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Federal

Aug 19, 2011

Labor MP in prostitute
scandal

Crikey media wrap: Prostitutes, an MP and a precarious government who can't afford to lose someone to a scandal: the allegations against Labor MP Craig Thomson have all the elements of a intriguing film script.

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Prostitutes, an MP and a precarious government that can’t afford to lose someone to a scandal: the allegations against Labor MP Craig Thomson have all the elements of a intriguing screenplay.

Phone calls were made to brothels from a hotel room hired by Thomson when he was secretary of the Health Services Union, and paid for by his union credit card. It’s the latest in a string of allegations over the past few years about Thomson’s time at the HSU, including using credit cards to pay for prostitutes, withdrawing cash advances of more than $100,000 and that union money funded his election campaign.

Nick O’Malley and Phillip Coorey in The Sydney Morning Herald had the latest scoop:

On April 5, 2006 a call was made from Mr Thomson’s hotel room at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne to Young Blondes escort agency and later to Confidential Models escort agency.

On June 7, 2006 a call was made from his room at Pacific International Suites in Melbourne to an escort agency called Bad Girls.

Another bill shows that on May 15 of that year, Mr Thomson spent $805.50 on lunch at the Melbourne restaurant Langton’s. It appears only $102 was on food — $540 was for four bottles of wine and the rest on beer and coffee.

But this trio of sex, money and politics could force a minority government to election.

Labor paid Thomson’s legal bills as he launched and lost a fight against Fairfax for a 2009 SMH article that claimed he’d used a union credit card to pay for prostitutes, for withdrawing cash advances equalling more than $100,000 and that union money funded his election campaign. The original estimate of legal costs for Thomson’s defamation action was $90,000, but it has blown out.

As Andrew Clennell reports in The Daily Telegraph: “The ALP bailout of Craig Thomson could be more than $150,000 — and federal minister Mark Arbib is understood to have brokered the deal between Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s office and NSW Labor

Labor’s been quietly covering the costs because  if Thomson is declared bankrupt, he is therefore unfit for office and an election forced on a embattled minority Gillard government.

“In a parliament held by the slimmest majority, the political demise of a single member is enough to tip the balance and trigger a byelection that could usher in a new government,” reports Lauren Wilson in The Australian.

As Michelle Grattan notes in The Age, NSW Labor needs to be better vetting procedures for its candidates, because right now Gillard is forced to defend him simply to maintain government. Grattan writes:

“Assuming, however, Thomson survives, what is Labor going to do about his preselection? An exquisite dilemma. If Labor dumps him for the next election, it would be, in effect, conceding he was not a fit candidate. But how could it run him again? That would be extraordinarily disdainful of the people of Dobell, who might have something very sharp to say about it.”

Thomson has become the new Belinda Neal of NSW Labor, says Dennis Atkins in The Courier-Mail. “Politicians crave media attention, forever suggesting story lines, news ideas and tips in an effort to get their name high up in any story. But every parliamentary term has one politician who gets lots of media attention that’s unwanted.”

If Thomson really did have his signature forged — which is what he claims — then why aren’t the NSW police involved? asks Piers Akerman in The Daily Telegraph:

“It is now time for Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione to order an investigation into this matter and put these doubts to rest.”

But as Labor heavyweight Graham Richardson notes on the precarious nature of politics in The Daily Telegraph:

“He [Thomson] may survive, however, because stupidity is not a bar to holding public office. His situation is illustrative of the awful truth that scandal can rear its ugly head at any time. This government needs all its MPs to behave perfectly for whatever time they have left — and that is a very big call.”

Amber Jamieson —

Amber Jamieson

Freelance journalist in New York

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235 comments

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235 thoughts on “Labor MP in prostitute
scandal

  1. Venise Alstergren

    SOCRATEASE: Consider me suitably rebuked.

  2. Venise Alstergren

    PETER O: Oh I don’t know about FRANK C being a reformer, I think he perceives a golden past glimpsed through a glass, and darkly. 🙂

    It’s interesting to read your perceptions about class, and as you use it I agree with you. However, sometimes I wonder if class doesn’t just represent class per se, but depicts a person who is grown up in one or more of their facets? I’ve met a lot of people who were born to class, but have none. Ditto people who were born without anything, but have achieved a natural grace-class. To think an individual can learn class at a university is laughable. Cats and horses-with good caring people are born to class. Some dogs have this quality. No politician can possess class-not unless they’ve got a wonderful sense of humour.

    Class means being happy in your own skin. Class is the opposite of SUZANNE BLAKE, TONY ABBOTT and JULIA GILLARD.

    Ciao

  3. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    I can see and hear what is going on. Consumer and business sentiment is terrible. Shops are closing, and much more than half of that is due to Gillard and Swan.

    I have never been as active as I am now in politics. I can promise you if there is a by election in Dobell, it will be a landslide against Labor.

  4. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne…

    No I am not nor have I ever been a member of the Labor Party. I grow fruit and have a dog called Buster. I have lovely blue eyes and smoke a pipe. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know.

    No Suzanne, you are not a “concerned voter” … a concerned voter looks for facts and tries to work out what’s going on. You look for anything at all that validates your attitudes…. you already “know” what’s going on. You are, at best, a prejudiced voter.

  5. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    Are you a labor staffer, helper or member?

    Peter Ormonde
    Posted Thursday, 25 August 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    “I’ve known Gillard for about 30 years Frank”

    I have never been a member of any party, nor attended any political event. Just a concerned voted in a marginal seat…….

  6. Suzanne Blake

    ASIC may need to take a look as well as the ATO. Why were Accounts 4 years old recently signed off.

    Reference that many posters require is below.

    “Craig Thomson isn’t the only one with tough questions to answer about how thousands of dollars of union funds came to be spent on prostitutes – so does his mentor, Health Services Union supremo and Labor right factional boss Michael Williamson.

    Williamson was president of the Health Services Union during Thomson’s term as union secretary, and he continues in the role today. He has also been the HSU’s NSW general secretary for 14 years. His official biography says that he “manages the finances of the union” and was responsible for creating the HSU’s financial oversight committee. The union only recently signed off on four-year old financial statements showing heavy losses of up to $325,000″.

  7. Frank Campbell

    P.O.: I call Gillard as I see her. Never gave her a thought until she deposed Rudd.
    I assume you’re a friend of hers. The true test of criticism is whether one is prepared to defenestrate a friend. Just before the election, Fairfax front-paged Mathieson’s “job” as conduit between a big Melb. CBD developer and the state Labour govt. (as if the failed hairdresser knew anything about CBD property development…). All three of them were connected to a pro-Israeli organisation. Gillard is no friend of the Palestinians. Remarkable how the progressive commentariat have said not a word about all this since “The Age” articles appeared. Checking further, it turns out Gillard has a long history of anti-Palestinian activism going back to her student days.

    Re the carbon tax, you’re right, I am motivated by policy here. Gillard is no climate warrior- she’s unlucky enough to be dependent on the Greens and she’s chosen (unwisely) to make the election a referendum on the carbon tax. The carbon tax is at best a pointless exercise and at worst a gratuitous burden on everyone (esp. via electricity prices)- particularly the remnant industrial working class which Gillard putatively represents.

  8. Peter Ormonde

    Frank…

    You cranky old meliorist you!

    I’ve known Gillard for about 30 years Frank. And for what it’s worth I regard her as a True Believer. Whether she can do much with the clods and circumstances she’s got I’m not sure. But I know she’ll be giving it her best shot.

    Now when I say we’ve lost class in every sense … it’s this: I think you learn about class in universities and in books. But to have a class, to be part of a class – a class of and for itself – acting consciously and with a self-awareness – you live it, you are born into it, you join into it, it comes through shared experience, through institutions, through parents, suburbs, towns, through your mates in the school yard.

    It is part of who you are – not what they teach at Uni. That’s where those old Trot mates of yours got it so wrong…what they could never really understand or be a part of.

    This class structure – class consciousness, the identification of oneself as part of a larger social grouping – has gone. It has been buried, demolished, swept away by a tsunami of individualism, consumerism, and what passes for “popular culture” in this sit-com pre-packaged world we live in. The figures you yourself quote are evidence of it … the collapse of trade unions suggest a massive change in how we are organised – and we are no longer.

    I don’t share the Trot book-learned notions of class as some sort of “economic category”. It is much more complex and subtle than that – a product of history and culture as much as of economic forces. And those more subtle, political and social elements have disintegrated, both from within and without.

    I’m not blaming anyone – or maybe I’m blaming everyone – it’s history… it is how things have happened. We must adapt to it and move on. Or just get nostalgic and grumpy.

    And a core part of that moving on is to remind people that there is more to life and more to living than grabbing as much stuff as one can carry and then dying. Building understanding, empathy, sympathy and co-operation is the key to it I reckon. But hey what would I know?

    I do know that I’ll never convince you about Gillard though … not while she is destroying Life As We Know It with her carbon tax and her accursed windmills. But then for me of course, that’s a Good Thing. Except for the silly little windmills.

  9. Frank Campbell

    PO: “We have lost class… in every sense. And it is global.”

    Class isn’t lost- merely hidden under phony corporatist universalism. Classes change of course, and they have since the Labourist days of the 60s-80s. But you’ll never see any analysis of these processes- even on progressive sites like Crikey.

    Sociology was killed off over twenty years ago, along with most of the humanities in universities. That’s why I say universities no longer exist. They are corporations, training corporates.

    Consequently the ALP is bewildered. So much angst over the decay, but no real idea why- therefore the “solutions” are superficial and incoherent.

    Far from being a paragon with “her roots firmily planted in a reforming tradtion and culture”, Gillard is a classic example of contemporary Labour- with some unpleasant twists: excruciatingly banal, profoundly right-wing…a ruthless aspirational migrant whose life experience was stunted by spending her entire life within the dank, incestuous confines of the ALP machine. Gillard, who feigned adherence to the Socialist Left faction to break into the ever-tightening, ever smaller inner circle of ALP power.

  10. Peter Ormonde

    Morning Frank,

    Can’t argue with most of what you say above. Wish I could.

    But as I’ve said elsewhere and repeatedly, the right thing to do is refer these matters to the coppers and let the mill of the law grind on…. despite the sleazy nature of the allegations and Thomson’s lame response, I don’t think even he should be lynched.

    Historically the unions threw some great leaders into the ALP. This stems from the days when unions were actually representative of their members, when officials were leaders of their troops and when they cut their teeth infighting for rights, wages and conditions.

    Hawke marked a turning point – didn’t cause it, just marked it: the rise of the settler, the fixer, the negotiator. I remember when Cliff Dolan was asked how he would change the ACTU when he took over from Hawke, he put it simply: “My job’s about winning disputes, not settling them”. But the days of “winning disputes” were disappearing fast. It was all about productivity, efficiency and being “team players”.

    Since unions became “responsible”, since they were integrated into arbitration, into tripartite chat groups, into being managers rather than organisers, to become super fund managers rather than agents of change, the Cliff Dolan’s are just a memory – a smiling joke… a dinosaur. And the calibre of the “new leaders” coming out of unions reflects this: lawyers, administrators, fixers, deal-makers…. not leaders in the sense that included the Chifleys, the Curtins and the like.

    There was a curious little snippet on ABC’s history show a couple of weeks back – a recording of Chifley addressing Australia about the upcoming census of the time. My goodness… no buzz words, no carefully manicured phrases and glib one-liners… just a straight up chat from a bloke trying to explain what was going on. A blessed relief and a sad one. He would never be preselected let alone elected nowadays. Too simple. Too much like us. Not one of our “betters”. How could we ever have confidence in such a bloke? A train driver? Preposterous!

    Now I’m not adopting some sort of Trot “workerist” romanticism here – Gough Whitlam was never – could never – be the bloke next door. But he could lead. He could convince and spoke to people’s hearts and hopes. He was rooted in the culture of working class leadership, of debate and of reforming ideas. It was not about being PM and staying there like the Tories – it was about what you did with it while you were there.

    So for me at least it’s not about unions and the ALP, it’s about unions and Australia, about what they have become and what they have lost, what we all have lost as a result.

    Now instead of leaders, the unions produce careerist, smart suited corporate deal makers who see no difficulty in sliding from union to parliament to merchant bank, and indeed that is their overwhelming ambition. Has been since their teens.

    We have lost class… in every sense. And it is global.

    I do not know how Labor can unshackle itself from the decaying corporatised classless union machinery. I hope they can. I know they must. I hope they aspire to something more than just aping the US Democrats or Blair’s New Labor.

    For all her faults, Gillard – lawyer, deal-maker and negotiator – has her roots firmly planted in a reforming tradition and culture. She’s not just about attaching herself like a barnacle to the Lodge and the pomp of office. She will try and get what she can to make Australia a better place for battlers and people on the receiving end of life. And that’s a good thing in my book… as good as we can get anyway.

    I just wish she’d listen to a few of Chifley’s speeches. We all should.

  11. Frank Campbell

    And the sleaziest thing of all is the ALP attack on Sen. Fisher. They know very well that Fisher suffers from depression. They also know that stealing from supermarkets (and assaulting security guards when caught) are actions common in such cases.
    No doubt the Libs would have done the same thing if positions were reversed, but that doesn’t make sleaze right.

    Everyone knows this- which further reduces the government’s standing. If that is is possible.

    Let’s see journalists question ALP/Green women MPs about the government’s attack on Fisher. Go on Crikey- pick up the phone…

  12. Frank Campbell

    It’s quite right of Albanese et al to say the Libs are hypocrites when it comes to sleaze, the denial of it and the protection of perpetrators (as long as possible). The Lib. ministry was a revolving door of lies, deceit etc. The hyperactive conman Rottweiler Reith comes to mind.

    But these protestations are irrelevant. The question now is Thomson. Thomson apparently used HSU funds to live the high life. His claim that an imposter used his credit card, driver’s licence etc is preposterous and the media is right to treat it so. Now the union says he failed to pay back $100,000 in cash advances. If so, there will only be one outcome. As I said the other day here, the govt. must know this and is already acting as if an early election is likely. Presumably they will fund Thomson to slow up legal proceedings as much as possible, as they bailed him out over the futile Fairfax defamation action.

    The current HSU boss should be kicked out too because she knew of Thomson’s credit card rorts from May 2008 and did bugger all ’til yesterday. Maybe her silence was to protect her place on the union-official conveyor belt to a safe seat- Bruce Hawker, ALP advisor, recently enumerated the obvious: in 1987, 11 out of 35 ALP senators were ex-union officials; by 2011 the score was 23 out of 31. In the same period, union membership fell from 46% of the workforce to 18%. By 2005, 67% of all federal Labour members were ex-staffers or union officials, up from 24% in 1971.

    This overwhelming union patronage ensures that those still on the conveyor belt remain obedient.

