Guest post Jimmy Littlestone: Dr Andrew Keith Leigh

Today, in one of the biggest understatements in Australian political history, Andrew Leigh finally came out of witness protection and admitted that he had “made a mistake” after publishing a completely wrong oped earlier in the week.

Showing all of the brazenness and front of the Labor hack that he has now become, Leigh then proceeded to double down on stupid, in the very same breath declaring that

Firms that have big investment stakes in two competitors have an incentive to dampen competition.

In other words, Leigh’s defence seems to be is that his oped was fake but accurate.

This isn’t the first time a politician has made a complete goose of themselves, and it certainly won’t be the last. It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

But when it comes to this sort of thing, academics are held to higher standards than politicians.  It turns out that publishing fake research is no laughing matter. Leigh is a former ANU Professor, and the work he referred to in his oped was apparently conducted jointly with an ANU researcher.

And Leigh is actually a serial offender. For example, his own data shows that Labor’s oft-repeated claim that

inequality is at a 75 year high

is false.

Having today admitted that his oped was full of alternative facts, fake claims and spurious results, Leigh now has some very serious questions to answer – as does the ANU, which should launch a full investigation.

For a start, there is prima facie evidence that Leigh and his ANU colleague could have breached the ANU Code of Research Conduct, which states that: 

ANU researchers must disseminate all research findings as accurately, broadly and effectively as possible, subject to restrictions relating to intellectual property, confidentiality, or commercially or culturally sensitive data.

The code also states that researchers need to:

Explain to any sponsor or media outlet who receives research results prior to peer review that the results are not final.

and

Correct the record as soon as possible, where the researcher becomes aware of misleading or inaccurate statements about their work.

Leigh has done none of these things.

There’s also a good chance that Leigh might have breached the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, compliance with which is a prerequisite for institutions to be eligible to receive NHMRC and ARC funding.

Having so recklessly put the ANU’s funding eligibility and academic reputation at risk, Leigh now has no choice but to fully explain himself and apologise.

If he fails to do so, Bill Shorten needs to demonstrate some leadership, take action, and launch his own investigation.

It’s just not good enough for federal politicians to negligently mislead the public about something so serious, casually admit six days later that they were wrong – and then expect the rest of us to just look away and move on.

Why did Leigh publish fake results? How did something like this happen – didn’t he check his work? Was the article cleared by Shorten or Bowen’s office? Can he reassure the public that he hasn’t done this sort of thing before? Will he retract the article and issue an unreserved  apology to the companies he slandered in the article? And why hasn’t he done so yet? What steps is he taking to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again? After this, how can the public believe anything he ever says? Will he give the parliament a full explanation? And is there any good reason he shouldn’t resign from his Shadow Ministry position?

The public is waiting, Dr Leigh: over to you. Perhaps this is all innocent, but it doesn’t look good and you had better explain. 

About Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

I'm a retired general who occasionally gets called back to save the republic before returning to my plough.
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44 Responses to Guest post Jimmy Littlestone: Dr Andrew Keith Leigh

  1. Muddy

    One suspects you may be making a common mistake, Mr. Littlestone: expecting that our ideological enemies will apply the same standard to themselves that they expect, nay, demand, from others not of their kind. Such an expectation is destined to be unrealised in an altered state of consciousness.

  2. Tezza

    He’s now a politician, no longer an academic. No standards apply for politicians.

  3. Infidel Tiger

    Firms that have big investment stakes in two competitors have an incentive to dampen competition.

    Obviously dickless is talking about the union movement. Bravo, Andrew.

  4. JC

    What an idiot. I still cannot believe that an economics professor did not know bank nominee companies hold stock in trust/as custodians for fund managers.

    This is a classic case of the neck tie and a ladies toilet.

  5. Mark

    @Tezza, who commented: ‘He’s now a politician, no longer an academic. No standards apply for politicians.’
    Unfortunately, no standards apply for academics either. In research they lie, period.

  6. classical_hero

    The standard MO of the left. Tell a lie often enough and it becomes truth.

