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Open Justice?

“I fought the law and … Bruce won”: may not be one of the biggest hits of 2023, but it’s currently rating off the charts in the “can’t be unseen” and “stupidest own goal” categories. Picture incel-pinup-Bruce Lehrmann in celebration mode; singing and chug-a-lugging along on Bundy and Coke to a Sonny Curtis and the Crickets’ (post Buddy Holly’s own tragic exit) song about a criminal loser which was a big hit for The Clash.

Whoever leaked it has a sense of humour. Couldn’t possibly be a stitch-up. Kompromat? It’s more than compromising. But will it win him any more fans?

Lerhmann gets over a million views on TikTok. It’s all over corporate media around day five of Bruce Lehrmann v Channel Ten, a brace of concomitant civil defamation cases brought by the self-styled former Liberal “senior adviser” against Ten and tarnished star, Lisa Wilkinson.

Logie and Walkley Award winner, Wilkinson, still has many loyal fans. Yet Ten’s exciting 2024 schedule fails to mention the veteran journalist – despite her being contracted to them until the end of 2024. Suing your boss to meet your legal costs may not be the best career move. Yet it might be your only option. Especially if you are an outspoken woman who espouses progressive causes.

Should your commentary align with iconic establishment folk heroes, Christian Porter, Ben Roberts Smith or even Bruce Lehrmann, however, you’re spoilt for choice between blind trusts, a Kerry Stokes’ company or Advance with its deep pockets and close links to LNP amongst a rash of new sponsors of our good old (white) men-on-top-status quo.

Wilkinson demands her $700,000 costs now, rather than after Federal Court Judge, The Honourable Justice Michael Bryan Joshua Lee’s judgement. Lee is currently writing that up based on his 15,000 pages of transcript and 1000 separate exhibits, including hours of CCTV footage as well as audio and video recordings. It may take some time.

“Justice must be seen to be done” Lee, an open justice fan, intones, opening twenty-two days’ proceedings, after dismissing four lame arguments from Ten to have Bruce Lehrmann’s civil defamation case taken off-line.

Yet some matters are strictly off-limits in an open society which can arrest anyone it chooses, provided it can invoke national security or detain those who have already served their sentences if they happen to be asylum-seekers; a nation where a government official can be secretly imprisoned in a Canberra gaol.

Similarly, despite its election vows, Labor has rejected a bipartisan Senate report mid- December that finds FOI is not “functioning as intended”; crippled by under-resourcing and resulting in years of delays. More than broken, our FOI system works to obstruct the timely access to information that is the lifeblood of an open, just and democratic society.

On the other hand, the law protects a person’s right to a fair hearing by preventing others from publishing information that may improperly influence a jury or witness.

Lee worries away at the speech Wilkinson gives in June 2022 on accepting a Logie for the Ten interview, a spray which causes the Lehrmann rape trial a three month delay. Lee can’t believe she’s taken prior legal advice. Crown Prosecutor Shane Drumgold says he does warn Wilkinson (who can’t recall his warning) that any publicity she might give to the case could cause Lehrmann’s defence team to apply for a stay. But he declines to vet the speech, “we are not speech-editors.”

Lehrmann Trial Judge, Chief Justice Lucy McAllum, thinks Wilkinson goes way too far.

“What concerns me most about this recent round is that the distinction between an allegation and a finding of guilt has been completely obliterated… The implicit premise of [the speech] is to celebrate the truthfulness of the story she exposed.”

Steve Whybrow SC is more upbeat in an interview with The Australian’s Janet Albrechtsen.

“Frankly, if it wasn’t for Lisa Wilkinson’s speech at the Logies, Bruce would probably be in jail. Thank God for that speech.”

But he would say that wouldn’t he? Steven Whybrow SC says that without the extra material from the interview, together with evidence from the subsequent ACT Sofronoff inquiry, Lehrmann’s defence team would have had eighty percent less on which to build a case.

It would all have been sorted, Whybrow claims, in his summation, if Ms Higgins had gone to the cop shop before the knocking shop of corporate media. It’s in an aside that defies all evidence. Women report bad experiences when they try to report rape to the police. It’s intimidating, degrading, humiliating, embarrassing and mostly futile.

