Our PM admitted, that she failed to open a file for the work she did in setting up the AWU Workplace Reform Association for her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson and his pal Ralph Blewitt.
Julia Gillard also admitted that the AWU Workplace Reform Association would be used as a union slush fund despite its stated articles of association to the contrary.
There are three consequences for failing to open a client file.
1) The AWU did not know about it, despite the AWU being Slater & Gordon's client.
2) Because of her failure to open a client file, the Slater & Gordon partnership did not know of its existence for three years.
3) Wilson and Blewitt, it would seem, received free legal work.
If these matters do not call into question Gillard's integrity, what will?
Now some people are claiming Gillard’s press conference performance yesterday as brilliant, strong and that the “scandal” surrounding her is now finished. It isn’t finished for the reasons I have mentioned above. In fact, the Australian’s Hedley Thomas makes the point I’ve raised.
The "slush fund" that Gillard had created three years earlier was a legal entity, an incorporated body, for the purpose of raising and holding funds for the re-election of union officials. It was designed to assist the personal advancement in the union of Gillard's then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, who was then the leader of the West Australian branch of the Australian Workers Union. Wilson needed "slush", or money, to fund a forthcoming election that he expected to contest.
Gillard's boyfriend, and his friend, union sidekick and bagman Ralph Blewitt, needed a name for this legal entity. They could have called it the AWU re-election fund. Or the AWU vote-for-a-new-leader fund.
Instead, it was called the AWU Workplace Reform Association, a title completely at odds with its actual purpose. The written objects, or rules, for the association do not disclose the true purpose is to fund elections for union officials.
On the contrary, the rules stress purposes including the promotion of safer workplaces and skills training. In the formal application for the association, Gillard advised that it was formed for the purpose of "development of changes to work to achieve safe workplaces".
In this way, its purported purpose had nothing to do with its actual purpose - as a "slush fund" for the re-election of Gillard's then boyfriend. This is Gillard's Achilles heel.
Yesterday, Gillard said she had not signed the document to set up the association and had only provided legal advice. Further, she said if the fund supported "trade union officials who would stand on a platform about reform and improvements in workplaces", then it had fulfilled its stated role. But this later explanation, at her hour-long media conference, remains difficult to reconcile with the facts.
But in true slippery Gillard fashion, she played the sexism, misogyny, nut-job blogger (me and plenty of others), American Tea Party politics and Murdoch hate media cards. More bullshit than a cow paddock.
And why does Gillard use her gender as an issue? You never hear a male politician claiming his gender is an issue. So much for equality.
I can recall former UK PM Margaret Thatcher being called every sick name you can think of and never did she or her supporters ever suggest it was because she was a woman.
Only a piss weak leader relies on such excuses.