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Wentworth worries for Labor

Well, the gorgeous Kelly Burke has come up with a scoop.   It seems as though jobs for the boys may mean the boy doesn’t get the job.  George Newhouse, Labor candidate for Wentworth, was not only Mayor of Waverley (from which he resigned) but a Member of the loony Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT).  The article alleges that Mr Newhouse, although he submitted his resignation, did not do so, or alternatively it was not effective, at the time he nominated.

Now, I might feel a bit of a dork for not checking my nomination was valid but at least I did not commit a crime by nominating.   The nomination requires a declaration that one is eligible to stand and all candidates or potential candidates have to make the declaration.   The AEC’s website points out that Division 137 of the Schedule to the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 makes it an offence to give false or misleading information to a Commonwealth agency in a document.   It is a strict liability offence.    Not that Mr Newhouse is likely to have committed an offence,   He was no doubt nominated by the Party’s registered officer – oops.

None-the-less it is an embarrassment for the high-profile Solicitor.   The problem arises under s 44 (iv) of the Constitution, which prohibits a person from holding more than one office of profit under the Crown ().    Membership of a State Tribunal is an office of profit under the Crown.  

Recently, the High Court has had cause to consider the meaning of the section and decided that the relevant time for holding office is not the time of election but the time of nomination.   If it turns out that Mr Newhouse’s resignation was not effective until received and he was removed from the Tribunal, it is likely that the High Court sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns would find the election in Wentworth to be void.    The result would be a by-election.   

If Newhouse wins and the election is as close as I think it will be, you can bet your bottom dollar that TOM will challenge and, if Wentworth is close (as it will be) and TOM slips over the line, why wouldn’t one of the minor candidates or the Greens challenge?   The last time an Independent challenged was after Hawke resigned and the by-election was won by Cleary.   At the time he nominated, Cleary was a schoolteacher and the by-election was declared void (Sykes v Cleary [1992] HCA 60).   Cleary then won the subsequent by-election.

On the next occasion ALP MP Ross Free lost Lindsay to Jackie Kelly and challenged.    Again the Court of Disputed Returns declared the election void on the grounds that, on nomination Jackie Kelly (der) was a serving RAAF officer (Free v Kelly & the AEC [1996] HCA 42).   Interestingly enough, she would not have been ineligible had she been in the Air Force Reserve.   Again, she won the subsequent by-election.

So, if it turns out that motor-mouth is ineligible, you may find that Malcolm B. Duncan is again Webdiary’s Candidate for Wentworth.   Wouldn’t it be delicious if the result were a hung Parliament with the outcome hanging on a Wentworth by-election?    Would having the balance of power be worth three Canberra winters?

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Casting augeries

David Roffey on another thred has been looking at Anthony Green's calculator. I've been looking at his list of marginals and there is some surprising news. He doesn't include Brand which I still think the Coalition will pick up. Swan looks like it's gone and he has pointed my mind in the direction of two other seats that may go back to the Coalition: Parramatta (almost certainly) and Richmond which will depend on the size of the Green vote. Interestingly, that would mean Rudd needs over 20 seats to win. I still don't think it is possible.

Hugh Utting interviews Newhouse

Hello. When the pulp decision came, Newhouse went underground for a while. Th only person to get an interview was Hugh Utting, who I met at my Sydney launch. The interview was for his school magazine:

For a full extract email left-right-centre@hotmail.com

So Mr. Newhouse, both you and Mr. Turnbull grew up in the area. Both went to Grammar, both did law, both practised law and both have a so called social conscience. Is that where it all ends?

Well it doesn’t end there.  Well, Malcolm Turnbull and I have both had experience in the business world, legal world. But I suppose the differences between us are, Malcolm went on to a career in business and I went on to a career helping others through 12 years on local council and also through the cases I ran for Cornelia Rau, Vivian Solon, Then the Mutitjulu Aboriginal Community who is an Aboriginal community I acted for in central Australia. I have taken my social conscience and done something with it and I’ve been so concerned about the way Australia is going under the Howard government and under Malcolm Turnbull’s watch. We seem to lack the decency and fairness that I grew up with, that I felt I had to throw my hat in the ring this election.  

Wentworth is now officially a marginal seat with the redistribution. Does this give Labor an advantage, for the first time since federation, to win this seat?

