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Commissioner Dyson Heydon must resign

The impartiality of a Royal Commissioner must be beyond reproach. Dyson Heydon heads the Royal Commission into Trade Unions. It has been disclosed that he was to be a speaker at a Liberal Party fund raiser bringing his impartiality into grave doubt. He has no choice but to resign and wind up the Commission.

It was well know when the Prime Minister appointed him that he had strong connections to the Liberal Party and was yet another captain’s pick. Even John Howard at the time said that Royal Commissions of this sort were a bad idea adding that they could come back to bite you. How prophetic he was.

And it was costing $80 million of our money.

Dyson Heydon was another captain’s pick, by the way.






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  1. kerri

    We didn’t need that info to gauge his lack of impartiality John? His nasty attitude to witnesses, especially those whose scalp, it was well known, were wanted by Abbott. But you are right he must resign and now there may be an unrefutable reason to do so!

  2. keerti

    I long for the day when this present scum are presented with a summons to a royal commission into their dishonest, abuse of law and democrasy. Unfortunately it probably won’t happen.

  3. Matters Not

    Are you suggesting he now has a conflict of interest? A conflict that wasn’t there right from the very beginning, given his ongoing membership of the Liberal Party.

    Abbott can’t take a trick. But I think the ‘picker’ in this instance was Bookcase Brandis.

    Most incompetent government ever!

  4. O'Bleak

    Heyden’s remarks toward both Gillard and Shorten made it obvious why he was chosen to head this commission and whose agenda he was employed to follow. This bloke’s got all the cred of a $20 Rolex. Attend at a Liberal fundraiser? I’m surprised he wasn’t asked to be M.C. Seems more appropriate given his current situation. A speech in honour of Garfield Barwick? Now that’s no surprise at all.


    Another Captains Pick its about time the Liberals Picked another Captain.

  6. John Hermann

    This “royal commission” was always perceived by intelligent commentators as a witch hunt, political pay-back, and a waste of public money. The political nature and dimension of the exercise is now revealed for all to see. I wonder how much of this revelation will find its way into the mainstream media.

  7. Maureen Walton (@maureen_walton)

    Makes my day. Abbotts finally getting some back with much more to come….Dyson Heyden is Foul the way he abused Shorten at the Royal Commision Shame on him Deserves all he has coming and more..

  8. paul walter

    My jaws dropped when I saw it on tel. I can’t get over how unremittingly club-footed this half-wit government can be.

  9. Colin

    Have a guess who delivered the inaugural Sir Garfield Barwick Address in 2010? Only Senator the Hon George Brandis SC: (I hope the link works)

    And here’s the invitation to this year’s event, courtesy of the ABC:

    Any suggestion Justice Heydon could not have known it was a Liberal Party fundraiser beggars belief.

  10. Kyran

    I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry. As far as I’ve heard, his defence was he didn’t know it was a fundraiser. Is he related to Bronwyn? Or is the similarity just that he got caught? With regard to the validity of the commission, the rules of evidence were so skewed from other rc’s (have a look at Practice Directive 1, rules of evidence), it is seriously not worthy of mention. Over at the Fair Work Commission, Michael Lawler (another captains pick) is on leave supporting charity shagger (her word’s, not mine) Jackson.
    FFS, this captain couldn’t pick his nose. Notwithstanding Pinocchio.
    Thank you Mr Lord. Take care

  11. kizhmet

    I don’t know whether to laugh,cry, or throw something.

    Everything Abbott touches is defiled, degraded, or destroyed. How much longer can he, or this government, last? When MSM report on the government’s Faux Pas you know LNP are in deep doggy doo-doo.

  12. my say

    It seems another of the captains picks have bitten the dust ,and with each one more disastrous than the last
    It is about time this captain and some of his crew were made to walk the plank.before he is thrown overboard by the people.

  13. jimhaz

    Regardless of the politics I see a definite need for greater accountability in unions.

