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New James Ashby scandal could ‘rock’ Abbott Government

Author’s Note:

60 Minutes (Channel 9’s) current affairs program will on Sunday night air an interview with James Ashby. The promotional teaser doing the rounds of social media suggests that the program will reveal a secret plot that will “rock the Abbott Government”.

The language used in the teaser is provocatively inviting for those, like me, who have followed the case closely, and have been appalled by the alleged plot to dismiss an elected government.

In the teaser there is combined image of Liberal MPs Mal Brough, Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne and Wyatt Roy and the voiceover saying “what happened behind closed doors” before a cut to journalist Liz Hayes saying to Ashby “This is dynamite, you agree?”. Ashby says “yes”.

The interview is said to be pretty explosive, with references to a “secret plot”, new sexual harassment claims and the promise that “finally, the whistleblower reveals all”.

Often these sorts of promotions can fizz out to nothing of substance but it I hope for the sake of our democracy that all is revealed. What follows is the piece I wrote following the upholding of an appeal against Justice Rares’ findings.

It has remained a mystery as to why Ashby dropped the case when he could have had his day in court. My guess is that the conservative forces used James Ashby in an attempt to bring down the Gillard Government. They financed the plot and when it failed they left Ashby high and dry and in debt. Now it’s payback time.

Has Ashby Closed the Gate?

In 1975 as a youngish fervent supporter of Labor and democracy I was disgusted when an unelected Governor General sacked an elected Prime Minister. That constitutional crisis left me somewhat shattered and politically disillusioned. When it died down I thought I would never see anything similar again in my lifetime. But in November 2012 the shit did hit the fan again and my outrage was ignited once more.

James Ashby bought a sexual harassment case against the speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper. The Judge hearing the case Justice Rares found that in essence the case was politically motivated, vexatious, and among other things an abuse of process. In effect he said that the case was an attempt to bring down the speaker and damage his reputation.

I was outraged. I have been following politics for more years that I care to remember. Never in all that time had a political party been accused of trying to use the courts to destroy a government. I will repeat that in case the reader loses the magnitude of the statement.

“Never in all that time had a political party been accused of trying to use the courts to bring down a government”.

Justice Rares in his judgement determined this to be so.

Without wishing to labour the point. Does the reader fully grasp the implication of the judge’s ruling? He described it was an abuse of process. This was not only the conservatives trying to bring down Labor but democracy its self.

Why on earth if Ashby felt threatened by slipper wouldn’t he run it past all the available avenues open to him? And all he could ever hope for in terms of compensation would be $30,000 or thereabouts. There is after all a rule known as the “Genuine Steps Rule” This is a procedure introduced in 2011 that requires parties to try and sort out their disputes before taking court action. In this case, the Judge questioned why a relatively minor matter like sexual harassment claims could not have been settled another way. Why then would he be going to court knowing that it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to redeem that amount? Simply doesn’t make sense. Or a bit sus as we say in Australia. Unless it has some sinister political motivation.

The claim by James Ashby was taken by the main stream media as an invitation to be rid of the speaker and a government they detested. Consequently the Murdoch Press went after Slipper like Pit Bull terriers to a bear. Thinking they had the bear by the balls they were all over the story painting Slipper as the villain with page upon page of despicable tabloid commentary.

Then came Justice Rare’s ruling. A ruling totality unexpected by the Murdoch press. The tabloids relegated the story to the back pages adjoining the sports columns never to be heard of again. By their silence and lying by omission the main stream media decided to join the conspiracy.

David Marr described it thus:

“This has been the great disappearing scandal of Australian politics”.

Then a leave to appeal notice was lodged with the full bench of Federal Court by James Ashby and his solicitor Michael Harmer against the ruling by Justice Stephen Rares. The Federal Court agreed to hear the Leave to appeal and the Appeal concurrently.

If the court were to uphold Rare’s original verdict the repercussions would have been very serious indeed. The Federal Police would be compelled to investigate. They had been reluctant to do so although there was nothing to stop them. It is yet another mystery in this sorry saga. Brough, Pyne, Abbott and many others (especially from Queensland) would have to answer some very pertinent questions and explain the many lies told so far.

David Marr wrote:

“Tony Abbott also has a stake in the appeal. He has stood by Brough despite his friend being caught trying to hide his role in the campaign to destroy Slipper. Abbott has never criticised his part in the operation. Despite Brough’s lies, he praises his candour: “I want to make it clear that Mal has been very upfront about his involvement in this”.

The involvement of journalist Steve Lewis and News Limited would certainly have come into question. On the other hand if they should decide to give Ashby his day in court the effect would be much the same. Everything would be revealed.

Then came the appeal ruling.

The full bench of the Federal Court in February of this year overruled Justice Rares finding that the case was an:

“abuse of process” designed to cause “significant public, reputational and political damage”.
“We are satisfied that the evidence before the primary judge did not warrant the adverse finding said to constitute an abuse of the court’s process on the two bases found and did not warrant the rejection by his Honour of the sworn and unchallenged evidence of each of Ashby and Harmer.”

The decision meant the case would now proceed to a full hearing.
Mr Ashby had this to say after the court’s ruling:

‘’The case has never been politically based’’
“I’ve always believed the original court decision was wrong. It was unjust and not based on all the facts,” Mr Ashby said.
“We will now continue with the legal fight and my chance to obtain justice for my original claim’’

Then on June 17 he dropped it all. Why?

He gave these reasons:

Mr Ashby said he was aware of reports Mr Slipper was mentally unwell and he did not want to continue lengthy proceedings that could cause further harm.

“After deep reflection and consultation with those close to me, I now have decided to seek leave to discontinue my Federal Court action against Peter Slipper,” he said in a statement.
“This has been an intense and emotionally draining time for me and my family, taking its toll on us all.”

What bullshit. Someone with deep pockets funded Ashby and if his case was well founded and his accusation of sexual harassment sincere why wouldn’t he proceed. There can only be one reason or perhaps two. He was reimbursed for not doing so and the LNP were shit frightened of what might come out in open court.

Ashbygate had the potential to be the greatest political scandal in Australia’s history. The public should have been outraged at this attempt to bring down an elected government. The Main Stream Media thus far have treated the scandal with a disinterest that borders on journalist incompetence or deliberate neglect.

I am still outraged by this sinister event in Australia’s political history. To think that politicians could so treat our democracy with such distain sickens me. Our citizens should rise above party politics and see this attempt to bring down the speaker and the government for the conspiracy that it was.

It is incumbent on the next Labor Government to announce a Royal Commission into this sordid affair.

Here is a link to Slippers response.


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  1. Kath Malcom

    This young twerp was used as a pawn in a nasty game and he chose to be the pawn, he chose to bring Mr Slipper down and destroy the man and his career and probably his marriage, to help the opposition destroy the labor parties minority functioning gov, so now he comes out on TV with explosive claims pffft pffft and pffft
    I hope that little shit gets gaol time, lying little tramp Ashby is…

  2. dafid linehan

    I am not holding my breath anything major will come out of this so called ‘secret plot that will rock the Abbott Govt’. If I am wrong I will be here pronto to eat that doubt.
    Couple of things bother me that have been mentioned on social media. ….The major shareholders and owners of Channel 9 are well known Liberal Party donors. and ‘if there was anything new from Ashby that would incriminate the Govt they (ch9) would have quietly advised someone, who at least would have sort an injunction to stop the broadcast.
    Personally I also find it difficult to comprehend, why if whoever is/has been bankrolling Ashby, would stop, presuming that person/s are closely connected to the Liberals.
    There are other scenarios, but best to wait until the interview goes out, then we will know more or nothing more. With Ashby, who can tell?
    Don’t know why but…a woman scorned, comes to mind.

  3. Lord Rocker

    Maybe this is Ashby’s 1st Birthday present to the adults in charge….LOL!

  4. Liz

    And yet again millions of taxpayers $s wasted. Maybe it’s about time the Governor-General acted again. The corruption in this country is out of control.

  5. Kim Wright

    Bottom line its Channel 9…no chance they will disgrace this Government

  6. John Lord

    Dafid. One of the more puzzling aspects of this is why, knowing that he could only ever hope to get around $67,000 dollars, would they spend upwards of $500,000. A bit sus I would suspect.

  7. kerrilmail

    My thoughts precisely John Lord. They have dumped Ashby high and dry and left him for the naive fool he has been. I sincerely hope he dumps back? Big time! I want to see Brough exposed and Abbott, Pyne and any other puppeteers exposed for their criminal activity and waste of the courts time.

  8. kerrilmail

    It is clear Ashby was bankrolled and then cut off, merely by his actions! If he really was upset he would carry the case to any extreme possible. Unless he had no further money where he may choose a lawyer who would go pro bono, but who would touch this case it’s as dirty as.

  9. Andrew S

    The Governor-General is selected by the PM and will very rarely go against him as times have changed. They are more a flower on the wall zapping our tax with their salary.

  10. Rhonda Prideaux

    I quite agree Kim, there is NO way that channel nine will broadcast any negativity towards the LNP. It is a plot to get an audience in, because ratings are so bad. I remember years ago I really enjoyed that show, it had really good journalist, not any more.

