Jacksonville 43: Michael Smith responds

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Peter Wicks has been chatting to Michael Smith and had an entirely amiable conversation about Craig Thomson's arrest and Jacksonville.
Michael Smith - look, no horms
Michael Smith - look, no horns

As I mentioned in my last post, I was going to keep you up to date on any response from Michael Smith regarding a series of questions I posed concerning his links to Jacksonville.

And so I can inform readers that last night I had a chat with Michael on some of the matters I raised in my post.

Firstly, I’d like to thank Telstra for delivering a voicemail late. Thanks.

Michael Smith tried to phone me on Tuesday night at around 9pm, unfortunately I was alerted to this not by my phone, but by Michael tweeting me last night...

I returned Michael's call and we had a brief chat, that despite all the yelling, the abuse, and the foul language in the end solved little...

Actually, I’m only joking — do not quote me on that please. I know many will be waiting for me to say how arrogant he was, how he lied constantly, and how he is in it up to his eyeballs; prepare to be disappointed, as I will call it as I see it.

My conversation with Michael was friendly and open, and I have to say that I thought he seemed like quite a down to earth bloke, not what I had imagined after “Go Back to Where You Came From”. In fact, he was the kind of bloke I think I’d enjoy a beer with, actually I even offered just that.

Smith had been having trouble with his emails coming via his domain, something that has been sorted out now, that is why there was the delay in response time. Although getting back to me within 48 business hours I thought was fine at any rate.

Smith is no doubt a busy man, and so I assume sometimes he finds it easier to phone than to type a response; I am usually the same. So I am not expecting him to respond to all of the questions I asked in the email; however, he responded to much of what I’d asked over the phone.

His opinion of the arrest was that he thought that it was the way things work regarding the procedure of seeking information. Therefore the arrest is legitimate in his mind.

These are not Smiths exact words, but to me it says that Thomson should have jumped up and gone to Melbourne to help explain once again what he had already explained numerous times. The fact that it was during the Christmas break did not matter, apparently Victoria Police can’t afford to send someone to investigate and ask questions. I don’t tend to agree with that — and if that is standard operating procedure in Victoria, it needs to change.

In regards to the warrant where the box marked “The person is avoiding the service of a summons” has been ticked, Smith believes that this box was simply ticked by mistake.

I’m sorry, I don’t believe that for a second. I think that this box was deliberately ticked in order to cover the lie about the summons that they claimed to have done in December and never issued. I don’t think a police officer with that much experience, or a judicial officer, makes such a dumb mistake on a routine form — especially not on a case this high profile.
Oops! Wrong box.

In regards to their friendship, and time at the same station when Smith was a cop, Smith says he was unaware of John Tyquin when he was there. This came up when they met to discuss Smith providing a statement regarding Thomson.

As Smith tells it, the conversation went along like general chatter, Tyquin asking him about where he was stationed when in the force. It turned out they discovered they had been at the same station, but didn’t know each other — kind of like meeting someone years later that went to your high school but you never knew whilst at school.

I believe his version of events regarding this, as it sounds normal and plausible. Although Smith didn’t say this, in hindsight, this may have been what motivated him to put up the “full disclosure” — in case someone like myself found that link from his past.

In regards to the police statements regarding the Thomson interview on 2UE, Smith said this was normal procedure. As Smith performed the interview, his statement was needed in regards to verifying it was a legitimate recording of the interview.

Smith was also keen to say that he had no ties whatsoever with Kathy Jackson and is not aligned with her in any way.

When I asked his opinion about the evidence arrayed against her, he said he had not seen it ‒ only what had been put in my most recent article regarding him ‒ and he had not yet had opportunity to thoroughly go over it. However, he said is happy to look at the information, and I will be sending him more also.
Kathy Jackson
Kathy Jackson

Overall, I thought our chat was positive, and I hope he feels the same.

In a democratic society there will always be differing opinions; that is healthy; it is how we handle them that is important.

I respect those with a different opinion to me, as long as they show respect back. Both Michael and I can be abrasive and also take the piss at times — I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that. However, I admire someone who can be not just tolerant in a pleasant manner, but genuinely friendly despite disagreeing on much.

I have dealt with a few from the “let’s get Thommo” side of the debate before; I’ve been misquoted, had my mobile number posted under a post that accuses me of stalking children, and received more than my share of abuse.

Michael Smith, for what it’s worth, I disagree with your politics and much of what you say, but for the way you have handled criticism and been so cool-headed and friendly about discussing these matters, you have my utmost respect.

Think I’d better buy me a lottery ticket.

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