Thanks a mill, Thommo

Craig Thomson leaves court after being found guilty.

This is my theory.  Were it not for Thommo and the hookers, there would be no Royal Commission into union corruption.

And if it were not for Thommo suing Fairfax for defamation, the whole story might have died.

Of course, Thommo suing Fairfax for defamation (surely, he knew he would lose) was part of his tactic to retain pre-selection in Dobell and be reelected in 2010.

And, once re-elected and with a minority government in place, Gillard and her comrades had no choice but to back him, all the while knowing that he was a complete crud who, in other circumstances, would have been expelled from the party and forgotten.

My feeling is that the public have always known that blue-collar unionists are a tough lot, but the mixture of a union official representing low-paid health workers and his misusing union funds to purchase the services of prostitutes – that’s another thing, altogether.

And, so the ball started to roll – and not in a way favourable to the union movement or Labor.

Here’s an informative piece from the Canberra Times:

When The Sydney Morning Herald political correspondent Mark Davis revealed in April 2009 that Craig Thomson was being investigated for using his union credit card to pay for escort services and to withdraw cash, the response was swift.

“I am confident that both the independent audit and the Industrial Registrar will find no basis for these allegations,” the Labor MP and Health Services Union secretary said.

So confident, in fact, that he issued a writ against the Herald for defamation a week later.

It was to become the first chapter in a bizarre saga lasting nearly five years, in which Thomson has protested his innocence, in Parliament, before the media, and even through the mouth of his solicitor.

But on Tuesday, Victorian magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg found Thomson guilty of charges related to using union funds for sexual services, of making cash withdrawals with his union-issued credit card, of buying cigarettes and firewood for his then wife, Christa, and for some charges related to paying for travel for her.

Those at court said the 49-year-old showed little emotion. But why should we be surprised? Thomson’s capacity of self-deception and deception of his colleagues and the Australian public suggest he either lives in a parallel universe or is an actor worthy of a gold statue.

The defamation suit came and went, and if you listened to Thomson, it was a vindication of his innocence.

He told the Fair Work Australia investigation he had settled the case because he had been able to prove he was not in Sydney at the relevant times. He also said that Fairfax Media had engaged a handwriting expert who had concluded his signature on credit card vouchers at the escort agencies had been forged.

Neither of these claims was true. One month later the Herald reported Thomson had dropped the case and that preliminary legal argument revealed his driver’s licence number was noted on the credit card vouchers issued by Keywed Pty Ltd, a Surry Hills brothel. The vouchers also contained a signature in Thomson’s name.

We also reported that Thomson’s mobile phone showed two calls to numbers associated with the agency. The bills also show the location of the phone as someone driving from Bateau Bay on the central coast to Sydney on the date the credit card was used at the agency.

Thomson emailed his federal colleagues telling them he had been defamed again and was planning to sue the Herald over “grossly inaccurate and misleading reporting”.

“It is clear that Fairfax have both defamed me again and breached and misrepresented a confidential deed that settled the matter between me and Fairfax,” he wrote.

In May 2012, after a two-year inquiry, the Fair Work Commission concluded that Thomson had repeatedly provided false and misleading information during the course of a long investigation into the national office of the Health Services Union.

“I can only conclude that it was indeed Mr Thomson who used his credit card to spend the amount of $5793 for the procurement of escort services,” Terry Nassios, the director for organisations, research and advice, said in the 1105-page report.

“Mr Thomson claims that these transactions were incurred fraudulently by another person using his credit cards.

“However, the following matters overwhelmingly support an inference that it was Mr Thomson who used his own credit cards to make these transactions,” he said.

For example, $2475 was spent on Sydney Escorts run by Keywed in April 2005. Seven separate transactions were processed by Keywed between April 7 and April 9, 2007 but they were spread between Thomson’s two union credit cards, a Diners and a CBA MasterCard.

He was also found to have provided false or misleading information about the $103,000 in cash withdrawals made during the period he was national secretary.

After the report came out, Thomson went into Parliament to make a personal explanation.

“Since these allegations were first raised I have consistently and on many occasions made it clear that I have done nothing wrong. I have, in fact, wanted to make a statement for some time but sought counsel – including legal advice – and took that advice not to make a statement. Can I say that is something that I probably regret in hindsight.”

“The Fair Work report, can I point out, is the report of one man on the national office of the union. Its so-called findings amount to no more than assertions.”

“Turning to credit cards and escorts, I have consistently from day one denied any wrongdoing in relation to these issues. I make it clear—and I hope I have already by painting a picture—that I had many enemies in the HSU, many enemies who did not like increased transparency, many enemies who preferred that there be no national office. I was the subject on numerous occasions of threats and intimidation,” he said.

Thomson said that one enemy, Marco Bolano, had said “in words to the effect that he would seek to ruin any political career that I sought and would set me up with a bunch of hookers. This was a threat that started in Kathy Jackson’s office. The rant went right down the corridor and was witnessed by many people”. In October 2012 Thomson instructed his new solicitor to take up his cause.

“Our client has never used other people’s money or his own money to pay people for sex with him. Anyone who says the opposite will be sued,” Chris McArdle said.

McArdle said police took handwriting samples which would prove Thomson did not sign for payments “at houses of ill repute”.

Faced with the mounting evidence, the Gillard government was forced to banish Thomson to the cross benches. But it continued to take his vote and on one occasion paid his legal fees of $150,000 to avoid him becoming a bankrupt.

It has been the media, notably the Herald’s Kate McClymont, that have persevered with getting to the truth of the matter. Even when Thomson was claiming that black was white.

