Ice Cream Man

Posted: February 1, 2013 in HSU Saga

Some would say that politics has become a sport made for spectators, some would even go so far as to say it has become a blood sport, and perhaps this is true.

Unfortunately if one looks at the public perception of politicians, and how much trust they have for their elected members, it becomes apparent that this sad spectacle of a sport is turning off its audience. Big time.

This is not meant as a call on which side of the political playing field blame for this lies, I’ll let the trolls debate that on Twitter, it is just an observation.

Yesterday was of course the first full day of campaign mode following the announcement of a Federal Election, and what a day it turned out to be. Those of us wondering whether this campaign was going to be fought in the gutter or fought on merits had their question answered yesterday with the arrest of Craig Thomson at his electoral office.

Yesterday at approximately 1 pm Craig Thomson was arrested by a team of five police backed up by two further police waiting back at the car. He was arrested inside his electoral office and paraded out for the waiting media.

Thomson paraded out for press after yesterdays arrest

Thomson paraded out for press after yesterdays arrest

The arrest was made for 150 charges of fraud in an investigation being conducted by Victoria Police. Officers from the NSW Fraud Squad made the arrest with members of the Victorian Police in attendance.

Some would wonder if after all the calls for new investigations into Thomson from Shadow Attorney General George Brandis to the NSW Police Commissioner resulted in nothing, maybe Brandis’s begging still carries some weight with the Victorian Coalition Government.

The timing of this arrest seems incredibly convenient, not only straight after an election is called, but also during Tony Abbotts speech at the press club. It was as if the whole event was being stage-managed, along the lines of “We will now cross to the NSW Central Coast live for the Thomson arrest” then “Back to you Tony…”

Just over a week ago, I wrote a post about how slow the police were moving in their investigations, it appears they may have been listening, however I was hoping for something a little more substantial.

The charges themselves range from the old stories rehashed to startling new revelations that reveal the darker side of Craig Thomson that we were unaware of. Things like Thomsons hidden secret love of film and ice cream is sure to shock the public and bring the government to its knees.

The Victorian taxpayers must be thrilled to know that their money is being spent chasing someone for buying an ice cream. I wonder how many police spent how many hours investigating that particular apparent crime before being flown up to lay the charge.

It seems it's not just the fat we need to worry about...

It seems it’s not just the fat we need to worry about…

All of the charges relate the expenditure on a union credit card, a credit card that bore Thomson’s name.

The Credit Card in question is a union card, the details of which were stored on the unions computer network, along with Thomsons other personal information, date of birth, drivers licence details etc and a copy of his signature. There were many who had access to this information, including those in opposing factions of the union, such as Kathy Jacksons.

Four of the 150 charges laid against Thomson relate to the same old brothel charges that we have been hearing about for so long now. Charges that Thomson adamantly denies.

I will make no judgement on Kathy Jacksons sex life, but looking at her ex husbands expenditure on his union credit card (charges are yet to be laid?), it is safe to say that at least Jeff Jackson has an intimate knowledge of brothels. The Jacksons had access to all Thomsons credit card information, copies of his signature and driver license and an intimate knowledge of brothels, it’s not difficult to do the math…

Jeff Jackson Credit Card Summary

Jeff Jackson Credit Card Statement

One of the issues that I foresee for the Victorian Police case, is how any of this is fraud.

I have said from the start that I make no call as to Thomsons guilt or innocence, I just find that the investigation into him appears to be nothing but a long dead-end, and can only serve a political purpose. It appears we are now back to where we were over a year ago.

If Thomson had visited a million brothels, and eaten 10 ice creams in each one of them while he was there, it would make no difference to the case. It has already been ascertained that there were no guidelines in place on credit card procedure within the union, making this a civil matter between a union and an ex-employee. Not a police matter in any way at all, as much as George Brandis may like it to be.

It is not a fraudulent act to spend money on a credit card that bears your name as far as I’m aware. Given yesterdays performance I’m not 100% sure about this being the case in Victoria or George Brandis’s house, but I’m reasonably certain credit cards are still considered legal in the rest of the world.

