The Biff loves Jools

I have been trying to figure out Mark Latham’s strange obsession with the purported innocence of Julia Gillard in relation to all matters connected with the AWU slush fund scandal – apart from her mistake in falling in love with the wrong bloke.  (Hey, the Biff could have been available at the time – who knows?)

I think one of the reasons is that Jools was one of the few among his former colleagues who did not completely cut him off after he went nuts (who can forget the performance in the park in Western Sydney, crew-cut and all?) and  even after the Latham Diaries were published. I guess the occasional email could count for a lot when everyone else regards you as a cross between someone with rabies and the hunchback of Notre Dame.

Now most people think that the stupidest thing that Jools ever said was “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”; to my mind, it was her declaration that the AWU Workplace Reform Association was a slush fund.

Here’s the problem for Jools: by doing the legal work to set up the Association without the knowledge of the other partners of the firm or without their permission (Laura Tingle: this was not just poor paperwork management), she enabled everything that happened subsequently.  This is the key.  It is critical to the way law firms work and she violated this principle.

There is no doubt that had the partners been informed, she would not have been allowed to undertake the work and the AWU, which was a client of the firm at the time, would have been informed.  The slush fund would never have got off the ground.  This is the key.

Whether or not she received cash or whether or not she paid for her own house renovations are not the critical issues – she knew the association was a slush fund, she knew that the AWU head office did not know about it, she called it a ‘slush fund’ herself.

She was also asked to leave the firm.  And the involvement of Bernard Murphy, now Mr Justice Murphy, needs to be investigated.  (Recall that he was elevated to the bench when Labor was in power.)

And as for ABC’s Jon Faine?  Having worked for a nanosecond at the Fitzroy Community Legal Centre, or whatever, he thinks he is some sort of expert in the legal processes governing Royal Commissions.

Please.  No one has been charged.  It is not like a criminal case.  I’m putting my money on Mr Justice Heydon and everyone else should.

There is no doubt that Faine continues to flout the ABC Editorial Policies big time – but will anything be done?

Here’s the piece by the  Biff (ease the squeeze) from the Fin:

In his single-minded pursuit of Julia Gillard over the past three years, the right-wing blogger and journalist at The Australian newspaper, Michael Smith, has followed a compelling mantra. From his time in the Victorian police in the 1980s, he remembers how, “We learnt that frauds are investigated on the documents, the paperwork”. On his Michael Smith News website, he has repeated ad nauseam his belief that “every touch leaves its trace”.

Like a Gatling gun dislodged from its platform, Smith has randomly fired dozens of allegations at Gillard in the ancient AWU affair. According to this online Sherlock Holmes, the former prime minister is guilty of improperly registering an incorporated association, misleading the Western Australian Corporate Affairs Commissioner, falsely witnessing a power of attorney, lying to her employers at Slater & Gordon, tampering with conveyancing files, failing to tell police about a known crime, interfering with a widows and orphans fund, using rorted funds to renovate her Melbourne home, embezzling large amounts of union money and stealing archived government documents to cover her crimes.

It’s quite a list. In Smithopia, Gillard makes Chopper Read look like an altar boy. But after lengthy hearings at the trade union royal commission in recent weeks, how do Smith’s claims stack up? What do the thousands of pages of documentation tendered in evidence show? Has every touch left its trace?

WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE?

The public record is strikingly clear. There is not a single document from the 1990s that incriminates Gillard. On the available paperwork, she provided valid legal advice and paid for her home renovations via personal cheques. By the standards of his police training, Smith has come up empty-handed.

Documents aside, what verbal evidence has come before the commission concerning Gillard? Like a parade of ageing Oompa Loompas, three impish men – Ralph Blewitt, Wayne Hem and Athol James – claimed to remember cash being exchanged in and around her Melbourne home.

Indeed, the nature of their recollections is remarkably similar.

In the witness box, the three veterans struggled to recall other events and details from 20 years ago. Under cross-examination, they were unclear about the amount of money involved and why it had been handed over.

None of them accused Gillard of knowing where the cash had actually come from. Rather, the commission was left with a vague impression of money floating around the house – claims that cannot be proven or disproven.

Coincidently, early last week, ABC radio host Jon Faine aired allegations that another witness, Gillard’s former boyfriend Bruce Wilson, had been offered $200,000 by a third party to say he had funded Gillard’s renovations from an unspecified source.

If Wilson had accepted the alleged bribe, he’d have added to the notion of funny money drifting around Gillard’s abode. In practising the politics of personal destruction, The Australian hasn’t been after the truth. It’s been after Gillard.

If the Slater & Gordon solicitor dating Wilson in the early 1990s had not gone on to become prime minister, the details of fundraising entities, property purchases and home renovations would have remained as footnotes in history. They would have gathered dust in the archives of the police officers who so badly mishandled the matter in the mid-1990s.

Ever since, Australia’s right-wing hunting pack has been trying to rewrite history: to portray Gillard’s pre-parliamentary career as that of a criminal mastermind. As part of this push, a group of vengeful, cashed-up fanatics have co-opted witnesses to their cause.

In Blewitt’s case, they have written police statements for him, given him extensive financial assistance and coached him on what to say.

