Aussie left wing government unhinged by sex scandal


When you have a parliamentary majority of one, the last thing you want is a sex scandal enveloping an MP in a marginal constituency. But that is precisely Julia Gillard's situation, a year after the inconclusive election that brought her Labor government to power.

Police are investigating allegations that Craig Thomson, a Labor backbencher who used to be national secretary of the Health Services Union, used his union credit card to pay thousands of dollars to a Sydney brothel. He has denied any wrongdoing and claims that another person, not named, took the card and forged his signature.

With support for Labor at rock bottom – an opinion poll yesterday put it 14 points behind the conservative coalition – the affair has the potential to topple Ms Gillard's government. If convicted, Mr Thomson would have to quit parliament, triggering a by-election that Labor would almost certainly lose. The coalition would then either take control or there would be fresh elections.

Last week it was revealed that Labor had paid legal fees of about A$90,000 (£57,000) incurred by Mr Thomson in relation to a defamation action against The Sydney Morning Herald concerning the allegations. The gift saved him from bankruptcy, which would have forced him to resign his seat. He dropped the legal action in May, just before it was due to go to court. The Herald aired fresh allegations this week, publishing excerpts from court documents that appear to show that Mr Thomson's credit card was being used at the same time that calls were made to an escort agency – as well as to Labor and union contacts – from his phone.

He appears to be brought low by using something other than his head for doing his thinking.

It is a government that deserves to fall regardless of the alleged sex scandal. It is way to liberal and it is attempting to imposed a ridiculous carbon tax on the economy. That alone is enough to throw them out of office since they made a pledge in their campaign that they would not do that. It is not an honorable government.


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