When the Nanny State Starts Attacking Nannies


Bill Muehlenberg says we live in an age where we see evidence of cultural decline, the erosion of values…

OK, just a very short and sweet post here. I have written before about the nanny state and how big government feeds on itself, getting bigger and badder. Bureaucracies mushroom, egos expand, and freedoms lessen and shrink. The ever-increasing state gets more and more irrational as it thinks it must intrude into every area of life.

The trouble with soft totalitarianism is that it soon mushrooms into hard totalitarianism. Today’s bureaucracy on steroids becomes tomorrow’s Stazi or KGB. So keeping the state in check is an on-going work, one which must constantly and doggedly be engaged in. Or as has been said before, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”.

So here is another example of bureaucracy gone mad, and the nanny state going ballistic. The story comes out of Western Australia, and begins as follows: “A young mother was issued with a $250 fine last year for talking on her mobile phone while pushing a pram along a footpath. Police have confirmed the woman was issued with the infringement as she walked along a Mandurah footpath on April 21 last year.

“Police Inspector Bill Munnee said today the infringement was issued by a Senior Constable from the Peel Traffic office to the woman for using her mobile phone while she was in control of a pram as she walked her child on a footpath. The fine, understood to be $250, was withdrawn within 24 hours when the Senior Constable’s boss realised the massive error.”

OK, so it is just one small example. But unfortunately it is not unique. Such madness is happening every day, and it looks like this errant statism shows no signs of bottoming out. Plenty of social observers and political commentators of all varieties have pointed out the dangers here. Let me cite just a few of them:

-“The bigger the Big Government, the smaller everything else: In Sweden, expressing a moral objection to homosexuality is illegal, even on religious grounds, even in church, and a pastor minded to cite the more robust verses of Leviticus would risk four years in jail. In Canada, the courts rule that Catholic schools must allow gay students to take their same-sex dates to the prom. The secular state’s Bureau of Compliance is merciless to apostates to a degree even your fire-breathing imams might marvel at.” Mark Steyn

-“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” Groucho Marx.

-“Individual liberty exists in inverse proportion to the size of the state. The bigger the government/state, the less liberty the individual has. The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.” Dennis Prager

-“Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

-“Most bad government has grown out of too much government.” Thomas Jefferson

‎-”Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” P. J. O’Rourke

‎-”Now I am one of those who believe that the cure for centralization is decentralization.” G. K. Chesterton

-“In politics, the great non sequitur of our time is that (1) things are not right and that (2) the government should make them right.” Thomas Sowell

-“A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master.” George Washington

Getting fined for talking on the mobile while pushing a baby carriage is one thing. Allowing the state to keep getting worse in this regard is another. A free people will always get things wrong. We will often endanger ourselves, and sometimes others. But the paternalistic state is not the answer.

Mark Steyn again: “Freedom is messy. In free societies, people fall through the cracks – drink too much, eat too much, buy unaffordable homes, fail to make prudent provision for health care, and much else. But the price of being relieved of all these tiresome choices by a benign paternal government is far too high. Big Government is the small option: it’s the guarantee of smaller freedom, smaller homes, smaller cars, smaller opportunities, smaller lives.”

Bill Muehlenberg is a Melbourne based author who lectures part time in ethics, theology and philosophy. He has an interactive blogsite called CultureWatch

Should the ACT Change its Coat of Arms?

206763_10150137802876616_585816615_6556554_3219432_n (1) (1) Joshua Gibbins argues that Canberra should not change its Coat of Arms: 

On the 17th of August it was reported
in the Canberra Times
that the Australia Republican Movement has requested
that the coat of arms of the City of Canberra be changed or to put it another
way, ‘redesigned’.

The republicans are asking the people of Canberra for their opinion on the heraldic
arms of the city of Canberra

This brings up a number of issues and the first one is that of the Australian
Republican Movement.

The Republican pressure group claims and has stated a number of times, that it
is a single issue pressure group, that does not advocate anything other than an
Australian head of state and flag change is up to the people .

