One Step Ahead

Posted: October 17, 2012 in HSU Saga

In every battle there are always two sides, often more.

Those of you following my articles on the havoc being wrought on the Health Services Union would be aware of the two factions that have been at war, the Williamson faction, and the Jackson faction. Both factions have been bleeding the union dry for years it would seem.

However there is a third side in this battle that has been largely forgotten, the members.

When people ask me which side I’m on, the answer is always the same, I’m on the side of the members. Maybe it’s the “Old School Labor Party” side of me coming out, but no matter what damage has been done, I am still hold a hope of some clean skins being able to sort the mess out with the help of the membership. Because if ever there was an industry that needed a good union, this is it. Coalition governments always slash and burn two industries to save money when they take power so that their mates can have tax concessions, those industries are education and health.

Ted Baillieu’s cousin Marshall showing his compassion to protesting health workers after Kathy Jackson sold them out

With Coalition governments in most states now, the HSU should see increasing membership, not declining numbers. I’m hopeful that once the bad press of the Williamson circus, and the alleged thieving and thuggery of the Jackson and Bolano faction are flushed out in the upcoming elections, the union can climb back to its feet and start functioning as it should.

Some people have asked why I do not focus much of my attention on Michael Williamson. Some, including Kathy Jackson have even accused me of being part of his faction, despite not being a member of the union.

The answer to that is quite simple really, but I will explain it in a way that I hope the really simple understand.

Most companies when they advertise or sell their products against a competitor in a crowded market tend to focus on what they do differently, or their points of difference. To me, writing is not that much different.

I still remember the good old days when the main stream media thought in that way. Newspapers took different angles to their competitors, as did current affairs programs and other media styles and outlets. Now, most look sound and write in a remarkably similar manner.

The media’s treatment of the HSU affair was the same, everyone focussing on Williamson and Thomson. I chose the angle that nobody else was looking at, or seemingly wanted to look at, Kathy Jackson, and the faction she ruled over. The faction that the likes of Hart, Bolano, and Behren’s are looking to inherit.

For starters, I am instantly suspicious when somebody has to declare themselves a whistleblower, and thought it warranted investigation when Kathy Jackson did so. She even had the bad taste to refer to herself as a type of “Joan Of Arc” character.

Jackson was a union official, and someone who was a failed Labor pre-selection candidate, that means she was a Labor Party member. Within a short time of her fall out with Williamson, she was a friend of Alan Jones, Chris Smith, and other right-wing shock-jocks, the guest of honour at, and speaking at Liberal Party think tank functions, slandering Labor MP’s on TV, and the Liberal Party leader, Tony Abbott was singing her praises on the floor of parliament.

Some would say that is being a whistleblower, I would have thought calling her a turncoat, or a rat, would be far more fitting and relevant.

Jackson often said I was a member of the Labor Right, as if she knew better than I did, she even tried convincing me outside Federal Court one day, however, this is not the case. I am actually a member of the Left.

Kathy Jackson explaining to yours truly which way I lean

I actually consider myself in the centre, but left leaning. Things are not always black or white, there are shades of grey, about 50 of them I hear. It is similar with left or right leaning, there are different degree’s of leaning, personally I think this is something people spend far too much time concerning themselves with.

Jackson would like us all to think that Williamson being charged recently with a number of alleged offences, shows that she is innocent. This is like saying Clyde’s guilt means Bonnie’s innocence. It is ridiculous in the extreme, and for far too long she has been treating the public as if they are brain dead morons, and the press has failed to pull her up on this crazy notion.

Thankfully I think the media are starting to see through her now though, although there are some who will always be wearing their special blinkers seemingly purchased direct from Jacksonville.

The Australian’s Ean Higgins seems to fall into that category. In one such article full of confused conflicting views that we saw last week, we saw the type of wisdom that could only spew from the mouth of Marco Bolano.

Carol Glen’s resignation from her position as a HSU official, according to Higgins article, was of great concern to Bolano and Jackson. You see Carol leaving would mean that someone from the Williamson faction could replace her, and thus give their faction the balance of power in management committees. This logic would mean then that Carol was part of the Jackson faction I would assume, as that’s how mathematics works.

In the same article Bolano, through Higgins tells us that Carol received advice from her trusted friend in NSW Gerald Hayes. It then goes on to say how Hayes is a part of the Williamson faction. So Carol from the Jackson faction seeks the advice from Hayes of the Williamson faction, that all sounds plausible indeed.

Even Marco struggles to hold a straight face at Jackson’s rhetoric

Any excuse, it would seem, for Bolano to have a totally unjustified public shot at his clean-skin rival in the upcoming elections, Stuart Miller. God forbid someone non-factional have a shot. It must be nice to have mates like Higgins who will print such unsubstantiated and contradictory drivel.

Speaking of drivel, let’s have a quick peek at the Andrew Crook piece on Crikey a couple of days ago.

I should not be too harsh on it actually, although Crikey is usually just right wing drivel that masquerades as independent, this piece was actually quite good, very good in fact, except for a couple of quibbles and the end paragraph.

Crook creates the impression that he is breaking the story of the HSU’s financial woes, several times in his piece.

Breaking the story to Crikey readers maybe. Readers of WixxyLeaks and Independent Australia have known for months how bad HSU’s finances are, but I’ll put that to one side.

In the final paragraph Crook doesn’t just leave himself wide open for a defamation suit, it is like he left the door open, put a spotlight on the opening and flashing lights above the door, with an alarm inside to make sure everyone notices.

“The full Temby report into the NSW union, released in July, alleged millions of dollars in overpayments to contractors, including $3.12 million provided over four years (and probably millions more over the last 15 years) to printer Communigraphix to produce the union magazine.”

