As we enter the final days of the public hearings of the Trade Union Royal Commission I find myself in the peculiar position of agreeing with John Howard.

John Howard has told Janet Albrechtsen in an interview of his unease with the way that Tony Abbott and George Brandis have used the Royal Commission process as a means to achieve a political end.

Howard explained to Albrechtsen;

“I’m uneasy about the idea of having royal commissions or inquiries into essentially a political decision…”

“I don’t think you should ever begin to go down the American path of using the law for narrow targeted political purposes.”

There is certainly no doubt that Abbott is using the law to achieve a political goal and his agenda is clearly to smear the Labor Party, both its former leaders and its current leader.

However as we have seen Tony Abbott has a habit of failing in the public’s eyes on anything that does not involve the military. The only things that have propped up his plummeting opinion polling have been his response to the Malaysian Airlines disasters, and the war on terror.

Home grown issues like the budget, broken promises of which there has been too many to count, soaring unemployment, and a skyrocketing cost of living has seen the public perception of Abbott sink rapidly and it’s fair to say that he started out as one of the most unpopular Prime Ministers ever elected, if not the most. Let’s face it, the only reason Abbott won the election is because he was not Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd.

So if Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd had become so unpopular then why the need to try to publicly humiliate them in Royal Commissions?

We have all seen those CCTV clips on the news and current affair programmes of someone lying unconscious on the road after being bashed by a gang of drunken louts. In those videos there is usually one gutless lowlife that will come and put the boot in, kicking the unconscious victim in the head while they are down.

This is what Tony Abbott and George Brandis are doing, putting in a kick to the head while Kevin and Julia are down. Rarely has there been such a display of cowardice and sheer gutlessness from an Australian government.

Tony wants to get that last kick in....

Tony wants to get that last kick in….

As John Howard’s comments would indicate, the Abbott is failing. Let’s face it, if you can’t win over your former Liberal leader than your plan is backfiring on you as Royal Commissions often do.

So what did we learn from the Pink Batts Royal Commission?

We learnt that the government that claims we have a budget emergency was happy to throw millions of dollars at a Royal Commission in the desperate hope to further damage Kevin Rudd.

That’s about it. No new information of any note came out. I guess the previous eight inquiries into the matter must have done their job, leaving the Royal Commission to end up a hellishly expensive failure.

Which brings us to the Trade Union Royal Commission which has actually had some success.

The success of the Trade Union Royal Commission however has not given Abbott and Brandis ammunition to go after Labor, far from it. Instead they have shot themselves in the foot.

The only success of any note to come from TURC, as it is known, has been the total and utter destruction of the credibility of the Liberals new best friend Kathy Jackson, the self-proclaimed whistleblower who as a result of TURC is better known for her charity shags and her quarter of a million dollar personal spending accounts.

Aside from Abbott and Brandis, the one who was hoping to gain a massive boost to his credibility from this Royal Commission was the right-wing blogger Michael Smith, who coincidently had Brandis as a guest speaker at his wedding. Nobody has done more to promote Kathy Jackson’s innocence and Julia Gillard’s guilt. As it turns out, Smith himself has seemingly been on the receiving end of the charity of Kathy Jackson.

Smith who has staked his reputation on Kathy Jackson has been living in a granny flat at the home of Kathy Jackson and Fair Work Commission Vice President Michael Lawler.

It turns out Smith won’t have a lot to lose by the time Jackson dons the orange overalls many expect her to end up wearing if the expected criminal investigations result in charges being laid. This is because Smith’s relentless attack on Julia Gillard has resulted in nothing but egg on his face.

Julia Gillard spent almost a full day in the TURC witness-box answering question after question regarding her time at Slater and Gordon over 20 years ago.

Gillard never changed her story once. Something the Commissioner even pointed out during the hearing by interrupting desperate failed attempts to trick her into contradicting herself and saying regarding Ralph Blewitts lawyer;

“What you say is correct but Mr Galbally is entitled to seek to get the witness (Gillard) to change her evidence. It may not be easy, but he is entitled to try.”

