Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition

This week’s Essential Research shows no real change in voting intention on last week, with the Coalition up a point on the primary vote to 49 per cent, Labor and the Greens steady on 31 per cent and 11 per cent, and two-party preferred steady at 56-44. The poll also measures Bob Brown’s approval rating at 42 per cent and disapproval at 34 per cent (including very favourable figures among Labor voters of 60 per cent and 15 per cent); has 31 per cent favouring Kevin Rudd as Labor leader over 16 per cent for Julia Gillard (Gillard leads 40 per cent to 33 per cent among Labor voters); and 30 per cent favouring Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal leader with 23 per cent for Tony Abbott (Abbott leads 39 per cent to 26 per cent among Coalition voters). Further questions on the mining boom have 66 per cent believing it has benefited them “not at all”, 51 per cent supporting the mining tax (down one on mid-March) and 29 per cent opposing it (down five).

Federal preselection happenings in New South Wales:

• The NSW Liberal Party state executive has voted to dump Garry Whitaker as its candidate for Craig Thomson’s seat of Dobell. He has been replaced by Karen McNamara, a WorkCover public servant who reportedly has backing from the party’s right, who was defeated by Whitaker in the original preselection vote in December. Whitaker has since been struggling with allegations he had lived for several years without council permission in an “ensuite shed” on his Wyong Creek property while awaiting approval to build a house there.

• More proactivity from the NSW Liberal state executive in neighbouring Robertson, a seat the party was disappointed not to have won in 2010. Local branches have had imposed upon them Lucy Wicks, who herself holds a position on the executive by virtue of her status as president of the party’s Women’s Council. Wicks was identified by the Sydney Morning Herald last year as a member of the “centre right” faction associated with federal Mitchell MP Alex Hawke, which in alliance with the moderates had secured control of the state executive. Like the Dobell intervention, the imposition of Wicks occurred at the insistence of Tony Abbott – local branches in both seats have called emergency meetings to express their displeasure.

Michelle Hoctor of the Illawarra Mercury reports Ann Sudmalis, the candidate backed by retiring member Joanna Gash, won Liberal preselection on Saturday in Gilmore with 16 votes against 10 for her main rival Andrew Guile. Rounding out the field were Alby Schultz’s son Grant, who scored four votes, and Meroo Meadow marketing consultant Catherine Shields on one. For those wondering about the small number of votes, the NSW Liberals’ preselection procedure involves branches being allocated a number of selection committee delegates in proportion to their membership, rather than a massed rank-and-file ballot.

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports the Nationals are in the “‘initial stages’ of discussions with popular independent state MP Richard Torbay about endorsing him for a tilt at independent federal MP Tony Windsor in New England”. Torbay has been the independent member for Northern Tablelands since 1999, and served as Legislative Assembly Speaker during Labor’s last term in office.

Categories: Federal Politics 2010-2013

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  1. 5276
    Has some one been on the phone:-) :-)

    by my say on Apr 27, 2012 at 7:56 am

  2. my say

    re William’s post.

    The way I see it, William interrupted a gathering of people to make an announcement of possible great import – like “dinner’s almost ready” – and then say “As you were”

    Two outcomes:
    1. People resume discussion because they’ve heard it all before, although those who are hungriest enough will get up and ready themselves to move to the dining room while still contributing, albeit in a distracted way, to the conversation.

    2. Some get anxious and worried about the announcement – may offend the host if they don’t immediately move to the dining room.

    I think most of us are so used to hearing the “leadership-in-trouble” shite that it was ignored. We’re sick of the boy-who-called-wolf cries

    But maybe it was a dog-whistle to those with the biggest set if worry beads.

    by kezza2 on Apr 27, 2012 at 7:56 am

  3. Finns, tweets seem best thig to do re mr slipper and cab charge,

    Tweets are always first, out with news

    by my say on Apr 27, 2012 at 7:58 am

  4. John Psaltis ‏ @JohnPsaltis

    @latikambourke Michelle Gratten disagrees with Gillard position on Slipper…who saw that coming??? #auspol

    by Space Kidette on Apr 27, 2012 at 7:59 am

  5. Good Morning, Dawn Patrol.

    After the inquisition come media analyses, so I’m soon off to wallow in Britain’s literate, forensic political analysis.

