Wednesday 27th of October 2021

special parliamentary strength...


Mr Pyne confirms the meeting took place but says he can "not remember" ever having requested Mr Ashby's mobile number.

"I don't remember ever having asked for Mr Ashby's number," he said. "I have met Mr Ashby on three occasions, and I have never had any need to phone him."

The Liberal Party powerbroker continues to deny he had any prior knowledge of the claims Mr Ashby made in the Federal Court documents or that he had ever had a discussion with the staffer over his concerns about Mr Slipper.

A source close to Mr Slipper's office told the National Times that, during the evening of March 19, Mr Ashby revealed personal details to Mr Pyne, a claim Mr Pyne strenuously denies.

"I have nothing to hide," Mr Pyne said. "I was simply passing the time of day. We had a beer and a political discussion."

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As if... Ashby is about to drop a bombshell that would help Pyne and his mates and they talk about the political weather over a cool beer on a lovely day... Pull the other leg. If Ashby revelations on Slipper are correct he would have been in a "state" (a form of psychological distress), nor would he have "known" about previous sexual allegations against Slipper, also denied by Slipper, in 2003 which are part of revelations in Ashby's court case, unless someone in the Liberal (conservative) ranks fed him the "information"...

they knew...

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan says senior members of the federal opposition must reveal if they knew the content of legal action against Speaker Peter Slipper before the suit was lodged in court.

Fairfax Media says coalition frontbencher Christopher Pyne spent almost two hours drinking and chatting with Slipper adviser James Hunter Ashby a month before Mr Ashby lodged documents accusing Mr Slipper of sexual harassment and misusing cab vouchers.

Mr Pyne met with Mr Ashby and another Slipper staffer in the Speaker's office in Parliament House on the evening of March 19, and he later phoned the office to request Mr Ashby's mobile number, the report said.

"I think Mr Pyne has many questions to answer," Mr Swan told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

ah rumors...

Rumours have it around "some" of the bars in town that Pyne has known Ashby for quite a long time and may have had a "special relationship"... but one cannot trust such gossip surfacing after the 12th round of beer...

More stuff is also swimming the smelly pipelines of news, but I will leave that to the expert garbage collectors...

of course, pyne should be suspended...

The opposition has no choice but suspend Pyne from Parliament until his relationship with Ashby is fully investigated and this could take some years... ah ah...

dirty as a dirty pyne...


According to emails seen by Fairfax, Mr Pyne then specifically asked for Mr Ashby's contact details.

Despite Mr Pyne saying yesterday that he could not remember asking for Mr Ashby's contact details after the meeting - which occurred a month before Mr Ashby lodged legal action against Mr Slipper claiming sexual harassment - Fairfax has been shown an email and a text message sent by Mr Pyne minutes after the session ended, requesting the details.

The request went to another staffer in Mr Slipper's office. According to a return email, Mr Pyne received Mr Ashby's email address at 11.02pm on March 19. This was one minute after he sent his request.

This morning, Mr Pyne continued to say that he did not remember whether he had requested the details but also told ABC Radio in Adelaide that he "could well have".


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It's obvious that Pyne suffers from Alzheimer. He should resign from parliament forthwith, but he may not remember where decency is... so he might need to be pushed.


christopher pyne should resign from parliament....

Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne has finally conceded he may have asked for the contact details of the staffer at the centre of sexual harassment allegations against Speaker Peter Slipper.

The National Times yesterday published a copy of the email Mr Pyne sent to an unnamed Slipper staffer after a late-night drinking session with staff member James Hunter Ashby in the Speaker's office.

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mal brough should know better...


ANOTHER prominent Liberal is said to have met the staffer at the centre of sexual harassment allegations against Speaker Peter Slipper in the days before the explosive claims were made public.

A Sunshine Coast LNP member has told the National Times that James Ashby met with Mr Slipper’s long-time political rival and former Howard cabinet minister Mal Brough on the Sunshine Coast in early April when he was still working as Mr Slipper’s press secretary.

The meeting is said to have taken place on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast - Mr Brough and Mr Slipper’s home territory. It is not known whether it was Mr Ashby or Mr Brough that initiated the meeting.


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Mal Brough should know better... This confirms 99.9 per cent as they say in the anti-bug war, that the whole Ashby affair has been helped along by the Liberal Hoons... Shame on Brough... He should go and bury himself...

undermining his boss...

THE man who has accused Peter Slipper of sexual harassment and fraud, James Ashby, was undermining his boss's re-election even as he continued to work in the Speaker's office.

Mr Ashby was promoting one of Mr Slipper's potential rivals for the seat of Fisher in a series of YouTube videos while he was a media adviser to the Speaker.
The Herald has also learnt Mr Ashby held a secret meeting with another rival, the former Howard government minister Mal Brough, two weeks before his explosive claims against Mr Slipper were made public.
The subject of two videos compiled by Mr Ashby is the Sunshine Coast businesswoman Peta Simpson who, with Mr Brough, plans to nominate as the Liberal National Party candidate for the seat of Fisher, now held by Mr Slipper.
Mr Slipper plans to stand for the seat as an independent, having quit the LNP to take the Speaker's chair.


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getting deeper into a "conspiracy"...


The former Indigenous affairs minister says he gave Mr Ashby a number of pieces of advice.

"If you're going to pursue these issues you had better make sure you're on solid ground, that you're telling the whole truth, you'll have the weight of the Government, the media and Mr Slipper's office down on you," he said.

"You need solid legal advice. I can't provide that to you and if you believe a crime is being committed I think the only right thing to do is approach the police."

Mr Brough says he did not provide Mr Ashby with a lawyer.

"He sought that on his own. I did not provide him with the Harmer Lawyers, I did not make him the connection to the Harmers Lawyers, I wasn't even aware of them," he said.

Labor frontbencher Craig Emerson claims the meeting is further evidence the Coalition has been intimately involved in airing the allegations against Mr Slipper.

"It is inconceivable that a former senior minister in the Howard government would have told no one else about this when he himself has dramatically changed his story," he said.

"People are lying here. And this is what we've been saying - that there is a cover-up."



honey trap or a sticky spider web?...