  11. ernest

    As I recall, Abbott had a finger in the pie of bankrolling Terry Sharples to bring down Pauline Hanson. He is not new to this nasty behaviour.

  12. Matters Not

    Clearly Ashby is a terrorist. Probably a convert to Islam as well. Certainly not a member of ‘Team Austraia’.

    But I hope he’s kept his phone records. Perhaps some recorded ‘messages’?

  13. Matt Samson

    It seems to be business as usual in the Liberal Party. They don’t seem to be in lock-down, and Wyatt Roy continues to tweet as per-normal. It is likely nothing. I will watch just in case.

  14. stephentardrew

    Crossing of the fingers, toes, arms, legs and any other extremity that will bring this to a smelly LNP belly up end.
    Not on 9!
    Please make it happen fairy in the sky.

  15. Rikda

    I’m of similar vintage & was an Australian Merchant seaman when the illegal invasion of Vietnam began. We were all told by the Conservatives that the Chinese were on their way down the Burma peninsula. & the Seamens Union vilified & ostracized for refusing to participate in criminal activity (The type US General Butler spoke of)
    I remember Jim Cairns & Rex Connors being set up for Whitlam to fail.
    I remember John Howard supporting Tony Abbotts attacking Pauline Hanson with the laughable “Australians for Honest Politics Trust” saying “It’s the job of the Liberal Party to politically attack other parties – there’s nothing wrong with that.”
    Of course we wouldn’t want to trust democracy with the truth. It is, after all, the conservative Fealty “Ordained to rule”
    Tony Abbott has done this so many times, he sees it as a used car salesman of the 60’s. Unconscionable irresponsible liars.
    As for 60 minutes, good & thorough researched an accurate journalism seems to have a hurdle that works like a tide depending on who it hurts.
    We’ve just seen the courts shoddy endorsement of the Insulation program that provided the opposite of what they expected & little said about it.
    If I’m Skeptical that the currant ABC controllers allowing the currant conservative government to suffer any risks, I guess it’s just because I believe that truth is a stranger to them.

  16. JulieT

    Nah…excuse my cynicism, but I doubt Channel 9 would dump on Abbott. Nobody in mainstream media will, not even old Aunty. Mind you, I’d love to be corrected….. Oh Please, please correct me 🙂

  17. Kaye Lee

    What really concerns me is “new sexual harassment claims”. I have a bad feeling this will just be a fresh chance to humiliate and drag Peter Slipper through the mud 🙁 There is no way Ashby is going to make himself look bad by saying he was part of a conspiracy.

  18. dafid linehan

    Cheers John, there’s a lot more to this than we imagine. I agree re the $500,000, a huge amount to spend on him

  19. Marie Reynolds

    To stephentardrew Talking about Christopher?

  20. david linehan

    Kaye Lee, I suspect we can be confident? (sort of) the wording being used by Ch9 ‘New Ashby scandal could ‘rock’ Abbott Government’ may justifiably rule out anymore Peter Slipper involvement. ‘could rock Abbott Govt’ implys it is one of his mob.
    Now the but!! But its a publicity header for their showcase CA programme and that wording with the 30 minute teaser is certainly going to drag in a huge audience.
    As we know headers, sometimes bear no resemblance to content.
    Will be much popcorn sold before Sunday night :w

  21. Frank Sheehan

    Channel Nine and Sky are being hurt in the hip pocket. Abbott is bad for business. His name is mud even on the Right side of politics. Most of the Donors want Turnbull. It costs the networks lots of cash to back Abbott. Abbott only has one shock jock in his pocket left and thats Hadley. Daily John laws calls the Liberal liars, etc etc. People the MSM want Abbott gone, his party want him gone. The only ones who don’t are the loons. Imagine all those little old ladies being taken to the cleaners? They will not forget. You have the CWA etc etc in open revolt in QLD. Further Channel 9 is in conflict with Murdoch over media ownership. Murdoch backed Abbott. Now they are back peddling. What you are seeing is an open revolt from the Conservative MSM base to destabilise the government. And we still have Clive’s senate hearings into the QLD LNP to go. So before you lay waste at Channel 9s door. Note all things are not warm and fuzzy in conservative ranks.

  22. david linehan

    30 second teaser 🙂

  23. Rod

    Wasn’t it Chrissy Pine that went straight to the Speakers office to have a beer with Ashby and get his phone number, when the texts came out ? Is this the new Ashby scandal?

  24. lawrencewinder

    I agree with Kay… this will be meant to finish “Slippery” Pete off. Pyne was caught out lying about meetings he had with Ashby, and nothing has happened… Brough’s suspect in many ways for his seedy and Abbott confirmed dealings but the upshot of all this will be that it was Gillard’s and Labor’s fault. What a nasty, putrid, vindictive bunch of Bogan’s this Liarbril lot are.

  25. Jay Buoy

    Imagine if this dirty little black op had been uncovered in the USA … photo copying the diary of speaker of the house…handing it over to one of Murdochs minions…Gitmo beckons…

  26. All's Not Lost

    Someone will lose over this story. I suspect it will be Channel 9 and 60 Minutes, assuming it’s possible for their reputation to be lower.

  27. Mr Nasty

    Abbott has that much s*** in his shoes you can smell him 100 metres away.Go all the way back to Pauline Hanson,she may have been a rambling idiot,but she was stitched up well and truly.

  28. sem4peter

    ‘It is incumbent on the next Labor Government to announce a Royal Commission into this sordid affair.’
    Based on their current performance, I won’t hold my breath on this one.

  29. Maureen

    Great article. I am still thoroughly disgusted at what Abbott, Brough etc did, with the help of the Murdoch cult, to become the most corrupt,toxic, lying government in Australian political history.

    I have a bad feeling that the ‘new sexual harassment claims’ will be targeted at Peter Slipper. I feel sad for him.

    On the other hand there is also the Ashbygate book being written, and I think soon to be published, by the publicly funded private investigator, who did what the MSM didn’t have the guts, ethics or morals to do.

    Anyway we’ll just have to wait a see.

  30. John Lord

    Yes I read that Stephen. They are doing so many things wrong on so many levels that it’s hard to keep up.And on another matter. At my age I see nothing wrong with 30 second teasers.

  31. atkenos

    So are you implying that Pyne did it with some of them? They would have to be desperate

  32. Michael Taylor

    60 Minutes will lose a heap of credibility if this doesn’t actually rock the boat as either they claim it will, or the viewer expects it will.

  33. gregggo

    Remember Chl 9 was also responsible for what seemed provocatively like an investigation into supermarket practice and their “fresh” food, which turned out 12 min promo for that chain….so … don’t hold yr breath.

  34. david linehan

    Neither do I John, as long as they are true to label and not a gimmick to attract an audience to boost the ratings. Good Current Affairs is all about content not titillating 30 sec grabs that are finally better off on the cutting floor surely?

  35. Lorraine Henneberry

    When you mentioned 1975 my heart sunk. I don’t think anything will come of it teflon Tony will escape. These people have no scruples or morals and are very dangerous. He has some powerful people looking after him I don’t think Bill Shorten has enough mongrel in him I maybe wrong I hope so.

  36. Tis from Ngunnawal country

    maybe this joke is relevant
    >> The deeper you dig with a shallow person the less you find<<

  37. stephentardrew

    Tis: A wonderful thesis on the Fearless Leader. High Distinction in order.

  38. Anne Byam

    Will it be shown – or will it not. ? A last minute ‘injunction’ perhaps ? Will tune in, wait and see – !! Not making any bets on it tho.

  39. I Am God

    I already know. neener neener.

  40. Denise Murphy

    I just hope channel 9 outs Christopher Pyne. That little thug is destroying all our futures. Maybe Wyatt Roy was used as some sort of honey-trap?

    It’s all so appalling, the ‘media’, the death of the Fourth Estate, an Englishman swearing allegiance to a foreign queen instead of the Australian people, the killing of Peter Slipper (he was a great speaker apart from all the ceremonial stuff), Abbott dragging us into more illegal wars which will create millions more refugees whom he’ll demonise for domestic purposes … and the importation of the British Class System into Australia.

    All this was made possible by Malcolm Fraser. His disdain for democracy and love affair with the US, gave him corrupt government and the Bottom of the Harbour tax minimisation Treasurer John Howard. The Rich will never pay taxes, that’s the job for the rest of us.

  41. mrharmony60

    great article Jon, and you are not alone in feeling outraged about this attempt to bring a democratically elected govt down. But I’d be surprised if anything really damaging comes out of this, the Libs are wily & would have found a way to silence Ashby.

  42. All's Not Lost

    I’d like a dollar for every ratings point this episode is going to attract.

  43. Florence nee Fedup

    The conspiracy. as I believe the Rares judgement said, was to bring down the speaker and the duly elected government.

    One could suspect that Ashby was encourage to take up the job, with this aim in mind.

  44. david linehan

    I ask asked myself over and over….what precisely in the Rares Judgement did the 3 reviewing gentlemen find was inappropriate?
    The phrase our friend Florence reminds us of, “to bring down the speaker and the duly elected government.”
    Did they conclude the responsibility to agree with His Honour Justice Rares, was too great a burden for them to carry. Rather deny and move on?
    All is not well in the State of Denmark.

