Hangman Jury

I was thinking today how lucky we are to live in a country like Australia.

Australia is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but there are some things we can always rely on, well nearly always. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty for example, and, at the end of the process of determining guilt or innocence, a punishment is only handed down upon guilt being found beyond reasonable doubt.

Some of you may have seen my posts last week on the serious questions that remain unanswered relating to the HSU saga, if not, here are links to part one, and part two. It is fair to say that I have received all types of correspondence, as has Independent Australia, since publishing these posts. However, it is interesting to note, not one person has disputed any of the findings.

I did, however, want to take the opportunity to clear up a couple of misconceptions, and clarify a couple of points.

Firstly, I did approach some main stream media before doing the story myself. I am not going to name media outlets, however I will say in their defense that one of the major issues was time. My source had work commitments and it was unlikely that a story, that in part relied on access to that informant, was going to be put together for broadcast or publication before Craig Thomson’s speech on Monday. In addition to that, the person in question was not entirely comfortable fronting the media, given their situation.

There are however, those who have said that due to the story not coming from a mainstream media source it is therefore unreliable. That is only a matter of opinion, in fact, those who followed the links in the story would notice they led to official documents, as well as mainstream media sources. So my posts are only as reliable as their sources….

There are those who say that bloggers, and publications like Independent Australia, do not have the accountability of those in the mainstream media, and do not have as much to risk. To this argument, I would say “What utter crap”. The notion of somebody taking on a journalist, or columnist that has the backing of News Ltd, or Fairfax and their legal team, and their millions of dollars, quicker than they would run the risk of taking on me, with a pocketful of change, or Independent Australia, in a defamation suit is, quite frankly, an insult to the intelligence.

On this note, both myself and Independent Australia, have received all kinds of information and correspondence relating to this story since its publication. Not everything has been published.

Much of the information we received was both relevant, and also quite explosive in some cases. However, we chose not to publish information that could not be verified, or information that we considered private, such as emails.

What has completely humbled me, is the number of messages, tweets, comments and feedback that both Independent Australia and I have received from members of the Health Services Union. Every single one of these has been a message of support, and happiness that the truth is starting to emerge.

We had all seen and heard Kathy Jackson selling her side of the story constantly for the last couple of months. I had also noticed the mysteriously sudden change of heart towards union members by both right-wing commentators, and Liberal politicians, and their solemn words of concern for the unions well-being. It really was quite touching…

Then after receiving all the correspondence from members of the HSU, a thought occurred to me.

That thought, “Never in my living memory has a unions membership been so well spoken for, while ultimately nobody gets to hear what that membership thinks, or even what it wants to be heard”.

Plenty of people are speaking for them, but nobody it appears, is interested in using their words. How frustrating that must be…..

That is one of the true tragedies in this whole sordid affair. After all, it is their money we are all talking about.

The main misconception I want to address is that I am trying to prove Craig Thomson’s innocence.

Craig Thomson, parliaments most photographed man

This has never been my intention, I am not in possession of all the facts in this case, and do not claim to know all there is to know. It would be irresponsible of me to declare Craig Thomson as innocent. However, it is just as irresponsible for anybody without ALL the facts to declare his guilt.

If Craig is innocent, he must feel a little like Lindy Chamberlain must have felt all those years ago. Judged guilty by the press and public for years, only to be found innocent after years of suffering, even jail in Lindy’s case.

Lindy Chamberlain, after her release from jail

If there is one thing worth believing in, it is the concept of innocent until proven guilty. I will await Craig’s speech on Monday, and will listen to what he says with an open mind. My only hope is that the rest of the nation does the same.

You may remember, at the start of this post I mentioned “reasonable doubt”.

In my mind, after researching the things I have published in my last two posts. I believe wholeheartedly that there is more than enough evidence to justify reasonable doubt in this case.

I just hope that the debate after Monday can be kept civil.

