Was George Pell a Political Prisoner?

The wrongful imprisonment of George Pell was not an accident or flaw in the system. It was a product of a system tainted by soft political corruption, i.e. Victoria Police and the Victorian criminal justice system, being institutions captured by the Left, did what their Labor-Green political comrades demanded of them.

In other words, to understand the injustice meted out to Pell you need to understand the political forces at play. To date much of the reporting on Pell has focussed on the “culture” of Victoria Police and the bias or agenda of the ABC as though these factors operate in a vacuum. They don’t and they reflect a dangerous corruption of politics and our democracy.

To understand the political forces at play you need to go back to 12 November 2012 and the announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard of the establishment of Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission).

In November 2012 the minority Gillard Government was facing political annihilation at the hands of Tony Abbott. Soon to be heading into an election year and trailing the LNP in every published poll the Gillard Government’s strategy was to play the man in the belief (mistakenly as it turned out) that the public wouldn’t vote for Abbott. What transpired was one of the most disgraceful smear campaigns in Australian political history.

The smear campaign had commenced a month earlier (9 October 2012) with Gillard’s despicable, contrived misogyny speech painting the socially and religious conservative Abbott as sexist. To sustain the anti-Abbott sentiment her speech was reported to have stirred up she needed more grist for the mill however.

The Gillard Government’s Royal Commission into child abuse was that grist. Aimed at capitalising on the media attention that state child abuse enquiries in Victoria and New South Wales were generating at the time its purpose was two-fold: i. shift the political narrative away from her Government’s daily ineptitude and scandal onto a virtue signalling cause; and ii. shift the narrative to a topic that would wedge/ smear Tony Abbott (being a devout Catholic) using guilt by association tactics, including his longstanding friendship with Cardinal Pell.

There was nothing particularly necessary or urgent or new in the Royal Commission set up  by the Gillard Government. In fact, there had already been a Federal Government “Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care” held between 2003 and 2004 and subsequent to that just about every state went on to conduct similar enquiries.

What was new was the scale of the Royal Commission including the highest number of commissioners (six) of any Royal Commission, a budget of over $500m (largest on record) and changes to the Royal Commission Act 1902 that enabled victims to give testimony in private sessions directly to a commissioner unconstrained by the public hearing room.

The emphasis on private sessions was critical for achieving the political ends required of the Royal Commission and and in doing so it set the precedent for the Pell trial. Private sessions guaranteed lots of victim statements by removing the constraint of having testimony tested in open hearings. In one foul swoop over 8,000 people were axiomatically considered victims and speaking the truth. The emphasis was on hearing their stories as a form of catharsis.

Having solicited for victim statements in private the Royal Commission excoriated the institutions in public. The 57 public hearings mostly began with survivor testimony and from there took the form of case studies that examined abuse within an institution or related set of institutions. Having dispensed with the burden of substantiating victim statements the Royal Commission pretty much functioned as a show trial.

This approach ensured an unprecedented level of media coverage (the main goal) as heart strings were tugged and evil wrong doers named and shamed in the town square. While many institutions were deserving of the contempt they were shown and many victims worthy of our sympathy and compassion, the Royal Commission’s pursuit of headlines lead to a mob mentality and helped create the conditions for the perversion of justice in Victoria.

The media coverage quickly zeroed in on the Catholic Church because this is how the Royal Commission’s terms of reference were crafted. By targeting sexual abuse only (and not other forms of abuse or neglect) and confined to institutional responses only the Gillard Government ensured it would result in a Catholic witch-hunt which is precisely what was intended in order to damage Abbott.

How else can you explain the terms of reference of a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse that incredibly managed to exclude from examination the worst and most prevalent instances of child sexual abuse (not to mention neglect and other forms of abuse) in the nation at that time, namely the epidemic of child sexual abuse occurring in remote indigenous communities? Even the Royal Commission was sensitive to this issue (i.e. political agenda) stating in the Final Report:

“notwithstanding the problems we have identified in institutions, the number of children who are sexually abused in familial or other circumstances far exceeds those who are abused in an institution.”

That is an indictment on the Gillard Government. It was so concerned about child sexual abuse it confined the terms of reference to ensure that the far greater number of abused children at the hands of a family member, relative or family friend were completely ignored.

To critique the Royal Commission is not to impugn the commissioners or victims, whitewash the terrible crimes and coverups that occurred, or diminish the seriousness of child sexual abuse. The point being made is that Royal Commissions serve a political function that is defined by government. The timing, scale, and resourcing (680 people in this case) of Royal Commissions establish both political and public expectations that the commissioners in charge must satisfy. At the end of the day commissioners operate according to a political brief.

That brief, in the case of The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses of Child Sexual Abuse was to put on an elaborate show trial largely targeting the Catholic Church, that involved soliciting for large numbers of victims, reversing the burden of proof, shielding accusers from proper scrutiny, determining guilt in advance, seconding police within the commission to build cases for the cause, and most importantly of generating rolling media coverage in ways to damage “that man” (i.e. Tony Abbott).

So central was the importance of generating media headlines befitting a lavish political show trial the Royal Commission  actually gave thanks to the media and ABC in particular in its Final Report, stating:

We also thank the media organisations for their interest in and comprehensive reporting of the Royal Commission’s work. Many media outlets provided extensive coverage. The ABC reported every case study on television, radio and online almost every sitting day.”