    O I did love that segment last night when Rupert was forced to confront A Beautiful Simple Fact (morning, Finns): when NewsIntel, Parliament & the Law had all written off (& thought they’d killed & buried) phone hacking as the work of a lone cowboy, it took but one newspaper – the Guardian – and one fearless reporter, Nick Davies, to disinter it and play Samson wrecking the temple of Murdoch power!

    Also loved the crack (by ?Jay or?Leveson) to Murdoch, who was doing a Sergeant Schultz’s I know nothing that he could read all about it in the book!

    BTW Guardian Section Webfeed Rupert Murdoch + Leveson inquiry is a great one stop shop of leads + synopses to comprehensive coverage of the inquisition, political fallout and blogs thereon. I especially enjoyed Tim de Lisle’s “Rupert Murdoch’s evidence was like one of his tabloids” Media mogul’s evidence at the Leveson inquiry was a lively mixture of accurate reporting, one-eyed comment and fantasy

    It was hard to say which of his statements provoked the most incredulity. There was his declaration that the News of the World was “a campaigning newspaper”. There was the idea that the great Harold Evans, while editing The Times, knocked on Murdoch’s door and asked what line to take. And then there was this assertion: “I take a particularly strong pride in the fact that we have never pushed our commercial interests in our newspapers.”

    This last one ran as a headline on for a few hours. It was bizarre to see it there in cold type, because I know, from experience, that his boast was quite untrue.

    and Lisa O’Farrell’s wonderful snippets from Murdoch’s evidence + what actually happened, + reactions by some of those he blamed The thoughts of Chairman Murdoch News Corp chief serves up series of short, sharp editorials on people and practices he may or may not have encountered

    Murdoch said he developed a “thick skin” to protect himself against the industrial level of criticism aimed at him. Robert Jay QC, counsel for the inquiry, repeatedly asked him about the insight Neil had into the inner workings of News International, causing Murdoch to eventually lash out: “Mr Neil seems to have found it very profitable to get up and spread lies about me, but that’s his business. I mean several people, that goes for, now. It’s something of an industry.”

    Though probably the best part of Murdoch’s evidence came at the end, when he was skewered by the Journalists’ representative, and well and truly lost his cool! :evil: Was I cheering!

    by OzPol Tragic on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

  6. Nick Davies’ concluding paragraph in The Guardian:

    The great underlying question – whose answer will settle finally the reputation of Rupert Murdoch and perhaps the future of his business – is whether those denials are to be believed. It is Lord Justice Leveson and not Murdoch who will deliver the verdict. Even the head of News Corporation sometimes must have to stand naked.

    Apart from any other aspects of Murdoch’s testimony, last night’s was an amazing performance from an 81 year old. Disregarding the theatrical and outrageous “lapses of memory”, the man has clearly got all his marbles. I hope I’m that alert if I ever make it to 81.

    We saw him wistfully hankering for the old days where newspapers were all we had. No Google, no blogs, just whatever Rupert and his fellow proprietors wanted us to think.

    Today we can find out pretty-well everything that’s the “news” of the day straight off our PCs. We can check facts, gather different opinions, refer back to old articles from the archives, and discuss angles. You just couldn’t do any of this when Murdoch started out in the UK. His word and his opinions were Holy Writ.

    He admits that newspapers have about “20 years” left, although he says others give them only five or ten. His era is dying. What it will be replaced with is anybody’s guess. I don’t think it’ll be all good, but it’ll certainly be different.

    His pay TV stuff, hardly discussed as to content, is on the way out too. A fixed TV set in the corner, with a cable attached, streaming linear programming over which the public has no control will be replaced by on-line streaming that will mostly allow us to watch, and re-watch, or interrupt all or part of any program to our convenience, from a thousand less expensive (or free in many cases) sites. Probably just as much money will be involved, but it’ll be spread among many more players, and doled out in dollars here, 50 cents there, not monthly subscriptions for garbage you’re not interested in. Smart cards? Pffft… old technology.

    Murdoch’s evidence last night was like a final summation of his life, his whole philosophy of life. I think he knows he won’t be able to resist the stock holders’ pressure to off-load his beloved papers for much longer.