Only one in ten cases of reported sexual assault results in a conviction, although ABS figures show 22% of women and 6.1% of men have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. 92% of women who experience sexual assault do not go to the police.

Seen to be done? So far we’ve seen justice undone in a trial aborted because a juror left his “internet research” into women rape victims who lay false allegations lying in the courtroom.

The pernicious but persistent myth that women lie about rape flies in the face of all evidence but it is behind a rash of tacky tabloid stories. Brittany Higgins is said to have hit the jackpot and now lives high on the hog at taxpayers’ expense. Our corporate media loves to stunt the brain cells of the nation, with cheap populism, fear and sensation while usurping the role of an Opposition in symbiotic thrall to its LNP partners and enablers.

But make no mistake about the Higgins pile-on being exemplary punishment. It’s an effective deterrent to any other woman laying claims of rape. Or in any other way challenging vested interests in our patriarchal corporate state where Murdoch’s powerful media oligarchy effectively tells us all what to think, while others such as Seven, Ten and increasingly our ABC, tag along.

Such is the power of the media that some of our power elite don’t know they’ve been boned until they read about it in one of Uncle Rupert’s tissues. Justice Sofronoff’s probe into the fiasco of Rex v Lehrmann’s rape trial is as toxic as a Menindee fish kill, especially when he emails his report to Janet Albrechtsen; blindsiding the ACT government, which commissioned the inquiry before it has time to process any of it. And pity its DPP.

Former ACT Director of Public Prosecutions, Shane Drumgold, is even more surprised to first read in The Oz, that he’s been soundly chastised by “Cossack” Sofranoff for his “lack of objectivity” and failing to act with fairness and detachment. He applies for a judicial review on the grounds that the Sofronoff inquiry failed to give him a fair hearing, denied him natural justice, breached the law and “gave rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias”.

The report, on the other hand just gushes praise over the virtues of an embattled AFP which does not put a foot wrong ever. Meanwhile a lot of personal data is leaked from Ms Higgin’s phone, surrendered to AFP, because rape is a criminal offence. Yet well after the abortive trial, her texts are being leaked to The Australian’s “planet” Janet Albrechtsen.

You don’t have to confiscate a mobile to access its data, however. When Brittany Higgins says she believes her phone was remotely wiped, Llewellyn says it’s probably a stuff up. Yet seven years ago, government contracts show that ASIC, ATO, AFP and Defence, were paying to use the services of Cellebrite and other phone-hacking programmes. We happily gave them the right to hack our devices two years ago.

However they were obtained, strategic leaks to media fuel a relentless persecution of Ms Higgins. The young woman cannot even seek sanctuary in another country without the kangaroo court vigilantes of a misogynistic media publishing images of her “French Chateau” bought with her “multi-million taxpayer funded compensation payout”.

The “chateau” is a modest house in the sticks and it’s been enabled by a CommInsure compensation payment as a result of the Morrison government’s abdication of duty of care as an employer. But why publish the truth? What readers crave is fiction. Morrison’s office was quick to tell all its friends about a Labor plot to cruel the Coalition’s election chances. It’s now the dominant narrative.

Brittany Higgins’ fiance, David Sharaz is painted as the eminence grise in this myth, a type of malignant puppeteer who uses an impressionable Ms Higgins to embarrass Brigadier Linda Reynolds and destabilise a government. It’s malicious nonsense which above all deprives the young woman of any agency but it’s now so firmly embedded that it has acquired a type of orthodoxy. Allusions to it appear in The Australian’s (paywalled) “Sharaz the Where’s Wally in Higgins’ saga” reporting of Justice Lee’s courtroom drama.

It’s a hoot when Ten, a media company, actually begs a judge to suppress stuff. Lee, who can be a crack-up with his acidulous wit, refuses noting, with unintended irony, above all, that the applicant, Bruce Emery Lehrmann’s, express preference is for live-streaming. He must have seen Lehrmann’s funniest home video.