In light of the High Court’s unanimous acquittal of George Pell and the ABC’s relentless campaign against him throughout the Royal Commission the Commissioners should be ashamed of themselves for heaping praise on the ABC and their role in fuelling it.

The secondment of police into the Royal Commission organisation was also deeply political. The New South Wales child sexual abuse inquiry in the Hunter region that preceded Gillard’s announcement by mere days was aimed squarely at New South Wales police officers who systematically failed to investigate child sexual abuse complaints and were complicit with moving on known perpetrators.

Of course the problem with show trials is that no trial is complete without a heavy dose of retribution and the bigger the show trial the bigger the scalp is required to satisfy the mob baying for blood. The prized scalp was hence always going to be Cardinal Pell. Not only was Pell the highest ranking Catholic in Australia but as previously stated he was also a longtime friend of Tony Abbott. All roads led to Pell.

To the extent that there was a “Get Pell” agenda going on within and around the Royal Commission you need to remember that the political objective of the Royal Commission was to “Get Abbott” first. Pell was therefore collateral damage of a wider political agenda and to the extent that the Royal Commission was largely a show trial it begs the question if Pell was effectively a political prisoner jailed for his conservative sins and the political company he kept more than simply a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

As for the integrity and independence of Victoria Police and the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions it is worth remembering that at the exact same time it was persecuting Pell, on the most flimsy of evidence and despite exculpatory evidence going to his innocence, it decided not to prosecute Bill Shorten for an alleged rape, in very similar circumstances to Pell –  i.e. a twenty year (plus) case, relying solely on uncorroborated victim testimony – despite Shorten not having any exculpatory evidence in play at all. In the Shorten matter it issued a statement in August 2014 saying, “Investigating police sought advice from the Office of Public Prosecutions, which advised there was no reasonable prospect of conviction”. So on what reasonable basis did it believe there was a reasonable prospect of “Getting Pell”?

As stated in the opening, the wrongful imprisonment of George Pell was not an accident or flaw in the system. It was a product of a system tainted by political corruption. Julia Gillard put in train the political forces that led to the persecution of George Pell the day she announced an over-the-top show trial into child sexual abuse targeting Catholics with the hope of smearing Tony Abbott. The commissioners, Victoria Police, the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions, the Victorian criminal justice system and the ABC were only too willing to help.

This entry was posted in 2013 election, Hypocrisy of progressives, Oppressive government, Taking out the trash. Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to Was George Pell a Political Prisoner?

  1. Clam Chowdah

    As what is your assessment of the material releases from the Royal Commission yesterday?

  2. Rex Mango

    Excellent post, well done.

  3. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Well said.

  4. Rex Mango

    This article well describes why Gillard deserves gong for worst ever PM. Straight from union central casting, she personifies the shift of the ALP from the working class, to becoming a lawyer’s picnic.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    It also raises the question why Abbott didn’t abolish the RC upon being elected. I would have. And I thought so at the time.

  6. Infidel Tiger King

    As a good friend of Pell’s, that would have been a terrible look.

    Politically impossible.

  7. Sinclair Davidson

    Soft cock to the end.

  8. dover_beach

    Sinc, that would have been explosive. The more prudent course might have been to focus the terms of reference more narrowly (on schools, orphanages, and the like), and to not allow the Commissioner to effectively ignore the abuse that had occurred in state-run institutions.

  9. Justinian the Great

    It reinforces the point that Royal Commission are largely show trials and smearing Pell was its own reward. Sinc was right to say the findings against Pell are opinion. He wasn’t jailed because he was said to be covering it up. Do I think it leaves a stain on Pell’s reputation yes I do and that was the purpose of the RC. Do I think he probably knew why they were moving Risdale around yes I do. That said I am not sure what Pell could have personally done. Let’s say the RC is right and he knew about the rumours. They were just rumours. Police typically need a victim to file a claim (especially back in the 70’s) before they investigate. It is also pretty inconceivable that the police (in a small town) were not aware of rumours about Risdale. Why did they not do anything? Pell was also pretty junior back then. It would have been incumbent on Bishop Mulkearns to escalate the rumours about Risdale to the police and pretty brave of Pell back then to go behind the Bishops back. The whole episode was truly awful but Risdale was jailed in 1994 for 18 years and the RC added nothing to what was already known. It is a stain on the Catholic Church for sure and Mulkearns in particular but sheeting everything back onto Pell was purely political. The decision of the DPP to push ahead for a Pell trial was purely political. They had as much or more on Shorten but didn’t believe the case was strong enough. This was around the same time. You don’t have to like Pell but he wasn’t on trial for the sins of the Catholic Church.

  10. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    why Abbott didn’t abolish the RC upon being elected. I would have

    Yes. I was advocating the same course of action. It was always a hopelessly tainted show trial/star chamber and monumental waste of taxpayers’ money.

    The numptie should have also shut down the National Brontosaurus Network Network. Instead he made Waffles Turnbuckle the minister for the NBNN and the frigging ALPBC.

    Absolutely bloody useless.