    Her Indoors was bored by it last night, so I put it to her that this wasn’t Murdoch just giving his opinion, or arguing a spin case… his opinion against Lord Leveson’s. Leveson will write a report. Murdoch’s assertions of fact will be tested, most likely by asking other witnesses to come forward. Leveson will write a report that won’t be just another opinion column. It will have judicial weight behind it. Murdoch doesn’t seem to realise that just yet. Leveson has time and patience on his side. He is thorough and forensic.

    Murdoch’s performance was brilliant in so many ways, but it won’t matter in the end. The number of people who aren’t scared of him any more, who have nothing to lose by ratting on him (as he has ratted on them) has reached a critical mass.

    It’s a lynch mob in slow motion and for the first time Murdoch, the old tyrant himself, leader of so many previous lynch mobs, is the target. There’s a certain amuont of justice in that.

    by Bushfire Bill on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:01 am

  7. I am off to the aust, craft a d sewing exhibition with a smile on my face

    In the north this year
    by the way the story is in our local re vouchers

    by my say on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:02 am


    Canberra observed
    No one stays clean in a mud fight
    PUBLISHED: 26 Apr 2012 21:46:00 | UPDATED: 27 Apr 2012 03:53:32
    Laura Tingle

    Forty years ago this July, Steve Lewis, News Ltd’s national political correspondent, and I shared the stage of the Sydney Town Hall.

    Good article, worth reading through. Note this…

    Uhlmann didn’t ask whether Abbott had asked his colleagues if they did have any specific knowledge before Saturday.

    Yet some in the Coalition say it had been known within opposition ranks for weeks, if not months, that Lewis was pursuing the Slipper story, including, some say, the Ashby angle.

    by Leroy on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

  9. I don’t know whether Slipper is just very cluey, lucky or whether he has brilliant advisers, but look at how well he’s played this:

    1. He directed attention away from the allegations about his personal life, by citing the cab charges as the really serious concerns.

    2. This also took the debate out of the area of ‘he said, he said’ to a black and white situation where real evidence was needed. (And – I would suggest – into territory where he knew he could fight, because he knew the evidence was there. Because – I assume – he is meticulous about his finances and knew that there was a paper trail).

    3. Real evidence having been provided, that automatically makes the other allegations suspect.

    Potentially, case closed – and sleaze minimised.

    by zoomster on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:03 am

  10. OPT,

    We were all cheering when Hendy had his say. The strawberry on top of the chocolate mousse that ended the repast that was Jay & Leveson v Murdoch.

    by This little black duck on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:05 am

  11. And for all those who love flying:

    by Bushfire Bill on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:09 am

  12. Well i certainly saw NO dog whistle kezza, just frustration

    But i do cary a small set of roseary beads in my hand bag :-) :-) :-)

    by my say on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:09 am

  13. Seriously good on Steve Lewis for not backing down. If you’re going to make a complete and utter twat of yourself and ensure no one but the most hopelessly, rabidly, rusted on reactionary scum treats anything you write with undisguised mirth, then go in boots and all. I mean what has he got to lose? Certainly not a reputation for breaking the big stories.

    Seriously what an arseclown.

    He can have handwriting experts up the yin yang claim ‘possibility of two writers’. All Slippery needs to do is have his driver (easily identified from the dockets) to make a statement that Slipper filled out the dockets. Case closed, all over red rover, Ashby’s other claims hopeless compromised, and Steve Lewis looking like well Steve Lewis, which is about the most insulting thing I can think of to describe anyone (other than Tony Abbott).

    With Ashby’s criminal claims torn to shreds it would be a very brave Oakie or Windsor that would support a vote of no confidence in the speaker on the strength of his other civil claims. What a precedent to set. Oh sure your accuser has been shown to have grossly misrepresented the major (criminal) claims against you, but even a liar’s claims are enough to have a politician stand aside from any significant post.

    Yeah right, and that wouldn’t open up a can of worms more ugly than Howard’s Ministerial Code of Conduct. Ain’t gonna happen. I’d suggest the AFP will take the dockets at face value and call ‘no case to answer’ on the whole thing, but if push comes to shove I’d have no doubt that a driver who does quite nicely out of Mr Slipper will vouch for their veracity too. They’ve been provided by Finance, they’re legit and so Slippery is in the clear.