Regardless of whether there is any Coalition ''honey trap'' involved in the case of Peter Slipper's staffer James Ashby, there is certainly a sticky spider web and it is snaring prominent Liberals.Mal Brough, a former Howard government minister who is set to restart his parliamentary career at the next election, has been caught out being misleading over what he knew of the Ashby matter.
Brough said a week ago he had no prior knowledge of Ashby's sexual harassment civil suit. Turns out, he counselled Ashby — with whom he had three meetings — about the staffer's allegations.However Brough tries to spin it, and whatever the specifics of his knowledge, he knew a great deal and this has now come out.Brough (who will take Slipper's seat) is aware this is not a good look for a man aspiring to be a senior figure in a future Coalition government. Integrity is important and this is a potential stain on his. Suddenly he is all over the media attempting to explain himself, and how he was just trying to help the ''distressed'' young man.Brough insists he did not speak to opposition MPs, their staff or the Liberal National party about Ashby. It is very odd that he didn't.

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OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott's parliamentary numbers have won a boost, with Nationals MP Tony Crook formally joining the Coalition.

The West Australian MP, who has been on the cross benches, will sit with his party's colleagues in parliament from Tuesday, The Nationals say.

The move by Mr Crook, who has voted with Labor more than 30 times in the lower house since the last election, puts the Coalition's numbers at 72 members to Labor's 71.

While Prime Minister Julia Gillard still controls the house through her deals with the independents and Greens, Tony Abbott now has bragging rights for which major party has more members, and more discipline over Mr Crook's vote.

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Actually, when Christopher Pyne is suspended from Parliament for having interfered with the Ashby affair, there will be no bragging rights... And Tony Crook joining the coalition is idiotic anyway...


What is quite telling is that website (Murdoch) HAS NO HEADLINE about the Pyne and Brough involvement in the Ashby affair, nor about the government wanting them to tell the truth about them being grubbily involved in this "case"...

That would rather tarnish Abbott glorious image, wouldn't it?... The News stable has no shame... Unless they have "no reporter" covering this story... or unless they have another bombshell for tomorrow's edition of the Sunday "Terrorgraph"...

It reminds me of when there was 80,000 people in the streets of Sydney, protesting at Town hall, against Murdoch axing of the Rabbitohs... Only on page 44, did the Daily Telegraph (Murdoch) ran the story with a small paragraph... Doing so is called controlling the news by specific selection and emphasis...

of course, he would...

Senior coalition frontbencher Joe Hockey has called for an end to the public commentary over the sexual harassment accusations made against Speaker Peter Slipper.

''Frankly when there is an allegation of sexual harassment it should be left to the courts without all of this speculation around it and any attempts to to intimidate the staffer around it,'' Mr Hockey told ABC TV today.

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Of course Joe would say that... Joe is worried that his mates Pyne and Brough have been caught with their pants down interferring with the process itself, before the process was even set in motion... So he wants to hush the whole thing up... It ain't looking good.

the old godwin grech gambit .....

The former Howard government minister Mal Brough appears to have changed his story about what he knew of claims of sexual harassment and misuse of travel entitlements by Peter Slipper.

Mr Brough confirmed yesterday he had met the former aide James Ashby three times and had sought legal advice on his behalf in relation to his claims against his then boss, Mr Slipper.

However, Mr Brough was quoted last weekend as saying any suggestion he had known of Mr Ashby's legal action before it was launched was ''nonsense''.

Mr Brough was engaged in a brutal campaign for preselection by the Liberal National Party for Mr Slipper's seat of Fisher before Mr Slipper resigned his party membership and became an independent MP last year.

Mr Brough is now almost certain to gain preselection, which would clear the way for his return to federal Parliament.

Mr Brough's revelations came as the federal government demanded the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, and the frontbencher Christopher Pyne provide a detailed account of any dealings they had with Mr Ashby before he filed his Federal Court action against Mr Slipper last month.

A spokesman for Mr Abbott said yesterday neither the Opposition Leader nor anyone in his office knew Mr Brough had met Mr Ashby.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, tweeted: ''This Ashby seems more rehearsed than a kabuki actor.''


Brough's New Story On Slipper

only slightly less dodgy...

Opposition Whip Warren Entsch tried to ring Mr Abbott the night before Mr Ashby's allegations were published to tell him that a big story about the Speaker was coming. But Mr Abbott's phone went to message bank, Mr Entsch said.

These details emerged as the Nationals leader in the Senate, Barnaby Joyce, hit out at Mr Ashby, saying ''he seems only slightly less dodgy than Slipper''.Senator Joyce said the question was what Mr Ashby was doing at Mr Slipper's house - where some of the inappropriate conversation was alleged to have taken place. ''He wasn't dragged into the house,'' Senator Joyce said, adding that Mr Ashby was ''not a boy in his teens but a man in his 30s''

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All those in the "opposition camp" who had contact with Ashby should resign or be suspended immediately from parliament... 

pyne the liar...


THE opposition powerbroker Christopher Pyne made direct email contact with the Peter Slipper aide James Ashby within minutes of leaving late-night drinks in the Speaker's office earlier this year.
The revelation contradicts the impression Mr Pyne has given about his dealings with Mr Ashby, whose legal action against Mr Slipper for alleged sexual harassment has undermined Julia Gillard's already fragile majority.
Mr Pyne told the Herald earlier this month that he had ''no reason'' to contact Mr Ashby after the meeting, and has been widely quoted as saying that ''I did not email Mr Ashby after March 19''.

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the slipper and the boot...

At a directions hearing today, Justice Steven Rares told lawyers for the parties involved that it was hard to believe the case was going to take up five days of the court's time.

Mr Ashby's lawyer Michael Lee SC told the court the case should be heard before a jury, and witnesses will include doctors.

He said it is not a matter of allegations being thrown around lightly like the components of a Jackson Pollock painting.

Mr Slipper's lawyer Josh Bornstein said his client has been ambushed and his character assassinated.

He said Mr Ashby's case has been accompanied by a media blitz and may be an abuse of the legal process.