On the Australian Republican Movement’s webpage it clearly

‘The Australian Republican Movement is
not advocating a change to the flag. It is a separate issue. The facts are

However, in clear contrast with the republican pressure group’s statement on
their webpage and a number of postings on their facebook page, the Canberra Times

Australian Republic Movement is asking Canberrans whether they want to keep
this heraldry or overhaul it to mark the city's centenary next year’.

The ACT flag bears the current coat of arms, and is just as important to the individual
identities of the people of Canberra as the Australian flag is to the whole

The flag of the ACT may not seem as important as the national flag, but for the
people that live in Canberra it is. So does this mean that the Australian
Republican Movement secretly wishes to change the Australian flag too? Does
this mean that the Australian Republican Movement is not just a single issue pressure
group anymore?

So what is the ACT’s Coat of Arms, and what does it mean?

From a
heraldic perspective, the Coat of Arms stands for the key reasons for Canberra as the Capital City of Australia, and all
that it symbolises.

The crown symbolises Royal authority, because Australia is a Constitutional
Monarchy, with Canberra as the capital where the Governor -General resides.

The Mace symbolises the Parliament of Australia,
and without the mace in parliament the Australian parliament cannot legally

The sword on the coat of arms
symbolises the Australian Defense Force.

The castle has three towers, symbolising the three branches of government
(executive, legislature and judiciary).

The white rose is the badge of the Duke of York who opened the old Parliament
of Australia building in 1927 and who would later be crowned as King George VI
of the United Kingdom.

The crowned portcullis symbolises the parliament, this is also the traditional
symbol of the Palace of Westminster (which houses the Parliament of the United

 Behind the portcullis is a tree, symbolising
Canberra's nickname ’The Bush Capital’.

The supporters on either side of the heraldic shield are the Australian black
swan, representing the Australian Aborigines, and the European white swan,
representing the white settlers.

The motto at the bottom of the coat of arms is ’For the Queen, the Law and the
People‘, which is the English translation from the latin  ‘Pro
Rege, Lege et Grege’
. This motto is one of a kind because no other state or
territory coat of Arms in Australia makes reference to the reigning monarch.

The Queen’s Australian government resides in Canberra, and at least
ceremonially the Australian government is the Queen’s Australian government.

So the motto of "For the Queen, the Law and the People" is entirely
relevant to the Territory and for the whole country.

It should also be mentioned that to change a city’s
heraldic coat of arms can be very costly and time consuming.

The Australian government must apply for the new coat of arms in London, at the
college of arms.

For republicans, this seem to be a bit hypocritical, wanting to remove any
links that Australia has to its British past and current traditions, but then
start applying for the new design from the collage of arms in London.

This can be an expensive request if granted too, as of the 1st January 2012 the
fees payable upon a personal grant of arms and crest are £4,725, a similar
grant to an impersonal but non-profit making body, £10,075, and to a commercial
company, £15,000. 


But even after the design has been created you must wait
for Her Majesty the Queen of Australia to grant a Royal warrant for these new
arms for the City of Canberra.

Is this really worth it when the city of Canberra already has a coat of arms
that represents the city, the people and Australia’s system of government?

You can join the Facebook Group ’Keep City of
Canberra's heraldic arms and ACT flag here’.


Joshua Gibbins is a 22 year old constitutional monarchist, studying a Diploma in Library and Cultural Studies

Reach for the Stars? No, Retreat to the Past

Viv Forbes in Town Gear

The deaths of Steve Jobs and Neil Armstrong could signal the end of a remarkable era of scientific and engineering achievement that started about 200 years ago when James Watt and Robert Stephenson managed to harness coal-fired steam power to drive engines and locomotives. This was followed by magic like electricity, diesel engines, nuclear power, the Model T, Colombia and the Apple 2.

During that era of innovation, we progressed from horse and buggy to supersonic flight; from semaphore to smart phone; from wood stoves to nuclear power; from the abacus to the PC; from flickering candles to brilliant light at the flick of a switch; and from wind-jammers sailing to the New World to rocket-ships landing on the Moon.

