HERE HE COMES, THAT'S KATHY'S CLOWN
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
“I’m no political virgin”, exclaimed Kathy Jackson as she left the Royal Commission supported by intrepid union buster Michael Smith. Well, at least she got that bit right because, by her own admission, she has “windfallen” her way to join the ranks of Williamson, Thomson, Gillard and Wilson.
Michael Smith shuffles into camera shot, desperately trying to maintain a painted-on grin (or is it a wince) as Kathy Jackson hopelessly tries to defend the indefensible. It is a spectacle few anticipated.
Kathy may have sealed her former HSU colleagues’ fate but in the process she has sealed her own. Those who supported her in the media and her political allies, including Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne and others in the Liberal Party are now running the other way.
Kathy’s evidence so far is a mere prologue of what’s to come and by the time the Commission hands down its findings, all her new counsel will have to fight for is conjugal visitations.
There is no way out now for Kathy Jackson, the evidence is irrefutable. What has happened is yet another clear case of union bastardry, the black widow is caught in its own web, and the only remaining question is, “what drugs is Michael Smith on?”
Smith is no mug, he must know that Kathy did a deal with the Peter MacAllum Cancer Institute and that that deal defrauded HSU workers of $3.16 million in back pay they still haven’t received.
For those who haven’t followed the case, here it is in a nutshell: The HSU sued the Peter Mac. Institute for workers’ back pay. It was clear that the Institute was at fault so it told the union if it was to make up the pay it would need to sack 38 workers.
The union then did a private deal whereby if Peter Mac. made good the union’s legal costs, the HSU would drop the claim.
No consultation with union members, no vote, just a sum of $250,000 was paid to the HSU and the deal was sealed.
Disregarding Peter Mac’s culpability, Kathy Jackson then simply declared the sum a “windfall” amount and opened a new separate bank account from which largesse flowed like confetti.
It became Kathy’s kitty to play with... and the rest is history. The unpaid union members never saw anything of their entitlements.
Sort of takes your breath away? Well, stand by, there is much, much more to come on this one and I’m certain the Commission will have their heads around it all by the time Kathy fronts it again in four weeks’ time.
But it’s getting harder and harder to justify Michael Smith’s defence of Kathy. It has shattered Bob Kernohan and others, it has left me nonplussed and has shaken my faith in Michael as a fearless slayer of corrupt union bosses.
Only Ralph Blewitt stands his friend, and that’s hardly a plus in testimonial terms.
I don’t mind that Michael has refused to return my calls over the past two years, I will always admire his dogged persistence in bringing to account what many of us had a hand in.
Now that the prosecutor has turned defence counsel, we’re left here with our mouths open.
As one comedic lady poster said here yesterday, “Never underestimate the power of the furry magnet.”