Has Mr Ashby employed a "media advisor" to stir the pot and/or implant some information in the media?....

ashby and ashes...


As has been the case since the allegations were first raised, a spokesman for Mr Ashby quickly responded with a media statement, saying his client had feared reprisals from the Federal Government.

"A reason the Commonwealth and Mr Slipper were not notified of the complained behaviour prior to lodging the claim was that our client feared reprisal not only by Mr Slipper but by the Federal Government as his ultimate employer," the statement said.

"Taking the matter into the public domain gave him the best form of protection against reprisal."


Who is the "spokeman" for Mr Ashby? What are the connection of this "spokeman" to the Liberal party or the media, if any? Name please... To take the affair into the public domain only opens the door for abuse of all kinds — including having the fair assumption that Ashby is deliberately manipulating the political landscape. Ashby has to cope with this. Ashby had the choice to take his problem to a court first that would serve a summons on Peter Slipper. Then the media could get involved WITHIN THE LIMIT OF THE LAWS in regard to court reporting on any case... But one can assume that this would not have been as "sensationalistic" as letting the media know before the accusing papers were served on Peter Slipper... because by doing so there is no restriction on reporting (before a court case is launched). Political manipulation? Any junior "crownie" would know that to be the case here. Who is paying the bill for the "spokesman"... The Liberal (conservative) Party? All these being genuine questions to be answered truthfully... Furthermore how did Ashby come into the knowledge that Peter Slipper "had a similar incident" reported in 2003 but then denied by the Liberals themselves... And now the case of the fiddle of Cabcharges being dropped against Peter Slipper by Ashby, as this has proven "inconclusive" and mostly appear in Peter Slipper's favour...


Note that I am not defending Peter Slipper here. I am only mentioning the reality of what has been done to maximise the hurt to Peter Slipper's career at a time when, one would hope, Peter Slipper would have been very careful about his actions knowing he has many enemies, all after his skin for having defected from the Liberal (conservative) Party...


pyne is a pain in the Q&A...

Why oh why Chrsitopher Pyne seems to appear more often on Q&A than any other dude?... Is it because they can't shut him up and he fills up at least half the programme with his crap? Is it because he says inane things that are outrageously annoyingly wrong? Is it because he does not know what he talks about with a grinding voice?  Anyway I don't watch Q&A... it's a show where one learns bugger-all except one's level of anger is getter closer to the boiling point... See toon at top... 

the plot thickens...


WHILE he was allegedly being sexually harassed by Peter Slipper, James Ashby asked the Speaker if he could accompany him on an official trip to Hungary, court documents reveal. And when the request was knocked backed on March 16, with Mr Slipper telling him it would be against parliamentary rules, Mr Ashby responded jovially that it had been a ''wild idea, but sometimes wild ideas become reality''.


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Meanwhile at the Joe Hockey school of getting invovled:


According to the government, documents released by the Federal Court raise fresh questions about the involvement of senior Liberal Joe Hockey in the sexual harassment case against Mr Slipper.

‘‘Each day we see more and more information that is suggesting there were multiple members of the coalition ... that were in this up to their eyeballs,’’ Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury told Sky News.

The government has been keen to highlight that Mr Hockey, Mr Brough and LNP major financial backer, the mining magnate Clive Palmer, met over the Easter weekend on the Sunshine Coast, although Mr Hockey originally denied Mr Brough attended the meeting.

Mr Brough is seeking Liberal-National Party (LNP) preselection in Mr Slipper’s Queensland electorate of Fisher.

‘‘Some of these revelations ... raise more questions in my mind about that meeting Mr Hockey had when he went up to the Sunshine Coast and met Mr Brough and (LNP figure) Mr (Clive) Palmer,’’ Mr Bradbury said.

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See toon at top...


the trojan rat...

James Ashby seemed aware from the outset how close his new job brought him to influence and power.
On January 22, three weeks after he started work as Peter Slipper's adviser and the day Julia Gillard backflipped on her pokies deal with crossbencher Andrew Wilkie (in part, because Slipper's defection had given her some leeway in the knife-edge Parliament), he was texting his new boss about how he might leverage his power.
''Or would you be able to convince Abbott not to run an LNP [Liberal National Party] candidate against you if you brought down the Government? You would effectively bring down the carbon tax too. 
Hmmm, you are in a very powerful position Slipper, the nation is definitely watching,'' Ashby wrote.
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In antiquity Ahsby would have been seen as a Trojan horse but he seems no more than a Trojan rat...

welcome to YOUR bucket list, christopher...

Labor resorting to chum bucket approach: Pyne

Updated 2 hours 34 minutes ago

Opposition Education spokesman Christopher Pyne tells ABC News Breakfast the latest Newspoll results have been driven by the "politics of personal denigration".


See toon and story at top...

guess who?...

Tonight (4/2/13) on Q&A, guess who is on?... two words... You've guessed it...  Christopher PYNE — back ONCE MORE like the proverbial reflux...

liberal dirt under the carpet...



Plenty of spinners, poor regulation and a compliant reporter: the Ashby-Slipper scandal was a top-notch PR job. Steve Lewis was conned - and the media may suffer as a result, writes PR expert Paul Begley

When Federal Court Judge Steven Rares handed down his ruling last month on sexual harassment allegations by James Ashby against former House of Representatives speaker Peter Slipper, he put two things beyond doubt.

The first was that the Ashby text exchanges presented as evidence in the case "do not read like those concerning a man claiming to feel sexually harassed or emotionally distressed by such conduct".

The second was that the intention behind the allegations was fundamentally to make a public relations splash, and to use the filing of documents in the courts to create the substance of a damaging media story.

A similar method had been used in the David Jones sexual harassment case by the same legal and PR team, and on both occasions selected public relations and media representatives were allegedly informed before the court documents were lodged.

Irrespective of the merits of the complaint in the David Jones case, it was settled out of court. This meant the judiciary did not have occasion to express a view on the role of public relations in the way that case was handled. Justice Rares took the opportunity to make up for that deficiency in delivering his ruling on the Ashby application.

