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Journalists have questions to answer

Look at this photo of Julia Gillard. Does this look like an innocent person – someone who has just been vindicated by a Judge as having played no part in any criminality in relation to a union slush fund 20 years ago? Or does it look like someone guilty, with questions to answer, being rushed away from cameras, refusing to make eye contact with her accusers? This is the image that the Sydney Morning Herald used to accompany a headline which you would think would be good news for Julia Gillard, and bad news for the media who relentlessly pursed this story to no end:

‘Royal commission on union corruption told Julia Gillard should be cleared of any crime’

The article moved quickly from reporting that The Royal Commission into Union Governance and Corruption found Gillard innocent, to report that her ex-boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, and his colleague Ralph Blewitt should face criminal charges. Kathy Jackson is also recommended for criminal charges. Remember Blewitt and Jackson and their work to bring down the previous Labor government? No? Don’t remember these links? Why am I not surprised?

To the average media consumer, who doesn’t follow independent journalism, who relies on their news from mainstream journalists such as those at Fairfax, you would never know that Ralph Blewitt’s accusations towards Julia Gillard were used relentlessly by right-wing-nut-job-chief Larry Pickering (you know the guy – he likes to draw politicians with huge penises) to push the media to keep saying that Gillard had ‘questions to answer’. You might wonder why the media would follow the lead of the un-hinged Pickering and the word of Blewitt, who was blaming Gillard for something he himself was being accused of doing in a bid for immunity. You might also not realise that Kathy Jackson was the very same Kathy Jackson who ‘blew the whistle’ on Craig Thomson’s misuse of union funds, who is also partner of Tony Abbott’s good friend Michael Lawler and a favourite guest of the right wing extremist HR Nicholls Society, and was misusing union funds herself at many tens of times worse than Craig Thomson. This article quotes the misuse for personal expenses at $660,000. But this link between right wingers and criminality in unions is never mentioned is it? This link to a 2012 article where Tony Abbott is praising Kathy Jackson as heroic is never mentioned. These people with vested interest in bringing down Labor politicians, who are accused of doing the exact same things as they are accusing Labor politicians of doing, who have links to right wing politicians and media identities are never properly investigated because no journalist wants to make the link between stories they’ve been writing, and the obvious campaign by Abbott to not just destabilise Gillard’s minority government, but to smash unions and workers’ rights with them. Remember Ashby versus Slipper, another campaign orchestrated by Abbott’s Opposition to try to bring down the Gillard government? Remember how Michelle Grattan used Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper as reasoning as to why Julia Gillard should resign?

You’ll notice that most of the stories that I’ve linked to in the above paragraph were written by journalists at Fairfax. I use Fairfax in this case purposely. I could have used News Ltd, but no one takes News Ltd seriously as they don’t actually employ journalists and prefer to work at being grubby partisan hacks so there’s no point reminding everyone why we don’t read News Ltd. I could have used the ABC, who went with this very ABC-like headline to report the news of Gillard’s vindication in the slush fund affair:

‘Trade union royal commission submissions question Julia Gillard’s professional conduct but clears her of any crime’

Of course the ‘questions’ had to be right up there front and centre, and the vindication the afterthought, added later. The ABC is terrified of Abbott and people like Chris Kenny who accuse them of left-wing bias so they prefer to let Murdoch set the agenda than to actually do any journalistic work themselves for the good of the public who fund them.

I actually used Fairfax not because they are the worst case of bad, on non-existent journalism in Australia. There is some investigative journalism happening at Fairfax, which the stories about Jackson, and Ashby and Michael Smith prove. But what frustrates me, and should frustrate the public at large, is the apparent inability for these journalists to pull bit-piece stories together to tell a wider story, which no media outlet in the county has had the courage to tell. Simply, the media went after Prime Minister Gillard ferociously over Thomson, Slipper and the AWU slush fund affair. The media mauled Gillard’s leadership over these ‘scandals’, running with a fixed narrative of Labor chaos, Labor dysfunction, Labor failure, Labor leadership tensions. This fixed narrative refused to join the dots between the Thomson, Slipper and AWU affair and the Liberal Opposition – who through Jackson, through Blewitt, through Larry Pickering, through Pyne’s deep involvement in the Ashby plot, were the ones goading the media on to destroy their political opponents. This fixed narrative also seemingly didn’t notice, or chose not to see, that the Gillard government was the most productive government this country has ever had. Where are the facts Fairfax? Buried in a political smear campaign?

