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Wipe my Brough . . . I’m in trouble

At the launch of Paul Kelly’s latest book Tony Abbott disagreed with the author’s assessment that Australia’s democratic process was in crisis. He said there wasn’t a crisis that if there was a fault it was with the people who inhabit politics from time to time. It was a dig at Labor but inadvertently he drew attention to his own kind.

Since the airing of the 60 Minutes Ashby interview the murk of conservative gutter politics, with regard to the Ashby/Slipper Affair, has worsened.

James Ashby has left himself open to charges of perjury and Mal Brough (a private citizen at the time) has all but confessed that he incited Ashby to steal Slipper’s diary.


Coalition gutter inhabitant Christopher Pyne has contradicted himself in saying that he had no direct knowledge of Ashby’s accusations other that what he read in the papers. Yet it is alleged he had a meeting with him to discuss the matter and might have offered him some form of job security.

He confirmed that he raised a possible Coalition win at the Queensland 2012 and federal 2013 elections as chances for Mr Ashby to secure a new job.

Before moving on consider this, why did channel nine wait until September 7 to air the interview? It could have done so while parliament was sitting, thereby giving 60 Minutes maximum exposure. Questions would have had to be answered especially by Brough and Pyne.

Had they aired it a week earlier, on Sunday 31 August, it would have been at the start of a Parliamentary sitting week.

It has been suggested that Ashby was paid $100,000 for the interview and the PR man for Harmers Workplace Lawyers, who have been acting for Ashby on a no-win, no-fee basis, is Anthony McClellan, a former Logie winning chief of production at 60 Minutes.

As it stands now Labor backbencher Graham Perret has asked the AFP to urgently investigate the case. It is difficult to imagine they wouldn’t given Brough’s confession on 60 Minutes:

“I would urge the Australian Federal Police to proceed with its investigation immediately, especially given the risk of disappearance for vital evidence.”

The AFP says it has received Mr Perrett’s letter and is “evaluating the matter”.

Further to that, Mr Perrett’s caucus colleague, Victorian Labor MP Michael Danby, has said he will ask the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to examine whether Mr Ashby has perjured himself by changing his story on whether he was offered any incentives to make a sexual harassment claim against his then boss Mr Slipper.

Mr Danby said:

“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?”

I am still seething at this outrageous attempt to eject the Speaker of the House of Representatives and in so doing attempt to overthrow the government of the day. The case brought by Ashby, and the political involvement of Abbott, Pyne, Brough, Roy and undoubtedly many others, was an affront to our system of government. And the Murdoch media were most likely complicit in the sordid affair.

Let’s take a few steps backwards and look at the sequence of events.


Sexual harassment claims were made by Ashby against Slipper. Justice Rares found that it was a vexatious claim and that its real purpose was to bring down the Speaker and cause as much havoc as possible to the minority government.

Later his judgement was overturned by the full court in a split decision and as a consequence we had two judges saying it was more to do with law than politics and two others saying the opposite. The appeal court determined that it should go to court to be sorted out. But then Ashby withdrew making a mockery of the court’s decision. Or, more likely, he didn’t have the money to proceed.

It has always been about power and the price conservatives place on it. In this case they were even prepared to subvert our democracy to obtain it.

Who knows where this will all end up? Will, as they should, the AFP investigate it? Will the DPP take up the matter of perjury against Ashby and possibly warrant a retrial? Why did Ashby go to Wyatt Roy of all people? And once the QC Mr Russell told him there would be no guarantee of a job why didn’t he go back to Pyne and demand an explanation? How did Ashby get the job with Slipper and was he aware of his reputation for sleaze? What was Palmer’s involvement and that of other Queensland National Party members?



Both Pyne and Abbott insist they had no specific knowledge of the events but both are contradictory and by inference say they had a general knowledge. We need to know exactly what that was. Abbott for example needs to explain the mystery of how a press release calling for Slipper’s resignations was on the streets the moment the Telegraph went to press with the story. Metadata records even suggest that the press release was prepared prior to the Telegraph story. Remember the Telegraph was leading the media charge.

And of course within the Federal Court there is an application from June for the Commonwealth to pay $1 million for Ashby’s legal costs. WHY?