    I would love unions to recover their client losses – but they will never do so when fat cat types are running the show and siphoning off funds. That they are doing so says immediately that the monthly union rates are far too high for what they do for employees in the present – which for the most unions is essentially nothing other collecting money so the unionists can enter politics for the ALP, wherein they then cease to truly be for the workers. The last 5 or so years of the NSW ALP lead government were nearly as bad for government employees as was any LNP government – the LNP are still implementing anti-people polices set up by the ALP.

    Nowadays unions are sorely needed to act against the neo-con lead managerial practices that treat people as ergs, but they need to numbers otherwise management just simply pays lip service to the unions.

  14. Mark Needham

    So he did, or will be attending?
    What gaul, absolute effrontery, almost unbelievable!
    Mark Needham

  15. Peter F

    Don’t you just love the explanation by the Commissioner ‘ I said I could not speak at the function if it were a Party fundraiser. As the ALP said in Parliament. This is a man who is supposed to know the right questions to ask.

  16. Peter F

    How many MSM reporters will mention the Commissioners own words in relation to the Philip Morris case that any suggestion of bias should immediately disallow any Judge for the action. These were quoted in Parliament today.

  17. Peter F

    The second edition of the national guide to chief court officers outlines some well-established principles. Among them is this one:
    “Although active participation in or membership of a political party before appointment would not of itself justify an allegation of judicial bias or an appearance of bias, it is expected that, on appointment, a judge will sever all ties with political parties. An appearance of continuing ties, such as might occur by attendance at political gatherings, political fund raising events or through contributions to a political party, should be avoided.”

    from The AGE

  18. David

    Peter those words you quoted if nothing else, are reason for Heyden to immediately stand down. However unlike his defenders I do not regard him as a man of honour with regard to this RC witch hunt, he has not acted with honour at all. A disgrace to his profession.

  19. Bilal

    One of the 14 Steps to Fascism:
    10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.
    Fascism Anyone? Laurence W. Britt Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 23, Number 2.

    Now it seems the plot comes undone. Hopefully the road to fascism is much bumpier than the Tea Party imagined.

  20. Dan Caffrey

    Captain Tony seems to going the way of Jo Bjelke-Petersen, who forgot about the separation of powers. In appointing a partisan judge to this inquiry into the unions, any findings that it makes will immediately smell of rotting fish. No one will have confidence in the outcomes. This just is another case of Abbott and his cronies trying to get rid of opposition to allow the corporations a free run – like an South American dictator worth the name would do. Just continues a long trend of Govt getting more control and limiting freedoms, but protecting the ruling classes – viz., the massive opposition to political donations disclosure laws.

  21. Keith

    It seems that every Captain’s pick bites Abbott on the bum. A continual illustration that Abbott is hopeless as a PM.

  22. stephentardrew

    Abbott is in a phase of unstoppable deterioration because his lies are so open and transparent. Going down Mr Nasty

  23. Matters Not

    Peter F’s citation seems like the ‘money quote’ and therefore worth restating, in part at least. Heyden pontificated:

    An appearance of continuing ties, such as might occur by attendance at political gatherings, political fund raising events or through contributions to a political party, should be avoided.”

    While it may be argued that Heyden has now retreated from his commitment, his ‘intentions’ were clear (deontological ethics writ clear). He was going to speak at a Liberal Party ‘fundraiser’, being a long-term member of that party, while he was Chair of a Royal Commission into organisations that traditionally align with the Labor party, and that’s an understatement.

    It seems to me that Heyden is a very proud man, protective of his reputation, and therefore will stand down and be remembered historically for his ‘ethical’ decision. His outcome is ‘good’. (teleological ethics on display)’

    If not then, he will be remembered for his ‘backflip’. Doing a ‘Heyden’ might even get extra points on the ‘diving circuit’, along with doing a double ‘back flip with pike’.

  24. stephentardrew

    Yes matters Not that is the quote to relentlessly drive home day and night.

    My concern is that Labor continually runs out of steam failing to keep an issue alive while conservatives never forgive and never forget no matter how many years go by.