For Crook to say “probably millions more” in regards to Communigraphix is just plain stupid.

Not only is it a defamation lawyers wet dream, it also tells the reader that he only suspects this, he clearly hasn’t researched it or he would have evidence to back it up. Not only that, it tells us all that he is prone to printing totally unsubstantiated claims. Crook may as well be reporting a sighting of Elvis if he going to take that route….

I am assuming that this article is meant to be taken as reporting of actual news not an opinion piece, and if this is the case, I’d probably keep the opinionated slander under lock and key.

Crook also makes a reference to Williamson having some family members working within the HSU. This is a fair point. However in the interests of balance I hope that Crikey readers remember that Jeff and Kathy Jackson were a husband and wife team at one stage, and after Jeff was gone, Kathy’s fiancé Michael Lawler involved not only himself in union business, he also had his two sons working there on what were exceptionally good wages for those with their level of experience, which was no experience at all.

However, Crikey readers probably won’t remember this, as I don’t believe Crikey readers have ever been informed. It is no wonder those who seek balanced reporting go elsewhere.

Whilst I will readily admit to mixing a fair raft of opinion in my articles, I try to distinguish between what is opinion and what is fact. Whilst I have tended to focus on one side of this story for the reasons explained earlier, I have also done pieces showing the other side. However, I have only done these for the purpose of balance, and have made them more opinion prices, as unlike Crikey appears to be in the practice of, I don’t think that re-wording the research of Kate McClymont is a noble exercise. If Kate has done the work, I’d much rather refer others to it than copy it and claim it as my own. You know, credit where credit is deserved.

To those of you who ask me about the press and if they will ever tell the real story, I say a reasonably confident yes, however it is such a monumental story, don’t expect it in one article.

Ignoring the trash usually found in The Australian, and the rehashed old right-wing drivel normally found behind a pay wall on Crikey, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. We have seen some excellent reporting on the ABC, and in the Fairfax papers, Simon Benson has also done some great work for News Ltd and should be commended for his efforts. Despite its flaws at the end, even Crook’s article shows some promise.

Rest assured, those of you who are as intrigued by the goings on within the HSU as I am, WixxyLeaks and Independent Australia will remain ahead of the pack and keep you posted.

We couldn’t stop if we tried.

Comments
  1. Marilyn says:

    Someone needs to tell Sabra Lane at the ABC there is no such thing as a civil charge.

  2. Catching up says:

    I love the way that laying claim against someone means they are guilty.

    It one followed the likes of Abetz., the FWA action means that Mr. Thomson is guilty, but read his words carefully he is having two bob each way. If he gets off , that will be the fault of the PM and FWA.

    It is all a big conspiracy.

    Is there anyone in the FWA not tainted by political and other interference in this matter.

    Are all the judges beyond reproach.

  3. Marilyn says:

    Now it seems FWA spent $1.7 million on outsiders and still delivered a report not worth using for toilet paper.

  4. Bridget says:

    Wixxy and Marilyn – is Thommo innocent or not? Have those germs set him up? He doesn’t strike me as the sort of gentlemen who needed to procure prostitutes. When he is proven innocent in the Courts you will be vindicated and proved to be the astute, ethical and moral Australians that should rally be controlling this Country.

    • wixxy says:

      Bridget, I don’t know if he innocent or not, I just think it is a sideshow…
      In the grand scheme of things, whether Thomson did or didn’t visit a brothel is pretty irrelevant.

      The authorities are looking for approximately $20M of union members money it has been reported.

      Michael Williamson’s investigation is starting to see results it would seem, and the Vic Police investigation into Jackson and her faction is under way

      Even if Thomson was to be found to have visited a brothel it is a civil matter, so it won’t change a vote on the floor of parliament

      Thomson is being used as a distraction by the Jackson faction…

      • Marilyn says:

        When a report states that there we no set rules for the use of credit cards but FWA say he broke those non existent rules one knows for sure that he will not be found guilty of anything.

        The claims made by FWA are to do with governance which is set by the national executive and Thomson at the time was not a member of the national executive.

        The problem is our worthless media read what they claim are findings but never read the reasoning behind the findings.

        Like the time Thomson and his wife were sipping wine in Margaret River while Thomson was also at a brothel in Sydney 4,000 or so km away.

        When a report is so worthless it requires an independent report to state that it was worthless it deserves to be used only as toilet paper.

  5. Here we go says:

    Can someone find out whats going on with Michaeal Smith – he appears to have some hate for the PM – MB because he lost his job..who knows?..He has sent files to the Vic police apparently – prob no news stuff..just the same old BS..you know how the LNP dramatise everything to its enth degree, Pathetic P****S. He has published an email stating that the crime squad are investigating. Now he has called on S&G to try and recover the file – OMG – 7 year retention rate in IT..no more no less..This man is is unreal – Bet he has some nice secrets..This has got so, so dirty..The LNP know no other way..it’s in their DNA..but can you follow up and report back..cheers.

  6. kazann says:

    Hey Wixxy I thought I would send you the link to this article in case you hadn’t come across it.

    Do two people, Katrina Hart and Andrew no last name, constitute a massive line up these days?

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/craig-thomson-paid-escorts-with-our-money-unionists-say/story-e6freuy9-1226498860726

  7. Matt says:

    hi kazann

    The last image in that link:

    Its sub-title is : “Angry … L-R Marian Serhan, Katrina Hart, Nathan Rahim, Andrew Thompson, Arthur (surname withheld), Antonia Celic and Jenny Zharousky / Pic: Toby Zerna”

    So Andrews last name is Thompson, and Arthur is the one who doesn’t want to be identified. Arthur also does not appear to be wearing a uniform.

  8. Marilyn says:

    Yeah, well the terror would run with that without evidence.

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