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.
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.
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.Follow @madwixxy