This guy could run for Labour

Seriously he is in the running if he jumps the ditch.

High-profile Melbourne QC Julian Burnside has apologised to the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, after appearing to suggest he was a paedophile on a social networking site.

Mr Burnside was participating in a lively discussion on Twitter yesterday morning about a new book about Mr Abbott penned by academic Susan Mitchell, released today, which is intensely critical of the Opposition Leader.

He retweeted a link to a story about the book in Friday’s Age, and then praised Dr Mitchell’s Tony Abbott: A Man’s Man. ”I have read this book. Abbott is a dangerous man with no moral compass,” the QC tweeted to more than 5000 followers. ”It’s a great book. Abbott will lead the country back to the dark ages.”

Mr Burnside told The Saturday Age he then received a message on his phone that he thought was a text message. He normally tweets on his iPad.

The message, the QC said, contained a ”weak pun”, and he responded in kind, with a joke he’d seen on a British comedy program. ”It was nothing to do with Tony Abbott, and I thought I was replying one on one.”

A public tweet from Mr Burnside then appeared in his feed: ”paedos in speedos”.

Given Mr Abbott’s well-known predilection for the swimwear, and the context of the preceding remarks, Mr Burnside’s remark appeared to be a reference to the Opposition Leader. The QC denies this. ”It was not a reference to him.”

When he became aware of the mistake, he tweeted a public apology to Mr Abbott. ”This is unprompted apology to #Abbott. He is NOT a paedophile and I was not referring to him. He has many flaws but that is not one of them.” Mr Burnside also contacted Mr Abbott’s office in order to apologise unreservedly.

Of course when you read the article you find he is completely unsuitable for Labour because he apologised unreservedly.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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