Last night’s 4 Corners, fronted by Kerry O’Brien, was sensational.
It was a series of interviews with Kathy Jackson and her partner Michael Lawler
For those who have not been following this particularly tawdry saga, there is a good summary at on The Age website.
Obviously Jackson and Lawler thought that appearing on 4 Corners would clear their names. It did exactly the opposite. The unending diatribes about political machines and conspiracy theories simply served to make the couple look delusional and as guilty as hell.
Clearly, Jackson is under incredible pressure and is spending time in a mental institution suffering from depression. Lawler also is under huge pressure. His position as a Vice President of the Fair Work Commission is now completely untenable and he, like Jackson could easily go to jail.
While Jackson denied that she had misappropriated funds through her credit card, she offered no explanation for the decision of the Supreme Court to require her to pay back $1.4 million to the Health Services Union. Her response was that they didn’t look at the evidence properly.
There were a number of telling moments in the interviews.
There first was when Jackson indicated that she was “entitled to” $28,000 worth of travel each year, which she used up assiduously over a period of eight years. For some bizarre reason, she allowed videos of her and Lawler holidaying around the world to be shown on the program.
It was not a good look.
The point about the travel allowance is that, presumably, it should be work related. But probably nobody at HSU told Jackson that so she just went on holidays with her lover.
At the union’s expense.
At the expense of the union that represents some of the most poorly paid in our community.
The second telling moment in the program was when Lawler admitted that some of the expenses on Jackson’s credit card were going to be hard to explain. The expression on his face indicated that he had realised, probably for the first time, how deep in the shit he really is.
The third was when Lawler, who admitted that he had taken nine months sick leave from his job, which pays $430,000 a year, to help Jackson in her legal defence. His argued that he thought that all Australians would see it as a noble act to come to the defence of his partner. It certainly is. But not at the expense of the Australian taxpayer. If you too sick to work, then you are too sick to defend your partner in the Supreme Court.
If there is any doubt in the Australian public’s mind about Kathy Jackson’s guilt, and I suspect that there probably wasn’t, there will be no doubt now.
She’s guilty. She should go to jail and so should Michael Lawler.