Royal Commission: Labor in La-la Land

“Shifty” Shorten looking decidedly uncomfortable

Sometimes one has to question one’s own sanity when confronted with the alternative version of reality presented by Labor—not by just one or two fruitcakes, but essentially the whole Labor edifice.

Bill Shorten’s appearance before the Royal Commission into trade unions made for painful viewing. He was by turns evasive, shifty, embarrassed, arrogant and tricky. I’m amazed counsel assisting, Jeremy Stoljar SC, kept his cool as well as he did. Commissioner Dyson Heydon, a former justice of the High Court, was required to tactfully remind Shorten to (in layman’s terms) stop waffling and answer the goddam question.

But more than his demeanour, it was Bill’s individualistic take on integrity that really shook the foundations of reality.

Bill saw no problem with his union, the AWU, pocketing close to half a million dollars from an employer on the basis of an oral agreement. He didn’t think it strange that such a huge sum of money changing hands did not have any documentary evidence to confirm its purpose (or even its existence), other than a few lines in an annual report released months later.

He also saw no problem with such payments from an employer to his union taking place at the same time as the union was negotiating, on behalf of the union members – the employees, with said employer regarding an enterprise bargaining agreement on pay and conditions. He didn’t think there was any conflict of interest between, on the one hand, advocating for employees in negotiation with an employer, and, on the other, taking a payment from that employer.

Then the attack dogs came out in force. We had Kim ‘Il’ Carr in full flow (hope you’re sitting down for this):

Opposition frontbencher Kim Carr says a future Labor government would have to consider the precedent Prime Minister Tony Abbott has set in pursuing two royal commissions into Labor-related issues.

‘This has all the hallmarks of a totalitarian regime trying to put its political opponents on trial,’ Senator Carr told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.

Right on, Kim! This isn’t about four Australians killed because of a disastrously implemented home insulation scheme, or about rooting out corruption in the unions, no! This is about getting back at Labor!! I guess when you’re in the poop, the only option is to flail about on the off-chance that some of it flies out and lands on somebody else.

Billy Boy himself didn’t care about showing open contempt for the Royal Commission at which he had just been humiliated either:

After leaving the royal commission, Mr Shorten said: “Mr Heydon has a job to do”.

“I get that. This is Tony Abbott’s royal commission, but I am more than satisfied with the opportunity to put forward the case for Labor and the case for standing up for workers,” he said.

Er, no, Bill – it’s an independent commission, with an ex-High Court judge in charge. But that’s not good enough for the intellectually challenged in Labor’s ranks, it’s all about getting even. When the commissioner questioned Shorten’s answers the response was predictable:

“What I am concerned about more is your credibility as a witness … it is in your interest to curb these, to some extent, extraneous answers,” [the Commissioner] said.

The comments prompted a furious response from Labor workplace spokesman Brendan O’Connor, who said the “remarkable intervention” constituted “prejudicial comments about the appearance of Mr Shorten, which I think calls into question the motives of the establishment of this royal commission“.

You have to laugh really (or cry).

When the Commissioner eventually produces his report, I hope he has the courage to dismiss this parallel reality manufactured by Shorten and his Labor mates, and call out the BS for what it is.

Just because you say something isn’t a conflict of interest doesn’t mean it isn’t a conflict of interest. Just because you think it’s normal to accept $500,000 without any written agreement doesn’t mean that it isn’t the height of stupidity to do so. So Bill is either dishonest or stupid.

The Commissioner would be right to conclude that “shifty” Shorten was covering himself and his union, and report accordingly.


  1. The Playbook that all unionists are trained on, I call “Trade Unions Corruption Techniques 101″ ALL trade unions are corrupt, [snip]. Well done Tony Abbott for attempting to bring into the spotlight, the despotic, corrupt, nepotistic, B.S. that comes from every Labor politician and its always the same invective the same attemp at defying logic, and the obfiscation of truth. “We are the union an we didun do nuffin”; Lying [snip]!


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