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December 2012

This comment from noteworthy comment-maker Michael prompted some post-prandial reflection from me last night

I was moderating comments last night after dinner and this one from Michael stood out.

So I jumped on the audioboo bizzo to get my thoughts recorded.

Here in their unedited, first version glory are the comment and my non RBT reaction.

Michael said:

I like the new rule of jurisprudence introduced by bob kernoghan. If he swears an affidavit, and sincerely believes someone has stoen a million dollars it follows that they have. I thought the existing rule was that George Brandi's, QC, makes an allegation in his learned QC,s opinion then that,s the end of he story. Now we just need bob,s affidavit, since there is no chance bob is mistaken, doesnt know the full facts or the law. So much easier than that boring old court case were both sides tell their story, and evidence is tested, and there may be QCs or SCs on both sides of the case, each saying, in their learned opinion their side of the case is right.

I thought Col's comment was worth a bit of space here for your reactions

Col said:

If the LNP dont make concrete announcements soon about when they next win Government, that they will;

A)initiate Judicial Inquiries into AWU Scandal,

B)Change the status of a Union to that of a Company and subject to the same laws and taxes as companies and

C) repeal the proposed changes to the law regarding "Offending people", I think I'll just give up and join Labor and a frigging Union. At least this lot have the balls to actually do something, not just delicately dance around the issues all day sipping Moet.

Each day that passes, the Libs look like a bunch of prissy kids on schools holidays. Sorry! Can't do anything now, I'm on holidays! I'm entitled you know"

Well Tony, we don't care. Get your finger out and get a move on. If you were in private enterprise, you would have been sacked by now. Mate!!

As much as I hate her ethics and her policies, you have to begrudgingly respect Gillard for not flinching at Abbotts and etal's attacks. Tony limply implied she's a crook, and Gillard faced him down and barks back, so what...get stuffed. And what does Tony do, retreats into his safety zone and consults his copy of "Political Strategy for Dummies".

As far as I can see, Abbott and the Libs are starting to look like a bunch of Private School "mummy's boys", and far too delicate for this hardened "Labor Mob". The LNP come across as "all yap...yap...and no go...go...".

It pains me to say it, but I am seriously concerned that in backing Abbott, we have backed the wrong horse. I say to Tony, if you want to win the next election,"wake up mate, be daring and follow through full bore". Like Gillard you have nothing to lose. After all, one of you will be surplus to requirements after the next election.

Do you want to be remembered as "the little Tony that tried but wasn't sure he could", or the Rhodes Scholar that was taken down and disgraced by a "school of hard knocks" scholar. I want to know if your swagger is a reflection of your strength or is it just the swagger of a "big mouth gutless bullyboy". Who are you Tony!!

Reply | Edit | 50 minutes ago on Tom Switzer, bang o…

Tom Switzer, bang on the money - from The Australian

Tom Switzer on the shameless and incompetent Wayne Swan.    Now to assuage your guilt at reading it online, go and subscribe to a great newspaper The Australian, immediately.

Swan's grand GOP slam deserves a hit

  • by: Tom Switzer
  • From: The Australian
  • December 31, 2012 12:00AM

Seasoned political observers should be shocked by nothing. But sometimes one witnesses hypocrisy of such dramatic proportions that it is impossible for even cynics to remain unfazed.

I refer to Wayne Swan's attacks on US congressional Republicans on the eve of the legislative negotiations to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

Last week, the federal Treasurer took repeatedly to Twitter to slam US small-government politicians, otherwise known as the Tea Party, for holding the global economy to ransom.

This follows his criticism in September when he warned that the biggest threat to the global economy were "cranks and crazies" in the Republican Party.

Their sin, it appears, is to obstruct President Barack Obama's march towards European-style statism, welfarism and insanely high debt.

Those US politicians, in Swan's telling, who support policies that reduce the size of the state and oppose indecently high spending, are recklessly holding the world's post-global financial crisis economic recovery hostage.

