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The mouth that roared in trouble (again)

In the public eye Christopher Pyne is Australia’s most obnoxious politician. A title he probably wears with pride. The allegation by James Ashby last night on “60 Minutes” that he, Pyne, knew more than he was saying is consistent with Pyne’s general demeanor. Anyone who uses the “c” word to describe a fellow member of Parliament is deficient in morality in one form or another.

That aside, what the “60 Minutes” program last night did reveal was that this sick and sorry event still has much more to give.

If it were simply a question of a parliamentary employee feeling that he was aggrieved by being sexually exploited by Mr Slipper then it could have all been put to bed easily. All he had to do was lodge a complaint with his employer, just like any employee would.

It should also be pointed out that although Slipper’s alleged sexual advances may have been unsavory. As a gay man Ashby would have been familiar with the language and could have terminated it at any time.

For Mr Ashby to say that he didn’t know which way to turn so he went to Wyatt Roy twice for advice is to say the least irrational given that he would have known that avenues were open to him. Why didn’t Roy, Pyne and Brough advise him to use those channels?

Of course not. They saw an opportunity to bring down the Speaker and as a logical extension, the government.

As a blogger, not a journalist, I can allow myself the luxury of speculation. And it is not beyond supposition to assume that when Ashby approached Pyne, the then opposition Education shadow minister would have almost wet himself in anticipation of a political kill.

But of course there are facts in this case that need investigating. And an inquiry is needed to bring them out into the open which of course is unlikely given the discomfort it might cause the government and the Prime Minister.

If no inquiry eventuates then the Labor Party should undertake to hold a Royal Commission into the matter when they next obtain office.

Any logical person would have to conclude that Ashby didn’t act alone. That he required the assistance of others who could only have been Liberal MPs.

Last night Mr Ashby told the program he kept a diary and recorded visiting Mr Pyne’s office.

“Said a lawyer would be paid for as promised and I would have a job – state LNP politics or federal – if I chose to come back,”

If it was a simple sexual harassment case. Why did he need a lawyer supplied by presumably the Liberal Party?

“It gave me a lot more confidence knowing the complaint I was about to make wasn’t going to be held against me because I hadn’t done anything wrong,”

Then later he was told that the lawyer would not be paid for – and there was no future job. Which of course raises the question of who footed the bill and why. It is reported to have cost around $500,000.

Mr Ashby did not reveal the offer in the affidavit to the court where he specifically denied being paid or receiving any other form of offer. When asked on the program he gave a flimsy answer that didn’t seem credible. What might have been the outcome if Justice Rares had known, and indeed what might have been the result of the appeal?

And it raises the question that by not revealing all the evidence did Ashby perjure himself.

To quote Slipper’s lawyer Simon Berry:

“There appears to be a whole lot more evidence that wasn’t in his affidavit that as the program points out probably should have been in the affidavit,”

“I think it’s a travesty because Peter Slipper has not been given an opportunity to clear his name and for the real story to come out,”

Why did Brough ask Ashby to steal, or copy, Slippers diary? He would have been aware that it was illegal to do so.

“Because I believed Peter Slipper had committed a crime,” he said.
Hayes asked: “Was it the right thing to secretly get copies of his diary?”

“That’s for others to judge,” Mr Brough said.

If Ashby, prompted by Slipper, is alleged to have stolen the Speaker’s diary, why haven’t the AFP investigated?

Both Pyne and Brough have denied any knowledge of the events other than what they had read in the newspaper.

‘’I think what he was trying to do is pre-warn me that things are gonna get hot. And I remember the conversation didn’t last too long at all. We literally got up from his table, he walked me towards the door, he said to me, “You’re a braver man than I am,” as we exited and said, “If you discuss or tell anyone we’ve had this discussion, I’ll be forced to come out publicly and call you a pathological liar.”

Late on Sunday night Pyne issued a statement to say:

“I had no specific knowledge of the allegations made by Mr Ashby and the first I knew that he was suing Mr Slipper was when I read it in the newspapers”.

This of course doesn’t explain all of those emails between Ashby and Pyne. And why are both Abbott, Pyne and Brough using the term “no specific knowledge” which of course is like saying; I know something but I cannot tell you exactly. Or it’s a lie about another lie. And to make matters worse the PM, following the interview, is refusing to say even that he had a general knowledge of the situation.

Quoting Lenore Taylor in The Guardian.

