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Posts Tagged ‘Ashby’

Ashby v Slipper Appeal: the first round

In Ashby Conspiracy, Joan Evatt on February 8, 2013 at 4:02 PM

By Joan Evatt
Source: Boeufblogginon
February 8th 2013

Michael Harmer

Michael Harmer

There were surprisingly few members of the general public present at today’s directions hearing before Emmett J in the matter of the Ashby v Slipper applications for leave to appeal to the Full Bench of the Federal Court. Is this issue dead in the water with the masses and is now only of interest to the mainstream media? I’ll let others decide.

The applications for leave to appeal were not heard today but will be heard before the Full Bench of the Federal Court during their May sittings. At the conclusion of the matter before Emmett J representatives of all parties toddled off to hammer out suitable dates in May.

It was made clear by Emmett J that if leave to appeal is granted by the Full Bench then they would likely go on to hear the appeal at that time during their May sittings.

One thing that did amuse me was the issue of the length of written submissions arguing a case for the leave to appeal to be either granted or rejected. Apparently written submissions are limited to 10 pages but parties for Harmer asked for them to be increased to 30 pages. Emmett J granted this request subject to the presiding judge of the Full Bench countering the request and enforcing the 10 page rule. (For some reason this tickled my fancy and I had a quiet snigger).

The other matter for business was the issue of costs being awarded to Slipper as a result of Rare’s decision now, of course, the subject of two applications for leave to appeal.

Emmett J slated the hearing on costs to 30th May. The logic seems to be if leave isn’t granted then the hearing on costs can go ahead, but it will be totally dependent on the outcome of the leave to appeal.

So bing bang wallah wallah bing bang – all over in a very short time.

The other highly amusing thing for me was my engagement with members of the mainstream media in the lift going down while they chatted between themselves trying to sort out what had just happened in court.

It was my “OH For Fuck’s Sake” moment as I then, without the benefit of any notes, gave them a six point summary as to what had happened – all done and dusted before we hit the ground floor. Once outside the court precincts I was asked to repeat what I had said in the lift, which I did while notes were taken, much to the amusement of the delightful Ross Jones, my comrade for the morning and occasional contributor to Independent Australia, the on-line magazine.

To my very best new friends in the MSM: Today wasn’t exactly rocket science, and it helps to prepare and listen to what is being said in court instead of chatting, even if it is about the case. I don’t even want to think about what is not being taught in journalism degrees.

The focus of the Ashby-Slipper story will change as this appeal proceeds. It isn’t about Ashby anymore or, for that matter, Slipper. Well, maybe a bit. But they are now playing second fiddle to Michael Harmer. Make no mistake Harmer is now driving this engine. That is the story in my view. Appeals will be lodged all the way if necessary because at stake is Harmer’s professional reputation and career. If I was occupying Harmer’s shoes I would be doing the same.

Liberals Ashby wall of silence cracks….

In Ashby Conspiracy, Margo Kingston on February 2, 2013 at 4:41 AM

First Labor – Liberal media debate on the Ashby Affair: Lateline transcript February 2,

David Bradbury-v-Christopher Pyne
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http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2013/s3681711.htm


Margo Kingston comments in red

DAVID BRADBURY: … Can I make the point, there is one word I would like to
remind Chris of and that’s Ashby and his involvement in the Ashby affair, but
more particularly the way in which Tony Abbott continues to stand by Mal
Brough. Now, whatever people say about Craig Thomson, these are very
serious matters and they will be progressed through the court system, but
when it comes to Mr Brough, he is a man that has an adverse finding from a
Federal Court case, he is not in the Parliament, he is not there as a result of
the people electing him into that place, he is out there as a Liberal candidate,
Mr Abbott has within his power the authority to bring that to an end, to send
Mal Brough walking if he wanted to do that, and in fact the sort of, the moral
purity that you have Chris pretend that the Coalition have on this issue would
dictate that that is exactly what Mr Abbott should do.

EMMA ALBERICI: Christopher Pyne, how comfortable are you then sitting
potentially next to Mal Brough in a Liberal Government

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: There are two factual things that David Bradbury has got
wrong and I can understand that in desperation to hide the fact that he was a
great supporter of Michael Williamson and Craig Thomson and that is that
Craig Thomson still is a member of the Labor party. He’s simply been
suspended from membership.

DAVID BRADBURY: Tell us about the drink that you had had with Ashby that
you didn’t have and the email that wasn’t sent, tell us about those things. I
won’t be lectured by you, Christopher Pyne, someone who has been outed for
having lied on that issue when it comes to questions of moral propriety. It is
about time you answered a few questions on those issues. And frankly…

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well, you are sounding a little hysterical.
(Pyne is projecting – he’s freaking out.)

