Criminal Union Filth: Dragging Cosgrove Into #TURC Will Backfire

MILITANT, LAWLESS unions are calling in debts from their ALP stooges today, with the mad rush to nobble Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon and/or trash his inquiry into union criminality ramping up with wilful disregard for the laws of the land. Now, miscreant Labor has hatched a plot for Governor-General Peter Cosgrove to dissolve the Commission. The move will backfire spectacularly, and in ways it has clearly not foreseen or would choose.

Those who follow me on Twitter (@theredandblue) will know that over the past week — ever since the revelation of unbelievable stupidity involving NSW Liberals inviting trade union Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon to address a function they were organising became public — I have repeatedly made the point that if all the Heydon Commission really was is a politically motivated witch hunt, there would be no need to clamour to have it closed down: there would be nothing to find. Or to hide.

And those readers who have been with me over the journey in this column will have heard me say, many times, that Labor cares about power, not people: although in the present circumstances the obvious exception is people who happen to be lawless union thugs on the run from justice.

It hardly befits a party masquerading as fit to govern Australia, irrespective of what you think of the Abbott government.

I stand by the article published in this column on Monday, and apologise once again for the dearth of comment I’ve provided of late: the event that occurred in the skies over Sydney last Tuesday night continues to leave me drained and a bit rattled, and combined with a nevertheless unrelenting schedule the time for writing content has been scant.

But the central point — to use the vernacular and, to be blunt if crude — that whoever the fucking idiot at the NSW Liberals was who saw fit to invite Heydon to a Liberal Party function (irrespective of the semantic declamations that have since emerged) ought to be run out of the party remains valid, and the fact such an invitation would inevitably result in the mother of all shitfights with a Labor/unions opponent prepared to fight to the death using virtually any conceivable tactic was foreseeable makes it inexplicable the invitation was ever issued.

Any doubt around this can be dispelled by a simple viewing of most Twitter feeds (even the ones not ostensibly selected to provide political news) and/or the most cursory reading of any newspaper in the country: Labor and the unions have gone on the warpath over the Royal Commission in a way they have rarely — if ever — done previously, and even the possible exception of the events of November 1975 struggles to match the raw fury and self-obsessed, terrified, base survival instincts they are exhibiting now.

Yet speaking of 1975 and the inescapable allusion to vice-regal power, it seems the ALP might have finally overreached in its response to its manufactured debacle over Heydon’s agreement to give the Garfield Barwick Lecture; its newly-minted attack plans are likely to explode spectacularly in its collective face, and backfire on both the Labor Party and the unions in ways they obviously have failed to consider.

I read last night with some amusement a piece in the Herald Sun from Andrew Bolt, which detailed a Labor plot — led by arch-socialist and left wing Senate leader Penny Wong — to use a long-abandoned mechanism, avoided by convention in modern times lest the office of Governor-General be politicised, to empower present viceroy Sir Peter Cosgrove to dissolve the Royal Commission into the trade union movement on the grounds Dyson Heydon had “failed to uphold the standards of impartiality” expected of him.

I was amused by this because I didn’t think even a desperate ALP obliged by its puppeteers and paymasters at the unions to do something, anything to get the arses of the crooks in their midst out of the sling would be so stupid as to try to revive an obsolete legal mechanism on such a dubious pretext, and at such obvious risk to its own reputation as a political outfit purporting to readiness to win the trust of the Australian public at an election — the damage to that end already having been done by the confessed liar, self-evident grub and sleazy shyster in Bill Shorten as its “leader” notwithstanding.

It seems, however, that the Wong threat was no laughing matter; Bolt himself provided a link to a companion article from The Australian which elaborated on just that theme: and once people have read the explanation in that piece, I’m sure they will agree with me that the precedent Labor now seeks to cite, based on the circumstances in which the Senate last “addressed” the Governor-General in 1931, is a very flimsy rationale indeed, although I don’t doubt for a moment it is legal: the Constitution is filled with arcane powers that enable the monarch or his/her representative to act, sometimes independently with regard to prevailing circumstances (as in 1975), and sometimes in concert with Parliament.