”Remember that the case was first thrown out of court as a “scandalous” abuse of process. Justice Steven Rares found Mal Brough, who at the time was the LNP’s candidate for Slipper’s Queensland seat of Fisher, had acted “in combination” with Ashby and a second Slipper staffer “to cause Mr Slipper as much political and public damage as they could inflict upon him” in a bid to advance Brough’s political interests and those of the LNP.”

So we are left with many unanswered questions. If Royal Commissions are fine for the Pink Batt Scheme and Unions, then surely one is certainly warranted for an attempt to bring down an elected government.

What is being harmed here is not the grubby reputations of some politicians unfit to serve our parliament, nor the parliament itself, but the democratic process on which our nation has thrived.

To quote the shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus:

“I think it’s always worth pursuing this kind of grubby conduct by members of the federal parliament. It’s worth pursuing because we need to know just what they did. It’s an extraordinary event that occurred here, this attack on the Speaker of the House of Representatives and it’s clear that a number of Liberal MPs were involved – in particular Mal Brough, Christopher Pyne, Wyatt Roy and Tony Abbott, to some extent,”

And there is one other question. What was Ashby paid for the interview?

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65 comments

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  1. oldfart

    well well well, why should we trust any of them the trail is leading to canberra

    “The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has lifted a suppression order on an email trail involving the Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, revealing that access to senior Liberal party figures was granted to banned political donor Brickworks.

    The emails show the chief fundraiser of the Party’s NSW branch, Paul Nicolaou, putting Brickworks in touch with Ms Credlin in 2011 about the carbon tax, telling her the firm – which was opposed to the tax – was “a very good supporter of the Party”.” ABC News just in

  2. Anomander

    Now Abbott the snake is trying to avoid scrutiny by saying the matter “is in the past”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/08/tony-abbott-james-ashby-claims

    So it’s fine to have yet another inquiry into the pink batts (in the past), unions (in the past), but when it comes to his own party’s nefarious activities to bring down a legitimate government we need to ignore it and just move on.

    Reminds me of the classic scene from The Naked Gun movies, where Leslie Nielsen is standing in front of an exploding fireworks factory with a megaphone announcing to the crowd of gawkers – “Move along. Move along. Nothing to see here!”

  3. Zathras

    The odd thing about the harrassment allegations were that those infamous texts were mostly initiated by Ashby himself and at a time before he was even employed by Slipper.

  4. davidgrayling

    I PYNE for the days when people had integrity and told the truth. Their word could be trusted. No longer!

    The world seems to be filled with Pinocchios, each one trying to out-lie the other. Abbott is the world leader of Pinocchios although the U.S. leadership gives him stiff competition.

    People like Abbott who are serial liars should be banished from Public Office immediately if they are found out.

  5. Roger

    Excellent article John. Once again, every journalist should hang their head in shame. They have once again been seen to be complicit in the drive to circumvent the democratic process by pushing the political agenda of their master (read ‘Murdoch’ here). It can’t be anything less than this. Their basic job is to report ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’ and ‘why’. That they ALL (I can’t remember any exceptions) failed to look into AND report on all of these basic questions, displays more than mere clumsiness.
    Your point about these politicians not recommending the clear process that is operating for people who feel aggrieved in such situations is one that stands out like the proverbial and the fact that it was not reported or explored by any so-called journalist, is a very worrying situation and one that all members of Australian society should be very worried about.

  6. jimhaz

    [Hayes asked: “Was it the right thing to secretly get copies of his diary?]

    Even outside the obvious LNP conspiracy, what if Slipper had of attempted suicide, like Nick Sherry did.

    “In October 1997, however, he was accused of improper use of his Parliamentary travel allowance. Although he was later cleared of these allegations, it caused significant distress and he attempted suicide. He was later diagnosed with clinical depression”

  7. Florence nee Fedup

    Someone please tell Mr Pyne that Mr Slipper was a legit speaker. He was appointed by a vote within the house. One cannot believe they have the right to put the boot into a speaker because they do not like them.

    Pyne seems to think, even if Labor is a legitimate government, duly elected by the voters has no right to exist. They have the right to do whatever it takes, to bring them down,. Yes, even break the law and lie.

    Pyne said there would be no rouble if Gillard had not appointed Slipper. One thing wrong with his reckoning, it was not the PM but the vote of the house that appointed Slipper. They had every right to do so,.

    We have Abbott saying that Ashby has been badly done by, by Labor and Slipper. Sorry Mr. Abbott, this has not been proven,. In fact the evidence, put forwarded appears to say otherwise.

