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A Plausible Defence; Improbable Events And Vanilla Offences…

There used to be an expression, “If you’re guilty, get Galbally!”

Mm, I don’t know why that pops into my head because I wanted to remind everyone that people have the right to a presumption of innocence… Unless, of course, they’re people on Nauru and Manus needing medical attention.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. How come Georgie Porgie was granted bail to get his knees done after he’d been convicted of a sex crime? Ok, I realise this was probably why the Murdoch press was squealing about dangerous people being allowed out bail, but it seems strange to you lot reading this. It’s simple really, We suspect asylum seekers of terrible crimes but if they’d been found guilty, they’d be entitled to medical treatment. After all, just because someone is a criminal doesn’t mean we should deny them basic rights.

Cardinal Pell raised ten things in his defence…

While I’m no lawyer, I wasn’t in the trial and I don’t have the benefit of omnipresence, I can certainly say that the last of them that I read was hardly a defence at all. The final defence was that the accuser hadn’t mentioned it before he did…

Taking a very deep breathe, I have to tell you that one of my best friends was sexually abused as a young teenager. He didn’t tell me for a number of years. He didn’t tell his mother until she was asked to be a character witness for the man who’d abused him. He didn’t tell the authorities until he was prepared to be a witness in a trial where the perpetrator was on trial. He was in his forties by then. He’s dead now.

As a defence, being late to tell those who love you and actually believing that you’d have the power to do something about it, is hardly something I’d bring up as a defence. Rape is about power, and powerful people can convince you to say nothing. If you believe that – for even one moment that’s a defence – I would like to say, fuck you, Cardinal Pell and all who sail with you.

However, I’m a fair man and Pell had other defences. For a start, he suggested that he may have been observed in the sacristy. It was a “public” place with priests going to and fro… Someone may have seen what he was up to.

Mm, well that’s quite a defence. Yes, I can see that being caught would be a deterrent. I mean. let’s go back to the last century and remember how priests caught by other priests were treated. Remember how all those priests were defrocked by their bishops…So many priests were caught and reported by other members of the church. And they were disgraced and defrocked and shunned by the Church and… Oh, sorry, that – like Pell suggested about the accusation by the victim – is one of those fantasies that people would like to believe.

If Pell had been discovered, he would have been reported to the Archbishop… You know, himself. Of course, I suspect that like Pell in Ballarat who didn’t “take much interest” in such things, they’d have just looked the other way and presumed that he had God on his side.

Still, Pell is appealing…

Ok, not to me, but certainly to John Howard who told us that he knew about the conviction but he’s still get’s a thumbs up from old “we shall decide who enters and the circumstances in which they enter”! And Mandy Vanstone expresses her disappointment that she couldn’t give Pell the thumbs up… in a figurative, not literal sense.

Are these people lacking all understanding? Have they decided to destroy the Liberal Party in the hope that they’ll be able to form the IPA party or join Cory Bernardi’s Conservative Party?

I mean, were I standing for the Liberal Party… And believe me, I’m not standing for this pack of paedophile apologists any longer… But were I standing for the Party, I’d be very concerned that a reference from John Howard would be a kiss of death.


When Richter suggested that it was on the vanilla end of offences, I couldn’t believe my ears. It was apparently quick and simple.

“You’re honour, I wish to put forward that my client has always suffered from premature ejaculation and so any rape offence conviction should take this into account when sentencing.”


And we hear those who’ve been squawking for tougher sentences and bail being too easy to get defending a convicted criminal on the grounds that they don’t want him to be guilty because it just makes them look foolish.

I remember reading a column by Bolt where he wrote that people just weren’t prepared to say that the emperor had new clothes… Of course, I did wonder whether he was aware that the whole point of the story was that it was the sycophants who weren’t prepared to say that he didn’t, and that it took a child to point out the truth. I thought it may have been a cry for help. You know, don’t blame me for what I write. I know that He is naked but I’m forced to write nonsense by my editor…

But now I know. Bolt, Howard and others are prepared to tell us that the Emperor is, of course, the Emperor and any judgement by lesser mortals is wrong.

