Sunday, August 26, 2007

What's Behind Door Number Four?

The Sunday Telegraph delivers a broadside against Kevin Rudd today with no less than three columnists weighing in on the Labor leader's drunken visit to a New York strip joint. But it's a fourth piece unrelated to strip clubs that could sink Labor's Mr Sheen.

Glenn Milne notes feminist silence at Rudd's 'exploitation of women' and concludes:

Given the events of last week, it's hard not to conclude that when it comes to left-wing feminist condemnation of sexist behaviour in politics, only one thing counts: which side of politics the perpetrator comes from. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. One of the most hypocritical episodes of modern politics was played out in the US during the Clinton presidency, when Eva Cox's American counterparts actually came to Bill's defence during the Monica Lewinsky affair. Then again, when you think about it, Rudd's defence that he couldn't recollect nude lap dancers all around him is about as credible as Clinton saying he didn't inhale.
Matt Price also questions Rudd's credibility:

Having admitted following legendary editor Col Allan into Scores, Rudd originally pleaded abject drunkenness and insisted he couldn't recall anything about the night. But the more Rudd talked - and he agreed to countless interviews - the less convincing he sounded.
And Sandra Lee takes an aggrieved line at the spin that has apparently got Rudd out of the firing line.

However, Piers Akermann drops the real bombshell:

Kevin Rudd may be called to answer questions relating to the destruction of evidence as a police investigation into the rape of a Queensland girl 19 years ago gains new momentum. The girl... was just 14 at the time and resident at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre, in the care of the Queensland Government, when she was gang raped by other inmates.

...(The girl)'s tragic story is but one strand of this horror, the other is the Goss ALP government's attempt to ignore her plight and bury the incident without trace. investigation, directed by former magistrate Noel Heiner and launched by the Cooper National Party government, was shut down by the Goss government when it came to power. The Goss cabinet ordered the shredding of all the documents collected by Heiner...

Rudd was Premier Wayne Goss's chief of staff at the time and subsequently became the director-general of his cabinet office. It was widely held that nothing took place within cabinet without his knowledge, and he has also claimed his experience running Goss's cabinet has equipped him to be prime minister of Australia.

Though both Rudd and Queensland Premier Peter Beattie claimed as recently as last week that the shredding of the documents needed no further investigation, it has never been fully examined.

Both Rudd and Beattie also rejected the view of former chief justice of the High Court, Sir Harry Gibbs and an unprecedented plea from a former West Australian chief justice (David Malcolm), two retired NSW chief judges (Jack Lee, now deceased, and Dr Frank McGrath), two retired NSW Supreme Court justices (Roddy Meagher and Barry O'Keefe), one of Australia's foremost QCs (Alec Shand) and a legal academic and barrister (Alastair MacAdam) that an independent special prosecutor be appointed to examine the matter.

...Further, a recent two-year audit of the matter by prominent Sydney QC, David Rofe, which ran to 3000 pages contained in nine volumes, concluded there were 67 unaddressed alleged prima facie criminal charges against the cabinet and civil servants that needed to be urgently addressed.
What was in the documents that warranted their shredding?

-- Nick

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