    It was Ashby that made the allegations, then dropped the matter in court. Justice Rares had already given a judgement, that they were not credible.

    This, I believe has been an engineer beat-up, to divert attention from Abbott, and to demonise Gillard, that is to appear before his witch hunting TURC this week.

  8. Marg1

    These would do/say anything to get/stay in power. They are corrupt, slimy bastards. Abbott reminds me of Gollum from Lord of the rings. Good article John, I hope one day these sleazebags are brought to justice.

  9. All's Not Lost

    Pyne is actually doing some interesting backtracking on his original statements. Man looks confused.

  10. stephengb2014

    The shear weight of the sculldugary in our federal and state politics leabes me totaly bewildered.
    Do these people think that this is the way that decent people behave, or am I naive?

  11. guest

    There are so many questions still unanswered.

    How did Ashby get such a highly paid job with Slipper without qualifications?

    Why is there such a difference between the two legal judgements given?

    The banter between Slipper and Ashby went on for some time and was between two adults in private, yet has been dragged out into the open and treated as obscenity, harassment, even misogyny – yet the conspiracy judgement is lost in the hysteria. Why?

    Brough, Pyne and Ashby talked a great deal together before and after the allegations were made by Ashby, so we are to believe that not much was said about Ashby’s allegations by Brough, who was seeking Slipper’s seat, and Pyne, who is a notorious headkicker?

    Who demanded that slipper be pursued for a “false” expenses claim for $900 made by Slipper when Coalition politicians made claims for which they were not entitled many times Slipper’s $900?

  12. whatismore

    Thanks John for a great article. Watching Abbott this morning, he doesn’t seem that phased. Grattan, who constantly criticised JG during her term in office told Kelly in response to her question about other forces being at work to remove this government, That it’s “something that will never been known precisely”. Well, if she and her msm mates had done their jobs properly it would have been. I totally agree with you that “the Labor Party should undertake to hold a Royal Commission into the matter when they next obtain office”.
    Just one thing John re: “If Ashby, prompted by Slipper, is alleged to have stolen the Speakers diary”. Did you mean “prompted by Brough”?

  13. my say

    how is this grubby lying government able to run our country,
    It is all very well for abbott to say this has all been delt with,in court,

    What bloody hypocrites,they havebeen hounding gillard for something that happened twenty years ago,we wont let it rest

  14. John Lord

    Yes. Sorry my mistake.

  15. Keitha Granville

    according to C Pyne it was okay for him to copy the diary because the speaker was committing a criminal offence. SO wouldn’t it have been appropraite to call in the AFP to investigate ? Not use a staffer as a spy. A nest of vipers and liars. Why do we have to wait for another party in power to have an inquiry into this ? It should be obvious that it needs to be investigated – if they have nothing to hide then they have nothing to be afarid of.

  16. Rikda

    We are looking at a long term exercise here that solid Liberal supporters are most unlikely to believe.
    Conservatives portray themselves as decent honest hard working people. They are no different from their opposite counterparts, even though they prefer to think so.
    What Liberal supporters don’t want to believe is that the Liberal strategy is far more ruthless than they think. There are very few rules to avoid because the “Establishment” watch their back.
    John Howard openly admits that “it’s the Liberals job to attack other parties” & anything was legal until someone was taken to court,
    When Tony Abbott began arranging the rail-roading of Pauline Hanson he done the same thing. He created the “Australians for Honest Politics Trust” which was like having Al Capone pick up the charity boxes.
    It’s gone on for so long that the use of the Labor Party’s policies to trick themselves into office is considered a “given” a free pass to lie.
    Pyne was right. when he said Ashby was braver than him, because he knows how quick you sink under Liberal weight.

  17. randalstella

    John Lord’s comment on (Abbott’s and now) Pyne’s use of the term ‘no specific knowledge’ is the point I made below the article on the 60 Minutes programme. John also raises other questions raised by me in my posts under that article.
    I do not consider helpful the defeatist attitude, or lack of attention to the programme, from some posters there. The attitude of ‘it’s all no use’ is completely useless. Ch.9 and Liz Hayes need to be thanked for doing what the ABC – our beloved non-partisan public broadcaster – was signally unable to do.
    Who paid for Ashby’s expenses? Pyne’s claims to have never discussed any specifics with Ashby are tied up in that question. If this cannot be investigated now, then there is simply no accountability for possible malfeasance against Government in this country – so long as you do it from the right side of the tracks, the powerful side with unlimited resources for mischief.
    The paperwork is surely destroyed by now; but the operators of this campaign against Slipper are out and about;and need to be made accountable – those outside Parliament as well as those inside.
    The language used by Pyne and Abbott, about this all being ‘in the past’ indicates that they are very shy on this issue. If this matter is not taken up now, then kiss goodbye to democratic process – as by dark and secret power it can be suborned at will, with no accountability.
    The Labor Party need to rise to this challenge – right now.

