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Polly Peck
10 July, 2006  
Capital Offences

We’ve had to endure a Ray “Slaughterhouse” Hadley “interview” with the little PM while Alan Dunny Jones was at Wimbledon. Come back Dunny all is forgiven … And what’s the point of setting up a whole new court if you can’t appoint political hacks with minimal legal experience?

Alan “Dunny” Jones has been grabbing headlines – what with Allen & Unwin taking over publication of his unauthorised biography from a nervy ABC.

imageTestimonials from David “Liberace” Flint (seen here), and Gerard “Santamaria” Henderson have flooded in, while over in London Dunny has been attending Wimbledon wearing fetching checked jackets or little cardigans. All the time those famous lips were permanently pursed as he put on his “I’m a significant person” look.

Because we can’t get enough of the Jones boy it’s often easy to overlook his junior at 2GB, Ray “Slaughterhouse” Hadley, who has the microphone after Big-Al’s breakfast show.

Last week Slaughterhouse had Little Johnny all to himself and it was the interview of the week, as far as I’m concerned.

“I’ve got to tell you a funny story,” Hadley started off.

“Please,” begged Little One.

Hadley babbled on:

“You got us on the hop today, so you were here a bit earlier than we thought. So I sent a young – you’ve got to understand this to believe this, this is the Prime Minister, you know the most important bloke in the country, some days, and other days when Big Brother and Eddie McGuire are on the front page maybe not. So we got the one-iron, who works with me at the football, we said the Prime Minister’s here early, go downstairs, and bring him up to the building, without thinking any more about it. So I’m five to ten looking up and here’s the Prime Minister of Australia standing in the call vetting area. I said, ‘what’s happened’? So one iron has brought you, dumped you here and taken off! And one iron has been censured and said one iron what you got to do if someone important comes in you’ve got to take them to the boardroom and put them there, don’t leave them in the call vetting area.”

“Well he brought me to the centre of 2GB power,” said Little Johnny.

Slaughterhouse: “You’ve created another first, you’ve created another first. Anyway welcome, I’m sorry about the way in which you were delivered to me.”

“Don’t worry at all,” smarmed Johnny.

It didn’t get any better. Hadley, barren of any nous, let Johnnie get away with all the rubbish he wanted, including:

Hadley: All right. Now when Andrew Johns made this announcement last Thursday, I thought well Cricket New South Wales lost leave of their senses, but all of a sudden I was expecting on Friday for a cricket tragic to be included in the 20-20. I didn’t know what State, you’d play for your home State New South Wales, you’d offend all the other States.

PM: Yes I definitely wouldn’t do that, I’d only be available for an Australian team. But I don’t think I’d get chosen mate.

Hadley: Well Andrew Johns didn’t think he’d get chosen for the Blues either.

PM: Well I mean I think, look he’s a wonderful footballer, terrific bloke… [blah, blah, blah].

At last, we’ve found someone who gives Johnnie even bigger free kicks than Dunny.

* * *

imageInterestingly, just after the Hamdan decision came down in Washington, Little One said that Attorney General Phil Ruddock had spoken to his US counterpart, Alberto Gonzales (seen here), to press the very original point that the Australian government would like David Hicks put before a “court” as quickly as possible.

The tiny Prime Minister then went on to tell Neil Mitchell’s wireless audience that he wasn’t taking any blame for the Supreme Court upsetting the apple cart with these military commissions.

Instead, it was a simple case of the advice being wrong again, as with kiddies overboard and Saddam’s big bad toys.

“Well it often happens. You get advice and you act on it,” explained Little One.

It’s the same incredibly bad legal advice that Dubya and the US administration have been receiving. Actually, Jane Mayer in The New Yorker (July 3) had a marvellous quote from Dead-Eye Dick Cheney in November 2001 on the military commissions:

“We think it guarantees that we’ll have the kind of treatment of these individuals that we believe they deserve.”

That’s a real rule-of-law sort of approach, if ever I’ve seen one.

At least Liam Bartlett on Perth’s 6PR tried to press the shifty PM on the Hicks issue:

“Four-and-half-years Prime Minister to get to trial, four and half years, as an old lawyer you should be ashamed of that, shouldn’t you?”

PM: “Well bear in mind of course that many of the critics have suggested that he should have been treated as a prisoner of war and if he’d been treated as a prisoner of war, technically he would’ve been kept in custody until the war’s over, which could be indefinitely.”

But Johnnie, PoWs are entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions, habeas hearings and proper military trials – which you have opposed every step of the way.

Howard and Bunter Downer keep talking about the need for Hicks to have a trial as soon as possible. The fact is that the Supremes have ruled that Hicks is entitled to a habeas hearing to determine the validity of his captivity.

What Johnnie wants is a trial first and a committal later. Some lawyer.

Incidentally, I don’t know what good it will be for Fabulous Phil to talk to Gonzales. This is the lawyer who had the job of getting Dubya off jury duty in Texas so he would not have to disclose his drink driving conviction. He went on to sign the “torture is legal” memo as White House general counsel. Some lawyer.

* * *

There’s been no public comment on Hamdan from Fabulous Phil who’s been jetting through Asia on taxpayers hard earned Nelsons, “to foster a spirit of cooperation in legal services trade and regional security”.

When he’s finished, Fabbo’s winter break will have taken him to Bali, China, Cambodia and the Philippines.

But it wouldn’t really matter where he was, past experience tells us Phil’s standard response to anything Hicks is straight from that tattered old song sheet.

Shadow Attorney Lillian Roxon was quick to call a press conference on Hamdan, where one ingenious hack asked her if a Labor government would make Australian military support for the US conditional on faster treatment of Taliban Hicks.

Surprisingly, Lillian didn’t make a troops-out-of-Iraq pledge, which shows just how all over the shop is the ALP position.

* * *

Actually, Lillian’s been a busy beaver lately, writing to Little Johnny begging for the reversal of the appointment to the Federal Magistrates Court of Kevvie Andrews’ side-kick, John O’Sullivan.

Lillian argues that O’Sullivan, who has less than three years experience as a practitioner, will be regularly challenged for bias in his hearing of industrial cases, meaning he will have to hear other general cases for which he’s not prepared.

This, she argues, could bring the Magistrates’ Court into disrepute, as if that wasn’t already what with the recent plagiarism controversy.

Besides, Lillian should know better than to expect a reply from Little Johnny.

Taliban Dave is also waiting for a letter after sending the PM a postcard in January last year from Guantanamo Bay saying he’d love to come home and that he’s a reformed person.

No idea about fair trials, poor quality appointments to the bench, unanswered mail – it’s been a great time for Johnnie Howard’s legal credentials, such as they are.