 

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100 Responses to Thanks a mill, Thommo

  1. A Lurker

    Further exploring the concept of unintended consequences – if Gillard hadn’t leant on 2UE forcing the abandonment of Michael Smith’s interview with Bob Kernohan and thus forcing Michael Smith to resign over ‘editorial differences’ with 2UE; then Michael Smith News wouldn’t have been created, and Michael Smith may not have gone to the police, and there may not now be a police investigation leading to some interesting future times in court, and a further inducement to the Coalition to hold a Royal Commission into the Unions.

    Conclusion: Even when the Left think they’re being ‘clever’, they’re actually just causing themselves more future pain and problems.

  2. Leigh Lowe

    I seem to remember that, when he dropped his defamation suit against the SMH, Craig had been telling anyone who would listen that Fairfax had “settled out of court” implying that he had won and Fairfax had paid out.
    When it was correctly reported on one of the talk-back stations in Sydney that he had “dropped his case against Fairfax” an indignant Craig called in to repeat his lies. It was during this call that he let a few inconsistencies slip, which alerted a couple of journos that this didn’t smell right.
    His long history of making bullying phone calls to his enemies had come home to roost, but the dumb-arse just couldn’t keep his mouth shut.

  3. Aaron

    Thomson’s capacity of self-deception and deception of his colleagues and the Australian public suggest he either lives in a parallel universe or is an actor worthy of a gold statue.

    I’m not sure that Thomson successfully deceived the Australian public. In any pub or club across Australia when his face flashed up on the TV everyone instantly declared him a crook.

    What would be far more interesting is whether his colleagues in the Australian Labor Party believed him to be a crook but publicly defended him to preserve their own financial interests. We still haven’t had any clarification from Gillard as to why she had ‘complete confidence’ in Thomson or from Shorten as to why they ‘believed’ him.

  4. Craig Mc

    I have done nothing wrong

    Now, where else have I heard those words?

  5. nic

    This is my theory. Were it not for Thommo and the hookers, there would be no Royal Commission into union corruption.And if it were not for Thommo suing Fairfax for defamation, the whole story might have died.

    I totally agree.

  6. H B Bear

    Unlike the current Royal Commission into child abuse (that, despite the seriousness of the events themselves, is unlikely to move much beyond a McSporran-Gillard distraction), the union’s RC has a real Costigan feel about it. Find a thread, start pulling and …. look what we have here.

    Properly resourced and with sufficient time to do its job – it could be transformative. I imagine there are dozens and dozens of people not sleeping too well at night already.

  7. H B Bear

    Thommo suing Fairfax for defamation (surely, he knew he would lose) …

    There is a long history of Labor politicians winning defamation suits, getting a nice payout and the stories subsequently being true. Usually it occurs after their death and is confirmed by their Labor colleagues who otherwise remained silent.

  8. Craig Mc

    There is a long history of Labor politicians winning defamation suits, getting a nice payout and the stories subsequently being true.

    It’s not exclusively a left-wing thing. Jeffrey Archer comes to mind.

  9. Mon

    The den of iniquity, Williamson, Thomson,Gillard and Williamson’s daughter, all working together to try and keep the lie alive. What a disgrace.

  10. Baldrick

    A hearty slap on the back for Kate McClymont.

  11. manalive

    … the union’s RC has a real Costigan feel about it …

    I’m thinking the Menzies Royal Commission on Espionage which exposed connections between Soviet spies and leading Labor figures including Evatt.

  12. H B Bear

    It’s not exclusively a left-wing thing.

    True. It’s almost a perk of the job. Let’s hope things end up as well for Thommo as they did for Archer.

  13. Baldrick

    The latest:

    It’s not all bad news for the Australian Labor Party.
    At least one of them can organise a root in a brothel.

  14. johanna

    Yep, as I said on the OT, it is a mystery why New Corp “poached” Jessica Birdbrain instead of Kate McClymont. McClymont also did the hard yards on the Obeid/Macdonald scandal in NSW.

    At time of writing, she is undoubtedly the finest investigative reporter in the country. Without her, Fauxfacts would have zero substance, more like a teen fan mag than a news outlet.

  15. David Black

    What is the reason for Bob Ellis’ animosity towatds Kate Mc Clymont? (“She ruined my life!”)
    Anyone he hates must be a good’un.

  16. Grigory M

    Credit also needs to go to Larry Pickering, whose courageous and unrelenting pursuit of Gillard and the union slush funds issue kept the matter alive. Until he did so, the rest of the media was cowed and other comment had been stifled, primarily as a result of Gillard’s telephone rant 2 years ago. The HSU matter alone was not sufficient to justify a Royal Commission, but the addition of the slush funds revelations and the more recent CFMEU revelations has now exposed enough corrupt activity to warrant the RC’s establishment. Sure, Michael Smith has done sterling work on the Gillard slush fund matter, but Pickering is the one who kept it all in the public’s gaze.

  17. dianeh

    …the Law of Unintended Consequences, stronger than any written Law. ‘Whether or not what you do has the effect you want, it will have three at least you never expected, and one of those usually unpleasant.’

    Siuan Sanche’s advice to Egwene, in Robert Jordan’s The Path of Daggers, part of the Wheel of Time Cycle

    Attention: Craig Thompson.

  18. johanna

    Grigory – very few people read Pickering’s blog. In no way did it keep these matters in the public eye.

    It was Kate McClymont’s articles in Fauxfacts that did it.

