Chairman Mal's Judgement Deficit Disorder - now doing GetUp's ads

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I am still in the company of Ralph Blewitt - it turns out things are going to take quite a bit longer than we had thought.

I had thought it impossible to add to the hilarity and bizarreness of the last week in politics - how silly, young and naive was I?

I forgot to factor in the famed Turnbull pathological absence of judgement.


Gillard's ASIC chief Greg Medcraft clears CFMEU boss after TURC recommended prosecution

This is getting habit forming.

While we're talking about Labor's tolerance for corruption, can anyone explain what changed in the evidence against Kimberley Kitching so as to clear her of the conduct found proven by the TURC and Fair Work Commission?


Here's The Australian today.


Heydon denied again: ASIC clears union boss

    The corporate regulator has cleared the construction union’s Queensland secretary Michael Ravbar after a 32-month investig­ation into governance of a redund­ancy fund, making 14 ­referrals from the trade union royal commission that have been discontinued or not upheld.

    The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union said yesterday the decision by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission to not take action against Mr Ravbar showed the investigation had been a waste of taxpayers’ funds.

    In his December 2014 interim report, royal commissioner Dyson Heydon found Mr Ravbar should be referred to ASIC for it to consider whether he be charged and prosecuted for breaches of the Corporations Act.

    The alleged contraventions related to financial hardship payments made from a redundancy fund to workers engaged in unlawful industrial action at the Queensland Children’s Hospital project in 2012.

    In a letter to Mr Ravbar, ASIC investigator Graham Denver-Fedder said the regulator had concluded its investigation and “decided it will not take any enforcement action”. “ASIC has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to establish to a court that there has been a breach of the law,’’ he wrote.

    Dave Noonan, the union’s nationa­l construction division secretary, said the decision showed the regulator had spent almost three years and an “unknown amount of wasted money based on a clearly bizarre referral by Dyson Heydon”.

    “The important thing here is that workers were paid hardship payments by a fund which has provision to pay hardship payments,’’ Mr Noonan said. “They were paid money that was their own money. It was advance­d …

    “They spent almost three years on that. At the same time you have got the Commonwealth Bank accused of laundering money for drug syndicates and potentially terrorists, and three years of rampant wage theft going on through corporate Australia.

    “There has been any amount of corporate misconduct going on, and we see the corporate regulator focusing its attention on trade unions.”

    The union said the ASIC decis­ion brought to 14 the number of referrals from the royal commission that had not been upheld or had been discontinued.

    Legal proceedings are contin­u­ing against high-profile CFMEU officials John Setka and Shaun Reardon, and the union’s former national president Dave Hanna. Former CFMEU organiser Fihi Kivalu, who took about $70,000 in bribes and pleaded guilty last year to blackmail, received­ a suspended sentence of almost three years.

    Acting on commission recommendations, the government yesterday introduced a bill that allows the Federal Court to cancel a union’s registration on a range of grounds, including corrupt conduct by officials and repeated breaches of industrial and other laws by the union or its members.

    Wikipedia's list of Australian politicians convicted of crimes

    This list could do with the once-over by a few of our expert eyes.

    There appears to be a lot more crime of late. 


    Name Year Party Offence Sentence Notes Reference
    John Curtin 1914 Labor Failing to comply with a compulsory medical examination for conscription 3 days jail Later became Prime Minister of Australia; first Prime Minister to be convicted of an offence [1]
    Derryn Hinch 1987, 2011, 2014 Derryn Hinch's Justice Party Contempt of court, breaching suppression orders 12 days in prison, 5 months home detention, 50 days in prison Hinch was a radio announcer at the times of his crimes, and was elected to the Australian Senate in 2016 [2][3]
    Michael Cobb 1998 National Rorting travel expenses Fined $14,000, 2-year suspended jail term   [4]
    Andrew Theophanous 2002 Labor Bribery and fraud 6 years jail   [5]
    Pauline Hanson 2003 Pauline Hanson's
    One Nation
    Electoral fraud 3 years jail Subsequently, acquitted and found to have been jailed wrongly [6]
    Craig Thomson 2014 Labor/
    Theft and fraud 12 months jail with 9 months suspended.[7]   [8]
    Steve Irons 2015 Liberal Unlicensed drink driving 4-month good behaviour order   [9]

    New South Wales[edit]

