Jeff Jocksan.
Truly, the NSW Disease has arrived in Canberra.
Meanwhile, amid all this incestuous manoeuvring,
Lameduck attempts to adopt the high ground, attacking shadow attorney-general George Brandis for intervening in the course of justice.  On Thursday morning Lameduck attacked Brandis for speaking to NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher at a time when the allegations against Lameduck were being assessed by NSW Police.  Unfortunately, she got her facts wrong because the NSW police only announced they were conducting an assessment four days after Brandis spoke to Gallacher and in fact only got Brandis’s dossier three days after he spoke to Gallacher.
A small point, but one that indicates the pressure is beginning to show on
Lameduck as she desperately searches for points of deflection.  During the same press conference she also vainly tried to defend Tomcat’s decision not to make a statement to the parliament on the facts.  We all know why; if he lie he’s finished as an MP and Lameduck is washed up as Prime Nanny.  Lameduck and Tomcat are shackled together just as surely as two First Fleet convicts.
Oh, and here’s a small postscript whereon to end.  On September 7 at the Wyong Christian School at 2pm there will be the opening of a new hall built with funds from
Lameduck’s time overseeing the Building the Education Revolution.  Tomcat is scheduled to attend as the local member.  My gut instinct is that both he and the Prime Nanny will be otherwise engaged.
UPDATE I (30 August):  for a story you may read, see Donations, deals and declarations:  how the HSU’s money flowed to Labor”, by Imre Salusinszky, of The Australian.  See also Nikki Savva’s “Whatever the problem, blame Abbott ”.  Tony Wright of The Age, in “Gillard calls; Murdoch paper sorry”, suggests that the PM—who is seldom troubled by the deceits, evasions, untruths, fibs, fabrications, deceptions, fictions, falsifications, dissemblings, prevarications, perjuries, falsehoods and lies either from her own lips or from those of her colleagues—was peeved by Milne’s article:
The Age understands Ms Gillard was furious not only because the column included a false claim, but because she had been led to believe by Mr Hartigan that News Ltd newspapers were not intending to pursue the decades-old story of her former conman lover.
UPDATE II (30 August):  see Prof. Bunyip’s From Retreat to Rout”.

UPDATE III (30 August):  see scanned pages of a Statutory Declaration by Robert Kernohan:




UPDATE IV (31 August):  Potemkin’s Village continues to be well worth visiting.

UPDATE V (31 August):  for those who insist on reading Milne’s original, poorly written article—which, we stress, is a badly punctuated work of fiction wherein any claim of wrongdoing is untrue in all respects—, you may read it hereMilne’s earlier article from 2007, “Gillard’s Stunning Confession”, is here.

UPDATE VI (3 September):  see Andrew Bolt’s “Protecting Gillard: ABC sacks Milne”.

UPDATE VII (4 September):  see Michael Bachelard’s “Union boss in Thomson probe has breakdown”, in The Age; and see Andrew Bolt here and here too. 

UPDATE VIII (4 September)the ABC still insists that Milne’s article was “false”—on the evidence, it seems, of the PM:

UPDATE IX (5 September): at Kangaroo Court of Australia, see Shane Dowling’s “Has Julia Gillard blackmailed the Media to cover up her corrupt past? the Fairfax Media and News Corp scandal”.

UPDATE X (5 September):  Paul Sheehan, of the Sydney Morning Herald, writes:
On [the issue of the Government’s incompetent policy and conduct on the “asylum seekers” (i.e., unlawful non-citizens seeking illegal entry)] alone, the Government would fall were an election held soon.
But it will cling on, indefinitely, thanks to Tony Windsor, Robert Oakeshott and Craig Thomson, of whom the Prime Minister said recently:  “I have complete confidence in the member for Dobell [and] look forward to him continuing to do that job for a very long, long, long time to come.”
On this moral foundation stands the Gillard government.
UPDATE XI (5 September):  Glenn Milne, from November, 2007, on “How [the] scam worked.”  (With thanks to spot_the_dog.)