After all, there is a family, and thousands of union members, whose heart breaks a little more each day that this debate rages out of control, and becomes more about character assassination than seeking truth.

63 comments on “Hangman Jury

  1. Thanks for parts 1-3 Peter.thank goodness I can read this somewhere and despite what some have said to you I take more note since it is not mainstream media. Whatever has been going not is all as it seems – and for me, credibility around some of the major players like Kathy Jackson has always been an issue. Enjoyable reading.

  2. Wixxy and..

    The main misconception I want to address is that I am trying to prove Craig Thomson’s innocence.

    This has never been my intention, I am not in possession of all the facts in this case, and do not claim to know all there is to know. It would be irresponsible of me to declare Craig Thomson as innocent. However, it is just as irresponsible for anybody without ALL the facts to declare his guilt.

    Migs and I have also copped a fair amount of criticism in this regard. It’s not the fact of Thomson’s guilt or innocence, it’s the fact that as he has not as yet faced any form of a court of law; so that we simply do not know.

    I am not even certain where we are up to, the story has had so many twists and turns. Firstly it was a criminal matter and was referred to the NSW police. The NSW police could not find anything of a criminal nature, it was then referred to the Victorian police. That was a few months back and I have not seen a scrap as to whether the Victorian police could find anything..perhaps not, as Liberal politicians then wanted it referred to the Federal police. The latest appears to be (and I’ll stand corrected on this one), that there are to be no criminal charges but that it’s going to be a civil matter.

    However, in the mean time Craig Thomson is guilty..so says the media…

    He may well be guilty, however the evidence is thinning by the day and the impression that there has been collusion in this matter gaining ground.

  3. Hello again, wixxy and Min.

    There is no doubt that if the numbers in the HOR weren’t so fragile, this whole affair would be of little political consequence. Important, but not front page stuff.

    Does any one know if Thomson’s speech is to be televised?

    And Min, when should I wash my face again? :D

  4. Sorry about that handyrab..luckily wixxy can run faster than you, although I think that his was more of a duck and weave tactic. :D

    And re Does any one know if Thomson’s speech is to be televised? I haven’t heard that it will be, but I should imagine that the journos will, around about now, will all be lined up on the pavement in their sleeping bags as per a Beatles concert..OMG IT’S A MEDIA EVENT..of course, it’s going to be televised. ;)

  5. I am sure it will be on ABC 24. Do not know about Sky.

    It will definitively be on your computer.

  6. Gosh I may have to take the whole day off tomorrow to follow the ‘commentary’.

    Pleased you got home safely, CU.

  7. a punishment is only handed down upon guilt being found beyond reasonable doubt

    Not always. In criminal cases, the test is ‘beyond reasonble doubt’ but in civil cases the bar is lower – ‘ balance of probability’ being the concept employed.

    Just sayin …

    BTW, I love your work.

  8. handyrab @7.10pm, if it weren’t a hung parliament, I doubt that the msm would have taken any interest whatever. And neither would those bastions truth, justice and integrity, the Liars Party.

    I drove to Adelaide on Thursday and heard a snippet of Anal Jones while I wrestled with my ipod. Oddly enough, not one Thomson or government bashing word!

    How very odd!

    Another great post wixxy.

  9. Wixxy

    i am intrigued to find out what is happening with Lawler and the absolute silence by the msm. Sure you could say the msm is pushed for time but Steve Lewis was able to have a spread in the Saturday Telegraph even though he “supposedly” got the story after documents were lodged with the court on a Friday evening.

    Now when exactly did Lawler take long leave and seeing the inter-relationships of Lawler-Jackson-Abbott you would think an editor could sanction a story by the weekend.

    I just hope that you wixxy have a few more articles. Great reads and thanks

  10. Thanks,Rabbit No trouble. Was a little annoyed that the trains seemed to terminate at Gosford, not Wyong as usual.

    We generally have one to Newcastle, the next to Wyong.

    I don’t know if to Gosford has always been the norm for Saturday evening. I have never used the trains at this time before.

