Peter Slipper

It’s not just our politicians on the bludge

Politicians the world over just cannot help themselves helping themselves to our taxpayer cash, especially when it benefits them directly.

We have seen Paul Foster-Bell, Claudette Hauiti and now David Cunliffe trough it up on travel.

We see the two main parties working out better ways to avail themselves for more entitlements.

Politicians, wherever they are from, become afflicted with entitleitis…they even use the same justifications.

The ”age of entitlement” is over, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, but politicians continue to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on flights to sporting events, study tours, recipe collections and children’s books – such as Aliens in Underpants Save the World.

Department of Finance records show rising Liberal Party MP Jamie Briggs claimed almost $11,000 in entitlements over two years for travel to and from sporting events. For most of this period, November 2011 to November 2013, Mr Briggs was chairman of the Coalition’s government waste committee, established to highlight the mismanagement of taxpayer money.

His entitlement claims included:

■ $2800 last November for him and a family member to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where they attended Derby Day in the Emirates marquee.

■ $1600 last June to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where he attended an AFL game as a guest of BHP.

■ $2300 in December 2012 to travel between Adelaide and Sydney, where he attended the Australian Open as a guest of Golf Australia.

Mr Briggs said: ”Each trip was undertaken within the entitlement rules and publicly declared as required. They included meetings with a range of people related to my work as a federal member of Parliament.”

Read more »

Rudd knifes Gillard, early election for Australia

Labor have shown just how dysfunctional they are with the overnight knifing of Julia Gillard buy Kevin Rudd.

The illegitimate government just became even more illegitimate.

Kevin Rudd has been re-elected leader of the Labor Party almost three years to the day since he was deposed by Julia Gillard.

Mr Rudd won the ballot 57 votes to 45. There was no spill for position of deputy leader however there are reports that Treasurer Wayne Swan has resigned.

Labor is in disarray. The caucus is deeply divided. Most of their money men have been indicted for corruption, the power brokers too, the ones left are quaking in their boots that other skeletons won;t come out, but in all likelihood they will.

Labor is stuffed for at least 3 probably 4 terms nationwide.  The effects could well last for a generation.  Read more »

Peter Slipper is a dodgy bastard

The Peter Slipper fiasco continues on in Australia. Julia Gillard’s government is in disarray, propped up by crooks, liars and dodgy bastards, and one by one they are being picked off.

Slipper was summonsed to face court next month for alleged breaches of federal criminal laws, further destabilising Julia Gillard’s minority government in an election year.

The police statement said it was ”in relation to three offences of dishonestly causing a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth”.

The Queensland MP is due to appear in the Canberra Magistrates Court on February 15, where he can expect to be formally charged.

The Australian Federal Police have not confirmed what the summons is about, but court documents show that they relate to Mr Slipper’s alleged misuse of travel entitlements. The alleged offences carry a maximum five-year jail term.

He is alleged to have rorted his expenses to pay for cab charges carting his arse around vineyards.  Read more »

Random Impertinent Questions

How do Len Brown’s donors reconcile their statement that the Kayaka nd Rafting Centre will benefit under-privileged in South Auckland because “with an entry fee of $35 for kayaking and $55 for rafting, [the centre] is budgeted to run profitably” with statements from the Labour party that have consistently told us that the under-privileged of South Auckland can’t even afford to feed their children and so the state must intervene?

Is Mike Tyson going to replace Peter Slipper?

Does anyone really care which jail a transgender crim gets sent to?

When will media just tell Gareth Hughes to STFU when he makes spurious claims without a shred of evidence?

Do we need a union for people who work for unions, to protect them from dodgy employment practices?

And we thought “front bums” was bad – Slipper resigns

The Speaker, Peter Slipper, has resigned in Australia and it was unsurprising as he was having the ignominy of having his text messages read out on court, one by one:

Within a week, the well-travelled Peter Slipper is scheduled to jet off overseas on parliamentary duties, sipping from the cup of perks and privilege bestowed upon the Speaker of Australia’s Parliament.

This is a world of pleasant bon mots and lavish hotels, representing Australia on the big stage. It is far from the grubbiness revealed in a Sydney courtroom this week where Slipper was shown as the author of sleazy text messages describing women’s private parts as looking like mussels out of the shell.

 Ashby’s lawyer is reading them into evidence revealing them for the world, one by one in a case that is becoming death by a thousand cuts for Slipper. This is the perils of legal action…having that which you sought to keep secret exposes as evidence and one the public record.

Here in NZ there was outrage that John Tamihere had the temerity to use the term “front bums”…look at what Peter Slipper used in his text messages:

Describing female genitalia, Slipper texted: “They look like mussel removed from its shell. Look at the bottle of mussel meat.”

The text messages were read out as part of Ashby’s defence against claims made by Slipper that it was actually Ashby grooming Slipper, not the other way around. The florid vulgarity of the material read out by Ashby’s counsel was enough to make seasoned court reporters blush.

Slipper argued that Michael Lee SC, for Ashby, was reading text messages out specifically to force them on to the public record. Lee, though, argued that reading the text messages into evidence and examining them in their full context would put paid to Slipper’s claim that he had been set up.

Rather than provide a small selection of messages from Ashby’s mobile phone, Ashby’s counsel produced an affidavit he said included every single text message – carefully notated with the words “read” or “sent” to show which ones had been received by Ashby and which ones had been sent by Ashby.

“We’re going to submit, your honour, that upon close examination of the text messages and the surrounding contextual material which is in the exhibit, it’s evident that it was, in fact, the Speaker who cultivated a personal and flirtatious relationship with Mr Ashby and it was the Speaker, and not Mr Ashby, who repeatedly sought to introduce sexual references into communications which were ignored, deflected or rebutted by Mr Ashby . . . and, your honour, when I go through them, your honour will see that these matters are raised and Mr Ashby tries to change the subject and it keeps coming back to these sexual comments.”

