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.

04 August, 2012

Gillard and “False Assertions”

From “Cut and Paste” in The Australian:
Lines from the Prime Minister’s “live issues brief” yesterday morning – a pollies’ guide to responding to hot media topics if asked by journalists:
These are ancient matters that have never gone anywhere, no matter how many times people have tried to reheat them.  Because there's nothing in them.  It is worth remembering that the only reason they are being brought up today is because someone's promising to reheat them in a deal to avoid criminal charges  The last time they were published the newspaper ended up apologising for making false assertions.
The newspaper “ended up apologising for making false assertions” only because some gutless editor cravenly surrendered to the bullying Prime Minister who threatened all sorts of payback such as, perhaps, a cessation of Government advertisements in News Ltd newspapers, but not because any false assertions were published.*
Let’s be clear: Hon. Julia Gillard, the incompetent PM, from a reasonable interpretation of publicly available information, would seem to be a lying, deceitful, unprincipled, duplicitous, conniving, fraudulent, disloyal, unscrupulous, forswearing, corrupt thief.  If she have a better interpretation, or a better account of the facts, she should say so.

See some previous posts:
Gillard and the AWU Scandal”—nine video clips (30 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);
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
” (31 August, 2011);
Another Story You May Not Read
” (includes a Statutory Declaration by Robert Kernohan,
29 August, 2011);
A Story You May Not Read” (29 August, 2011);
A Clean Energy Future” (at The Friends of CO2, 18 July, 2011);
The PM and the People Agree” (4 July, 2011);
The Wisdom of Julia Gillard (at The Friends of CO2, 26 June, 2011)
Let Them Eat More Dirt
” (30 May, 2011); and
She’s a Woman” (at Say “Yes’’ to More Taxes,
17 July, 2010).
See also “The scandal that now demands answers”, by Andrew Bolt.

UPDATE I:  see “Cops wanted Julia Gillard’s ex, Bruce Wilson charged”, by Hedley Thomas, in The Australian:
Internal documents from an exhaustive police probe into a union funds scandal in the 1990s show detectives suspected former Australian Workers’ Union boss Bruce Wilson and his then alleged bagman, Ralph Blewitt, were “crooks” and wanted them criminally prosecuted over a $400,000-plus alleged fraud.
The documents from the police file include letters showing leaders of the powerful AWU, which remains the most influential industrial supporter of the federal Labor government, were deeply annoyed that the two men were not charged with criminal offences.
Most of the funds that allegedly went missing had been paid into an entity, the AWU Workplace Reform Association.
Julia Gillard, as a solicitor at the time for Slater & Gordon lawyers in Melbourne, which acted for Mr Wilson, Mr Blewitt and the AWU, did legal work related to the establishment of the association in Western Australia.
At the time, Mr Wilson and the Prime Minister were in a close relationship [which is code for “furtively living together in a sexual relationship”].  Ms Gillard has repeatedly and strenuously denied that she had any knowledge of what the association was going to be used for, and has also denied receiving any benefit.  She has declined to provide further comment about her role at the time and referred the newspaper to her previous strong denials of wrongdoing.
UPDATE II:  see “What Blewitt Has on Gillard Is Big”, by Larry Pickering:
The Pickering Post, July 20, 2012:  “Blewitt, and his wife, have been paid by a Melbourne law firm to fly back from Malaysia, where he is hiding out, to give evidence on behalf of a group of other people who also want Gillard’s blood.  He is in Melbourne now.  Stay tuned.”
Seventeen days later The Australian, on Friday August 3, splashed with a page one lead story that Blewitt had flown into Melbourne from Malaysia and was seeking personal indemnity to spill the beans on the whole Gillard/Wilson/AWU scandal.
Blewitt immediately made contact with me and I explained to him how the information we had was obtained.  He appeared relieved.  But he and Mel are safe from union thugs now because The Australian already has his statements in hand.  The police also have a fair idea of his likely disclosures.
How do I know there is much more to come?  The paper I once worked for would never splash this story as a page one lead without knowing the full extent of the substance of what Blewitt has to say.  The story, when it breaks, will have plenty more meat on the bone; meat we have not yet chewed on, and certainly enough to ruin Gillard’s holiday.
Gillard will not be charged but it will be claimed that she was fully aware of, and complicit in, the fraudulently-acquired funds and that she benefited from them.  Her boyfriend at the time, and prime culprit, Bruce Wilson, will again attract police interest.  My view is that he will not be charged either.  Blewitt’s testimony will need to withstand rigorous scrutiny against a closing of the ranks in the AWU.  Only a Royal Commission will prise apart that sort of solidarity.
Kim Williams, the incoming CEO of News Ltd, deserves commendation for biting the bullet and not bowing to Gillard’s threats of exposing phone hacking if the story was exposed.  Maybe he had a religious epiphany or simply realised that Gillard is already spayed and far beyond the power to blackmail media.
When the dust settles on this ugly episode Julia Gillard’s reign as Prime Minister will be over, if not before.
UPDATE III (7 August):  Larry Pickering continues to expose Gillard’s corruption in Part One of  “Our Prime Minister Is a Crook”, wherein he writes, “we have the full story ... a story that will cause a Government to fall.”