Ten fails to convince HH that live-streaming is not in the best interests of “litigious” Linda Reynolds’ self-styled “senior adviser”. At one point, its silks dip into speculation. People could get hurt. Again, Lee gives them a serve.

“Open justice should not yield to hypothetical risks of abuse by bad actors.”

Indeed. The show must go on.

And on. Lee live-streams twenty-two days of defo-drama and petti-foggery in Lehrmann v Channel Ten Network Pty Ltd, a marathon of badgering, Whybrow-beating and endless twitting of witnesses who don’t have autobiographical recall of events four years ago. Hours are spent on helping them find the place in the court’s ring-binders.

Any moment now, a replica of the vinyl couch in Linda Reynolds’ office will pop up in court to allow team Lehrmann to demonstrate the improbability of any bruise being sustained while the alleged rapist is drinking whisky, perusing secret files and writing Dorothy Dixers for the incomparably well-briefed ADF Reservist Brigadier Reynolds, who totally dominates Senate QT with her oratory and mastery of detail.

The courtroom drama is a bit tricky because in order to establish its truth defence, Ten has to make a case on the balance of probabilities that Lehrmann did rape Brittany Higgins. This is a civil defamation case about an allegation of rape, a criminal offence. The Briginshaw Principle requires that more convincing evidence is required to establish an allegation on the balance of probabilities if the allegation is of a particularly serious nature.

At the bleeding heart of the case is Lisa Wilkinson’s chat with Brittany Higgins, aired in an episode of The Project, 21 February 2021. In that interview, Lehrmann alleges, he was accused of raping Ms Higgins. Anyone who knew him would have known that it was him.

That three other women have now accused Lehrmann of rape is immaterial. Equally irrelevant is that Lehrmann texted a pal asking ‘got any gear’ and saying ‘need bags’ on the night Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations became public, court documents reveal.

Lee reminds all parties of the supremacy of open access to justice and court proceedings. “The decision is a clear statement that Courts will not infringe upon the transparency of court proceedings without a very compelling reason to do so. Issues such as embarrassment, stress or reputational damage will generally not be sufficient note McCullough Robertson’s Guy Humble and Alan Wrigley.

The applicant is former “staffer”, Bruce Lehrmann. Staffer? It’s a grand term for a briefcase-carrier. Office-boy. The only qualification is a show of allegiance to a party.

But where else can any talentless nonentity brown-nose and big-note so much? It’s a gift to any oleaginous grifter with an eye for the main chance. Bruce certainly dreams big and talks himself up to “senior adviser”, even if his CV is full of little gigs. A Walter Mitty who moonlights as an ASIO spook? Bruce is always bigging himself up. Especially on Twitter.

Time for a quick ad-free cross to the inner Lehrmann; a brief update on his latest testimony.

Lehrmann just has to nail what he’s picked up in a bar about a French sub deal. He dashes back to the office at 2:00am Saturday 23 March 2019. The Minister must be briefed for QT at all costs – even if parliament isn’t meeting for at least a week. (The Incredible Sulk, Scott Morrison was, at that stage, hell-bent on having as few sittings as possible.) On principle.

You can tell Lehrmann’s a man with principles. You don’t like his principles? He’s got others. He’s the caring boy-friend in tale 2.0. He dashes back to pick up his house keys. Avoid waking his girl-friend. Higgins says that she woke up to find him raping her.

Forget the keys. It’s a late scotch-on-the-job, despite admitting he tells the AFP that there’s no grog in his office. Of course, that necessitates another lie. In a fourth explanation he tells police he’s working on some of the industry programmes, particularly the Air Force.

Lehrmann is a bit of a party animal. Along with a quiet snort of Bolivian marching powder, he keeps his own mini-bar at work; a single malt or three, along with a bottle of gin.

And boy, can he network. Soon Kerry Stokes, the selfless benefactor of lost causes and savvy recruiter of clickbait, is his pal. The big-hearted, billionaire spots Lehrmann a year’s rent in a luxury pad in Maroubra NSW with bay views. A golden ankle bracelet. All Bruce has to do is to make himself available for the odd on air massage; tell his side of the story.