Never mind that about 20 house Democrats have supported Republican bills to renew across-the-board tax cuts this year. Never mind that at the time of writing the Democrat Senate has failed to pass a budget during the past three years.

Swan's foray into US domestic politics not only marks a desperate attempt to blame US politicians for his own failure to deliver a budget surplus in Australia. It also displays the rank hypocrisy of the Labor Party and much of the media.

Go back six years. John Howard was asked about a policy proposal of a US Democratic presidential candidate to withdraw US troops from Iraq. The then-prime minister's answer was consistent with his past positions: that any premature withdrawal could destabilise the region and threaten Australia's security by emboldening terrorist groups linked to al-Qa'ida.

The response was overwhelmingly hostile.

"Short-sighted", "irresponsible", "inflammatory", "ill-considered" these were just some of the barbs that Swan's colleagues hurled at Howard. How dare an Australian political leader weigh into divisive US affairs, Labor frontbenchers chanted.

The media echoed the opposition's charge. There was "no justification for trespassing into American domestic politics", thundered the Australian Financial Review. Howard looked like a "player in US domestic politics" and "a partisan politician meddling in another country's election", complained The Sydney Morning Herald.

Bear all this in mind as you witness Swan's meddling in Washington's political process. Except this time, the Deputy Prime Minister's attacks on the Tea Party, merely a segment of a party that lost the recent presidential election as well as seats in the congressional elections, have met hardly any criticism in Australia.

Whatever the merits of Swan's position, it is a rule of diplomacy that political leaders should refrain from commenting on the internal affairs of another nation, not least our most important security ally. And if they do so, they should maintain a civil tone in their comments.

If it was ill-advised of Howard, in an off-the-cuff moment during a television interview in early 2007, to say that al-Qa'ida would pray every day for an Obama victory, then it is impolitic for Swan, in well-prepared speeches and tweets, to slur Republican politicians with whom he disagrees. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Tom Switzer is research associate at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and editor of Spectator Australia.

From the desk of Alan RM Jones - first published in Quadrant online

I am a huge fan of both Quadrant and Alan RM Jones.

Click here to see the original publication of Alan's piece at Quadrant, reprinted here in the belief that Keith won't mind!


Julia Milhous Gillard

by Alan R.M. Jones

December 28, 2012

Mao dismissed Watergate as a "fart in the wind".  Much of the Canberra press gallery would have preferred to see the AWU scandal possessing the same transient attributes.  Alas, as with Watergate, the stink surrounding the slush fund Julia Gillard enabled for her former unionist lover has been hard to shake.

Leaving aside the alleged diversion and theft of union funds (which Gillard claims to have known nothing about), the affair is fundamentally about the perversion of the political process and a cover-up at the centre of union and political power, with all of the attendant consequences.

The scandal gripping Gillard’s premiership isn’t merely about her questionable professional conduct as a lawyer. It’s a more serious affair because the allegations of "routine" (as the PM dubbed it) wrongdoing go to the heart of Labor and its most powerful union masters. Who controls the AWU controls the Labor government and The Lodge.

Like the AWU scandal, Watergate was about corrupt political practices which had become routine. It involved crimes—illegal slush funds, break-ins, conspiracy—and, eventually, a cover-up that reached the White House. It became the "cancer on the presidency" of Richard Nixon that ultimately consumed it.

The US Constitution was vindicated. But the 1970s was a parlous time for Australia’s most important ally and the West. The "third-rate burglary" and cover-up diminished executive branch authority, sapped America’s confidence at home and undermined its prestige abroad.

Arab countries embargoed oil exports to the US and launched the surprise Yom Kippur War against Israel -- bringing America and the Soviet Union closest to the nuclear abyss than they had come since the Cuban Missile Crisis. North Vietnam dismembered the Paris Peace Accords. Iran slid into an Islamic terrorocracy. A more adventurous Kremlin expanded its sway from Afghanistan to the Americas and deployed intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Eastern Europe, setting the stage for a new Cold War showdown.

By decade’s end, the world was a less safe place. Some fart.