In Kate McClymont’s 2014 Andrew Olle Media Lecture on investigative journalism, she said:

‘But as journalists we should have the courage to act for more than the lofty notion of freedom of speech. We have a duty to be the voice of the powerless in our society, to stand up for them.’

Were Fairfax Media journalists standing up for the powerless in our society when they were complicit in a campaign to wrongly accuse Julia Gillard of criminality in relation to the AWU slush fund affair? It’s too late to go back and apologise for this error – the damage to Gillard’s political career and her progressive policy platform is already done. But what about Jackson and Ashby? Are Fairfax journalists standing up for truth, for the powerless voters who knew nothing of what was happening in the Thomson and Slipper affairs when Fairfax journalists refused to join the dots between these Labor ‘scandals’ and a campaign by Abbott’s opposition to destabilise the Labor government? And what about union members, whose working conditions, wages and rights will be damaged by Abbott’s campaign to destroy unions? Where are the journalists speaking truth to power on behalf of the Australian public, instead of on behalf of the Abbott opposition, and now Abbott government?

I note that Fairfax reported, but never mounted media campaigns that culminated in suggesting the Prime Minister resign, stories about Abbott’s rorting of tax-payers funds for private travel, his daughter’s secret $60,000 scholarship, his own involvement in a slush fund to destroy Pauline Hanson’s electoral fortunes (this was much more recent than 20 years ago). Is Fairfax saying that they’re only interested in following stories that can damage Labor governments? And if so, can they please explain how this represents their role of standing up for the powerless in society? I think it’s time that journalists realise that they have their own questions to answer. And until they satisfactorily answer them, the powerless in society should continue to distrust them.


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  1. babyjewels10

    There are very few professional journalists in mainstream media. No wonder people are turning to independent media in droves. I hope the Peter Raes of this world are soon on the Centrelink queue.

  2. bighead1883

    What a brilliant article Victoria
    When Labor is next in power it has to serve up revenge cold and rancid

  3. Kerri

    Good article Victoria. Yes the media do need to be answerable to the hideous bias that passes for journalism.
    Where is the severe left wing media to balance the Murdochians?

  4. durutticolumn

    The other point in this must be that Stoljiar’s liine about questionable professional behaviour is not supported by any evidence. It is just another piece of nastiness to grab a headline. Stoljiar also asserts gillard had received funds from the dodgy entity run by Wilson and Blewitt but in cross examination Gillard was able to demonstrate that the occasions she was supposed to have received the money just could not have happened. The claim that money was put in her bank account are also fanciful and unsubstantiated because the bank’s records don’t go back that far. Stoljiar s grubby submission will be challenged and it is up to the commissioner whether he will accept it. Great column Victoria. I hope one day there will be a Walkley award for all the stories the msm have avoided each year. Up for gold would be Ashby, Abbott’s cycling sponsorship (amgen a medical research company and cadburys) Abbott’s daughter’s dodgy scholarship, the Lawler /Jackson link, Joe hockey’s north Sydney fund raising group, the real reasons for killing the nbn, the links between private health insurers and the destruction of Medicare, why does Abbott live in blues point road and not at the family home,
    The corruption of the 457 visa system. The list goes on and on.

  5. David

    Victoria your excellent article should have had me smiling in agreement, nodding that is exactly how the smear campaign on Julia was played out, Fairfax were in part as Guilty in its participation.
    Instead I grew angrier and angrier as I lived again the depths to which the MSM sank to destroy the countries first PM. and succeeded. Now they have been proven wrong, wrong by the very Royal Commission their puppet Govt setup to drag Julia down to the filthy depths that they themselves inhabit.
    I doubt this attempted character assassination of a woman who had the guts to stand up to her tormentors, will ever stop as long as Murdoch, Abbott and the long line of disreputable scribes and voices whose lairs are all sections of the MSM have the employers who encourage such attacks.
    Oh Labor where is they sting?

  6. Blanik

    We have very few journalists in Australia. We have reporters and biased media boss lackeys. If one wishes to see journalism of a world standard there’s “The Guardian Weekly” and “The Saturday Paper”.
    As for radio and television, I can’t comment as I never use either.

  7. townsvilleblog

    Victoria, yet another fine piece from yourself. It once again highlights the silence of the right wing ALP.

