“No, I don’t believe him!” said Reverend Tim,
As if weight of judgement lay with him.
Thousands watching shared his thought,
Nationwide jury in a kangaroo court.
Outrage required a penalty paid,
To be decided once a charge was laid.
Meanwhile the rack would do or pillory
Watched by his friends and family.
His accuser, once colleague, is feted,
With much to gain and nothing to lose
She stars in media interviews.
She had long sought that in years before,
Has no need now to seek it for sure.
So why have journalists no suspicions
As she’s taken up by politicians?
We need research, more facts on this lady.
Her partner’s role for a judge seems shady.
The public should know if they’ve broken the law.
Isn’t that what a free press is for?
POST SCRIPT 17/05/12 added for Cafe Whispers.
With that Fair Work Report now proven wrong,
Will the media sing a different song?
Are all his critics going to eat crow?
If they follow their leader, the answer is “NO!”
POST SCRIPT 22/08/12 added after the KPMG review of the FWA report
With the Fair Work Report described as ‘deficient’
Will the media at last think that’s proof sufficient
For all of his critics now have to eat crow?
Eric Abetz is leading the field with a very loud, “NO!”
NOTES: I have been appalled and angry watching the story of Craig Thomson distract the government from the business of running this country. I have been particularly angry as the media have ratcheted up the story of his denial of wrong doing, turning it into a ‘scandal’ as if the whole government was somehow involved in covering up his crime. As indeed Tony Abbott declaims it is day in day out. The government has in fact appropriately referred the matter to police and he has been accused of no crime. Craig Thomson persistently maintains his innocence of the accusations made against him.
There have been many press and television interviews given by his accuser, Kathy Jackson, and much media hype has followed. Readers know the implications of this story for the numbers in a hung Parliament as the Prime Minister has responded as calmly as she could to Abbott’s demands that she suspend the Member for Dobell. The political, legal and constitutional ramifications of this story are many. The failure of the media to tackle those issues in any serious way while continually referring to it as ‘the sleaze factor’ of Julia Gillard’s government is disturbing.
Since the story is largely exploited for its ‘sleaze’ appeal it seemed surprising that few journalists asked the obvious questions about whistleblower, Kathy Jackson. She is a very colorful and combative individual, in comparison with the rather dour, even dull, Craig Thomson. A quick google search showed me that one or two journalists had indeed done that. News Ltd had even published in the Australian Weekend Magazine a long, well researched story by Cameron Stewart which has some very interesting and colorful information about Kathy Jackson’s character, her personal ambition and her long and combative career in the Health Services Union. All of which could make Craig Thomson’s claims of innocence rather more credible. I am not suggesting they are proof of his innocence but the Australian public needs that information for balance. I doubt that there would be the hysteria of condemnation we see around us if they had it.
Astonishing to me is the information in that article about her former husband Jeff Jackson and current partner , Michael Lawler. The former had been accused of ‘crimes’ or offences of the kind that Kathy Jackson accuses Craig Thomson. The latter is Vice President, Fair Work Australia, since his appointment to it in 2002 by Tony Abbott then Minister for Employment, when FWA was the Industral Relations Commission. No one has asked if he has had any input at all into the recently produced FWA damning report about Thomson which has given Tony Abbott more ammunition in his publicity onslaught on Julia Gillard’s government. Even more recently it emerges that Michael Lawler is a long term friend of Abbott’s through Opus Dei. No one has mentioned that Kathy Jackson and Michael Lawler decided together over ‘several bottles of wine’ to eventually refer Craig Thomson with formal complaints to the police.
My little pome is in a sense about all of that information I know is out there and should be written about, and it should be written about with integrity. Even more importantly it is about the challenge we are facing in our country to our governance and justice system. We have judges, juries and courts to try people for crimes. People are assumed to be innocent until tried and found guilty within that system. We have policemen to decide if people should be charged and sent to court for trial if they seem to have broken laws. We have Parliament where politicians make the laws which rule our country. All of that is subsumed under the term the separation of powers. On top of all that we have a free press which reports on all those levels of government and much else besides. Our multi-media press is supposedly our democracy and freedom’s watchdog.
