The rise and fall of the Insiders' hero

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If you thought Kathy Jackson was a hero, then you are a fool

Insider Mike Seccombe says Tony Abbott should be defended for his Kathy Jackson "captain's pick" because, he says, everyone "thought she was a hero at the time". Managing editor David Donovan says he's heard it all now.

Do you watch ABC Insiders?

You know, that long hour on Sunday when those incomparable experts from the Canberra Press Gallery sit around on comfortable chairs talking to each other about the state of the nation for the vast benefit of us slow-witted simpletons. 

Regrettably, I caught a bit of this show last week. I turned it off when one of them started talking about how "everyone" was wrong about the world's worst ever whistleblower, Katherine Jackson.

You see, former HSU boss Kathy Jackson was, last week, adjudged by the Federal Court of to have rorted about $1.4 million from some of the lowest paid workers in the country.

Now, if you have been reading IA for any length of time, this should have come as no surprise to you — because we've been reporting on her flagrant rorting since May 2012.

Back in 2012, Parliament hung on a knife edge and the Liberal Party were waging a campaign to remove Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson, and so the Gillard Government. Then in walked Kathy Jackson, dishing the dirt on Craig Thomson. As a result, she was described as "heroic" and "credible" by silly Tony Abbott and a "lion of the union movement" by oily Christopher Pyne.

I smelt a rat and so did the unstoppable Peter Wicks. Jackson had a far from unblemished record in the union movement, and allegations had been swirling around her and her partner, Michael Lawler, for years.

So, together, we started digging. It didn't take long to work out that she was almost certainly the most corrupt of the whole lot. We reported. Sources read our reports and gave us more vital info. Damning original documents emerged. The case against Jackson became overwhelming and compelling. 

So we told the mainstream media. All of them. Every major outlet. Peter Wicks went to each and every one and tried to get them to cover this affair — a painful, prolonged and incredibly frustrating period. Sometimes the mainstream showed interest only to pull their stories at the last minute — apparently scared off by management or their "legal department", often expressing some vague apprehensions about Jackson's apparently litigious de facto.

I tried to get through to them as well. I spent, for instance, a frustrating hour on the phone with a senior producer at ABC 7.30 programme, pleading with her to report the truth about Jackson. She wasn't even vaguely interested. She saw no problem with their coverage of the HSU affair. It was evidently quite clear to her that Jackson was as she presented herself — an heroic, untouchable whistleblower.

But she wasn't. She was a crook.

The mainstream media eventually, at long last, picked up the story late last year — years after we began our investigation. Years after numerous pompous mainstream hacks called us cranks, conspiracy theorists, frauds and other choice names — even though we had presented reams of irrefutable evidence and facts.

Yet despite all the evidence, Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott pushed an apology through Parliament for Jackson over a speech by Craig Thomson just over a year ago, in February 2014.

Then, yesterday, after Jackson had a Federal Court case decided against her last week, I hear Mike Seccombe on ABC Insiders defending Abbott and Pyne's absurd support of this alleged criminal by declaring:

"We all thought Kathy Jackson was a hero at the time"

We "all" did, did we? Right.

If by "we" Seccombe means the dull echo chamber inhabited by Australia's largely lacklustre political Insiders, then perhaps he is right. They certainly did think she was a hero, doing the needful to help them bring down the "evil" Gillard Government. 

However, don't you ever let them try to tell you they they weren't told the truth. They were. They just decided to ignore the evidence because of their egregious conceit, arrogance, incompetence, delusion and, to be frank, borderline corruption.

We were right and they were wrong. And that, my friends, is the usual song. The one you hear over and over again in the pages of IA.

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You can catch up on the full Jacksonville story on IA's dedicated page HERE.

This ARTICLE was originally published in the weekly IA editorial. These editorials are usually only published in the IA weekly newsletter. You can access them by subscribing to IA HERE.

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