Sleazy millionaire lobbyist Bruce Hawker has denied being paid by the rich Rudds to run Kamikaze Kev’s doomed leadership campaign and has threatened to sue what he – with little sense of irony – refers to as the “discredited” VEXNEWS. Hawker, a mouthpiece of Macquarie bank, pokies operators and lobby groups, pay-day lenders and Sydney developers opined:
“Everyone who knows Vex News knows it has no credibility whatsoever,” he said.
Except when we so very often break the stories that shape the nation.
Hawker’s dummy-spit followed Barrie Cassidy on Insiders drawing attention to our story on Mr Hawker’s sleazy role as Rudd’s faceless man lobbyist. Bumbling Bruce wasn’t even asked about these matters when he sauntered on in the hot sun and volunteered a statement to bemused scribes, wondering whether it might all have been an acid flashback to Brucey’s misspent youth.
His carefully worded non-denial denial included an assertion that he stopped being a lobbyist from May 2010 before working in the Rudd PMO in its dying days. But what about what went on before May 2010? We are reliably told that he slithered around the PMO in an unpaid informal advisory capacity long before May 2010, a fact well-known throughout the Labor caucus and indeed the Canberra Press Gallery. He even maintained a desk in that office, prior to then, a scandalous situation, in our view. A scandal hidden in plain sight.
“It’s (the VEXNEWS voice of victory) not a good source of information and I’ll be talking to my lawyers about Vex News in the next few days.”
Oh, please do, Brucey babe, you sleaze bag. No amount of cheap threats of high-priced legal action will silence us. Indeed, litigation could serve the public interest well, as we explore, using the discovery process, exactly how much time a millionaire lobbyist spent occupying space in the Prime Minister of Australia’s own office.
The matters of which Hawker does stand accused:
■ Indecently maintaining a desk in the Rudd Prime Minister’s office in breach of every conceivable guideline and ethical doctrine while still at his Hawker Britton lobbying firm (He has not denied this, indeed it has been written about elsewhere, it was no secret, he maintained a regular presence in the Rudd PMO from the get-go, remaining a lobbyist all the while. There ought to be a law against it. There probably is.)
■ Doing over his mate David Britton for millions in the sale of Hawker Britton to STW (Hasn’t denied that either);
■ Boasting not-so-privately of having some kind of sordid secret agreement with Kevin Rudd to become his chief-of-staff in the mercifully unlikely event that Rudd would be back in the PMO (He hasn’t denied that either and that at least would be a more honest arrangement than the 2007-2010 one where he was an unpaid adviser to the PM while whoring out his access for multiple millions to some of Australia’s richest companies.)
With typical sleazy Sydney spin-doctoring sneakiness, Hawker has denied being paid to lobby for Rudd by Rudd. But no-one has suggested that, certainly we don’t. Hawker made about $15M from his sale of the firm Hawker Britton and Rudd’s missus has over $1 billion in contracts from the UK government, so there’s really no need for millionaires to be paying each other. Immediately at least. The pay-off can wait for another time and would be substantially more than a measly per diem for spinworks and promising campaign donations to stray caucus votes. Yes, Bruce, we know about that.
So panicked and attention-hogging was the incorrigible rogue Hawker by Barrie Cassidy’s report that he must have sat in the Rudd house for some time, carefully planning his words in an attempt to put out this latest Rudd bushfire. He managed to throw petrol on it. His non-denial denial of an improper previous arrangement with Rudd and his meddling in the Labor caucus only served to highlight the ugliness. The threat of litigation was comedy gold that only fired up the inferno. For that we thank him. And wish to assure readers – as we tweeted – that VEXNEWS has not – to my knowledge – paid Hawker for any promotional services and that he appears to be working in an unpaid capacity.
We like forward to some Alan-Howe-style banter in the days and weeks ahead.
We have accused Hawker of acting quite inappropriately and stand by every word of it.
Certainly he has failed Campaign 101 by making himself the issue. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh – herself struggling to get clear air over the carnage caused by Rudd’s coup attempt – would do well to shun Hawker from her own campaign going forward, given the high probability of him causing significant distraction in her campaign too. Hawker clearly is in need of a holiday, like most fools he seems to hurt those closest to him the most, which would be made slightly less likely if he flew off to Phuket for a few cocktails and a spot of ping-pong. We hear she’ll probably take him back, itself a bit of an embarrassment. Many think it’ll be Hawker’s last Labor campaign for a long time as he lives down the embarrassment and disgrace associated with Rudd’s failed and fundamentally pointless bid for leadership that seemed to be about nothing other than his own personal vendetta.
Needless to say, we will vigorously defend any legal proceedings brought by the former prolific influence-peddler Hawker. We doubt he’ll have the bottle. If he does pony up, we look forward to using legal process to shed more light on the exact nature of his extraordinary arrangements in the Rudd PMO that in most countries would be unlawful and certainly should be here.
5PM UPDATE: Stephen Mayne – not someone we have probably ever favourably quoted before – observes correctly that Hawker was still Chairman of Hawker Britton despite not being on the lobbyist register on 24th May 2010 when he has claimed to be in the Rudd PMO. Of course, should there ever be litigation on the subject, the truth of lobbyist Hawker’s unprecedented access to the Prime Minister’s inner sanctum will be laid bare. Something to look forward to. VEXNEWS understands that Hawker was still sending/responding to emails to his firstname.lastname@example.org address in late 2010. He is a lying liar who lies.
This is how Bruce Hawker describes himself to clients, sickening really, you can almost see him salivating onto his moustache when reading those useless lists published by useless broadsheets chronicling who has the biggest mojo.
Bruce Hawker is one of Australia’s pre-eminent political and communications figures. He has an unparalleled reputation as a campaign professional forged over 30 years working at the highest levels of government and corporate Australia. Bruce is founder and Managing Director of Campaigns and Communications, a company specialising in corporate and political campaigns. Before establishing C&C, Bruce founded Australia’s leading government relations practice, Hawker Britton. Bruce also served for nine years as Chief of Staff to former Premier of NSW, Bob Carr. In 2008, Bruce was named by The Sydney Morning Herald as one of Sydney’s 100 most influential people. In 2011, Bruce was nominated by The Sydney Morning Herald in its ’50 most powerful people’ as one of Australia’s top 5 political brokers. Bruce has a strong presence in Australian politics where he has served as a key strategist in most federal, state and territory election campaigns since 1997. Bruce’s opinions on politics and government are widely sought by the media and he is regularly a guest commentator on ABC radio, Channel 7’s ‘Sunrise’ and Sky News. Bruce is also a regular contributor to newspapers including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald. Bruce is based in Sydney.
Some following that link through will see that Mr Hawker can be contacted by email and mobile there. Those wishing to make contact with him to express their views on millionaire lobbyist faceless men determining who should be their Prime Minister should feel free to do so. When we tweeted these public domain details, we had quite the response, as did poor Bruce apparently.