It doesn’t give Labor a major advantage but it gives us a chance. Wentworth is notionally a marginal seat. However, I think the real margin is a little wider than the one that is published because of the fact that Peter King ran last time. If you recall, was overturned by Malcolm Turnbull. He threw Peter King out and a lot of Wentworth residents felt very badly about the way Peter King had been treated. Now, because Peter King is not involved in the next election, you can’t be sure what the real margin is. But let me say this. I am out there talking to people and I think we have a real chance this election. Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t seem to be connecting with local residents. They say he’s more concerned with being the next Prime Minister than listening to them at the moment.  

What is your view on the Pulp Mill .Do you think holding out this long has helped you get an opinion or has it disadvantaged you because you are not in the debate?

I didn’t want to say anything about the mill until I had all the facts. Nobody had the facts until the Chief Scientist came out with his report. Therefore I wasn’t able to make a statement. Now the report has been handed down and I have had a chance to read it. Malcolm Turnbull has made his decision and I have made my position very clear. I accept his decision is final. It’s final. No going back on it. It’s legal and it’s final. When you say ‘Has it hurt me, has it not hurt me?’ I think people respect you for coming to a decision based on facts. I will say this though, for your readers. I think the whole process has been badly handled. I think if Malcolm Turnbull had handled the pulp mill process better, we wouldn’t be in this situation today.   

LRC: Is the Sydney Declaration getting to a stage of a joke?

Look, I think the ‘Sydney Declaration’ was a cynical example of this Government’s spin over substance. There were no meaningful targets, there were no meaningful announcements, and no meaningful change came out of the Sydney announcement. I think climate change is an issue that confronts our future ad all future generations. After 11 years of denying that climate change was an issue, that human beings have an impact on climate change, this Government is only now waking up to the crisis. I will be fighting hard for Labor to immediately ratify Kyoto.

Are you a republican or a monarchist? 

Definitely a republican. I believe we are a nation that should be able to stand on its own two feet. I don’t have any problem with the Queen. I think we deserve an Australian as our head of state. The old hanging on to the coat tails of England is really not something that a nation in Asia, in the 21st century, should be hanging on to.

Duncan issues challeng to Newhouse

Apparently, poor Mr Newhouse has issued a "challenge" to the Runt to visit the Eastern part of Wentworth. Frankly, it's bad enough having TOM - we don't want the runt here as well - there'd be cats fleeing everywhere.

I've got a challenge for Mr Newhouse - come and visit the Cross or Woolloomooloo or the whole electorate really. Wimp.

Can't help myself

Well, I just removed the first poster in the campaign. Bloody Dixie had a Patrice poster attached to a bus shelter for heaven's sake. It's under the door of her campaign office now.

Lousy photo of Newhouse - looks like he's got something stuck up his ... well, given the rumours, he might have. Rudd doesn't look much better - pretty stupid putting Rudd posters up in Wentworth. If they really wanted to do some damage, they'd be putting up more posters of TOM - such a lovely grin - looks like he's been counting money.

I'm Sorry I Missed The Show

I like your report Malcolm B, and if the Labor Right's description of you is as reported, you must be a pretty decent chap. I loathe them with a passion.

It just shows how perceptions can be formed within an instant - here you were as a solid citizen cleaning up Kings Cross on that day I glimpsed you on a ladder, and I thought the opposite. Actually, I rather like all the posters and hullabaloo that goes on around town the week before an election. It takes on a festive atmosphere and we may really be celebrating this year. Or some of us will be.

I met the likable George Newhouse at Bondi a few weeks ago-he shares your view that he doesn't expect to win. I'm not so sure.

The importance of gay marriage was brought home to me only two weeks ago when I was visited by two friends from the UK who had gone through a civil ceremony in the unglamourous Wembley Registry Office. As the older one explained, he had spent the last 20 years with his partner building up a considerable fortune and wished him to inherit it rather than his grasping siblings who all despised him for his sexuality.

Meeting Some of the Candidates

Where to start?

Gosh some of the Laborites are thickos.   Imagine being gullible enough to go and have a beer with me after a meeting.    Well, kiddies, they don't like their candidate who was "parachuted" in on them, they have advice from that well known Papal Knight and Bob Carr buddy (not that I'm suggesting he's homosexual) McCarthy QC that Newhouse's nomination is valid (gee that was quick - reckon they might like a second opinion - perhaps even one that's correct) they don't believe the poll results that say Newhouse is going to win and they're dumb enough to bet $5 that there won't be a by-election in Wentworth.

