Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Stench That Grows And Lingers

THE WAYS of Labor politicians really are a mystery. There is Mark Arbib, sitting pretty and looking very secure. Julia Gillard, the golem he helped install in The Lodge, has just put down Kevin Rudd's challenge and, at least for the moment, there is the prospect of relative tranquility. Even better, as Minister for Sports -- a very comfy portfolio, one would imagine -- Arbib has tickets and reservations in hand for London and the upcoming Olympics' fun and games.

Yet yesterday, at the ripe age of 40, he throws it all in and quits,  offering no better explanation than a desire to spend more time with his family. What gives? Eventually, the rest of the quality press may follow Kate McClymont's lead and take a hard look at the web of connections and intrigue which has been Arbib's turf since his days in nappies, when his first words may well have been "sweetheart deals".

In the meantime, as the quality press rejoices in clear air, energetic blogger  Kangaroo Court is wondering if a certain police investigation of Craig Thomson and the HSU cesspit might have prompted Arbib's decision to spend more time with nippers on knee. Kangaroo Court makes the following observations:

1. Mark Arbib has been living in Canberra with Alexandra Williamson,  the daughter of the HSU President Michael Williamson, who is being investigated by the police. Ms Williamson is a staffer in the office of the Prime Minister Julia Gillard. I have to wonder why she has not resigned or why Gillard has not gotten rid of her, maybe Mr Arbib has had something to do with that?

2. Mark Arbib helped negotiate the NSW ALP paying for Craig Thomson’s legal bill.

3. Mark Arbib has some serious questions to answer in relation to the unit he bought in Maroubra. It is very strange indeed. Like what price did he pay and was he given a discount?

4. If Craig did steal from the HSU (which everyone in the country knows he did), could the legal fees paid by the NSW ALP be seen as an attempt to conceal a crime? Definitely worth a close look by the police.

5. We all know that FWA has been deliberately delaying their investigation into Craig Thomson. Given that it is ex-union officials at FWA doing the investigation, has Mark Arbib used his union contacts to help delay the investigation on behalf of his mates Craig Thomson and Michael Williamson?

Good questions. Wouldn't it be nice if McClymont's sleuthing  were to be boosted by the inquiries of fellow senior reporters?


  1. I would think that if all pollies were thoroughly investigated by a combined Police and Tax Office Task Force , there would be a few surprises for us ! Even those of us who KNOW a lot of them are self seeking crooks ,would probably be surprised at how deep the corruption goes ,.

  2. I find it ironic that Prior to yesterday's "spill", Gillard's backers were calling on Rudd to give assurances that if he won he would not hold grudges against those that deposed him...

    ... and yet now it is appearing more and more likely that Gillard is going to swing the axe at any Minister or other member of Cabinet (Parliamentary Secretaries, etc) who showed their 'disloyalty' by voting for Rudd.

    I wonder if Rob Dipschitt (err... I mean Oakeschott) is happy with this new 'Unity' Julia is displaying....

  3. Forgive my ignorance, but what would resigning do? How would it shield him from seemingly inevitable questioning by the investigators?

    1. Keeps some of his "entitlements".

      More than happy to help.

  4. It would be lovely, but it won't happen. Even the IPA is navel gazing over the Canberra 'who cares' ballot. Rob Burgess at Business Spectator is writing about how Julia is now going to romp home at the next election. That's the standard of our journalists.

  5. Go McClymont...a very good investigative journalist. There is a stench over the whole ALP crew. Last night I gagged when I saw Emerson talk about how hard it was for politicians with children and how they missed them. This is the man who partnered Julia.

    1. Mother G how very genteel of you 'partnered' indeed.

  6. This one had me wondering yesterday too Perfesser.
    Initially I thought that maybe a handful of caucus waverers had got together and agreed to support Gillard on the proviso that Arbib walks the plank.

    The whole ‘family reasons’ is very weird given his bride works in Canberra in Gillard’s office.
    And, you’re right to say that Minister for Sport would not be a very taxing gig – I would imagine that even the Lethargic Lion could hold down the Ministry of Linament and Steroids without having to resort to energy drinks and still have time to run a Jim’s Mowing franchise and a paper round (well, an SMH paper round anyway).
    So it gets me to wonderin’ …… what is really goin’ on here?