    We (and most particularly the Coalition) will get to enjoy Slippery in all his pomp on May 8 (I hope he drags old Doc’s wig out especially for the occasion!), and in the chair. If Abbott is stupid he might try on a vote, but he isn’t that stupid. Wilkie might in a fit of pique, but I doubt it. The government won’t fear it, because witch hunts might seem fun at the time, but don’t look so smart if you’ve been caught trying to lynch an innocent man on trumped up charges. I doubt even Crook and Katter would buy into that if he has killed of the cabcharge charges. Remember they both voted for Slippery to be Deputy in 2010 over Scott.

    Yes the civil stuff might proceed, but having kicked a massive own goal the lawyers might decide that Ashby’s odds aren’t looking so hot. Either way we’ll soon have phase 2 where some of the least stupid members of the press start wondering why did he make false claims? Why now? Who’s paying? Of course the Murdoch press and the Coalition will be wanting to talk about pretty much anything else (oh see how terrible the Budget is!), and Steve Godwin Ashby Lewis might focus on his play time with Chris, but there will be plenty of questions of judgement to go around.

    Personally I was most pleased to see Malcolm (lack of judgement is my middle name) Turnbull get involved. From the guy who lead from the front on Lewis’ last “story to bring down a government” you’d think he’d have more sense than to comment publicly. But no, all with the some civil actions are more serious accusations, and goes to the conduct of his position, and very different to the accusations levelled at me. I don’t know what people see in him. Might go ok in business, but in politics he’s a proven failure in and out of parliament. Never once heard a novel or inspiring policy position come out of his mouth.

    Another month, another dire prediction of Gillard’s imminent demise falls by the wayside. You’d think some of the geese who get all excited by each and every new one would start to pick up the recurring pattern…

    by ratsak on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:10 am

  14. Has anyone read a single piece of critical commentary about Rupert Murdoch from our esteem & senior #MSM political commentators? #auspol

    by The Finnigans on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:10 am

  15. @latikambourke Michelle Gratten disagrees with Gillard position on Slipper…who saw that coming??? #auspol

    Yes, well, Grattan’s irrevance continues to grow daily.

    Funny, though, judging by the Age online it would seem Mr Slipper’s actual innocence is not as interesting as his once assumed guilt.

    Oh well, as Ratsak says, I’m sure there will be another ‘crisis’ coming along any minute now.

    Election now!

    by Son of foro on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:15 am

  16. Rupert Murdoch showed what a real uncompassionate bastard he is

    – the Dowlers are collateral damage

    – couldn’t give a stuff about the members of the NUJ

    – set out to break the unions.

    by This little black duck on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:16 am

  17. Yet some in the Coalition say it had been known within opposition ranks for weeks, if not months, that Lewis was pursuing the Slipper story, including, some say, the Ashby angle.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the coalition knew about Lewis’ stories. Abbot has been photographed exiting the News Ltd offices, we know the DT editor took Abbott into his confidence wrt the angle the paper would be campaigning against last year’s budget on. I mean, come on! Do these people think we were born yesterday?

    by confessions on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:18 am

  18. Ducky:

    I quite literally felt sick at the casual way Rupe tried to downplay the Dowler phone hacking.

    by confessions on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:21 am

  19. morning all

    Thsnks Leroy for Tingle’s contribution.

    She infers that many in the coalition knew months before that Steve Lewis was pursuing Slipper and the Ashby angle.
    Of course Lewis reckons the signatures on the cabcharges are suss. Considering the allegation is that Slipper anded over bank dockets. So which is it Lewis?
    The rest of the msm today still think, guilty until proven innocent. What a frickin joke!

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:21 am

  20. Grrr….. Handed over blank dockets.

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:22 am

  21. Phone Hacking overview stuff from the Guardian that includes Leveson bits

    – A time line that shows what was being reported on a particular day

    – An overview graphic – viewable online or downloadable PDF (but you’d need a big printer!)

    by CTar1 on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:22 am

  22. Slipper’s mistake here was to assume that Abbott is his own man. Any other Liberal leader would have told the Queensland LNP to back away from one of his supporters, but not the Situation. Abbott’s performance is the issue here.