  8. Buff McMenis

    Great article, Victoria .. and I agree with David .. I am VERY ANGRY indeed!! Why the Hell isn’t the ALP screaming their heads off about this? Why are they letting the disgraceful LNP get away with any of this!!

  9. stephentardrew

    Great critique Victoria. Problem is where to now? The only hope as I see it is that the Abbott debacle is so unpopular pre-election that journalist will feel secure in actually telling the truth and attacking the LNP on a whole raft of fronts. Fairfax should be placing themselves in opposition to the Australian by attacking obvious lies and untruths thus setting them apart by placing themselves into a different marketing niche. If they can see there is financial benefit in a critique of the LNP then they will act. Its all about money and pragmatism these days not actual critical open unbiased journalism.

    The ABC is no different and if the LNP are on the nose their journalists may well be so annoyed with conservative interference to actually come out an attack their biased interfering mentors. A pending loss at the next election could sharpen the wits of many insecure and editorially controlled journalists. Meanwhile the Guardian is doing a much more effective job than Fairfax. Labor should be subtly suggesting to their constituents to help promote the Guardian,

  10. xiaoecho

    It is time for former Prime Minister Gillard to start challenging the never ending smear in court. Fairfax would be a good place to start.
    Things are so ridiculous I am actually waiting for the first post TURC article with the headline ‘Gillard still has questions to answer’ or ‘Gillard – questions remain’ What did Gillard do to them to engender such hatred and vindictiveness in the Australian press herd? It is beyond reason.
    God I hate Fairfax and Newscorpse. Liars.

  11. corvus boreus

    Add little details like the fact that our chief lawmaker George ‘freedom through torture’ Brandis(in the company of Barnaby ‘it isn’t really murder if they’re a greenie’ Joyce) charged us, the taxpayer, a reimbursement for him to attend the wedding of sacked shock jock Michael ‘too bigoted for 2GB’ Smith in order to plot some of this nefarious shit.
    Enough partisan commissions of limited inquiry instigated for political gain.
    Time for an independent inquiry into the legality of the dealings of all parties(federal ICAC), for the sake of some semblance of honest governance for the common good.

  12. David Reynolds

    We the citizens of Australia really need a published list of Journo’s so we can follow and question them Anytime about Any story. We will never have change in this country while we are at the mercy of biased journalism and it’s high time some of these hacks were held to account for the damage they hav done.

  13. M-R

    It appears impossible to work out why the ALP has a complete non-reaction to having its kneecap tapped very forcibly by MSM reflex hammers. Could it possibly be anything to do with Shorten’s having been chiefly instrumental in not one both both Labor PMs’ downfalls ?

  14. Roger Brown (@LordBarryBonkto)

    Great work Victoria , will Labor (when they get back in ) set up some RC’s over the rorts done by the LNP in every state , starting with Qld? Also the other Abbott daughter’s BMW job and BMW contract for Commonwealth Bomb proof Limo’s.

  15. David

    M-R That I believe is the answer. Shorten is well aware 60% of the signed up Labor members voted against him being Leader. The name he dare not mention or defend Is Julia. He knows what he did to her, twice. We know not what else behind the scenes. He voted for Rudd as leader, Rudd the great caucus leak and Shorten is tainted because of it.
    It has become noticeable of late the Shorten defenders on Social Media have become few and far between, while the volume of those asking for strong determined leadership grows.larger.
    Longer Labor leave him there, the more strength Abbott will gain. Labor lead in the polls despite William Shorten, not because of him.

  16. M-R

    I loathe the bastard.
    But I’m not a fan of the bullet-proof Albo, either, who appears able to swap from one camp to the other without problem.
    Give us Chris Bowen, that’s my thinking.

  17. stephentardrew

    Damn we have so much to thank Julia for regardless of the few inevitable slip ups. I cannot remember a PM so vilified after they left office. Her misogynist speech becomes more and more relevant every day.

    Don’t believe in revenge for revenge sake however I am beginning to agree with you Bighead1883.

    Bit old aren’t ya.

  18. bighead1883

    Let Shorty the killer of two PM`s grovel around in this the 2nd year of debaucle because the RANT of all the Left`s Jimmy Blacksmith`s grow louder daily and for you Shorty the bell tolls.
    Then a Future Leftist Labor PM can begin RC`s into the LNP

  19. David

    The question was asked earlier in comments, if the vilification of Julia will stop now the RC has found her not guilty of any crime..
    Well it is early days but on social media for starters, it appears no it wont. This from Peter Wicks latest blog on Kathy Jackson and the Libs.

