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April 2013

Australia's media, media lawyers in particular, are just plain weird - Ben Fordham makes "claims' while Gillard's propositions are always facts.

Ben Fordham has a great reputation as an honest, hardworking young media personality.  He doesn't deserve to have any doubt lingering over the truth of what he says.  Yet that's how he's being painted this morning - as someone making claims and allegations against a person in Julia Gillard who has no such doubts reported about her.

In Ben's job integrity and credibility are everything.   If a broadcaster's audience feels he's mislead them, it won't take long for him to have no audience to mislead.

Yesterday Ben Fordham corrected one of Prime Minister Gillard's misleading or deceptive statements - either an outright lie on her part or a statement that was inadvertently made, perhaps on bad advice.   Ms Gillard claimed in a 7 March interview with Ben broadcast on 2GB that she knew that she was not being investigated for her conduct in the AWU Scandal.   She knew it to be so, it had the ring of Prime Ministerial inside knowledge.

Ben explained to his audience yesterday, that after his 7 March interview with Ms Gillard, Victoria Police Fraud Squad detectives got in touch with him, advised him they were investigating Ms Gillard in a criminal investigation and asked him if he would be prepared to provide a statement to police identifying himself and Ms Gillard as the participants in the 7 March interview.

I know that what Ben has said is  all true.  I believe Ben and his word is enough, but I also have independent verification as to the truth of it.   Julia Gillard is a suspect, or a person of interest in the Victoria Police investigation and Fordham has been asked to furnish a formal statement introducing the record of his interview with her on 7 March into a brief of evidence.

I listened to Ben's show yesterday.  Another of his stories was picked up by other media - the story of a northern suburbs pub that was promoting a disrespectful Anzac Day "event".  No one in other media has reported, "Ben Fordham of 2GB claims.....Fordham alleges".   What he said about the pub was presented as the truth.   Because it was.   Just like what he said about Ms Gillard.

Part of Gillard's resilience and undeserved longevity derives from her bullying and threatening demeanour towards editors and publishers.  On the flimsiest of pretexts (slush/fund) Ms Gillard has demanded and received retractions and apologies that others would never dream of.  And she has a long and well documented track record of lying with ease and breathtaking chutzpah. 

Yet Gillard's statements are taken by our press on face value and presented as statements of fact as if they'd been tested and proven.   Yesterday, Fordham was cast as the dubious party and Gillard as the certain unquestioned party.   Quite the opposite is true in relation to Gillard and Fordham.

It's open to the press to start to make judgements, to at contextualise statements from Gillard so that controversial or dubious claims are reported as such and qualified "Ms Gillard claims that she did nothing wrong, however this is easily disproved by....."   There's no basis at all for qualification of Fordham's statements, yet that's what he got - there is basis for doubting Gillard but she gets the status of truth.

By not calling her out and by presenting her dubious statements as statements of known and uncontested fact, our media is making a conscious decision to forego its primary purpose of presenting the truth.  It's an active participant in Gillard/McTernan's spin and PR operation..

But it's not just supporting Gillard.  It is impugning anyone who speaks against her interests.  And that does damaging and entirely undeserved harm to decent people.   Ben Fordham spoke yesterday in a simple, uncontroversial statement of facts.   Yet he's now cast as a media player who makes unproven claims and allegations against a person who is presented as of unquestioned truth and integrity .   Ben doesn't deserve the question marks over what he's said, he deserves congratulations for his honesty and courage in correcting the record for his audience.

Deny, Deny, Deny. True to form and entirely unbelievable

This is a really amazing story leading the News Limited online publications tonight.

Julia Gillard denies Ben's claims.   Right.  Here's what happened.

7 March, 2013 - Ben Fordham interviewed Gillard.   Gillard made certain admissions and claims about her personal involvement in the creation of a Power of Attorney used in a property purchase by her boyfriend Bruce Wilson in 1993.