That era brought prosperity, longevity and a richer life to millions of people while creating the surpluses that allowed them to take better care of their environment. It also gave the free world the ability and tools to defend itself from aggressive dictators in two World Wars and the Cold War.

We are now living in the after-glow of that era, relying on past achievements and investments while Green doom-mongers are allowed to scare our children and reject our heritage.

What will today's "Green Generation" be remembered for?

Already they have re-discovered wind power, wood energy and electric cars that were tried and largely rejected a century ago; they now encourage the production of once-banned ethanol corn whiskey, but waste it on cars; they spurn the energy potential of nuclear, coal, oil and gas; and they would close our airports and lock up our resources whilst developing computerised spy-ware to record, regulate, ration and tax our usage of everything.

And one branch of NASA, the once-great risk-taking body that put Neil Armstrong on the moon, is now supporting an anti-carbon cult that advocates the closure of the whole coal industry from mine to power station.

The legacy of today's doom-mongers will be measured by the number of dams not built, the number of mines, factories, farms, forests and fishing grounds closed and the number of humans living in poverty.

Like the emperors of the Nero era in ancient Rome, they celebrate their destructive achievements by staging expensive Climate Circuses, while behind closed doors they plot to destroy the last vestiges of the freedom and property rights that allowed past generations to "Reach for the Stars".

The slogan of the coming era should be "Retreat to the Past".

So vale Neil Armstrong and Steve Jobs – we are losing far more than most people realise.

Viv Forbes is a geologist, mineral economist, farmer, company director and "political gadfly". He has a Bachelors of Science in Applied Geology, and is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy

Getting the result you want!

CROCKER says last Sunday The Drum ran a poll about "the panel of expert's" recommendations for off shore processing. Strangely, there was only one button to select. The "YES" button. Gremlins, I suppose!

Picture 1






On Monday someone saw the stupidity, some might say, bias, and added the "NO" and "NOT SURE " buttons. However, within one hour the vote tally leaped from 1335 "yes" votes, being the only option to a total of 5,367. In that hour 4032 votes suddenly appeared. This is something akin to recent, rubbery poll results for labor.

Picture 4

Tangled webs are woven

Thursday-crocker copy

 "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive.”…

I doubt Sir Walter Scott’s words of wisdom intended to limit deception to his 1808 analogy of tangled, woven webs. There was no television and no Julia Gillard to confuse his assessment.
Ms Gillard’s involvement with extinguished flame Bruce Wilson, however, and the current debacle over union funds, etc are too tangled, too convoluted, if not boring, to detail here. Events unfolding, however, further highlight government’s intention to stifle freedom of the press. Previously considered by many to be a conspiracy theory, moves to muzzle a non-compliant media are now unavoidable reality—no more the rant from rabid right-wingers.