But that doesn’t make it right: and not to put too fine a point on it, so brazen are Labor and the unions in trying to destroy the Royal Commission and its Commissioner in any way possible and so desperate are the vested interests who stand to be prosecuted (and presumably heavily fined and/or imprisoned for lengthy periods) that they are now prepared to hack away at the very pillars of ordered government in Australia to try to achieve those ends.

As the piece from The Australian notes, it would also constitute a grave and timeless hypocrisy on the ALP’s part, for it has long argued (and did, in 1975) that the “proper” function of the Governor-General is to accept advice from his/her Prime Minister and from no-one else.

This arrogant and presumptive interpretation of vice-regal power underpins Labor rage over the decision by Sir John Kerr to dismiss the Whitlam government in 1975 to this day; its apparent preparedness to itself seek to engineer a departure from that formula now — in the name of lawless thugs in its own ranks whose most useful community service would be rendered behind bars — starkly illustrates just how intellectually bankrupt, and how utterly amoral, the Labor Party today really is.

Were the Senate to vote to “address” Cosgrove, the Governor-General would be under no obligation whatsoever to accede to its demands; indeed, the likeliest response would be to tell Wong and her cohorts — e’er diplomatically — to get stuffed, although it is to be hoped such a riposte would be delivered with the bluntness Cosgrove was revered for as a soldier.

It may be that this has occurred to Wong, who yesterday indicated the opposition would defer its motion in the Senate until early September to allow Prime Minister Tony Abbott to “show some leadership,” which is code for sacking Heydon. Again, Abbott can and should refuse to budge. It is a bit rich for someone like Penny Wong to be talking about leadership at the best of times, let alone when she is party to an attempt to trash decades-old conventions of governance and to undermine the very system of government in Australia.

Yet even so, the fact this is playing out at all reeks of the stench of an artifice that is rotten to the core, and the fact Labor and the unions — irrespective of the validity or otherwise of the “smoking gun” they think Heydon’s (withdrawn) agreement to give the Sir Garfield Barwick Lecture offers — are, at root, fighting to stop criminals in their ranks being identified, comprehensively outed, and prosecuted.

There is no “principle” underpinning the actions of the unions and the ALP. It is just that simple.

Former Howard government staffer Chris Kenny — now a columnist at The Australian, and certainly no friend to Labor — nonetheless published one of the most sober and rational perspectives yesterday; I would go so far as to distil the ridiculous nature of the ALP’s behaviour even further: what Labor and the unions are trying to sell people on is the contention that Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon giving a law lecture at a Liberal Party function shows bias and disqualifies him from impartially presiding over any official forum in public life.

What is fails to explain is how Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner (and acknowledged socialist activist) Gillian Triggs similarly appearing at ALP fundraisers is any different.

But then again, the ALP has never had any compunction over shameless hypocrisy when it suits its own grubby ends.

In the end, Labor doesn’t care about the laws of the land; it doesn’t care about ethics and accountability and probity, be it in government or in institutions like the unions; it couldn’t care less how much damage it does to the fabric of democracy in this country or the offence it gives to decency and integrity: if the filth that is the criminal union thuggery from whose collective teat it suckles are at risk of being brought to justice for their lawless outrages, Labor will trash anything — anything — in its grimy quest to conspire in their evasion of prosecution.

As Bolt noted, if Cosgrove does tell the ALP — under the guise of the Senate “addressing” him — to bugger off, the assault that will be launched against Cosgrove and his office will make it appear that Dyson Heydon has merely been trifled with in jest: anyone who thinks Labor and the unions have reached full flight just yet are kidding themselves.

Really, Labor doesn’t care about Dyson Heydon either: he’s just the unfortunate patsy who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and under the harsh glare of a media frenzy that was only possible for the ALP to whip up because of some dickhead in the NSW Division of the Liberal Party. But such a patsy is all the ALP needs to justify its own slimy actions to itself.

Ironically, the greater threat to Labor and union self-interest lies in what many regard as the lesser of two evils.

And that, simply stated, is that the ACTU succeeds in its bid tomorrow to have Heydon recuse himself from proceedings, and the Royal Commission continues under a new Commissioner; as one observer has already noted, the Abbott government would be free to appoint whoever it liked: and whilst Heydon might not exactly be a poster boy for the circles of the Left, someone like retired High Court judge Ian Callinan QC would be the last thing they would want.

