The debate over what Julia Gillard did or should have done 17 years ago is bogged down in the arcane territory of solicitors’ paperwork and a handful of disputed assertions. None of the assertions would lead to accusations of criminality, and the Prime Minister used a press conference yesterday to invite anyone with evidence of law breaking to come forward. As if it hadn’t crossed their mind already.
The paperwork debate, spurred by legally-trained Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop, might establish that 17 years ago Ms Gillard was not a supremely competent solicitor and missed a few tees which needed crossing.
But it is unlikely to produce a police charge. The so-called AWU “scandal” appears to be not only a victim-less crime but a criminal-less one. That is if one makes the difficult decision there has been a crime at all. The Opposition is taking a risk that if it is seen to be chasing a phantom broken law it could look more like Inspector Clouseau than Hercule Poirot. So why is the Opposition chasing this episode so vigorously while the general public is finding it so tedious?