THE CONSTITUTIONAL FRIPPERY Labor is desperate to pursue in the name of its lawless, thuggy union mates has hit a hurdle in the Senate, as crossbench support for implicating Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove in its bid to destroy union Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon is proving hard to secure. Even if ultimately forthcoming, the stunt will come to naught: knowing deep down its position is ambit, Labor will not take its “fight” to the Courts.
It is a fairly straightforward post from me this morning, as I am out and about; but one of the issues we have been following closely in this column — ALP attempts, on instructions from its Trades Hall masters, to destroy Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon and/or have his inquiry shut down is meandering further along the path to inevitable stalemate.
Those who missed my most recent piece on the ALP’s crack-brained scheme to politicise the office of Governor-General in its quest to get the lawless, miscreant thugs who face prosecution as a result of Heydon’s Royal Commission off the hook can revisit it here; that article also contains links to other material I have published on this subject, so those tuning into this for the first time will be able to get up to speed with our discussion as well.
I have been reading The Australian this morning, and I note with some satisfaction its report that due to difficulty convincing crossbench Senators to embrace its grimy attempt to trash the independence of the office of Governor-General — a reticence, just for the record, not evident among the sanctimonious
Communist Greens Senators, who parade themselves as scions of virtue but who are predictably happy to jump into bed with the ALP on yet another unprincipled outrage — it has been forced to formally postpone tabling its motion to that end until today.
Short of the votes as Labor is, it is also worth noting that Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm — whose decision to abstain from voting on the motion to be tabled by Penny Wong will assist its prospects for passage — is not acting from any desire to savage Heydon or to endorse the insidious vice-regal action Labor seeks, but from a position apparently motivated by a get-square bent against the Liberal Party over a dispute about party registration that is completely unrelated to the matter at hand.
To be sure, Labor may — today, this week, or some other time — convince the Senate to follow it; there is certainly enough anti-government sentiment (and enough unprincipled, opportunistic charlatans on the Senate crossbench) for the ALP to persuade those abhorrent parliamentary squatters that breaking convention and trashing the independence of the Head of State is a good idea, and one that should be indulged in the name of excusing the criminal and corrupt misdeeds of its paymasters at the union movement.
But what Labor obviously thought was a slam-dunk exercise in having the Senate defy and challenge the Abbott government yet again is not a cut and dried as it may have first believed, and anyone interested in standards and decency in government can at least take heart from the minor win that even if it capitulates, the Senate hasn’t mindlessly fallen into line.
There are real issues at play here, as we’ve discussed in the past; for me — setting aside the thoroughly appropriate convention that the Governor-General is above politics — what does it for me is the fact that to do the bidding of union criminals, Labor is trashing its own carefully constructed position on the office of the Governor-General, to which it has remained wedded ever since the Dismissal: that the Governor-General takes advice from his (or her) Prime Minister, and from no-one else.
Gough Whitlam must be turning in his grave: not only would the actions his party is determined to take be anathema to him, but the cause — excusing corrupt and illegal actions — is, based on his own regard for propriety, one he would almost certainly never endorse.
Since we last looked at this matter, the consensus of discussions taking place in the mainstream press and elsewhere is that not only would an “address” from the Senate have absolutely no binding impact on Sir Peter Cosgrove — as we have already discussed — but that for want of some form of words to give effect to a semblance of consideration, Cosgrove would be likely, rightly, to disregard it.
Labor’s defence that Senate “addresses” were common prior to 1931 doesn’t justify this constitutional outrage: 1931 was the better part of a century ago, and parliamentary convention has evolved since that time. (If reviving common practice from that era is such a good idea, then let’s look at abolishing all the fixes Labor made to the Senate in the 1900s too, and revert to the system as originally designed: I bet that won’t fly, allowing conservatives to get closer to control of the upper house as the restoration of the Federation-era system would do).
However the charade of the “address” Wong has been charged with securing in the Senate plays out, the campaign against Dyson Heydon is likely to end right there and then.
Cosgrove, on balance of probabilities (if not in utter certainty) can be expected to ignore the “address.”
And despite whatever bluster consequently issues forth from the ALP and the unions, the dispute over Heydon’s fitness to head a Royal Commission or his “bias” against unions will never see the inside of a Court.
The problem is that not only is there not a shred of evidence to suggest Heydon is in fact “biased” — and the fabricated outrage over a silly mistake made without full knowledge of the circumstances of the Sir Garfield Barwick Lecture does not satisfy that test — but having read Heydon’s opinion in refusing to recuse himself from the union Royal Commission and reviewed it informally with a legal associate, I am also satisfied his reasons are absolutely solidly based in law.
For Labor to go off to Court, should Cosgrove refuse to do its dirty work on behalf of thugs and bastards in the unions who now face prosecution, it runs the real risk that any appeal judge would dismiss its challenge to Heydon’s reasons as groundless.
Were that to happen — with a reinforcement of the original Heydon decision dismissed by another Court which Labor has neither pretext nor reason to attack, and malign, and seek to destroy in public opinion as “biased” — then its argument against the Royal Commission would collapse irretrievably, and it would have no choice but to abandon its filthy mates and masters to the fate they deserve.
And in turn, the vapid, unethical foible Labor had tried would be laid bare before the public, and desperate for community support for its dishonest, jumped-up attempts to save criminals from justice, the ALP — the union hack who “leads” it, the union stooge doing the unions’ work in the Senate, and the entire confected masquerade of uproar — would be shown up before voters as the abhorrent outrage of self-interest it really is.
Much better to rip into the Governor-General; and if Cosgrove ultimately ignores the “Senate” when Wong comes calling on him, that is what it will do. So beholden and obligated to unions and the thugs who face prosecution is the ALP, it is utterly unmoved by the prospect of any damage it might do to Cosgrove’s office.
Labor — as we always say — cares about power above all else, and in this case, it is the power of its dodgy friends to operate outside the law and evade justice that it is concerned with. It is a reprehensible but indefensible reality.
It’s not hard to deduce why Labor is reticent about taking its challenge to Heydon to Court; it is completely baseless.
But in a grotesque way, that aversion to Court — and to having current and former union hacks shuffled through it — is well informed.
The number of recommendations for prosecution arising from Heydon’s inquiry is growing. Those who have been guilty of all kinds of lawlessness are going to have their day in Court: and the ALP, despite noisy outrage and sympathetic coverage in the usual Left-leaning press, will be powerless to stop it.
And that’s a bloody good thing — and the real pay dirt for those, like me, who genuinely care about the restoration and improvement of standards in public life.