Julia Gillard’s trusted Craig Thomson MP was last week found guilty of using his Health Services Union credit card when formerly the HSU Secretary (2002-2007) for paying for prostitutes and fine dining them, despite being happily married, then.
A plea hearing on Wednesday, following the appeal, was told Thomson had spent between $4000 and $5000 on sex services, using HSU credit card thank you very much.
Yet previously on May 21, 2012, Thomo’s Tragic Turpitude (speech) lied to the Australian Parliament. Despite all the drama and acting, this breached Thomo’s parliamentary privilege by fabricating a rehearsed and staged lie to the Australian Parliament denying spending any union money on prostitutes. This parliamentary speech remains on Hansard into perpetuity and it should well form the basis of a contemporaneous tragic stage play.
The turpitude on Hansard:
“Turning to credit cards and escorts, I have consistently from day one denied any wrongdoing in relation to these issues. I make it clear—and I hope I have already by painting a picture—that I had many enemies in the HSU, many enemies who did not like increased transparency, many enemies who preferred that there be no national office. I was the subject on numerous occasions of threats and intimidation. I had my door of my office graffitied. The national office shared an office with other Victorian branches of the Health Services Union.
There was, though, a particular threat that was made that I thought was just part of the routine threats that were constantly made in working in this environment. That was a threat by Marco Bolano in words to the effect that he would seek to ruin any political career that I sought and would set me up with a bunch of hookers.”
Privilege breached or what?
The House of Representatives has the power to impose gaol terms of up to six months and fines of up to $5000 for such a “breach of privilege”. Abbott: Just Do It!
Thomo has been convicted and fined $25,000 by Victorian County Court judge Carolyn Douglas last Wednesday.
Not bad legal swindling when in 2013 Thomo faced 173 criminal charges. In sentencing, Judge Douglas said Thomson had betrayed the union’s trust, with offending she described as “self-indulgent behaviour”.
But after seven years, all Thomo got was a slap on the wrist. The Labor prick has cost Australian taxpayers about $2.5 million, according to a Senate estimates committee.
Labor has funded his expensive barristers to avoid an embarrassing prison term. The fine is probably a tenth of Thomo’s legal fees. Labor will pay that too, even though Thomo became an Independent MP.
Not bad barristers when they can get Thomo off on 49 fraud charges because Judge Douglas found the prosecution had worded the charges incorrectly. Not bad barristers when Thomo gets off two theft charges because of insufficient evidence. And not bad barristers, when in March 2014, Thomo was sentenced to 3 months gaol, with a further nine months suspended, after a magistrate found him guilty of the 65 theft and fraud charges. But he did not serve any gaol term because his barristers launched an immediate appeal.
What was the Labor law firm again? Garfield Barwick Chambers?
Labor corruption is rife up there on the NSW Central Coast. It’s like the Amalfi Coast of Mafiosi Italy without the cliffs.
Thomo was pushed to be Independent by Labor’s Terrigal Familia and he has been looked after ever since, and it has paid off. See Thomo was a Sussex Street appointee, like Eddie Obeid. Thomo’s Labor seat of Dobell is even home to Eddie Obeid’s old beach house.
Labor’s Terrigal Familia or ‘Centre Unity Faction’ dates back to Graham Richardson in the 1970s. It celebrates a distinguished membership surpassing Emily’s List. Consider the roll call: Mark Arbib, Joe Tripodi, Morris Iemma, Kristina Keneally, Tanya Gadiel, Angela D’Amore, Karen Paluzzano, Virginia Judge, Michael Costa, John Della Bosca, Eric Roozendaal, Reba Meagher, Carl Scully, Noreen Hay, Cherie Burton, Matt Brown, David Campbell, Barbara Perry, Michael Daley (sniffing Robbo’s job), Ninos Koshoba, Ian MacDonald, John Hatzistergos and Henry Tsang.
Thomson repeatedly maintained his innocence, describing his decision not to dispute the facts of his spending as a tactic to cut legal costs.
But his barrister Greg James QC on November 25, 2014 today told judge Carolyn Douglas that Thomson had publicly lied as an MP about using union credit cards for escorts to “divert” attention from the scandal.
“He was under attack as allegedly misusing the money by spending it on prostitutes,” Mr James said. “To rebut that, he lies. “He was under direct attack for moral turpitude. He was lying to divert the inquiry from him in respect of that moral turpitude.”