    We Used To Be Friends – The Liberals dump on Kathy Jackson

  20. Florence nee Fedup

    What revelations has TURC revealed that were not in the public arena previously. None from where I am sitting.

    After many hours of sitting, all are still little more than allegations. None have been tested in a court of law. In fact this RC has allowed little cross examination of whistle blowers evidence. en

    Some of the more serious issues raised are already in the courts.

    The RC terms of reference are so narrow, that any concerns raised on behaviour of contractors and bossed cannot be followed through.

    Whistle blowers said under oath that the statements they signed was created by a certain lawyer and a journalist. That they told them what to say. The commissioner did not allow this to be investigated further.

    It will be interesting if many accused of wrong doing are ever taken to court. Allegations are not necessary evidence.

    Now we have many saying, the RC has shown Gillard to be unworthy of being PM and should be condemned.

    Time for our Tony to act in a adult manner as PM. Time for him to dump the politics and deal with policy.

    The nation deserves better.

    PS. It appears they are setting narrow political ground rule’s for the proposed Police Task Force. Why not just refer all matters to the police and judicial agencies let hem get on with the job.

  21. Bacchus

    Chris Bowen was part of the problem M-R:

    Acting Labor leader Chris Bowen has denied that former PM Kevin Rudd undermined his successor, Julia Gillard, arguing the member for Griffith always behaved ”professionally” and in the best interests of the Labor Party.

    Someone like Tony Burke would be a better fit IMO & he’s one of the few taking the fight up to the government…

  22. stephentardrew


    I agree Tony Burke would be an excellent choice. I have been watching his performance and he is tending to outdo his brethren. There is also something genuinely warm and a degree of charisma with Burke. I have always had a soft spt for him. Think he would do well.

  23. corvus boreus

    Regarding your question as to the reason for the feral intensity of the hatred for Gillard expressed by much of the press, there was the fact that, at a press club address, she responded to a question about lifting media standards by suggesting; “Don’t print crap, it can’t be that hard”.
    People who suck at their jobs often resent other people giving them simple, honest advice on how to suck less at what they do, even when they ask for it.

  24. Mike

    The biggest celebration in Australian history is coming and there will be nothing murdoch & fairfax can do, and I really hope Labor lay down the threats to MSM & Co that enquires are on their way.

  25. Maureen

    As Kate McClymont says ‘But as journalists we should have the courage to act for more than the lofty notion of freedom of speech. We have a duty to be the voice of the powerless in our society, to stand up for them.’ I totally agree Victoria! Fairfax journalists certainly do have questions to answer. Of course, as you say, there are many people who voted for Tony Abbott unaware of his corrupt and corruptible nature and the scandals contaminating his political career.

    Tony Abbott has a litany of corrupt dealings from the time he threatened Barbara Ramjam because she beat him to the University SRC presidency. The signs were right there that he was nothing more than an immature but nonetheless dangerous bully who would do, as Tony Windsor said, ‘anything’ for power. He has been given impunity from answering to any of his corrupt behavior, it appears, right through his political career. Corruption that decent and ethical journalists are paid to uncover. Of course we don’t expect this from the Murdoch cult because they are in on it with Abbott!!!

    It really is time that someone in the MSM has the intestinal fortitude to do their job and report the truth to the public.

  26. David

    Tell us more Mike, I have no idea what you are talking about, intriguing as it appears

  27. Kaye Lee

    Along with journalists, the Australian public bear some blame in not connecting the dots. The information is out there. Everything I write comes from information that is freely available, and Victoria has linked to articles that appear in the MSM but are not pursued with the vigour apparently reserved for things like the Slipper, Thomson, and AWU slush fund cases. It is a sad indictment of us all that we seem to prefer scandal to factual analysis. We would rather watch Big Brother than read Huxley’s Brave New World. People are just too tired trying to get from one day to the next to read about the budget and accept the real life horror that is being thrust upon them.

  28. bighead1883

    Not a truer word written Kaye,apathy is the new black and people don`t care.
    Americans I`ve spoken to say the same happened there and still they are slow to wake after 20 years of Corporatocrcay owning their governments State and Federal.
    It`s here now and the apathetic will fence sit.

