Whilst I am a conservative voter by nature, I too have been alarmed at the deterioration of the level of debate on issues in Australia in recent years. I have enjoyed reading your articles in the SMH over the years, although not always agreeing with you.
My daughters gave me your book for my birthday and I started reading it last night. What a revelation! I have only read the first few chapters but you have articulated that which I have been saying for some time. Vigorous debate in a democratic society is a healthy thing - it's what sets us apart. I think that this idea that you are either with me or against me is unhealthy for any democracy.
Sadly, I think that Howard when he finally goes - and I suspect it won't be this time - he will leave Australia a more polarised, insensitive and selfish society than he found. Not a great legacy by any measure.
I also realised when I read your bio that we were at Uni together!
All the best
Margo, I must thank you for your book Not Happy John. It has restored my faith in humanity that there are at least a few people around who are able to stand up and be counted on these intensely worrying issues.
In the past I was a fairly conservative person who tended to be a swinging voter depending on current issues. However, while John Howard holds the reigns I can no longer in good conscience vote for this evil man or his party. (if he doesn't have altsheimer's he must be evil.... how else could he not remember dates, times, conversations etc of such importance)
In what seems another life time I was married to a Journalist who left Journalism because of the Murdoch takeover so your comments struck a chord with me there as well.
Please please keep going.... there are a huge number of people who agree with you but just dont have the voice or the means to get their opinions heard.
I marched in the anti Iraq war march, which was a first in my life, even though i wa
Excellent points Stephen!
However, you should also point out to older voters (in particular) that in general self funded retirees did FAR better with higher interest rates; just ask anyone who has been trying to live off of their interest income the last few years with 'lower' interest rates. [I've quoted the 'lower' as, has been pointed out elsewhere, our rates are NOT low currently compared to the US, Canada, and a number of other Western democracies.]
The simplistic high/low interest rate arguments are just that; simplistic.
I have been writing to my local candidates in the election asking them to support the introduction of legislation, in the first term of the new parliament, to establish a Commission to review government business and reporting directly to the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate in parliament. I want candidates to make a public commitment to it.
The Commission would be something similar to ICAC in NSW and have power to subpeona documents, members of parliament, advisers, public servants, defence and intelligence personnel. It would investgate complaints, matters referred to it by parliament or standing committes and do its own independent audits and investigations of processes as well. It would have as part of its charter an enforceable ministerial code of conduct. It would have public hearings and publicly release its recommendations. Recommendations could include recommendations that a minister resign, further investigation by Federal Police and civil and criminal
Here is Alison Broinowski's review of Andrew Wilkie's Axis of Deceit and Not Happy, John!, published in the latest Australian Book Review magazine. Thanks for permission to publish it here, Alison.
I'm so furious about the intellectual property provisions in the FTA, I've banned members of all parties that voted for it from using my website, including Labour.
I've notified the national secretariats of all four parties, and sent personal notifications to all MHRs and Senators belonging to those parties.
If anyone else has a similar quixotic urge and would like more detail, contact me via the website.
Gayle will advertise any NHJ event in City Life for free, in any city (I'm not sure exactly which cities it's in). In her words
The what's on pages are some of our busiest and the text down the middle (actual events) gets much better results. Any events, please let me know or tell people to submit them. It costs nothing and if it makes one extra person come along, it's worth it.
So contact her with your events.
Gayle is a successful, professional woman - a swinging voter - who has decided it is time to be heard. For the seat of Dickson she has created
Everyone is angry at John Howard. It's pathetic. I walk by Epping Station every day and I see you guys hand out these crap bumper stickers to people - do you think people will take a bumper sticker seriously? It's really sad handing 'em to high school students. By the way John Howard doesn't run Australia for financial gain, he runs it with the will to make it better. Although not all policies I agree with, who else can run Australia? You? Your neighbour? People seriously think he's like the worst thing to happen to Australia but he's not He's reduced debt accumulated by unwise Labor spending.
NHJ!(HA): The idea of a democracy is that all of us have a hand in running Australia. John Howard has utterly lost touch with this principle, and no amount of making the trains run on time will redeem him for this.
After last night's debate between Mark Latham and John Howard, I received a letter at Counterspin which articulates a view of many, I bet:
We at Margo
My mother received an alarming flyer 'from' The Greens this week. It was written by the Liberal Party, but they do not identify themselves on any part of the flyer.
The fine print reads 'Authorised by Scott Morrison, Level 9, 140 William St, East Sydney NSW 2011', but nowhere on the flyer is Scott Morrison identified as a representative of the Liberal Party. I had to type Scott Morrison's business address into an internet search engine to confirm that the flyer was a Liberal Party advertisement. The use of the Green party logo, a 'stamp' reading 'Official Greens Policy' and official photos of Labor MP Lindsay Tanner and NSW Greens Senator Kerry Nettle are intended to fool the voter into believing that the flyer was written and authorised by the Green and/or Labor parties.
The Liberal party may be entitled to use quotes from Hansard, Greens senators, Labor MPs, The Australian and the Herald Sun, but surely they must declare authorship of this 'Greens' flyer. I believe as a citiz
I have managed to contact NHJer in Melbourne but I was thinking of working alone if necessary. I was wondering if there is any letter drop election material available ? Is there a cost ? How can one access this material ?
The government claims it is not responsible or getting extra tax benefits from the rise in fuel prices to record level. 'All the increased GST goes to the states!' We have not increased OUR Federal revenue take says JH! Can some one tell me IF revenue is a percentage of wholesale price or a fixed amount per litre? I dont care if you call it excise or tax - it is still TAX. Further to that, has anyone looked at whether the old 'Import Parity Pricing Policy' is still in force and what impact IT has on the retail price of Fuel? No-one seems to mention that when it comes to fuel pricing issues!