Friday 21st of June 2019


A great book (albeit a dreadful indictment of our democracy) by a truly great Australian! (Robyn McGee)

Thank you, Margo, for writing NHJ. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Through your book, web pages, and webdiary, you put a public voice to what many of us have been silently seething at. However, for this Australian, the very statement;

On the Anniversary of Sept 11th (David Hawkins)

On the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, Showtune Productions presents LAST NIGHT IN NEW YORK, a multimedia performance by Wednesday Kennedy that takes us back to the city that never sleeps in the aftermath of 9/11.

Kennedy roams the streets in the weeks after the attacks, capturing a fractured and vulnerable New York, trying to make sense of a dramatically altered landscape. The show moves from New Yorkers' responses to Kennedy's own narrative, presented in vignettes woven throughout the documentary/performance - part poetry, part performance and part journalism, a unique and very personal hybrid from an outsider fused to the city by catastrophe.

In creating Last Night In New York, Ms Kennedy has articulated what most New York performing artists have been unable or unwilling to tackle. It is a subject that Hollywood has almost completely ignored and one that the American theatre community has bee

I've been ruminating since finishing the book a couple of weeks ago (Jane Rayner)

I loved the book. It articulated all my feelings about our own 'Austrian housepainter' and the threat he and his bully boys and girls pose to our democracy and our society.

Unfortunately, he has tapped into that dark reservoir of hatred, envy and spite we all possess to some degree and is exploiting it as hard as he can lick. He tells people what they want to hear and they lap it up, while he makes sure that opposing opinions and views are stifled or trivialised.

NHJ is our wake up call. And now I know that I am not alone feeling the way I do about this most Dishonourable Member. It's a great feeling and I feel a little more positive that we will get rid of him before it's too late for this country!

Shall The Happy Few Remember This Come St Goughkin's Day...? ()

Well, well, well. T'would appear I spake too soon...callow knave, unrighteous Untrue Unbeliever that I am.

Yesterday over in the DA section, 'Big Doc' Russell Darroch issued a democratic clarion call to us all here at NHJ!, to take up our Mighty Pens and WRITE to the ALP on the FTA. And I - fool! craven cynical fool! that I am - showed no heart for the fight, saying it was all too late to save us from the FTA.

And then doesn't the Pretender-King Latham go and blindside us all yet now looks like what we have on our hands is a Battle of Democratic Free Wills, boys and girls. So let those among us who would be there to show our scars on St Goughkin's Day this year take up our pens after all, and fire off our Citizens' missives to stiffen Our Hero's spine for the Glorious Fight:

And may the other Will forgive

Valder's Law ()

Former Liberal Party President and head of the stock exchange, John Valder, is a changed man. He used to be on the PM's Christmas card list. Not any more.

The Bulletin looks at the new Valder, his anti-war activism over Iraq and his involvement in the upcoming election, including using the title and message of NHJ.

As we continue to say here at NHJ, our differences are often not as great as we may think.

New Brian Deegan fan site active (Troy Rollo)

There is a new unofficial fan site for Brian Deegan, who is running as an independent candidate in Mayo (Alexander Downer's electorate) on a platform of accountability.

A wake-up call for the country (Katie Blair)

Dear Margo,

I think John Thompson (

We aren't all Zionists (Mannie De Saxe)

The last three editions of the Australian Jewish News (AJN) have six letters attacking Antony Loewenstein for his article in the AJN (9 July 2004) and his chapter in Margo Kingston's book, 'Not Happy, John'. One wrote that Loewenstein's sole defender in the AJN is his girl friend!

No letters in the AJN have been published supporting the Loewenstein arguments. All the attacking letters have Australian addresses. Israel is desperately attempting to get Diaspora Jews to 'fight the good fight' there, especially from France because of the rise in anti-Semitism.

How do people like Rubenstein and Danby know how many of the 100,000 Jews in Australia are Zionists? They do not speak for all of us.

