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EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl – Harry’s Political Updates – 14th July 2012 – A Special report – Gillard facing history making dumping …

July 14, 2012
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Title:
Harry’s Political Updates …
A Special report – Gillard facing History making dumping …
July 14th 2012.
Gillards World just got a whole lot smaller:

Murdoch owned paper – ‘The Australian’ published a story this morning that made Prime Minister Gillard’s breakfast taste a whole lot different.   Nobody can deny that Gillard’s time at the PM’s ‘pig-trough’ are now numbered in terms of months – if not weeks, but not because of any due election, but because her true character is about to be fully exposed.

Events of 17 odd years ago have again emerged – they have always been there trying to get noticed – but powerful allies and the Union backed Labour Party have done well to have this story kept underground so to speak.

The latest installment of this developing story is republished below:

How Robert McClelland led pursuit in union funds scandal

| Published: The Australian – Hedley Thomas | Date: 14th July 2012 | Link to On-Line Story. |

LEGAL advice from a torrid union corruption scandal in the 1990s sheds new light on how the solicitor who would become attorney-general, Robert McClelland, and the woman who sacked him, Julia Gillard, were pitted against each other in a costly battle over her former boyfriend – and on claims that he had misappropriated $400,000 of union money.

Details of Mr McClelland’s strategy to hold the Prime Minister’s then client and boyfriend, former one-time Australian Workers Union Victorian boss Bruce Wilson, and others accountable are revealed in archived documents obtained by The Weekend Australian.

Mr Wilson strenuously denies the claims and the allegation against him was not prosecuted after police received legal advice that there was no offence.

Three weeks ago, Mr McClelland revisited the case when he told parliament about new legislation with the power to crack down on dishonest union officials.

“I know the Prime Minister is quite familiar with this area of the law, as lawyers in the mid-1990s we were involved in a matter representing opposing clients,” the Labor MP said. “Indeed, my involvement in that matter has coloured much of my thinking.”
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His surprise resurrection of the case that has dogged Ms Gillard for 17 years was seen by Labor figures, the federal opposition, and commentators as a deliberate bid to prompt new questions and scrutiny, potentially destabilising Ms Gillard at a crucial time amid speculation of a comeback by Kevin Rudd.

Ms Gillard sacked Mr McClelland soon after he publicly backed Mr Rudd’s unsuccessful leadership tilt in February.

Mr McClelland further raised the stakes in an interview with The Weekend Australian yesterday when he said for the first time that a “third party” might have benefited from the alleged union wrongdoing in the mid-90s.

Ms Gillard’s spokesman said she would decline to comment but in the past has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

The Prime Minister has previously rejected claims about her role as Mr Wilson’s solicitor, including that she improperly received financial benefits from pilfered funds, and that she had set up the accounts that received the funds. Ms Gillard has always denied she did anything untoward and has accused her detractors of cowardice and lies.

A fortnight before Labor’s 2007 election win, she spoke of her relationship with Mr Wilson when she was at the Melbourne law firm Slater & Gordon and in her early-to-mid 30s.

“I was young and naive,” she said at the time. “I was in a relationship, which I ended, and obviously it was all very distressing. I am by no means the first person to find out that someone close turns out to be different to what you had believed them to be. I was obviously hurt when I was later falsely accused publicly of wrongdoing.”

One of the documents obtained by The Weekend Australian is a six-page legal advice by Mr McClelland in August 1995 when he was a solicitor at Turner Freeman lawyers in Sydney.

Mr McClelland’s advice urged his client, Ian Cambridge, then national head of the AWU, to take a raft of immediate actions to identify and recover the missing funds, and change the rules to prevent further loss of money.

Another document describes Mr McClelland’s personal supervision of a physical search for Mr Wilson when he was elusive and his whereabouts unknown. Process servers and other officials from a private agency were thwarted in attempts to locate him and two union associates.

He also proposed hiring a firm of chartered accountants to conduct forensic examination of unusual accounts with suspicious and large transactions. He advised that “clearly urgent steps are required to properly trace funds deposited into and expended” from AWU Victorian branch accounts including the “Undertakers Picnic Investment Account”.

