Saturday 20th of April 2019

Blogs

The trashing of the people's house goes on (Andrew Bartlett, Democrats leader)

Congrats on the book - I've got through it all and it's a very good and thought provoking read. I gave the book a brief mention in the Senate - see http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/dailys/ds240604.pdf (the debate is from page 24868, the reference to the book is at page 24873)

I draw your attention to the 'debate' in the Senate authorising more works around the outside of Parliament House, as it is germane to your section in the book which dealt with the symbolism of Parliament House and public access to it.

The good news is the big white Lego blocks will go. The bad news is other more permanent changes will now be made. Whilst overall they are better than the Lego blocks, they still involve significant changes from the original design. I'm not happy with the changes, although they certainly could be worse and some effort has obviously gone into trying to make the changes sympathetic to the original design (unlike with the Lego blocks). However, I was more

Barbecue for fingers in the till (Jane Rayner)

I'm only 41 pages into NHJ, but am having all my worst fears about this government confirmed. I have never trusted or respected Howard and everything he has said and done since he conned his way into power (with the help of the tame media), has reinforced my opinion of him and his camp followers.

It's not just the fingers in the till for Dubya's BBQ. What about Reith, Abbott, Heffernan & Co? Then there's the GST, the relentless dismantling of our health, education and welfare systems and undermining of the public broadcaster.

Finally, the lies. And they're not the 'does my bum look big in these jeans' type, are they? Falsely accusing people of murdering their children for personal gain is about as low as you can go, although I'm sure he can and will go one better.

George Orwell was a prophet.

But, in the end, it's up to us to stop the erosion of our democracy at the ballot box. And to send a clear message to all aspiring politicians and pretenders to th

Getting pissed each night and charging out at $200 an hour ()

What great news that this NHJ website will be archived on the National Library's Pandora Archive. You are so right about them Margo. They did it themselves and the whole world noticed. Passionate librarians finding revolutionary ways to archive the medium of our age: the internet. Imagine if you had Accenture doing it? There'd be all these Young Turks from Sydney staying in hotels in Canberra......getting pissed each night and charging out at $200 an hour.

Two years later something with a slick exterior but a clunky, malfunctioning thought process underneath would be up and running.

Two years after that, they'd abandon the whole thing and start over. There'd be a new paradigm they'd say.

Necessity is indeed the mother of the best inventions. They never come from Accenture or McKinsey!

Howard and company lie to the beat - 5 high-quality political mash-up tracks now online (Tom Compagnoni)

Wax Audio presents : WMD ...and other distractions. 21 regurgitated-media-minutes of cut & paste audio montage, hip-hop, political rhetoric and on-location travel recordings, painstakingly re-edited in perfect synchronicity with recycled beats, original samples and a wealth of other digital media materials.

Hear our prime-minister free-style rap with George W Bush, Tony Blair, Philip Ruddock, Peter Reith, Colin Powell and many other renowned liars! Download the high quality tracks for free, play them to your friends, family, work colleagues and crank them loud and the next protest rally!

A condensed, concise and transparent run-down of the most high-profile political manoeuvres of the last 3 years, WMD

I am afraid (Maurie Grealy)

Congratulations on your book. It has comfirmed what I have been feeling for the last few years - that we have lost control. For that reason I have been putting minor party's first on my ballot paper hoping to loosen the grip of the major partys.

Where to from here? Can good independent candidates be found to oppose sitting members in Government and Oppositon seats. How can we mobilise?

Ashrawi controversy lives on ()

In the last few weeks, The Australian Jewish News (AJN) has been covering NHJ, and more specifically, my chapter on Hanan Ashrawi and the pro-Zionist lobby.

After running an opinion piece by Margo and myself last week, we expected the predictable amount of letters attacking our position (pro-Palestinian? Questioning the domination of self-appointed Jewish leaders? The status quo on Israeli politics?). The AJN did not disappoint this week, with a number of letters online and for good measure, another one in print.

They were all highly critical and yet failed to engage in the issues we'd raised.

I know for a fact that a number of letters supporting our position were sent to the AJN and yet the paper refused to publish them. It is this kind of self-censorship that is stifling real debate on Israel/Palestine in our community. Is it not time to honesty discuss where current US/Israeli policy is ta

It's Time (for a change) (Bruce Paton)

Congratulations to Margo for putting into the mainstream the collection of untruths and manipulations our PM has done to us. Previously this was only done by what could be described as single issue publications which have been seen as some to be in the ratbag or extreme right category.

