“I didn’t realise this was going to go four years.”

Clearly. And with that, Craig Thomson ensured it would continue well into the future, too.

In a rambling and at times emotion-charged hour-long speech — just finishing as we hit deadline — Thomson outlined his proud electorate record and attacked Health Services Union national secretary Kathy Jackson and the Fair Work Australia report that contained damning allegations against Thomson, the use of his credit card and his nocturnal activities.

Each allegation was denied. There are alibis and CCTV footage. The documents with his signature are part of an elaborate set-up. The truth will eventually be revealed, he said.

Perhaps. But what Craig Thomson did or didn’t flash his plastic at is increasingly less important than the damage he is doing to Labor and the dysfunctional nature of the parliament and the public debate.

Thomson raised new questions about the motives and conduct of Fair Work Australia but produced no evidence. Nor would you expect him to; he is entitled to his presumption of innocence until charges are laid and proven. But in also failing to produce a resignation letter he guaranteed the sorry saga is a long way from over.

Peter Fray

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