Look, look, the Emperor has removed his sacrificial robes sayeth the Child.

Impossible, he’d need the help of his Master of Ceremonies who never left his side for even one momentary toilet break in all the time they celebrated Mass.

What would a child know? Even after a judge and jury, we support him; he’s fully clothed.

Naked emperor? A fairy story…


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  1. Glenn K

    Ah well, he can get lots of headjobs in prison, though i suspect he may be giving rather than recieving. I never believed he would end up in gaol – thought the power was too absolutely corrupted to allow it. There is hope for Aus yet

  2. Aortic

    When you have commendations from Howard, Abbott and Vanstone and ” vanilla sex” defence from a lawyer the penurious Catholic Church is probably paying thousands of dollars a second, you should be aware you are in a deal of trouble. The people I truly feel the deepest sorrow for, and we have known a number of them, are the true believers in the ” one true church.” They are being let down by a hierarchy who, by virtue of their exalted position within the institution, are so inculcated by the robes and the hats and the razzle dazzle of it all, they consider, like the pope they are infallible with no contact physically or spiritually with those who are still prepared to follow the faith. They deserve better and from I have witnessed in my seventy odd years on this planet, they ain’t gonna get it any time soon.

  3. Aortic

    Some of his supporters are claiming he is thoughtful sensitive and supportive, but blow jobs always made me feel that way too.

  4. Alcibiades

    Rape is about power and powerful people can convince you to say nothing. If you believe that – for even one moment that’s a defence – I would like to say, f#ck you, Cardinal Pell and all who sail with you.


    And the rape of two children, under your power and authority, is the exercise of ultimate power and utter dominance of another human being, an exhilarating additional pseudo-sexual pleasure, for the offender.

    He owed them a lawful duty of care, as choirboys at his mass, he was the Archbishop.

    It is of note that Pell, Tony Abbot & Murdoch have been for many years now the key individuals in leadership within that which can never be named, or discussed other than superficially in passing by the MSM, the IPA, the supposed Think Tank, the Institute of Public Affairs.

    It may be purely coincidental, yet one may observe that the vocal and prolific defenders and apologists for this rock spider, are also IPA,are they not ?

    As an aside, a few decades ago, read a confidential criminal justice study re organised paedophilia … the crux of the evidence and analysis, as I recall, was the most likely offenders and their fellow traveller defenders/protectors/apologists, were heavily represented by those in positions of power, trusted, somewhat impune to one degree or another …and the ability to exercise the desires within their dark hearts, given the opportunity, therefore had little to restrain them from offending. Especially so when it is the word of a child only against the perp, If the traumatised child ever recovered the trust and found the courage to speak up and face the organised ‘defence’ of the perp.

    Much as for minor fraud, which when undetected is successful, creates an ever more profound irrational delusional belief in the perp of their cleverness, as they commit evermore and greater frauds, escaping detection again & again, until the frauds become so large in scope and scale, their discovery is inevitable. The same applies to many paedophiles … each offence, unreported, unpunished, likely leads to further offences seeking the ultimate ‘thrill’, a self reinforcing delusion as crimes mount unpunished, that they are, impune.

    Why did Pell refuse to testify in his own defense ?

    The surviving boy, who had his innocence torn from him, the other suicided 5 years ago having never uttered a single word, was on a scholarship to to a catholic college … what child in his position dare to presume to accuse the archbishop, and be believed without repercussions ?

    Former PM John Howard, still IPA, formerly in the inner leadership circle, provided a character reference for Pell, knowing of the conviction. You’ll find it online.

    Pell had essentially unlimited financial support, the most highly regarded and experienced legal representatives and teams, fought tooth and nail re every evidentiary issue every step of the way, and was convicted by a jury 12-0, largely due to closed testimony of the 35 year old survivor, who will forever be trapped to his last breath, in those moments as a powerless 13 year old choirboy, defiled & betrayed.

