Michelle Obama attended the service for the unlamented dead Saudi king on Tuesday - without wearing a head scarf. Good on her.
Both Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten excluded the media from their trips - this point was first picked up by Paul Murray on his SkyNews show, it's since made a bit of a splash on Twitter. Thanks to reader JM for the tip.
I was one of the staunchest advocates for the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. I'm deeply disappointed by its conduct to date.
The Commission's operating budget (to November 2014) was $33.8M - however it only spent $17M. That 50% underspend would normally be cause for celebration - but in this case it reflects a lack of investigative enthusiasm and diligence.
Everv day-one, week-one policeman knows it's prudent to take a statement from someone who's had their car stolen. If someone is deceived in a fraud, you'll need a statement from them too. If there are contested court proceedings you'll need that person as a witness.
Ray Neal was the acting corporate affairs commissioner who was deceived into incorporating the Australian Workers' Union - Workplace Reform Association. He was deceived, yet he was not called as a witness to the Royal Commission. His recall is sharp and his evidence is important. I was able to get him on tape and on the record after knocking on his door - the Royal Commission's failure to call him is inexplicable.
The Royal Commission (courtesy of the Victoria Police) had Ray Neal's letter in May of this year. It sat in Perth in June - yet it didn't call Neal. It didn't call Russell Frearson, the former accountant and official of the AWU who could give evidence that Wilson had already established his own election fund. Frearson says there was a payroll deduction election fund established in 1991, a fact that goes to the motivation and knowledge of both Wilson and Gillard as they contemplated establishing the sham AWU WRA.
Julia Gillard wrote the rules or objects of the Australian Workers' Union - Workplace Reform Association, but the Royal Commission's interim report doesn't exhibit her document. The report examines the application form and the certificate accompanying it - but is silent in what should have been a comprehensive examination of Gillard's objects/rules.
Why should that document have been more comprehensively examined? Because Gillard's work is prima facie a forgery, a false document uttered to deceive the corporate affairs commissioner into incorporating her sham entity. There was no Association. It could not have met and formed. It could not have approved its own rules because it did not exist. Any document which purports to be a document of that Association is forgery - as much a forgery as if I signed a document as Julia Gillard.
In his interim report the Commissioner helps us to understand the role of an accessory to certain offences. He says,
It has been held, in respect of those similar provisions, that a person is not liable as an accessory unless he or she has actual knowledge of the essential matters that make up the contravention (although the person need not know that his or her participation was a breach of the Act).24 It may be possible to infer knowledge from a combination of suspicious circumstances and a failure to make enquiry.25
It is indeed possible to infer that Ms Gillard had knowledge of the essential matters that make up Wilson and Blewitt's crimes - from a combination of suspicious circumstances and from her abject failure to make obvious enquiries. The improper use of the AWU's name and the deception of the WA Corporate Affairs Commissioner are cases in point. After May, 1992 Ms Gillard and her co-offenders were formally on notice from the Corporate Affairs Commission that there was a problem with their AWU Workplace Reform Association. She had the opportunity to correct the record, to make clear this was simply an election fund. She did not do that. As the Commissioner helpfully points out, her "failure to make an enquiry" of the alleged members of the sham association to seek guidance is highly suspicious - yet the Royal Commission has delivered her an undeservedly clean slate.
The Trade Union Royal Commission has 10 effective months remaining in which to do its work. Its zealous pursuit of the relatively low level crimes of low level apparatchiks like Ms Butera and Ms Zanatta have been sideshows. The Commission needs to aim higher. It appears to be fearful of upsetting political players, yet that is precisely where its focus ought to be.
There are now changed circumstances involving Ms Gillard. Mr Neal has a story to tell. The Commission should hear from him and Ms Gillard. And so should a jury.
(Ray Neal at home with a photo of the empty Australian Workers' Union - Workplace Reform Association file)
Ray Neal is in now in his seventies but he still has the gravitas of a head honcho about him. He's the sort of bloke Banjo Patterson might have called "hard and tough and wiry, just the sort who won't say die". I wouldn't want to mess with him, his piercing blue eyes give you the same message as his carefully chosen words, this bloke is a straight-shooter who won't react well to being stuffed around.
We met in his beautiful home opposite a lake on the outskirts of Perth. His recall of his days at the helm of Western Australia's Corporate Affairs Commission was instant and crystal clear.
Ray Neal was deceived into registering the Australian Workers' Union - Workplace Reform Association. It beggars belief that he was not called as a witness by the Royal Commission - more on that issue later.
Yesterday Mr Neal told me that in 1992 Corporate Affairs had an internal check list that had to be completed prior to incorporating an association and the appearance of the name "Australian Workers' Union" on an application form would have triggered a range of enquiries, including the fact that it appeared to be a trade union and therefore ineligible for incorporation.
Beyond the trade union concerns, the name Australian Workers' Union was already taken, it belonged to the AWU. That would have triggered a query from his staff to ensure that the new association was authorised to use the AWU's name. Mr Neal said, "the officer in charge (of the file) would have ensured that it was being registered to the right party". That is part of the reason for his outwards letter seeking confirmation of the Association's bona fides.