Some days later, Victoria Police contacted Ben Fordham, identified themselves and asked Ben for a statement explaining how his interview with Ms Gillard came about and that it was in fact Ms Gillard with whom he was speaking on the radio on 7 March.   For the interview to be used in evidence that is the process police adopt.   I know that because the police contacted me to take statements from me in similar circumstances about Craig Thomson.

Today, Ben Fordham simply told his listeners what's happened.    Victoria Police have contacted him, stated they are investigating the Prime Minister's role in The AWU Scandal and they've invited Fordham to make a statement.

Unless Ms Gillard is calling Ben a liar, saying he made the contact from police up, I can't see how her denials are worth anything.

If she's unhappy tonight, she will be unhappier yet tomorrow.   Sleep well as the presses roll.



Julia Gillard denies radio host Ben Fordham's claims she was being investigated by police over the AWU slush fund affair

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard's office has denied claims from a Sydney radio host that she was being investigated by police over the Australian Workers Union slush fund affair.

Ms Gillard has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to the slush fund affair.

2GB host Ben Fordham told his listeners today he wanted to correct comments made by Ms Gillard during an interview in March that canvassed the AWU case.

Fordham said the police were still taking statements and had asked him to make a formal statement relating to the March 7 interview.

"When I mentioned this police investigation, the Prime Minister sought to clarify something. Julia Gillard wanted to make it clear to you that she was not one of the people being investigated.

"I am correcting that record this afternoon because I know for a fact the Prime Minister is being investigated by police over the slush fund scandal. She was being investigated at the time of the interview."

Ms Gillard had told the station about the investigation on March 7: "Let's be a bit careful. Do not slur me with that.... you should then clarify that has nothing to do with me."

A spokesman for the Prime Minister this afternoon rejected the new claims, saying Ms Gillard stood by her previous comments on the matter.

"Nothing has changed from our previous statements," the spokesman said.

In response to the broadcast, a Victorian Police spokeswoman said: "Our Fraud and Extortion Squad is currently investigating a complaint regarding the alleged misappropriation of funds from a union. Victorian Police will not be providing running commentary in relation to this investigation. The investigation remains ongoing."

UPDATED - bombshell from Ben Fordham of 2GB - Julia Gillard is being investigated by Victoria Police in the AWU Scandal




More to come - developing story

Ben Fordham, "I know for a fact that the Prime Minister is being investigated by police over the slush fund scandal."

Fordham has been asked to make a statement to police about something to do with the interview he conducted on the air on 2GB.

 Here is a link to Ben Fordham's correction to Ms Gillard's inaccurate statement of 7 Mar, published by 2GB and Ben Fordham today.

Here's a link to the original interview Ben conducted with Ms Gillard on 7 March, 2013.


Seriously, we have allowed Julia Gillard to make decisions about our defence? You're joking right?

Haven't read anything in the papers  about Al Qaida for a while.   How much we spending on intelligence?   Well tell 'em to stop spending, we don't need it any more.

ACBPS Media Release - Customs Watch is looking out for Australia - just don't mention illegal asylum seekers

I know there are heaps of great patriots who work in Customs and who have Australia's best in their hearts.

There are obviously bosses there who don't.   There's one great unspoken issue in all of the marketing material Customs has sent out to Australia's media today.

Illegal boat people.   

It's real, the deaths are real, the costs of billions are real, the destruction of confidence in our orderly immigration system is real, the hidden importation of crooks is real and the growing sense of disquiet over our small country's loss of control of its borders is all too real.

To me, it's the number one issue for Customs and Border Protection.   But it doesn't rate in this marketing material because there are lobby groups in this country who don't like it when you say anything that questions the purity of this route of self-selected immigration.   So it's buried, so as not to cause offence and the loss of votes.

Please check this material out for yourself.   People made this stuff, people made decisions about what's in what's out - what priority message are we going to convey, what's hot on Twitter etc.   So we get the message that we have a very big (maritime) border, and Customs is protecting you from uncontroversial "good" threats like guns, drugs (no lobby group arguing for illegal importation, another good threat) and other threats.   Hmmmmmmm.   Other threats on our maritime border.   What else is there?