    There are odd trains I know that terminate at Gosford, but they are generally in the peak hours. Asked staff, and they seem to agree that this was unusual.

    I hope this is not the indication of the better service O’Farrel promised us.

    I know he could not keep his promise, as Labor had attempted to do so and failed. The lines are at peak capacity.

    What it means is an hourly service, not half hourly.

    I am nothing but a whinger, I suppose.

  11. Abt Thompson, I thought tthey said on Insiders Thompson is due at 12 o’clock.
    hi noon no less

  12. Well jane the proof of that is that they are taking no notice of the Williamson investigations. Much more serious than Thomson and current.

  13. “The balance of probabilities is the standard used in civil cases, and can be made to fit any situation in order to find in favour of one side rather than the other. They do not have to have any proof that what they believe to be the case is the case. They can ignore all evidence to the contrary even when “on the balance of probabilities” the opposite of what they believe to be the case is supported by hard factual evidence! Unfortunately this is used in civil cases that can have serious ramifications for someone’s employment and financial retribution. ”
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_diffenrence_between_balance_of_probabilities_and_beyond_reasonable_doubt

    Not quite my definition, which I believed us based on what a reasonable person could believe. I never realise, I suspect do not agree, that one can dismiss factual evidence.

    It is the definition that the Opposition and I suspect FWA is using.

    I believe the decision has to be based on evidence, but not as strongly as beyond reasonable doubt.

    No, the link does not help.

  14. Wixxy
    did anyone in the “real ” press take any interest into the “jackson”person accessing the FWA computers at 9.45pm?

    after the “real” press joining in the clamour of why the FWA investigation of the HSU has taken so long and that the minority govt was involved in the delay weren’t they interested that the FWA could be corrupted by the person making the complaints?

    so many questions

  15. Sue @8.09pm, you’d think the msm would be all over this, wouldn’t you? Interviewing each other, speculating about Liealot’s future and predicting who’ll tap and stab him?

    And the Jackson-Lawler scenario. *crickets*

    So what’s with the deathly silence? Anyone would think the msm is only interested in blackening the government’s name.

    Are you astonished, CU @8.13pm?

    so many questions

    So little interest by the msm, Sue.

  16. CU, I was advancing ‘baby steps’.

    Sorry the link didn’t help.

    As for:

    the decision has to be based on evidence

    Yes! But the ‘quality’ of the ‘evidence’ becomes crucial.

    It’s why Ashby’s legal team want a trial by jury in this ‘civil’ case because they ‘know’ or strongly ‘suspect’ that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ Slipper will be convicted of almost any charge that is levelled, given that the MSM have already convicted Slipper, and the ‘evidence’ presented will be heavily tainted.

  17. For Wixxy via Sue. —>>>

    Wixxy
    did anyone in the “real ” press take any interest into the “jackson”person accessing the FWA computers at 9.45pm?

  18. Jane, and

    Sue @8.09pm, you’d think the msm would be all over this, wouldn’t you? Interviewing each other, speculating about Liealot’s future and predicting who’ll tap and stab him?

    Do I note a slight tone of disappointment that their wishes may not come true…

  19. An interesting week.First questions on the doorstop should be about heffernan, but most probably won’t. just too much drama

  20. Col,one gets the impression that the judge is already not impressed.

    A few words over a limited time frame was I think his thoughts. Also most took place in the offenders bedroom.

    But still, it is hard to dismiss appropriate factual evidence.

    Tainting evidence is a real problem when one plays politics with charges.

    It can allow a guilty person to go free,

    What is worse, if the matters do not go to court, one is left with being seen as guilty.

    The Bolt’s show was good example of that tonight with Bolt bringing a ex policeman on to rehash an old matter. Bolt’s main aim was to tarnish the reputation of the PM.

    It was an old allegation that gets rehashed on a regular basis.