    Why does the IPA and its fellow travellers fight publicly so vociferously to defend, the indefensible ?

    There is likely much more to follow, and more rocks to be overturned, should Pell’s appeal fail. One shits you not.

    Pell as a doctrinaire man of ‘faith’, who even if eventually defrocked, will forever still be a priest, knows his supposed fate is an eternity of being raped by Satan in the Ninth Circle of Hell.

    Earthly prison is too kind for he and his ilk, even his fellow imates think so …

    If his appeal fails, would not be surprised should his pacemaker inexplicably fail (externally induced?) at an oh so inconvenient time … accidentally, inadvertantly, released into general population, perhaps … and therefore keep so many other secrets, secret.

  5. Shaun Newman

    This is just another demonstration of the total scam that is religion. Even the clergy do not believe what they are preaching. I sincerely hope that one day soon mankind with grow out of religion and develop the confidence to take responsibility for our actions and realize that death is merely part of life. Give up the ridiculous notion that there is a heaven or a hell and just accept that we live and we die.

  6. Kenneth Hall

    This church has been abusing people in one form or another for 2000 years. Which church hasn’t? As a long time serving professional soldier I gave up the church because of what I saw in my many postings overseas with the Brits and UN. I simply refused to enter and when regimental services were held I stood outside irrespective of the weather. Lots of pressure was brought to bear, refusal to baptise my sons, sending me away on retreat where I gained drinking buddies ranked from colonel down, all priests. The churches are run by men such as these as with any multinational organisation, Immensely rich and immensely greedy. Brought up in the high church of England as a child and with a father holding office in the church. I should think differently and follow the initial school indoctrination. My father walked away from the church instantly and completely. He resigned his office and then after a meeting in my home and never set foot in a church again, none of my family ever did A pillar of society, many questions were asked of him by the community, none were answered. This was in the 50’s, looking back I think it was because of too much familiarity towards myself and sister by this Australian priest. My father stopped all contact with an institution where he was married, we were christened, schooled, attended Sunday school and outdoor activities. It is so long ago the reason for this break escapes me. A church is only has good as the people that run it, church men and politicians, they stink. The Abbott and Howards of this world as well as Pell and his ilk are its vultures and parasites creating the power that they gain from controlling decent people in the community that they laughingly call sheep.

  7. Les Baldwin

    Howard has always been a great judge of character after all he did appoint Peter Hollingsworth as Governor General who later resigned over a sex scandal.

  8. MöbiusEcko

    What immediately came to mind when I read Howard’s character reference for Pell was the Northern Territory National Intervention (NTER), or just The Intervention.

    This intervention, military in nature, was supposedly in response to the recommendations of the Little Children are Sacred report and was a reaction to alleged widespread rampant child sexual abuse. That the Howard government only took up two of the 90 odd recommendations, and even the two taken up were convoluted by including changes to welfare provision, law enforcement, land tenure and other measures that weren’t in the recommendations.

    Mal Brough went on and on about organised pedophile rings within the Aboriginal communities. Yet in seven years of the Intervention, there was not a single conviction and no organised pedophile rings were found. The fact that there were many reports of white truck drivers and miners who had access to the communities abusing aboriginal children was never looked into.

    Like the example of the treatment of the asylum seekers mentioned, this is yet another example of just how differently the L-NP treat those they consider not of their ilk. Aboriginal, asylum seekers, the poor, not conservative etc. to those they consider on their side, such as the Church. Where was Howard’s Intervention into it when the stories of long term child sexual abuse by the Church began to surface? Nowhere to be seen, and indeed the L-NP fought against any sort of response to it until the backlash started to lose them power.

    Alleged Aboriginal child abuse, a military intervention. Alleged Asylum seeker child abuse, lock away on an island for life. Convicted conservative clergy, character references.

