Crikey



It’s just not worth it, Craig

Craig Thomson is right about one thing: A Current Affair’s pursuit of a prostitute who claims she slept with the embattled MP seven years ago is most certainly “gutter journalism”.

But there’s plenty of others wallowing in the bottom of the barrel. Editors, journalists and MPs and their staffers. We don’t necessarily exclude ourselves. It’s ugly, putrid stuff. Should we keep following it? How can we not?

The opposition has new-found concern for his welfare. He’s a man under “enormous pressure”, Tony Abbott now says, calling on Labor to put the needs of their MP and his family first:

The Prime Minister is the one who is clinging to his vote and his Labor colleagues are the ones who are insisting that he should stay in the Parliament.”

The whiff of political desperation almost overpowers the sordid saga itself, certainly. But it’s Thomson standing defiant. And for what? To save a political career that only has 18 months to run regardless? To save a rotten government in the same position?

It’s just not worth it.

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Categories: Crikey Says, Federal

65 Responses

Comments page: 1 | 2 |
  1. To save a rotten government in the same position?”

    hmm, passing important but difficult and unpopular legislation on numerous occasions while
    maintaining the delicate balance of a hung parliament.

    I can only guess at what you’d call ‘good’ government.

    by drovers cat on May 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

  2. I agree with Drovers Cat

    How is the current Australian Government rotten? Even the worst allegation against Thomson isn’t about his behaviour in Government but about his behaviour years before.

    And were even that conceded, how does the misbehaviour of a single member make a whole government rotten?

    by Gavin Moodie on May 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm

  3. To stop Abbott getting in the lodge is worth anything - he deserves a full pardon. Oops, he hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet by the people who matter, the courts.

    by David Allen on May 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm

  4. Lucky all Liberal MPs are pure as the driven slush, Imean snow, so this will never happen to them.

    by Holden Back on May 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm

  5. It is also noteworthy that the Coalition has never relied on a ‘tainted’ vote such as Mal Colston’s.

    by Gavin Moodie on May 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

  6. What about a reasonable government and a “rotten opposition” desperate to get into government at any cost.

    by Bill Hilliger on May 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm

  7. Let me recall that chicken dinner in company with Graham Richardson in 1994.

    It was down at the take away tables in front of what is now the Swiss Grand Hotel. It was the end of a fundraising walk along the scenic eastern suburbs cliff line in aid of The Wilderness Society. The former federal MP, former environment minister, was in need of some pro bono PR kudos. He had fallen on hard times and needed the high profile non aligned cred of a high profile organisation that was busy ramping up tens of thousands of submissions in favour of environmental heritage in the lead up to the critical state election in March 1995.

    As NSW campaigns coordinator I chose to lead that walk to mix with the fallen fixer. You see he was implicated in a scandal involving … hookers. The tabloids were burning him alive in reputational terms. He needed some charity in his PR sails. I had no doubt he wanted to use us for his own ends.

    Ironic to read his pontificating in The Australian today to feed off the big media employment in light of the above.

    As the wikipedia entry notes:

    Four weeks later, on 25 March 1994, Richardson resigned both positions and retired from parliament, citing ill-health. However, at the same time, allegations were mounting that Richardson was involved in acquiring prostitutes for his personal use, supplied by Robert Burgess and Nick Karlos. Karlos reportedly had been accused of having serious criminal connections; meanwhile Richardson had signed a letter of support on Ministerail letthead for Burgess which was then used to set up a meeting between Richardson and the senior executive of a US defence company, where Richardson discussed Burgess’ interests. Richardson denied the allegations.” [Refer “The fixer in a fix”. The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 13 December 2003. Retrieved 30 December 2010.]

    Even more ironic to read Simon Benson reference another scandal involving the Touch of Class brothel … located opposite Forresters Hotel in Surry Hills Sydney about 200 metres from … News Ltd headquarters (innocently noticed from my bushwalking club meeting at Forresters Hotel the other day). A quick google indicates at least another ten in the Surry Hills area with News Ltd the biggest employer presence in the suburb. Coincidence? I wonder if the shareholders are briefed on News Ltd corporate credit card use at that and other close by brothels?

    by Tom McLoughlin on May 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

  8. Back up your blith mob mentality statements Crikey. Why is it a
    “To save a rotten government in the same position?”

    by spurdon on May 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm

  9. Worthwhile to guess what could be his reasons to stay in this job. Probably, if and as soon as he steps down, no one will pay attention to him anymore. So, what is in it for him?

