The Crosby Textor Group is Australia’s most successful political consultancy and recently celebrated 10 years of election victories in two hemisphere.
If the company has a motto it’s this: When in doubt, believe in something. Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor say it often and the adage isn’t as trite as it might seem.
It’s a statement that politicians and parties must have convictions to defend and advance if they want the backing of an electorate.
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Back in 2001 Mal Brough demonstrated he does not always feel bound by accepted modes of conduct. He showed he considered his personal interests much more important than agreed process.
The occasion was a social cricket match Brough ruined for many by disputing an umpire’s decision in a manner which would have seen him suspended if not expelled from any decent sporting club.
I was the abused umpire and witnesses to Brough’s inelegant behavior—it went on for hours. I have been reminded of it by last week’s Federal Court decision to dismiss James Ashby’s action against Peter Slipper as an abuse of legal process. Brough was deeply involved in that case.
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The indulgent and now shattered lifestyle of Peter Slipper has been a political battleground since he accepted the Labor minority government’s support to become Speaker just over 12 months ago.
And today a Federal Court judge confirmed that.
Judge Steven Rares, appointed to the court by then Liberal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock in 2006, dismissed court action against Mr Slipper on sexual harassment claims, branding it an abuse of process.
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Apologies if you are offended by swearing. If you are offended by swearing, click on another article.
In the early 2000s former prime minister Paul Keating gave a speech at the Sydney Town Hall where he took aim at the city’s growing culture of materialism and spoke of his fear that the next generation of first homebuyers would be priced out of the Sydney property market. It was a thoughtful and sincere speech and one I covered in a straight fashion for my then newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
I got a call that night from one of the sub-editors, a man who to his professional detriment had spent some time on Fleet Street, who said ominously that he had given the copy “a small tickle-up”. The sub thought it should be noted that Keating, as an apparent enemy of materialism, owned an extensive number of antique French clocks. It’s the kind of phone call that usually guarantees another phone call the following day, and sure enough it did, with the phone ringing at 9.01am and a woman’s voice saying “Hello David, I have Mr Keating on the line for you.”
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Breakfast television viewers must have fallen out of their chairs in shock at Joe Hockey’s words last Sunday.
“It is a very honourable profession, politics,” the shadow Treasurer said.
It was the day after Craig Thomson’s extraordinary “I was framed over hookers” interview, with its claims of the most elaborate identity theft plot in the annals of Australian crime.
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