On Tuesday I wrote an article on Kathy Jacksons continuing attempts to delay Federal Court proceedings by once again failing to show up for court.
Jackson failed to front Federal Court yet again to as she is currently in hospital for psychological treatment according to her lawyer Philip Beazley.
Whilst I do not like to make light of mental illness, this all seems frighteningly convenient and there isn’t a lot of people buying the Kathy Jackson version of the truth any more.
In fact in many of the comments on my previous articles on Jackson many have predicted that she may attempt to claim a mental illness to seek criminal convictions. I can also tell you that the feeling amongst most in the media room from the main stream media on the day she was due to make her first appearance was that she would claim to be in a psychological facility.
Mr Beazley claimed that Jackson was not in a fit condition to provide him with legal direction. However the affidavit he produced himself seemed to contradict that claim.
Firstly Beazley seemed to have secured enough legal direction to produce an affidavit with claims of death threats and a suicide attempt that in my view is highly unlikely given her behaviour of attention seeking at the time which was based around the time she was pointing the finger at Craig Thomson.
Also in the affidavit were claims to put before the court of breaches of process, claims that one would assume Beazley had been provided with direction to pursue. Who was providing Beazley with these directions if not Kathy Jackson?
Justice Tracey has suppressed much of the affidavit from publication.
It would be interesting to see what has been suppressed as it may contain even more legal directions from a client who is supposed to be too ill to provide direction.
If Jackson is indeed ill, I hope she recovers quickly, certainly before her case resumes in court again. After all this matter has dragged out for more than 18 months and now we see what is yet another breach of court orders in what appear to be desperate attempt to delay the inevitable.
If she is, as most suspect, making claim of a mental health condition for self-preservation, then this is doing a monumental disservice to those who suffer from mental health issues. If this is the case it is made even more shocking by the fact that she is from the health industry.
Acting for the HSU National Office, Mark Irving rightly complained that it was
“quite extraordinary and unacceptable behaviour”
to have had a statement from a doctor for two weeks prior to dumping it on the court at the last-minute.
So let’s think about this doctor’s statement that was available well before everybody wasted their time and money travelling to court, some from interstate.
It is a doctor’s report that was written on the 20th September, and claims that Jackson is an inpatient and would be in no condition to appear before a court.
Sources claim that the report itself, which has been suppressed, is vague and the only thing it seems to be specific about is when Jackson is expected to be well again, which it claims will be 15th January 2015, giving Jackson’s lawyer a reason to attempt to delay proceedings until February 2015.
That is a remarkably precise prediction from a doctor that seemed so vague regarding her actual condition in his statement that it has resulted in the Courts call for a signed affidavit from him. Just how does one put a time frame on a mental health condition? After all it’s not like the flu.
So what is the significance of the 15th January?
When the doctors report was written there was no dubious extension to the Trade Union Royal Commission reported. Back then it was thought that the Royal Commission would have been over two weeks prior to the 15th January 2015.
Considering that there are further sections of HSU Acting National Secretary Chris Brown’s witness statement that are still suppressed that Jackson has sought to avoid cross-examination on, having a doctor claiming illness until the Commission is complete would be rather convenient.
There is also the matter of the $600K worth of improper credit card spending that has been made public since she last appeared before the Commission. This could have possibly seen Jackson subpoenaed to reappear once again, if it weren’t for a handy doctor’s report.
Justice Tracey referred to Jacksons breaches of court orders as inexcusable stating
“I am conscious of the many inexcusable failures to comply with the court’s orders. It’s a matter that I have taken very seriously,”
The court is now seeking the aforementioned affidavit from Kathy Jackson’s doctor before the matter is before the court once again on the 5th November. Justice Tracey has expressed the need to see a sworn affidavit from Jackson’s doctor rather than just a statement. This could see Jackson’s doctor facing questions regarding his diagnosis on the witness stand.
Jackson is using every trick in the book to avoid being held to account for her actions.
Another example is her letter to Tony Abbott in July, linked below. Most dismissed this as just another rant to grab some positive media spotlight by trying to say she was still attempting to clean up the union. However there is the view that there may be a more sinister motive.
If the HSU was deregistered it would then cease to exist. What this would mean is there would be no union to seek civil damages from Jackson for her crimes, and no union to push for criminal investigations into her time at the union. Jackson may be basically using this as a last-ditch effort to pick up a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card.
From Abetz’s response it would seem that Jackson’s wishes would be granted if the government can be seen to be acting on a recommendation of the Royal Commission.
However, deregistering the union would seem to be a rather drastic action for very little when we look into it, as most of the branches of the HSU are running smoothly and completely hassle free.
There are some ongoing issues with the Number 1 Branch which still has some factional infighting going on, however the members are currently being looked after far better now than they were with the Jackson/Bolano team running the show at the branch.
Kathy Jackson it should be remembered was involved in two branches, HSU East which was shut down and put into administration making it no longer a concern, and the Number 3 Branch which has gone forward in leaps and bounds since the non-factional Craig McGregor became Secretary.
Jacksons two pages of non-specific waffle that many suspect were written by her partner, the Tony Abbott appointed fair Work Commission VP Michael Lawler, offer nothing in terms of evidence to support the action that the letter seeks, nor has anything of note been exposed by the Royal Commission aside from Jacksons own alleged widespread fraudulent activity.
Personally I can’t see Tony Abbott or Eric Abetz being willing to stick their necks out so far as to grant this favour to save Kathy Jackson, nor can I see the Royal Commission seeking to have further questions raised over its integrity by recommending the HSU be deregistered.
That would be seen by many as corruption at the highest levels.
For those who may be concerned about Jackson’s mental status, there is hope. Despite being apparently unable to provide legal instructions to a lawyer, she has been able to summon the ability to file a claim for Workers Compensation.
It was reported in The Australian by Pia Ackerman and Brad Norington, who has been leading the way in main stream media coverage of the HSU matters, that the claim is for 80% of her last salary which was when she was Executive President of HSU East, before that branch of the union was shut down by a Federal Court and an administrator appointed. This could see Jackson collect approximately $230K per annum in compensation.
Jackson, it seems, has suddenly two years later decided that there is a buck to be had in a workers comp claim. Perhaps spurred on by the claim made by her right hand man Marco Bolano who has been living on the workers comp gravy train since early last year, proving once and for all that being seemingly unemployable can also be rather profitable.
Just like Jacksons new claims Bolano’s are also related to mental health related to stress.
Bolano you may remember was apparently so incapacitated that he was able to fly back and forth between Sydney and Melbourne, do numerous press interviews, appear at a Royal Commission, and attempt to physically intimidate members of the press and witnesses at the Royal Commission into exactly that kind of behaviour by union officials.
For those who think that Jackson should now be treated with kid gloves, consider comparing her plight with that of Craig Thomson.
When Craig Thomson made his parliamentary address there were many who spoke publicly of their concern for his mental health. Kathy Jackson was not one of those, instead she continued to attack him like a demented Rottweiler.
Thomson never once tried to use mental health as a defence and instead chose to fight the allegations and continues to do so with his matter currently on appeal.
On the other hand we have Kathy Jackson whom virtually everybody who has followed the case believes is not really ill and who rather than fight allegations against her has used all manner of excuses to avoid scrutiny. We have seen numerous breaches of Federal Court orders, we have seen the Royal Commission accused of an ambush as she flees the witness stand, we have seen her throw up her past sex life just to avoid cross-examination, and now the mental health claim.
Kathy Jackson is making a mockery of the legal system in this country, and it’s about time someone had the guts to end it.
At want point do the members have justice?