Tony Abbott said at Paul Kelly’s book launch.

“It’s not the system which is the problem, it is the people who from time-to-time inhabit it. Our challenge at every level is to be our best selves.”

He should take note of his own words.

“Good democracies can only deliver good government and outcomes if the electorate demands it”.

John Lord.

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  1. bill purvis

    It was obvious from the start the affair was politically connived to bring down the government.

  2. Terry2

    I imagine that somewhere in Liberal Party headquarters Wyatt Roy is currently being groomed on what to say when he finally is allowed out :

    ” I have no pacific, sorry specific knowledge about anything whatsoever no matter the subject or its context”

  3. All's Not Lost

    “warrant a retrial?”

    Retrial of what? I don’t understand. The case was never actually heard.

  4. corvus boreus

    Terry 2,
    I believe the exact script to be;”I have no recollection of any specific knowledge of that particular occurrence.”

  5. John Lord

    Alls not lost.

    You are of course correct. I was meaning that the appeals court might have to review its decision.

  6. stephentardrew

    Can only get worse for them John. Keep up the pressure because mud stick.
    The farce of a union inquiry going over the same old ground with Julia is just another deflection from Abbott and his crew. They just can’t leave their hatred behind.

  7. mysay

    The shredders have already done their job ,that is why this story has taken so long to be aired,but i am a true believer in KARMA

  8. Neil of Sydney

    The main question that should be asked is why did Gillard appoint Peter Slipper as speaker?

    Apparently there were always rumours around Slipper but nobody could pin anything on him.

    Why did Gillard appoint someone to such a high office with so many question marks around this person.

    The answer is obvious. It was to her and the ALP’s advantage and stuff the consequences.

  9. John Lord

    You have a point Neil but if you believe it is the paramount question then you need to dig a little deeper.

  10. patriciawa

    Neil, you’ve answered your own question. She appointed Slipper as Speaker because she knew he was a weak reed within the then Opposition, likely to be flattered by the chance to fill that role and would probably do an excellent job. Which he did. Of course it was to her and the then government’s advantage. Is there anything questionable in that? Men on the cross benches of the calibre of Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott didn’t think so and were happy to join her, the Labor government and Peter Slipper in establishing a stable government from those very unpromising beginnings which could have resulted in an early new election. It’s not “stuff the consequences”, Neil. It’s about weighing up all possibilities and being able to take the considered risks. That’s political skill. I hope you are watching the Royal Commission today.

  11. Wayne Turner

    Sadly I expect the AFP to do nothing,because they are CORRUPT aka puppets for these Libs.Where was the AFP on Abbott’s rorting?

    The Libs involved with this saga should be charged with treason.

  12. Kaye Lee

    If his behaviour was so questionable one would wonder why the National Party followed by the Liberals gave him preselection for thirty years (give or take…he started in 1984).

  13. Kaye Lee

    One wonders why Peter Slipper’s FoI request as to who referred his cab charges to the AFP has not been met. One wonders why the AFP would pursue such a matter considering the amount in question. One wonders why James Ashby, when seeking advice about sexual harassment from a bevy of Coalition MPs, would say and by the way I think he may have filled in a cab charge incorrectly?

  14. Neil of Sydney

    “If his behaviour was so questionable one would wonder why the National Party followed by the Liberals gave him preselection for thirty years

    Most probably because nobody could pin anything on him. You cannot condemn a man on rumours.

    But it was the ALP and Gillard who promoted him to Speaker.

  15. All's Not Lost

    Rumours about Slipper? What kind? That he was sexually flexible or that he tended toward inappropriate behaviour with staff? If we’re talking about the second option, it should have been dealt with, if we’re talking about the first option then Pyne is in that same boat. The reasons for Labor to have helped Slipper into the Speaker’s chair are well known. It was a clever political move. Everyone agrees he was actually a good Speaker.

    Then came Ashby and the sort of politics the LNP love to do. Note that at no stage did anyone counsel Ashby to go through normal workplace sexual harassment channels and procedures.

    John Lord:

    The appeal judges are red faced. They could use some make-up. Rares has probably had a constant stiffy since Sunday after being shown to have been absolutely right.

  16. Neil of Sydney

    “Rumours about Slipper? What kind?

