Political lawfare

Looks like it might be illegal to bring sexual harassment charges against public officials – it might cause them embarrassment or harm them.

MAL Brough faces a federal police investigation into allegations he encouraged former speaker Peter Slipper’s staff to leak sensitive diaries in a “political conspiracy” to bring down the government.

The Gillard government has authorised a Queensland Labor MP, Graham Perrett, to refer the matter to Australian Federal Police Commissioner Tony Negus, claiming the Liberals may also have breached laws prohibiting the harming of a public official, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, or acted as an accessory to the conspiracy.

Here is the section of the Act:

147.1 Causing harm to a Commonwealth public official etc.
Causing harm to a Commonwealth public official
(1) A person (the first person) is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the first person engages in conduct; and
(b) the first person’s conduct causes harm to a public official; and
(c) the first person intends that his or her conduct cause harm to the official; and
(d) the harm is caused without the consent of the official; and
(e) the first person engages in his or her conduct because of:
(i) the official’s status as a public official; or
(ii) any conduct engaged in by the official in the official’s capacity as a public official; and
(ea) the public official is a Commonwealth public official; and
(eb) if subparagraph (e)(i) applies—the status mentioned in that subparagraph was status as a Commonwealth public official; and
(ec) if subparagraph (e)(ii) applies—the conduct mentioned in that subparagraph was engaged in by the official in the official’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official.
Penalty:
(f) if the official is a Commonwealth judicial officer or a Commonwealth law enforcement officer—imprisonment for 13 years; or
(g) in any other case—imprisonment for 10 years.

Looks like a get-out-of-jail-free card for Commonwealth public officials. Anyone lodging a complaint against any official is themself guilty of a crime. Mind you, I would be surprised if that was the Parliamentary intention. If that were the case the wording of the letter Graham Perrett wrote to the AFP may itself violate that section:

Graham Perrett is a writer of pornographic novels. It’s honest work and hopefully will sustain him after his political career ends. The more interesting thing that he has written is paragraph 3 of his letter:

“… a fabricated sexual harassment claim …” is a big call. Going to be a bit of a problem if Ashby’s claim is upheld.

What about the politics in the paragraph? Would a Liberal in the seat cause the government to change? Well, no. We may recall that Slipper was elected as a Liberal and held the seat as a Liberal before becoming Speaker – yet the government did not fall. A by-election would simply restore the seat to the Liberals. They would still be short of votes to bring down the government.

So this is political grandstanding to allow the government to make some hay at the Liberal’s expense leading up to the election. They may even get lucky and have the AFP drag the chain on rejecting the investigation or even actually investigating. Mind you, hard to see any investigation until Ashby has actually had his day in court – something the government were very keen on in Thompson’s case.

The other point to remember is that while this sort of thing is grubby everyone plays the game. Sending Pauline Hanson to prison was disgraceful.

Update: Gerard Henderson explains the political calculus:

The Prime Minister formed government after she obtained the support of two rural and regional independent MPs – Rob Oakeshott (Lyne) and Tony Windsor (New England). Both were one-time Nationals members who represent seats in the House of Representatives and whose electorates clearly preferred the Coalition to Labor when they had a choice between the two parties in the 2010 Senate election.

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124 Responses to Political lawfare

  1. Taylor

    What a load of nonsense. Observe the palpable diffidence of paragraph 4 of the Perrett letter.

    There’s a line between politically motivated vexatious litigation and criminal conduct.

  2. Mike of Marion

    I’d see the action as a diversionary tactic by Labor.

  3. Mundi

    Just the government coming up with busy work. Imagine all the people being put to pointless work by all this.

    There will be an investigation and a report that labor will use to attack the liberals, but no one will be prosecuted for anything.

  4. Leigh Lowe

    Rares is a ALP flunky who has no hard evidence of wrongdoing by Brough and has simply joined the dots.
    As for roping Pyne and Bishop into this that is a pure fishing expedition.

    Why don’t we all write to the AFP with our own speculative theories about, say, [very long list of interesting stuff. Sinc.], and any other smear I can think of?

    [Let's leave Rares out of the discussion until another finding has been made. Sinc]

  5. Lew

    While they’re assiduously pursuing Mr.Brough the Political Police might like to cast an eye over Section 137.1 False or Misleading Information.In summary any person who gives misleading information to another person and that person is performing or exercising functions in connection with the law of the Commonwealth,can be imprisoned for 12 months.So some Lying Slapper giving false information to a person exercising the function of voting,as required by the Commonwealth Electoral Act,in a Federal Election might well qualify for the 12 month sabbatical.

  6. Leigh Lowe

    A by-election would follow ….

    In Slippery’s case would it be a by-election, or a bi-election?

  7. Megan

    I think it’s a high risk strategy that could well come back to bite them on the bum. But since that’s been their standard operating procedure since 2007, why should we expect this one to be any different?

    Perrett will end up as collateral damage.

  8. C.L.

    Given how corrupt the AFP is – they are yet to interview Julia Gillard re the race riot she instigated on Australia Day – it’s a worrying development. The Liberals need to smash the AFP’s upper echelons after the next electetion.