    Abbott’s Stalinist quip is an ideal example.

    When things are looking bad just get any historic toxic fear based scare tactic and push it home.

  25. Matters Not

    Labor continually runs out of steam failing to keep an issue alive while conservatives never forgive and never forget no matter how many years go by

    Can only agree. While I absolutely abhor Abbott’s (mindless) slogans, there is no doubt they work, at least in terms of the crucial ‘uncommitted’ voter.

    It’s a real moral dilemma. But the sad part is that the Labor Party is now in the business of ‘winning’ so that the ‘short term’ reigns supreme.

    And so it goes.

  26. stephen Bowler

    If Heyden does not resign from the commission he shows himself to be fool without credibility or integrity among his peers. He will know this and he will also know that his findings of the TURC will never have any credibility either!
    oh ‘what to do’ – ‘what to do’.
    He has no choice, he must resign his position and the RC will have to be either run again or disbanded.
    This government has, by the action of holding a Royal Commission into corruption and installing one of their own supporters, not only wasted all that money but have brought into serious disrepute the role of the Royal Commission and I wonder how the representative of the Queen Elizabeth the First of Australia will view the Australian Gpvernment, perhaps there will be some words spoken to him from Her Majesty

  27. Ella Miller

    Did anyone see on TV when Heyden left the Commission suddenly to send the email.
    He knew it was a fundraiser and got the message whilst working that he was found out ….raced out to send email.
    During a budget crisis…where ordinary people are being asked to shoulder a lot of financial loss, how can the Abbott Gov justify spending $80 million dollars on a Royal Commission into WHAT?

    How stupid does this Government think we are? We know that there are people in every walk of life who are corrupt, even political parties.

    Abbott appointed the Commissioner because he knew he would give him what he wanted.

    They have been found out ….this Commisssioner taints the process …he should resign better still be sacked.

  28. David

    Morning @Matters Not and fellow AIMERS…just catching up with last nights posts from a magnificent morning on the WA Sth Coast, 4 degrees, fine clear and calm with a luxurious max of 20 coming.
    Matters Not thanks for the laugh to get me underway, you hit the spot re Heyden with…’It seems to me that Heyden is a very proud man, protective of his reputation, and therefore will stand down and be remembered historically for his ‘ethical’ decision.’…nice one. I suspect his ethics went out with the trash when he accepted the invitation way back. He knew damn well what happens with that lecture, he has been a member of the NSW Liberal Party and NSW Liberal Bar Assoc long enough to have intimate knowledge. Of course he may be in the early stages of dementia, which also rules him out of his role as Commissioner.
    The man is a fraud and I suspect a liar.

  29. Anthony Shorter

    There is no “budget emergency” when Abbott needs to keep his job strutting the world stage as a big, butch strong leader.

    He will send a battalion of AFP officers to Europe to make political capital after the Ukranian airline tragedy, when the Dutch had the situation under control.

    He will spend $100 million (and counting) grandstanding over a lost airliner in the Indian Ocean, when the great majority of the poor souls lost were Chinese or Malaysians.

    He will spend billions sending troops and aircraft to the Middle East uninvited to join a war that really does not affect Australia.

    We will never know how many billions he has spent on “stopping the boats”, as it is a secret on water matter?!?

    The millions he spent on royal commissions trying to blacken his political opponants reputations his small change by comparison.

    The man has no shame. He is vicious, vindictive and not fit to lead a political party and his behaviour is undermining every thing that is (or was) about this country.

  30. David

    @Anthony…agree he always finds millions when its promoting his narcissist ego but maybe just maybe, when he and his totally inept, incompetent Govt are tossed out, an incoming Labor Govt will find plenty in the books to reveal at least a great proportion of the spending that has been so unashamedly thrown around by the ‘Conservatives’!!!!
    They can try but they cant hide it all, with the emphasis on all.

  31. jimhaz

    I think people may be overdoing this. Might be better if he stayed as the attention focused on this might make his findings more conservative than otherwise.