  11. dover_beach

    What rumours re Ridsdale were circulating around Ballarat in 1973? Pell had just spent two years in Swan Hill, and was overseas for most of the 60s. If rumours were circulating why was Ballarat CIB not knocking on Mulkearns’s door asking him some questions?

  12. duncanm

    He didn’t have to abolish the RC, it would have been politically more astute to widen it’s terms of reference and defocus it from the church.

  13. notafan

    According to various government stats sites Aboriginal children are seven times more likely to experience abuse.

    Still.

    But hey let’s spend 500 million on examining decades old cases were the perpetrators are all either dead or on prison.

  14. Justinian the Great

    If Abbott had been smart he would have widened the terms of reference to include abuse in general and shifted the focus to contemporary issues rather than dredging up the past that had already been dealt with. This would have focussed on the appalling rates of sexual and other abuse in remote indigenous communities and the problem of arranged marriages (of minors) and genital mutilation that occurs in some cultures such that we need a special unit at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne to deal with it. Those cases don’t get reported to the police because of the fear women / girls will stop coming for treatment. It would also have shifted the focus to familial cases and failure of state child welfare agencies. Seems like a lot of silence, cover up and incompetence still goes on.

  15. notafan

    Justinian

    A policeman’s son was attacked in Inglewood in 1975.

    Response?

    The overnight removal of Ridsdale.

  16. Cassie of Sydney

    “Sinclair Davidson
    #3445133, posted on May 8, 2020 at 3:08 pm
    Soft cock to the end.”

    Agree wholeheartedly with Sinc. In late 2013 I looked forward to the termination of the RC, the termination of the NDIS, the end of Section 18C…instead..within two months, we got got Abbott being all mushy and nice about Quenti Bryce continuing in her role despite her son-in-law becoming leader of the opposition…and despite Bryce offering her resignation…and we got Natasha the Despoiler appointed to a choice position. I knew then that it was going to be disastrous. Abbott could have cleaned up some of the mess….he didn’t….remember he didn’t even try with Section 18C.

    He was much worse than a “soft cock”….on the culture wars…Abbott was a total appeaser.

  17. Leigh Lowe

    Question.
    How many criminal charges resulted from RC hearings?
    Not how many priors were raised.
    How many new charges flowed from RC evidence?

  18. Cassie of Sydney

    “If Abbott had been smart he would have widened the terms of reference to include abuse in general and shifted the focus to contemporary issues rather than dredging up the past that had already been dealt with. “

    That’s right…but he didn’t….as Sinc said…he was and remains a soft cock. We saw that last year in the lead up to the Warringah by-election. It was known a month out that he was going to lose to Steggall…big time. He should have done a Trump….declared war on Steggall…but he didn’t. A lot of this RC mess could have been fixed by the Abbott government…but like everything else with the stupid fucking Liberals…they just give up, cede territory and appease the progressive left.

  19. Behind Enemy Lines

    Nice piece, Justinian. A question: is there any way out of this, or are we stuck with these shenanigans forever? I suspect the latter, since Australia’s legal system appears content with the situation.

  20. Tim Neilson

    To critique the Royal Commission is not to impugn the commissioners

    Well, maybe not. But the report states that 26% of the claimants of whom they were aware claimed to have been abused in a state school, yet not one single one of their 57 “case studies” involved a state school.

    It doesn’t look like they were trying very hard to solve problems across the board.

  21. areff

    If our current PM had any political nous he’d say something like this:

    “The Royal Commission bared shocking and sickening abuse but in my view, and as the RC itself conceded, it didn’t go far enough.

    I propose, therefore, to institute a new RC that will have free rein to examine historical abuse, be it in Indigenous communities, borstals and schools both public and private.”

    And he’d refer the hacks to teacher disciplinary hearings, like these in Victoria.

    Go through the list if an idle hour is available and be amazed at the things teachers do, the crimes they commit, and the leniency of the licensing board in often allowing them to remain in the classroom. There’s stuff in there that, were you change the defendant’s name to “Pell”, would prompt a year’s worth of 4Corners exposes and have Milligan wetting herself.

    Stuff, for example, like the antics of Keith Walter Currie

    The Vic ledger hasn’t been updated since 2018 (I wonder why!!!) but no doubt similar rosters of rogering teachers exist in other states. A smart politician would do exactly as Justinian details was done against Pell: attack the Left via the teachers union, and use those revelations to reform education for the better.

    But, sigh, the Lump in The Lodge isn’t very bright. Sly, yes. Bright, no.

    Those who follow the link to check the disciplinary board’s decisions should make a point to open the .pdfs in which charges are detailed and the nature of the offences laid out, often at some length.

  22. areff

    Here’s another beaut:

    https://www.vit.vic.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/78336/Osmond-Decision.pdf

    Four Corners recently went to town on St Kevin’s. By that standard, the grooming done by teacher Shane Osmond — although no actual shtupping, apparently, as was likewise the case at St Kev’s — is immeasurably more serious.

  23. C.L.

    Excellent, JTG.

    “The Royal Commission bared shocking and sickening abuse but in my view, and as the RC itself conceded, it didn’t go far enough.

    I propose, therefore, to institute a new RC that will have free rein to examine historical abuse, be it in Indigenous communities, borstals and schools both public and private.”

    Beat me to the punch, areff.
    I’ve always thought the LNP should have upped the ante in precisely that manner.

