I have written to Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten and the Victoria Police regarding the rape allegations against Bill Shorten. The Victoria Police have responded but Bill Shorten has not. As it stands things are not looking good for Bill Shorten.
I published a post 2 weeks ago (29/11/13) in regards to the Victoria Police investigating Bill Shorten for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl in 1986. This is a follow-up post and I will assume you have read the previous post and know the details behind the investigation. (If not click here to read the previous post).
Correspondence to Bill Shorten and the Victoria Police
I sent an email to Bill Shorten last Thursday (5/12/13) at 10.51am with the following questions:
Dear Mr Shorten
I would like to ask you some questions in relation to the rape allegations made against you that are currently being investigated by the Victorian Police.
- Why have you not made a public statement in relation to the rape allegations?
- If and when do you intend on making a public statement?
- Do you intend on addressing parliament in relation to the allegations? (I do note that there were calls for Craig Thomson to address parliament when allegations were initially made against him)
- Do you know the alleged rape victim?
- In or about 1985/86 did you and two others travel to Wodonga to meet with the alleged victim?
- In or about 1985/86 did you ever attend any young Labor camps near Geelong?
- Have you ever had a relationship with the alleged victim?
- Have you ever had sex with the alleged victim?
I made a follow-up phone call at 3.12pm on Friday 6/12/13 to Bill Shorten’s office and spoke to one of his media advisors regarding the email that I sent the day before with the questions and asking when I could expect a response. He said he would chase it up and get back to me. At the time of publishing this post (Wednesday 11/12/13) I have not received a response and it does not look like I will.
I also wrote to the Victoria Police last week as outlined below:
I phoned the Victoria Police media section last Friday. They suggested that I send an email with my questions. At 11.55am on Friday (6/12/13) I sent an email with the following question:
“Can you please confirm that you are investigating a 46 year old Melbourne man for an alleged rape in 1986. The alleged rape is said to of occurred at Portarlington (near Geelong) during the course of a Young Labor camp.”
At 1.59pm Friday 6/12/12 a Victoria Police spokeswoman responded with the answer:
“Police are investigating a report of an historical sexual assault. As the matter is subject to an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
This is a media site. Bill Shorten should respond to the questions.
Whenever I have contacted politicians, government departments and law enforcement agencies I deal with their media advisors and that includes Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd when they were Prime Minister. I always get responses and I am treated like any other journalist. And so I should be as bloggers such as myself are part of the New Media. For example, Federal media shield laws now protect bloggers as much as other journalists.
I raise this so Mr Shorten cannot sit back and say he did not respond to my questions because I am a blogger. The reality is that Bill Shorten does not want to talk to respond to any journalists questions.
At sometime in the future Mr Shorten is going to have to front the media and answer questions about the allegations. It is better that he does it now rather than later.
Bill Shorten is in clear breach of Crisis Management 101 and will be looking more guilty by the day. Regular readers will remember I covered Crisis Management in the second post I published about Rolf Harris in April this year which is worth reading again for the similarities with Bill Shorten’s situation (Click here to read the full post)
Clear breach of crises management 101
Crisis management 101 says you have 48 hours to seize the moment and get your message out there in the media. Bill Shorten has failed that. As soon as the rape allegation surfaced Mr Shorten had no choice but to call a press conference and deny the allegation. Bill Shorten has advisors all over the place and they all know this.
Some headings from an article on crises management says what Bill Shorten should have done. And the fact that he has not done it says plenty.
10 Rules of Crisis Management
1. Being Unprepared Is No Excuse. 2. You Know The Threats – Get Ready For Them. 3. Know What You Want To Say Before They Ask. 4 . Admit That You Are Wing-It-Challenged. 5. Three Key Messages For Every Crisis
6. Beware Of The Court Of Public Opinion. Lawyers play a very important part in any crisis. Their counsel on legal matters is paramount and should help guide the response. However, there are two courts in this world, and the court of public opinion is just as powerful as the court of law. The biggest challenge crisis leaders face is balancing their decisions based on these two courts. What may work in one, doesn’t always work in the other. The real question that needs to be addressed is quite simple – what is the smartest thing I can do to protect my brand? Winning in a court of law won’t necessarily restore the public trust you may have lost in the court of public opinion. Both are important – choose wisely.
7. You’ve Got 48 Hours. 8. Divide And Conquer. 9. Get Outside Help. (Click here to read more)
As we know from the last post on this topic the media will not name Bill Shorten but have spoken to his lawyers “ “Lawyers for the man said last night the “unsubstantiated claims date back almost 30 years and they have never previously been raised with him”.” (Click here to read the full post)
So how did the journalist as The Australian come to speak to Bill Shorten’s lawyers? The most likely scenario is that the journalist phoned Bill Shorten’s office and he had his lawyers call the journalist back? It is very strange that a politician would refer media requests to his legal team. It is not the look of an innocent person.
So why didn’t Bill Shorten have his lawyers call me? Probably because he knew that they would not intimidate me like they can large media organisations who are regulated by the government of the day. We will follow this up in the near future.
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