On 15 May 1992 Mr Neal wrote to Julia Gillard at her Slater and Gordon address. He quoted her reference "IU:JG" and said, "Thank you for your letter of 13 May concerning the application by Mr R.E. Blewitt to incorporate the above association. The explanation you have provided....... is accepted...."
In her departure interview, Peter Gordon said to Ms Gillard, "..there'd been a letter back from the authority suggesting that it might be...........ineligible for incorporation under that legislation, and that we had prepared a response.......arguing the case for its incorporation....."
Gillard said, "Yes..."
We do not (yet) have a copy of Ms Gillard's letter of 13 May which vouched for the bona fides of what was a sham entity - but we do know that the AWU had not authorised the use of its name.
Ms Gillard's story is that she believed she was simply setting up a payroll deduction election fund to pay for Wilson's election expenses as a union official. But she could not have told that to the Corporate Affairs Commissioner - if she had said that it would have been game over.
Ray Neal told me he would not have incorporated an election slush fund.
Mr Neal said that if he was told it was an election slush fund, "It wouldn't have been allowed to be registered. It would have been inappropriate to have registered it. It's gotta be all non-profit organisations, that's charitable and non-profit organisations, anything other than that would not have been registrable under the act."
When Ray Neal queried the use of the AWU name it was Ms Gillard at Slater and Gordon, a lawyer acting for the AWU, who wrote back to convince him all was OK. She agreed with Peter Gordon that she "argued the case for its incorporation". It wasn't Ralph Blewitt or Bruce Wilson who convinced Mr Neal that it was OK to use the AWU name. It was Julia Gillard. Mr Neal was deceived. Mr Neal was a public official. And the deception has Julia Gillard's fingerprints all over it.
Every touch leaves its trace.
Following is an extract from Julia Gillard's departure interview from Slater and Gordon, 11 September, 1995.
First up to The Australian newspaper today and its Cut and Paste section:
Channel 9’s Laurie Oakes tweets, Monday:
LIBS must wonder who can help a PM apparently determined to be seen as a joke. #jokeknighthood”
Responses on Michael Smith News blog yesterday:
JOHN of the Lockyer: ... Prince Philip was awarded the highest honour, at that time, by prime minister (Bob) Hawke in 1988 ... Don’t recall Oakes and ilk getting their jocks in a knot over that.
Now here's the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme in Australia homepage - and below is the organisation's press release about the award of a Knighthood to the Duke.
Stu further advises:
I fully expect to cop some flack over this post, but if something is silly, it's silly from either side of the divide. Having been a strong supporter of Tony Abbott since he won the leadership of the party, I despair at the constant free kicks given to the opposition through lack of a consultative process. If there's one thing I pride myself on as a conservative, it is our ability to rise above the 'tribal' and call something for what it is!
Firstly thank you everyone one at MSN who sent Christmas cards to Ruby & myself, Ruby was checking the mail box everyday she is so excited getting cards from you all including the earrings with one card (PLB) Ruby loves them.
Now whats the program for 2015, well it's" Not over yet"
The recommendations handed down by The Hon. John Dyson Haydon AC QC & Mr Jeremy Stoljar SC in late 2014 are only that recommendations and the opinions of those two aforementioned persons,and fly in the face of the opinions of no less than three other highly respected QC 's. and one of them said Julia Gillard had a case to answer before the courts how can the RC get it so wrong or are they just going through the motions with know intent to put any party involved in the AWU fraud before the courts.
I think that the comments from the Royal Commission is biased in the favor of protecting the former Prime Minister Ms Julia Gillard from being brought before a jury of her peers.
There is ample evidence of Ms Julia Gillard's criminal behavior for her part in the AWU fraud.
Someone commented on MSN that I will never be charged because if I am then Julia Gillard would have to called as a witness in any court case.
I am waiting to being charged along with Bruce Wilson and others for their part in the fraud.
My view is that a good prosecution attorney, will asking the right questions of witnesses that in the past have given misleading answers to the same question on different occasions,that the conflicting evidence would lead to additional persons / witnesses facing charges.
The Royal Commission is not a court of law it's an inquiry into Trade Union Corruption and Governance.
The place the evidence needs to be tested is in a court of law where the persons involved are facing charges and under oath and that is only satisfactory way to prove innocence or guilt of all of the persons involved in the AWU fraud including Ms Julia Gillard.
I'm going to put to good use the funds I received as gifts over Christmas, Ruby & I will be flying to Australia in April to attend Anzac day & the 100th Anzac Centenary celebrations.
Whilst we are in Australia I intend to meet with persons that are already inquiring into the AWU fraud with a view to moving the investigation along.
Until I have meet with thous persons in order not to provide information to other persons of interest in the AWU fraud I cannot give you more information at this point it time.
But once I have met with them and on return to Malaysia I will give you all via MSN a report as to who I met and where possible the content of the information given at thous meetings.
As I said before " It's Not over yet"
I remain committed to exposing the Coverup by Julia Gillard of her part in the AWU fraud and the Abuse of Power by Julia Gillard and others in shutting down the Main Stream Media about her part in the fraud.
I will finish now by saying once again Thank you from Ruby and myself for your moral & other support.
As in the past I take full responsibility for the content of this email it is written with honesty by myself and views expressed here I mine and that of know one else.
Regards Ralph Blewitt.