    Name Year Party Offence Sentence Notes Reference
    Thomas Ley 1947 Nationalist Murder Death, later commuted to confinement in Broadmoor Asylum Involvement with a number of disappearances, including that of Frederick McDonald, his predecessor as MP [10]
    Rex Jackson 1987 Labor Accepting bribes 10 years Former Minister for Corrective Services. Increased from 7½ years on appeal [11]
    Tony Packard 1993 Liberal Unlawful use of listening devices Fined $1000 Offences were committed while operating a used-car business, prior to entering parliament [12]
    Barry Morris 1996 Liberal Making death threats 1 year Decreased from 2½ years on appeal [13]
    Milton Orkopoulos 2008 Labor 33 counts, including child sex and drug offences 13 years and 8 months (non-parole period 9 years) Decreased from 13 years and 11 months on appeal [14]
    Richard Face 2009 Labor Making a false statement to the ICAC Fined $2500, three-year good-behaviour bond Lied about misusing parliamentary and electoral office staff to help set up a consultancy. [15][16]
    Adam Marshall 2014 National Mid-range prescribed content of alcohol Driver's licence suspended for nine months, fined $2,000 Returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.112. [17][18]
    Eddie Obeid 2016 Labor Misconduct in public office 5 years (non-parole period of 3 years) Failing to declare his precuniary interest while a member of parliament and subsequent attempts to influence bureaucrats and Labor colleagues so as to benefit his family [19][20][21][22][23]
    Ian Macdonald 2017 Labor Misuse of public office 10 years (non-parole period of 7 years) Corruptly issuing of lucrative mining licences at Doyles Creek in the Hunter Valley [24][25][26][27]


    Name Year Party Offence Sentence Notes Reference
    William Hamilton 1891 Labor conspiracy in connection with the Queensland shearers' strike 3 years future state MP [28]
    Brian Austin 1990 National misappropriating public funds 15 months   [29]
    Leisha Harvey 1990 National misappropriating public funds 12 months 7 months served in home detention [29]
    Don Lane 1990 National misappropriating public funds 12 months   [29]
    Geoff Muntz 1990 National misappropriating public funds 12 months   [29]
    Keith Wright 1993 Labor child sex offences 8 years (non-parole period 4 years), paroled after 5½ years Former Opposition Leader [30]
    Bill D'Arcy 2000 Labor child sex offences 11 years (non-parole period 7 years)   [31]
    Merri Rose 2005 Labor extortion 1½ years   [30]
    Karen Struthers 2007 Labor Drink driving $1000 fine and loss of licence for 10 months   [32]
    Gordon Nuttall 2009, 2011 Labor Corruption, receiving secret commissions, theft 15 years (non-parole period 10 years)   [33]


    Name Year Party Offence Sentence Notes Reference
    Brenton Best 2002 Labor Drink driving fine and loss of licence   [34][35]
    Terry Martin 2011 Independent Producing child pornography and sexual penetration of a child under the age of 17 suspended sentence   [36]

    South Australia[edit]

    Name Year Party Offence Sentence Notes Reference
    Bernard Finnigan 2015 Labor/
    Obtaining access to child pornography A 15-month suspended sentence with a three-year $1,000 good behaviour bond Also added to the sex offender register [37][38][39]


    Name Year Party Offence Sentence Notes Reference
    Carolyn Hirsh 2004 Labor Drink driving $600 and driving ban of 6 months   [40]
    Andrew Olexander 2004 Liberal Drink driving     [40]
    Carolyn Hirsh 2006 Labor Drink driving and driving whilst disqualified $600 and driving ban of 1 year   [41]
    Adem Somyurek 2009 Labor Driving whilst disqualified $300 and 1-month suspended gaol sentence   [42]

    Western Australia[edit]

    Name Year Party Offence Sentence Notes Ref
    Julian Stuart 1891 Labor conspiracy in connection with the Queensland shearers' strike 3 years future state MP [43]
    George Taylor 1891 Labor conspiracy in connection with the Queensland shearers' strike 3 years future state MP [44]
    Frederick Baglin 1923 Labor stealing as a servant 3 years sitting state MP [45]
    Brian Burke 1994 Labor misappropriating public funds 7 months former state Premier [46]
    Ray O'Connor 1995 Liberal stealing a Bond Corporation cheque from a parked car 18 months former state Premier [47][48]
    David Parker 1996 Labor perjury 18 months former state Deputy Premier, paroled after six months [49]
    Wayde Smith 1998 Liberal perjury 18 months paroled after six months [50][51]
    Graham Burkett 2006 Labor receiving bribes 14 months former mayor of Stirling and state MP [52]

    While the Australian Parliament descended into farce..........

    Was travelling today, Ralph and Ruby Blewitt and I met up and then travelled on together (for 7.5 hours) to our destination where we're now safely ensconced.

    One thing I've learned about Asia is the way personal contacts can get things done.  And so private citizens are making diligent enquiries of their Malaysian government's records about their country-woman Penelope Ying-Yen "PennyWong (born 5 November 1968).

    Meanwhile, one of our parliamentary observers sent me this note:

    Well have you missed a day in Parliament. It  is absolutely disgusting the manner in which these people have behaved to-day.

