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Mal Brough is Tony Abbott's Problem

Posted by: Neil Mitchell | 13 December, 2012 - 9:52 AM
Mal Brough

I reckon we are all sighing with frustration again. The Peter Slipper case is back and the sleaze accusations are back.

The Government is accusing the Opposition of setting it all up. A lot of nonsense is being spoken and we all feel...here we go again.

So this is what needs to happen, this is what Tony Abbott must do, and it is his problem. 

I don’t know if his party rules allow this, but it is what should happen:

The court has found that former minister Mal Brough was in the middle of setting up James Ashby the staffer to lay complaints of sexual harassment against Slipper for political mileage to help the liberal national coalition.

Now, I don't know if it is right. There is talk of an appeal but Tony Abbott needs to act regardless.

This doesn't save Peter Slipper.

He resigned because of some of the sleazy and disgusting comments he made about women in his text messages.

They still stand, he did that and was right to resign. But, he is not found to have sexually harassed Ashby and to an extent he is vindicated.

But he is also exposed as a grubby sort of bloke who should not be speaker.

But, Tony Abbott’s problem: Mal Brough is a key man.

Was he in it? Well, Abbott should find out. He should appoint party elders, whoever to investigate it and report whether Mal Brough acted improperly.

Whether he did set this up as a dirty political trick.

If he did, he should lose pre-selection. If he didn’t, get on with it.

This is a problem for Abbott and as I say I don’t know party rules allow it. But he should be seen leading strongly on this, he has gone after Julia Gillard for her credibility and integrity.

Now he faces a test himself. He must show that Brough has clean hands or dump him. Tony Abbott must lead here and lead strongly.


Mornings with Neil Mitchell

Neil Mitchell Neil Mitchell is one of Australia’s most experienced journalists. He sets the Melbourne news agenda every day from 8:30am to 12pm.



Blog comments Your Say

  • I agree with Jodie. The rule of law is the foundation of civilised society yet absurd denials of natural justice have been increasing for decades. Guilty by accusation, condemned on anecdotal evidence, Excessive discrepancy in sentences, paid-for judgements, police brutality, and rape in jail, for example.
    The spawn of different laws for different social groups is proliferating yet we should be insisting upon one law for all. Respect democracy. Unity and equality. Lucky to be Australian!

    jim morris Wednesday 23 January, 2013 - 10:02 PM
  • Dear Neil, wouldnâ??t it be a good idea to have a public inquiry into these matters. To clear the air.
    Was there an attempt to undermine an elected government by using James Ashby_sexual harassment case as a tool to discredit Peter Slipper in the eyes of the electorate of Fisher? Who is paying James Ashby_legal costs? Why did certain members of the opposition deny specific knowledge of the Peter Slipper allegations, when it appears they had prior knowledge.
    Mal Brough has refused to adequately answer any questions regarding his involvement with James Ashby.
    Justice Steven Rares judgment is not in dispute, and Mal Brough needs to come clean on his involvement as he may be a future minister of the next government.
    If Mal Brough is innocent of any misconduct as he claims, then he has nothing to hide.
    In the interests of transparency and accountability, and to restore confidence in democracy for the citizens of Australia, and in the Parliament of Australia.
    I strongly urge citizens of Australia to support a Public Inquiry into this matter.

    Harvey Saturday 15 December, 2012 - 6:48 PM
  • Imagine the response from Mitchell if a judge found one of the Gillard government to be involved in a smear campaign, accusing someone falsely of sexual harassment? He would go feral, he has been predicting the PM's demise for over 2 years now, where as he has better getting stronger & stronger. He would not be softly requesting her response more like her resignation. His hatred & bullying of our first female PM is a disgrace & highlights his obvious bias which no one is defending or denying.

    Marco Friday 14 December, 2012 - 10:38 AM
  • Since when did Australian courts start passing judgement on citizen that arenâ??t party to the case?

    Clayton Friday 14 December, 2012 - 10:30 AM
  • The Judge has made a ruling. Ashby, News Limited Journalist, Lawyer and Mal Brough conspired to bring down a government. They weren't even smart enough to make sure they weren't caught. Who will be paying for the Appeal? I can hazard a guess.

    Lyne Friday 14 December, 2012 - 9:56 AM
  • Neal , phony tony and his Cronys! Are all walkin around with" egg on there face" you are right Neal ! They should clear the deck!!!!! Cheers paul

    Paul boncristiano Thursday 13 December, 2012 - 8:24 PM

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