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Beating Around The Bush – The Kathy Jackson hearing that never was

November 20, 2017 - 21:36 -- Editor

Way back in May 2012 a bloke called Psy was showing us Gangnam style, Hollywood was showing us its diversity with Men In Black 3, and one of our current backbenchers was Opposition Leader and telling us all about the virtues of a heroic whistleblower named Kathy Jackson.

It was a controversial time in politics.

True friendships were evolving in the Coalition. Clive Palmer was the Coalitions largest donor. Since then of course the coal miner went on to do preference deals with the Greens and headed a party with a shelf life of one term. Former Speaker Peter Slipper had his career ruined and his reputation shattered over some cab fares, in hindsight he should have summoned a helicopter as that’s apparently ok. His accuser now flies a reportedly dubiously funded small plane for a right-wing Party founded on bigotry and the bizarre. Kathy Jackson was touted as a whistleblower, but she was really a blunt tool used to try to dislodge an MP that Abbott thought vulnerable. That MP, Craig Thomson was finally found to be not guilty of any of the brothels and prostitution smeared all over the papers for three years by a criminal court and now works as a lawyer. Abbott’s heroine Jackson on the other hand, now awaits trial for 166 charges related to allegations of theft and fraud.

May 2012 is also when I first wrote about Kathy Jackson and the allegations surrounding her, and if you think that is bad, you’ll be dismayed to hear that I wasn’t even the first to do so.

Today Kathy Jackson once again arrived on the arm of her beloved Michael Lawler. Lawler is the man who was appointed by Tony Abbott and was paid about $400K a year of taxpayers money as Vice President of the Fair Work Commission, the very organisation that investigated Craig Thomson and the union formerly headed by both Thomson and Lawler’s beloved Kathy.

Lawler has of course gone on to achieve fame as the guy who reinvented the term “the reach around” to mean a manner of taking a phone call, as he demonstrated on Caro Meldrum-Hanna’s brilliant exposé on 4 Corners.

Michael Lawler - Coming my beloved, I just need to take this call... Image - ABC

Michael Lawler –  Just having a reach around…Image – ABC

So why has it taken so long to get this far and what the hell was today all about?

The wheels of justice turn slowly for some in this country, this of course depends on your connections and wealth. Pinch a Mars Bar from the local 7 Eleven and you’ll probably find yourself before a judge within a month. Face charges of misappropriating over a million in workers union funds, and it will drag on for several years.

One of the problems in Kathy Jackson’s case is that nobody was really interested in looking into her. The mainstream media, and in particular the Sydney offices of Fairfax and The Australian, gave her a mouthpiece and actually set out to publicly denigrate, or legally threaten anyone that dared come forth with an alternative view.

Jackson takes her court appearances seriously. Image - Fairfax

Jackson takes her court appearances seriously.Image – Fairfax

It was only after the public farce of Jackson and her allies performance at the Trade Union Royal Commission that the penny dropped for most of the media.

Kathy Jackson and Michael Lawler’s Wombarra beachside mansion was raided by the Organised Crime Division of the police on October 7 2015. Both before with Federal Court Civil case, and since then  with the criminal case, Jackson has made a mockery of the legal system and often turned court appearances into a circus.

We have had self-imposed stays in psychiatric facilities, mystery fires at the house, an attempt for Michael Lawler to act as Jacksons legal representation via phone from the house over the sound of seagulls, a houseguest of Jackson and Lawler found dead on the property and another houseguest talk of how he has a cache of firearms hidden somewhere.

Endless delays to the legal process have brought us finally to the commencement of today’s Committal Hearing. Except it was not to be.

Some were surprised at Jackson taking up the option of a Committal Hearing as it would involve the prosecution laying out their case and the only benefit for Jackson would be the ability to cross-examine witnesses and maybe cut a deal with the Prosecution at the end.

Had Jackson not elected to go through a Committal Hearing we would likely be reading about her trial now, or at least nearing the date for one. Kathy Jackson’s plea of not guilty to the 166 charges and electing to go straight to trial means the process is stretched once again with a trial not expected till the end of next year. Bear in mind she can still appeal the result from a trial then, which could see the matter stretched into 2019.

For anybody who has doubted Jackson’s manipulation of the media and now the court system, today was yet another shining example.

Today in Melbourne, outside the Magistrates Court, many long-suffering union members gathered in the hope that justice would finally prevail. They were once again let down.

All they saw was a phony whistleblower and now useless Coalition wrecking ball continue beating around the bush.

But her day will come.

 

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Authors Note:

For my regular readers, you may have come to know I name my posts after song titles.

This week saw the tragic death of Malcolm Young after what was no doubt a dehumanising struggle with dementia.

Malcolm was in my mind the greatest rhythm guitarist ever, he was the driving force behind one of the most iconic bands the world has seen, AC/DC.

AC/DC were a huge part of my life growing up, and I thought this week it was appropriate to use one of the songs Malcolm wrote as a title.

Vale Malcolm Young, a true Aussie legend.


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