Craig Thomson’s counter offensive strategy was based on attracting public attention to his case this week. To his distress, the Victorian Police beat him to it.

This wasn't on Thomson's message calender… Picture: Seven News

The raid on his central NSW coast home this morning was unexpected and will underline the perception that the former Labor MP, now an independent, has something to hide.

Whatever the objective of the raid, there will be a view that police had to strike early in the morning to get information Mr Thomson would not otherwise provide.

The raid was not totally unprecedented. In March, 2007, Australian Federal Police investigating claims of misuse of allowances raided the offices of three federal Liberal MPs, Andrew Laming, Ross Vasta and Gary Hargraves.

No charges were ever laid after the investigation.

There have been no charges proposed against Mr Thomson from police investigations in NSW and Victoria, but the raid today will be seen as a preparation for some sort of formal indictment.

The Opposition was quick to spread that notion.

It was a “significant development,” according to Liberal Senate leader Eric Abetz.

And Opposition Leader Tony Abbott commended the police for looking after the money of low-paid workers, a reference to Health Services Union members and Mr Thomson’s management of their funds while he was national secretary.

Mr Thomson today repeated his declaration of innocence.

He and his lawyer Chris McArdle had planned to go on the front foot this week and aggressively insist on that innocence. The strategy has been wrecked by the early morning police visit by NSW officers assisting their Victorian colleagues.

Lawyer Mr McArdle today questioned the police’s strategy, asking, “Is the purpose of the raid the administration of justice or… (the) continuing the campaign against my client?”

That will be a lonely contention as the Thomson legal bandwagon rolls on, apparently without a clear destination.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST.

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    • AdamC says:

      10:24am | 24/10/12

      I just acnnot understand why the Australian parliament has to wait for somethng to be litigated before it can do anything to expel or, at least, suspend someone who is so clearly inappropriate to sit in parliament. We need some sort of mechanism to deal with this sort of thing. It is ridiculous. Of course, if we did not have such an unprincipled government with such a slim parliamentary majority, I suspect Thomson would have been prevailed upon to resign two years ago.

    • PW says:

      10:46am | 24/10/12

      I’ll telly you why, Adam. It’s because he is innocent until found guilty by a court. This is one of the basic premises of our legal system. The cops paying you a visit does not in itself make you guilty.

      The Government doesn’t need Thomson’s vote anyway. The Libs didn’t think of this when they treated Slipper like dirt, silly buggers.

    • Debbie says:

      10:59am | 24/10/12

      Try “Section 8 of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987” for an understanding as to why not.

    • Davina says:

      11:00am | 24/10/12

      The power to do anything is in the hands of Julia Gillard, first female PM of Australia. She won’t do anything because that infamous power depends on Thomson remaining in the Parliament. No Thomson in Parliament No power to Gillard and hooray for the Australian people for there will be democratic Elections.

    • Mahhrat says:

      11:00am | 24/10/12

      Because even scumbags are entitled to the presumption of innocence, Adam.

      Should you lose your job because in a previous job you did something illegal?  That’s not fair - how would someone who makes a dumb decision as a youth ever recover from it?

      That all said, should there be scope for “bringing the parliament into disrepute?”  I think there should, and certainly there appears to be enough smoke to move based on that. 

      The only thing that really worries me about that idea though, is the toppling of ANY government based on the actions of just one person is something we shouldn’t take lightly.

    • AdamC says:

      11:04am | 24/10/12

      PW, the presumption of innocence is a principle of criminal law, not an excuse for perpetual inaction and a culture of impunity. Would you apply the same ‘do nothing until a guilty verdict’ principle to priests accused of child abuse?

      (That would have saved a lot of defrockings, just FYI.)

    • Dan says:

      11:11am | 24/10/12

      That’s an incredibly dangerous notion.

      What you’re suggesting is that allegations alone justify the expulsion of an MP from Parliament.

      That’s entirely absurd, and goes against the very foundation of our justice system.

      Craig Thomson’s job may not seem worth defending, but the notion a person is “innocent until proven guilty” certainly is.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      11:27am | 24/10/12

      “Because even scumbags are entitled to the presumption of innocence, Adam.”

      That’s all very well. And it sounds principled.  But there’s been very little principle shown in this affair.

      If Gillard (and the ALP) really believe in this presumption of innocence, why was Thompson turfed out of the ALP?

      If they truly believed in this principle, then he would have been told to stand his ground, and to have his day in court.  Instead, he was an inconvenience, so he was pushed out so that Gillard could refer to him as an “independent”.

      Similarly, Slipper was treated in much the same way.  Once he became a liability, Burke took over as Acting Speaker.  Where was the principle there?

      This is not about niceties such as presumptions of innocence, it’s about raw politics.

      And the raw politics of it are this:

      1) Thompson is done. Everyone knows it. Roxon and the government don’t want to defend him.

      2) Labor doesn’t an association with Thompson. But they want his vote.  So they pushed him sideways.

      3) Labor desperately want the investigation in to Thompson to take as long as possible.  They need this thing to drag out to the next election.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      12:38pm | 24/10/12

      AdamC,  unlike other circumstances, in this case, Thomson has to be found guilty of a crime that results in a prison term before he must resign his seat.  This goes back to the “innocent until proven guilty” premise that some here love so well.

