Barrie Cassidy has chronicled for us the list of Australian politicians who've been through emotional crises. I don't think any one of us wants to see Craig Thomson's name added to that list.
I've challenged Opposition front bencher and depression survivor Andrew Robb to take an hour or two to sit with Craig Thomson and talk, make sure he's okay, help him get the emotional support he almost certainly needs. I am no fan of Mr Robb's politics, but he has survived major depression and continued his career. That's something I'm struggling to do right now.
It doesn't even matter what the outcomes of the nine investigations might be. Mr Thomson's career has been damned by the speculation of the past months. He's been shunned by his own party, criticised and mocked by the Opposition, doubted by the independents, stalked, probed and challenged by media, and has been the subject of nine investigations. Is there any doubt that he is under extraordinary stress? We've seen it in his tears and in his anguished plea to just let history take its course.
That's what we know, what we've been permitted to see. Can you imagine the turmoil, the noise in Mr Thomson's mind? Even in the event that he is innocent, he is living the first chapter of his tortured sentence already. As I said a few weeks ago, Craig Thomson is barely relevant in the greater picture; unless something dramatic occurs, we should start preparing for an Abbott-led Coalition government. Mr Thomson can't do much but move the timing closer, and it's a no-brainer that he won't be re-elected. In fact, he continues to be a soft target for Tony Abbott and his team; no-one is looking out for Craig Thomson.
So I challenge Andrew Robb to remember his personal fight, to look beyond the scandal and the politics, and extend his hand to Craig Thomson, not because there's political advantage to gain, but because it's the right thing to do.