  32. marg1

    Dyson must go along with this corrupt government.

  33. Mark Needham

    the old joke. A man arrested for attempted burglary.
    Because he had the tools to do so, hammer, jimmy bar etc.
    “Better charge me for attempted rape, also” he says,
    “Cause I’ve got the tools for that too”

    thought the malfeasance of Dyson was in a bit hard to believe.

    We tilt at windmills sometimes, Hey!
    Mark Needham

  34. David

    @ Mark Needham… so Mark should he continue in the role of Commissioner? Your tilting at windmills observation suggests he should.

  35. Möbius Ecko

    Heydon has history.

    In a majority of six to one the Australian High Court found against the argument of tobacco companies in their constitutional claim of property acquisition. The judges found the tobacco companies to be delusive, synthetic, unreal and suffering fatal defects of logic and reasoning.

    The only dissenting judge siding with the tobacco companies was Justice Heydon.

    Sound like other Liberals we know, Minchin for instance.

  36. Michael Taylor

    Mobius, I wouldn’t be surprised if Minchin still has a lot of pull (or push) in the Liberal Party. The policies of the government certainly reflect Minchin’s ideologies. And wasn’t it Minchin who did all the behind the scenes work that got Abbott over the line to lead the Party?

  37. John Lord

    Life is about perception, Not what is but what we perceive it to be. For that reason the Royal Commissions credibility into Unions is doomed as is Tony Abbott’s judgement.

  38. Möbius Ecko

    Yes Migs, Minchin is the real power behind Abbott and the old guard Howard Liberals. They talked of the faceless men during the Labor government reign, especially during Rudd’s tenure, even though all those faceless men were named and often in the media. But here we have the real faceless men behind the Liberals who go to great lengths to keep out of the spotlight but still pull the strings of government and make its policy.

    An example is the recent government foray into WorkChoices MkII. Look at Minchin’s unintentionally revealed MkII WorkChoices during the Howard term, an IR policy framework so odious Howard ran a mile from it the day it hit the media. Yet here it is being surreptitiously being proposed again. Minchin’s paw marks are all over it.

  39. Möbius Ecko

    Heydon is a Howard appointee. He has a history of applying strict conservative law whilst eschewing anything remotely progressive. Even to the point of this:

    “Marital rape is not a crime.”
    Dyson Heydon High Court Judge – 3 June 2012

  40. Kaye Lee

    In fairness, that ruling about marital rape was about a case from 1963 in an era before feminists stood up and said WTF. Tony’s own statements – “this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold…needs to be moderated” – show he would like us to return to the days when men were men and women were silent vessels/vassals.

    “The reluctance to criminalize and prosecute marital rape has been attributed to traditional views of marriage, to interpretations of religious doctrines, to ideas about male sexuality and female sexuality, and to cultural expectations of subordination of a wife to her husband—views which continue to be common in many parts of the world.”

    Traditional views of marriage have a lot to answer for.

  41. Colin

    Möbius, just for the sake of accuracy, what Justice Heydon said was that marital rape was not a crime in South Australia in 1963 (as the facts of the case before him went back to that year). His reasons were based on an analysis of the law as it had progressed over the years. Another judge agreed (Virginia Bell) but the other 5 disagreed. He probably was applying a conservative approach to the interpretation of the law, but judges are, in the main, a conservative lot at the best of times. I guess by definition Heydon was wrong (as the High Court majority was against him), but he was not saying that rape in marriage was not a crime in 2012 – clearly the legislation says it is.

  42. Mark Needham

    @David. Correct. What has he done wrong?
    Mark Needham

  43. Möbius Ecko

    I apologise. I didn’t have the full story in front of me and posted half cocked without researching it.

  44. David

    Mark I dont have a spare hour, however I do not believe for a second you have had blinkers on and ear plugs in last 30 hours. You are obviously have a lend, no thanks

  45. Mark Needham


    Seen and heard a lot of “Fluff”, yet to see what the man is guilty of.
    Please enlighten me with fact, Hey!
    Mark Needham

  46. David

    Mark there are as you know endless articles etc etc etc available, and I am not going to play your game, much as you are suffering from being fluffed up.