 Julia Gillard’s tenure as prime minister has been fraught with failure at every turn. Included in a mire of ineptitude are most of her ministers, whether acting under orders from the boss or delivering autonomously, collectively they have failed. Below the radar now is Senator Joe Ludwig’s single-handed decimation of Australia’s live cattle exports to Indonesia. Indonesians are vindictive souls who seek to punish Australia for the international humiliation caused by their unacceptable slaughterhouse practice—they have and their punishment will be lasting.
Gillard’s professional career appears to showcase poor judgement. Her part, as exposed in a transcribed meeting with her then employer, Slater and Gordon, indicates concern about her work for client and paramour Bruce Wilson.
The AWU scandal began as a spot fire when News Limited reporter Glenn Milne and Sydney radio broadcaster, Michael Smith, were sacked for linking a story occurring 17 years prior to the PM.
Dumped attorney general Labor MP Robert McClelland (a Rudd supporter) rose in parliament on June 20 delivering a soft speech fanning the flames of the alleged union fraud. For a while, Gillard’s “persuasive meeting” with News Limited had immediate effect. Journalists holding evidence were afraid to run the story, especially after News Limited apologised (unnecessarily, in my opinion) to the PM for the Milne expose.
While the non-government funded media pecked nervously at a tapestry of deceit a less controlled social media was unravelling the government’s cloak of secrecy, thread by skein. Australia’s noted cartoonist Larry Pickering launched The Pickering Post. He claimed information published came from reliable “insiders”. Larry’s lawyer must have clutched the smelling salts while imagining perpetual income.
Pickering admitted to “creative licence” with informative postings that were hilarious – and incendiary. Whether his information is fact or fiction it made delicious reading, introducing a range of thespians to an intrigue more suited to a Hercule Poirot mystery or a modern version of Peyton Place. Thus, the dam was breaching—the information damaging. The questions mounted and the PM obfuscated.
Late last week The Pickering Post was crashed by cyber attack, as were most discoverable links to anything Pickering—a matter barely mentioned in conservative media and totally avoided in government media. Who caused the attack? That action has implications beyond Pickering’s posts. It is a precursor of what may come. It smacks of the Labor/Green commissioned, Finkelstein proposal to hobble free media.
The Sydney Morning Herald 23/8/12, ‘New laws will allow authorities to collect and monitor Australians’ internet records, including their web-browsing history, social media activity and emails.’ There are conditions. However, ‘Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the laws would help police track cyber criminals globally and give authorities the power to find people engaged in forgery, fraud, child pornography…’ Of course, who could argue when put like that? The question is – can we trust this government to stop there? Is it a stalking-horse to total control? Trust and this government are terms in contradiction.
“Let me say I never want to see a dollar that a worker gives a union used for any purpose other than the proper purposes of representing that union member’s best interests,” Ms Gillard told ABC Radio on May 9.
On August 23rd Ms Gillard called a press meeting to announce changes to immigration policy. Switching horses without notice she launched into the AWU mess challenging journalists to put up now or forever shut up. Journalists in attendance were specialists in immigration, not writers familiar with the AWU complexities—a clever tactic. Pickering really copped it, ‘…the “ravings” of “the misogynists and the nutjobs on the internet,” on his “vile and sexist” website.’ Predictably, vital questions were not asked—but remain, nonetheless.
Senator Conroy, a loud mouthed Gillard lickspittle, defended his boss saying she did nothing wrong in setting up a union “slush fund” as established in the Slater and Gordon transcript. ‘This is just a dirty, filthy, smear by the Liberals,’ he parroted to ABC TV. In a recent Labor caucus stoush, MPs urged backbencher John Murphy to “go harder” in his attack on News Limited. Does that sound like a threat?
Julia Gillard’s judgement appears just as skewed 20 years ago as it is today. Her resignation would be good and right, many opine. Unfortunately for Australia, she does not agree.
Personally, when Julia Gillard speaks, I no longer believe a single word she utters.

Thought for the week: Sir Walter Scott’s words were good in 1808 and right for 2012.


Good Government Goes Missing

Cory-BernardiSenator Cory Bernardi argues that Australians deserve better: 

This week, there have been two significant events that encapsulate the failure of Labor’s approach to government.

The first was the announced changes to the floor price of their flawed and damaging carbon tax. It shows, once again, that Labor's policy decisions are hasty and ill-considered.

Gillard and Co have persistently lectured those who disagree with their carbon tax, saying that we risk being left behind. We have been told about the millions of 'green jobs' that will be generated. It has all been nonsense.

We were also lectured about the successful green economies of Spain, California and their ilk. In repeated media interviews, our Prime Minister’s claims about the economic strength of these states was accepted without question. Conveniently ignored was the accrued debt and unemployment the green policy agenda was driving. The end result is now apparent for all to see, which makes Labor's persistent pursuit down the same path even more ridiculous now than it was then.

Labor's backflip on the floor price of their carbon tax and decision to link it to the European emissions trading scheme is astounding. On one hand, it is an admission that they got their initial carbon tax wrong and have finally seen the damage it will do to our economy. On the other hand, rather than scrap it altogether, they have decided to link it to one of the most corrupt and ineffective schemes operating in the world today.