    Well i can only say what i have read in the media. Things like he was rorting cab vouchers. But nobody could pin anything on him.

    He is not the sort of person you should promote. And Gillard did the promoting for dubious purposes.

  17. david linehan

    As the Tory troll Neil is in residence here I shall vacate. Enough is plenty of him

  18. corvus boreus

    Who made Slipper Speaker? Gillard/Labor.
    Why? Shonky politics.
    Take the hour off, nos, this one’s on me. 😉

  19. Michael Taylor

    Neil, I think it’s best that you go away. We really have had enough of you.

  20. Neil of Sydney

    Why?? All i stated was in the media.

    Apparently there were always rumours surrounding Slipper but nobody could pin anything on him.

    Why is that a statement that causes you people to be upset??

    At the time the Coalition were trying to get rid of Slipper because of these rumours, Gillard promoted him to Speaker.

    Surely this is proof of Gillards bad judgement.

  21. Michael Taylor


    Because I said so.

  22. Bill Morris

    Sticking to the point:

    Slipper employed Ashby with the expectation of extra curricular sexual actives

    Ashby was not sexually attracted to Slipper and pissed off by his continuing sexual advances and implied victimisation

    Ashby consulted the homosexual network on how to exploit or at least not be disadvantaged by reporting Slipper’s sexual harassment

    Pyne intimated this could be achieved as there would be future opportunities in State of Federal politics for Ashby

    Brough saw an opportunity to unseat Slipper (to his own advantage) and incited Ashby to copy his employers diary to this end

    As justice is dependant on how much you can afford Ashby was outgunned by Slipper and had to go to the media.

    So what’s all the fuss about? The sleaze of LNP politics in action!

  23. Neil of Sydney

    “The sleaze of LNP politics in action!

    The main sleazy thing i see is that a sleazy politician (Gillard) promoted another sleazy politician (Slipper) to high office for dubious purposes. This while the Coalition was trying to disendorse Slipper and it resulted in the removal of a speaker both sides of politics respected (Jenkins).

  24. nurses1968

    Neil of Sydney

    “This while the Coalition was trying to disendorse Slipper ”
    He was a LNP MP from 1984 to 2013, now 29 years is a fair time to try to disendorse someone,you would think even a dumb fool like Abbott could have done better if they were fair dinkum
    Even you would find that hard to believe, wouldn’t you ?

  25. Michael Taylor

    The main sleazy thing i see is that a sleazy politician (Gillard) promoted another sleazy politician (Slipper) to high office for dubious purposes. This while the Coalition was trying to disendorse Slipper and it resulted in the removal of a speaker both sides of politics respected (Jenkins).

    Neil, I generally try to ignore you, but I have to butt in here and inform you that that is a whole heap of rubbish. 1) Jenkins resigned. 2) How could Gillard promote Slipper when he belonged to a different party?

    Anyway, don’t bother replying. I’ve had a gut full of your antics. Most people here have. I’m sick to death of you continually attempting to derail threads and harping on and on and on about the same old rubbish.

  26. Neil of Sydney

    “Even you would find that hard to believe, wouldn’t you ?

    I doubt they were trying to disendorse him for 29 years. Fact is Labor nominated him for Speaker when his reputation was suspect

    On 14 August 2010, just as the travel abuse allegations were gaining momentum, it was revealed in the Sunshine Coast Daily that a move had been made to attempt to disendorse Slipper in favour of former MP Mal Brough for his seat of Fisher at the next election. However this move was rejected due to an agreement between the Liberal and National parties about guaranteed endorsement for existing candidates.”

    “How could Gillard promote Slipper when he belonged to a different party?

    It was the Labor Party who nominated a suspect politician for Speaker. And that is the main sleazy thing. The ALP nominated a suspect person for high office.

    As a member of the opposition, Slipper’s acceptance of Labor’s nomination as Speaker was considered a “renegade” action and opposition leader Tony Abbott threatened to expel him from the Liberal caucus for his action.

    I would think only the ALP would stoop so low to nominate a suspect person to high office. And of course he did not last long.