  24. Lee

    In one foul swoop over 8,000 people were axiomatically considered victims and speaking the truth. The emphasis was on hearing their stories as a form of catharsis.

    Sorry to be picky, but it’s “one fell swoop.”
    Very archaic, I know, but that’s what it is.

  25. Cassie of Sydney

    “I’ve always thought the LNP should have upped the ante in precisely that manner.”

    But they didn’t and won’t ever…because they are supine quislings.

  26. Cassie of Sydney

    “although no actual shtupping”

    Oy vey….I like the Yiddish Areff.

  27. Cassie of Sydney

    “But, sigh, the Lump in The Lodge isn’t very bright. Sly, yes. Bright, no.”

    Well said….I now call him Big Daddy Morrison…he reminds me of a character from a Tennessee Williams book.

  28. Sinclair Davidson

    I like the Yiddish Areff.

    Some of us also like the shtupping. 🙂

    Carry on. As you all were.

  29. areff

    Would love to be fluent in Yiddish, Cassie

  30. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Sorry to be picky, but it’s “one fell swoop.”
    Very archaic, I know, but that’s what it is.

    MACDUFF
    He doesn’t have children. All my pretty little children? Did you say all? Oh, that bird from hell! All of them? What, all my children and their mother dead in one fell swoop?

    William Shakespeare.

  31. Cassie of Sydney

    “areff
    #3445274, posted on May 8, 2020 at 5:06 pm
    Would love to be fluent in Yiddish, Cassie”

    It is a wonderful language….the language of the Ghetto, the Shtetl and the Shtiebel. Sometimes I wish I could be transported back to the Shtetl….which reminds me..here is a song that goes straight to the kishkas…

  32. Cassie of Sydney

    “Some of us also like the shtupping. 🙂”

    Absolutely Sinc…tis good for us.

  33. This post does impugn the commissioners. In the last paragraph it is claimed that Gillard announced thr “show trial” targeting Catholics with the hope of smearing Tony Abbott, and that “The commissioners….. were only too willing to help”. There us no attempt to justify this serious claim of dishonesty.

    This unwarranted hyperbole spoils the few good points made. If contemporary sexual abuse of children is to be taken seriously, the abuse of children in Aboriginal communities and homes should be vigourously prosecuted. There is no need for a commission.

  34. Sinclair Davidson

    There is no need for a commission.

    Indeed – there never was any need for any Commission.

  35. Leigh Lowe

    I propose, therefore, to institute a new RC that will have free rein to examine historical abuse, be it in Indigenous communities, borstals and schools both public and private.”

    Yes.
    Shutting it down would have simply spawned 1,000 conspiracy and cover-up theories.
    “Letting the tug-o-war rope go” and watching them flounder to split the atom as to why certain 50 year old cases (which have been dealt with by criminal law) need to be raked over, yet those still happening today or those committed in state orphanages don’t deserve scrutiny.

  36. Leigh Lowe

    Rafiki

    #3445296, posted on May 8, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    This post does impugn the commissioners. 

    Is it even possible to impugn the character of a lawyer?

  37. areff

    A NYC gal I was pursuing, but who had shown no reciprocal interest, observed at a party that I was drunk, which was true.

    “A bit shickered,” I replied, at which she squealed “You’re Joo ish!”

    I explained that it was not my privilege, and that the word was archaic Australian slang for being four sheets to the wind.

    “Well it’s Yiddish,” she said, and we spent the rest of the night immersed in the language of the shretl. A lovely six months of dallying ensued and we parted the best of friends.

    Any language that can provide three words for penis — schlong, putz, schmuck, each with a different use and flavour — has every right to kvell.

  38. Sinclair Davidson

    Is it even possible to impugn the character of a lawyer?

    Alas – they think that because their views are enforced by men with guns – basically violence – that they are really philosopher-kings.

  39. H B Bear

    Sinc, if you think Abbott could have stopped the Royal Commission you have the political judgment of Malcolm Turnbull, ie none at all.

    Most Lieboral PMs get lousy press but Abbott used to send them into an absolute frenzy. He would have been crucified. He was routinely criticised for his religious views. Imagine the headlines, “Mad Monk stops Inquiry into Catholic Church.” This is precisely the wedge alleged by the original poster.

    There are many reasons to criticise Abbott and his government. Failure to stop the Royal Commission is not one of them.

  40. H B Bear

    The Royal Commission had all the weight of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

    Bit more expensive for Australian taxpayers though.

    #beliveallvictims

  41. Leigh Lowe

    H B Bear

    #3445334, posted on May 8, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    The Royal Commission had all the weight of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

    You get a $50k settlement.
    And you get a $50k settlement.
    And you.
    And you.
    EVERYBODY GETS A $50K SETTLEMENT!!

  42. Lee

    Most Lieboral PMs get lousy press but Abbott used to send them into an absolute frenzy. He would have been crucified. He was routinely criticised for his religious views.

    Unlike any other Australian PMs I can think of, even those who were Catholics, or churchgoers themselves.
    Although Scott Morrison has copped a certain level of criticism for attending a conservative church.
    I can’t recall any Labor PM ever being attacked for his religious views or church attendances.