  29. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, maybe the dots were too far apart. People are too lazy to connect them unless they are close together.

  30. Marilyn

    I have been on about our lazy media since 2002 over a discussion and pizza with Margo Kingston. IA amply demonstrates how journalism can and should be done as do other people digging around and finding out facts.

    Remember when Vivian Alvarez Solon was found dumped in Manila to die by Australian officials, only she had the nerve not to die? That was discovered by me when I got angry about them deporting the Bakhtiyari family and went hunting through senate estimates questions on notice with provide the best information available in Australia today but our lazy media never read them.

    I discovered a line in a question on notice stating that 33 people released from detention were citizens. I contacted media, only 2 responded but when Vivian was found there investigation discovered 250 such cases ranging from kids over a weekend to people jailed illegally for over 5 years and in one case the dad’s kid was trafficked out of the country by force on false papers to the wrong country.

    None of our media ever followed up on the story after a few weeks.

    As for Kate McClymont, I almost choked when she claimed to be an honest journalist.

  31. Kaye Lee

    I think it goes beyond laziness. Marx knew that capitalism depends on an ill-informed malleable workforce. Keep them in debt and scared about job security and paying the bills then reassure them that you will fix it all….don’t you worry about that, you people. It’s easier to sit back thinking the Coalition are good money managers, it’s easier to read headlines in the Daily Telegraph than read what economists say. People are worn down and just want to believe that someone is fixing things – they would rather watch the football when they finally sit down to relax than do some research and you can’t really blame them.

    And Michael, my mission is to move the dots closer together.

  32. Michael Taylor

    And you’re doing a great job of it too, Kaye. 🙂

  33. PeterTB

    And yet none of you can quote a single instance of Tony Abbott criticising Gillard on a personal basis. His criticisms were always of her policies.

  34. stephentardrew


    You know when I did Economics at Uni studying Marx was an absolute necessity. His intellectual depth and humanity are unquestionable he simply put too much faith in the working class. Back then there was no comprehensive understanding of psychology and the realization that personality traits are spread out fairly evenly across large cohorts of a population. Marx’s criticism is no less valid today when we look at the influence of global corptocracy, the march of war and the impoverishment of so many working and unemployed poor. I have much to thank Marx for in my political education yet still, today, he is unfairly vilified by the radical greed infested right.

    I am seeing a broad convergence of ideas on this site that demonstrate we can develop a viable alternative based upon the facts available. I would also like to see a more rounded discussion of socialism thus bringing legitimate political and sociological terms back into the public domain. For too long the rabid right have had too much control over the public narrative through fear and vilification and sadly the left has seceded the dialogue too conservative bullying e.g. Bolt, Jones and their demented uneducated ilk. Its like trying to get Gough to stop calling people comrade. A word he used with feeling and an understanding of equality.

    Primarily I don’t think the public these days are given even passing knowledge of the foundations of socialism and progressive politics. Thatcher, Regan, the Bush’s, Howard and the like, with complicity of media, made absolutely sure of that.

  35. stephentardrew


    His criticisms were in fact lies.

  36. Kaye Lee

    Saying the government should have died of shame just after Alan Jones made his odious comment about Gillard’s father is related to policy how? Posing in front of signs that say ditch the witch and Bob Browne’s bitch is acceptable policy debate is it PeterTB? Abbott is told what his role as leader will allow and others like the odious Mirabella are given free reign with no sanction to hurl personal abuse like “You won’t need Rudd’s taxpayer funded nanny will you” or Ciobo advocating “slitting her throat”. How would that have gone down with the Brandis SWAT team if a Muslim said it?

  37. Kaye Lee

    Just to refresh your memory PeterTB, shall we start with Abbott government appointment to the ABC Janet Albrechtsen and then follow up with Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan and the passing array of people talking “policy” with the PM’s blessing.

  38. Lee

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for Fairfax to point fingers at the LNP. Gina Rinehart is their biggest shareholder.

  39. David

    Precisely Lee and of course there had to be influence from someone to engage the former ABC Abbott ‘lap puppy’ acribe Latika Borgia woops Bourke sorry.

  40. Rob031

    Kaye, thanks (I think) for posting the above clip. I knew Gillard had been treated badly; but I had no idea just how badly.

    Abbott may have personally said or done not so much along those lines in any direct way. But he certainly encouraged and facilitated the other haters to do his dirty work for him.