Henry Kissinger noted in his seminal tome Diplomacy that Watergate cast a long shadow over American foreign policy. Historians will debate how long, but the lesson is that strong executive government is crucial to good government, the furtherance of the national interest and preservation of freedom.

Australia is not America and the sky will not fall if Gillard lingers. But Australia has a role to play -- looking after its interests, the values it cherishes and the commitments it makes to its friends -- that demands a strong and effective executive which, regrettably, it has lacked.

Gillard admitted the absence of sound executive government under Labor before she knifed Kevin Rudd. It has only grown worse since she tacked together a minority government. The leadership deficit first manifested itself in the bitter feuding with Rudd during his time as foreign minister. Now, Gillard’s failure to account for her actions that led to the AWU slush fund and the cover-up has further crippled her authority -- as if that were possible.

Only weeks ago, Gillard congratulated Barack Obama on his re-election, stressing that US leadership was "vital" for peace and security. ''Australia has a long history of working with the US to make a difference on these global challenges" and would continue to do so, Gillard pledged. Now, she can’t even muster caucus votes to back Israel, the principles of the Oslo Peace Accords or the Obama Administration at the UN. Vive la différence.

The repudiation of Gillard’s leadership over Palestinian status at the UN was another signpost to five years of inept Labor foreign policy. Australia’s regional relationships with Beijing and Tokyo are degraded. In the case of Jakarta, they are in tatters (over the Government’s maladministration of the live cattle trade and lethally incompetent handling of the people-smuggling debacle).

Cornered over the serious AWU allegations, Gillard has squandered what little executive authority was left to her, preferring instead to bully and smear her antagonists -- all very Nixonesque. The cover-up that began 17 years ago has morphed into a media and gender war.

Attacking the press is a move straight from the playbook of the Watergate cover-up. Nixon's attorney-general, John Mitchell, threatened the Washington Post’s TV licences and, infamously, its publisher: "Katie Graham's gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer" if the Post published a secret election slush fund story.

That approach initially shielded Gillard from significant media scrutiny, but isn’t doing so now. In addition to News Ltd papers, Fairfax mastheads finally have jumped into the fray. Mark Twain’s advice  never to pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel remains no less true today. Even the somnolent ABC has opened a dozy and previously disinterested eye.

Never short of expletives and slurs for friend or foe, Nixon wasn’t shy about playing the victim and would have slipped into a pair of Fred Perry pumps if he had thought a Gillard-style "misogynist" smear advantageous. Though Gillard’s ginned-up gender war provided a distraction, Tony Abbott has called time. Complaints that a female Prime Minister has been been referred to by the apparently chauvinist-pig pronoun "she" (who knew?) will have no currency before a royal commission examining union corruption.

With the year-end Newspoll showing Labor again plumbing an electoral finale of Mayan proportions, backbenchers may reflect on Nixon, who was by all accounts ill-suited for a job demanding a person comfortable in their own skin and with the truth. On his way out the West Wing, Tricky Dick seemed to confess (or was he perhaps justifying routine wrongdoing?).

"Always remember," Nixon advised, "others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them -- and then you destroy yourself".


Alan R.M. Jones was an adviser in the Howard Government

Ballooning over Melbourne this morning

What a beautiful way to start the day!   The Czechoslovakian Princess and I were up at 3.30AM (great idea on New Year's Eve!!!!!) and were airborne just as the sun came up over marvellous Melbourne.





The bloke who owns the ballooning company, Kiff, had a pretty bad prang on his motorbike a couple of years ago.  A firm of transport accident lawyers handled his case and as a result had to visit his workplace - the balloon - to assist in his compo claim.   As a result of that, the firm of lawyers decided to sponsor a balloon with one big difference.   In what I believe is an Australian first, the balloon is certified with the aviation authorities in Australia to take disabled people.   You can see in this final photo that one of our fellow passengers today lives with cerebral palsy.

Kiff told me about a lady he took flying recently who has cerebral palsy too.   All her life, her greatest wish was to fly, up in the sky.   After her flight with Kiff, she said, "Today, I have lived my dream.  For the first time ever, I felt like a person who could do anything."