  45. Lord Justiceatlast

    Surely they would not remind People about this Smelly LNP plot as the story has been allowed to disappear from the news , I am not alone in my thinking that the whole episode and the timing of it was all about trying to disgrace Peter slipper who had decided in his wisdom to Leave his ex “Best Friend ” (Abbottism ) and take his vote with him in Hung Parliament there by trying to destroy the Government , Pyneoccio denied knowledge of the affair 3 times in the first week and as for Mal Brough he also denied it Many many times , Like all on this site I hope for some thing to stir up trouble for our Bumbling PM

  46. david linehan

    Your Lordship, fellow blogger and man of sense. You have said the nicest thing about the walking compost heap Abbott I have read in weeks, nay months. Bumbling PM!! the brain dead coot should add to your Honourable title in gratitude 🙂

  47. barks

    John Lord, at least u come out and admit u r a labor man, pity all u state cannot be sustantiated with actual fact, wot a waste of my time!

  48. Florence nee Fedup

    barks, how about showing us your facts. At least it would not make your comment a waste of time.

  49. dennis

    I have to agree with Frank, Tony Abbot is seen as a moron by a lot of World Leaders, plus the fact that there is real concern now about Anthropogenic climate change, BUT if you think they could change the leader of the LNP this way and put in Malcolm Turnbull you would have to be a fool to think any LNP ideology will change. Just a nicer way of screwing a part of out society, although I feel Turnbull will change the policy on our climate.

  50. david linehan

    Have to disagree re Turnbull dennis. The Torys have completely lost the young vote over the NBN balls up, lies, deception and false and loaded reports in their favour, with a mate (on a huge retainer) chairing the enquiry.
    Businesses relying on the internet, country areas outside the main cities, the bush, (National MP’s home base.), on it goes. Turbull will be as big a liability as the mad man Abbott.

    What is glaringly obvious, the Coalition have no acceptable successor to the lib/nats hard core. I heard FM Bishops name as a possibility from a ranking Tory and happily agreed with her. What a bonus for Labor that would be. She doesn’t register in polls as preferred leader, that’s how desperate their rabble of a Govt is.
    Morrison 🙂 Hockey 🙂 🙂 pyne!!!!!!!!! haven’t the time to do the smileys .

    Honestly I have no great love for Shorten, a nice guy, no fire in the belly 100% of the time. Still looks like a Union boss and carries lot of baggage when he went with the party room right wing against Julia.
    His Modus Operandi is smart though, sit back and watch, steady as she goes. First big blunder though and the members will be baying for his replacement by Albo.

    So let us sit back and wait for this Channel9 60 Minutes Ashby interview. Frankly I don’t trust them as I wouldn’t an Abbott promise. Tell you what though, if it is another attack on Peter Slipper I doubt the majority of Australians will be too impressed. Not after the NSW ICAC revelations, Abbotts litany of lies, and channel9’s implication of harm to the Abbott Govt.
    History on channel 9 honesty and integrity does not favour that Tory leaning organisation.

  51. All's Not Lost

    “to bring down the speaker and the duly elected government.”

    No such phase or anything [legally] close exists in the Rares judgement. This is leftie apocrypha.

  52. All's Not Lost

    “Tell you what though, if it is another attack on Peter Slipper I doubt the majority of Australians will be too impressed.”

    If that’s what happens, Ashby’s cred is demolished, given he gave his primary reason for stopping his court case being that Slipper was suffering mental health issues.

  53. Anne Byam

    Have noticed that Channel 9 has been reporting more often ( though a small enough difference, admittedly ) … commentary that is NOT exactly in Abbott’s corner. That may well have been as a lead up approach to the 60 minutes programme for ratings … they ALL do that kind of thing. Just all part of media hype.

    We just have to wait and see … not laying any bets though !! Roll on Sunday … just might be interesting !!!!


    @ Frank Sheehan … your comments are more than interesting. That all could well spell doom for this obscenity we currently have to look at . …. the LNP, in Government.

  54. Florence nee Fedup

    Rares dismissed the case as an abuse of process.

  55. Florence nee Fedup

    I do believe that Sixty minutes will be launching another attack on Slipper. Ashby. should not be allowed to drop the matter. Anyone that followed the first case carefully would be surprised if he had the evidence to win,

  56. Anne Byam

    Might be interesting conversation, around the water coolers in offices / elsewhere ….. come Monday morning ???

  57. Florence nee Fedup

    ……Justice Steven Rares ruled the case brought against Mr Slipper by one of his staff members was an “abuse of process”, declaring that its predominant purpose was to cause “significant public, reputational and political damage………..
    ………….In his written judgment, Justice Rares said he believed Mr Ashby and fellow staff member Karen Doane had been working with former Howard government minister Mal Brough “to cause Mr Slipper as much political and public damage as they could inflict on him”.

    He described the pair’s behaviour as “acts of calculated disloyalty”.

    “Once they had decided on their course of action, Mr Ashby and Ms Doane did not go straight to see a lawyer to air any concerns about any legal wrongs that either may have suffered,” Justice Rares wrote.

    “Instead, Mr Ashby or Ms Doane contacted Mr Brough and they began working with him and (News Limited journalist) Steve Lewis.”

    Sounds like a conspiracy to bring down a government to me.

  58. david linehan

    Florence, I don’t follow your assumption. Ashby said he was dropping the case because he felt sorry for Mr Slipper and he felt Peter and his family had gone through enough stress and anguish, causing a mental breakdown.
    It does not make any sense to suddenly make fresh charges against him. He has now pre ordained he would look totally foolish and unpredictable by doing so, opening himself up to accusations of ulterior motive and withholding information.

  59. Florence nee Fedup

    If I was Slipper, I would not want the case dropped. Would you?

  60. Rob031

    I may be a tad naive (!) but I suspect that the fact that the promo for 60 Mins (Rock the government etc) was calculated to kinda appeal to what we’d all like to see happen. I think that that’s important.

    As to what will actually happen on Sunday night. Who knows. I suspect it’ll be a massive letdown to us. But the 1st paragraph still stands nevertheless.

  61. Anne Byam

    Although very tedious to go through, the second link on Florence’s comment above, reposted here : tells a great deal more than many of us could have known from media reporting of the case at the time.

    Ashby was paid $50000 by the Commonwealth of Aust. in settlement of all his claims against it ( the C’wealth ) but excluding claims against Comcare and Peter Slipper ( shown in the court document ).

    And to answer your question Florence …. personally, if I was Slipper I would not want the case to PROCEED, even if I was mentally capable of it at the time.

    The entire documented judgement and proceedings as shown in the link, has a slight tinge of “50 Shades of Grey” about it. — more or less !!!

    All might be revealed !! 😉

  62. Kaye Lee

    MP Mal Brough exposed as organising lawyer for James Ashby in his harassment claim against former MP Peter Slipper

    Mr Brough, who was interviewed for the program, said he had no idea he was “Jackie’’ in the text messages.

    “I’m Jackie? That explains why no one ever knew who Jackie was,’’ he said yesterday.

    “The only lawyer I organised was David (Russell QC) who met him once,’’ Mr Brough said.

    Mr Ashby also claims that Mr Slipper ordered him not to use his real name in taxis.

    “I remember the very first time we caught a cab, I said ‘where are we off to, Peter?’ and afterwards when we got out, he said to me to never call him Peter Slipper or his real name any time we travel in cabs.”

    Education Minister Christopher Pyne, who emailed Mr Ashby after drinks in the Speaker’s office, will also feature in the 60 Minutes investigation.

    So it appears that all we will hear is what we already knew about Mal Brough re the lawyer and then we will hear more sordid stuff about Slipper. I am certain Pyne wouldn’t agree to be interviewed if it made the government look bad 🙁

  63. All's Not Lost

    After reading that I won’t be watching. 60 minutes? 60 IQ points more like.

  64. Florence nee Fedup

    It was said at the time, one of the aims was to bankrupt Slipper, forcing him to leave parliament. Well in this, they nearly succeeded.

  65. Sir Scotch Mistery

    Whenever I see Pyne and Ashby in a sentence I worry where it’s going.

    Add Wyatt Roy and then add “honeytrap”and all of a sudden I’m thinking of Turtle Cove and reports that surfaced in the gay community some time back of who was screwing who and who was paying.

    I won’t watch the channel 9 crap but I will look forward to the commentary.

  66. david linehan

    Interesting timing this 60 mins goes to air on the 1st anniversary of the Abbott Govt. Given the revelation this morning by well known Abbott lap sitter Samantha Maiden, Murdoch puppet extraordinary, I’m sadly inclined toward Kaye Lee’s final para.
    Another thought, if Abbott is still overseas tonight with Credlin it beggars belief they are unaware of the content of 60 mins. Were it going to severely damage his Govt, they would be back.
    Incidentally, a post on Independent Australia’s site featuring an interview Peter Wicks conducted with Craig Thomson is worth a listen.
    Hope John doesn’t mind if I include the link, given the Royal Commission into Unions and the confirmation of Kathy Jacksons rorting and worse is confirmed.,6868 …

  67. Anne Byam

    @ david linehan ….. Abbott is back in the country for Fathers Day ?? according to one news report. So – perhaps it IS going to severely damage his Government.

