EXCLUSIVE: by Jim McCrudden
Two years ago ex-pm Gillard introduced the Frankenstein Lowenstein Enquiry.
The Party had been getting twisted knickers knowing that there were blogs everywhere, which could not be silenced because they had not committed defamation.
Shutting up the press is the very first thing governments like to do. Free speech is a handicap to government.
But free speech of sorts Australia has and Australian politicians are forced to adopt the lick-arse approach. Selected journos get inside briefings, made favourites of. Others – well their emails and phone calls are routinely binned.
Then, like manna from heaven, it was revealed, in England, that naughty journos were hacking celebrities’ emails, and even bugging their phones.
This was a crime worse than murder. Worse than treason. Worse than Income Tax evasion.
It was INVASION OF PRIVACY. Sapristi! The eighth deadly sin!
Worse, a PC crime!!!!!
Certainly, there were some shocking headlines about tabloid reporters listening to messages left on a mobile phone belonging to a murdered schoolgirl, Milly Dowler.
But they were extreme and scarcely worse than the paparazzi.
And the information was not used to blackmail or coerce anyone.
Never mind all that.
Egged on by opportunist Pommie politicians smarting over the revelation of their systemic expense fraud, aggrieved celebrities and Toytown University academics were allowed to frame a narrative that was been swallowed whole by the Leveson Enquiry – must shut journos up. One of Leveson’s team was actually sleeping with a barrister who represented some of these celebrities.
“That’s it, ” said the ALP, “We will have an enquiry too. And he can make all sorts of jolly recommendations that mean you don’t have to defame anyone to be punished, you just have to upset them. And,” they continued, splashing the parquetry with the pee running down their legs in excitement, “We don’t want a court to handle these things, we will have a special Tribunal to hand out the lolly for injured feelings. And we will pick who sits on the Tribunal.”
Now it is coming out.
Who were the worst of the phonebuggers?
Not the Press.
No. His Lud’ship was handed a dossier by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), which showed that hacking phones and computers was rife, and that the worst offenders were not reporters but Britain’s most ‘respectable’ companies.
Banks, Insurance Companies, Law Firms were obtaining information; investigators were routinely obtaining everything from bank and credit card statements to itemised mobile phone bills.
And for their economic value, to use in blackmail negotiations, not for a spicy story in the papers. He ignored it. The press was to be victim.
The ALP knew this was happening in England, that there were much worse villains than reporters, and that is why they restricted the Frankenstein Lowenstein enquiry to press only.
They don’t want the bugging to stop. They just don’t want the results published in the press. Fairfax and the ABC can be counted to smother unwanted stories but not blogs and other media.
In a related story, scientists have announced the possibility of head transplants. Lib insiders are looking at the possibility of switching Julian Assange’s nut with Tony Abbott’s. It’s win win. Assange gets brains, and everything that Abbott says will be grovel-praised by the ABC and Fairfax.