It was very, very moving.    Kiff was a lovely bloke.   I don't have any deal with him but could I heartily recommend that if you are thinking about an extraordinarily fantastic thing to do, give him a call.   Here's his website, click here.


And I am now sitting in a hotel business centre blubbering.

Audio files on this blog

I am the world's no1 fan of the website

It is so easy to use, you just record something, hit publish, bang there it is.

If you have dramas listening to the audioboo bizzos on an iPad via my blog, try accessing them directly from the website itself.

You'll need to register there, it's free, then follow me directly there.

By the way I record a lot more stuff there than I post here, often mediated by red wine.   And occassionally very funny before the anno meridian regrets kick-in and the defamation wary redactor gets active.   Hear them there first before my Mark Latham intruder alert system goes off.

This article was written by the human contact lens treatment plant The Honourable Dr Craig Emerson MP

There are many who would consider a relevant and important fact "in issue" and worthy of declaration herein is that the author has a potential (and possibly realised) conflict of interest, that may impinge upon his ability to retain the clear-eyed, disinterested position that commentators unburdened by romance and love lost (or surreptitiously maintained) may in the circumstances be reasonably expected to have.

In other words Craig you should probably say you've been having an adulterous affair with Julia.

This composition was published in

Here it is in its incomplete glory.

Text of an opinion piece by the Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson.

Subtlety lost

At Sydney University in the early 1970s a course simply called “Government” was offered to economics, arts and law students. It was a time of social upheaval and the election of the Whitlam Government had ended 23 years of conservative rule. The Murdoch press had backed a change of government.

My tutor in Government, Lex Watson, a gay rights activist, had set us a task: to identify bias in the media. But as left-wing as Lex was, the six-week project wasn’t about left versus right, it was about the techniques used by the print media to slant a story to suit an editorial position.

During those six weeks I learned many of the established techniques, simply by comparing the treatment of the same story in different newspapers. Placement on an odd-numbered page gave a story greater prominence than on a left-hand side, even-numbered page. A front-page story in one newspaper might have been well back in another. An otherwise balanced story might be thrown out of balance by the editor’s headline. And oh so important, an archived photo of a scowling or cheerful politician could be retrieved from the files to capture the editor’s intent.

The story I followed was Attorney-General Lionel Murphy’s authorised police raid on ASIO headquarters. As an 18-year-old, I wasn’t equipped to make a judgement on the merits of the case, but I sure could identify all the tricks deployed by the different newspaper outlets.

How is this remotely relevant today?

Well, the tricks – er, techniques – haven’t changed all that much. They are utilised every day and new ones deployed as well. But what has changed is the level of subtlety: today there is none.

While media outlets 40, 30, 20 or even 10 years ago would feel compelled to cover something considered a good story, if today’s editors judge it doesn’t accord with their own position they will simply ignore it – or at best stick in with the comics for the kids, but ahead of the sports section lest the punters cotton onto it.

Before going to some recent striking examples, it should be made clear that editors’ tricks don’t necessarily constitute bias by the journalists. Journalists can only file or record stories; whether and where they are aired depends on the hierarchy ruling them. But nor would it be correct to say that all journalists are scrupulously balanced in their reporting. They know the tricks of the trade as well, and some don’t hesitate to use them.

In defence of journalists, online technology demands that they do much more than they were expected to do 40 years ago. A breaking story requires instant reporting not only by the electronic media but by print journalists as well.

And if competing head-to-head with radio and television weren’t enough, print journalists these days are expected to engage with social media, blogging, tweeting and video-streaming their stories as they continually update their web sites.

So, while information technology has liberated them from the old, clunky news-gathering and filing processes, the extra time is dedicated not to analysis but delivering the same content into an increasing number of formats.

Even still, considered commentary is often required within hours.

These great expectations of journalists are being applied at a time when traditional print media is in decline and jobs are insecure. Pressure on advertising revenues in an increasingly atomised market leaves little money to fund dedicated investigative units.

