The Julia Gillard and Bruce Wilson fraud / AWU scandal is gathering pace again. This week Deputy Leader of the Opposition Julie Bishop asked questions of the Prime Minister in Parliament, Fairfax media have run a number of stories on the matter and Michael Smith and others are still hot on the trail.
There is no stopping it now. Make no mistake about it, the matter will keep on growing until the next election and after.
Below I will put links to a lot of what has been published over the last few days. But that is not the key point I want to make in this post. It is the power of the Internet and the part you play and I will use the Gillard / Wilson / AWU fraud as the example because what is driving this story is you the reader, not only reading the posts but then promoting them online as well.
This is important to understand for the people who feel powerless and think that nothing can be done, not just in this matter but corruption matters overall. You will see it in the comment section from time to time that “there is nothing we can do”. Well that is changing at a rapid pace because of sites like this one and others. If you take out the online sites and community that have been driving the Gillard / Wilson fraud story for over 12 months the story would have died long ago.
There is a very good article on the current state on the media on Crikey titled “Brave News World: media is dead – long live media” Two key parts are where it says:
“The effect of the internet has been as profound as it would have been on any oligopoly suddenly confronted by overpowering quantities of high quality, real-time content priced at zero. It has shivered markets to fragments, atomised and energised audiences, and gnawed business models away at each end, impacting newspapers’ abilities both to attract advertising and to charge for news, winnowing television audiences away and eroding the value of free-to-air broadcast spectrum. The proportion of Australians who read a daily newspaper, and who watch an evening news, are roughly half those of 30 years ago.”
And: THE RACE FOR ONLINE READERS
Not surprisingly, speed is in fashion. “The way you respond to a story has huge implications,” says Hal Crawford, head of news at ninemsn. “If smh.com.au beats us to a breaking news story by two minutes, that can have a huge impact on traffic figures for that month. If you’re always slower, the audience will go elsewhere. We don’t have a metric yet to measure response times accurately but the difference is palpable. A lot of people hear about stuff first of all from the radio. They then go online to verify the news, which they’ve only half-heard. So if ABC Radio is running something about a guy who got bitten in half by a shark in Perth, you’d better have it on your site. Doesn’t matter how small it is; it has to be there somewhere.”
It is quite a long story but a must read for people who use online news sites. (Click here to read the article)
In summary what the above says is that a lot of people are moving to the net for their news and if the major players like smh.com.au, ninemsn and news do not have the popular content that readers want on their site they lose a lot of traffic. And traffic equals advertising dollars for them.
This is probably the main reason that Fairfax Media who own The SMH and The AGE sites have started running with the Gillard / Wilson story this week harder than they had before. They had been losing a lot of traffic to other sites such as the News Ltd sites, mine and Michael Smiths new site who have been running the story. Fairfax’s metro papers are dying and they will soon be online only in the not to distant future so they can not afford to be losing online readership.
Their advertisers know how long people spend on their sites and how long they spend on specific stories. So if they have garbage stories the readers go elsewhere and Fairfax lose advertising dollars. They can also quickly get a bad reputation which you can see in the comments section of this site and others where Fairfax have been heavily criticised for not properly reporting on the Gillard / Wilson matter. If that is the reason behind Fairfax decision to start reporting on the matter then it is because of you the reader.
An example would be this story yesterday on smh.com.au titled “The man who knew too much stirs ghosts of Gillard’s past” At the time of writing this it has had 580 Facebook likes and 46 Tweets on Twitter. These numbers are very large even for Fairfax with most of their stories getting nowhere near those numbers. So not only have they received a lot of readers and will show up high on the search engines by having the content, a lot of their readers have helped promote the story. By ignoring the story like they have been they have cost themselves money and they must have realised this and changed their mind.
Julie Bishop / Julia Gillard questions
Below is what Julie Bishop asked the Prime Minister in parliament on Thursday about the fraud scandal:
“Did she also inform the appropriate authority of Mr Wilson’s misappropriation of union funds?” Ms Bishop wanted to know on Thursday.
Ms Gillard responded by insisting she had exhausted questions about the matter in August.
She also reiterated that police investigations had been conducted in the mid-1990s. No prosecution was ever launched.
Ms Bishop on Thursday subsequently asked why the PM, as a practising lawyer at the time, “didn’t inform the appropriate authority of Mr Wilson’s fraud when she became aware of it”.
The Labor leader fired back: “I remind the deputy leader of the opposition of what I just said. The appropriate authorities were engaged in this matter.” (Click here to read more)
I have no doubt Julie Bishop has picked the line of questioning up from a previous post I did on the 26th August titled “Prima facie case to charge Julia Gillard with concealing a serious indictable offence in the AWU Scandal.” (Click here to read) Andrew Bolt did a post a couple of days ago titled “Why did Gillard not go to the police about the AWU scandal?” (Click here to read) Once again if they have picked it up from my post it is because of the readers who promote my posts on Facebook and Twitter etc. I make this point not so I can boast about me and what I have written, but so you can understand the influence that you have.
Julia Bishop asked a broad question of Julia Gillard which allowed her an out to a degree which is fine for a first question. Now Julia Bishop needs to get more specific and ask the questions that I raised such as:
1. Why did you not give a statement / affidavit to the police? If you did why have you not released it as it would clear the air on the whole matter.
2. If you did give a police statement is the story in the statement different to the one the one you have made publicly?
3. Why did you not assist the AWU in their investigations given they were the client?
This gives Julia Gillard less wriggle room to get out of the questions. While other questions are being asked, this is the main line of questioning the opposition and others need to focus on, because why she did not go to the police and give a statement to the police is the hardest thing for Ms Gillard to justify. In fact it is something she could still do. So maybe she should also be asked if she plans on going to the police with all the new evidence that is coming out.
Remember, you as the online reader have played a major part and to keep on playing your part to drive this issue and other issues. Stop writing in the comment section what a great job I am doing (it is becoming embarrassing and is off topic) and start focusing on the job you are doing. It does not take long to play your part, 5 or 10 minutes a week reading my posts then promoting them on social media which takes 1 or 2 minutes.
I have been sitting on some information and will start writing about it in the next week or two. But here is a question for you. In 1996 Ian Cambridge wrote to the Federal Labor Government asking for a royal commission into the Gillard / Wilson / AWU fraud. Not in a million years were they ever going to have a royal commission given the Labor Party are an extension of the union movement and Cambridge would have known this. So why did he write to them seeking a royal commission? That first came to my attention in 2006 and it hit me straight away what Cambridge was up to.
Some links to reporting the last week:
Andrew Bolt Blog - New Document: Gillard Misled on AWU scandal (Click here to read)
The Australian – Hedley Thomas - Tussle over mystery file on AWU slush fund (Click here to read)
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