  43. Chris

    I never ‘got’ why they hated Abbott so much. The unremitting spite speaks horrors about the mental state of politically-involved and media types.

  44. Squirrel

    Belt and Road justice system?

  45. areff

    I never ‘got’ why they hated Abbott so much.

    Remember George W. Bush? Watching how he was attacked and lampooned signalled the Left’s massive attack formula, aided by the social media explosion.

    The assaults on Abbott came out of the same playbook and were at midpoint in the Left’s timeline, the one that has today led to leftoid j’ismists telling outright lies about Trump.

    Unlike Abbott, Trump hits back. That’s the difference between then and now.

  46. Chris

    In respect of Pell, I am reminded of Blackstone:

    I. The right of personal security consists in a person’s legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health, and his reputation.

    In respect of Reputation:

    5. The security of his reputation or good name from the arts of detraction and slander, are rights to which every man is entitled by reason and natural justice; since, without these, it is impossible to have the perfect enjoyment of any other advantage or right.

  47. Cassie of Sydney

    “I can’t recall any Labor PM ever being attacked for his religious views or church attendances.”

    Indeed..remember how an very unlamented recent Labor PM and his fat wife used to like to entertain the press outside every Anglican church in the country? He was supposedly religious…he was never attacked for his..ahem..questionable “piety”….and at that time he was anti-SSM…he was never the subject of hostility in the same way that Abbott was.

    Abbott though should have showed a lot more mongrel in dealing with the media…just likes Trump does….but he never did…..he was a wimp.

  48. Cassie of Sydney

    “aided by the social media explosion.”

    and that’s the key….I don’t even think that John Howard would have survived this era of social media sewers.

  49. areff

    he was a wimp.

    Your new breed Jesuits got to him in school, filling his head with nonsense about there being good in all of us. He actually believed it and and became a terminal case of the mental infirmity that still plagues the Coalition: wanting sworn enemies to like you.

    Mind you, had Lord Waffle not been white-anting him, leaving parliamentary colleagues to wonder if there was any gain to be had in manning the ramparts in Abbott’s defence, he would have survived longer and done better. Turnbull made sure that didn’t happen.

  50. Tim Neilson

    This post does impugn the commissioners. In the last paragraph it is claimed that Gillard announced thr “show trial” targeting Catholics with the hope of smearing Tony Abbott, and that “The commissioners….. were only too willing to help”. There us no attempt to justify this serious claim of dishonesty.

    26% of claimants alleged abuse at state schools.
    0% out of 57 “case studies” they chose to publicise were about state schools.

    Not conclusive I know, but enough in my view to justify the expression of an opinion.

  51. Sinclair Davidson

    he would have survived longer and done better.

    survived – yes.
    done better – no.

  52. Chris

    In the same page of Blackstone, it describes ‘civil death’, when a person goes outside the law by banishment – or by taking orders as a priest or monk. Because of the impossibility of English courts proving or knowing what foreign places might do in this respect they abolished the idea of civil death, and everyone got human rights. That was old news at the time of Blackstone, ie probably from the time of Elizabeth or earlier.
    Pell is entitled to his reputation.
    Slanderers are entitled to what they deserve.

  53. Lee

    “I can’t recall any Labor PM ever being attacked for his religious views or church attendances.”

    Indeed..remember how an very unlamented recent Labor PM and his fat wife used to like to entertain the press outside every Anglican church in the country? He was supposedly religious…he was never attacked for his..ahem..questionable “piety”….and at that time he was anti-SSM…he was never the subject of hostility in the same way that Abbott was.

    It’s funny, Cassie, I was thinking precisely of Rudd and his impromptu media interviews outside his church when I wrote that comment.
    Of course, no sneering or mocking of Rudd by the media or the left for his religion, unlike Tony Abbott!

  54. areff

    Would he have abandoned the push for free speech so readily if the Turnbullians hadn’t taken their cues from the scumback sharpening his knife and counting the days. If I recall, Turnbull didn’t want the law modified, let alone scrapped.

    I know he gets you hot and horny, Sinc, but you’d do well to erase the Malcolm love. He was born a prick and will die a failed prick

  55. Cassie of Sydney

    “I know he gets you hot and horny, Sinc, but you’d do well to erase the Malcolm love. He was born a prick and will die a failed prick”

    I agree Areff….but Tony always handed his enemies ammunition to shoot him with…something that you would never see Donald Trump do. And I remember the knighthood debacle very well….Abbott…having made the captain’s pick decision…then cowered in the ensuing hysteria….whereas a man like Donald Trump would have fronted the media and said as follows to the media and all the rest of the assorted progressive sum……”oh okay…so you don’t like knighthoods…well you had better get used to them because my government is going to award a knighthood to someone every month for rest of the time that I am PM!

  56. Entropy

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3445390, posted on May 8, 2020 at 6:25 pm
    he would have survived longer and done better.

    survived – yes.
    done better – no.

    You would have to believe Maocolm was Potentially Great to believe that bullshit. My lame dog would have done better than that contemptible prick Mick Trumble.

  57. Professor Fred Lenin

    I suppose it was church policy to cover up the child molestation to protect the church,they all knew it was going on but were truing to minimise damage,just as the decromats are trying to save Gropey Joes miserable ass by pretending not to hear , good policy , it might go away if they ignore it ,as Pelosi dismissed it “oh ,thats Joe Biden ” wonder how ,’many times he groped her? And did she enjoy it?