  27. stephentardrew

    Sharks hint Neil you know chompy things in the ocean.
    Time for a swim.
    How many times before you take a subtle hint.
    As Ian Anderson noted Thick as a Brick

  28. Troy

    Neil is a man with a limited sphere of comprehension so it shouldn’t be surprising that he keeps regurgitating the same clap-trap ad-nauseam. If you pull the string on his back he also burps & says ‘mumma’.

  29. Mensor Hacker

    @Neil of Sydney: Expect the unexpected

  30. Michael Taylor

    Troy, you’re being too kind to Neil. 😉

  31. Roswell

    I’m guessing that Neil’s days are numbered.

  32. Michael Taylor

    That’s a fairly good guess, Roswell.

  33. Anne Byam

    Q. in the article ….. ” Why did Ashby go to Wyatt Roy of all people? ”

    Not sure these comments belong here … but here goes.

    The question has been asked, why did Ashby seek the advice of a very very young Liberal on-the-rise-star – who was about 20 something at the time.

    I think we need to remember that like remains close to ( or attracts ) like … and it is possible ( only POSSIBLE ) that Wyatt Roy was perhaps seen as a confidante and supporter of someone who Ashby thought ( rightly or wrongly ) was in his own realm of sexual preferences. It IS possible. Am not putting any labels on here – AT ALL.

    Wyatt Roy had supported gay marriage ( I have nothing against gay marriage at all, personally ) …. but that may have been a ‘look in’ to Ashby to enlist Roy’s assistance, and the possibility of other avenues of endeavour. It has always seemed strange to me that a 30’s plus something gay man would seek the ‘wisdom’ of a young guy so much younger than he, ( and so new to the political stage.) Admittedly, this link is a little short of 4 months old. But it could be relevant to the argument.


    Why Ashby said what he said, ( whenever he said it ) and did what he did ( whenever he did it ) …. we will never know, because we cannot inhabit his mind, his thoughts, his grievances or his aims. The same goes for Slipper … we don’t know who or what he is. If one were to believe his wife, he is absolutely wonderful. We, however are not privy to what goes on behind closed doors.

    As for Pyne, we don’t know him either !! although his lunatic ravings in Parliament paints a fairly easily seen picture. That being, one of a brute. A dangerous foe —– or even ‘ friend ‘.

    Brough however, has shown his hand. On the 60 minutes programme. I would think he would like a re-take of most of that interview, because he dropped himself right in it. However, we DO NOT know for certain, his reasoning for that appearance.

    However, the entire alleged ‘Government’ daily drops themselves in the mud or sh*t if you like, with unending diatribe, obfuscations, and fear mongering, as to make it almost unbelievable. And THAT we do know and can know. They ( Abbott and cronies ) speak as ‘leaders’ of this nation, and we listen. And we make observations and decisions. They are not individuals when they speak – they are a dictatorial conspiracy of innuendo, lies and a whole heap of side-stepping of issues. They are …. ‘ the Government ‘ – a body of people.

    The Government MUST be seen to be unbelievable. At all costs. Because ” unbelievable ” is what is being dished up.

    End of ….

  34. Pingback: Last Post for PM Julia Gillard | polliepomes

  35. Kaye Lee

    Neil you really do talk the greatest load of crap.

    “On 14 August 2010, just as the travel abuse allegations were gaining momentum, it was revealed in the Sunshine Coast Daily that a move had been made to attempt to disendorse Slipper in favour of former MP Mal Brough for his seat of Fisher at the next election. However this move was rejected due to an agreement between the Liberal and National parties about guaranteed endorsement for existing candidates.”

    The travel abuse allegations against Slipper weren’t made until 2012 – Lie number 1

    In August 2010 Mal Brough wasn’t even a member of the LNP having resigned in a huff in 2008 – Lie number 2

    “Mr Brough was yesterday (December 10, 2010) granted membership of the LNP, despite voicing resistance to the Queensland party merger in 2008.”

    And I will remind you that Brough had somewhat dubious connections with the editor of the Sunshine Coast Daily in his run for mayor.

    “It seems that Brough had links with the local developer crowd that backed Sunshine Coast Daily editor Mark Jamieson who was subsequently elected as the local mayor, and faced investigation by the Federal Police over allegations he bribed Michael Bloyce to step aside.”

    And why did Brough move from the seat he held from 96 to 07 (Longman – which is now held by Wyatt Roy), to Slipper’s seat of Fisher?