Bruce can be a goose, it’s true. He has lied, he admits, and he lies about lying but star witness Fiona Brown, does him down. Chief of staff despatched by Morrison to run Defence Industry because the job is just too big for Reynolds, Brown hounds Lehrmann when he forgets to put away a top secret document which he should not have had in the first place. Yet she’s a useless witness. Sex? Can’t rule it in. Can’t rule it out.

Or is the document a ruse? A way to dismiss Lehrmann without a whiff of being on the job in flagrante delicto? Lehrmann says Brittany Higgins was OK around 2:00 am in the early hours of Saturday morning, when he left her naked on a couch where no sexual intercourse took place in Defence Industry Minister Linda Karen Reynolds’ CC office.

Lee is all for open justice. At its heart, he explains “… the open justice principle finds reflection in the requirement to conduct hearings in public and to allow the public to have access to the evidence adduced.”

It’s not to be confused with the buzz-word, transparency, a popular panacea for politics, government, a fanciful alternative to regulation but which ignores the reality that anything that happens in court is accessed mainly via commercial media; mediated in a hostile environment where reporting is seldom objective and which is open to leaks from anyone with a dog in the fight. It also underestimates the nexus between Peter Dutton’s Coalition, and its corporate media supporters, ever-ready since Morrison to politicise or even weaponise reports of the case, as a way of attacking Labor.

Hence Sharri Markson on Sky, Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian and others are quick to publish secret tapes alleging that David Sharaz is helped in coaching Ms Higgins’ by her lawyer, Leon Zwier, on how to answer questions in December’s defamation case. It boosts the dominant popular narrative in which Higgins is defamed as a dishonest gold-digger who fabricated allegations, at first to save her job and then to seek damages. It also adds to the fantastical myth that Sharaz is some kind of Svengali who is cynically deploying his fiancee as a pawn in his politically-charged pro-Labor strategy.

This hypocritical conspiracy theory initially fostered by Scott Morrison’s office with its backgrounding of journalists is above all a cynical distraction from acknowledging the power of the tens of thousands of women attending March 4 Justices rallies across Australia. It seeks to undermine the legitimacy of the protests against a government indifferent to its responsibilities to provide safer, healthier, saner workplaces. Ignore their rights to equality, justice, respect and an end to gendered violence.

Bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination and violence are currently being normalised, as her boss Linda Reynolds says (paywalled) to Brittany Higgins as “things that women go through”.

Higgins’ allegations are diminished and explained away in an onslaught of media attacks fuelled by a steady stream of leaks from a fixer keen to protect vested interests.

Crikey’s Bernard Keane argues, the women’s movement “… could not have been an authentic reaction to a government profoundly out of touch with, if not actively hostile to, the idea of safer workplaces and better protections against sexual assault, bullying and harassment. Instead, it must have been the result of a left-wing conspiracy.”

Lehrmann’s defamation case isn’t up for speculation but it is instructive to note some of the processes by which the judge reaches his verdict. Identity is key.

A cardinal issue is whether it’s possible to identify Bruce Lehrmann from Lisa Wilkinson’s interview. Lawyer and writer Crikey’s Michael Bradley notes that if this is established, there is the matter of Ten’s defences. The truth defence turns on the credibility of both Lhermann and Higgins’ testimony. Ten must prove on the balance of probabilities that Higgins’ allegation of rape is substantially true – which goes to the judge’s assessment of their credit.

The strategically leaked video of Lehrmann, whilst unlikely to further his career, or win him any recording studio contract is ultimately irrelevant. His revised version of I Fought the Law can only win him more incel fans. Let’s just hope it’s not prophetic.

 

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22 comments

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  1. paul walter

    The fact of the last half century at least, the attempt to thwart justice in favour of legalisms.

  2. David Tyler

    Thanks, Paul. In practice, adversarial legalism can fail both organizations and individuals, as it is often too costly for ordinary claimants to use and too unpredictable for organizations to plan for (Kagan 2019).

  3. Andrew Smith

    The treatment given out to the victim in the media vs. the alleged perp says much about Australia; lucky both have powerful supporters.

    However, if the victim does not have powerful supporters, they can be intimidated by legal SLAPPs* e.g. in UK Russian oligarchs, still using them against journalists and writers, especially independent.