Of the six named parties in the Ashby case, three are public relations operatives: Anthony McClellan runs his own PR consultancy, and Ashby and his colleague Karen Doane were employed at the time as in-house PR staffers for Slipper. The other three are Mark McArdle and Mal Brough, Queensland politicians, and Michael Harmer, the lawyer who acted for Ashby.

On the conduct of the named parties, the judge found as follows:

"A party cannot be allowed to misuse the Court’s process by including scandalous and damaging allegations, knowing that they would receive very significant media coverage, and then seek to regularise his, her or its pleading by subsequently abandoning those claims".


The curious use of pronouns in the judge’s ruling ("his, her or its") throws a wide net over the potential offenders in this case.



Actually, Steve Lewis explains to margot Kingston why he has not been "conned"... as the article above would suggest:


Steve: Hold on Margo, conned??? I have been pursuing Mr Slipper since August 2010 when he was a Lib MP. He is now facing criminal charges. He should have been turfed out of parl years ago – Howard shd not have kept him. The role played by Brough, Pyne et al is there for all to see. I was not conned Margo – the voters of Fisher were...



To some extend, Steve tells it like he saw it. People who get conned rarely admit to it or they don't see they have been conned since they are "trying to do the right thing"... Better journalists than Steve Lewis — already caught once with the Utegate affair, secretly designed by some Liberal nutter to sink Turnbull and promote Abbott (Gone troppo Abbott) rather than to harm the Labor government — would have seen a certain smell of stench coming from the Ashby camp and gone to the story with a pair of tongs and a gas mask. Steve Lewis was after Slipper, not after Brough, Pyne or that sorry lot, which he should have exposed... but kept hidden.

Because let's face it, though Lewis can claim he was doing a legit investigation of Slipper since 2010, his investigation was soon spoon-fed by these stooges of the Liberal Party: Pyne, Brough, Bishop (Julie) and Hockey indirectly ... via Ashby himself as well as his PR machine... They tried too hard... They piled on too much sauce...  Sure Slipper is not the flavour of the month anymore but should other journalists start to investigate properly the who caper, unless they fear for their lives, the dirt under the carpet  will be found to be liberally sky high...


meanwhile, saint narcissus likes himself...



The day starts with his signing birthday cards. Constituents get one for their 21st birthday, and for each major birthday afterwards. Next is Facebook, which Pyne monitors himself. “I have 6026 likes on my Facebook site, which is a few more than yesterday,” he says happily. “I usually go through the comments, because there will always be a rogue troll who pops their name down not because they like me but because they don’t like me, which I can’t fathom. And I remove them because this is a ‘likes’ page.”

Pyne likes to be liked. Old women stop him in the street to thank him for things, and he mostly remembers their names. His office is staffed almost exclusively by adoring women who keep pictures of a young Pyne pinned to boards above their desks, alongside pug dogs in ties and religious paraphernalia. On a filing cabinet is a picture of Julia Gillard beside the phrase “Flying Start”. The first letter of each word has been crossed out.

“My wife sometimes says, ‘I don’t think that person likes you.’ And I say, ‘How could they not like me? What are you talking about?’ And she says, ‘I think you’re missing the social signals.’ I’ve been in [parliament] for nearly 20 years … and if I took the comments that have been made about me personally, it would be hard, really, to keep doing this job.”

Pyne is likeable.

I hope Jensen wrote this crap tongue-in-cheek but one never knows when one claims that "Pyne is likeable"... I guess Christopher writes his own glorious birthday cards while looking at the reflection of his navel in a mirror... See toon at top and read articles from top down...


of pyne, brough and dirt...


Later this week, or early next week, we expect to formally receive a legal opinion which suggests Mal Brough may have committed a criminal offence by conspiring with Ashby and Doane to copy Slipper’s diary. With Federal Court judge Steven Rares’ decision about Brough being in a combination with others to bring down the Government should have been enough to get him disendorsed — one would expect this be the final straw.

If it is not, then we will see that the LNP under Tony Abbott hold their opponents to far higher standards than they hold themselves.

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brough lies some more...

Former Howard government minister and LNP candidate Mal Brough has denied saying he wanted to "destroy" his political rival, Peter Slipper.

Queensland mining magnate and Palmer United Party founder Clive Palmer says he met Mr Brough in April last year.

Mr Palmer says during the meeting Mr Brough outlined a potential sexual harassment case against Mr Slipper.

Mr Palmer says Mr Brough was seeking funds to pursue the case.

"He said to me, we need to destroy Peter Slipper," Mr Palmer said.

This afternoon, Mr Brough held a media conference to respond to the claims.

"I just want to say straight out that I deny the comments that have been made today by Mr Palmer," he said.

He says he did meet Mr Palmer, but he has accused the mining boss of changing his story about what happened.


If one had to choose between Brough and Palmer, one would have to say Palmer is far more credible, despite being eccentric... At least, Palmer does weird things in the open, while Brough is a secret back room dealer in dirt. Here, Brough is accusing Palmer of "changing his story", while Brough changed his version of his involvement in the Ashby affair, like one changes underpants from one day to the next...

Pyne lied.... (updated)


Christopher Pyne promised James Ashby – the staffer who made a sexual harassment claim against former speaker Peter Slipper – that he would receive a lawyer and an ongoing job in either state or federal politics after the young man sought advice about his situation, Ashby has claimed.

Pyne, now the education minister, has always denied prior knowledge of Ashby’s explosive 2012 allegations and has said “the first time I knew about the unfortunate federal court application was when I read about it in the News Ltd press”.

But in an interview on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Ashby claimed he did discuss the issue with Pyne, after confiding his concerns about the speaker’s behaviour to another Coalition MP, Wyatt Roy.

“I sat down at his desk and I said to [Pyne], ‘Wyatt’s discussed my situation with you.’ He didn’t really acknowledge the question. He sort of just allowed me to continue talking. And I said to him, “I just need to know that my job is safe and that a lawyer will be provided.” And he said they would. He did say to me, though, that I may never want to come back to Canberra, that I may choose to take up a job within state politics instead,” Ashby alleged.

