This story underlines of the current situation.
Federal MP, Craig Thomson, has conceded that as federal secretary of the Health Services Union he authorised credit card payments to a Sydney escort agency.
Mr Thomson, Labor member for Dobell on the NSW central coast, has been accused in Federal Parliament and in Fairfax newspapers of using a union credit card to pay for prostitutes and for his election campaign.
Now of course we will accept that he did not avail himself of the services offered, and that ‘another unnamed person’ was the client, and that purpose of the signature was to cover the identity of the ‘unnamed person’
By the general running codes of conduct one would expect a deal of explaining, or a resignation. That of course is unlikely as Dobel is a seat held by the narrowest of margins. It was one of the seats that the liberals expected to pick up and didn’t do enough work to win.
This weakness in the stability of Government is surely one of the great problems that Julia Gillard faces. She can’t humiliate him too much, otherwise he will end up sitting on the cross benches where he becomes exceeding powerful. She can’t just sack him and demand a resignation as she will probably loose government. And she can’t even be nice to him, because the mud will stick.
As a resident of New South Wales, I guess we have come to expect little of the elected representatives of the ALP who at a state level were responsible for a debilitating run of scandals that essentially led to the demise of the previous state government. At the Federal Level they now all have to play very clean ball.
Julia Gillard needs every one of them to be clean and stay clean, to be healthy and stay healthy, and absolutely no untimely deaths, or feeling that they want to do something else.
Julia has to keep Bob Brown Happy, Tony Windsor Happy, Rob Oakshott Happy, Andrew Wilkie Happy, everybody healthy and out of jail, and mentally stable for another two long years.
Coupled with this she has to know that she cannot know any of the dirt about her own members, otherwise she would be expected to do something about it.
We might think power is expensive, look at what it is costing Julia!