    *SLAPP = Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation; protecting power through intimidation.

    EU and US outlawed SLAPPs while UK (is meant to follow) and Australia…?

  4. David Tyler

    Good points, Andrew. Caxton Legal carries this explanation and warning. “Defamation proceedings by the developer against key vocal community opponents to a major development are a classic SLAPP technique. Community members involved in environmental disputes should be aware of this tactic and be careful to avoid public comments that can be construed as defamation. Stating or implying that the developer has lied or that the development is fraudulent or corrupt are examples of defamatory statements.”

  5. RomeoCharlie

    Good read. It ‘s been a while, David. I like the reference to Lehrman as an incel. Poor sad sack.

  6. Canguro

    The suggestion that Lehrmann is a pin-up guy for the incel mob seems utterly weird, as is the term itself and the coterie of men to whom it applies – involuntary celibates. One might well ask why they are attracted to that designation in the first instance; what is it that is so out of whack in their attitudes and approaches to relationships that they fall into this subset of abnormality vis-a-vis social and personal relationships?

    Lehrmann, himself, seems a quite repugnant piece of work, as described by barrister Matthew Collins in his summation at the end of the defamation trial brought by Lehrmann in his reckless endeavour to money-grub millions out of the media vaults; a devious lying sociopathic manipulator who’s escaped the judgement of one criminal trial only to be charged and awaiting the outcome of another for an identical alleged offense.

    To offer any cheers in his direction whether directly or via social media surely reflects as poorly on the sender as it does to the recipient, this nasty piece of self-entitled merde.

  7. New England Cocky

    What an excellent summary of the Lehrmann matter! Thank you David Tyler.
    .
    A political skeptic could reasonably conclude that this is ”state sponsored persecution of Higgins” by the LIARBRAL$, assembling all the powers of elected government, then inappropriately attacking an innocent voter because the unelected political hacks who control pre-selection & promotions correctly fearful that they will be displaced from the Treasury benches by Australian voters totally fed up with their inappropriate racist polices, corrupt practices and personal incompetence.
    .
    Then this also happened in other matters to protect the perpetrator of the NW Shelf theft of revenue for Timor and who retired from politics into a directorship with Woodside, the beneficiaries of the illegal surveillance.
    .
    As a survivor of Australian military service I am amazed that recruiting standards for Officer Training have dropped so low that Leech Reynolds could crawl her way up the system to Brigadier??? It must have been yet another long term private school operation to disable the Australian military in the event of a conflagration.
    .
    I stand with Brittany Higgins.

  8. New England Cocky

    @ Canguro: I think you have been very generous in your description of a relative of Scummo of the Seven Secret Ministries in the democratically elected and regally appointed First Australian dictatorship. Can you imagine any other individual Australian voter having access to this level of political power for personal benefit. property
    .
    Oops!! Silly me!! I am reminded that attractive au pair girls were favoured by Boofhead Duddo and received similar Platinum Card Service while other refugees to Australia were/are still jailed over a decade later.
    .
    Oh well, ya gotta help your mates when you’re in the LIARBRAL$, haven’t you???

  9. Canguro

    @NEC, ah yes, the pair of au pairs… I can admit to a six degrees of separation relation to that fine pair of French beauties; as a young man on the cusp of adulthood and working as a jackaroo for one of the wealthiest pastoral families in the country I was briefly privy to the lifestyle of these immensely rich and politically powerful people; a day in the saddle eating dust and flies behind mobs of sheep or at the yards mulesing or castrating lambs to be capped by showering and togging up to be then admitted into the master’s dining room to be served dinner at silver service level by the serving maid along with fine French wine followed by a postprandial cigar and snifter of port in the smoking room where the price of wool was discussed… one felt keenly the rarity of the experience of being admitted into this inner sanctum of the generationally privileged pastoral baron for whom a million or two was mere petty cash; for whom rubbing shoulders with the highest echelons of political power at state and federal levels was no different to that of the locals down at the pub sharing shouts with their mates, for whom any matter of urgency could be fixed and attended to by a simple phone call into the right ear, confident that the receiver would know that it was in his best interest to arrange for the best outcome.

