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) http://theaimn.com/2013/01/19/never/
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.
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 http://www.independentaustralia.net/ (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.
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.
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 AM OUTRAGED
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.
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.
I AM STILL OUTRAGED
NOW LOOKING FORWARD
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.http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/jacksonville-46-one-step-closer/
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”
“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.