Even the pollies are sick of the Craig Thomson saga
Parliament is growing weary of Craig Thomson riding the “presumption of innocence’’ principle for all he is worth. In fact, Parliament is tired of Craig Thomson.
The allegations against him point to behavior so objectionable that if true would be more than enough to end Mr Thomson’s public life. But it’s not just the allegations.
The Health Services Union saga has been so drawn out - over close to five years - that even the most staunch defender of the right to proper process is wondering when that entitlement becomes a means to dodge accountability.
So Mr Thomson’s announcement that he will address the House of Representatives some time in the sitting week starting May 22 will take some of the strain out of whatever tolerance he from others he has left to enjoy.
Mr Thomson was perfectly right to declare his innocence and demand an official test of any allegations against him.
However, as a member of Parliament with duties to an electorate which sent him there, he also should use that forum to explain his actions and give a detailed response to the claims against him.
He cannot sit there and pretend that the furore over the claims outside don’t penetrate Parliament’s walls. And he should respect Parliament’s need to maintain the highest levels of integrity to match the elevated responsibilities voters give MPs.
It must be repeated that Mr Thomson has repeatedly said he is innocent of the claims, the claims have not been properly tested, and it is possible that when they are tested no criminal law will be found broken.
However, MPs have other obligations which come with participation in parliamentary democracy. Mr Thomson should have noted this a lot earlier.
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