A few memories to make you wonder how we just let it happen!
Howard Sattler of 6PR in Perth suspended over interview with Prime Minister Gillard

Downfall - How the Labor Party ripped itself apart

Aaroln Patrick is a senior journalist with the Australian Financial Review newspaper.

His book which chronicles some of the incredible immoral, unethical and downright criminal conduct which has destroyed the Labor Party is out now.


Craig Thomson, Eddie Obeid, Julia Gillard, Peter Slipper, Michael Williamson, Bruce Wilson - all the major stories feature.   Aaron presents a lot of new material about the HSU, Williamson and Thomson matters that will be probably be news to you.  

The picture of the Labor Party that emerges is horrible and it's hard to see how it can fix itself.

I bought the book online last night - I've skimmed all of it and have read the coverage of the HSU and AWU matters in detail.

I spoke with Aaron as he was writing the book earlier this year.   I think he's produced a useful work - but I find it unforgivably incomplete in relation to the AWU scandal and the current status of investigations into it.

Here are a few paragraphs from the book which describe how Aaron saw the wrap-up of the AWU matter in November, 2012.

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I don't know how Aaron could miss the fact of a sitting Prime Minister being a suspect in a major state police fraud squad investigation.    In October 2012 Victoria Police accepted a crime report detailing the apparent creation of a false document, namely a Specific Power of Attorney dated 4 February, 1993.   Julia Gillard was named in the report and her details including her handwriting are on the apparently false document.

The Victoria Police investigation has grown from one detective assessing evidence in October 2012, to a large team of detectives working full time on a criminal investigation of the course of conduct of several people in The AWU Scandal from 1991 to 1995 and beyond.   Gillard's conduct is central in the investigation.

The former head of Western Australia's corruption commission Terry O'Connor QC delivered an opinion published in The Australian on 19 December, 2012 in which he characterised Gillard's conduct:

Section 170 of the Criminal Code WA provides that "any person who, being required under a written law to give information to another person, knowingly gives information to the other person, that is false in a material particular is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for three years".

Section 43 of the Associations Incorporations Act also makes it an offence for a person to lodge a document with the commissioner which the person knows is false or misleading in any material respect.

In this case the rules lodged did not state the real object of the association. The application, which certified compliance with the act, falsely certified that the association was eligible for incorporation under subsection 4(1e) of the act as an association of more than five members formed for political purposes when in fact it had only two members - Blewitt and Wilson.

Under either of these provisions Blewitt, as the person who made the application for incorporation, in my view could have been charged with knowingly giving false information to the commissioner as he was aware that the objects set out in the rules were not the real objects of the association and that the certification in the formal application was false.

Section 7(b) of the Criminal Code provides that where an offence has been committed, a person who does or omits to do any act for the purpose of enabling or aiding another person to commit an offence, is also guilty of the same offence and is liable to the same punishment as if he or she had committed the offence. A lawyer who advises a client to do something that would constitute an offence would be caught by this provision.

Gillard advised Blewitt on the incorporation of the association and prepared the rules of the association and, following a query from the commissioner, wrote arguing for the incorporation of the association.

The letter has not been disclosed so it is impossible to draw any conclusions about it. Gillard has maintained that she did nothing wrong but has not explained why she says that.

However, without some explanation from her as to what occurred, there is, in my opinion, a prima facie case that she could have been charged along with Blewitt as she drafted the rules of the association for Blewitt knowing that the rules did not disclose the purpose for which the association was being incorporated.

I know the company that Aaron works for, Fairfax Media, publisher of the Australian Financial Review and owner of radio 2UE.   The groupthink within that organisation is a powerful force and I believe retrograde force in our nation's understanding of the whole of the Labor/Gillard debacle, including the role of The AWU Scandal.

Aaron's book suffers from that groupthink too, his omissions when information is so readily available render an otherwise compelling work so incomplete as to be an unreliable record.