Thomson fundraiser does the job

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Despite the predictably negative reporting of Australia’s corporate media, Craig Thomson’s fundraiser last night was, in fact, a raging success, writes Peter Wicks.


THE Daily Telegraph stated 20, the Sydney Morning Herald said 30, but the important number last night was 50, or actually 50,000 to be precise.

We all knew the mainstream media have been struggling with the facts, but I kind of hoped counting wasn’t an issue, but alas...

The Telegraph and the Herald were playing guessing games at the number of attendees at Craig Thomson’s Legal Defence Fundraiser in the Tattersalls Club in Sydney last night without even being at the event, although in their defence News Ltd were ejected at the door without entering.

The 50,000 I mentioned is the number of dollars that was raised by putting the night on, although many of Thomson’s supporters were unable to make it into the city on what was a freezing cold weeknight.

In fairness, the numbers were lower than organisers would have hoped for, however given so many people actually forked out money for an event that they knew they would not be able to attend shows that there is more support out there for Thomson then the fictitious numbers being thrown around by the media would suggest.

Those that were there, and I spoke with many, all had a good night. I spoke with two ladies that had made the trek all the way from Lake Macquarie to be there, however the prize for distance travelled has to go to one lovely bloke who had travelled all the way from Ghana, where he works on an Australian oil rig, although he was home on time off.

Guest speaker (and IA columnist) Bob Ellis had us all mesmerised with an hilarious speech that would have made Mal Brough’s hairs stand on end. Bob dove into uncharted depths surrounding the Ashbygate saga, that is only now starting to gain traction in the mainstream.

Thomson’s lawyer Chris McArdle followed Ellis and didn’t hold back in throwing out one-liners and wisecracks that were mostly directed at the media and their abysmal coverage of the Thomson case.

Thomson’s speech was funny at times and emotional at others, the dragging out of this matter has clearly been a beyond a draining experience for Thomson.

Thomson retold the story of the day he voted with the Opposition in parliament, causing Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne to run for the exit like two schoolgirls fleeing from a mouse. The irony of the situation, as Thomson saw it, was that Pyne and Abbott were not depriving the people of Dobell a say in parliament that day as planned — they were depriving constituents in their own electorates a vote.

The event gave Thomson an opportunity to personally thank some of those who have and continue to support him that he would not normally have the chance to meet. This was a chance Thomson clearly relished and is something that you can’t put a measure on.

The only way of measuring the true success of a fundraiser is always in the amount of funds raised.

So, despite the negative reporting focusing on the in the mainstream, judging by the only measure that truly counts ‒ funds raised ‒ I would say last night was a success.

Actually, with $50,000 raised, I’d call it a raging success.

Catch up on IA’s full Jacksonville investigation here.

Click on this image to date on the this Thomson affair by visiting our dedicated ‘Jacksonville’ page, featuring all our articles on this topic — and more.

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