Julia Gillard has lost the last milligram of respect I had for her.
Her smarmy and disingenuous comments about Mary Jo Fisher – an attempt to distract media and public attention from Craig Thomson – reveal Gillard to be the perfect example of a slimy, self-serving politician.
“The only person in this parliament who is charged with a criminal offence is a Liberal senator, charged with an offence against property, an offence against the person, charged with theft and assault,” Ms Gillard said yesterday.
“It would be completely inappropriate for me to volunteer a view as to whether the Liberal senator charged with theft and assault is guilty of those charges.”
So why mention them?
Just to be clear, Senator Fisher is charged with stealing $92.92 worth of groceries from a South Australian supermarket, and assaulting the security guard who stopped her.
Senator Fisher suffers from well-controlled depression. At the time of the alleged offences she was in the midst of a change of medication. By all accounts, there was no attempt to hide any merchandise. She simply had a mental blank and began to walk out of the supermarket, then panicked when grabbed by a man she did not immediately realise was a security officer.
Neither the supermarket nor the security guard wished to press charges.
Even if Senator Fisher was attempting to steal the groceries, this is a once-off offence. There is no pattern of behaviour here which would allow one to make any judgements about her character.
Craig Thomson, on the other hand, is alleged to have stolen a large amount of money from his employers over a period of years, some of that money going to pay for prostitutes. That is a pattern of behaviour which enables judgements to be made about Thomson’s character.
For Julia Gillard to suggest there is some sort of parity between what is alleged about Senator Fisher and what is alleged about Craig Thomson, in order to deflect attention from Thomson and give the impression he, and she, are being treated unfairly, is cynical and dishonest.
There is a pattern of behaviour evident from Gillard and the Labor party. Draw your own conclusions about what that pattern says about their character.