  21. Col, I wonder if the judge could reject the call for a jury, on the grounds that the publicity and politics surrounding the case, the alleges offender would be unlikely to get a fair trial.

    There are also some lawyers, with big egos in this case, that I am sure are capable of turning any jury.

    Maybe if I was Ashby, a jury might not be a good move.

  22. Cu, re your comment,

    Tainting evidence is a real problem when one plays politics with charges.

    And many a guilty person has had to be let off as a result, which is why I am against Derryn Hinch’s name and shame.

  23. Jane, I see Tony old and broken cleaning the lavs at Flinders Street Station muttering, I am born for greatness…I am born for greatness…thus it was ordained…I am..I am..I am…

  24. When Craig Thompson pointed the finger at Tony Abbott for abusing the parliament, Craig got a standing ovation in my house.

  25. Wixxy,
    what a fine job you have done considering your limited funds, resources and contacts.

    I had little interest in this Thomson matter due to focusing intensely on other issues related to media, politics and socio-economics. That has changed since reading your most enlightening posts.

    Today I began reading through various articles since 2008…trying to get a sense of how this union-related mountain out of a molehill began and grew into a LYNCH MOB frenzy.

    What is obvious to me is that a man and his family have not been treated appropriately by a significant part of the media…nor fellow parliamentarians, particularly those being led by Tony Abbott.

    Judgements have been made…calls to stand down…accusatory rants ongoing…at the expense of our parliament and taxpayers and democracy.

    Furthermore, it seems the public has not been provided with the appropriate details necessary to make the judgement many already have…it is indeed a case of trial by cherry picking of evidence (remind you of the buildup to the Iraq War?)…

    it seems to me this case against Thomson needs to be examined in a different light…exposing the strange coincidences/links related to Kathy Jackon and her former partner…and a number of other issues that seem to get little attention.

    At the least Wixxy you have given us some important things to think about.

    N’

  26. Nas’ and

    and grew into a LYNCH MOB frenzy.

    Which is precisely what it’s all about. It’s all about the power of the media to influence thought, to influence opinion so that “minor details” such as innocent until proven guilty are just ideas to be poo-poo’d.

    It’s the old Everybody Knows story..everybody knows that Thomson is guilty as sin, so that everybody knows that he should stand down, because everybody knows…….

  27. Min,
    I think a major problem exists wherein we have a media willing to jump on the Tony Abbott LYNCH MOB bandwagon because of their desperate need to get attention and survive in this rocky market.

    Abbott knows how to play the media…get them onside…due to his previous experience with the Packer & Murdoch organisations.

    Democracy and the rule of law and parliamentary conventions are being thrown to the wind by those desperate to get attention…for monetary or ratings or power-seeking reasons.

    N’

  28. Tonight the 7.30 report took a look at Jackson, but Chris (as usual) could do no better than ask the questions and (generally speaking) just accept the answers Jackson gave. Pathetic!

    BTW, what’s the latest with the Vice-president of the FWA?

  29. How come nobody’s concerned about all the aspirated aitches.
    If I hear about the Haitch S U one more time I’ll scream. ;-)

  30. Excellent work wixxy :smile:

    Your next instalment could be titled “Strange Bedfellows”

    HSU East gags Kathy Jackson HR Nicholls talk
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/hsu-east-gags-kathy-jackson-hr-nicholls-talk/story-fn59noo3-1226358212256

    Some readers may not be aware of the right-wing think-tank/lobbyists, HR Nicholls…

    The Origins of the Society
    http://www.hrnicholls.com.au/origins.php

    The H R Nicholls Society was established at a seminar which took place at the CWA Hostel in Toorak, Victoria, on the weekend of 19th February – 2nd March 1986. The Seminar was organised by four people, John Stone, then a financial and economic consultant, Peter Costello, Barrister at Law, Barrie Purvis, industrial advocate, and Ray Evans, an executive with WMC Ltd.