Europe's ETS has been mired in controversy since inception. Allegations of corruption and tax dodges linked to permit trading abound. One pundit estimated that around 90 per cent of European ETS trades were linked to one dodgy scheme or another.

One should also look at the broader track record of Euro-zone economic management and even the most charitable assessment would call into question the wisdom of following in their footsteps.f

Click here to keep reading

Senator Cory Bernardi is the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Leader of the Opposition and a Senator for South Australia. 

Quebec: Where it’s cool to be racist


Keith Topolski explains how Quebec's public discourse is founded on discrimination.

A long time ago, in a land far far away, a red cross and a white flower did battle over a piece of snow covered land.

 In non-fairytale speak, a couple of hundred years ago, England, surprise surprise, handed France another military defeat by taking over what is now Canada.

 However, the English never really finished the job and allowed the little pocket of French resistance to set themselves up as they pleased, provided it was within an acceptable framework. IE accept English dominance, and we won't put your heads on pikes.

 This was a mutually beneficial outcome, and today we have the province of Quebec in the nation of Canada.

 Except Quebec really isn't part of Canada, whether it be culturally or economically speaking.

 With the exception of the genuinely bilingual province of New Brunswick, Canada is split in three: Anglophones, Francophones and migrants.

 Canada has always prided itself on being accepting of migrants. That is, Canada minus Quebec.

 You see, as part of the 2012 provincial election in the dole bludger province of Canada, it seems it is acceptable to deride foreign born candidates for being so, all but demand the eradication of all languages except one and boss around small business owners for having the temerity, the audacity, the sheer arrogance to commit the heinous crime of saying hello in French AND English! Oh the pain, the pain of it all!

 What is most embarrassing about this, however, is not the focus on insignificant issues like language laws when Quebec's economy would have to climb three or four rungs up the ladder to find itself in the toilet, or even the incessant demands from a province which demands more and more Federal money while demanding more and more autonomy.

 No, what is most embarrassing is the double standard in the racial and ethnic bashing that is taking place under the guise of 'cultural protection'.

 The leader of the opposition, Pauline Marois, even had a crack at the horrific news that there were parts of Montreal inhabited by people whose first language was not French.

 Here in Australia we have had a journalist declared a criminal because he dared to ask questions which might have offended some people, in some people's minds, under some interpretation of the law.

 Yet, in Canada, the alternative premier of the nations second largest province can run campaign slogans which make Pauline Hanson look like Malcolm Fraser, and it's all acceptable.

 Oh, and I haven't even got to the banning of all religious icons, save for the crucifix in the 'National' Assembly.

 The tone of the election has become so bitter (unless you're a Francophone, in which case it's a rosy future for you, madame et monseuirs), that premier Jean Charest has led a chorus of non-Parti Quebecois politicians to say that they would never take non-Francophone voters for granted.

 However, when these parties have the opportunity to call Marois out for being a few sandwiches short of a picnic, they instead attack each other. Attacking bigots goes down badly in Quebec if the bigot does, indeed, parlez francais, you see.

 Trivial little things, such as the right to petition the Parliament, are unimportant unless you speak French in Quebec apparently.

 But the exception is made, all because the poor old Quebec Francophones are a minority in Canada.

 The Calgary Herald asked its readers to imagine a scenario:

Imagine if an Alberta politician campaigned on the need to ban French on signs outside of stores in this province, or at least to have English twice the size of French. Imagine also if she demanded that businesses with more than 10 employees enforce English as the lingua franca of the workplace.

For good measure, imagine if the Alberta politician also demanded that new immigrants to the province educate their children in English, and no other language. Then think about the reaction to a proposed “secular charter” bill that would restrict the ability of public servants to wear “conspicuous religious signs,” but would make an exception for the crucifix. Then consider the reaction to a party campaign video that went so far as to highlight a cross to further make the point.

Yes, if the same thing happened anywhere in the western world, we would have an endless array of human rights lawyers wheeled out to campaign for the rights of the oppressed, declaring 'insert offending plan here' to be the greatest injustice since the Spanish Inquisition.

 But it's ok in Quebec, because those evil English speakers are the devil's spawn I tell you!