    On the other hand though, given that the Abbott is a cringing, hide-behind-anything liar of the first order, I might have expected him to actually stay away – if great damage is likely. He has a tendency to stay away when the going gets rough. We will know this evening. A fizzer or an explosion ?

    Am wondering if they are going to drag up the tediously long judgement by Rares, and go over some of that ? That certainly would NOT be something the every-day Aussie would have read. And it contains some damning insight, and ‘forensic exhibits’ – being the mobile phone conversations between Ashby and Slipper. Which are ‘interesting’. The phone was checked thoroughly as to conversation validity, timing etc. …. all positively identified as legitimate by phone, digital and IT experts.

    Hmmmm !! I will certainly be watching this programme.

  68. david linehan

    Anne thanks I have been advised the globe trotting manure heap Abbott, is back

  69. Kaye Lee

    Any interview by a minister has to be cleared with Credlin first…that was one of her early edicts. If Pyne is on there then this is a Credlin approved doddle.

  70. Anne Byam

    Kaye … you’ve said a mouthful there.

    Anyone reading for absolutely the first time, many comments on here, would have to think that Credlin is the PM ??? She issues edicts. She is then, the power behind the throne ? I think we all have known it, but just how much do we know of how much power she does wield ? and why is she Tony’s right hand person ?

    After all she’s a woman ( I think ) …. and he is not exactly fond of lady leaders !!!

    I am in no way questioning your comment. Just observing and questioning just who this woman REALLY is ….. and how much power she really has.

    The mind boggles.

  71. Kaye Lee

    Tony Abbott’s press office has moved to crack down on media appearances by his frontbench, issuing an edict that all media requests for interviews be approved by the Prime Minister’s staff.

    “All media co-ordination and requests should go through Kate first. This covers all national media interviews on television, radio and print. This includes any ABC local radio or ABC television interviews, the ­Sunday programs, Sky News, and metropolitan print media longer-format interviews etc,” it says.

    “With any regular appearances on shows such as Sky AM Agenda, they should first have been co-ordinated through Kate at least the day before; on the morning of the interview, it is still best to speak with Russ Neal for the main daily issues and messages.”

  72. Florence nee Fedup

    I suspect tonight is more about killing Slipper off, altogether.

    Abbott back in country. Hubris showing. Defiant in saying PPL bills will be introduced soon.,

  73. david linehan

    If he thinks he can, another think will be coming for our Dishonourable PM. I will wait until this programme has been aired

  74. hefina

    This has been coming for a long time, It deserves to be told , Tony Abbott and the others has had a lot to do with this plot to get rid of Mr Slipper. and Julia Gillards Government. I would like to know why it’s taken so long to bring it to the public’s attention.

    Didn’t Tony Abbott go to London just a day before the story broke about Slipper. strange !! Abbott was asked when he arrived in London had he known about this Slipper story , he said not he said he was there to do important work for Australia. all blooming lies.

    The Msn has known about this Ashby gate for ever and did nothing about it,

    It has been the Independent Australia we have to thank for following this sad saga from the beginning , they have been telling the real story for the last three/four years. Thank you Peter Whicks.

    Just hope that tonight we wil get to know the truth from Ashby himself. in my opinion.

  75. david linehan

    It appears in regional WA we are not adult enough to view the programme. WinTV who relay Channel 9 progs have in their 60mins programme details …Fathers Day Massacre: 30 years on, the key witness who’s defied decades of death threats, the father of the 15 year old girl fatally shot, the detectives who ran into the line of fire, and the feared bikie boss, exclusively on 60 Minutes.
    On checking main city 60mins programme details are …Special Investigation: The whistleblower at the middle of the Peter Slipper sexual harassment scandal breaks his silence, with revelations that will rock senior figures in the Abbott Government.
    My requests to Nine and Win result in no response…

  76. Rosalind Day

    I smell a big fat rat here. Ch9 a big supporter of Abbott-thing Libs, why would they blow the whistle on #ashbygate on the 1st anniversary of him stealing office? Set up to grab ratings, but I live in hope, maybe Prime Moron has pissed someone off who has more clout than Murdoch.

  77. david linehan

    Final word from me I phoned Channel 9 on whose behalf Win Regional TV transmit their progs. To say 9 were peeved off that the information from Win was not promoting the Ashby content on 60 mins. is being kind. Lady I spoke to intimated there would be questions asked as the correct promos were part of the deal. Good hope someone gets a kick in the nurdles.
    So regional tv will cover the content. Mission accomplished

  78. All's Not Lost

    Dear Mal Brough,

    Feel like an idiot? I knew there’d be a loser tonight. You’re it.

  79. Anne Byam

    @ Rosalind Day. Big fat rat ??? – could well be, at that. …. It was interesting that Channel 7 ( who are long term rivals of Channel 9 – big time ) chose their NEWS broadcast to try and deflate Channel 9’s 60 Minutes – by exposing what THEY thought might be the outcome of the 60 minutes programme. On their NEWS broadcast ? – that alone makes me wonder … have Channel 9 REALLY got something worth viewing ? I am writing this while my DVD recorder / player is recording the 60 minutes programme.

    Sadly – once again it’s probably mostly about ratings. Channel 7 promoted in a huge way, some ‘ revelations that no one knew about ‘ for their X-Factor show. … which turned out to be a total and utter fizz ball. Except that it leads into Monday’s X-factor episode, which will most likely also be a total wash-out ( that is, if anyone is looking for scandal and revelations ). Big fizz.

    However, the fact that Channel 7 has gone to such extraordinary lengths to undermine the 60 minutes programme, makes me wonder – – – – — – a lot.

    In a short time, we will all know.

    Again, as for Channel 9 – – – – you might be correct, that someone has pissed off someone who has more clout than Murdoch. Can’t imagine who that could be, but as I have pointed out in other posts, on other subjects to do with media …. the Murdoch mob seem to be backing off – way off now IMO, the Abbott-thing situation. To protect themselves and particularly to protect Murdoch. And if that’s the case, Channel 9 would not BLINK at revealing heavy stuff against the Abbott Government.

    “If it bleeds, it leads” – an aged mantra used by the media. So – Channel 7 has fallen by the wayside…. will wait and see if Channel 9 has done the same thing ????

    Television media and its manipulations / promos’ are loathesome. The whole thing gives me the tom-tits. !!

  80. david linehan

    Anne the only reason 7 tried to in your words “undermine” 9 was to drag viewers. no love lost there. Whatever went on the cutting room floor at 9 was either worse than the crap they eventually let go to air, or it would’ve upset the Torys too much.
    All I learned from the flop was Pyne is without doubt gay/bi and the child Wyatt Roy is even more stupid and naive than I thought.
    As a supposed professional broadcaster ms Hayes was pathetic, no bloody pathetic. As usual she doesn’t get the message she is a has been

  81. Anne Byam

    David …that’s pretty much what I was trying to say …. that 7 was ‘trying to drag viewers’ by allegedly exposing 9’s 60 Minutes.

    The one thing that could have put me off entirely, was the fact that the ‘getting onto retirement age’ Liz Hayes, was conducting the interview, which I have not yet viewed. She has lost her touch, if ever she had it.

    I have never seen Pyne as anything but a wicked double standard .. in all his endeavours, which now ( as of tonight apparently ) includes his sexual proclivities. His sexual preferences however, are or should be his own business.

    HIs private life does not diminish or inflate his actions as a Minister of this current Government … he has always stunk. He’s a sleasebag, no matter what he prefers.

    I will now go and watch it, with a bucket handy …. in case of extreme nausea.

  82. randalstella

    The 60 Minutes programme supports Justice Rares’ comments on the backing of Ashby’s case.
    Brough was cheeky/foolhardy enough to appear on the programme. To any reasonable viewer he shows himself to be a repeated liar on this issue. He was involved in a collective action of subterfuge, unlawful intrusion and deceit against Slipper and probably against the Gillard Government.
    The programme also shows that Pyne publicly and repeatedly lied about his involvement in the case.
    The programme soft-soaps its exposure of Ashby’s political actions; and in particular does not challenge his claim that he dropped the case for emotional and financial reasons. There is reasonable suspicion that the concerted actions against Slipper were dropped because of what could have been exposed in court; some bits of which were exposed in this programme. On this decision it is difficult to believe that Ashby is telling the whole truth. Even by what this programme shows it is questionable whether the decision was entirely his.

    Brough does not deny Abbott’s knowledge and involvement; and it is noteworthy that Abbott when interviewed repeated what seems a rehearsed answer, that he had “no specific knowledge” of the Ashby/Slipper affair. This reply prompts the question, what was the extent of his ‘general knowledge’ of the matter? Can we safely assume that as Pyne and Brough have both been outed as serial liars on this matter that Abbott knew nothing of legal or constitutional relevance about their activities?

    Ashby has dropped his case. All the more this indicates that this matter needs formal inquiry, of sufficient power and ambit. As they have the ear of the Government, the MSM should be demanding it. The much-publicised Slipper case – over $900 – and the equally sensationalised Craig Thomson case, are small matters compared to this.

    Ah, just remembered; there is an Opposition. Are they likely to do anything? If not, why not?