Back to the Meet Some of the Candidates.   TOM actually turned up.   Very polished performance, generally appropriate hand gestures (unlike Rudd - the chopper - and Howard), tongue generally kept in mouth etc.    8/10.    He did get the shits when he started by saying "Thank you all for coming" and I interjected "Oh, no, thank you for coming - such a surprise." but managed to hide it.    He was asked about marriage for same-sex couples and (he's a lawyer and no fool) correctly pointed out that it is not Constitutionally possible.    Dixie Coulton who is a barrister who does Family Law suggested totally erroneously that the Family Law Act could be amended to allow it - there you go.    Family Lawyers should be put down.    The point is (as TOM pointed out) that the Commonwealth has power over marriage and matrimonial causes.   What he didn't point out was that the High Court will interpret that as meaning "marriage" as it was understood when the Constitution was enacted.

I rather liked Glen Sheil's response that it was irrelevant really as he was not married, had an 18 year old daughter and had been with his partner for longer than she had been alive.    Couldn't agree more.   SWMBO and I have been together for 15 years and we've both been married before - what's the problem?

The Mistress has a real problem.   On her website yesterday she posted what she calls a "split ticket" preference.    It's not a split ticket at all.   It's a cop-out allowing a complex preference allocation to allow a vote either for the Liberal or Labor [sic] candidate.    It is so complex that most of her votes will be informal.    More fundamentally, however, she claims to be concerned about climate change but is ultimately preferencing the two parties who are committed to the stupid Pulp Mill.    Given that she says the destruction of Tasmanian forests is the factor that drove her to stand, it is difficult to regard her candidature as anything but completely disingenuous.    She looks very much the jilted lover.

Speaking of which, Newhouse didn't show for "family reasons".    My drinking partner was very keen to emphasise that it had nothing to do with the publicity about The Mistress.    Well, of course not.   We all have family problems from time to time and they are always more important than exposing oneself to the voters a week before an election which may be decided by one seat aren't they?     Well George, I'm sorry but politics means you sacrifice one family for another - the electorate.    But, no point in exposing yourself to the slavering media that wants to ask exactly when did you send your letter of resignation and was it deliberately not dated for a reason? (See today's SMH coverage).

Then there was the Family First candidate who sat in the audience while their Senate candidate took the podium.    They're not right wing and they won't say where their preferences are going - odd really because it's public knowledge.    I was mischievous enough to say to the candidate over tea and biscuits when I saw him talking to his Senate candidate "Oh, you can talk after all."   But I'm not known in the Right Wing of the Labor [sic] party as "That C--t" for nothing.    If there is one thing that the Right Wing has taught me it's "If you see a head, kick it."

The Democrat lad done well.    He has really matured over the course of this campaign.    Sad but true though it is: only the good die young and he's on a flogging to nothing.    Maybe he could join a party that exists after the election - the DLP perhaps.

Then there was the Liberal Democratic Party candidate.    He spoke without notes.    Normally, as an experienced adjudicator, I would applaud that.    This bloke needs scripting or perhaps a gag.    These loonies are the remnants of the NSW Shooters/Outdoor Recreation Party.    They seem to be in favour of something but it's hard to tell what.

Least but not last, the Green.  Canadian with that great sense of humour all Canadians have.  She's a nurse and is she scripted? - reads everything.

I'd give the evening to the lad from the Democrats - pity that.

Not that it matters because, sure as eggs, there will be a by-election in Wentworth and it will be a by-election that captures the interest of the whole nation like no other unless there is a Labor [sic] landslide and I still can't see it.

That brings me to the polls.   SWMBO was polled on Wednesday evening.   Most importantly she was asked for her postcode not whether she was enrolled to vote.   Note that: they are not checking whether they are polling enrolled voters.  As I have said before, a lot of people are going to be very surprised when they turn up to vote and find they have been wiped off the roll.   

She was then asked about her views on:

Howard as PM

The Pulp Mill

Rudd as PM



Most important issue: education [a State issue], climate change, interest rates, international relations, health.

I don't know what her responses were and I wouldn't ask but on the basis of that polling methodology, I wouldn't give a fig for current poll results.    I also suspect it is the polls that are driving the betting market.   If someone pays, I might just have $100 on the Coalition.

