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RJM 29th Apr 2012 23:32

I get the feeling that the journalists are polishing up their requiems for Gillard's leadership.

Lex Talionis 29th Apr 2012 23:35


Too little. Too late.
Yes I could not agree more and the main problem is that there is no one else who would be stupid enough to challenge for the leadership at the moment because it is clearly a poisoned chalice.It will not be until after the next election which Labor will lose that someone will put their hand up.

The problem I have with this is that it appears as though the opposition is not so squeaky clean either.John Howard campaigned with a pledge of a clean government and as such introduced a "Code of Ministerial Conduct".This required ministers to divest shares in portfolios that they oversaw and to be truthful in parliament.
As a result 7 ministers in the Howard government were forced to resign.However,in 1999 this was changed and ministers were no longer required to divest themselves of share holdings.

You have to ask why when it was so important to Howard and his election promises in the first place.

Now we find that as far back as 2002 Mr Slipper was a major concern to the Liberal party.

An ''urgent'' ministerial briefing note to the former special minister of state Eric Abetz warned that as far back as 2002 something was amiss with Peter Slipper's family travel expenses.
The note, obtained by The Sun-Herald under freedom-of-information laws, reveals Mr Abetz and other ministers were advised Mr Slipper had been spoken to ''on various occasions'' about his family travel entitlements, yet continued making expense claims that broke the rules.
Other documents obtained under FOI reveal the Howard government at the time prepared a brief titled ''hot issues'' just in case the matter was raised in an estimates hearing.
The suggested response was to say Mr Slipper had repaid the $5079.40 owing to the Commonwealth but in the background notes, headlined ''not for release'', it said ''Mr Slipper was critical of departmental processes in identifying apparent travel outside of entitlement.

The documents show that in the eight months between July 2002 and February 2003, Mr Slipper took flights worth $39,818 from far-flung places including Horn, Saibai and Boigu islands in the Torres Straits to Cairns, Alice Springs, Whyalla, Mount Gambier as well as Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
The Coalition was criticised for preselecting Mr Slipper on many occasions, despite the continuing questions about his drinking, his abuse of parliamentary entitlements and his relationship with aides. The Queensland Liberal party factional boss Santo Santoro ensured Mr Slipper was routinely preselected for his Sunshine Coast seat.
Former Howard government advisers and senior Liberal Party figures have told The Sun-Herald Mr Santoro's factional support for Mr Slipper protected him from being disendorsed.

I fail to see why it is just Gillard who is being selected in regards to Mr Slipper when the stench of alleged favouritism goes all the way back to the Liberal party in 2002.
If someone is going to continue calling the PM Jooliar then to be fair and balanced the opposition including it's leaders should attract there same level of criticism.

Lex Talionis 30th Apr 2012 00:34

On a more humorous note I have just read this about the latest from Clive Palmer.
First off is the continuing saga of the test of wills between Palmer and Swan.

Palmer is now going into politics and will run against Swan at the next election.

Enigmatic mining magnate Clive Palmer has announced he will build a luxury cruise liner named The Titanic II and run against Treasurer Wayne Swan for the federal seat of Lilley in the next election.

Mr Palmer announced he would seek Liberal National Party preselection for the Brisbane seat of Lilley, currently held by Mr Swan. The billionaire must first win pre-selection for the LNP before he can challenge Mr Swan.
This is a part that I found interesting or curious.

"We can only sleep in one bed, we can only have one meal, we can only go out with one woman if we are sensible, if you are a guy that is. Same goes for you girls, too, right."
Then I read this line and it all made sense.

He said he was a former spokesman for the National Party when Joh Bjelke-Petersen was premier.
Then it starts to get even more curious when he said this.

Palmer, who recently had his Gold Coast A-League licence revoked by the FFA, also revealed he has established a new shipping company, Blue Star Line Pty Ltd, which has commissioned CSC Jinling Shipyard to build and co-ordinate the construction of Titanic II in China.

Mr Palmer says the Titanic II will make as little change to the original as possible.

"The only changes to the original Titanic would be below the water line including welding and not riveting," he said at a media conference.

"We have invited the Chinese navy to escort Titanic II on its maiden voyage to New York.
Personally,I haven't been so interested in politics since the 'Joh for Canberra' push in the good old days of Queensland politics.:E

They do breed them larger than life in Queensland don't they?

parabellum 30th Apr 2012 00:47

Well, if the current mood in the country is anything to go by, Palmer is home and hosed!

eagle 86 30th Apr 2012 01:00

None of you blokes have spared one iota of thought for the First Bloke - he's gone - cast aside by juliar as she rejoins the other team!
Gags
E86

sisemen 30th Apr 2012 01:12

He was gone long ago. He's only been kept on for appearances :E

Met him a few months ago when he was opening a project in my home town. He was quite up front with the fact that he was enjoying things immensely "while things last" (his own words).

