Ashbygate launches: Big Bill, Brough and the book

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With Independent Australia launching the Ashbygate book today, author Ross Jones takes a look at the electoral battle for Fisher, Mal Brough’s seat, in the heart of which the launch will be held.

SPARE A THOUGHT for Bill Gissane, Labor Candidate for the Queensland seat of Fisher. Avuncular, large, jolly, commercially successful Gissane has pitted himself against the ultimate viper, Mal Brough. So add quixotic to Bill’s character traits.

If you’ve read Ashbygate, you’ll know what I mean by viper. An asp (politely).

Around September, things got worse for Bill. Malcolm Turnbull worse.

Since the "Rainman" dethroned Abbott, for a time there was a reverent hush across the country  it seems the "Utegate" sucker who outspent Peter King to seize Wentworth can do no wrong.

Apparently, and I am serious here, many younger voters see the Rainman as a vaguely sexual father figure.

But Bill need not despair just yet.

Back in September, Brough was seen one of the best operators on the Australian political scene. Smooth, calm, on top of things. His media performances coming across as unblinkingly genuine. The only problem being he lies through his teeth.

All politicians lie, of course, but few do so to cover up their involvement in a plot to abuse the court as a means to overthrow a democratically-elected representative.

But now, Brough has been raided by the Australian Federal Police. Sweating and squirming and walking the long mile to the despatch box to glibly and evasively answer Mark Dreyfus QC’s forensic cross examination, Brough is looking far more vulnerable.

Did he procure James Ashby to steal former Speaker Peter Slipper’s diary. To me, that seems like the least of his offences. How about sedition? Treason? Anyway, up there among the greatest attempts of all time to undermine Australian democracy – that’s for sure  maybe topped only by the drunken narcissist Kerr. That’s good company.

Slipper had already signed his own electoral death warrant by being a boozy arrogant prat, so what Australian gives two figs about his fate? That’s what the lowlife MP Brough is banking on — that his glibness will obscure the fact he willingly conspired to subvert Australian democracy.

But it wont.    

Our Special Minister of State has a track record of being a perfidious wretch. It was Abbott who groomed him back into the Liberal fold and look what Mal did to him.

Brough had been hired by ICAC star Arthur Sinodinos to head an alleged kiddy fitness charity known as Blueearth based in Melbourne, before Tones lured him back to the big time. He probably wishes he hadn’t, because Mal subsequently planted his fangs fair in Abbott’s ankle.

Then there are the other ankle-biters.

Julie Bishop, Wyatt Roy and, of course, the prince of ankle-biters, Christopher Pyne. All up to their neck in the subversion that was "Ashbygate".

So cheer up Bill, there is enough dirt on Brough to fill a Shenhua coal mine.

And the good news is, at last, your side has decided to pick up the shovel. Finally.

Ross Jones is the author of the book ASHBYGATE, which will be officially launched by Independent Australia today (10 December 2015) at 10.30 am at the Shearwater Resort, 79 Edmund Street, Caloundra. All are welcome. Please come along. Light refreshments will be served.

If you can’t make it to Caloundra, you can purchase your copy of Ashbygate by clicking HERE.

The original John Graham artwork featured at the beginning of this piece may be purchased from the IA store HERE.


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