While former HSU officials Kathy Jackson and Craig Thomson both face court at the moment over allegations they both defrauded the Union, Peter Wicks from Wixxyleaks says the similarities end there.
There is a saying about people who live in glass houses and what they shouldn’t do with stones. Some, however, choose to ignore that wise old saying. Kathy Jackson is one of those.
In fact, some may say that Jackson has grown eight strong throwing arms like an octopus and stands with a pile of stones in the centre of her castle of glass.
As most would know, Kathy Jackson went after Craig Thomson like some sort of rabid Rottweiler given the taste of blood over what she alleged to be an improper use of union members' funds. Now, as Kathy finds herself having to explain $1.4 million worth of her own spending of members' funds, suddenly what is and what isn’t a union related expense has taken a turn for the surreal.
This, of course, is forcing me once again to dredge up the old pot and kettle image.
In Kathy’s mind, it seems spending money on a Your Rights At Work anti-WorkChoices campaign as many other unions did was not union authorised.
In fact, the Australian Electoral Commission found in Thomson’s favour on Jackson’s claims of improper spending.
Here is a link to the report on their findings: AEC HSU Report
However she can’t seem to understand her own HSU-paid for expenses being questioned, despite them totalling approximately $1.4 million.
While anti-WorkChoices campaigns were not union business in Jackson's mind, apparently her personal spending was.
Kathy Jackson argues her spending on HSU credit cards "entirely appropriate" Blimey $1.4 Mill!!! @smh @AimMCT http://t.co/TMsqf6uZam #auspol— TugboatAnnie (@sacarlin48) April 8, 2015
I’m sure the members have gained great benefit from her 18 holidays to the United States of America, Europe and Asia. I’m equally sure members enjoyed the around $660,000 she spent on designer clothes for herself in their name.
Equally, I’m sure the members were thrilled to know that they were making mortgage payments on Jackson’s former mansion, after all I bet Jackson invited all of those hospital cleaners around for a swim in the pool.
The fine wine and fine dining, the electronics from JB Hi Fi, the ski trips, all above-board in Jacksons mind, all part of her salary package is her defence.
When I started using the word Jacksonville it was to try to portray the particular type of arrogance mixed with delusional thinking, of which the above is a fine example.
The Fair Work Commission Federal Court case against Craig Thomson commenced last week and, as reported on Tuesday, Thomson presented an affidavit to the court in an attempt to have the matter dismissed
A copy of Thomson’s affidavit is linked here: Craig Thomson Affidavit March 2015
As reported, the attempts to have the case dismissed on mental health grounds were thrown out and disregarded despite the evidence of medical practitioners.
Final update today on the Craig Thomson trial, including the former MP not appearing after lunch http://t.co/2gGkfE9Xat via @theage— Ben Schneiders (@benschneiders) March 30, 2015
There were, however, some other parts to the affidavit which produced an interesting reaction from Justice Christopher Jessup.
When Thomson sought to bring into evidence the utter incompetence of the Fair Work Australia investigation and the name Michael Lawler came up, Justice Jessup was quick to dismiss the evidence, labelling it as “scandalous”.
However, it was not Thomson accusing FWA of incompetence and bodging their investigation — he was merely pointing out that it had a negative impact on his mental health. In fact, it was the independent report by KPMG into the train wreck that Fair Work Australia referred to as an “investigation” that highlighted the organisation's incompetence in this matter. It was also KPMG that singled out Michael Lawler as not co-operating with an investigation his own organisation had commissioned. Fair Work clearly had many workers, however KPMG only singled one out — and that was the partner of Thomson’s accuser.
One area I found interesting is that the police had lined up a sex worker to testify against Thomson — something that would have had the media salivating like a starving mutt.
However, when it came to the crunch, this prostitute – surprise, surprise – did not appear. Yep, she had up and vanished into thin air. No name, no address, no show, no nothing — only the word of a couple of coppers that she even existed.
That reminds me of something:
However, when Thomson pointed out that these were the same cops that had falsified an arrest warrant to publicly arrest Thomson in front of the media that were waiting outside his office for the cops to show up, then that was once again “scandalous”. These same police claimed not to have tipped off the media about the arrest under false circumstances and if these police are to be believed then we have a vast number of psychics in the press who would be far more financially secure picking lottery numbers.
What was scandalous is the behaviour of police regarding this arrest. Even a blind man with his eyes closed and facing the other way can clearly see this arrest was performed for political purposes and was seemingly timed to coincide with a Tony Abbott speech given at the National Press Club during his election campaign.
These are not conspiracy theories, these are a matter of public record with evidence presented to support the case and so for a judge to brush them off so easily is, in my opinion, scandalous.
The other star witness appearing against Thomson was also unable to make it to court. This witness was a brothel owner. In any other case, a brothel owner might be seen as a rather untrustworthy witness, however when testifying against Thomson, they may as well be the Pope.
In any case, the witness was unable to make it to court from his current residence, a prison cell. Yes, a reliable witness indeed. Scandalous even?
Thomson expected to fight after judge gave go-ahead workplace tribunal’s lawsuit against him. http://t.co/IN9ThnOFv2 pic.twitter.com/QggATxvogk— The Australian (@australian) March 31, 2015
Despite the ridiculous fiascos with disappearing prostitutes, gaoled brothel owners and dodgy arrest warrants, the scandalous court case continues on despite there not being a defendant.
Craig Thomson, following his doctor’s orders, left the Court at the lunch break as he advised the court he would be doing numerous times. Having no legal representation, Thomson now finds himself being in the strange position of finding out what is happening in his own court case via media reports. Given there is nobody attending court to argue in Thomson’s defence, those representing Fair Work Commission will have free rein to say whatever they like, unopposed.
That's justice, apparently, Australian style.
Authors note: After writing this article, Craig Thomson contacted me regarding suggestions made by readers for contributions to be collected to pay for his mental health and legal costs. Thomson has asked me to pass on his gratitude for all the support and offers of help. He said that anyone would like to donate funds should send them to Beyond Blue.
You can read more by Peter Wicks on his website Wixxyleaks, or follow him on Twitter @madwixxy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
No good reason for the Royal Commission to ignore this- it towers over most of its other case studies http://t.co/tHQnSOTMSj #auspol #hsu”— Josh Bornstein (@JoshBBornstein) March 25, 2015