Jackson’s referral to Victoria Police — and IA's long lonely slog for justice

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With Kathy Jackson being referred to the Victoria Police for the alleged theft of $900,000, many in her former cheer squad must be feeling fairly pretty stupid this morning, writes Peter Wicks from Wixxyleaks.

I CAN ONLY WONDER HOW STUPID some people must be feeling today.

Yesterday, it was announced that Kathy Jackson will be referred to Victorian Police over the alleged theft of approximately $900,000. This is the same Kathy Jackson that is still facing civil proceedings in the Federal Court over $1.4 million in member’s funds she is alleged to have misappropriated.

Jackson has, of course, checked herself into a psychiatric hospital as a voluntary patient over an alleged mental health issue.

Witnesses have claimed to have seen her pottering around the shopping centres in Wollongong and having pedicures done, however by night she is in hospital for what the court has been told are serious issues.

It is fantastic to see that Jackson is able to get around and perform normal functions and I can only assume that this is a sign that her therapy is going well. This is incredibly encouraging as I am assuming that this will mean no more delays in the court case and, given it looks like a speedy recovery is being made, she will finally be ready to proceed when the case resumes in February.

For those who have been singing the praises of Kathy Jackson for the past two years, the news of her being referred to police for criminal investigation must come as a bit of a blow.

Yesterday, acting national secretary Chris Brown had this to say on the evidence of Jackson’s alleged crimes.

“It makes the Craig Thomson stuff pale into insignificance.”

That must be music to the ears of Thomson, whose appeal is due back in Magistrates Court later this month.

For the past few years, however, it is worth remembering that there have been those who have screamed for Thomson to be hung from the highest branch of the highest tree and those who have held Jackson is such high esteem.

Senior Liberals like Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne, George Brandis and Eric Abetz. Shock jocks like Ray Hadley, Chris Smith and Paul Murray. Newspaper columnists like Piers Ackerman and Andrew Bolt. Bloggers like Michael Smith.

All must be feeling pretty daft this morning.

I’m sure some, like the politicians, will ignore it; some of the shock jocks may try to say that Jackson was looked into previously and police dropped the matter and it is only the trade union referring it to them again.

The last investigation into Jackson stalled as evidence was lacking. Now, there is an over-abundance of evidence for police to wade through. While it is true that the HSU is referring the matter to police, it comes soon after the counsel assisting the Trade Union Royal Commission recommended the matter of the infamous Peter Mac settlement be referred to the Department of Public Prosecution.

Many, however, will be scratching their heads and wondering how they were so sucked in by Jackson.

Having had the opportunity to meet Kathy to ask her questions, and having seen numerous interviews and watching her testimony at the Royal Commission, I have wondered the same. From all I have seen, heard and experienced, she is utterly unconvincing.

Perhaps these people were just so blinded by their agenda to destroy a hung parliament they could see little else but the political mileage to be gained. If that was indeed the case, then it is only fitting that they are now stuck in reverse and are likely to end up behind where they originally started.

The evidence was there and publicly available, however those with an agenda made the conscious decision not to look at it.

For Kathy, it must be disappointing that the legal advice of her partner Michael Lawler has been of such little value and only succeeded in delaying the inevitable. I’m sure Jackson was convinced he was one of the world’s most intelligent men. The realisation that he is clearly not even close must be crushing. Lawler will have his own issues holding onto his role as the vice president of Fair Work Commission, given his involvement in the HSU saga has caused the industrial affairs watchdog’s credibility so much damage.

This whole saga has shown us the importance of independent media and also the power of the mainstream media.

As most would realise, Kathy Jackson has been hailed as an heroic whistleblower by the mainstream press for years. It is only through independent media that the other side of the story has been explored and the evidence brought out and displayed.

For this we have sites like Independent Australia – and in particular editor David Donovan, who has also put a hell of a lot of work into this investigation – to be thankful for; because I can assure you, the effort comes at a price.

Along with all of the work, along the way, there have been threats, smear campaigns and defamation lawyers to fend off, and so I have a debt of gratitude towards Independent Australia for having the guts to persist and soldier on where other mainstream news sources feared to tread.

The power of the mainstream has also had a lot to do with where the matter has come to today.

Whilst the mainstream were responsible for whipping up the frenzy that saw Jackson elevated to such dizzy heights, it has also been the mainstream that have brought her crashing down.

I was amazed at how those in the media room at the Royal Commission were so keen to see Jackson fall from her perch. It was like they suddenly realised that before them was a woman who had strung them along for years and used them almost as an accomplice to achieve her goals.

This has much to do with the integrity and journalistic standards of a few journalists. In particular Nick McKenzie and Ben Schneiders of Fairfax and Brad Norington of News Ltd have been vital in opening the public’s eyes.

I find it amusing that Kathy Jackson finds herself in the same position with the media that Craig Thomson found himself in two years ago.

I hope she finds it comfortable.

Follow Peter Wicks on Twitter @madwixxy. Catch up on the full Jacksonville saga here. Peter Wicks will be talking about Jacksonville at an IA function at the Summer Hill Hotel in Sydney on November 21. Book your tickets here.

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