Talk:Health Services Union expenses affair

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An infobox is not well suited for this type of article. Really. Please get a consensus for addition of what I, as a very outside observer, consider to be a net negative for this type of article. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:31, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

There's two editors disagree with you. This series of crimes is complex and involves several different people over different times and organisations. Having a scorecard is the time-honoured way of identifying the players. We want to inform the reader, not confuse them. I'll go looking for similar articles and report back. For the time being, let's discuss the issue until we have a consensus. The situation has changed over the past week or so with the conviction of Thomson and the apology by Parliament. We haven't heard the last of this, given the upcoming Royal Commission. --Pete (talk) 17:00, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
There are numerous other examples of templates used in crimes and political scandals around the world to identify and link the main players. I could prepare a far longer list, but I think that the point is made. --Pete (talk) 17:34, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Read WP:CONSENSUS please before insisting that 2 editors make up a consensus. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:18, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't believe that I used the word "consensus" at all, let alone insist on anything. But happy to discuss this if you wish. --Pete (talk) 17:34, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Rangasyd, would you like to address some of the points raised by Collect? I am sensitive to some of the issues he raises - we want to inform the reader, not take them through all the various stages of the criminal justice system, naming and shaming at each point. I'd be inclined to trim the thing down a little. --Pete (talk) 17:48, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Template RfC[edit]

Ought this article have the infobox proposed at [1] listing living persons up to seven times in the single infobox? 17:18, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

I consider the proposed infobox with its multiple listings of the same living persons as "name of the affair", "participant", "subject", "accused", "convicted", "charges" (twice), and "convicted" to not meet the stated purpose of an infobox, and to violate WP:BLP as to iteration of the same charges, and as being (of all things) UNDUE in an infobox. The purpose of an infobox is not to "list bad guys six or seven times by name in one infobox" but the purpose of an infobox: to summarize key facts in the article in which it appears. The infobox at hand does not meet that simple requirement, unless listing a living person up to seven times in an infobox really helps readers. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:18, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Support inclusion As listed above, political scandals often involve several individuals and organisations. Given the prominence of this affair in the Australian media, the upcoming Royal Commission into union corruption, and the complexity, it will be helpful to the reader to have a uniform template applied to the several different articles we maintain on the individuals, organisations and inquiries involved. --Pete (talk) 17:41, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
And the reason why a person needs to be mentioned up to seven times in a single infobox is? Collect (talk) 17:49, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I've trimmed that down a little and invited the comments of the infobox creator. It's very early morning in Sydney and they may not be up and editing Wikipedia. I think we can modify it further to address the concerns you list. I don't see this as an urgent BLP issue - after all, their crimes were front page news across Australia and we have truckloads of reliable sources. --Pete (talk) 17:57, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
All BLP issues are "urgent". This is, in real life, a fairly routine sort of scandal, and not one of world-wide earthshattering significance, and I ask you remove the infobox until and unless you get an actual consensus for inclusion. Cheers. Collect (talk) 20:23, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
As noted, we have good sources from major media outlets identifying the individuals and their crimes. It is a major political scandal in Australia, having contributed to the downfall of two governments. The BLP concern you note is that the participants are named several times. I have asked the editor who initiated this to address the issue, and I have removed four mentions which seem to be extraneous. So far only three editors have offered an opinion on the matter and the majority view is for inclusion. You launched an RfC on a matter which had only a few hours of discussion involving only two editors. I suggest that, having done so, you let the discussion proceed and we'll see what points emerge as more editors offer their opinions. --Pete (talk) 23:22, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion
Sorry for the delay, as I'm only getting to this. I am the editor that included the infobox and I'm happy to read suggestions for moderating inclusion, where deemed appropriate. My comments are:
  1. Prior to my edits, content was substantively outdated and erroneous.
  2. Much of the content in this article has come from the wikipages for each of the individuals concerned (where I have been an occassional editor, mainly to regulate content and tone).
  3. There has been much debate about WP:BLP on their respective talk pages, especially where it involved political office during a period when the government did not have a majority and relied on cross-bench support. Consensus was reached here re content.
  4. I think moderating the number of mentions of including key individuals is appropriate and a good suggestion. Thank you.
  5. Given the precedent of using infoboxes for other political scandals that dominated much of the public debate, not only in Australia but elsewhere, inclusion in this article should stand.
  6. Guilty pleas have been entered.
  7. Criminal charges have been proven.
  8. Convictions are pending in both cases and likely to be resolved within the next month.
  9. Australia's parliament has passed a motion of regret with bipartisan support - a very rare step.
Finally, the article is not finished. It's structure still needs more revision. From the Allegations of impropriety section onwards, more work is needed in the coming days; which I will get to. As always, I welcome your feedback. Thanks. Rangasyd (talk) 09:46, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose the listing of a single person seven times in one infobox and listing friends and family in an infobox implying criminal activity on their part. WP:BLP must be noted as "first do no harm." It is our job to make information available, not to show how evil the union leaders are. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:35, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Neutral Collect, I'm keen to get this issue resolved: The infobox mentions Thomson five times, Williamson four times, and his family is mentioned broadly without naming individuals. This is less than the seven times mentioned above. Does this reduction now justify inclusion? If not, what number of mentions would justify inclusion? If you would also provide your detailed reasoning, that would also assist. I'm happy to remove "family and friends", as no criminal charges have been laid. Thanks. Rangasyd (talk) 09:23, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
    • IMO, there is nothing to be gained by the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh mention of the same name, nor by inclusion of a name as an "alternate name for the scandal" nor by using "friends and associates" as "participants." Cheers. Just stick to one mention per "participant." Collect (talk) 12:37, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Resolved. One mention only. Jackson removed as participant as may be perceived as creating confusion. WP:RfC removed. Thanks. Rangasyd (talk) 13:21, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

useless info in infobox[edit]

