Hard Labor For The Innocent?

Tony Abbott thought he had a winning card
With rules for pairs both clear and hard,
But, challenging the ALP, rattling his sabre.
He forgot there was another kind of ‘labor.’

Straw polls told him that he’d be a fool
Persisting with a policy voters thought too cruel,
Besides it drew attention to a woman
Whose treatment by him was near inhuman.

Confined at home and left to suffer,
She’d heard he’d made life that much tougher.
Already sick at heart to depths unknown,
Now she’d have to bear her child alone.

Then Abbott decides he will, after all, be kind.
Voters should be pleased he’s changed his mind.
But other circumstances haven’t changed.
He’s still bent on power as if deranged.

There’s been no softening, no generosity.
He continues his attack with mad ferocity.
A man proven not guilty is once again accused,
So a mother and her unborn child, already punished, are even more abused.

NOTES: I wrote this as a post for Cafe Whispers where the story about the federal Member of Parliament, Craig Thomson, and his alleged wrongdoings has been well canvassed. There are many other similar discussions going on all over the net. There is a nice objective account of it all in Wiki. Anyone who knows my rusted on Labor nature can guess my political views on all of that. Obviously I have been indignant about the injustice of his trial by media with no presumption of innocence and the scandalous things said about him by the Opposition under privilege in Parliament.

Throughout it all I have been haunted by thoughts of his wife, Zoe, at home often alone, I imagine, because of Parliamentary sittings and in very considerable emotional pain. It’s hard to know the level of stress being felt by the somewhat impassive Craig Thomson, but it’s easy to imagine something of her more extreme distress. Does one have to have been a mother to fear the impact of all this on their unborn child? I’m no gynaecologist, or psychatrist, but as a woman who has borne two children I really believe the well being of the unborn is affected by the moood and health of its mother. Part of me would like to have been reassured that that was not so and that my anxiety about that child is unfounded.

What I hoped for in posting this at one of my favorite blogs which is more frequented than mine was to hear how other people felt about the lack of concern expressed from all sides for Thomson’s hapless wife and her unborn child. I am astonished that no one seems to have considered that. So I asked a series of semi-rhetorical questions, to which I wouldn’t mind some answers.

Has any woman in the Coalition party room raised it with Tony Abbott? Has anyone in the government? I’ve noticed that journalists often add as a sort of footnote that the wife of the beleaguered Member for Dobell is heavily pregnant. Have I missed an opinion piece or editorial on this? And why hasn’t the Leader of the Opposition, himself a family man, father of three young women, spared a thought for that tiny, soon to be born, human being?

It would have been interesting to see if any readers at Cafe Whispers tried to answer them. After a few hours, two women had agreed with my sentiment. And one moralistic prick had missed my point entirely! Maybe I should have expected that.

I have copied below in my usual way the comments directly relevant to the pome and its concern for Zoe Thomson I received at Cafe Whispers. Most of the discussion very quickly turned to the politics of Abbott’s pairing decisions and soon the whole thread was taken up with side issues and some totally irrelevant stuff. I could have asked the moderator to remind bloggers to stay on topic but I refrained because I was interested to watch how even very fair minded people didn’t really want to talk about what happens to babies in the womb!

I got a different and early (8.00am) response with some very relevant information from The Political Sword when I posted a link to here overnight. There the blogmasters, Ad Astra and Feral Skeleton, have medical and pharmaceutical backgrounds and both confirmed that my concerns were well founded.


Sue, 10/09/11, What a beautiful way you have of expressing, such a miserable time. To think this change of heartlessness has only occurred because of a poll describing the decision as “nasty” was running at 68%, his best ever result.

Iain Hall, 10/09/11 Maybe if Thomson had thought about his wife at home when he was paying for a leg over or two with the union credit card the opposition might have been more compassionate in the first instance, but as it stands he will be granted a pair and the government has learnt that in this parliament that they can’t take pairing for granted which sounds about right to me.

Min, 10/09/11 , Just a point – the allegations against Thomson refer to an incident in 2008. Zoe Arnold gave birth to their first child in 2009 and they married in January 2011.

