Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen have in effect admitted on television that Labor Party staff have committed the federal crime of impersonating Commonwealth public officials which carries a jail term of up to 5 years. The Australian Federal Police are investigating as the Liberal Party made a formal complaint on election day (2-7-16) so the matter will likely heat up in the near future and when parliament returns in August.
During the federal election the Labor Party ran a scare campaign advertising that the Liberal Party would privatise Medicare which provides access to medical and hospital services for all Australian residents. This was a lie although it must be pointed out that the Liberal Party has also been known to tell lies during election campaigns which is not a crime in Australia.
The campaign was “devised by Erinn Swan, head of digital at ALP campaign headquarters in Melbourne and the daughter of former treasurer Wayne Swan” (Click here to read more)
But the Labor Party went too far and impersonated government officials from Medicare in their promotion of the Medicare scare campaign as they knew it would be more convincing with the voters. But impersonating government officials is a criminal offence and that is why the federal police are investigating. Various fraud and/or conspiracy to commit fraud laws are also likely to have been breached as well.
Breach of the Law
Division 148—Impersonation of Commonwealth public officials
148.1 Impersonation of an official by a non‑official
(1) A person other than a Commonwealth public official is guilty of an offence if:
(a) on a particular occasion, the person impersonates another person in that other person’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official; and
(b) the first‑mentioned person does so knowing it to be in circumstances when the official is likely to be on duty; and
(c) the first‑mentioned person does so with intent to deceive.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years.
(2A) For the purposes of subsection (2), it is immaterial whether that capacity as a Commonwealth public official exists or is fictitious.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.
The Labor Party will argue that they did impersonate anyone and even if they did they impersonated Medicare which is not a person. Well if you ask the people who were deceived by the Labor Party’s text I am sure they will tell you that a person from Medicare sent them the text as the below text example shows. And as the law above says it doesn’t matter whether that person’s job “exists or is fictitious” then a crime has still been committed.
The evidence of the crime
On election day the Labor Party sent text messages to mobile phones pretending to be Medicare as the sender section said “Medicare” and the text said:
“Mr Turnbull’s plans to privatise Medicare will take us down the road of no return. Time is running out to Save Medicare”
Below is an actual text that was sent to the ABC Reporter Monique Ross and she put it on Twitter asking others: “Anyone else get a text from Medicare today?”
The crime was simple, obvious and so incredibly stupid it is impossible to deny a crime took place and evidence is all over the place. It is right up there with former federal MP Mal Brough’s confession of a crime on 60 Minutes regarding the James Ashby/Peter Slipper scandal.
Bill Shorten has failed to apologize to the Australian voters which shows how much contempt he has for the Australian public.
This crime is most unusual in the fact that one of the issues the police will have investigating this crime will not be a lack of evidence. It will be the fact that there are millions of witnesses. For example, everyone who received the text message and everyone who watched Bill Shorten on TV confirm that the Queensland Labor Party did send the text message.
Admission of the crime by Labor Party leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen on TV (See below video)
Bill Shorten in the above video tried to blame the Queensland Labor Party. He said the sending of the text was not part of the national campaign so he was not aware of it. After further questioning he says that Queensland Labor said they did send a text but he did not know what the text said. The interview above was on Monday the 4th July which is 2 days after the election and 2 days after Malcolm Turnbull said it had been referred to the federal police yet Bill Shorten claims he still doesn’t know what the text said. It is just not believable.
Bill Shorten’s chief of staff Cameron Milner quits
On Thursday the 7th of July it was announced that Bill Shorten’s Chief of Staff Cameron Milner had resigned for “family reasons“. This was very odd as Mr Milner had only been in the job since September last year. Mr Milner is also a former Queensland Labor state secretary which is relevant because it is the Queensland Labor Party that sent the text message.
Mr Milner also had oversight of the federal campaign which included advertising. It was reported regarding Mr Milner:
“He also ruffled feathers, insisting on TV advertisements in the dying days of the campaign targeting Malcolm Turnbull’s honesty using an edited quote — even after Mr Shorten came under fire for it.” (Click here to read more)
It is impossible to believe that Cameron Milner, as the person who had control over the advertising campaign and also as the former head of the Queensland Labor Party, did not know that the text message was being sent out.