    Now we have Brandis shooting his mouth off about Gillard (slush fund etc.) And Abbott pretends to be more measured and fair. These people are complete and utter bastards.

  41. Trevr

    Great article. Perchance some validity in the following. The media and it’s duty bound biased bullshitters dress to caress and impress the viewer into believing they are somehow impartial. What Tripe!! Opinions are like arseholes, everybody has one. Some are paid to print theirs so long as it reflects the company view. ECONOMICS. Capitalize the profits, Socialize the losses. The latest economic paradym. POLITICS. Only the most inept yes men(sic:people) are allowed to advance. Homogenised, pastyoureyes, and regulated to maintain Political 2Party Duopoly. (Refer USA mid term election public response). BUSINESS. Created politics as the public face of big business so as to confuse the voting public. BANKING. Robber Barons from the 18th Century onward. ENVIRONMENT. No economy without a supporting ecology. Trash the planet and even those that believe they will be saved will suffer. ABBOTT. Only Abbotts donors and the Liarbral faithfull can enter Planet Tone. The rest (us) are the enemy to be baffled by bullshit and appointed as not members of Team Australia. (Refer Groucho and his homily to clubs). Sack Abbott and his Liarbral Rabble. Federal ICAC. CITIZEN INITIATED REFERENDA. The fight intensifies. How do you tell the difference between cowshit and Bullshit???

  42. corvus boreus

    Mr Abbott needs to be shirt-fronted, then button-holed with serious questions over the conduct of Mr Michael Lawler, a direct personal political appointment, and he needs to be made to answer the questions.
    As the(Abbott appointed) Vice President of the Fair Work Australia, Mr Lawler seems to have operated in an unacceptably compromised and partisan fashion, personally interceding on the side of his sexual partner in matters covered under his professional appointment, defined by rules of impartiality.
    There is the distinct possibility that he may have been the direct recipient of proceeds and benefits of illegal activities, in that he was Ms Jacksons’ co-habiting lover(distinct from “charity shag”) during a period in which she is alleged to have conducted large scale misappropriation of union funds for personal use(including fancy noshing, top shelf boozing[toot toot?] and custom boob jobs).
    I would like this raised in a public forum under spotlights, clearly and concisely, by media operative or elected representative, with no exit option for Mr Abbott to avoid answering.
    I would also like to hear some lucid dialogue from the ALP questioning why the wider implications of the HSU allegations(all parties) are not being addressed.
    Perhaps they could even(ahem) suggest a broader independent federal investigation(ICAC)?

  43. Kaye Lee

    Michael Lawler’s sons were both employed by Kathy Jackson’s branch, despite them living in Sydney and the union being based in Melbourne.

    Lawler is Vice President of Fair Work Commission (formerly Fair Work Australia), a position he was appointed to by Tony Abbott himself. Fair Work Australia was of course the government body that performed the notorious investigation into the Health Services Union, well most of it anyway a convenient omission was the branch that Lawler’s partner Jackson was secretary of, although only for the period in which she was secretary. How handy indeed.

    Reports on the HSU saga in early 2012 had Michael Lawler making the initial contact to police that initiated Operation Carnarvon, and also allegedly making threatening phone calls to a member of staff Carol Glen. A far cry from having no involvement.

    Then there was the case of the document called Kafka, which had file properties shown above and below that clearly showed the accessing of the unions network and saving of documents with software registered to Fair Work Australia by someone named Jackson. This would also indicate that Jackson may have had access to FWA’s network via her fiancée’s computer, which has to breach a huge number of laws I’d imagine.

    Then there was the accessing of the HSU network by a computer with the ID Lawler, which makes for one hell of a coincidence.

    When KPMG were called in to do an Independent Enquiry into the FWA investigation into the HSU, you will not win any prizes for guessing which Vice President refused to co-operate with an investigation his own organisation commissioned.

    That’s right, Michael Lawler refused to allow KPMG access to his computer equipment. The big question is why? Lawler was the only employee of FWA named by KPMG as refusing to co-operate.

    In It For The Money – Kathy Jackson a Million Dollars and the forgotten members

    Payslips for Lawler’s sons

  44. mars08

    Mr Abbott needs to be shirt-fronted, then button-holed with serious questions over the conduct of Mr Michael Lawler, a direct personal political appointment…

    Well… the shirt-front approach certainly SEEMS to be popular with the masses…

    The first Fairfax Ipsos nationwide poll shows Mr Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten are now tied as preferred prime minister, but, worryingly for the government, three key planks of its policy reform agenda are deeply unpopular with voters…

    …the government will be buoyed by a surge in support since the last Fairfax Nielsen poll was conducted in July.