  9. Tom

    Causing harm to a Commonwealth public official
    (1) A person (the first person) is guilty of an offence if:
    (a) the first person engages in conduct; and
    (b) the first person’s conduct causes harm to a public official; and
    (c) the first person intends that his or her conduct cause harm to the official; and
    (d) the harm is caused without the consent of the official;

    Why wasn’t this outrageous nonsense laughed out of the House of Representatives and the Senate? Whose “baby” was it in the parliamentary ALP? Was it Roxon?

    Why didn’t the press ridicule and lampoon it?

    Why didn’t the Coalition stage a walkout in protest against the passing of these amendments? Why hasn’t the Coalition pledged to repeal them?

    We wonder why the public is pissed off with media and politics.

  10. Sinclair Davidson

    Tom – it is designed to stop people from sabotaging the careers of individuals doing their jobs. It’s not meant to protect grubby politicians.

  11. Skuter

    Somebody needs to remind Perrett that the government installed Slipper in order to shaft Wilkie. The question of numbers on the floor of the house is a problem entirely of their own making.

  12. C.L.

    This is where Abbott always misses the bus.

    The Coalition should this morning officially refer Gillard’s staff to the AFP for investigation re the Australia Day riot. They should also call for Tony Hodge to be extradited from the UK.

  13. Grey

    ” It’s not meant to protect grubby politicians.”
    You mean Mal Brough and his little chums Gregory Andrews and James Ashby?

  14. A Lurker

    Perhaps the L/NP should in return request an urgent and official police enquiry into the Australia Day race-riot that originated from the Office of the Prime Minister.

    There was on that day potential harm to innocent people, and a clear and present danger to both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader.

    It is interesting how no-one faced consequences for that action, and the fall-guy ended up landing a plumb job overseas. It seems to me that the reach of the AFP is limited indeed, especially when it involves wrongdoing by Labor and their mates. One has to wonder if corruption has permeated the AFP too.

  15. val majkus

    worth while looking at the definitions: s146.1

    harm means:

    (a) physical harm (whether temporary or permanent); or

    (b) harm to a person’s mental health (whether temporary or permanent);

    but does not include being subjected to a force or impact that is within the limits of what is reasonably acceptable as incidental to:

    (c) social interaction; or

    (d) life in the community.

    harm to a person’s mental health includes significant psychological harm to the person, but does not include a reference to ordinary emotional reactions (for example, distress, grief, fear or anger).

    physical harm includes:

    (a) unconsciousness; and

    (b) pain; and

    (c) disfigurement; and

    (d) infection with a disease; and

    (e) any physical contact with a person that the person might reasonably object to in the circumstances (whether or not the person was aware of it at the time).

    serious harm means any harm (including the cumulative effect of more than one harm) that:

    (a) endangers, or is likely to endanger, a person’s life; or

    (b) is, or is likely to be, significant and longstanding.

    So I would disagree with Sinc where he says “Looks like a get-out-of-jail-free card for Commonwealth public officials. Anyone lodging a complaint against any official is themself guilty of a crime. ”

    If you go by the definitions seems more like it’s aimed at physically harming (assault etc); or causing significant psychological harm (the latter being so vague as to be meaningless, ie does it cover the situation where the truth is told which might cause significant psychological harm; ie no public official would like to be told he/she is corrupt even if it were true but the result might be significant psychological harm

    Maybe the truth is exempted and I haven’t read far enough

  16. Pickles

    Here’s silly me thinking this matter needed another million chucked at it. Make that ten.

  17. derFRED

    Roxon settled Ashby’s claim for $50,000 with the justification of saving taxpayer’s money – after spending reportedly $750,000 defending the claim.

    This government would be a joke if they weren’t causing so much damage to the country.

  18. Sinclair Davidson

    You mean Mal Brough and his little chums Gregory Andrews and James Ashby?

    … and the rest.

  19. Sinclair Davidson

    Should also point out that trying to bring down the government is the Leader of the Opposition’s actual job.

  20. Chez

    Do Labor think by doing this we will stop thinking that Slipper is a self-serving scumbag, that Roxon is an unprofessional AG by her interference and that Gillard is untrustworthy!

    The Coalition should get the AFP to look into Roxon for her constant interference in this case and trying to pre-empt the decision of the Judge by trying to influence his decision by her unethical comments!

  21. Pyrmonter

    If Rares is a labor flunky, why was he a Lib Fed Court appointee? The judgment is actually a fairly damning indictment on the Ames played in stafferland – it is long past time the capricious and parochial provincial court (on both sides) in Canberra was exposed and its mandate removed.

  22. candy

    No grand conspiracy but it looks to me like Mal Brough has been meddling unnecessarily. Slippery is too sleazy for anyone’s liking and it looks unfavourable for LNP to be involved.
    Barnaby Joyce said it was bad form of Brough to be involved and he always says it like it is.

  23. Rabz

    The Coalition should get the AFP to look into Roxon for her constant interference in this case and trying to pre-empt the decision of the Judge by trying to influence his decision by her unethical comments!

    Another matter for the Coalition to deal with following their victory in the next election.

  24. Tiny Dancer

    I can’t begin to imagine the pompous hypocrisy of this government “authorising” one of its members to make a complaint to the police about public humiliation.

    They routinely publicly humiliate themselves and they launched the mother of all public humiliations against Rudd earlier this year.