I was truly alarmed to witness the Reverend Tim Costello with other reputable citizens pass judgement on a man, not yet charged with any crime on a current affairs program produced by senior journalists of our National broadcasting service. All but one of these responsible citizens were encouraging their audience in the studio and out on the air waves to agree with them. Judgement was passed on a man not accused of any crime.
POST SCRIPT! At last we have some real facts published in a story which confirms my gut feelings It’s well worth reading and I see it has been reproduced by its author, Wixxy at Cafe Whispers so now I have the satisfaction of knowing that I’m, not obsessively identifying with someone I see pilloried and falsely accused.
Today, 16/05/12, the Australian Electorial Commission has cleared Craig of accusations of electoral fraud which Kathy Jackson accused him of and which the Fair Work Australia report had confirmed as true. Well, that’s a start on almost $300,000 of nearly half a million dollars! Let’s see what emerges next!
The day after that, 17/05/12, I waited to see if any of his critics would eat crow, admit they were wrong. Fat chance! I ended up re-writing this pome for Cafe Whispers as Will They Eat Crow? and Miglo posted it between Wixxy’s posts about the Speaker and HSU scandals which the Liberal party seem to be stirring up to embarrass the government.
POST POST SCRIPT! 26/04/13 Big win for Craig Thomson today!
Today in court the case against Craig Thomson weakened, as it would seem that Fair Work Australia backs away from its allegations against the Federal MP. Fair Work Australia has decided to adjourn the hearing on virtually all of its civil matters against Thomson, these include allegations around travel, accommodation, meals, cash withdrawals, and of course the allegations of brothel use.
When will we see an apology from Tim Costello?
Gravel, 16/05/12, Another great pome, well done. I am also enthralled with your explanation of where you are coming from. You write very well and clearly. Thank you.
Ad Astra, 16/05/12, Your poem is apt and clever. Perhaps some of Thomson’s accusers will experience some uneasy peelings!
Catching up, 16/05/12, We only need to recall Lindy Chamberlain and the dingo did not take the baby. Another example is that Aboriginal man that the purplish was so sure was guilty, that served many years for a murder he did not commit in Perth. Kangaroo courts and trial by public and media opinion are more likely to be wrong than right. Even if the two men are guilty, we have no idea of what. We have no idea of the seriousness of crimes they committed. There could be reason to be a little wary, in the length of time the accusations have been going on, and still no charge. I do wonder that the charges are identical to those leveled by Mr. Thomson, against Mr. Jackson. That in itself, puzzling to me, that a man would commit crimes, that he had earlier accused another of. Something in the woodpile does stink. What the smell is coming from, I for one have no idea. Also what is clear, if this was not a minority government with a Opposition leader that is willing to do anything, except wait to win, we would not be hearing much about the matter. Deciding the truth of allegations, and yes findings, is best left to the courts, set up to deal with such matters. The only thing that media campaigns that now occurring, is that they are in danger of tainting the evidence and leading to miss trials. One is also entitled to a fair trial.
Pip, 16/05/12, Well done patricia. I was very concerned at the easy way that the discussion on Q&A turned on the guilt of Craig Thomson. “Rev”. Tim Costello suddenly reminded me of his egotistical brother! An odd but not surprising turn; the panel included Finance Minister Penny Wong and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey,but the wait was long for a question on the Budget.
Thanks to Sue @ Cafe Whispers for spotting this, which is the conclusion to be read into the headline:-
Most of Thomson’s spendings ok: AEC Adam Carroll | 16th May 2012 6:30 PM
MOST of the money spent by the Health Services Union on Craig Thomson’s 2007 election campaign in the seat of Dobell did not breach electoral guidelines, the Australian Electoral Commission has found.
Now. Skip to the last sentence for the truth.
