Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Craig Thompson - The Final Cut

Does anyone here remember a man called Craig Thomson?

Time was when he was pretty much the most important man in the country. Although under investigation for misuse of a HSU credit card, he managed to stay in Parliament during the hung Labor government, thus avoiding the spectacle of an early election.

He was also given the opportunity to speak to Parliament about the accusations.

In that speech - which lasted an hour - he cried. He told Parliament his life and work history, and about all the good he'd done in the union movement. He attacked former HSU colleague Kathy Jackson and accused her of having access to endless perks which were, he implied, a possible misuse of union funds. He implied he had been set up by internal enemies. He claimed that on some of the occasions he was accused of booking prostitutes, he wasn't even in the places mentioned.

Thomson also had an interview with Laurie Oakes in which he claimed he had been set up.

And above all, he maintained that there simply wasn't enough evidence for anyone to accuse him of anything.

Except that there was, which is why he was finally arrested on charges - 145 of them, in fact - relating to all of the above. And lo and behold - his lawyers had to drop the line that he had been set up, and that a mystery person had faked all the phone calls, the visits to prostitutes, the porn movie hire, and the other stuff.

In fact, his lawyers made it quite clear that they'd be arguing that Thomson had the right to use his union credit card for all these perks, which is in effect arguing that Thomson did these things but that they weren't wrong or illegal.

So much so that they struck a deal to make sure that a horde of sex workers and brothel owners didn't have to appear for the prosecution, because the defence was no longer contesting the truth of Thomson's use of the cards for exactly these services.

This is probably a good thing for other reasons, as some of the sums spent on these ladies are rather large - in fact, rather too large for just one customer.

a) So who was with Thomson on those jolly nights of roistering?

b) And is that person's identity critical to understanding the three-year go-slow by Fair Work Australia, the media free pass given to Thomson, the kid-gloves treatment in Parliament, and Thomson's continual smug grin throughout, convinced he was going to get away with it?

On this blog, I have repeatedly affirmed that I didn't believe a word of Thomson's excuses:





I did the same at Quadrant Online:




Today, I feel vindicated. I know he'll probably get a slap on the wrist and 300 hours community service, but I can only hope it involves cleaning toilets in a hospital somewhere - like the HSU members he defrauded.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Euthanasia for Children

I think this is one of the best posts I've read on this topic (thank you, His Hermeneuticalness).

All that the Belgian parliament has done is ratify something that has been going on for years in Belgium.

It's going on in other places, too, legally. And it's also going on closer to home than you might think.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

That's What I Call a Media Release

From the inestimable Michael Smith News:

Media Statement from Bob Kernohan, former Victorian AWU President
Media Statement from Bob Kernohan, former AWU President, Victoria Branch.
I congratulate PM ABBOTT on the announcement of a Royal Commission into corruption in trade unions. I am perplexed however at Bill Shorten’s opposition to a Royal Commission and his claim that a police taskforce should investigate corruption in unions.   Bill Shorten knows a lot of the detail about Julia Gillard and Bruce Wilson’s corrupt activities involving the AWU because he was there at the time it happened.   So was I.   Bill Shorten’s had 18 years to go to the police if he was serious about helping police investigate corruption and he hasn’t lifted a finger.   So Bill, I can only think that you oppose a Royal Commission because you’re afraid of what it will report.
I recruited Bill Shorten into the AWU in 1992. Bill was my campaign manager in AWU union elections for the leadership of the Victorian Branch. My opponent was Bruce Wilson whose de facto Julia Gillard was a partner at the AWU’s law firm Slater and Gordon. My bitter campaign against Wilson was focused on serious financial irregularities in the union books. In 1996 the then AWU General Secretary, Ian Cambridge called for a royal commission into the AWU. I supported Ian Cambridge at that time.  
Bill Shorten knew at least as much as I knew about the frauds - we discussed it at the time, but since then I’ve seen no positive actions at all from Bill to bring offenders to justice, in fact Bill's done the opposite.
Bill Shorten urged me to participate in the cover up - "think of your career, Bob” he said.   I know that Bill Shorten has not assisted either the Victoria Police or the WA Police to bring offenders to justice.   He did nothing as State Secretary in Victoria, nor as AWU National secretary in 2001 thru 2007.  He never called in the police to investigate. Bill Shorten chose to cover the fraud up; and to add insult to injury, he was a key player in installing Julia Gillard into the Lodge! 
A Royal Commission where persons of interest are compelled to give sworn evidence is the only way that corruption in unions will ever be fully exposed and people made to be accountable for their criminal actions.
I can be reached on 0438901594 and I am happy to talk on the record.

That's telling them.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

What Is The Sound of One Penny Dropping?

You might like to ask the New York Post, where disgruntled journalist Kyle Smith realises that the young and happenin' folks who read Rolling Stone have been duped. Why, this new-fangled Pope Francis person is peddling the same autocratic crap as the last one!

Given that the average Rolling Stone reader is a single white underemployed urban male, I'm not sure how pressing this news is to them. But it's clearly pressing to Kyle, who pretty accurately captures the Rolling Stone demographic himself.

It’s hard for liberals (and maybe some conservatives) to wrap their heads around this, but Catholic doctrine doesn’t line up neatly with American views of left and right. The church is steadfastly pro-life on abortion (we associate that with conservatives) but equally pro-life on capital punishment (a view we call liberal). Nor has the Vatican altered its commitment to uplifting the poor or its related suspicion of capitalism.

You don't say?

More at the NYP site.