    Apart from this, it is ridiculous that the media do not put this whole thing into some proportional perspective:
    - he may have used a few thousand bucks on exotic entertainment (or, more likely, paid for someone else). How many people consider the consumption of alcohol and tobacco (after dinner cigars used to be a very common thing) scandalous? We are talking about the cost of 60-40 business dinners spread over a period of several years.
    - would be be less hated if he repaid whatever is alleged to HSU (not the electoral expenses of course and not the ATM withdrawals; those are rarely mentioned in the press and are probably the weakest part in the FWA case) p[lus some form of “penalty” -say 10K bucks?

    I do not get it. For a country where every third marriage at least ends in divorce, why this obsession with the use of prostitutes by someone working for an organization and with an expense account.

    And, of course as many commenters have said, what kind of a mug pays for that kind of services with a company card? Only when you book the service for someone who wants to be treated well..

    by Rien Huizer on May 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm

  10. Believing the Mad Monk leader of the Lieberals he has any compassion for anyone other than himself. is like believing.
    Dracula standing in the blood bank screaming he was dying of thirst.

    Like his description of the Thomson defense, Totally unbelievable.

    He is a total disgrace, he just cant get over that he was unable to take government at the last election, how dare the people not choose him. Now he is rampaging through the sand pit kicking over every ones castle’s, like the 2yr throwing a tantrum that he is.

    by khtagh on May 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

  11. Tony Abbott is the prime example of what we are telling children and workers to avoid. A physical and emotional stand-over man and bully. Yet again it is SHE who is at fault because SHE won’t dismiss Craig Thompson therefore he will persecute him beyond reason and decency. If SHE does what Tony tells her to do he will stop. The very idea that an individual of this character might have such power over all of us and the country is becoming frightening. He is a dictators role model. How anyone can question the Prime Minister’s character for breaking an election promise, and daring to depose a man,compared to this man is truly perplexing. He does not seem to have any inherent boundaries except in how things relate to him. I’m getting truly sick of the distraction tactics of the opposition. The adults within the party should be forcing this thug and his little gang into looking for some policies instead of bin-diving for more slush. The electorate deserves better.

    by Lee Miller on May 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm

  12. So Crikey - what they said. Sigh. I think we may need a trial separation.

    by HB on May 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm

  13. So I’ve decided to blog my comment under moderation and it’s already on facebook going to my political network.

    by Tom McLoughlin on May 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

  14. I read this with disbelief;
    “But there’s plenty of others wallowing in the bottom of the barrel. Editors, journalists and MPs and their staffers. We don’t necessarily exclude ourselves. It’s ugly, putrid stuff. Should we keep following it? How can we not?”

    You can’t be serious. What an absolutely pathetic excuse.

    Seriously reconsidering next subscription.

    by Omar Khayyam on May 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm

  15. @Omar Khayyam

    Seriously reconsidering next subscription.

    Yes I only have 3 days left.

    by khtagh on May 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm

  16. What’s “not worth it” Crikey?

    The myriad of legislation that this government has already passed in the ongoing reformation of our society? The prospects of new legislation still being discussed between the Greens, Independents & Labor?

    Or one man subject to a deluge of vitriol on a now daily basis & the party that by necessity must rely on his vote to secure new legislation for another 18 months?

    From my previous readings of Crikey, I’m not sure which particular reforms you so despise that you would willingly risk an archaic alternative Government overturn so much of what has been put in place.

    But then that I suspect is not your point, is it? You are happy to play your part in the political game, damn the torpedoes, run full steam ahead & enjoy the carnage that ensues. Of course then we can look forward to you whinging for the next 3 years about how Julia wasn’t so bad after all compared to the (then) current rabble.

    OK, between the first few paragraphs & this one, I’ve had lunch, created a awesome graph for my boss & have calmed down somewhat. But really, based on this rotten editorial - is your subscription base “worth it”?

    by GrimTidings on May 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

  17. Seriouly, Crikey??

    A few days ago you published this article
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/05/23/the-political-leader-who-told-women-to-ignore-gender-discrimination/ .
    It slams an accomplished woman in Auastralian politics for not standing up against injustice. Now you claim that although he has not been convicted or tried for any offence, ‘it’s not worth it’ for Craig Thomson to stand up against injustice.

