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And the condemned man drank lots of water.

Like a lot of politics junkies I watched Craig Thompson’s address to the parliament and I must say that I found his rambling speech anything but convincing and his consumption of water was to say the least extraordinary and clearly a significant tell of just how fearful and nervous he clearly was about delivering his explanation to the house.

  Anyway what did everyone else think of this piece of tragic political theatre ?

Cheers Comrades

 

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7 Comments

  1. My comment will be up later tonight…my first thoughts though are “everyone feel sorry for me” and “you bastards!” What a waste of time…

  2. GD says:

    Quote from Joe Hildebrand:

    Craig Thomson says that for all that’s happened he’s still more popular than the Gillard government. To be fair, he has a point.

    🙂

  3. Sandi says:

    It wasn’t so much ‘here I am proving I didn’t do it’ as ‘you can’t prove I did it’.

    One blogger reckons he drank six glasses of water (in 59 minutes) while another counted 19 sips, so enthralling was what he was actually saying.

    Did anyone else notice how few government members were present? Where were they, and why?

    “…this piece of tragic political theatre”? That sums it up well. Only the die-est of die-hard true believers would believe a word of it.

  4. GD says:

    what did everyone else think of this piece of tragic political theatre ?

    Well, it reminded me of this…

  5. Iain Hall says:

    Most Apt citation of Vicky Pollard GD!

    In more detail I cite George Brandis in today’s Oz who explains just why Thompson’s explanation is just utterly unbelievable:

    The Prime Minister has repeatedly vouched for Fair Work Australia’s impartiality and integrity and while its investigation into Thomsonwas inexcusably long, it was nonetheless exhaustive. Thomson’s version of events is an outright contradiction of the findings of Fair Work Australia. If Thomson is telling the truth, the entire Fair Work Australia analysis is wrong. His key claim is that he was set up by enemies within the HSU. The only evidence to which he points is the alleged threat by another union official, Marco Bolano, that he would “ruin his political career by setting him up with hookers”. He did not specify when this threat was made or the context. On the basis of that single threat, Thomson asks us to conclude that Bolano and unnamed others were parties to a conspiracy that involved: (a) hacking into Thomson’s mobile telephone on numerous occasions, in such a manner as to conceal the fact the phone had been hacked, and to mask that in the billing of the phone calls to various Sydney brothels; (b) taking Thomson’s driver’s licence, and subsequently returning it, without his knowledge; (c) impersonating Thomson at the Sydney brothels, where it is established that photo ID was required before the services of prostitutes could be purchased with credit cards; and (d) ordering outcalls (services provided in hotel rooms or non-brothel private premises) from escort services on a number of different occasions from a number of different hotel rooms.
    The most influential people in Sport

    Bolano has emphatically denied Thomson’s assertions. Although Thomson claimed that Bolano’s threat was made in the presence of others at the HSU offices, he was able to point to nobody who corroborates his claim that the threat was made. Indeed, Thomson pointed to not a single piece of evidence, not a single witness, not a single piece of documentary evidence to support his conspiracy theory. In fact, it is explicitly contradicted by each of the documents — in particular, the credit card vouchers, which bear his signature — relevant to the case. The credit card vouchers bear Thomson’s signature — a conclusion verified by forensic document examiner Paul Westwood, in a report I provided to the NSW Police on 22 August last year.

    Moreover, Thomson’s attempts to explain away the documents that stand in the way of his conspiracy theory are implausible and inconsistent. Thomson produced no evidence that his phone had in fact been hacked. He merely says that it is theoretically possible for that to happen. He does not dispute that the phone calls in question were billed to his mobile phone number. He claims that although the phone calls were made from Bateau Bay, he did not live there until 2009. However Bateau Bay is in Dobell, where he was the MP since 2007; the second of the calls to the Sydney brothel was made from there on August 16 of that year, when he lived in the electorate as an endorsed parliamentary candidate.

    He sought to explain the endorsement of his driver’s licence on the back of the credit card receipts by the fact that his licence number was well known within the office. That does not explain why the production of the licence was not required at the time the licence number was endorsed on the receipt. And although he says that the details of his driver’s licence were kept on file by the HSU because they were needed for right of entry permits, those permits don’t require endorsement of driver’s licence details. He simply did not address the evidence that the brothels paid for by the credit card required the production of photo ID. Nor did he address the fact the credit card receipts are signed in a hand that appears identical to his own signature.

    As to the allegations generally, he claims he has challenged the Victoria Police and FWA to obtain CCTV footage from the brothels in question. This would be of no assistance, given that the majority of transactions appear to have been for outcall services.

    Thomson’s statement is riddled with half-truths. For instance, he stated that the NSW Police concluded, after considering my letter of August 22, 2011, that no offence under NSW law had been committed. He omitted to say that the NSW Police also said they were transferring the file for assessment by the Victorian police, and the Victorian police subsequently announced a full investigation, which is ongoing. He also omitted to say that the NSW Police subsequently announced their own investigation, Strike Force Carnarvon, which is ongoing. He has also stated the FWA findings as to electoral expenditure have been debunked, when in fact the Australian Electoral Commission made findings as to whether specific payments were under the reporting threshold or had been disclosed, not whether they had been properly authorised by the union.

    Thomson’s statement concentrated almost entirely on the brothel and escort services allegations. He offered no explanation of the purchase of luxury goods for himself and his wife, and the use of several hundred thousand dollars of union money on his election campaign. In fact, he states that FWA failed to give credence to the fact cash expenditure was properly documented and accounted for. This is entirely at odds with Fair Work Australia’s findings, and the extensive evidence cited for those findings.

    Finally, Thomson’s speech yesterday depends on a version of events, first given to Laurie Oakes 10 days ago; that is, the existence of a conspiracy by HSU internal enemies to set him up with prostitutes. Before that, the last time Thomson went on the public record about the allegations against him was on August 1 last year, to broadcaster Michael Smith. Not once during the interview did Thomson make the claims he now makes. There are fewer more compelling indications that a witness’s account is not to be believed than the fact it appears to be a recent invention, at variance with an earlier version of the events he has placed on the record. But this is the position in which Thomson finds himself.

    even Age readers are unconvinced and if you check out the poll at the end of Grratten’s piece you will see that less than 20% are satisfied with his explanation.

    Not that I would wish it on anyone but I think that Thompson should be on suicide watch from his demeanour yesterday.

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  7. Ray Dixon says:

    Ricky’s a food critic who writes “Behind the Craig Thompson’s (sic x 2) scandal”

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