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Craig Thomson: “I was set up!”

May 12, 2012

The Craig Thomson defence:

  • It wasn’t me.
  • It was someone else.
  • I was “set up.”

Political enemies conspired on a number of occasions to “set up” Craig Thomson with fabricated records suggesting he engaged prostitutes, including making telephone calls from his mobile phone to escort agencies pretending to be him, using his drivers licence for authentication, and obtaining his two union credit cards to pay for the services, according to the besieged MP.

Craig Thomson on Channel Nine’s Weekend Today show this morning to be interviewed by an incredulous Laurie Oakes, who asked him whether he really expected his fellow MPs to believe his story when he addresses Parliament later this month.

Mr Thomson said he did hope parliamentarians would keep an open mind, saying there were some “very simple ways” in which his factional opponents could have manufactured false evidence to create the impression he had been with prostitutes.

The interview marks Mr Thomson’s first extended response to this week’s release of Fair Work Australia’s report on its three year investigation into allegations he defrauded funds of the Health Services Union when he was national secretary between 2002 and 2007.

FWA investigator Terry Nassios found Mr Thomson rorted $500,000 of the funds of HSU members – most of whom are poorly paid hospital workers – for prostitutes, unaccounted-for cash advances, fine dining and hotels, and to promote his own 2007 election campaign for the New South Wales central coast seat of Dobell.

But Mr Thomson came up with an explanation for each accusation, telling Oakes Mr Nassios had been “led down a path” by two union officials who were his political rivals.

The national union was dysfunctional, he said, when he arrived, and his efforts to impose financial rigour had “created resentment”.

He said that in 2004 those who were out to get him had let it be known they intended to “ruin my political career by setting me up with hookers”.

“I was in a very dysfunctional union for a long time and in about 2004, amongst a whole range of other threats that were made to me, one was that they would ruin my potential political career … by setting me up with hookers,” Mr Thomson said. He declined to name these officials, but hinted he might do so when he addresses Parliament under privilege.

In his interview with Oakes, Mr Thomson also took a side-swipe at his successor, HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson, suggesting he had let it be known in 2007 he did not favour her to take over the union.

“I also made some enemies as I was leaving by strongly recommending that my successor not be my successor,” Mr Thomson said.

Ms Jackson was among the union officials to take allegations of corruption involving Mr Thomson to FWA and NSW and Victorian police.

After watching the interview, Ms Jackson told The Australian Online Mr Thomson was “living in another world from the rest of us”.

“I feel sorry very sorry for his wife and his family,” Ms Jackson said.

“To be continuing down this path is sad and pathetic. To say people set him up I find totally fanciful.”

But Mr Thomson said today despite Mr Nassios referring to evidence he checked into hotels, made calls to escort agencies on his mobile phone according to phone records, used his drivers licence for identification, and used two separate credit cards to pay for the ladies’ pleasures, his political enemies had manipulated the lot.

“The facts are it wasn’t me,” he said of the six separate occasions Mr Nassios found he engaged prostitutes.

“The whole executive knew what my credit card numbers were. My driver’s licence was readily available.”

While he had subsequently approved the records of his credit card transactions which showed the payments to escort agences, “it is one thing to say you approve something, and another thing to say you approve it with knowledge”, Mr Thomson said.

Mr Thomson said the $100,000 of cash withdrawals from his union credit card were all immaculately accounted for with receipts he provided to the financial controller.

“There was not some magic pot of money,” he said.

On each occasion he returned unspent cash to the financial controller, he said, even though when Mr Nassios interviewed the controller she said she could not once remember Mr Thomson doing so.

It was entirely right for the union to have spent about $250,000 promoting his election to the seat of Dobell, Mr Thomson said.

His poorly-paid members, who often relied on penalty rates which were under threat from a Coalition government, would have expected nothing less from the union than for it to fund campaigns in critical seats to avoid the danger of a Howard government re-election, Mr Thomson said.

Trade Minister Craig Emerson said investigations against Mr Thomson should be allowed to run their course and the opposition should not set itself up as judge and jury.

Dr Emerson said Mr Thomson was under investigation but had not been charged.

“Let those investigations take their course and let’s not have politicians appointing themselves as judge and jury,” he told Sky News.

“Let the independent agencies, whether it be the police or anyone else who has a legitimate interest in these as independent agencies, do their work without the parliament being heavied by Mr Abbott saying there now needs to be a vote to exclude Mr Thomson from the parliament.”

Liberal MP Mathias Cormann said he hoped Prime Minister Julia Gillard was watching Oakes’ interview with Mr Thomson today.

“It goes straight to her credibility and her judgment. How much longer will she stand by Craig Thomson and accept his vote on the floor of the parliament?” he told Sky News.

“His story was completely unbelievable and bizarre.”

 

 

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192 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2012 4:00 pm

    You can watch the interview here…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-12/thomson-claims-he-was-set-up/4007282

  2. TB Queensland permalink
    May 12, 2012 4:31 pm

    “it is one thing to say you approve something, and another thing to say you approve it with knowledge”, Mr Thomson said.

    In my management team that’s enough for termination … his responsibility was to “ensure” the integrity of expenditure …

    However ….

  3. May 12, 2012 5:21 pm

    The ‘rule of rabble’ aka Phoney Tony and the NO Coalition as well as the chattering class say he did it and should be punished NOW (I note there’s a NO in NOW).
    While I’m of the view that Thomson probably rorted the system and is guilty of that which he is accused of I’m also of the view that such matters should be decided by the ‘rule of law’.
    If Thomson says he was set up let him produce the evidence, name the culprits (under parliamentary privilege if he hasn’t the courage to name them in public), and make formal complaint to police.
    How a union can be allowed to run in such a manner without proper management is disgusting. Where was the ACTU, where were successive governments, where were any statutory and policing bodies, where is the accountability for such misfeasance?
    Perhaps unions should be governed under similar law to corporations. Still, even under these laws we still see Corporations flout them with relative impunity.
    What a dogs breakfast -dare I say regurgitated!
    Were I a member of the HSU, and wouldn’ now be!

  4. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 12, 2012 5:40 pm

    That’s some conspiracy!

    It involves the SMH too, because a lot of this emerged during Craig’s failed attempt to sue them.

    I really can’t understand why the FWA investigator didn’t believe him, it’s all so plausible.

  5. TB Queensland permalink
    May 12, 2012 5:52 pm

    If Thomson says he was set up let him produce the evidence, name the culprits (under parliamentary privilege if he hasn’t the courage to name them in public), and make formal complaint to police.

    Close dekaf 😉 … but its not up to Thomson to prove his innocence (nor produce evidence) … ’tis other lot to prove his guilt …

    I really can’t understand why the FWA investigator didn’t believe him, it’s all so plausible.

    Bit like me saying your a Fuckwit™ and jump to conclusions and repeat stuff ad infinitum without proof, though, ToMMy … oh wait!

  6. May 12, 2012 6:04 pm

    “its not up to Thomson to prove his innocence (nor produce evidence) … ’tis other lot to prove his guilt …”

    Well I’m not sure that’s entirely true…

    The FWA found evidence of wrongdoing, therefore the onus is now on Thomson to challenge that evidence.

  7. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 12, 2012 6:39 pm

    So let’s see Bacchus& TB. Someone pinched his credit card, licence and mobile as part of an elaborate plan to stymie his (then non existent) political career. They then put it all back.

    But he approves all his own expenses including the ones incurred by the conspirator on his card, despite being forewarned about ‘Hookergate’.

    … and Thomson sues Fairfax, and that’s how much of evidence emerges – not by a deliberate setup.

    Right. Sounds compelling. I can’t wait for the explanation in parliament!

  8. Tony permalink
    May 12, 2012 6:44 pm

    Thommo would have been better off keeping his mouth shut and let people think he’s a bullshit artist. Instead, he let Laurie Oakes interview him and prove himself a bullshit artist. 😯

  9. el gordo permalink
    May 12, 2012 6:44 pm

    Kate McClymont puts in the boot.

    ‘The world according to Craig Thomson was not the same as the one unearthed by Fair Work Australia.

    ‘Welcome to the world of Craig Thomson: a parallel universe in which what is real for the member for Dobell bears remarkably little resemblance to reality.’

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/thomsons-alternative-reality-didnt-fit-the-facts-20120511-1yi4f.html#ixzz1udvinKXk

  10. May 12, 2012 6:55 pm

    I voted “Yes” because this is too entertaining to let it all go away this easily.