  18. Möbius Ecko

    So Pyne is now backtracking, saying that Ashby may have misinterpreted what he said on Slipper, which is not what Pyne was saying yesterday when he outright denied Ashby’s contentions. http://tinyurl.com/n4tuz3v

    Ashby should have known that when Pyne sounded like he said “c*nt” he actually said “grub”.

    Then there’s Abbott stuffing up again by opening his mouth before engaging his brain or before waiting to see what the actual situation is before prejudging it. He said yesterday he fully back Pyne and his story of events but now Pyne has backtracked on that story.

    And we also have his cabinet colleagues backing him on what he said yesterday.

    I bet from Abbott down not a single one will now come forward and admit they stuffed it.

    But worse for this government is they indirectly called Ashby a liar and untrustworthy, which means their reliance on him to bring down Slipper in an attempt to bring down the government was on the back of a person they consider a liar and untrustworthy.

    Surely one or more of them have to go over this.

  19. CMMC

    I still want to know about the poisoned strawberry plantation.

    But it was lucky for them that they had Ashby as a public relations consultant.

  20. Wayne Rowles

    This government is incredible,if this was the ALP Abbott would be screaming from the hilltops and in all mass media;particularly the Murdoch media would be smashing them 24/7.But this disgraceful government,nothing,the end of open democracy in this country has finished and stupid people voted for them.Well let them now harvest the whirlwind,when everything is gone,they’ll be the ones crying the most,but they won’t admit voting for Abbott and Co no way.Just as the slush fund to silence Pauline Hanson,this was also a set-up by Abbott.

  21. stephentardrew

    Be interesting to see if Ch 9 or MSM follow up on some of the claims. Much of this rot is due to complicity by the media. The fourth estate is failing us.

  22. Anne Byam

    Nothing was mentioned last night on the 60 Mins. programme about the following, nor can I find reference to it elsewhere. Admittedly, I have not searched a huge amount though. ( the $50,000 settlement I am referring to ).

    Could someone perhaps explain it to me ? From the Ashby vs. Commonwealth Judicial summary of all proceedings.

    http://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/single/2012/2012fca1411

    “14 The parties returned to Court on 4 October 2012. Mr Slipper appeared and represented himself. I resolved the issue of what were “appropriate releases” and, by consent, the Commonwealth discontinued its interlocutory application and Mr Ashby discontinued his proceedings as against the Commonwealth. Part of the settlement involved the Commonwealth paying Mr Ashby $50,000 in settlement of all his claims against it, excluding any claim he might have against Comcare under the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) and the proceedings he had against Mr Slipper. ”

    AND …. right down the end of the document, signed off by Judge Rares ….. there is a noted judicial commentary numbered 201.

    Have a look at that one too. He ( Judge Rares ) notes at the end of that ….. “He” ( that is Ashby ) ” now has the $50,000 paid by the Commonwealth”

    Why was that paid, and who in fact paid it ? ” In settlement of all his claims against it ” ( the Commonwealth ).

    Is there anyone here with legal expertise, here who could explain it to me / us ? Or am I barking up a wrong tree ?

    Perhaps it is not important ?

    But, everything anyone could want to know, is listed clearly in this judgement.

    Just wondering.

  23. david linehan

    Was it the right thing to secretly get copies of his diary? “That’s for others to judge,” Mr Brough said.,,,the sheer arrogance and contempt for the law of the land by this lying weasel Brough is not only a disgrace coming from a member of Parliament it is contemptible. How it can not be anything else but a criminal act, a serious criminal act to copy deliberately and calculatingly The Speaker of the HOR’s diary? In my opinion it is a glaring example of this idiots bloody mindedness. It is also a gross invasion of privacy.