In the end for all the right-wing theories and controversy we once again learned absolutely nothing new in the flimsy case against Gillard. Gillard has faced press conferences and now a Royal Commission on the matter and has come out unscathed.

Of course there will be those that are convinced Julia is guilty and continue their quest and calls for another style of witch-hunt. However the fact remains there is no concrete evidence showing wrong-doing by Gillard.

Another Tony Abbott Royal Commission

Another Tony Abbott Royal Commission

As we have seen recently we have seen more evidence regarding the citizenship of her main attacker Tony Abbott than we have ever seen about allegations against our first female Prime Minister and last Prime Minister of integrity.

Aside from these two leading acts in the Royal Commission circus there have been repeated  attempts to drag Bill Shorten into the fray as predicted, but once again these have failed to lead anywhere of note.

Some will have learnt that the work of a union can be tough, and as in any workplace there is often a lot of swearing. However anybody who thinks that fighting for the rights of a lowly worker against the bosses of often huge corporations is always going to be smooth sailing and civil is living somewhere above Cloud Nine.

However the Commission itself has integrity issues with the submission process, what is being made public, and the use of different practice directions for different hearings. All of these matters have been covered off in a brilliant article by Andrew Casey who has been at every single hearing since the Commission started.

In fact, other than Kathy Jackson’s questionable behaviour nothing has surprised anyone or done the union movement any damage whatsoever.

It would seem that all of the real political damage is being inflicted just around the corner from TURC.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption has become a wrecking ball swinging through the NSW Liberal Party and proving one point that nobody can argue against.

If a Royal Commission into anything is needed it is political donations and their influence. However I won’t hold my breath waiting for that one.

Tony Abbott is desperately seeking out corruption but only if it within his political enemy’s ranks.

Thus far where ICAC has succeeded in uncovering corruption, Tony Abbott has failed.


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10 thoughts on “Failures- Tony Abbott’s Royal Commission blunders

  1. Maybe wait for the full-time hooter. At the very least, the $50,000 cheque to Jeff thrown up by Stoljar was a corker, as were the previously undiscovered bank accounts. So you have to admit the Royal Commission has had some benefit, and maybe you shouldn’t be so peevish.

    By the look of the senior police officer giving evidence today, I’m not surprised crime has flourished in Victoria.

  2. It shows how bad things are when John Howard starts to look reasonable.

  3. Listening to that Victorian Police Chief today was interesting, Support for employers, bias against union was screaming from every word her uttered.

    Makes one wonder at the results of their enquiries into the likes of Jackson, Thomson and Gillard.

  4. Can his evidence be put on video. The senior police officer, that is.

  5. After watching the quality of evidence given by Assist Police Comm Fontana in the witness box at TURC today, I’ve got an understanding on why Kathy Jackson has not been charged.

  6. The whole things a farce… and the Police in Victoria…. a very sad joke…. I’m still waiting for them to announce sanctions against their officer who directed citizens cars to be used as road blocks and finding the bogans who massacred 800 protected birds last duck season…. !

  7. No PM since Hawke has had any integrity, they are all rotten and corrupt to the core as they pay foreign companies to destroy the country, jail innocent people and destroy the poor.

  8. My experiences of QPS internal investigative procedures cause me to keep an open mind. While I think no politician should rort the system and therefore the tax payer, I also know that when Natural Justice is denied and findings found to achieve an agenda, we will not have transparent, and honest police, government and politics. A real concern for next generation when we can not automatically trust our leaders.

  9. The term, “Hoist on their own petard”, is pretty apt here.

    The Libs have been damaged by their own devices. Those they sought to disgrace, have been exonerated, whilst their own people whom they sought to exhalt, have been disgraced.

    Suck it up princesses.

  10. no wonder so many have contempt for politics – its too hard to find the truth when even journalists use it. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story heh!

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