    The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

    And Peter Slipper was the Deputy Speaker when Harry Jenkins resigned. Tony Abbott had an absolute hissy fit about him taking the job.

    “his party room has decided that no Coalition MP should accept a nomination to sit in the Speaker’s chair.

    Mr Abbott called a press conference mid-morning to demand the government call an election over the issue.

    “If it [Labor] cannot provide the Speaker then it can’t remain in office,” Mr Abbott said.”

  36. corvus boreus

    Lies make baby Jesus cry.

  37. Neil of Sydney

    “The travel abuse allegations against Slipper weren’t made until 2012 – Lie number 1”

    I got my information from Wikipedia. These must be earlier travel abuse allegations. Slipper appears to be a serial rorter from way back which is why he was eventually charged. His travel claims were not a mistake but follow a long history of dodgy claims.

    “In August 2010 Mal Brough wasn’t even a member of the LNP having resigned in a huff in 2008 – Lie number 2

    I said Brough was not an MP from 2007-2013. Brough lost his seat at the 2007 election and did not regain it until 2013.

  38. Kaye Lee

    I mean he wasn’t a member of the party Neil….which means he was ineligible for preselection in August.

    And if you want to talk about serial offenders could I point you to Tony Abbott who has had to repay $9000 for his book signing tour and for attending Peter Slipper’s wedding and for attending Sophie Mirabella’s wedding. Add to that all his ironman events and the $40,000 in chartered planes to “volunteer” for a few days in Aboriginal communities. Add to that the tens of thousands Tony claims on top of his generous salary to go ride his bike. Add to that his own recent admission that the reason he kept the whole caucus waiting for an hour was so he could get his photo taken in a lab coat to justify claiming expenses to attend a party the night before.

    Or Bishop, Gambero and Joyce going to India with Gina for a wedding and then charging us for their return fares by saying they did a “study tour”. Barnaby’s stopover in Malaysia led to an infantile report that a year 4 student could have got from Wikipedia.

  39. patsy

    NEIL……..the doctors say do not google a medical result it is not always a good way to go……the same goes for WIKIPEDIA……get the facts from the real source …..then talk to us….maybe then you may be heard !!!!!!!!!!

  40. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee, let’s not forget Abbott’s recent *boast* that he was able to rip off taxpayers for a private sojourn by chucking in a quick trip to a cancer clinic. Slipper’s ‘rort’ in claiming a trip or trips to one of Canberra’s (very nice) local wineries is very small pickings by way of comparison. Slipper, unlike Abbott, Joyce et al was not given leave to repay the amount but was forced to go to court instead. In addition, evidence obtained by illicit means such as unlawfully gaining access to a private diary should not be considered admissible evidence…as we all know, if the police themselves do not have leave of the court to eg obtain phone records, any subsequent evidence cannot be used in a court of law.

  41. mars08


    I’m guessing that Neil’s days are numbered.

    Oh yes, that should make everything better!

    Meanwhile, with David Irvine’s fear mongering, the media’s sensationalist bullshit and Federal police raids on Muslims… our dear leader’s transformation into a wartime PM is complete!! Criticism of Tony dum dum is being replaced by words like “statesman”. Criticism of domestic policies is being replaced by fluff about a generational struggle for our security. Labor squandered the chance do distinguish itself from the Coalition by adopting the “small target” stance… and now has no choice but to agree with Abbott on how to defend Australia from an (apparently) existential threat. Joe Hockey has been put in a box and replaced by military and intel types frightening the bejeezus out of the voters. And the focus is rapidly swinging away from this government’s lies, incompetence and cruelty.

    But, by all means let’s discuss the minutiae of Slipper’s sexual preferences!! Because that’s exactly what will bring Abbott and his nasty mob to their knees!

    A this rate we’ll be cursed with these tossers until (at least) 2019…

  42. All's Not Lost

    “Fact is Labor nominated him for Speaker when his reputation was suspect”

    No way to argue with that. It’s simply true. His appointment as speaker was about clever, opportunistic politics. It would have worked just fine if not for Ashby. There lies the tale.

  43. mars08

    BTW… I’m not having a shot at Roswell.