  24. Edumak8

    Seems just a tad peculiar that Ashby would approach Roy, the youngest, least politically experienced MP, for advice and/or help in such a serious and personal matter. Begs the question: Why…unless Roy was also involved in some way, along with Pyne who Ashby stated was “frequently in Slipper’s offices.” Why not speak to Pyne then when he was there and presumably readily approachable? It certainly raises many more questions than were answered, and in different areas of concern. As mentioned above, there were processes to follow and appropriate avenues for Ashby to lodge a complaint, and for him to claim he was unaware of these means either he’s covering up as to why he went to other MPs with the story or induction was not properly carried out when he started in that position.

  25. selbygirlAlexis Calle

    It seemed to me that Ashby was asking Peter Slipper leading questions. Why was that?…….

  26. O'Bleak

    We can only hope that enough people become aware and maintain their offence at the behaviour of these grubs through to the next election. My own anger that this reprehensible group of bastards is now in a position to dictate the welfare of every citizen of Australia makes me feel ill. Abbott pissing millions up the wall to support his rampant ego whilst reeking havoc on the country’s most vulnerable and trying to convince us all that the truth is what he says it is. Now the misdeeds of the Ashby affair should just be ignored because he finds it inconvenient. Well stuff you Abbott and stuff your poxy government.

  27. Itsazoosue

    Myriam Robin, Crikey media reporter:

    “A 20-year-old university student faces up to two years in jail for allegedly accessing confidential computer records of 500 students at the Whitehouse Institute of Design, a private design school that’s been in the media spotlight lately for allegedly giving Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances a secret scholarship.”

    All things being equal, Brough and Ashby should face similar charges for accessing and photographing Slipper’s diary.

  28. corvus boreus

    Itsazoosue(featuring Caryptorhynchus funereus),
    All things being fair and transparent, Mal Brough, Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott should undergo a commission of enquiry with independent judicial oversight regarding their knowledge and input into this sordid saga.
    Mr Ashby should swing and hang in the air until he is thwacked with the broom of subpoena to see what dust flies out.
    And, yes, Brough and Ashby should face the consequences of whatever laws their actions diary-stealing actions have transgressed under ACT law.

  29. Rob031

    As I asked before: why did 9 run with this story given their promo material that “this would rock the government’ (etc.)?

    Given they wanted massive ratings why would they promote the show like this? Would they do this if they thought there was no ground-swell of discontent with the current government?

    This aspect of the whole matter seems not to have been raised here and elsewhere. I’m baffled as to why this has not come up yet. Perhaps it’s just me?

  30. johnward154

    Its a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn’t want to hear. – Dick Cavett

  31. donwreford

    Surely someone as intelligent as Pyne, and Tony, most formidable and responsible people, both having a high IQ, surely would not sacrifice their integrity and lie to the Australian people? would they?

  32. Anne Byam

    Rob 31 … I attempted to answer your questions – to the best of my ability, but it was on another post.

    Hold the phone while I try to find it. It might help !!!

  33. Itsazoosue

    “Thwacked with the broom of subpoena to see what dust flies out”

    Wonderful stuff, Relict Raven!

  34. All's Not Lost

    “The fourth estate is failing us.”

    And yet barely a thing we say or a thing we know and talk about is not based on their efforts. When did any author at this site make a call to a Minister’s office before going to print?

  35. kerrilmail

    “If Ashby, prompted by Slipper, is alleged to have stolen the Speakers diary, why haven’t the AFP investigated.”

    Because the AFP are busy chasing Freya Newman!

  36. Itsazoosue

    ‘Now Abbott the snake is trying to avoid scrutiny by saying the matter “is in the past”.’

    Anomander, when I saw Abbott say this I wanted to throw something at the television. “In the past” is where he lives!

  37. Anne Byam

    @Rob031 …. I found it – for what it might be worth to you.

    Here ’tis :

    Rob031 …. ref. your query : ” As I asked before: why did 9 run with this story given their promo material that “this would rock the government’ (etc.)? ”

    My answer on the “Mouth that Roared etc. ” …..

    No newspaper, television programme, tabloid headline, …. even an article on AIM … does not use the FULL facility of a ‘grab the attention’ headline.

    Simple statement of fact.

    But I agree with you — ” Would they do this if they thought there was no ground-swell of discontent with the current government?”

    No, they would not …. all media go for the throat … no matter who or what the subject is.

    And Channel 9 I believe, picked up on the ‘ground-swell’ of disenchantment ( to say the least ) with this current Government.

    And WENT FOR IT.

