Libs’ dirty tricks in Oz

Written By: - Date published: 3:11 pm, November 22nd, 2007 - 19 comments
Categories: International - Tags:


The husband of retiring Liberal MP Jackie Kelly and a state Liberal official have been caught distributing fake pamphlets in Western Sydney. The bogus pamphlets purport to come from a militant Islamic group – praising the ALP’s supposed support for the Bali bombers.

The pamphlets have been referred to the Australian Electoral Commission by the ALP. The Liberals’ State Director denied Liberal Party “knowledge or authorisation” of the pamphlets.

These are almost exactly the same words used by National Party General Manager Steven Joyce to deny National Party involvement in the Exclusive Brethren pamphlets distributed in the closing stages of the 2005 election in New Zealand.

19 comments on “Libs’ dirty tricks in Oz”

  1. milo 1

    Cripes! So the radical muslims are backing the exclusive bretheren now. That’s a worry.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    Yeah, but it’s not like her husband did something really bad, like, I dunno, writing a letter to the newspaper, in his own name, expressing an opinion, openly and transparently. That would be part of an Attack On Democracy, proof that Australia is on the Path To A Fascist State, blah blah blah blah …

  3. Yes, that is interesting.

    It is also interesting, and really quite fascinating, how those words are almost exactly the same as David Benson-Pope used when he denied interfering in the employment of Madeleine Setchell. It’s also almost exactly the same as the words David Parker used to deny knowledge of interfering in the employment of Clare Curran. It’s exceptionally close to the language used by Helen Clark, prior to sacking more ministers for misconduct than any other prime ministers in New Zealand history, combined.

  4. the sprout 4

    hmm, i wonder if their PR company is Crosby|Textor too?

  5. r0b 5

    Naturally IP will be able to provide references / links to support these claims? Nah never mind. We geddit.

    Interesting about that last claim though. If it did turn out to be true then I guess it would be excellent testimony to the very high standards required to be a minister in Helen Clark’s government! (Let the whining begin…)

  6. milo 6

    rOb: Actually, that last claim is very interesting point. My casual observations are that this is a feature Westminster democracies in the last 15 years or so. There are some other changes in this “modern” system – notably expertise in exploiting incumbency. But I wonder why the ministerial sackings have increased? maybe its linked, and governments have learned to do this more ruthlessly to limit political damage. Or maybe voters just like the decisive action. Perhaps Muldoon would have got back in 1984 if he’d sacked Bill Birch as well as Quigley!

  7. r0b 7

    Good heavens milo – I was expecting someone to start banging on about the perceived wickedness of Labour ministers. But you have popped up with a thoughtful contribution!

    I agree on incumbency, and that sackings have increased to limit damage. I think the media is become much much more aggressive than it was – it is the age of infotainment – and consequently the need to limit damage is significantly increased. I think the early days of Helen Clark’s government got an enormous tick from the public for the speed at which errant ministers were ejected.

    As for Muldoon and Bill Birch – shudder – thank goodness we will never know…

  8. Hardly, rOb. How speedy was Helen in getting rid of Phillip Field? How quickly did she deal to David Benson-Pope? How long did it take to get rid of George Hawkins? Why is Judith Tizard still in the Executive? How is Trevor Mallard still in Cabinet after assaulting a fellow MP?

    Even the excuses she gave for getting rid of them–in DBP’s case that he had misled her, as opposed to misconduct in intervening in an appointment process–fall fall short of the Westminster tradition.

    I admit, Ruth Dyson fell on her sword very quickly after she got done for drink driving. She was subsequently reappointed to Cabinet within months. Lianne Dalziel resigned quickly, and was quickly reappointed.

    Helen Clark has rewritten the convention of ministerial accountability. In the past, where a government department seriously fucked up, the Minister would hold himself politically accountable, and resign. Now Helen Clark only requires somebody to resign when it is too politically embarrassing for that Minister to remain.

    That isn’t accountability. That is opportunism.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Back on the dirty campaign tricks in foreign parts theme, have you seen this:

    It’s a purported blind double bank shot on the part of Romney in the states. The aussie guys just aren’t in the game when you look at how the pro’s do it.