  13. Socratease

    @Venise: Tell me if you remember a peculiarly graceless female senator from the Liberal Party Mary Jo Fisher: the one who was trying to wiggle her hips? She was caught stealing things and found guilty.

    You’re jumping the gun there. She has been charged with stealing and assault, but she is not due in court until September.

  14. Peter Ormonde

    Venise…
    Does Bolt really call himself a journalist? Should be a law.
    No I think Sin City is a nose in front … we still have Alan Jones and he’s a city’s worth of slime all on his own.

  15. Venise Alstergren

    PETER O: This is my fault, I didn’t explain properly. Melbourne isn’t as over-the-top as Sydney refers to shock jocks only. The Andrew Bolt who laughingly refers to himself as a journo, not to mention the putrid publication he writes for-The Hun-is the sort of criminally short-attentioned garbage written for delinquent ten- year- old sports fans but read by right-wing adults, that regrettably passes for a newspaper. This reveals eloquently the abysmal standard of our Victorian educational system.

    In the race to the bottom it’s a dead heat between Melbourne and Sydney.

  16. Frank Campbell

    Roth: the Fairfax barrow contains one item- stay solvent. News is news. They’ll all squeeze the Thomson sponge…and so they should.

    PO- Gillard isn’t making excuses for Thomson- merely protecting him in order to preserve her one-seat majority. Not a good look because he has admitted quite enough to deserve all he gets- not least getting $90k for a private defamation action which itself was purely a selfish ploy.

    Both sides would do the same thing if positions were reversed.

    Smirking Thommo will probably be charged, not least because the HSU has finally dumped him today and gone to the cops. Just a question of how long before trial and subsequent explusion from parlt. Looking at Combet yesterday, I think they’re expecting an early election and campaigning already…The Minister for Angst spent all his time Press Club time hacking into Abbott…

  17. Peter Ormonde

    Venise,

    Remember her, if only I could forget!
    Had it been up to me I’d have had her thrown out on the basis of the wiggling alone.
    She’s actually been charged with shoplifting and assault and is pleading not guilty as I understand it… diminished responsibility from overexposure to Barnaby Joyce I’d imagine. But even she deserves a fair trial wiggly hips and all.

    I agree though that this Thomson fella is actually a matter for the wallopers … by the time they have sifted through the “facts”, filtered the filth, given the DPP a workable brief and the matter goes to Court and is finalised, it will probably be time for an election anyway.

    No reason to panic. No reason to slow down. And certainly no reason to try and protect him. And I don’t think Gillard is. She’s far too careful and smart for that.

    Now as for Melbourne’s more elegant political climate: Have you read the Herald Sun of late? … No I thought not – tends to focus its splenetic posturing on Victorian issues, but an appalling lowest common denominator journal right down there with your more northerly cousins.

    Sadly Sydney has no monopoly on trash. It’s just that in Melbourne one can avoid treading in it.

  18. Venise Alstergren

    THE_ROTH: True, Fairfax does have a barrow-their shareholders. However, successive editors have also has scruples. The far, far rightards scream Communism, but then they always do when anything falls minutely left of centre.
    (Fairfax also own the extremely right-wing shock jock station called 3AW with Neil Mitchell and Derryn Hinch-nowhere as extreme as Alan Jones. But then we Melburnians don’t go so much over-the-top as Sydney does).

    PETER O: Agreed, Craig Thomson is a repellent, unctuous and very well pleased with himself creature whom I would love to see ar^sed out of politics. However, if our Oz morality is to mean anything more than a catch word, we must see to it that he gets what we all should get. A fair trial.

    Tell me if you remember a peculiarly graceless female senator from the Liberal Party Mary Jo Fisher: the one who was trying to wiggle her hips? She was caught stealing things and found guilty. Did the Liberals promptly dispense with her services? I thought not. Perhaps these crooked senators have to be rejected in an election, rather than having to submit to a straight trial by medeeya?

  19. The_roth

    @ Frank Campbell

    Yes indeed Fairfax are a corporation, yes they have a barrow it’s just not as obvious as Murdoch.

    No one says that things should not be revealed by the media just that a trial should not be conducted by them, I believe the rightful place for that to take place is a court.

  20. Peter Ormonde

    G’day Frank,

    I don’t think Gillard is actually making excuses for Thompson – all I’ve heard her say is that she has confidence in him in his parliamentary role and that these allegations should be dealt with by the wallopers rather than behind the privacy screen of parliamentary privilege.

    No great fan of creatures like Thompson myself but sadly – through sheer circumstance – the government cannot easily manage a by-election mid-term… not without bribing some Lib or Nat to cross the floor or take up a new position in Rome or elsewhere.

    The plutocracy that runs the NSW ALP is really becoming a national STD methinks. It is high time for a major clean-out of all of them, and their wives, children, nephews and other greasy graspers that infest the organisation like bed bugs or lice. Can’t ever see it happening myself. Not soon enough anyway.

    Do lice come home to roost?

  21. Frank Campbell

    Roth says: “if we didn’t have a Murdoch media with a political barrow to push ( and you have been quoting that home of yellow jounalism The Daily Telegraph a lot) we’d be a lot less in the dark and resemble mushrooms a lot less.”

    Look at the record. Murdoch backed Blair and Rudd, Thatcher and Cameron. He’s an opportunist. His aim is not to risk influence by backing deeply unpopular govts. Murdoch’s priority is to corrupt whoever is likely to be in power for an extended period- for commercial advantage. His systematic infiltration of Blair/Cameron and the London police should make that clear- BSkyB was a big deal- only killed by the NoTW scandal. That scandal was in effect squashed for several years by corrupt police who cut the investigation short.

    The Left should welcome exposure of political filth by any media. The pathetic attempts by the govt. to rationalise the Thomson sleaze is a case in point. The local Murdoch media is no doubt aiming to sink Gillard. Most of the country is.
    Much of the info on Thomson is coming from Fairfax- what do you suggest about them, Roth? “Political barrow”?

  22. The_roth

    Yes @Suzanne Blake but if we didn’t have a Murdoch media with a political barrow to push ( and you have been quoting that home of yellow jounalism The Daily Telegraph a lot) we’d be a lot less in the dark and resemble mushrooms a lot less.

  23. Peter Ormonde

    Yes Suzanne,

    I’m sure the muckrakers at News of the World were inspired by that very notion.
    But even they knew where to plant an apostrophe.

    The gutter press pays its minions to rake up and spread this sort of muck. You do it voluntarily… snapping away like a poodle at the back of a pack of baying hounds.

    As to the important part of your contributions: Is close enough good enough when your kids come back with their homework? Good job Roxborough you almost got your shoes on… off you go then. Charlemagne, don’t use your hands to eat your crispies. Course not, you expect them – exhort them – to try and do their best.

    But how will little Clothilde ever get a decent job raking muck at the Daily Frothspeckler if she thinks an apostrophe is some sort of prosthetic device?

  24. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    If we don’t have media with spine, we will be left in the dark. Then issues like this would not be raised.

  25. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne,

    I am deeply concerned about how successive Governments fail us … particularly State Governments and their education departments.

    I would like to live in a country in which people can express themselves well… in which their well-considered and researched ideas are put politely and hopefully with a bit of humour… in which sites like Crikey are used for more than broadcasting village gossip recycled from the gutter press.

    I am no fan of Mr Thompson nor the machine that spawned him. However this matter is now being investigated by the filth and that’s where it belongs. It’s why they’re called the filth… they wear special clothes and have a strict hygiene regime for dealing with pondlife.

    I find this enthusiasm for trial by meeja, for spreading any muck that can be found, to be most unedifying and unattractive. Politicians and their families have some rights to decency – even Thompson’s.

    Short answer is I stand for a lot of things … not least amongst them is good English… the only decent thing they left here, other than us Irish of course.

    Make the effort. On all fronts. Set an example for your kiddies.

  26. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    Seriously Peter.

    You worry about spelling and grammar on a blog site.

    Why don’t you direct your worry to Australia and how this Government (and State Governments) have failed us in so many areas.

    I work, raise kids and have passion for a much better Australia. What do you stand for?

  27. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne

    it’s!

  28. Suzanne Blake

    Interesting to scan the media websites this morning…..

    Using his Parliamentary email is like a JP writing a character reference, its NOT allowed.

    “NEW revelations have emerged that MP Craig Thomson lobbied a Central Coast firm for a job for his ex-wife.

    The Daily Telegraph can reveal the besieged MP used his parliamentary email to lobby Central Coast Group Training (CCGT) on behalf of his ex-wife Christa in March – at the same time it had applied for $2.7 million in Commonwealth funding

    Mr Thomson last night confirmed approaching CCGT on behalf of his ex-wife but said she was treated the same as other applicants”

    dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/besieged-craig-thomson-feels-the-heat-over-job-for-ex-wife-christa/story-e6freuzi-1226120764248

  29. Suzanne Blake

    Craig Thomson MP RIP

    Just resigned from Economics Commitee.

  30. Venise Alstergren

    PETER: Be careful about mixing with too much hatred. It’s like divorce, disease and death, all catching! 😈 🙂

  31. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    Contracts in the industry concerned.

  32. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne,

    What were you an expert in?

  33. Suzanne Blake

    Aparently Fairfax are only a tiny of the way through publishing the information they have on this case. Heard that this morning. I guess they will drip feed to ensure they get the circulation / content bonus, although people may get bored?

    It just goes to show, that when you have a court case and their is a discovery phase, you better be prepared to face the consequences of the information that is discovered. Worse when the case is dropped, as the discovery information is not subject to court orders……

    I was an expert witness in a Federal Court case a decade ago, and the mountain of evidence in binders was amazing, something like 70 four inch binders, and it was just a contract dispute. But by the time email records were printed, the binders soon filled.

  34. Peter Ormonde

    No Suzanne,

    Julia has her own staff – they work in her office and are essentially political appointments. They have good address books and hopefully an excellent sense of smell.

    PM&C is actually a government department staffed by public servants. It is one of the key co-ordinating departments… that is they keep the government running … preparing stuff for Cabinet, cross-checking and providing commentary on submissions made by other departments, doing briefing, writing letters, making sure everyone is on the same policy track. They are – as a rule – amongst the most competent and professional of public servants you’ll encounter.

    They do not spend their days reading the newspapers and scanning for politically significant gossip. They probably wouldn’t be much good at that actually.

    For that you need a “nose”… you need people who have a sense for problems before they arise and for the subtle differences between sleaze and importance. Hope that helps.

    As I suggested earlier, I think you should leave the muck and sleaze for the professionals. Think of your bird if nothing else -they find gossip most offensive.

  35. Suzanne Blake

    @ GoComSys and GeoMac

    I finally found one of the 980 people in Julia Gillards PM & Cabinet Department, when reading the papers online today. So just 978 to go. I wonder if Alex is in the new group of 200 or the old group of around 780?

    “Mr Williamson (Head of Health Services Union) is vice-president of NSW Labor and a former ALP national president whose daughter, Alex, works as a staffer for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

    Mr Williamson, as party vice-president, is one of those senior Labor Party officers who signed off on paying Mr Thomson’s legal fees for his cancelled defamation action against Fairfax.

    The Daily Telegraph has obtained a letter from the HSU’s national secretary Kathy Jackson which appears to show there is a view in the HSU that there has been improper behaviour on the part of Mr Thomson.

    The 2008 letter from Ms Jackson to lawyers Slater and Gordon alleges Mr Thomson improperly used his card.

    The letter states: “There are a number of transactions which are … not clearly identifiable as expenses for the purposes of carrying out the objects of the HSU. Some of these items appear to be of a personal nature and some were incurred after Mr Thomson’s resignation from office.”

    The letter also alleges Mr Thomson used his card for campaign expenditure”

    dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/mp-craig-thomson-in-credit-card-cover-up/story-e6freuzi-1226120005370

  36. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne,

    Banana/Lime 50/50… one every week … in the old stainless steel container.

    Now really Suzanne, don’t you think this stuff is best left to the police and the proper channels – 7, 9 1nd 10… they are the experts in sleaze and muckraking.

    I don’t think recycling gossip from other sources is really adding much to the discussion here and it makes you look pretty venomous.

    Move on.

  37. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    Milkshake? Have not had one of those for many decades. Chocolate? Vanilla? Malt?

    I have not met him nor anyone else connected to him. Seen him in the distance talking at a shopping centre and lots of times on TV and in the papers.

  38. Suzanne Blake

    Maybe ASIC needs to take a look now, to ensure HSU are not trading while insolvent.

    Even the Auditors of the HSU have refused to give the usual auditor annual ‘stamp’ of approval.

    theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/craig-thomson-union-broke-auditors/story-fn59niix-1226120004762

  39. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne…

    You are again submitting plagiarised work.

    If you must adopt the role of “village gossip” I think you should use your own words, such as they are.

    How do you expect to improve your English if you cheat? What sort of example are you setting for your kiddies?

    As I asked before, seeing as you’re a local, have you met this bloke’s wife? According to the Sunday Telegraph (I read it in the local milkbar while I was having a milkshake) she’s seven months pregnant. Just lovely.

  40. Suzanne Blake

    Maybe Craig Thomson needs an iPhone, so he can use the Apple Find My Phone feature.

    P.S. Great for Crikey readers who what to find their kids….and check where they say there are is where they are….

    SMH today

    “CALLS made from Craig Thomson’s mobile phone appear to cast more doubt on the embattled Labor MP’s denial that he was responsible for using his Health Services Union credit card to pay prostitutes.

    Since the Herald revealed the spending in 2009, Mr Thompson has denied the allegations, saying other people had access to the card and, by implication, to his mobile phone. But the Herald can reveal that the phone used to contact escort agencies was also used to call senior Labor and union figures.

    Court documents show that on April 7, 2005, Mr Thomson’s phone was used to call escort agencies at 11.12pm and 11.13pm, and again at 12.05 the following morning, April 8.

    The same phone was used to call a media contact for the Labor MP Stephen Smith at 6.43pm and 8.25pm on April 7, and in the previous 24 hours the phone had been used to call Michael Williamson, the then general secretary of the Health Services Union.

    As the Herald revealed, Mr Thomson’s card was used to pay $2475 to an escort agency on April 8.

    Early on the morning of August 16, 2007, Mr Thomson’s phone was used to call two escort agencies. In the two preceding days the same phone had been used to contact two staffers of the Health Services Union, a close friend of Mr Thomson’s and a staff member of Labor MP Mark Arbib. Also on August 15 a payment of $385 was made to an escort agency from Mr Thomson’s credit card”

  41. Suzanne Blake

    @ GocomSys, Geomac and a dozen others

    You disagreed and wanted proof that Federal Labor Primary Poll results were the lowest EVER. The poll before the last one set a new low, and now today’s sets the bar even lower.