    Since he is obviously a pathological liar why cant he banned from parliament for just being crazy.

  11. el gordo permalink
    May 12, 2012 6:57 pm

    It may well be the case that Craig is a pathological liar and is innocent of knowingly telling a lie.

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/26753-signs-pathological-liar/

  12. May 12, 2012 7:03 pm

    It’s hilarious!

    Thomson’s defence is that his “enemies” wanted to destroy a political career that didn’t exist at the time…

  13. Tony permalink
    May 12, 2012 7:05 pm

    The good electors of Dobell must feel like suckers.

  14. Tony permalink
    May 12, 2012 7:10 pm

    ‘Thomson’s defence is that his “enemies” wanted to destroy a political career that didn’t exist at the time…’

    Or, put another way, union officials are just Labor MPs in-waiting.

  15. May 12, 2012 7:21 pm

    El gordo’s link at 6.44pm says it all really….

  16. Bacchus permalink
    May 12, 2012 7:22 pm

    Thommo would have been better off keeping his mouth shut

    Yes Tony – what was he thinking in talking to Laurie Oakes? 😯 He should have kept his powder dry for his statement to parliament…

    wanted to destroy a political career that didn’t exist at the time

    Bit of a weak argument reb (nearly as weak as Craig’s defence 😉 ) – Someone like that has probably been telling anyone who’d listen, and those who wouldn’t, that a political career was what he was aiming for since he was first elected to the HSU.

  17. May 12, 2012 7:39 pm

    Bit of a weak defence there Bacchus…

    If “someone” had “threatened” to “destroy” Thomson’s “political career” (that at the time was non-existent) through associating him with “hookers” (as Thomson claims) then wouldn’t it have been diligent to check that escort agencies charges weren’t appearing on your credit card statements, let alone approving them?

    But at least you’re willing to discuss it, rather than just saying “yeah, but that AWB thing ten years ago was really bad eh?”

    😉

  18. Tony permalink
    May 12, 2012 7:52 pm

    That AWB thing is far more important than any ‘hooker-gate’ beat-up. Howard and Co were accused guilty of all kinds of crimes and misdemeanors. How come nobody’s in jail over that? The rule of law and due process are for little people. 😯

  19. el gordo permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:03 pm

    ‘hooker-gate’ beat-up.

    🙂

  20. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:04 pm

    People should keep an open mind until Fair Work Australia hands down its report. When it does I’m sure we’ll all be willing to discuss the evidence. Unless of course the evidence concludes that he did it‘

  21. Bacchus permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:15 pm

    Yes reb – if I had been threatened with a smear campaign which I knew had been used previously, I’d be going over statements with a fine-tooth comb before approving them, but that’s me, not Craig – obviously 😉

  22. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:19 pm

    The issue of counting his vote is a bit complicated. He represents the people of Dobell who are entitled to be represented no matter what he’s done.

    That said, as regards his standing in Parliament, he was elected illegally, and just because the statute of limitations has expired that doesn’t change. So he can’t be charged. He can still be booted. That there is an affront to democracy and for that he should be expelled and the seat declared vacant.

  23. May 12, 2012 8:21 pm

    Saturday night and here we are.

    What boring lives we live LOL

  24. el gordo permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:27 pm

    ‘he was elected illegally,’

    Could you flesh this out a bit?

  25. May 12, 2012 8:28 pm

    “What boring lives we live LOL”

    I’m watching “Romper Stomper” on DVD, have just had some Thai takeout, and onto another bottle of red…

    Wouldn’t want to be doing anything else quite frankly…

    🙂

  26. Bacchus permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:29 pm

    he was elected illegally

    There ya go again James – the AEC has determined that to be the case? If not, who should determine whether that is true or not? FWA has entered an opinion that declared money was spent on his election campaign, but no-one with the power to do so has declared that any law was broken yet…

  27. Tony permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:31 pm

    I’d be surprised if we weren’t all multi-tasking.

  28. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:40 pm

    It’s very sad Bacchus that the federal govt and you are relying on statutes of limitations to declare no law has been proven broken.

  29. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:41 pm

    ‘boring lives…’?

    I’m on the coast, big but messy surf today. Now some red. It’s tough here.

  30. May 12, 2012 8:43 pm

    Mmmmmm

    I suppose we are multitasking

    I’m having my first James Squire with a Devils Corner Pinot airing and cooking some pork chops.

    Mrs Jaws out with the gals

  31. Bacchus permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:53 pm

    No James – the opinion that money was illegally expended on Mr. Thompson’s election campaign is nothing more than an allegation. You’ve decided the case has been made, but you’re in no position to come to that conclusion with any authority. Until such authority can decide that is the case, Mr Thompson is innocent. You of all people should understand this by now…

    I really hope you stick to conveyancing or work on the prosecution side of the law when you eventually qualify 🙂

  32. Bacchus permalink
    May 12, 2012 8:55 pm

    I’ll change that – I hope you don’t work for the prosecution either – too many will get off on technicalities due to incompetence of the prosecution 😆

  33. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 12, 2012 9:01 pm

    Does anyone think Craig’s excuse is plausible?

    The issue (to me) isn’t whether he remains in parliament, it’s-
    *The deficiencies in the ALP preselection process that this highlights
    *The manner in which partisan types so vociferously defend him and attack those who questioned his behaviour
    *The fact that parliamentarians have more job protection (when it comes to questions of honesty) than almost any other employment category.

  34. May 12, 2012 9:20 pm

    I wonder how the “comprehensive statement” is coming along…

    It’s been what, two years in the making ….?

  35. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 12, 2012 9:23 pm

    The FWA findings are just that. Findings. Not allegations. It’s you lot who have changed the standard. Maybe the cops can drag out their investigation a few years. Then the statute will expire for the other criminal acts and they can stay baseless allegations forever.

  36. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 12, 2012 9:24 pm

    Oh and this is a blog… Not a court.

  37. Bacchus permalink
    May 12, 2012 9:25 pm

    Does anyone think Craig’s excuse is plausible?

    * Probably not many ToM

    * ALP preselection process could be improved – no doubt

    * The manner in which partisan types so vociferously defend him – Harden up princess 😉 He’s still innocent today 😉

    *The fact that parliamentarians have more job protection – slippery slope here ToM. Parliamentarians are potentially subject to all sorts of politically motivated allegations – the principles of innocent until proven guilty and the separation of powers are more important here than just about anywhere else…

  38. Bacchus permalink
    May 12, 2012 9:32 pm

    Oh and this is a blog… Not a court

    Still, should someone studying law make definitive statements like “he was elected illegally”? Shouldn’t you know better?

  39. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 12, 2012 10:05 pm

    It’s not a matter of ‘toughening up’ Bacchus.

    It is that those who so vociferously wanted to withhold their judgement until FWA completed their investigation are now avoiding the issue.

  40. Bacchus permalink
    May 12, 2012 10:28 pm

    Who “specifically 😆 is avoiding the issue ToM? KL, TB and I are all here – consistently saying the same as we have all along…

  41. JAWS permalink
    May 12, 2012 11:46 pm

    Yes I will give you points for that.

    I was very heartened by the strict financial controls that
    Craig said. he put in place at the .

    The financial oversight are obviously stringent. Just
    Look at how quickly Williamson has been investigated.

    I think its the record time of 8 years for the first transgression
    Until the cops called in,

    Excellent financial controls

    I’d give Craig a job……… No probs

  42. JAWS permalink
    May 12, 2012 11:51 pm

    So what are oakeshot and Windsor going to make of all this ?

    Do they start looking as stupid as Thompson and agree to support the govt?

    “Yes they can”

  43. JAWS permalink
    May 12, 2012 11:55 pm

    Craig has put such stringent financial controls in place that he
    obviously has receipts for the cash he says he handed back unspent
    to the hsu accounts department.

    Even if they can’t remember getting cash back I’m sure
    He got a cash receipt from them.

    He is clearly innocent. We’ll see the receipts soon.

  44. JAWS permalink
    May 12, 2012 11:59 pm

    And where are these hookers?

    Why have they not come forward after 8 years ?

    Surely despite having moved on with their lives and
    Possibly married now with kids they’d all be very
    Keen to discredit the FWA findings.

    What could they have to lose?

  45. el gordo permalink
    May 13, 2012 6:19 am

    ‘What could they have to lose?’