  19. PEB

    Kate McClymont would be great at The Australian, along side Grace Collier and Hedley Thomas.

  20. Token

    Kate McClymont would be great at The Australian

    I’m on her twitter feed as a result of her good work and from it I found she is a raging lefty who luuuvvvveeess everything David Marr does.

    One suspects she would not want to be seen dead in the offices of The Australian.

  21. Leigh Lowe

    At time of writing, she (McClymont) is undoubtedly the finest investigative reporter in the country. Without her, Fauxfacts would have zero substance, more like a teen fan mag than a news outlet.

    No doubt that is true.
    But what are the odds of her winning a Walkley? Or even being nominated?
    Journalistic standards … good.
    Subject matter …. bad.

  22. Leigh Lowe

    Thommo suing Fairfax for defamation (surely, he knew he would lose) …

    I don’t think he did think he would ‘lose’ tactically. The writ was issued so that he could
    (a) Badger other journalists into silence; and
    (b) Use it internally within the ALP if questioned about the allegations

    He had no intention of going to court but perhaps he hoped Fairfax would pay a small sum to settle which he could then point to as vindication.
    What he misjudged was the forensic pursuit by a couple of journos and the fracturing of the HSU which gave Fairfax a surfeit of witnesses lining up to demolish Craig’s story.
    In short, the bullying tactics he had employed on Assistant Managers in hospitals or local government officials didn’t work in the big league.

  23. johanna

    McClymont is undoubtedly a Leftie, but she is unusual in that she is also honest. She followed the clues to wherever they led. In NSW, they led to the Labor government. In the Commonwealth, they led to the Labor government. She did not resile from the truth.

    It may well be that her outrage at “Labor” governments screwing the people they were supposed to represent fed the fire.

  24. MT Isa Miner

    H B Bear

    #1195013, posted on February 19, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Thommo suing Fairfax for defamation (surely, he knew he would lose) …

    There is a long history of Labor politicians winning defamation suits, getting a nice payout and the stories subsequently being true. Usually it occurs after their death and is confirmed by their Labor colleagues who otherwise remained silent

    Yes, those of us older might remember Juni Morosie and Jim Cairns who got defamation cash for lies. Morosi got$27,ooo IN THE 70′s when the avg wage was about $15,000. Even tho she got it , they were an item.

    Maybe ordinary people wouldn’t think he was a fool for having a sexual relationship with Morosi, but he’s certainly a fool for opening his trap so wide about it now.

    You see there is the little problem that this is precisely the same Jim Cairns who brought a defamation case against Fairfax, the publisher of the now-departed The National Times. He took enormous exception to a story published in January 1981 that said something horribly similar to that which Cairns is now freely admitting. In fact, Morosi was also a plaintiff in the same action against Fairfax (which also publishes the Herald).

    Cairns has laid bare his utter hypocrisy, not to say duplicity. Here is a man who said he’d been defamed and damaged by a newspaper article and 21 years later he admits, in effect, that what was published was true.

    Stephens reported on Tuesday that Cairns was sorry he made the admission on Cleary’s program. Not because, mind you, he was now seen to be a dissembler, but because “it would be all over the newspapers”. Why then did he admit it? Because, he claimed, incredibly, “nobody had asked if I’d been to bed with her”.

    This is just priceless stuff. In fact, Cairns was asked that question on October 18, 1982, in the Supreme Court of NSW, before a jury. He was asked whether he had ever had an adulterous relationship. He replied, “No, never.”

  25. Bruce of Newcastle

    Credit has to go to blogdom, especially Bolt, who has drawn the attention to the heroic and asbestos-skinned Michael Smith. Larry Pickering can be credited with an assist, but Smith and Bolt are owed a vote of thanks from the country, IMO.

    The MSM have committed ritual self-castration over this. Never again will there be a paper or MSM website “of record”. They have raped our eyeballs with their obsequious lefty orifice licking, and the RC will be the proof of it.

    Let free the dogs cats of the blogs!

  26. Up The Workers!

    Despite the Court verdict yesterday, and the result of the concurrent trial of former H.S.U and A.L.P. National President, Mike Williamson, the Australian Liars Party’s Bull Shitten has STILL not yet announced how much his Party will repay towards the $20 million stolen from the H.S.U. by Williamson and Thomson and corrupt members of their families.

    Will the A.L.P. be repaying $25 or $30 million (allowing for accumulated interest) or will they try and further cheat the unionists out of their just entitlements by repaying just the $20 million?

    I await the announcement by the President of the A.C.T.U. that henceforth, ALL Australian unions will be affiliating with the Liberal Party, being the ONLY major party whose former President has NOT thieved $20 million from a single union (and God knows how much from all the other unions!).

    Or on the other hand, does the President of the A.C.T.U. believe that the embezzlement of $20 million for the personal enrichment of a crooked Party President and his corrupt family members, is perfectly OK, so long as the thieving crook is President of the Labor Party?

  27. Lochlinnie

    Bit OT but…….Joanna, like you I’ve wondered WHY News continue with Jessica Birdbrain. Lord, reading any article by her ( especially after reading one by Henry Ergus or Judith Sloane ) is like thundering down the rabbit hole. At first I thought she JUST might be having an off-day, only to find it is a permanent condition.

  28. Leigh Lowe

    McClymont is undoubtedly a Leftie, but she is unusual in that she is also honest. She followed the clues to wherever they led. In NSW, they led to the Labor government. In the Commonwealth, they led to the Labor government. She did not resile from the truth.

