But what if Jackson was just as corrupt as Williamson? Or worse?
This is the real HSU story. The unbelievable misuse of the union dues of some of the lowest paid workers in Australia.
While Jackson was portrayed as a Joan of Arc figure, she had been spending vast amounts of her own union members' money on jet-setting holidays, fashion, jewellery, a home mortgage and even part of a divorce settlement. Nothing, it seems, was off limits.
The HSU scandal is more than a dark morality tale marked by high drama and farce. It exposes deep problems at the heart of the union movement and the Labor Party: tribalism, nepotism, a misplaced sense of entitlement and the abuse other peoples' money. Together they are an intoxicating mixture and provide a ripe environment for corruption on a grand scale.
About the Author
He was The Australian's Washington correspondent during the first term of the Obama administration, has written extensively on politics and industrial relations, and is the author of several books.