Given that there is no case to answer on the charges legally due to the unions lack of regulations, and the direct involvement of those in the media who received an invitation, one must conclude that this is being done for a purpose other than a legal outcome. However I’m sure that the timing with Abbotts speech and the calling of an election are just coincidence, cough, cough, ahem.

Thomson arrested? Plan running smoothly...

Thomson arrested? Plan A running smoothly…

There are however other factors than just the vailidity of the charges to take into consideration.

Firstly the arrest itself seemed unusual in its circumstances and how it came to be. Victoria Police claimed that Thomson had been asked to surrender himself last year prior to Christmas and a warrant issued for his arrest. Both Thomson, and his lawyer Chris McCardle vigorously deny this claim, saying that Thomson was requested to help with some enquiries, something he would have had to travel interstate at Christmas to do. So which side should we believe?

I don’t pretend to be an expert in law enforcement, but I would make the assumption that if I was going to be arresting someone I would not give them over a months notice that I was going to do it, but that’s just me. I can assume from yesterdays events that when laying a charge involving using a credit card to purchase ice cream in Victoria, it takes a team of seven armed officers and a media pack to bring the perpetrator in, particularly after giving them over a month to get their esky packed and their passport in order.

One only hopes that when the Victorian Police finally decide to pull their finger out in the ongoing investigation into Kathy Jackson that they don’t give her quite so much notice.

In his press conference yesterday, Col Dyson head of NSW State Crime Command’s Fraud and Cybercrime Squad also seemed unsure about the alleged warrant from Vic Police, not confirming the warrants validity, instead saying “I Believe” whenever discussing its content. If someone in that position chooses his words so carefully, maybe we shouldn’t make any hasty judgment calls regarding the warrant, which is yet to be produced publicly, and what it says either.

There has also been talk of whether police themselves have acted unlawfully in this arrest. Section 14 of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987 tells us that an MP cannot be arrested within five days of attending parliament.

Despite the advice given to many members of the media, including Independent Australia that this law was applicable, we can now confirm that this act appears to apply to civil arrests only, not criminal arrests. However this once again throws up the question of this being a civil matter rather than criminal.

Another interesting point that was first reported on Independent Australia was the strip search of Craig Thomson by NSW Corrective Services after his arrest. It would appear that humiliation was the order of the day, and it begs the question if they can do this to a Federal Member Of Parliament, what hope does the average John or Jane Doe have?

One also wonders if the purpose of the strip search was to look for distinguishing features to help verify the story of an honest prostitute who may later appear. This has been suggested by many followers of the case.

No matter what the reason corrective services found no hidden guns, no drugs, no explosive devices, and certainly no receipts from brothels tucked away where the sun don’t shine.

Allegations of political motives certainly seem justified when police give Michael Williamson 24 hours to appear at Maroubra Police Station to be charged for allegations against him. Despite these charges and allegations being astronomical in comparison with Thomsons, Williamson was able to maintain his dignity whilst Thomson was arrested without notice, before a media pack and paraded in front of the cameras surrounded by detectives, I’m surprised they didn’t handcuff him for added effect.

NSW Police have today confirmed to me in writing that Michael Williamson was not subjected to a strip search, despite his charges being far more serious then Thomsons.

I wonder if Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fischer was subjected to a strip search when she was charged in South Australia for theft, and assault.

Mary Jo Fisher outside court

Former Liberal Senator and part-time theif Mary Jo Fisher outside court. Strip searched?

After speaking with a corrective services spokesperson today, it can be revealed that a different approach to the charges and bail was utilised by police, one that ensured that Thomson was strip searched.

As in Michael Williamsons case, bail is granted by police so that the Corrective Services are not involved. In Thomsons case, bail was not granted by police, although it was granted shortly afterwards by a magistrate.

Bail is normally not granted to someone who is considered a flight risk. Considering that if Victorian Police are to be believed Thomson had over a months notice of being arrested, it seems ludicrous in the extreme that he would be considered a flight risk. If police refuse bail, then the Corrective Services temporarily take custody of the accused before a magistrate determines bail.

The Corrective Services spokesperson also confirmed that the timing of the bail refusal for Thomson by police should have resulted in Thomson spending the night in jail. Corrective Services Officers apparently worked after cut off for processing, in their own time, as they felt sympathy for Thomson and wished to spare him the humiliation of a night in jail. Bail was of course granted by a magistrate within a short time, minutes in fact.