  83. stephentardrew

    Ashby fizzle. No real meat on the sandwich. Without evidence the LNP will just ignore the accusations and claim ignorance. Ch9 knew it was a lemon and ran it merely for the ratings. You know burden of proof. Ashby did himself no service with the I am the victim rot. Tried to play the game with the big nasty boys but was out of his depth. His claims my have been legitimate but that is a matter for the appropriate complaints procedures and the courts. The LNP’s continual post election lies and vilification of Julia have much more solid foundations than this circus. Brough was simply covering his but by appearing on the program knowing, with no hard evidence, there is no legitimate claim. He looks bad but who in the LNP does not. Its more important to get Labor to show some spine by ignoring the focus groups and push polls and stand for human rights, honesty and decency.

  84. Florence nee Fedup

    What is clear, is the realisation that if Ashby proceeded, he had little chance of proving his case. Justice Rares judgement points to this. What this mob needed was a way to keep the matter simmering. Yes, drop court action,. Then come onto Sixty minutes to reignite the allegations. Puts Slipper in the position, where he has to take action against Ashby or lump it. Also makes him look bad, when he has his appeal coming up.

    Slipper was convicted on incidents that happened years ago, when he was still in the party and great friends with Abbott. Nothing to do, with what was raised by Ashby.

  85. All's Not Lost

    It may have been a bit of a fizzer, but not entirely. Brough is an idiot. What the hell was he doing on the show? Talk about putting yourself in it. The investigation into him by the AFP that was suspended when Ashby appealed, is now almost certain to not just quietly disappear, and it will be Brough’s fault. What a bizarre performance. He couldn’t even manage to deny the prior knowledge of Abbott and others, as randalstella said.

    The show also highlighted what a slimy, lying piece of work Ashby is. Discontinues his court case partly because Slipper is suffering mental distress then goes on 60 Minutes and trashes the guy? What a turd. Who is ever going to employ this guy in the future?

  86. randalstella

    Stephen Tardrew,
    Your response does not reflect the programme.
    No evidence? How about much of what Ashby says? In particular Ashby clearly indicates that Pyne and Broiugh have been telling direct lies throughout the affair. If Brough appeared on the programme to cover for himself, he has done the opposite. And the interviewer has him involuntarily implying Abbott’s involvement.
    Burden of proof? The matter is certainly serious enough for this to be tested in formal inquiry. Brough’s appearance on 60 Minutes shows him to be a very weak link in the LCP defence.
    Royal Commissions have been called on very much less, on less important matters. .

  87. Kaye Lee

    Why are they not pursuing the question of who referred Slipper’s cab charges to the AFP against the Minchin protocol which saw our PM repay $9000 for his book launch tour? Was it Brandis? Tony’s defense that his office made an error does not wash – I assume he realised when he travelled in a comcar to his book signings that he was NOT entitled to do so and so he was just as guilty as peter Slipper of knowingly defrauding the taxpayer.

  88. Kaye Lee

    May 2012…..

    Mr Pyne and Mr Ashby met late on the evening of March 19 and enjoyed drinks together for some two hours in Mr Slipper’s office.

    When Mr Slipper returned to his office, Mr Pyne promptly left.

    Mr Pyne rang back later the same evening to request Mr Ashby’s mobile phone number.

    Mr Pyne confirms the meeting took place but says he can “not remember” asking for Mr Ashby’s mobile number.

    “I don’t remember ever having asked for Mr Ashby’s number,” he said.

    “I have met Mr Ashby on three occasions, and I have never had any need to phone him.”

    Nevertheless, Mr Pyne continues to deny he had any prior knowledge of the claims Mr Ashby made in the Federal Court documents or that he had ever had a discussion with the staffer over his concerns about Mr Slipper.

    A source close to Mr Slipper’s office told the National Times that, during the evening of March 19, Mr Ashby revealed personal details to Mr Pyne, a claim Mr Pyne strenuously denies.

    “I have nothing to hide,” Mr Pyne said. “I was simply passing the time of day. We had a beer and a political discussion.”

    Mr Pyne said that it was not unusual for him to socialise with Mr Slipper’s staff in the Speaker’s absence.

    On Sunday, Mr Pyne told Sky News that the first knowledge he had of Mr Ashby’s Federal Court action was when he read about it in the News Ltd press the previous Saturday.

    Mr Pyne repeated he had never discussed with the staffer the allegations of the misuse of Cabcharge dockets, nor the sexual harassment claims made in the Federal Court civil case.

    Asked on the ABC’s 7.30 last week if there was evidence to suggest Mr Ashby had received help from the Coalition in preparing his Federal Court claim, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott replied:

    “Not that I’m aware of.”

  89. Kaye Lee

    Another incongruity….

    Why would a 33 year old man go and seek advice from a 21 year old kid who had been in parliament for just over a year about what to do about sexual harassment????? Why would that kid not refer to the Parliamentary Procedures guidelines? Why would that kid then see Christopher Pyne as the appropriate person to take the matter to? Wyatt Roy should be made to answer a few questions and the AFP should be forced to reveal who made the complaint about Slipper and when. THEN we might get some truth.

  90. Kath Malcom

    Explosive pffft nothing in that interview that we didn’t already know, James Ashby is vindictive, he didn’t get what he wanted so he screwed slipper, he didn’t get what he wanted off whiney Pyney, so now he is getting poodle pyne and rest of conspirators back…lol it’s like a long standing TV drama, that needs ratings now

    Ashby was used up and spat out, and he needs to shut his big trap and stop advertising himself as the victim, he played the game he lost. Now piss off Ashby and wait for your Karma, what you put out there you get back, and Ashby will go from the victim to perpetrator of lies in 10 secs flat, what a pack of immature men, playing with peoples lives in a dangerous way,
    Slipper is no angel and he has been destroyed, Ashby works out of a garage as a graphic artist, we know who lost and who won, the Coalition won, and Slipper and Ashby lost their lives by the look of it..

  91. Kaye Lee

    Brough admitted that he asked for Slipper’s diary to be photographed and sent to him. That is surely against the law. Watergate brought down a President……

  92. Kath Malcom

    Why did Ashby get the job in first place when he clearly didn’t have the qualifications as Ashbys parents pointed out, he was in over his head in many ways, and that little Roy dude is a snivelling little shit and needs to go back to the rock he crawled from ,
    Sex in the Capitol, a new TV drama cumming your way from Canberra 🙂 staring Whyatt, Ashby, slipper, pyne, brough, and the grand knob Tony Abbott…

  93. All's Not Lost

    “Brough admitted that he asked for Slipper’s diary to be photographed and sent to him. That is surely against the law.”

    That admission was the most significant part of the whole interview for me. Brough has pretty much ensured that the suspended AFP investigation into him will now continue. If it doesn’t, something is very wrong at the AFP. Whether he did anything strictly illegal I don’t know. If I ask someone to do something illegal and they do it, am I also liable? I don’t know how that stuff works in Australia.

  94. Kaye Lee

    Perhaps we should ask for an inquiry that matches all politicians’ diaries against their entitlement claims. Has anyone ever found out what Tony’s “official business” was at his sporting events?

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he is entitled to bill taxpayers more than $1000 in travel and accommodation costs to compete in the Port Macquarie Ironman, as he also attended other community events in the marginal electorate during the 2011 visit. Quick…someone take my photo with a lab coat on.

  95. Kaye Lee

    This is what the Appeal Court judges had to say in their findings vindicating Ashby. Wonder how they are feeling this morning….

    “We are also of the opinion that there was no basis for the primary judge to conclude that Brough was part of any combination with anyone in respect to the commencement of these proceedings with the predominant purpose of damaging Slipper in the way alleged or at all,” the judges found.

    ” Ashby was persuaded to contact Brough by Bradford.

    “Despite Brough’s hesitation at seeing Ashby he did so and referred him to Russell QC. There is absolutely nothing untoward about those matters. That he was the recipient of copies of some of Slipper’s dairy entries does not convert what he did in referring Ashby to Russell QC into something sinister.

    “Beyond this referral there is no evidence which links Brough in any way to the decision by Ashby to commence proceedings or as to what claims would be made in any such proceedings.

    ” Evidence that Brough had an “animus” toward Slipper does not alter this conclusion.

    ” Ashby’s unchallenged sworn testimony was that he was not commencing his action at the instigation or behest of any member of parliament, State or Federal, or any political party.

    “This evidence is neither inherently improbable nor do we consider that it is contradicted by other evidence.

    “For reasons we have explained, Ashby, on the face of it, pursued alternative approaches to deal with his complaints: one legal and the other political.

    “He wanted vindication of his legal rights but also wanted to stop Slipper hurting other staff.

    “There is no reason to think that seeking that second objective politically, including providing excerpts from Slipper’s diary, was either wrong or necessarily meant that his predominant purpose in bringing the proceedings was to harm Slipper.

    ” Slipper withdrew an allegation he had made in the proceedings that what Ashby had done in relation to his diaries was unlawful.”

