Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Margo Kingston is back exposing Tony Abott's slush fund

The former political journalist Margo Kingston has returned to the public fray with her exposure of the criminal activities of the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott. 

In a number of recent pieces in New Matilda and Independent Australia Kingston restates her argument made originally in 2003 that Tony Abbott willfully misled the Australian Electoral Commission about his "Australia for Honest Politics" slush fund. Abbott set up the fund and used the money from the slush fund  to pursue the case against Pauline Hanson for electoral fraud and to destroy One Nation, a rival political party that was splitting the Conservative vote.

Kingston argues that by avoiding disclosure of donors to his very own "slush fund", Abbott engaged in unlawful behavior and also misled Parliament and the media.

Kingston's recent pieces can be read here and here

For 15 years  until she retired from political journalism in 2005 Margo Kingston was a high profile political journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald in the Canberra press gallery. She established and edited the mainstream media's first blog, Webdiary,  initially on smh.com.au. Since retiring from journalism she has been studying nursing and is a volunteer memoire writer at a hospice.

Kingston was one of the few investigative journalists in the Canberra Press Gallery willing to critique the hubris she saw on a daily basis. Kingston took up and fought numerous cases against the Howard Government, as documented in her books Not Happy, John! Defending our Democracy (Penguin, 2004) and Still Not Happy, John (Penguin, 2007).

Here is Margo writing in 2003 about Abbott's slush fund:
Abbott then sought to destroy One Nation. He put together a slush fund to promote legal action against One Nation and pay the legal fees of disaffected One Nation members.

Oh, and he lied to the Australian people when he denied any involvement in agreeing to pay legal fees. And now he's trapped.

The Australian people are outraged that the system has jailed Hanson, the symptom of public disillusionment with politics, while the disease - the behaviour of the cartel which owns politics today - divides the spoils of power and privilege.

They're outraged because the big end of politics gets away with just about anything, despite the fact that their experience, knowledge and resources mean that they have no excuse, while a bunch of amateur-hour political novices get thrown in jail for foolishly trying to work the system their way.

Abbott is a frightened rabbit in a very bright spotlight, a man with such raw, amoral contempt for the Australian people that he called his secret slush fund Australians for Honest Politics. He can say goodbye to ever being prime minister.

To give the trust fund he set up to secretly help destroy a competitor such a name was to go a step beyond whatever-it-takes cynicism to an insider joke at the people's expense. They will never trust Abbott again.

1 comment:

Michael Diehl Breen said...

The pot continues to call the kettle black. A timely review on the day after the Slipper case was thrown out of court with a flea in the ear for those conservatives who promoted it. Abbott has almost normalized the practice of "playing the man-the person" It is dirty in sport, worthless in logic or argument, and an act of brutality. It was once considered unfair in a nation which prided itself on a culture of "a fair go". When you have no policy vision but instead naked ambition and a craving for the top job, as Tony Windsor pointed out the ends are made to justify the means. We have had the Godwin Grech matter, the Slipper matter, the AWU slush fund and the PM-all wasting time and throwing excrement, of which they have an endless supply. The mystery and it is profound,is why Labor is so bad at getting its successes out even against a capitalist media and secondly why has the nation of fairness been able to be enlisted as a lynch mob for the right?