Will They Eat Crow?

No, I don’t believe him!” said Reverend Tim,
As if  full weight of judgement lay with him.
Thousands more 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
In full sight of his friends and family.

His accuser, once colleague, is feted,
Whistleblower, congratulated,
With much to gain and nothing to lose
She stars in many 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?

Where was research, the 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 our free press is for?

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!”

Like Wixxy here at Cafe Whispers  and probably like many of you out there I too have long smelled a rat in this HSU affair.   I have been appalled and angry watching the story of Craig Thomson distract the government from the business of running this country.   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.

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.  Even more disturbing is the crescendo of condemnation which Tony Abbott has encouraged throughout the country.

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, driven and quarrelsome career in the Health Services Union before and after Craig Thomson’s few years there.  All of which could make 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.    Jeff Jackson had also been accused of offences similar  to those which his ex-wife accuses Craig Thomson.  Michael Lawler 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 recent and damning  FWA  report about Thomson which only yesterday was largely disproven by the Australian Electoral Commission.  No matter,  it has meantime given Tony Abbott more ammunition in his publicity onslaught on Julia Gillard’s government.  Michael Lawler is a long term friend of Abbott’s through Opus Dei they seem to meet often.   You can see from Wixxy’s article here at Café Whispers how partisan Lawler’s activities have been in his inappropriate interventions within the Health Services Union.   No one seems to have noticed or mentioned again 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 freedom’s watchdog and there to safeguard our democracy with its unique separation of powers  amongst the  the judiciary, our judges,  the law makers, our Parliament  and the law keepers, the police force.

I was truly alarmed to witness the Reverend Tim Costello with other members of a panel of 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.

Now we have some real facts published in a story at Independent Australia which confirms my gut feelings that we really must listen to Craig Thomson’s story and not allow him to be  pilloried and falsely accused.  The Australian Electoral Commission clearing him of accusations of electoral fraud which Kathy Jackson accused him of and which the Fair Work Australia report had confirmed as true should give our media and public opinion pause for thought.  Will they now at least listen to him when he addresses Parliament next week with an open mind?   Reading today’s media response to the AEC report suggests that nothing will have them admit they are wrong.  Will they eat crow?

Tony Abbott has them all too well rehearsed.  “No!”

19 comments on “Will They Eat Crow?

  1. Pingback: “I Don’t Believe Him! Do You? He’s Guilty!” | polliepomes

  2. patriciawa

    The msm, led by Malcolm Farr, has already decided what Thompson will say on Monday., “spoofing” and then sought suitable responses.

    Where a company, News International, that is front and centre of a nation, UK, on phone hacking, uses phone hacking as an improbable excuse to be used by Thompson, you now how rotten and in control of the media News Ltd is in Australia.

    After Farr created the story around “spoofing”, with all the ways “spoofing” can be applied, then we had Fairfax join in in the pre Thompson speech public mockery.

    Here is a clue Fairfax, who knows most about “spoofing” News Ltd or Craig Thompson? Now there is a story in a story and you could have a dash of public mockery thrown in for nothing.

  3. … so Patricia. I get the picture from your ramblings that Craig Thompson’s behavior is all hunky dory and maybe should even be put forward as a model for Union leadership and parliamentary behavior?

  4. So Geoff I gather from your (mostly nonsensical) ramblings you believe in guilty until proven innocent, only if Abbott says they are innocent that is?

    Then taking a leaf out of your book it is now absolutely certain the Liberal party are to their necks in not only conspiracy to bring down Thomson but using Ashby in a souped up Godwin Grech style to bring down Slipper.

    It seems it’s the Liberals and their cronies that need to stand down their members and be held to account, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for you to state they are complicit in conspiracy.

  5. No doubt Geoff has his tickets to the HR Nichols dinner, where Kathy Jackson will be guest speaker.

  6. Re spoofing. I haven’t given it a thought really. What amazes me, Sue, is that Malcolm Farr and Co. hadn’t picked the injudicious behavour of Judge Lawler with Kathy Jackson as reported by Cameron Stewart in that long article the Weekend Australian magagazine. Imagine the judge and whistleblower deciding together ‘over several bottles of wine’ to refer Craig Thomson to the police! Why isn’t that splattered all over our mainstream media?

  7. This whole business had the smell of political machinations about it right from the outset as does the Slipper business. Nice article and agree with the blogger that the reportage on this has been from the perspective of ‘rule of rabble’ rather than ‘rule of law’.
    There may be cases to answer in both instances, but they should be managed through the legal system as is appropriate.