    I knew the sponsors of the au pairs, they were merely toddlers at that time, but destined to follow in daddy’s footsteps as privileged land barons of a type unknown to the 99.9999% of this country’s population; wealthy beyond compare, and to the manor born. For a man like Dutton, they would appear as kings to be bowed down to.

  10. David Tyler

    Thank you, NEC. The Brigadier rank is a first for someone who has only ever been a weekend warrior. The Conspicuous Conduct medal also has me scratching my head. My father joined the Royal Navy the moment war was declared in 1939 and was on active service more or less for the entire war – including taking part in the liberation of Sicily, which he described as a hair-raising misadventure. He had many stories of shocking incompetence from the officer class and declined a commission but was fairly quickly promoted to CPO. His men thought the world of him. I know what the Chief would say about Linda Reynolds and her type.
    My mother who was homeless at 13 after the family home near Enfield was bombed had to bring up her younger brother, David, 8 for a while during the war. She later joined the WRNS – where a chef taught her how to cook. She, too had a dim view of pretenders.

    My reading leads me to believe that one the minister’s many problems was that regular AFD personnel could never take her – and her BA in strategic studies seriously. I hope I’ve recalled her academic qualifications correctly.
    That and someone’s comment on her interpretation of her role of Minister of Defence as saying YES to everything the forces wanted. As that someone pointed out – that’s not leadership.

  11. David Tyler

    Canguro, the cheers were ironic. Think Bronx cheers. Given the judge has yet to reach a verdict in Lehrman v Channel 10 Pty Ltd and another, a judgement which turns on an assessment of his credit as they say in the law -it is probably not a good idea for us to be less indirect or circumspect. The matter is sub judice.

  12. David Tyler

    As for au pairs and the born to rule squattocracy, NEC and Canguro – I have heard from my friend Bryan who is mates with a group of workers at Nareen – this story goes many years back – where they had been doing a bit of fencing or stock work – when they decide to brew up and have a bite to eat out in the paddock since there were certainly no offers of being invited into the Great House.

    Suddenly – out of nowhere at a rising trot – up comes Mal Fraser on his horse with a whip. Flourishes whip and orders them off his property. “You’ve finished now. You can fuck off home. All of you. No-one’s given permission for you to have a picnic.”

  13. Phil Pryor

    The extensive article’s revelations and the comments which include excellent insiderisms are informative, about a case that makes one’s bowels loose. We are stuck in a conservative neo-neanderthal world here, run by maggotty media manipulators, donors to submissive and compliant politicians, to BIG money meddlers and mischiefmakers, to soulless professionals who assist the top payers. A detached oerson, a soul supporting honesty, decency, civilised balance and justice, is a lost soul today.

  14. David Tyler

    Too true, Phil. Too true. Glad you also found the piece informative.

  15. Terence Mills

    Excellent article !

    The judge now has the unenviable task of determining if Lehrmann was defamed and the extent to which his reputation, such as it was, was damaged taking into account his character, his honour and dignity.

    The remedy Lehrmann seeks is an award of damages – is he too after a chateau in France ? – largely to compensate him for his personal distress and hurt caused by the alleged defamation and reparation for the harm done to him personally, his reputation and his future career prospects.

    In the recent case involving serial litigant Clive Palmer and former WA Premier Mark McGowan each was ordered to pay damages to the other with Palmer paying McGowan $20,000 and McGowan paying Palmer $5,000 in mutual defamation.
    Justice Lee noted that a further hearing on costs would be in “glaring disproportion” to the damages awarded.

    Whilst the Ben Roberts-Smith case failed in the first instance it seems it will be appealed but in the meantime Kerry Stokes, who is bankrolling the Roberts-Smithcase, will have to pay costs to date which on a combined basis are estimated at $25 million.

    Defamation litigation is not for the faint hearted but rest assured the lawyers always win : look at their body language as the feature on the television news leaving court ; they usually have a grin from ear to ear as they anticipate their next meeting with a real estate agent on the coast somewhere.