  96. Kath Malcom

    Brough was always in it up to his neck, but because the media were on the bandwagon to destroy the labor party, brough got off with not a lot of scrutiny, it was all on the labor party and how they had a sexual perpetrator and fraud in their ranks then, even though those cab charges were charged to gov when Slipper was in liberal party, what a joke the media have a lot to blame for this circus now, and Leigh sales is back, won’t be watching that show anymore, she is as weak as piss when it comes to being an interviewer, running second behind Chris the weakest link Ulhman…

  97. stephentardrew

    Randastella: I would hope you are right but the point that Kaye makes about Abbott’s free corruption ride demonstrates there is little hope of a Royal Commission. Too many nervous, and probably guilty, politicians left and right to proceed.

    As for Brough even if he is investigated the fall of one does not portend that fall of all.

  98. Kaye Lee

    From IA, Ashby has form…

    In 2002, Mr Ashby resigned from Newcastle radio station NX-FM and pleaded guilty to making abusive calls to a drivetime host from a rival station.

    DJ Paul Fidler has told the Sunday Telegraph the calls “freaked me out”.

    “He knew stuff about me; my real name, where I lived, that I was riding a bike to work,” Mr Fidler said.

    While on air in 2002 he had three calls from Mr Ashby, posing as a mystery caller.

    When Mr Morrison told the caller he was being taped, court documents reveal Mr Ashby said: “Yeah, go for it you f … . . g psychopath. Next time I see you riding on your f … . . g bike I’ll hit you, you idiot, all over the sloppy road, you dumb p … k. F. . k it, if I was your mother, I would have drowned you at birth.”

  99. Kaye Lee


    that article about the Credlin emails is dynamite….or should be. WE NEED A FEDERAL ICAC!!!!!!!

  100. david linehan

    Suspect although do not know, the octopus arms of the Abbott/Brandis/Pyne influence envelope our Judicial and Law enforcement agencies. Their pursuing of Julia Gillard over a supposed never proved, cheque for $5000 being an illegal gift for renovations to her home fade into bloody ridiculous, as more revelations effecting the three of them plus others in this corrupt Govt surface.
    It is worth remembering Labor MP and lawyer Graham Perrett, has had a substantial request with the AFP for months asking for an investigation into many aspects of the Ashby case. The Feds have so far refused to take any action, citing originally they couldn’t as the matter was before the Court.
    Now Ashby has stopped any further action, there is nothing to bar Graham’s request being complied with or, supply reasons why not. Last I heard despite him recently requesting yet again an investigation be mounted, silence.
    Octopus still alive and enveloping?

  101. Roswell

    Well that interview was a fizzer if you ask me.

  102. randalstella

    Stephen,your claim that if Brough falls others will not follow makes no sense.
    The programme is no fizzer at all. Even what it seems not to want to investigate or expose further it bookmarks for others. What did people expect of 60 Minutes?
    I am sure that the LCP would have bargained for a lot less. They offered up Brough as spokesman/denier of everything. I do not expect they will want to do that again. But, they may have no more choice than they had to ward off this programme.. Apparently Pyne is considered less expendable. Under pressure of investigation, expendability can spread like a virus.
    The LCP mindset is for smearing allegation and spoiling. Investigation puts them at a disadvantage – of being in no position but baldly to deny everything, evading questions; as Hayes has Brough doing. They would have much more difficulty getting away with that approach under due process. Perjury is a very dicey strategy if others are aware and waiting for it. It carries weighty and lasting sanction. It does not depend on MSM response.

    Brough was involved in a clearly unlawful intrusion into Slipper’s personal records which he could not but admit; on Commonwealth property, in the Speaker of the HOR’s office, without his knowledge and against any implied consent. It looks bizarre given the stress on security these days. Of course, Ashby is also liable. The law on such actions in such peculiar circumstances would not be less stringent than general law for the protection of personal property. That they had to choose Brough as blusterer shows what shaky ground the LCP are on; if anyone with the means is willing to keep them there.
    The obvious example is Watergate. And this is more serious; as possible action against an elected Government. Do we have the investigators to do the job the Americans did?

    The LCP look to be relying on bluff/blackmail to deter any such action – permanently. That’s a much longer bow to draw than the immediate effectiveness against Slipper and the Labor Government. What we do not need is another suitably delayed exposure, say in 2030, long after this mob of gangsters have destroyed this country. Effective accountability is sooner, not later.

    The question remains, as many people have asked the ABC directly: where is 4 Corners when such an obvious case for objective investigation is at hand? I am sure its journalists would need to be restrained from not presenting something after all this time. May their fight to produce a programme on this win against the Tory threats from within and from without.

  103. Florence nee Fedup

    Roswell, could be that they have lit a slow burning wick. One that might blow this putrid mess in their faces.

    ABC 24 giving it the full treatment. Pyne got hard questioning for once.

    Palmer has not put his two bobs worth in yet.

    The police now have no excuse to go ahead with the investigations they put on hold because of the on going court case.

    Not sure how all this will affect Slippers appeal. If he is unsuccessful, the length of his sentence,

    Abbott today treated Ashby allegations as proven, Ashby as a badly treated victim.

    Then maybe Slipper could appeal, but this seems unlikely, unless there is some law firm out there, that believes in justice.

    The truth is this mob is trashing our democracy and judicial like none before them.

  104. Anne Byam

    I agree with randalstella ….

    There were many sizeable pluses to the programme …. as far as having either directly, or indirectly – a ‘go’ at the Government.

    * While we commenters here, hoped that the Abbott Gov’t would indeed be rocked, we were somewhat disappointed. Most of what was said by Ashby came straight out of the Judgement handed down by Judge Rares in the matter “Ashby v Commonwealth of Australia (No 4) [2012] FCA 1411”.

    However, there would have been hundreds of thousands in viewing land, who not only knew next to nothing about the matter, but certainly would NEVER have read the Judgement for themselves. So a lot of it would have been fresh news to them. That’s a plus … a sizeable plus at that.

    * Have never been too fond of Liz Hayes, but I cannot see anywhere that she sought to ‘protect the Government’ as some here thought she would, being a reporter employed at Channel 9 – who are a right wing lot. She in fact did NOT DO the Government ANY favours whatsoever. That also is a good plus ….

    * One could almost be forgiven for thinking that this broadcaster Ch. 9, chose the eve of Abbott’s election, to dish some dirt. Or at least to try and drag some out. I believe ( not sure about this ) that the photographing of Ashby’s journals, and admitted to by Brough – would be a breach of some form in legalese. Especially where the photographing took place. So that’s the 3rd plus … that Brough showed himself to be what he is – a slimy character at best, and that he aided and abetted some law to be broken.

    I believe Ashby sought to bring the actual judgemental summary to the attention of viewers, but they only got a part of the way through that. It indeed would have to be a TV series to cover everything in THAT finding. In that respect, Ashby did not lie … he only went through what has been previously documented.

    * Another BIG plus ( in my opinion ) was that Ch 9 chose to show Christopher Pyne at his worst. They would have had footage by the mile to choose from – to show this creature to the viewing public, but they chose one of the ugliest of rants imaginable by Pyne, – and not just once – they showed it twice, if not 3 times. That kind of exposure imprints on viewers. They will never be able to unring THAT bell. Pyne is THE most obnoxious creep I have ever laid eyes on. …. That’s something else that the general viewing public would never have seen … as most of his ravings and out of control attacks, have been confined to the House of Reps. question times. Not everyone watches THAT.

    Ashby has done what countless others have done before him …. gone public to expose what the public would never get a chance to see, despite the many coverages by the MSM – sparodic at times, but ongoing. … But I don’t think for one moment that Ashby is blameless.

    Please correct me if wrong …. but I am under the distinct impression that all matters have been dropped now – judicially. Politically and personally …no. That will not end, but may well fade into oblivion one day.

    I am now wondering when Ashby’s book will be published. ?? Often follows that an ‘interview’ of such kind, precedes the publishing of a book.

    * All in all, if we expected a bomb we didn’t quite get it. If we wanted some naughty ‘gay’ story – we got that. If we wanted DOUBT to be thrown as to the veracity of this Government …. we got PLENTY. But not enough ( at this stage anyway ) to ‘bring down the Government’.

    The people will bring it down – one way or another. And last night’s programme, goes another step towards that.

  105. Anne Byam

    @ david linehan …. I read the Independent Australia commentary you provided a link to.

    Is that newspaper, allegedly NOT in the Government’s corner ? Because I found that report to be very decidedly, ‘right wing ‘and in the Government’s favour.

    In that article was ” There was no way Channel 9 were going to do anything to damage the LNP government. ” …. that’s what the writer believed perhaps, or what he hoped would be the case.

    Just saying …. would like your take on that article if you care to comment. I was rather taken aback by it, to be honest.

  106. mars08

    hahahahaha… and yet.. oh and yet…. I overheard three colleagues talking about the 60 Minute story. And what they took away from it was that Peter Slipper is a “weird bastard”. That’s all.

  107. mars08

    Oooops. No. Wait! They also understood that Slipper was “corrupt” because he’d been caught rorting the system.

    You can lead a horse to water…

  108. Kaye Lee

    Isn’t there a law that states that evidence that is obtained illegally is inadmissible? Why is Peter Slipper facing sentencing over $900 of cab charges while Tony Abbott freely admits to defrauding the public – “I had to visit the cancer institute to justify claiming expenses to go to a social gathering.”