 Let's pause for a moment. What would happen if it wasn't about those filthy Anglos. What if a party leader urged Quebec residents to conduct themselves more like Asians? You know, work hard, honour the family, etc. Etc.

 Yes, he is accused of, get this, 'junk populism'.

 Junk populism! In a province where whacking those evil foreigners is as common as taking the bus to work in the city! Well, that's when university students aren't protesting a $1 a day fee increase.

 You can't expect too much, though, when the debate over the replacement for the coach of the Montreal Canadiens NHL team didn't centre around whether he could actually get the team to the playoffs or not, but rather whether he spoke French.

 It's not good enough to justify such clear and badly disguised racism as a minority speaking out.

 The irony is that, in a small part of Canada, where the so long picked on minority is now in a majority, they are attempting to disenfranchise, eliminate, remove, expunge those who do not conform with the norms of those with newfound power.

 A wise man once claimed that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And it is hard to imagine a more corrupted public discourse right now than that of Quebec.

Keith Topolski is a former member of the NSW Young Liberal Executive and is studying Communications.

Boat people will now be flown in instead

Great news! The Gillard Government wants to stop sending our navy to Indonesia’s waters to give boat people a lift.

Bad news! It will fly boat people here instead.

You’ll think I’m pulling your leg. Surely you’d have read about something this crazy.

But this news was slipped out in a press conference on Thursday by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen – just before Gillard spent an hour finally answering questions about her ex-boyfriend and the AWU scandal.

No wonder you never heard it.

It came as Gillard and Bowen announced they’d lift our refugee intake from 13,750 a year to 20,000 to stop (sic) boat people coming over.

Explained Bowen: “As part of that 20,000, 400 immediate places are being set aside for processing on Indonesia, in Indonesia, for people who are considering whether to make that journey or not.”

Got the message? Don’t sail, but fly. And instead of sending you to Christmas Island, we’ll welcome you at Tullamarine.

How farcical our boat people policy has become since the border laws were weakened in 2008, triggering a small armada of boats.

Flying in more boat people from Indonesia – rather than make them pay $10,000 a head for a boat trip – is hardly a disincentive to the tens of thousands already gathering in Malaysia and Indonesia, en route to Australia.

It just says their chances have improved. They can score one of the extra plane rides, or still catch a boat. 

But this isn’t really about stopping asylum seekers. It is about making their arrival invisible, to save the Government embarrassment.

via blogs.news.com.au

Click the link to keep reading

Australia says freedom is bad for democracy

Until the Australian government stops lying, Australia will continue to deceive the world into thinking that freedom is bad for democracy.

For many years the Australian Government has upheld the myth that Australia’s
voter turnouts are above 90%. As a result most people think our voter turnouts
are around 95%. This is the image the world sees and believes. 

Voter turnouts in Australia are not 95%. Not even close. Our voter
turnout is around 81%, and this figure includes a high proportion of invalid
votes, donkey votes and blind guesses, so our real voter turnouts are probably
a lot lower. They could be as low as 60%. Who knows?

Our government has fooled everybody into thinking we have one of
the world’s best democracies. But worse than this, they have fooled everybody
into thinking we have one of the world’s best democracies thanks to our lack of

We are one of only ten nations in the world to enforce compulsory
voting and many of the other nations are not long out of military dictatorship.
These countries are also typified by tight media regulations. Compulsory voting
combined with a state-controlled media gives the government complete control
while still ‘appearing’ democratic.

Derryn Hinch is currently the latest to fight for democracy in
Australia. He says I believe
compulsory voting is bad on two grounds. I believe it is undemocratic even
unconstitutional.” Read more here.

Democracy is supposed to provide freedom. Compulsory voting does
the complete opposite. It strips people’s power away, right when they need it the
most. Rather than empowering people with the vote, compulsory voting diminishes
people’s power with threats of fines and ultimately threats of violence.

Compulsory voting repels people from the electoral process. This
is partly why we have such high levels of informal voting and why around 10% of
eligible Australian voters are not even registered to vote.