    Let us not underestimate what a prize dingo Abbott is. When Abbott failed at the priesthood it was Turnbull who got him a job. When Turnbull stumbled in 2009, Abbott was right there with knife in hand.

    by confessions on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

  23. zoomster

    I have been asking the question all week. Is Slipper stupid? He would know he was a marked man from the moment he took the speakership. He also knew Lewis had been pursuing him from the start.

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:25 am

  24. Note that Abbott chose Chris Uhlmann as his interlocutor. Abbott is the only politician Uhlmann interviews whom he does not talk over or interrupt. Every one of his other interview subjects cop this treatment, along with begged questions and beef-witted assumptions that have to be batted away before the question can be answered; Uhlmann’s assumptions are clearly Abbott’s assumptions, which is why he was content to hear Abbott in respectful silence. Uhlmann’s treatment of Abbott compared with that of others is observable, objective fact, and it belies his ambitions (and those of his employer) to be regarded as an effective senior journalist.

    We have been saying this for months!! How can Uhlmann keep his job when he’s such an inept interviewer?

    by confessions on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:26 am

  25. fess @ 5316

    Not forgetting Abbott’s little sojourn in a Carlton restaurant with Greg Sheridan a couple of days before the beat-up broke!

    by kezza2 on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:29 am

  26. Laura Tingle”s piece is instructive. Compared to the rest of the msm hacks, she tells it like it is.

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:30 am

  27. CTar

    That is very instructive about how good reporting can be in the UK. Now, as for Australia, …

    by This little black duck on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:32 am

  28. latikambourke RT @ABC_NewsRadio: Mgr of Govt Business backs speaker after release of cabcharge vouchers. #Slipper
    8 minutes ago

    latikambourke Anthony Albanese says the Government would support someone maintaining their positions while simply’ facing civil allegations.#slipper
    9 minutes ago

    latikambourke Anthony Albanese says ‘rumors go around Parliament House all the time,’ when asked if it was right to install #Slipper as Speaker.
    11 minutes ago

    latikambourke Anthony Albanese says no impediment to Peter Slipper returning to the Speakership if he is cleared of the criminal accusations.
    11 minutes ago

    latikambourke @acaderama you did not read the story.
    12 minutes ago in reply to acaderama

    latikambourke Anthony Albanese says dockets released by Peter #Slipper show the criminal allegations against the Speaker are a complete ‘fabrication.’
    13 minutes ago

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:32 am

  29. audio of Albanese interview

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:33 am

  30. As yet to read any press coverage of the incident but did i really see Rupert trying to push the NewsLtd as victim angle last night?

    What a surreal experience to go to bed watching NewsnLtd effectively on trial for it’s malignant influence on one country’s socio-political framework and then awake in another country to see the very same mercenary and corrosive practices not only go unchallenged but adamantly championed. An absolute disgrace.

    by geezlouise on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:33 am

  31. Hi geezlouise

    How have you been?

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:34 am

  32. victoria:

    Have to agree with zoomster that Slipper has played this well.

    Looks like Slipper will be back in the chair next week.

    by confessions on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:35 am

  33. But what is more significant to remember is how, for maybe five hours one Friday night in 2009, it appeared that a Treasury officer had implicated not just the prime minister but also the treasurer in activity that could have cost both of them their jobs.

    Then it started to spectacularly unravel, causing close to mortal damage to the then leader of the opposition, Malcolm Turnbull.

    The story turned into one about an opposition taking too big a leap in its attack on the government, too tempted by the prize of such big scalps.

    There is no reason to believe the Slipper controversy will unravel in quite the same way this time.

    Nice to see someone, even if it’s the notoriously fickle Laura Tingle, at last coming up for air and thinking out loud about the source of the story.

    Her last paragraph shows the collegiate courtesy that journalists in this small village called Australia show towards each other, and the almost unbelievable credulity with which they refuse to associate the writings of a known liar with any of his other work.