This new information will surely add fuel to the fire that this was a politically motivated arrest. We all know how bad it would look if the media had been able to show Thomson in a jail cell, even if it was on a technicality. Given that the bail process was engineered to ensure a strip search, one would also wonder if it was engineered to try to have Thomson in a cell overnight.

One also wonders about the integrity of both the NSW and the Victorian Police Force, and the political pressure that may have been exerted by the Coalition Police Ministers in both states. It would appear that the Coalition have the Police running their election campaign for them at the moment, perhaps the Police Integrity Commission should look into the matter.

I have asked NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher in writing if he was in any way involved in the timing, or involved in any way in yesterdays arrest and have yet to receive any response.

Michael Gallacher, pulling strings?

Michael Gallacher, pulling strings?

Maybe it’s just me, but I also considered it strange that the magistrate made it a condition of bail that Thomson not make contact with anybody he has paid for sex. Does this not seem like the presumption of guilt? Isn’t the law supposed to work the other way, like the innocent until proven guilty way?

Despite all of this, there were some pieces of good news to come out of yesterdays grand opera.

Those wondering whether the election campaign was going to be a mudslinging competition certainly know now how the Coalition appear to be steering their campaign with their absence of policy. Now that allegations regarding MP’s sexual lives are something the Coalition apparently seem to think is open for public debate, can we now look forward to some frank debate on the sex lives of other MP’s like Christopher Pyne, Alex Hawke, and even Sophie Mirabella, rather than just Thomson and Slipper? That could be illuminating.

The other good news to come out of yesterday is that we now know that Kathy Jackson, who is of course under investigation by Vic Police is still in the country and hasn’t fled.


Kathy proved yesterday when interviewed on 2UE that saying “Ya Know” a million times does not make you sound like you know much at all. Her interview with James Morrison also showed that if you aren’t prepared to make ridiculous bold and unsubstantiated statements regarding corruption of a government, a good shock jock will help fill in the bits for you.

Kathy also told right-wing blogger Michael Smith that;

“all these good people, people like Marco Bolano in Victoria who’s honest as the day is long and a hard-working person lost out in an election…”

These good people Kathy refers to, took a union and almost bankrupted it. There appears to have been a lot of hard work done in spending the members money on their own self interests, not much work done for members. Kathy neglects to mention Honest Marco’s court intervention order, or his breaking of that order for stalking, harassing, and intimidating a woman he was opposing.

The Leader Of The Pack?

Selective memory or amnesia?

Kathy also neglects to mention the 40 boxes of evidence, some of which has been shown and reported here, being combed through by Victorian detectives. She neglects to mention her own credit card expenditure on her three HSU credit cards that dwarfs that of Thomson. She suffers amnesia when it comes to her former husbands alleged brothel habits and his other spending of members funds with wanton abandon.

Perhaps Jacksons selective memory is why she only seems to be taken seriously by the extreme right-wing elements of the press.

After all is said and done, as a fellow lover of good ice cream, I can sympathise with Thomson on that charge at least. I have often said in jest “This ice cream is so good it should be a crime”.

In Victoria apparently it is.

  1. Hilde Rombout says:

    Peter, thank you so much for this article and the picture of the lovely icecream!!! I am hopping mad though about the scandalous treatment of Craig Thomson. And let’s not kid ourselves, if such treatment can happen to Craig, it can happen to any of us of someone comes up with any trumped up allegation. I wish there is something we can do apart from voting and discussing this issue with friends and family. I mean something concrete, like what we did with the Alan Jones abuse of the Prime Minister. I am not computer literate enough to start a petition online, but if someone would i’d be the first one to sign it. I think though that people are becoming more aware of the disgusting smear campaigns by the Abbott fanclub. If a staunch liberal supporter tells me that he is disgusted with this kind of behaviour and that he is gaining respect for our PM, then i think there is hope that the light might dawn on others too. I have been looking forward to seeing an article from you about this affair and i thank you for exposing the truth once again.

  2. denniallen says:

    Brilliant. Just love it…you always say it as it is Wixxy!

