Former Labor Party President and HSU President Michael Williamson was sentenced to 7 1/2 years jail (minimum 5 years) on Friday (28-3-14) which sends a loud signal to all corrupt officials that you are not untouchable. Mr Williamson’s jailing would have sent a shiver up the spine of many corrupt politicians, government employees and other officials such as in the unions where Williamson came from.
One could add former federal MP Craig Thomson’s conviction this week for fraud at the HSU. But given he only received a 3 month sentence and he is appealing it does not add a great deal, at least at this point. Although it must be noted he has been given a life sentence in the court of public opinion where he has no credibility left and will unlikely ever regain any of the creditability that he once had.
The Michael Williamson jailing, for his role in the Health Services Union (HSU) fraud and theft, came and went very quickly in the media but I believe it is a real turning point and something that should not be forgotten. The uprising for true change in relation to holding people to account and weeding out corruption has started and there is nothing that anyone can do to stop it.
Michael Williamson was not some minor official. In the Labor Party they do not come much more senior than he was.
“He was elected as the national president of the Australian Labor Party, serving between 2009 and 2010; and was a vice president of NSW Labor. Williamson was also a vice president of Unions NSW until April 2012, when he resigned after being asked to explain to its executive why he should not be removed. He was a member of the national executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).” (Click here to read more)
Slowly but surely the tide is turning and the public are starting to regain control of the government. It won’t happen overnight but it is happening.
Empowering the people
On Thursday I went and watched proceedings at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Royal Commission into child abuse. There was a real sense of empowerment of the people in the air, especially at the Royal Commission watching George Pell squirming in the witness-box answering questions with his lies. Pell was well aware that almost everyone in audience thought he was a disgrace.
When I left the Royal Commission I saw a lady just outside the hearing room sitting under a table talking on her mobile phone which was plugged into the power socket there. I could hear her telling a friend how to set up a Twitter account which she obviously wanted for her friend to use to get the message out to the world what was happening at the Royal Commission. I assumed the lady (who was about 50 years old) and/or her friend was a victim of abuse and I thought their actions were brilliant as it showed even under duress the lady and her friend still have plenty of fight left in them. One by one people are learning that we do not have to wait for the mainstream media to tell the story and hold people accountable because we can do that ourselves now.
It is worth having a look at the scorecard with Williamson getting the longest sentence that I recall at least in recent history for a corrupt official, Thomson looking likely to go to jail in the future and add that to what is coming with the Royal Commission into unions, the various ICAC inquiries and even the Royal Commission into child abuse which is a win for the public and it starts to paint the picture of what is happening.
It is a grip on power that the Australian public now have and will never let go of. And it is growing by the day.
Admin: I will be trying to publish at least a couple of posts with video in the next few weeks and step this site up a gear or two. Hence the trial runs at the ICAC and the Royal Commission.
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Categories: Fair Work Commission