    “Labor’s primary vote has dropped back to its lowest level on record of 27 per cent, with the Coalition unchanged on 47 per cent” (NewsPoll Aug 23, 2011).

    Can you handle the truth?

    PS Did not have time to find the story where we argued this a few weeks ago, so used this one. Apologies.

  42. Venise Alstergren

    PETER: Thanks, not being from Sydney I would never have made the connection. In Melbourne there used to be a favourite expression much beloved of the rightards: ‘Doctors’ wives’. Same sort of semi-literate crap, I dare say.

  43. Venise Alstergren

    The dreaded Suzanne: You’ll get into trouble for plagiarising someone else’s work unless you provide quotation marks. No way in this world could you have written that long comment without error.

  44. Peter Ormonde

    Venise,

    I think it has something to do with Balmain basket weaving … a phrase used in the old days to denigrate inner city people with a social conscience … bit like Troofie’s tax-subsidised latte sipping set.

    Hard to tell but I think that’s it

  45. Peter Ormonde

    Ah Venise

    Syntax, grammar and punctuation like that insults us all.

  46. Venise Alstergren

    PETER O: Please can you help me? I think Suzanne has just insulted me but I can’t prove it. What does basket-weaving refer to? It seems like a harmless enough occupation; WTF?

  47. Venise Alstergren

    MODERATOR: I cite the thrice mentioned, above comment as deliberate moderating someone solely on the basis of their name. Even by your standards this is lower than a snake’s ribs.

  48. Venise Alstergren

    SUZANNE: Now you have succeeded in puzzling me completely. What on earth has-what did you call it-basket weaving got to do with anything?

    PETER O: You, someone, does anyone know what the poor spaced out woman means by this remark? Is she complimenting me; or abusing me? I suspect the latter but, What on earth?

  49. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne,

    Ah that’s better … the scrambled syntax I’ve come to expect…

    Normal people … those less spittle-frothed – seem to find it adequate to post a link to a story or bit of info … If we’re interested we’ll have a look.

    Anyway enjoy the hunt.

    Have you met his wife at all?

  50. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    Never did I said, cut and pasted from Google alert on Mr Craig Thomson, they are coming thick and fast, have to turn it off.

    I was merely pointing out there are more allegations of alleged abuse.

    You can se its a clip, as first word is in caps.

    MP now embroiled in bus bill drama

    UNDER…

    I dont get 2GB, or I would have heard it and posted it earlier today!! correct

  51. Peter Ormonde

    Tut tut Suzanne …

    You didn’t write this did you? It has apostrophes in the right places and as you have explained you don’t get 2GB where you live. You’ve just clipped this off some news site.
    Please submit your own work in future. You don’t get off that easy.

  52. Suzanne Blake

    More allegations of alleged abuse

    MP now embroiled in bus bill drama

    UNDER siege over his credit card bill, Craig Thomson is now embroiled in a drama over a bus bill for a vehicle used during his election campaign.

    Claims have been aired on Ray Hadley’s 2GB morning show that Mr Thomson and fellow Central Coast Labor MP Deb O’Neill are to be served for bills totally more than $38,000 for two Mercedes buses used during their election campaigns last year.

    The bill is for damage allegedly caused to the outside of the vehicles by advertising for the MPs.

    Ms O’Neill has been billed $12,800 while the owner claims Mr Thomson owes $25,280 for advertising damage and mechanical repairs needed when the bus was returned.

    Mr Hadley said both MPs had refused to pay the bills.

    Deb O’Neill’s office told 2GB they had been over charged for the buses and that work which had not been agreed to was carried out.

    Meanwhile, another senior government minister has today defended the embattled Mr Thomson.

    “I have a view in life that when someone tells you something that you believe, I have no reason to think otherwise,” Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said.

    Mr Albanese said he believed people were innocent of any allegation until proven otherwise.

    Mr Hadley said the buses were owned by Daniel Parish, who previously lent a bus to former NSW independent MP Peter Besseling who now works for Rob Oakeshott.

    The bus lent to Mr Besseling had an oil leak which caused a crash on the Oxley Highway on the mid north coast.

    Mr Besseling claimed the bus had been sabotaged.

    Police were unable to determine the cause.

    Ms O’Neill’s spokesman and Mr Thomson are yet to return calls from The Daily Telegraph.

    But a spokesman for the Commissioner says police would be “happy” to conduct an investigation should the union complain about the use of the credit card to hire prostitutes.

    Meanwhile, more allegations have come to light against the embattled MP, with court documents claiming he breached electoral laws by spending nearly $40,000 on his union credit card for his 2007 election campaign.

    As pressure intensifies for Mr Thomson to give a detailed explanation to parliament, it can be revealed he also allegedly embarked on an almost $30,000 personal spending spree – using his union credit card on travel for his ex-wife and hotels and restaurants.

    Court documents allege the spending was “not for work purposes” and also included $2050 on sporting memorabilia, $1893 on whitegoods from Bing Lee and The Good Guys, $175 on Margaret River wine and $354 at Strandbags.

    The spending took place while Mr Thomson – now embroiled in scandal after his union credit card was used to pay for prostitutes – was Health Services Union head.

    The documents suggest Mr Thomson, whose resignation would trigger the likely demise of the Gillard government, enjoyed the good life as a union boss – dining at a raft of upmarket restaurants including Beppis in Sydney, where he spent $1500.

    Last night, Mr Thomson said the personal spending items “have already been dealt with in the Fair Work Australia investigation”.

    Fair Work Australia launched an investigation into “compliance by the national office of the Health Services Union with its financial reporting obligations” in March 2010. That inquiry is ongoing.

    The documents also claim Mr Thomson used his access to a union credit card to spend $18,733 on radio advertising and $7253 on mail-outs in the lead-up to the 2007 election.

    And $13,648 was allegedly spent on printing campaign material through two firms using Mr Thomson’s HSU-issued MasterCard.

    Mr Thomson was elected as the Member for Dobell on the NSW Central Coast, defeating Liberal Ken Ticehurst as part of the Rudd-slide poll.

    According to the documents – filed in the NSW Supreme Court after Mr Thomson sued Fairfax Media for defamation – the Labor MP “failed to disclose election campaign spending to the Australian Electoral Commission”.

    Mr Thomson said: “As regards the HSU election declaration made after I was in parliament there is an AEC report on those matters.”

    Mr Thomson – who has previously denied using his union credit card to pay for prostitutes – is also facing a likely police investigation.

    Shadow attorney-general George Brandis is expected to write to NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione today calling for a full probe into Mr Thomson’s credit card use. Senator Brandis is expected to set out the evidence so far and argue there is now sufficient grounds for a police investigation.

    The letter is expected to say there are only two outcomes police can reach: that either Mr Thomson is telling the truth or not telling the truth.

    The continuing scandal surrounding Mr Thomson will dominate parliament this week with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott yesterday demanding the besieged MP stand aside from chairing the influential parliamentary economics committee.

    The pressure on Mr Thomson is mounting with court documents alleging how union funds were used to pay for a raft of personal items.

    These include $13,809 on 19 separate flights on Qantas booked for his ex-wife Crista Thomson over a four-year period from January 2003 to October 2007.

    It is claimed Mr Thomson used his HSU Diners Club to pay for the flights. Lawyers for Fairfax argued this was “contrary” to his obligations as national secretary of the HSU.

    “The use of the Diners Club to purchase airline tickets for (Mr Thomson’s) then wife was not for work-related purposes,” an affidavit to the court said.

    The former union boss is also said to have spent $2050 on signed sporting memorabilia from Golden Years Collectable, a business in his NSW electorate. John Buckmaster, a director of Golden Years, confirmed Mr Thomson used the credit card in November 2006 – possibly on a signed poster of motorcycle champion Mick Doohan.

  53. Suzanne Blake

    @ Venise Alstergren

    Yes and no basket weaving, well not for 8 or more generations anyway.

  54. Venise Alstergren

    SUZANNE: “”My family actually produce beef””. You can say that again!

  55. Peter Ormonde

    Yes Boo,

    I’m afraid they are so concerned about the HSU and its members that one of them was banging on about it covering doctors and nurses and how they wouldn’t put up with this sort of business. Next minute on another post the same fella is sneering about unions being a quaint relic of the 1960s.
    Crocodile tears. Always crocodile tears.

  56. Boo

    HSU members are not at all happy with the union, particularly the paramaniacs. The HSU has sold them out on many occasions as certain union reps sell them out to gain favour and a career with the ALP right. My memory cannot recall if Thompson was one of those sell – outs. One would suspect it.

    Anyway, thats the union and its members. I’m quite amused with some folks here (well, two) banging on endlessly about the waste of union memers money. They don’t strike me as the type of person who gives two hoots about workers rights. Unless theres some political advantage. Cheap, cynical opportunism.

  57. Frank Campbell

    Suzanne Blake: “But rough, Craig Emerson to talk about morals, he was the person who had the affair with Gillard.”

    Is it immoral to have an affair with J. Gillard?

    The Blake Doctrine means that the whole of Cambra is up to its rosaries in sin…

    I checked the 2006 “Australian Story” transcript: the immoral of the story seems to be that Craig ‘n Julia split up after he drank her contact lenses.

    Love is blind.

    But it made Craig the Minister for Hindsight.

    Lucky there were no offspring though… Right + Right = Attila the Hun…

    Another intriguing quote from Julia:

    “One of the things that I least respect in politics is people who lack loyalty. It’s not in me to be like that.”

    Kevins above…

    But let Gillard have the last word: “There’s a lot about being involved in politics that does have the capacity to turn your stomach. There’s just no doubt about it.”

  58. Suzanne Blake

    @ Marilyn

    Of couse the Union don’t want an investigation. It highlights

    1. Their incompetence
    2. The waste of Members money (waste – have heard that before)
    3. The alleged incident by Craig Thomson
    4. The alleged abuse / fraud on the credit card and MOST IMPORTANTLY
    5. The fact that OTHER people were believed at the $2475 brothel event, as that amount is too high even for one customer – as was alluded to over the weekend by an establishment.
    6. Further embassassment to ALP
    etc etc etc

  59. Suzanne Blake

    @ Venise Alstergren

    There we go again. My family actually produce beef and have done so for generations, although I am not on the land myself. So we have respect for animals, but not for this flip flop, knee jerk rabble in Government.

  60. Venise Alstergren

    SUZANNE: “”No I am not driving a truck.”” You should be. You would scare the animals to death before they got to an Indonesian slaughter house.

  61. Venise Alstergren

    PETER ORMONDE: Thanks for the link. Just what I would have expected had I given it a tad more thought. “Ordinary Australians indeed”, very ordinary. An extraordinary Australian would have come up with something original; as opposed to mindlessly copying yet another bargain-basement American idea.

    The Americans export all their fifth-rate and just plain mad obsessions. McDonalds, their tatty far right-wing religions-Google religion and you’ll know what I mean-note how many of them emigrated to South Australia! (Steve Fielding’s mob emanated from the good ole US of A) Their poverty stricken One Nation f^sc.ist garbage, their punk television programmes: everything that is vapid, trite, mediocre, false-sentimentality (hand on heart whilst singing the National Anthem), Barbie dolls, and little girls made up to look like the world’s youngest hookers. Now the latest piece of monumental crap. The Tea Party. aka “Just Grounds” for contempt.

    I venture to suggest that Suzanne’s inane outbursts must be injurious to her health. Not to mention taking up reams of space on my Crikey emails. How very tiresome: how very American.

  62. Suzanne Blake

    @ Gaytaur,

    I meant ABC Radio. ABC New 24 is 24 hours behind!!! well 6 at least.

    Live crosses to PM, BlueScope explanation, but they probably took that feed from somewhere else!!

  63. guytaur

    @ Suzanne Blake.

    Not seen these reports on News 24. No vision of Trucks waiting at border.
    Convoy has been story 3all morning. First Libya. Second Bluescope steel job losses. Then Convoy.
    The story would be higher if what you are saying is true.

  64. Suzanne Blake

    The ACT Police stopped 80% of the trucks at NSW Border. There is a 5km queue of trucks at the border according to ABC News.

  65. geomac

    Numbers at the protest fell well short of those predicted by organisers, with cars and camper vans outnumbering the barely 100 trucks converging on Canberra this morning.
    Thats from the Australian which also mentions Albanese in relation to Thompson and presumption of innocence. Trial by media and fools , tools ? wanting a fresh election because they don,t understand how our parliamentary system works. 72 seat each and thats how the vote went for the two majors and thats why Thompson is getting heat. Not justice , law or integrity just one seat. A party that could tolerate Coulson and let Reith retain a ministerial post has no moral high ground to pursue Thompson. This is my gripe because its not about anything but a seat and nothing to do with standards.

  66. guytaur

    @Suzanne Blake

    Regarding Convoy. Big flop. Just look at the smile on Senator Browns face as he makes the point.
    Then Anthony Albanese explains why it’s a flop.

    As for Mr Thompson things are crystal clear. All the public sees is more sleazy politicians. On both sides. The right sees a Lillie trying to get away with it. The left sees the double standards of a coalition desperate for a By Election.
    All see pollies in it for themselves for one reason or another.

  67. Suzanne Blake

    @ Geomac

    “Susie That post I was referring to was 11.11 , what was there to warrant moderate response is beyond me.”

    No idea, perhaps ASIO intercepted it!!!

    You have Craig Emerson in the media today defending Craig Thomson and his morals, as he shares a flat with him when Parliament is sitting in Canberra. They must do rooming by alapbet on first name!

    But rough, Craig Emerson to talk about morals, he was the person who had the affair with Gillard. But what makes me more angry is that Emerson killed Fuel & Grocery watch. He is weak and not smart. He caved into the large Supermarkets on Grocery Watch and believed them when they said their systems could not provide the data. I know this to be a lie. Its has never been easier for the large Supermarkets to provide that information by store by day.

  68. geomac

    Susie That post I was referring to was 11.11 , what was there to warrant moderate response is beyond me.

  69. Suzanne Blake

    @ Geomac

    I have written on this board before on the MLA and the $5 a head they charge for cattle sold, and for what.

    I have not seen a Linfox truck, they all appear owner operated.

    Gillard and Swan have called the protest “a fizzer”. Reminds me of the cartoon with the Coyote. The Cayote seemed to the the one running around, spinning and left holding the dynamite! Fizzer for now, but not later.

    Anyway, can’t wait to see Craig Thomson explain this, assuming the Independants retain their ticker and Albanese does not convince them otherwise.