    The theory is that Romney had people make calls to voters attacking Romney for his mormonism and whatnot. Then he has people go public about the fact that these calls are happening, and that no candidate is mentioned as authorising them, which would be illegal (america not having any freedom of speech). Everybody denies that is is them that is doing it, and, so the theory goes, Romney gets sympathy and innoculates atttacks against his faith all in one go. Brilliant.

    Unless it can be shown that it was Romney what done it. In which case he’s toast. But then of course his opponents would say that it was him if they were behind it anyway so who knows, can’t prove anything and and the dance goes on.

  10. Gruela 10

    Completely unrelated, but I caught the news First At 4.30! on tvnz and they’re telling their audience that 40,000 people left these shores to set up shop in Ozzie last year, but what they didn’t say, (and it’s freely available information,) is that 16,000 (slightly more intelligent,) punters moved back the other way over the same time. Knowing this puts an entirely more benign spin on the story, I think, (esp since they’ve got 5 times our population.)

    Tell me this isn’t blatant media bias. Or am I paranoid, and it’s really just your average sloppy reporting of the kind in which the NZ media are leading the field.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11


    “In the past, where a government department seriously fucked up, the Minister would hold himself politically accountable, and resign.”


    How well I remember, lo these mnny years ago, when folks resigned due to same ‘bad blood’

    I have never heard the phrase “responsible but not to blame” and you are quite correct, as always.

  12. the sprout 12

    not sure if you’re paranoid, but i’d say it’s both blatant media bias and it’s really just your average sloppy reporting.

  13. r0b 13

    IP – I was quite specific in referring to the early days of HC’s government. Yes I think lately she has let some ministers linger too long, and this has probably damaged the government. Human weakness eh – what a terrible thing.

    Anyway, make up your mind, she can’t both sacking ministers in unprecedented droves and also refusing to sack ministers.

    As to the rosy view that historically “the Minister would hold himself politically accountable, and resign” – can I just add a very hearty “yeah right”.

  14. milo 14

    I think she has been quick off the mark for ministerial failings, but slow off the mark for personal failings. Although I might rail against some of those individuals, especially in the current political climate, I’m not sure that’s such a bad policy.

  15. r0b 15

    milo, you do surprise me sometimes. Good on ya.

  16. I disagree Milo. There haven’t been any examples of a Minister resigning for a departmental failure.

    Helen Clark’s ministers simply don’t resign for major departmental failures. Instead they pass the buck to civil servants. Helen Clark’s ministerial drop-outs have all been matters of political expediency that she could no longer hold them in Cabinet: for claiming Ministerial allowances they weren’t entitled to, for drink driving, for lying to the media (several times), for threatening to stand as an independent MP, etc etc.

    Helen Clark was quite happy to hold onto David Benson-Pope, after she knew he had intervened in the employment relationship of Madeleine Setchell, until he could not keep his story straight. The issue for her was not that he intervened in public service neutrality, or even that he lied: it was that he couldn’t lie straight.

  17. burt 17

    Of course you guys here at the standard would never use false scare tactics to smear your opposition.

    You guys are so partisan and blinkered “Labour Good” “National Bad” you probably don’t even know you act exactly the same way as those you are disgusted by.

  18. burt 18

    I must say I saw an excellent Aussie Labou ad on Sky last night that could be used almost verbatim by National.

    I wouldn’t vote for Howard having seen that. Be afraid – very afraid.

  19. Matthew Pilott 19

    Burt you’re so blinkered by your view that we assume everything is “Labour Good National Bad” that you wouldn’t know if we were criticising Labour! 🙂

    When I was in Aussie there were some outrageous ads you’d never get over here (actually, there was Iwi/Kiwi). But that’s an aside. They were about Workplace Choices.

    They depicted large, hairy unionist bully-boys marching into businesses, large hairy arms ripping up employment contracts and large, hairy arms swithing off the power in a business, that was shown as “closed due to union bosses”.

    I never knew unionist were so large and hairy!

    If anyone knows what I’m talking about, and knows if tehy can be downloaded please let me know! (I have a fetish for large, hairy unionists now. Ok actually I have some friends who’d wet themselves.)

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