    Christ, that is the whole point.
    I don’t know or care what her political views are if she does her job thoroughly and professionally. I only object to the likes of Riley, Bongiorno, Tingle and countless others who regurgitate ALP talking points ad-nauseum.
    Or worse still, when confronted by obvious wrong-doing by ALP heavies, a simple “I have done nuffink wrong” is enough to put them off the scent.

  29. C.L.

    I did not have sex with that woman …

    .. or that one … or that one …

  30. MT Isa Miner

    At time of writing, she is undoubtedly the finest investigative reporter in the country. Without her, Fauxfacts would have zero substance, more like a teen fan mag than a news outlet.

    This is too true, Johanna. I have been following the Obeid underbelly. Now it looks like the ethnic net of criminality is scooping up some Liberals too.

    Nick Di Girolamo, 42, is a close family friend of the Obeids who has borrowed an undisclosed sum of money from Mr Obeid’s son Eddie jnr.

    Obeid, Tripodi, Vellar. Tabak and Kollaras, those of us with wog blood need to clean up the old ways of doing business. Or maybe its not ethnic maybe its the central coast?

    ICAC has announced two inquiries with a common element: Australian Water Holdings, whose chairman was at one time Senator Sinodinos and whose chief executive is Liberal heavyweight Nicholas Di Girolamo.

    ICAC’s continuing investigation of corrupt former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid’s web of influence has spread to the other side of politics, as the March 2015 NSW election looms.

    The Obeid family invested in Australian Water Holdings, which is accused of channelling secret donations to the Liberal Party and its central coast right-wing faction led by Mr Hartcher.

    Mr Hartcher, who was resources and energy minister until his office was raided by ICAC in December, is accused of favouring AWH in return for it paying EightbyFive, a business operated by one of his staff members Tim Koelma, purportedly for the provision of media, public relations and other services and advice.

    Mr Hartcher, fellow central coast Liberal MPs Darren Webber and Christopher Spence, Mr Koelma and another Hartcher staffer Raymond Carter, are facing accusations that they “corruptly solicited, received, and concealed payments from various sources in return for certain members of parliament favouring the interests of those responsible for the payments”.

  31. Bruce of Newcastle

    I don’t know or care what her political views are if she does her job thoroughly and professionally.

    +1

    Kate has been doing a journalist’s job. Her colleagues have not been.

    I accept that lefties have their views on life the universe and everything, but our society only works because of the rule of law, and the 4th Estate is the best gatekeeper of that. An honest Left is grudgingly acceptable. A criminal Left must be destroyed before they take our country down.

    I would say the same of corruption on the Right and in business too. It must be eliminated.

  32. brc

    Credit has to go to the minority governemtn. It gave Gillard the power she craved but set the scene for labor to tear itself apart. Union boss rorts money wouldn’t have been such a big story except for its ability to bring down a government. The minority government created the carbon tax, forced Gillard to defend Thomson and slipper, and made their boat policy such a shambles. All these events fed into Abbott being able to form a government with a big majority.

    By sitting on the fence for three years, the voters got to see exacltynwhat the labor party was all about. And they didn’t like what they found.

  33. James of the Glen

    Bruce o N,

    “The MSM have committed ritual self-castration over this. Never again will there be a paper or MSM website “of record”. They have raped our eyeballs with their obsequious lefty orifice licking, and the RC will be the proof of it”.

    Indeed. Who will forget the servile Faine mocking Michael Smith with, “give it your very, very best shot..etc”.
    And the little scuzzball still is paid obscene amounts for this partisan avoidance and unprofessionalism.

  34. M Ryutin

    To johanna and others, Kate McCymont might be generally left in her views, I don’t care. It certainly doesn’t seem to affect any of her great writing. For non-NSW people what you have mentioned isn’t the half of it as to what she has written about. She broke the Canterbury (Sydney) Leagues Cub scandal with the Liverpool Council where a multi–hundred million dollar development scheme took 16 million from the ALP Council and caused the NSW government to sack it and out in an administrator. The by-product if her investigation blew wide open the scam-contracts scheme in the national rugby League which caused the Melbourne Storm club to be stripped of all its points etc.

    As for her skills, I have mentioned it al here before, but as for Craig Thomson, the supine press gallery journalists wrote about 5o plus articles on Thomson and got nowhere, but once Kate McClymont got onto it, she blew it wide open in a single article, sinking Michael Williamson too, and exposing all the rorts going on with the HSU money.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/unions-mr-millions-bigspending-union-leadership-faces-strike-force-investigation-20110912-1k636.html

    And…..has nobody except me got a kind word for Kathy Jackson?

  35. johanna

    Jackson is a nutcase whose own financial dealings do not withstand examination. The internal politics of the HSU was a contest between competing thieves.

  36. Ant

    “…who, in other circumstances, would have been expelled from the party and forgotten.”

    I’m not so sure that can be assumed.

    What did he do? He apparently pilfered some thousands of dollars. Sure, he demonstrated what a loser he is blowing some of it on hookers, but that quantity of money would probably only have been largely unnoticed, unreported and unactioned had it been used for ‘cleaner’ purposes.

    There’s many bigger fish to fry in the union movement than this pathetic excuse for a man and, apart from maybe getting a few more leftie blowhards on board, the public support for an RC was always going to be mighty strong IMO.

    Incidentally, I’m still astonished that the dickhead ever thought he was parliamentary material after what he did. Most normal people would have withdrawn into a world of embarrassment and humiliation.

    But not this guy. He must think he’s so special, like so many on the left who increasingly seem to specialise in ways of extracting money from you to line their own pockets and protect their privileges which they would have zero chance of earning legitimately.

