Whoever decided to leak information that Kevin Rudd sent his chief of staff, Alistair Jordan, to NSC meetings obviously didn’t do his or her homework and check that then deputy prime minister Julia Gillard attended even fewer NSC meetings, allowing her bodyguard to deputise for her at the meetings.
The article states
A spokesman for Ms Gillard said cabinet confidentiality meant she could not defend herself from the damaging allegations.
But this is dissembling. Cabinet confidentiality and security at the NSC meetings concerns the topics discussed and so forth. It doesn’t extend to whether a person attended the meeting or not.
In other words, Gillard would not be breaching Cabinet confidentiality if she denied sending along her bodyguard to the NSC meetings. She would not be disclosing the contents of the meetings.
Since Gillard does not deny the substance of the story, the voter has a reasonable presumption of the story’s veracity.
Finally, if true that Gillard as deputy prime minister
regularly failed to attend cabinet’s national security committee meetings. Instead, she reportedly sent her former bodyguard and junior staff member Andrew Stark
then she is unfit for the office of prime minister.
This report from the ABC quotes Gillard as saying:
I think it is offensive to him, it’s offensive to me and I believe it would be offensive to hard-working police right around this country, to somehow conclude that a man who spent 21 years in the Australian Federal Police as a police officer doesn’t know anything about security.
I understand for members in the chattering classes of the Liberal Party that they might think what qualifies you to know about national security is you sit in a minister’s office typing press releases all of your lives, with the greatest risk to your personal safety being a paper cut.
But I do not.
She has condemned herself with her own words. First, the National Security Committee of Cabinet is a committee consisting of specified ministers – our elected representatives. Other officials attend as advisers – including the Chief of the Defence Force – but the NSC itself comprises purely Ministers. So she has abrogated her responsibility to a junior staffer.
Secondly, just because a person worked at the Australian Federal Police for 21 years and understands ‘security’ doesn’t mean that he or she understand ‘national security’. They are worlds apart.
That Prime Minister Gillard thinks that understanding how to be a bodyguard / policeman qualifies someone as an expert in national security is bewildering and shows how ignorant she is of Australia’s national interest.
She stands condemned by her own words.