    How pathetic and hypocritical.

    by notmensa on May 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

  18. Dear Ed, The phrase kick em when their down comes to mind.

    I’d welcome some reprieve from the he-said she-said school yard coverage of politics. Perhaps Craig believes in what the goverment is doing for Australia. Maybe there’s some worth to be found in a critical analysis of that?

    by pocketcowboy on May 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

  19. You are wrong. It is worth trying to save this government.

    Gillard’s legislative program is what I voted for, and it is what the people of Dobell voted for, not for Weird Abbott and his Nasty Party, installed into government by a sleazy media campaign, an ignorant howling mob, and Thomson’s forced resignation.

    Whatever Thomson’s ultimate destiny, he is taking one for the team, hard, and for that he earns my respect.

    by susan winstanley on May 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm

  20. I object to the rotten government generalisation; it reads like a send from Abbott and I can read the Australian for that. I subscribe to crikey to present info journalism informed and let me do the reader judgment.

    by mwoolven7@bigpond.com on May 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm

  21. The whiff of political desperation almost overpowers the sordid saga itself, certainly. But it’s Thomson standing defiant. And for what? To save a political career that only has 18 months to run regardless? To save a rotten government in the same position?

    It’s just not worth it.”

    Does Andrew Bolt do the opening piece for Crikey now?

    by truth trooper on May 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

  22. And for what? To save a political career that only has 18 months to run regardless? To save a rotten government in the same position?
    I have rarely read such an outrageous statement from a Crikey journalist. Subscibers who pay for the privilege of making their feelings known is one thing, but someone who is paid to maintain journalistic impartiality and integrity is quite another. This is the sort of crap I expect from Murdoch hacks, not from here. Where does this guy get off proclaiming to us what a good or bad government we have. We voted this government into office and we will decide its’ future at the next election. I for one can do without constantly being told by ‘insiders’ what the outcome of said poll will be before the date of the bloody thing has even been set.

    by davidk on May 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm

  23. Actually this crap belongs on Pure Poison.

    by shepherdmarilyn on May 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm

  24. I have just signed up to crickey. I’m glad it was free as I won’t be paying for this sort of rubbish. I can get this already from the mainstream media. Journos you really are sad little lemmings for as you say “how could we not? Pathetic!

    by bigdaddy on May 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm

  25. khtagh

    My comments about yourself the other day, I hang my head in shame.”

    If in response to my query then sorry, but I missed that. However, I do detect just a hint of irony which still leaves me as lost as ever though becoming increasingly intrigued.

    by David Allen on May 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm

  26. Like others I object to your “rotten government” generalisation.

    Then as to Thomson stepping down because of the pressure.

    Are you advocating cowardice?
    Are you suggesting that if someone can generate a tsunami of allegations then MPs should arbitralily resign becaise it’s all to hard?

    There is one group who can decide Thomson’s fate and that’s his elecorate.

    To be otherwise is to abandon legitimate authority and to cave in to mob rule?

    Remember he is yet to be charged of anything, denies guilt and there has been endless investigation over an extended time

    Do you really want a Murdoch deciding who should be in parliament & who shouldn’t? Should the tabloid’s run the country?

    by The Pav on May 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm

  27. To save a rotten government in the same position?”

    FFS, on what basis is it a rotten government?????

    What is rotten is the wall to wall lack of courage and intelectual capacity and integrity of those who would assume the position of deciding what is good and bad about our political leadership

    To maintain membership in the “credibility club”of the big heaving mass of spinelessness and inadequacy that constitutes the political media punditry in this country you need, as a starting point, to hold the view that this current government is terrible and deserves to go. This despite no objective comparative assessment could possibly come to that conclusion - either historically or compared to the current alternative.

    It is like this new “narrative” of the “nature of this minority government” that all these “journalists”, inadequate in both character and cognitive capacity, are employing to once again weasel out of calling Tony Abbott on his appalling behaviour.

    Thompson got one thing right - Tony Abbott is unfit to be an MP let-a-lone PM. Once again though we can be assured that the combination of his own unprecedented destructive bhaviour with the facilitation of the knavery from the tory press and the gutlessness from the careerist jellyfish at the ABC faifax and now Crikey will ensure this man will be PM.

