May Day May Day

the law

The trials of Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott if nothing else is a very colorful character. He is aggressive both physically and in the use of language. His negativity is legendary and he has little consideration for any ideas other than his own and says NO to his opponents policies regardless of their worthiness. He is by evidence and his own admission a liar of some regularity. Added to that he has a political gutter mentality and little respect for the institution of parliament and its conventions.

All this speaks of his suitability for the job of Prime Minister (Please note that a longer dissertation on this subject written by Michael Taylor and myself has had around 9,000 views to date)

This month attention will not only be on the budget but also on the courts.


On May 9, Mr. Abbott has been summoned to attend a directions hearing in Brisbane. David Ettridge one of the co-founders of the One Nation party is suing him for the sum of one and a half million dollars. Mr. Ettridge has said that “before Mr. Abbott becomes the prime minister of Australia he needs to be judged on his suitability for the highest office in Australia” He has accused Mr. Abbott of acting unlawfully in 1998 by assisting and encouraging litigation against One Nation in the Queensland courts. He further alleges that the court action was false and malicious and the resulting damage affected him greatly. He also accuses Mr. Abbott of attempting to pervert the course of justice by providing lawyers to “propel those claims through the courts”.

Now it is not for me to judge the veracity of Mr. Ettridge’s claims (the courts will do that) however, I would just point that firstly Abbott established a slush fund to bring down Pauline Hansen and then lied about its existence on the late line program.

Secondly, I would make the point that in terms of ones character assessment it is hardly a good look to be fronting court during an election campaign.

MAY 13

The full bench of Federal Court will hear a “leave to appeal” case by James Ashby and his solicitor Michael Harmer against the ruling by Justice Stephen Rares who dismissed the original case as being an abuse of process. The general consensus is that the Federal Court will either reject or grant the applications. If leave is granted the appeal will be heard immediately.

To quote David Donovan’s blog (And if you want a comprehensive up to date fully detailed analysis then click the link. You will not find anything like it in the MSM)
SPARE A THOUGHT for James Ashby.

For him, this whole Gate thing must be like a slow motion car crash. Rares set the airbags off, but there is a lot more to come before the whole thing settles into a smoking pile of oily debris.

I have read that Justice Rares is a person very attune to political machinations and his findings are very sound on legal grounds. Although leave may be granted on a technicality. Either way it will not be a pleasant outcome. Will Pyne and Brough eventually be charged for example? Would an investigation go all the way to Abbott? It will be interesting whatever the outcome.

MAY 23

Peter Slipper returns to court to answer Cab Charge charges. He is accused of having knowingly filled out false details on a series of Cab charge vouchers relating to travel on three separate days in 2010 to hide from the Department of Finance and Administration the true nature of the expense incurred.

What is mystifying about this is that politicians who ordinarily do this are afforded the opportunity of paying the money back. Why Slipper was not given, the same opportunity is yet to be answered.

MAY 30

Mr. Justice is to hear an application for costs by Peter Slipper against Ashby. If leave is not granted the payout will be massive.

Some background on Ashby Gate

I turned on ABC24 news at lunchtime (Sunday 23 Dec 2012) to find the leader or the opposition making comments on the decision to refer the Slipper affair to the AFP. Here he was in his usual flippantly dismissive manner saying that this is all a bit of a beat up by the ALP. Well someone should tell him to read the Judges findings. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE. The judge found that an attempt was made with the express purpose to bring down the speaker of the House of Representatives and in turn the government. SHOULD I REPEAT THAT? Mr. Abbott can carry on about the moral suitability of Mr. Slipper all he wants however, the scandal has moved from that to a conspiracy to use the legal process to remove a government. Politicians are expected to play their games on their own turf, and not attempt to encroach on the judicial system.

Some questions.

Why is Ashby pursuing a case that would only return (around $65,000) a small amount of money relative to the cost of funding it? Reputably in the hundreds of thousands. Therefore, who is funding his case and why?

If Mr. Abbott had no SPECIFIC knowledge. If so, what knowledge did he have?

Why was Christopher Pyne doing in the speaker’s office and why were they exchanging emails?

Why is it that most of the players in this affair all come from Queensland?

And of course, there are dozens more questions.

I for one am glad that this is now being investigated. AFP stopped Not because I am a social democrat but simply because I believe in this case that, someone is playing around with our democracy and that’s not on folks.

I have been following politics in Australia for fifty years and I have happily accepted the cut and thrust of it. Even the theatre of it. I have experienced the difficulties of players on both sides of the political divide. I have read much on the subject and confess to being a political tragic. Moreover, I have probably seen more political scandal than most, including the Whitlam times when an unelected head of state dismissed an elected prime minister.