    Nothing to lose and everything to gain from a grateful Australian community.

  46. el gordo permalink
    May 13, 2012 6:57 am

    Strange bedfellows…

    ‘But Mr Bandt, Bob Katter and Tony Windsor are deeply uncomfortable with the idea of Parliament passing judgment on Mr Thomson before any court action is taken.’

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/no-one-set-him-up-hes-in-another-universe-20120512-1yjgn.html#ixzz1uguRnjHi

  47. el gordo permalink
    May 13, 2012 9:26 am

    ‘LIBERAL MP Ken Ticehurst, who lost the seat of Dobell in 2007 to Labor’s Craig Thomson, plans to sue Mr Thomson for lost earnings, claiming he was robbed of his seat, costing him a lifetime parliamentary pension of $85,000 a year.

    ‘Mr Ticehurst, who was outspent by Mr Thomson three dollars to one in the election, said Labor had ”defrauded” the people of Dobell by allowing Mr Thomson to run.’

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/robbed-lib-mp-threatens-to-sue-20120512-1yjvl.html#ixzz1uhVuLsJL

  48. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 13, 2012 4:08 pm

    LIBERAL MP Ken Ticehurst, who lost the seat of Dobell in 2007 to Labor’s Craig Thomson, plans to sue Mr Thomson for lost earnings, claiming he was robbed of his seat, costing him a lifetime parliamentary pension of $85,000 a year.

    So how does that work? These people expect to become MP’s and that the joband pension is guaranteed? Doesn’t sound democratic if they can sue because someone else outfunded them, shouldn’t matter how much money someone spends on their campaign. Doesn’t the voting count?

    Why bother with elections if the results are a given?

  49. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 13, 2012 4:55 pm

    Still, should someone studying law make definitive statements like “he was elected illegally”? Shouldn’t you know better?

    Well maybe. It kind of depends on whether you expect a higher standard of certain people in certain occupations. Do you?

  50. el gordo permalink
    May 13, 2012 4:56 pm

    ‘So how does that work?’

    Not sure, obviously Ticehurst thinks he’s been robbed.

  51. TB Queensland permalink
    May 13, 2012 5:13 pm

    It kind of depends on whether you expect a higher standard of certain people in certain occupations. Do you?

    Certainly lawyers … 😕

  52. TB Queensland permalink
    May 13, 2012 5:18 pm

    Not sure, obviously Ticehurst thinks he’s been robbed.

    From Wikepedia:

    At the 2007 election, Ticehurst campaigned as time permitted, due to the ailing health of wife Trisha, who was in the later stages of aggressive cancer. He was defeated by Labor Party candidate Craig Thomson. His wife died shortly after his electoral defeat.

    In 2007 and with a LibNat Coalition government on the nose … I don’t think Mr Ticehurst would have much chance of sueing Mr Thomson … and winning …

  53. Bacchus permalink
    May 13, 2012 5:54 pm

    Certainly lawyers

    Or wanna-be lawyers, and certainly when making comments relating to the law 🙄

  54. May 13, 2012 6:09 pm

    LOL @ Bacchus… 🙂

  55. TB Queensland permalink
    May 13, 2012 6:21 pm

    😛

  56. TB Queensland permalink
    May 13, 2012 6:22 pm

    Or should that be “boom- boom” …

    We should hit the stage … Baccy! 😆

  57. TB Queensland permalink
    May 13, 2012 6:32 pm

    And before I forget (and I have already!) … sincere apologies to any MUMS who read TFR!

    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

    … and to any poster’s Mum’s, Wives* and Partners (we know who you are) … and especially to our only lady poster … KL! Sorry, armchair opinionator (to the unitiated) …

    (To, Mrs James of North Melbourne, I know we give him a hard time but it’s only ’cause we like him and want him to succeed … unlike, sreb, who is just a WCP and will succeed no matter how much we try and control his excesses!)

    I understand that a cellophane wrapped, original, Country & Western CD, has been sent to all participating Mother’s in The Farnham Report’s Special Survey … congratulations to all and a big thanks to the Blogmasta for his (usual) generosity!

  58. Tony permalink
    May 13, 2012 6:52 pm

    Didn’t someone on this blog (I can’t remember who 😉 ) say that Thommo had already promised to make a comprehensive statement, but didn’t. Why should anyone believe he’s going to make one this time?

  59. Tony permalink
    May 13, 2012 7:23 pm

    By the way, I think it was I Am The Walrus King Rat JAWS who said: Remand centres around the country are full of people presumed innocent.

  60. TB Queensland permalink
    May 13, 2012 7:40 pm

    Remand centres around the country are full of people presumed innocent.

    Yep, for criminal not civil offences …

  61. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 13, 2012 7:47 pm

    “FREE CRAIG”

  62. May 13, 2012 8:05 pm

    “unlike, sreb, who is just a WCP and will succeed no matter how much we try and control his excesses!”

    This is true.

  63. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 13, 2012 8:25 pm

    … and to any poster’s Mum’s, Wives* and Partners (we know who you are) … and especially to our only lady poster … KL! Sorry, armchair opinionator (to the unitiated) …

    Thanks TB, went out for a great lunch, was wined and dined and even got pressies too!

    A happy Mum’s Day to all the mum’s in your lives too, hope they felt surrounded by love.

  64. TB Queensland permalink
    May 14, 2012 8:20 am

    Thoroughly deserved, I’m sure, KL! 🙂

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yep, for criminal not civil offences … … oh, and charged with an offence!

  65. el gordo permalink
    May 14, 2012 8:22 am

    ‘A systematic process of concealment has inflicted collateral damage not just on Prime Minister Gillard but on her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, because both were conveniently myopic while the NSW Labor machine was protecting and promoting one of the most reckless politicians ever elected to federal Parliament.’

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/secrets-and-lies–how-labor-has-been-digging-its-own-grave-20120513-1ykrf.html#ixzz1un5tbFMt

  66. JAWS permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:13 am

    So the next step in this soap opera is that this scumbag will be no let off his leash in Cowards Castle to defame (probably) plenty of innocent parties (possibly) who have no right of reply to do the same to him.

    What if he decides to defame the HSU accountant who had no recollection of him ever returning cash advance. In theory he could claim she must have stolen the cash returned. In the finance area any slur against your honesty will destroy your careeeer. But we allow this depolorable cnut the opportunity to potentially do so ?

    And Tony Windsor finds justification in supporting the scumbag whilst he does this. If Windsor was of such high principles as he claims he should announce his own resignation immediately and therefore prevent this travesty by denying Thompson his opportunity and “cleansing” the House of everybody so the electorate could start again.

    I cant think of why is he so reluctant ?

  67. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:31 am

    What an unpleasant way to start the week – Jon Faine interviewing Wayne Swan.

    Swan really is the most annoying politician I can recall, so bombastic, self important, such a waffler. The highlights-
    • The MRRT revenue is down a billion but (Swan says) “this is to be expected”. For f**k sake, if it is “to be expected”, why didn’t he forecast it? That’s what Treasurers are supposed to do.
    • Thomson is facing serious “allegations”. They aren’t “allegations” they are findings, supported by evidence. Fair Work Australia has found that he did what reasonable people thought he did.
    • The scandals engulfing the government are due to “scare mongering by Mr Abbott”. Right, Abbott made Thomson go on the TV and say things that are bizarre and test the credulity even those wanting to believe it’s all a media/opposition beat-up.
    • Setting the carbon tax at 4 or 5 times the current international trading price is “good for the economy”
    • The rumours about Shorten are being spread by the opposition. Right, but the facts about Thomson are due to union rivalries!
    • “Abbott, Abbott, Abbott…” and “Mr Abbott”, with some “the leader of the opposition”

    Swan has marginally more credibility than Thomson, but Swan seems to be working to close the gap.

  68. JAWS permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:48 am

    Obviously Julia had heard Thompson’s defence from the man himself a long time ago. Apparently at that time his defence was so compelling that he received her “full support”.

    So which part of his defence (which we all heard on Saturday) “fell apart” to make her decide to withdaw her full support from him.