If the AJN was truly the Australian Jewish News, it would give those Jews who are Jewish and not self-hating - as some Zionists call us - space in its letters columns to agree with Antony Loewenstein and express our views on Israel/Palestine, anti- Semitism and t

Complete disgust for Tony Abbott (Anne Cairns)

As a student of Social Work, I've always had a decent amount of outrage at the way our government is behaving in our name. I've protested during the rallies last year, I've written letters to the Prime Minister and I've vigorously debated with anyone who'd listen about refugees, social services and multi-nationals.

I considered this to be a decent amount of effort until I read your book 'Not Happy John' and the chapter on Tony Abbott!! I'm a resident of Warringah and although I was never a fan of his politics I accepted the fact that the area was traditionally full of Liberal voters. What can you do?

Well, I think it's time that our area stop being represented by someone so blatently unconcerned about anyone's interests except his own! Come on Warringah: lets get someone in who will actually care about the people they are paid to represent!

NHJ! (JR): Anne, one good start-point might be to check out small-l Independent candidate
Go to
Democratic Top Banana Central, and follow the links. Speak UP. THINK of how many Australian things have been sold down the river the last few years - jobs, education, health, safety, culture (FTA - vote NO), PBS (FTA - vote NO), 'full employment (got redefined about 7 years ago!)'.

How many times do we have to make the same mistakes? Canada has had a very bad run with is all for the US, not for anyone else. (I'm a Canadian/Australian.) Wake up Australia.

NHJ! (JR): Doc, you are a democratic Green Pen Man From Hell after my own heart. Sorry about beefing up your words here a bit (the 'Top Banana' rude bit was mine, folks), but like you I am a fiendish True

Another reprint! ()

News flash from the Marketing Director of Penguin:

'We've ordered another 5000 copy reprint today after over 2000 copies left our warehouse in the last seven days! When this reprint arrives we'll have 29,000 copies in print which is a fantastic achievement, well done. Total sales OUT of our warehouse are now at 22,000.'

Bill Bryson and Bill Clinton had better watch out!

Ending the neo-liberal hegemony, for all our sakes (Eric Aarons)

Margo, I particularly noted the comments from Gary Johns on pages 261-2 and your remarks on the neo-liberal ideology they express. I clearly recognised them from the study I made for my recent book 'What's Right?'

Here's an outline of some of the features and philosophy of neo-liberalism which your readers might find of interest. They are epitomised in Johns' statements and in an assertion made at the same time by the egregious Tony Abbott - that 'capitalism is just another name for freedom'.

The main exponent and theorist of neo-liberalism is Friedrich Hayek. Even neo-liberals themselves may not understand the values that lie beneath their social philosophy, so transforming it into an ideology, a pervasive cast of mind that dominates social policies and actions, one backed by the political, economic and media power it benefits.

Gary Johns laments that NGOs threaten 'to mediate the effects of individualism and self interest in the cause of the greater good'

Bumper Sticker (J Lawrence)

I found my way to your website via a bumper sticker I sat behind at the lights today. I'm in Canberra, I work for the Commonwealth and I LOVE the sticker. Tell me, where can I get one?

Margo: send your postal address to and we'll send you one. They're scarce at the moment, but more are being printed.

Quick link to other reviews (Emma Dempsey)

Am only 20 pages into the book but wanted to share a link with you - I had not heard of the book until I joined a ring for it on

You might want to check out what others think of it -

I plan to write with something more constructive to say soon.

Need more solutions (John Thompson)

Dear Margo - I enjoyed your book over the weekend. But I reckon you do better on critique and analysis than on solutions (that said, you do better than most journalists). However, a book I really thought had some great solutions is: IMAGINING AUSTRALIA: IDEAS FOR OUR FUTURE, by four young Australian blokes. I'd be interested to know what you thought of it, and whether you agreed with their ideas. I'm recommending it to all my friends who liked your book, but finished it wanting more.

NHJ!(JR): Dunno about Margo, but I haven't read it yet, although it sounds very enticing - albeit (as my lefty scone understands fings) IA generally imagines Oz from a pro-market perspective (but hey, w/o the blessed market-beasty-thingy I 'spose NHJ! wouldn't be shifting so many units so fast, so go figure...). Besides, anything with the words 'imagine' and 'Australia' in the same sentence at this national juncture has got to be a winner.

Check out the 'Imagining Australia' website arced

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