This solves the mystery as to why Blewitt, aged in his late 60s and having started a new life in Malaysia, returned to Australia in 2012 to admit to a 20-year-old fraud. In establishing the truth of what happened in the AWU, circa 1992-95, the royal commission not only has to consider witness evidence but also the political reality of witness manipulation.

 

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32 Responses to The Biff loves Jools

  1. Speaking of Mantras, I’ve found a new one, from American Thinker

    The Left is hate. Revenge is its pastime. Genocide is its legacy.

    There’s all you need to know right there about anything involving the left.

  2. Snoopy

    the former prime minister is guilty of improperly registering an incorporated association, misleading the Western Australian Corporate Affairs Commissioner, falsely witnessing a power of attorney, lying to her employers at Slater & Gordon, tampering with conveyancing files, failing to tell police about a known crime, interfering with a widows and orphans fund, using rorted funds to renovate her Melbourne home, embezzling large amounts of union money and stealing archived government documents to cover her crimes.

    Thanks for the useful summary, Mark. Pro patria.

  3. (Hey, the Biff could have been available at the time – who knows?)

    Spiteful.
    Judith obviously thinks it’s OK to impugn the reputation of one of her gender, because, you know, it’s OK if a woman does it.

  4. Joe Goodacre

    The slush fund would never have got off the ground. This is the key.

    So no one else could have done the legal work to set up this fund?

    That seems bold – what would have stopped Bruce going to another lawyer?

  5. Snoopy

    That seems bold – what would have stopped Bruce going to another lawyer?

    The possibility that another lawyer would have checked with the AWU or demanded minuted resolution etc?

  6. tom

    The Left is hate. Revenge is its pastime. Genocide is its legacy.

    Do you have a link for that, Whisperer?

  7. Snoopy

    it’s OK if a woman does it.

    Well obviously. Bruce Wilson, Michael O’Connor and Craig Emerson are proof of that.

  8. That seems bold – what would have stopped Bruce going to another lawyer?

    Gee, I dunno, Joe! The desire to keep it secret from the AWU?

    Lefties have such vivid imaginations, yet can’t put two and two together. I’m shocked, I tells ya!

  9. ar

    (Hey, the Biff could have been available at the time – who knows?)

    Spiteful.
    Judith obviously thinks it’s OK to impugn the reputation of one of her gender, because, you know, it’s OK if a woman does it.

    Maybe he’d have had more chance if he wasn’t? She didn’t seem interested in single men…

  10. ar

    The Left is hate. Revenge is its pastime. Genocide is its legacy.

    The Left’s mantra – lie constantly about everything.

  11. Do you have a link for that, Whisperer?

    I certainly do, Ollie! Tom, whatever :)

    It’s actually in one if the comments, but i think I’ve seen it used there before.

  12. A Lurker

    If the supposedly ‘young, naïve’, trusting, innocent and taken-advantage-of’ Julia had really been all that; then why when she found out what was going on did she not dash pronto to the police and move heaven-and-earth to clear her name, to immediately hand any money back, and not stop to catch her breath until her mongrel boyfriend had his comeuppance and was incarcerated.

    However the facts speak quite clearly that the thirty-something Gillard the Slugs and Grubs lawyer was not young and naïve – and in my opinion she was an immoral, conniving, husband-stealing Communist who knew exactly what she was doing and did everything she could to bully or buy people into silence and compliance – and likewise the Union thugs who knew her history used her as a cooperative political puppet to further their own ends, and feather their own nests. I suspect that’s why they haven’t dropped her in it, is because she likely has as much dirt on them as they do on her. I suspect a real self-preservation society is going on in the murky background. All allegedly of course.

    As for Latham’s interest? Perhaps he fancies her or they were once an item? I mean, she does have this strange hold over men – her lovers’ loyalty to her is really quite bizarre.

  13. candy

    I reckon she was in romantic thrall to Bruce Wilson, even at her age then mid-thirties and made very poor life decisions.

    She seems to have loving parents and been given the best education, but something went amiss. The law firm asked her to resign. That’s not good.

  14. Bruce of Newcastle

    I have been trying to figure out Mark Latham’s strange obsession with the purported innocence of Julia Gillard

    Maybe something about financial questions at Liverpool Council? Looking inside ALP pollies’ dusty cupboards could be catching.

  15. Myrrdin Seren

    I suspect that’s why they haven’t dropped her in it, is because she likely has as much dirt on them as they do on her.

    +1

    Yeah, like AWU rising star Bruce Wilson had NO idea what the rest of the AWU honchos were up to, and wouldn’t have shared it with a young-and-naive political radical even if he did.

  16. Tim Neilson

    If Gillard really believed that what she was doing re the “slush fund” was above board she would have made certain that the S&G equity partners knew about it. No-one spends time doing non-chargeable work for senior officials of a major client without trying to claim credit within the firm for an excellent contribution to client relations/business development or whatever it’s called this week. Even if she was a total altruist on that score she still would have told them, because it’s very important within a firm that all senior people who work for a client know what’s going on and are able to deal with the client’s personnel on an informed basis. Very clearly Gillard knew that she was doing something wrong.
    PS Numbers, look up the definition of “cant”, think about it, and modify your future behaviour accordingly.