Sue. 10/09/11, Hang on, there is a look over there happening, the original post was a beautiful poem. So let them discuss the issue about why Abbott so grudgingly changed his mind after banging on about not giving a pair so that a man can attend the birth of his child. Straw polls, Sunrise whatever, the Mr Family man, the one who was willing to use his daughters for the odd photo during the election, was shown up as a nasty person.

Möbius Ecko, 10/09/11, Exactly Sue. Criticising Labor and especially Labor governments is a must even if using criticisms that are not based on fact or are distortions. Criticise the Liberals and especially Abbott, even when they well and truly deserve it, and in comes the Abbott posse to head you off back onto the bash Labor trail.

Ad Astra, 10/09/11 Thank you ……Patricia WA for your pome and your pertinent questions at the end; I would dearly love to know the answers to them.

jane, 11/09/11, I also really hope that Zoe Thomson has been able to keep calm and insulate herself from the stress of the ongoing stalking of her husband by the ghouls in the Liars Party.

Feral Skeleton, 11/09/11 Re: Zoe Thomsonand the callous disregard for her and her unborn baby’s well-being.

1. Gynaecologists say that one of the worst things that can be passed on to an unborn baby from their mother is an increased level of Adrenaline. Many studies have been done about the effects post-partum as the child grows. It’s not good.

2. Mothers can get Pre-Natal Depression as well as Post-Natal. It is said that the Pre-Natal Depression also has negative effects on the unborn child’s brain biochemistry due to the mother’s imbalances.

3. The last Trimester of pregnancy is when the foetus is supposed to grow into the bonny baby we get after a normal birth(hopefully).

Which is the other aspect of the unalloyed cruelty that the Liberal Party have expressed towards Zoe Thomson as an intentional side-effect(for you can conclude nothing less with the number of Doctor MPs in the Coalition), of their attack on Craig Thomson. And might I also add that the Fairfax Newspapers bear some of the responsibility for this tawdry situation too. I mean, did they have to bring out the new allegations about Michael Williamson and Craig Thomson the very day after he was cleared of the last set of smears and give him and his family no respite?

So, as an upset hormonal imbalance in the mother can also cause problems with the birth process and breast feeding, if anything at all goes wrong with the birth of Zoe and Craig Thomson’s baby, or in the period after, then these people will truly have it as a spot on their hands that the crafty words of Tony Abbott will never be able to wash away.

Just as an example, the chemical oxytocin: A short polypeptide hormone, C43H66N12O12S2, released from the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, that stimulates the contraction of smooth muscle of the uterus during labor and facilitates ejection of milk from the breast during nursing.

New York Times columnist David Brooks turned his attention to the hormone oxytocin, which aids in forming and maintaining relationships. He named this ability as the best predictor of success for both individuals and organizations:

“Oxytocin is a hormone that helps mammals bond…. In humans, oxytocin levels rise during childbirth, breast feeding and sex. Humans with higher oxytocin levels are more likely to trust other people…. I figure if we can hang Oxytocin Meters around people’s necks, we can tell who is involved in healthy relationships and who isn’t.”

Next, Cortisol, the hormone released when you are under stress:

Severe trauma or stressful events can elevate cortisol levels in the blood for prolonged periods.

…long-term exposure to cortisol damages cells in the hippocampus;[43] this damage results in impaired learning. Furthermore, it has been shown that cortisol inhibits memory retrieval of already stored information.

It suppresses the immune system by “muting” the white blood cells.

Another function is to decrease bone formation.

I Just thought I’d put the information out into the Public Domain so that we all can know that actions such as the Coalition and the newspapers are undertaking can have real and measurable consequences. Zoe Thomson is not some abstract piece of collateral damage in the Craig Thomson ‘Affair’. She is a young mum going through one of the most delicate times in her and her unborn child’s life.