Mr McClelland told Mr Cambridge it appeared union members’ funds “have been mixed with private funds in respect to the AWU Victorian Branch Members Welfare Fund”.

At the time, Mr Wilson was under police investigation, accused of siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the union, including funds that large companies including Thiess had handed over in the belief it was to pay for members’ courses and training.

Mr Wilson’s solicitor then was Ms Gillard, a partner at Slater & Gordon. Ms Gillard and Mr Wilson were also in a close relationship. Mr Wilson was subsequently ousted from the union. He was not charged after the police probes. He has declined to speak about his role and Ms Gillard.

The case flared sensationally last year when Ms Gillard’s conduct was raised by Sydney radio broadcaster, Michael Smith, and The Australian’s columnist, Glenn Milne, both of whom lost their jobs after a furious response from Ms Gillard.

The Weekend Australian revealed a fortnight later that Smith had relied heavily on a statutory declaration drafted in 2010 by Pauline Hanson’s former senior adviser, John Pasquarelli, for a disgruntled former union official with a stress-related condition, Bob Kernohan. The role of Mr Pasquarelli was viewed by Ms Gillard’s office as proof of a political smear campaign against her.

Mr McClelland, once a senior member of her cabinet who wrote his masters thesis following his experience with the case and knows the minutiae better than most, has not let it rest.

Asked by The Weekend Australian yesterday about his role 17 years ago and his fresh foray in federal parliament, he said: “As a solicitor in 1995 I received instructions from the then general-secretary of the AWU, Ian Cambridge, who firmly believed that union funds had been mismanaged or misappropriated by certain union officials.

“Certainly, my major motive in raising the matters that I recently did . . . was to try to simplify and streamline the process to make it easier for union members to seek recovery of misappropriated or misapplied funds from an office holder, former office holder or, for that matter, a third party who may have benefited from the alleged wrongdoing.

“I think that any fair-minded person would have to regard the outcome from the 1990s as being totally unsatisfactory because, despite protracted litigation, union funds that were misapplied were never returned to benefit members.”

Claims that Ms Gillard was a beneficiary of any ill-gotten funds or that she knew at the time that Mr Wilson was involved in alleged fraud cannot be substantiated from the material seen by The Weekend Australian. At the time, Ms Gillard worked for unions including Mr Wilson’s AWU national construction branch.

Mr McClelland and his client, Mr Cambridge, who was appointed a commissioner to Fair Work Australia in 2009, were relentless in their efforts to trace and recover funds missing from the union. With AWU heavyweight Bill Ludwig they launched a blizzard of legal actions, while Mr Cambridge wrote to then Labor minister, Laurie Brereton, to tell him the matters “can only, in my opinion, be resolved by a judicial inquiry or royal commission”.

Mr Cambridge proposed a pecuniary interests register for union officials: “Quite frankly, I am now certain the Victorian affair goes a lot deeper than I had first suspected and I am afraid that underlying the whole mess may be issues of serious corruption.”

Mr Cambridge also swore in an affidavit that was filed in the Industrial Relations Court in 1996 that he was “unable to understand how Slater and Gordon, who were then acting for the Victoria Branch of the Union, could have permitted the use of funds which were obviously taken from the union, in the purchase of private property of this nature, without seeking and obtaining proper authority from the union”.

Mr Cambridge was referring to a house in Kerr Street, Fitzroy, purchased with union funds in 1993, used by Mr Wilson, and sold in early 1996.

Proceeds from the sale were not returned to the union. Slater and Gordon handled the purchase and sale, and claimed legal privilege over the file.

Comment:

A great number of people have been waiting for this story to gain traction. Harry’s Growl has reported on the story, and linked other Bloggers who are also following the story and keeping it alive.  The power of the people, people … hopefully we all get a good result and see justice is duly served for a change.

Journalist Glenn Milne’s Wikipedia profile page was last updated in December 2011.  He has not been seen nor heard in any mainstream media publication in months.  He was sacked from the ABC’s ‘Insiders’ program in Sept 2011 for raising this story.   Please read ABC sacking story below: -

ABC dumps Milne from Insiders

| Author: Jessica Wright | Date: 4th Sept 2011 | Link to On-Line Story |

Veteran political journalist Glenn Milne has been dumped from ABC TV’s The Insiders because of a column he wrote in News Ltd’s The Australian.