If compulsory voting were so great, why are Australian’s so
disengaged with politics? Why do they say we even need compulsory voting? After
100 years of forced freedom, compulsory voting has clearly failed.

Even at the inflated 81%, our voter turnouts are still lower than
many nations where voting is voluntary including Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and

Under voluntary voting politicians who cannot educate, inspire and
ultimately empower the electorate using peaceful means, are replaced by leaders
who can – true democratic leaders.

Voting is not done as a duty to the state but as a voluntary act
of free will. At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. When we are free to
vote, we have 100% voter participation. Everyone has the same free equal right
to vote. Everyone is included.

Australians don’t like compulsory voting. Not really. Australians
like to see evidence of high voter participation and they think high voter
turnouts indicate this. The government has deceived the Australian people for
far too long.

Until the Australian government stops lying, Australia will
continue to deceive the world into thinking that freedom is bad for democracy.

Jason Kent

Free Our Right To Vote

If these matters do not call into question Gillard’s integrity, what will?


Andy Semple questions Prime Minister Gillard's integrity, and her attacks on critics as sexist:

Our PM admitted, while a salaried partner at Slater & Gordon, that she failed to open a file for the work she did in setting up the AWU Workplace Reform Association for her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson and his associate Ralph Blewitt.

Julia Gillard also admitted that the AWU Workplace Reform Association would be used as a union slush fund despite its stated articles of association to the contrary.

There are three consequences for failing to open a file.

1)      By not opening a file on behalf of the AWU meant that the union would not have been invoiced for the work and hence would not have become aware that the work had been done, nor would it have become aware of the nature of the work.

2)      By not opening a file meant that her partners at Slater & Gordon would not have been aware of this work and its nature.

3)       Wilson and Blewitt, it would appear, benefitted at no cost to them.

If these matters do not call into question Gillard's integrity, what will?

Now some people are claiming Gillard’s press conference performance yesterday as brilliant, strong and that the “scandal” surrounding her is now finished. It isn’t finished for the reasons I have mentioned above. In fact, the Australian’s Hedley Thomas makes the point I’ve raised.


The "slush fund" that Gillard had created three years earlier was a legal entity, an incorporated body, for the purpose of raising and holding funds for the re-election of union officials. It was designed to assist the personal advancement in the union of Gillard's then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, who was then the leader of the West Australian branch of the Australian Workers Union. Wilson needed "slush", or money, to fund a forthcoming election that he expected to contest.

Gillard's boyfriend, and his friend, union sidekick and bagman Ralph Blewitt, needed a name for this legal entity. They could have called it the AWU re-election fund. Or the AWU vote-for-a-new-leader fund.

Instead, it was called the AWU Workplace Reform Association, a title completely at odds with its actual purpose. The written objects, or rules, for the association do not disclose the true purpose is to fund elections for union officials.

On the contrary, the rules stress purposes including the promotion of safer workplaces and skills training. In the formal application for the association, Gillard advised that it was formed for the purpose of "development of changes to work to achieve safe workplaces".

In this way, its purported purpose had nothing to do with its actual purpose – as a "slush fund" for the re-election of Gillard's then boyfriend. This is Gillard's Achilles heel.

Yesterday, Gillard said she had not signed the document to set up the association and had only provided legal advice. Further, she said if the fund supported "trade union officials who would stand on a platform about reform and improvements in workplaces", then it had fulfilled its stated role. But this later explanation, at her hour-long media conference, remains difficult to reconcile with the facts.

But in true slippery Gillard fashion, she played the sexism, misogyny, nut-job blogger (me and plenty of others), American Tea Party politics and Murdoch hate media cards. More bullshit than a cow paddock.

And why does Gillard use her gender as an issue? You never hear a male politician claiming his gender is an issue. So much for equality.

I can recall former UK PM Margaret Thatcher being called every sick name you can think of and never did she or her supporters ever suggest it was because she was a woman.

Only a piss weak leader relies on such excuses.

Originally published at Andy's Rant, and reproduced with permission. You can follow Andy on twitter