Welcome to Quadrant Online | Login/ Register Cart (0) $0 View Cart
Menu
May 22nd 2012 print

Philippa Martyr

The Craig Thomson Hour

When a very public person is innocent of a crime of which they have been accused, what do they do?


I’m sorry, but I don’t believe a word of it.


After I had the decency to offer Craig Thomson some really good alibis, he goes and does this to me. 

I would go through Thomson’s speech in parliament line by line, except that it’s physically sickening. So let’s look at the big picture. When a very public person is innocent of a crime of which they have been accused, what do they do? 

Here’s an example:

Cardinal George Pell was accused in 2002 of molesting a young man some 40 years earlier.

Did Pell: 

      (a) go completely silent for months on ‘legal advice’,

then wait for three and a half years while a very long-drawn-out inquiry found him guilty on all counts,

then use his pulpit to deliver an hour-long sermon complete with trembling lip on how he had been framed, using every excuse except the one about the dog eating his homework?

In the same sermon, blame the Anglican Church/Richard Dawkins/his own congregation for unleashing a media war on him? 

Or did he: 

       (b) immediately make a statement strenuously denying the allegations,

immediately stand aside as Archbishop,

go through a formal inquiry process headed by a non-Catholic judge,

present that inquiry’s findings promptly and transparently? 

If you chose (b), well done. That’s what grown-ups do. They face the music and dance, no matter how unpleasant it may be at the time. 

Thomson has avoided the issue of his alleged crimes completely. Instead, we are treated to an hour of the real Craig Thomson: self-pitying, self-justifying, and immature. 

But I really don’t think he’s delusional. If you find yourself wavering on this count, just have a look at those photos taken several months ago, at the time when Thomson had obviously been assured by his Labor Party mates and union chums that the Fair Work report was going to be utterly buried. Remember the smirk? Google Images will help you if you’ve forgotten. Remember how confident he looked, back then before it all went horribly wrong? 

And now Labor, by way of defence, is reduced to trying to whip up a case of Liberal Party bad manners into a homophobic assault, and a possible misuse-of-parliamentary-car situation in Victoria into a ‘Thomson-like scandal’. 

It seems a shame that those Hitler Downfall memes were wasted on Kevin Rudd. We really need them now, because this government has gone deep, deep into the bunker. An inquiry run by fellow-travellers of Thomson’s own party and union movement has alleged that he misused around half a million dollars of someone else’s money.  Bob Ellis’ insulting offer to pay back HSU members their ‘$6 each’ must be seen in the same light – men who no longer have any conception that the money they are managing is not theirs; men of no principle themselves, who have forgotten that there are people out there who still have principles.

And as for Bob Hawke singing ‘Solidarity Forever’ to the ACTU congress before the assembled members drank the Kool-Aid – well, I try not to make fun of the elderly, so it’s hard to know what to say, except: solidarity with whom, exactly?