UPDATE IV (9 August):  Larry Pickering has published Part Two (though titled slightly differently from Part One) of  “Is Our Prime Minister a Crook?”:
Gillard’s old enemies are singing like canaries.  They have seen the whites of her eyes and they are moving in for the kill.
Her enemies are former AWU officials and staff.  Salivating ex-employees of her fraudster boyfriend, Bruce Wilson.  They have a conscience and a clear, corroborated recollection of exactly what went on.  They are willing to testify.
UPDATE V (10 August):  Alan Jones and Michael Smith discuss allegations of fraud again.  Hear also their previous discussion on Gillard and AWU (previously linked here).

UPDATE VI (11 August):  Andrew Bolt’s “Law firm wants permission to release its Wilson files” is essential reading.

UPDATE VII (11 August):  Larry Pickering has published his third part of “Is Our Prime Minister a Crook?”:
Gillard’s current claims of “young and naive” do not apply to her complicity in widespread fraud.  Those claims apply solely to Wilson’s false declarations of love for her.
As partner in the law firm it would be stupid as Prime Minister to suggest she was “young and naive” when she was clearly instrumental in the blatant fraud [yet the majority of alleged journalists in the Australian media credulously accept or pretend to accept the lame excuse].  She has not denied her complicity but claims she didn’t know what it was for.  Mmmm, ok.  […]
Slater & Gordon aided and abetted the fraud.  The AWU sacked the law firm and turned to the other infamous Left wing Law firm, Maurice Blackburn, where Bill Shorten and Nicola Roxon were resident.
It is Slater & Gordon’s ex- and current employees who are now daily leaking devastating information on the activities of this listed law firm.  The ASX and ASIC will no doubt be taking an interest.
UPDATE VIII (13 August):  Larry Pickering has published his fourth part of “Is Our Prime Minister a Crook?

UPDATE IX (16 August):  Larry Pickering has published his fifth part of “Is Our Prime Minister a Crook?

UPDATE X (18 August):  in Revealed: Julia Gillard lost her job after law firm's secret investigation”, Hedley Thomas provides further evidence which, to a party of fair-minded and upright politicians, would suggest that Julia Gillard would be an unsuitable person to be a parliamentary representative and certainly not the Prime Minister:
Julia Gillard left her job as a partner with law firm Slater & Gordon as a direct result of a secret internal probe in 1995 into controversial work she had done for her then boyfriend, a union boss accused of corruption, The Weekend Australian can reveal.
Nick Styant-Browne, a former equity partner of the firm, broke a 17-year silence yesterday to reveal that the firm’s probe included a confidential formal interview with the Prime Minister – then an industrial lawyer – on September 11, 1995, which was “recorded and transcribed”.
In the interview, Ms Gillard stated that she could not categorically rule out that she had personally benefited from union funds in the renovation of her Melbourne house, according to Mr Styant-Browne.
She said in the interview that she believed she had paid for all the work and materials, and had receipts [handwritten with, perhaps, superadded annotations from “Julia’s mum” remarking on their authenticity], which she later produced.
The firm’s probe revolved around Ms Gillard’s work since mid-1992 for the Australian Workers Union and her then boyfriend – the AWU’s ambitious leader at the time, Bruce Wilson – as well as her direct role in establishing the AWU Workplace Reform Association for Mr Wilson.  […]
Mr Styant-Browne revealed yesterday that Ms Gillard had said in her formal interview on September 11, 1995, that “she could not categorically deny AWU union or (AWU) Workplace Reform Association monies” had been used in the renovation of her own house in Melbourne. He said she had subsequently produced receipts for work done on the Abbotsford property.
In a two-page statement to The Weekend Australian, Mr Styant-Browne also revealed unusual circumstances surrounding what he described as Ms Gillard’s “legal and related work to establish the AWU Workplace Reform Association in Western Australia”.
He said that in her formal interview, Ms Gillard had confirmed that “she did not open a file at the firm” to establish the association, and that she could not at the time recall any reason why a file was not opened.  He said that she had stated that no other lawyer at the firm worked on the matter, and “to her recollection, no other lawyer was consulted”.  She stated in the interview that she “was not involved in opening or operating any bank accounts for the association," Mr Styant-Browne said.
UPDATE XI (18 August):  see also The political controversy that won’t go away”, wherein Hedley Thomas provides a timeline of Gillardgate.