      However, there are circumstances where Mr Thomson (and Mr Slipper) may have to resign without doing gaol time.  Thomson has been stood down from the Labour Party because, as far as they are concerned, he has lost their confidence and they are of the opinion that, where there is smoke, there is fire.  They can do that, they make the rules.  Further, they have stopped paying his legal bills.  Now, this is the biggie!  Thomson would not be in Parliament today except for the Labour Party paying his legal bills on a withdrawn defamation action he brought.  Had he failed to pay costs, he would have been declared a bankrupt meaning that he could no longer be an MP and must resign.  The NSW LP paid, he stayed.  Bob Brown was in the same situation and was also bailed out.

      Now, with the ALP purse strings cut, Thomson may not be able to pay his lawyer or the possible fines if he is found guilty.  Maximum penalty I have read suggests $6600 fine per offence.  And he is facing some 50+ offences.  Even if he is found guilty, he will not do gaol time but he must pay the fines, all the fines, per offence he is found guilty of.  If he is unable to pay, he must declare himself bankrupt and resign from Parliament.  This would also apply if he is forced to pay back the money.

      Gillard is hoping against hope that there will be no result until after the next election.  There might even be an action that, even if he pays the fines and pays back the money, he might still be considered an unfit person to be a Member of Parliament and is forced to resign by the sitting members.  For this, they would need the support of all the Independents to get it passed.

    • JB says:

      12:56pm | 24/10/12

      @Mahhrat, I agree with you in principal ( entitled to the presumption of innocence), but if a public servant is under investigation for serious misconduct they are suspended from their job until the investigate with clears them or they are formally charged!  Either way he should have stood down from his post!

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      01:04pm | 24/10/12

      @PW

      “The Government doesn’t need Thomson’s vote anyway.”

      Bzzt.

      They do indeed need his vote.  As we saw only recently, the independents are not guaranteed to support the ALP on all measures, particularly if it sullies them in the process.

      The Slipper vote showed how precarious Labor’s position is.

    • Fots says:

      01:07pm | 24/10/12

      @PW - He may be innocent until proven guilty, but so are the accused people that are remanded in custody.

      I say that the risk to the country is far too large to have someone who potentially committed these crimes acting on behalf of the nation. There is a risk that he will re-offend while we wait for the results…

    • PJ says:

      01:16pm | 24/10/12

      Good point AdamC

      In the workplace if someone’s budget or expenses are under scrutiny, while that investigation is going on they are suspended from work.

      But because Mr Thomson’s vote is required to prop up the Gillard Government, he is spared the normal course of events the rest of us must adhere too.

      It stinks

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      01:16pm | 24/10/12

      Your right Adam C a lowly paid security guard would have his license taken of him and losehis job but an MP is allowed to continue on as if nothng is wrong

    • Christian Real says:

      01:20pm | 24/10/12

      PW
      I agree, Craig Thomson is innocent until proven otherwise,and Tony Abbott,his Opposition party,his radio shock jock friends and his guillible supporters are not judge,jury and executioner.
      This Liberal lynch mob and their rabble of supporters have been condemning Craig Thompson from day one.
      It is not up to our Parliament to judge,our Parliament is not a court of law and neither is a certain radio station that two of Abbott’s shock jock friends host their propaganda show from.
      It is not up to Tony Abbott to blantantly mis-use our Parliament to pass judgement on Craig Thompson or any one else,that is why we have courts of law with qualified judges.

    • AdamC says:

      01:49pm | 24/10/12

      Debbie, thanks for that reference. Bizarrely, that Act (Section 7) seems to enable to House to fine and even imprison people for “an offence against the House”. Do you know if that power has ever been used before?

      To some of the other commenters, I think you need to distinguish between the idea of criminal conviction and people, such as employers, taking action based on reasonable evidence. There is quite a bit of evidence on the public record against Thomson. It may not be sufficient for a criminal conviction (time will tell on that score) but it is sufficient to suggest he should not be able to remain in a position of public trust, at least not until the matters have been resolved.

      As Greg in Chengdu points out, however, the current arrangements apply almost no standards of behaviour to MPs.

    • Louise says:

      02:27pm | 24/10/12

      AdamC, according to this government, maybe it would also be misandrist to remove him.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      02:49pm | 24/10/12

      Christian Real,

      So Abbott whipped up the frenzy did he?  Nothing about the union itself dobbed him in?  Those wicked shock jocks.  How very dare they agree with Cathy Jackson that someone needs to be held accountable for what appears to be $300,000 (and more) ripped off from the unions.

      Mate.  Thomson’s, card, Thomson’s, phone, Thomson’s signature.  Or did AbbottAbbottAbbott sneak into his house a la Mission Impossible and do it all himself????

      Thomson appears to be involved in a systematic abuse of other peoples money.  People who earn a crust by cleaning out bed pans and scrubbing floors.  Abbott didn’t rip them off, Thomson did.  Alan Jones didn’t rip them off, Thomson did.  Abbott didn’t suspend him from the ALP, the ALP did.  Abbott didn’t cut off his funding, the ALP did.

