It must be devastating for iconic Gillard whistleblower, Bob Kernohan, to witness a good mate swap his principles for a pretty face. Michael Smith has done exactly that. After he and Kathy arrived back, fresh from a Bali holiday, Smith sat quietly in the Royal Commission into unions, privately defending the indefensible.
It will be a shame if Smith undoes the arduous, forensic work he did to bring Julia Gillard and Bruce Wilson to account for their crimes. But you can’t choose your crooks.
A bitterly disappointed Bob Kernohan wrote to Smith’s blog:
“The Peter Mac money is a scandal in its self, and serious questions must be answered. Regardless of how the elected union officials seem to have seen it as there "god given right" to spend it as they did, it gives rise to some very important questions to be answered by those elected officers of the HSU at the time, and yes mate that includes Kathy Jackson…….. They have no given right under the rules of a registered union to take personal ownership of that money and spend it like it was their own personal money…THEY HAD NO RIGHT AT ALL, so some very serious questions need to be answered. I hope you post this my friend and pursue it like you have done with Gillard/Wilson and co in respect to the AWU scandal. I have kept a copy of this post just in case, for whatever reason it is not posted. I have saved this comment and will share it on FB if you don't allow it to be published on your blog.”
The sad tale of Kathy Jackson is a common one for a union official… she simply and sublimely did not believe she had done anything wrong.
Ms Jackson was successful in bringing down her former colleagues Craig Thomson and ex-ALP President, Michael Williamson.
But was it the inequality of the scammed amounts that rankled our Kathy?
Williamson, currently serving a long jail sentence, stole $20 million from her Health Services Union and Kathy Jackson appears to have collared at least $50,000, possibly up to $250,000 herself. Thomson awaits sentencing for crimes that involved no more than petty cash.
Jackson convinced herself and Smith she was blameless, but that conviction ended in abrupt reality yesterday under examination by Counsel Assisting the Commission, Jeremy Stoljar SC.
Kathy called a halt to the proceedings so she could engage a lawyer after claiming she had been “ambushed” by the Commission.
Michael Smith courts controversy, but now he needs to gather his loins, remove his rose-coloured glasses and be true to his cause. If he refuses, he will trash his reputation as a fearless warrior for justice and the return of union members’ misappropriated funds.
All whistleblowers must suffer and few still stand tall. In this case only one still stands tall, and that’s Bob Kernohan.