The mainstream – even News Corp – are finally covering Kathy Jackson's alleged rorting — something IA first exposed over two years ago and have covered in incredible depth, while being mocked, belittled, insulted, abused, bullied, threatened and discredited by the selfsame, now newly awakened, MSM along the way. Peter Wicks reports.
DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!
JUST LIKE they used to say on the shampoo commercials:
“It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.”
Contrary to what some may think, I am thrilled the mainstream media are finally looking into Kathy Jackson and her alleged theft of union funds for her own personal purposes.
This is a story I sought to pass onto the mainstream before I typed a single word on the subject, however it seemed the old media were determined to see Jackson as a whistle-blower and a heroine, rather than the alleged embezzler my evidence appeared to show.
I have been accused of many things — some of them truly bizarre. I have been branded as some sort of union factional player for a union I’m not even a member of, I’ve been called a Craig Thomson apologist just for highlighting incorrect reporting and bad police work and, of course, I’ve been labelled a conspiracy theorist.
Just to clear this up, I make no apologies for being someone who has gone after the big fish.
However, I want what is best for both HSU members and the union movement and this means seeing everybody who has stolen money from the members in whatever way brought to justice, whether it is Michael Williamson, Craig Thomson, or Kathy Jackson.
(Image via vexnews.com, 3 May 2012)
It should be remembered that Jackson has yet to be charged for allegations against her that surpass $1.5 million, while Craig Thomson’s charges amounting to a paltry, by comparison, $28,000 are still under appeal.
Contrary to what many in the mainstream would like you to believe, those of us in the independent media – or "blogosphere" for those who like to cheapen it – are accountable for what we write. We do and have received threats of legal action and typically do not have the luxury of a legal team at our ready disposal. We have to back up everything we write with documentation or links — ironically back to mainstream articles, more often than not.
Bear this in mind: Fairfax claim $1 million on personal credit cards used by Jackson; they put that out with no documentation or evidence, yet nobody doubts it. Meanwhile, in the independent media, even if we have a web page dedicated to displaying publicly all of the primary evidence we have collected, people still question, doubt and diminish us.
I am not the type to beat my own drum, however shortly before writing this, I read an article in the Herald Sun that made me see red.
The article in question was a good article – that was not what was fired up – rather the lack of acknowledgment about where the information had been reported previously.
Don’t take me the wrong way, I’ve never been after praise or acknowledgement, however I never wanted to be unfairly criticised or discredited either.
News Ltd are an organisation that made the decision that it was appropriate to attack me in two separate articles in their rag The Australian, one of them on the front page.
I would take the desperate bids to discredit me on the chin, however I think it is a bit rich to then use all the evidence I have uncovered in an article in the Herald Sun without even a reference to myself or Independent Australia.
News Ltd are a company that, in my opinion, should change their name to Views Ltd due to the level of bias in their coverage.
Others who have sought to discredit both me and Independent Australia have, of course, included Kate McClymont who even went to the point of trying to scare us off with a defamation lawyer. On one occasion, she accused us of making a mistake in an article on Twitter, which prompted this response from accomplished Twit-spammer Bernard Keane from Crikey:
@Kate_McClymont i'm shocked they're wrong, Kate. SHOCKED.— Bernard Keane (@BernardKeane) April 26, 2013
I have travelled the world and seen the Grand Canyon, the pyramids, Niagara Falls, seen the tallest buildings and mountain ranges, but I have yet to come across anything that is even close to the immensity of Bernard Keane’s sense of self-importance.
Anyway as it turns out we were right and so, of course, I was shocked when no apology came from Keane. SHOCKED.
Speaking of Fairfax, it would seem that the powers that be saw fit to try to cover for McClymont – and her primary source – to some extent, as they toned down the $1 million story in Sydney and it didn’t make the front page here as it did in Melbourne; nor did they use the graphic pictured below:
I am and always have been happy to work with the mainstream media and any whom I have dealt with will tell you I don’t bite nor do I wear a tin foil hat. I am always happy to share information and never ask for anything in return. For me it is about seeing the truth come out and standing up for the little guy, in this case the membership.
Even on the side of the HSU saga that the mainstream have chosen to follow, the reporting has been lacklustre of late.
In the Michael Williamson case we have heard hardly a peep about key players such as Richard Hew and Alf Downing. These are the men that were allegedly overcharging the members for services at a drastic rate so they could give it to Williamson in the form of kickbacks. Now Michael Williamson has been found guilty and is in gaol, it seems both the press and even the police seem happy to give these guys a free pass lending even more weight to the argument that this whole sordid affair was more about a political witch-hunt than about justice for HSU members.
And what about Cheryl McMillan? Williamsons alleged mistress, who evidence showed taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash payments. Police evidence show she allegedly not only assisted Williamson in his crimes, she actually helped set some up. Aside from a couple of bad front pages when this was discovered, where is the police investigation now?
I also do not recall reading anywhere about the deal Gerard Hayes has, according to court records, done with the gaoled Michael Williamson. The deal for the union to not seek further charges against him if he dumps on the former general secretary of HSU East, Peter Mylan, so the Union can chase him for the funds that Williamson allegedly misappropriated and he naively signed off on.
It is my humble opinion that Peter Mylan is a man who is most certainly guilty of being naïve and of blindly trusting those he shouldn’t have. Mylan is a man who has been left penniless and emotionally broken by the HSU saga and now Hayes as the current secretary of NSW Branch is doing deals with a former colleague who has been jailed for stealing members funds so that the unions lawyers can pick at Mylan's bones.
(Image via vexnews.com.au, 2 February 2012)
Meanwhile, Gerard Hayes was spotted in a café a few weeks back chatting with Kathy Jackson and the man who claims to not be involved in anything — Michael Lawler. I'm sure members would love to know what was being discussed at that meeting.
The mind boggles.
In Victoria, while all this evidence of Kathy Jackson's wild spending of Union funds is surfacing in the mainstream, why are they not chasing up those who allowed all of this to happen — her Branch Committee Of Management?
From what I'm told, the branch president while all of this was going on, Kathryn Whitfield, is now in a managerial position with Vic Health. Her signature can be found on many of the cheque requisitions and remittances for Jackson's spending as well as payments to Kathy and Jeff Jackson's company Neranto #10.
In her spare time, Whitfield liked to drive around town in her red MG sports car, a car that sources say was jointly owned by Jeff Jackson and was reportedly garaged at the Jackson's neighbour's house, with whom she was close friends.
A cosy arrangement indeed.
I give credit to The Age who have been reporting on much of what is happening in the Victorian branches, however it is only now that the press has had the guts to look into the woman they all blindly praised for years for taking out a factional opponent after sitting on the information for a decade. Timing is everything.
Some journalists and commentators in the mainstream who have had access to evidence of Jackson's spending habits and deliberately ignored it have sought to give a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card to someone before they are properly investigated. Some of those giving her a voice to attempt to damage those who sought only to expose the truth have shown themselves as having no moral integrity whatsoever.
It has taken two years for most of the mainstream to catch up with the independent press on Kathy Jackson — I wonder how far behind the Coalition will be.
Or will they be delivering flowers to her in the big house?
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