  69. JAWS permalink
    May 14, 2012 1:10 pm

    Interesting article from Mark Latham

    http://www.boss.afr.com.au/p/opinion/human_frailty_made_manifest_bD4EoJBBEqV7ii1dtDudPN

  70. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 14, 2012 1:48 pm

    WHIPPED: High-ranking FWA official Michael Lawler flipped from Opus Dei to the dangerous cult of Kathy Jackson

    …BOOZY NIGHT SIPPING THE KOOL-AID
    A notorious dinner at the Hotel Spencer circulated around media circles, where Lawler (a supposedly senior judicial officer) staggered up at the off-the-record gathering and made a wild series of claims denouncing unions and various people at the HSU before comparing his beloved to a Christ-like figure. He was as drunk as a Law Lord, eye-witnesses have told VEXNEWS.

    It was a funny, bizarre, maniacal and booze-fuelled romp of the kind that could have sold-out at the Comedy Festival but almost certainly enough to undermine the public faith in his capacity to continue in such a senior role where he is paid some $400,000 per annum of taxpayer’s hard-earned.

    HR NICHOLLS WOULD BE SPINNING IN HIS GRAVE
    Jackson is understood to be the guest of honour at the HR Nicholls Society annual dinner on June 12th. Dinner-guests will be hoping for a similarly spectacular performance from Kathy Jackson and her lover…

  71. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 14, 2012 2:07 pm

    So now the private lives of public figures are fair game, Armie. Got anything on shorten?

  72. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 14, 2012 2:12 pm

    I’ve heard that Michael Lawler is a little eccentric. He’s apparently quite brilliant in a range of fields, though FWA probably has a good supply of odd balls.

    Relationships between members of the commission and officials is not unusual.

    I’m at a bit of a loss to understand why Lawler is relevant to Thomson. Is anyone saying he’s the mystery man who set up ‘Craig the Innocent’ in the ‘Hookergate Imbroglio’?

  73. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 14, 2012 2:20 pm

    So now the private lives of public figures are fair game, Armie. Got anything on shorten?

    Nothing private about Lawler’s behaviour at a public function, no-one made him make a public spectacle of himself. I guess you could argue that Slipper and even Thomson’s behaviour was private though.

  74. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 14, 2012 2:23 pm

    I must admit I knew nothing about the Shorten gossip until looking for it yesterday [after hearing about it on Insiders], guess I don’t follow the ‘right’ circles.

  75. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 14, 2012 2:34 pm

    “Nothing private about Lawler’s behaviour at a public function”

    That accounts for the introductory paragraphs. The rest of the hit-piece was purely an expose of Lawler’s personal affairs. But watch the lefties whine when one of their own gets attacked like this.

    “I guess you could argue that Slipper and even Thomson’s behaviour was private though.”

    I wouldn’t, for the obvious reason that their behaviour was allegedly criminal and it involved their work as representatives.

  76. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 14, 2012 3:25 pm

    Also funny how the pollies are right now in their castle decrying a need for a code of conduct such as those devised for the rest of us in our workplaces.

    Suddenly they see that it could be a two way street, not only would a code of conduct enforce acceptable standards of behaviour by those they target, it would also curtail their own behaviour, the stunts, sideshows and vicious personal attack that has become routine for that place.

    Suddenly “everyone should know how to behave” no need for them to be constrained by a written policy 😆

  77. JAWS permalink
    May 14, 2012 3:54 pm

    Victorian Detectives working in Sydney last week took a detailed statement from a man in relation to their enquiries into the HSU.

    Ben Fordham on 2GB in Sydney will be interviewing the man after 4pm today. If you cannot get 2GB I suggest you download the Free App TuneIn Radio from the App store or Android.

    No details as to what the interview will be in regard to.

    It could be a fizzer………..who knows

  78. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 14, 2012 3:58 pm

    “Suddenly “everyone should know how to behave” no need for them to be constrained by a written policy”

    The skill of a politician these days is to ride the latest wave of sentiment to spin and to turn on a dime. For them hypocrisy is a necessity.

  79. JAWS permalink
    May 14, 2012 4:07 pm

    “………….guess I don’t follow the ‘right’ circles.”

    I’d heard nothing of it either.

    Though it did get him a good “happily married” and “Australia meet my wife” splash for a tilt at the leadership.

  80. Tony permalink
    May 14, 2012 4:41 pm

    I’m completely in the dark, too. It makes you wonder why Shorten would deny a rumour nobody (except Canberra ‘insiders’, presumably) has even heard.

  81. JAWS permalink
    May 14, 2012 4:47 pm

    Gosh ToSY

    Are you implying possible media manipulation…………?

  82. JAWS permalink
    May 14, 2012 4:50 pm

    I wonder if Brian Dawes and John Clark will be doing a similar Laurie Oakes interview on the 7:30 Report this week

  83. TB Queensland permalink
    May 14, 2012 5:01 pm

    Interesting article from Mark Latham

    😆

    Yeah … they’re coming to take me away haha … hoho … hehe … etc

    The only thing interesting about Latham is his handshakes!

  84. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 14, 2012 5:09 pm

    “Yeah … they’re coming to take me away haha … hoho … hehe … etc
    The only thing interesting about Latham is his handshakes!”

    And breaking cameras and taxi-drivers’ arms. Still, until he resigned he was considered by Labor to be the best they had to offer as leader. Now Gillard is the best they have to offer. Plus ça change.

  85. el gordo permalink
    May 14, 2012 5:13 pm

    Forget the handshake TB, Latham is a forceful writer and a keen observer of human nature.

  86. TB Queensland permalink
    May 14, 2012 6:27 pm

    Still, until he resigned he was considered by Labor to be the best they had to offer as leader.

    And still trotted out ad nauseum by right whingers as some sort of guru …

    … and NOT considered by ALL Labor to be “the saviour” …

    Forget the handshake TB, Latham is a forceful writer and a keen observer of human nature.

    I’m sure he is, egg … I’m sure he is … just not his own …

  87. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 14, 2012 7:25 pm

    Craig the Innocent Update
    • Paul Howes says the activities of the HSU have put the unions in crisis. What would he know?
    • Peter Beatie says it’s OK to suspend Craig (therefore Beatie=troll)
    • Craig tested his latest version of an excuse over the weekend. It looks like a winner, it’s more mysterious than his earlier “me mate done it, but he paid it back”.
    • Julia is yet to retract her full confidence”, so it’s great that he still has the Prime Minister in his corner.
    • Craig remains innocent, and don’t forget he has a nice wife and a young daughter.

  88. May 14, 2012 7:43 pm

    But, but, but Tom, he doesn’t “have a case to answer”

    He hasn’t been found guilty of anything…..

    Why can’t you give the guy a break…

  89. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 14, 2012 8:04 pm

    You’re right, we should talk about issues more relevant to our current political scene.

    1) Did you know Vladimir Petrov defected 56 years ago. It was a scandal, and people talk about Craig Thomson! I say – “ WHAT ABOUT PETROV?!!? Some people just seem to ignore or avoid the issue these days.

    2) John Gorton was a pants man. But despite this everyone talks about poor Craig.

    3) Did you see the dress Sonia McMahon wore to the White House? It was a disgrace. And some people criticise Julia’s dress sense!

  90. May 14, 2012 8:08 pm

    Jesus Christ died for our sins (apparently). Why aren’t the media reporting on that FFS…??!!

  91. Tony permalink
    May 14, 2012 8:30 pm

    I stayed silent on the Thommo farce right up until he spoke to Laurie Oakes and proved what an utter bullshit artist he is. He’s fair game now.

  92. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 14, 2012 8:32 pm

    I know reb, John Gorton apparently had an affair with Ainslie Gotto, but is there any reporting of this? No.

    Menzies was always struggling with Richard Casey for the leadership, but do we ever hear anything about this? No.

    The media always neglects to report on issues that the Liberals find embarrassing.

  93. el gordo permalink
    May 14, 2012 8:34 pm

    Thommo may be mentally ill, we should give him a break.

  94. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 14, 2012 8:43 pm

    Yeah, we should excuse all dishonest, unethical liars in parliament. They deserve our sympathy.

  95. el gordo permalink
    May 14, 2012 8:50 pm

    Thommo has all the symptoms of a compulsive liar, he is not in his right mind.

  96. May 14, 2012 9:02 pm

    The late John Gorton’s step son went to Uni with me,

    He’s a mate of mine. Close enough that we went to each others weddings if you need to know

  97. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:06 pm

    patience fellas, not long now 😆

    What a come down it’s going to be for you when this is all over, it’ll be such an anti-climax, I worry for your mental health, pace yourselves!

