Thursday 20th of June 2019


Democrat voter normally - extremely depressed about Aussie apathy (Robert Bennett)

I read the book in one sitting last night, what a depressing read...From a middle class aspirational voter who is earning 100k plus and has been in a union for the last 20 years you would expect that I would be loving JWH's warm and comfortable Australia; far from it - I am very worried for the future of our young Democracy.

John Howard takes Aussies good natured lack of public activism too lightly. If the Peace Rally in Canberra had been full of Czechs or Bosnians or Indians, they would have stormed the Parliament house and tossed him out on his bleeding ear for ignoring 200,000 pissed-off citizens. That he could have marginalised almost a million of his constituents Australia-wide by implying that they didn't represent the views of the 'silent' majority was a cynical swipe at a marvellous display of public activism - it was broad based, well behaved and constructive.

What would I have liked to see in the book?

Why did JH want this war so badly? He isn't a stupid

Introductory Ode (Ian Brodie Grant)

A Canterbury Tale. Faster than Renee Rivkin More powerful than hydrogen sulphide Able to leap into ANY war Look, up in the sky.. Is it Nelson Mandela? Is it Kofi Annan? Is it John Travolta? No, it's just John Winston Howard On another quest For truth, justice and the American way.

The Corporation ()

I've just returned from a preview screening of a wonderfully inspiring new documentary, The Corporation, made by the same team that brought us Manufacturing Consent.

It tells the compelling story of the rise of the corporate entity around the world, how it has overtaken the role of governments in so many areas of our lives and how people and groups are fighting back. It's very NHJ!

Check out the website. The film is funny, insightful, chilling and strangely heartening. Featuring interviews with numerous well-known talking heads, including Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman and a host of CEOs, whistleblowers and brokers, even the Economist, that bastion of capitalism, brought itself to say the following:

'People on both sides of the globalisation debate should pay attention. Unlike much of the soggy thinking peddled by too many anti-globalisers, The Corporation is a surpri

We have to build defences (John Hill)

Congratulations Margo and your contributors for setting out in detail some of the sinister attacks on our democracy, which John Howard is directing against our democracy.

Your book shows how easily democracy could be undermined and gradually be replaced by a much more authoritative form of government. As well as reversing the forces presently attacking our democracy, we have to build defences which will prevent it happening again.

To me it seems that the answer lies in providing an education system with a different orientation. Education must be directed towards teaching people to think . By saying this I am proposing that students, and for that matter the public in general, must be instructed in how to use their brains effectively and rationally. Neurological investigation has gradually revealed how much of our behaviour is directed by non -rational factors.

The only people applying this knowledge at present are the marketers, advertisers,

More stickers please! (Melodie Hancock)

If we all carried around 10 'Not happy, John!' stiickers it to give away it would be interesting to see how quickly the message gets out. I'd say 'NHJ - No free trade agreement' I could think of alot more choice things to say but It would be risky as Narrabeen is blue ribbon Liberal, and as it is I'd cop a pounding from some blind Lib supporter.

I'm a swinging voter, but how we ever called him HONEST JOHN is a joke. This man is irritating the life out of me to think he is responsible for Australia. What will be left for our children and what chance will they have. If the free trade goes through unemployment will be a mess, as jobs continue to be out sourced overseas to keep the corporates and CEOs happy.

These guys have no shame....Political Prostitution. I'm going to bed to shut it all out, as I feel so desperate about the whole thing, if Latham backs the Free Trade Agreement in principle I will have to go for Independents.

Independent is what Australia

Maintain the Rage - all the way from SE Asia... (John Gerard Connell)

Dear Margo,

I suspect that voters will often vote on some gut feeling. What you've done in NHJ is to give Australians a sense that: they are being made fools of; that they are being lied to; and that they are being dispossed (of Parliament House, an opportunity to have a choice to select the media they want to buy, no more NGOs etc). A 'sense of indignation' is what will mobilise Australians into becoming citizens and voting John out.

We need to maintain this sense of indignation.

NHJ! (JR): John's spent the last 20+ years doing NGO/development work in SE Asia. If he can remain revved about Oz politics from there, the rest of us have no excuse...incidentally, for all those Expats - especially those in remote areas without embassies/consulates - if necessary y'can go to this AEC page as a start point in the process of:
a) making sure you're properly enrolled;
b) sussing out who your ca

I look at every news item more closely now (Joy Meharry)

I can only read one chapter of each section in a day of your Not Happy, John. I want to cry, in fact I have cried nearly each day I read a little piece of this book. I have cried for all Australians in what we have already lost and the true democracy we lose little by little every day.

But I cannot put your book aside for too long - my hand reaches out again and again to read and my mind to comprehend the enormity of the deception that is John's democracy.

I look at every news item a little more closely now.

I've enrolled to vote in the US! (Linda O'Connor)

I bought your book, read it in two days, then set about signing up to vote in the U.S. election, something that I've neglected to do for twenty years while in Australia. I've signed up my 19 year old as well. We're both able to vote in Australia and the U.S. and this is the time to make a difference.