    I have been considering subscribing to Crikey on a best of a bad lot basis but no way in hell now. Go and Get Fked!!!!!

    by PK93 on May 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm

  28. ” To save a political career that only has 18 months to run regardless? To save a rotten government in the same position?”
    Let’s be positive about this and count up the great things that the Abbott Government could do in 18 months. Give a large present to the mining companies, destroy the NBN, bring back certainty on the everlasting use of coal. And that’s just on day 1. Craig Thompson has a lot to answer for.

    by John on May 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm

  29. If this is what we can expect from the new editor, I seriously doubt I’ll resubscribe.

    by ernmalleyscat on May 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

  30. @David Allen

    Yes you would be , just realised, wrong david, should have been Davidk actually, feel like a real twit now.
    We only 3 down here in Tas so all Davids know each other.

    by khtagh on May 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

  31. I am a paying subscriber for over 2 years and have found Crikey to be a great alternative to the other MSM, that wallows in the filth of populist, rubbish journalism.

    If this editorial is the direction Crikey is taking, repeating the deceptions of a desperate opposition, who will stop at nothing, even feigning concern for their latest target, to get into power, before it it is resolved by the courts, then I to will have to reconsider my next subscription renewal.

    A pox on the crap media in this country.

    by Kevin on May 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm

  32. I am a paying subscriber for over 2 years and have found Crikey to be a great alternative to the other MSM, that wallows in the filth of populist, rubbish journalism.

    If this editorial is the direction Crikey is taking, repeating the deceptions of a desperate opposition, who will stop at nothing, even feigning concern for their latest target, to get into power, before it it is resolved by the courts, then I to will have to reconsider my next subscription renewal.

    A pox on the gutter media in this country.

    by Kevin on May 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm

  33. khtagh

    Well that’s a relief, I thought I’d missed an opportunity to defend myself against a scurrilous attack.

    Got room for another? Tasmania sounds good. I’m in coastal central Queensland and it’s barely made 16° today so I’m seeking a warmer clime.

    by David Allen on May 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm

  34. You just lost me as a subscriber with this contemptible editorial.

    by John Underwood on May 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm

  35. This editorial is absolutely outrageous! I agree with the majority of above comments. Unfortunately, I was stupid enough to have just renewed my subscription - will be more careful next time.
    Whilst I don’t particularly like or support Julia Gillard, the alternative is too horrible to contemplate. How the brainless idiots who belong to the 45%+ who are going to vote for the rAbbott can sleep at night, beats me. They deserve all they get, which will probably include a slightly altered version of Workchoices Mark2 (if the young liberals have their way). And the destruction of all the good things this government has done.
    I have a theory that Gillard and Labor are hanging on for dear life because they want to see the carbon pricing and mining tax legislation in action. The rAbbott is equally determined to see that doesn’t happen - and this is the main reason why the coalition (led by that dreadful man) is totally out of control and will do anything to stop these things from becoming reality. Suggests to me that these pieces of legislation may be harder to repeal then the rAbbott is willing to admit.
    So I say, hang in there Labour, and make things as difficult as possible for the gutter rats!
    I heard on ABC radio earlier today that Albo is now saying the rAbbott is perilously close to breaking the law (under the Crimes Act) by putting pressure on Thomson to resign from the parliament. The only people who can remove him - apart from his own decision to resign - are the electors of Dobel at a bye-election, or the next federal election, apparently. Thomson does not qualify to be chucked out at this stage.
    And finally, this government is NOT a rotten government, just one which has made many mistakes,especially in communication, and has the whole force of the media and right-wing groups baying for it’s blood. I do not agree with the remarks made by Bill Kelty last week. He needs to think again.

    by CML on May 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

  36. And to think they published an article yesterday claiming that there was a risk that Australian journalism could get worse.

    Sorry Crikey, you’ve hit bottom along with the Murdoch press with this editorial.

    I mean you could go on publishing editorials, but without the guts to actually stand for anything….. why bother?

    by Steven Warren on May 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

  37. Is crikey being gutted from within?

    Has it been infiltrated by the limited news to peddle this crap to destroy the readership of the only real left wing media left (well use to be). ? Just putting it out there.