Worrals in the wilds 30th Apr 2012 01:26


They do breed them larger than life in Queensland don't they?
Oooh yeah. :rolleyes: I don't know why we get so many manic gobs and loud mouthed lunatics going into politics, but it's always been thus. Lilley is a pretty straight electorate; don't know how Palmer will go. Also, Swan is still fairly popular locally. A lot of people in Brisbane like him and blame Gillard rather than him for the ALP's current ills, which probably isn't entirely fair.

Anyway, say Palmer wins, who's going to run his business and sue everyone while he's busy being an MP?
Any word from the Libs or are they staying vewwy vewwy quiet? :}


None of you blokes have spared one iota of thought for the First Bloke - he's gone -
Really? Thanks, I didn't know that. I had heard Canberra scuttlebutt that all wasn't happy in the Shorten household, but I don't know how true it is.

david1300 30th Apr 2012 01:30

What an interesting day, and what is really the 'Dark Cloud'
 
Julia Gillard:
''I feel keenly that Australians are looking at this Parliament and at the moment they see a dark cloud over it.''


Julia, that Dark Cloud is you - your leadership, your lack of judgement, and your lies. From the article refrenced above:


"In a double about-face yesterday, the Prime Minister withdrew her support for Mr Slipper's return to the Speaker's chair while sexual harassment claims against him were unresolved. And she rang Mr Thomson on Saturday night requesting he relinquish his membership of the ALP and sit on the crossbenches as an independent until issues concerning his credit card use as a union official were resolved. ''I believe a line has been crossed here,'' she said."

And elsewhere:


"JULIA Gillard should consider falling on her sword for the good of the Labor Party, because she can no longer present an even slightly credible face at the election. Her spectacular U-turn on everything she'd said before on Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper has left her looking nakedly expedient, and further exposed the state of crisis within the government.

At one point in her news conference Gillard wrung her hands. It was a metaphor for what the caucus is doing. Her claim that suddenly ''a line'' had been crossed, so she had to act to preserve Australians' respect for Parliament, came out as a workshopped confection she could not explain. After months of declaring Thomson had her support, after a week of backing Slipper returning to the Speakership if he was cleared on criminal allegations, she wants us to believe she arrived back from Gallipoli and suddenly realised that the public see a dark cloud over Parliament?"


And on Craig Thomson:


"It is worthwhile to go back to where it all began to unravel: when Thomson left the HSU to become a member of parliament.
Thomson spent most of his working life with the HSU, becoming national secretary in 2002, a position he held until he was elected the federal member of Dobell in 2007.
It was only after he left that the union's auditors, BDO, were asked to conduct an investigation into allegations of mis-spending by the departing national secretary.