    My concern is the amount of time and energy devoted to sparring with NoS and trying to identify which politician is the sleaziest. I all seems rather pointless as (apart from the political junkies) nobody seems to care. Meanwhile the Coalition blitzkrieg marches on with barely a pause.

    Some advice about Neil…. “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

  44. All's Not Lost


    People keep talking about how stupid Abbott is, but he seems to use what intelligence he does have to pretty good political effect. Maybe we should be talking about how dumb Shorten is?

  45. Terry2

    Phone call from the PM’s office:

    PM: David ? (Irvine Head of ASIO) – mate we need you to up the terrorism security level from medium to high can you do that for me.

    Irvine ; Why ?

    PM: Well, you’ve heard about the ‘Abbott doctrine’ haven’t you ?

    Irvine : No !

    PM: What we need to do is put the country on a high security footing , you know “alert but not alarmed” moves to “alarmed but not panicking (yet)” – can you do that for me, please.

    Irvine : Will there be fridge magnets ?

    PM: Mate , I just want the terror alert lifted , preferably before lunch OK ?

    Irvine : I dunno, I’m retiring tomorrow and the staff are giving me a send-off lunch, can it wait until this arvo ?

    PM: Yeah OK ! you retiring are you, who’s taking over down there, Peta reckons a woman could be a good choice ? think about it.

  46. Kaye Lee


    It’s amazing that we broadcast our every move about terrorist threats, giving endless details about what we intend to do and who has been caught (but not what they have actually done or when they get released with no charge)….but we can’t say anything about asylum seekers because that would let the people smugglers know what was happening and put our navy personnel and national security at risk.

  47. kerrilmail

    It seems to me long overdue that the role of speaker in both houses needs to be given to a career public servant. Slipper did a very good job at being fair. So did Jenkins and so did Anna Burke. Bronwyn Bishop has made it quite clear that a biased speaker can get away with blue murder.Hence she needs sacking.
    I personally detest that my tax dollars go to this ageing schoolmarm of a speaker. She destroys the concept of democracy but that aside these political shenanigans would be to no ones benefit if the speaker were a person with no political axe to grind.

  48. Kaye Lee

    I also wonder how the tourist industry feel about increasing our alert on terrorist threat to high. This is something that could have huge repercussions if placed on official travel websites.

  49. All's Not Lost

    Let Clive be speaker. That’d be freakin’ hilarious.

  50. Anne Byam

    kerrilmail … Agree totally. A career public servant with no axe to grind either way. The only fair way to go.


    @ All’s not lost …..

    Clive for speaker ?? …. You are right – would be TOO funny. AND would no doubt push the Abbott and his cronies off the front pages and TV for a short while. The H of R would have to provide a whole lot of litter bins for Clive to throw his papers, pens, microphones into. He has a habit of leaving in a huff when things don’t quite go the way he wants, hurling his props behind as he waddles off.

    Wot a hoot. !!

  51. Rob031

    @All’s Not LostSeptember: Let Clive be speaker. That’d be freakin’ hilarious.

    Now that’d liven up Question Time in the Reps.

    1) “Will the PM please explain how the GP Tax, in itself, will financially impact on [such and such a specified low income group]?

    2) Abbott: [the usual/more evasive deflection guff]

    3) Interrupted on a point of order re: relevance

    4) Palmer: “I thoroughly agree with the point of order. The PM will now address the question in a direct and factual manner”

    Go to step #2 etc – until the PM blows an O-Ring or sits down defeated and humiliated.

    (Anyone who has read “The Permit” by Donald Horn may enjoy scenarios such as this even more.)

  52. Eelboy

    Neil, why would Ashby enter into legal action costing a six figure sum when all he stood to gain was $40,000-$70,000 tops?? That’s a far bigger issue than any questions relating to the pros and cons of him being chosen as speaker by JG.

  53. Rombles

    One problem with the career public servant with no axe to grind, is that Tony has now given them all axes. Basically if they aren’t pissed off with Abbott, then they are too far gone on the loony-right and we just end up with a Bishop clone (I’m looking at you, Neil). And Tony would never stand for someone who wasn’t that far to the right.

  54. Pingback: ‘Day to Day Politics’ with John Lord | winstonclose

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