    Where is David Mayne

    by khtagh on May 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

  38. Dear Crikey

    I doubt if an editorial on Crikey has received such incandescent and universal condemnation.

    Are you going to mount a defence of it? The edirorial that is.

    BTW I don’t plan to cancel my subscription or use it as athreat. Never agreed with that as a tactic

    by The Pav on May 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

  39. So now I’ve read the rest of today’s issue, and there is some great stuff.

    First Dog, Bernard, Andrew Crook all good as usual, excellent piece on Aboriginal incarceration and good foreign coverage.

    A pity a stupid line aimed at either fitting in with the press pack or garnering controversy put us all in a bad frame of mind to start with.

    It’s just not worth it.

    by ernmalleyscat on May 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  40. Standing up for his rights. Not letting a bully boy like Abbott win. These might be good enough reasons to stick around.

    I dont believe I have ever seen or heard a more slimy, sanctimonious act as Abbott saying he empathised with Thomson on a personal level.

    I hope to goodness enough people in the Liberal party understand what he and people like Pyne are doing to our collective reputations and roll him soon. As much as this hung parliament has it’s issues I can not even start to imagine an Australia led by him.

    by Mark from Melbourne on May 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm

  41. What they said.

    IS the new ed just another Liberal stooge?

    I really don’t care what is said in the Croaky editorials, but I do care that I’m PAYING for the sort of sh*t that I can read for free on the web via NEWS limited rags.

    by WelBil on May 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

  42. Mark from Melb

    I think Tandberg’s cartoon summarised Abbotts position bets.

    It was something like

    On a human level I sympathise,,,,,,

    On an inhuman level I will do anything to sieze power

    It was briliant and a very apt summation of his loathsome behaviour

    by The Pav on May 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm

  43. Yes Abbott and his ilk are the end. If they get in I suppose I will have to stick around to vote him out. And we thought Howard was bad. Howard softened us up for the awfulness of Abbott. Honestly if we are going to succumb to the religious right we could at least do it in style. Or maybe that’s an oxymoron.

    by Salamander on May 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm

  44. The Member for Dobell is a fake. Only the signature is genuine.

    by Frank Campbell on May 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

  45. We don’t necessarily exclude ourselves. It’s ugly, putrid stuff. Should we keep following it? How can we not?”

    Gee, I don’t know, HAVE STANDARDS maybe?!

    by Andrew McIntosh on May 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm

  46. Note to editor
    Congratulations, you’ve managed to piss off your entire readership in one foul swoop, except for the trolls of course. I’ve never seen that done before, well done!
    @PK93 and others intending to unsubscribe
    Please don’t go. I would miss your insights and wit. Also, I’m frightened of being left alone here in the dark with the trolls.

    by davidk on May 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm

  47. Rotten government”? I’ll judge our parties by their policies and budgets, not by the circumstances of a hung parliament. Rotten editorial. Will consider next subscription very carefully.

    by kolah on May 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm

  48. @davidk Note to editor
    Sorry to tell you mate she doesn’t care I emailed her a week ago as a subscriber asked her why? she didn’t even both telling me to get stuffed. Or replying for that matter.

    I really do think crikey is about to be ruined from within, from the top (editor) down.
    PS I hope you followed my apology’s today, miss directed as they were, too many Davids.

    by khtagh on May 25, 2012 at 7:46 pm

  49. And when , what appears to be, a significant number of us don’t resubscribe it will all be Craig Thomson’s fault.

    Perhaps we could all regather on the Bolter’s blog and get a few laughs, or severe depression as is one’s wont.

    by David Allen on May 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm

  50. Wot Drover, Gavin and most people above said - this government is passing good, tough and far reaching legislation despite the most immoral & vicious Opposition since the Razor blocked supply almost 50yrs ago - and despite his becoming an decent elder statesman, I’ll bet anything that is something MM will NEVER become.
    What the hell is going wrong at Crikey? “putrid” government is straight from Blot’s vocabulary and ‘how could we not’..follow in the mud? Quite easily as that is why we pay you and my subscription is also coming up for renewal - lift your game.
    Meanwhile, for someone who will unemployable in the foreseeable, 18 months of MP salary, approx a cool quarter million, is worth a lot a B/S with the right mindset, ie you can’t touch me, piss off.

    by AR on May 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm

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