      Thomson broke the 11th Commandment.  Don’t get caught!

    • Jess says:

      03:33pm | 24/10/12

      Mary what’s her name from Adelaide… She only resigned after the guilty verdict

    • Louise says:

      04:00pm | 24/10/12

      Jess,

      “Mary what’s her name”‘s case didn’t involve the stewardship of lowly paid union members’ money. She was reportedly suffering a mental illness at the time (and yet our Great Defender of Women PM Gillard quite callously made the same spurious analogy you do). The supermarket didn’t want to press charges. And the case was dealt with long ago.

      Craig Thomson’s case goes to potentially systemic union corruption.  Union boss Michael Williamson’s been charged with 20 offences (didn’t rate much in the news -  PM’s go-girl performance in Parliament more important). Thomson only seemed to be suffering when it looked like he might have to resign. The union members probably (rightly) wouldn’t be as understanding as the supermarket. And this case just drags on and on.

      Everyone sure remembers Craig Thomson’s name.

    • Fiddler says:

      10:24am | 24/10/12

      if his lawyer really believes that then he can put his money where his mouth is and challenge the legality of the search warrant and launch a civil action against the police by saying there were no grounds for the application.

      But I seriously doubt that will stand up in court.

    • Anthony says:

      10:29am | 24/10/12

      And it isn’t a sighnificant development?

    • Rosie says:

      10:32am | 24/10/12

      What do we do now? Wait for the Gillard Labor Govt, to tell us that Thomson is so stress out that he might top himself - therefore we must take caution in the words we use when giving our opinion about the once Labor politician that was made to resign from the Labor Party because of public outcry! Other words, like PM Gillard be very precious and do not criticize, name or shame him.

      What say Mr Farr?

    • dovif says:

      10:32am | 24/10/12

      The Federal government spend years delaying this investigation with their “Fair Work” investigation, they have protected him just long enough, so that if he is convicted, he woun’t be disgarded until after the next election

      Such is the merky depth that this ALP government is willing to lower the level of government

      There is a moral vacuum in the ALP, where the PM Julia gives her full support to the likes of Thompson and defend Slipper and his misogyny, where lies are regularly spread and people like Rudd treated with no dignity

      There is a cancer within the ALP, which needs to be removed

    • PW says:

      10:50am | 24/10/12

      You have evidence the Government delayed the investigation Dovif? If so by all means share it with us. Surely such evidence would help your side of politics. If it existed that is.

    • JoniM says:

      11:09am | 24/10/12

      Spot on dovif !
      The ALP has played this perfectly, by kicking the issue into the “long grass” of FWA it has managed to chew up enough time now, that he no longer has any importance or survival threat to the Government. So FWA can finally release the findings and even pass stuff to the police, no more need for the ALP to pay his legal bills, no need to have him in the Party, he won’t be pre-selected again. The disgraceful political cover up has worked and now because the HSU had no rules about financial accountability in using members funds, he will likely not be charged with any criminal wrongdoing !
      You have to wonder what this mornings raid was all about ? Raiding his home 5 years down the track will unlikely reveal nothing. Surely he can’t be that stupid to have any incriminating evidence lying around today ?
      Perhaps the police are just needing some PR coverage or to show they are still committed to justice, unlike our government ?

    • andye says:

      11:15am | 24/10/12

      @pw - of course he doesn’t. It is way easier to just insinuate and make sh** up.

    • somal says:

      11:32am | 24/10/12

      There actually is evidence of a government member corresponding with Fair Work Australia talking about getting it “out of the headlines” pretty clear what the intention is there…

    • JT says:

      11:55am | 24/10/12

      @PW

      ‘‘The analysis of credit card expenditure in the National Office investigation was conducted near the end of the investigation.  This analysis could have been conducted at an earlier stage of the investigation, and may have led to the investigation being completed in a shorter timeframe, considering that alleged unauthorised credit card expenditure was a significant focus of this investigation’‘

      http://www.fwa.gov.au/documents/organisations/reports/KPMG_review.pdf

      Blame a deliberate go slow or sheer incompetence, either way FWA delays protected Craig Thompson.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      12:19pm | 24/10/12

      PW and andye, maybe there was a conspiracy within government to do a “go slow” on this, maybe someone in FWA had a “good idea” and run it slow off their own bat.  Either way, three years is far too long to investigate the original claims against Thomsom. But then, one should never confuse stupidity with evil intent.  The Victorian Police expressed their displeasure at FWA’s tardiness and it has been revealed that FWA are not staffed for this type of investigation.  They are geared toward industrial investigation where those evil bosses <hiss, boo> are being brought to justice by the Unions <hooray!  Huzzah!> and it’s all over in a couple of days.

      But this is Caesar judging Caesar.  FWA admit they are not set up to investigate criminal matters.  They should have done enough investigation to show a prima fascia case of illegal activity and then handed it over to the police.  They didn’t.  Why?  Don’t know but it looks bad for the Gillard government because it helps to retain their slim majority and there is a perception that Gillard et al had a hand in this slow down.

      And that perception is what is damaging Gillard.  Now if only he had sent sexest text messages instead of hiring hookers…..