  98. May 14, 2012 9:08 pm

    Yes he was a pants man

  99. May 14, 2012 9:09 pm

    Come on Kitty

    Until Greece falls over we have to bide time somehow

  100. May 14, 2012 9:17 pm

    “What a come down it’s going to be for you when this is all over, it’ll be such an anti-climax, I worry for your mental health, pace yourselves!”

    Good point KL… 🙂

  101. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:19 pm

    Maybe.

    But Malcolm Fraser left his trousers in a seedy hotel in Memphis. There were even photos of him.

    The only time we ever hear about this is when someone is talking about Fraser. It was a scandal. Gough Whitlam was never without his trousers, but the media never reports this.

    Does anyone want to talk about Sonia McMahon’s dress?

  102. Tony permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:21 pm

    ‘Until Greece falls over we have to bide time somehow’

    The end of the Euro is nigh.

  103. el gordo permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:23 pm

    Gough Whitlam was never without his trousers, but the media never reports this.

    🙂

  104. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:24 pm

    Why can’t we talk about some contemporary issues?

    http://robertwalls.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/behind-the-mask-photographing-politicians/howardlr/

  105. May 14, 2012 9:24 pm

    Equally we could suggest that Gillard is mentally ill..

    She is convinced that she is going to win the next election…

  106. el gordo permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:25 pm

    There is a lot of delusion about.

  107. Neil of Sydney permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:33 pm

    I must admit I am sick of hearing about Craig Thomson. I hope it all ends soon.

  108. el gordo permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:34 pm

    Just heard that Paul Keating is trying to get Uhlman the sack.

  109. May 14, 2012 9:45 pm

    Yes ToSY

    If the Greeks go that will start a run on the Spanish and Portugese Banks and probably the Italians (though they are stronger).

    The money will flow over to the USA the $AUD will go well below parity due to US strength. Plus an absolute shitload of cash will cascade into German Govt bonds.

    In economic terms…………………………..They are fucked

  110. May 14, 2012 9:48 pm

    Latham has just outed the Derryn Hinch rumour as the one about Shorten’s marriage

    We are so closetted in Sydney

  111. May 14, 2012 9:56 pm

    “Just heard that Paul Keating is trying to get Uhlman the sack”

    So what will Uhlman’s Labor Party Member wife and MP have to say about this….?

  112. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:57 pm

    I’d rather talk about her!

  113. May 14, 2012 9:58 pm

    Latham just descibed Peter Costello as the Prince Charles of Australian politics

  114. Meta permalink
    May 14, 2012 10:12 pm

    (Speaking of sack-stuffings…

    We can add chatter about a Constitutional Referendum and/or an amended Parliamentary Code of Conduct to the intertemporal light-liftings sans a time-machine, this week, apparently. And, I s’pose ‘we’ will get around to discussing those sorts of contemporary matters, their pros and cons and general re views, eventually; or not.

    Especially, as AbbottAbbottAbbott so recently has reneged on his initial promise to abide by the outcomes of a scheduled legislative-regulative review and instead has substituted a fresh promise to if-pass some as-yet detail-less legislation in fulfillment of a pre-determined if-jailing agenda for deemed naughty members of the corpus politic.

    Incidentally, does anyone but me find it odd that this week’s wholly reliable and damning findings hail from last week’s grossly unreliable institution? Like, one week a tardy and inept institution incapable of even producing a proper brief, for the CDPP or otherwise, suddenly becomes a much-quoted and absolutely conclusive authority for briefing the public; even after a five-week delay while the FWA was deciding which of its findings, if any, were/are to proceed to being tested in open trial?

    And, to further that many-questions gallop, is there going to be a time-point where someone, anyone in the media provides a reasonably resolute overview of the mysterious legal terrain(s) in which all the exciting stuffs technically are happening, or are the mainstream media happy to simply go along stenographically with whatever is said by whomever, day by day, week by week, month by month, and thereby keep citizens well-informed about matters of obvious public interest?)

  115. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 14, 2012 10:24 pm

    In far more important developments, I turned 41 today, but Mrs Sancty barracks for Carlton. Anyone think I’m a chance? Damn you and your scheduling, Demetriou!

  116. May 14, 2012 10:32 pm

    Happy Birthday James of South Melbourne

  117. el gordo permalink
    May 14, 2012 11:02 pm

    Germany wants the UK to help ease Greece out of the Eurozone…presumably with financial help. Cameron won’t be amused and I hope Julia keeps her hands in her pockets.

    To make matters worse, money is contracting in China and the world is slowly drifting into a deflationary slump.

  118. Meta permalink
    May 14, 2012 11:16 pm

    Hippy Birthday, James.

    ————————–

    (Hypothetically, would and/or should a renovated Parliamentary Code of Conduct include or exclude Geoffrey Robertson’s proposed (un)conventional solution to the abounding good fun being had inside and outside the top villein-paddocks of the Castle?)

  119. Meta permalink
    May 14, 2012 11:36 pm

    (AbbottAbbottAbbott‘s cling-wrapped conduct as drawn curtain, possibly for sake of a continued hypothetical questioning and (pre-)judicial) answering…

    “TONY ABBOTT: Thank you. Just another issue that I wouldn’t mind saying a few words about. The Prime Minister is now talking about a code of conduct for members of parliament. Well, as long as the Prime Minister is clinging to Craig Thomson’s vote in the Parliament, we know what her code of conduct is. Her code of conduct is Craig Thomson’s code of conduct as long as she is clinging to his vote in the Parliament. Now, again, it is all very well talking about a code of conduct, but no member of parliament should need to be told that fraud, theft and sexual harassment are wrong. So, what we are getting from the Prime Minister is just more window dressing; just more talk. “)

  120. May 15, 2012 7:43 am

    happy birthday snacty.

  121. May 15, 2012 8:00 am

    41! So you’re older than me.

    Happy birthday.

  122. el gordo permalink
    May 15, 2012 8:10 am

    I think James is older than all of us…all the next for the year ahead sancty.

  123. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 15, 2012 8:15 am

    Thank you all. TB’s older. And wears shorts, long white socks, and brown sandals.

  124. May 15, 2012 8:40 am

    Old people,all.

    The knackery beckons.

    happy birthday, snacty

  125. May 15, 2012 8:42 am

    Thompson appears to be one of the most brazen liars I’ve yet seen on national TV. That stuff with Oakes defies credulity.

    Of course, maybe he’s innocent…. 🙄

  126. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 15, 2012 8:48 am

    Hi Toilet.

    Hit me with a metal link – I’m sick of Thomson and I need a blast to get going this morning.

  127. May 15, 2012 8:53 am

    Nothing says relaxation quite like a new Dying Fetus track.

    I know everyone here is as excited as me about the New album, out next month.

    Good for what ails ya! 😯

  128. May 15, 2012 8:54 am

    Brutal tech-death is waaaaay better than defending/condemning Craig Thompson for the nth time. 🙂

  129. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 15, 2012 9:03 am

    Very good indeed. I feel refreshed, why I could even cope with an internal meeting now.

  130. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 15, 2012 9:10 am

    THE Gillard government has received another blow in the Thomson affair with New South Wales Labor leader John Robertson saying he does not believe the MP’s story.

    Mr Robertson said he agreed with union leader Paul Howes who tweeted during Mr Thomson’s weekend interview on Nine that it did not pass the believability test.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/labor-leader-cant-buy-thomson-setup-claim-20120514-1yn55.html#ixzz1ut5cstpl

    So Beattie is willing to have him suspended from parliament, Robertson & Howes don’t believe him, but Gillard hasn’t retracted her “full confidence” comments.

    There are a few who cling to the belief that this is a set up by his union rivals, and/or that somehow FWA is part of a conspiracy against him, and/or the Liberal party and the media are behind it.

    But they’re delusional.

    The evidence that is now so compelling is exactly the same evidence that was around months ago. Personally, I can’t wait for his explanation next week!!

  131. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 15, 2012 10:05 am

    So, ToM, five government officials lost their jobs for credit card breaches in recent times. I guess presumption of innocence is selectively applied.

  132. JAWS permalink
    May 15, 2012 10:33 am

    So by this time next week the Parliament would have allowed Craig Scumbag Thompson to defame all and sundry with more accusations.

    And Windsor calls Abbott a “Rabid Dog” and the lays claim to trying to protect the “sanctity” of the joint.

    What an idiot.

  133. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 15, 2012 11:07 am

    Yes, there are people who have recently been dismissed for misuse of a credit card.