The column, retracted in full after furious demands from Julia Gillard, made claims about the Prime Minister’s one-time relationship with former unionist Bruce Wilson, the embezzlement of union funds and his eventual fraud conviction.

Milne was told he would no longer be part of future episodes of the program on Thursday evening after a meeting by the ABC’s news management team.

The ABC’s head of policy, Alan Sunderland told The Sun-Herald, last night that Milne had not been “sacked … because we don’t employ him and never have” but confirmed the column had been the catalyst for the decision to cancel his scheduled appearance on the show this morning.

“We have in the past occasionally used Glenn as a guest panelist on Insiders, and he was due to appear again this week,” Mr Sunderland said.

“Given the issues surrounding his journalism this week, ABC management felt it was not appropriate for him to participate. His column, which led to a withdrawal and apology by his employer, was the obvious catalyst for this decision, but it was not the only factor.”

Mr Sunderland said it was unlikely the ABC would “be calling on him in the future to participate in Insiders” as it was essential that participants could be relied upon not to compromise the ABC’s editorial standards.

Milne’s offending article disappeared from The Australian’s website mid-morning on Tuesday after Ms Gillard made a series of heated phone calls to News Ltd chief executive, John Hartigan, and editor-in-chief of The Australian Chris Mitchell. It was replaced with an apology which confirmed “The Australian acknowledges these assertions are untrue.”

It added, “no attempt was made by anyone employed by, or associated with, The Australian to contact the Prime Minister in relation to this matter”.

Milne – who made headlines in 2006 when he stormed the stage at the Walkley Awards and pushed host Stephen Mayne off the stage, screaming he was “a disgrace” – has been told by other media outlets, including Channel Ten’s Meet the Press he remains welcome as a contributor.

Attempts to contact Milne late last night were unsuccessful.

Comment:

Milne was a serious journalist and well respected in his profession. The story he published and carried by the Australian was vetted before it was published indicating that his employer trusted his sources and his information well enough to publish the story.

The other party who helped break the story was Sydney 2UE broadcaster Michael Smith – Google searches on this story and Mr Smith’s involvement are produced below:

Radio host Michael Smith challenges impending dismissal, claiming political victimisation

| Author: Ben Packham and Jodie Minus | Date: 21st Sept 2011 | Link to On-Line Story. |

BROADCASTER Michael Smith has taken Fairfax Radio to court, accusing radio station 2UE of planning to sack him for his political beliefs.

Smith was suspended earlier this month after he tried to air an interview with a former union official claiming allegedly fraudulent conduct by a former boyfriend of Julia Gillard.

It’s understood he will contest his expected dismissal under the Fair Work Act, alleging he has been victimised over his political beliefs.

The 2UE afternoon presenter told The Australian Online today: “We are seeking an injunction to restrain my employer from dismissing me.”

Later this afternoon, a federal magistrate in Sydney granted an order restraining 2UE from sacking Smith on the basis that such a dismissal would contravene the Fair Work Act.

Magistrate Shenagh Barnes granted the order at an “urgent” hearing in Sydney, as Smith was concerned he would be terminated by 2UE before the matter could be fully heard in court.
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The court heard that lawyers for 2UE had phoned Smith’s solicitor John Laxon and advised him they would be terminating the broadcaster’s employment.

Due to the urgency of the matter Smith’s barrister, Bruce Miles, also successfully sought a substituted service order that would allow the restraint order to be served via email to 2UE Sydney general manager Tim McDermott by 6pm today.

“It is now abundantly clear that (2UE) plan to terminate the employment of (Smith) . . . in contravention of the express provision of the Fair Work Act,” Mr Miles told the court.

The case is expected to return to court tomorrow.

Smith said he regretted having to take his employer to court.

“I hate doing this. I want to be on the radio,” he told The Australian Online.

The broadcaster battled 2UE management over his bid to air a pre-recorded interview with Bob Kernohan, a former president of the Australian Workers Union.

Fairfax management asked him to sign an undertaking not to broadcast or discuss the contents of the interview.

Smith told The Australian earlier this month: “This country’s pretty screwed up if decent, working people can’t turn to a free and open media to have their say.”

