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Four words

27/04/2012

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That’s all it took. Four words.

There was a story in the Courier mail by Steve Lewis that set off a frenzy of microscopic opinion review of the dockets Peter Slipper released publicly yesterday. The dockets, on face value, appear to shoot down the allegations that the cabcharges were blank. But not content on taking things at face value, Lewis engaged the “forensic investigator” angle.

Speaker Peter Slipper’s release of personal records to prove his innocence disputed by leading forensic handwriting specialist Paul Westwood whose preliminary assessment suggests the signatures ‘could be indicative of two or more writers’

by: Steve Lewis, Patrick Lion From: The Courier

EMBATTLED Speaker Peter Slipper described as a “complete fabrication” claims that he misused Cabcharge dockets as he released personal records in a bid to prove his innocence.

As key Independent and Government MPs hardened their view against his return to the Speaker’s role, Mr Slipper said the handwritten vouchers were “completed by me and are clearly in my handwriting”.

However Australia’s leading forensic handwriting specialist, Paul Westwood, said a “preliminary assessment” of the reproduced documents suggested the signatures were “highly variable”.

Mr Westwood, the managing director of Forensic Document Services, said the signatures “could be indicative of two or more writers”.

The unusual move by Mr Slipper to release his finance records follows allegations in the Federal Court by a staffer, James Ashby, that the Speaker had misused his Cabcharge dockets on three occasions.

You can read the other nine paragraphs here http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/speaker-peter-slippers-release-of-personal-records-to-prove-his-innocence-disputed-by-leading-forensic-handwriting-specialist-paul-westwood-whose-preliminary-assessment-suggests-the-signatures-could-be-indicative-of-two-or-more-writers/story-e6freoof-1226339244409

Almost as soon as the story came online, it was on the air waves of talk back radio. Soon other things began to suddenly look fishy. Why are some of these dockets in sequential order people say. Umm because he had the same driver?

But lets stay with this forensic evidence. As you can see Lewis was able to craft a 800 word plus story about this report from a forensic scientist. A report not published. And what is the damning evidence from this report? Well Lewis only uses four words. Its the only four he quotes in relation to that report. And there is a distinct gap between those quotes.

However Australia’s leading forensic handwriting specialist, Paul Westwood, said a “preliminary assessment” of the reproduced documents suggested the signatures were “highly variable”.

That’s it. “Preliminary assessment” – probably lifted from the title of the report; and “highly variable”. Are you shitting me? Four words? And half of them from the title? And your big evidence is the handwriting is highly variable? From that you conclude there were two or more people in the grassy knoll?

I mean yes. It “could be indicative of two or more writers”. But it could also mean that he was more tired at night then in the morning. Westwood’s ‘cover letter like’ conclusion on the report is rather dubious.

And also not published.

All the while Lewis questions why Slipper published his dockets.

It is clear that the aim here is to muddy the speaker’s name so much that he can not possibly resume his seat by budget day regardless of his innocence in either matter.

And all it has taken to whip up this lynch mob frenzy was four words.

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A. Ghebranious 2012

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3 Comments
  1. rupy permalink

    How could you possibly suggest that some toe rag journo might beat up a bit of bullshit to rouse the mindless rabble Ash? I didn’t have the finer details you have presented, merely common sense, and I arrived at a similar conclusion to you. I wonder how long though before the ‘Leader’ of the Opposition starts calling for a public stoning of Mr Slipper and … the Prime Minister, and … well those boat people look a bit dodgy, throw some at them.

  2. rupy, they’re not “boat people” seeking asylum any more… they’re “illegal arrivals” according to Abbott, and that’s a very effective dog-whistle to his supporters!

    According to the ABC “momentum is growing” to sideline Slipper permanently and before the Budget.

    Ash., did you happen to hear Lateline’s Emma Alberici, in her interview with the A-G, Nicola Roxon, backing herself with this astonishing argument –

    “all of the commentariat are echoing the Opposition.”

  3. Mr. Eyesore permalink

    Steve Lewis – where have I heard that name before?

    Oh yeah, now I remember:
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/how-utegate-began-with-my-call-to-ford-credits-greg-cohen/story-e6frezz0-1225738841781

    Didn’t that one work out well for Godwin Grech and Mal Turnbull?

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