It looks like an act of desperation by Bill Shorten on election day
The text message above was sent at “11:03 am” on election day. That is about 3 hours after the polling booths opened. So why would they send it then given it clearly took some planning and effort? One hypothesis is that the text message was only to be used if desperate as they knew it was illegal to send it. On election day the Labor Party had probably already done some exit polling by 10.30am and things were likely not looking good for Labor. So the call would have went through to Bill Shorten who gave the text message the green light.
Hopefully the police will find out what the full truth is but someone high up within the Labor Party had to of given the green light to sending the text and it looks like Cameron Milner is the one being lined up to take the fall for Bill Shorten.
Labor Party have form on the board for impersonating government officials
This is not the first time the Labor Party have run a scam like this in breach of federal criminal laws. I wrote in 2012:
On Australia Day, 26th of January 2012, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s office started a chain of events in an attempt to discredit and/or embarrass the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.”
One of Julia Gillard’s media advisors Tony Hodges had Unions ACT secretary Kim Sattler lie to people at the Aboriginal tent embassy in relation to what Tony Abbott had said. Mrs Sattler also lied and said she was from the Prime Minister’s office which was also a breach of Division 148 of the Criminal Code Act 1995. This caused a protest by Aborigines at the Lobby Restaurant when Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott were inside which received international news coverage. Tony Hodges was forced to resign after the media found out what had really happened. (Click here to read more)
And Bill Shorten thinks he should be Prime Minister of Australia.
Bill Shorten doesn’t need to wait until the end of a Federal Police investigation to know what happened was wrong, a disgrace and to apologize yet Mr Shorten is silent on the matter except when forced to answer questions on TV. I think it will be one crime too many in Bill Shorten’s closet for many voters. As head of the Labor Party Bill Shorten should also be charged as he has to take ultimate responsibility and I have no doubt he was involved in some way.
If politicians want to lie during campaigns that is up to them but it does come back and bite them when people vote and that is a big reason why both major parties struggled at the election. But committing crimes to get elected is another whole story and the Federal police could and should charge people for the above crimes. If they don’t then Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin can and will be held to account.
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Categories: Australian Federal Police, Bill Shorten
Typical of Labor and more particularly Shorten. A number of my friends received this text message on election day and rang me asking if it was true as it appeared to come from Medicare as that word was in the sender’s section.
I was at a polling booth all day in the marginal seat of Dunkley in Central Frankston, Victoria at the time looking at huge Labor Party signage which depicted the Medicare logo which said “Save Medicare… put the Liberals last”. That sign was hung high by rope and about 8 metres from the polling booth entrance.
The bare-faced lies put out by Labor obviously influenced swinging voters and older people in particular expressed their opinion to me many times on the day that the Government agency Medicare must be involved directly…..hence the media slogan “Mediscare” was canned.
With Shorten saying later he was not aware of it simply beggars belief !!
Dirty, lying tactics by Labor as usual and I hope charges are laid quickly by the Federal Police.
If any one thought this message was from Medicare and voted Labour because of it then there should be another election and Labour should pay for it. Also why do we vote in pencil? I always ask who has all the rubbers.
Jo, I take a pen with me and vote in pen.
There is no law that says votes must be in pencil…
This is the ONLY document that Australian government encourage us to complete in pencil. They don’t accept passport applications made in blue pen, but when it comes to voting, as if no one cares. So easy to erase and count votes for a week.
I guess it should be a timeframe for votes counting. If Turnbull really won, they wouldn’t count for so long.
If they had pens people would steal them.
What’s the bet – there will be insufficient evidence to convict him ?
and won’t we all be shocked!!!! (Not)
To save a lot f finger tapping on a computer keyboard, they’ll take the FBI report of Hillary Clinton’s email “carelessness” and just change the name to Billy Shortone – and the problem will be fixed.
