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Slippery does not begin to describe the goings on in relation to some of the antics of our Federal politicians of late, however, many may be surprised at which side of politics I am referring to.
The James Ashby and Peter Slipper sexual harassment saga looks dodgier by the minute… even Barnaby Joyce thinks so…
Many of the allegations by Ashby seem to centre around events in a hotel, which begs the question, “What was he doing in a hotel room with someone who was allegedly sexually harassing him?” That does seem a wee bit odd/stupid/leading/entrapping to me.
Then we have The Liberals and their ever-changing stories… Mal Brough, he knew nothing of it and didn’t meet with Ashby… Turns out he met with Ashby, offered advice, suggested legal action… in short, in it up to his neck. When you consider that Brough is the guy looking to be preselected in Slippers seat for the Liberals, it is odd that the words “Conflict Of Interest” didn’t occur to him… or maybe they did.
Then there is Christopher Pyne… similar story, he had “No specific knowledge”, and didn’t really have anything to do with Ashby. As it turns out, they met several times in the month prior to Ashby’s legal claims, and went out drinking together. Then Mr Pyne told us he didn’t request Mr Ashby’s mobile phone number, as he would have no need for it, and anybody suggesting otherwise was speculating. Lo and behold, shortly afterwards an email was leaked to the press from Christopher Pyne to Mr Slippers office requesting Mr Ashby’s details. Hmmm
Christopher Pyne could have saved himself the trouble, and asked Julie Bishop for his details, as Mr Ashby was already in contact with her office. Turns out though, Julie Bishop was unaware, or had forgotten all this, even misread his emails apparently. I think the words Julie was looking for but misplaced were “No Specific Knowledge”….
Looking at Mr Ashby himself, this is a man who was found guilty of using a carriage service in an offensive manner whilst working at a radio station in Newcastle. Ashby rang a rival DJ on a radio station posing as a mystery caller and when told the call was being taped, said, “Yeah, go for it you fucking psychopath. Next time I see you riding on your fucking bike I’ll hit you, you idiot, all over the sloppy road, you dumb prick. Fuck it, if I was your mother, I would have drowned you at birth.”
Also revelations have appeared that involve Ashby “introducing” young gay men to a millionaire acquaintance. What Ashby forgot to tell these young gay men, is that his millionaire buddy was HIV Positive. So, I’m guessing that makes him a pimp? This guy sounds all class…
I think it is safe to say that Mr Ashby’s credibility leaves a lot to be desired.
I would like to see the question asked in parliament “Is anybody associated with the Liberal Party assisting Ashby with his legal costs?” After all, he has hired a barrister that charges $600 an hour…. a little out of the average political staffers budget reach. Or maybe it is the same people that have allegedly paid Mr Ashby $50,000 to make the complaint against Peter Slipper.
This whole drama smells fishier than Rex Hunt’s freezer after an 8 hour blackout….
I am not going to suggest Slipper’s guilt or innocence on any of the claims, the courts can figure that out.
I am also not suggesting that sexual harassment is not a serious issue or crime, but I am suggesting that making false claims, entrapment, and fabricating evidence are also serious issues and crimes, something nobody else seems to be taking the time to point out. Not that these things necessarily have any “specific” link to this case….
The other saga embroiling the government is the Health Services Union, HSU debacle.
But I think I smell a rat…
I will start by saying that I do not endorse anyone spending over $6K on hookers on a union credit card. That is just reprehensible behaviour. Nor do I endorse not declaring vast amounts of money to the Electoral Commission on election campaigns, that sort of thing just reeks of Sophie Mirabella type behaviour…. But these allegations are yet to be proved, and are vigourously denied.
Union whistleblower Kathy Jackson has been ripping into both the Labor Party, and the former President of Fair Work Australia, Geoffrey Giudice, for months now over the goings on within the embattled union, and the investigation resulting from her claims.
Kathy Jackson has caused the union movement untold damage, and brought a government to the brink of collapse. One would assume that the public may be interested in knowing a little more about her, and about any conflicts of interest that there may be in this case.
One vital piece of information that is not widely known about her is her partner is a man name Michael Lawler. “Who is Michael Lawler when he is at home?” I hear you ask.
Let’s have a look shall we.
For starters, Michael is allegedy good friends with a man named Tony Abbott, it is said that the two of them socialise regularly. How convenient then that Tony Abbott is the leader of the political party that is making so much ground out of these claims that Michael’s partner is making.
Michael Lawler works for an organisation called Fair Work Australia, where he is the Vice-President. Not a bad gig at all, in fact, the only person higher than him is the President Iain Ross, who in February, replaced Geoffrey Giudice, you know, the one that Michael’s mate Tony Abbott, and his partner Kathy Jackson are attacking daily.
On the 11th October 2002, according to their annual report Michael Lawler was appointed Vice President of Fair Work Australia, although back then called the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The man who appointed him to this role was none other than Tony Abbott, who at the time was Employment And Workplace Minister under John Howards Government.
The opposition always refer to Fair Work Australia as Julia Gillards “baby”, but this was certainly Tony Abbott’s appointment.