    The purpose of the seminar was to discuss the Report of the Committee of Review into Australian Industrial Relations Law and Systems (the “Hancock Report”) and the prospects for Commonwealth legislation based on that Report; the significance of the Mudginberri dispute; the economic impact of our industrial relations practices in Australia; and similar matters.

  31. Min, you’ve worked very hard to help Michael to make Cafe Whispers the successful and welcoming blog that it is today.
    Don’t be a stranger. :smile:

  32. I missed Thomson’s address, so I’m very grateful to Pip for the link. A very dignified and extraordinary address. A pity that the rabid accusers have not shown the same dignity and restraint.

    His final words addressed to Liealot reflect my feelings, and those of all right thinking people, imo.

  33. Jane, Craig Thomson looked up at the Press gallery and glared at them as he gave them their well deserved bollocking but he saved the death stare for Abbott :lol:

    Prissy made an ass of himself again; he’s a caricature of a caricature of a spluttering Dickens character….

    http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3507965.htm

    ALEXANDRA KIRK: Well Mr Thomson spoke for almost an hour, making a lot of counter allegations – being set up by union enemies and taking aim at Fair Work Australia. Why did you close down any debate on his address?

    ANTHONY ALBANESE: Oh let’s get serious, Alex. You watch Parliament, there’s been 57 suspensions of standings orders by the Opposition. What the Opposition tried to do yesterday was to take note of a document which is the procedures that you’d have if you had a ministerial statement presented.

    Anyone who saw the Parliament yesterday would know that Mr Thomson, whilst he spoke off notes, certainly didn’t present a document to the Parliament and that is the procedure of the House of Representatives.

    also a little smack for AMs’ Alexandra Kirk

    ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, what we certainly shouldn’t do is present the Parliament as a kangaroo court. It’s not up to the Parliament to test allegations that could go to criminal and civil matters on the basis of partisan numbers in the Parliament.

    That’s a very dangerous road to go on. That breaks down the separation of powers that’s the basis of our judicial system and our system of democracy.

  34. Pip, making a complete ass of himself seems to be Prissy’s default position.

    I’m glad Thommo gave the msm the “look” and saved the best for that lying power hungry toerag, Liealot.

    I sent Thommo an email of support and best wishes for him and his family and congratulating him on his address. It must have been a very lonely couple of years, although I have sent him a couple of emails during this stressful period.

    I was utterly disgusted at Ch 7 lurking under their bathroom window while the pregnant Zoe Thomson had a shower. Still, I think we’ve all come to expect that sort of crass, disrespectful behaviour from the msm.

    Glad Albo gave Kirk the metaphorical finger. He’s good at that.

    Just thought, I watched QT last night and caught a glimpse of Slagabella sitting behind Liealot! If you want an image of the boogey wo/man, look no further. She was chewing her cud and what a revolting spectacle! It was enough to put a cat off its milk.

    Agree, bennawl @11.59am.

  35. It is Oakeshott’s MPI. Maybe worth listening too. There are extra speakers agreed on today.

  36. Could be one of the most MPI we have had. It could be a fizzer to. Oakeshott is asking people to be sensible,

  37. Pyne used his time to put the boot into Thomson, not to address the MPI.

    Mr. Windsor now on. Another good speech.

    At least they are putting up supporting argument for their stance.

    Mr. Pyne was proceeding as if the house had the right to get rid of Thomson. It does not.

    This is a very serious matter. It is about where our parliament is going.

  38. ” She was chewing her cud and what a revolting spectacle! It was enough to put a cat off its milk.”

    I wondered at that. I was not too sure whether she was chewing her cid, or mouthing off as usual. Generally using unladylike like words.

  39. HSU East gags Kathy Jackson HR Nicholls talk
    BY: CHRISTIAN KERR From: The Australian May 17, 2012 12:00AM
    Increase Text Size
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    WORKPLACE relations think tank the HR Nicholls Society has slammed the Health Services Union’s East branch for stifling free speech after it voted to ban its national secretary Kathy Jackson from speaking at the society’s national conference next month.