    • andye says:

      12:44pm | 24/10/12

      @Steve of QBN - Good comment.

      I honestly think that between Slipper and Thompson there is a lot more going on than we realise, or that will likely ever come out. Both of these stories reek of a fishy suspicious smell and I don’t trust either the accusers or the defendants in these accusations.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      12:44pm | 24/10/12

      JT, as I said in my post, the perception is that FWA played it slow.  Was it deliberate or accidental?  Either way, it benefited a minority government and will be seen as obstructing justice.

      PW…. the floor is yours.  Proof of sorts has been provided…...

    • PJ says:

      01:18pm | 24/10/12

      Evidence of delay and procrastination is seen in the fact that FWA started it’s investigation over 4 years ago. Once the report was finished it was shelved.

      Four years despite 157 criminal charges being cited???

      Come on get real!!

    • Jason says:

      01:25pm | 24/10/12

      REPLY TO
      PW
      10:50am | 24/10/12

      Speak to any lawyer about the advice the governments own Attorney-General gave fair work Australia

      The advise to Fair work Australiathat allowing access to HSU documents to police in there possession could breach privacy laws

      This advice fails on a number of fronts and is why this investigation is running 2-3 years behind schedule

      The fact is there was a police complaint on behalf on the HSU by someone with the Authority to make this complaint
      Police had a right to collect these files from the Union in the course of there police investigation

      The ALP have had a direct input into at the very least delaying the current police investigation as a consequence to the above mentioned advise

    • JoniM says:

      02:43pm | 24/10/12

      @Steve of QBN

      “FWA admit they are not set up to investigate criminal matters.  They should have done enough investigation to show a prima fascia case of illegal activity and then handed it over to the police.  They didn’t.  Why? “

      Because FWA is set up as “hidey hole” to bury troublesome ALP industrial issues. A bit like the Unions not being set up to help workers, but rather deliberately set up like the HSU to ensure not being liable for anything !
      Throw a problem into this “independent” FWA body for as long as it is required to be there. Then as a government you can get the issue off the front pages, you can avoid answering any of those nasty questions as it’s in the hands of the “independent” body. You can wipe your hands of the whole thing as long as your tenure remains safe ! If that nasty Abbott wasn’t so relentlessly negative and persistant, Thomsen could even be up for pre-selection again !

    • Christian Real says:

      02:46pm | 24/10/12

      Dovif
      Have you got proof that the Federal Government delayed this investigation?,if so please fell free to present it.
      The only cancer dovif is coming from within the Liberal party and it is spreading to people like you that are guillible enough to swallow their diatribe.

    • Steve says:

      06:46pm | 24/10/12

      @PW
      Do you really believe that it takes 4 years to investigate an alleged credit card fraud? Do you really think voters are that stupid? PW are you willing to give a personal guarantee on this page that there it has been no delay in this investigation?
      Do you have any evidence supporting your claim that it takes 4 years to investigate a simple credit card fraud.
      Why in similar cases can the matter be cleared up in months PW???
      Why has this case of an ex Union Leader, ex Labor Minister taken so long?
      Are you say ordinary people can’t ask questions on a perceived slow down of justice?
      I notice you do not claim he is innocent only that there is currently no evidence. Thomson is entitled to a presumption of innocence, the rest of us are entitled to know if there is one law for the political Labor elite and one for the rest of us plebs.

    • devalara says:

      10:48am | 24/10/12

      How did a Sydney news crew get from Syd to Wyong 20 minutes after police - tip off and by whom???

    • Fiddler says:

      11:26am | 24/10/12

      I imagine there may have been a local crew there? Also such briefings are I believe quite commonplace on the understanding that if it ever gets leaked they warnings will be cut-off.

    • Paul C says:

      11:35am | 24/10/12

      The Media listen to Police Scanners all the time.  They are faster than ambulances most of the time. 

      I’m really surprised they weren’t set up and ready to shoot when the cops arrived. 

      20 Minutes is a bit slack on their part.

    • TKC says:

      12:06pm | 24/10/12

      When I was a kid, we had a couple of people crash and die in our front yard on New Years Eve. It was news, because it tipped the road toll for that year just above the road toll for the previous year.

      The news crews were there before the ambulance was, and it sure as hell wasn’t the police that tipped them off. The local cop was, in fact, quite angry about it and removed them from our property in no uncertain terms.

      Frankly, I’m surprised it took them 20 mins.

    • Jim says:

      12:25pm | 24/10/12

      I worked at a place that saw a very serious cave-in with potential for high fatalities (70 people missing). We were about 400km from Sydney as the crow flies, and just 20km from the local township.

      Sydney crews from channels 7 and 9 beat the local ambulances to site.

    • S.L says:

      11:04am | 24/10/12

      I saw all the hooha this morning as Craig only lives in the next street from me.
      You’d think they’d found the hideout of Al Capone there were so much law there!
      Or was there a chance he’d shoot his way out? Wankers!!!!!

