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Poor privileged Pete

Mike Jeffreys 25 September 2014 22

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The former Parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper has managed to avoid the Go-Slow (as an ex-lawyer who worked with me as producer used to refer to the House of Correction).

He’d spent a bit of time inside after dipping in to his trust fund.

It’s not easy being a lawyer – so many temptations.

Of course that won’t be an issue for Slippery Pete now – no more lawyering for him after this.

Handing down a sentence which requires him to pay the Commonwealth back its $954 as well as complete 300 hours community service and be of good behaviour for the next two years, Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker pointed out that he had held one of the highest political positions in the country, and had breached a trust.

Her Honour also noted that Mr. Slipper had shown no remorse for his offences apart from the shattering effect of his public humiliation.

Apparently Pete overlooked the “public” part of public life.

I would argue that someone in his position should expect scrutiny, especially when they do the wrong thing.

Lawyers tend to be somewhat inconsistent when it comes to their clients and news coverage.

For every defence lawyer arguing their client has suffered and deserves to be cut some slack after the going over they’ve had I bet I can show you another one who is busily trying to manipulate the dreaded media to get their side of the argument across before court proceedings commence.

I know they’re trained to be opportunists and play the system as hard as they can, but the hypocrisy does get tiresome, especially when it comes coated with a thick layer of sanctimony.
I don’t agree that media exposure of criminal activity constitutes a hardship which should mitigate punishment.

Are we to accept that Peter Slipper suffered more because he had farther to fall from grace than most of us?
It was argued on his behalf that he was a pathetic figure.

Poor pathetic privileged Pete.

Couldn’t it be equally argued that because of the lofty heights he’d managed to climb he should be held to a higher standard than lesser mortals?

Should his punishment be all the greater because of the expectations we (presumably) have of our representatives in high office?

At the very least should his punishment be a warning to others who are supposed to serve the public good, not rort the public purse.

Of course we can then ask whether anyone so arrogant, so filled with a sense of entitlement or so just plain stupid would take notice.

Right now this minute I guarantee there are conspiracy types who will want you to believe the system went soft on Slipper because if it squeezed too hard, how much more might he have to say (to the embarrassment of all).

I think the way Peter Slipper behaved was disgraceful but above all foolish in the extreme.

In the end I don’t think there would be any good purpose served by sending him to gaol.

So it’s in to the history books for you Pete.

By the way, speaking of which can we expect a tell all bio?

Of course you’re not allowed to profit from your crimes.

But with only three hundred hours of community service over two years and no legal practice to pursue you should have plenty of time on your hands.

Perhaps you could find a ghost writer who’ll do it as a roman a clef and then we could all try to guess who it was really about.

That is presuming we could be persuaded to believe someone could throw away so much for so little.

*Update: The saga continues – Peter Slipper has lodged an appeal against his conviction


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dungfungus dungfungus 3:32 pm 30 Sep 14

bigfeet said :

dungfungus said :

You are correct (thanks), according to a discussion I had with a lawyer last night.
Are you still in Jordan? How would Sharia Law have dealt with Peter Slipper’s crimes?

I would assume he would have got the same penalty and be dealt with the same way.

An expert in sharia law such as you would obviously know that the one of the first principles of sharia law is obedience to, and acceptance of, the rules of the lawful governing body of the state you are in currently in. It is pretty clear on that point.

Sharia mainly deals with land ownership, debts, personal relationship and marriage issues anyway, it is not really a criminal code as such.

Lucky Slippery Pete wasn’t sent to trial under Sharia Law in Aceh, Indonesia where, according to Amensty, they are dishing out the following:
“The law punishes anybody caught engaging in consensual gay sex with 100 lashes, 100 months in jail or a fine of 1,000 grammes of gold. It also sets out punishment for sex crimes, unmarried people engaging in displays of affection, adulterous relationships and underage sex.”
At the least, I reckon Slippery would have had his right hand chopped off.

bigfeet bigfeet 7:11 pm 28 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

You are correct (thanks), according to a discussion I had with a lawyer last night.
Are you still in Jordan? How would Sharia Law have dealt with Peter Slipper’s crimes?

I would assume he would have got the same penalty and be dealt with the same way.

An expert in sharia law such as you would obviously know that the one of the first principles of sharia law is obedience to, and acceptance of, the rules of the lawful governing body of the state you are in currently in. It is pretty clear on that point.

Sharia mainly deals with land ownership, debts, personal relationship and marriage issues anyway, it is not really a criminal code as such.

dungfungus dungfungus 7:06 am 28 Sep 14

rosscoact said :

I have a strong recollection about the Libs skiting that they had a file on Slipper and if Labor appointed him as Speaker, they would use it.

As it turns out that’s exactly what they did.

Now, I’m wondering why nobody seems to have asked the question that if they knew about these things beforehand, ie when Slipper was in their camp, why they can get away with deliberately concealing evidence of a crime?