    Now, the ‘wheels within wheels’ story you spin has me thinking of the old adage, “when faced with a conspiracy or a stuff-up, go for the stuff-up every time”.
    But herein lies the beauty of the NSW ALP as the exception to the rule, which leaves it open to us to tick “all of the above”.
    They are capable of both the conspiracy AND the stuff-up simultaneously.

    The Irish Lion

    1. Bill Shorten's Mother-in-Law got a medal for supporting Women's Cricket. Which she wears.

      Gives her as many as I have.

    2. But Anonymous, I will bet you earned yours.

  7. Methinks Kevvie Baby has the photos of Arbib and the goat.

    Arbib's resignation was obviously tied to Rudd's proclamation of undying love and unswerving fealty to the Droner from Altona. In exchange for this proclamation, a sacrifice had to be made, and who better for the altar slab than the chief architect of Rudd's dismissal than Arbib?

    How did Rudd extract his revenge? Perhaps he threatened to resign from Parliament which would have resulted in a bi-election in Griffith. Given that he suffered a 9% swing against him there in 2010, it is highly likely that a bi-election would have gone to the LNP, resulting in the downfall of the Gillard government.

    So he probably made a deal with Gillard, sack Arbib or I walk.

    Either that or he has those photos.

  8. I am a voter, hear me roar
    In numbers too big to ignore
    And I know too much to go back an' pretend
    'cause I've heard it all before
    And I've seen Julia there on the floor
    She’s never gonna knife me no more

  9. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.February 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Kangaroo Court is a very fine addition to the Billabong reference desk, Buynip. What a lot of nasty things live under upturned stones as we track up towards Mordor and the haunts of Golem.

    "My precious", she whispers, as she cradles the Prime Ministership lovingly in her two hands.

    But ample nose upwards! Does she sniff an investigative journalist in the winds, ascending Mount Doom? "O my precious, my precious. Carus. Dilectus."

    And finis. Endgame, Golem.

  10. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.February 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Hey Prof, did wonder at the time if it was my spelling that was wonky, or yours. Mea culpa. My reference is Tokien's Gollum.

    Yours via your link, which I left unread: In Hebrew, "golem" stands for "shapeless mass." The Talmud uses the word as "unformed" or "imperfect".

    Same diff, really.

  11. This is all very important Prof but I was hoping we might start a little blog campaign to come up with nicknames for our pollies. Seems we lack them for most. My first suggestion - Craig Raw Dog Thompson.

    1. Quentin Bryce: Her Waxen Magnificence The Governor-General.

  12. For heaven's sake Professor, can you not bundle these questions up and send them to Tony Abbott' office? I know the Labor fracas and the obliging, obsequious press have kept the conservatives from the newpapers and airwaves, but sometimes I wonder if we have an opposition. We need to hear them louder and clearer. I have emailed Mr Abbott's contact details with the same message. Thanks.

  13. 4. If Craig did steal from the HSU (which everyone in the country knows he did), could the legal fees paid by the NSW ALP be seen as an attempt to conceal a crime? Definitely worth a close look by the police.

    Paying Thompson's legal bills was to do with keeping him in Parliament. There was a serious risk of bankruptcy, which would have disqualified Thompson for Parliament and brought down this excuse of a government (at the time). If Arbib hadn't done the arranging, it's a certainty someone else would have.
    The unpaid legal fees were to do with Thompson's failed libel action against the newspaper that had published details of his credit card exploits. The little thug was going to make the newspaper pay out big time, until Jackson decided she'd had enough of the stench.

  14. Forgive me if I'm wrong; but now that Slipper is Speaker, don't the ratbags have a one-seat margin before their hopes die screaming? So they could afford to lose Thomson or Rudd, but not both?

  15. Almost everyone has forgotten about Craig "Randy" Thomson's $100,000 neighbourhood cash advances drawn upon said card.

    This is simply income and SURELY attracts some form of taxation liability.

    You'd think the ATO would be bashing the HSU's door down (judging by how they like to hound small businesses for minute amounts).

    Where are the ATO? Or let me guess, they're on a similar ALP-mate go-slow?

    Surely not???