Bruce Wilson’s defence of Gillard was to be expected. Anything other than a defence of his ex would confirm his own guilt. And many unionists say vast sums are still hidden out there in accounts somewhere.

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Friday, 22nd February 2019

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Larry Pickering

Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.



Bruce Wilson’s defence of Gillard was to be expected. Anything other than a defence of his ex would confirm his own guilt. And many unionists tell me vast sums are still hidden out there in accounts somewhere.

But it’s interesting that Gillard supporters (or what’s left of them) slam the credibility of Ralph Blewitt while claiming the statement of Bruce Wilson tends to exonerate her. Golly!

What this belated interest in the Gillard/Wilson scandal has achieved is that lazy journalists have been reluctantly forced to have a closer look at Gillard’s history. Elements of the ABC remain in denial.

Gillard, with the co-operation of yet another ex-unionist, Speaker Anna Burke, can remain defiant during Question Time. She will be allowed to continue to refuse to respond to legitimate questions. But the big question is whether she will make a statement to the House. That is likely because McTernan knows she needs defuse this before the Xmas break.

Gillard insists on being in control. Question Time doesn’t afford her that advantage.

A statement will allow her to say what she likes and how she likes. With her army of writers carefully crafting her “story” she can claim once again to have answered her accusers. She won’t have of course but the theory is the whole thing might abate over Xmas.

Gillard’s advantage has been that this scandal is complex and complex stories don’t attract the print media and are completely foreign to newscasts. They fear their feeble public will quickly lose interest. I understand that that’s a real problem for journalists but it’s not an insurmountable one.

When a Prime Minister of any colour can cause a story to be spiked, and two journos to be sacked for daring to investigate it, there is something seriously wrong.

I certainly had no interest in the story up until then. But when a Prime Minister is prepared to go to those lengths to kill a story it immediately gets my attention.

When I had a closer look, Gillard’s guilt became crystal clear, first because no-one seeks to hide something they are not guilty of. And second, Gillard, and Slater & Gordon went to extreme lengths to hide her, and their, involvement.

It was extraordinary that Slater & Gordon and Gillard were complicit in setting up illegal vehicles specifically to defraud their own client, the AWU. Slater & Gordon also assisted in the laundering of the funds.

When the game was finally up Slater & Gordon needed to distance themselves from Gillard but police were not notified until exactly one year later when the lawyers’ own client, the AWU, fortuitously discovered the fraud.

The AWU, at Shorten’s insistence, then decided to bury the whole business in fear of reputational damage. It even gave the “players” another $100,000 of members’ funds so they could pay some of the defrauded funds back to developers. How stupid can you get?


Delving a little further, what opened up was simply breathtaking in its audacity. But how the hell could a story this complicated be told? I decided to tell it in ten parts. Nine have been told here and the tenth is unfinished. It sits in my word docs awaiting the inevitable the end game,

I copped plenty of flak because I told the story in a different way in order to get the traction it deserved.

It was an incredible story of greed, sex and corruption from the lowest to the highest levels in government and commerce and had been bubbling along below the surface for years without exciting any attention from the media. I couldn’t understand why.

It was clearly going to be a major chapter in Australian political history books. It was far and away more criminally intriguing than the unsophisticated, sacked Whitlam’s regime yet every major medium was yawning, “there’s nothing to see here... this is going nowhere”. Why?

Well, the massive public relations machine supporting the Gillard Government utilises a sinister, yet very effective, method of dealing with opponents. First, defame the opponent.

Second, continually swamp any criticism with unaffordable, feel-good policies to be paid for on the never-never by the next government. This tactic puts an Opposition on the back foot and it can’t oppose the feel-good policies without suffering electoral disadvantage. If it does oppose these policies, the ensuing debate changes the agendum, obfuscating the original accusation.


Third, subtle control of the media. Gillard has been taught how to control Press conferences. She even decides who asks the questions. Ask an embarrassing question and she won’t point to you again. You are out of business. That is why Gillard avoids one-on-one interviews where she loses that advantage.

Fourth, repetition. Every morning each Caucus member receives a  text of the day’s responses to anticipated questions. They stay on message and they say the same thing, again and again until people start to believe outrageous notions like Swan actually steered us through the GFC.

Fifth, when you’re caught with your hand in the cookie jar, deny, deny, deny. It usually works but not this time because to the reasonably-minded person the evidence is simply too overwhelming.

Gillard’s support in Caucus is crumbling but it can’t rid itself of her without losing government.

If Wilson is to be believed then so too is Blewitt.

On the evidence I’ve seen, Gillard can never be believed.