Essential Reading

Insights from Quadrant
Insights from Quadrant

All the schmooze
that’s fit to tweet

Working as she does at the ABC, the High Court’s 7-0 decision freeing Cardinal George Pell from conviction and prison must have come as a huge shock to Louise Milligan. What chance, do you reckon, any fellow inmate of Ultimo or Southbank ever expressed even the mildest reservation about the cardinal’s guilt within her earshot?

The Walkley people certainly didn’t, honouring her with their 2017 book of the year award. Given Cardinal has now been exposed as a wad of errors, flawed assumptions, toxic whispers and alleged offences that didn’t make it to court or, if they did, were ultimately overturned on grounds of immense improbability, some might think Ms Milligan’s mantelpiece should be stripped of that handsome trophy. Were the Walkley crew to ask for its return, that would be the honourable thing to do. So don’t expect it to happen.

Still, somewhere in the gullible lump of Ms Milligan’s grey matter, there must surely be the stirring of a fear that someone might do something. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has so far remained silent on the national broadcaster’s dismal performance in substituting slander for rational analysis, but miracles can happen and he might, one day in the fullness of time, get around to observing that the ABC really does need sweeping reform.

There is also the possibility that Cardinal Pell could sue, or the ABC might convene a panel of outsiders to take a hard look not only at at Ms Milligan’s reporting but also why her supervising editors, who don’t appear to have done much supervising, gave her free rein to romp so long and so loudly in the meadows of fantasy. Perhaps it is that last thought which inspired her tweet of this morning:

Louise Milligan @Milliganreports
I want to say that we at the ABC are incredibly lucky to have an MD in David Anderson who champions important journalism & genuinely cares about the wellbeing &, yes, safety, of those of us who strive to undertake it. Knowing we have David steering the ship is hugely comforting.

There are plenty more of Ms Milligan’s tweets to ponder and all can be viewed here. They are perhaps the most illuminating things this Walkley winner has ever published.

— roger franklin

Insights from Quadrant

‘They should resign’

In the Herald Sun this week, Jeff Kennett demanded the resignations of the two Court of Appeal judges — Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Chris Maxwell (above) — who went with the vibe, not the law, in rejecting Cardinal George Pell’s appeal and consigning an innocent man to 405 days behind bars. The column is paywalled, but here is the nub of the former Victorian premier’s stinging j’accuse:

I want to focus on the standing of the legal system in Victoria and the inappropriateness of our two senior judges occupying their positions any longer.

By 1992, the standing of the application of law in Victoria was so low anyone involved in a serious commercial trial went to the courts of NSW to have their matter heard. We established Victoria’s Court of Appeal in 1994 to address that lack of confidence in our court system. Justice Jack Winneke was appointed president and, with his colleagues, rebuilt Victoria’s court reputation. They were highly respected legal people…

…how could Victoria’s two most senior legal people sitting as the Court of Appeal get their decisions so terribly wrong? They should resign.

As a further indictment of what should be two of the brightest legal minds in the Garden State, the video below is damning.

Insights from Quadrant

How to revitalize
Australia’s economy

Andrew Stone’s important new book lays out an economic agenda that is coherent and comprehensive, yet politically achievable over the next three to five years by a federal government with the resolve to implement it.

Order your copy here.

Addressing immigration, the housing market, higher education reform, federal?state relations, energy policy, workforce participation, welfare reform, budget repair, monetary policy and financial system regulation, the book demonstrates that good government worthy of the respect and support of the Australian people is not merely possible but vital.

What others are saying of Restoring Hope:

Niall Ferguson: “This is an ambitious program of structural as well as fiscal reform. Let us hope there are politicians willing to take the risks inherent in such a radical strategy.” 

Peter Costello:  “Andrew Stone reminds us that improving productivity is the key to future living standards in Australia. He identifies a range of areas where this could be examined. The hard work of economic reform cannot be done without explaining the options and building public support.”

John Howard:  “Andrew Stone has undertaken the difficult task of arguing in detail for a range of economic reforms. That he has done it at a time when, in the eyes of some, reform is in the doldrums is all the more praiseworthy. His analysis of the housing issue is impressive.”

Insights from Quadrant

Things suppressed,
things whispered

In The Australian, this from Janet Albrechtsen

…Pell’s legal team had one hand tied behind its back from the start. This was compounded by the flawed judicial method adopted by Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Court of Appeal president Chris Maxwell. Without the benefit of seeing and listening to the complainant give evidence at trial, the majority decided that he was a truthful witness, that he was not a liar or a fantasist.

The majority’s reliance solely on the complainant’s credibility to uphold the jury’s verdict against Pell delivered a double whammy — it meant Pell faced a reverse onus to prove to the jury that the complainant was lying, but Pell could not satisfy that reverse onus by tendering psychological evidence about the complainant that may have helped to prove that…

The column is paywalled, but subscribers can read it here.

Meanwhile, Pride of Their ABC Louise Milligan shares this:

I am told there are complaints in more than one jurisdiction. That is, not just Victoria. And they are more recent. #Pell.

She is “told”, eh, but by whom? Certainly not by Victoria Police — perish the thought! — as she earlier tweeted

For the record, again, I have not colluded with Victoria Police and there is no evidence to show that, anywhere.

Interesting choice of word, “colluded“.