“I think what he was trying to do is pre-warn me that things are gonna get hot. And I remember the conversation didn’t last too long at all. We literally got up from his table, he walked me towards the door, he said to me, “You’re a braver man than I am,” as we exited and said, “If you discuss or tell anyone we’ve had this discussion, I’ll be forced to come out publicly and call you a pathological liar.”

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Pyne lied. He should resign. He should leave parliament. End of story. We know Pyne lied about his education promises made before the elections and apparently here he lied on the Ashby /Slipper affair. Even if he claims he cannot remember what happened, this would simply mean that he's to much of a loose brain. He is not fit to be a parliamentarian, either way.

Pyne "lied" on many other occasions where he twisted the truth to suit a mediocre petty whining agenda. Considering Pyne acts like a petty vengeful aggro man, he will try to defend the indefensible with denial and petty means... Mind you, it's possible that Ashby "having lied before" is now telling the truth about Christopher Pyne.. 

Brave indeed... See toon at top...


On reflection, one has to ask the question : Why did Ashby waited this long to "reveal" his conversation with Pyne? Several hypothesis could be made here. 

a) the way Ashby "recalls" the conversation is to give credibility to his tale of sexual abuse. Because in telling us about what "Pyne was going to do", it reinforces the idea that Ashby was telling the truth about Slipper.

b) Should Ashby not be telling the truth, he would be masking what Pyne told him to do, which could have been to scam Peter Slipper with a sexual charge, in order to get Slipper out of parliament.

c) They just had a drink but now Pyne is being used by Ashby to promote more falsehoods...

d) In any circumstances Pyne "lied" on claiming he had not asked for Ashby's contact details and latter was shown he had.


A sordid affair which for all account, like that of Craig Thomson, could most likely have been set up by the Liberal (CONservative) dirt unit in order to eliminate duly elected representatives and enforce elections. The Craig Thomson affair is slowly unravelling with the exposure of "witness" Kathy Jackson possibly having been a fraud and her links with the Liberal (CONservative) party. See Jacksonville.

Eventually, hopefully, the Ashby tales will unravel and take a few people down with him — including Pyne, Brough, Abbott and Hockey.

Unsavoury in any case. I am prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to Pyne, as Ashby could still be trying to still portray that Slipper had been making sexual advances in order to prepare another attack on something. A few other alternatives can come up, including cash possibly paid by 60 Minutes for the "exclusive" interview?





James Ashby, the man who made sexual harassment claims against former House of Representatives speaker Peter Slipper, has claimed Coalition frontbencher Christopher Pyne offered to organise a lawyer for him and assured him of a job.

Mr Pyne has denied the claims, saying it was a dispute between two individuals that does not involve him or any other member of the Government.

Mr Ashby later dropped the Federal Court case against Slipper, who has always denied the harassment allegations.

But despite that, Mr Ashby renewed the allegations in an interview on Channel Nine's 60 Minutes, telling the program he spoke to LNP MP Wyatt Roy about the harassment, and that Mr Roy then spoke to Mr Pyne on his behalf.

Mr Ashby told the program he kept a diary and recorded visiting Mr Pyne's office.

"Said a lawyer would be paid for as promised and I would have a job - state LNP politics or federal - if I chose to come back," Mr Ashby said.

He said that assurance was significant

See also:,6873


See toon at top.

abbott in cool fudgeville...

Tony Abbott has refused to say whether he or his education minister had any “general” knowledge of James Ashby’s sexual harassment claim against the former Speaker Peter Slipper before it was lodged, but insisted that “squalid, sordid, miserable period in our national life … is now all in the past”.

In an interview on Sunday, Ashby claimed Christopher Pyne had promised him he would receive a lawyer and a job in either state or federal politics after Ashby, who was Slipper’s media adviser, sought advice about his situation.

In a statement after Ashby’s interview with Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes, Pyne said: “I had no specific knowledge of the allegations made by Mr Ashby and the first I knew that he was suing Mr Slipper was when I read it in the newspapers.”

After the case became public in 2012, Abbott also said he had had no “specific” knowledge of it.

Asked on Monday whether he or Pyne had had any general knowledge of Ashby’s intentions, the prime minister said: “Well, I certainly stand by everything that I’ve said about this and I am confident that Christopher will stand by everything that he’s said about this business.”

slowly, the silly worm comes out of the dirt...


Education Minister Christopher Pyne has suggested that James Ashby may have "misinterpreted" a discussion they had in which the former speaker's aide claims the senior Liberal promised him a new job and a lawyer in the event he took legal action against his boss Peter Slipper over sexual harassment claims.

Mr Pyne, who has constantly denied "specific knowledge" of Mr Ashby's sexual harassment allegations against Mr Slipper before they were made public, confirmed at a media conference in Adelaide on Monday that he had known the staffer was "uncomfortable" working for the then speaker, and was aware of rumours that long swirled around Mr Slipper.

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Please let's not forget that Pyne denied anything (see story and toon at top) and then because his trousers were taken down, he fudged his "I don't remember whatever" to "it may have happened" position. People like Pyne who do not remember such important conversation should get out of the political system. They are a BIG worry if they don't remember what they are doing... which at most time is crap... especially in the field of education.
Pyne should resign — and his protector Abbott should go as well, for saying crap and fudge, to demean Slipper further with intent, while claiming to place a full stop on the saga...
Here, on this site, because of the way it is constructed, our old kooks' fading memory is replaced by a fantastic computerised steel-trap technological chronology of events, that does not forget a single stuff up.
Pyne lies more and more... He should resign if he had any spine left, which I believe left him a long time ago. He acts like a silly wriggling earth worm...


squalid, sordid, miserable abbott period...


James Ashby’s case against Peter Slipper and the Commonwealth, and the associated infusion of media and political involvement, would have to be one of the grubbiest assaults on a government in recent memory. Importantly, Ashby’s allegations on 60 Minutes show that the original claims abuse of process, which were dismissed on appeal by the full federal court, are actually alive and kicking.

The sequence of events is well known. The sexual harassment claims against the Speaker were struck out in December 2012 by Justice Steven Rares. He found that the real purpose of the litigation was to bring down the Speaker and damage the minority government, and should never have been brought in the court.

