Cartoon: By Pickering.
Former Labor Senator Graham Richardson seems to have had enough of the charade that is the current government and cut loose on it. Richo was one of the most competent Labor members for many years and is disgusted at the depths that the current crop has reached. In doing so he seems to have reached out to the unlikeliest person in Barnaby Joyce, by pinching his comment on Craig Thompson.
In August last year Joyce said on the ‘Meet the Press’ programme on Thompson’s use of a union credit card for prostitution services:
Well, it is all very unsavory but we have a month of a whole range of possibilities we got to. One is that a thief broke into Craig's house and he stole Craig's mobile phone, he stole Craig's credit card and he stole driver’s licence. He then managed to operate Craig's mobile phone as he drove to Sydney.Now Richo is saying:
When he got to Sydney he presented himself, and this thief looked a lot like Craig Thomson, he then had to vouch for his signature and his signature was a lot like Craig Thomson’s. Then a transaction took place which we will not go into. He then went back up to the Central Coast, broke back into the house and put everything back where he found it.
Now, that is one possibility and the other possibility is – and this is a far-fetched one – is Craig Thomson. They’re the two possibilities we’ve got. …
The issue is that he said he didn’t do it and the Prime Minister says she has full confidence, which must mean she believes the story and there is a big problem.
.... To believe Thomson never visited the house of ill-repute that appears on his credit card statement, you would have to believe that a person unknown stole his credit card, forged his signature, stole his driver's licence - a copy of which was appended to the credit card payment - and also stole his phone, which was used three times between the Central Coast and the city of Sydney to call the house on the day in question.Perhaps some attribution may have been in order.
Further, you would have to believe that the credit card, the licence and the phone were all miraculously returned the next day.
As evidence mounts of the systematic bleeding of union funds for a decade or more, Gillard must share the shame that the whole of the labour movement must now bear. What disgusts me most is that the losers are some of the lowest paid workers in the land.
The problem for Gillard and the government is that if he were dumped, it would lose its desperate fingernail hold on power and face an angry electorate, which according to latest polls would deliver it a Queensland like thrashing. The national workplace relations tribunal, Fair Work Australia has just completed a three year investigation into the HSU, which appears to be so amateurish that the DPP states that their report is useless. FWA is giving a great impression of a government department running interference for its political masters.