    But Thomson won’t co-operate with police on legal grounds. He didn’t co-operate with FWA, and they think he’s misled them.

    If Thomson had a job in about any other profession, he’d be out of work.

    (is it still “trolling” to say that?)

  134. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 15, 2012 11:34 am

    An absolutely extraordinary comment in the circumstances.

    http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/actu-president-ged-kearny-tries-to-prevent-desertion-after-craig-thomson-and-hsu-scandals/story-e6frfm9r-1226356077241

    “We know we will always be held to a higher moral standard because of the workers who put their trust in us. I want to make sure that trust is not broken.”

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/actu-president-ged-kearny-tries-to-prevent-desertion-after-craig-thomson-and-hsu-scandals/story-e6frfm9r-1226356077241#ixzz1utjh2WrF

  135. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 15, 2012 12:15 pm

    happy birthday for yesterday james, long live the terry towelling giggle hat [may it never flatten or fade] 😆

    Brutal tech-death is waaaaay better than defending/condemning Craig Thompson for the nth time.

    yep

  136. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 15, 2012 12:18 pm

    It’s a fkn corona cap………oh never mind…..

    🙂

  137. armchair opinionator permalink
    May 15, 2012 12:23 pm

    And Windsor calls Abbott a “Rabid Dog” and the lays claim to trying to protect the “sanctity” of the joint.

    Someone has to show some decency. Windsor, the other Independents and the greens are the only ones who have shown any since the new parliament was installed. The two majors have covered themselves with inglorious shite.

    Abbott is a rabid dog…and more.

  138. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 15, 2012 12:28 pm

    Happy birthday James.

    I think I’d get rid of the hat, if AO is encouraging you to keep it.

  139. May 15, 2012 12:36 pm

    A corona hat, a crown lager and is that a VB singlet?

    No wonder you’re confused.

  140. May 15, 2012 12:37 pm

    I thought Craig Thomson did all right in that interview…

    Right up until the point where he said “Good morning Laurie.”

  141. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 15, 2012 1:44 pm

    People in the ACTU have set themselves up as judge and jury of the HSU. They’ve said ‘this must never happen again’…

    What exactly?

  142. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 15, 2012 2:07 pm

    ” Windsor, the other Independents and the greens are the only ones who have shown any since the new parliament was installed. “

    This lot are part of the government. They keep it in power, and are responsible for its shite, in all its splattered glory. The fact is that they preferred the perks of sitting on the government benches to decency. That is precisely why, no matter how indecent this government becomes, they will continue to support it. They installed Slipper, they could have saved Harry Jenkins, they have sat mute when Thomson could have been called to account much earlier, they connived with Gillard to break her promises and they are as spineless and self-interested as any politician. Nothing special about them at all.

  143. Tony permalink
    May 15, 2012 2:22 pm

    Many happy (tax-)returns, James.

  144. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 15, 2012 3:30 pm

    The singlet says “Booligal Hotel – The Best Piss on the ‘Bidgee”.

    I went on a road trip once up through Hay, Hell (One Tree), and Booligal. Also through Wilcannia and up to Tilpa.

    “Come and see me, boys,” he said;
    “You’ll find a welcome and a bed
    And whisky any time you call;
    Although our township hasn’t got
    The name of quite a lively spot –
    You see, I live in Booligal

    “And people have an awful down
    Upon the district and the town –
    Which worse than hell itself they call;
    In fact the saying far and wide
    Along the Riverina side
    Is Hay and Hell and Booligal

    “No doubt it suits them very well
    To say its worse than Hay or Hell,
    But don’t you heed their talk at all;
    Of course there’s heat – no one denies –
    And sand and dust and stacks of flies,
    And rabbits too, at Booligal.

    “But such a pleasant quiet place,
    You never see a stranger’s face –
    They hardly ever dare to call;
    The drovers mostly pass it by;
    They’d reckon that they’d rather die
    Than spend a night at Booligal.

    “The big mosquitoes frighten some –
    You’ll lie awake to hear ’em hum –
    And snakes around the township crawl;
    But shearers, when they get their cheque,
    They never come along and wreak
    The blessed town of Booligal.

    “But down in Hay the shearers come
    And fill themselves with fighting rum,
    And chase blue devils up the wall,
    And fight the snaggers every day,
    Until there is the deuce to pay –
    There’s none of that in Booligal.

    “Of course, there isn’t much to see –
    The billiard table used to be
    The great attraction for us all,
    Until some careless, drunken curs
    Got sleeping on it in their spurs,
    And ruined it, in Booligal.

    “Just now there is a howling drought
    That pretty near has starved us out –
    It never seems to rain at all;
    But, if there should come any rain,
    You couldn’t cross the black soil plain –
    You’d have to stop in Booligal.”

    “We’d have to stop!” With bated breath
    We prayed that both in life and death
    Our fate in other lines might fall:
    “Oh send us to our just reward
    In Hay or Hell, but, gracious Lord,
    Deliver us from Booligal!”

    AB PATERSON.

  145. JAWS permalink
    May 15, 2012 3:34 pm

    Why doesn’t Gillard just totally debase Parliament and offer Craig the Speaker’s job ?

  146. el gordo permalink
    May 15, 2012 3:38 pm

    Craig would at least have the respect of the house.

  147. May 15, 2012 3:41 pm


    “Come and see me, boys,” he said;
    “You’ll find a welcome and a bed

    Phone number please…

  148. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 15, 2012 4:01 pm

    The lady (sorry Reb) there now is about 70 odd and just delightful. There were four of us and she produced a big bag of meat and showed us the BBQ. Apologised for the lack of vegies.

    If you want to see what “absolutely nothing” looks like, go to Booligal. If you want to see the worst of what Indigenous disadvantage looks like, go to Wilcannia. If you want to enjoy an ice cold beer on the banks of a beautiful river in the Outback, go to the Tilpa Hotel.

  149. el gordo permalink
    May 15, 2012 6:37 pm

    ‘JUST before question time began in the House of Representatives last Wednesday, Liberal backbencher Mal Washer slid into the empty seat beside the embattled Craig Thomson to ask him how he was getting along.

    ‘Washer, who is a doctor, was concerned about Thomson’s health. Thomson has managed to maintain his composure but he sounds like he has been hollowed out, and without the television make-up he looks like a ghost.’

    From the Oz

  150. Neil of Sydney permalink
    May 15, 2012 10:13 pm

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/pms-presumption-of-innocence-credo-is-laughable/story-e6frgd0x-1226355234732

    “Of course, Gillard is happy to abandon the presumption of innocence when it suits her. Julian Assange was afforded no presumption of innocence when she declared him — wrongly — to have broken Australian law. Peter Hollingworth was driven from the office of governor-general by Labor politicians, eager to embarrass John Howard; there was no presumption of innocence for him, although his offence was merely that he had allegedly not done enough to prevent misconduct by others. The Australian Defence Force Academy’s Bruce Kafer — against whom no allegations were made — enjoyed no presumption of innocence from the Gillard government last year. There has been no whisper of the presumption of innocence in discussion of the Leveson inquiry.

    Howard and Peter Reith were vouchsafed no presumption of innocence by the Labor Party over the “children overboard” allegations, nor Alexander Downer over the oil-for-food scandal. Of course, those gentlemen didn’t invoke the presumption of innocence, because they were confident that they had done no wrong. People who know they have nothing to hide rarely, as the Americans would say, “take the fifth”. But in the dystopia that is the Gillard government, the presumption of innocence has become the refuge of the scoundrel.”

  151. May 15, 2012 10:44 pm

    Why did Dave Oliver of the ACTU say today that only now will they put in place controls to protect union members money.

    How long has this shit been in the headlines and only now they act ?

    FFS

  152. Meta permalink
    May 15, 2012 11:58 pm

    (Because the FWA ‘findings’, or the expressed bases for them, represent a potential new precedent, if affirmed by a Federal Court, by ‘narrowing’ or less-‘liberalising’ the hitherto extant (internal-external) interpretation(s) of control(s); that Craig and Co might have been exploiting loopholes, a matter yet to be fully tested and key to the headlined allegations, err findings, may be reason enough to avoid even the risk of such general perception becoming attached to the Union movement as a whole, for whatever reason, hence ‘self-regulation’; thusly, also, obviating-blunting AbbottAbbottAbbott’s typical and typically-inchoate big-stick agenda, and setting the stage for an upwhen perception of unwarranted interference in Freedomofassociationland aka Unionland?)