Ad Astra, 11/09/11, FS Thank you for placing in the public arena the ill effects of stress on the pregnant mother and her child to which Patricia WA alluded in her post-poem questions. My guess is that the Coalition members that continue their vitriolic campaign against Craig Thomson do so without thought of such unintended consequences, as is likely the case with journalists at Fairfax. Collateral damage is probably not at the forefront of their minds, and if it were, it would be of little consequence. Can anyone imagine George Brandis being concerned about Zoe Thomson’s unborn child?

jane, 11/09/11 Frankly, I don’t think the effects on Craig Thomson’s unborn child are unintended at all. They are intentional and disgusting and just another example of what bottom dwellers this mob is, aided and abetted by the msm wolf pack. If this infant, or its mother, suffers health problems as a result of this relentless campaign, we’ll see barbed faux “sympathy” from this bunch of hypocrites-“Oh dear, how terrible Mrs Thomson, but it’s all your own fault for marrying Craig Thomson.”

Ad Astra, jane, if you are right, and you may well be, that would be disgusting in the extreme. With Tony Abbott and George Brandis orchestrating the Coalition’s response to the Craig Thomson affair, nothing would be too disgusting for them. They peddle loathing and hatred.

Gravel, 11/09/11 Patricia, I saw your pome in Cafe Whispers yesterday. You again have out done yourself.

Catching up 11/09/11 It has been hinted that Mr. Thomson will throw in the towel if enough pressure put on him. What greater pressure than attacking one’s wife and family. For the pressure to work, the wife has to suffer. Nothing is beyond this miserable and lazy Opposition. This Opposition has to be one of the worst this country has seen.

Uncle George12/09/11 It would be entirely appropriate for Mr Thomson to answer his critics, if he can of course, and I suspect based on information provided to date that he cannot. I have the greatestsympathy for his poor wife, but to suggest that a member of Parliament, and an ex-union official involved in what could only be described as functional incapacity at best and devious behaviour at worst should not be subject to any criticism because of his unborn fetus is really scrabbling in the dirt.

On this basis, anybody subject to criticism could just conceive a child and be sheltered from any requirement for accountability.

I am no lover of Murdoch or the Murdoch press, but it should be noted that the Fairfax press has also pursued this issue with some vigour probably because of the use of defamation proceedings to gag them for a considerable period of time. Unfortunately for Mr Thompson these proceedings enabled Fairfax to access a lot more potentially incriminating information relating to his alleged misdemeanours.

By all means remained a rusted on one eyed Labor supporter, try not to let your prejudices outway your capacity for logical analysis. Thomson could resolve this issue by providing appropriate information to dispel any criticism, if he can. Otherwise any impact on his unborn foetus is entirely on his own head, and should be regarded as collateral damage for the greater good, on the same basis as innocent Iraqi and Afghan civilians who suffer death or injury when our military forces and their allies are acting in the pursuit of freedom and good governance.

Patricia WA 12/09/11, I take your point, Uncle George, about my one eyed Labor supporter perspective. For me though the late pregnancy of his wife is of more concern than Craig Thomson himself and grubby trade union factionalism too. There’s no hope of forcing him out of Parliament immediately whatever the outcome of that. So what’s the point of all this drama and scandalmongering unless it is to put pressure on him through his wife at this particularly vulnerable time for her? That’s not collateral damage, that’s deliberate exploitation, emotional blackmail of the worst kind. Likening her to the women and children being killed in war suggests the all’s fair in love and war idea, but we’re talking here about the decency that should be expected of people in a democratically elected Parliament. That ‘collateral damage’ of innocent Afghani and Iraqi citizens killed and wounded might also have been avoided if they were considered before wars were embarked on. What’s the point of freedom and good governance if all standards of decency and humanity have been destroyed?

Patricia WA 20/09/14, Has anyone more recent news of Craig Thomson?

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/the-craig-thomson-case/story-fndo48ca-1226502036282 31/01/13

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/former-mp-craig-thomson-sentenced-to-three-months-jail/story-fni0fee2-1226863919858 25/03/14

Did he go to prison? Or has he been exonerated in the light of very recent revelations about Kathy Jackson’s handling of large sums of HSU funds?


About patriciawa

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