  38. Rob031

    @Anne Byam. Thanks Anne B. If that be true, ie. that 9 ran with the show ’cause they thought it’d be a winner (ratings wise) then that’s kinda positive me thinks MSM-wise.

    It’d be nice if they did a similar ‘expose’ about ICAC and the Feds link to the NSW via. the Free Enterprise Foundation money-laundering operation next week. Sigh… One can only hope.

    Fact is, that if 9 or 7 or 10 don’t hop on the ‘belt the shit out of the Abbott Govt.’ bandwagon we’re kinda stuffed. With friends like that an enema would be kinda pleasant. Sorta.

  39. Don Winther

    Its all a big distraction, someone ( LNP, Murdoch, Gina ? ) is stealing our country ( just like Slippers diary) and selling it. Keep your eyes on the ball.

  40. All's Not Lost

    I disagree that it’s a distraction. I think it’s a very serious matter, and so does the Government, which is why they a) are trying hard to hose it down b) lying through their arses about every aspect of it. That lying would not be necessary if the whole affair was “innocent” and contained no potential political, if not legal, danger to them.

  41. Don Winther

    Yes but it was two years ago and of course should not be forgotten but Abbott has just competed his first year in which he has destroyed local manufacturing, education, will sell Medicare, free trade with Japan, China, Korea, that we can never compete with, take on Russia in the name of Australia, said nothing about the Palestinian Holocaust, and his constant stream of bullshit he has told us Australian people. I would rather see that on 60 Minutes ( although I never watch it ) and not be distracted by the Slipper thing at this very moment.

  42. All's Not Lost

    I think all of those things can be recognised and dealt with simultaneously. Ashbygate is simply a piece of an ugly puzzle. But it’s also the sort of issue that can get the politically disengaged taking some notice. Anything at all that makes this Government look bad is ok by me.

  43. stephentardrew

    All’s not Lost and Don Winther: I would be very pleased if some were to push different aspects of the coalitions mess with the hope that at least some mud sticks and maybe there could be tangible results. We progressives won’t know until we try so I think you both have legitimate arguments that could be embraced by us all.

  44. helenmarg

    Did you know that James Ashby Worked on Wyatt Roys family strawberry.Why did Ashby get in touch with Pyne and Wyatt Roy about Peter Slipper.They have ruined Peter slipper for a a fairly small amount when you look at LNP spending.

  45. helenmarg

    I still cannot believe when they call Abbott Prime Minister.Tell me it is not true. Oh no,no, no.

  46. corvus boreus

    Don Winther,
    I do not generally pore over sleaze stories, but this one has implications of levels of misconduct up to the criminal carries out by senior politicians and staffers.
    Combined with the multiplying evidence and allegations coming from the NSW ICAC, the result has been Tony Abbot finally starting to face media scrutiny and clumsily field questions over the need for a federal investigation into the obvious corruption in and around federal politics.
    Anything that leads to the words “federal ICAC” being spoken publicly is welcomed by me.

  47. trevor

    So just what does the AFP do considering the Name Australian Police?

    Obviously the AFP have been legislatively gutted in their ability to act on criminal matters that involve politicians.

    Can not quite get over the fact that politicians are above the ordinary Law of the country, and the AFP is a toothless tiger unless you are Muslim or black or a student who finds info that shows Abbotts daughter got prefered treatment.

    And what about the disappearing Abbott dual citizenship document that is not only removed from public view, but denied existence.

    This all has the appearance of being criminal conduct not to mention the ‘Inducement’ to Ashby to reveal the “Speakers” diary to LNP operatives.

    All stuck in the too hard basket and what of the Parliaments right to exercise its “rules of Parliamentary Conduct”. What a sick joke all this is.

    Manipulating the Law for advantage is the domain of the wealthy and those who benefit from the patronage of the powerful.

    You see it happening everyday how the shitstem protects its own and gives no thought for the ordinary folk.

    Would a Commonwealth ICAC be of much value other than the generation of Media headlines.

    For all the “explosive” revelations in NSW there appears a roadblock to prosecution called the Public Prosecutor.

    More state sponsored criminality covered by laws that circumvent the prosecution of politicians.

    It is really not at all good enough that politicians can abuse the legal “rules” or Laws that are used against ordinary lawbreakers(alleged).

    The Legal definitions that allow politicians to stand above the Law and avoid prosecutions are a hangover from the time of the Landed Gentry and the ruling class which defined those afforded rights as ‘Ratepayers’, ‘Men’, ‘Lawmakers’ and many other legalistic terms.