  70. geomac

    I wonder if Gloria Jones has had anything to say about Thompson. Just seen him on tv and he reminds of Robert Morley in his portrayal of Wilde in that old film. J. Bishop learnt all she knows about copy and paste from the parrot. Must admit I,ve never understood the point of shock jocks or money for comment radio. Its so boring and I could only last ten minutes listening before switching to Classic FM. Many thanks to rap music which drove me to Classic FM to escape it. Best change of taste I have ever made. Pity I never tried to appreciate it earlier in my life.

  71. Suzanne Blake

    @ Geomac

    Back on issue.

    There is a division happening in Parliament calling for Thomson to explain himself.

    Looks like some of the independants are voting in favour.

  72. geomac

    SMH
    Still, the angry mob, led by the disendorsed Queensland Liberal-National Party candidate Mick Pattel, will arrive in 11 separate convoys from all over the nation to bemoan myriad issues – the carbon tax, New Zealand apple imports, the recent suspension of live cattle exports, the weather, the Greens, and anything else that springs to mind. The rough plan is to stay in the city and cause gridlock until Gillard calls an election.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/angry-mobs-ready-to-face-off-as-mps-take-leave-of-trouble-20110821-1j4il.html#ixzz1VicWRx7p

  73. geomac

    moderator

  74. geomac

    Suzie I seem to have got the attention of the mederator which I find puzzling. No offensive words or insults or even anything that could be deemed improper by a school marm. Time will give you my reply unless the software has gone haywire and is reading a t as an f regarding transport.

  75. geomac

    Suzie You have the tools at your disposal and obviously the time so do it yourself. I,m not sure if your desire is genuine as it seems you want the question rather than the answer to be aired. As for the convoy I didn,t realise that haulage operators were labor blue collar constituents. Is Lindsay Fox turning up or any of his trucks ? Are any trucks out of the tens of thousands , million ? , not owner operator or transport owner ? If they are upset about the live cattle ban them why not cry foul at the MLA who get paid to avoid scandal and trouble. Ahh but that Howard era body is controlled by a select few industry insiders. You can google that too Suzie . Even Katter nailed it about the MLA and he is no leftie or even centre of the road.

  76. Suzanne Blake

    @ Geomac

    Accept the PM & Cabinet department has different aspects, but fail to see an extra 200 neeed in May budget. Up on the number Howard had. I completely fail to see what 980 do. Can you google that? If so please let me know. Even a rough list in groups of 50 would be nice.

  77. geomac

    Interesting few posts today. So Suzie doesn,t read anything thats not from the COALition side but gets some ALP email stuff. COALition being the low standard terminology that goes for wit in blogs etc so favoured by the right with their inane terms. Seeing as it a race to the bottom I should attempt some sheep like qualities although not with any enthusiasm. Why would anyone get emails put out by any political party when its about as informative as a flyer from a holiday resort ?
    Instead of asking a question why not attempt a simple search on the web ? Surely thats not too onerous or would impede on time needed to socially interact with like minded individuals who see doom and gloom in anything Labor.
    Wiki
    he Department is organised into a Cabinet Division, an Economic Division, an Industry, Infrastructure and Environment Division, an International Division, a National Security Division, a Social Policy Division and a People, Resources and Communications Division and numerous Task Forces to deal with particular problems. The Secretary of the Department, currently Terry Moran, is the equivalent of the Cabinet Secretary in Britain or the Clerk of the Privy Council in Canada. The current National Security Advisor is retired Major General Duncan Lewis, AO, DSC, CS

    Took all of 2 minutes to dig that up.

  78. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne,

    Do you actually get paid per day or by the posting? Or is your agitation on behalf of the LNP purely voluntary?

    The reason I ask is that you seem to have no interest in any ideas that are not conforming to your own … you say you get all these alternative political opinions from Getup etc – but never once do you refer to any of them nor do you show any sign of having read them – or anything else for that matter save the Tele.

    I wonder why you are writing here … some sort of crusade to redress the balance on Crikey – to wave the conservative flag? Seems a strange sort of discussion… not really a discussion at all is it… not when you do not listen or consider others’ views. It’s just some sort of ideological ping-pong.

    I think I will just start correcting your grammar, punctuation and spelling from now on … the content is irrelevant, like Troofie’s.

    Pity, I quite like having serious discussions with conservatives and others who have a different point of view to me. But ping-pong I’ve always found rather repetitive and boring.

  79. Frank Campbell

    Quite amusing to see Crikey posters saying this sort of thing: “Do you have any facts to back up this rather blanket opinion, or is it that you cannot abide disagreement?”

    A sudden outbreak of “let’s be reasonable”, “let 100 flowers bloom” etc…
    anyone would think the partisan punch ‘n judy show of the past couple of years never happened…

    The reason isn’t far to seek: the ALP is in disarray, demoralised. The tatty Right is on the march, a march made possible only by the implosion of the Left. There is now some opposition to what passes for progressive politics in Crikey comments. There are a lot more Judys whacking Punch now.

    A related symptom in the Crikey commentariat- hardly a mention of climate change and the idiotic policies which stemmed from climate millenarianism. Gone (at least for now) are the high priests of the cult- Hamilton, Chapman, Rose etc etc…it’s as if real politics has chastened Crikey’s coffee-stained editorial table.

    There’s no point Crikey banging on about climate catastrophe when even the perpetrators of the cult (Mann et al) are wallowing in new hypotheses to explain the plateauing of global temps. The rest of the world has moved on. Crikey isn’t a sect, so it shouldn’t behave like one.

    As for the truck convoy, it’s neither Tea Party nor a bunch of ordinary folk having their say. The net political effect of this noisy, macho, flag-smothered, road-clogging parade of Rightist primitives is to increase Gillard’s vote. And none of us want that, do we?

  80. Suzanne Blake

    @ Steeleye

    A whole bunch of the PM & Cabinet team are monitoring every TV, Radio, print and online media (inc Crikey) outlet.

  81. steeleye

    OK, Suzanne, I think that you have said all that I think you can, which still isn’t very illuminating to me.

    In regard to question 2, your answer appears to be: ‘I don’t have a clue what PM&C do, but they got more staff in the last budget, therefore they must be on Crikey trying to change public perceptions’. In regard to question 3, you still base your ‘most hated of all time’ statement on modern commentariat, rather than on any hard figures or fact. I must say that I don’t share your high regard for the quality of the national media regardless of which side of politics they are currently castigating.

    Cheers

  82. Suzanne Blake

    @ Steeleye

    Firstly, I disagree on Graham Richardson, his point of view is generally slanted to Left / Labor. He interviewed Bob Brown earlier this year and was very soft on him. Its the same when Bruce Hawker, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and others are interviewed, as it is when ex LNP pollies are interviewed. They all slant towards their own side of politics. But here we have a Labor powerbroker, calling Gillard as a goner and out of touch.

    On the 200 extra people in PM & Cabinet department, taking it to 980 people. I am calling it waste. Please let me know what they do. I will even read a Labor spin article on it, cause I am at a loss to explain such a massive department, when it produces no services for taxpayers. Unless you call Gillard a service.

    On the spin from political parties. I get all the emails – Labor Connect, Greens, GetUp, LNP, various Unions and lots of industry bodies. Will point out a cut and paste next time I see one. The issue is that I have those sent to hotmail and I only check it one a week, so by the time the posters does a cut and paste, its much later that I detect it.

  83. steeleye

    Thank you for the response, Suzanne. I would say in reply:

    1) Fair enough, in part. However, I have observed that the only poster who you seem to agree with on a regular basis is TTH (one or two others occasionally do post in support), while you regularly throw barbs at pretty much everyone else who dares to disagree with you. You also regularly make general statements about the ALP spin room being out in force when people disagree with the things that you say. If posters repeat content that is ‘almost identical’ to ALP Labor Connect emails, why don’t you call them on it, instead of making blanket statements that many people (myself included) will never take seriously? Indeed, if Crikey was as rabidly left-wing as some would have us believe, why would the ALP waste resources on trying to counter the few right-wing views? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    2) This is a non-answer. Let’s try again: if you have ‘no idea’ what the people in PM&C do, how can you extrapolate your ignorance of that Department to the statement that they are here on Crikey ‘trying to alter public perceptions’? My opinion of what PM&C does is irrelevant to the question.

    3) This is also, I’m disappointed to say, a non-answer. I asked you for the basis of this ‘fact’ that this is the most hated Federal Government of all time. If I can paraphrase your response: ‘Because the media say it is and Graham Richardson also said so on his program’. I’m not sure that I would extrapolate that observation to ‘fact’, after all it is the Australian media we are talking about here and Graham Richardson long ago went commercial, so to speak.

    Why do you think that you have disappointed me? Now, at least, I have an appreciation of how much substance lies behind some of your posts.

    Cheers

  84. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    I would not even bother reading this material, there are wackjobs everyehere, including a few in GetUp and the extreme end of the Greens and I am sure at the extreme end of the Labor, Liberal and National parties.

    I want to see Australia become more competitive on the World stage, as I believe we have a competitive advantage beyond mining with food production. Call me a wackjob, but by 2050 some poster on Crikey!! will google this and say I was right.

  85. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne,

    That’s what I mean about reading and talking to people who don’t agree with you … you learn things.

    There are some industrial strength ratbags tied up with this stuff… characters who think they are looking at the end of the world or at least of life as we know it… who think Gillard is an agent of some UN conspiracy to establish world government via the Carbon Tax, who think a coalition government of Greens, Independents and Labor is illegitimate – even illegal – (while the LNP coalition is quite acceptable – even proper), who see marxists under every patch of saltbush, who think John Howard was a marxist plotter by taking away their guns (or trying to), that refugees are a threat to national security and the budget…. serious ratbags.

    Essentially they are ignorant, self-interested and ill-informed… a dangerous mix. Not all of them by any stretch – but they are in there.

  86. Suzanne Blake

    Back on topic.

    It is getting worse for Mr Thomson.

    dailytelegraph.com.au/news/craig-thomson-scandal-deepends-with-allegations-of-a-70000-spending-spree-on-a-union-credit-card/story-e6freuy9-1226119221232

  87. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    I had not heard of any of the No Confidence protestors calling for people to bear arms?

    If you are right, that is stupid and yes ASIO should be involved.

    We are not Syria or Egypt – yet

  88. Suzanne Blake

    @ Steeleye

    1) Why do you think that everyone who disagrees with you and TTH is from the ALP spin room? Do you have any facts to back up this rather blanket opinion, or is it that you cannot abide disagreement?

    Not everyone, just at time some of the posters have content almost identical to the ALP Labor Connect emails (that I get as well).

    2) If you have ‘no idea’ (your exact words) what the people in PM&C do, how can you extrapolate this ignorance of that Department to the statement that they are here on Crikey ‘trying to alter public perceptions’?

    The PM was asked as well and her response what spun, to something like The Government is a a major reform agenda…….. and did not answer the question. As a taxpayer, I would like to know why her department was increased by 200 people to around 980. Do you have an answer?

    3) You state: �the fact remains, this is the most hated Federal Government of all time�. What is the basis for this unequivocal statement of �fact�? Do you have access to opinion polls going back 110 years (assuming they have much value, which is arguable) that support your statement? Perhaps your statement is based on the fact that you ‘speak with retailers from Esperance to Cairns and Hobart to Darwin weekly or fortnightly, they are all saying the same or similar things and so are their customers’? This sounds a rather strange new approach to opinion polling, particularly if you want to gauge opinions of more than 100 years ago, wouldn’t you agree?

    The media is widely reporting this – and that is all media, not just the loathed Murdoch press. Even ex Labor MP Graham Richardson said this on his weekly current affairs show a month ago. This was at the same time he said that Labor could not recover regardless when an election was held. This latter comment was reported in the media.

    Steeleye – sorry to dissapoint you, but I do speak to people from all walks of life on a weekly or fortnightly basis in various paid and NFP roles. You can blame whomever you like, but the wide perception out there is that this Federal Government has to go. I have not spoken to anyone who wants the carbon tax, except my sister, who lives close to a former Labor Federal Leader (and Union leader) and is brainwashed.

  89. The_roth

    The “Tea Bagging” convoy is little off topic but I wonder if the irony of bunch of big rigs driving 1000’s of km to protest a carbon tax is lost on everyone?

  90. steeleye

    Hi there, Suzanne. Good to see you’re up and about early and firing on both cylinders. It seems that you missed my post of last night with its few questions about one of your earlier posts, so I’ll repeat them briefly here. I’ll rephrase them to keep them as simple as possible.

    1) Why do you think that everyone who disagrees with you and TTH is from the ALP spin room? Do you have any facts to back up this rather blanket opinion, or is it that you cannot abide disagreement?

    2) If you have ‘no idea’ (your exact words) what the people in PM&C do, how can you extrapolate this ignorance of that Department to the statement that they are here on Crikey ‘trying to alter public perceptions’?

    3) You state: ‘the fact remains, this is the most hated Federal Government of all time’. What is the basis for this unequivocal statement of ‘fact’? Do you have access to opinion polls going back 110 years (assuming they have much value, which is arguable) that support your statement? Perhaps your statement is based on the fact that you ‘speak with retailers from Esperance to Cairns and Hobart to Darwin weekly or fortnightly, they are all saying the same or similar things and so are their customers’? This sounds a rather strange new approach to opinion polling, particularly if you want to gauge opinions of more than 100 years ago, wouldn’t you agree?

    Cheers

  91. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne …

    Ooh yes you bet … some of the characters connected to and participating in this “movement” are opposed to any form of government whatsoever, they believe that the current government is “illegitimate” and should be “overthrown” by the people “taking up arms”. See I actually read stuff I don’t agree with.
    That sort of comment more than qualifies them for ASIO’s attention, in my view and under the law.
    Anyway – as they used to tell me during the Viet Nam days – if you’ve done nothing you’ve got nothing to hide. ASIO will just be taking down names and rego numbers and maybe doing the odd bit of filming.
    Like grammar – the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

  92. Suzanne Blake

    Not sure why ASIO would be concerned. I would have thought ASIO were concerned about threats to our national security. Can’t see how people expressing their democratic right in a peaceful manner could be a threat. Can you?

  93. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne …

    Not quite right … the Tea Party is an American phenomenon (singular, a tricky one that) … but the local import is more accurately described as “teabaggers” I’d reckon. The Tea Party was a riot in which private property was damaged as I recall.

    Now Suzanne you should be bothered reading stuff you don’t agree with … otherwise all one gets is stuff that confirms one’s own opinions and prejudices. Helps broaden the mind.

    Also helps with the grammar… where it’s possible … not its.

    Anyway I have no problem with any number of “outraged truckies and concerned citizens” railing against this “illegitimate government” and all their works … long as ASIO and the lads are taking names and numbers…. I like being able to see ’em.