    • Luke says:

      11:35am | 24/10/12

      You sure it was “so much law”? probably media I think S.L

    • S.L says:

      12:16pm | 24/10/12

      Believe me Luke they were there too!
      I’m not expressing an opinion on his guilt or innocence but in my view it was a lot of B/S to show the media they do their job occasionally…..

    • dweezy2176 says:

      12:49pm | 24/10/12

      Two weeks ago a dope-head a couple of doors from me O/Ded and FOUR ambulances turned up within a time-frame of five minutes r(the street is two minutes from the local hospital). have you ever heard of a housecall that attracted 4 ambulances? Sadly, he survived so if two dozen police turned up for Thompson it doesn’t really matter besides they might have needed the numbers to carry all the credit cards he leaves lying around for persons unknown to get their jollies!

    • Kippo says:

      01:41pm | 24/10/12

      Didn’t know you could overdose on dope?

    • difficult difficult lemon difficult says:

      03:02pm | 24/10/12

      @ Kippo - dope is vernacular for any type of illegal drug (or, in the case of Armstrong for instance, legal drugs used illegally) - not just pot/cannabis/weed. So, yes, you can OD on some types of dope.

    • DavidT says:

      11:21am | 24/10/12

      Everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence That said, there IS a problem here.
      If Thomson was still (a) a member of the ALP and (b) still voting from the government benches because the government had complete confidence in him there would probably still be problems but the government clearly believes there is something wrong - indeed may know there is something wrong.  Accepting his vote but not keeping him within their ranks is rank hypocrisy. It is aimed at nothing more than remaining in power.
      Thomson should do the right thing - bring down a corrupt government.

    • Christian Real says:

      01:36pm | 24/10/12

      David T
      It good to see that you, like many other Liberals believe that you are so perfect to be able to judge and condemn Craig Thompson as being guilty.
      Australia,my friend does not have a lynch mob law like the old west in America used .
      In this country, we have a law, where people’s guilt or innocence is tried in A Court Of Law, not on a certain political radio station in Sydney, Not in our Parliament by Tony Abbott and his Liberal Opposition Party,and certainly not by the right wing Liberal fanatic mob of supporters.

    • JoniM says:

      03:02pm | 24/10/12

      “It good to see that you, like many other Liberals believe that you are so perfect to be able to judge and condemn Craig Thompson as being guilty.’

      FWA eventually released its report of dozens of findings against him and eventually even handed evidence over to the police.
      He should be most grateful of all the government protection!
      At least he wasn’t judged and condemned as a woman hater under Parliamentary privilege with absolutely no evidence !

    • ChrisW says:

      03:12pm | 24/10/12

      I don’t think “perfect” has anything to do with it @Christian Real - the simple fact is that Labor has asked him to remove himself from the party and still accepts his vote - @David T is right - that is rank hypocrisy.
      This is not about whether someone is guilty or innocent - this is about someone who is there to represent other people. He should resign. Slipper should resign - neither of them are representing the people as they were elected to do.

    • Muzz says:

      11:32am | 24/10/12

      Craig Thompson is looking more and more like the Lance Armstrong of politics.

    • nihonin says:

      11:49am | 24/10/12

      I hear he is becoming adept at back pedaling.

    • Bob says:

      01:00pm | 24/10/12

      HappyG - Gillard will probably jump back on her podium and give another screaming, screatching headline grabbing speech attacking Abbotts personality. She’ll need an Oscar winning performance this time, not just an AFI. to divert the electorates attention from Thomson.

    • Steve says:

      05:28pm | 24/10/12

      This Labor / Union regime is rotten to the core, they should fit right in with all the other UN creeps.

    • maria says:

      11:52am | 24/10/12

      How long has he been under scrutiny?
      Don’t you think he had enough time to remove anything possible to screw him.

      Australia is not a democracy, Australia is a MAFIACRACY.
      Government by a few, especially by a small faction of persons or families.

      Julia is our Godmother and Tony is our Godfather.

      Haven’t you read the previous blog by Evan Witton
      “We find the legal system guilty, broken, and corrupt.”

    • Karen from Qld says:

      12:10pm | 24/10/12

      “There have been no charges proposed against Mr Thomson from police investigations in NSW and Victoria” Not that they’re telling you Mal anyway but it seems pretty evident that they are building a case. The seizing of personal handwriting rather than relying on what is out there in the public domain seems to indicate that they are seeking samples of handwriting that are linked to Thomson and Thomson only. The figurative noose is tightening.

    • Rickster says:

      12:24pm | 24/10/12

      You’ve got to hand it to those Victorian coppers…...so quick off the mark. How long has this saga been going on? and why did they need 20 cops there? Photo opprotunities?