That was subsequently overturned by a full court majority in February. It left us with two judges saying this was more about politics than the law, and two saying this was more about the law than politics. Contrary to spin from the Ashby camp, the full court made no findings of fact about his allegations. That was to be determined by a trial that never happened because the complainant withdrew from the contest.

The main game was always about politics. The litigation was a means by which maximum distress could be inflicted on the minority government, and Liberal politicians were in there with their ears back.

Ashby told the 60 Minutes audience on Sunday night that Tony Abbott’s frontbench attack dog Christopher Pyne knew of his sexual harassment allegations against Slipper and knew about the staffer’s proposed litigation against the speaker. He had spoken directly to the then shadow minister in his parliamentary office.

As Ashby agreed last night, in a carefully choreographed interview with Liz Hayes, this information was “dynamite in Pyne’s hands”.

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"... squalid, sordid, miserable period in our national life" is still here and it's called "Tony Abbott...”.

It has been quite obvious to most intelligent people to imagine that the "Ashby case" was a political stunt secretly set up by the Liberals (CONservatives) right wing neo-fascists, to remove elected members of parliament in order to destabilise the Gillard government.

Same caper with the attacks on Craig Thomson by journos using Kathy Jackson as an informant.

see toon at top...

three popes for the price of one...


Under the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's travel guidelines, ministers' spouses are not normally allowed to go on trips and are only entitled to if they have an invitation from a foreign government or host organisation and an official program of events separate to that of the minister.

"It is not sufficient to include the spouse in the minister's existing program of meetings. The travel must be justified and defensible," the guidelines state.

The Department of Education has revealed in response to a Freedom of Information request that it has no documents showing a foreign government invitation for Mrs Pyne nor an official program of events for her.

But documents published by the Finance Department show Prime Minister Tony Abbott's chief of staff Peta Credlin approved Mrs Pyne's travel because of the "significant representational aspect of the travel".

Mr Pyne, whose chief of staff also accompanied him, attended Anzac Day events in London on April 25 and went to Rome the next day to attend the canonisation of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

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Meanwhile, may I ask you what is the difference between a visit of the Vatican by Mr Pyne (and his wife) at the commonwealth expense or sampling a couple of wineries at the commonwealth expense, as apparently Mr Slipper did?... Well, in the Book of Gus (far better than the Book of Job), Mr Slipper made the right choice. Pyne is a sneaky turd, leaching off the public purse while denying a future to education, by his selective university price fixing. Idiotic and hypocritical. I did not expect anything more, or less, from him.
Peta Credlin should resign as well as Mr Pyne.


the main art of politics is hiding the length of your nose...


Questions have been raised over Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s political judgement after one of his new ministers, Mal Brough, last night allegedly lied about his involvement in the “Ashbygate” scandal, before then angrily bullying a female ABC radio presenter.

Appearing on the ABC’s Lateline programme, newly appointed Special Minister of State Mal Brough reacted furiously to questions by host Emma Alberici about his involvement in bringing down former Speaker Peter Slipper, whose former seat of Fisher he now occupies.

Brough, a former minister in the Howard Government, appeared to blatantly lie in response to a question about whether he had arranged for former Slipper staffer James Ashby to copy Peter Slipper’s confidential work diary — something he had openly admitted to Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes last year.

After an amicable start, Alberici raised Brough’s involvement in the plot against Peter Slipper in the latter stages of the interview.


Brough started losing his cool after his involvement with James Ashby  [IA emphasis]:

Alberici: You asked Peter Slipper's staffer James Ashby to make copies of Peter Slipper's private diary. Was that appropriate?”

Brough: “No, that's not correct. I mean, I know that that's what's been reported, but that is not exactly the right description of what occurred. But what I can tell you is that I stand by every action that I've taken...”

Alberici: “What part of what I just said then was not accurate?”

Brough: Well all of these matters have been canvassed and dealt with by the courts, not that I was ever involved ...”

Alberici: “But you've previously admitted that you asked for the procurement of those diaries. You've admitted on the public record.”

Brough: “When you ask me a question, I'm trying to give you a straight answer…”

However, in a 60 Minutes exposé aired on 7 September last year, Mr Brough openly admitted to procuring James Ashby and Karen Doane to take unauthorised copies of the official diary of the then Speaker of the House of Representatives:

Liz Hayes:  “Did you ask James Ashby to procure copies of Peter Slipper’s diary for you?”

Mal Brough: “Yes I did.”

Can @albericie @lateline ask Brough if AFP are still investigating his role in theft of Slipper's diary? #AshbyGate

— Bradley C Hughes (@Entregreeneur) September 21, 2015

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Attorney-General Graham Perrett wrote to the CDPP at the time, asking for both Ashby and Brough to be prosecuted over this admission.

In a press release issued today, Perrett had the following statement:

Special Minister of State is a particularly important portfolio having responsibility for key integrity agencies such as the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Australian National Audit Office, the Australian Electoral Commission and administration of the parliamentary entitlements framework.

Mr Brough’s involvement in [the] Ashby Affair raises serious questions about whether he is fit for this important office.

The revived minister also appears to have lied about a Federal Court judgement that stated Brough being involved in a “combination” to bring down Peter Slipper, saying Justice Rares’ judgement had been “overturned” on appeal.

This was incorrect. Rares’ ruling had not been “overturned”, but rather set aside, with an appeal being granted against Rares’ judgement of an “abuse of process” by Ashby and his lawyers, Harmers. You can find out more details about this HERE and HERE.

Brough furiously demanded Alberici read out the ruling by the Federal Court. Alberici did not have it on hand and so Brough again attacked her angrily, demanding she read it out the following night.

It should be remembered Brough has been reported as having difficulties controlling his rage on numerous occasions in the past.

Malcolm Farr recalls Brough's tanty at a Press/Pollies cricket match. Nasty piece of work then. He still is #auspol

— Stephen Clements (@supercededman1) September 7, 2014

The minister was presumably referring to the following two paragraphs from the majority judgement (one of the three judges did dissent from this ruling):

We are satisfied that the evidence before the primary judge did not warrant the adverse finding said to constitute and abuse of the Court’s processes on the two bases found and did not warrant the rejection by his Honour of the sworn and unchallenged evidence of each of Ashby and Harmer.