Nevertheless, nothing approaches the stench surrounding the Slipper affair. Now let us be serious here. We have a judge finding that members of two political parties (The LNP) conspired with James Ashby to use the courts to bring a false claim against the speaker of the house with the eventual intent of bringing down the government. Do I need to repeat that or does the reader grasp the seriousness of the judge’s findings. BUT WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE. Why is the media not falling over itself investigating and demanding answers. Why indeed. There are two conspiracies here.

Firstly, there is a conspiracy by two political parties to use dirty tricks and engineered plots to destroy its opposition. It has used poorly substantiated allegations with an alacrity that has been little tempered by the exercise of judgment, or the gathering of facts. In other words, they have lied through their teeth hatching controversy after controversy without any evidence. In doing so they have left both major parties discredited in the eyes of the public.

Yet again, I say where is the rage. Why is not the public outraged?

The second conspiracy is by the media. The Murdoch press for the most part has decided to mostly ignore it. The Daily Telegraph who led the charge against Slipper relegated the judges findings to page15 when announced. But they found little difficulty is allocating page after page of tabloid rubbish to some unsubstantiated accusations about the PM some 17 years ago but when a judge finds a conspiracy to remove a government they have little to say. Fairfax also has chosen to treat the matter as an irrelevance by simply saying, “There are questions to be answered”.

Since writing that the AFP has postponed their investigations pending the outcome of the
Application although they seem to be confused as to what is an appeal or a leave to appeal.




Early next year Barbara Ramjan will front court to sue Michael Kroger for defamation. She is the women Tony Abbott is alleged to have thrown a couple of punches at, at university. Mr. Kroger has accused her of being a serial liar and did so on National television. He should have known better than to call a lawyer a liar and the wife of a Supreme Court judge.

In addition, of course the NSW keeper of public morality, Alan Jones could not contain himself after Kroger repeated the accusation on his breakfast program. He was later forced to make a public apology.

“Barbara Ramjan is a person of high distinction having been awarded a D. Phil from Sydney Uni and she is married to a Supreme Court judge. Ramjan has spent years avoiding the limelight and glare of politics, choosing not to get involved after her student activity ceased. I was not aware of this and I accept now that the claim she was a serial liar is not factual.”

Of course, the case does not directly affect Abbot but he is on the record as saying the event never occurred. However, the journalist David Marr who originally raised the issue in his Quarterly Essay has unearthed a witness (yet un identified) willing to testify.

I imagine Abbott will be called as a witness. Fancy that. Tony Abbott the Australian PM having to tell the truth under oath in court. As Prime Minister of this country, his character is relevant to his actions and his recollections of it would most certainly come under scrutiny. The implications of it may very well be profound.

Of course, Mr. Abbott is no stranger to the court system.

He was accused of assaulting a woman at University and later acquitted. A QC defended him and the girl defended herself.

In 1978, a young teacher by the name of Peter Woof bought assault charges against Abbott. He punched him in the face. It never went anywhere. A legal team of six represented Abbott and the young man could not afford to defend himself.

In another case.

In addition, of course there is the ongoing defamation case brought on by CFMEU secretary John Setka. Mr. Setka claims Mr. Abbott defamed him, caused grave injury, humiliation, embarrassment, and caused him loss and damage. I am unsure as to the current standing of this action.

Now let’s go back to


This report is again from the Independent Media site. It cuts through the legalities to get to the point.

TODAY IN the Federal Court, the case against Craig Thomson weakened, as Fair Work Australia appears to have backed away from its allegations against the Federal MP.

A judge has decided to adjourn the hearing on virtually all of Fair Work Australia’s civil matters against Thomson, these include allegations around travel, accommodation, meals, cash withdrawals, and of course the allegations of brothel use.

All that remains of the civil matters is the allegations surrounding Thomson’s use of union funds for campaigning for the Federal seat of Dobell. These are claims that Thomson has not denied and in fact was quick to point out that the HSU, which was affiliated with the ALP at the time, did indeed provide campaign funds for the seat, as it was one of the seats that the ACTU had targeted as focus electorates for that campaign.

What this means is that FWA does not believe it holds enough evidence to mount a civil suit against Thomson on these matters and will await the outcome of the criminal proceedings. According to advice received by IA, if Thomson is acquitted in criminal proceedings, then the whole matter is dead and buried and no further cases on these issues can be made against Craig Thomson.

The criminal case against Thomson has been dealt a massive blow by this court action today, as the civil proceedings run to a vastly lower standard of proof than the criminal proceedings. The chances of Thomson being found guilty of any of these charges in a criminal court can now best be described as remote as there appears to not be enough evidence to even support a civil case.