DAVID BRADBURY: … we have a Federal Court judgment that implicates Mr
Brough. And you and Mr Abbott…

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well, are you sounding a little hysterical.
(Interrupting to soak up time…)

DAVID BRADBURY: … you and Mr Abbott are standing by that man. If you had
any decency and you wanted to apply the same standards to yourself that you
do to others, then you would pull the pin on him and you’d preselect someone
else for that seat.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: In terms of Mal Brough, Mal Brough has been
preselected by the LNP to be the candidate for Fisher. It is up to the electors of
Fisher whether they choose him next year – or this year now of course,
September 14th, to be their member. They will have all the information placed
before them by, I’m sure, the Labor Party about his involvement in the matters
to do with Peter Slipper. I’m sure that he will be elected. I think he was a fine
Cabinet minister and if he gets to serve in the Parliament again, he’ll be a fine
member of the House of Representatives.

(Weird stuff – who cares what he’s done, it’s a safe seat. Although this line
explains why Libs kept pre-selecting Slipper despite what Brandis has called
more than a decade of notorious salacious rumours.)

But let’s not forget that this all came up because the Labor Party and Julia
Gillard’s judgment caused her to make Peter Slipper the Speaker over Harry
Jenkins.

(The ends justify the means + we’re all as bad as each other + I don’t want to
answer these questions so I’ll change the subject) Read the rest of this entry »

Updated: Questions for Mr Abbott at the National Press Club

In Ashby Conspiracy, Margo Kingston on January 30, 2013 at 11:53 AM

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January 31 Press Club review: There are many reasons why the Canberra Press Gallery is failing to fulfil its democratic role. A collapse in media revenues, 24 hour filing, no time to stay with a story and investigate it, an atmosphere which sees journos run from one ephemeral topic to another in waves, an exodus of experienced practitioners with a corporate memory, the removal of quality newspapers as the bedrock of serious journalism…

When an institution is in trouble, leadership is required.

I was proud of the gallery I once belonged to today. It was on trial, and it delivered a solid performance. I was moved to tears, though, by the leadership of two of its most experienced, rational, hard-working, intelligent members. I know both of them. They are strong, fearless, and dedicated to the core values of journalism.

They broke Abbott’s silence on Ashby, and Laura Tingle also called Abbott on his policy of turning his back on hard questions.

As a result, they have opened a crack in the Coalition’s strategy of refusing to address the implications of the smoking gun Federal Court judgement on Ashby. Then another experienced press gallery journo, Lyndal Curtis, got an answer from Abbott on Thomson that removed all his clothes regarding his backing for Mal Brough. It is now up to the journo colleagues of these three women to pick up the ball and run with it.

Several days ago I urged citizen journos to find great MSM journos and support their work:

I think in terms of collaboration between Social Media and committed MSM journos. Old media is fighting for survival and new media can’t thrive without quality journalism reaching a broad audience. Flux. Each of us is helping shape what is to come.

The media silence post Ashby is system failure. Many MSM journos feel it too. If a way is not found to get the truth a dangerous line will have been crossed in terms of democratic checks and balances.

The Court has done its job. Politicians feel they cannot press for official accountability because of MSM silence. Social Media has demanded MSM action for 5 weeks yet even Richard Ackland’s column and the Sunshine Coast Daily’s devastating interview with Brough, in which he lied about the Press Gallery, drew nothing in response.

So Social Media must think laterally. And we are. And we must give maximum support to MSM journos who see their work as a vocation and are prepared to fight for its values.

Here is Laura Tingle’s question and Abbott’s answer, Lenore Taylor’s follow-up and his answer to her and Lyndal Curtis’s inspired question on Thomson. Abbott lied on Brough’s transparency. He promised that Brough would now answer questions. He promised to reveal the statistics on his press gallery press conferences. He failed to answer other points. And by his own words about the PM’s position on Thomson he condemned Brough to dis-endorsement – if journos keep the pressure on.

The Ashbygate conspiracy — of silence

In Ashby Conspiracy, Margo Kingston on January 21, 2013 at 12:02 AM

By Margo Kingston
Source: Independent Australia
18th January 2013

The media spent eight months vilifying Peter Slipper over the James Ashby accusations, but when the Federal Court ruled it was a political set-up — suddenly they weren’t interested. Margo Kingston comments on the scandal behind the conspiracy.

Geekrulz Storify

Click on the image to see @geeksrulz‘s Storify: ‘The Daily Telegraph coverage of the Slipper Scandal’

ON THE 12th of December 2012, the Federal Court handed down its judgement in James Ashby’s sexual harassment case against the Speaker Peter Slipper. It was sensational — a political conspiracy to abuse the court system with vexatious litigation to destroy a political opponent.

The mind boggled.

I’d just joined Twitter, and was surprised to get a tweet predicting there would be little coverage.

Nonsense, I replied. There’ll be intensive investigation by journos — ‘they will go for it after being conned by Libs twice’. The first time, of course, was the just completed torrent of publicity on the Prime Minister’s pre-politics role in setting up a fund later used for fraud, which ended with nothing of substance proved.

I was wrong. Read the rest of this entry »