Essential Reading

Insights from Quadrant
Insights from Quadrant

All the schmooze
that’s fit to tweet

Working as she does at the ABC, the High Court’s 7-0 decision freeing Cardinal George Pell from conviction and prison must have come as a huge shock to Louise Milligan. What chance, do you reckon, any fellow inmate of Ultimo or Southbank ever expressed even the mildest reservation about the cardinal’s guilt within her earshot?

The Walkley people certainly didn’t, honouring her with their 2017 book of the year award. Given Cardinal has now been exposed as a wad of errors, flawed assumptions, toxic whispers and alleged offences that didn’t make it to court or, if they did, were ultimately overturned on grounds of immense improbability, some might think Ms Milligan’s mantelpiece should be stripped of that handsome trophy. Were the Walkley crew to ask for its return, that would be the honourable thing to do. So don’t expect it to happen.

Still, somewhere in the gullible lump of Ms Milligan’s grey matter, there must surely be the stirring of a fear that someone might do something. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has so far remained silent on the national broadcaster’s dismal performance in substituting slander for rational analysis, but miracles can happen and he might, one day in the fullness of time, get around to observing that the ABC really does need sweeping reform.

There is also the possibility that Cardinal Pell could sue, or the ABC might convene a panel of outsiders to take a hard look not only at at Ms Milligan’s reporting but also why her supervising editors, who don’t appear to have done much supervising, gave her free rein to romp so long and so loudly in the meadows of fantasy. Perhaps it is that last thought which inspired her tweet of this morning:

Louise Milligan @Milliganreports
I want to say that we at the ABC are incredibly lucky to have an MD in David Anderson who champions important journalism & genuinely cares about the wellbeing &, yes, safety, of those of us who strive to undertake it. Knowing we have David steering the ship is hugely comforting.

There are plenty more of Ms Milligan’s tweets to ponder and all can be viewed here. They are perhaps the most illuminating things this Walkley winner has ever published.

— roger franklin

Insights from Quadrant

‘They should resign’

In the Herald Sun this week, Jeff Kennett demanded the resignations of the two Court of Appeal judges — Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Chris Maxwell (above) — who went with the vibe, not the law, in rejecting Cardinal George Pell’s appeal and consigning an innocent man to 405 days behind bars. The column is paywalled, but here is the nub of the former Victorian premier’s stinging j’accuse:

I want to focus on the standing of the legal system in Victoria and the inappropriateness of our two senior judges occupying their positions any longer.

By 1992, the standing of the application of law in Victoria was so low anyone involved in a serious commercial trial went to the courts of NSW to have their matter heard. We established Victoria’s Court of Appeal in 1994 to address that lack of confidence in our court system. Justice Jack Winneke was appointed president and, with his colleagues, rebuilt Victoria’s court reputation. They were highly respected legal people…

…how could Victoria’s two most senior legal people sitting as the Court of Appeal get their decisions so terribly wrong? They should resign.

As a further indictment of what should be two of the brightest legal minds in the Garden State, the video below is damning.

Insights from Quadrant

How to revitalize
Australia’s economy

Andrew Stone’s important new book lays out an economic agenda that is coherent and comprehensive, yet politically achievable over the next three to five years by a federal government with the resolve to implement it.

Order your copy here.

Addressing immigration, the housing market, higher education reform, federal?state relations, energy policy, workforce participation, welfare reform, budget repair, monetary policy and financial system regulation, the book demonstrates that good government worthy of the respect and support of the Australian people is not merely possible but vital.

What others are saying of Restoring Hope:

Niall Ferguson: “This is an ambitious program of structural as well as fiscal reform. Let us hope there are politicians willing to take the risks inherent in such a radical strategy.” 

Peter Costello:  “Andrew Stone reminds us that improving productivity is the key to future living standards in Australia. He identifies a range of areas where this could be examined. The hard work of economic reform cannot be done without explaining the options and building public support.”

John Howard:  “Andrew Stone has undertaken the difficult task of arguing in detail for a range of economic reforms. That he has done it at a time when, in the eyes of some, reform is in the doldrums is all the more praiseworthy. His analysis of the housing issue is impressive.”

Insights from Quadrant

Things suppressed,
things whispered

In The Australian, this from Janet Albrechtsen

…Pell’s legal team had one hand tied behind its back from the start. This was compounded by the flawed judicial method adopted by Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Court of Appeal president Chris Maxwell. Without the benefit of seeing and listening to the complainant give evidence at trial, the majority decided that he was a truthful witness, that he was not a liar or a fantasist.

The majority’s reliance solely on the complainant’s credibility to uphold the jury’s verdict against Pell delivered a double whammy — it meant Pell faced a reverse onus to prove to the jury that the complainant was lying, but Pell could not satisfy that reverse onus by tendering psychological evidence about the complainant that may have helped to prove that…

The column is paywalled, but subscribers can read it here.

Meanwhile, Pride of Their ABC Louise Milligan shares this:

I am told there are complaints in more than one jurisdiction. That is, not just Victoria. And they are more recent. #Pell.

She is “told”, eh, but by whom? Certainly not by Victoria Police — perish the thought! — as she earlier tweeted

For the record, again, I have not colluded with Victoria Police and there is no evidence to show that, anywhere.

Interesting choice of word, “colluded“.