  109. rossleighbrisbane

    Dynamite. But only in the sense that it could blow up if someone lights the fuse. Ashby was playing with matches in a different room.
    Of course, the danger is that the more Oyne opens his mouth, the more likely he’ll say something that contradicts what he said yesterday. Or something just plain stupid.
    Or even,”That’s not how you light a match, James!”

  110. david linehan

    Anne I can assure you Dave Donovan and Independent Australia have been leading battlers for justice in Ashbygate. May I suggest you browse through the many articles and references in support of the investigating and undoing of Pyne, Brough and Ashby. that will answer your question I suspect.

  111. randalstella

    Lead the boys to beer. The ‘ruling class mentality’ is supplied by the ruled.

    Anne, I’ll take an article from that source as read – by you. I couldn’t be bothered. I would have predicted that anything – anything – from 60 Minutes would be treated there as excuses made for and by the Ruling Class.
    In that way progressive thought is open to sabotage through its inherent complexities which bring inevitable disagreements and misgivings;while the reactionary forces are to be treated as monolithically solid, without vagaries or leaked disparities. As if they do not have enough power anyway.
    From that source also there would be the inevitable precious assumption of moral proprietary right over the issue.

  112. david linehan

    mars it appears your 3 collegues ma be a little weird. Sounds as if they found Ashbys discourse titilating

  113. mars08

    @david linehan

    How to disagree with you on thay.

    They are just average blokes who have no information about the Ashby, Brough, Slipper saga. They don’t know the back-story and only remember a few scattered headlines.

    These blokes are just as distracted and disengaged from politics as most Australians. They can’t understand what the fuss is about and aren’t interested in considering the big picture. It’s just too hard! Certainly they aren’t worried that any crime has been committed. Instead they just see (and comment on) the strange characters and their strange ways.

    Sad to say, I’m quite sure that vast majority of 60 Minutes viewers would have looked at the story the same way.

  114. david linehan

    is good, we will agree to disagree 🙂

  115. corvus boreus

    As the next election approaches, hand your colleagues crayons, and suggest they use them to deface the ballot sheet.
    Tell them Ned Kelly would approve.
    It might be three less votes for a continuation of Tony’s mutant menagerie.

  116. Anne Byam

    @ David Linehan …. I have read back to June , the reports from Independant Australia – from your link – thank you for that.

    It may appear to sway towards protecting the Government, but is quite prejudiced …. against one person ( James Ashby ) … who, when it is all said and done, may well HAVE a reason to be offended, have felt sexually harrassed, and in some ways – abused. By the same token, he is obviouisly not blameless in this situation either. …. Always takes two to tango.

    It’s one of those cases of – ‘I said – he said’. The burden of proof for sexual harrassment in ANY situation, is onerous.

    Quoting from an article – “We have searched long and hard, but we have found not one instance of verifiable harassment. There are, however, lots of instances of verifiable lies “. from :,6590 The article goes on stating ” James blathers on” …. those 3 words get the message across.

    This is incorrect reporting. There WAS verifiable harrassment, ….. but as always, it depends on a) who is writing about it, b) WHY they are writing about it in a specific way, and c) who is reading it, and the way it is being read ?? All very very subjective.

    While I have no wish to enter into contentious debate with you David, I still see a ‘sway’ towards not necessarily covering the truth ( but then what of the MSM always does THAT ! ) … but a distinct leaning towards damning James Ashby … who might well have had a legitimate beef, …… or not. Thing is, we don’t actually KNOW – do we ? While the articles certainly appear to damn Ashby, it also might well appear to uphold the Abbott Government. Then again, it could simply be a case of a journalist writing as much controversial material as possible. After all, look at what that has achieved for the likes of John Laws, Alan Jones, and Derryn Hinch. BIG TIME PULICITY,, and the making of big bucks.

    Wheels within wheels here. And always depends largely on the reader.

    Frankly, I think this is a case ( in the first instance ) … of a guy, not being at all attracted to another guy. The older guy who is making overtures, is using his powerful position to try and manipulate a young professed gay guy, into manouvres that would please, and titillate the older bloke – in this case ( according to James Ashby AND the judicial judgement handed down ) … Peter Slipper. It does not take Einstein to recognise the forensic evidence available in that judgement. .. it is all there to see – if anyone cares to look.

    A bloody nasty business, the whole lot of it … and one that most likely will NOT go away quickly.

  117. 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?

  118. Anne Byam

    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.)? ”

    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.

  119. corvus boreus

    Anne B,
    I peck.
    “Always takes two to tango”.
    I have, whilst cleaning, danced the tango with mop/broom. I led. I do not know that the mop/broom knowingly or willingly participated.
    “There WAS verifiable harassment.”
    Please verify.
    P.s. is BIG TIME PULICITY a major flea infestation?

  120. Anne Byam

    @ Corveus. ref. your comment at 8.02 pm.

    Now wouldn’t THAT be a pearler. Imagine the chaos. !!

    No viable votes …. no votes at all. OMG ….

    At least it might bring about some Constitutional crisis that would oust the current Government. !!

    (sigh ) …. and ( dream ) …. 😉

    As for your next comment, I think I must leave that for you to ponder … it’s your comment after all. Have another look and get back to us !!

    …… but I do enjoy your style.

  121. corvus boreus

    Anne B,
    I acknowledge that my broom-bada antics are my own affair, but I know of no ‘verification’ of any of Ashby’s harassment claims.
    P.s., the post-script was a pure pulex pedantry peck.

  122. All's Not Lost

    “There WAS verifiable harrassment”

    There was no such thing. Ashby’s case was utter tripe. Rares essentially said so and the subsequent appeal case did not – did not – address that aspect of Rares findings (it wan’t intended to).

    Slipper is a slimeball, always has been, but the main point of this case is what the LNP did or did not do to destroy him. The evidence, at least circumstantially, heavily supports the view that Ashby was an LNP plant in Slipper’s office for the sole purpose of bringing him undone.

    Ashby as “victim” is an unsustainable perspective. Nothing – quite literally nothing – supports that notion. His initial affidavit to the court was a farce and could never have advanced an actual sexual harassment suit. But then, that was never going to happen anyway.

  123. Anne Byam

    @ Corvus B and All’s not Lost …. how much proof do you need as to ‘verifiable harrassment’ …. ??? And what indeed IS ‘verfiable harrassment’ in your humble opinions ? Either move on now to the next comment, or read this – if you dare —-

    As I have said before, it often comes down to “He said, I said” statements. They end up being almost null and void, especially in a case such as this. And you would HAVE to know that.

    From the judges summary :

    (6) ” Mr Ashby had kept all the text messages on his mobile phone and that they had been forensically examined to ensure that they were genuinely sent. [ this, throughout the summation, applied to ALL text messages to AND from Ashby and Slipper ] ”

    23 … “The Commonwealth’s points of claim had alleged that the proceeding against it was an abuse of the process of the Court because Mr Ashby had brought it for the predominant purpose of damaging Mr Slipper and aiding his political opponents. ”

    These are but two … ‘out of entire context if you like’ statements in the judgement handed down. ( I am not about to copy and paste massive amounts of the judgement here !! Am I ? ) The judgement ultimately, resulted in a case for the defendent – the ‘Commonwealth’. However, $50,000 was handed over to Mr. Ashby by ‘the Commonwealth’ provided he ceased all claims against it, but excluding any claims against Comcar and Peter Slipper.

    If you have no wish to further educate yourselves, as to the content of the judgement – and I mean ALL content … !!! then that is your affair.

    But in case you do … here is the link. I suggest you allow a minimum 2 hours of reading or more, time to digest it.

    Ashby overstepped many political and legal marks, to his ultimate undoing, but only in his pursuit of what he considered ( along no doubt with his barrister !! ) … to be initially and only a sexual harrassment claim against Slipper. The court was apparently impressed with motions ( put by Slipper with or without counsel – he represented himself at a later stage ) …. as to ultimately quash anything in Ashby’s favour.

    I might add, absolutely NOTHING was left out of the summation – including all the tid-bits of sexual innuendo and misconduct.

    However, this little pearl was dropped in to the judicial summary :

    ” In any event, the $50,000 paid by the Commonwealth ensured that Mr Ashby recovered more than he would have been awarded in damages and pecuniary penalties against both the Commonwealth and Mr Slipper if he had established his claims relating to the relatively trivial incidents of sexual harassment he pleaded. ”

    Who paid the $50,000 and why ? It was paid alright ( sub no. 14 and 201 ). And paid to the tune of MORE than if he had won the suit.

    Q. Who or what is Judge Rares ?

    And so on with the legal speak : part of 196 ” It may be a coincidence that Mr Ashby suggested to Mr Slipper the idea of becoming Speaker just as Mr Brough began to move towards challenging Mr Slipper for LNP pre-selection for his seat and Mr Ashby ended up in an alliance in late March 2012 with Mr Brough to bring down Mr Slipper after he became Speaker. It is not necessary to make any finding about this or about whether Mr Slipper did sexually harass Mr Ashby in any of the ways alleged. It is also not necessary to consider whether these proceedings are “vexatious proceedings” within the meaning of r 6.02 or if that expression has a different meaning in r 26.01(1)(b) under which the Court can give summary judgment if “the proceeding is frivolous or vexatious”.