Finally, I note the SMH reports that the betting on Wentworth has been suspended pending the by-election.    That, methinks is a more reliable guide than either the polls or McCarthy QC's advice.

I was referring to either Malcolm, Fiona !

I remember driving through Kings Cross a few years ago and a friend pointed out what looked like a mountain of a man on a ladder attaching something to a light pole - "that's the famous (infamous?) Malcolm B. Duncan," he said.

My friend assured me Mr Duncan is too much of a gentleman to deface a candidate's poster.

At least Wentworth is providing lively fodder for the media in a somewhat boring election even though we may be facing a dramatic change.

Fiona: I apologise for so boldly leaping to conclusions, Michael.


Michael de Angelos, you are gravely mistaken, I have NEVER attached anything to a lightpole in the electorates in which I have stood.  I have, pursuant to the permission of various Divisional Returning Officers, REMOVED electoral posters from power poles and either handed them in or dumped them in accordance with directions from those Officers.  I have never defaced an electoral poster and never would - they are all ugly enough.

In this election, I have taken the view that, on past experience, (a) it is unlikely that the Electricity Supply authority will sub-contract me to take them down and (b) TOM is probably doing himself more harm than good by having them up anyway - reminds people he's standing.

Now, if only we could get the Greens to stop polluting the environment.

Malcolm the Ripper

Well, if you Google, you'll find that's what Kate McClymont called me.

Here's the recipe (I point out this is not cash for comment) :

Bunnings sells very cheap extension poles designed for attaching to paint rollers for painting ceilings.   They have a plastic top which is designed to screw into the roller.    They also sell brass hooks with a curved head and a long, screw-ended shank.    Take the screw shank, screw it into the extension pole and you have a perfect poster-ripper which is not a device the carrying of which would be an offence under NSW's Summary Offences Act.

You may have noticed that, in order to cope with the metal power poles currently being installed, the political parties have taken to using plastic ties to attach the posters to the poles.   The Bunnings Ripper is perfect for breaking them.

Take one Bunnings ripper, extend fully, sever the top plastic tie then watch for traffic because when you sever the bottom one, it has a tendency to float to the ground often in the middle of the traffic lane.   After all, we don't want to clean up the environment at the expense of traffic accidents do we?

As more posters come down, the apparatchiks start putting them higher up the poles.   A 3m ladder is sufficient if you are as tall as I am and have as long a reach.   Fits neatly into the boot of the car. 

The likely candidates Michael de Angelos for defacing posters are either people who have been represented by Dixie, or more likely, the Liberals or Labor [sic].    Some years ago, 1999, I think it was, someone got into the garage in Woolloomooloo, where the car was parked and defaced my posters on it with charming slogans like "I like to suck little boys" and so on - wonder who that could have been?    Even I wouldn't blame Clover's mob for that.


Mack the Ripper: a perfect poster-ripper which is not a device the carrying of which would be an offence under NSW's Summary Offences Act.

Now this is the work of a genuine determined maniac. One loves it and applauds it.  Would that the Wildeyed Mistress of the Firth of Woolloomooloo could have employed it in the Seven Studio while the LiberaL Party's Glimmer Twins were unzipping each other's pants in what will easily rank as the 2007 Election's most pitiful display of pissing in pockets.

The Mack the Ripper™ patent Election Device (at all Bunnings Stores this Xmas Election - Beat the Rush!!) could have duffed them a treat.

Each, after all, was luridly displaying a small election poster, as it were.  The Ripper could have turned the whole thing into a frenzied Pulp Fiction-like event, with top-rating bloody geysers and gouts and the screams of the dying.  Seven might well have profited by putting it on a constant website loop.

And putting wee Mackie  on the payroll.

Dr Woodforde, OAM, of Hameln


Labor, laboris  for you [sic] Tiberius skanky Bunnings™ Patent Erectile Act vandals.  And I fort you preferred Roman resultare.

But the gadget, in another, less expensive guise, can do a very good adaption, eg, a shower of $$$$$$ signs, to the Howard poster:  "you've never had it so good you ungrateful bunch of pricks [or insert suitably vile Anglo-Saxon or Latin noun, eg, that derived from cuneus, a wedge]".