    • jason says:

      02:16pm | 24/10/12

      The investigation was delayed as access to HSU documents were blocked by fair work Australia

      The governments own Attorney-General gave fair work Australia advice in a written reply to some carefully written questions that sharing these documents with police may breach privacy laws despite there being the required Police complaint by an party for the authority to make the police complaint on behalf of the HSU that should have negated any breach in privacy laws

    • jason says:

      02:16pm | 24/10/12

      The investigation was delayed as access to HSU documents were blocked by fair work Australia

      The governments own Attorney-General gave fair work Australia advice in a written reply to some carefully written questions that sharing these documents with police may breach privacy laws despite there being the required Police complaint by an party for the authority to make the police complaint on behalf of the HSU that should have negated any breach in privacy laws

    • Phil says:

      12:27pm | 24/10/12

      Craig Thomson will never be found guilty of any charges relating to this. The only charges so far are civil charges brought by a corrupt FWA. Thomson has done nothing wrong and by the time he proves this, the right wing crazies chasing him will already be in power.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      12:58pm | 24/10/12

      Phil, ever the optimist.  Mind you, it would be fun to hear him explain just how those changes for hookers appeared on his card.  And signed for in his handwriting.  And booked via his phone.  And all without him knowing a thing about it.

      Now, I don’t know about you and I sure don’t know about old Craig but…if MY missus saw my credit card was being used to pay for some horizontal salsa lessons, I’D blame Russian hackers as well otherwise I’d be facing a severe Bobbitting!

      And I find it passing strange that while FWA was dragging it’s heels it was all “under proper investigation” and now they are pressing charges it’s “a corrupt FWA”?  As others have asked, “got proof of that have ya?”

    • jason says:

      01:46pm | 24/10/12

      Wow…

      Clearly you also have not looked very hard at what evidence is already in the public domain from the left learning Sydney Morning Herald

    • TC says:

      06:05pm | 24/10/12

      This just proves that no matter what evidence there is, some people will simply choose to bury their head in the sand if it involves their tribe.

    • Spence says:

      12:30pm | 24/10/12

      Abbott is going to look really stupid when Craig is found to be completely innocnet of all charges.

      Will Abbott then resign?

      Shame Abbott! Shame!

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      12:57pm | 24/10/12

      “Will Abbott then resign?”

      And if Thompson is found guilty on any of the charges against him, or resigns from Parliament, will you then come back to this forum and offer your apology?

      Or will you continue to bang on about Abbott, as if Abbott was the real problem here?

      Hint: it’s Thompson who is being investigated, and it’s Thompson who has pushed out of the ALP (despite this supposed “presumption of innocence”).

    • Steve of QBN says:

      01:13pm | 24/10/12

      Spence, Thomson will have been voted out at the next election long before these matters are dealt with in a court.

      And Abbott by that time will have resigned from being Leader of the Opposition because he will have taken over the seat kept warm for him by Gillard.  Or Rudd maybe.  Or will it be Shorten?  Swan!  2 bob on Swanee.

    • Zed says:

      01:36pm | 24/10/12

      Was it Abbot who raided shagger’s house today ?
      And here I was thinking it was the police.

    • jason says:

      01:40pm | 24/10/12

      Seriously

      Clearly you have not looked very hard at what evidence is already in the public domain

    • Two Cents worth says:

      02:07pm | 24/10/12

      @ Phil, @ Spence - your devotion to Labor is admirable, your belief in Craig Thomson’s innocence even more so. Yes he has yet to be proven guilty of civil and or criminal (yet to be laid) charges, but what of the Union members funds spent on his Election campaign. These were small enough to get in under the radar and, I believe, contributed in such a way that they did not contravene the provisions of the Electoral Act, at least this is my understanding of what occurred. As this is now “water under the bridge” most have forgotten about it in light of bigger fish to fry. However my recollection is that several thousands were spent and this was still HSU members money.
      What is your ethical take on this as you appear to firmly believe he is innocent of all charges, or should we not look at the ethics of our politicians. If they commit wrongdoings in Parliamentary or private life should they not be subject to the Laws of the land just like everyone else?
      Personally I don’t care what Party line they follow, if they engage in dubious or criminal conduct, bring Parliament into disrepute or they are ethically / morally bankrupt then they do not deserve to represent the people of this Nation.
      The voters of Australia deserve only the highest calibre of Politicians with principle, integrity and honesty as their foremost virtues.

    • Mark990 says:

      12:45pm | 24/10/12

      Innocent until proven guilty??? This guy has mountains of evidence against him in that there are credit card records of his that show this money being withdrawn or receipts from brothels with his signature. His only defense is “someone else must have used my card”. At the very least he is guilty by his own admission of being completely reckless with union funds by allowing anyone and everyone to use his credit card at will. This should be more than enough to have him expelled from his position as an MP.

      Comparing his role to any other job like some people on here are doing is completely illogical. This guy is an elected member of parliament not a bar tender, and he should face the same kind of scruples as a Judge or Police Inspector!  Marcus Einfeld went to jail for lying about a speeding ticket!

      There is enough evidence that this guy wasted union money (or at least allowed it to happen) that he should be expelled immediately, and if found guilty in the courts should be locked up for life. Whether it was spent on hookers or whether he was responsible for ALL of the cash withdrawals is irrelevant. The fact is HIS credit card that HE was responsible for has hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of unaccounted for withdrawals.

    • JoniM says:

      04:03pm | 24/10/12

      The guy will likely avoid any criminal charges only due to the deliberately designed lack of governance in the set up of his shonky union.
      But one thing no one can ever dispute is that he his guilty of being a low human being on so many counts ! And even without criminal conviction, his greed and arrogance will eventually bring down this flakey government !

