Some of you may be dismayed to know of Fairfax staff referring to my readers as the “tin foil hat crowd”. Yes, they have reverted to name calling. I on the other hand know that readers here tend to appreciate evidence for what they read rather than sloppy journalism and less than half-truths from some who may well need a hat of some sort as the sun stroke is seemingly affecting their judgement.
The reason this Fairfax journalist has come out all defensive is because it would appear he has been caught out letting an old grudge that I shan’t go into again, cloud his judgement when running a series of articles on new Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching.
Yesterday this Fairfax journalist took to Twitter to defend his claims of Kitching being involved in “massive mismanagement” “fraud” and bringing the number 1 Branch of the Health Services Union to the verge of bankruptcy and other potentially defamatory statements and accusations.
One Fairfax article also used an old photo of Kitching with Kathy Jackson who as any journalist worth his salt knows is a bitter factional enemy of Kitchings. To try to insinuate that these two were allies is like saying Tony Abbott introduced the Carbon Tax just because he was a member of parliament at the time it was introduced. Fairfax in their wisdom chose not to clarify for their readers that they were in fact bitter rivals and political enemies.
Fortunately for my readers I believe they are worthy of the facts, not the smoke and mirrors version.
This document was put out as the evidence of Kitching wreaking havoc upon the HSU #1 Branches finances.
It is true that this document appears to indicate a union branch in financial crisis. So what part of this involved Kitching who was General Manager and how much was due to the prior management of Jackson ally Marco Bolano? Of course Bolano was eventually stood down from his position by a Federal Court Judge.
Diana Asmar’s ascension was described by Fairfax as
“Ms Asmar took control of the union”
Not exactly calling it for the massive win via a democratic election that it was…
As the prior document indicates the branch was in absolute dire straits when Diana Asmar was elected by the members. The branch finances had been utterly decimated by over a decade of mismanagement by the likes of Jeff Jackson and Marco Bolano.
Apparently some at Fairfax seem to think that this should have been fixed with a click of the fingers the second Asmar was voted in. Alas in the real world things don’t turn around quite so quickly.
There is absolutely no doubt that whilst Kitching was at the union there were some substantial extra expenses occurred by the union branch.
There were the much talked about legal expenses that were incurred when members of the previous management took legal action against the branch, but would it have been wiser for a union not to defend itself?
Then there was the extra staff hired. At the time Asmar inherited the crippled union it was shedding members like a tree sheds leaves in Autumn. There were parts of the State that were not seeing a union organiser and had not seen one in years, clearly something had to give. The Asmar/Kitching team set about hiring the necessary staff to adequately represent those members who had been missing out, and guess what? The members came flooding back.
Fairfax may favour the document above, however there is another one I prefer and that is the one linked below.
Now I don’t claim to be a hot-shot journalist, just someone who likes to present the relevant facts instead of just the old ones. Writing is something I do in my spare time so I used my lunch break to do something that Fairfax seemingly couldn’t be bothered doing, I requested the current financials. Or maybe it’s just the current ones didn’t suit their smear campaign?
If Kitching is responsible for the Health Workers Union’s finances, then I hope she is given a position with the finance portfolio quickly because what has been achieved under her watch at the union has been remarkable.
From the brink of bankruptcy the branch now owns the premises it resides in and has amassed a huge surplus, reportedly the largest of all the HSU branches if not the only surplus.
It has also boosted its membership in a major way and has negotiated some fantastic EBA’s that will reap benefits for the members for years.
Fair to say I don’t think Kitching is losing sleep over her success in her role at the union even if those at Fairfax are.
However according to Fairfax the union was responsible for branch stacking and Labor factional activities. As an unaffiliated union they have about as much pull in that regards as your local Best & Less store. However the union is likely to become affiliated later this year and that is what has prompted all of this soothsayer carry on over at Fairfax.
The journo’s content to break the law and be criminally charged to help out a disgraced Green Councillor would apparently hate to see another union affiliate with the political party that shares its values and works for its members.
Then there’s the right of entry exams that Kitching is accused of completing for others. One Fairfax journo claimed on Twitter that this matter had been before an “Independent Tribunal”.
The Independent Tribunal referred to is Fair Work Commission, and the matter was presided over by Graeme Watson. To refer to this as independent is laughable, Watson who along with Kathy Jackson’s husband Michael Lawler was a VP, not only that, he was also an appointee of John Howard. Under cross-examination Fair Work’s Chris Enright was exposed as having coached witnesses none of whom actually had witnessed anything in relation to the tests. This is more akin to a steaming turd than a smoking gun.
But then again Kitchings appointment was a highly controversial decision with many within the party disgruntled right?
To prove this Fairfax have managed to get two MP’s to go on the record highly critical over the decision to back Kitching. Those MP’s were the King Of ICAC Arthur Sinodinos and Kathy Jacksons old mate Eric Abetz.
Tidy work Fairfax.
Anyone with half a brain would realise when there are several people in a ballot that some are not going to win, and they may have had supporters in the party not happy to see their person lose. The nature of democracy is that there are losers and winners while all sides have supporters.
Looking for a big Labor name to speak out Fairfax found Anthony Albanese. The story ran with the headline;
“Anthony Albanese fails to endorse Bill Shorten’s key ally Kimberley Kitching for Senate”
Wow, that sounds like a factional brawl in the making right?
Except when you actually read the article Albo clearly claims no jurisdiction over Victorian Labor matters and as such is not in a position to endorse her. They may as well be asking him if he endorses the Ugandan President. By the way, Hilary Clinton has failed to endorse Kitching also and the Dalai Lama was unavailable for comment.
The article written by James Massola, someone whose work I admire, is not misleading in any way but the glaring headline which I assume someone else inserted is certainly not any indication of the article beneath it.
What I see is a more than capable woman who has worked her butt off to arrive at this position and has helped many others along her way. I see someone who I often don’t agree with but is certainly more than deserving of her position and is worthy of congratulations and praise.
What Fairfax see is some grand conspiracy between factions, unions, party officials, MP’s and the Party Leader to promote someone whose husband they don’t like.
Who’s wearing that tin foil hat again?Follow @madwixxy