Is Abbott going too hard on Thomson?

There has been some commentary that the Opposition has been too hard on Craig Thomson. These letters to the editor at The Australian give an idea of the spectrum of discussion. The mental health issue was kicked-off by the Opposition's Mal Washer, a qualified medico. It was then followed-up by the government and journalists with the suggestion that opposition members were being deluged by letters telling them to leave Thomson alone.

So I decided to see what our data, taken between 15 and 17 May, 2012, suggests. Now we didn't ask directly whether voters approved or disapproved of the opposition's line on Thomson, but asking directly can be misleading as people often tell you what they think they should.

What we can infer from the data is that the Liberals' line on Thomson is working for them.

When it comes to approval of Julia Gillard, 3.5% mention Thomson and Slipper (almost always in the same breath) and of those 89% disapprove and only 8% approve.

When it comes to approval of Tony Abbott only 0.3% mention it, although two-thirds of those disapprove of Abbott. I don't think that would worry Abbott too much.

The Thomson and Slipper situations tend to reinforce two themes - that Gillard is untrustworthy, and that she is not competent. That is a fairly potent combination, particularly as voters tend to punish incompetence more than they punish dishonesty (cf Queensland politics between 2001 or thereabouts and 2009, or John Howard versus Mark Latham).


1. Gillard is a proven liar (carbon tax).2. Gillard does not honour written agreements (Wilke poker machines).3. Gillard cannot be trusted (knifed Rudd).4. Gillard has a lust for power (will do anything no matter how low to stay in office - Slipper, Thoms

Gillard lies. She wants her hands on the levers of state, yet she doesn't know what to do once she is there. If gillard didn't have a carbon tax or protect thompson--i think she would be doing much better.

Just hopeless. Believes in nothing, seriously incompetent ie Slipper, Thomson, no defence of carbon price, support for neo-liberal economic policies and too much individual welfare instead of fundinf real outcomes like education, childcare, health etc.

She has no leadership qualities, runs a chaotic government, and is totally besmirched by the combination of Slipper and Thompson. What sort of a dill imports the Libs' Slipper problem!

While I give Julia a lot of credit for the courage she shows under adversity and a rabid media pack, she seems to have very bad judgement when it comes to either Slipper or Thompson. Worse, she appears not be in anything other than grimly holding onto power

Her doggedness in the face of sexism, extreme rudeness, and having to put up with the likes of sleazy chancers like Slipper and Craig Thomson

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0 #1 RE: Is Abbott going too hard on Thomson?ross 2012-06-11 23:28
Some are obiviously worried that even if Thompson attempts some self harm scenario,it could backfire heavily on Abbott and the Coalition.

Many people who attempt suicide don't really want to die.They want attention and sympathy to escape their dilemma.
-1 #2 MrRod Foster 2012-06-18 23:55
This is late but I've been away. All I can say is that Thomson is in the wrong union he should be in the Actors Guild.

The other comment is that Gillard's lecturing the G20 people on how to run their economies is inappropriate and the cartoon in "The Australian" Monday 18/06/12 is germane.
+1 #3 Thomson the victim of the media!!Jim Taylor 2012-07-12 13:51
Craig Thomson has been charged with NOTHING!!! The media continues to hound him. Where were the same media mongrels when Mary Jo Fisher (Liberal from SA)was CHARGED and CONVICTED of assault She got off the shoplifting charge first time. Now she has been charged with shoplifting a second time. No media hounding there!!! Don't trot out the 'poor Mary Jo has been under stress' crap. Go after her, a convicted MP criminal and leave Craig Thomson alone!!!
-1 #4 MrCharles Tumath 2012-07-12 13:58
Craig Thomson should be stood down until the matter is sorted. Any other public service employee would be stood down (Some on full pay) until a judgement is handed down. If he is contemplating suicide then he should not be in parliament at all!
+2 #5 RE: Is Abbott going too hard on Thomson?Gillian 2012-07-12 14:42
What happened Australians giving people a "fair go'. These days it's trial by Media. If that wasn't bad enough, it's a media owned by Opposition supporters. What happened to "innocent until proven guilty" ?
Above is also a comment about The Prime Minister lecturing G20 people on how to run their economies. Well I heard the whole speech. It was simply a friendly offer to help any one who wished to discuss Australia's economic strategies.
Other speeches were a different matter & really "ruffled feathers". Especially as US economic woes set off the whole European crisis. But as the Spanish guy said "I'm astonished people think Miss Gillard said anything which could be criticised. She was humble & offered help"
-2 #6 RE: Is Abbott going too hard on Thomson?Faustino 2012-07-12 16:59
Is it possible to be too hard on Thomson?
+1 #7 What about Liberal MP Mary Jo Fisher?Jim Taylor 2012-07-12 19:02
Interesting comment Charles Tumath! What about Mary Jo Fisher who CONTINUED to sit in the Senate AFTER she was convicted of assault. Craig Thomson HAS NOT EVEN BEEN CHARGED, let alone convicted and you want him to stand down? Give me a break!