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With the Federal Court decision in the Fair Work Commission action against Craig Thomson due to be handed down today in Melbourne, get ready for the media to pile in on Craig Thomson — again. Peter Wicks reports.

With Tony Abbott and the Coalition in free-fall mode in the polls, the Trade Union Royal Commission’s integrity in the toilet, and more details of dodgy dealings being done by Kathy Jackson and her partner Michael Lawler, things must be glum for Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, George Brandis and the Jacksonville crew.

Luckily, they have a sure-fire way of tipping the balance back in their favour — a tried and true method that has worked for years. A tactic that is as simple as those who apply it and a tactic that’s only beauty is in its simplicity.

That tactic is called the "Thommo bash".

It’s simple, really: just mention Craig Thomson’s name in the same sentence as words like fraud, brothel, prostitute, hooker and theft and let the predictable pursuant prurient public outrage do the rest. However, the most important word that would also be in that sentence is “alleged”, but you can be sure it would be the least emphasised word.

Other words that should be in that sentence but won’t make an appearance are words like innocent, disproved, cleared — as well as two other words: “not guilty”.

As the week ends, those on the Jacksonville bandwagon will once again have an opportunity to take the proverbial dump on Craig Thomson as he tries to rebuild his life.

Today (11/9/15), the findings in the civil matter against Thomson are to be handed down and are not likely to be favorable towards him.

The reasons for this would seem to be:

  • the case has been brought by the Fair Work Commission, where one of the senior judges is not only Tony Abbott appointed, but Kathy Jackson's partner;
  • the allegations are based on evidence provided by Kathy Jackson, who has proven herself to be about as believable as an Abbott election promise;
  • Thomson was unable to afford to provide a defence for himself, was unable to fight the allegations in court and walked out of proceedings half way through.

The thing to remember in all of this is that Thomson has fought these charges twice in court during his criminal trial and been found not guilty.

Also worth noting is that the union money used for "campaign purposes" was part of a national anti-WorkChoices campaign being run by affiliated unions. The bulk of this went into sponsorship of a Central Coast NRL team and game. This was not used for Craig Thomson's election campaign at all, as has been alleged. One match was actually called the "HSU Your Choices At Work Cup", not the "Vote Thomson Cup" that the spin would indicate.

Perhaps this is why it is Fair Work that Thomson is fighting in court, the union long ago walked away from the matter. However, Fair Work have some face to save after their questionable investigation was slammed in an independent report by KPMG.

In what has been a truly ugly display of how justice works in this country, we have seen someone dragged through the courts for years and paraded before the press for even longer. That someone has been brought to the point of bankruptcy and emotional breakdown with hardly a thought spared for his family, or hardly anyone bothering to take a good look at his accusers.

The fact that this someone happened to be a Federal member of parliament should scare the utter hell out of everyone, particularly when you consider he was found not guilty of virtually everything he was charged with. If this much can be inflicted on an MPt, what can they do to you?

I expect that today's findings will go against Thomson, however it should be remembered that these are charges that, for purely financial reasons, he has not defended. Despite evidence of mental health issues from medical practitioners, Thomson had ploughed on until he was finally bled dry of funds — one of the obvious aims of his accusers right from the very start.

While I’m sure today will be a day of celebration within the Coalition, I’m equally sure it should be a sad day for everybody who believes in justice and a fair legal system. A day that proves, once and for all, that the degree of justice you receive in our perverted legal and political system is ultimately dependent on your bank balance.

We now witness the bizarre position of Thomson being found not guilty of almost all charges by a criminal court, yet likely to be pushed into bankruptcy by a civil court. The fact that this is occurring while the woman whose accusations put him before court attempts to transfer her multi-million dollar property into her Tony Abbott appointed partner's name to avoid paying back $1.4 million in fraudulently acquired funds should be an embarrassment all those within the legal profession.

Then again, maybe my predictions will prove wrong and the media will do the right thing and not leap to condemn this man, just like they let the truth about Jackson slide for all those years. Maybe the media will wake up and recognise when they are being manipulated and played like a fiddle.

I guess we’ll see.

Peter Wicks is an ALP member and former NSW State Labor candidate. You can follow Peter on Twitter @madwixxy. Read more about the Jacksonville saga HERE. Donate to Peter's Jacksonville book writing fund HERE.

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