  25. juanluissegundo

    “Should point out that trying to bring down the government is the leader of the opposition’s actual job”
    Strictly speaking – in the Westminister system – it isn’t.
    The people decide who forms government – based on the notion that individual elected members cooperate to form political alliances (now called parties) and further cooperate to pass legislation. The people bring down (or elect) governments.
    A bit arcane perhaps, but that’s how it was designed.
    Just curious – have you always lived in Australia? Many of your understandings about our national life lead me to think that perhaps you were brought up in a different dispensation.

  26. C.L.

    Strictly speaking – in the Westminister system – it isn’t.

    Australia isn’t the Westminster system. The founders deliberately avoided a direct copy of Westminster, preferring a mix of the British, the American and the Swiss.

    The very words “strictly speaking” are meaningless because the office of prime minister, the office of Leader of the Opposition, even the Cabinet, are not mentioned in the Constitution. The convention, however, is that there is a Leader of the Opposition and his job is to hold the government to ceaseless and ruthless account.

    Many of your understandings about our national life lead me to think that perhaps you were brought up in a different dispensation.

    Ditto.

  27. Cold-Hands

    “… a fabricated sexual harassment claim …” is a big call. Going to be a bit of a problem if Ashby’s claim is upheld.

    Given that the Commonwealth has already settled the claim for $50,000, establishing that the claim was “fabricated” already is fighting an uphill battle. If the FWA complaint (with its reverse onus of proof) succeeds, then this action should be dead in the water.

  28. Gab

    If only Ashby was a female, there’d be no conspiracy charge.

  29. JC

    If only Ashby was a female, there’d be no conspiracy charge.

    Small edit suggestion. Should read:

    If only Ashby was a leftwing female, there’d be no conspiracy charge.

    That’s far more accurate.

  30. Tintarella di Luna

    If only Ashby was a leftwing female, there’d be no conspiracy charge.

    That’s far more accurate.

    Quite so. Particularly with misogyny rife in every corner of the land and Miss Take ready to call it out wherever it occurs.

  31. John Comnenus

    The irony is that this is exactly the charge that should have been used by Abbott against McTernan and Hodge over the Australia Day Riot. And of course the AFP Commissioner decided that no offence was committed despite the fact that the PM and Abbott had to be bundled out of the place by security.

    Now watch just how quickly our Police investigate a bogus crime reported by the ALP and how slow they are to investigate Thomson, Gillard and Rudd over Heiner. What this exercise will demonstrate is just how much senior police in all services are lap dogs of the ALP.

  32. JC

    The irony is that this is exactly the charge that should have been used by Abbott against McTernan and Hodge over the Australia Day Riot. And of course the AFP Commissioner decided that no offence was committed despite the fact that the PM and Abbott had to be bundled out of the place by security.

    Not only were they bundled out, but the fucker who managed the riot for the Slapper was quickly bundled out of the country into a secure job with… guess.. UK labor.

  33. Leigh Lowe

    ….. and Graham is shitting himself that he might have to get a real job post 2013, hence his desperate attack on Brough.

  34. Leigh Lowe

    If only Ashby was a leftwing female, there’d be no conspiracy charge.

    That’s far more accurate

    .

    Yes, interesting perspective to look at the obverse of this coin and take it a bit further.
    Imagine if the accused was, say, Abbott, the complainant was a lefty woman, and she sought advice from a former Queensland politician (oh …. for the sake of the argument this part can be played by Anna Bligh).
    Would there be any suggestion that Bligh had acted improperly?
    Nooooo ….. she would be lauded for encouraging wimmin to stand up for their rights.

  35. DaveF

    He was a teacher for 11 years.

    Jeepers he’s the only Labor member who has held a real job.

    No wonder he struggles to find a safe seat, no Labor pedigree.

  36. Borisgodunov

    He can always rejoin the communst pardee and go back to teaching kids communism .He would never get a job in Private Enterprise ,they dont employ perpetual students ,only the alp/groins employ them!

  37. Andrew

    He was a teacher for 11 years.

    Jeepers he’s the only Labor member who has held a real job.

    No wonder he struggles to find a safe seat, no Labor pedigree.

    Teaching is a highly ‘unionised’ profession. He’s basically another card in the union deck of cards that is the ALP.

  38. abra

    Has any one else from the federal LNP defended Brough apart from Abbott? Gutless wonders.

  39. Sinclair Davidson

    juanluissegundo – The leader of the opposition is the alternate PM whose job it is to form government if and when the PM loses control of the House. It is his, or her, job to form government. For example, Mrs Thatcher successful brought down the Callaghan government on the floor of the Parliament forcing a general election. Mr Fraser withheld supply and brought down the Whitlam government forcing a general election. If that is what you mean by “the people chosing” then we are in agreement. Yet John Curtin was able to bring down the Fadden government without an election occurring. So do try harder.

  40. DaveF

    Slightly off topic but can anyone recall a recent government with so much scandal?

    I dimly recall Fraser having a few scandals – the colour TV affair springs to mind – but surely this mob are a bottomless pit of sleaze.

    And the scandals are all grubby as well. No tax shenanigans for this lot, they are all sex or stealing from widows or hospital cleaners. Really sleazy stuff.

    Hell they even imported Slipper onto the team and look how that turned out.

  41. Chris M

    “Sending Pauline Hanson to prison was disgraceful.”

    Yes, thanks for that Tony Abbott. And he never disclosed where the money came from in his big drive against Pauline and her party. I find that affair the creepy side of Tony…

  42. C.L.

    If Gillard facilitated Hanson’s incarceration, Chris would be hailing it as a triumph against racism or something.