    • wolf says:

      12:46pm | 24/10/12

      I blame Tony Abbott.
      If the whispering campaign is to be believed, what we have here is a member of parliament who in his previous career tried to help many low paid female workers by providing them with a stable income.  To think that ‘that man’ Abbott would seek to undo all of Thompsons good work by fiendishly manipluating the police into a frivilous investigation is just typical of the man.
      This story should be about Tony Abbott and his negative attitude. In fact every news story should be about Tony Abbott and his negative attitude. Heaven forbid that we would expect the Prime Minister to answer questions regarding policy, the performance of her goverment or her judgement.

    • Sharz says:

      01:15pm | 24/10/12

      Yeah leave Craig Thomson alone, you could be sued according to his lawyer. (Are we living in a dictatorship country?) It is Tony Abbott that we should discredit. There shouldn’t be any limits to discrediting this man. He should be first defamed for being a misogynist and hating his wife, his three daughters, his mother and sisters. We can then carry on from there, listening out for every word he utters that could easily be taken out of context in vilifying PM Gillard. Anything to do with her being childless, unwed, atheism and living in the Lodge with boyfriend Tim is out bounds. Oh yeah not forgetting she doesn’t believe in same sex marriage.

    • hedy says:

      01:41pm | 24/10/12

      II am stunned at your logic. Do you like Gobbles and some in government believe if you say something long enough it becomes the truth?

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      06:32pm | 24/10/12

      @wolf

      “... help many low paid female workers by providing them with a stable income. “

      Tee hee.

      So, what your’e saying is that Thompson was merely trying to help Australian Working Women?

      Sounds reasonable.

    • Norm from Melbourne says:

      12:58pm | 24/10/12

      No matter what the outcome of the investigation may be, Craig Thomson knows that he has NO chance of being reelected. If he were really innocent he would do what a man of honour would do, that is resign. Better for him that way, better for Australia anyway!

    • Andrew says:

      02:24pm | 24/10/12

      So if he is innocent he should resign? Is the opposite “if he is guilty then he should stay employed”?

      I would have thought the opposite to be true. If he is innocent then he has every right to be where he is and i think get a few apologies. If he is guilty he should resign.

    • Gran says:

      01:39pm | 24/10/12

      Whatever happens, and whomever is found guilty or not,  don’t forget it is the subscription money of some of the lowest paid Australian workers that has been stolen and most likely misused.  Money that was paid to the union in good faith in order to have some kind of job protection -

    • Onlooker says:

      01:52pm | 24/10/12

      We all knew it would probably happen, the police at his door but I am not a judge and I am not God so I will be content to let the police handle this. We will all find out soon enough if he is guilty or Innocent and speculation before it goes to court is just dribble really until we get all the facts. I felt the same about that shop lifting Liberal Senator.. We pay Police and courts to handle these issues

    • Trevor A says:

      01:56pm | 24/10/12

      Regardless the Liberal dirt unit is pushing out dirt every day and the senator was at it again yesterday.
      Going to be embarrassing if Thompson gets off. What action could he take in Parliament?

    • ruru says:

      02:12pm | 24/10/12

      That shop lifting Liberal was roundly defended by the Libs, banging on about the need for justice to be done through the court system blah blah blah…
      Hypocrites.

    • gnome says:

      02:20pm | 24/10/12

      And was justice done?

    • Karen from Qld says:

      02:41pm | 24/10/12

      “that shop lifting Liberal” seems to the ALP’s catch call for the day. Guys you should mix it up a bit so that it does not seem so obvious.

    • huh? says:

      03:59pm | 24/10/12

      Actually, Mary Jo Fisher got charged with assault and shoplifting last year. She got off the shoplifting charge because of a panic attack ( which the prosecution has since argued her psyche report ‘lacked objectivity and showed an element of bias’ and want the case reopened.)
      She expected the taxpayer to pick up the $200,00 tab, then got into strife for failing to pay up.
      Then in June this year gets caught shoplifting AGAIN before reluctantly resigning. 
      Didn’t see Labor hounding her out of parliament while all this nonsense was unfolding.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      04:02pm | 24/10/12

      yeah ruru.  Pity she actually had a mental illness and resigned.  But there ya go…..

    • QE12 says:

      03:10pm | 24/10/12

      The Craig Thomson scandal no longer matters because he’s just one more domino in the life and times of the Prime Minister.  They are all inextricably connected, with Julia Gillard the binding agent.
      Julia Gillard has defended the indefensible. She insulted the women in the Leader of the Opposition’s life. She has become known for moving the goalposts in desperate attempts to further her ambitions.  She has shown a level of policy incompetence never seen (I’ve been told) since the Whitlam era but even then, Gough was always the gentleman.  Gillard in contrast is undignified and insincere.

      In focusing on herself and adopting victim status, she has revealed herself not only as a liar, but someone who would say or do whatever it takes to save her Labor Party leadership.  Just like Craig Thomson, Julia Gillard must lie awake at night figuring out her next public statement.

      Makes you wonder if Thomson is singing from the Lance Armstrong songbook, but I bet there’s another canary singing away, and not just about slush funds.

      Those Labor men must be sick and tired of the baggage their erratic Captain Gillard increasingly heaps on their Titanic.

