Better late than never I guess.
Fair Work Australia, the body investigating allegations of improper conduct in the Health Services Union, has ordered an independent review of the inquiry to be run by KPMG.
Not a bad move considering full-blown Royal Commissions don’t take as long.
And as for that “improper conduct”, the SMH diligently reports, “Labor MP Craig Thomson, the former national secretary of the HSU, is in the spotlight after claims that he misused his union credit card.”
Misused? That’s it?
I “misused” my wife’s credit card once. Even though we’re trying like hell to save up for an apartment we’re going to have trouble affording, with less than 10 minutes before I boarded a nice warm train, I used her credit card to buy a six-dollar cappuccino.
To find out what really is meant by “misused” here, we have to pop over to the Australian.
The other inquiry is into the union’s national branch and involves allegations that Labor MP and former national secretary Craig Thomson used union funds to pay for prostitutes.
A bit more gravitas than merely stating “misused”, wouldn’t you agree?
What’s really astonishing here is 1) that it’s taken so long for what one would think should be a relatively straight-forward inquiry into whether Thomson’s Health Services Union credit card was used by him (there’s no dispute it was used for said purposes, and despite the signatures looking like Thomson’s, he denies it was him) to withdraw about $100,000 and pay for prostitutes and 2) that an independent audit, after three long years, should be necessary in the first place.
Why does it take more than 6600 documents to establish whether a man’s signature is indeed his own or a forgery?
And since Thomson has denied the signature that looks like his is actually his ( ), then when are we going to find out whose signature it actually was? Who was Thomson hanging out with at the time?
Was his card ever reported stolen? I haven’t seen any reports suggesting that.
Any mug can tell that the preferred outcome for some (and we all know who) would be that it’s found not to be Thomson’s signature and no one knows, and we’ll never find out, who actually signed the receipts.
All this is contemptible treatment of the Australian public, as if we’re blind idiots.
Not Gillard’s biggest headache
Thomson’s downfall should be a worry for PM Julia Gillard and her minority government but probably isn’t at the forefront of her mind today with startling revelations contradicting her claim on Four Corners on Monday night that she couldn’t specifically recall seeing internal ALP polling that gave her a numbers advantage over then-PM Kevin Rudd.
Er, slight problem:
In the days before challenging Kevin Rudd for the prime ministership, Julia Gillard personally handed to her Labor colleagues copies of secret internal polling designed to undermine his leadership.
Labor MPs told Fairfax that Ms Gillard used the polling as part of an effort to persuade them to support her for the prime ministership.
The revelation casts fresh doubt on Ms Gillard’s protestations that she was a reluctant challenger who decided to move against her leader only at the last minute – on the day she openly declared herself.
Wow. For three years she has looked Australia dead in the eye and outright lied. Not just bend or embellish the truth a bit, but lied.
Big Time on more than a couple of occaisons.
In fact, as Andrew Bolt notes, her list of lies is really stacked up.
- Her Socialist Forum lie. Claim: minor player. Reality: major player [big one - bing]
- Saying she didn’t say stuff she actually said, getting busted [hare-brained - bing]
- “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.” [woah! - bing]
- Pokie promise renegged [meh - bing]
- Said she wouldn’t change the Marriage Act – renegged [meh - bing]
- Didn’t plot to usurp Rudd – now we know she did [huge, no credibility - bing]
I’d also add her real or merely perceived involvement in the Australia Day race riots. Even at best with that one, (i.e. let’s believe her claim of non-involvement for argument’s sake) it demonstrates she can’t control her own staff.
Now all this isn’t critisizing her for her policies. I disagree with most of them, too (e.g. cutting the private health rebate, the NBN, the Malaysia swap-flop, the BER), but that’s not the point here.
Policies can be debated and disagreed with – after all, isn’t that what decomcracy is all about? – whilst still having a competent, trustworthy, respectable PM.
But this isn’t about her policies.
This is about her fitness to lead. This is about whether the PM can be trusted. This is about whether she can be believed. This is about having confidence that when the leader of the nation says something, that leader means it.
Can anything she says be taken at face value any more???
There is simply far, far too much trickery and deception with this PM to qualify her as worthy of our highest elected political office.