  153. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 16, 2012 9:12 am

    Yesterday, the Prime Minister expressed her disgust at the HSU activates.

    That’s interesting. The evidence of this has only been around for a few years, during which time those involved have held powerful positions in the ALP hierarchy and in the government. Gillard has repeatedly expressed her “full confidence” in Thomson.

    What’s changed? Certainly not the facts, only public sentiment. Everyone knows that Thomson is a liar, even FWA could not find a way to accommodate his version. The unions don’t believe him, state parliamentary leaders don’t, the Prime Minister is disgusted…

    It there anyone in the blogosphere who still thinks it is “trolling” to say “Thomson has a case to answer”?

    It’s time for a retraction!

  154. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 16, 2012 9:22 am

    Funny the number of “senior ALP figures” now lining up to denounce the behaviour. Julia Gillard is “disgusted”. She must have never seen such a thing. Shorten wants to shut the Union down. Howes is appalled. The new secretary whose name escapes me is angered. That chick who organised the Australia Day riot reckons Unions are over regulated, with more stringent reporting requirements than businesses.

    Liars the bloody lot of them. They’ve known all along. And they’ve tolerated. Because it was in their interests at the very least to not rock the boat.

  155. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 16, 2012 9:59 am

    “She must have never seen such a thing.” Except when she was young and naïve.

  156. JAWS permalink
    May 16, 2012 9:59 am

    “Yesterday, the Prime Minister expressed her disgust at the HSU activates.”

    That’s bullshit ToM and you know it…………….!

    Get your facts right………….

    She failed to even utter “HSU”

    🙂

  157. JAWS permalink
    May 16, 2012 10:00 am

    That’s how gutless she is

    She wont even name the Union

  158. el gordo permalink
    May 16, 2012 10:32 am

    Julia is hoping that by not mentioning anything unsavoury then it will go away, this is poor political judgement.

  159. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 16, 2012 1:17 pm

    The more people do the ‘LOOK OVER THERE’ at Kathy Jackson and Michael Lawler, the more humiliating the eventual outcome becomes.

  160. el gordo permalink
    May 16, 2012 2:30 pm

    Thomson has jumped the first hurdle.

    ‘The AEC was still looking at some $17,000 in expenditure and asking for further information from the HSU.

    ‘But it has, in effect, cleared Mr Thomson, now an independent, of the major charges that he milked union funds to get elected in Dobell.’

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/craig-thomson-cleared-of-dodgy-election-funding/story-e6frfkvr-1226357611368#ixzz1v0HvB4y9

  161. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 16, 2012 8:51 pm

    EXCLUSIVE DRAFT – Comprehensive statement by Craig Thomson MP
    Parliament House
    Embargoed until 2pm 21 May 2012

    (target – 30 minutes)

    “I thank the parliament for the opportunity to make this statement today, regarding recent speculation surrounding my role and actions as Secretary of the Health Services Union.

    Firstly may I provide some background about the HSU.

    The union, my union, can trace its beginnings to 1911, when the Hospital and Asylum Attendants and Employees Union was formed, the HAAEU maintained its proud record of support for these vital workers in a time that conditions in the health sector were …(ramble on for 5 minutes)

    During the years of the First World War there were challenging times for the union, which by now came to be called he Hospital Dispensary and Asylum Employees’ Union of Australia.

    (now follows 5 minutes of outlining the privations suffered by members of the HDAEU during WW1)

    During the depression years our members … (5 minutes)

    Our members in the hospital and health sector also saw active service in WW2, our brave members … (5 minutes)

    The 1940s saw a further change in the name of the union which became the Hospital, Dispensary and Asylum Employees’ and Allied Government Officers’ Federation of Australia. The union fought many battles during the 1960s and stood with Clarrie O’Shea during resistance to the harsh penal clauses under the Arbitration Act

    (follows 8 minutes regarding Clarrie O’Shea drawing parallels with Workchoices, and warning about a return to the Liberals with their Workchoices agenda)

    In 1994 the Hospital Employees Federation and the Health and Research Employees Association merged to become the proud Health Services Union of Australia, and I was privileged to serve as Secretary of this union.

    Suffice to say, the outrageous allegations against me have already started to unravel with the Australian Electoral Commission unconditionally refuting the so called “Fair Work Australia” finding that the funds spent on my election campaign breach the Act. This is the most significant outcome regarding this unmitigated attack on my integrity.

    I have no doubt that the rest of these scurrilous allegations will suffer a similar fate.

    It is unfortunate that I am limited to 30 minutes, as I would prefer the opportunity to continue to comprehensively deal with these matters.

    I would like to express my gratitude to the Prime Minister for her unstinting support.

    Thank you colleagues.”

  162. Bacchus permalink
    May 16, 2012 8:53 pm

    The bulk of the Health Services Union funds spent on Craig Thomson’s bid for the NSW seat of Dobell was spent within electoral reporting guidelines.

    An Australian Electoral Commission examination of the Fair Work Australia claim that Mr Thomson used more than $260,000 of union funds for the campaign to elect him to Parliament has found that less than one tenth of the amount remains in question.

    The AEC analysis reveals that Mr Thomson and the HSU National Office regularly disclosed to it the amount of funds that were being spent on advertising and other campaign expenses.

    The analysis notes that the combined $196, 000 worth of salaries of Crisalee Stevens and Matthew Burke – who were employed at the HSU to help directly with Mr Thomson’s bid for Parliament – had been properly disclosed in HSU third party expenditure returns for 2006/07 and 2007/08.

    This afternoon Mr Thomson tweeted a short response to the electoral commission findings.

    “AEC report clearly shows FWA got it wrong on electoral expenses. Wonder how widely that gets reported!”

    Hmmm – I wonder how this sits with the definitive statements from our resident wanna-be lawyer that “he was elected illegally.” and we’re “relying on statutes of limitations to declare no law has been proven broken.

    Note also the AEC characterisation of these matters within the FWA report as a “claim”, not a “finding”

    Yes, there is still a $17,014.88 claim (out of more than $260,000) still under investigation…

    I wonder what other findings claims of the FWA report will be found to be unsubstantiated once subjected to proper legal analysis 🙄

  163. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 16, 2012 9:24 pm

    Yes Bacchus, I’m sure that all the members of the “Craig is Innocent Movement” are popping the champagne corks at this development.

    Though I’m not exactly sure how relevant this is.

    I don’t recall this issue even being the subject of public comment before the FWA report was released. It certainly hasn’t been an issue in my commentary on the subject.

    I tend to think people are just thinking wishfully.

    I think Craig has a “case to answer”, and it seems that a range of ALP and union leaders agree these days.

  164. Bacchus permalink
    May 16, 2012 9:46 pm

    members of the “Craig is Innocent Movement”
    Hmm – that’s a new one to me ToM. Who “specifically” is a member of this imaginary movement of yours? 🙄

  165. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 16, 2012 9:47 pm

    The fact that Thomson isn’t guilty of an offence against the Electoral Act isn’t much of a vindication. His use of funds exacted from low-paid workers to promote his candidacy is disgusting and reprehensible by any standard, at least outside Unionland.

    Maybe the ALP should compensate the HSU for the misspent money? Oh wait they have already paid Thomson $400k for his legals. I guess from their point of view that is a much better investment than giving it to low-paid workers. It shows their commitment to power at any price and their lack of commitment to actually doing the right thing. Low-life scum each and every one of them.

  166. Bacchus permalink
    May 16, 2012 10:00 pm

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2756764.html

    since 1998 the Liberal Party has received $1,618,353 from British American Tobacco (BAT) and $1,440,595 from Phillip Morris. During last year’s election the Liberal Party received $145,035 from British American Tobacco and $147,035 from Phillip Morris.

    Speaks for itself…

  167. May 16, 2012 10:00 pm

    So then which individual was Gillard disgusted with yesterday at the ACTU Conference and refused to name.

    Thompson or Williamson ?

    I wish she would tell me. She’s a terrible communicator.. I mean just yesterday she was also disgusted by the activies within an unnamed Union.

    Which one Julia,,,,,,,,,,,,which one

    And those new adverts about the cash handouts to families………….what are they for ?

    There is no mention in the advert as to what they are specifically for.

    Someone said something about some sort of Big New Tax on something called CO2

    Can someone confirm this please

  168. el gordo permalink
    May 17, 2012 6:31 am

    It cannot be confirmed or denied that the handouts for struggling families has something to do with a harmless trace gas.

