With the news that Kathy Jackson faces 70 criminal charges, including theft and misconduct, now seems like a great time to revisit the many things that have been said about Jackson, the whistleblower who brought down former Labor MP Craig Thomson and was then ordered to pay back the Health Services Union in civil proceedings last year. But before that she was the hero of the Liberal Party.
In 2014, then-prime minister Tony Abbott said:
“We’ve had people like Kathy Jackson heroically, heroically, say that enough is enough, it’s all got to stop and I think the honest people inside the union movement, the honest people inside the Labor Party will welcome this royal commission”
In 2011, Abbott said:
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“Kathy Jackson is a brave decent woman and she is speaking up on behalf of 70,000 members.”
Christopher Pyne labelled Jackson a revolutionary:
“The person I particularly want to comment on is Kathy Jackson. Kathy Jackson is a revolutionary, and revolutionaries … Revolutionaries are not always perfect. Revolutionaries sometimes have to cut corners and do things in order to bring about a result. But she will be remembered as a transforming union leader.
“Kathy Jackson is a revolutionary, and Kathy Jackson will be remembered as a lion of the union movement.
“Jackson, Athena, toppled two union leaders … In her wisdom, and in deciding to wage war with the HSU, she may well have strangled the union-ALP umbilical cord.
“More strength to her arm.”
Senator James Paterson, before being elected, thanked Jackson when she spoke to the HR Nicholls Society
”From the bottom of my heart … thank you for all the ammunition you have provided us with tonight.”
He didn’t know just how much ammunition there was.