by Larry Pickering

Apart from having the sort of head you’d never get tired of kicking, Bill Shorten, to put it bluntly is a dog of a bloke. What rankles me most is not his politics or his lack of loyalty but how he treated a good friend of mine.

That good friend is a dinky-di, true blue Labor party bloke, an AWU Secretary with an unusual ambition… to do the absolute best he could for the workers. That bloke’s name is Bob Kernohan.

ALP Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

In the mid 1990s Bob became aware that a Bruce Wilson, WA Secretary of the same union, and his girlfriend, Julia Gillard, had been systematically stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his union members.

Bob was determined to expose the fraud and have the money returned to union members. He wrote a detailed, comprehensive affidavit on the activities of the two crooks and publicised it, causing AWU heavyweights a great deal of angst.

One of those AWU officials who was very annoyed was Bill Shorten, who was having it off with Nicola Roxon at the time.

Bill Shorten approached Bob Kernohan and told him to desist from exposing the scam saying, “This could bring us all down”. Bob quite rightly ignored the request.

Undeterred, Bill Shorten, with AWU supremo Bill Ludwig’s blessing, then offered Bob the safe Labor seat of Melton in the Victorian Parliament’s Lower House.

Bob refused the offer, saying “I couldn’t live with myself if I accepted that”.

Bob, with the help of friends, continued to unearth the scam, which was by now gaining traction in the media.

Then, late one night, Bob found himself cornered by four of the AWU’s best thugs.

After receiving some heavy blows from all sides, Bob fell to the ground in a foetal position trying to protect his head with his arms. A hail of work boots found their mark. His head, chest and stomach felt the pain of broken bone and torn tissue.

After what seemed an age they left Bob, bleeding and semi conscious, on the sidewalk.

He has never recovered from that cowardly assault. The injuries he sustained, both physical and mental, have stayed with him… they have affected every aspect of his life.

Now in hiding, he still he did not flinch from trying to restore members’ funds stolen by Gillard and Wilson.

The next trick was to send him bullets in the mail and make threatening phone calls at all hours of the night. Still Bob stayed the course.

Former Labor PM, Juliar Gillard

Latest reports from Vic Police are that they have “ample evidence” to charge both Gillard and Wilson. They await a judge’s ruling on further material Wilson is attempting to have suppressed.

It would be nice if, before Bob leaves us, this matter was resolved and just over a million dollars was returned to Bob’s members.

… and that’s why I really don’t like Bill Shorten.

PS. Just before Christmas a Magistrate in Melbourne (who fully vetted the files) ruled that documents used in the commission of a crime are not covered ‘by Legal Privilege’ and ordered their release to Victoria Police who are now moving forward with the investigation. Hurrah !