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Brilliant Abbott Strategy: The Best Way To Stop People Talking About The Last Mistake Is To Make Your Next!

When I decided to do a bit of research about the person heading the Royal Commission, Dyson Heydon, I noticed that he was born in Canada, but it was only when I decided that perhaps Wikipedia wasn’t enough research that I found that he wasn’t some Canadian boat person but rather the son of a public servant working overseas who’d married his Canadian secretary. His Wikipedia entry seemed strangely shy about mentioning his father, who’d worked in the Canberra Public Service and is described by the Australian Dictionary of Biography thus:

“On 6 November 1961 Heydon succeeded Sir Tasman Heyes as secretary of the Department of Immigration. To his new department he brought a broad appreciation of the workings of government, a network of contacts in Australia and abroad, and a concern about the public standing of the immigration programme He won respect and admiration for his businesslike approach to administration, his tactical sense, his appreciation of what was viable, his capacity in drafting ministerial submissions and his ability to inspire confidence. Conscientious in attending to his duties, he identified priorities, formulated staffing levels, set high standards and developed esprit de corps.”

But his father is not our concern here, in spite of his obvious close connection to the Liberal government throughout the sixties. He was a public servant, and public servants were neutral weren’t they? They just gave the governments advice, and when Labor came to power in 1972, many of the public service were confused because the Opposition was now trying to pretend that somehow it had a right to govern just because they’d won an election.

No, instead we turn to the son, who Abbott appointed to head the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. (Was this another “captain’s pick”?)

On his appointment to the High Court, the Liberal Attorney-General Daryl Williams described Dyson Heydon thus:

“Your honour’s personal work habits are extraordinary. It has been said . . . that you have always taken on a workload that should have been outlawed by some post-Dickensian Factory Act, and I trust that such an allusion will gratify you.”

So we can clearly see why he’s emminently qualified to look out how those pesky unions may be resorting to corrupt practices, as well as trying to prevent the reintroduction of the Factory Act and The Poor Law.

But hey, this just a “storm in a teacup”, as Mr Pyne tells us, because well, at $80 a head this is hardly a “fundraiser” because that barely covers costs and the only funds that were being raised on the night were from people donating. Which seems an interesting distinction to me, and I’m wondering if some lawyer may one day fight a charge of theft on the grounds that the money stolen was hardly enough to cover the taxi fare back home after the theft, so therefore it can’t be considered profitable enough to be against the law.

Not that any laws have been broken, of course.

But it is a bad look when the person heading a corruption inquiry is speaking at a fundraiser that’s not a fundraiser even though it clearly states on the invitation where funds raised will go. The argument raised by “The Daily Telegraph” that we should all move on because he pulled out when discovered that it was a Liberal fundraiser even though it said so on the invitation raises more than a few questions about the judgement of the judge.

Justice needs to be seen to be done, and this is one Justice who may have been well and truly done.

As Heydon himself said of Julia Gillard’s testimony:

“Julia Gillard was in many ways a satisfactory witness, But the manner in which she uttered these words denying what Athol James said seemed to be excessive, forced, and asseverated.

“There was an element of acting in her demeanour. She delivered those words in a dramatic and angry way, but the delivery fell flat.

“She protested too much. She chose to fight him. It was a fight in which there could be only one winner. Unfortunately, she lost that fight. Athol James’s testimony is to be accepted over hers. He was a witness of truth. His version of events was correct.”

Mm, it seems to me that, rather than a legal background, this Royal Commission needs someone with a dramatic background who can judge who’s telling the truth based on his or her delivery of the lines. I nominate film directors, Quentin Tarantino or Martin Scorcese.

But at least this is taking our attention of the Same Sex Marriage, “Let’s Have A Referendum On It, Even Though I Said That We Shouldn’t” Fiasco. And when Tony Abbott says let’s have a vote he doesn’t mean with the next election; he means at some future date when he can say that really the election gave him a mandate because it was very clear that he took a policy of no gay marriage to several elections, so who needs a costly referendum?

And the same sex marriage debate took everyone’s mind off the pathetic 26% emissions reduction target , which we’ll achieve by a number of measures which we’re yet to work out, but after careful deliberation we came up with a number, using the science of Goldilocks and picked one which decided wasn’t too high and wasn’t too low, but was “just right” and we hope you gobble it all up.

And not only have they found the Goldilocks number, the Liberals are promising to achieve it without actually adding to any costs, or indeed, changing anyone’s behaviour in any way whatsoever.

And the “action” on climate change has taken everyone’s mind off the fact that unemployment hit a high not seen during the entire GFC. (Anyone heard the phrase, “Budget emergency” any time recently?)

Which took everyone’s mind of the leadership speculation…

Oh wait, No, it didn’t.

Checking the latest odds:

Abbott Callling Election to Head off Leadership Spill Evens

Abbott Losing spill in the next fortnight. 2-1

Abbott Winning Spill By Insisting On Secret Ballot Which Frances Counts 3-1

Abbott declaring war on the Falklands 3-1

Liberals Organising “Harold Holt” Memorial Swim For Tony 4-1



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  1. Wally

    You have come up with a real gem Rossleigh the “Harold Holt Memorial Swim” should be a compulsory annual event for all LNP members to enter.

    The resemblance to Stropp is more than just looks, the sobering reality is that Stropp acted like a dickhead, Tony Abbott is one.

  2. Kate M

    Put me down for $100 on the Harold Holt memorial swim.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Dyson Heyden’s father was Robert Menzie’s private secretary.

