I have a complete, unassailable confidence that our community will demand and will get justice in The AWU Scandal. I think that like the United States after Watergate, we'll be much the better for understanding what went on and how far the tentacles (or the backpacks of cash on flights) went.
The saga and its reporting is unfolding pretty much as I'd expect - the only surprise has been the Liberals failure to pick the issue as one of baseline morality and thus a very important issue to their political base. The media's confusion, inaccuracy and incurious barracking for the sub-prime is no surprise, I remember how long it took to get people in the media to understand what The Offender had fessed up to. We will get there.
I know that there is so much more detail that's yet to be reported. Documents, letters, copies of cheques, deeds of settlement and repayment of money, confidentiality agreements, statements from witnesses, potential grants of immunity - the clear mis-reporting of the BCITF isn't a bad place to start either. Too many people know who did what - and always remember "it's the cover up". The story will be told, the guilty will pay their debt - and we'll all gaze in disbelief at the things people do.
Now that said I'm finding that it takes a hell of a toll to day in and day out focus on this egregious, amoral behaviour and its cover-up. It's even more galling to know that one of the prime participants in the scam is now calling very big shots as the PM. When I say prime participant - Julia Gillard's affair with Bruce Wilson went on for 4 and a bit years. Their lifestyle as a couple was sumptuously funded by Wilson's access to extra-curricular funds - or shall we say slush-funds derived through "innovative workplace reform". We tend to get a bit hooked up on the question of "did the sub-prime's house renovations get paid for by the account?" when I think it's equally valid to ask did she get a free Mars bar bought with money Wilson knocked off. He was on a union rep's pay with a wife and 2 boys to support in Perth, even the ingenue would have had to have had a clue about the conspicuous money.
This morning I was meant to go into town for a couple of hours with Harry Nowicki - but I have to be frank with you, I just couldn't face another couple of hours of crapping on about the AWU!!! Harry and I will meet tomorrow but for today I needed a break away from theories and reconstructions.
So I am going to do something positive. I would like to tell you about the greatest man I have known. He died suddenly when he was 56 in 1996 - he's my dad.
I have to start with a huge caveat. I am not half the man my dad was. He was the most clearly principled person I have ever known, and one of the smartest too.
Dad was a Fitter and Turner with the NSW Railways for 40 years. He started his apprenticeship on steam engines and Westinghouse brakes in 1956 at 16. At his funeral St Joseph's Catholic Church Rockdale was packed with Muslims, Croats, Yugoslavs, Greeks, Macedonians - the list of blokes who'd normally blue each other but who'd been settled down together with my dad's help was massive. A couple of months after dad died there was an incident with a knife at dad's old work at Mortdale, dad's brother Peter who also worked there said all the blokes said that would never have happened if Geoff was still alive.
So what made him most special? Principles. I could tell you in advance pretty much every decision dad would make. The big ones were always made on principles and morals. And he was rock solid.
Lots of blokes used to be like that. Dad was a union man, a tradesman, a craftsman. He never once let me down, not once. If he said he was going to do something he did it.
That's why I get very crook about Australia right now. Haven't we got someone better to be the boss than dubious piece of work we've put in there?
While I'm in a bit of a nostalgic mood, could I please leave you with the eulogy I hope went some way to recognizing dad's life. Amazing how much better that's made me feel to spend a bit of time celebrating the life of a good man!