Customs watch

How much money did the illegal smuggling into Australia of illegal guns cost us in 2012?   How big an issue is the singular issue of freshly imported illegal guns in our crime stats?  But that's been empirically determined as the lead, the biggie for Customs.

So let's go to the Press Release with all the details.   Here it is - and the closest thing we get to illegal asylum seekers is a reference to people smugglers with all their smuggling, hidden away, evil contextualisation.

Customs watch 2

We do not have a people smuggling problem.    Guns are smuggled and drugs are smuggled.   People are not smuggled into Australia. Our problem is the opposite of smuggling.   It's loud and proud baby, overt and in your face.   As soon as the lines are cast off on the docks of Indonesia, the phones are ringing.   We are on the way, please assist/escort/intercept/transfer us to the fully furnished home with welcome hamper pack your marketing material has led us to expect.

I hate the thought that Customs, the military or our other enforcement forces are politicised like this, shaping bullshit messages.    Someone wants you to know that Customs will root out good threats that no one publicly lobbies for (guns and drugs) while politely not talking about the very expensive and real present threats from uncontrolled, self-selected illegal immigration - and all of that so someone doesn't say something nasty on Twitter.

"Mummy, what's the meaning of life?" Reality is - so here's some in a heapin' helpin'!

This is why God allowed us to invent Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

This is why journalists go to university, to get to the heart of the matters that matter.

This might rate, or something like it will, and that's why we have a compliant industry doing cages and crews and zoos with Ms Gillard on "so how do you and Tim chill?"


UPDATED with an audio editorial from me about Baz dealing with the devil



Barry O'Farrell's public service chiefs like Michael Coutts Trotter know how to get things done.

They are superbly connected with the traditional decision making body in NSW - the networks that lead to Sussex Street and Mssrs Dastyari, Obeid, Arbib et al.

They will be pleased that post-modern Barry has seen the wisdom of their impartial advice.   This puts the interests of NSW taxpayers first, this is a good deal for us, take it Premier - you'll be seen to be above politics and a strong sensible leader.

In a couple of minutes Barry OFarrell will appear jointly with Julia Gillard to announce how he is fitting in with her plans to take from unis and non compliant premiers and give to people who allow themselves to be used by her.

This is in the Oz

NSW first on board with Gonski


JULIA Gillard and Barry O'Farrell have sealed the first Gonski education deal.

The NSW Premier and the Prime Minister will make the announcement at a 12.30pm (AEST) press conference.

NSW is the first state to formally agree to Labor's Gonski education funding reforms and in doing so will create pressure for other states to come on board.

The government has agreed to the deal this morning, worth at least $5 billion to NSW.


In a command and control economy, the Commissars decide who goes to university. Individuals can't be trusted.

Work hard, get reward.   If everyone does it the country grows and we're all better off.

Make me boss, you'll get money for free and we'll all go to the pub sounds good but it doesn't last long.

You can see the obvious signs of the Swan/Gillard approach to building Australia.  Handouts of free money (plasmas, pokies etc), grants to back the government on fashionable issues like climate change and the consious encouragement of class warfare by demonising employers like Gina Rinehart.

But there are insidious and less obvious changes afoot to our social contract with each other that will be much more far-reaching.   Grab the CVs of the big achievers who've made Australia great over the years and you don't have read too many to see statements like, "he studied at night to get his degree/HSC/other qualifications".   It's just been a part of the fabric of the place that you are reponsible for investing in you and the skills you need to do achieve what you want.

And where there are expenses to be met - like uni fees for an MBA or a further engineering degree, then your expenses in investing in you should be tax deductible.   I did it myself, enrolling in Melbourne University's MBA program in the mid 1990s, when I had a new marriage, new baby, big job and big mortgage.   Even then it was several thousand dollars per semester and I was glad I paid for myself and glad that it was quite properly tax deductible.   I only ever enrolled in that course because it was relevant directly to my career and income producing capability.