    During that time, Mr Abbott has crafted a an uncompromising reputation on national security, taking a lead role in the outrage over the downing of Malaysian Airways flight MH17 and his now famous threat to “shirt front” Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    The poll results are based on a nationally representative survey of 1,401 respondents (aged 18+) conducted by telephone on 30 Oct-1 Nov 2014. The two-party vote is estimated on the basis of preference flows in the 2013 election.

    Deploying force to confront Islamic State also appears to have enhanced his approval in the electorate…

    The Coalition’s two-party preferred vote has risen from 46 per cent to 49 per cent and its primary vote has risen from 39 per cent to 42 per cent…

  45. Ross

    After the last election I sent Ms Gillard a thank you, just a small card with “thank you” and my name.
    Was chuffed on receiving a reply from an office flunky which said they had been flooded with letters and thank you notes.
    Was it Joni Mitchell thank sang ” You don’t know what you lost till it’s gone”

    Rather appropriate in hindsight.

    I note the Age is still very anti labor, if you can be bothered to click on to it.

  46. David

    I note by the Fairfax poll, as many of us here and on other social media particularly Twitter predicted, Abbott and the Coalitions getting back on side with the public.
    Someone noted Abbott will be chuffed by the result. I suggest elated. The plan is working and with two years till election supposedly, he will keep hammering away with the very points that are turning the tide.
    Labor and Shortens gentle approach is falling down around them, I am surprised William has managed to stay on equal footing with Abbott as preferred PM.
    Until the left and center left take a firm grasp of the Parliamentary Party, the right will continue with their unimpressive mish mash, extending the peace pipe to Abbott and he will beat them over the head with it every time.
    i wouldn’t count out a DD if the polls keep their favorable trend upwards for the Govt, the physco will do anything to get full control of the Senate and then GOD HELP US..
    Would have been nice to start the new month on a more constructive note, alas quite the reverse.

  47. JohnB

    Kate McClymont delivering an Andrew Olle lecture is an affront to all Andrew Olle ever stood for – fair, decent reporting, delivered with integrity, without prejudice.

    Her self aggrandising statement:
    ‘But as journalists we should have the courage to act for more than the lofty notion of freedom of speech. We have a duty to be the voice of the powerless in our society, to stand up for them.’ is by her “more honor’d in the breach than in the observance” .

    She provided little voice to the powerless Craig Thomson, who she relentlessly pursued through the LNP gutters in apparent close association with “brave whistleblowers” Jackson and Bolano.
    Perhaps she might like to revisit her unsubstantiated vile accusations leveled against Thomson in the light of TURC revelations regarding improper activities of Jackson & Bolano – Thomson’s accusers.
    The evidence/allegations McClymont published and relied on from Jackson and Bolano has been revealed to be misleading and evidently false.
    Is she big enough to deliver an apology for kicking one who down and ‘powerless’, or at least admit her error?
    I doubt it.

    Some excellent enlightening articles by Peter Wicks here:,5295,5345

    She is just yet another journalist with ‘questions to answer’ – who will never be brought to account by our corrupt corporatised media.

  48. stephentardrew


    3 point move with a 2.6 margin of error. Not to worry.

  49. corvus boreus

    Victoria Rollins,
    Belated thanks for this article.
    A succinct and well constructed picture of the critters in the web around Kathy(Shelob) Jackson, and the failings of the media in detecting/exposing their activities, with excellent links to further sources.
    Kaye Lee,
    More dots and lines, details and context, and the picture gets ever larger and clearer.
    You have my sincere gratitude, not just the information you unlock for me and many others, but the ethics of intent you show in your seeking and sharing of knowledge.
    Seasoned with a hint of sour sympathy: it kinda hurts the heart learning the bigger bads.

  50. corvus boreus

    Regarding the latest poll results and their extrapolations, I am constantly astounded by the eldrich ability of political commentators to scry and atriculate broad trends in the mood and mindset of the general electorate based upon the results of a quick phone survey of less than 0.0075% of the population.