And don't be such a guttersnipe Malcolm.  It ill behooves (OE) yer tatty weee tartan.  Leave the filthy vandalism and guttersniping to experts like me and HRH Crown Prince Akkimoto, of Formosa.   

Rev Dr Woodforde, OAM, of the Invergordon Ross mob [now al Fayad of Harrods™], would-be Bunnings™/Coles Group™ shareholder

apologia, etc.

Sorry Malcom, they just get on my tit...

Of course you thrive on technicalities, these define your income and livelihood.  And isn't conflict and dialectic the oxygen that powers life in a healthy polis?

V. Important to know if Outhouse crosses his eyes whilst dotting his  tees...

Just the same , once in a while  you get a but frustrated like you do at the football, when the match officials miss something blatant and you wonder who is paying them off behind the scenes when your team is on the receiving end.

The bizzo involving Tran and various other tormented real-world souls, incarcerated at the indefinite whim of mindless thugs like Andrews and then the subsequent lengths these  cranks  go in suppressing inquiry and accountability, seems to worry too few people,

By contrast, instead  I'm supposed exclusively to be interested only in the sort of stupid antics that people like Albrechtsen and Overington get up to.

Naaahh!!.............(shakes head).


Paul Walter, at our best, what we lawyers do is resolve conflict without physical violence (although at its best the NSW Bar is pretty violent - then we go to the pub).  Doesn't always work and not all of us try but I do alright (without getting paid for it most of the time).  I actually enjoy, really enjoy, technicalities - take these technicalities from me you murthering ministers - give me the chance for a damned good holiday - vote for me in the by-election and I'll never have to work again - just fun - fun all the time.  Yet, as ever, a life of public service, repaying the gifts I have been given and the education vouchsafed to me.

Perhaps today we should be calling the Labor [sic] candidate "Shithouse"?

This Can Go Either Way

If memory serves me well, Jackie Kelly good a much larger vote second time around due to perceived voter anger at having to do it all again. And it was the Labor candidate who made the complaint.

If a miracle occurs and Howard wins, any challenge to Newhouse could backfire on Turnbull. If Rudd wins, vice versa but I doubt it.

I notice in Wentworth's Kings Cross  that the candidate for the Climate  Change Coalition, the delightful Dixie Coulton has had 2 of her 3 posters defaced. One has been torn apart-the other has a moustache drawn upon dear Dixie. I hope you had nothing to do with this, Malcolm? [Fiona: It might have been Claude.]

I'm taking bets on how many votes they will get there - I reckon under 200. Sad, as they are spot on with everything they are campaigning about.

Yes it would be worth it, Malcolm

Malcolm: Having had the experience of life in Canberra for a good many more than three winters, I assure you it would be worth it. For a start, the ACT is the Switzerland of Australia, with Canberra its Geneva (minus the Calvinist legacy.) If you take up skiing, and one is never too old to learn, the snowfields are a mere 3 hours away, and the surf on the South Coast likewise. I am sure that if you held the balance of power, Mr Howard, Costello, Rudd etc (perhaps the lot of them crammed into the front seat together) would be only too happy to be your personal chauffeur/s, driving you cheerfully wherever you wanted to go.

A vacation of your Senate seat at a time convenient for one or more of those same dignitaries in exchange for an ambassadorship in say Paris, London or even the aforesaid Switzerland would then suggest itself. I'm sure something magnanimous could be arranged, followed by retirement on a pension of Hollingsworthian magnitude, and a pleasant life of touring the glens and single-malt distilleries of bonny Scotland, fly fishing in the Tweed, and golf at St Andrews. This as a distraction from the activity back home by the loch of writing one's memoirs, perhaps suitably entitled You Too can Become President of the Senate and Torpedo a Prime Minister.


I love technicalities.   I thrive on them.    You should see the pleadings I did last week.

Come on  Paul Walter, this is democracy in action - Australian style.   I didn't draft the damned Act I'm just here to subvert the thing.


C'mon  Malcolm.  Relinquish unworthy salivating at having the poll hobbled on a technicality, after all else from debate, through smear to manipulation and coercion ( Overington and her bosses ) has failed. 

Let instead, readers  read Malcolm B Duncan's clarion call for justice, even  before Legal Narrowism.

Justice to be done next weekend, through the unfettered choice of the People at the polling booth, issues forth the ringling, passionate cry of Malcolm?!

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