  7. J.H.

    Well, to Labor Treasurers, economics is just spending other people’s money taken from a population compelled to give it….. Everything else is just needless complexity.

    Plus, it’s asking a bit much of them to understand what banks do and all that stuff. After all, it’s not like they got to be Treasurer because of what they know, it was more about who they knew….. and what they had on them.

  8. Crossie

    Well, to Labor Treasurers, economics is just spending other people’s money taken from a population compelled to give it….. Everything else is just needless complexity.

    Not just Labor treasurers, both Joe Hockey and Scott Morrison, the two most recent Liberal treasurers, also had/have a cavallier attitude to taxpayers’ money.

  9. struth

    Well spotted crossie.
    Left wing treasurers is a better description.
    That covers every party other than the ALA.

  10. OneWorldGovernment

    Tasmania.

    ANZ

    Saul Eslake

    What more needs to be said?

  11. squawkbox

    The Liberal requirement for a government financial appointment – achieveable even by Hockey and Dutton – was simply to be brighter than Wayne Swan. Shorten has clearly decided this was discriminatory against the differently-intellected and has lowered the bar further.

  12. squawkbox

    whoops, Morrison not Dutton, although the statement would be equally applicable.

  13. Herodotus

    My research indicates that the rabble content of universities is at an all-time high of 75%. Once almost the exclusive preserve of the student body, this illness now reaches across the whole spectrum of denizens.

  14. Texas Jack

    In other words, Leigh’s defence seems to be is that his oped was fake but accurate.

    Leigh would know he can hide for a couple of weeks and mostly get away without opprobrium. The msm won’t chase this beyond the one-day light flak he’s already copped and a quick search of ABC on-line delivers a big fat nothing, so I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Barry Cassidy to give it an airing this Sunday. A blundering Assistant Treasurer ain’t newsworthy. Apparently.

    Now, if this had been Mathias Cormann…

  15. Gab

    Around 75 per cent of statistics are made up in the spot.

  16. King Koala

    Tough talk Littlestone but have you actually reported him to both the ANU and the NHMRC or are you just talking shit and wasting everyone’s time? If you want him investigated then report him.

  17. Tintarella di Luna

    Around 75 per cent of statistics are made up in the spot.

    😉

  18. Gab

    “On” the spot, dammit!

  19. Cui bono

    Don’t complain, don’t explain and never ever resign. ALP SOP.

  20. squawkbox

    No one is expecting the ALP to provide any explanation or excuse for a front-bench spokesman who doesn’t have even the most basic understanding of his portfolio. It’s politics and it’s whatever you can get away with saying. However, I do think the ANU should explain how this subnormal got onto their payroll.

  21. john constantine

    Will their feckless team turnbull party read the offending brainblurt into Hansard, as a record of what the Stalinists have in mind for Australia?.

    Or are they too busy outflanking shorten to his Left?.

  22. Econocrat

    I think you are being a bit hard on Leigh when you suggest he might of damaged the reputation of the ANU. ANU is now entirely consumed by producing activist clap trap, and it lost all credibility when it made climate change a compulsory part of the curriculum in every faculty.

  23. john constantine

    The point is that this scrawling may not be the best Leigh is capable of, but that this is the sort of stuff that his party structure makes themselves feel is true, and that this felt truth allows them to crush the enemies of Stalin for crimes against humanity.

    Repeat this often enough through the correct bully pulpit and it becomes a scary felt truth for their voteherd, locking in the Grim Reaper Water plan, the Grim Reaper Electricity plan and now their Grim Reaper Superannuation plan.

  24. Cannibal

    Shorten launching an investigation would be analogous to bacteria inventing penicillin.
    More likely that Shorten comes and says Leigh has a bright future in the ALP, just like the Persian.

  25. Rabz

    Call me cynical but I always immediately assume that everything claimed by hypocrites like Leigh to be either completely wrong, a lie or both.

    Consequently I pay zero attention to anything they ever say, either verbally or in writing. As a result, I’m never disappointed or annoyed about being lied to or misled, unlike the author of this piece.