    Certainly Hanson’s ‘crime’ was less serious than Gillard’s slush fund rort.

  43. JimD

    Anna Bligh also was Unionised shit stirring lying B***H in Education Qld pre parliament job reward.

  44. jumpnmcar

    Pfft, AFP, they couldn’t even find out who leaked the “Rudd swear vid ” during Rudds challenge of Gillard.

    No-one conspired there, oh no, clean as a whistle, just a coincidence.

  45. Rabz

    Hell they even imported Slipper the musselman onto the team and look how that turned out.

    Loudly hailed at the time by none other than the court jesters of the national peanut gallery as another “political masterstroke” by the indescribably incompetent lardarse dullard.

    One seemingly unending circus.

  46. DaveF

    Nobody involved in the Hanson affair came out well.

  47. Rabz

    the “Rudd swear vid”

    Some of the most unpleasant, utterly infuriating footage I think I’ve ever had the misfortune of viewing in my entire life.

    The urge to somehow be able to jump through the screen and throttle the arrogant, narcissistic little shit was overwhelming.

    Definitely not good for the blood pressure…

  48. Abu Chowdah

    Juan Luis is better than Hammygar. I like the pompous verbosity.

  49. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Juanlessteste:

    in the Westminister system

    We do not have a Westminster system. The 1897-98 Constitutional Convention deliberately avoided it. We have a ‘Washminster’ system, a variant on the Westminster system as it existed in the 1890s.

    ‘King’ O’Malley, an American-Australian parliamentarian and well known social modernist played a significant role in the creation of our system. it is significantly different from Westminster and of course very different from the Washington system of which it borrows some features.

    You missed this, didn’t you?

    Now, mind telling us whose sockpuppet you are, oh balless one?

  50. Tom

    Juan Luis is better than Hammygar. I like the pompous verbosity.

    It apparently has an intellect unlike the hamster, the steves and the commo racist bigot. It does the arrogance we’ve come to expect of Lying Slut government sycophants in academia, so it probably sees itself as above regular trolling, although, with the left, victimhood is a powerful force for endumbenment that can express itself at any time as advanced mental illness.

  51. Abu Chowdah

    Juan less teste…. Very good!

  52. Rabz

    ‘King’ O’Malley, an American-Australian parliamentarian and well known social modernist…

    …and frigging teetotaller.

    Mk50, you’ll be pleased to know the CCC regularly convenes at King O’Malley’s for Friday night drinkies.

  53. .

    Applying this law in this way is not to the intent and spirit of the law, furthermore, it violates human and constitutional rights.

    Windsor filed a fallacious report to the AFP. Someone from Gillard’s office orchestrated a riot. Conroy, Shorten, Gillard, Trio, Wilson, Thomson, Blewitt and Williamson have been name in Parliament/s for wrongdoing.

    Our new troll has also recently suggested that Abbot should have bribed Oakeshott.

    The ALP are now full of dissembling crims.

  54. Jazza

    What happens to this country IF such a vexacious action succeeds? I ask because that would mean that the disgusting texts from Slipper would be vindicated as acceptable and no person would again be game to charge any politician with any crime

  55. .

    This will bite the ALP in the arse now they are playing hardball with Ashby.

    http://www.hrlrc.org.au/files/hrlrc-submission-access-to-justice-inquiry.pdf

    That or they are prepared to trash everything for a win, which will be repealed on their defeat.

  56. .

    Yes Jazza

    Applying the “abuse of process” rule here would be contrary to public interest. There is a public policy aspect to allow the whole ugly thing to go to a hearing.

  57. Sinclair Davidson

    He reminds me of Tillers.

  58. .

    He’s as full of shit, suggesting Abbot bribe Oakeshott to form Government 27 months or so ago.

  59. JimD

    Bit hard to get a handle on DaveF. Critises Govt but then knocks Abbott over Hanson injustice. Got it, must be a green.Only a green could be so naive as to think Hansonites irrespective of the past wrongdoings would go anywhere other than LNP given the current options available. Oops, there is the Mad Hatter Party option but it’s chocka block with the handfull of fuckwits that rooted Hansons’ turnout anyway and thus is not an option. Being basically christian I gotta run with the monks, mad or otherwise,Got me a bit buggard how all these pray to the east idiots are gonna vote for poofters, lesbians and athiests though.

  60. Quentin George

    Just curious – have you always lived in Australia? Many of your understandings about our national life lead me to think that perhaps you were brought up in a different dispensation.

    Just curious, have you done any research into how Government was won and lost in Australia’s first ten years?

    Barton resigned to join the High Court, Labor brought down Deakin’s government, Watson was brought down by the Free Traders and Protectionists, Reid by the Protectionists, Deakin by the ALP (again), then he formed a new party, until finally losing the 1910 election, meaning no PM lost office due to an election in the first ten years of Federation. So, while your interest in Australian political history is touching, perhaps holding off on the condescension might be a more suitable approach in future.

  61. Grey

    Our new troll has also recently suggested that Abbot should have bribed Oakeshott.

    Err I said he should have seen if he could find his way to accommodating Oakeshott’s enjoyment of making meandering speeches.
    Luckily Abbott wasn’t smart enough, think what we would have missed out on?
    The carbon tax
    The clean energy fund
    The Gonski report
    The NBN
    The NDIS
    The federal health care reforms – I don’t know what they are but I bet they are good.