I’m sure that all those things are purely coincidence…
However it does start to get a little strange when Mr Lawler seems to become involved in factional battles within the union on his partner, Kathy’s behalf.
Carol Glen was the Victorian Divisional Secretary of HSU East for 3 years before resigning. At the time Kathy Jackson was National Secretary of HSU East, and Michael Williamson was the General Secretary of HSU East.
Carol resigned due to the factional fighting within the union, particularly between Jackson and Williamson.
However Jackson clearly did not want Carol to resign, as she feared that Williamson would replace her with a Divisional Secretary loyal to him.
This is the point where Lawler became involved in the factional battle within the Union, even though he was not a part of the HSU himself.
Carol Glen, in a written complaint to Fair Work Australia President Geoffrey Giudice, alleges she received an “aggressive” phone call from Lawler, who told her “You can fuck off and take sick leave if you don’t want to do the work and still be paid, but you can’t resign.”
Michael Lawler did not work at HSU East, and this complaint went directly to his only superior in Fair Work Australia.
Just a few days later Lawler made corruption allegations against Carol to NSW Police, and Strikeforce Carnarvon was born.
It is odd that this type of complaint would come from Lawler, as he was not part of HSU East, or even a member of the Union.
As part of his complaint of corruption Lawler made reference to a cheque that was being picked up by Carol, something that she had mentioned in an email. The inference was that this cheque was some sort of pay off.
This cheque, as it turns out, was a bank cheque ordered by Carol to pay her rent, totally innocent, and not related to any Union business at all.
However, it does raise the question of how Lawler would know about it. The only possible way is from her emails, which raises the question, “How did Lawler have access to Carol’s emails?’
When asked about this, suddenly Lawler decided it was “inappropriate to comment”
On the 2nd May, police officers from the NSW Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, raided the HSU East headquarters in Pitt St Sydney, in a much publicised operation.
Inside sources have pointed out a few anomalies with the official story of the raid reported in the press. Police were offered the option of using the service elevator and the rear entrance to the building to make things simpler, safer, and faster for officers, this offer was rejected, as the police were keen to use the main entrance where the press had assembled. Sources also state that a large number of the boxes shown on TV being carried out by officers were virtually empty, it was allegedly all done for show to make it look like there were mountains of documents seized. Also, sources say, the story about Michael Williamson trying to sneak out a back door with evidence is total rubbish and done to implicate guilt. Mr Williamson left the office via the entrance the police were offered access to, as his car was parked in the car park opposite, the things he was carrying were taken by police as routine, and were his personal items, probably a sandwich as well….
So, it would seem there are many questions to be asked, not just of Craig Thomson.
The mind boggles at how someone who reportedly is a personal friend of Tony Abbott’s is able to allegedly hack the emails of a Union official, make a complaint regarding a Union he should have nothing to do with, be the partner of the Union whistleblower, and be the Vice President of the organisation in charge of investigating the Union, and yet none of this is widely known. Talk about conflicts of interest.
In my mind this puts question marks over the entire investigation, and also makes me wonder if there was Coalition involvement. After all, George Brandis did seem to keep pushing for more investigations…
Speaking of the Coalition, Kathy Jackson has acted strangely, for a union boss, in her choice of legal representation.
In Melbourne Jackson has hired Stuart Wood, a former Vice President of the HR Nicholls Society. The HR Nicholls Society is a right-wing group, set up as a think tank for Industrial Relations reform, much of which was the architecture of the infamous “Workchoices” policy.
It would seem to be valid to question why the Secretary of a Union would hire a solicitor that is anti union, and whose ideas you have spent your working life fighting against. A quick look at HR Nicholls Society’s website shows just how close the ties are with the Liberal Party. Peter Reith is a board member, other notable names on the list of who contribute to this society are, Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Peter Costello, Michael Kroger… the list goes on and on, even Andrew Bolt gets a mention.
Jackson is even due to be guest of honour and give a speech at the HR Nicholls Society annual dinner on June 12th.
In yet another strange coincidence, James Ashby is using Kathy Jackson’s Sydney lawyers, she has more than one, it does seem a bit odd, however I’m sure there is probably no “specific” reason for this…
On the 14th May, on the Chris Smith programme on radio station 2GB, Kathy Jackson said that rumours of the Liberal party paying for her vast team of lawyers were rubbish. These lawyers, expensive lawyers, were all working for her for free, pro bono she stated. Chris Smith chose not to persue the matter…
People can say whatever they like about Craig Thomson’s credibilty, and his explanantion of events, there is a remarkably similar story from another HSU official from 2009... What most would find totally unbelievable, and absolutely inconcievable is that these right wing lawyers, one of them from a Liberal “Union Busting” think tank would provide their services free to a Union boss, especially one who pays herself a $270,000 salary. What kind of fools do they take the public for? Stuart Wood providing free services to a sworn enemy… I find it more likely that Andrew Bolt would set up an Islamic Charity group for Asylum Seekers.
I don’t know how deep this runs, but like I said, I think I smell a rat….
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