    • huh? says:

      03:17pm | 24/10/12

      Was the shoplifting Liberals vote deemed tainted?

    • Bear says:

      03:45pm | 24/10/12

      Ray Hadley and Channel 7 think it is their job to tell you who you should vote for and are running around trying to bring down an elected Govt. You all sook about so called ‘free speech,’ you should therefore be equally alarmed that the media are no longer messengers but manipulating and interferring with democracy! Ba! Of course not! Sycophants and hypocrite all!

    • Steve of QBN says:

      04:08pm | 24/10/12

      Bear, how right you are.  I mean, look at the close media scrutiny Rudd got before the 2007 election.  He got such a free ride, it almost appeared that the ABC were on the Rudd election payroll.  Howard put out a policy?  Media - where’s the money coming from?  Rudd puts out a policy?  Media - what a wonderful idea, someone should have thought of that sooner…..

      It’s not Chanel 7’s job to tell us who to vote for!  It’s the ABC’s!  And the Drum, QandA and the rest of the lovvies.  See?  Cuts both ways buddy.

    • Diamantina Dick says:

      04:15pm | 24/10/12

      Actually Hadley seemed to be the only one on scene who questioned Thomsons BS. Like how the NSW Police have cleared him - BS. Like how he SETTLED his defamation case with Fairfax - he dropped it, copped costs and had to be bailed out by the ALP to prevent bankruptcy… Loved how the police raiding his home was nothing to do with him, priceless.

    • Mucka says:

      04:31pm | 24/10/12

      @Bear, you are a rolled gold idiot. The media has since their existence influenced politics, never have they before or will they in the future be able to bring down an elected government they will however influence who is elected. nobody I know is sooking because the government hasn’t been brought down but they want them held to account, even the staunchest labor support has to be concerned about what is happening. When your footy team is having a crap season you don’t stop supporting them you do ask the board to give the coach the arse though…...

    • Ozziebloke says:

      04:17pm | 24/10/12

      Surely Craig and lawyer should have seen this one coming. They practically could have had the breakfast ready for them and charged them for the service (seriously). To me this action shows clearly the lack of evidence in this case and it is questionable if this search warrant should have been granted. If there was conclusive evidence, there was no need for a search warrant. Weak call on the part of law enforcement but nevertheless understandable, they are almost “forced” to bring him to justice. What would be there after so many years on evidence? Those places would be sparkly clean, evidence wise. Sadly there is a large parallel with the Dr. Patel case. Slow response as the Government prefers to hide it due to their own involvement, eventually it is in the open, investigations are delayed, public outcry (sort of) and then a force prosecution. This is the mess you get when you mix up the three legal corners (law makers, law enforcement, prosecution). And non of our politicians understand this on either side.

    • Brian says:

      04:41pm | 24/10/12

      Craig Thompson is or was a member of the Labor Party who erected a statue to that Mafia politician Al. Grasby. So that is an indication of the massive cover up the Gillard Gov. is trying to erect.
      Brian.

    • a common simple man says:

      04:46pm | 24/10/12

      Mr Thomson’s lawyer Mr McArdle accuses others of mouthing off and political innuendo when that’s all he has been doing himself, mouthing off at everyone that isn’t “Pro-Thomson”. Seems to me like he is doing Gillard a favour (for a favour of course) to keep things going for Thomson. When this rotten ship inevitablably sinks and all the rats start writing their tell all books for their final buck, the tell alls about each and every one of these scandals should be consign Labor to the history books for what it is, a once great party now rotten to the core.

      If the incoming liberals resemble anything like this current mob, the two party system in australia is screwed, I say at that point reach for our “pitchforks”

      God save Australia~.

    • LC says:

      05:02pm | 24/10/12

      Yep, Craig Thompson is totally innocent.

      It was the fault of Tony Abbott, who hired four ASIO agents, three broke into his home with a master key while he was at the local pool, stole his union credit card and mobile, giving them to the fourth one who looked very much like Thompson, who then used them at a brothel and paid for stuff related to Thompson’s election campaign, then took them back to his house where they were put them all back exactly as they were before Thompson got home. Yeah, that’s right!

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      06:50pm | 24/10/12

      To those people saying there’s a presumption of innocence (which I happen to agree with), and that it’s therefore acceptable for Thompson to keep his position, even though he’s been ditched by the ALP…

      what do you have to say about SA’s (ALP) Premier Jay Weatherill, who has called on an ALP MP to resign due to charges of accessing child pornography?

      Weatherill’s argument is that because of the special circumstances, and an inability to properly carry out his job, the MP in question should depart the scene.

      (In other words, don’t contaminate the ALP any longer; get the hell out of here and stop damaging our brand.  Presumption of innocence be damned.)

      So why is it OK for a State Premier to call on an MP to quit, but not OK for Parliamentarians and our PM to call on another MP to quit? 

      And why is it OK to get Slipper to stand aside—while keeping his pay—to allow the Deputy Speaker to take his job, if we’re truly talking about a presumption of innocence?

      If he’s innocent, why would he have to step aside?

      Why aren’t these actions hypocritical?

 

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