The following is a summary of prostitute services that were allegedly put on Mr Thomson's Diners Club card and MasterCard, which were paid for by the union:
  • Aboutoun Catering (Milson's Point escort service) February 26, 2003 - $330.
  • A Touch Of Class (brothel in Surry Hills), August 26, 2006 - $660.
  • Sydney Outcalls Network (high class escort agency), March 11, 2003 - $570; April 9, 2006 - $2475; August 16, 2007 - $770.
  • Tiffanys (brothel in Surry Hills), June 11 2005 - $418.
According to the findings of BDO's audit, Thomson said he was interstate on most of those occasions and he had not incurred these expenses.
The audit report raised the question of why he had submitted such expenditure to be paid by the union if it was not incurred by him.
"Thomson has categorically denied ever attending these places. He has stated that he was not in the state of NSW on each and every date of the relevant transactions," said the report.
Then came the matter of the $100,000 he had made in cash withdrawals, which he had explained to the union's financial controller were "meeting expenses" and that he had supplied invoices.
One example Thomson gave was an Aboriginal elder who had participated in a "Welcome to Country" ceremony at a national conference and had demanded payment in cash.
However, investigators found none of the cash withdrawals from July 2002 to November 2007 were supported by invoices.
He told the BDO auditor that the practice of cash withdrawals was commonplace in most trade unions. BDO notes that this was not the case.
The auditor was unable to conclude whether the cash withdrawals were appropriate but recommended "the practice of withdrawing cash should never occur again and that it is the antithesis of of transparency and accountability."
Interestingly, Mr Thomson agreed that he had made the cash withdrawals on his CBA MasterCard and that he did not give the card to anyone. However, with regard to the prostitutes, he denied incurring such expenses on his card.
The BDO report, which was conducted in 2008, was passed on to Fair Work Australia, which commenced an investigation in 2009.
That same year Fairfax Media reported the allegations raised in the BDO report. Mr Thomson sued for defamation over the reports.
Among the explanations offered by Mr Thomson, apart from being interstate on most occasions the prostitutes were used, were that someone had forged his signature and another union member had incurred the expenses and had paid the union back $15,000, including for the prosititutes on Thomson's card.
However, Jeff Jackson, the former husband of the current national secretary, Kathy Jackson, claimed he had paid back the $15,000 and further denied that any monies were spent on prostitutes.
A subsequent audit confirmed that Mr Jackson, a former state secretary, had to pay back $15,000 for unauthorised salary increases.
"Mr Thomson again today has loudly proclaimed his innocence but has done everything possible to make sure that HSU members are kept in the dark about what he was up to during his time as an HSU official," Ms Jackson said in a statement today.
"To my knowledge, Mr Thomson has refused to be interviewed by both the Victoria Police and Strike Force Carnarvon, while falsely stating publicly that he was assisting police. If Mr Thomson has any respect for HSU members then next week he will do what he earlier promised and give a full account of his conduct to the parliament and to the members of the HSU.
"But I'm not holding my breath."
Thomson later dropped the defamation action against Fairfax when further records were produced showing his mobile phone had been used to make the bookings and that his signature and driver's licence details were on the brothel receipts.
In September, 2011, a few months after dropping the defamation action, a senior NSW police officer was quoted saying:"We are satisfied that the person who used the card was the person whose name was on the card," a senior police officer said. "It would have been deception if someone else used it; that would have been a crime."
Now that Thomson has agreed to cooling his heels on the cross-benches, perhaps he has time to work on that "comprehensive statement" that would no doubt clarify everything.
But sometime in the "near future" never gets any closer."









sisemen 30th Apr 2012 01:55


If Labor had any functioning party elders, they would be advising Gillard to consider the good of the party and relinquish the leadership gracefully. That would lead Labor down another fraught path, but it could hardly be worse off than now.

Read more: Credibility gone, PM should fall on her sword
It's a bit like cigarette smoke. It starts off in a smooth column of rising smoke then wobbles a bit; wobbles some more and then finally collapses into chaos.

There are those of us who have been able to see this right from the early days of Rudd's administration. And we have had innumerable threads closed because of those that refused or could not see it also.

Wiley 30th Apr 2012 02:03

Clive Palmer is a very good example of why I feel so passionately that Australia should not go the American route of a popularly-elected President, where the richest man all too often wins (and please note that that's route as in "root", and not "r-out", as is increasingly creeping into Australian speech).

Even if pipped at the final post, (usually by the richest man in the other Party), the richest man, able to outspend any potential opponent in his Party's primaries, (another American idea that someone senior in Australian politics recently suggested we adopt), pushes aside possibly better candidates simply by outspending them.

Clive Palmer is a man far more successful than I will ever be - (materially at least - I can't comment on his degree of success versus mine on a personal level) - and, as has been illustrated by the enormous wealth he has accumulated, a man far more willingly to risk his wealth than I will ever be. That's not to say I think he's the man to lead this country. I just wish to God I could think of someone else out there on either - any!! - side of politics who immediately comes to mind who is!

Siseman and eagle 86, at the risk of appearing to hoplessly Politicaly Correct, can I ask if our PM's personal proclivities and relationship or lack of a relationship with the aptly-named First Bloke matter one whit to us, the private citizens of this country? So long as they didn't harm anyone, I couldn't care what her personal preferences were if only she could do her job (and perhaps run a government that could do its job).

From what I've seen of Julia Gillard since she led the (at the time, I have to admit, for me, most welcome) coup against Kevin Rudd, she has shown clearly and repeatedly that she can do neither.

eagle 86 30th Apr 2012 02:13

Joke Wiley joke!!
GAGS
E86

Worrals in the wilds 30th Apr 2012 02:20


...can I ask if our PM's personal proclivities and relationship or lack of a relationship with the aptly-named First Bloke matter one whit to us, the private citizens of this country? So long as they didn't harm anyone, I couldn't care what her personal preferences were if only she could do her job (and perhaps run a government that could do its job).
Like it or not, this stuff gets talked about. Otherwise the entire women's magazine publishing industry would have gone guts up years ago. :} Remember also that a lot of blokes (maybe not your good self of course) sneak a look at the 'women's' magazines if you leave them lying around. ;)

If Labor had any functioning party elders, they would be advising Gillard to consider the good of the party and relinquish the leadership gracefully.
They're all too busy writing newspaper columns :cool:. Again, I think the problem is that no-one would want it. Seriously, why would you stand, just to be flattened at the next election? It's not like they're a particularly competent or disciplined mob at the moment; it would probably be easier to run a primary school picnic and you'd have less squealing, punching and hair pulling to deal with.

