The HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson, with insiders saying she was left with little choice, appears to have made a “referral” to the NSW Police that will continue the difficulties faced by her predecessor Craig Thomson.
It was an effort sufficient to prompt lavish praise from principal Thomson-hunter 2UE’s Michael Smith in an interview today who congratulated her for her “moral fibre” and expressed “tremendous admiration” for her as she said she wasn’t interested in defending the ALP “now or ever.” Jackson, of course, is a prominent member of the Labor Party and, indeed, is a member of the Victorian branch’s board of directors, its Administrative Committee so her remarks will cause raised eyebrows among a few comrades.
When Smith – an ex-cop – told Jackson he was “inspired to aim a little higher” by her example, I thought it was possible he could then play the Bette Middler track “Wind beneath my wings” as a little tribute to her heroism. It is well worthwhile listening to the whole interview.
Many in Labor circles expected the union had long since settled any outstanding matters related to Thomson’s reign and the contentious issues that surrounded internal disputes in the occasionally toxic Health Services Union.
The Police don’t usually pursue theft investigations unless the supposed victim complains. Very few expected the HSU to make any complaint, although the language Jackson used was “referral.”
Those within the union have told VEXNEWS they worry the matter will not just damage the Labor government but further damage the good name of the union and officials, if public and law enforcement scrutiny of Thomson spreads wider.
Jackson’s own enemies, defeated by her forces in union elections last year, say she could potentially face serious issues herself. We doubt that, but it’s certainly being talked about in union circles today.
While many in Canberra were fuming at Jackson’s decision, union insiders said that in their view she had little choice but to be seen to take action. Whether Thomson, and the Labor government he serves, are the only victims remains to be seen.