Thomson’s solicitor, Chris McArdle, who attended court today, claimed that today’s news

“…further vindicated his client”

and was

“another step towards the total exoneration of Craig Thomson”.

I asked Mr. McArdle if this meant a greater chance of defamation cases against Kathy Jackson and some of her Coalition friends, to which he responded: “Absolutely”.

Bring it on, I say…

Could it be that this man vilified by the media the parliament and public opinion might actually be innocent? If he is and I repeat if, then I hope, he sues to his heart’s content.

The thing is that Tony Abbotts character, or should I say lack of it is central to all of this.

The law might not be an ass after all.

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31 replies

  1. We have the media trying to stir up once again the AWU case against the PM. It has gone nowhere.

    We have Mr. Abbott mixed up or connected somehow to all these court cases. Not a good look.

    It appears that Mr. Abbott will be providing good income for many lawyers, for years to come.

  2. You could not have written and explained the problems better John. Why have the MSM ignored all these things . It looks as if many people behind Media have sold their souls[not to be too dramatic}Ruined a peoples lives as well. The LNP leader does not care for anyone NDIS included. His ambition is the only thing in his mind.Thank you again.

  3. I hope you forward these articles to international media, other than murdochs? I feel sure that decent media in UK, New Zealand, and through Asia should be interested in looking at publishing, or at least, investigating what Australia’s media is never going to.
    Maybe start with the Guardian?

  4. I don’t just sit around gnashing my teeth at what I perceive is democracy being trampled on.

    I keep writing everywhere I can to keep it in the public eye and to get the authorities to investigate.

  5. John, thanks for another fine article, laying out the legal issues facing Abbott over the next few weeks both directly and indirectly.
    There is also IA and their appeal to fund a full investigation into the Ashby affair which may well uncover some Abbott involvement.

    I also agree with your final statement that Abbotts character is central to the issuesfacing the voters at the up coming election, as I recently wrote about in my post
    “Tony Abbott’s Character”

    I have also just posted “In the Abbott’s comic book, he says he’ll consult with experts… WTF?” :grin:

    Keep up the good work John :cool:

    Cheers :grin: :cool:

  6. Keep up the good work John. It is great to see all of the blog sites & the IA talking to one another and sharing your information.
    All we have to do is keep on sharing this info with everyone else.
    The old saying that one shouldn’t discuss religion or politics with friends & relatives is just a load of nonsense, especially when the MSM don’t or won’t even try to do anything that remotely resembles some good investigative journalism. The old media is dying a long slow death. Long live the 5th estate.
    I just hope that we can see some well deserved retribution for all of those in the Opposition who think that they can just walk all over the democratic rights of others to get what they want.

  7. Brilliant article, John. You are an inspiring writer.

  8. Another poor blog by another person unqualified in law or politics. I would hope to have read better but it is the same stale allegations.

    1. If it is irrelevant that Gillard was allegedly a party both before and after the fact to a substantial fraud, then how is the alleged assault of Mr Abbott relevant? Are we talking of criminal or civil assault. Perhaps you could provide a definition that shows the difference between the two as they are substantial.

    In common law, assault is the tort of acting intentionally, that is with either general or specific intent, causing the reasonable apprehension of an immediate harmful or offensive contact. Because assault requires intent, it is considered an intentional tort, as opposed to a tort of negligence. Actual ability to carry out the apprehended contact is not necessary.

    Your understanding of the legal principles suggests that you are an amateur lawyer. But I assume the quals if Fine Art make you significantly qualified to comment as an expert on complex legal issues.

    I suggest you read up on what actually happens at a directions hearing. As of todays date no defence has been noted as filed. Perhaps you should read the Originating Application.

    The alleged Statement of Claim with the heading “DRAFT DRAFT CLAIM…” surely is not the originating application. It was not in correct form. IT was horribly worded and made no case. I would hope that it was not drafted by a qualified lawyer!
    Anyone want to discuss statute of limitations ?

    The Slipper matter…. again read up on Vexatious litigation to ascertain what it is before you comment.

    The CFMEU.. seriously someone from that recalcitrant union wants to sue for defamation. I heard that Jeffrey Dahmer was called a CFMEU member and he threateded to sue…. (yes that is an ironic joke)

    If Abbott is a criminal? then what does it make the fraud that is the PM. Miss “the client told me to do it??’

  9. I don’t believe there was a suggestion of John being a lawyer?

    Get off your high horse MR LAWYER JEFF.

    I think John was just bringing together information he has read elsewhere and rightfully so.

    We know who butters your bread now, don’t we.