  3. Thank you once again Peter for getting to the guts of the HSU Saga. Consider the comment from Barry O’Farrell “I think Mr Thomson and his lawyer need to calm down a bit – after all, the allegations surrounding Craig Thomson is that he was all too ready to take his clothes off in front of strangers in exchange for money.” This as his answer to complaints re: Strip search.
    Gee I really hope the truth finally comes out sooner than later but with all the coincidence at the moment I would bet that it will be much, much later

    • helen says:

      Another great article Wixxy . You are a genuine journalist of which there are very few.Even Fairfax are similar to Murdoch press. Why are they ignoring the Ashby affair. Regards to you.

    • Smith says:

      It was a cracker of a one-liner from O’Farrell I’ll give him that, but should not be said by a Premier. Leave the jokes about Thomson to the comedians.

  4. jaycee says:

    Such behaviour by the relevant authorities and the people involved is below contempt….This sad day ought to be marked as a low point in Australian Legal Rights. John Howard has dragged this nation down to the depths of delinquency and despair by his promotion of guilt by innuendo and smear……Never has nature given breath to a lower order of human….never.

  5. If you were dealing with credit card statements alone, then the possibility you outline might be credible. But there are phone statements as well. It is not credible to claim someone was going around with a mobile phone and making calls outside his residence in 2005 in order to torpedo a political career that had not commenced. Please do not confuse online echo chambers with the real world. There is only one credible scenario under which Craig Thomson can establish innocence.

    I refer to his phone interview with Michael Smith in 2012:
    From around the 7 minute mark
    Craig Thomson: Well there was an investigation and there was a report that was written in terms [..inaudible..]
    Michael Smith: After you left, right?
    Craig Thomson: Ahhh well actually it commenced when I was there
    Michael Smith: Did you order it?
    Craig Thomson: Ahh yes I did. I actually ordered a complete review of what was happening there.

    The only credible scenario is that on having ordered an investigation and in his absence, the guilty parties manufactured evidence that implicated the person they blamed for disrupting their cosy scams. If this is the case it should be fairly easy to demonstrate – the credit card vouchers collapsed under scrutiny of jpgs, I doubt anything produced in HSU offices could withstand a proper physical forensic examination. He should have done this back in 2010 and he needs to ask himself serious questions of the motives of anyone who dissuaded him.

    In my humble opinion he should immediately divest himself of any member of his legal team that has any links with the Labor Party or the union movement and hire a lawyer belonging to the Liberal party who values his/her professional ethics higher than political affiliation and is in no way dependent on the union movement for future income

    • Marilyn says:

      So what? There is no crime in making phone calls.

      What is wrong with you people.

    • Smith says:

      I think a more likely scenario is Craig is the unfortunate fall guy for a group trip to the knock shop with some other union bigwigs. People that he cannot name.

      • Marilyn says:

        What silly rot, in most cases in the claim he was in another state with his wife. If you can’t keep up and can’t be bothered with facts go away.

        In one case they claimed that the credit slip might have been franked a week after he was in the brothel because the date was wrong and he could be shown to be in the Margaret Valley with his wife.

    • owen1967 says:

      looks like Bazza O’F is not the only comedian commenting on this case … how about this …

      “hire a lawyer belonging to the Liberal party who values his/her professional ethics higher than political affiliation”

      … that is side-splittingly funny … looks like the little grey rabbit is suffering from what Karla Saarenen (from the novel Shantaram – Greg Roberts) describes as a case of ‘the Lewis Carrolls”… meaning wild (and possible drug induced) phantasy.

      thanks for making me laugh so hard rabbit … that is brilliant.

    • Julie says:

      Peter, did you read Paul Sheehan in the SMH today?

  6. Bob Lloyd says:

    Another great piece Peter. Glad to hear that Craig’s lawyers are considering suing O’Farrell over his comment. Hope it happens. Look forward to more of your work.

  7. Marilyn says:

    Thank you for reminding us that there were no specified rules for the use of the credit card, something the MSM forgot in the breathless excitement.

    It’s outrageous that the cops denied police bail so the man could be brutalised in this way, but NSW is one of the worst states for murdering the innocent.

  8. Marilyn says:

    And the worthless media need to get some perspective. Kill someone at work and get fined.