We would give Ashby leave to appeal and allow Ashby’s appeal. There should be an order accordingly. The order dismissing the proceeding should be set aside and in lieu thereof there should be orders that Slipper’s interlocutory application be dismissed with costs. Slipper should pay the costs of the application by Ashby for leave to appeal as well as the appeal.

This meant the Court had granted leave for the full case to be heard again from the beginning — something the appellant, Ashby, chose never to pursue.

This was no sort of vindication for anyone involved, particularly not Brough, since it left open the likelihood that Rares’ findings against him being supported had the case ever been heard again.

More importantly, a later judgement by Justice Flick overturned the costs order against Slipper, saying Ashby had denied Slipper justice by not pursuing the appeal.

In his ruling on 11 September 2014, Justice Flick said:

Had the matter proceeded to hearing, it would inevitably have been the case that the competing factual accounts would have been vigorously contested.

The discontinuance of the proceeding by Mr Ashby left Mr Slipper in the position where his rebuttal of the allegations remained unresolved and the allegations made by Mr Ashby left untested by cross-examination.

This left Ashby needing to pay all his own costs — a significant, and costly, defeat.

Flick’s ruling an Ashbygate gamechanger @IndependentAus A long way from over.

— Geezlouise (@Turlow1) September 11, 2014

It also means that Brough’s statement that the matter had been fully dealt with by the court was misleading and, arguably, another lie.

Questions must be raised about Malcolm Turnbull’s political judgement in appointing as special minister of state − with power over the electoral system and the Federal Ombudsman, among other key responsibilities – who is tarnished by his involvement in sordid political intrigue, his anger management issues and, most importantly, a cavalier attitude towards telling the truth.

Graham Perrett says the position of Special Minister of State is too important to go to a person of such questionable integrity:

The Special Minister of State is the de facto Minister for Integrity with responsibility for several important integrity agencies.  The Special Minister of State must be beyond reproach in their behaviour, past and present.

The Australian people expect Mr Turnbull’s new government to be equipped with people appropriately appointed to carry out their responsibilities.  The Special Minister of State position is too important to be used as a reward for treachery.

It should also be remembered that Independent Australia has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that Brough has lied about his involvement in Ashbygate on numerous previous occasions.

There is also significant questions about the manner in which Brough brought about the Northern Territory Intervention during the Howard Government as Indigenous Affairs Minister, which also allegedly appears to have involved deception and which, curiously, also involved Lateline.

As we reported on IA:

In 2006, when Mal Brough was Minister for Indigenous Affairs in the Howard Government, he went on Lateline on May 16th and made the brazen claim that paedophilia was rife in Aboriginal communities and that

“Everybody in those communities knows who runs the paedophile rings.”

Consequently, the accusation caused a stir and Brough was challenged to provide evidence to back up the statement — which he never did. Five weeks later, after Lateline apparently receiving many calls and tip offs that supported Brough’s claim, they pursued the story further and landed an exclusive interview with a former “youth worker” who witnessed such crimes in an Aboriginal community. Later it was found out the so-called “youth worker”, who’s name and identity was concealed in the interview, was actually Gregory Andrews, a senior bureaucrat in then Minister Brough’s own Department.

Emergency Intervention: Is Turnbull About To Bring Back Brough; Declare War On Black Oz?

— newmatilda (@newmatilda) September 19, 2015

And with Independent Australia and Ross Jones’ three year investigation into Ashbygate being released in book form next month, with Mal Brough starring, Malcolm Turnbull’s honeymoon as new PM could suffer a very early hiccup.

You can follow David Donovan on Twitter @davrosz. The Ashbygate book mentioned in this piece is due out in print and e-book form in the very near future. If you would like to pre-order this book, please email us here.

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See toon at top and read from top... See also:


what seems to be the end of the ashby saga...

In a final vindication, former Speaker Peter Slipper defeats James Ashby in the Federal Court yet again, leaving Ashby's lawyers to foot all Slipper's former staffer's exorbitant legal costs.

THURSDAY 21 April 2016 was another dark day Harmers Workplace Lawyers. On that day last week, its long, abusive fight against Peter Slipper ended in ignominy. As in all four legs in the air.

The Federal Court, which had been forced to endure the Ashby/Slipper "Ashbygate" farce since June 2012, can now close its files.

Here's what happened

Way back in June 2012, only a month after the allegations against Slipper were first aired, there was a stoush about the points of claim. Slipper had submitted his diaries had been accessed "unlawfully", then decided to withdraw that allegation — mainly because it seemed too complex an argument to prove at the time.

Accordingly, Harmers had to adjust its points of claim. Changes cost money and Harmers asked Justice Rares for an order that the Slipper team meet the cost. Rares, who seemed to have the hump at Slipper at the time, agreed and, on 17 August, went one step further by awarding indemnity costs. Indemnity cost orders, as against standard cost orders, have the dollars based on the solicitor’s actual charges rather than standard scale fee charges. So that was a win for Harmers.

Then, in a rollercoaster for all concerned, Justice Rares threw the Ashby matter out as an abuse of process in December 2012, before Harmers hit back in May 2013 by lodging a leave to appeal. Harmers hit again in February 2014 whenleave to appeal was granted.

In June 2014 the firm bottled and decided not to proceed with its appeal. Various self-serving reasons were put forward but none passed sunlight. They simply didn’t have a leg to stand on and they knew it. Plus, it would have put many of the supporting cast in a nasty spot.

As part of this bottling process, the Ashby/Harmer team agreed to certain terms, one of which was that Slipper retained the right to ask for the indemnity cost order be set aside and, on 11 September 2014, it was.

Harmer lodged an appeal against this setting aside and lost. Decisively.

Game, set & match! Full FedCourt rejects Ashby final appeal, favouring Slipper #ashbygate

— Michael Danby MP (@MichaelDanbyMP) April 22, 2016

Their Honours Gilmore, Siopsis and Mansfield, the same trio who granted Ashby’s leave to appeal, this time decided:

'… the appeal is to be dismissed. The applicant should pay to the respondent his costs of the application for leave to appeal, and of the appeal.'