    A friend phoned me to say look at the Parliament and I did, I lasted about ten minutes. Turnbull accused Shorten of all kind of treason, I have no idea whether this would be true, there are many stories, but which ones are true?

    Pyne of course joined the chorus Bishop made the most stupid remarks ever,  I think they have all gone mad.

    I think there are more dual citizenships coming on the liberal and perhaps labour side. There are five liberal may-be's. Shorten is making it worse of course as the News-poll I think it was said to-day 54-46 against. So Shorten thinks he can walk into The Lodge.

    Next week Thursday the High Court will hear the case of the five, which includes Joyce. I have a feeling the G-G may have to step in as there must be more Labor as well. Perhaps they should stop Parliament, as it is a thorough mess.

    I think Turnbull has it so wrong, as here they are arguing over citizenship, when the people do not care. This evening Steve Price was suggesting that we get rid of that bit in the Constitution, how stupid was he? I think it should be there.

    One bright spark, I heard Pauline Hanson on the new media-laws, which she may agree with if the ABC is going to be curtailed in no uncertain manner and the terrible bias to be addressed!!!!

    On  the Victorian front the State government has stuffed up on the Swan Street Bridge road project, it will cost Millions more and take months more to complete.

    They are going to construct a wharf, where we can receive gas, which we are going to import!!!!!!!!!

    This government has banned the exploration of gas for another three years or so, so we now are going to buy it from Qatar, as they have just found out that they will be in short supply of gas this winter. The energy Minister is a woman a Ms Ambrosio, she is so stupid, like you will not believe, she should be sacked as right now. And you know we are sitting on so much gas and coal!

    We are having a house-break-in every three hours in Melbourne.

    So better stop there, I hope your days are working out better, are you getting things done? I hope you are pleased with your progress.

    And so to the glamour of travel!

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    My plans for the next few weeks.

    Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 8.58.08 am

    From tomorrow until Saturday I will be in a remote(ish) location with Ralph Blewitt and others working on AWU matters.

    I am purposely not providing much detail in this post.

    Ralph's prosecution and legal defence is quite separate from the private prosecution of Gillard that I will soon bring in an Australian court.

    I can confirm to you that charges against Gillard will be filed and served within 60 days from the end of August.

    I am carrying the costs and doing the work to get the brief against her filed, served and brought before the court.

    I could do with a bit of encouragement!

    If you can't help out financially I'd love to hear a few words from you in this post - you've no idea how much it means to me just to know that others think this is important, worthwhile work.

    I can see an end in sight at last.  I can't guarantee what the results will be - but I can guarantee that we won't die wondering what might have happened if we had tried harder.

    Michael Smith

    National Australia Bank

    BSB: 084855

    Acct No: 537650476


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    Ralph Blewitt has legal aid funding approved for his case in the Perth Magistrates Court

    Ralph Blewitt received some news late last week that led to this happy Facebook post.

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    While Ralph has to make do with a very basic legal aid grant - nothing was too costly for Bruce Wilson.

    Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 6.12.57 am


    When Gillard's former law firm Slater and Gordon was raided by police, Bruce Wilson was magically supplied with a QC and legal team to bring a claim of legal professional privilege on document seized by police.  As Gillard's purported client he was the only person who could do that.  When the Chief Magistrate of Victoria decided against Wilson's claim (he found that iun 100% of cases, documents Gillard and Bernard Murphy prepared were created in the furtherance of fraud), Wilson embarked on a lengthy course of actions in the Supreme Court of Victoria.  Eventually the police gave up fighting and the documents went back to Slater and Gordon.

    And you and I paid for it.


    Former federal attorney general Mark Dreyfus QC MP was there to celebrate more money for a bigger PILCH

    Bruce Wilson's legal costs have been funded in part by the PILCH - you can read our reports here:

    PILCH and its directors may have felt some discomfort about various aspects of funding Mr Wilson and his legal case.   One of the difficulties was a requirement that PILCH only fund Victorian residents.

    Well just in the nick of time the PILCH and its NSW counterpart organisation merged!  And apparently got more money.   And former Attorney General Mark Dreyfus QC MP was there to watch it happen.  

    Thanks to Max1 for the link to Mark Dreyfus's Facebook page.

    Mark dreyfuss qc

    Today I was interviewed for Justice Connect’s launch video. On 14 November 2013, PILCH NSW and PILCH Victoria will celebrate their successful merger as they become Justice Connect. I congratulate all involved with PILCH, who provide support to unrepresented litigants who would not otherwise have access to legal assistance and advice. Assistance is provided in the areas of social security, discrimination, consumer law, judicial review, bankruptcy, immigration and employment law. I am proud to have been part of a Federal Labor Government which provided valuable financial support to legal services that can best respond to the needs of the Australian community.