Editors are calling the shots as never before and journalists are expected to comply with editorial direction.

As in the early 1970s it’s useful to follow just a couple of stories to illustrate the bigger point.

Story One is the Gillard-AWU saga. Story Two is the Ashby-Slipper-LNP court case.

Story One has been around since 1995 when a dude named Gude raised it under privilege in the Victorian Upper House. No wrongdoing was established against Gillard 17 years ago and – after many months of investigative reporting by The Australian’s Hedley Thomas – no wrongdoing has been established against her to this day.

But this hasn’t stopped the print media running front-page stories that the Prime Minister still has questions to answer, such as ‘did she write a letter almost 20 years and why doesn’t she recall it?’

Nor has it stopped the Opposition claiming the Prime Minister of Australia is a criminal, despite Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s failure in the 15 minutes granted under parliamentary privilege to make the case. The best he could come up with was “conduct unbecoming”, but this was good enough to warrant front-page coverage and a torrent of commentary about both sides’ mud-slinging.

Almost every Coalition question in the final parliamentary week (the single exception being a question on a UN Palestinian resolution) was on the 17 year-old AWU allegations. All Labor questions were about policy. During that final Parliamentary week, the Government introduced or finalised legislation relating to education reform, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Murray-Darling Basin plan, the recovery of lost superannuation savings, gambling reform and a trade deal with Malaysia. None of these were adjudged a significant story by newspaper or television editors.

The media claim of mud-slinging all round was based on the Prime Minister’s so-called misogyny speech. This was an extemporaneous speech given in response to a motion by the Opposition Leader during which he asserted the Prime Minister condoned sexist text messages sent by the Speaker, Mr Slipper. The Prime Minister remonstrated that she would not be lectured on sexism by Mr Abbott who, she asserted, had a poor track record on his treatment of women.

Many journalists and editors took exception to the Prime Minister defending herself in this way. The Australian editorialised against it and claimed, with no evidence, that the more than two million YouTube viewers of the speech were inner-city lefties or foreigners.

Story Two broke on 21 April 2012 with a Daily Telegraph splash setting out “explosive allegations” of sexual harassment and misuse of Cabcharge entitlements by the Speaker, Mr Slipper, “in a major new crisis for the Gillard Government”. It received similar treatment by other News Limited newspapers and was followed up by the electronic media. The story ran for weeks, indeed months.

So when the Federal Court brought down its scathing judgement on the James Ashby sexual harassment complaint against Mr Slipper, media interest in the story surely would have been both intense and sustained. Logically, if unsubstantiated claims about the Prime Minister’s behaviour as a lawyer almost 20 years ago were hot news at end-November 2012, then proof that Coalition identities had lied just a few months ago would no doubt make irresistible copy. After all, the judge had found that Ashby and former Coalition Cabinet Minister and LNP candidate for Slipper’s seat, Mal Brough, had collaborated to damage Slipper, advance Brough and change the numbers in the House of Representatives to the benefit of the LNP. In a hung parliament, this was tantamount to changing the Government of Australia.

Alas, it was not to be. Some outlets thought the adverse findings against Ashby and Brough were newsworthy. They included most ABC news and current affairs outlets, the commercial television news bulletins, The Australian (in parts) and the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

But the News Limited tabloids, especially The Daily Telegraph – having splashed day after day with the original Ashby allegations against Slipper – went cold on the story. The Daily Telegraph couldn’t find space for the story in its first 16 pages, assessing Bundy the Dog riding on a motorbike more newsworthy. The other News Limited tabloids, having given the Ashby allegations great prominence, similarly buried the court’s verdict.

This is straight media bias. It is also unprofessional. Coalition frontbenchers had been caught lying about the Ashby case. Manager of Opposition Business, Christopher Pyne, had lied about his meetings with Ashby. He at first claimed he might have passed the time of day with him and other Slipper staffers, when in truth he’d met at length and later asked for contact details – also initially denied until later exposed.

Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, told anyone who claimed he knew of the Ashby complaint in advance to “go to hell”. Yet his office told the media that over Easter, when the complaint was being formulated, he’d met Clive Palmer at Coolum alone. But Mr Palmer revealed that was a lie – Mal Brough was there too. Hockey’s meeting with Brough might have been perfectly innocent but, if so, why lie about it?

Mr Abbott, too, has serious questions to answer. For at least the first week after the story broke in The Daily Telegraph, Abbott – and also Pyne – said they had “no specific knowledge” of the Ashby allegations against Slipper. On the day the story broke, Abbott held a doorstop interview at which he said: “I think everyone in the Parliament was aware of rumours about the Speaker …” But when subsequently asked at another doorstop what “no specific knowledge” meant, Abbott terminated the interviews and walked away. Later he changed his story, telling the ABC’s AM Program on 9 May 2012 “The first I knew of all these things was when I read the newspapers on the Saturday morning.” Despite changing his story, Abbott has never been properly challenged about his prior knowledge of the Ashby complaint.

Just what prior knowledge did Abbott have? On 30 November 2011, just after Slipper had become Speaker, Abbott suggested to Tony Jones on Lateline “Let’s see how things pan out. Who knows what’s going to happen in the first half of next year.” How prophetic. The court found that on 10 October 2011, Slipper and Ashby exchanged text messages in which each referred to Brough in terms of vulgar and sexualised abuse. The day after Abbott’s Lateline prophecy, Slipper offered Ashby a job, and 22 days later Ashby began working for Slipper. By 2 February 2012 Ashby had begun working on his sexual harassment claim against Slipper.

All these might well be a series of coincidences. But they have proved to be of no interest to the media.

Abbott’s and Pyne’s evasiveness in refusing to elaborate on their shared formulation of having “no specific knowledge” of the Ashby complaint is indicative of a successful Coalition media strategy.

That strategy is to create ample room for ambiguity and then be unavailable to the Canberra Press Gallery until the issue blows over. Pyne issued only written statements and was unavailable for several days. Abbott walked away from doorstops when questioning turned to the meaning of “no specific knowledge”.

Deputy Opposition Leader, Julie Bishop, has successfully used this tactic too. At the height of her parliamentary attack accusing the Australian Prime Minister of criminality, Ms Bishop held two media conferences on 27 November 2012. Asked how many times she had discussions with self-confessed fraudster Ralph Blewitt, Ms Bishop replied it had been only once, in a face-to-face meeting on Friday 23 November in Melbourne. Ms Bishop said she had received a phone call from former radio presenter Mike Smith, who’d happened to be at a café with Blewitt. As Ms Bishop happened to be not only in the same city but in the vicinity of the cafe in a Comcar, she dropped in for a cup of coffee. It seems 2012 has been the year of Coalition coincidences.

When it emerged that Ms Bishop had, in fact, had a prior telephone conversation with Blewitt on Wednesday 21 November, she issued a written statement conceding she may have spoken to him but wasn’t sure as it had only been for a few seconds and the line had dropped out. Blewitt subsequently claimed he’d spoken to Bishop for about three or four minutes.

Bishop immediately went to ground, cancelling her attendance at an Abbott book launch and at a National Press Club luncheon address by the Prime Minister of PNG. Ms Bishop remained unavailable for Press Gallery interviews, consenting only to friendly interviews with Alan Jones and Paul Henry where the subject of the number of conversations with Blewitt conveniently was not raised.

It was not until 14 December – 17 days after her Canberra press conferences – that Ms Bishop reappeared for a long-form interview on the AWU matter. I had been tweeting all that time that Ms Bishop was avoiding media scrutiny of the discrepancy in her account of discussions with Blewitt, even offering to donate $1,000 to Lifeline if she reappeared. On Friday 14 December Ms Bishop appeared on Sky to be interviewed by David Lipson. The discrepancy was not raised.

Then, on Saturday 15 December, Ms Bishop appeared on ABC24 with Latika Bourke. Not only was the discrepancy relating to Blewitt not raised, the Ashby-Brough-LNP matter was completely ignored.