UPDATE XII (6 September)If the PM had ever done anything wrong, she’d say so, wouldn’t she?  Jonathan Holmes, on “Media Watch”, apparently accepts all the pusillanimous Prime Minister’s feeble protestations of innocence:
Gillard has already explained herself in Glenn Milne’s 2007 article.  She’s denied any wrongdoing many times, going back to when the allegations were first raised in the Victorian Parliament in 1995 ...
She denied wrongdoing again in 2001, and in an interview for the ABC’s Australian Story in 2006 ... 
She must, therefore, be squeaky clean; and there’ll be no carbon dioxide tax under any government she leads.  Criminals might care to try that “persistently deny wrongdoing” defence next time they’re in court:
Court Officer:  How do you plead?
Defendant:  Not guilty!
Judge:  Really?  On all charges?
Defendant:  Yes, your honour, I am not guilty!
Judge:  Are you absolutely sure?  These charges seem to be pretty serious; and I note that there is quite a pile of evidence against you, with a long list of witnesses for the prosecution.
Defendant: I aint never done nothing.  I am, as I’ve said all along, absolutely innocent of all charges.  Not guilty!  Not guilty!  Not guilty!
Judge: Well, then, with such persistent denial of wrongdoing, I must—and I shall—dismiss all charges, wherefore you are free to go.  I shall, however, have some stern words to say to the prosecutor…
UPDATE XIII (6 September):  see Andrew Bolt’s “If this is old news, why have two journalists been silenced?”

UPDATE XIV (11 September):  quite rightly, the persistent Shane Dowling, at Kangaroo Court of Australia, continues to demand a response from our strangely censorious, seemingly corrupt, and manifestly incompetent, lying leader. 

UPDATE XV (17 September):  see “Knives out as Health Services Union breaks from Labor”, by Ean Higgins and Milanda Rout, in The Australian.

UPDATE  XVI (18 September):  see Prof. Bunyip’s “The Hospice Vigil”.

UPDATE  XVII (19 September):  at Kangaroo Court of Australia, see “The lies and deception of Media Watch and host Jonathan Holmes in defence of Julia Gillard” by Shane Dowling.

UPDATE  XVIII (19 September):  at Catallaxy Files, Judith Sloan asks “Is the HSU the tip of the iceberg?” 

UPDATE  XIX (26 September):  see Union boss Kathy Jackson steps up pursuit of Craig Thomson”, by Ean Higgin, in The Australian

UPDATE  XX (17 October):  it never ends; see “Julia Gillard appoints Bernard Murphy, her partner in crime from Slater and Gordon lawyers, as a Federal Court of Australia judge”, at Kangaroo Court of Australia.

UPDATE  XXI (17 December):  see Tim Blair’s “Maybe Someone Else Did It”, wherein he suggests that Craig Thomson’s parliamentary reports contained plagiarised material.  Finally, it is evident, we can put an end to the silly, defamatory claims that the honourable member (or someone with the same name) ever went to brothels soliciting sexual favours.  Clearly, Thomson (or someone of the same name)—aware that many brothels, sadly, tend to employ young lasses who are working their way through their tertiary studies—was merely seeking arts students to help him write his reports in a pious effort to provide them suitably meritorious, literary assignments rather than meretricious, venereal work.  That many arts students these days can’t compile a decent report without plagiarising from Wikipedia and the like is hardly his (or his namesake’s) fault. 

UPDATE  XXII (11 January, 2012):  Thomson still sticks around, like a particularly noisome stink; see “Craig Thomson Scandal Snub”, by Steve Lewis and Andrew Clennell.

UPDATE  XXIII (24 May):  see “Keep It Simple, Thomson”. 

UPDATE  XXIV (22 June)finally, these matters are being raised in Parliament—see Andrew Bolt’s “Gillard Confronted with the Scandal She Almost Buried”.

UPDATE  XXV (23 June)Larry Pickering comments here and here

UPDATE  XXVI (23 June)see “Julia Gillard’s corrupt past raised in parliament by ALP member Robert McClelland” at Kangaroo Court of Australia.


Anonymous said...

Much better than the original & the use of new names just makes it a total comedy.

I think you may have hit on a new way of writing stories that would have mass appeal. Everyone loves a funny story & what better way to tell it than like this.

kae said...

I'm linking.

bingbing said...

Good round-up mate. Have linked also.