  94. Suzanne Blake

    @Peter Ormonde

    The ‘teabaggers’ as you call them is an American phenomena , related to the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

    I could not be bothered reading it. I have a good sense of what people think and are saying. I speak with retailers from Esperance to Cairns and Hobart to Darwin weekly or fortnightly, they are all saying the same or similar things and so are their customers.

    It is to a point, where its possible that some Labor MP’s could defect and sit on cross benches.

  95. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne …

    Yes they (not “their”) have said so on TV so it must be true yes? Like 43 minutes?

    Have a read of the link above and you’ll get a decent idea of who these “average, normal, disillusioned” ratbags are… not all of them … just the organisers. Incidentally the funds for this “peoples’ mass action” are coming from half a dozen of the biggest industrial lobby groups in the country …

    Read the link above Suzanne, then we can have a chat about who’s running this teabagger whinge.

  96. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    “Teabaggers Convoy” really

    I think you need to look a LOT closer to home. Their are largely heartland Labor voters, and have said so when interviewed.

    Do you have the same set if blinkers and ear muffs as some of the others. They are very effective. You should sell them online.

  97. Peter Ormonde

    Geomac, Venise and Alfred…

    A bit of background on the Teabaggers’ Convoy ….

    http://exiledonline.com/teabagger-dundee-america-exports-libertarian-revolution-to-australia/comment-page-1/#comment-36066

    Pretty much what and who you’d expect really.

  98. geomac

    I cannot claim any expertise regarding transport because that was years ago when I was in it. The convoy is not a TWU action but is mostly being organised by the the NRFA , National Road Freight Association , info from the Drum ABC. According to the article a Peter Whytcross has a lot to do with it and he has his own transport company. A site called Just Grounds Community which he seems to head or be heavily involved in is in on it too. I read somewhere lately that a National candidate suspended his nomination till the convoy was over but can,t recall his name. It certainly wasn,t Freebody the National who has been shown the door after his JFK fate email in relation to the PM.
    The AWU is about jobs and conditions. I ended up in the FEDFA as a member because I later worked in the Morwell open cut which feeds Hazelwood power station. So I haven,t been in transport since 81.

  99. Venise Alstergren

    GEOMAC: I’ve been wondering about the points you raise about this multi-wheeled Armada. The logistics of arranging it, the money involved in paying the drivers-Oh they’re doing it pro bono?-and my name is Tooloolabelle. The fuel costs, the costs of the placards, free beers for truckies, union organisation, insurance costs in case some errant eighteen wheeler runs over a little old lady-or her dog. Here I rely on your expertise; in your experience as a forky and a truckie, has there been a history of there many such rallies in this specific union to protest about the death of democracy?

    Naturally that pillar of high-minded morality, the man whose soul is lately torn asunder by the horrific thought of carbon costing. This blushing creature whose modesty precludes him from seeking publicity hasn’t been seizing yet another photo-op by being interviewed by the meedya riding in one of these vehicles? No, no, no! It couldn’t have been Tony Rabbo††!?

    Now, who could possibly have enough money to fund this four-ringed circus? Who is the richest female in Oz; who has the wherewithal to bring Christopher Monckton out here to preach to the converted conservatives of Oz? Who is buying TV stations to ram home her political beliefs? Gina Reinhardt? That figures.

  100. Alfred Venison

    dear GEOMAC @ 8:55 pm
    thanks for that information about wages & conditions – i wonder about that sponsor/padrone angle, too. its a long drive for a lot of these people & periodic payments, &c. have to be met, no matter.
    who’s paying the piper, indeed.
    yours sincrely
    alfred venison

  101. geomac

    Well he paid it back. Thats called taking responsibility.
    No its called avoiding being charged and heeding party pressure because the situation was politically untenable. He was serving minister not a backbencher and the fraud was against the commonwealth. Thompson is not a declared bankrupt or for that matter has he incurred any situation for him to be removed from parliament. I,m guessing that Howards brother avoided responsibility by allowing the taxpayer to pay for cover ? Hang on , should that be the ex PM avoided scrutiny of his brother by using taxpayers money or do both come under the same scenario ?
    I find the trucky thing a bit amusing and slightly bizarre. Thats a lot of juice and time wasted for no freight carried or I presume picked up for return trip. There is not one but several various gripes which surely confuses what they are on about ? I wonder if they will have the absurd accusation of the death of democracy while carrying a coffin like the other rally last week ? Attending a rally , carrying placards against the government outside parliament and death of democracy just doesn,t gel without the riot police attacking . A water cannon at the very least should have been present.
    Wonder if Gina is picking up the bill for fuel and wages ? One thing for sure and thats no TWU wage earner employee is driving without being paid. I was both a forky and driver for the flying H ( Hoffmans transport ) many years ago and unless its to do with wages and conditions none would join this convoy.

  102. steeleye

    Still no response to my honestly put questions, Suzanne? No doubt you are diligently chasing down your sources to provide some factual answers that might allay my concerns about your posts.
    Cheers

  103. Peter Ormonde

    Troofie, troofie, troofie…

    “thats called taking responsibility…” no it’s that’s
    “Reiths phone card…” … Reith’s
    “thats right he …” no that’s right actually.

    I’m amazed the federal coppers haven’t taken you on Troofie with your obvious legal skills and sixth sense about guilt … could get rid of a couple of hundred less talented plods.

    Pity about the reports but though… would read like dem’s bin wridden by a gangsta from Tottenham or sumfink innit?

    Come on Sherlock – lift your game.

  104. Suzanne Blake

    @ TTH

    60 Minutes – Cause it is not on, this week.

    @ Venise

    No I am not driving a truck. I would suggest that most of those angry Australian’s are formerly from your side of politics, but have removed their blinkers, ear muffs and awoken to what we face as a Nation.

  105. TheTruthHurts

    [Imagine someone checking to see what the facts are ? Wonder if it will catch on. So Reith even after the phone fraud lets his wife continue the family trait of abusing government largesse with flights.]

    Well he paid it back. Thats called taking responsibility.

    Why doesn’t Thomson pay back the $100K or so racked up on the Union credit card. Whether it was him or someone else using it(unlikely) then he is personally responsible because the card is in his name. Just like Peter Reiths phone card.

    Oh thats right, he can’t pay it back because he is bankrupt… a violation of being a member of parliament.

  106. geomac

    Mr Reith, who as a minister had to repay $47,707 worth of phone calls made by his son and other people, has repaid $2841 for flights taken by his wife, Julie, to the Gold Coast, Cairns and Launceston.

    Imagine someone checking to see what the facts are ? Wonder if it will catch on. So Reith even after the phone fraud lets his wife continue the family trait of abusing government largesse with flights.

  107. TheTruthHurts

    Why didn’t 60 minutes play the Thomson affair bit tonight?

  108. Venise Alstergren

    GEOMAC: Could not agree with you more. Under the Howard government the “bar” was lowered to the point where not even a mouse could get under it.

    SUZANNE & TTH: Ah ha! The roiling right have awoken from their afternoon nap, their synapses snapping, their logic as defunct as their spelling and their hatred hyped up in an effort to force another election. (Are either of you driving a truck into Canberra tonight?)

    TTH: Can you not understand that your spelling sticks out like the proverbial thumb, thus rendering your comments into a a bad comedy act?

    SUZANNE: Lookinh after: looking after. DB!

  109. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne…

    It’s “It’s the worst …”
    “That’s been reported…”
    “saying it’s all over …”
    “whatever his company’s new ….”
    and Your “local MP won’t get …”

    Please concentrate … standards must be rigorously enforced.

  110. steeleye

    The questions that I asked you were pretty simple, Suzanne, and quite genuine. Unsurprisingly, you did not answer any of them, or even address the issues other than to refer to opinion polls dating back perhaps a few decades. In case you had some trouble identifying the questions, there was essentially one in each paragraph. Try again. Who knows, if you come up with some facts (real facts, that is) to support your categorical statements I might even change my grading of your posts from ‘twaddle’ to something more reasonable.

    Try to remember, a little substance goes a long way if you have any hope of people (other than TTH) taking you seriously.

  111. Suzanne Blake

    @ steeleye

    Its the worst polling for ALP since polling started? Thats been reported many times.

    That was the poll before the poll of a few weeks ago.

    Even ex ALP MP’s like Richo are saying its all over, even stiff upper lip Bruce Hawket from Hawker Britton or what ever his companies new name is, is saying similar things. He is also ex ALP staffer.

    Our local MP wont get pre-selected again. Bank on that.

  112. Suzanne Blake

    Ok

    Extra week for Thomson to seek an injunction again

  113. Socratease

    @Suzanne Blake: “Interesting , normally 60 minutes are spruiking their show and the coverages areas on their website. They normally release it after lunch on Sunday, so the other networks can grab hot issues for their morning current affairs shows. Nothing today, still showing last weeks shows.

    The Sydney schedule has Nine showing “The Block – Grand Finale” from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Seems 43 (or Less) Minutes isn’t screening this week.

  114. steeleye

    Suzanne, this last post of yours is twaddle, even by your lofty standards of twaddle.

    Is everybody who finds you and TTH a pair of boorish irritants a ‘boffin[s] from the ALP Spin Room’? Why is that? Because they dare to disagree with your Coalition-inspired cut & paste spin? (By the way, it’s “MPs”, not “MP’s”.) As an aside, I am not a member of the ALP, and have never have been; I am not a rusted-on Labor voter; I do not work for PM&C or any other organ of any government or political party.

    So Gillard increased the size of PM&C and, while you have ‘no idea’ what they do (your words), you state that they are here on Crikey ‘trying to alter public perceptions’. What is your evidence for this, other than you have a visceral loathing of all politics to the right of Genghis Khan? A little solid evidence, instead of bias dressed up as a categorical statement would be appreciated. Unless, of course, you wish to continue your current record.

    You state: ‘the fact remains, this is the most hated Federal Government of all time’. What is the basis for this unequivocal statement of ‘fact’? Do you have access to opinion polls going back 110 years (assuming they have much value, which is arguable) that support your statement, or are you just displaying your coalition-fed spin yet again? Please enlighten me.

  115. Peter Ormonde

    Troofie…

    “And here you are on a Sunday whinging about incorrectly placed apostrophe’s.(oops did I do that one in the wrong spot as well, well guess what? I couldn’t give a sh!t)”

    Of course you don’t give a sh!t Troofie … that’s the point isn’t it? Just like your mates in the English riots with their appalling grammar and bad spelling… no respect for any of our great traditions.

    Incidentally it’s “whingeing”.

    Suzanne…

    So in your only free five minutes you turn to 43 Minutes website and drop off yet another venomous piece about this sleazy little narc. Waste of five minutes.

    Incidentally I’m not from any spin room… put aside the delusional grandeurs – you and Troofie just aren’t that significant in the scheme of things I’m afraid. Nor am I a teacher… but it’s wet and cold up here today, too cold to be working the orchard, and there’s nothing to do other than correct Troofie’s bad english … far more interesting than actually reading what he says..

  116. Suzanne Blake

    @ TheTruthHurts

    Don’t worry. These boffins are from the ALP Spin Room, that needs to be manned 7 x 24 to ensure ALP Ministers & MP’s have the lastest spin on events, talking point, excuses etc. They monitor all media outlets, TV, radio, papers, online etc.

    Don’t forget Gillard increased her PM & Cabinet Department by 200 people in the budget to around 980 people. I have no idea what they do, but rest assured a bunch are here on Crikey!! trying to alter public perceptions.

    The fact remains, this is the most hated Federal Government of all time and now even ALP die hards like Richo are telling it like it is.

  117. TheTruthHurts

    [What is it with you and Troofie … what were you both doing when they taught this at school? No wonder there are riots in England. I am appalled, both by your Sundays and the punctuation.]

    And here you are on a Sunday whinging about incorrectly placed apostrophe’s.(oops did I do that one in the wrong spot as well, well guess what? I couldn’t give a sh!t)

  118. TheTruthHurts

    Peter Reith paid back every single cent of the $50K his son racked up on the phone card.

    Has Thomson made the same promise?

    The guy can’t even pay his own legal bills. Too much of the party life and now it’s come crashing all around him.

  119. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    I have been shopping, ironing, lookinh after kids and pets and talking to other people who are FED UP with the Federal Government.

  120. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne…

    Are all your Sundays so empty that you actually look up what 43 Minutes will be doing each evening??? You know their routine??? You should be looking after your bird, teaching it to tap dance or something else useful.

    Or you could read up on Strunk and White’s Elements of Style – a wonderful little book which has an outstanding section on apostrophes, where to put ’em and when.

    What is it with you and Troofie … what were you both doing when they taught this at school? No wonder there are riots in England. I am appalled, both by your Sundays and the punctuation.

  121. Suzanne Blake

    Interesting , normally 60 minutes are spruiking their show and the coverages areas on their website. They normally release it after lunch on Sunday, so the other networks can grab hot issues for their morning current affairs shows.

    Nothing today, still showing last weeks shows.

    I wonder if they have a Craig Thomson piece this week and wont publish so no injunction can be sought? or has an injunction already been granted?

  122. geomac

    I realise it seems off topic Venise but it comes to the faux moral indignation heaped on Thompson when the same standard or more correctly lack of doesn,t apply to people such as Reith or many others. Illegal or unlawful but illegal is used knowing full well that it is incorrect but plays out better. It comes down to hypocrisy as in someone falsely saying Reith took responsibility by paying 30,000 for government fraud. Well no he didn,t because the amount was 50,000 in total and he resisted paying until it became untenable not to . He didn,t lose his position although he was moved to defence so calls for Thompson to be sacked or lose his position on a committee are not consistent with liberal practice in government. I use Reith as an example because he was guilty of fraud while a government minister and suffered no penalty or demotion. Thompson has not been to court for anything and in any case a sentence of 12 months or more is required to lose a parliamentary seat or at least thats my understanding. Thompson can,t be under the pump for the parliamentary register because Abbott neglected for two years to declare a 700,000 dollar loan so the right won,t pursue that line.
    Howard lost 6 or 7 in his first term and after that the high bar was lowered to a level where the AWB scandal was acceptable behaviour. Abbott has gone lower with Labor not far behind in respect to asylum seekers and to an extent Thompson. However unlike Reith , Vaile and Downer Thompson has done nothing in his performance as an MP.
    Trial by media or politicians who don,t apply the same rules to their own misdeeds are not worthy of consideration.

  123. Policeman MacCruiskeen

    Now, now PO, you’ll be frightening poor TTH no end with all yer fancy talk so I’ve gone online and found a terrific little account of the difference between illegal and unlawful. It’s from an American site and features two likely folk called Grammar Girl and Legal Lad; bein’ an American site the words are short and the examples relate to pedestrian road rules, illegality and unlawfulness:

    “It seems that something illegal is expressly proscribed by statute, and something unlawful is just not expressly authorized.”

    http://legallad.quickanddirtytips.com/illegal-versus-unlawful.aspx

    I’ll bring the site to DIAC’s attention first thing Monday.