  9. sue says:


    first many thanks for getting onto this latest instalment.

    second thanks to the Corrective service officers, for making sure that what happened to Craig was not even more humiliating.

    Better keep an ear to the ground for those corrective service officers because their jobs may come under threat. O’Farrell will be in power for a while yet and as can be seen the Libs never give up.

  10. Iain Hall says:


    The fact that Thompson has been charged was something that you and your cronies were insiting would never happen and now it has, well what do they say about smoke and fire?

    • wixxy says:

      Actually, I have been expecting charges for a long time actually and have never said otherwise, I don’t expect a conviction and I’m confident that they will be dropped, although probably not until September 15…

      As for my cronies? Not sure who you mean, but I don’t answer for what others say or words others seem to want to put in their mouths…

      In NSW there is fire in far too many places…. Coalition closing fire stations will do that….

    • Marilyn says:

      WMD – smoke, no fire, many hundreds of thousands dead.

      Why is it that facists in this country believe they are allowed to assume things not true and not known?

  11. […] the use of a union creadit card to purchase goods and/or services for an official’s own use. Peter Wicks notes that there were no guidelines on HSU credit card use at the time, which I’ll get back to in a […]

  12. James Adelaide says:

    I was reading the comments on, but they closed the comments, so I post here

    The story , by Barrie Cassidy was ‘Certainty makes a rare and fleeting appearance’

    Okay fellow drum-ers,

    In summary, that comments stream was of the opinion, judged by the number of majority of identities (not posts) that:

    #The timing of the election announcement had little to do with the Tim Matheson joke.

    #The timing of the arrest appears contrived to advantage the LNP.

    #There are fears of State LNP (Vic and NSW) involvement

    #There fears of police collusion with State LNP.

    #The arrest exhibits unusual features. Media present at the arrest, strip search.

    End of consensus analysis.

    Start of personal opinion

    Steve Lewis was MC the press club, he announced the arrest and joked with Abbott as if they were friends. This man was involved with Gretch and Ashby. He appears to now be involved in Jacksonville (Thomson).

    Further allegations at Independent Australia that when Steve Lewis announced that Thomson had been arrested, no-one (press or LNP) showed any surprise, apparently they already knew. I know not, I only heard it on radio. Lewis served the news to Abbott as if it were a present for Abbott from what I heard.

  13. silkworm says:

    At the start of Abbott’s press conference, Lewis joked, “Welcome to the second day of the election campaign.” It got a laugh from the audience, but I think Lewis meant it for real. It’s an election campaign for Lewis’ mate Abbott, but not for Gillard, as she made plain when she announced the election date. But the MSM is continuing to push the Libs’ line that we are in election mode. Channel 7’s news website this morning is calling it “the lengthy unofficial election campaign.”

  14. Bridget says:

    Lets see what the Courts say – whether it is or isn’t proved anybody who believes it is morally acceptable to spend union members money on non-union affairs is morally bankrupt and has no position in public life. Lets hope Craig is innocent – both legally and morally.

    • Marilyn says:

      Oh for god’s sake, you are talking about fucking icecreams. Why do people try to make trivia into something big.

      IN the bogus FWA report they said in every so called case “there were not rules for the use of the credit card, he broke them”.

      I don’t know how any sane person could read that as anything but crap.

  15. Heather says:

    I’m particularly worried about the police role in this business. WTF is going on?

  16. Ex-Liberals Member says:

    Did someone especially within The Liberals bribe The Police to arrest Craig, like the way they did?

  17. Reality Hurts says:

    Iain and other Abbott supporters has proven many times, he well delete your comments if you don’t agree with him even those his comments are full of BS.

    Hey don’t like other people comments that disagree with your own, then don’t write your own. SIMPLE.

    And Bridget, Craig wasn’t found innocent before, why charge him again?

  18. froggie says:

    So why did Mark Arbib resign ??? , it’s alleged he was involved in the cover up of Craig Thomson’s scandal and speculation of shady deals.