The final wash up of this attempt to abuse the court system to further the interests of the Coalition leaves Harmers Workplace Lawyers facing, according to Ashby, cost in the vicinity around $3m. 

It serves them right.

You can read the full judgement of the Federal Court in this matter HERE.

Find out how you can order IA's new book Ashbygate: the plot to destroy Australia's Speaker, by Sydney bureau chief Ross Jones, by clickingHERE.

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See toon at top. Read from top about how dirty Australian politics are, especially when someone called Abbott swims in it — the little shit. Let's hope he never comes back to that grubby swimming cesspool in Canberra.

CONsulting about nothing they can talk about...


Christopher Pyne lands a new job

Not two months out of Parliament, and former defence minister Christopher Pyne has set a startlingly brisk pace finding things with which to fill his time since departing Canberra.


That puts him on track to follow his Cabinet colleague Julie Bishop into the world of consulting, with the former foreign minister teaming up with her long-time chief-of-staff Murray Hansento start Julie Bishop & Partners.

We're also told Pyne has struck a deal with accounting and consultancy major EY, where he will work one day a week providing advice about an area of expertise — defence.

There is, of course, the small matter of the Ministerial Code of Conduct, which prohibits former ministers from lobbying or meeting with MPs, the public service or the defence force "on any matter on which they have had official dealings as Minister in their last eighteen months in office".

That restriction is in place for 18 months after departure.

Who could forget former small business minister Bruce Billson's run-in with those same guidelines, having drawn a salary from the Franchise Council of Australia before he left Parliament.

Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet secretary Martin Parkinson decided he had not breached the rules, although he was eventually censured by Parliament last year.

Pyne, of course, won't be the first political heavyweight to head to the Big Four accountancy firms, with former Turnbull government minister Jamie Briggs only last month promoted to run PwC Australia's Adelaide office as the firm's managing director (he joined in 2016).

Former Australian Workers' Union boss Paul Howes has also risen quickly at rival outfit KPMG, last month becoming one of the firm's 12-person national leadership team.


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So far, as much as we know, Tony Abbott is still unemployed (He does not need cash — he has a comfy pension)... But he might be plotting revenge or go on a world trip to spruik "his" record, who knows...

if this was finance, he would be charged with insider trading...

The former defence minister Christopher Pyne ignited fresh criticism this week when he took a job with consulting giant EY to help expand its defence business.

Pyne’s acceptance of the job has again put Australia’s revolving door between politics and business into stark relief.

Rules governing post-ministerial employment are weak and unenforced. They look laughable next to the five year-ban US president Donald Trump placed on members of his administration becoming lobbyists in 2017.


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Read from top.


the pub test of ministerial misconduct as seen from a brothel...



Lambie wanted to know whether an ordinary member of the public could get on to Stewart in five or 10 minutes? Yes, Parkinson thought. You’d only need to ring EY’s switchboard in Adelaide.

Hanging in the room was a supplementary question, neither posed, nor answered – why would a partner in a major consulting firm return an unsolicited call from a member of the public with whom he had no relationship? It seemed reasonably unlikely.

A slightly Pythonesque exchange ensued. Could the secretary, Lambie wondered, track down Stewart’s private number in five or 10 minutes as flagged, and then table it in Friday’s proceedings. Parkinson said he was “not inclined to do that” but offered to locate the company switchboard number instead. After a brief shuffling of papers, the switchboard number was procured.

Lambie was unimpressed with Parkinson failing to produce Stewart’s private number. Parkinson was unimpressed with his cameo in Lambie’s now obvious blindingly homily about the objective difference between people circulating in the political class, then seamlessly circulating in the corporate world, and the people left outside that networked eco-system, looking in on it, wondering whether the whole caper was cooked.

If the public doesn’t have access to information, like Stewart’s number, or the defence departmental head’s number, then that was private information, restricted to those in the know, Lambie insisted. Like Pyne, was her unstated rebuke.

“No,” Parkinson said, ever so slightly at sea in the Parable of the Insider. “Did Pyne have access to this private information,” Lambie wondered. “I have absolutely no idea,” Parkinson said, ever so slightly exasperated. “Senator, I did not ask”.

Parkinson fronted the committee on Friday because he’d investigated and cleared (in exemplary bureaucratese) Pyne and Bishop of breaching rules in the ministerial standards designed to stop ministers using their inside knowledge and contacts for private gain.

Having been asked by Scott Morrison to investigate, Parkinson spoke to both and found in July “no grounds to believe that either Mr Pyne of Ms Bishop [had] breached the standards”.

The non-government senators were inclined to see fundamental errors in Parkinson’s reasoning. But as the secretary pointed out, he was the keeper of a code of bipartisan creation. The ministerial standards had remained the same for 12 years – there under Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, and there under Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison.

Parkinson said he was not required to administer the “pub test”, he was required to administer a document formulated by his political masters. Lest this nuance be unclear, he told the displeased senators he had “no investigative powers” and “no legislative backing” – his remit was to speak to protagonists thought to be at risk of breach, and make judgments.

When speaking to Pyne and Bishop, at Morrison’s behest, about whether their new roles were or were not consistent with the code, he carried with him a presumption of innocence. Perhaps I’m “naive”, Parkinson said, but he professed to taking the information he was given at face value “unless I can find other information”.

Implied by the witness, but not stated – that would be indelicate, although certainly not unwarranted – was the people who had the power to do something about the blindingly obvious laxity of the ministerial standards were the people asking the questions.

The political masters. Not the bureaucrat answering their questions in his last hours serving the Australian public.

And with that, Parkinson was thanked for his service, tidied his papers, and walked into the next chapter of life.


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Bunch of flunking flubbering idiots who as ministers gave themselves the key to the golden cabinet, before resigning and coming back as "consultant" to their former old jobs. If you think it stinks, go to the sewage works at Manly or Bondi. The smell could be only a question of quantity of counted turds rather than the government's hidden ones. Did I say that Bishop and Pyne were turds? Make your own judgement...