The News With Nipples has screenshots of what a few different media organisations thought was so much more important than the fact that there won’t be a by-election in Dobell in the near future and thus the Gillard minority government doesn’t have to worry about a hypothetical new Liberal MHR shifting the balance on the floor of the House of Representatives, and thus the Labor minority government remains with a working majority in the House.
Craig Thomson cannot be forced to step down as an MHR unless the Electoral Commission rules against him, and today they chose not to do so. He still has to answer various other accusations of improprieties and criminal behaviour, but those will take time to work their way through the courts, and until/if/when he might be notified to appear as a defendant against criminal proceedings in a court of law, his right to retain his seat in Parliament cannot be denied.
That is simply a matter of fact. I’m not a fan of Thomson, but he has his right to due process just as anybody else should have, and he’s exercising his right to retain his seat until the accusations are resolved in full. This is how the system operates, and it’s working as it’s supposed to, no matter how many column inches fulminate against him. Since he’s no longer a member of the Labor Party, there is no point in continuing to ask Gillard, Swan etc what they plan to do about him – they no longer have any way of applying party disciplinary measures against him.
I get that the situation has a certain salacious appeal. I wish that wasn’t such irresistible bait for more column inches than it deserves, and I wish I could believe that the Liberal MHRs who are sanctimoniously opining about the proper deployment of union funds actually gave a rats arse for the interests of union members.
As usual with our Media Circus threads, please heave your brickbats and bouquets at the various journalists who deserve them, on any current topic – but let’s keep a closer eye on the impact of policy and legislation rather than buying into the moving wallpaper ethos of personality conflicts trumping the actual political process, OK?