From #Watergate to #Ashbygate: A review of “Ashbygate” the book, by Joan Evatt @Boeufblogginon

A few weeks ago Ross Jones and Dave Donovan, of Independent Australia, sent me messages asking me to review Ross’s book on the Ashbygate saga. Despite being as crook as Rookwood I was more than happy to agree, and in due course a copy appeared in my letterbox. I was in the middle of reading it very, very late one night when I happened to notice “ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN” being run on one of the Fox channels and started to watch it.  You know how you are in that semi-somnolent state when something is triggered, a penny drops, and suddenly you are alert and alive. What got me going? […]

#choppergate ‘investigation’ Fact Check by @margokingston1

The AFP and the Department of Finance are playing pass-the-parcel on investigating the legality of Bronwyn Bishop’s helicopter trip to Geelong for a Liberal Party fundraiser. It’s a complicated game of obfuscation that counts on confusing voters. So here are the facts. 1. Applicability of the Minchin Protocol to the AFP When Labor and several members of the public referred the matter to the AFP for investigation it said no, because the Minchin Protocol demanded that Finance had carriage of such matters. Under pressure, the AFP altered its line to insist that it had “not refused to investigate”, had “sent these complaints to Finance for assessment” and “awaits advice from the Department of […]

Dear AFP, please investigate #Ashbygate at last, sincerely @GrahamPerrettMP

8 September 2014 Mr Tony Negus Commissioner Australian Federal Police GPO Box 401 CANBERRA ACT 2601   Dear Mr Negus Tony, Re: Potential Commission of Criminal Offences by the Honourable Mal Brough MP 1.  I refer to the attached correspondence in relation to this matter dated 21 December, 2012 and 19 March, 2013 containing information alleging criminal offences may have been committed by the Honourable Mal Brough MP. 2.  These potential offences came to light during the proceedings brought by Mr JamesAshby against Mr Peter Slipper in the Federal Court, which proceedings have now been discontinued by Mr Ashby. 3. On 23 June, 2014 you indicated by letter that as the Full […]

The #Ashbyappeal decision: @boeufblogginon explainer

By Joan Evatt 28 February 2014 In a majority decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia Justices Mansfield and Gilmour granted James Ashby the leave to appeal and upheld that appeal thereby overturning the decision of Rares J. A minority decision by Siopis J granted Ashby leave to appeal and then dismissed the appeal. All three judges denied Michael Harmer leave to appeal. Lawyers will always tell you that there are two key components to any case that must be met if a disaster is to be avoided. The first is a lawyer striving to provide that hook upon which a judge can hang his hat. The […]

The fruitless push for a Parliamentarians’ code of conduct

By Rose Iser 16 October 2013 The latest spate of entitlements scandals is unlikely to bring about a code of conduct for federal parliamentarians given that, for the past 40 years, multiple attempts to enact a code have failed. Since 1975, federal leaders and parliamentarians have investigated the possibility of a code of conduct, but reports and proposals have never resulted in a wide-ranging code covering the behaviour of MPs. In 1980, the House of Representatives noted a report from the Bowen Committee, chaired by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Sir Nigel Bowen, recommending changes to Standing Orders to enforce a code of conduct – a breach of which […]

How will Media, Finance and AFP handle the evidence that the PM is a cheat?

By Margo Kingston, 8 October, 2013 It looks like the Prime Minister is a serial cheat. It’s hard to imagine a bigger test of the integrity and fairness of our democratic institutions than that. Will the press gallery get forensic and press for answers from the PM and action from the authorities? Will the AFP investigate? Will the Finance Department audit his enormous expenses claims while in opposition to search for more rorting? The AFP chose to prosecute Peter Slipper for falsely claiming less than $1,000 for an alleged private tour of wineries. It has now been revealed that Tony Abbott falsely claimed more than $1600 to attend the wedding of […]

Is Brough really a Fisher shoo-in?

  By Rodney Edwin Lever 2 September 2013 “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”  When Archie Cameron was Speaker, the word “liar” was considered un-parliamentary and the use of it brought summary ejection from the House. Never in my history of elections has the word “liar” been bandied about so frequently in Australian politics as in  the current scramble for power. Peter Slipper, the two-term serving member for the Queensland electorate of Fisher, brought Archie back to my mind when he briefly introduced some old-fashioned dignity back to the Speaker’s role.  Archie reminded me of Hanging Judge Jeffries of an even earlier era. Slipper, did not, however wear the shoulder-length wig […]

Abbott’s #Battlerort lines collapse under @bkjabour questioning

By Margo Kingston 9 July, 2013 Today’s original Abbott #BATTLERORT transcript was kindly transcribed by Dr Lachlan Hinds – @Doclach, and Brock Turner – @Turlow1. There are errors and lies throughout – have a go at finding them by reading the letters in EXCLUSIVE: Abbott forced to repay $9,400 he charged taxpayers to promote his book. Yesterday’s lie QUESTION: Did you claim travel expenses on your book tour? TONY ABBOTT: I did not. * (Transcript Source: Mr Abbott website) QUESTION: Mr Abbott, how is Peter Slipper incorrectly claiming $900 and offering to pay it back different from you incorrectly claiming $9000 worth of travel expenses and then paying it back? How […]

EXCLUSIVE: Abbott forced to repay $9,400 he charged taxpayers to promote his book

By Margo Kingston 6 July, 2013 The Opposition leader, Mr Abbott, was forced to repay taxpayers nearly $9,400 after receiving travel expenses to promote his book Battlelines in 2009. The repayment occurred after Mr Abbott publicly denied the allegation through a spokesman, who stated: “All travel undertaken by Mr Abbott has been within the entitlement. This is a blatant attempt by Labor to smear and mislead.” Mr Glenn Milne raised the matter in an article in The Drum on 28 July, 2010 in which he calculated that Mr Abbott had ripped $6,651.96 off taxpayers for private expenses he incurred in promoting his book: “At the very least these expenses are politically awkward. […]

A familiar AFP smell over Slipper and #Ashby

Update 15 July, 2013 FINANCE STATEMENT ON SLIPPER SUMMONS: Pyne wrong on Lateline In the light of a media report this week which contradicted my report that someone other than the Finance Department referred the 2010 travel claim by Slipper to the AFP which resulted in his prosecution I emailed the Finance Department for clarification.This is their reply: UNCLASSIFIEDHi Margo,No, the Department of Finance and Deregulation did not refer this matter to the Australian Federal Police. The matter was separately referred to the Australian Federal Police by a third party. Regards, Tameena | Communications and Public Affairs * On Friday’s  Lateline, Mr Pyne stated that the Department of Finance had […]