    The allegations and undiscovered facts of the Abbott/Pyne/Brough/ LNP involvment in the “slipper affair’ bring a cloying stench to the Parliaments, the Law and Governments of this land.

    But then again the Australian First Nations found that out since the Invasion that Balanda LAW CHANGES TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED.

  48. bjkelly1958

    Now I don’t wish to rake muck BUT the Ashbygate section of the Independent Australia on line newspaper has evidence of homosexual activity by Mr Pyne from the man he gave up to begin a relationship with Ashby. Wyatt Roy appears to be a confirmed bachelor and Brough is clearly “whatever it takes” grub. Perhaps it was a bit of a closet arrangement?

  49. Don Winther

    corvus boreus,
    I accept that Mal Brough wanted Slippers seat and Pyne and Ashby set Slipper up. Seams like fairly normal dirty Liberal politics to me and the fact the 60 minutes ran it this week is just more Liberal politics.
    I am more concerned about the Victorian Liberals making deals with a Casino for the next 35 years that will hold Victoria to $200 million ransom. Why? There is rotten shit every where at the moment and Peter Slipper has had his day and Ashby got another $100,000 for his trouble

    bjkelly1958, I think your onto something

  50. Don Winther

    Did Ashby go to St Pat by any change?

  51. corvus boreus

    trevor,
    “Would a Commonwealth ICAC be of much value other than the generation of media headlines(?)”
    That in itself would be a positive, focusing attention on relevant matters rather than distant distractions.
    There is also the forensic investigation and revealing of wrongful conduct.
    There is the removal of those who have transgressed(in NSW these include a premier and ministers).
    There are the recommendations and imperatives for reform that usually follow.
    It could do a great deal of good, and I see little harm in the proposal.
    P.s. I know that there is scant chance of criminal prosecution flowing from any federal corruption inquiry, but the removal of the dodgiest leeches from the body politic, and a leashing of the worst excesses of the rest is a positive in my books. Tony Abbott led from office in handcuffs is a wonderful image, but I would settle for ‘disgraced former Prime Minister Antony Abbott’.

  52. Rob031

    @corvus boreus” Tony Abbott led from office in handcuffs is a wonderful image, but I would settle for ‘disgraced former Prime Minister Antony Abbott’.

    I’d like to see him and his mates repeatedly and skillfully grilled in an ICAC or Royal Commission where those asking the questions are not playing the “Question Time” kind of game. I’d pay good money to see that. I’d like to see them being done “Real slow”.

  53. Anne Byam

    Saw Abbott in India, speaking – he allegedly had a virus at the time, and didn’t look too good. Didn’t look much better on TV this evening, his voice very low but clear ( not throaty or anything ), it lacked the usual dictatorial attitudes, and he was showing the signs of a very troubled, somewhat defeated man.

    I will sit and watch – ( I don’t wish anyone ill health, no matter what ) …. but politically I think the strain IS showing, and I hope it makes him think twice about his position, his attitudes, and his conscience.

  54. corvus boreus

    Anne B,
    Maybe Tony is just a bit grumpy because a woman lawyer who represented asbestos peddlers fleecing poor dying souls, and has eyes like Davros of the Daleks to boot, won the recent McNair’s ‘cabinet popularity contest’.
    Tony doesn’t like losing to girls.
    Or it could be accumulating stress caused by the fact that increasing attention to the constant corruption and deception in his conduct(general and specific) is closing in from multiple directions, and he is beginning to harbour serious doubts about his ability to blunder, bluster and bullshit his way around all questions and consequences.
    Or it could just be a dodgy curry.

  55. baz

    It always puzzled me why Ashby would seek advice from Wyatt Roy, a mere child with absolutely no life experience and never likely to have any as long as he’s in politics. What were the electorate thinking when they voted him in?

  56. Kaye Lee

    This is an article from July 2012

    Mr Brough, who lost his seat of Longman in 2007, spent much of yesterday defending his role in helping formulate the case of sexual harassment and Cabcharge rorting that was lodged against Mr Slipper by former aide, Mr Ashby.

    At one stage, he denied requesting copies of Mr Slipper’s diaries but this is contradicted by a text message he sent to Mr Ashby which is contained in court documents.

    Originally Mr Brough described his knowledge of the case against Mr Slipper as nonsense. Then he admitted to having three meetings to advise Mr Ashby and subsequently, court documents detail at least another two text messages, two emails and two phone calls.