    The entire thesis of the article is that Steve Lewis has form, and that the Libs were likely in it up to their necks. Then, after proving there is every reason, she says “There is no reason to believe the Slipper controversy will unravel in quite the same way this time.” Do I sense the editorial pen of Michael Stutchbury in that line?

    Tingle and Lewis go back a long way. Maybe that’s it.

    by Bushfire Bill on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:35 am

  34. confessions

    Yes most likely

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:37 am

  35. Steve Lewis can fulminate all he likes. Even Tony Abbott sees the writing on the wall.
    It will be Speaker Slipper in the chair on May 8.
    A Speaker who while Independent has shown no fear or favour in doing his job.
    A Speaker who has improved the image of Parliament by ensuring politicians behave in Question TIme. When people watch.
    Abbott hates this as it means little stunts do not work. He knows he cannot even do one of his favourite stunts of a motion to interrupt question time on this. No reflections on the chair.
    He has nowhere to go and he knows it. As as been pointed out this is the beginning of the end of the Abbott leadership of the Oppn.

    by guytaur on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:38 am

  36. did i really see Rupert trying to push the NewsLtd as victim angle last night?

    You did.

    by This little black duck on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:39 am

  37. Hi Victoria,

    I’ve been a bit up and down.

    Feeling like a crazy person for my inability to not see the grotesque propoganda campaign that has come to infect the docile minds of my fellow citizens, very much feel like the outsider at present.

    An inkling of hope that this Slipper scandal may prove to be the downfall of the unholy Abbott/Credlin/News/2gb cabal but hope is a scarce commodity and for personal reasons I must be frugal.

    Oh for an honest and fearless journo…

    by geezlouise on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:46 am

  38. Nicholas Cowdery is on 702 attacking BOF over his comments on Judges.

    by guytaur on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:46 am

  39. geezlouise

    Tingle made a very feeble attempt at being one today

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:47 am

  40. geezlouise

    People I speak to, see the propaganda. But would agree that many of our ciitizenry cant see past their own noses sadly

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:49 am

  41. Wilkie hasn’t changed his mind about Slipper.

    Independent MP Andrew Wilkie on ABC radio this morning warns Peter Slipper not to resume his duties as Speaker before all allegations against him are dealt with.

    “I will either move or support a no confidence motion against him.”

    by Diogenes on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:50 am

  42. TLBD

    As OPT was pointing out earlier The Guardian has heaps of stuff on this.

    To get the overview that includes Leveson and all the Police investigations and other associated things go for the “Phone Hacking” tab rather than the specific “Leveson” tab on their web page.

    by CTar1 on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:50 am

  43. The website of the Terror has Rupert Murdoch with more prominence than their negative coverage of Mr Slipper.
    I think that speaks volumes.

    by guytaur on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:50 am


    This is how you do it with class!

    by MTBW on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

  45. Diogenese

    wilkie can move a motion. How many votes does he need?

    by victoria on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

  46. Tingle has a good conscience but alas she lacks the temerity to follow through, probably a sensible decision given she knows where it will likely end and the enemies she would accrue in the process.

    by geezlouise on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:53 am

  47. Diog

    Whenever I see Wilkie, I hear the word “prig” in my mind.

    by lizzie on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

  48. So where do the claims against Slipper sit now? We have a civil claim of harassment made by a man who has been shown to have made a false criminal claim against Slipper. And you look back over the list of harassment claims, he would like us to take him at his word for the most damaging of them, as there are no independent witnesses.

    So now you can only take the claims via the text messages as being in any way reliable. Let’s look at them again:

    1. Xxx
    2. Something about ‘being closer’ – declined, accepted
    3. Other banter which is neither here nor there without interpretation

    I don’t think there’s a case there.

    by Aguirre on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:56 am

  49. confessions

    Who is Marcelo Alvarez?

    He’s also a rather good Argentinian tenor but I doubt if it’s him doing the Slipper tweets. He lives in Milan in any case so probably doesn’t even know who Slipper is!

    by Allan Moyes on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:58 am

  50. Wilkie hasn’t changed his mind about Slipper.

    It’s looking like the smart thing to do was to stay silent. Katter, the govt, the Greens had either nothing or only sensible things to say.

    Wilkie just looks like Abbott now.

    by confessions on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:58 am

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