Now Swan and his crew want to limit the tax deductibility of those education self expenses.   That's a huge issue for young ambitious people who want to invest in themselves.   The decision to do it can only have come from someone like Swan/Gillard, who gets ahead in life by things like this:

Three months after the nation's federal politicians were given hefty  pay  increases,  MPs and senators have received another 3 per cent pay rise, a   figure almost double the official inflation rate.

The independently administered Remuneration Tribunal (appointed by Gillard, MPS note)approved the pay  increases in March.

The increase means a backbencher will get an extra $106 a week, taking their  salary to $190,550.

Combined with the massive pay rise MPs received in March, the annual  salary  of a backbencher has increased by $49,640 compared with a year  ago – about  $1000 a week.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's salary rises by $14,430 to $495,430,  meaning  she is earning a whopping $129,064  more than she was a year ago –  or almost  $2500 extra a week.

Read more:

Go to any uni now and on each course - I'm personally familiar with the business/MBA type areas - there'll be a large proportion of people like police/nurses/teachers/even trade unionists who are doing the course with their employer picking up the tab. 100% - no tax deduction for expenses because there is no expense to the individual.

That's the big difference in the Swan/Gillard approach.   You should not be ecouraged to invest in you.   Someone in a position of authority should decide who gets to have the the employer-sponsored MBA, you as an individual should not have support for your own decision to invest in you by making your investment in you tax deductible.

We (the state) should be able to dole out goodies like covering tuition fees for an MBA to people who we judge are worthy of our (ie taxpayer) investment.   See the difference?

This move by Swan/Gillard announced as part of the education "reforms" will be a terribly corrosive influence over time on our character as a nation of hard working people who have a personal interest in building up their capabilities - rather than as a nation of connected mates who owe something to their sponsors.

Here's how the professional engineers see it - I'd imagine it's much the same for doctors and other professional people.

Engineering profession undermined_ by slash and burn tax proposal_001

A progress report and a couple of developments

A bit of explanation about the website yesterday - it's such a relief to have things operating properly again today!

A couple of important stories breaking this week on Gillard

The Speaker's response to Julie Bishop's privileges allegations against Gillard

Slater and Gordon and the request by Blewitt for a copy of the Trust Account Receipt



Canadian Al Qa'ida terror arrests - their plans were based on an ideology

"Their plans were based on an ideology."  Assistant Commissioner James Malizia, Royal Canadian Mounted Police commenting on the arrest yesterday of two foreign nationals in an Al-Qa-ida linked terror plot.

A bit of plain talking common sense from a copper who belongs to a police force where the unofficial motto is "We Always Get Our Man".

It helps to understand the threat, what motivates them and how they think.   We seem to bend over backwards here to emphasise that it's nothing to do with Islam, this was the act of a single disturbed individual etc. 

Congratulations to the Mounties on these arrests.   Those coppers will never get to meet the people who would have been killed on that train.  Because it could have been any of us, the police work directly protects all of us.   We owe police and security services everywhere a personal thank-you.

Two arrested in Canada over al-Qa'ida plot

The Australian carries this report today:

TWO foreign nationals have been arrested in Canada in connection with what federal police say was a plot backed by al-Qa'ida to derail a passenger train in the Toronto area.

Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, were allegedly planning to  carry out an attack on a Via Rail passenger train, the Royal Canadian  Mounted Police (RCMP) told a press conference on Monday.

A bail hearing was set for Tuesday.

Charges filed against the two include conspiring to carry out an  attack and conspiring with a terrorist group to murder persons, though  very few details about the plot were revealed.

Assistant RCMP Commissioner James Malizia told reporters the suspects  "were receiving support from al-Qaeda elements located in Iran" but  added: "There's no indication that these attacks were state-sponsored."

When asked to describe the kind of support offered, he replied: "Direction and guidance."

Malizia said the suspects were "not Canadian citizens" but declined  to reveal their nationalities. One of the two men lived in Montreal for  several years, he added, without saying which one.

The suspects' plans were "not based on their ethnic origins but on an ideology," police said.

RCMP Chief Superintendent Jennifer Strachan said the duo - who had  been under surveillance since last August - planned "to derail a  passenger train" in the Toronto area, though she would not specify which  route.