  124. Peter Ormonde

    Troofie…

    I am shocked and appalled that someone of your political persuasion has not grasped the proper use of the possessive apostrophe. Not visa’s old chum … it’s visas pure and simple. I would have thought that possession and things and so on would be near enough to your heart to merit the right grammar.

    As to the content of your contribution (which as a rule I ignore), that is, as usual, ill-informed twaddle. I will try and explain:

    Illegal means that an act breaks the law. Unlawful means that an act is outside the law… in this case not having a visa. Under both Australian and international law people can just turn up on our doorstep and ask for asylum. It’s a subtle distinction, but an important one actually.

    Asylum seekers arriving by boat have not done anything illegal, they have however arrived without the Proper Paperwork, hence are “unlawful” entrants at least in the narrow, squinting eyes of DIAC and the Government.

    Even that term is a bodgey notion since the less sensible amongst us cannot understand the difference and it appears to give them some pretext for locking up (or shipping off) men, women and kids without charge or trial.

    Let me know if you still don’t understand.

  125. Venise Alstergren

    PETER O: Hehehehehehe

    TTH: THIS IS TOO MUCH!!!!!

    WTF have boats- “”Suspected Irregular Entry Vessels””- got to do with Craig Thomson (MP), hookers, union funds, lying to one’s constituents, Mark Habib, Michelle Grattan and “”Hand Shandies”” (TTH’s expression) and Graham Richardson (known to all who love/hate him as Richo)?

  126. TheTruthHurts

    [The quote says illegal and the rebuttal is unlawful but the quote is about people using the term illegal.]

    So to the lefties…. Unlawful = Legal

    Black must also = White

    Right = Wrong

    etc Etc Etc.

    Unlawful is unlawful. Unlawful is Illegal. People who come to Australia without valid visa’s are illegal immigrants. The term is not convenient for the left, but it’s still true.

    BTW since 2001 vessels entering Australian waters were referred to as Suspected ILLEGAL Entry Vessels. The Labor spin doctors have tried to rename them Suspected Irregular Entry Vessels, but the navy still refers to them in the original context.

  127. Peter Ormonde

    That’s the ticket Venise!

    Bad enough that we must put up with these rabid rants – at least they could be using the Queen’s English (as dictated by G*d).

    Sticklers for the Proper and the Established Order of Things should express themselves in the proper and established manner… the language of their betters.
    Subversive syntax from those less subserviently stickled should be shown some leniency but.

    Sadly the Firefox mob are yet to develop a bilge and bunkum checker.

    Let’s raise the tone on Crikey lest archeological evidence suggests we were a bunch of illiterate yokels full of nasty ideas badly put. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

  128. Venise Alstergren

    TTH: “”firefox spell check”” You could try using an English spell checker but I think your problems run deeper than that.

    SUZANNE BLAKE: Would it be too much to ask you to do an English grammar course? The nearest public school, grades 1 through to 6 should be more than adequate.

  129. Peter Ormonde

    Troofie…

    “a person who enters Australia … are classed as UNLAWFUL non-citizens”

    No that person IS classed…

    “wasted union members money” … members’ (the squiggly goes after the s because it’s plural)

    “If thats the case then there needs to be a legal case brought against said individual and let the legal system take care of him.” … that’s…. plus there is a bit missing here … it should run something like “and (we should) let the legal system ….
    “It’s time Thompson comes clean and pay back the money.” … pays, Troofie.

    Keep trying… we’ll have you writing in English in no time.

  130. shepherdmarilyn

    Trial by media does not make something real. Anyone remember the trial of Lindy Chamberlain, Dr Haneef and many others who were then found to have done nothing wrong?

    Allegations are not frigging facts.

  131. geomac

    Defrauding the commonwealth is illegal . Breaking industrial laws is illegal. Rorting the printing allowance provided to MPs is illegal. Bribing is illegal yet somehow political donations are not revealed till a year after an election , very strange. Bronwyn must be a heavy smoker or maybe just doing the right thing by her benefactors, who knows ? Wooldridge and the MRI scans , one of those things that leaked out. McGauran and the horse flu , well deregulation can have bad consequences but there is always the job in horse industry after an election. Hang on Wooldridge did the same , funny that. Anderson hmmm now theres a funny situation , smells gassy. Too late at night to continue as the list is so bery very long.

  132. geomac

    The doctors union is the AMA. Get a dictionary or a manual on the definition of illegal and unlawful in law. As per usual the quote is misconstrued . The quote says illegal and the rebuttal is unlawful but the quote is about people using the term illegal. Sidestepped nut not worth a Howard non core promise or an unscripted word from Abbott. Actually any word from Abbott as he has endorsed a carbon tax yet doesn,t consider himself a liar. He denied meeting Pell then had his silent stupor with Jones. Is that a medical condition as he seems to lose vocal and physical capacity when caught out or unable to handle a situation ? Similar to yourself there is no truth just a sidestep or a move to another position. I suggest you reply to posts by people who you might actually be able to mislead from what was said or posted.

  133. TheTruthHurts

    [Breaking industrial laws in collusion is not an illegal act ? MS is correct in her terminology about asylum seekers yet some people persist in saying illegal.]

    Under Australia’s immigration act(uno the one that matters), a person who enters Australia without a valid visa(that’d be the boaties) are classed as UNLAWFUL non-citizens. You and Marilyn can crap on all you like about U.N gestures and international obligations, but this is what the Australian Immigration Laws say.

    [Similar to what the Thompson affair is about , going to court and who if anyone is going to pursue that path.]

    Some of the union members may want to take court action if their gutless union reps fail to take action on their behalf.

    This is the health union after all, lots of doctors and nurses the sort of well educated individuals who won’t be told to shut up and take it.

  134. Suzanne Blake

    @ Socratease

    He has had 2 – 3 days to check and will all the publicity, I am sure he checked.

    In any case, I cannot believe he would not have known, as it was a significant amount of money and the legal bills would have started 15 months ago at least.

  135. Socratease

    @Suzannwe Blake: Now we have NSW Labor Leader John Robertson saying that NSW Labor did not pay Craig Thomsons legal bills

    I can’t find any reference to him actually denying it, only that he “wasn’t aware” of it, as per today’s Daily Telegraph:

    Mr Robertson said today that he wasn’t aware of payments made by the ALP’s NSW Labor branch to Mr Thomson’s lawyers. He said the issue was a matter for the party office and the Federal Government. “I’m only aware of what I’ve read and seen in media reports,” he said in Sydney.

    It’s a mischievously fine line I agree, and he’s obviously happy to handball it back to Gillard.

  136. Suzanne Blake

    Now we have NSW Labor Leader John Robertson saying that NSW Labor did not pay Craig Thomsons legal bills, and referred questions and statements back to Gillard.

    They cant even get their story straight.

    PS Happy Birthday Gillard cobbled Government

  137. geomac

    Not MS but SM SHEPHERDMARILYN

  138. geomac

    Breaking industrial laws in collusion is not an illegal act ? MS is correct in her terminology about asylum seekers yet some people persist in saying illegal. The ABCC thinks swearing is illegal in the building game and I think that body is illegal in its structure. Thing is though Reith broke his own IR laws and the law but never faced any court. Of course the deal between the Maritime union and government made sure it never went to court but that doesn,t obscure the fact that Reith broke the law. Similar to what the Thompson affair is about , going to court and who if anyone is going to pursue that path. Liberal justice as I have pointed out is not about the law but about who gets the rough end of the pineapple.

  139. TheTruthHurts

    [Who made the statement about the 15,000 as a connection to Thompson , the media.]

    No, Mr Thomson made the claim actually.

    www . heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/brothel-bills-barney/story-fn7x8me2-1226118467385

    [When questioned on radio this month over the use of prostitute services on his union card, Mr Thomson told 2UE: “The union reached a settlement with another gentleman who paid back $15,000 in relation to the use of credit cards at an escort agency. I don’t know whether he forged my signature or who did.”]

    This guy is digging his own grave deeper and deeper.

  140. TheTruthHurts

    [Thats liberal justice. As Abbott said of Bernie Banton if I recall right � Just because a person is ill doesn,t mean they are pure of thought � . Morrison and Abbott make as good a pair as Howard and Reith ,no standards or decency.]

    Blah blah blah.

    These are issues you didn’t agree with the Libs on. Apart from the Reith phone card scandal(paid the money back in full) there were no illegal actions.

    What we are talking about now is an alleged individual getting rub and tugs and hand shandys down at a brothel on a Union credit card.

    Now this could all be sorted if the individual accused makes a full apology and pays back the $100K or so of wasted union members money.

    Instead we got a guy blaming everyone but himself and not paying a cent back. If thats the case then there needs to be a legal case brought against said individual and let the legal system take care of him.

  141. geomac

    I agree with Venise in that some appear to want Labor to lose a sitting member , Thompson , rather than any wish to see justice. The liberals have good form on that with grecian Andrews being a prime example with Haneef. Reith got caught out and had and I repeat had to pay back 30,000 dollars to avoid a harsh penalty and possible imprisonment. The justice meted out to him was a government backed , well paid job in the UK so he was out of the way. He had the stink of children overboard together with the waterfront abuse of his own industrial laws but the phone fraud sealed his future. Corrigan did ok , Reith did ok but the trainees who left the farm or the army got shafted big time. Thats liberal justice. As Abbott said of Bernie Banton if I recall right ” Just because a person is ill doesn,t mean they are pure of thought ” . Morrison and Abbott make as good a pair as Howard and Reith ,no standards or decency.

    Bit of a dog act eh… try pinning it on someone else.

    No wonder I choose to ignore your comments untruthie. Who made the statement about the 15,000 as a connection to Thompson , the media. Now you by the usual means of not caring about any facts or checking for accuracy ascribe it as trying to pin it on someone else.

  142. TheTruthHurts

    [”If it’s not true, a crime has been committed by him. Either way, a crime has been committed. It’s now high time for the NSW police to commence an investigation.”]

    He might be up for defamation as well.

    He’s basically accused Mr Jackson of seeking the services of escorts. If I was Mr Jackson I wouldn’t be too happy with these false allegations and take court action against him.

  143. TheTruthHurts

    [Mr Jackson said the money repaid was the result of a Federal Court matter, in which he agreed to repay $15,000 of disputed salary earnings in exchange for fresh elections at the Victorian branch of the union, then embroiled in a bitter factional war.]

    Bit of a dog act eh… try pinning it on someone else.

    The $100,000 racked up on Thompson’s credit card hasn’t been paid back yet.

    It’s time Thompson comes clean and pay back the money

  144. geomac

    I agree with Venise in that some appear to want Labor to lose a sitting member , Thompson , rather than any wish to see justice. The liberals have good form on that with grecian Andrews being a prime example with Haneef. Reith got caught out and had and I repeat had to pay back 30,000 dollars to avoid a harsh penalty and possible imprisonment. The justice meted out to him was a government backed , well paid job in the UK so he was out of the way. He had the stink of children overboard together with the waterfront abuse of his own industrial laws but the phone fraud sealed his future. Corrigan did ok , Reith did ok but the trainees who left the farm or the army got shafted big time. Thats liberal justice. As Abbott said of Bernie Banton if I recall right ” Just because a person is ill doesn,t mean they are pure of thought ” . Morrison and Abbott make as good a pair as Howard and Reith , total bastards.

  145. Suzanne Blake

    Found it

    Former Victorian HSU branch secretary Jeff Jackson told The Weekend Australian he was the person who repaid $15,000 to the union — but said the payment had nothing to do with credit cards used at escort agencies.

    Mr Jackson said the money repaid was the result of a Federal Court matter, in which he agreed to repay $15,000 of disputed salary earnings in exchange for fresh elections at the Victorian branch of the union, then embroiled in a bitter factional war.

    “That agreement had nothing in any way, shape or form to do with the federal office of the union or Craig Thomson,” Mr Jackson said yesterday.

    Sources close to the HSU at the time of the $15,000 repayment confirmed it had nothing to do with the use of credit cards at escort agencies.

  146. Venise Alstergren

    Nothing personal, but SUZANNE BLAKE sounds like a Tricoteuse of the French Revolution. I don’t know if Craig Thomson (MP) has enough hair for her to knit into her garment. But I do know people are usually given a legal trial prior to condemning them completely.

    Was anyone here suggesting Mr Thomson wasn’t guilty of a crime? The way things are going in these pages I’ll charge him with an even worse one than lying to his constituents, being a greedy and nasty person and having the morals of the nearest Tom-cat. Namely for causing the ennui being dished out by the righteous members of the right- in Crikey- with their pious indignation, and screams of ‘kill the brute’.

  147. Suzanne Blake

    Read page 9 of todays Herald News Review, Peter Hartcher said either way (ie you believe what Craig Thompson is saying or you dont) a crime has been committed.

    Second last paragraph

    ‘If Thomson’s story is true and his signature was forged, a crime has been committed against him”

    ”If it’s not true, a crime has been committed by him. Either way, a crime has been committed. It’s now high time for the NSW police to commence an investigation.”

  148. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne,

    Not local enough according to reports.

    Either way, don’t be too hasty in rushing to judgement on this stuff… he’s entitled to a fair investigation and trial – if that is found to be warranted. These are serious allegations and should be investigated by the filth (coppers).

    This sort of “trial by telly” though really is a voyeuristic travesty designed to prejudge the matter and fan the fires of titillated wowser outrage. It is gossip – not investigation. Shameful stuff.

    I know you’re keen to get your fella on the government benches but there are some basic principles that are worth sticking with.

    To misquote Bismark: Whores are politics conducted by other means. And it is a mucky sleazy business… the politics that is, not the other so much.

  149. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    Local member

  150. shepherdmarilyn

    Peter that is a good question. We know the media only are because it is another sick game.

  151. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne

    Why are you so interested in this bloke?

  152. Suzanne Blake

    @ Venise

    “On the news this morning, a spokesman for the Heath Services Union said the amount was not paid back for prostitutes. $15,000 was paid back for something else”.

    The TV News this morning said that a HSU spokesperson said no amount had been paid back for prostitutes, but $15,000 was paid back for an unrelated incident. Seemed to infer it was not a Craig Thompson incident.

  153. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    I understand the “witness’ has not been offered a payment and told them she does not want a payment. That comes out in the interview up front.

    She wants her identity keep secret for obvious reasons.

    The $15,000 was for a completely different incident with another official.

    I can’t comment on NSW Right, and where Orkopolous, Della Bonka and Campbell fall on either left of right.

  154. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne …

    We’ve already established that the calls to call-girls were site visits and checking up on the working conditions of his members (if you’ll pardon the expression). And anyway that was someone else…far too many hormones for a member of the ALP right.