  58. Tim Neilson
    Justinian opines that the commissioners were willing to assist Gillard to smear Abbott. The stats you cite might give some support to the view that the RC targeted the church, but to take it further is beyond a reasonable view.

    Maybe few here care, but if Catallaxy aspires to be seen as a credible source of ideas and analysis, the lead articles should eschew hyperbole and unreason. I know it may be said that I am being po-faced (hello Leigh) but there it us.

    Chris cites an elegant passage from Blackstone on the value of reputation. Well the RC commissioners can also claim this right.

  59. For all the same reasons why Donald Trump couldn’t/didn’t shut down the Mueller Shit Show, Abbott couldn’t/didn’t shut down the RC Shit Show.
    They also both believed truth would out eventually (indeed it did in both cases).
    The difference between the two men is about 2lbs of balls.

  60. Ac

    Would be interesting to see the links between Milligan and vic oolice!

  61. stackja

    Media Watch Dog Issue 495 8 May 2020
    https://thesydneyinstitute.com.au/blog/issue-495/

    In fact, despite the fact that an innocent man spent 405 days in prison, in the end the Australian judicial system worked in this case. Unlike the case of Colin Campbell Ross who, in 1922, was found guilty of murdering a 12-year old girl in what would be now called the Melbourne CBD.
    There was a media pile-on against Ross before his trial. Ross, who emphatically proclaimed his innocence, unsuccessfully appealed the verdict to both the Full Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia. He was hanged at Melbourne Gaol in 1922 and pardoned by the Victorian government in 2008.

  62. Sinclair Davidson

    He was hanged at Melbourne Gaol in 1922 and pardoned by the Victorian government in 2008.

    I’m always intrigued by these posthumous pardons. Yes they are important for record keeping but they hardly reassure the victim or make amends.

  63. What I don’t get is why the RC would feel the need to give an opinion on Cardinal Pell and not Mr Bongiorno.

  64. And why is any ABC hack, let alone Louise Milligan, allowed to write a piece saying Pell will not be remembered kindly?

  65. stackja

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3445492, posted on May 8, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    The dangers of media hysteria.
    USA had the case of Leo Frank.

  66. herodotus

    Funny how the TURC failed to excite most of the media in the same way.
    Also notable how the oh so polite Commissioner failed to find fault with a certain redhead.

  67. dover_beach

    Rafiki, Justinian is just making the same sort of speculative finding made by the Commissioners in their report. But he rather than they can at least point to a number of pieces of circumstantial evidence, not merely that not a single case study involved a state school even though a quarter of the abuse cases arose in them, but that they choose to find that Pell lied about his knowledge of Ridsdale’s crimes even though they could not point to a single piece of evidence that Mulkearns had informed any consultor leave alone Pell of them.

    They disgraced themselves.

  68. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Also notable how the oh so polite Commissioner failed to find fault with a certain redhead.

    The same TURC that recommended that charges be laid against her two henchmen- one of who said that, if he fronted the beak, he was taking certain redhead down with him? Notable how all that faded away, wasn’t it?

  69. a happy little debunker

    Sinclair Davidson @ 3:08 pm
    Soft cock to the end.

    I wouldn’t be likening any volunteer fire fighter or surf rescue lifesaver as a ‘soft cock’.

    Especially after one complains about the boorish behaviour of others…
    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2020/05/03/cold-turkey/

  70. H B Bear

    I never ‘got’ why they hated Abbott so much.

    Abbott (largely) single handedly destroyed Gillard, the media’s great red hope.

  71. stackja

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3445299, posted on May 8, 2020 at 5:26 pm
    There is no need for a commission.

    Indeed – there never was any need for any Commission.

    Petrov?

  72. Dover
    As I said above, it is Justunian’s assertion that the RC assisted Gillard to smear Abbott that I aimed at.

    As to the more interesting question whether the RC relied on any evidence to find that Mulkearns told his consulters, what I have gathered is that they relied on the fact that knowledge of Risdale’s abuse was widely known in the Catholic school sector and must have been known to and mentioned in the meeting that recorded Mulkearn’s decision to move him out of Ballarat. Whether this inference is open to be drawn is another question. (I not have an opinion.) But the RC did base its opinion in some evidence.

  73. Maybe the RC did not limit its opinion to the particular meeting but spoke of what any priest in Ballarat must have known about Ridsdale. My point remains valid however.

  74. notafan

    Rafiki

    Your time lines are all over the place as us the geography.

    Ballarat diocese stretched from the south west coast to the border with NSW.

  75. H B Bear

    I’m always intrigued by these posthumous pardons. Yes they are important for record keeping but they hardly reassure the victim or make amends.

    It is an important acknowledgement that the justice system got it wrong. Everyone else (yes, perhaps not themself) can have greater faith in the system. Conversely, when the High Court overturns a decision 7-0, and goes on to say words to the effect that there was a possibility (I can’t be bothered to find the exact wording used) faith in the justice system is (or should be) undermined.