  37. Leigh Lowe

    Jackson is a nutcase whose own financial dealings do not withstand examination. The internal politics of the HSU was a contest between competing thieves.

    You may want to be more judicious with the use of the word thief in the absence of hard evidence.

  38. LABCR-TV

    Let’s hope that Thompson goes to gaol. There he can rest easy knowing that he won’t need a HS union card for sex services.

  39. CatAttack

    Yep Just drop the soap in the shower.

  40. johanna

    Leigh, for just one example, look here:

    UNION whistleblower Kathy Jackson has confirmed that her ex-husband Jeff Jackson is still driving a Health Services Union car nearly three years after he left the disgraced union.

    Her enemies have raised the allegations to damage her, but Ms Jackson said the severance arrangements of her estranged husband were all above board, but a matter for him.

    HSU officials say the Hyundai licence plates belong to Mr Jackson, who left his job with union in 2009 but remained on the payroll afterwards by agreement.

    “My understanding is they still have him on the payroll,” Ms Jackson said.

    “He’s due long service entitlements. Part of the deal with (HSU East branch secretary) Michael Williamson was that he held on to this car.”

    Mr Jackson defended the car entitlement yesterday, saying: “The lease of the vehicle was part of the salary package.”

    Michael Williamson, hmm, that name rings a bell.

    They were all in it up to their necks.

  41. Leigh Lowe

    Grigory – very few people read Pickering’s blog. In no way did it keep these matters in the public eye.

    It was Kate McClymont’s articles in Fauxfacts that did it.

    Agreed.
    Pickering’s readership would comfortably fit into a country RSL hall, so I think it is over-egging it to credit him with this scalp.
    In fact, his scribblings tend to verge on the shrill and hysterical which doesn’t add to their credibility.
    McClymont, on the other hand, was cautious, methodical and stuck to the facts. She only postulated where the facts were corroborated and in overwhelming support of any hypothesis.

  42. Grigory M

    Kate McClymont? From the Fairfax press? SMH? Nope, nothing seems to jump out. Was she one of these mysogynists and nut-jobs on the internet that Gillard was trying to fend off in her August 2012 surprise meet-the-press nobodies effort?

  43. Leigh Lowe

    They were all in it up to their necks.

    My guts tells me so, but I am cautious about using the “t” word here except in completed court cases like Thommo and Willo.
    I think the motto of the of the HSU may well be “no honour among thieves” but I am cautious about repeating individual accusations here.
    Also, I think Ms Jackson has been estranged from Mr Jackson for a while.
    Still, it does fit a pattern of behaviour …. using the credit card for the election campaign after resigning …. still driving the car after leaving the union.

  44. Leigh Lowe

    Kate McClymont? From the Fairfax press? SMH? Nope, nothing seems to jump out. Was she one of these mysogynists and nut-jobs on the internet that Gillard was trying to fend off in her August 2012 surprise meet-the-press nobodies effort?

    Seriously, do some research before you embarrass yourself Grigory.
    You are conflating two separate matters which may have tenuous links but are really quite separate.
    The “nutjobs and mysoginists” remark was made by Gillard in relation to the AWU slush fund matter. The HSU matter concerning Thomson was reported on extensively by McClymont in the SMH, going back as far as 2010.
    Please just look it up.

  45. daggers

    Thommo will appeal. His brazenness is infinite. Depressing as it is, he stands every chance of success.

  46. Up The Workers!

    The egregiously corrupt, anti-Australian A.L.P. and their criminal people-smuggler mates invite the dregs of the earth to Australia, so we house them at “Anus Island”.

    I couldn’t think of a more appropriate location.

    Dust to dust and ass-holes to “Anus Island”!

  47. johanna

    Yeah, leaving the HSU means that you are still on the payroll. Kathy Jackson was there while it was all happening.

    Naive journalists misconstrued Jackson’s manoeuvering in union politics as “whistleblowing.”

    Pity that Kate McC. didn’t have time to look into the Victorian HSU. But there is only one of her, while ABC superstars on huge salaries spend their time fussing over gay marriage and illegal immigrants.

  48. Grigory M

    Please just look it up.

    Go fuck yourself, Sicko. You don’t do sarc very well, do you?

  49. harrys on the boat

    Perhaps we should set up a Shagger appeal fund? Just for the laugh of keeping this circus before the courts and up front in the media.

  50. Squirrel

    If Bonkgate leads to broader reform of the union movement, and a tendency for senior officials to err on the side of caution in spending their members’ money, it will be worth a lot more than the proverbial “mill”.

  51. Jannie

    Johanna I think you will need more evidence to even suggest a case exists against either Jackson. As for kathy, if there was anything available against her, the Union heavies would have broadcast it loud and wide in their attempts to shut her up. I have admired Kathy jackson’s role in this. Leftist or not, she has appeared honest and brave in this affair, even if it was forced on her by their vile internal politics. She reminds me of the kind of Leftist I used to support when younger and naive. She may even grow up to be a libertarian.

  52. johanna

    Jannie, how can you possibly justify a union official being “on the payroll” for three years after he has supposedly left the union? What benefit was he providing the the moppers and sweepers who are members of the HSU? Why should they be giving him a car?

  53. Andrew

    Unfortunately I can’t find an instance where Thomo misled the House.

    Boo hoo poor me blah blah

    But not “innocent” anywhere. Closest is where he alleges a plan to “set him up with hookers.” But even this doesn’t disprove a threat – consider the scenario “with all the hookers you visit every month / week / day, how will you know one of them isn’t a set-up?” Since everyone knew what he was doing, a threat could have been credibly based.