_______________________________________

Michael Smith abducted by aliens?

| Author: Michael Connor | Date: 13th Sep 2011 | Link to On-Line Story. |

Michael Smith has disappeared from view – Should we blame aliens or our government?

Radio announcer Michael Smith was suspended from Fairfax owned 2UE and is being asked to sign a legal gag not to comment on an interview he recorded with Bob Kernohan, former president of the Australian Workers Union. The banned interview drew attention to the activities of Julia Gillard in the 1990s and also named individuals who Kernohan claimed had attempted to buy his silence in matters relating to union activities. The bribes included a safe Labor seat.

The treatment of Smith has received scant attention. Fairfax newspapers have gone silent and in The Australian yesterday Michael Bodey said:

Smith hurt his own cause when he told The Australian on Thursday: “This country’s pretty screwed up if decent, working people can’t turn to a free and open media to have their say.”

Fairfax head of radio Graham Mott would not comment on the ramifications of that statement. He said he would meet Smith today “to discuss the past week and how we can move forward”.

If the Washington Post had suspended Woodward and Bernstein before getting them to sign a gag order the history of modern America may have been quite different.

As free speech is being destroyed before us journalists and opinion writers (with few exceptions) are ignoring the silencing of Smith. In fact, the ABC’s Media Watch last week led the attack against him and may have influenced the actions of Faifax management.

Michael Bodey’s report summed up the don’t want to know attitude of the MSM:

Smith’s credibility was hurt by Media Watch’s criticism last Monday of his dogged behaviour concerning previously discredited claims.

That the media is sitting by as a journalist is silenced and going along with the claim that the matters he dealt with have all been answered in the past, when they obviously have not, is extraordinary and disquieting.

The unauthorised bio of Gillard disappeared without a trace (aliens again?). Is pressure being applied behind the scenes? Even without it what is happening to Michael Smith is another front in the Left’s war on freedom of speech in this country.

Elsewhere, the unions are being discussed and the HSU is being investigated for corruption by the police. Much attention is being given to how union money has been spent by certain individuals. It’s very interesting but what is missing are the names of the individuals who received that sometimes questionable hospitality.

Who received the full benefits of the HSU’s credit card largesse? Possibly employers, surely other union officials and politicians, and perhaps even journalists. Union members who paid for this, and the public, have a right to know who was treated and what they received – and how they returned the favours.

Meanwhile, 2UE is supplying replacement announcers and, despite calls from listeners, not commenting on the matter. Michael may as well have been abducted by aliens.

_______________________________________

Further to this Quadrant Online article the following story was published a week or so earlier and well worth the background information:

What are they hiding?

| Author: Michael Connor | Date: 7th Sept 2011 | Link to On-Line Story. |

In June there were news stories that the unauthorised biography of Julia Gillard by Christine Wallace, to be published by Allen and Unwin, had been dropped. No explanation was given even though it had been promoted as a book that could shake the Labor government.

Two weeks ago announcer Michael Smith, on Fairfax owned 2UE, promoted a new interview with former president of the Australian Workers Union Bob Kernohan which was to be played the following week.

Monday last week Glenn Milne published an article in The Australian. This was withdrawn from the newspaper’s website within hours of publication and the newspaper published an apology to the PM – after she rang News Corp CEO John Hartigan to complain.

Glenn Milne was then kicked off the ABC’s Insiders program.

Andrew Bolt’s blogs, dealing with Michael Smith’s interview, were censored by the Herald Sun – and Bolt considered resigning.

Michael Smith’s advertised interview was stopped.

Michael Smith has been suspended.

In a snippet of the Kernohan interview, which Smith played the week before Milne’s article was published and which was on the station’s website, the ex-union official claimed that efforts had been made to silence him in the 1990s.

Kernohan alleged that he had been offered bribes, which he refused, and then seriously beaten up. The alleged bribes included the offer of a safe ALP seat in return for his silence. These are allegations he had previously made in a Statutory Declaration.

However, in the part of the interview Smith played Kernohan named names – though these were blanked out in the audio.

Is this the reason Smith has been silenced?

What is being covered-up? Who is being protected?

