Both Independent Australia and Wixxyleaks have been receiving a lot of queries around Craig Thomson and what his attitude towards the unfolding events at the Royal Commission may be.
I thought rather than assume anything, it may be best to have a conversation with him and ask him to give us his thoughts.
For most, the name Craig Thomson is usually the first name that comes to mind when someone refers to the HSU, despite the dollar value of allegations against him being tiny in comparison to those claimed against certain others. However, given that he is awaiting his appeal by a magistrate for his earlier convictions related to his spending of HSU members funds, his voice has not been heard for a while .
In particular, I wanted to ask him about his treatment by the media and how he thinks that may have influenced his legal matters.
A key part of that is Thomson’s address to parliament:
At the time, this address was mocked by the mainstream media and the impact of this level of media barrage on Thomson and his family was of grave concern to several media commentators.
At the time, of course, self-professed “whistle blower” Kathy Jackson was the darling of the press and the adopted daughter of the Coalition, with everybody showering her with praise.
Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it seems that Thomson may have actually been rather lenient towards her in his address and some of the others he also mentioned as being connected to his downfall.
Kathy Jackson is no longer the darling of the press. It is fair to say that much of the press are rather livid at her for stringing them along for years and the Coalition can't seem to find enough distance from her. Kathy’s partner Michael Lawler is being shown to be becoming even more involved with HSU affairs, even trying to legally represent Kathy against the HSU. Marco Bolano has been reported by several people to the police for trying to physically intimidate them during the Royal Commission, and joining Jackson in attempts to try and implicate a respected journalist with prostitutes — an suggestion the media said was a ludicrous suggestion when Thomson claimed Bolano had, yes, threatened to "set him up with hookers”.
I also wanted to ask him about his views on his treatment by media.
During his parliamentary address, he made mention of the media and memorably pointed towards them during his address accusing them of unfairly targeting him, his family and his staff.
After his speech, the Herald Sun published the infamous front page with Thomson with the Pinocchio nose and the 'We don’t believe you' headline.
Not long, after the Herald Sun was forced to publish a kind of excuse or insincere apology by the Australian Press Council for its highly prejudicial coverage.
With all of the evidence of millions of dollars being rorted from the HSU’s membership, I thought perhaps it was a good time to have a chat with the man who tried to introduce some financial governance measures into the union all those years ago.
With that in mind, I contacted Thomson and he agreed to meet up for a cappuccino and a chat at the Red Heart Café near my place.
I hope the interview answers some of our reader’s queries.
This excusive IA video was produced pro bono by Scott Clarke from Wined Up Media Productions. Please support Wined Up by making a donation. You can follow Peter Wicks on Twitter @madwixxy. Catch up on the full Jacksonville saga on our dedicated page.
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