Such an appointment, should it come to pass, would be no less reward than the unions deserved for their trouble.

But there’s something else Labor seems to have failed to foresee in embarking on its field trip toward Yarralumla in an attempt to co-opt the Governor-General to do its dirty work — getting a lynch mob of criminal union thugs off the hook — and it is this.

Should the Wong move succeed, it will have been possible to realise such an anti-democratic injury to due process and the rule of law under the very system Labor wants replaced by a popularly elected republican model of government under a popularly elected (and, by its very nature, inescapably political) President as Head of State.

If such an obscenity can be perpetrated under arguably the best system of constitutional government in the world, what vile outrages might be possible in an Australian republic?

I’m no republican — staunchly monarchist to my bootstraps, in fact — but it does rather seem that Wong, by her actions for and on behalf of her party and union thugs, is writing a goodly portion of a slam-dunk, lay down misere case for a “No” vote should the question of a republic ever be put again at a referendum to the Australian people.

Yes, Liberals in Sydney have provided Abbott with an additional crisis he needs like a hole in the head on top of all the self-inflicted nonsense his government is reeling beneath, and the ALP is understandably running hard with it.

But Labor should consider very carefully just how extensive the consequences of what it is doing might prove. Its thuggy mates are still likely to be prosecuted. The electorate may — should — awaken to the disgusting apology for institutionalised criminality and corruption it is making, killing off the cretin Shorten’s prospects for winning an election, and the ALP with them.

But by dragging the office of the Governor-General into this, the stakes are raised; history, precedent and the Constitution itself dictate that in the end, Labor is set to lose more than any other party to these distasteful events.

The price of protecting criminal union filth will be a high one for Labor to pay. Its repercussions may take years to be fully felt, and in ways it would not choose; and which it either cannot, itself, have foreseen or considered, or about which it simply couldn’t care.

After all, Labor cares about power, not people. It may rue these disordered priorities to its detriment.


Dyson Heydon And A Liberal Act Of Gross Stupidity

THE FRACAS over accepting — and withdrawing from — an invitation to give the Sir Garfield Barwick Lecture by former High Court judge and Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon has sparked vicious, baseless attacks by Labor and unions; the lecture, for Liberal Party lawyers, hardly makes Heydon partisan. Yet in racing to destroy him, unions seek unfettered freedom to act as a law unto themselves, and Labor’s complicity in excusing illegal acts.

As we continue to catch up a bit on the busy week in politics that a heavy schedule and a health scare conspired to keep me away from, I want to share with readers a perspective from one of the conservative contemporaries with whom I regularly mull over the political goings-on in this country and beyond; no conspiracy theorist, this gentleman regularly notes that when faced with opponents, conservatives are content to work to defeat them, and whilst the tactics* used can sometimes be brutal, in general terms the advancement of conservative objectives is sufficient.

By contrast, the Left — not merely content to defeat opponents — sets out to destroy those ranged against it; people like me are dismissed as “RWNJs” for merely disagreeing with them (often without rancour) and blocked on Twitter, once the social media trolls of the Left have spread a campaign of ridicule, contempt and abuse around the Internet about us. That’s the “soft treatment.”

But when it comes to the “hard treatment” reserved for those on the Right regarded as posing existential and/or electorally mortal threats to the Left and its interests, the explicit objectives of campaign are based on the single-minded aim of destroying opponents utterly: their ideas, their reputations, in some cases, the liveability of their lives. If Prime Minister Tony Abbott were litigiously inclined, for example, he could sue any number of lefties into the middle of next century for defaming him personally; the treatment was deployed against John Howard for years, but of course Howard and his coterie were far shrewder and more effective than the current bunch in dealing with such preposterous attacks.

And the reason I raise these perspectives today is because the self-interest and moral nihilism of the Left have intersected with the utter, utter stupidity of someone in the NSW Division of the Liberal Party who apparently thought it a good idea to invite retired High Court Justice Dyson Heydon QC — now the Royal Commissioner into the trade union movement — to deliver the annual Sir Garfield Barwick Lecture for “The Lawyers Branch and the Legal Policy Branch” of the NSW Liberals.

