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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Craig Thomson should go to jail

Former Labor MP Craig Thomson should go to jail.  He had the audacity to live the high life off the backs of the hard working union members of the Health Services Union and as national secretary, he thought he could get away with it.   

He made a very bad choice.  He could have owned up and offered to pay back the money but instead, he looked the Australian people in the eye, both in and out of Parliament, and swore he was innocent.  He lied so well and protested his innocence so much, at times there was actually an element of doubt.

But his day of reckoning came yesterday and what the general public hoped for, actually happened - he was found guilty of theft and using his union credit card to pay for the services of prostitutes. There is only one thing left to be done - the judiciary should send him to jail, a suspended sentence just won't do.

When the court heard that Thomson paid a prostitute $770 and called it a "dinner function", Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg said it was a clear example of his dishonesty and an "affront to common sense" that payments to escorts could be considered a legitimate expense."

Chris Brown, HSU's acting national secretary said "The union will now seek restitution to recover some or all of the funds he stole from the union.  These civil proceedings run to around $400,000 and include cash withdrawals, personal expenditure and more than $100,000 Thomson used in his election campaign."

Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's popularity has slipped in the polls recently.  Prior to entering Parliament, he was the National Secretary of the Australian Workers' Union from 2001 to 2007.

He doesn't support the government's plan to launch a Royal Commission into union corruption and it's not a good look, nobody would know more about the union movement than Bill Shorten.  It makes you wonder - could the Craig Thomson affair be just the tip of the iceberg?