  17. JakartaJaap

    Love your work Jude!! Biff and availability is beautiful.

  18. brc

    If you’re a union official, try getting one of the union lawyers to draft you up an association to be used for embezzling funds under the union name. See how far you get.

    The fiction that doing this sort of fraud is as easy as sidling up to a lawyer with a wink and a nudge is laughable. Even labor lawyers, while generally on the nose as far as their causes, should be considered to be at least honourable to their profession. Not that many get booted from partnerships.

    Whether this is Wilson using Gillard as a pigeon with his bedroom eyes, or whether it is something she cooked up with him – perhaps we will never know and only those two really know. But there is very little chance of this happening without that legal association being created and then defended, all without proper paperwork or permission from the firms lawyers or it’s important client – who they subsequently lost to a competitor after this surfaced.

    This is not routine. It was so out of the ordinary that one of the former partners sat on a transcript of the exit interview for over 20 years, knowing it would come back to bite them one day. Gillard may have not plotted or executed the scheme, or had any knowledge of what was going on – but it couldn’t have happened without her.

  19. cohenite

    That seems bold – what would have stopped Bruce going to another lawyer?

    Nobody gets to screw 2 lawyers.

  20. cynical1

    Remember these grubs backed Shagger Thompson to the hilt.

    “Nuthin to see here. Move on”.

    Talentless, corrupt, venal, greedy arseholes.

    In the real World, take the likes of Conroy or Roxon.

    An extra in “The Benny Hill Show” would be the limits of their usefulness.

    Instead they have a life long gold pass.

    Fucking criminal…

  21. Rabz

    portray Gillard’s pre-parliamentary career as that of a criminal mastermind

    Mediocre dupe/dunderhead, more like.

    Remind me again, just how exactly did Lady Lardarse’s stellar legal career at Slapper & Drongo end again?

    Oh, that’s right – she was sacked “asked to leave”. For engaging in illegal “unethical” behaviour.

    Latham, you monumental imbecile.

  22. H B Bear

    Here’s the problem for Jools: by doing the legal work to set up the Association without the knowledge of the other partners of the firm or without their permission (Laura Tingle: this was not just poor paperwork management), she enabled everything that happened subsequently.

    Judith – the real issue is that Gillard was involved after Blewitt’s attempts to register the association had been rejected by the then Commissioner for Corporate Affairs. She then made knowingly false representations to the CCA on Slugs & Grubs letterhead that lead to the association being registered.

    La Tingle should really stick to the geriatric care area. She isn’t any good at her other day job.

  23. Kaboom

    Any “other” lawyer, with the slightest bit of nous, would attend at, observe, and note the voting of the “unincorporated” association, at its EGM calling for incorporation.

    A “lazy” lawyer would request copies of the resolution(s) at such EGM, and perhaps a membership list (to prove the “5 or more” membership requirement of the “unincorporated” association desirous of formal incorporation).

    A “bent” lawyer would quite probably shepherd the application on behalf of the “client”.

    Question: Who was the “client”?

  24. Craig Mc

    Judith obviously thinks it’s OK to impugn the reputation of one of her gender, because, you know, it’s OK if a woman does it.

    It’s impossible to impugn Gillard’s reputation.

  25. Kaboom

    Indeed, normally the “other” lawyer would wish to speak to the proposal at the EGM (and usually at meetings prior), just to ensure that all participants were fully and fairly informed of the legal aspects of incorporation.

  26. robin of the hood

    Whether this is Wilson using Gillard as a pigeon with his bedroom eyes,eye

  27. Old School Conservative

    online Sherlock Holmes
    Is Latham trying to discredit Smith or praise him?
    Between admiring Smith detective work and the useful summary of Gillard’s actions, perhaps we should look at Latham as Gillard’s Judas.

  28. incoherent rambler

    her lovers’ loyalty to her is really quite bizarre

    The photos.

    Mark in a Tutu?

  29. Filbert

    If I may be so bold gentlefolk to add this to the mantra…

    “The Left is hypocrisy and hate. Revenge is its pastime. Greed is its currency. Genocide its legacy.

    There’s all you need to know right there about anything involving the left”.

  30. at_last

    Thank you Judith. I have pointing out this 800 pound gorilla for a number of year.

    And it is a relief to finally hear someone else discuss it; Ms Gillard is guilty of fraud and the evidence is her own words from many years ago. Even if she did not receive a single dollar of benefit out of the whole affair.

    As far as I am concerned everything and anything else that comes out only informs us as to greater or lesser degrees of guilt or innocence.

    I doubt we’ll ever get a full and truthful account of the scope of union corruption, but I would settle for some degree of regulation and accountability similar to that of a corporation.

  31. Steve of West Melbourne

    “..pack has been trying to rewrite history: to portray Gillard’s pre-parliamentary career as that of a criminal mastermind.”

    If she was a criminal mastermind she wouldn’t have been caught out. If anything, her activities in the 90′s were a prequel to the incompetent PM she subsequently became. Mastermind? Absolutely not.

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