  9. Old Codger

    Didn’t John Howard appoint Archbishop Hollingworth Governor General in 2001? Hollingsworth was forced to resign in 2003 after allegations of failing to properly respond to a case of child sexual abuse. He was previously implicated in allowing a known pedophile to continue working as a priest. Yes, John Howard displayed such fine judgement and now supports a convicted pedophile, but again one form the upper reaches of status in our community. They and their ilk clearly look down upon us from on high. Bastards.

  10. Keitha Granville

    Thank you – keep talking people, keep on exposing these stories. The more that is revealed, the more will come forward, finally feeling safe and free to speak up.
    We have just begun watching The Keepers – I am so stunned by the frank openness of one of the victims it is almost unbearable to listen, but her revelations have encouraged and emboldened so many more.
    Whilst the perpetrators of many abuses may never be brought to justice – too long ago, dead, unknown – there must be some tiny scrap of comfort that those who were so appallingly treated can now have their stories listened to and believed.
    If there is a god, where was he ? And if he was there, I don’t ever want to know him.

  11. helvityni

    One of your best, Rossleigh…

    I don’t like ice-cream, but if I ever have it, it will not be Vanilla flavoured…( I prefer mine with chilly, how bloody chilling…)

    Absolutely revolting, the lot of them: Richter, Howard, Bolt….

    No wonder Pell’s knees are giving up; all that fine dining, with best of wines, over there in Vatican…

  12. Zathras

    “I was walking into the Sacristy when I tripped and fell and my penis somehow accidentally ended up in his mouth…” is one form of defence he could use.

    Howard, Bolt, Abbott and other members of the IPA are simply scared their brand has been damaged. As self-appointed guardians of traditional social structures the idea that one of them is less than perfect may reflect on them all and who knows where that may lead – the end of civilisation as we know it?

    Abbott once gave a personal reference to a priest who also ended up convicted of pedophilia so perhaps his opinion is of little value.

  13. Kaye Lee

    I am wondering why Pell’s legal team chose to withdraw the application to have his bail extended until his appeal is heard.

    At first, I thought perhaps they felt he would be safer in protective custody but that is unlikely as the church would be able to provide secure accommodation if they chose to. Did they choose not to?

    Could it be that he has decided to not prolong the agony for his victim any longer and will withdraw his appeal?

    Aside from that, the words uttered by his defence team were arrogant beyond belief. I did not understand the term vanilla in this context. I had to look it up.

    “Sex that involves no twists or kinkiness, and no S&M. Basically plain regular sex. Typically sweet and happy and very lovey-dovey.”

    Oh really?

  14. helvityni

    “Strength and sincerity”, yes , full of it, just like you Howard, Abbott, Richter, IPA…and the rest of your ilk…

  15. jake

    one of the excuses a supporter used was “i would have heard something earlier if he was doing things like this”

    i’m sure there were things earlier, firstly he was very high on the heap and could bury anything arising through church reporting and wasn’t there something in the 90’s in camden?? that was silenced and that was before he was given oam. he also continued supporting and hiding the actions of others

    i cannot understand how bolt and his ilk, even on skew news, should be permitted to flatly deny justice to those abused, i get freedom of speech but someone who is reknowned for lying or misrepresenting his veiws as facts on air night after night and stating that our method of justice, slow and flawed as it is, is wrong because pell is a buddy – there are enough idiots to believe what he says because its on tv … sorry skew news is my pet bugbear – they should not be allowed to be called news – they are biased opinions only given by lackies bought and paid for by rupert and the ipa

    and worse still these are the people who claim pedophiles are rampant among nauru/manus internees but when claims against those of their own are validated, blot, howard, abbot etc are in full denial

    unfortunately i expect the appeal to succeed just like wilsons – there will be some technical loophole and the appalling hubris of pell (and wilson for that matter) will mean he won’t resign, won’t admit anything and certainly won’t apologise – if there is a hell it will be full of priests and imams and politicians

  16. Kaye Lee

    Pell lived with Ridsdale yet claims he knew nothing about his prolific abuse.