You make some excellent points about participatory democracy that the leaders of the major parties need to read. I had great hopes for the Australian Democrats at one time but their leaders keep selling out! I admire Bob Brown's ethics, so maybe I'll vote Green...

Not Happy, Mark! ()

In the letters page of the SMH yesterday, I noticed a letter related to the ALP and the Free Trade Agreement with the US. Sister Sheila Quonoey of Springwood seems to have been reading NHJ!

'We were ready to believe Labor was going to be the 'real' Opposition. Now it is following behind Howard and the Liberal Party and leaning to signing away Australia into the hands of the US. Not happy, Mark.'

Another John Howard book (Richard Berry)

Margo, I'm currently making my way through Not Happy, John! and I have to say it's bloody brilliant. You're one of the only people out there that's actually taking the country by the neck and shaking some sense into it with a deadly fact-based dressing down. Good one.

It kind of puts my own book Dear John,also pubished by Penguin, to shame! It's a collection of letters I wrote to John while living in London for the past four years. I don't have a political journalist's background or much of an understanding of the game so I did the only thing I know how to do and that was to take the piss! The response was quite good over there among young Aussies living away from home who probably would never have discussed the leadership of their country otherwise.

Now I'm starting on Mark Latham, counting on John losing the election and him getting in. Well, I hope Not Happy, John! is selling like cakes that are hot, and most of all scaring the wits out of a few people.

Is this our winter of discontent? ()

Hi. I'm back from Switzerland and in Brisbane. Strangely enough, I am wondering if this is our winter of discontent. The last time I was in Australia was for not much more than a week at Christmas. It seemed to me that everyone was happy and at least on the surface a picture of contentment. This time though all I hear is grumbling. My friends and family are not necessarily a barometer of the population but I can't help but feel Christmas was an illusion. The biting reality of winter has arrived.

Of course winter in Queensland is a reasonably warm and sunny affair so none of it seems much like the British Winter of Discontent in 1978-1979. That winter heralded the end of Labour rule. What will this winter mean for us?

I am hearing the same tune where ever I have been this past week. People are tired of the way that institutions are treating them. In one sense that seems like nothing new. We've been hearing that for years. People have lost faith in institutions

request Melbourne outlets for Not Happy John stickers etc (john moffat)

Where can I get stickers here in Melbourne.? Michelle Grattan mentions tee shirts in her article in 'The Age' Is there a range of merchandise available? Good luck with your campaign. The man is immoral.
Margo: Send your postal address to and we'll send you some stickers. Re the T-Shirts, the John Valder led 'Not Happy John!' campaign against John Howard in Bennelong is producing them now, and they'll be available soon. Stay tuned.

Shifting me our of the smug 'Coonawarra Red' (Michael Morgan)

Have just put down 'Not Happy, John'. Congratulations on such a strong piece of work. You've shifted me out of the smug, 'Coonawarra Red', 'I didn't vote for the little blighter' avoidance and elitism (that had been becoming so bloody uncomfortable) back to thinking about specifics and looking for better ways. Thanks.

There's one step that I'm thinking about adding to your 'What to do' list at the end of the book. Buying shares. Not many. Just enough Fairfax and NewsCorp shares (and other media companies - IF I CAN FIND ANY) as will permit me to turn up to any of their AGMs and ask 'interesting' questions. Given the demographic of your readers, I'm sure they can scrape together a few hundred bucks to take back their media.

This isn't about profit, it's about democratising media and other large companies. It's not just my ABC ...

PS - I've taken the liberty of recommending NHJ to some dissident friends in the US.

Something inspiring for the weekend ()

Sometime Webdiary poet, fulltime artist, creative teacher and all-round Australian Dreamer Robert Bosler drops by with his beautiful review, in fine time to send everyone's spirit-person soaring skywards for the weekend. I know I'm hopelessly biased - and I know he'll be embarrassed by my exhuberance here - but in my mind Robert's that rarest thing: a humble, gentle, genuine Australian genius. His visionary poetic interludes for Webdiary have often entranced and inspired us to better things, but it was only after I met him in person at the Sydney NHJ! launch, and then got myself lost in his visual work on a long Dreamtime walkabout through his website, that I realised what I'd been missing for so many years.

Pay a great Australian teacher a cyber-visit. Let him help you unlock the doo

Why Brian Deegan is taking on Downer ()

G'day. If you feel like it, wander into Dymocks bookshop at the corner of Hunter and Pitt Streets in Sydney next Tuesday, August 3 between 12.30 and 1.30pm, when I'll be hanging around to sign books and have a chat. And if you want extra stickers, I'll bring the few I've got left to hand over. I haven't had a chance to publish the manifesto of John Valder - one of the blokes behind the 'Not Happy John!' group - but will do so next week.

Crikey's national affairs editor Christian Kerr filed this wonderful report yesterday on the launch of Brian Deegan's campaign to unseat Alexander Downer in Mayo. It was in the subscriber only daily email sent by Worth the money, I reckon.

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