    Just going over those text messages. On 1 February Ashby sends Slipper text 13397 “It’s so very hard to when u care about the bloke they keep [expletive] over. I hope they don’t [expletive] u over with this report.”
    Later that same evening Peter Slipper sends a series of drunken, misspelt and somewhat suggestive series of texts.
    The NEXT day at 1:30 Ashby goes off to Mark McArdle and shows him these texts. Mark McArdle, a lawyer, basically wants nothing to do with it and advises Ashby to try and cultivate a professional relationship with Slipper.
    So what prompts Ashby to go and see Brough at the end of March? It appears that Mark McArdle doesn’t want to touch this even with a clothes peg fastened to his nose. I am wondering if Brough had been trying to get other people to do the dirty work of pushing Ashby’s claims forward, but when everyone refused was forced to take a hand himself.

  62. .

    Err I said he should have seen if he could find his way to accommodating Oakeshott’s enjoyment of making meandering speeches.

    You may have, but you also suggested a bribe.

    There will be no lying on this blog.

  63. Grey

    You may have, but you also suggested a bribe.

    Errr, no I suggested not running an opponent against him. It is quite possible the Liberals won’t run an opponent against Tony Crook (probably they will, but they may not), so there is nothing corrupt about that.

  64. .

    Errr, no I suggested not running an opponent against him. It is quite possible the Liberals won’t run an opponent against Tony Crook (probably they will, but they may not), so there is nothing corrupt about that.

    You know that you are being dishonest.

    To whit:

    and just promising not to run a candidate against Rob Oakshott might have been all it took for a switcheroo

    As 2dogs said:

    This would constitute bribery under setcion 141.1 of the Criminal Code (Cth) 1995.

  65. Sid Vicious

    Wouldn’t living legend and ALP icon RJL Hawke have something to worry about? According to the ACT, the AFP may pay Mr Hawke a visit. It was Mr Hawke who said Mr Abbott was as ‘mad as a cut snake’. He also referred to Mr Abbott as a ‘bugger’. We all know that a bugger engages in anal intercourse and although Mr Rotten and myself used foul language we never uttered the ‘bugger’ word. By calling Mr Abbott ‘mad’ and also throwing in the term ‘bugger’ to describe Mr Abbott, Mr Hawke may have some explaining to do when you look closely at Section 147.1 of the ACT with regard to causing harm to a Commonwealth public official. Here’s what Mr Hawke said:

    Abbott ‘mad as a cut snake’: Hawke
    July 23, 2010

    Bob Hawke says the Liberals have a stupid asylum seeker policy and a leader who’s as “mad as a cut snake”.

    The former Labor prime minister used his appearance at a campaign launch in Melbourne’s marginal seat of Deakin on Friday to unleash the brutal assessment of Tony Abbott.

    “What’s the bugger going to say next?” Mr Hawke said, leading the laughter of dozens of Labor supporters in the crammed campaign office.


  66. Grey

    As 2dogs said:

    This would constitute bribery under setcion 141.1 of the Criminal Code (Cth) 1995.

    2dogs can say it all he/she wants, he or she is still wrong.

  67. M Ryutin

    This talk of inquiries, investigations and even the idea of Slipper going back as Speaker are total nonsense and entirely political, will NEVER get anywhere and are not intended to do so anyway. None of these proposed political moves can move forward in any way without the facts of the harassment being examined. Such an examination will only bring grief to the political stooges pushing this theme right now because it demands that the Slipper/Ashby texts be examined. The supine LNP/Liberal Party types are just too weak and shell-shocked to attack this fake theme properly (although Greg Hunt, for one, did a good enough job on Australian Agenda this morning).

  68. .

    …and suing an MP is a “threat” to them, is it?

    Funny how Slipper’s legal arguments never considered this.

  69. Grey

    At least one person has managed to keep his head and zero in on the key issue
    Tony Abbott: “Has any taxpayer money been used to prepare this letter? Have public servants been used to prepare this letter? Did Mr Perrett actually author this letter himself?”

    Said with the air of a man who has 70 billion dollars worth of commitments to fund.

  70. M Ryutin

    abra 23 Dec 12 at 2:23 pm
    “Has any one else from the federal LNP defended Brough apart from Abbott? Gutless wonders”.

    Greg Hunt on Australian Agenda today

  71. .

    Said with the air of a man who has 70 billion dollars worth of commitments to fund.

    There is now no doubt you are but a pathetic ALP troll.

    This is a fucking lie. Gillard, Swan and Emerson lied about the carbon tax and their inability to be fiscally responsible.

  72. Grey

    I imagine the good electors of Longman think their current member is a big step up. That was quite a swing to the ALP in 2010.

    I am told there is a joke going around the National party at the moment: How do you win a marginal seat? Give Mal Brough a safe seat.

  73. candy

    Perrett asserts that M. Brough had unauthorised access to Slippy’s diaries, crime. That’s pretty serious (if it’s true) How do you know what to believe from Labor but.

  74. Grey

    Candy, Steve Lewis was using Mal Brough as a go between.
    Ashby’s texts 15021-15024 detailing sending the extracts of the diary to Brough, who then gave them to Lewis.
    Actually Lewis has a clear defense for trying to obtain them, a journalist doing his job. Ashby can presumably claim he was whistle-blowing on misuse of perks, although arguably there were appropriate channels for him to do that. Mal Brough for acting as go-between, I will leave to the legal experts.