  76. dover_beach

    As to the more interesting question whether the RC relied on any evidence to find that Mulkearns told his consulters, what I have gathered is that they relied on the fact that knowledge of Risdale’s abuse was widely known in the Catholic school sector and must have been known to and mentioned in the meeting that recorded Mulkearn’s decision to move him out of Ballarat. Whether this inference is open to be drawn is another question. (I not have an opinion.) But the RC did base its opinion in some evidence.

    What evidence is there of this being widely known in the Catholic school sector in 1973 or 74 or 75?

  77. notafan

    It’s a claim without foundation.

  78. Chris

    Abbott (largely) single handedly destroyed Gillard, the media’s great red hope.

    No. They were nuts with Abbott666 hate before she got in.

  79. I have not read the unredacted parts of the royal commission report, but from the media reports I understood that the RC pointed to a body of knowledge among the laity in Ballarat about Ridsdale’s sexual abuse. Since he was abusing children prior to his being moved, it seems reasonable to say that there was lay knowledge about it, even if most had only a general understanding. It is also reasonable to say that Pell and other priests had at least an inkling of what Ridsdale was alleged to have done. I think the RC’s point is that when Ridsdale was moved, Pell must have known it was to protect Ridsdale.
    Notafan and Dover can argue that the premises of this line of reasoning are too weak to justify the conclusion. And maybe they are. But my view is that to some extent the premises are factually based. Without reading the unredacted report, I cannot take it further. To sum up, it is not a case where there was no evidence at all.

  80. JC

    Since he was abusing children prior to his being moved, it seems reasonable to say that there was lay knowledge about it, even if most had only a general understanding.

    Rafki: Reasonable as in ped files would normally advertise their evil ways? You really think that’s the case in the real world, do you?

  81. Tim Neilson

    Rafiki
    #3445694, posted on May 8, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    So you’d accept the criticism that Bonge has been whitewashed?

  82. H B Bear

    No. They were nuts with Abbott666 hate before she got in.

    Don’t forget Abbott was John Howard’s attack dog and muscled up a few ALP characters over the years. Indeed, one of the criticisms of his government was that it lacked a brawler who didn’t mind getting into the gutter and punching on once he became PM and couldn’t do it himself any longer.

  83. dover_beach

    I have not read the unredacted parts of the royal commission report, but from the media reports I understood that the RC pointed to a body of knowledge among the laity in Ballarat about Ridsdale’s sexual abuse. Since he was abusing children prior to his being moved, it seems reasonable to say that there was lay knowledge about it, even if most had only a general understanding. It is also reasonable to say that Pell and other priests had at least an inkling of what Ridsdale was alleged to have done. I think the RC’s point is that when Ridsdale was moved, Pell must have known it was to protect Ridsdale.

    1. What ‘body of knowledge’? Did any member of the laity with this ‘body of knowledge’ claim to share it with Pell while he was a consultor or other consultors, with any of the other parish priests, with Pell as director of the Institute of Education? 2. How can you argue that since Ridsdale was abusing children prior to being moved in 1975 that it is reasonable to assume there was lay knowledge of his abuse? His abuse only became public in the early 90s, is there any evidence there was lay knowledge of his crimes as early as 1973 when the RC ‘found’ Pell must have learned of it? Why didn’t any member of the laity notify the police of this ‘body of knowledge’? 3. The suspicion that Pell, etc. may have had an inkling may be reasonable, but the RC isn’t entertaining a possibility which a suspicion is at most, it presented a finding, with, so far as I can see, no evidence at all in support.

  84. rafiki

    JC – it is not only the abuser who knows about the abuse. The children do too. They speak to other children, and all the children speak to their parents and other adults. And no doubt some priests get to know, or they observe activities – such as overnight camps – of other priests that raise suspicion. This how the knowledge about at least the allegations about people like Ridsdale gets about.

    No doubt this process applies in many other contexts. Perhaps people who move money about have a different experience of the real world.

    Tim – I will leave it to others to make that judgement. I don’t want to get letters from Sue, Grabbit and Runne.

    I am off to bed now, so please excuse failure to respond to any reply anyone may care to make.

  85. rafiki

    Dover- your comment was posted while I was posting. I think I have covered some of your points. I do concede that to give my points more substance, I will need to read the report.

  86. dover_beach

    it is not only the abuser who knows about the abuse. The children do too. They speak to other children, and all the children speak to their parents and other adults.

    And yet we are told repeatedly that victims of abuse remained largely silent, never telling anyone, including other children or their parents.

  87. Perfidious Albino

    Good post, but enough with the ‘soft’ corruption. Corruption is corruption.

  88. Old Lefty

    Moreover, as Gerard Henderson reminds us, there is evidence that the police knew about Ridsdale in the 80s and took no action. Neither did they ever charge Searson in Melbourne with any relevant offences.

  89. Leigh Lowe

    I have not read the unredacted parts of the royal commission report, but from the media reports I understood that the RC pointed to a body of knowledge among the laity in Ballarat about Ridsdale’s sexual abuse. Since he was abusing children prior to his being moved, it seems reasonable to say that there was lay knowledge about it, even if most had only a general understanding. It is also reasonable to say that Pell and other priests had at least an inkling of what Ridsdale was alleged to have done. I think the RC’s point is that when Ridsdale was moved, Pell must have known it was to protect Ridsdale.