You are probably right about that. Slipper was a serial expense rorter and there were no secrets in Parliament about that. The Liberals must have realized he was an accident waiting to happen and he would not win pre-selection for the next election so they just let it run its own course. Labor saw an opportunity and being desperate to keep power in a minority government, acted. The rest is sort of history and it was the staffer who made allegations of sexual harassment against Slipper that started the ball rolling. Note these allegations concerned matters that happened a long time after the creation of any “file” the Liberals had on Slipper.
I am also wondering why Julia Gillard, having attacked Abbott with that faux misogyny speech, did not also attack Slipper for his selectively published remarks about female genitalia.

rosscoact rosscoact 5:22 am 28 Sep 14

I have a strong recollection about the Libs skiting that they had a file on Slipper and if Labor appointed him as Speaker, they would use it.

As it turns out that’s exactly what they did.

Now, I’m wondering why nobody seems to have asked the question that if they knew about these things beforehand, ie when Slipper was in their camp, why they can get away with deliberately concealing evidence of a crime?

laraeddy laraeddy 10:43 pm 27 Sep 14

pommyb said :

Didn’t he offer to repay the expenses but was denied the opportunity? I recall that when Abbott made “an error” with his parliamentary expenses he was able to repay it with no fuss, no fanfare and no criminal proceedings.

Funny smell round here……

Absolutely ! If there is any justice going around, then there should be a few others joining him:

http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/pm-caught-up-in-expenses-row-on-slipper-wedding-20131007-2v4di.html

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/mal-brough-and-james-ashby-should-be-prosecuted-over-slipper-case-labor-mps-20140909-10e83x.html

Can we have a Federal version of ICAC, please !! We’d lose a few from both sides, but it’d be a good cull all round.

dungfungus dungfungus 4:19 pm 27 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

justin heywood said :

Amid all the backstabbing, shallowness, hollow rhetoric and general dishonesty at the very top of Federal Labor, revealed in the recent memoirs of Rudd, Gillard and Swan, (not counting the eye-popping ego and vanity shown in the ‘diary’ of Bob Carr), Slipper was an entirely appropriate character to appoint as speaker in the former government.

Slipper, mate of Abbott’s and member of his Liberal Party.

I am constantly amused by these ridiculous attempts to cast Slipper as some kind of ALP crook, when it was the Liberals that gave him his seat in parliament.

Not sure why Justin is on about “dishonesty” on the part of the last government, I don’t remember any of that, but we have had a great demonstration of utter puking lies from the new government. Dozens of broken promises, pathetic lies about a “budget emergency” more lies about a “great big debt”, failure to attend the climate summit, and wanton mismanagement of the economy which economists are predicting will cause a big slow down next year and a 20% reduction in the value of the Aussie dollar.

Are these the same economists that didn’t see the GFC coming?
And Wayne Swan coined the phrase “we are now at an emergency low interest rates”. Since then the RBA cash rate has fallen another 1% and that is a real emergency because the wealth of self-funded retirees is being wiped out.
That aside, I am happy that you are amused by the Slipper issue. For too long you have appeared very uptight about other issues and you really need to lighten up.

justin heywood justin heywood 3:57 pm 27 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

Slipper, mate of Abbott’s and member of his Liberal Party.

I am constantly amused by these ridiculous attempts to cast Slipper as some kind of ALP crook, when it was the Liberals that gave him his seat in parliament.

Not sure why Justin is on about “dishonesty” on the part of the last government, I don’t remember any of that, but…..

I wasn’t casting Slipper as being an ‘ALP crook’, simply pointing out that it was fitting to have a man like him as Speaker in a parliament as rife with clashing egos and dodgy deals as our last government was.

And yes, the current government has plenty of faults and fools as well (hello Barnaby!), but if you have been following the revelations in the memoirs of Rudd, Gillard, Swann and Carr, you could hardly argue that things were going well when they were in charge either, unless you were completely one-eyed. The memoirs reveal what most of us suspect, that we are governed by a bunch of lying, egotistical fools.

HenryBG HenryBG 12:34 pm 27 Sep 14

justin heywood said :

Amid all the backstabbing, shallowness, hollow rhetoric and general dishonesty at the very top of Federal Labor, revealed in the recent memoirs of Rudd, Gillard and Swan, (not counting the eye-popping ego and vanity shown in the ‘diary’ of Bob Carr), Slipper was an entirely appropriate character to appoint as speaker in the former government.

Slipper, mate of Abbott’s and member of his Liberal Party.

I am constantly amused by these ridiculous attempts to cast Slipper as some kind of ALP crook, when it was the Liberals that gave him his seat in parliament.

Not sure why Justin is on about “dishonesty” on the part of the last government, I don’t remember any of that, but we have had a great demonstration of utter puking lies from the new government. Dozens of broken promises, pathetic lies about a “budget emergency” more lies about a “great big debt”, failure to attend the climate summit, and wanton mismanagement of the economy which economists are predicting will cause a big slow down next year and a 20% reduction in the value of the Aussie dollar.

dungfungus dungfungus 10:44 am 27 Sep 14

JC said :

MERC600 said :

And secondly, this is a Labour town.