What is interesting about this episode from the outset is that the Fairfax press and the ABC have exhibited a total lack of interest in or willingness to report on the growing catalogue of misdemeanours apparently committed by individuals and organisations within and adjacent to the trade union movement that Heydon’s Royal Commission has progressively uncovered; not for them any reticence about thuggish union brutality or illegal conduct.

Rather, those sinecures have united with the ALP and the union movement in a wholesale campaign to wreck Heydon’s reputation and his distinguished legal career, attempting to trash his personal and professional integrity, seeking to discredit on a flimsy pretext the validity of the Royal Commission into the union movement with a view — ultimately — to having it shut down, and alleged criminals in the labour movement being allowed to escape scot-free and without judicial consequence.

And why? Because someone in the NSW Liberals, who should have known better, was dumb enough to think having Heydon address a Liberal Party function was a brilliant idea.

For additional reading today I include this piece from The Age, which dutifully and contemporaneously regurgitates the ALP/union case against Heydon, without so much as a syllable relating to the indecent and unlawful excesses of the union movement; and this article from Daily Telegraph writer (and favourite of this column) Piers Akerman, which at least presents with some semblance of balance insofar as it catalogues Labor’s wildly deranged rants against Heydon in the context of some of the obscenities already uncovered by his Royal Commission.

Tellingly, Piers also quotes at length left wing lawyer (and trouble-making agitator wherever conservative politics and its objectives are concerned), Julian Burnside QC, who flatly and repeatedly refused to allow criticisms of Heydon’s impartiality and integrity to stand — even when interviewed by the taxpayer-funded left wing propaganda machine that is ABC news and current affairs, and even when repeatedly pressed to do so.

Piers also goes on to itemise a litany of ALP attempts to frustrate and/or abort Royal Commissions in the past that have focused on alleged criminality on the part of its people that is most instructive, including — damningly — a threat made by former senior ALP frontbencher Stephen Smith that any judicial figure who accepted a commission to investigate former WA Premier Carmen Lawrence in the 1990s over what became known as the Penny Easton affair should brace for “political attack.”

The culture of intimidation, threats, bastardry, thuggery and general lawlessness that Heydon is attempting to sift through in a Royal Commission now is nothing new where the ALP and the broader Left in this country are concerned.

And whilst this column has freely criticised Attorney-General George Brandis’ performance as an Abbott government minister despite once sharing membership with him of the same Liberal Party branch in western Brisbane, his defence of Heydon today and the concurrent rebuttal of Labor/union attacks on him is very close to flawless.

Aside from the hanging offence of agreeing to speak at something at all connected with the Liberal Party — and we’ll come back to that in a moment — Heydon’s other alleged misdemeanour was taking 24 hours to reverse his acceptance to speak once he know the lecture was a fundraiser organised by the Liberals, and one can only visualise the unbridled ALP outrage that this eminent Australian took time to consider his actions before withdrawing, rather than simply jumping to what “anyone with a brain” would (or should) have known was the only acceptable course of action, which just happens to be what Labor wanted.

For the uninitiated, there are — scattered around the country — a small number of Liberal Party branches and other “offshoot” groups that are set up to cater to specific policy or business interests; the groups responsible for the Garfield Barwick Lecture constitute one of these entities. Another I know of exists in Brisbane, with a small business focus. These are not Liberal Party “branches” in the orthodox or widely understood sense; they’re more vehicles for professional interest.

But that carries no truck with Labor, which not only organises itself to facilitate setting competing internal cabals at each others’ throats, but goes so far as to have branches based purely on ethnicity in order to marshall and deploy “numbers” gathered from various immigrant communities to further the internal and broader political goals of those cabals of thuggery.

I tend to think the connection to Sir Garfield Barwick — the Chief Justice of the High Court in 1975, who advised then-Governor-General John Kerr on the course the latter had already determined to withdraw the commission of the Whitlam government — is a red rag to the Labor bull in its own right; the lecture in the former Chief Justice’s name was established in his honour and of course, to Labor types and lefties in Australia more broadly, Barwick is a villain secondary only to Kerr himself as a target of their hatred, and abuse, and vitriol.