  75. Amortiser

    Not much care went into the preparation of Perrett’s letter to the AFP when he states that Ashby commenced employment with Slipper on 22 December 2012 at paragraphs 17 and 18.

    I think Roxon’s grubby mitts are all over this.

  76. John A

    Looks like a get-out-of-jail-free card for Commonwealth public officials. Anyone lodging a complaint against any official is themself guilty of a crime.

    Umm, maybe not. IANAL, but it could be argued that if an official in his/her working duties does something which is wrong, inappropriate or otherwise shouldn’t have happened, then the whistleblower isn’t the one bringing the PS into disrepute.

    Discuss.

  77. Alice

    What is it you bastards have agsintst Mal Brough?
    That man talks a lot of sense – so does Katter but you dont like him either (and lets face it both are cats??)

    I dont get it unless its “move over nats – we have no room for you lot”

    why do they call it a lib/nat coalition pardon me if the Nats get no say at all?

  78. Grey

    [Edited. Sinc]

    I think it will come to nothing unless they can find a link to Mal Brough before March 2012. Not out of the question. It appears Ashby tried to interest Julie Bishop, but from Bishop’s own account she was as little interested as Mark McArdle.

    The male staffer had said someone in the Queensland Liberal National Party had advised him to get in touch with Ms Bishop’s office.

    Not I think McArdle, more likely our old friend trying desperately to get someone else to pick up his stinking fish.

  79. .

    [Edited. Sinc]
    What the fuck does this nonsense reply mean?

  80. Grey

    What the fuck does this nonsense reply mean?

    Nothing at all, just my deranged sense of humor. I am not used to such frank discussions.

  81. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Dot, it means that Bolt’s is closed for the hols, so the usual barking mad leftards from there are a sockpuppeting over here. Just in this one tread we have Juanlessteste (probably Tillers) and Gay(barloiterer).

    More will be popping out from under their flat rocks as they suffer relevance deprivation syndrome and pick up the latest ALP meme-de-jour.

  82. Gab

    It appears Ashby tried to interest Julie Bishop, but from Bishop’s own account she was as little interested as Mark McArdle.

    Far out but lefties can lie without shame.

  83. Angry God

    It was obvious to me that the Perrett letter was initiated to give the media a story to disguise the Swan Surplus failure. Tis a shame that it has been used as such, but nothing that I would be surprised by with the current government in charge.

    Perrett has only signed this document, none of his own work, he lacks the ability. This is pure McTernan.

  84. candy

    It was very strange Perrett mentioned Ms Bishop and Christopher Pyne in his letter. There’s something nasty in that bit, I think.
    The Judge mentioned Brough and another staffer only, I think.

  85. Alice

    Whi is listening to a porn writer? Where did the ALP get Perret from to lodge a complaint?
    Jeez – is this logic for real?

  86. Sid Vicious

    I have just sent an email to Tony Negus, Commissioner of the AFP.

    Mr Tony Negus
    Commissioner
    Australian Federal Police
    CANBERRA ACT 2601
    23RD December 2012

    Dear Commissioner Negus
    I ask the Australian Federal Police to conduct a formal investigation to determine whether Mr RJL Hawke has committed any criminal offences vis-a-vis Section 147.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). Mr Hawke referred to Mr Tony Abbott in derogatory terms which would offend any reasonable person. Mr Hawke said Mr Abbott was “as mad as a cut snake” and he also called Mr Abbott a “bugger”. It is acknowledged that a “bugger” is a person who engages in anal intercourse and to describe Her Majesty’s Leader of the Opposition as a “bugger” would cause Mr Abbott great harm. I ask the Australian Federal Police to prepare a Brief of Evidence for referral to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), if appropriate.

    Please find below the newspaper report detailing Mr Hawke’s damaging comments.

    I enclosed the full newspaper article detailing what RJL Hawke said.

  87. Alice

    You would think the ALP had learned a few lessons after NSW state labor ( a royal line up of corrupt turds), Blewitt the unreliable, HSU bosses, Craig the credit card brothel legover man, other people with their pants down in parliament offices, the pair from Gosford and the wife with anger management problems and the husband with a rotten driving record, slipper and his limo fetishes, and now a porn writing star?

    It just gets worse and worse. I dont know why anyone is worried about Mal.

  88. Grey

    Mr Ashby: So tell me, do u want to run again or du u want to step up to speaker of the house and not bother with pre selection. I wanna know how much fight u have in u and whether I put my tactical brain into action to see us give Mal a carving up.

    October 2011. The very helpful Mr Ashby attempts delicately to sound Mr Slipper out. But why and for whom?

  89. Alice

    A “Bugger” lol. This harm business is getting a bit silly …

  90. Rabz

    Great stuff, Sid!

    Expect a whole lot ‘o’ nothing to happen…

  91. blogstrop

    Alice – go to bed. It’s way too silly for you.

  92. Sinclair Davidson

    Discuss.

    A: That is a very sensible, common-sense approach to a problem that normal intelligent people would quite rightly imagine to be the case. Yet we are dealing with the Gillard government and anything goes. As far as I’m aware no public official is authorised to refer to women as ‘mussels’ or to make unwanted sexual advances on his or her staff. Yet we have a public official having done those things and the Gillard government authorising a complaint that may result in a police investigation against the complainant and those who chose to provide him with aid, comfort and succour.