    It was announced on Tuesday that Ms Jackson would deliver the keynote address at the society’s conference dinner on June 12.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/hsu-east-gags-kathy-jackson-hr-nicholls-talk/story-fn59noo3-1226358212256

  40. Bishop now on. Going down the path of abusing Thomson, not addressing the MPI.

    I do not know who the previous speaker wass, but he was good.

  41. ‘I think that those sorts of statements will be treated basically with derision by the general public because this is someone who has failed to explain his own conduct,’ Mr Abbott said.

    He denied he had any connection with FWA deputy president Michael Lawler, the partner of the HSU’s national secretary Kathy Jackson, who blew the whistle on Mr Thomson’s activities at the union.

    ‘Sure I appointed Michael Lawler to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission a dozen years back or whenever,’ he said.

    ‘But he’s now a senior officer of FWA, which is Julia Gillard’s creation.’

    Ms Jackson should be allowed to respond to Mr Thomson’s accusations about her under parliamentary procedures, Mr Abbott said.
    http://bigpondnews.com/articles/National/2012/05/22/Thomson_protected_by_Gillard_-_Abbott_752737.html

  42. I just had a thought. Can they charge Mr. Thompson with anything, without involving Ms. Jackson as a witness.

    The minister for Prospect now on. This is a very long and indepth MPI, as long as you ignore the Liberal speakers.

    Mr, Wilkie raised good points.

  43. Sue, what did you think of the debate. This is what I think parliament is about. I do not believe the Opposition covered themselves in glory. As Abbott says, they just don’t get it.

    I think there could be podcast available.

    Interested to see how the media report this MPI. I suspect they will ignore it.

  44. “‘But he’s now a senior officer of FWA, which is Julia Gillard’s creation.’”

    Wrong Mr. Abbott. That section was lifted from your bill.

  45. Well, watching Capital Hill. This mob is so up to date, that they said there is a Oakeshott censure motion on. Sorry, it was MPI supported by all sides.

    We have Reith and Fran

    I suggest they get there act together, so that know what they are talking about.

  46. CU

    back again
    i also enjoyed the quality of the debate during the MPI, particularly Harry Jenkins.

  47. I should have recognize Jenkins. He looked more relaxed.

    Capital Hill did not take the time to find out what was going on. To busy talking about what they believed was going on.

    I always like the time following QT.

    Today was exceptional, mainly because the Opposition was not in the driving seat and the aim was not point scoring.

    That is except for the Opposition. They do not seem to have any sense of what is going on around them.

    Oakeshott sounded a little confused. None of them, including Katter I believe are going to give the Opposition what they want.

    I have a little problem with Vexnews but I have attempted to follow up on what they are saying. Found nothing yet to be false.

    Oakeshott actually mentioned them giving them short shift. Probably in the same class as the old commo papers. Even those had many truths in them.

    I got the feeling in that debate that many are uncomfortable with how politics is played today. The only ones not concerned are the Liberals. After Joyce’s outburst on Ashby, I feel he might even have some concerns.

    If Jackson is as bad as she is portrayed, she is indeed evil. The stories about her seem outlandish but no more so than the ones about Thomson.

    She seems to have many victims.

  48. They say a minority government is bad. If that MPI they set up today is an example of what the government and independents can manage, I say bring more on.

    The Opposition had no choice but go along with them.

    Mr.Dowd this morning said this was an illegitimate and dysfunctional government.

    Today we have had agreement with Afghan. We have had the PM performing on the world stage.

    We have signed a trade agreement with Malaysia.

    The budget is being dealt with in parliament.

    Labor has dealt capably with the Thomson matter in the house.

    The childcare cost is being addressed.

    Labor has not faltered in governing.

    What has Abbott achieved this week. Nothing I can see. He did not even rise to the challenge in the MPI.

    Every day brings a new achievement. This occurs even on the weekends

    I would like to see the PM take a break.

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