  8. patriciawa
    i was reading over at Independent Australia that the editor had sent out wixxy’s article to all msm, but none of them picked it up.

    strange that and yet the msm picks up the coalition media briefs, without question.

  9. Yes, Sue. And they don’t read or quote their own relevant already published stuff if it doesn’t agree with what they want to say that day!. Direct quote from that Cameron Stewart Weekend Magazine article I mentioned above.

    Jackson was released from the psychiatric ward on the Wednesday, and on the following Saturday night she sat down with Lawler to discuss whether she should follow through on her desire to take allegations against Thomson and Williamson to the police. The pair sank several bottles of wine. “I remember saying to Michael that night, ‘You understand this is not a cup I want to drink from, this will bring us a world of pain, people are going to smear us and they will do whatever it takes.’ There were lots of tears… I was scared, I was scared of the consequences.”

    This is from a story published in February, 2012, about an episode the previous September! It is still on the public record at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/union-dues/story-e6frg8h6-1226270776249

  10. Mr. Abbott. Has censured both senators. Mr. Abbott said this should not be treated as political something or other. Words to the effect, that everyone should shut up and leave it to the courts.

    Pots and kettles.

    ABC 24

    I agree with the man for once. I will also suggest that he takes his own advice.

  11. The Federal Court in Sydney has heard lawyers for James Ashby will call doctors as witnesses in his civil case against sidelined House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper.

    Mr Ashby has launched a civil claim against Mr Slipper and the Commonwealth under the Fair Work Act, claiming he was sexually harassed by Mr Slipper.


    Every trick in the basket. One can always get a doctor to say what you want.

  12. According to Mr. Abbott, the government should never had made light of of

    When did the government make light of it.

    Mr. Abbott is great at making his own straw houses or scenarios. This is a trick he learnt from Mr. Costello.

    Mr. Abbott appear to arrive at this stance after his side came under attack.

  13. Cu,
    Mr. Abbott appear to arrive at this stance after his side came under attack.

    Funny about that Cu, he can dish it out on an hourly basis, but no-one is allowed to mess up his program with a different opinion.

  14. I still find this worrying. Why has it not been raised that there could be conflicts of interest with Mr. Lawler. After all the allegations are beinbg made by his partner/girlfriend.

    FAIR Work Australia vice-president Michael Lawler has made sensational allegations to NSW police that two senior officials of the Health Services Union may have engaged in serious criminal activity.

    Mr Lawler, whose partner is HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson, has written to the head of Strike Force Carnarvon, Detective Inspector Dave Christie, making allegations against HSU East acting assistant general secretary Gerard Hayes and the union’s former Victorian divisional secretary, Carol Glen.


  15. Did not Jones say last night, there was no jury.

    At a directions hearing today, Justice Steven Rares told lawyers for the parties involved that it was hard to believe the case was going to take up five days of the court’s time.

    Mr Ashby’s lawyer Michael Lee SC told the court the case should be heard before a jury, and witnesses will include doctors.


    Mr Slipper’s lawyer Josh Bornstein said his client has been ambushed and his character assassinated.

    He said Mr Ashby’s case has been accompanied by a media blitz and may be an abuse of the legal process.


    Earlier, the Commonwealth Government Solicitor challenged Mr Ashby’s initial claim, saying he did not take genuine steps to resolve the dispute and asking why he did not raise the issue before taking legal action.

    In a statement, solicitors for the Commonwealth say it “was never given any opportunity to address the conduct, to change Mr Ashby’s work arrangements, to take ameliorating steps or to offer compensation in relation to the conduct alleged, or its effect.”

    The statement goes on to say Mr Ashby’s actions in not taking any steps before litigation “has resulted in all parties incurring greater legal costs, the protraction of the matter, and the loss of an opportunity to resolve or at least narrow the matters in issue”.

    It says it is an inefficient use of the Federal Court’s time.


    The last sentence says it all. The judge questions the time being asked.

  16. Is the judge taking the matter as serious as Mr. Ashby lawyers seen to be,

    Why the rush on their part.

    Michael Lee, SC, for James Ashby, said the nature of the issues in the case made it appropriate for a jury, a move he understood would be opposed by the Commonwealth and Mr Slipper.

    Mr Ashby has launched Federal Court action against the Commonwealth and Mr Slipper, claiming he was sexually harassed by the MP.

    At the first directions hearing on Friday, Mr Lee urged the judge to list the matter for a hearing as soon as possible, citing the public importance of having it dealt with promptly.

    But Justice Steven Rares said Mr Lee could not even tell him how many witnesses he proposed to call and queried why it was estimated a five-day hearing was required.


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