  16. Clakka

    Excellent article David Tyler,

    Its no small irony that from the very beginning to now, this entire sordid business has been meddled with and obfuscated by, and, under pressure, blundered by every party involved. To use an Americanism, there seems to be little question that the erstwhile incompetent and shallow ‘deep state’ and the tentacles of their flunkies, schmoozers, reputation spinners, junk-yard dogs and legalistic prestidigitators from far and wide have been set to work. For them, ethics, the rule of law, jurisprudence and due process appears to have taken a path under the carpet before emerging covered with dust and detritus trampled-in by its various foot-soldiers. Much of that dust and detritus appears to have agglomerated with their various tainted bodily fluids to give affect to diversions and blockages in the channels and recesses of their bodies, minds and souls.

    That such earfulls of grubby wax can assail and throw off-balance democracy in Oz is sad and dangerous. I am reminded of the genesis and m.o. of the mafia; for idiots and voyeurs its a circus for drama, opinion and stupidity, in reality it is a grave threat to community and economy, and a deadly danger for mafia hunters and prosecutors.

    Never mind the corruptions of Robodebt, the Big4+ and Robotax, this matter goes much deeper, and reveals the boundless immoralities and divide and conquer wiles at play against anyone coming into proximity of power, governance and politics in Oz. It would appear prima facie, the lumbering NACC might be a deterrence, but is of no use in timely prevention and protection.

    In this sordid matter, how many years will it take for truth to drawn from the tangled web, and for all to be brought to account, if ever? One thing seems assured, is that by then the msm will have made sure it doesn’t matter.

  17. David Tyler

    Terence and Clakka, thank you. On the rewards of being a defamation barrister, Terence I was going to add in my article the fact that women barristers may expect to get roughly one fifth of the money awarded in total over the year’s cases. The gendered injustice appears to be increasing over the last few years.
    Clakka, there are no fewer than seven legal actions subtended to or in parallel to Lehrmann V Channel Ten. It’s odds on there’ll be an appeal should it not go the young Caruso’s way – especially with little Kerry Stokes deep pockets behind him. What is certain is that the zone has now been so “flooded with shit” to quote Steve Bannon that any chance of justice being done and being seen to be done is remote, indeed.

  18. New England Cocky

    @ David Tyler: Your father’s ”many stories of shocking incompetence from the officer class” must be intergenerational because the Officer class had not improved by my time. Sadly, I was recently advised by a serving member of my former unit that the same behaviours that disgusted our generation remain as standard operating procedure among fresh private school recruits.

  19. David Tyler

    NEC! I take you back to mid September 1939. Imagine yourself aboard an RN cruiser steaming into the Mediterranean in the early days of the war. Only one of the two bathrooms is locked. Permanently. After a few days a couple of lads break in and discover that one of the officers had commandeered a bathroom to set up his own distillery.

    Or being put ashore at Alexandria and being made to stand out in the sun on the parade ground for two hours. Men were fainting. Others were muttering.
    All because the Commanding Officer couldn’t remember the correct order to dismiss them.
    In the end, he improvised.
    “Men. To your stations. Go.” he warbled, his voice cracking under the strain of nervous exhaustion.
    My father says that the officer very quickly disappeared after a bit of active combat experience shortly after that. Probably friendly fire.

  20. Max Gross

    “Any moment now, a replica of the vinyl couch in Linda Reynolds’ office will pop up in court to allow team Lehrmann to demonstrate the improbability of any bruise being sustained while the alleged rapist is drinking whisky, perusing secret files and writing Dorothy Dixers for the incomparably well-briefed ADF Reservist Brigadier Reynolds, who totally dominates Senate QT with her oratory and mastery of detail.” Well.that cracked me right up, so much so that I gaffed beer all over my laptop. A work of bloody genius!

  21. wam

    40 years ago, a south african school applied to my darling’s school for a student exchange place.
    My darling put a cpndition that the SA school accept any of her students.
    As her school had Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Asian and Maori students, the SA school withdrew. The NT NewS gave the carefully selective clp’s side of the story and their cartoonist drew her as a nazi.
    The dept told her, that she would lose our house, if we sued,

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