Julia Gillard has lost the last milligram of respect I had for her.
Her smarmy and disingenuous comments about Mary Jo Fisher – an attempt to distract media and public attention from Craig Thomson – reveal Gillard to be the perfect example of a slimy, self-serving politician.
“The only person in this parliament who is charged with a criminal offence is a Liberal senator, charged with an offence against property, an offence against the person, charged with theft and assault,” Ms Gillard said yesterday.
“It would be completely inappropriate for me to volunteer a view as to whether the Liberal senator charged with theft and assault is guilty of those charges.”
So why mention them?
Just to be clear, Senator Fisher is charged with stealing $92.92 worth of groceries from a South Australian supermarket, and assaulting the security guard who stopped her.
Senator Fisher suffers from well-controlled depression. At the time of the alleged offences she was in the midst of a change of medication. By all accounts, there was no attempt to hide any merchandise. She simply had a mental blank and began to walk out of the supermarket, then panicked when grabbed by a man she did not immediately realise was a security officer.
Neither the supermarket nor the security guard wished to press charges.
Even if Senator Fisher was attempting to steal the groceries, this is a once-off offence. There is no pattern of behaviour here which would allow one to make any judgements about her character.
Craig Thomson, on the other hand, is alleged to have stolen a large amount of money from his employers over a period of years, some of that money going to pay for prostitutes. That is a pattern of behaviour which enables judgements to be made about Thomson’s character.
For Julia Gillard to suggest there is some sort of parity between what is alleged about Senator Fisher and what is alleged about Craig Thomson, in order to deflect attention from Thomson and give the impression he, and she, are being treated unfairly, is cynical and dishonest.
There is a pattern of behaviour evident from Gillard and the Labor party. Draw your own conclusions about what that pattern says about their character.
Having read the Hansard of the day I am not as certain as you in this, so I welcome you to open the Hansard of the day and read it fully then decide if the words that were said were warranted.
To my reading of the proceedings we clearly have a concerted effort by many on the opposition to make comments about the member for Dobell, directly claiming that he is a thief then we have Ms. Gillard saying that they should not be saying this until charges have been laid and the court case held.
As much as I despise her I think her words are quite fair in this case. The Labor party could be having a field day with the situation Ms Fisher is in – charged and appearing before a court of law but they haven’t.
For example it has been said under oath that the security guard saw Ms Fisher carefully place then items in her shopping trolley and then cover them only paying for a few dollars of items.
It has been said under oath that Ms Fisher made an attempt to start the car and drive away, trying to close the car door on the guard’s arm repeatedly.
It has been said under oath that officials from the Liberal party contacted the guard and tried to convince her to drop the charges and subsequently when the police arrived to pick up the CCTV tape it had been taped over.
On the other hand the member for Dobell, no matter how despicable his action are should he be found guilty has not been charged with a crime, yet is declared as guilty without trial by many on the opposition as they howl for his blood.
No matter which side of politics people are on the basic tenet of our legal system is that people are innocent until proven guilty.
Ms Gillard’s words in Hansard are a reminder to the opposition party that attacks of the intensity that the opposition were carrying out that day are inappropriate in the place of our government.
Again, please read that Hansard fully. http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/reps/dailys/dr250811.pdf pages 41, 44, 45 and 47, I welcome you to read page 45 on the right in particular.
Hansard (unlike Ms Gillard) doesn’t lie.