Pray tell what utility the listing of kinds of charges has in the infobox? None. The "verdicts" which seem totally useless to readers of the infobox ditto. And the phrase "conviction and sentence pending" is utterly meaningless in the infobox. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:50, 3 March 2014 (UTC)


Health Services Union expenses affair
Convictions As of 18 February 2014 conviction and sentence pending.
Health Services Union expenses affair
Charges Theft; Fraud; Fabricating invoices; Hindering police

Is a current infobox for the article. Is the material listed after the "inquiries" part of any utility to Wikipedia readers? 16:55, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

I suggest the "kinds of charges" bit is cryptic, ditto the "found guilty" bit which is used to link to sources, but sources should not generally be used in infoboxes per MOS, as is the phrase "conviction and sentence pending" and that cryptic "stuff" is not a reasonable use of any infobox. Collect (talk) 16:55, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Useful We can lose the sources in the infobox, so long as they are in the body of the article. This underscores how serious this affair was. Union leaders and politicians guilty of serious crimes. This wasn't some little fiddling with the books, no this was the real deal. The infobox shows this at a glance. I think we are getting to the stage where it can usefully be added to the BLP articles. --Pete (talk) 18:40, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Useful, with revisions, as proposed. How disappointing that these concerns were not raised in the earlier WP:RfC discussion. Firstly, an editor wants names removed for proven criminal charges; then the same editor states that, with the names removed, it all looks a bit cryptic. This editor seems to not want this infobox there at all; but also seems unable to propose a concrete alternative; and is being disruptive to discussions. I make the following proposals:
  1. the reinstatement of names against the verdicts handed down by the respective courts, as shown;
  2. the moving of references to the notes field, as shown;
  3. all other information to remain, as shown;
The purpose of the infobox is to draw the reader to highlighted matters in the article. Dealing specifically with the convictions, the matters are listed for sentencing within the next month. One of the individuals is presently in custody and will be sentenced on 28 March. The other is on bail, with a sentence hearing set for late March. For the time being, there are no convictions, although both matters are listed in their respective jurisdictions with hearing dates. They should be left, as is. Rangasyd (talk) 08:02, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
  • note most of the wikilinks have absolutely nothing to do with the article in any event, and the "convictions pending" bit is pretty much totally useless IMO. Alas -- this is about as sorry an excuse for an "infobox" as can be found. Collect (talk) 14:35, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Please be specific, Collect. Exactly which wikilinks do you mean by "most" that have absolutely nothing to do with the article?. Thanks. Rangasyd (talk) 00:59, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
    • TheftFraudGuiltyPlea are all broad Wikipedia articles not of direct value at all in the infobox. Really. And "conviction and sentence pending" is precisely the sort of material which is meaningless -- and is just two added lines on the real estate of everyone's computer. Collect (talk) 02:05, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
      • My opinion is that those interested in this ongoing high-visibility case will want to know the current details. We don't list every charge, but we show the seriousness of the charges and the sentences. Williamson is in custody right now and faces a long time behind bars. Thomson remains free, but sentencing will be given within days. He faces years in jail. Additional charges for misleading Parliament are possible. I think readers want to know the facts. --Pete (talk) 03:02, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
        • Perhaps losing the date stamp on the "convictions pending" may clean it up a little. I am sure this will be updated when they are no longer pending.CamV8 (talk) 13:27, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
          • Dealing with the plea first; the fact that Williamson entered a plea at the first available opportunity is relevant; especially when compared with Thomson who protested his innocence, which is his right, during all proceedings from the time when allegations were first aired right through until after the Court handed down its verdict, when he stated he was going to appeal the verdict (which he has not yet lodged). Thomson's situation is amplified as he was a member of Parliament and held a position of trust. Secondly, dealing with the number of lines, let's just remove the convictions for the time being. That may change in a few weeks if convictions are recorded and sentences handed down to the individuals. Given one editor is so concerned about space (not previously raised until now), charges have been reduced from the bulleted list of four lines to two lines of flowing text. Is there now consensus for the infobox, as proposed? Rangasyd (talk) 00:43, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
            • I could quibble on the semicolons, but otherwise, fine. --Pete (talk) 02:40, 7 March 2014 (UTC)


I think this article should at least briefly cover the role of George Brandis in ensuring the matter was investigated in the way it was.[2] His involvement before the prosecution of Thomson is context for his involvement again in the Royal Commission. John Vandenberg (chat) 04:46, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

AFAICT that link is an opinion piece and not a WP:RS. --Surturz (talk) 04:51, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
We dont need to focus on that link; there are plenty more to choose from: google:Brandis Craig Thomson Scipione. John Vandenberg (chat) 15:38, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

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