What’s that got to do with it considering Slipper was a Liebral turned independent.

The thing that sh$ts me to tears with this is the excessive cost of the whole process, read it was over $3m for $1000. And secondly there were others who were up to no good who were given the opportunity to repent their sins but not Slipper. Whole lot is way out of proportion with the crime.

I think we will all agree that Slippery Pete’s spending was “way out of proportion” with the use of the taxpayers’ money:
http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/slipper-says-his-travel-costs-within-guidelines-mp/714677/
Justice must also appear to have been done.

justin heywood justin heywood 11:35 pm 26 Sep 14

Amid all the backstabbing, shallowness, hollow rhetoric and general dishonesty at the very top of Federal Labor, revealed in the recent memoirs of Rudd, Gillard and Swan, (not counting the eye-popping ego and vanity shown in the ‘diary’ of Bob Carr), Slipper was an entirely appropriate character to appoint as speaker in the former government.

gazket gazket 10:05 pm 26 Sep 14

old slip dawg

JC JC 9:22 pm 26 Sep 14

MERC600 said :

And secondly, this is a Labour town.

What’s that got to do with it considering Slipper was a Liebral turned independent.

The thing that sh$ts me to tears with this is the excessive cost of the whole process, read it was over $3m for $1000. And secondly there were others who were up to no good who were given the opportunity to repent their sins but not Slipper. Whole lot is way out of proportion with the crime.

Mike Jeffreys Mike Jeffreys 12:46 pm 26 Sep 14

Update 2: In case you haven’t already seen this elsewhere – Mr. Slipper may abandon his appeal… http://bit.ly/1roLlx2

dungfungus dungfungus 8:51 am 26 Sep 14

pommyb said :

Didn’t he offer to repay the expenses but was denied the opportunity? I recall that when Abbott made “an error” with his parliamentary expenses he was able to repay it with no fuss, no fanfare and no criminal proceedings.

Funny smell round here……

I think you will find that Slipper was given the opportunity to repay a lot of other expenses he wasn’t entitled to but neglected to repay the ones that he was sent to trial on.

dungfungus dungfungus 8:48 am 26 Sep 14

liability said :

dungfungus said :

Can someone explain to me why this matter was heard in the ACT Magistrates Court when the offences occurred in NSW?

The offence was not committed because he was being driven around NSW, but rather when he filed the cab vouchers in parliament house.

I thought of this also but years ago I was a witness in a fraud matter involving falsified finance contracts.
The settlement cheques were received by the accused in the ACT and then banked across the border in NSW. The trial was held in a NSW district court and at the end of the trial the defendant’s legal counsel approached the presiding judge and pointed out that as the cheques had been received in the ACT the jurisdiction for hearing any criminal matters arising there-from would be ACT. Apparently there were precedents backing this up.
The judge deliberated for a few minutes, went into a rage and declared a mistrial. The defendant walked.
While the DPP could have arranged another trial in the ACT they declined.

dungfungus dungfungus 8:39 am 26 Sep 14

bigfeet said :

dungfungus said :

Can someone explain to me why this matter was heard in the ACT Magistrates Court when the offences occurred in NSW?

If they are Commonwealth offences, I think the decision as to where they are first heard is made by the Commonwealth DPP and it can be anywhere in the Commonwealth. (Not sure, just a vague recollection from some study years ago)

I think these were Commonwealth offences weren’t they?

You are correct (thanks), according to a discussion I had with a lawyer last night.
Are you still in Jordan? How would Sharia Law have dealt with Peter Slipper’s crimes?

pommyb pommyb 7:07 am 26 Sep 14

Didn’t he offer to repay the expenses but was denied the opportunity? I recall that when Abbott made “an error” with his parliamentary expenses he was able to repay it with no fuss, no fanfare and no criminal proceedings.

Funny smell round here……

bigfeet bigfeet 11:56 pm 25 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

Can someone explain to me why this matter was heard in the ACT Magistrates Court when the offences occurred in NSW?

If they are Commonwealth offences, I think the decision as to where they are first heard is made by the Commonwealth DPP and it can be anywhere in the Commonwealth. (Not sure, just a vague recollection from some study years ago)

I think these were Commonwealth offences weren’t they?

liability liability 7:02 pm 25 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

Can someone explain to me why this matter was heard in the ACT Magistrates Court when the offences occurred in NSW?

The offence was not committed because he was being driven around NSW, but rather when he filed the cab vouchers in parliament house.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 6:40 pm 25 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

Can someone explain to me why this matter was heard in the ACT Magistrates Court when the offences occurred in NSW?

Probably because Abbott’s henchmen couldn’t be bothered to drive to Queanbeyan to speak to the NSW plod.

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