  10. Jeff, the only stale allegation is the one that you made about our PM so for someone that purports to know so much about the law, you should know that there are no pending allegations against the PM in regards to that old worn out chestnut.

    But typical of your sort, you won’t let the truth get in the way of a story. Notice I didn’t say a good story, cause it’s been flogged to death, with nothing but smear and innuendo found.

    And if you believe so strongly in guilt by association, then you should apply that ideal to Justice Rares determination, as Abbott is deeply involved by association, at least, with K Jackson, and all the real criminals in the Ashby case, as well as personally lying to the AEC over his slush fund etc etc.

    But that’s different because it’s Abbot?

    Cheers :grin:

  11. No Jeff I am certainly not a lawyer. And it is is matters of law that seem to be upset about and I did say it was not up to me to decide the varicity of the matters I mentions. Where you miss the point is that I was referring to how these matters reflect on Mr. Abbotts character. As for the matter pertaining to the PM. Is it not time to put up or shut up. And incidentally if you have a view on fine art that’s perfectly fine with me. It seeks opinion as science does observation.

  12. Where has there been any fraud established in relation to the PM. As far as I can work out, therte have been no charges laid, let alonr convictions.

    The only person who appears to have admitted any crime, is the man now working with Victorian police. The only one that also has a dubious criminal record.

    Funny, itis also his name that appears on that dubious document. Not the PM. Nopt the ex-boyfriend.

  13. There is one noticeable difference between the allegations against the Leader of the Opposition and those levelled at the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has not been charged with anything or been called before a court of law, because no-one has ever had evidence which would be admissible in a court of law. On the other hand, there has been sufficient evidence presented to the courts for the Leader of the Opposition to have had to front the courts on at least three separate occasions: to answer sexual assault charges, to answer physical assault charges and to answer charges of damaging a street sign. Whether the cases were civil or criminal is irrelevant in terms of Abbott’s character.

  14. Bravo Jeff. Couldn’t agree more.

    Reading these articles is like watching oblivious schoolkids declare “My dad’s a policeman and he’s going to arrest you.” Yawn.

  15. I you’re that tired Crash why not take a snooz. Thanks for your very expansive and comprehensive comment.

  16. Apparently “Jeff” does not believe too much in democracy when he denigrates the CFMEU and their right to take defamation action.

    The next part of the Slipper saga will be played out soon and there is more to come there.

    I have nothing to say about “Crash” and his inalienable right to read and “Comment” … pithy as such “Comment” may be.

  17. Crash, if I come across articles that bore me, I move on. Why hang around, if it is so bad.

    Maybe other sites will not tolerate you, and you have no where to go. Is that the problem?

  18. You beat me to the punch FU. Aren’t blogs like TV. If ya don’t like it, turn it of.

  19. Andy, they get more enjoyment out of being irritating.

  20. Interesting points. Slipper, Thomson, Ashby, Abbott et al.


  21. What distresses me most is those that hold the PM to such high standards and are simply brushing away incidents that are clearly more severe and nefarious acts by Mr Abbott, those that defend him do not have a moral compass and hypocrisy is a word that they have no understanding of. Our democracy is being attacked no matter what side of politics your on, that should be ringing alarm bells for every Australian, that they have not been held to account with such glaring questions to be answered should also worry people. Since the Howard days I have found we are becoming less caring, greedy, selfish and in general a much nastier people and we have so much to be thankful for? It is articles like this and the people that support them that give me hope that common sense and our belief in a fair go will prevail. It’s good to see not all have Murdoch doing their thinking and voting for them. love your work John.

  22. Good on you Jeff and Crash. I always thought that Americans were mostly stupid and ignorant in believing everything that Fox News reported. But it seems Australians are next in line now with News Limited controlling a good majority of the press in this country.

  23. et al, includes the beautiful and caring Sophie Mirabella, also coming up soon.

  24. It seems that the “leave to appeal” went before the court today. Interesting.

  25. John. Ashby’s body language did not portray confidence.

  26. Yes I noticed that. Yes and thanking his lawyers. So he should they are doing it for interesting to see how it plays out.

  27. If the three person panel agrees with Justice Rares, I believe that Abbott might be in trouble.

    The reality is that one never knows what a judge, although three, will do, we have to wait until the judgement is bought down.

  28. Yes but even if the appeal is upheld and Ashby was granted his day in court serious stuff will be exposed.

  29. Does the Judiciary have some fear of Abboatt…….this is the most intelligently written analysis of the entire affair John…Would that the MSM had your competence. My thanks to you for the time and effort you are devoting to Justice in our Nation..

  30. Reblogged this on AZIAZONE.


  1. May Day May Day Update 2 | The Australian Independent Media Network

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