    There’s SOME argument that he demonstrated contempt for the House with this speech, particularly in saying that Abbott666 was not fit to be an MP because of pursuing the (true) allegations. And saying that the “set-up” threat came from Jackson’s office.

  54. Infidel Tiger

    Bit OT but…….Joanna, like you I’ve wondered WHY News continue with Jessica Birdbrain. Lord, reading any article by her ( especially after reading one by Henry Ergus or Judith Sloane ) is like thundering down the rabbit hole. At first I thought she JUST might be having an off-day, only to find it is a permanent condition.

    Giving a child a box of Lego and then watching it proceed to tell an engineer how bridges are built is the equivalent of what Jessika Irvinopolous does.

  55. Andrew, brc, I and a few others discuss lies, deceit and deliberately misleading words elsewhere.

  56. Jannie

    Johanna, I not trying to justify it. But aspersions are not evidence and they may well be legitimate arrangements. Perhaps the RC will look into it, but if there was any substance against Kathy Jackson Shorten and Williamson would have used it to nail her as soon as they kicked her out for whistle blowing.

  57. Leigh Lowe

    Kate McClymont? From the Fairfax press? SMH?

    Seriously dickhead, if you don’t know her connection to this story you have been asleep for four years.
    As I said, look it up before you publicly advertise your ignorance again.
    It doesn’t surprise me that you worship at the feet of Pickering.
    He has a long string of unsubstantiated allegations behind him and his site is the home of over-reach and hyper-bowl.
    Dickheads like him provide easy ammunition for Gillard et al to deflect accusations because they publish shit which is easily demolished and that is then used to discredit the work of proper investigative journalists

  58. Grigory M

    Sicko, you are just too dense for words. I’m surprised Duelling Banjos doesn’t play whenever you comment.

  59. johanna

    Jannie, you have failed to address the substance of what I said.

    Why should HSU members provide a car for someone who “left” the union three years ago?

    Why should Kathy Jackson, who was a union official at the time, go along with this arrangement?

    I repeat, they were all in it up to their necks.

  60. Free Advice

    The dodgiest thing about the whole affair was the General Manager, of so called Fair Work Australia Bernadette O’Neill who, after 3 years of dragging their heels to protect their girl, refused to hand over their report and evidence to the Police in case someone was defamed!

    All those saying a Royal Commission is not needed and that the Police can handle any investigation ought to have a look at the actions of Bernadette O’Neill.

  61. Andrew

    Andrew, brc, I and a few others discuss lies, deceit and deliberately misleading words elsewhere.

    Ah yes, so many Thomo threads to turn to.

    Any hope that the use of parliamentary privilege in the way that he did – especially the Abbott666ing he did at the start and the end – could amount to a contempt in itself, even without containing a specific lie? Just the vibe – carrying on like that about an allegation he didn’t even seek to

    contest

    in court? I can’t help but feel if I acted like that in court I would be held in contempt even if not actually perjury (they are two separate things).

  62. Matt

    I think Thomson’s real punishment came at the last election and was delivered by his electorate. Since then this has been an unfolding “tragedy”, the outcome known to all (including Thomson).

  63. Andrew

    Or bold, even – not b-quote

  64. Des Deskperson

    ‘fussing over gay marriage and illegal immigrants.’

    while presumably being unaware of the basic contradiction between these two ’causes’

  65. Armadillo

    but if there was any substance against Kathy Jackson Shorten and Williamson would have used it to nail her as soon as they kicked her out for whistle blowing.

    I think Shorten/Williamson judged wanted it all to go away without further investigation. They didn’t want the press, but they had to respond to the reports. Response? Yeah, she’s just a bitter and twisted nutter. Nothing to see here.

    There is one thing missing from Judith’s article. It is my understanding that the ALP paid Thompson’s fees when he withdrew the case and paid a settlement with the SMH. If the ALP really thought he was innocent and had ‘done nothing wrong’, why did the ALP pay the settlement to SMH and pay the court costs? At this point, they must have known he did do something wrong. And yet – ‘we have full confidence in the Member for Dobell’. It has never been explained (that I am aware of).

  66. Jannie

    Johanna, I am going to let this go after this. You ask a question, but provide no substance, or evidence, that there is anything illegal occurring. Go and investigate it by all means, you may find some evidence. When you do, I will be happy to be the first to consider it.

  67. Stephen of Glasshouse

    Gordon Nuttall is up for parole July next year. It might be worth stocking up some popcorn for that..

  68. Gab

    there is anything illegal occurring

    Victorian fraud squad detectives concluded their investigation into Jackson last week citing “no criminal offences detected”.

  69. johanna

    Jannie, I never said that giving someone who had left the union years ago a car funded by union members was illegal. Maybe it is, maybe not.

    It’s hardly the point. I wonder how many union members knew about this cosy arrangement? But Kathy Jackson certainly did.

  70. Leigh Lowe

    Sicko, you are just too dense for words. I’m surprised Duelling Banjos doesn’t play whenever you comment.

    Oooooh … good comeback catboy!

  71. johanna

    I wouldn’t mind if DBs played when you comment, Leigh. It’s a great piece of music.

    (Bluegrass fan here).

