James Ashby's brilliant career

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Pauline Hanson's One Nation Chief of Staff, James Ashby (Screenshot via YouTube)

That James Ashby is still anywhere near Australian politics beggars belief.

And that is aside from his latest fiasco when he fell for a guy who looks like a cadet journalist from the Betoota Advocate but who is in fact, according to Pauline, a lackey of Middle-Eastern Islamicists and an existential threat to the Australian electoral system.

It is not the first time James’ judgement has been less than ideal.

Just in the last while, James was sprung for throwing a phone at a staffer, Margaret Menzel, in former Senator Rod Culleton’s office.

Then Ashby was caught on several CCTV cameras plus a few smartphones when he tried to beat up poor old Senator Brian Burston inside Parliament House. 

Neither Menzel or Burston are spring chickens. It shows a certain lack of judgement to stand-over older citizens. Plus cowardice.

The Speaker banned Ashby from Parliament House for his attack on Burston and, at the time of writing, James is still banned.

Cries to make this ban permanent have increased in volume since Jim and Dicko’s Big American Adventure hit screens across the nation.

Before that jaunt, Ashby was sprung discussing electoral rorts and how to rip-off the process:

'Queensland’s corruption watchdog has noted a secret recording alleging that James Ashby “proposed to inflate future electoral expenses” for One Nation, but says it will not investigate as the matter is beyond its jurisdiction.  A Queensland police investigation of the affair continues, with Ashby confirming he was interviewed on Thursday.'

The stream of leaked recordings has jolted One Nation in recent weeks, highlighting the acrimony among former officeholders and party faithful amid the rise of Ashby. James is a bit of a sucker when it comes to covert recordings and indiscrete documents. But he does not learn.

Compare Ashby in 2011:

'Just before they parted company, there was a discussion about information: Ashby told the official a person should never put anything in writing unless they wanted the whole world to know.

~ Ashbygate: The Plot to Destroy Australia's Speaker (p261)

Ashby in 2019:

“We need to be mindful that anything in writing can always be tracked and traced and used against you … If it gets out, it will fucking rock the boat.”

On both occasions, Ashby’s cautioning against leaks leaked. As did quite a bit of other stuff.

Last Friday (29 March), former Speaker of the House Peter Slipper, one-time employer of James Ashby, did an interview with Leon Compton on the ABC Mornings program in Tassie where he referred to One Nation, Dickson and Ashby as "mad as cut snakes". In fact, he used that term several times — which should make for interesting Federal election commentary in Tassie this year, because Slipper looks set to be on the TV panel for the big night.

Slipper also said Ashby was unfit to be a parliamentary staffer — and he is well placed to judge.

Immediately after Ashby scored a job with Slipper as his media advisor in early December 2011, he started out to set him up and betray him. On 20 April 2012, Ashby launched a series of lurid allegations against Slipper, none of which were valid, but which, after being weaponised by News Corp, destroyed Slipper’s parliamentary career and gave the malicious former PM Tony Abbott enough grunt to topple the Gillard Government.

It was a planned, deliberate attack.

In December 2012, the Federal Court Justice Rares stated:

Having read all of the text messages on Mr Ashby’s mobile phone, as Mr Ashby’s senior counsel invited me to do, as well as the other evidence, I have reached the firm conclusion that Mr Ashby’s predominant purpose for bringing these proceedings was to pursue a political attack against Mr Slipper and not to vindicate any legal claim he may have for which the right to bring proceedings exists. Mr Ashby began planning that attack at least by the beginning of February 2012.

See the pattern here? The idiot Ashby left a trail of emails and texts, which leaked big time, but, sadly, not enough to rock the boat to the desired capsize frequency. It seems James just keeps getting away with things because nobody – not the AFP, not the Coalition, not the AEC and certainly not that watchdog of the people, News Corp – has ever had the gonads to take him on.

Self-interest has ruled.

But now Ashby’s perfidy has been laid out for all to see his Teflon skills might soon desert him.

In a nice bit of karma, the Coalition, which plotted and worked hand-in-glove with Ashby to destroy Slipper, might now find their one-time golden boy is the ultimate curse.

Already fallout from the Ashby-Dickson show is causing a seismic rift in the Coalition with infighting over where to preference One Nation and, with any luck, this preference fiasco will cost crucial seats and throw the Liberals in all their various guises into political oblivion for many years to come.

It would be a very brave decision indeed to allow this malicious, traitorous wretch anywhere near Parliament House ever again.

The Liberals aren’t that stupid, are they?

Investigations editor Ross Jones is a licensed private enquiry agent the author of 'Ashbygate: The Plot to Destroy Australia's Speaker'. You can follow Ross on Twitter @RPZJones.

Order the Ashbygate book by clicking on the image above.

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