    Mr Heydon released emails between his office and the organiser of the event, Gregory Burton, SC, a barrister who has been speculated to be a potential federal Liberal successor to Bronwyn Bishop in the northern Sydney seat of Mackellar.

    Mr Burton is a member of the NSW Bar Association’s Bar News Committee, which is chaired by Jeremy Stoljar, the counsel assisting the royal commission.

    Mr Stoljar and Mr Heydon both belong to Eight Selborne Chambers at 174 Phillip St, Sydney.

    In his email to Mr Heydon’s assistant on Wednesday, Mr Burton wrote: “As you know, although nominally under the auspices of the Liberal Party’s lawyers professional branches, this is not a fundraiser”.

    Quizzed on the ABC’s Lateline program on Thursday about the words “as you know”, Mr Brandis would not agree they suggested Mr Heydon was aware of the party’s involvement before he released the email exchange.

    “I think that phrase in the email exchange could mean anything,” he said.

    Asked to release all correspondence between himself and the event organisers, as well as the date when he was invited, Mr Heydon, through a spokesman, declined to comment on Friday. Mr Nutt also refused to answer the questions.


    So, the judge and the prosecutor are close colleagues, as are the prosecutor and the event organiser, and Heydon is refusing to release evidence as to his prior knowledge of this being a Liberal Party event. So much for independence, impartiality and transparency.

  4. David Stephens

    He (Peter) was also briefly Bob Menzies private sec but so far back it doesn’t matter

  5. trishcorry

    Absolutely brilliant! *Bows up and down in a worshippy bow* to your fine research. Great read!

  6. diannaart

    Dyson Heydon; a hard-working man from a hard-working father – whoop-dee-doo.

    LNP needs to understand that ‘hard’ work does not necessarily result in excellence, competence, intelligence or even accomplishment.

  7. Graeme Rust

    He was born in Canadia Rossleigh, ask abbortt, he knows,

  8. Southerly

    I would love to see Abbott start in the Harold Holt Memorial swim. ( love it!)

  9. David

    @Kaye Lee…indeed the bleedin obvious is obvious…jobs for the boys and the boys and not for chicken feed. Deysons payment is so large we dare not even ask. Abbott declares such things are never spoken of. Ok we go with the rumoured amount then. Commissioner will receive not less than 6 million dollars plus all expenses.
    Stoljar being the ‘vice’ captain will receive a mere 3.5 million plus all expenses.

    I await the the attack of the trolls 🙂

    Great article Ross

  10. Harquebus

    Fascist creep.
    Double meaning there.

  11. Annette

    I’m amazed – 6 million to Haydon. So we’ll probably give TA a ‘suitable’ assessment of the unions ¿???????????????

  12. win jeavons

    We wuz robbed! Nothing new though, move on. We all die in the end , but— the evil that men do lives after them …

  13. Harry.V.Dirchy

    Hate to be picky Rossleigh, but mind off, not of. Still love ya work though. I’d also say that if Tony Nutt says the invite was offered years ago, you would have thought that Heydon would have declined as soon as he was offered the royal commission jobby. It seems the more “they” open their mouths the more “they” drop themselves in it.

  14. David

    If Deyson was as innocent as he made out, when he suddenly knew the media had the story of his appearance at the the ‘fund raiser’ and was about to take him to task over it, he proposed he hadn’t realised until that morning it was a Liberal sponsored affair.
    All the known facts say otherwise.
    Brandis has a story that doesn’t add up with conflicting dates, his invitation to the affair arrived in April, he says he didn’t know until last Thursday when the story broke. Echoes of his denials about the memos that he knew nothing about re the Sydney siege. Abbott has two different answers, that he says are both correct. Julie Bishop answered on behalf of Brandis in the HOR and her story doesn’t add up
    The more they lie, the deeper the hole gets. This is not going to go away and unless the Libs stop lying and someone tells the truth it will end up in the High Court.
    Bottom line that’s being drawn, the Commissioner must stand down from the Royal Commission.

  15. Matters Not

    If you own a ‘Dyson’, as I do, you will know it keeps on ‘sucking’ day in, day out, regardless of the stresses and strains.

    Abbott knows that.

    It’s why a ‘Dyson’ was selected.

  16. Pingback: When I decided to do a bit of research about the person heading the Royal Commission, Dyson Heydon, | olddogthoughts

  17. Winston

    Other Latest Odds 5-1 Abbott could declare war with Russia and Putin regarding the shooting down of the commercial plane.This would be secretly called -The Great Diversion Plan. But at the last minute instead of war; Abbott challenges Putin for an arm wrestle to be viewed live on television. The media would follow their training preparations like a Rocky movie. Abbott would be praised by The Murdoch press for avoiding a war and held in high esteem as warrior prepared to put his arm on the line for his country.The media and planning for this would be massive and the fight would be held in 6 months time. Just enough time for Abbott’s approval rating to go back up, Though when Abbott and Putin finally meet up they decide to just have a handshake instead and a couple Vodkas.Murdoch’s headline would read. “Hero Abbott Avoids War” Vote 1 Tony Abbott

  18. Rossleigh

    Sorry Winston, but I think that one has already happened. After the “shirtfront” incident, we did declare war on Putin, but it wasn’t announced to the public for “operational reasons”.
    The rest all happened behind closed doors. Apart from the jump in Abbott’s approval ratings, of course – that only happened in Tony’s mind!

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