  93. Grey

    ” those who chose to provide him with aid, comfort and succour.”
    Golly, did Brough provide succour to Ashby? That was above and beyond the call of duty.

  94. candy

    ” That was above and beyond the call of duty.”

    Mr Brough’s actions seem a little dubious, Judge Rares has said some stuff and you’ve got to respect a person in that position, but no need to make innuendos. It’s Christmas, don’t be tragic!

  95. Sinclair Davidson

    Well above the call of duty. Assisting a young man being harrassed by his employer. And the thanks he gets? Being verballed by a judge and investigated by the police.

  96. blogstrop

    Candy, look at moi. I have one thing to say to you.
    Federal Court Judge.

  97. candy

    If we don’t respect judges we become a rabble.

  98. blogstrop

    Tell that to honest journalists like Paul Sheehan.

  99. jumpnmcar

    It is very common to say a judge is wrong.
    In almost every case someone does.

  100. dianne

    I’ve been off line for a few days, and I’m just catching up with all of this – do these people really think that this will win them votes – most of us damned well want people with the gonads to expose irregularities in “official” behaviour!

    The alp really don’t understand the electorate anymore do they??????

  101. C.L.

    LOL. They’re trying to rope in Julia Bishop for revenge.

    Bishop beat Gillard to a bleeding, quivering wreck in the final weeks of Parliament.

  102. kae

    Grey, I suggest you look up the meaning of succour.

  103. Andrew

    Mr Hawke said Mr Abbott was “as mad as a cut snake” and he also called Mr Abbott a “bugger”. It is acknowledged that a “bugger” is a person who engages in anal intercourse and to describe Her Majesty’s Leader of the Opposition as a “bugger” would cause Mr Abbott great harm.

    Are you for real? Do you think joining this ever-growing ‘victim brigade’ is the best way to combat lefties whom strive to be victims themselves? If anyone was really offended by what Hawke said then they really need to grow up. Don’t lower yourself down to the Lefties’ levels by being ‘offended’ by every single little remark.

  104. Angry God

    Could the text admitting that his defection from the LNP to take up the position as speaker also be looked into as bribery?

    The corruption of a public official by such method is a dangerous admittance, one would think.

    In addition the statement that the ALP was weakened by the loss of support by Wilkie was not grounds for Slipper’s defection and as such is not grounds for the investigation to be pursued. In fact the accusation of a dirt file in paragraph 7 references an article in the Australian in which the word Dirt is not mentioned once. So, again reasonable grounds for dismissal.

    Given that this is obviously a politically motivated charge, should not the precedent established by the judge be used to require no further investigation.

  105. cohenite

    I would think Perrett’s letter is an abuse of process and a contempt of court since an appeal has been lodged and concurrent proceedings have been commenced in the FWC.

  106. John Comnenus

    No Cohenite, the letter reinforces that the Left owns the law and can do as they please with it.

  107. val majkus

    Michael Smith has a post up about the letter
    http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2012/12/did-slipper-make-sleazy-unwanted-and-inappropriate-advances-to-ashby-or-not.html
    and I’ll copy over my comment there

    The statement in Mr Perrett’s letter ‘this conspiracy involved a fabricated sexual harassment claim to politically damage and publicly humiliate Mr Slipper’ is in my view a wrong assessment of the judgment. The judgment was a summary judgment – that is decided on the basis of affidavit evidence only – as to whether the claim brought by Mr Ashby was brought for an improper purpose. Rares J found on the facts that at least one of the purposes which Ashby had in bringing the action was to cause Slipper political damage. The first court document filed on behalf of Ashby made three categories of allegations. One was sexual harassment. Ultimately in the statement of claim filed by Ashby only the sexual harassment claim was pleaded. The other allegations were abandoned. On my reading of the judgment Rares J found that the making of the other 2 allegations was an abuse of process. Rares J made no findings as to whether sexual harassment had occurred – although he did make comments. Rares J decided that as the predominant purpose in bringing the action was to cause Slipper political harm this was an abuse of process and for that reason he dismissed the sexual harassment claim. Now that is a long way from what the letter states to have been a finding that a conspiracy involved a fabricated sexual harassment claim to politically damage and publicly humiliate. I’d say para 2 of the letter does reflect the judgment but para 3 goes beyond Rares J’s findings. There’s a good article in Quadrant Online by Peter Hannan a Perth Barrister for those of you who would like to check the judgment and that writer’s view. http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2012/12/a-legal-eye-on-the-ashby-ruling

    So based on Mr Perrett’s reading of the judgment he asks the AFP to conduct a formal investigation to determine whether certain persons or any others have committed any criminal offences and to prepare a brief for referral to the DPP if appropriate. The timing is unfortunate to say the least. Mr Ashby is to lodge an appeal. And I understood he is also taking FW proceedings. Judith Sloan has a post on this at Catallaxy http://catallaxyfiles.com/2012/12/21/ashby-goes-the-fair-work-act-more-sleepless-nights-for-pete/ . THERE IS A REVERSE ONUS OF PROOF in the relevant sections. Slipper will have to PROVE that he did not discriminate against Ashby. Ashby does not have to prove that he was discriminated against because of one of the outlined reasons.