While most of the $71,000 the union spent on Mr Thomson’s campaign was found to have complied with the act, the AEC said in a statement on Wednesday is was seeking “further information about four items of expenditure which total $17,014.88″.
“… some items of expenditure that have been identified would have been required to be incorporated into the total of all amounts received or paid in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 annual returns of the HSU National Office and of the ALP NSW Branch. Inquiries have been made to establish whether that has occurred,” the AEC’s statement read.
The items in question, all of which were below the reporting threshold set out by the act, relate to the establishment of Mr Thomson’s campaign office ($4,826.99), payments to the Dobell Federal Electoral Council ($3500), campaign bus costs ($1,277.96) and payments to LBH Promotions ($7,409.93). The disclosure thresholds that were in place during the period covered by the FWA report were $10,300 for the 2006-2007 financial year and $10,500 for the 2007-2008 financial year
In a statement released late on Wednesday Mr Gray noted “the AEC has not identified any breaches of the Electoral Act by Craig Thomson
Pip, 15/05/12, Patricia, in your link to Michael Lawler. partner of Kathy Jackson, regarding a member of staff who tried to resign in disgust, and was greeted with this….allegedly…
You can f . . k off and take sick leave if you don’t want to do the work and still be paid, but you can’t resign,” Mr Lawler allegedly told her.
A few days after Mr Giudice approached Mr Lawler about Ms Glen’s complaint, Mr Lawler wrote to NSW Police making allegations of criminal conduct against her. In his letter to the head of Strikeforce Carnarvon, which is investigating alleged corruption in the HSU, Mr Lawler claims Ms Glen and HSU East acting assistant general-secretary Gerard Hayes may have engaged in a criminal conspiracy. Ms Glen and Mr Hayes strenuously deny Mr Lawler’s allegations.
Mr Lawler claims Ms Glen may have been given an inducement to give false evidence, noting that in a private email exchange with her partner in December, she had referred to a cheque she was going to pick up.
“I had ordered a bank cheque to pay my rent,” Ms Glen said, questioning how Mr Lawler had obtained her emails. She says she finds it extraordinary that Mr Lawler, the second highest industrial judge in the land, would engage in such a campaign.
Mr Lawler’s associate said it would be inappropriate for him to comment.
In the end, Ms Glen’s disillusionment is complete. “I thought union leaders were supposed to look after members, but these ones look after themselves.”.”
A bully, just like his mate Tony! [allegedly]
Patriciawa, 17/05/12, I wouldn’t mind betting that he and Tony couldn’t believe their luck when the relationship with Kathy began. I’m sure there’s real attraction there, but how useful! I found his agreeing to her sectioning somewhat odd, so unwise, but they do seem to get into folie a deux situations over a bottle or two!
Lyn, 17/05/12, Excellent work, each pome is better than the last,
Victoria, 18/05/12, Lovely!
Fiona, 18/05/12, Lovely pome. Thank you.
Ad Astra, 18/05/12, Patricia WA, Your pome Will they eat Crow is apt and perspicacious. Thank you. When we know all the details of the Craig Thomson affair, I believe Thomson will not be the only one that will be suspect.
Lyn, 20/05/12, Hi Patriciawa, Did you know Polliepomes has featured at Blogotariat: http://www.blogotariat.com/node/366739
Ad Astra, 20/05/12, Congratulations, Patricia WA!
Talk Turkey, 20/05/12, Patricia, FAME! Well done. But we on TPS recognized you first.
Patriciawa, 22/08/12, KPMG did an independent review of the FWA report on HSU and found it ‘deficient’ particularly in failing to investigate beyond Craig Thomson’s activities. Watching Craig Thomson yesterday defending himself yet and listening to the abominable Eric Abetz justifying the attacks on him still, I had to remind myself that the Coalition along with baying media hounds may have led the HSU witchhunt but plenty of supposedly non politically aligned citizens had willingly joined the fun. Will they have anything to say about the latest review of the FWA report and Thomson’s ever increasingly credible staunch self defence? I so clearly remember this edition of Q&A.