- A gay sex allegation, initially blamed on the Labor Party, turns out to have come from the Liberals themselves.
- The Big Business funded "Pro-Work-Choices" Ads used persons with criminal records to play the Union guys. Then Joe Hockey defended it, as "method acting"!!!
- Then the Liberals claim that the Labor Party is being funded by the TWU, and demands "TWU candidates" for the Labor Party be disendorsed. It turns out that one was once a TWU worker more than 10 years ago, and the other candidate left the TWU in 2000 (7 years ago).
Gay sex smear traced to Liberals
Claims that a married federal minister visits gay bathhouses and sexually harasses other men in political circles surfaced yesterday in News Limited papers, which said the Government blamed Labor for smearing the minister, who has children — although the articles made clear Labor was not the source.
Veteran journalist Laurie Oakes, the Nine Network's political editor, said he too was fed the same story by a Liberal as part of an internal power struggle. Prime Minister John Howard refused to comment on the innuendo, which he said he knew nothing about.
The exchange came as big business was reeling from revelations by The Sunday Age that two actors playing "union thugs" in its pro-WorkChoices advertisement were notorious criminals with records for drug offences and violence. One had also faced sex charges. The ads were pulled on Saturday night.
ACTU president Sharan Burrow was incensed by the depiction of the unionists. But Workplace Minister Joe Hockey suggested the men were "method acting" — because "we have a number of union officials out there who have criminal records".
In another controversy, the Transport Workers Union was accused of running a secret multimillion-dollar slush fund. Mr Howard and Mr Hockey demanded Labor leader Kevin Rudd investigate to ensure the union was accountable to its members.
Mr Hockey accused the TWU of funnelling more than $3 million to the Labor Party in recent years, and demanded scalps.
"If Kevin Rudd is fair dinkum about his zero tolerance approach to the unions' dirty tricks, he will return the TWU money and disendorse his TWU candidates — Corio candidate Richard Marles and Victorian Senate candidate David Feeney," he said.
Mr Feeney has not been employed by the TWU for more than a decade, and Mr Marles left the union in 2000.
Source: The Age - Fairfax Digital.Prime Minister Howard is desperate, and is relying on the defence used by "Manuel" from Fawlty Towers all those years ago - "I know nothing".