Ballooning over Melbourne this morning
Tom Switzer, bang on the money - from The Australian

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


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


A burglar alarm is designed to be noisy so the burglar gets nervous. They can't hear if the troops are arriving.

So making a noise is what Gillard and her cronies are doing. They want to distract you and me (Hereinafter labeled as 'the burglars') from stealing the truth.

I know this is wonky logic but hey, it makes a nice little piece of irony, right?

RJ of Melbourne

I see Gillard has wheeled out Hawke again to do more of her dirty work. Wonder if she will be going to the Australian Open Tennis this year - after she got boo'd last year? I read the 'ministers' editorials and boy are they living in a 'parallel universe' to the rest of us! thank goodness we have this blog and others to vent our frustration and read truth!


Ha ha..who says "Australia's economy remained one of the best-performing in the developed world" that would not be hard to do, given that the rest are mostly all gnashing at the teeth, bankrupt socialist basket cases, demanding $Billion dollar cash donations from Australia's borrowed wasted chinese money-debt! Counter productive, sabotaging Labor have done nothing to help our our white-anted economy! The stark reality is so many Australians are badly hurting, gnashing at the teeth and want immoral Labor and their fraudulent, punishing and totally unnecessary carbon dioxide tax gone. Lying hypocrite, dictator JuLia Gillard is only interested in her own "prosperity"...however a lot of stupid idiots will still vote for this damned nasty piece of work. Generally speaking, we get the bad politicians we deserve. Think very carefully and be adequately informed, before you ever vote Labor/Green again??


I think the AWU f*rt in the wind may have a fair bit of solids in it .


This reply from Julia Gillard during QT:

"By the time the matters she refers to came to my attention they were already the subject of inquiry and investigation."

- to a question from Julie Bishop:

"My question is to the PM. I refer the PM to a statement on 20/09/12 by former High Court Judge, Michael Kirby, that 'if a person is aware of a serious crime and doesn't report it to the police, that's what we call misprision of a felony. If there's a felony, you have to report it - it's a citizen's duty'.

Why did not the PM herself report the fraud involving the AWU WRA that she helped establish?"

Gillard's reply to that question would "have no currency before a royal commission examining union corruption."

Would the PM mislead a Royal Commission as she misled Parliament?

sherron lewis

Gillard appearing with Hawke yesterday all I can say is Dumb and DUMBER.

Liz of Vic.


Very good article, I wished more people would read it.
Just cannot believe that this rabble is still in charge, how are we going to get through the next months???????
Hope we still have something left of the real Australia, when this lot disappears (I hope!)

Kevin Freer

As obvious as all the corruption that surrounds gillard and her band of devotees is there are still clowns running around out there who will vote for the labor party.
Sure as hell shows how indoctrination will over come common sense, logic, truth and integrity.

Gerard Flood

"[Even the somnolent ABC has opened a dozy and previously] disinterested eye" : "disinterested" should be "uninterested": By illustration, the ABC Collective is "disinterested" whether the ADs or AGP maintain the veto on Australia's industrial, economic, and financial security, on which our relative powers of self-determination depend.

R we there yet

lol, the pop off from hell.It could be worth a fortune , off shore.But for how much longer untill many can ill afford it.

An interesting `take` (article).
Enjoyable reading.Alan R.M.Jones, kind regard sent.Informative decent journalism, indeedy.
Quadrant you say.Thank You.


Anon thinks it would not be hard for Australia's economy to be the best performing in the world because all the others are doing so badly. Not very clever anon. If it were easy the others would be doing better than Australia.

My guess is that anon would have preferred that Peter Costello led us through the GFC. If Costello had listened to Ken Henry of the treasury he would have done the same as Rudd, swan and Gillard did. If he had stuck to his preconceived notions of never going into debt, I think it is clear that Australia would not have been the best performing economy thru the GFC. We could have gone into an austerity induced recession just like Cameron did for Britain. The consequences, apart from the human cost of unemployment and its long term effect, would be an even worse debt/GDP.

Jarah Jack

It does not take a great mind to realise why the funding to the Quadrant magazine has had its funding halved by the funding body for the arts.
The restriction on free speech by this government is going to be the subject the opposition needs to very quickly take the government to task on. And urgently!


It is obvious that Juliar is guilty, hence she cannot sue anybody for defamation - she has to shut up and put up. How sweet is that knowledge to m.

Kevin Freer

This period in our political history is going to be viewed as The Incredible Years.
Think of the list of gillard's blunders. Incredible.
Her brazen protection of her politician criminals. Incredible.
Her rorting of workers funds.
Her almost total destruction of the economy and the debt levels she has created. Incredible.
Her bullying of any persons who may oppose her. Incredible.
The list of married men with children that she has seduced in clawing her way to power. Incredible.
The journalists she has been able to hoodwink, befuddle and censor. Incredible.
I could go on, but the most incredible part is there are still people out there who support her.
Still there were also a few lame brains that supported Al Capone hey?


After watching this video a question comes to mind ..."Did we vote for a government of Australia , or a corporation registered in Washington?"
Or is this something else they have hoodwinked us over?
Anybody have any clues ?


@Michael, plainly Australia was left immune from the so called GFC in Europe. Because of the previous Liberal-John Howard government's good work. As for "the others" just look at those complete failures who through their very own mismanagement and stupidity put the "GFC" on themselves, not onto Australia.


The "slush fund" Julia Gillard ENABLED for her ex unionist lover and the subsequent blatant perversion and the huge high level, concerted and very desperate cover up is clearly in need of a Royal Commission? To extract the plain obvious ugly truth that has been buried with the assistance of some blatantly biased onside media outlets. Gillard's appalling conduct not only destroys confidence in politicians and the corrupted political process. But even worse destroys confidence and trust in our lawyers and legal process and indeed the obedient media. With most people already thinking that it is the 99% of lawyers that give the other 1% a bad name. No wonder those 99% of lawyers are very unusually quiet about this whole putrid affair, that is most certainly in need of very close attention and examination. I mean where is the damned justice here??? And where are the 99% silent lawyers hiding?? Are they all Labor/Green lefties busy on Christmas Island & Nauru, processing bodgie asylum seekers who have dumped their passports and mobile phones etc to fraudulently fool the authorities or are they building their Sydney harbour front mansions with the proceeds??? Before JuLia's global warming sea level rises sweeps them all away in a 1,000 years time.


A great read, written by a great person! Thanks Michael and happy new year!

Maggie Qld

Alan RM Jones. Thank you a great read and thank you Michael for bringing it to our attention.

I hope the New Year brings justice for Bob Kernohan and those taxpayers and Union members who were fleeced.

R we there yet

A splendid Article by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stones Magazine , re a part of the GFC.
Oh the seemingly convenient dementia with Ceo`s,$500k approx and selective at that.A Mr Mozila.
Reminds me of how Ralph B`s income for that ODD loan was arrived at.
Fascinating magical finances under the microscope.
I like the Journalist and his sourcing of balance in his Nation.
So passionate.
Shared and they allow feedback.
Doncha just adore Liberty ?

R we there yet

Re My Last post a few minutes ago. .. gosh did I say $500 K ?
Shucks Correction ... I meant Million yup re $500 Million .


That article title had an apt title ‘Julia Milhous Gillard’.

Thanks to Wikipedia here is an insight into where the ‘Milhous’ part fits in & this character then evolved into ‘The Simpsons’


Hi, am in NZ and have heard some of the locals say Gillard is a crock. This AWU scandal needs to be cleared up or the this is the perception. We need out PM to answer questions honestly and openly, or this is just going to go on, and on, and on.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)