Several conclusions reasonably emerge from these two examples. First, matters relating to events almost 20 years ago are adjudged by several media outlets as being more newsworthy than those relating to the year 2012.

Second, despite the Prime Minister holding two full media conferences, answering questions in Parliament and giving the Opposition Leader ample time under parliamentary privilege to set out his case for why the Prime Minister of Australia was a criminal, media outlets persist with their claim that the issue is unresolved and the Prime Minister still has questions to answer.

Third, despite a scathing court judgement that the Ashby complaint was designed to benefit LNP candidate Brough and change the balance in the House of Representatives (an hence, the Government of Australia), the News Limited tabloids and the Saturday edition of ABC24 do not consider this to be newsworthy.

Fourth, the Coalition tactic of going to ground when a Shadow Minister lies to the media, or is at best evasive, is very effective.

None of this has the subtlety of the early 1970s. If editors consider a news story doesn’t accord with their editorial position they simply don’t run it. And if journalists want to protect favoured politicians from answering questions about their untruthfulness, they simply don’t ask them.

In making these observations, I am not asserting there is a general bias in the media. Some editors and a few journalists are blatantly biased. That has always been the case. But the real problem is the abandonment of professional standards to give effect to that bias. All subtlety is lost.

Bob Kernohan is in a class of his own

I am travelling at present, currently in Melbourne.

I've been moderating your comments as speedily as I can  on the iPhone which ran out of batteries about mid arvo.

I was enjoying a pint at Young and Jackson's on Swanston Street this arvo when, with no fanfare, up pops the dead-set comment of the year from Bob Kernohan.

This small piece of writing which I've already posted on the stream to do with the Courier Mail Editorial thread says it all.   What man, what a mighty fine man.   Read it as it was intended, as a comment from a man of integrity directed to the nameless, faceless barrackers known collectively as "staff writers" who produced the newspaper's editorial.

Your paper reports"Unfounded allegations" directed toward Gillard Regarding the AWU fraud.I take offence to this broad brush innacurate statement. I have made public comments, sworn four statutory declarations over the past 17 years regarding Gillards involvment in stealing, with her then lover Wilson, who was a married man with kids , in my opinion well over a million dollars of AWU members money along with around $600,000 of WA taxpayers funds, there were illegal property transactions that also defrauded AWU members with the full compliance of Gillard aiding and abetting Wilson. I am not a person who swears that legal statuory declerations that I have prepared and duly had witnessed in accordance with the law in the state of Victoria are not the truth and nothing but the whole truth. Gillard has not made one, not one statement to police relating to this fraud. I am acutely aware of the punishment that the courts could hand me if I attempted to tell lies. In addition I have told Michael Smith on recorded video about what happened in the scandelous fraud that occured within the AWU in the early to mid 1990s, who covered the fraud up,to name but a few, Shorten, Roxon, Conroy etc. (the interviews should be available on Michaels blog site. It is not good enough for a msm publication to once again wipe this story and declare it to be nothing more than unfounded allegations. In the last 17 years Gillard has ONLY once responded to my factual comments regarding her active role in defrauding AWU members. That was in the last sitting week of parliament for 2012. I repeat what I have previously said to Gillard on a number of occasions now...Ms Gillard, if you feel agrieved, injured, hurt or maybe even defamed by my comments you have the same democratic rights as any other Australian, you have the right to seek relief through our courts. Oh before I go, I would dearly love for you to repeat your comments that my statutory declaration dated August 2010 was drafted by another person. If you accomodate my request it will give me great delight to see you in court for defaming my character. Bob Kernohan

Posted by: bob kernohan | Sunday, 30 December 2012 at 01:22 PM

Vale Tony Greig

We seem to be filtering out the risk takers, the larger than life characters from so much of sport, business and politics.

Tony Greig was opionated, firm in his ideas, never backward and the cause of God knows how many arguments around television screens and cricket grounds around the world.

I grew up with him and it's hard to believe he's gone.   A great character of the game, greatly missed.

My condolences to the late Tony Greig's family.   This video tribute from News Limited.