The fact Kerr and Barwick acted in a manner that was both legal and constitutionally valid doesn’t matter to Labor types, who — again — will make any excuse for illegal actions, and embark on any number of eternal crusades to destroy completely the reputations of those they identify as enemies. Heydon, already in the gun for his role as Royal Commissioner, associating with Barwick even in the capacity of a lecture in his name is an incendiary and unforgivable act deserving of personal obliteration.

Now, unions — the notoriously militant, violent CFMEU first and foremost — are looking to use the excuse that Heydon has been revealed as “biased” as a pretext for legal action to have the Royal Commission shut down, whilst their puppet stooges at the ALP are seeking at the very minimum to have Heydon replaced.

Both outcomes would amount to a terrible miscarriage of justice.

And the excuse from thugs at the ALP and the unions that it is a politically motivated witch hunt simply doesn’t cut it: if it did, there wouldn’t be the imperative to discredit it and shut it down.

Labor “leader” Bill Shorten wouldn’t even be “leader” at all were it not for the fact the overwhelming majority of his MPs were locked into following the explicit orders given by some ghastly union or the other; rather than think for themselves, ALP MPs did what they were told: with the result the parliamentary party leadership is completely unrepresentative of the party’s membership, who wanted someone else.

The example is telling.

It isn’t hard to see why the unions want the Royal Commission closed down when — as Piers points out — plenty of conduct that at best can be described as “extremely legally dubious” and at worst, downright criminal, has already been uncovered.

The near-certainty of a parade of Labor and union figures through the Courts must be allowed to progress to its logical and inevitable conclusion, for the sake of decency, democracy, and the preservation of the rule of law.

But some idiot — or idiots — in the NSW Liberals have put that outcome in jeopardy.

No doubt someone thought Heydon would be a man-of-the-moment, star attraction billing that would bring attendees and money in a torrent; the fact someone clearly associated with the Liberal Party in an official capacity could act with such a lack of judgement is an indictment. But then again, there are plenty of amateurs and other self-important but useless specimens currently on the payroll and leaching hard-earned donation and membership money.

There are those floating around the Liberal Party who accuse me of treachery, or disloyalty, or aiding Labor, just because I call these things out for what they are. But those who run the party are so lacking in perception — and too often so utterly incompetent — that Labor doesn’t need my help: the people on the party payroll are doing that job just fine, all by themselves.

In the end, there is no case for the Royal Commission to be shut down; and whilst Heydon might perhaps have better availed himself of the full circumstances of the event he had been invited to address before accepting the invitation in the first place, he’s the closest to completely blameless of all the parties to this frightful — and on the Liberals’ part, grossly stupid — episode.

The message that should be emanating from the Liberal Party right now — from the Prime Minister, from Coalition MPs, and from the nameless sources worded up by Credlin’s machine and so ubiquitously quoted in the press as spokespeople — is that the Commission will continue, and that the Abbott government will not flinch in the face of baseless attacks from unions seeking not only to excuse criminal behaviour, but to preserve their ability to act as a law unto themselves.

But it won’t. As I have lamented in the past, this government couldn’t articulate the desire to purchase sex in a brothel. Its apparatus for strategy and tactics and communication is next to useless. The penchant for three-word slogans and incessant diatribes about national security will continue to be offered as a salve for all issues that confront it.

This means that even if Heydon is able to complete his inquiry and prosecutions follow, the ramifications for the Liberal Party will be dire, and once again be self-inflicted: and those consequences will far transcend the absence of a headline act to sell tickets to a lecture.

And it means the unions and the ALP — assisted by their fellow travellers at the ABC and at Fairfax — will continue to work to tear Heydon’s reputation to shreds, for no better reason that he’s onto them: and in a choice between outlawing criminality in the union movement and destroying a good man, I know which option decent people will be more supportive of.


*The Abbott government is excused from any suggestion it utilises brutal tactics or, in most cases, any cogent tactics at all; such is the ineffectual character of an outfit run behind the scenes by the likes of Peta Credlin and Brian Loughnane, who wouldn’t recognise sound tactical and strategic paths if they fell on them. Proof of this contention can be readily observed in any aggregation of reputable opinion polling over the past 18 months.