Andu 30th Apr 2012 02:53

I spotted the item below on the Andrew Bolt blog this morning.


no one has brought up or queried what Slippery did in 2010 where he booked 123 flights, then cancelled them the next day giving himself a $23,000 credit that he can use at a later date(After he is kicked out of Parliment)
Is this true? And if so, surely it will be demanded that he repay the $23,000 (as well as the rest of the money he's incorrectly claimed)?

Andu 30th Apr 2012 03:00

If that comment is true, (of course there's no guarantee that it is - it's just a comment on a blog), it's not just 'simple' overclaiming of expenses, (which Slipper seems to be a world class ace at), but crystal clear fraud, and if it dates back to 2010, why in the world hasn't the Canberra press gallery, to say nothing of BOTH major parties, been screaming blue bloody murder about it the moment they heard about it?

Lex Talionis 30th Apr 2012 03:14


no one has brought up or queried what Slippery did in 2010 where he booked 123 flights, then cancelled them the next day giving himself a $23,000 credit that he can use at a later date(After he is kicked out of Parliment)
If true this would have been when he was a liberal MP wouldn't it?

The question that is also not being asked is did the liberal party and it's leader at the time know about this and if so why wasn't anything done about it then?

parabellum 30th Apr 2012 03:19

Forgive my ignorance but who is, "The First Bloke"? Is it Shorten or the guy Gillard went to Gallipoli with?:confused:

Worrals in the wilds 30th Apr 2012 03:46

Gillard's partner, ie the one she went to Gallipoli with.

Buster Hyman 30th Apr 2012 03:57


The question that is also not being asked is did the liberal party and it's leader at the time know about this and if so why wasn't anything done about it then?
Sure, but in the cold hard light of day, the question is just a diversion. Unless you are saying that the ALP & Julia were completely ignorant of him...that says much too.

Anyway, the Liberals are not in power & they did not use him to maintain a hold on power so whilst the question is valid Lex, it's really not relevant in the scheme of things.

Lex Talionis 30th Apr 2012 04:37

Buster,I agree with you on one thing and that is that Canberra is way too small for the people who work there not to know what is going on.

Let me put my thoughts another way.

It seems as though the activities of Mr Slipper have been well known to the liberal party for at least 10 years and maybe longer.If the liberal party had won at either of the last 2 elections he would have been an MP in the party governing Australia.

If you too are saying that Canberra is too small for labor not know what is going on then why didn't the liberal party dump Slipper years ago because they surly would have known?
If the liberal party had formed a minority government as would have been the case in the last election with Tony Abbott leading then it would they who would not want to lose any other seats to keep whatever slim grasp of power they have.

The political reality is that Labor do not want to lose any more seats at a time when they are holding onto power by the skin of their teeth.

My point is that something should have been done about Mr Slipper a long time ago but as we all know it wasn't.I posted a piece from an article that said that Slipper was being protected by a well known liberal party factional leader.

If one person is being protected by factional leaders(and it is not just labor who have different factions) then how many more is there?

My question is far from irrelevant Buster and I believe it goes to show the state of both sides of politics and not just the usual anti labor rhetoric from most on this thread.

sisemen 30th Apr 2012 05:00

I would have to agree with you Lex (have to stop this it might become a habit :E). Slipper was kept on simply because he was "useful" politically in the numbers game. However, latterly, that had become too much to bear - even though it degraded Abbott's numbers. Nevertheless, Abbott obviously thought, given the way the polls and the government's performance was going, that he would get the seat back in any by-election.

But, we all know what happened next....Gillard thought she was being smart and took on a huge liability. Many at the time said that it would come back to bite her on the bum and it has - big time.

So, in the end, real-politik was in operation during the Slipper Liberal years and finally Gillard took a wrong punt and now has to take ownership of the problem and cope with the consequences. No amount of harking back to old times is going to change the price of some very stinking fish in this instance.

Wiley - I was not inferring any about Gillard's relationships. I was merely repeating what I had heard - at first hand - which may well have had a bearing on the discussion.

Gillard happened to be having a relationship with Mathieson (probably a relatively short term one given her past record) when she was prematurely elevated to a position above her abilities. Therefore she was stuck with him for the duration. It has absolutely no bearing on her performance as PM but I suspect that he will be shown the door the day after she gets booted out - and he knows it!


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