    In 2002 Pell was investigated by the church over an accusation that he sexually abused a 12-year-old altar boy at a youth camp on Phillip Island in 1961 while a seminarian. The verdict of the retired judge is not proven but not dismissed.

    In 2016, after allegations against Pell himself surfaced, a Victorian man alleges he saw Pell expose himself to a group of young boys at a surf lifesaving club in the late 1980s.

    In January 2018, one of the key complainants against Pell dies. The complainant had alleged Pell touched his genitals repeatedly at Ballarat swimming pool in the 1970s, when the complainant was eight, while playing a game with children that involved throwing them into the air.

    And then there’s the cathedral case.

    That’s a lot of smoke over decades for there to be no fire. Combine it with the now known cover-ups and the aggressive defence.

    Hell beckons.

    I should add that Scott Morrison, for once, has I feel responded appropriately by saying, “We hear you and we believe you”. We shall see if actions match words.

  17. Terence Mills

    Odd but not unanticipated that the right-wing would treat this as a a Left v Right issue.

    I’m always a little worried when supporters of a defendant strenuously insist that a jury determination is unsafe and expect that the judgement will be overturned on appeal.

    We shall see !!

  18. MöbiusEcko

    Kaye Lee, I’m not playing devil’s advocate but it must be mentioned there were complaints against Pell of sexual abuse, but investigations found that Pell was not at the location at the time or could not have committed the offences on the dates mentioned. Victims getting the where and when wrong is understandable, especially if they’ve mentally blocked out the incidents, but these unfounded complaints didn’t do the cause against Pell any favours, indeed they enabled him to use them to play the victim in being hounded and unfairly accused.

    The case that did convict him was because of the complainant being confident, resolute, lucid and able to recall dates and times in some detail that matched where Pell was and what he was doing.


    I think it was the above episode of the ABC RN Law Report that detailed how the Prosecution and Defence went about their cases, and how the Defence case was overly convoluted.

  19. Matters Not

    Re the words used by the defence team – and why.

    Mr Richter’s comments were made to the judge in open court as part of the normal plea discussions in such cases, according to Professor Jeremy Gans from the Melbourne Law School.

    “I think it has to be understood that Mr Richter is not talking to a jury, he is not talking to the media, he is talking to a judge,” he said.

    … But Professor Gans, an expert on criminal appeals, said he was not at all surprised at the language used by Robert Richter.

    He called it a “bog standard plea discussion”.

    “One of the terrible tasks that everyone has to do in sentencing is to rank the crime against every other possible crime that someone is charged with,” he said.

    “So if someone is charged with sexual penetration, you have to consider of all of the possible ways a child could be sexually penetrated and think — how does this rank in terms of seriousness.

    “So that’s what the vanilla comment is.”

    Professor Gans said he was not defending the comment, saying he could have chosen a better word

    More understandable in context


  20. Peter F

    The action referred to by the defence could hardly be described as ‘vanilla’. I think it is in poor taste .

  21. Kaye Lee

    I do understand the difficult position of the defence in the circumstances. They have to argue what the sentence should be on the basis that Pell has been found guilty even though they are mounting an appeal of his innocence.

    But “vanilla”?

    Very poor choice of words.

  22. Matters Not

    Perhaps the sentencing hearing should be in a closed court – away from sensitive ears? Experts talking to experts often use unvarnished language and it’s certainly not confined to the legal profession. Teachers talking to other teachers, for example, often choose to use words and phrases that they might not use when talking to parents or even students. Thankfully it’s usually not on public display.

    As for police talking to police … social workers talking to social workers … builders talking to builders … but it’s not recorded for all to hear.

  23. paul walter

    Well, the judge baked Richter for understanding the case.

    It’s true I have a little trouble with the way the case ran, but against it, the overwhelming documented history of Pell and the Church under his supervision over such a long time really made the result inevitable.

    Vanilla or not, George Pell is also a culpable accessory in a long history of offending by many people against children with results involving trauma and PTSD, nervous breakdowns, alcoholism and addiction and suicide in some cases.

