Find Ashby and find some facts – the D&M Newshound Challenge

You might recall I said in my rant about the #AshbyInquiryNow campaign that: “there is much that is just plain wrong in the Slipper/Ashby saga: the Coalition turned a blind eye for many years to Slipper’s suspected abuse of entitlements; the Government chose him as Speaker despite similar knowledge; Ashby deceived and manipulated, giving little mind to the potential personal cost on others; and Brough has not yet been called to account for his involvement in Ashby’s scheme.” Many comments followed the post, here and on Twitter, and there has been a genuine attempt to identify ways to address the latter points. While we might disagree on some things, Margo Kingston and I do agree that the Federal Court’s judgement raises matters for which Ashby and Brough must provide explanations. While the procurement and provision of Slipper’s diary might attract legal charges, it seems unlikely that any will arise from the abuse of court processes that was identified by Justice Rares. Margo has already challenged the Sunshine Coast Daily to tackle Brough on his involvement with Ashby’s complaint. But where is Ashby? Is his announced appeal against Rares’ findings actually a strategy to deflect media attention until some other political drama arises? Or is the media avoiding him anyway, in the same fashion they avoided anything other than scant coverage of the Federal Court judgement? I’ve said I’d support actions that have substance and deal with known rather than suspected […]

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Open letter to the #AshbyInquiryNow campaign

Dear proponents of the #AshbyInquiryNow campaign I know your hearts are in the right place, honestly I do. I share your concern about 2013 ending with Tony Abbott installed as Australia’s 28th Prime Minister. I’m uneasy about Abbott’s ascendancy and what it could mean for equality, equal opportunity and protection of the disadvantaged in Australia. I also share your concern about the state of Australia’s conventional media, which more often than not descends to lowest common denominator populism to attract eyeballs and earholes rather than serve the public good through objective reporting and unbiased analysis. It’s because I share many of your concerns that I say you’re seriously mistaken if you think the #AshbyInquiryNow campaign will prevent Tony Abbott from becoming Prime Minister. That IS the purpose of your campaign, isn’t it? It’s not really about Ashby and Brough colluding to entrap  Slipper in a nasty pre-selection stoush for the seat of Fisher. We already know they did (and don’t need an inquiry to tell us) because it was exposed by the Rares judgement. Nor is your call for an inquiry really about the role that journalist Steve Lewis played, because Justice Rares found that Lewis was simply doing his job. The #AshbyInquiryNow campaign is really about pinning the whole sordid mess on Tony Abbott – isn’t it? – in the hope that …. well, what do you hope to achieve? Maybe the inquiry would find Abbott favoured someone running […]

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