UPDATE XII (18 August):  Andrew Bolt continues to insist that journalists display some courage in “Claim: Gillard said she couldn’t rule out benefitting from AWU scam”:
Yesterday on The Contrarians, host Peter van Onselen angrily attacked viewers who’d asked him why he’d never discussed this scandal.  He bizarrely dismissed it as just the obsession of cartoonist Larry Pickering, and said there was nothing new that been revealed that serious commentators could or would comment on.  He announced he certainly wouldn’t be asking any questions about the scandal when Julia Gillard appeared on his show, Sky News Agenda, tomorrow.
Now that this material appears in his own paper today, will van Onselen find the courage to admit there are serious questions for the Prime Minister to answer – and have been for some time?
Courage, man.
UPDATE XIII (18 August)see “Push to relaunch fraud probe”, by Gary Adshead and Sean Cowan, in The West Australian:
An unremarkable Maylands storage unit could provide new clues to $1 million fraud allegations written off by police but which have frustrated union officials and dogged Prime Minister Julia Gillard during her political career.
Tim Daly, a former State secretary of the Australian Workers Union, can still recall his decision to box up and lock away hundreds of documents in the late 1990s knowing that the stench of the financial dealings would one day return.
Two AWU executives, Ralph Blewitt and Bruce Wilson, were investigated in 1995 and 1996 over allegations made to police and the NSW Industrial Relations Commission that they had channelled up to $1 million into secret WA bank accounts and a bogus union association in Northbridge.
There was also a separate police probe into claims that money from an AWU members’ fatal accident and death fund was used to buy two holiday units in Kalbarri.
No charges were ever laid in relation to either case.
At the time of the alleged frauds, Ms Gillard was in a relationship with Mr Wilson and acting as Slater and Gordon’s lawyer for the AWU, but she has repeatedly denied any involvement or knowledge of Mr Wilson’s conduct which police investigated.
Earlier this month, the old allegations surfaced again when Mr Blewitt, a former State secretary of the AWU in Perth, said he would reveal everything he knew in return for immunity from prosecution.
Mr Wilson, who was also the union's WA secretary before moving to Melbourne, has never spoken publicly about the investigations.
But in the mid-1990s, Mr Daly became the union’s boss in WA and pushed hard for Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt to be prosecuted over claims fake entities were used to receive huge sums of cash from construction companies in the name of workplace training and reform.
“I’m still very frustrated by the outcome of the whole thing,” Mr Daly said.
UPDATE XIV (19 August)seeThe dangers of reporting what the powerful do not want told” and Gillard Responds”, by Andrew Bolt.

UPDATE XV (19 August)see also “I’ve done nothing wrong: Gillard defends record of time at law firm Slater & Gordon”, by Lanai Vasek, in The Australian:
Julia Gillard has defended her record at law firm Slater & Gordon and says she is the subject of a “scurrilous” and “malicious” online campaign.
In a fiery interview with Sky News’s Australian Agenda this morning the Prime Minister said she had done nothing wrong throughout her time as an industrial lawyer at the firm during the 1990s and resigned on her own terms.  […]
Manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne said Ms Gillard should give a personal explanation to the parliament to clear up any misunderstandings.
“There are serious questions which do need to be answered.  This matter has percolated in the background for months, if not years, and the intensity has become much more dramatic,” Mr Pyne told Australian Agenda.  […]
Mr Pyne rejected the Prime Minister’s assertions this morning that the matters were no longer relevant and should be laid to rest.
“They are relevant because it appears to be one of those stories that doesn’t go away,” Mr Pyne said.
“And it is relevant because it goes to her integrity as a solicitor at Slater & Gordon and what she knew or didn’t know about what are very serious matters involving the misappropriation of funds of members of the Australian Workers’ Union.”

1 comment:

Sean of Deer Park said...

A most excellent thread. Thanks for putting such a great summary in the one place. Awesome.