  72. FM

    It’s my understanding that Jackson did not have the numbers to do much about Williamson and much of the other rorting going on though she could obviously talk about. At one point, she could not even get permission to release audit reports to the membership. The board/executive was still stacked with Williamson cronies (if I recall correctly). When she appeared on Paul Murray’s show, she sometimes said that she was not permitted to talk in ‘an official capacity’. In that context, it does not surprise me that she had little control over remuneration. So perhaps it’s a bit unfair to be laying too much blame at her feet…

  73. Big_Nambas

    Baldrick, You are the Man!!

  74. Leigh Lowe

    I wouldn’t mind if DBs played when you comment, Leigh. It’s a great piece of music.

    (Bluegrass fan here).

    I wouldn’t mind if some “quiz show think music” would play when the clueless launch into here without checking the basics.
    To suggest that the dildo obssessed Mr Pickering was a major contributor to Shagger’s downfall vis-a-vis Kate McClymont ….. as I said, clueless.
    Most of us have fired an ill-considered comment in from time-to-time but, when you are called on it, the reaction is usually, at best, a polite apology or, at worst, a silent backing away, never to speak of it again.
    Anyway … gotta run.
    Them kittens won’t torture themselves y’know!

  75. johanna

    FM, bullshit. Jackson was just fighting over the spoils. She knew for years that members’ money was being misused, including funding her ex-husband’s car long after he left the union.

    There was nothing stopping her from going to the police or the media. But suddenly, when it was convenient, she became a “whistleblower”.

    The childlike naivete of those who believe in Jackson is precisely why they got away with this stuff for so long.

  76. Infidel Tiger

    Jackson gets a pass from me. She has a nice rack.

  77. Grigory M

    To suggest that the dildo obssessed Mr Pickering was a major contributor to Shagger’s downfall vis-a-vis Kate McClymont

    Cue the music. Dumb as dogshit, Sicko. But it seems you do have a vivid imagination.

  78. FM

    So let me get this right Johanna. You’re saying that because Jackson did not speak up about earlier union corruption, she should not have spoken up about Williamson and Thomson? Surely not.

    You said:
    Naive journalists misconstrued Jackson’s manoeuvering in union politics as “whistleblowing.”

    To my mind, whether she was a massive hypocrite or not, she did speak up. Whether it suited her politically or not,, you can’t deny that most of the union movement was pretty pissed at her. That makes her a genuine whistleblower in my book.

  79. Leigh Lowe

    Um, Grigory, your super-hero Mr Pickering does seem to want to attach faux appendages to the female subjects of most of his third-grade jottings, so it is not really my vivid imagination.
    But, if you want to turn to a “serial monogamist” and financially bankrupt as a source of news, feel free.

  80. johanna

    Kathy Jackson was in it up to her neck, and only “spoke out” in the hope that it would advantage her faction in the HSU.

    BTW, I have a bridge for sale. Very good price, special offer, one day only.

  81. Leigh Lowe

    Hey Grigory, I can educate you about Ms McClymont and Mr Pickering in one fell swoop.
    Here is an article co-authored by Ms McClymont on the subject of your Mr Pickering’s (alleged) involvement in an offshore betting scam.
    Only alleged, mind, but our Kate hasn’t missed too many of late, as Craig can attest.
    Anyhow, gotta go – those kittens need turning.
    Cheerio son.

  82. Grigory M

    Nah, you’re too dense for me, fuckwit. Maybe you should go back to Aintree, or the Appalachians. Fuck off anyway. Nothing sane comes from you, Sicko.

  83. johanna

    Leigh, what with your kitten-drowning duties and all, it is amazing that you find the time to comment here. Why, every post probably represents an undrowned kitten.

    Think about it, Grigory.

  84. Bons

    Bernadette O’Neill
    I wonder if a little corner of the RC can find time to square away this Irish Hag. The whole Union scam being investigated must lead eventually to FWA.

  85. Leigh Lowe

    Leigh, what with your kitten-drowning duties and all, it is amazing that you find the time to comment here. Why, every post probably represents an undrowned kitten.

    Think about it, Grigory.

    Immolation has now become my favourite modus operandi, Johanna.
    Drowning is soooo last year.
    On average I get about 12 to the gallon but you know what is really weird?
    Tortoise shells seem a lot more flammable than any other type.
    Is that strange or what?
    Anyhow, like a Japanese whale scientist I will continue to experiment until I get to the bottom of it.

  86. Russell

    I’d say it’s the tip of the iceberg. If you let prostitution thrive this is the sort of thing you end up with. I bet there’s dozens doing the same thing, but they haven’t been caught yet. It’s shameful. What a scumbag, wasting huge amounts of money (other peoples) on other scumbags.

  87. Tim

    Mock Larry P at your leisure. He has a following that goes back more than forty years. (I know I still have Pickering jungle cartoons from the early seventies) his contacts and sources are impeccable. See Bob Kernahan.
    Most importantly, more people read his web page daily than listen to/read ALPBCFagefax.
    End of day, the good guys win. Bye bye Shagger. TLS and Little Billy with the wandering Willy, your day is getting even closer.
    Cheers fellow Cats, tim

  88. MT Isa Miner

    Maybe MArco Bolano in the Australian has shown us how to get Thompson’s pension back for the taxpayer.

    Members of the union’s national finance committee, some of whom supervised Thomson’s spending (including an unauthorised $250,000 to Thomson’s ALP campaign), need to explain how they were, at best, asleep at the wheel.

  89. Jim Rose

    A great post. The curse of thommo

  90. pseudonym

    The more press coverage I read on this trial, the more I think that it has been completely overblown.