    And further : 197 For the reasons above, I am satisfied that these proceedings are an abuse of the process of the Court. The originating application was used by Mr Ashby for the predominant purpose of causing significant public, reputational and political damage to Mr Slipper. >>>>

    Pardon me, but I was always under the impression that a ‘coincidence’ was not considered in legal terms … it is either a yes – or no. Nothing more. It is however possible that the Judge was displaying his own difficulty in coming to a decision, in the long run.

    Whether you both – or any of you have read all this, is neither here nor there, as far as I am concerned. I have produced my reply in good faith, and it’s up to you to discard it or not.

    Frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn.

  124. randalstella

    60 Minutes has brought attention back to the very serious comments of Steven Rares of the Federal Court. It is incumbent on those concerned for the fair and constitutional working of Parliamentary democracy that these matters now be followed through as a priority. Ashby’s admissions on the programme open him to charges of perjury.
    Among the childish and self-important rubbish sent to me from another site, there is the claim that Brough came over well in the interview by Hayes. This is nonsense to anyone who watched the broadcast without a predisposing puerile agenda to denigrate the programme and interviewer. This site asks for donations for its ‘investigations’. May its staunch advocates give generously.
    I note also footage from Lateline, which ‘reports’ the renewed debate dismissively. Lateline has a most unpleasant and untruthful allegiance with Brough, going back years to the sensations contrived for the N.T. Intervention – when a Brough staffer (when he was Minister under Howard) appeared on Lateline as if he were a social worker. Lateline knew of his real identity, and of his lies. They have never retracted the wild claims made by them and Brough.
    In the course of this, Lateline impugned an indigenous elder; ambushing him as if interviewing him on another matter; and then creatively editing the interview as if the man were avoiding complicity with widespread rape of children. There are monsters at the ABC. LCP-type monsters.
    These people you cannot but help fund through your taxes. Elsewhere, please exercise caution.

  125. Kaye Lee

    “PETER Slipper’s lawyer in the James Ashby saga has called for the Australian Federal Police to step up its investigation into Mal Brough.

    Simon Berry told the Daily late last night Mr Brough’s admissions in the explosive 60 Minutes interview warranted the AFP to continue its probe.

    Mr Brough admitted to reporter Liz Hayes he had asked Mr Slipper’s staff to photograph the former Speaker’s diary.

    The Member for Fisher said he was doing this for the sake of the electorate he would later represent.

    However, Mr Berry said this was the role of police, not Mr Brough.

    “Mr Brough’s startling admission is a matter that should be taken up by police,” he said.”

  126. Kaye Lee

    In a media release issued today (8/9/14) Labor’s Member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, reckons he’s going to raise the matter when Parliament resumes:

    “I will be speaking on this issue when Federal Parliament resumes. I witnessed, sometimes on a daily basis in February, March and April 2012, what appeared to me an entirely professional relationship between Speaker Slipper and his constituent advisor James Ashby.”

    Danby claims Ashby was paid $100,000 by Channel Nine for his ‘tell-all’ expose. That’s about a dollar a lie. He doesn’t say that Ashby’s spin doctor Anthony McClellan is a former 60 Minutes producer.

    Danby compares Ashby’s integrity to a $3 note.

    “If he’s telling the truth this time, there’s a powerful message to all MPs from this: the politics of personal destruction waged by Tony Abbott in Opposition, and carried through to his obscenely expensive Royal Commissions into Prime Ministers Rudd and Gillard, have no proper place in Australian public life, Danby said. The admission from Mal Brough, Mr Slipper’s successor in the Federal Seat of Fisher, that he directed a G. Gordon-Liddy-style black-ops misappropriation of the then Speaker Slipper’s confidential diary is one that Prime Minister Abbott should very carefully consider.”

    Danby reckons he’s also going to try to get the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions involved:

    “Taking him at his word, James Ashby claims to have been induced by Liberal MPs into making his sordid claims against Peter Slipper. What he told 60 Minutes last night about these alleged inducements directly contradicts what Mr Ashby put on oath in a sworn affidavit (See attached copy of the false account in Ashby’s affidavit). Accordingly, I will be writing to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions today, inviting him to immediately investigate whether perjury has occurred. At the very least this claim of inducements should have been available to the appeal judges when they reviewed Justice Rare’s judgement on these matters.”,6876

  127. corvus boreus

    Anne B,
    Confess I skimmed the jargonese of the court summary you linked to and read the gossipy bits(good info, thanks).
    Lots of allegations of serious harassment. The verification of the allegations would have come with the conclusive judgement of the court. As that did not occur, there remains allegations of harassment, their veracity neither definitively nor conclusively confirmed or denied.

  128. All's Not Lost


    “38 What is singular about all of the text message exchanges that Mr Ashby had with his friends and others in the period prior to the commencement of these proceedings is the lack of any complaint by him of feeling sexually harassed. And his friends’ texts had no words of comfort for Mr Ashby as a victim of some traumatic experience of that kind. The exchanges between Martin, Mr Nagle, Ms Hubbard and Mr Ashby on 3 and 4 February 2012 do not read like those concerning a man claiming to feel sexually harassed or emotionally distressed by such conduct. Rather they read as if the participants were discussing the political ramifications of Mr Ashby revealing material that was sexually and politically embarrassing and that would compromise Mr Slipper and his position as Speaker if it appeared in the public domain. At least initially, Mr Ashby was contemplating that Mr McArdle, an LNP politician, would use the text messages against Mr Slipper’s political interests – hence his text that this did not “empower me once the information is passed on … Will I be rewarded or condemned?”. Read in its context with all his texts, I am satisfied that if Mr Ashby were the victim of sexual harassment he would not have speculated with his friend in this way about whether he would be rewarded by revealing it.”

  129. david linehan

    Anne with due respect “Frankly my dears I don’t give a damn”…what the hell are you here in this thread for, you seem to have spent a good deal of time on something you don’t give a damn about”

  130. Don Winther

    @Anne. “Either move on now to the next comment, or read this – if you dare —- ” Good advise Anne I have mooved on, thanks.

  131. Anne Byam

    @ david linehan. Do you know from where that ‘line’ originated (Frankly >>> give a damn ) ? Perhaps not. From one of the most famous of movies, perhaps before your time ? Many here would know the story and the lead up to that comment, delivered by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind” … it was in response to his lady-love Scarlett’s continual and endless manipulations and ‘deliberations’ as to whether she did, or did not, want Rhett in her life. He gave up on her with those words. Considered the most famous of lines from any movie.

    I was in this thread to do what everyone here does, express opinion – and to try and back up some of those opinions with some proof. Not all but some. And you know damn well that’s what ANYONE is here for. And yes, I have spent a great deal of time – way too much to be honest, on something that will go on and on for quite a while. Perhaps the lid is slightly off the Pandora’s box now – from the Ashby / Slipper debacle. So my closing words were those – after commenting that I had in good faith made reply etc…….

    I am somewhat surprised at your questioning comment, but then perhaps I shouldn’t be ??


    @ donwinther …. Glad you ‘mooved’ on.

    I have to suspect that you wouldn’t have had a snowflakes chance in hell, of understanding ANY of the tediously long Rares judgement.

    Anyway, you saved yourself some bother. Good for you.


    p.s. btw … that is ‘advice’ … not ‘advise’. —- use your spellcheck !!

  132. Anne Byam

    Corvus B. ref.. your comment :

    “The verification of the allegations would have come with the conclusive judgement of the court. As that did not occur, there remains allegations of harassment, their veracity neither definitively nor conclusively confirmed or denied. ”

    This in fact …. SAYS IT ALL … in two sentences. Through all that research and composition, that I spent waaay too long on, it is this that I was trying to ask about or convey.

    ( I will however, forever wonder about the $50,000 paid to Ashby by the Commonwealth, in settlement of claims against them / it. )

    Thanks Corvus …. can personally let the matter rest now …. but will occasionally revisit to read comments.

  133. david linehan

    Anne I’m not going to argue with you over a trivial quotation, or its derivation. If you had indicated it was a Gable quote would have assisted your direct meaning as used in the film (yes I do know it), however those of us a little younger do in fact use the phrase to mean I don’t give a damn eg about Abbott, about the weather, about anything, whatever.
    Time to move on and never be surprised, expect the unexpected.

  134. Don Winther

    Sorry Anne I used the verb instead of the noun, once again Thanks for your advise. I will move on again as I have some legal stuff about snowflakes to read.

  135. Anne Byam

    Actually David, you are right. My final comment was somewhat nebulous …. and I should have explained where it came from – and it’s relativity to the topic being discussed. So many ‘deliberations’ etc.

    And we should all expect the unexpected. That’s for sure. I guess life teaches us that one.

  136. corvus boreus

    Don W,
    Apparently each snowflake is uniquely structured to avoid the possibilty of copyright litigation by other snowflakes.

  137. david linehan

    Generous response Anne, thanks, Cheers

  138. Rob031

    A tad off-topic but you may be interested if you have not read this. From The Daily Telegraph today 9/9/14:

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin embroiled in ICAC developer donations probe

    What interested me the most were the reader comments. Lot’s of folks in Tele-Land are not too happy with Abbott and Co.

    (It’s a doozey of a long HTTP link but it seems to work okay!)

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