  51. Carol Taylor

    Corvus boreus, plus the timing of these polls might be described as ‘impeccible’ – hoping for a lift in the polls to prove the ‘success’ of Abbott’s war on terror, why not have a poll to prove the success of Abbott’s war on terror. While outrage consumes the electorate concerning the erosion of our (mostly) egalitarian health, welfare and education systems, the polls maintain a deathly silence.

  52. Kaye Lee

    It is glaringly obvious that polls are only commissioned and reported on when Tony does something aggressive. It is also obvious that he will try to keep us in a state of fear because aggression is all he is good at. It’s the gang mentality. Stick with us or the baddies will get you. I note we now have a “homeland security” team.

    These increasing powers to intelligence and police groups with one individual, the Attorney-General, making the decisions, whilst removing oversight, reporting, and little things like presumption of innocence, reminds me of J. Edgar Hoover. Metadata will provide Brandis with all the dirt files he wants.

  53. Möbius Ecko

    I posted in another thread. Newspoll has Labor’s strongest lead in three months. In the last three major polls only one has showed any gain for the L-NP, and that was slight.

  54. Kyran

    With regard to the rules of evidence for the TURC (Florence nee Fedup, 2/11, 1.36 pm), I recall ABC’s Jon Feign (deliberate) expressing righteous indignation when the commission was announced due to the rules of evidence. His reading of the rules went as follows. Traditional enquiries allow for evidence to be given and subjected to cross examination as it was given by all interested parties. For this commission, however, the rules allowed for anyone to give evidence without question. Any parties wishing to challenge the evidence would need the leave of the commission to question the evidence given. This leave, if granted, could take up to (potentially) six months to be granted. In practical terms, it allows for any allegation put before TURC to be reported on in the media as it happens and the scrutiny, if it occurs, will be up to six months later. The sceptic in me believes the scrutiny will not make the media! By design, the tail was always going to wag the dog.

  55. stephentardrew

    Corvus many polls are standardized over many years so they do tend to have statistical validity and reliability. Morgan provide sample sizes and standard normal error, or margin of error, for each sample sizes. The stronger the correlation between sample size and population trends the more consistent the poll over time. Of course the greater the sample size the less the margin of error. We can all determine the polls that are statistical outliers and can basically ignore them. By averaging out the others you get pretty robust indicators of trends over time.

  56. Annie Byam

    Excellent writing, Victoria. …. Thank you.

    Durutticolumn ——- said ( in part ) ……… ” nastiness to grab a headline ” …..

    It is ALWAYS nastiness that will grab a headline. 99% of the time. That’s apparently the way we want it, and it certainly is the way it is written and reported. That includes politics to a large degree, but just about everything that bleeds, is reported in full for the ‘delight’ or shock value, of and to the viewer / reader. We are just as responsible for this, as the writers of these reports.

    Blanik ——– said ( in part ) ……. ” We have very few journalists in Australia. We have reporters and biased media boss lackeys ” —

    I totally agree. …. True journalism is a dying art. ……. but there are still a few out there, that deliver good articles, based on facts, and based on an unbiased style of reporting, that does not get the blood boiling – or – does not leave one feeling chastised or helpless. That, however, is a rarity these days.


    I know I keep banging on about the ABC … that it DOES have a go at the current Governmnet …. ( probably not as much as it could and should ) .. but it does have its moments. The following link will take you to the ABC 7.30 report ( singular ) … from 3rd November. The full transcript of the interview is beneath the video.

    Please …… forget the questions asked by Leigh Sales. ( actually she didn’t do a bad job – she asked ‘open’ questions for response ) ….. focus on the responses from Professor Lesley Hughes – on climate change.

    If EVER I have listened to and now read, an article ( loaded gun ) aimed directly at the heads of this Government – and it’s pathetic response to climate change, this would have to be it. It is driven home, in a most lady-like manner ( which has more impact ) …. by the Professor.

    Please have a read :


    As for the next Labor leader …. my choice would be Senator John Faulkner – although he’d have to become a standing H of R candidate for that to happen ( I believe – and stand to be corrected ). …… Sen. Penny Wong would be a good choice too – same rules apply.

    ……….. ” The only case where a member of the Senate was appointed prime minister was John Gorton, who subsequently resigned his Senate position and was elected as a member of the House of Representatives ” …………

    Pity is is not more a popular pursuit by Senators !!!!

  57. TechinBris

    Excellent Victoria. Just excellent.

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