    Let’s leave aside for a minute all the prurient details and look just at the big picture. In essense, the trial was about a union boss who got his hands caught in the till. The crimes he committed involved: (1) fiddling his credit card/expense claims; and (2) siphoning off money to fund election expenses.

    In the scheme of things, the amounts involved were relatively small, compared to the scale of the defalcations of Williamson (which he admitted). Even Williamson’s theft pales into insignificance compared what Swan has got away with – Swan wrecked the whole federal budget so that his party could use public money to buy votes.

    Another factor is that Thomson is no longer in Parliament and, in any event, there is no longer a minority government. A few years ago, the Thomson scandal was important, since the survival of the government was at stake. Things have changed. Today, Thomson’s conviction is now about as significant as what Slipper is now going through (ie, two-fifths of not much at all).

    As for the Heydon Royal Commission, that’s going to go ahead regardless of what happens to Thomson. It was initially proposed in response to the AWU affair (in respect of which Gillard insists she did nothing wrong). The Williamson scandal and the more recent allegations about the construction union are more grist to the mill. No doubt other issues will arise as the proceedings progress. But the point is that the enquiry would have gone ahead even if Thomson had not been convicted.

    Why? Simply because the Federal government has noted the political dividends which flowed from the recent NSW ICAC investigations into labour rorts. The Heydon Royal Commission is intended to tap into the same vein. If it works properly, it would be lot more than an exercise in political payback; it represents an opportunity to taint labour for a decade.

    As for trying to use the Thomson scandal to wedge Shorten, well, Abbott will have to be careful about that. What Abbott has to do is to balance two things: (1) getting on with the business of governing properly (which includes delivering on promises); and (2) playing politics. The previous Rudd/Gillard/Rudd government seemed to put a lot of emphasis on (2) but seemingly not much effort into (1). The failure of the previous government should be seen as a lesson as to what can go wrong when you loose sight of the main game.

    Much as I like to see a lying little $hit get his c0meuppance, let’s not get too giddy about it. There will be another federal election within about 2.5 years and Abbott has an awful lot of work to do before then.

  91. Jannie

    Pseudonym that is all true. But we have been hanging out for this moment for years, and it’s only fair that we at least get a smell of blood.

  92. Leigh Lowe

    Mock Larry P at your leisure. He has a following that goes back more than forty years. (I know I still have Pickering jungle cartoons from the early seventies)

    Here’s the thing about Larry.
    His OTT cartoons (which were mysoginist btw) were such an easy target for Gillard’s “nutjobs and mysoginists” line and enabled her to lump the more sober analysis by the likes of Michael Smith in with Pickering.
    His commentary is just a tiny bit shrill and hysterical and, in my view, his over-reach has actually enabled the glib dismissals of the case against Gillard rather than contributed to her downfall (should it come).

  93. Zatara

    “Let’s leave aside for a minute all the prurient details and look just at the big picture. In essense, the trial was about a union boss who got his hands caught in the till. “

    I suggest that the “big picture” is that even though they knew what a crook he was, the Labor Party placed that same union boss into the Parliament. Then they kept him there long after his guilt was obvious to all but the most dense knee-jerk ALPO supporters merely so that he could maintain their vote count. That goes to abuse of power/position on a vast scale and is extremely newsworthy

    As to whether the theft of over $250,000.00 is a prurient detail, ask the hundreds of union members whose entire annual dues were combined to make up his pile of loot.

  94. Russell

    Another thing that occurs to me is why are brothels permitted to handle such large amounts of cash. Seems like a recipe for money laundering and criminal activity to me. If the transactions were properly recorded Craig Thomson wouldn’t have got away with his lies for so long. If we must have brothels (and I seriously doubt they are necessary, more an anachronism) then surely they should be obliged to conduct their affairs in a businesslike manner, just as the rest of us are?

  95. .

    Err Russell, if I offer you cash, are you going to refuse my custom for lumber, grain, fuel, land or consultancy?

  96. wazsah

    I know I am chipping in late here – but no -
    whatever happened in the CT case -
    there were chapter and verse reasons for a Royal Commission into unions.
    It should run for years devastating Labor.

  97. Russell

    Yes, I think that would be the smart thing to do. Especially when it’s someone who doesn’t even leave their name.

  98. JohnA

    Russell #1196711, posted on February 20, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Another thing that occurs to me is why are brothels permitted to handle such large amounts of cash. Seems like a recipe for money laundering and criminal activity to me. If the transactions were properly recorded Craig Thomson wouldn’t have got away with his lies for so long. If we must have brothels (and I seriously doubt they are necessary, more an anachronism) then surely they should be obliged to conduct their affairs in a businesslike manner, just as the rest of us are?

    Cash is legal tender and can’t be refused in settling a debt (within the limits set out in The Currency Act). And brothels might not handle as much cash as the retail trade, or the betting industry, for example.

    The fact that it is almost anonymous, as well as fungible is a “freedom” from burdensome management overheads (like cheque and card processing) which permits secrecy. Thus criminal activity and money laundering do occur, up to the limits imposed by the Cash Transactions Reporting Act. However, traceability via credit cards didn’t prevent Thommo and his sleazy mates from stonewalling all this time.

    As a community, we reject the surveillance levels of Big Brother (well so far at least) because we are prepared to accept the extra level of difficulty in proving criminal activity for the sake of the freedoms we enjoy and wish to preserve.

    But it isn’t criminal to go to a brothel, even though you and I might prefer it to be so, and I definitely consider it morally repugnant, since it represents a serious matter of unfaithfulness to one’s wife (present or future). To me it brings into question whether a person can be trusted in any office, public or private.

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