    To keep drawing parallels, Paul Bungjourno was about the same age as Pell (about four years younger), also grew up in Ballarat and I think his parents owned a retail business there.
    Bungjourno was probably more likely than Pell to be tapped into the lay network.
    He also liked to project himself as “Father Cool and Approachable of the Mod Squad Order”, so more likely to be seen as a confidant for troubled young parishioners.
    Not saying he actually was, but whilst we are speculating..

  90. Iampeter

    The wrongful imprisonment of George Pell was not an accident or flaw in the system.

    There was no “wrongful imprisonment” of George Pell and no “accident or flaw in the system.”
    You’re intentionally ignoring reality in favor of the narrative. This is just leftist identity politics.

    The Royal Commission may have had political benefits on multiple levels for Gillard but it doesn’t change the very real facts of what it was looking into.

    The facts are, aside from the church’s horrific history of murder and slaughter, that in more recent times (as far as we know, there’s been no real investigation still) the Catholic church’s members are responsible for large scale child abuse and successfully covering it up.

    If you’re still a Catholic after all this, which given the Churches history should be unacceptable in polite society anyway even without the child abuse scandals, then you should be ashamed. Not trying to play identity politics like a leftist on a right wing website and pretending YOU are the victim.

    This is on top of the fact that the Catholic church is the “OG left wing authoritarian” organization if ever there was one, so it’s support/defense on a right wing blog makes absolutely no sense anyway.

    Even today it is in no way a pro-capitalist or pro-individual organisation.

  91. JC

    This is on top of the fact that the Catholic church is the “OG left wing authoritarian” organization if ever there was one, so it’s support/defense on a right wing blog makes absolutely no sense anyway.

    Great memory recall, Plodes. That’s straight out of the 70’s conspiracy theory leftist handbook. I even recall our thick political science textbook of the time comparing the Catholic Church to socialism as a chapter. What an interesting person you’ve become. Keep repeating it day after day, week after week, year after year.

    And just so we don’t forget. It’s the politics.

  92. Iampeter

    That’s straight out of the 70’s conspiracy theory leftist handbook.

    So Catholics being left wing is a leftist conspiracy? K
    So what do you think “left wing” even means? Being an atheist or something?

    You really should look into that whole “the politics” thing at some point.

  93. It’s because you don’t understand the politics JC.

    Remember all of those elections I Am putrid won?

    Neither do I.

    The politics. The politics. The Queen is a reptoid. The Salk vaccine has always had 5G. The politics.

  94. Rex Mango

    Iampenis, Catholic Church owns more land than the US Government, is almost 2,000 years old & will be around long after you are gone.

  95. Marion

    brilliant and fantastic article detailing the history behind the setting up of the RC
    Really disturbing that police proceeded with actions against Pell but dropped actions against Shorten .
    What a huge amount of money spent on a RC with very few findings and the exclusion is familial abuse and abuse of indigenous individuals and lack of interest in victims of state schools seems so wrong and biased.
    Some of the findings of the RC are so loose ie boy Green who aged 12 states he told a then young Fr Pell approx 1973 that Dowlan was touching kids . Pell denies it . Another witness present now adult denies lt happened . But somehow the RC in their amazing wisdom determine this truly did occur . Go figure ? Two versus one and the RC comes down on the side of one and use this to later summarise that Pell knee if sexual abuse . Hard to respect them when they pluck findings from thin air like this . Six commissioners and none of them have an issue with this ? Something is not right here . Also most of their findings boil down to – many knew so he ( Pell ) must have known too. Not great logic . Priests could be moved on for a range of reasons – some frowned upon like alcoholism , serial inappropriate relationships with men or women . To know that Risdale was specifically moved because he was sexually assaulting children cannot be presumed to have been disclosed in the absence of any consult or who testified to the contrary . None did
    I don’t respect the findings of the RC . What a waste of time and money . It was a sit hunt against the Catholic Church . This article makes it all clear to me – Thankyou very much

  96. Lee

    So you’d accept the criticism that Bonge has been whitewashed?

    I was accused of “defending paedophiles” on another blog, merely because all I wrote was that Bongiorno was not held to the standards as Pell, with regard to what he did or didn’t know about what Ridsdale was up to!

    Moreover, as Gerard Henderson reminds us, there is evidence that the police knew about Ridsdale in the 80s and took no action.

    Further to that, Henderson says:

    “Those who followed the media reports of the Royal Commission’s findings yesterday could have got the impression that Fr George Pell (born 1941) was primarily responsible for the fact that in the 1970s notorious pedophile Catholic priests Monsignor John Day and (then) Fr Gerald Ridsdale continued their crimes in the Ballarat diocese. And that they would have been arrested if only Pell had acted on what he was found by the Royal Commission to have known at the time about their crimes.

    This is ahistorical – as those who have read Unholy Trinity (Allen & Unwin, 2013) written by Denis Ryan and Peter Hoysted (aka Jack the Insider). The authors point out that the crimes of Day and Ridsdale were known to Victoria Police in the early 1970s. Denis Ryan lost his job in Victoria Police for attempting to act against Day. For a summary see Jack the Insider’s article: “George Pell appeal: Don’t accept sanitised history of clerical abuse” in The Australian Online, 9 April 2020.”

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