James Ashby alleged, without any proof, that in 2003 Peter Slipper had been videoed being intimate with a young male staffer. Ross Jones considers other cases of MPs caught on tape.
'A young man attempted to blackmail an Australian politician after secretly filming them having sex together.'
No, it’s not a comment on James Ashby’s 2012 ‘Originating application under the Fair Work Act’, it’s a quote from the Sun-Herald of 22 February 2009.
Written by ace crime reporter Les Kennedy, who sadly departed in 2011 at the too young age of 53, the article, entitled ‘MP blackmail attempt on secret gay sex film’, notes:
‘the identity of the MP, who has a wife and children, had been suppressed’.
We’re not going into this — apart from to wonder about the germinal idea behind the alleged Sipper video, the one that allegedly showed him in flagrante with a young staffer, but which never actually surfaced.
Where did that idea come from? From what dark well did the specific graphics spring?
Instances of pollies being sprung on video are surprisingly few. The underside of the web over the past decade shows a few State MP’s have been filmed in situations they’d rather their spouse didn’t know about — but when it comes to Federal, the trail is cold.
Back in September 2007, the Tele had fun with
‘The “dirt” fight between the Federal Government and Opposition is in danger of spinning out of control’ with allegations that a Coalition minister is a regular visitor to gay bath houses.'
That’s the LNP Government, run at the time by Howard, J. Just before, you know, Kevin. And Maxine.
The author of this piece was none other than Glenn Milne. I refer you to the Walkley Awards of 2006.
According to the eternally-reliable Mr Milne:
'…veteran political journalist Laurie Oakes said the Liberal Party was behind a "fact sheet'' about a Howard government minister who visits gay bathhouses and harasses other men.'
Fact sheet! So 20th century.
Anyway, apparently a heap of Tele journos perused this "fact sheet" and, says TV wrestling tragic, Milne:
‘A copy of the sheet circulated to journalists has been seen by The Sunday Telegraph. It was not shown to this newspaper by the Labor Party. It names the minister, who has children.'
And what did the dedicated staff of the Tele do with this DYNAMITE? Mr Milne comforted his easily offended readership with the reassuring advice that
'Political journalists in the capital are being urged to investigate the claims.'
You go, son.