UPDATE: Bob Kernohan’s Statutory Declaration is widely available on the net including here… Though it was only written last year some parts of the media are saying this is an old story and does not deserve any attention.

_______________________________________

Michael Smith recorded private conversations with Fairfax radio boss

| Author: Matthew Knott | Date: 13th Oct 2011 | Link to On-Line Story. |

Suspended 2UE talkback host Michael Smith secretly recorded conversations with his boss, Graham Mott, on his iPhone last month, a Sydney court has heard.

Smith was taken off air on September 6 after dredging up old claims about Julia Gillard’s former relationship with an ex-union boss accused of fraud.

His secret recordings, made on September 6 and 7, have not been made public because they may have been unlawful.

In a submission to the Federal Magistrates Court yesterday, Smith argued that he was suspended for complaining to Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood about Mott’s “bullying” behaviour, The Australian reports today.

He also claimed that he was taken off air for expressing political opinions about Julia Gillard.

Fairfax Radio denied both these claims and argued that Smith was taken off air because he failed to follow directions from management and posed a “real danger” to the station.

Smith had aired allegations of fraud against former Australian Workers Union boss Bruce Wilson, Gillard’s boyfriend in the early ’90s.

The allegations were not prosecuted by police because they received legal advice that no offence had been committed. Gillard has consistently denied that she was involved in any wrongdoing over the matter.

Smith was named The Power Index’s No.1 Megaphone to watch last month for his role in turning allegations against Labor MP Craig Thomson into a national scandal.

But despite his talent for attracting controversy, the former police officer has bombed out in the ratings since joining 2UE at the end of last year. The last radio survey before his suspension gave him a piddling 5.1% audience share and an average daily audience of only 32,000.

The aspiring shock jock, who is friends with News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt, is well known within radio circles for his hot temper. The Daily Telegraph reported earlier this year that one of his staff members had quit because of his “offensive language” and “chaotic approach to the program”.

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Comment:

What happened after the story came to light last year is where this ‘scandal’ bares its teeth. ‘The Australian’ boss John Hartigan fielded the calls from the PM’s office and her minders after it was first leaked.  Coincidently – this all happened whilst the enquiry into Murdoch’s ‘News of the World’ scandal was in full swing in the UK – and now sublect to the Levenson enquiry.  Hartigan pulled the story and published an apology.

It is also alleged that he rang the Fairfax group and told them what the PM was prepared to do if they also ran with the story.   What the PM held over Hartigan is the ‘golden dragon’.    Whoever comes by that knowledge becomes a Woodward or a Bernstein.

What leverage did Gillard use to have the story pulled and retracted?  Why has Milne left the journalist profession – why was Hartigan shown the door a few months later – and why was this story left to fester another nine months before former Attorney General Robert McClelland raised its festering and toxic content in a cryptic way during House proceedings?

Hopefully, and in coming weeks the mainstream media will ‘grow a pair’ and the Governor General will realise that she is in bed with slime, and look to ways to put an end to this reckless and corrupted Government.

_______________________________________

Please – if any of the opinions expressed hereto raises concerns within your own belief about how this Nation is being managed, or of any other concern, please contact your Federal Member via an e-mail or a telephone call to express your concerns. You’ll find the House of Representatives (HOR) and Senator e-mail addresses and other contact numbers via the links below to the Australian Parliamentary Members and Senator profiles.

It is an important that in any form of Democracy the people be heard – we should ensure the Government Representatives hear our opinions. If we stay silent, then Democracy is not best served. Please use the Federal Member and Senate links below to find your Local Member, or if you prefer you can just post a comment below and let your views be heard.

Link to other most recent Harry’s Growl Posts.

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Harry’s Growl …

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  1. July 14, 2012 at 10:12 pm | #1

    The latest ‘Kangaroo Court of Australia’ bolg post on their original story can be read here:

    http://kangaroocourtofaustralia.com/2011/11/15/the-day-the-australian-media-died/

    It is great reading if you like to read about Gillard and teh problems about to come her way …

    Harry …

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  5. Mark
    August 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm | #5

    Isn’t it great that all of this is coming out and shows how guilty of fraud the red witch is. Keep delving in to it and all the best with the struggle to bring her to justice

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