  47. Mark Needham

    David. Mark there are as you know endless articles etc etc etc available, yes there are, but there are no concrete facts.
    Only smoke ‘n mirrors.
    Show me the money, or, I won’t play either.
    Is that what it is, a game.?
    Mark Needham

    Next you will have me as a ‘troll” because of a differing point of view.
    C’mon convince me, prove to me the case. I am open minded, I just want “FACTS”.

  48. corvus boreus

    Dyson Heyden was appointed to head a royal commission.
    This means that, for the duration, he must demonstrate political impartiality.
    Whilst heading the TURC, he accepted an invitation to speak at what was clearly identified as a NSW Liberal Party fundraiser.
    This breaches the principles of impartiality essential to the credibility of his appointment.
    There is nothing strictly illegal about appointing someone clearly aligned with your own cause to what is supposed to be an impartial post, but it is as wrong as hell, and gives evidential credence to claims that the TURC is a political ploy.
    Dyson Heyden has demonstrated clear political bias and should (not must) resign his commission.

  49. Mark Needham

    Ah, but did he attend.?
    As I said before,
    “I have the equipment, therefore I am guilty”
    What an absolute crock.!

    If he had attended, then Yes, he would ( not should) resign, as no man could justify that, as being fair and legal.

    Reckon there have been countless times, we have contemplated doing something that would be unbecoming.
    Fortunately “contemplation” by itself, is not a crime or illegal, now serious actions, that would indicate that the contemplation would be carried out, is getting there.
    But, Heydon,, showed and demonstrated his non compliance with the invitation, by seeking clarification, and then judging that it would be inappropriate to attend.
    So, you would have a man hung, because, well because he checked, declined and has done no wrong. This to me, shows moral and legal credibility that should be applauded, not denigrated.
    Your moral life must be an absolute “saintly existence” to think that you are right, yet immoral, to accuse a man, with no crime committed.
    There are no grounds for any prosecution of the opinion, that Dyson Heydon should resign.
    I should not be here defending the man, but the scurrilous accusations, untruths and insinuations, make my hackles rise at the effrontery of those who pursue the matter.
    Warm Regards,
    Mark Needham.

  50. corvus boreus

    Mark Needham,
    “So, you would have a man hung”.
    How did you get this from; “Dyson Heyden has demonstrated clear political bias and should (not must) resign his commission”?

    On previous occasions, you have been happy to cast aspersion and, indeed, condemn others based upon prejudicial assumptions and generalisations. Now you want us to believe that a QC was unaware that the Garfield Barwick address is a party affiliated event although it was clearly indicated to be such?
    Mr Heyden accepted the invitation to speak at this fundraising event for the party that appointed him to his commission, and only made his subsequent withdrawal from the speaking engagement as the story broke.
    He is, as far as I can tell, under no legal obligation to resign, but he has severely diminished both his own credibility and that of the commission into union corruption, and thus, in my opinion, he should resign.

    As for my own ‘saintly’ aspirations, I do not sit as an appointed ‘impartial’ royal commissioner paid to judge the ethics and legality of the actions of others.

  51. corvus boreus

    Ps, You should not use the ‘rape tools’ analogy , it is inappropriate and inaccurate to compare common criminal law with conditions pertaining to special appointment of powers.

  52. Mark Needham

    “paid to judge the ethics and legality of the actions of others.”

    Yes or No, but we do it anyway.
    Mark Needham


    Like it or not Australia is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, from Business Leaders, Politicians, Unions, even the Police Force which is supposed to investigate.

    But this is not what is in question here, the real purpose of Abbotts Royal Commission and his “Captains Pick “, Commissioner was to destroy Bill Shorten and the Labor Party, he couldn’t give a stuff about corruption whether it be Union Leaders or Liberal Politicians, as recently disclosed.

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