I am a firearms owner and have been hit twice now by our PM's bias and desire to control the States laws. I haven't enjoyed being made an instant criminal under an amnesty. These two events awoke me to our PM's attitude of knowing what is best for us and foisting it upon us in an undemocratic manner.

It truly worries me that if he is not voted out we will have our first Ruler of Australia. He certainly acts as if he is the Head of State already. As time has gone on in terms of office, he seems to be less incined to react to public opinion and more inclined to tough it out or bully his way through. It really is not good for us as a relatively young country to have the mindset that our po

Failed Latham analysis (Denis Daly)

Margo

Wonderful book! However, you really should have revealed the key and extremely damaging Howard election attack weapon; ie, that the terribly dreadful rotter (AKA Mark Latham) was also a compulsive bed wetter and thumb sucker as a child! Denis

What some Australians are doing to take back our democracy ()

G'day. I've just published a few emails from readers with their actions and ideas to take back our democracy over at Webdiary. One bloke registered to vote for the first time after reading the book - that alone makes writing the book worthwhile for me. Have a look at Liars for Howard.

Provocative and constructive read (Thomas W Goninon)

Congratulations Margo! Your book brings together in a logical, sometimes emotional and perceptive manner many issues which highlight the problems facing our unique form of democracy. May it prompt many like me to move out of their comfort zone and become involved in defending our participative democracy.

While painting a bleak picture of the impact of Big Media, Big Parties and Big Money on democratic proceses in Australia, your book also provides ideas for people reclaiming our democratic birthright.

The Other Howard ()

The rise (and fall) of Howard Dean in the US was a bewildering example of people power. His campaign may well have stalled, but John Kerry has stolen many of his best ideas, especially in relation to internet activism and generating real public interest in democracy.

Joe Trippi was the brains behind the Dean campaign. He now runs his own blog and has written a book on the rise of the internet as a tool for true democratic change.

In this interview, Trippi explains the philosophy behind the Dean campaign and how he believes Dean proves that with a group of dedicated contributors, an increasing number of citizens will participate. 'I think that's what we need to do', says Trippi. 'Build an active community, a community that's actively involved in policy and the future of the country. I mean, if we had two or three million Americans that were active, just look

Trade unions and Howard's war on workers (Terry Costello)

I enjoyed the book immensely but was perplexed that trade unionists and the attacks on working people as well as the attacks on workers basic rights of freedom of association and the right to organise by the Howard goverment, were not covered at all in the book. Some of the Howard government's most questionable actions, such as its role in the Patricks dispute and its Workplace Relations Act, took place in the Industrial Relations arena.

Margo is looking at building democracy by getting people to unite over particular issues, however she has ignored organisations that have millions of Australians as members who can and are being mobilised to resist Howard's policies. She has ignored the largest group who have been severely attacked and marginalised by Johnny and his neo liberalist thugs - Australian workers.

I found the publishing of the Robert (Pig Iron Bob)Menzies quotes equally perplexing given he tried to outlaw a political party as well as cyncially using secta

Calling All Wise Oz Elders ()

Inspiring email from senior CITIZEN Peter Leith last week, which speaks for itself about what could be a crucial constituency in the coming election.

I am 75 years old and, though not Australian-born, I chose to live here. Throughout most of the last 63 years I had always been proud and glad of my choice. Tampa, Detention Centres and our participation in the attack on Iraq have made me ashamed. With four Australian children, eight Australian grandchildren and not much life ahead of me I am desperate to do something to arrest the dying-of-democracy in Australia.

Over the last ten years I have facilitated a U3A 'Current Affairs' Group in some of Melbourne's comfortable, middle-class suburbs. I have tried, hard, to shake the status-quo-complacency of a hundred or so 60+ men and women and get them to think outside the square of the evening TV news and the commercial radio shock-jocks. But it is not enough; to encourage them into thinking outside their own comfort-zones.

Mandatory reading (David Allen)

Margo,

I

Pandora reckons NHJ is worth saving ()

G'day. I got some great news from the National Archives this week - the NHJ Website has been selected for its PANDORA archive of online sites. PANDORA is a great example of how people working together for a common cause can do just about anything. The National Archives - without any funding for it whatsover - created a team of committed employees to create an online archive, mostly in their own time and without payment, to meet its statutory obligation to archive Australia's history. What they came up with is so good that it's being copied by libraries around the world! Imagine outsourcing such a project - the cost wouldn't allow it to happen. Here's the email from the National Archives.

Dear Ms Kingston

Thank you for granting the National Library of Australia a copyright licence to include the Not Happy, John! web site in the PANDORA Archive. This licence permits the Library to copy your publication into the Archive and to retain it and provide online public access

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