I suppose like many people, I’ve been watching this whole “Craig Thomson Saga” from the sidelines with a mixture of humour, frustration and indifference, usually all at the same time. The more it goes on, the more I think that everyone is in the wrong.
Why Craig Thomson is wrong:
Well, that’s pretty obvious. The evidence against him seems to be damning. Yes, I know – he’s yet to be charged with anything – but in normal circumstances he would have resigned by now. Not necessarily because of an “admission of guilt”, but at least to take the enormous pressure off himself. But these aren’t normal circumstances. Up until recently he was a member of a minority government. Regardless of his guilt or innocence, the last thing he wants to do is to let his former colleagues down and bring down the government by resigning. It must be an awful position for him to be in. I hope he decides to do what is best for him.
Why the media is wrong:
While I respect the media’s right to report on this issue, you have to question some of the recent coverage. For A Current Affair to have allegedly offered an escort $60,000 to tell her story of having sex with Craig Thomson is just wrong. I don’t care if it’s true or not. That’s not a story in the public interest, it’s just “titillation” dressed up as “news”. And then there’s the issue of trial by media. Craig Thomson has yet to be charged with a crime, let alone convicted…and yet it feels like he’s a convicted mass murderer if you believe some of the hyperbole written in the media at the moment. The media can smell blood in the water – they won’t stop until this ends in a change in government because they know that will make great news, more sales of newspapers and higher TV ratings for news programs.
Why the Parliament is wrong:
To pressure Craig Thomson to make a statement to parliament when he hasn’t even been charged with anything yet is wrong. To try and force the suspension of Craig Thomson from Parliament while his guilt or innocence has yet to be subjected to the rigours of a proper judicial trial is wrong. If the Coalition succeeds in any of this, it sets a precedent where anyone in Parliament would be expected to be suspended from Parliament every time an allegation is made…it would be a very empty Parliament if that happens. Trial by Parliament is as wrong as trial by media. There is a reason why there is a separation of the judiciary and the Parliament.
Why Julia Gillard is wrong:
Simple. She took too long to address the issue. She should have cut Craig Thomson loose ages ago. And Tony Abbott is right, she is clinging to power on the back of a largely discredited politician. To expect Craig Thomson to stay in parliament to save her government is wrong. She should be offering Craig Thompson the chance to resign from parliament, if only for his own mental well-being. If that means she loses government, so be it.
Why Tony Abbott is wrong:
Tony Abbott has been portraying himself as holding the high moral position. While “tut-tutting” the Prime Minister for insisting that Craig Thomson remains in Parliament for her own political needs, he ignores the fact he himself wants Craig Thomson to resign from Parliament for his own political needs. What hypocrisy! Now he is trying to shame the Prime Minister into allowing Craig Thomson to resign for his own mental well-being. Now on one level I agree with Tony Abbott, but to suggest such a thing when he knows it will also benefit him politically is SO wrong. I’m sure Craig Thomson would love to resign, if only for his family’s sake, but he won’t do so knowing that if he does, the government will fall. If Tony Abbott really cares about Craig Thomson’s mental well-being, why not offer Craig Thomson and Labor the chance for Craig Thomson to resign from Parliament, but guarantee that the Coalition won’t run against Labor in the resulting by-election. That alone would take the pressure off Craig Thomson and allow him to resign from parliament without facing the guilt of possibly bringing down the Government.
What everyone needs to ask themselves:
What happens if everyone – the Government, the Coalition, the Media – keeps the pressure on Craig Thomson? What happens if he can no longer cope? What happens if Craig Thomson makes a decision he can’t reverse? (I think you all know what I mean.) If the worst happens, how could any Government formed in the aftermath of such a tragedy claim legitimacy?
What do you think? Enough is enough? Should everyone back-down and let the judicial process do its job? Or should Craig Thomson resign, no matter the consequence?
- Tony Abbott: My Five Stages Of Grief by John James
- Same-Sex Marriage: Our Parliament Is Not Listening by John James
- Prime Minister Turnbull: Is It Just A Fantasy? by John James
- Updated: Is Julia Gillard The Muhammad Ali Of Australian Politics? by John James
- An open letter to Malcolm Turnbull (Updated) by John James
John James has written 203 posts.
JJ is a blogger who is bored with traditional opinion blogging. He is a co-founder and editor at KiKi & Tea. He also represents the grumpy middle-aged man demographic on KiKi & Tea. He is a writer by trade and a frustrated rock star / crime fighter by night, and blogs about music at newmusicrevue.com.
Follow on twitter: @JohnJamesOZ