NSW Labor’s General Secretary has an AVO put on him by NSW police for an alleged incident with a political staffer. Could things be any worse? Actually they could.
Last week ended badly for NSW Labor General Secretary Jamie Clements.
While in Victoria news came out of Victoria Labors decision for expulsion of a notorious branch stacker, in NSW Jamie Clements, who has sat on his hands while branch stacking has run rampant through the party, was making the news for completely different reasons.
NSW police have issued an Apprehended Violence Order on Jamie Clements after an alleged incident in an office at Parliament House in June this year. This alleged incident involved a political staffer of Greg Warren the Labor Member for Campbeltown.
There will be many out there who will be expecting me to make hay (no reference to Noreen) while the sun shines, rise to the occasion and drive another nail into the political coffin of Mr Clements.
Whilst I hate to disappoint, but I will be doing no such thing.
This is a legal process and it must run its course, the same as it must for Jamie’s factional pal Noreen Hay.
My opinion, and I must stress it is only opinion, is that this looks and smells dodgy. It has that stench of a political hatchet job.
I am the last person in the world you would find vouching for Clements however if this is indeed a hatchet job it is the exact reason that the public have a distrust of politicians no matter what their party.
To me there are too many coincidences and oddities in this case.
The alleged event happened during a sitting in parliament where every Labor MP was guaranteed to be in parliament. This would mean Clements would have likely had to pre-meditate the alleged encounter, either that or he had some sort of brain-snap which he must have maintained all through the main floor of parliament house, up in the lift, through the security doors and down the hall to Greg Warrens office.
It is not just this irregularity though, sources have informed me that Clements was “on the nose” and moves that would see him removed were inevitable. However given he was elected into his position that was not to be an easy task, despite the questionable manner in which he was elected.
Then there’s the woman in question, Stefanie Jones.
Jones is allegedly someone Clements had been in a relationship with a few years prior to this alleged event. However given that Clements is not talking to journalists currently I don’t know how this has been confirmed by the press who are reporting it. Given that at the time of this alleged relationship Clements would have been married, it strikes me as particularly odd that this is something he would confirm whilst not talking to press. So who is confirming this relationship then?
I also find it odd that Clements would single out a woman who was a fiancée of someone he worked closely with at Sussex St. That person is David Latham who is a NSW Labor Organiser and someone who several people had tipped as a possible, but unlikely, successor to Clements should he be removed.
If Labor need to remove Clements as NSW Secretary, this is not the way to do it, and whilst I agree that something needs to be done in regards to his performance, this is not the way I’d like to see him go.
However, if on the other hand the allegations are true then we have a woman who has been subject to threatening and intimidating behavior by someone in a position of power. This act was also alleged to have occurred in her place of work making it even worse as it directly impacts her career as well as her state of mind.
If the allegation is true the perpetrator is someone who comes from a union background and would therefore be well and truly across the rules of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Whether Jones is a victim or a pawn in a political play, she is someone who is going to be going through an enormous amount of stress currently and I hope that she is receiving any help she requires.
As a party we need to take a strong stance against violence against women no matter what form it may take. If the case against Clements is proven then he is no exception and should be held accountable and face criminal proceedings.
For me the jury is still out however, and I will be anxiously waiting on the results of the police investigation which Clements is cooperating with.
The matter is due in Magistrates Court for a mention on 12th August.Follow @madwixxy