So much wonderful commentary on the Gillard/AWU saga today.
In the Fin Mark Skulley, unveils police documents ferreted out by lawyer Harry Nowicki, that show employers paying $186,000 into the fraudulent AWU fund controlled by Bruce Wilson, Gillard’s then boyfriend. The money was paid, presumably to buy industrial peace, by employers including Thiess Contractors, John Holland, Phillips Fox, Woodside Petroleum and Fluor Daniel. Further more substantial were paid from Western Australian employers.
In the Australian, Hedley Thomas injects a little more information about how now judge Ian Cambridge and now Gillard cabinet minister Joseph Ludwig, tried to prevent the fraudsters in the AWU being packed off and silenced with a payout. He says, “Law firm Slater & Gordon was involved in negotiating more than $100,000 in redundancy for the men. Ms Gillard worked at Slater & Gordon and acted for the AWU prior to her departure in September 1995 after she admitted helping to set up a “slush fund” for Mr Wilson. There is no evidence Ms Gillard had any knowledge of the redundancy payments.”
By contrast, The Age today concentrates on bashing the catholics and how Alan Jones’s privately recorded comments on Gillard cost his radio station $1 million.
But in an op ed in the Fin, Grace Collier presents an exquisite analysis. She notes, ”Union troops know that breaking the law is sometimes required because when a law is “unjust” you have a “duty” to ignore it. Civil disobedience is okay if the end justifies the means.’
She then relates how successful women react to claims of misconduct, “Their starting position is always a haughty refusal to answer questions or participate in investigations they consider beneath them. Next they attempt to retain control by trying to impose their conditions and time frames on the investigation. They attempt to distract from their own conduct by focusing on the poor conduct of others. Some flail about, claiming the status of bullying or sexism victim.”
And with a flourish she ends, “Julia Gillard is highly educated and now finds herself in a position of privilege, yet her persona is that of a likeable “bogan” unimpressed by power or money. She has a non-traditional personal life yet has managed to cast her opponent – a traditional married man – as a creepy weirdo.
“Gillard flies around in a corporate jet while portraying herself as a victim of a sexist system. She won praise for an hour-long press conference in which she left us with the impression that to set up a trust fund was a grave offence whereas to set up a slush fund was OK.
“Our Prime Minister has no more time for the AWU scandal; she has a country to run.”