    If Leigh’s lips are moving, he’s either lying or just making garbage up as he goes along. There is zero reason to expect any better.

  26. Cannibal

    I think you are being a bit hard on Leigh when you suggest he might of damaged the reputation of the ANU. ANU is now entirely consumed by producing activist clap trap, and it lost all credibility when it made climate change a compulsory part of the curriculum in every faculty.

    ANU gets well rewarded for activist clap trap, and can afford to employ ignorant activists in bulk. It’s a virtuous circle.

  27. squawkbox

    Checking Andrew’s website, I see even Harry Clarke is calling him on his idiocy. That has got to be embarrassing.

  28. Entropy

    There will be no consequences. And Andrew will learn that lesson, not that he shouldn’t sprout rubbish

  29. Baldrick

    The World’s Greatest Treasurer Wayne Swansteen set the bar so low, Leigh doesn’t have much to emulate.

  30. When I saw that the co-researcher was named Adam TRIGGS I got triggered real Gillian style. Anyone know if any relation?

  31. Senile Old Guy

    Around 75 per cent of statistics are made up on the spot.

    I reckon there’s a 95% chance that is true.

  32. Des Deskperson

    “When I saw that the co-researcher was named Adam TRIGGS I got triggered real Gillian style. Anyone know if any relation?”

    While it is a reasonable working hypothesis that any two people with the same surname working in academia, the arts, the media or politics are related, I can’t find any consanguinial link between Adam and Gillian.

    Triggsy has two surviving kiddies, son James, ‘a lawyer based in Paris’, and daughter Alexandra, ‘a teacher and artist in Melbourne’.

    Triggsy is, prima facie, the consulate networker and manager-up – married first to the Dean of her law school her and then the Australian Ambassador to Paris – so it’s not impossible that there is a connection.

    BTW, according to Wikipadia, Triggs did post grad study at the Southern Methodist University. It may be a model of an enlightened campus, but it sounds sorta redneck to mw. –

  33. Tel

    And Leigh is actually a serial offender. For example, his own data shows that Labor’s oft-repeated claim that “inequality is at a 75 year high” is false.

    I looked into that, downloaded the spreadsheet and had great difficulty following the way the data was applied there.

    The relevant chart would be “Fig 4” and the Y values are coming from: $’Data 4a’.$BD$3:$BD$103 but the sheet “Data 4a” has multiple different columns of years which don’t line up properly… making it a very confusing way to use a spreadsheet. Also, there’s no reference source, I guess he wants you to buy the book or something (don’t hold your breath waiting for cash to come out of my tightarse wallet, buddy).

    Let’s presume that’s all correct, the chart shows income without capital gains (i.e. the way it would have been measured historically) and you can project back approximately to 1955 or there abouts, so that would be 62 years, not 75 years. Bit of rhetorical exaggeration there, but the basic concept is right, in as much as the top 1% are on the way up as a share of income. That said, unions are not as powerful as they used to be and manual labouring jobs are no longer a significant part of the economy, many manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to cheaper countries (e.g. the entire Australian garment manufacturing industry). We can argue the good and bad of that, but there’s been winners and losers, like there always is. I struggle to see some great big issue to get concerned over, although politicians have no problem getting concerned over small issues when it suits them.

    The supposedly most “equality” period in Australia’s history was the 1980’s which if you remember was the Prices and Incomes Accord, or essentially a quasi-fascist top-down price fixing system created by big government getting together with big unions. I don’t personally want to go back to that, although with Fair Work and the various awards we never 100% escaped from it either.

    Also, the chart does not accurately reflect the situation since these appear to be gross incomes… a meaningless comparison given that new taxes have been introduced (Superannuation, GST, magic flood tax, carbon tax, etc). The only meaningful comparison would be income AFTER various taxes and rebates are applied, and after indirect taxes are removed. Then you know the real purchasing ability. Even then, as ever it depends on what you want to purchase… owning a smart phone is much easier today than it was in 1980, but owning a horse is more difficult (because of the high cost of land to keep it on). Would you prefer a smart phone or a horse? There’s no economic answer to that, it’s an individual preference.