    Justice was best served by the verdict and whatever results from any appeal, the Church will have received quite a shock from social resistance to the long-standing assumption of privilege in a vile form perpetrated by some very mediocre human beings.

  24. Barry Thompson.

    Very well said Paul.

  25. Diannaart

    I wonder if the withdrawal (now, I’m seeing double entendres everywhere) the cancellation of the bail application was more for the protection of the paedophile priest than any other strategic move. I’m betting he has a cell all to himself.

    Thank you for looking up “vanilla sex”, Kaye Lee.

    What would I know, apart from the realisation I have had a variety of ice cream, although I don’t think of unwanted ice cream as a treat, nor do children.

  26. Diane

    Several years ago I listened to a Richard Fidler Conversation with a former policeman from Ballarat – there was so much covering up going on then from Church and other Institutions. If anyone can point me in the direction of who that policeman may have been, I’d really like to listen again to the Conversation in light of the current situation. I’m not sure if he was in Ballarat at the same time as Pell would have been there….

  27. Alcibiades

    I’ll just leave this here …

    -= Conservatives Never Get To Lecture Us Again =-

    … Howard said that he was aware Pell had been convicted, but that it did not “alter my opinion of the Cardinal”, adding that Pell is “a lively conversationalist who maintains a deep and objective interest in contemporary social and political issues”.

    As though Pell couldn’t possibly be capable of holding down a conversation and orally raping two boys.

    Save The Children… Just Not Those Children –

    … And now, faced with an actual instance of child abuse, they don’t even the decency to stay silent.

    Instead, what we’ve seen this week is a deliberate, coordinated effort from the most powerful conservatives in media and politics to defend one of their own. They are defending a paedophile.

    All of them quite rightly said that Pell has appealed the conviction, and seem to believe it stands a good chance of being overturned. But at what point do we stop giving Pell the benefit of the doubt? I would have thought it was at precisely the moment a jury of his peers found he had orally raped two boys.

    We should all remember this the next time conservatives try to lecture us on morality.

    Bolt, Devine, Abbott, Howard and Shelton have all spent decades attempting to place themselves in the centre of our moral universe. They tell us they fight for just causes and protect our most sacred institutions.

    But when faced with a choice between protecting children or one of their own this week, they chose the paedophile.

    Source: George Pell: Conservatives Never Get To Lecture Us Again https://junkee.com/pell-conservatives-lecture/195839

  28. Rossleigh

    As I pointed out before, Pell’s conviction didn’t alter my opinion of him either. However, I suspect that Howard and I mean different things when we say that.

    I’m thinking about writing a piece entitled character reference for Hitler based on Howard’s letter, but I’m wondering if that wouldn’t be considered a little unfair.

    After all, Hitler’s dead and can’t defend himself and, as John Howard said about the stolen generation, it was a long time ago and people believed they were doing the right thing…Or did he mean the Right thing?

  29. Josephus

    About the RC church rather than about Pell: the Me Too offshoot Nuns Too that outs the horrific sexual abuse of nuns by clergy over decades , perhaps much longer. De Sade’s ‘Justine’ was a bitter satire of sexual deviance and licence among the religious for which he was imprisoned. Now the anguished confessions of women all over the world who have sworn to virginity, used and too ashamed to speak up until now. Worst so far is the case of a nun who was regularly raped and made to undergo three abortions. She was made in her world view to assent to three murders, the priests in the eyes of their faith murderers or accessories. Can one sink any lower?

  30. Diannaart


    Elephant in chapel.

    I suspect abuse of nuns by clergy has been endemic since there were nuns and clergy. Not all clergy of course, but coverups make clergy just as complicit.

    Again any dissent would’ve been swiftly quashed just as with the predation on children.

    Will there be an inquiry? Difficult to say. Children can be easily determined as innocents, but adult women? We are back to the banality of ‘he said, she said’.


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