The genie was out of the bottle. Whichever way the case goes, the prurient text messages about women – the last thing anyone expected in a case where the allegation was that Slipper had sexually harassed a male staffer – might force the Gillard government to abandon Slipper.

This can happen too when someone sues for defamation without thinking things through and then finds out that defendant publishes everything, that the plaintiff might not have wanted revealed, in the court as evidence in order to support their defence. And no I am not talking about the Collins case.

In any case Peter Slipper’s position became untenable and he only narrowly avoided being given the arse card by one vote in the parliament last night. He had to resign. The only question remains is whether or not he will resign from parliament completely.

 

Aussie troughers wasting taxpayer money

Sydney Morning Herald

We think our troughing politicians are bad, check out these Aussie troughers and their waste. Even embattled Speaker Peter Slipper is deep in the trough:

THE federal opposition communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, spent $26,000 on phone calls and faxes in six months. And the Speaker, Peter Slipper, took a trip to New Zealand to better understand its Parliament’s acquisition of art.

The facts and figures are contained in the Finance Department’s records of politicians’ entitlements, claimed between July 1 and December 31 last year, which were released by the department yesterday.

Mr Turnbull spent $13,608.04 on October 20 alone for ”Mobile PDA overseas calls”, the records show.

Mr Slipper said his trip to New Zealand was also to compare parliamentary practices and innovations.

Mr Slipper, who has long faced intense scrutiny over his travel entitlements, tabled a report of his two-day trip, in which he had four meetings, but did not list the cost.

Credibility shot, needs to go

Sydney Morning Herald

Julia Gillard is in serious trouble with many dailies now calling for her to go.

JULIA Gillard should consider falling on her sword for the good of the Labor Party, because she can no longer present an even slightly credible face at the election. Her spectacular U-turn on everything she’d said before on Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper has left her looking nakedly expedient, and further exposed the state of crisis within the government.

At one point in her news conference Gillard wrung her hands. It was a metaphor for what the caucus is doing. Her claim that suddenly ”a line” had been crossed, so she had to act to preserve Australians’ respect for Parliament, came out as a workshopped confection she could not explain. After months of declaring Thomson had her support, after a week of backing Slipper returning to the Speakership if he was cleared on criminal allegations, she wants us to believe she arrived back from Gallipoli and suddenly realised that the public see a dark cloud over Parliament?

What actually happened is that she and whoever she is listening to observed a storm enveloping the government that could threaten her leadership.

Refusing to utter criticism of Thomson was always defending the indefensible. When Gillard then had Slipper added to her political burden, the weight simply became too heavy.

The Slipper affair tipped the balance, because she wasn’t going to be able to sustain her stand. The opposition and crossbenchers had the parliamentary numbers to keep him out of the chair. In more normal circumstances, Gillard might deserve some credit for doing the right thing, albeit late. But when she said black was white so vehemently and, in the Thomson case, for so long, her cynicism overwhelms any other impression.

While on Slipper she acted because she was cornered, she could not deal with him without distancing herself from Thomson, because the parallels were too close. Bearing down on her also was next week’s budget: hence the need for speed.

Thomson suspended from ALP

ABC

It things weren’t dire enough already for Julia Gillard with the Peter Slipper affair, now embattled union crook Craig Thomson has been suspended from the ALP:

Julia Gillard has asked MP Craig Thomson to quit the Labor Party and told Speaker Peter Slipper to accept a longer suspension as she moves to dispel what she says is a “dark cloud” hanging over the Federal Parliament.

Mr Thomson, who is facing allegations about the misuse of a union credit card, has been suspended from the ALP but says he remains a “Labor person” and will continue to vote with the Government as an independent MP.

Meanwhile Mr Slipper has moved to head off a possible no-confidence motion by confirming he will not be in the chair when Parliament resumes on budget night, May 8.

Mr Thomson, the embattled member for Dobell, on the New South Wales central coast, has been under investigation by Fair Work Australia for nearly four years over allegations he used his Health Services Union (HSU) credit card to pay for prostitutes.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday afternoon, he confirmed that he had asked to be suspended from the Labor Party after a discussion with Ms Gillard late yesterday.

“I am still a Labor person … I will be supporting Labor’s agenda … clearly I am not going to be part of the Caucus process… but broadly I will be supporting the Prime Minister’s position in terms of the reform agenda… certainly in terms of no confidence motions, supply motions,” he said.

The talented Mr Shorten

The Guardian

Bill Shorten has to be the most loyal politician in the world. It doesn’t even matter that he has no idea what Julia Gillard has said, he is sure she is right.

Australia‘s Julia Gillard gets a minister happy to tell a TV interviewer that whatever his prime minister said, he agrees – even if he doesn’t know what it was.

Bill Shorten, the Australian workplace relations minister, was asked by Sky News Australia whether he felt the parliamentary speaker, Peter Slipper, should be allowed to go back to his job after being accused of sexual harassment and misuse of funds.

Aware Gillard was abroad, but unaware of what she’d said on the matter, Shorten replied: “I haven’t seen what she’s said, but let me say I support what it is she said.” Pressed by an astonished presenter to confirm he backed his boss even though he didn’t know what she’d said, he nodded: “I support what she said … My view is what the prime minister’s view is.” A new record in on-message obedience?

Why you can’t have a no rooting rule in politics

Sydney Morning Herald

Lenore Taylor explains why it is almost impossible to have a no rooting rule in politics…it doesn’t stop a no dickheads rule though:

If every MP who has ever had an affair, or ever tried to have an affair, was forced to resign, there would be some empty seats on both sides of federal parliament.