In both meanings of the word “fixed’.
With a decent leader the ALP could have won the election.
Criminal Code Act 1999 Section 148 – 1 (3) is the most pertinent;
3) A person other than a Commonwealth public official commits an offence if:
(a) the person:
(i) impersonates another person in that other person’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official; or
(ii) falsely represents himself or herself to be a Commonwealth public official in a particular capacity; and
(b) the first-mentioned person does so with the intention of:
(i) obtaining a gain; or
(ii) causing a loss; or
(iii) influencing the exercise of a public duty or function; and
(c) if subparagraph (a)(i) applies–the first-mentioned person also does so with intent to deceive.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.
Medicare is legally a person. The legal definition (rather then the common usage definition) of person includes a corporation, an association, a partnership or an entity. Under statute and the law they are collectively known as ‘artificial persons’.
Problem is, with all these teflon politicians we have these days, nothing sticks.
In today’s environment with social media everything sticks to politicians. That is why the Liberals and Labor did so poorly at the election.
The Mediscare campaign despite being a complete fabrication was a winner for Labor because anything that has the slightest suggestion of personal cost to the gimme gimme hand out society that we live in would cause panic. We have generated a selfish welfare dependent society that encourages reliance on the state and discourages personal effort and responsibility.
Unless this descent into reckless spending is stopped our future is bleak.
I am at a loss to explain why Labor voters seem to have goldfish memories, believe anything a proven liar like Shorten says and continue their support, it seems like a case of collective amnesia and masochism.
Well said. I wouldn’t vote for Shorten if he was the only bloke left on this planet. Perhaps only people who have employment should be allowed to vote also.
Was it not Hitlers propaganda minister during WW2 who said,”tell gullible people a lie often enough and they will eventually believe it”? Labor learnt well from him.
There is a maxim that roughly says – “A person who hasn’t voted for Socialism by the time they are 30 doesn’t have a heart; and a person still voting for Socialism by the time they are 50 doesn’t have a brain.”
Really, it isn’t too hard to understand why more and more people are voting below the line.
The hoi polloi aren’t as silly as the egg heads believe, – many aphorisms do come to mind.
With the Credibility that Shorten has it is amazing how anybody votes for him or his party, He ditched his first wife for a better future prospect in the Labor party in his race to the top, he lied his way through the Royal Commission and made the commissioners look like fools,he “forgot” to declare a 40,000 dollar “gift” from a firm he was negotiating with he condoned the filth and bullying carried out by the CFMEU and refused to support the government reform,causing a DD election. He connived his way out of an alleged rape charge, he knifed his way to the top job in the Labor party,He orchestrated an election champagne with lies and innuendo that Goebbels would be proud of, and now it appears in desperation he has broken the law again by apparently condoning the use of false representation in text messages to the vulnerable public with Mediscare tactics. If he gets away with this crime then we know there are more crooks in Victoria than him and his hench men. And you believe this grub wanted to be the PRIME MINISTER of Australia. Allan Usherwood Myalup WA.
I would like to know why Malcolm Turnball wasn’t out every moment of the day proving this to be a lie. I would basically like to know where Malcolm was most of the time! I have been a Liberal supporter for my entire 70+ years but have to say this PM is about as the most lack lustre as we’ve had….certainly in my time. He must have heard the warnings about this being a close election but did he heed them or ignore them?
The Mediscare campaign is only a sample of what Bill Shorten is truly like. Shorten is big grub who will always spread lies at every opportunity he can to improve his position, like trying to be Prime Minister. Shorten had a major involvement in the labor party’s deliberate lie on Medicare. Shorten and others must be investigated by the Federal Police on this. The Coalition was absolutely right in it’s complaint to the Federal Police, this was a criminal lie by Shorten & the labor party. If Shorten wasn’t so protected by the labor party/unions, well in my opinion Shorten would be charged by the police and most likely end up in jail. Bill Shorten does not deserve to be in the lodge as Prime Minister, instead he deserves to be in a jail cell somewhere in Victoria.