    The $15,000 was probably for lunch.

    Regardless of this sleazeball’s wandering member, and even his alleged abuse of union funds – the actual matter in hand is whether criminal charges ensue, and he is found guilty, or – as a real long shot – whether the NSW ALP making a donation to cover his legal costs against Fairfax clears him of potential bankruptcy.

    Either way it’s up to the coppers – not the “proper channels” and their cheque book slime dredgers. Trial by telly with “witnesses” being paid, having their identities and voices disguised … who are the real sleazeballs here?

    Of course this problem would not have arisen if our kiddies were taught proper punctuation, spelling and grammar and instilled with a respect for authority by regular application of the lash by Sister Sebastian and her henchwomen during their formative years.

    I’m still a bit surprised that a NSW Right politician actually goes for girls, myself.

  155. Venise Alstergren

    SUZANNE BLAKE: ‘Paid back’? ‘pay back’? Owed? Please explain.

  156. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    “Yours in shared outrage and indignation.”

    Yes quite. On the news this morning, a spokesman for the Heath Services Union said the amount was not paid back for prostitutes. $15,000 was paid back for something else.

    Now they say the ATO is investigating.

  157. TheTruthHurts

    [Allegations are not facts. Sheesh. Have AWB paid back that $300 million they did steal from starving Iraqis.]

    Christ you are stupid sometimes.

    The $300 Mil was a bribe to Saddam that AWB was not allowed to make, it was never “stolen” from the Iraqis.

    Stealing is when you take something from someone else, not when you give them something to shore up a lucrative wheat deal.

  158. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne,

    Who is this Miss Appropriation woman and where does she fit in?

    Thank g*d for the “proper channels” 7, 9 and 10 … they’ll get to the bottom of all this. They’re experts down there.

    Yours in shared outrage and indignation.

    ,

  159. Suzanne Blake

    @ shepherdmarilyn

    “For god’s sake what is the frigging crime you tossers.”

    1. Fraud (financial instrument)
    2. Concelment of Fraud (financial instrument)
    3. Missappropriation for financial advantage (regardless of being paid back x years later)

    The above depends on which story is proven, so 1 and 2 are either or.

  160. shepherdmarilyn

    Allegations are not facts. Sheesh. Have AWB paid back that $300 million they did steal from starving Iraqis.

  161. TheTruthHurts

    [And it might shock but prostitutes are part of the frigging health union.]

    Let me guess, he was just doing “health inspections”.

    Followed up by a quality of service audit no doubt.

  162. Peter Ormonde

    Shepherdmarilyn

    I’m not sure it’s a crime exactly but the idea of Graeme Richardson in a burqua is certainly distasteful. I’ll have trouble sleeping tonight…. brrrrrr! There should be a law.

  163. shepherdmarilyn

    For god’s sake what is the frigging crime you tossers.

  164. Suzanne Blake

    @ shepherdmarilyn

    “And it might shock but prostitutes are part of the frigging health union.”

    opps sorry, it was a stop work meeting then with 400 pizza’s and a few slabs of beer and alcopops paid for by the Union

  165. Socratease

    As with many political scandals, the issue quickly moves on from the act to the cover-up and lies, and that’s what usually brings ’em undone in the end.

    And it always amuses me when “Teflon” Richardson weighs in on such issues.

  166. Frank Campbell

    So, Richardson says “stupidity is no bar to office”?

    Presumably the “stupidity” refers to Thompson’s confetti-trail of evidence.

    Had Thompson done whatever it takes to cover his tracks, that would be OK, would it Richo? This is the same Richo who ran secret Swiss bank accounts to trade shares, including the infamous Alpine Offset- burned down in 1993 in murky circumstances, leading to a huge insurance payout to Richo and other owners of the printing press.

    Richo- whose moral compass is stuck to a magnet…

    What’s Thompson actually done, Richo? Used union funds for prostitutes, food and booze; got a shedload of ALP cash to pay for his defamation action against Fairfax- which was a classic case of denial as he was bound to lose; being investigated for misleading various authorities…

    It’s a way of life, Richo. Not an occasional transgression. A Craig’s list of corruption.

    And for Stephen Smith to make comparisons with the Lib senator charged with shoplifting is odious- Smith knows she’s suffering from depression.

    Thompson is unfit to hold any office. Gillard is hanging onto him in desperation, but the stench is spreading.

    (Look at the comments here on Crikey…one or two for Keane and Simons’ stories today, already 66 on Thompson.)

  167. Peter Ormonde

    Ah that’d be it Marilyn, site visits. Class not ass!
    A martyr for the cause you reckon?

  168. shepherdmarilyn

    And it might shock but prostitutes are part of the frigging health union.

  169. Frank Campbell

    “…Mr Thomson spent $805.50 on lunch at the Melbourne restaurant Langton’s. It appears only $102 was on food — $540 was for four bottles of wine and the rest on beer and coffee”

    Grange?

  170. shepherdmarilyn

    Well here is the difference Susan, one has been charged while committing the crime while an MP, the other has not been charged with anything that he is claimed to have done when he was not an MP and I do not believe in guilty until proven innocent under any circumstances.

  171. Peter Ormonde

    Troofie…

    Perish the thought… no, never been a teacher. I just read a lot and the rules have sort of rubbed off. That and the judicious use of the whip by the good Sisters of Brutality.

    Now you shouldn’t make assumptions about others either … most people actually do notice … they’re just too polite to comment on it. I’m not polite at all.

    Bad spelling, grammar and punctuation doesn’t just suggest a lack of attention at school, it indicates someone who doesn’t read anyfink. It undermines the assumed value of your intellectual equipment…. like mountain climbing in thongs.

  172. Suzanne Blake

    @ MarilynShepard

    “Mary Jo Fisher, Liberal, has been actually charged with shoplifting and assault, the ALP have the decency to leave her alone.

    Pity the lieberals have no morals at all.”

    she should go as well and now

  173. TheTruthHurts

    [Truthie … it’s “fees” not “fee’s” … try and remember … it’s really easy, the apostrophe indicates sumfink’s missing (like that) or that the word owns sumfink following. Must try harder.]

    Peter my spelling is close enough for most not to notice, including firefox spell check

    I have a feeling you have some history as a school teacher.

  174. Peter Ormonde

    Steeleye…
    Actually I’m getting a sneaking suspicion that there is more than one Truthie and more than one Suzanne Blake … some can spell and stick apostrophes in the right spot … some wouldn’t know an apostrophe if it was dropped on them from a great height.

    Policeman MacCruiskeen,
    Yes yes yes … must stamp on that gay marriage business … zero tolerance for unpleasantness what?

    Truthie … it’s “fees” not “fee’s” … try and remember … it’s really easy, the apostrophe indicates sumfink’s missing (like that) or that the word owns sumfink following. Must try harder.

  175. geomac

    PETER ORMONDE

    Yes it is sad Peter.

  176. Venise Alstergren

    PETER ORMONDE: I like your sense of humour. Cheers V

  177. TheTruthHurts

    [Decades ago ? Children overboard is of no import ? ]

    What crimes were committed in “Children Overboard”.

    It’s a beat-up by the left because they are bitter about losing the unloseable election in 2001. Politicians tell lies, unfortunately it’s not a crime, so get over it.

    Stealing money so you can get free rub downs I’m pretty sure is illegal

  178. geomac

    With Mr Thompson we have alleged fraud on a financial instrument, alleged conceiling fraud on a financial instrument, alleged missapropriation of funds. A much higher category of offence.

    All very well but it still has no bearing on his position in parliament. Even if Reith was convicted on the phone charge he would have had to have a custodial sentence to have lost his job. Thats the situation as I understand it but I,m happy to be advised otherwise. From memory he paid back the money discovered to have been fraudulently used but avoided charges because he was an MP and had Howards backing. If it was me then I would have a record and possibly been put in the cooler. Reith did his deed as a politician Thompsons alleged deed occurred before he was elected. Surely the difference is obvious in regard to parliament and standards.

  179. steeleye

    @Peter Ormonde 3.20pm
    Do you have any idea of the magnitude of the task that you’re (or should I say ‘your’) taking on?
    Cheers

  180. Policeman MacCruiskeen

    PO: yes, Richo in a burqa is a breathtaking image and I have had to retire for a lie down myself this very afternoon after it popped into my head. On consideration I think that this Thompson character is excused on two grounds: first, using union funds tp pay for prostitutes is clearly a sanctioned ‘self care’ moment and it is all about self care in the workplace these days after all; second, he actually paid for the prostitutes which, by the standards of Sussex Street, makes him an exemplar of moral virtue. All forgiven then mate and lets hope that Gillard secures his support in opposing the moral rot of gay marriage.

  181. TheTruthHurts

    [With Mr Thompson we have alleged fraud on a financial instrument, alleged conceiling fraud on a financial instrument, alleged missapropriation of funds. A much higher category of offence.]

    The union may not want to press charges but I doubt the Union members will let him off that easy.

    Imagine paying union fee’s every year only to find out it has been whittled away in brothels, hotels and restaurants by someone who is meant to be using the money to represent the workers rights.

    This won’t go away, especially since the alleged suspect has refused to refund the money. Union members want their money back Mr Thompson

  182. shepherdmarilyn

    Mary Jo Fisher, Liberal, has been actually charged with shoplifting and assault, the ALP have the decency to leave her alone.

    Pity the lieberals have no morals at all.

  183. Peter Ormonde

    Geomac…

    “…Labor merely has to have the same standards to support him.” Precisely.

    And isn’t that sad?

  184. Venise Alstergren

    TTH: Naturally you leap in to the least important aspect of Craig Thomson’s behaviour..””I have NEVER paid for a prostitute.”” What does it matter whether he slept with a prostitute or three? What does matter is his using other people’s money
    to pay for his antics; and lying to his constituents. Thereby risking another general election. (with a predictable outcome-thanks to the right-wing hysteria generated by Tony Abbott, et al)

    Grow up purlese….

  185. geomac

    In the latest post I was responding to @Peter Ormonde question and made the comments it was the biggest scandal since Orkorpolous in politics and way back events on BOTH side of politics from decades ago

    Decades ago ? Children overboard is of no import ? Prosser and six other MPs being demoted in first term of Howard government because they couldn,t stick to standards. Was it Wood who was involved with someone outside his marriage and appeared on front pages, Wood something like that.
    You demonstrate my point in that this in your eyes is the biggest scandal for decades, no alleged this time I note. Valid ? You ask whats valid. Well the comment Goco made about you which was what I was commenting on. I.ve been on this merry go round before but just for once please comment on any one of the various ” scandals ” I have mentioned and compare them to the alleged scandal in the article. BTW I,m not defending Thompson just the assumption that he has done anything wrong concerning his position as a parliamentarian. As long as he has the sup[port of the party he would appear to be safe. After the Howard years that means Labor merely has to have the same standards to support him.

  186. Suzanne Blake

    @ Oscar Jones

    Belinda Neal did not commit a criminal offence, unless you mean kicking the opposition soccer girl that was alleged. At Iguana’s she allegedly said, “Do you know who I am and then denied it”

    With Mr Thompson we have alleged fraud on a financial instrument, alleged conceiling fraud on a financial instrument, alleged missapropriation of funds. A much higher category of offence.

    If any politician commits and offence and is found guilty, they should do. that includes DUI in my mind. Its a criminal offence.

  187. Peter Ormonde

    Policeman MacCruiskeen,

    Cor … Richo in a burqua … where’s me credit card?

  188. Oscar Jones

    Earth to wowsers and the Liberal/National Party.

    If you really believe you are on a winner with this one perhaps you need to place a blanket ban on visits to Canberra bordellos. They’ve all got security cameras and no doubt someone has paid by credit card.

    “he is without etc etc”..is more than apt. This could be the worst own goal imaginable and backfire spectactularly which is why several Liberal MPs are very nervous.

  189. Oscar Jones

    shepherdmarilyn is right. A total non-story and he will remain an MP until the next election as Belinda Neal did.

    (Does anyone take notice of Piers Akermann or Michelle Grattan ?)

  190. Suzanne Blake

    @ Geomac

    Whats valid?

    We are talking about “Labor MP in prostitute scandal by Amber Jamieson”

    What slogan bogan matra.

    I posted new information about 60 Minutes story and the witness.

    In the latest post I was responding to @Peter Ormonde question and made the comments it was the biggest scandal since Orkorpolous in politics and way back events on BOTH side of politics from decades ago

  191. geomac

    SUZANNE BLAK

    Is that where we will find you with blinkers and ear muffs on? Or are you hiding in the PM & Cabinet media spin room, like some others!!

    Goco has a valid point but you somehow make it Labor and cabinet. Have a good think and refer to any posts that had a reasonable response to a Crikey article from you or truthie. Its all a repeat of the slogan bogans mantra and usually has no bearing on the actual article. Thats what gets me and why TTH no longer even gets a glance. No matter what the topic TTH goes off on the same tired theme with you not far behind. Even when you attempt some relevance you ignore what you find difficult to argue against and refer to something else. Reith , Wood , Wooldridge and the MRI scam , thats nothing to you. How about Howard bailing out his brother , using public funds , to cover malfeasance ? No comment because that doesn,t fit the agenda but a reply will sideline and push back to your agenda. That I believe is the bottom Goco was referring to . Hey how about a comment on Abbott supporting carbon tax ? I have a video clip of him saying it on Sky , care to comment ?

  192. Suzanne Blake

    @ Gocomsys

    “With TTH and BLAKE it’s always a race to the “bottom”!
    I shall better “butt” out now before it get’s worse.”

    Is that where we will find you with blinkers and ear muffs on? Or are you hiding in the PM & Cabinet media spin room, like some others!!

  193. GocomSys

    With TTH and BLAKE it’s always a race to the “bottom”!
    I shall better “butt” out now before it get’s worse.

  194. Venise Alstergren

    PS: Unless terms such as “rubs and tugs” The knowledge of “Presidential suites at posh hotels”, “$400 restaurant bills for Union heavies”” are knowledge available to any member of the Oz public?

  195. Venise Alstergren

    PETER ORMONDE: I submit the TTH’s own words, without bias…..””And remember Union money isn’t Labor money, Union money is member money. I don’t think the Union members were paying their yearly memberships for rub and tugs, the presidential suites at posh hotels and $400 restaurant bills for Union heavies.””

    ‘Nuff said?

  196. TheTruthHurts

    [Before agreeing with me. Meanwhile you ignore my next comment…. to you..”” “”TTH: You seem to be very well versed in this sort of behaviour?”” “”]

    I have NEVER paid for a prostitute.

  197. Peter Ormonde

    Venise…

    On which end of these transactions do you believe Mr Truthie has such expertise?