    There’s been some discussion at Catallaxy Files with a post by Prof Sinc Davidson http://catallaxyfiles.com/2012/12/23/political-lawfare/comment-page-2/#comment-680337 Prof Davidson in his inimitable style says Looks like it might be illegal to bring sexual harassment charges against public officials – it might cause them embarrassment or harm them. Readers might be interested in reading that post and I’ve made a comment there incorporating the definition of harm in the legislation. If you go by the definitions seems more like it’s aimed at physically harming (assault etc); or causing significant psychological harm (the latter being so vague as to be meaningless, ie does it cover the situation where the truth is told which might cause significant psychological harm; ie no public official would like to be told he/she is corrupt even if it were true but the result might be significant psychological harm?)

    I haven’t been able to answer that question myself but some of you may be able to answer me. But what does seem clear is that these matters are being sufficiently litigated without the AFP being brought into the fray.

  108. Leigh Lowe

    If we don’t respect challenge judges we become a rabble.

    Homework corrected.

  109. Leigh Lowe

    Perrett asserts that M. Brough had unauthorised access to Slippy’s diaries, crime. That’s pretty serious (if it’s true) How do you know what to believe from Labor but.

    What “pretty serious crime” is committed by accessing someone’s diary?
    I await the next sexual harassment case where the complainant is accused of a crime for collecting communications which the perpetrator regarded as private.

  110. Lew

    Sid Vicious,might I suggest that you follow up your E-mail to Negus with a letter sent by registered post with a request for delivery confirmation.The confirmation costs a dollar or so extra but you will receive a card from Australia Post with the recipent’s signature.E-mails so often “go astray”.

  111. Honesty

    McTernan play book attack and distract. What did the ALP do regarding Milton Orkopoulos were any letters sent there?

  112. Grey

    It seems Valerie Bradford is the key to the James Asbhy – Mal Brough connection.
    Valarie Bradford supposedly recruited James Ashby to the LNP in Feb 2011. So one wonders when she brought Ashby and Brough together. According to her

    “In early March, James came back to town and he wanted to talk to someone who knew about the parliamentary processes and what could be done. He didn’t want to talk to an MP, and we talked, and I could only think of Mal Brough.”

    But a little bird tells me it was a lot earlier and that Ashby and Brough were succouring each other before October 2011.
    Anyway it appears that Mal Brough was giving out Valerie Bradford’s name to journalists as someone who might damage Slipper in early March 2012

    Subject: G’day Val – hoping you will agree to chat with me regarding Peter Slipper
    I note that you worked on his 2010 election campaign and am doing some research on that particular campaign.
    If you could let me know whether you are willing to chat, I would appreciate it.
    My mobile is xxxx xx xx xx.
    And I would be very happy to ring you if you are so inclined.
    Many thanks
    Steve Lewis

    She did not reply

  113. Leigh Lowe

    But a little bird tells me ….

    Says so much about this (ahem) “case” against Brough.
    Oh, and the fact that Steve Lewis sent this Valerie chick a note proves what about Brough, exactly?

  114. cohenite

    Grey; sexual harrassment is an objective standard; the qualities and intentions, politics and dress habits of the complainant are irrelevant because they are subjective qualities.

    This is where Rares erred; he considered these subjective elements as sufficient to nullify Slipper’s alleged sexual harrassment; in fact he never considered whether Slipper had sexually harrassed Ashby merely if he had Ashby’s subjective qualities either were sufficient to enable him to not be bothered by the sexual harrassment, or that the sexual harrassment had been ‘stimulated’ by Ashby, also an irrelevant consideration.

    Rares judgement is therefore legally flawed; Roxon and her flunky Perrett know this so the process becomes one of distraction and interference with the legal process.

    Roxon of course is an old hand at this; she took over the Wilson file when MB inherited the AWU work from S&G after Gillard was evicted; and she commented incessantly during the Ashby vs C’Wealth stage of the matter which the C’Wealth settled.

    Ashby may be an unsavoury litigant, but the defendants in this matter are putrid.

  115. Jim Rose

    why would labor want to keep stoking this fire? who gains?

  116. val majkus

    Jim it’s been suggested it’s a diversionary tactic to the budget news
    But I suspect it’s more linked to Labor’s ‘LNP only stands for smear and sleaze’ campaign

  117. Rococo Liberal

    Juan what’is face may be a pompous twit, but he is right that Australia has the Westminster System and I am shocked that the likes of Sinc should say otherwise (As CL is a bit of an Anglophopbe, I can understand him getting it wrong :) ).

    All the Westminster System means is a system of government where the cabinet is responsible to the Parliament where all Ministers must sit. We have very little of the American system other than copying the name of the HOuses and the idea that the Senate was a States’ House. However, that only relates to the way the Senate is elected and not to actual governance.

  118. Grey

    Grey; sexual harrassment is an objective standard; the qualities and intentions, politics and dress habits of the complainant are irrelevant because they are subjective qualities.

    No sexual harassment is not an objective standard, what is an amusing off color joke to one may be deeply offensive to another.

    Conspiracy is an objective standard, however.

  119. candy

    “But a little bird tells me it was a lot earlier and that Ashby and Brough were succouring each other before October 2011.”

    In all due respect Grey, that’s a kind of unnice thing to say. Perhaps if you know something definite please say it?

    Mr Brough appears to be meddling according to Judge Rares, but big conspiracies is just the talk of the ALP to taint Mr Abbott (as usual!!)

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