  19. mark jordan says:

    I have a couple of questions that you might like to address.
    how did his union-funded credit card end up being used on everything from
    flash restaurants and business class travel to repeated encounters with

    If, as he says, someone had accessed his credit card details, his
    driver’s license number, and was somehow making telephone calls not just
    from his hotel room but also from his mobile, why on earth didn’t he go to
    the police himself? His action (or lack thereof) totally fails to convince
    the majority of Australians.

    “If Thomson had visited a million brothels, and eaten 10 ice creams in
    each one of them while he was there, it would make no difference to the
    It would if he used the HSU corporate card to pay for it.

    ‘It has already been ascertained that there were no guidelines in place on
    credit card procedure within the union.’Really? Who really needs a procedure or
    guideline for corporate credit cards? Are you trying to convince me Craig
    Thomson is that stupid?

    ‘Charges that Thomson adamantly denies’ of course he does, so what?

    ‘One of the issues that I foresee for the Victorian Police case, is how
    any of this is fraud.’Maybe not fraud but maybe embezzlement?

    What’s Jeff Jackson’s sex life got to do with Craig Thomson’s credit card

    ‘Maybe it’s just me, but I also considered it strange that the magistrate
    made it a condition of bail that Thomson not make contact with anybody he
    has paid for sex. Does this not seem like the presumption of guilt?’
    Not a presumption of guilt, prevention of witness tampering.
    God I sound like a Liberal.

    • Marilyn says:

      Witness tampering, what the fuck are you smoking? Where is the witness to say that lawfully using a credit card supplied by the union is illegal.

      Don’t you read or are you just stupid.

      And as there were no rules for the use of the fucking card what is the point of continuing the delusion that he did something wrong?

      He had to travel all over Australia as national secretary, he used the card to do so as was his legal rights.

      ARe you 12 years old or just a moron.

    • wixxy says:

      Thanks for your interest Mark,

      I think on most corporate credit cards you would find hotels and restaurants, as with any national role travel and meals are standard when travelling.
      As for the brothels, I don’t pretend to know the story, but I’m sure this would not be the first case of credit card fraud in the country if that were indeed what happenned.
      I can tell you however from speaking to many people involved within the HSU, this would not be the first set up with brothels within the organisation. Far from it.

      These were corporate cards, and the brotels do not state brothel on the receipt, they could have been resteraunts or anything, as for the phone, I don’t check every number on my bill that it says I’ve dialed unless it’s an expensive call, so why would Thomson. if he had dialed every number just to check it we’d be hearing about how he dialed the number twice now….

      As the HSU cards had no regulations on them, it makes no difference what he was spending. However as I have shown in my articles, Craigs expenditure is a fraction of what was spent by others in the union, particularly Jeff & Kathy Jackson.

      If you checked the papers and police ststements today, those claims that Craig “Adamantly denied” turned out to be totally false after all

      The charges were fraud, not embezzlement. Embezzlement is a form of fraud at any rate, once again purchasing goods or services with a credit card bearing your own name is not fraudulent.

      Jeff Jacksons frquenting brothels shows precedent, and a knowledge of their billing process. Highly relevant given that he was married to Kathy at the time and kathy is the self proclaimed whistleblower.

      Witness tampering??? These events were allegedly from over a decade ago, call me sceptical but I think the staff turnover in brothels may be a little more frequent than that. Even if one were to go to a brothel, do you really think a prostitute would be exchanging number’s with a client she’s only met once?? Let’s be real…

      The only tampering that has been done and proven by NSW Police Statements in the last few days has been the dodgy warrant from Victoria that keeps changing dates and content.

      I hope this answers your questions, and thanks for asking.

    • Kevin says:

      What is wrong is with some like Mark?

      Why do they write “fails to convince the majority of Australians” when they know in reality, they do not and well never speak for the .majority of Australians?

  20. sue says:


    have you heard anything about the “mistakes” by the police, as in Dyson, that are now supposedly being admitted days after the media show

  21. Kevin says:

    And why is Iain quiet, on his Liberal Party Mates being charged and/or taken to court for drink driving, fraud, slander, shop lifting etc etc?

    Is it because he thinks, breaking the law is ok?

    Which said a lot about Iain and the type of person he is and who he is connected to?

  22. Tony says:

    It’s worth having another look at just how happy Col Dyson appears to be in all this Victorian Police arrest fiasco….a picture says a thousand words…

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