  169. el gordo permalink
    May 17, 2012 6:38 am

    ‘Mr Thomson’s lawyers, Holding Redlich, yesterday formally declined a police request that he provide a statement or nominate those he claims were involved in trying to frame him.

    ‘Instead, Mr Thomson informed police that he will nominate certain people in his speech to Federal Parliament on Monday.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/thomson-says-he-wont-name-names-to-the-police–yet-20120516-1yrc8.html#ixzz1v4Dhue7b

    A cowardly act.

  170. el gordo permalink
    May 17, 2012 7:08 am

    ‘LABOR will reveal its funding of Craig Thomson’s legal expenses after party elder John Faulkner stepped in to the affair, declaring it should make a full disclosure to its members over the payments.

    ‘Senator Faulkner’s demand was delivered at a campaign fundraiser in Sydney on Tuesday night, and to party officials.’

    From the Oz.

  171. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 17, 2012 8:34 am

    Shorter Bacchus: “Craig who? Quick, look over there!”

  172. JAWS permalink
    May 17, 2012 8:45 am

    ‘Instead, Mr Thomson informed police that he will nominate certain people in his speech to Federal Parliament on Monday.”

    “Nominate” = “Defame” (if it was outside the confines of Parliament)

  173. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 17, 2012 10:17 am

    As the “resident legal expert” (GMAFB) the AEC development changes not a thing in my view. Although I do think it odd that only last week they declined to investigate as the statute of limitations had expired.

    Thomson has plundered the not just the union, but the broader ALP in his efforts to further his political career, to get laid at will, to enjoy the perks of office, like overseas junkets, and to cover the whole thing up.

    “Innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt” is a criminal court construct to prevent penalty to those who might be innocent of serious crimes (penalty being jail time or (historically) death). It’s not a construct designed to shield those who are very likely guilty of misuse of funds etc etc from being booted from their highly responsible positions. For instance, ASIC at a regulatory level, have to prove to a court’s “comfortable satisfaction” or “reasonable satisfaction” to justify action against directors. This is a greater onus than “balance of probabilities” (the civil threshold) but not even close to “beyond reasonable doubt”, the criminal one. But it is the nearest that I would think is appropriate here.

    In other words, Thomson has no right to sit in Parliament and should resign his seat or be booted now.

  174. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 17, 2012 10:20 am

    *See Morley and Ors v ASIC (2010) NSWCA 331(just to be technically correct).

  175. el gordo permalink
    May 17, 2012 10:27 am

    It appears he does have a case to answer and I agree Craig ‘should resign his seat or be booted now.’

  176. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 17, 2012 10:34 am

    Thomson shouldn’t be booted until he is convicted or bankrupt. He would be bankrupt by now but for the ALP paying him $400k for his legals. The notion of parliament booting an elected representative is anti-democratic and should only be used in rare cases such as a member being convicted of a serious offence. Thomson might resign or the ALP might ensure they don’t rely on his vote but he should not be booted until he is convicted.

    Ultimately the voters will sort this out and the ALP will pay the price for supporting this grub. I pity Gillard. She is too dishonest to give a straight answer and too stupid to craft a convincing lie.

  177. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 17, 2012 12:39 pm

    I’m not sure that Thomson should be evicted from parliament, though someone with his ethics has no place in it.

    My suggestion for an improvement in a parliamentary code of conduct is – if you decline to assist with investigation by law enforcement authorities, you’re suspended from the parliament until the matter is resolved.

    People who cannot see their way clear to assist to enforce the law have no place in making it.

  178. JAWS permalink
    May 17, 2012 12:40 pm

    “Thomson shouldn’t be booted until he is convicted or bankrupt.”

    I think going by behaviour he actually has some really deep seated psychological problems.

    I cannot believe he is being allowed to address Parliament for what is going to be little more than a slag fest which would be defamatory in any other setting.

    Have you seen the latest ? Now he reckons his phone was cloned prior to his election to Parliament ( as suggested in jest by Laurie Oakes the other day). Presumably cloned by people allied to Williamson who in 2008 on election to Parliament he couldn’t praise highly enough. Strange that he’d praise someone who previously had threatened him.

    I’d like to se a psych evaluation before he gets to give any sort of speech.

  179. el gordo permalink
    May 17, 2012 12:59 pm

    ‘…some really deep seated psychological problems.’

    A compulsive liar.

  180. James of North Melbourne permalink
    May 17, 2012 1:02 pm

    He should be booted because his electorate are entitled to representation by someone of reasonable standing. There should be a by-election.

  181. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 17, 2012 2:11 pm

    Maybe I was wrong, I suppose Craig will commence his explanation with “I appreciate the opportunity to address the Parliament today, and in order to assist you to understand my statement, please suspend your belief system and any sense of rationality and logic for the next 30 minutes”

  182. el gordo permalink
    May 17, 2012 2:12 pm

    Craig needs professional help…to test his suitability in holding the seat. Psychological ailments often go unrecognised until it’s too late.

  183. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 17, 2012 3:49 pm

    Different MO. She didn’t rip off low-paid workers and the ALP isn’t rewarding her for doing so by paying her legals. And she has a far more plausible story.

  184. JAWS permalink
    May 17, 2012 3:58 pm

    “……..And she has a far more plausible story……..”

    LOL

  185. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 17, 2012 4:23 pm

    I know TB, AO and others tire of all the discussion about Craig Thomson. Fair enough.

    But it really is a story so salacious, which illustrates so starkly all that is wrong with the ALP, it’s irresistible. Overlaying this is the entertaining contortions of those that continue to defend him, despite the FWA findings and the entire ALP and union leadership deserting him.

    So apologies TB, AO and anyone else who is bored with the issue, perhaps it will all conclude on Monday, with Craig’s comprehensive statement. Though maybe not.

  186. JAWS permalink
    May 17, 2012 4:47 pm

    Maybe he’ll take a seppuku knife into the chamber and plunge into his own gizzards at the very end.

  187. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 18, 2012 9:54 am

    …and while I have the floor…

    The government and their supporters have sought to make a point that Ashby didn’t seek mediation about his workplace harassment before lodging his claim in the Federal Court.
    Ashby is under no obligation to seek mediation.

    If an individual believes they’re up against experts in damage control, political manoeuvring, the law, and they have access to parliamentary privilege, I think they’re fully entitled to take whatever action they consider best protects their own interests.

    Ashby may have his own motivation for taking the action, and it might just involve getting a settlement. He might consider this course the best way to achieve that outcome.

    Did Pyne or Abbott etc have any prior knowledge? Who knows? The key element is whether there is evidence of a person in a position of power harassing a subordinate.
    ——————————–
    Listening to the ABC this morning, their technology expert said it may be possible to have a different telephone number show up on caller ID, but this could not occur on a phone bill. If the police investigated, they’d establish whether the call was made from the phone in question or not.

    I think Thomson will probably choose his words very carefully when he alleges his phone was “spoofed”.

    Apparently some wish to continue to believe the case against Thomson is somehow due to a media beat-up, Kathy Jackson and FWA Vice President Michael Lawler. Though exactly how this conspiracy all hangs together is entirely unexplained.

    It’s just a “look over there” attempt.

  188. JAWS permalink
    May 18, 2012 10:02 am

    ToM

    I heard a different expert yesterday say it could turn up on a mobile phone bill but could as you said be easily traced as not a legitimate call if it was properly investigated by the billing Telco/Police.

    However the technology could not be used on a hotel room landline.

  189. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 18, 2012 12:59 pm

    The ALP leadership will be rehearsing their responses to questions at the moment.

    Journalist question – ‘do you believe Mr Thomson’s explanation’

    All ministers will answer – ‘that isn’t for me to say. That’s for the courts. But the real question is- what does Mr Abbott know about the Ashby allegations. It’s time for Mr Abbott to answer some questions. Here’s another question for Mr Abbott…’

    Journalist – ‘But Mr Thomson made some claims that..”

    Minister – ‘you should talk to Mr Abbott about the presumption of innocence. Mr Abbott wants to tear down…’

    Journalist – ‘do you accept that such a complex conspiracy operated in the HSU for a decade, as Mr Thomson has alleged?’

    Minister – ‘Mr Abbott might want to be judge and jury. We’re getting on with the job of governing. Mr Abbott has no policies…’

    Expect a variation of the theme across the blogosphere too.

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