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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Coalition's attack on Gillard escalates « Previous | |Next »
November 29, 2012

The Coalition has ramped up its attack on the Prime Minister in the light of Julie Bishop failing to show that the Coalition's campaign was more than smear and innuendo in the form of guilt by association through the tactic of yet more unanswered questions. It has taken the form of slapstick entertainment with a touch of sleaze.

MoirABishop.jpg

In the Senate Senator George Brandis, the shadow attorney-general, said that it was clear Ms Gillard knew the association's funds would not be used for their stated purpose, which was for the advancement of workers' rights. According to Brandis Gillard knew the funds would be used for the "private purposes" of Mr Wilson and fellow union official Ralph Blewitt.

There is no doubt - no doubt whatsoever - that at the time she was involved in setting up the slush fund, Ms Gillard knew what its purpose was. It is already clear, that from (the association's) inception, Ms Julia Gillard's involvement in this matter has been characterised by concealment, deception, professional misconduct, and it would appear several breaches of the criminal law.

The grounds for this claim? It appears to be that Gillard knowingly mislead the WA Corporate Affairs Commission when she addressed its queries to the incorporation of an association later used as a slush fund.

The West Australian Corporate Affairs Commission wanted to bar the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association because of its "trade union" status. It asked was it a union? If it were a trade union it would therefore be ineligible for incorporation'' under the WA Associations Incorporation Act. Gillard said no. It wasn't a trade union and argued the case for its incorporation.

In so doing, the Coalition claims, Gillard made fraudulent representations and she would appear to be in breach of the law says Tony Abbott. Gillard's position is untenable, says the manager of Opposition business, Christopher Pyne. Some in the media agree.

Why so? What is the argument? We sure need one because Gillard's letter says that the organisation to be registered was not a trade union and the association wasn't a trade union. How do we get to fraud and breaking the law from this?

The problem with the Coalition is their assumption that Gillard is guilty---personally benefiting from the slush (Julie Bishop) fund and knowingly deceiving the authorities about the nature of the association (George Brandis). They then hunt for evidence (documents) to back up their assumption. The problem they have is the documents produced so far do not support their assumption.

So it still looks, and smells, like a smear campaign. Fostering the smear campaign continues to preoccupy the media and the journalists show no interest in the context of the 1990s: ie., the AWU slush fund in relation to union activities (the BLF and later the CFMEU) and the construction industry. The AWU was seen as a tame cat union and had significant employer support in the construction industry. Shouldn't the media be digging into this context instead of engaging in distortions?

Meanwhile, Parliament has taken the first legislative step towards a National Disability Insurance scheme, and it is considering the Gillard Government's watered down pokies reform bill. Yesterday the government introduced the legislative framework for its Gonski-related education reforms, and its Murray-Darling Basin water reform bill is before the Senate.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:37 AM | | Comments (16)
Comments

Comments

Episode #umpteen of smear denoting ....nothing.

Really the primary, if not only, issue to emerge from this campaign is that it reflects badly on the opposition.
That is the media [Murdoch's minions in particular but others inc the ABC as well] and their parliamentary mouthpiece the COALition politicians.
It is they who have questions to be answered, questions regarding ethics and bias.
The focus should not be on the PM but on those who have clearly and consistently displayed unethical behaviour - the media and the COALition in particular the editors of various media outlets, many journalists, Abbott, Bishop/Brandis et al.

Julia Gillard has mislead the parliament. She has repeatedly claimed in the parliament, as recently as Monday, to have had only a minor, technical role in the incorporation. The new transcript shows that to be untrue.

The AWU-WRA may not have been a trade union but it was also not the organisation described in the rules that we now know Gillard herself drafted. Even leaving aside the eventual fraud, the AWU-WRA was a committee to re-elect Bruce WIlson.

The question is no longer whether there is any record of misconduct, but whether the prime minister can remain in office without doing grave damage to the party.

Alan,
I cannot see the grounds for why the PM must resign. Why isn't evidence of misconduct by Gillard relevant? Why is Gillard judged to be guilty of misconduct when there's been no evidence to back up this allegation?

The conservative camp has a simple position. Gillard is a liar. She has been shown to a liar. Therefore she must go.

Those on the conservative side of politics are into doom and gloom. The country is going to the dogs. It's Gillard wot did it. Things were fine under Howard.

fred
is right. The focus should be on the media.

Journalists are choosing not to call this story for what it is, and in doing so they have turned away from a respect for factual evidence. They are off in their own little world, not even caring about who is running this story and for what reason.

The media has a big problem with credibility when they consistently mistake the smoke and mirrors for factual evidence.

The Right's conspiracy theories have a strong sexual basis.

Gillard is not peripheral to the AWU scandal. She was the main instigator, using her sexuality to push Bruce Wilson down a path that he might otherwise have not gone down.

Gillard is Lady MacBeth.

"Gillard is Lady MacBeth."

Or the conservative old white men see Gillard as a witch who lays down with thieves, spivs, crooks and fraudsters.

It wont take much of a candidate to look better than Abbott but there is a mood for change amoung the electorate.
Labor is better off going with a female.So I don't see any good choices other than Gillard. If they ditch her they may as well say "we are the opposition"

The smear campaign is a witch hunt.

The media reporting of this matter has been so shabby I have taken to watching every question time this week.

What I understand occurred in parliament is at variance to what is reported by Chris Uhlmann and the morning newspapers.

Chris Uhlmann twists all reporting to show slippery Gillard is being held to account by the brave opposition.

No mention on 7:30 Report of 3 bills that pssed today that will effect Australian's every day lives namely
1. NDIS
2. pokie precommitment
3. Murray Darling Basin
or
4. single mothers will move from single parent payment to Newstart on Jan 1

On the floor of Parliament the Prime Minister destroyed the Liberal leadership hopes of Abbot, J Bishop and Turnbull and opened Abbot to a defamation action, but no point suing a bankrupt man

billie,
I agree.
What we see in Question Time is very different to what the Canberra media gallery reports. Theirs is a very distorting filter.

Today, for instance, Gillard, destroyed Abbott's argument that she had committed a crime.

That will not be reported in the MSM tomorrow. Their journalists do not have the capability to understand or analyze arguments. They merely report on the surface argy bargy.

What drives me crazy ab out the Coalition's line of attack????

That it relies ENTIRELY on the proposition that Gillard is dishonest and, therefore, unworthy of being PM.

So how the f@&% can they justify the Howard years???

Abbott wasn't able to make the case for the Liberal allegation that Gillard engaged in criminal activity in Parliament when given the opportunity. The opposition could not support its claim that she is a criminal.Their case was very weak --mostly inflammatory language and the blustery demands.

Paul Kelly in The Australian says re the Liberal Party's criminal allegations:

Abbott's tactical mistake was elementary. He began the day accusing Gillard of breaking the law. Opinions on this will differ. But Abbott needed a fistful of opinions by QCs to this effect. Presumably, they would not be hard to get. Their absence, however, revealed the Coalition as under-prepared.

This issue is now corrosive in its lack of resolution. Abbott cannot land the killer blow and Gillard cannot convincingly answer her critics.
Neither situation is likely to change...The lack of final resolution guarantees an intensification of this political war into 2013. It goes to character, power and the intersection of Labor's political-legal-union culture.

Kelly is in damage control.

The Liberal Party-- (Brandis, Abbott, Bishop etc) accused the prime minister of criminal behaviour. You would have thought that this would have been done only on the basis of solid evidence of really bad behaviour by Gillard.

Abbott made the allegation on Thursday without evidence, and even then on what ultimately proved in Parliament to be the most marginal of charges.