    Mr Brough allegedly received from Mr Ashby stolen copies of Mr Slipper’s diary extracts. As part of the process, he offered to help find Ms Doane a job, even passing her resume on to Clive Palmer.

    Mr Brough said yesterday Mr Ashby sent him three pages of Mr Slipper’s diary.

    ”He sent them to me because in the course of our first conversation he alleged criminal behaviour,” he said, adding he was curious to understand ”how anybody can spend over $1000 a day in cab fares supposedly doing parliamentary business but not tell us what it’s about”.

    Mr Brough claimed yesterday he never asked for those extracts but in one text message exchange after Mr Ashby sent copies of the extracts, Mr Brough replies: ”Can that be emailed James it is hard to read.”

    Mr Brough claimed he was the victim of a media conspiracy and ALP muckraking.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/sex-claims-against-ashby-have-no-bearing-on-slipper-case-opposition-20120731-23bk0.html#ixzz3CranPM4H

  57. All's Not Lost

    Precisely, lies all the way down the line. If it was all above board why the need to lie? Why the need to pretend no-one knew what was happening when it seems just about everyone did.

  58. lawrencewinder

    It’s good that these articles get aired widely. On occasion, some Aspirational Bogan might read about those they blindly follow and think they are reading about the “dysfunctional”, “incompetent”, “poor economic managers” of the Labor Party… and see that in reality the opposite is the case. How long can the public ignore the constant putrid, vindictive and democracy damaging behaviour of these mis-named Liberals?

  59. TechinBris

    James Ashby’s case, for the reasons he gave, being Gay, have been a WTF moment, considering on how wrongfully the Gay Community are made to be a despised minority and half half citizenship, by the very people who they are representing to place in advantage by the action.
    Had he come forward strongly and decreed this is wrong, it would have had some element of believability, but to come forward as meek innocence reeks of someone’s ploy, who knows nothing of what it is to be a despised minority, unjustifiably, but is seeking to play on the heartstrings of those who have no idea about those who they despise.
    The titillation required for the Media to peddle the story is deliberately injected, way too easily, in too big a dose, making it too greasy to swallow comfortably by those with no issues with other people’s differences within their Communities.
    Lies, deceit, money and Politicians. Do we believe any of this by habitual liars of purpose, with what they are trying to promote? LOL
    Grow up Australia and give up the Fairy Stories. Write your own epic, with yourselves as the Heroes, instead of someone else for once.

  60. rgovett

    Excellent blog, are you on twitter John?

  61. randalstella

    lawrencewinder asks how long the public can continue to ignore the gangsterish conduct of those they voted into Government. Probably as long as they are told to; certainly until far too late. Appeals directly to the public have been bought out by populist destructiveness.

    That is why there needs initiative for legal process to bring some of these villains to account, at least where they are most vulnerable. Brough is a leading candidate.
    With legal accountability, and legal consequences, the public will eventually follow. Still nothing like a cure for their manipulation by headlines.
    To get these fiends out of power needs about a 4% turnaround in voting. It remains very dicey if concerted and organised legal action is not taken – to at least occupy the MSM with events that they cannot ignore. (For whatever motive, Ch. 9 are not ignoring the slimiest aspects of the Slipper case; while the ABC have been trying to.)

    Jo Bjelke was at the height of his power and popularity when the legal moves were made for what became his downfall. He stayed popular until he was seen by the public as subject to a more enduring power than his own corrupt arbitrariness, What the public require is the spectacle of power. Who wins that beats moral and legal nuance every time.

    This is what must concern every citizen not subject to the Entertainment values of the MSM: we now have Government willing and brazen enough to undermine foundational enduring powers of due process; causing fundamental damage to it, that may never be repaired. For example the “operational matters” that censor what is actually happening with the Stop the Boats policy. This is quite unprecedented; and quite accepted largely by the public.
    Taking action by due process may be due process’s best long-term protection. You will not get that protection directly from the public.

    This action needs to start now. Broughy – that old mate of ABC’s Lateline – is on the hop. What is Labor doing? Precisely.

  62. mick

    Pyne is sincerely the lowest life, even in the parliament. Can somebody please explain to me why his electorate continue to vote him in and why the Liberal Party continues to endorse this man.
    I saw a documentary the other night entitled “Joan Collins: a piece of work”. Perhaps a remake could be made staring Pyne. He really is a piece of work who has no place in our parliament.

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