  34. incoherent rambler

    Economist upset because a politician spouts economic falsehoods and garbage?

    Economists should be aware of how many engineers, geologists and scientists have a bigger issue with politicians spouting garbage. (e.g. Mal and pumps)

  35. Sinclair Davidson

    I’m calling “Bullshit”.

    Andrew Leigh stuffed up big time last week with his SMH op-ed. But to hang this on his former employer is just silly.

    The Liberals should be hanging this on Bill Shorten, Andrew Leigh, and the ALP! Not trying to embarrass a Ph.D student and a former employer.

    Peter Costello would have called a press conference to belt the ALP and their economics team last Monday. He would have belted them every day since, and right up until the next election.

    What have our current crop of Liberals done? Crapped on about same-sex marriage.

  36. Rayvic

    “@Tezza, who commented: ‘He’s now a politician, no longer an academic. No standards apply for politicians.’
    Unfortunately, no standards apply for academics either. In research they lie, period.”

    Mark, true.

    For examples, one only needs to look at warmist academics.

  37. Rob MW

    Why did Leigh publish fake results?

    Shit…is that a trick question ?

    Socialists publish on whatever and wherever that fit their personal biases just so other socialists can call upon the published material to defend their own biases and in which (their biases) are usually funded by the taxpayer to indoctrinate unemployable fuckwits that are to stupid to think for themselves, or get their hand off it (or their moral compass) when tweeting on twitter.

  38. Entropy

    Sinclair Davidson
    #2330744, posted on March 19, 2017 at 12:04 pm
    I’m calling “Bullshit”.

    Andrew Leigh stuffed up big time last week with his SMH op-ed. But to hang this on his former employer is just silly.

    The Liberals should be hanging this on Bill Shorten, Andrew Leigh, and the ALP! Not trying to embarrass a Ph.D student and a former employer.

    Peter Costello would have called a press conference to belt the ALP and their economics team last Monday. He would have belted them every day since, and right up until the next election.

    What have our current crop of Liberals done? Crapped on about same-sex marriage.

    Quite so, doomlord. The current members of the liberal party deserve to lose their jobs.

  39. Tel

    Around 75 per cent of statistics are made up in the spot.

    Closer to 76.38%

  40. Dr Fred Lenin

    The solution to all this u.n.communist crap is one term. In parliament in a lifetime ,curtailing political donations to $10 per person or organisation per annum . All laws subject to referenda ,and defunding if universities except for medical and engineering and practical science . The rest can pay for their own “degrees” . Privatising the alpbc and socialist broadcasting service ,that’s a start to draining our swamp . Then abolish federal departments that duplicate functions ,restoring local councils to garbage ,roads streets ,and planning . .the peopke losing jobs go on the dole ,much cheaper . No welfare for migrants till they have paid income tax for thirty years ,no citizenship for 15 years after severe vetting ,no dual nationality.

  41. Somerville

    What have our current crop of Liberals done? Crapped on about same-sex marriage.

    Yes, those of us out here who have avoided becoming opiated Marxist drones have been hoping the Liberals and Nationals will do somethin useful. It just isn’t going to happen and you can only be pessimistic about the future.

  42. Up The Workers!

    Does anybody know (or care) where this character got his qualification from?

    At least when the Right Dishonourable Professor, Doctor Juliar O.A.; D.C.M. (Order of the ARSE; Don’t Come Monday) bought her plastic professorship, the mob who sold it to her, let her keep the box AND the Corn Flakes that came with it (but then, having paid $100 million of taxpayers’ cash for it, you’d expect to be looked after with all the trimmings, just like a big, fat-bottomed crooked Union Boss).

    This bloke has what purports to be an academic qualification, yet he cannot muster the intellectual fire-power to even spell his own Party name correctly!

    LABOR(sic) – It Has No Place For “U”!

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