  198. Venise Alstergren

    TTH: You happily quote me on the first comment I made…”” “”The man used a brothel or two, so what? It’s the manner of payment which stinks. What was the creep trying to prove to his mates when putting the A/c on his union credit card; how big a man he was? “” “” Before agreeing with me. Meanwhile you ignore my next comment…. to you..”” “”TTH: You seem to be very well versed in this sort of behaviour?”” “”

    Isn’t this called selective memory recall?

  199. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde,

    I will choose a few of the alleged

    1. a man using his Union’s funds to pay for sex

    2. a man lying about it to conceal use of Union funds

    3. not reporting ‘stolen’ credit card, drivers licence, mobile phone in the use in a crime (fraud) – namely having his signature forged on credit card slip in the brotherl and producing false identity (his drivers licence). I would assume that the brothel thought the photo on his NSW drivers licence that expired on 31/7/11 was the same / similiar to the person signing, so we are now looking for a lookalike!

    4. not reporting the ‘fraud’

    5. 3 & 4 are what he alleges happened, if this is untrue, then he is now allegingly not telling the truth about it to conceal – miss appropriation of MEMBERS funds. I saw reports ( 10 days ago) that a HSU Union member has now lodged complaint with NSW Police.

    This is the biggest scandle to hit Australian Politics since the Milton Orkorpolous affair (where the Central Coast Labor MP was jailed recently). At a Federal level, you would need to go back to the Colour TV affair in the 1980’s (Liberal MP ) or Cairns (Labor MP) affair in 1970’s.

  200. Policeman MacCruiskeen

    PO @ 3:13: Richo with a paper bag over his head? No, he’s a walking, talking argument for the full burqa.

  201. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne…

    I’m not sure what the source of outrage is here:

    a man paying for sex with a woman;

    a man using his union’s funds to pay for sex; or

    a man having his legal bills covered by the NSW Labor Party so he can avoid bankruptcy.

    Please choose one.

    I actually think there are solid arguments in favour of politicians using the services of prostitutes: aside from picking up career advice from a real professional, there is little chance of reproduction, which I’m sure you’ll agree should be avoided at all costs, also unlike the lobbyists, industry groups and so on that politicians are forced to deal with, a simple working girl will just settle for money – they don’t want your soul or your vote.

  202. Suzanne Blake

    @leone

    If every politician who has ever paid for a prostitute with a credit card was forced to resign we’d see the place full of empty seats.

    “I disagree. I am sure many of then would have paid with cash”.

    Correct – there was a report on a Current Affairs show (not ACA or TT) several years ago about how many high priced establishments there are in Canberra alone. I guess its for Consular staff!!!

  203. Son of foro

    “I wanna see this guy riding the bus into work everyday and wearing a $5 suit with gravy stains from St Vinnies.”

    Usually I consider you lower than a mangy alley cat with fleas.

    But right now I love you like a brother.

  204. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    She is not on Rich’s show, she is on 60 Minutes I hear. Richo maybe being interviewed, I am not sure. I am not sure if its Sunday night or Sunday week.

    I would tip they will say Sunday week, and show Sunday night, so injunction can’t happen…. and not advertise it.

  205. Peter Ormonde

    Truthie…

    “Afterall Peter Reith paid off his sons phone card debt, thats called taking responsibility.”
    “Sons” … no it’s “Son’s”
    “That’s” Truthie not “thats”
    “Afterall” is not one word… two, truthie, two
    More care required on the punctuation, in future.

    I’m adopting a “one broken window/zero tolerance” approach to your grammar, spelling and punctuation from now on. If Tottenham and the English rioting season has shown us all one thing, it is how standards must – simply must – be maintained!

  206. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne …

    She’s probably ashamed… appearing on the same show with Richo. I’m hoping he wears a brown paper bag over his head myself.

    But like I said – save for criminal charges coming out of the union credit card stuff (which, while unseemly, probably wasn’t technically illegal and seems to have died down now that it’s all been “paid back” by Mr Sleaze’s doppelganger) – he’s probably not going to end up in the slammer. Sadly.

    Tony’s real issue revolves on whether someone who gets bailed out by his ALP mates downtown is still a bankrupt. And that’s a hard one to win. Still he’s a tryer your Tony and he’s very comfortable on a mucky track.

  207. TheTruthHurts

    [If Peter Reith can survive so can Thompson.]

    Fair enough.

    All Thompson needs to do is repay the roughly $100K he spent on rub and tugs, hotel rooms and meals racked up on the credit card.

    Afterall Peter Reith paid off his sons phone card debt, thats called taking responsibility.

    Thompson should be forced to sell his house, car and shirt off his back to pay off his debt. I wanna see this guy riding the bus into work everyday and wearing a $5 suit with gravy stains from St Vinnies.

    He should be made responsible for his actions just as Peter Reith was.

  208. TheTruthHurts

    [The man used a brothel or two, so what? It’s the manner of payment which stinks. What was the creep trying to prove to his mates when putting the A/c on his union credit card; how big a man he was?]

    Yep it’s the 100G’s racked up on the Union Credit Card thats the issue.

    That sounds like Class A fraud to me.

    And remember Union money isn’t Labor money, Union money is member money. I don’t think the Union members were paying their yearly memberships for rub and tugs, the presidential suites at posh hotels and $400 restaurant bills for Union heavies.

    Then we have the defamation action against Fairfax media by Thompson. He dropped the case and now it’s claimed he was out of pocket to the tune of $150K for court costs. Now the Labor Party is bailing him out(more union member money) so he doesn’t go bankrupt. Well you’d think Labor would have warned him not to pursue the case if it looks like he’d lose, especially when he doesn’t have the funds to do so.

    [Hello, what is the story? He was not an MP and acting a gift from his own party is not a crime.]

    What about using union money to live the high life?

    I’m pretty sure that’s a crime.

  209. Jolyon Wagg

    leone

    [If every politician who has ever paid for a prostitute with a credit card was forced to resign we’d see the place full of empty seats.]

    I disagree. I am sure many of then would have paid with cash.

  210. Suzanne Blake

    @ Peter Ormonde

    Unsure if paid, but her face will not be shown, as she fears for her life, given the significance. Looks like her voice will be altered as well.

  211. Suzanne Blake

    @ Venise Alstergren

    he wants to prove his ‘masculinity’-is that the word I want?

    No its stupidity.

    Just like the alleged Sydney Hoax Bomber in custody in Kentucky, the alleged Member for Dobell has demonstrated he is stupid, by leaving a credit card trail. Further, he goes on National Radio 10 days ago, answers questions in an incorrect way, as they showedby his mobile phone records!!! He is digging himself a hole in quick sand.

  212. Peter Ormonde

    Suzanne …

    Gasp … one of the ladies has “agreed” … no I’d reckon it’s one of the ladies has been paid… as usual I guess.

    Still for this scandal to have legs for Abbott he’s gotta argue that the MP is legally unfit for parliament and that having the NSW ALP (Richo’s former mates) pick up the tab somehow is either unlawful or doesn’t affect his bankruptcy.

    I’m waiting for the security guard from some Adelaide shop to describe how he snagged a lightfingered senator behaving like she was a Tottenham shopping spree or the breathless blow by blow accounts of Peter Slipper’s frantic flight bookings before the last election….

    Gotta love the meeja doncha?

    Paying whores is bad enough – but when they are as ugly as Richo? Disgusting.

  213. Venise Alstergren

    TTH: You seem to be very well versed in this sort of behaviour?

  214. Venise Alstergren

    The man used a brothel or two, so what? It’s the manner of payment which stinks. What was the creep trying to prove to his mates when putting the A/c on his union credit card; how big a man he was? Just another greedy and cretinous politician with a nasty cheap soul. (If anything proves his cheapness it’s the $540 for four btls of wine and $102 on food). If he wants to carry on like the local stray cat, good luck to him. The fact that he does so and charges the public for his squalid behaviour is indefensible. The double fact is that Craig Thomson knows the government is -to put it kindly-on a knife-edge, yet he risks it all because he wants to prove his ‘masculinity’-is that the word I want?

  215. Suzanne Blake

    Graham Richardson and others warned ALP about this before the 2010 election pre-selection, and the ALP still selected the alleged member!

    I heard that 60 Minutes is doing the story and that one of the ‘ladies’ has agreed to be interviewed and confirm the identity of the alleged person. This should top the ratings, unless another injunction is sought, and I rate that a 90% chance of better, given the stakes.

    @ Geomac. You are incorrect. The alleged Member involved was on radio 10 days ago answering questions, which evidence may prove is untrue, so its relevant TODAY. Also alleged members comments to Fair Work Australia.

    One thing for sure, the ALP will have a new candidate for Dobell, bank on that for next election / by- election

    Best case for Labor is that they expel alleged member, and he sits on cross benches and support them for supply.

    Could this be the catalyst for Windsor and Oakeshott to awake and use this an their excuse to switch votes?

  216. Peter Ormonde

    PC MacCruiskeen,

    I am appalled that you would impugn the dignity and peccadillos of our pollies with this insincere slur – snouts in the trough while inserting appendages?… anatomically difficult, not to say damned uncomfortable – Like the Kama Sutra meets Animal Farm.

    What has happened to those juicy scandals of yore – the rent boys, the keelers, the cottage industries so favoured by our shock jock supremo? Is it all that Abbott can scrape up – this new found (and hopefully passing) concern about the funds of a union of low paid hospital workers and the manner in which this seemingly excessive recreation and entertainment allowance was applied? Lunching, ladies and lotsa booze? Who’d he think he was – Chairman of the Board??? Some mining executive?

    No, not even that – it’s about NSW Labor paying his legal bills and whether – hope against hope – that this can provide a trigger for a by-election and give Tony that one extra critical seat.

    Politics – it’s a grubby business – but even we must acknowledge that NSW Labor produces the most grotesque grubs money can buy.

  217. shepherdmarilyn

    Hello, what is the story? He was not an MP and acting a gift from his own party is not a crime.

    Honest to god, why are all the media jumping on the non-story of the year?

  218. Go for it!

    Nice try from the LNP muckrakers but the Lady aint for turning!

  219. Son of foro

    Is Richo still fond of a sandwich?

  220. leone

    If every politician who has ever paid for a prostitute with a credit card was forced to resign we’d see the place full of empty seats.

  221. geomac

    If Peter Reith can survive so can Thompson. Reith illegally used his government PIN card , illegally abused his own IR laws and made patently false statements regarding children overboard. Only a few months ago he nearly became the Liberal party president, work that one out.
    Abbott is doing the Howard thing of letting others do the dirt while pretending to appear above the pack. He can,t say much about the politicians register because he failed for two years to declare a 700,000 dollar loan. As has been already commented on, this Thompson thing had already been aired years ago and has no bearing on his performance as an MP. I see Prosser is now the one in WA for raising party funds. Good choice as he never let being an MP get in the way of decalring his interests and making a buck.

  222. TheTruthHurts

    Look, some mysterious person used this poor mans phone and rang up a brothel, booked themselves in under this individuals name, went to the brothel, used his union credit card and showed his photo license ID (must have been wearing a Mission Impossiblesque mask) and booked themselves in multiple times for a rub down.

    They then returned the mobile phone, credit cards and license ID back into the pocket wallet of the individual accused without him knowing anything.

    They then did this a dozen or more times.

    All completely and totally explainable…. if you believe in BS.

  223. Holden Back

    The issue is not the legal use of prostitutes, but who paid for them, and more broadly how the union credit card was controlled. Potential bankruptcy is another, but it would seem more like propriety that political desperation for the Labor Party to support Thompson in his legal fees.

    Pace PC Maccruiskeen, Australian politics is not noted for its prudishness or hounding politicians for sexual pecadilloes. Arcing up the sleaze factor is a new card in this deck, and from radio reports yesterday makes some Liberal MPs uncomfortable. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” were the very words used.

  224. Policeman MacCruiskeen

    Beachcomber: the state of play in Oz politics is that having one’s snout in the trough is par for the course but other appendages in other places is totally unacceptable.

  225. beachcomber

    Why the sudden interest in Thompson, when this was all aired years ago? Looks like Abbott, having failed to drag the Government to an early election on policy grounds, is now trying to knock off the weak links one by one.

    If he had any concern about the integrity of MPs, he would expel Peter Slipper, Member for Fisher, from his party. He has repeatedly been found to have his snout in the trough over 20 years in Parliament, and is again under investigation for buying hundreds of thousands worth of air tickets weeks before the last election.

    But then, Abbott and Consistency are but loose acquaintances.

  226. Peter Ormonde

    Graham Richardson – a heavy weight indeed… and yet another depraved creep comes lurching out of his Sussex Street laboratory…

    How long must we put up with this stream of odious slime?

    At some point – some day… someone must disinfect NSW Labor.

  227. calyptorhynchus

    Bit intrigued by Tony Abbott failing to decisively condemn Thomson yesterday.

    Perhaps his advisers told him not to bother, there’s no way Thomson can be forced out.

  228. Policeman MacCruiskeen

    Perfect, Bellistener.

    A functioning minority government potentially brought down by a cocksman? Ya just gotta love the NSW Right. They always leave a trail of slime to show where they’ve been. I see that the HSU offers its members ‘rewards and benefits’ but not apparently including discounts for sex services. One rule for the bosses and another for the members, eh?

  229. Savonrepus

    If a female person of authority was addressing parliament defending someone who was publicly being shamed for inter alia attending a brothel would it be inapproprate to address that person of authority as Madam?

  230. Modus Ponens

    There is NO WAY he will leave his crucial seat in Parliament. Why do all media (crikey included) talk about it bringing down the government.

    You have to resign if you are convicted of a crime with a sentence of 12 months, but legal proceedings can be dragged out for two years easily, so no conviction arises.

    My prediciton is he will be asked to leave the labor party and sit as an independent supporting the minority gillard government…

  231. Jean

    There seem to be some big sums of money involved. Those prostitutes must have a really good union.

  232. The_roth

    Just goes to show you how idiots slip through the cracks to become elected officials.

    Both sides of politics must know that if you go into public life everything you’ve ever said and done, which is available on the public record, will be found and used against you.

    It really doesn’t matter whether he used these services himself or whether he just signed off on them. While doing them himself, is not illegal, is distasteful to the puritans at large, using an employers credit for them is of dubious legality.

    If someone else used them for their own purposes and he signed off on them it shows appalling management ability.

    I can’t see how he can survive this intact nor the Gillard government. It’ll be a slow burn but eventually a bi-election surely must occur and with the mood in the electorate whipped up by a right wing media Labour has bugger all chance of winning it.

  233. Bellistner

    So we may finally have an MP who can organise a root in a brothel?

    If I was the LNP, I’d be very quiet about this. No doubt the Labor Dirt Squad has plenty of information they can let loose if needed.

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