Federal MP Craig Thomson has had a dreadful time of it lately, still living down his tenure at the sometimes toxic Health Services Union, and becoming a target of the ferociously feisty Daily Telegraph.
Ex Tele-editor and student-leftist David Penbethy asserted today:
Thomson is accused of starting a slanging match at the weekend with a female member of one of the most benign organisations on the face of the earth, the Salvation Army. It’s about as classy as getting into a fight with a nun. Thomson was attending a protest meeting against poker machine reform on the Central Coast on Saturday night, after which he clashed with its moderator, Salvation Army worker Louise Duff.
The only trouble with that is that Louise Duff is not a nun and nor is she a “Salvation Army worker.” Some dispute she is a member of the organisation at all. She is the chair of one of the committees that helps with Salvo’s annual fundraising drive for the central coast area. Kudos to her for that but it doesn’t make her a Salvo any more than my regular attendance at Essendon matches makes me centre-half-forward.
The VEXNEWS Investigations Unit can reveal that Duff is in fact a $400-an-hour spin-doctor for a highly successful central coast PR company “Brilliant Logic”.
In fact, she’s the owner and managing director of the PR and marketing firm.
Her site boasts she is “comfortable negotiating seven-figure sponsorships from multi-national organisations”. Her client roster includes the Sydney Roosters, NSW government departments, financial services companies and even the Country Music Association.
Contrary to a misleading impression that Ms Duff has allowed to be created, at the event where Thomson had a go at her, she wasn’t moderating a community function out of any sense of charity. VEXNEWS has learned it was a paying gig, paid for by the organisation representing pubs and clubs who are rightly concerned about federal government meddling with pokies machines. Nothing wrong with taking a lobby group’s money but it ought to be disclosed and Duff has not done that in any reporting we’ve seen on the mini-saga.
And in so doing she appears to have duped even the savviest of scribes, Penbo.
It’s a sleazy effort of the kind that could give the PR racket a bad name.
Yes, Duff is involved with the Salvo’s by doing pro bono PR work for them and has agreed to “chair” the Salvo’s local annual fundraising appeal but calling her a tamberine-tapping charity worker is like calling Bill Gates Mother Teresa.
She should have made that very clear when she had the opportunity.