Wednesday 18th of September 2019


I'm the editor of the monthly called 'Bungendore Bulletin' and met Margo at the launch at our local bookshop. (Maurice Barnes)

This is the review I published in the August edition of my paper.

Defending our democracy

That's the subtitle of Margo Kingston's passionate book of more than 400 pages, actually titled (at her publishers' suggestion in order to be topical and thus sell more copies) 'Not Happy, John!'. It is wide ranging in its scope and Margo has included articles by five others, all contributors to her well known Webdiary, which can be found at the Sydney Morning Herald web site. Perhaps its wide range does it a disservice and I would suggest that it's more than one book: there's material and varying subject matter enough for three books.

Her thesis can be gathered though from the headings of the book's five parts: 'John's Australia', 'My Australia', 'Whose Australia?', 'Their Australia' and 'Our Australia', the second and last chapter of which is Democracy: Ten Ideas for Change, which are practical proposals for reclaiming our democracy.

She doesn't blame ou

Spreading the word John Joseph's way (John Joseph in Caloundra, Qld)

I received 100 stickers - and wondered where I would give them out. I chose an Open Day at Sunshine Coast University. People of all ages accepted them with thanks and even requested extras for their friends. It felt good seeing their happy faces - they knew exactly what it was all about.

Shouldn't universities be at the forefront of free thought and democratic ideas? One man asked me if I had permission to hand them out, and I think security was on to me. Maybe I should have said I was promoting the number 7 book on the non-fiction bestseller list. Congratulations!

Get them out to the universities - get the students behind your case to save our democratic traditions.

Margo: John Joseph, you're a gem.

Rules of Democratic Engagement ()

Ok I haven't done this blog thingy yet, but it's not for failing to have a few things bearing on my mind. It's probably for nervousness. I'm not my big sister. I'm someone else, and I'm thankful to Margo for the opportunity to help maintain this site, as well as the opportunity to express a little myself, amongst brilliant and colourful company.

For all the deserved gush about Margo's book on this site - and I'm in the company of the gushers in spirit - martin english is onto something when he scolds us for using jargonistic language to decry our enemy. I think he too quickly lumps the barely edited contributions of dozens of reviewers with Margo and the site as a whole, but if his point is that we should be careful to be concise and rigorous in criticism, avoiding treating any assumption as self-evident, then he has to be right.

Now with various close associates I have no trouble using the ph


Who would have ever thought 'the free world' would be wrapped in razor wire or Australia would be governed from Washington DC? Who would have thought Australia would lock up children? Who would have thought an Australian Prime Minister would place his country in harms way? How did John Howard get away with it and why wasn't he stopped?

'Not Happy, John' by Margo Kingston tells us why and champions the truth as liars rule. When historians document these times Margo Kingston's 'Not Happy, John' and 'Off the Rails: The Pauline Hanson Trip' will be key to understanding how one vengeful politician was assisted in the destruction of democracy in Australia. John Howard was able to demean us, disregard us, breech the Geneva Convention and every international treaty on human rights to which Australia is signatory.

Margo Kingston abided by the ethics of journalism where many of her colleagues failed. 'Not Happy, John' shows the method in this madness and Margo Kingston has h

Stop being dickheads, says Howard supporter ()

G'day. 'Mo Stoogers' reckons he's a concerned Australian too, because he thinks Howard is cool and the nation would miss him. Here's his plea to other readers of the NHJ website.

'I cannot believe how any, intelligent Australian could want to replace one of Australia's best Prime Ministers and Governments with a proven failure leading a party who is a proven economic failure.

'Latham's record is that as Mayor he drove the Liverpool Shire to the brink of bankruptcy. And you dickheads want to replace Howard with Latham. If Australia is broke how is that going to defend our democracy. We have a strong democracy and economy thanks to Britan who has provided our system of Government, USA who provides our protection and John Howard who has made us strong economically.

'Stop being a bunch of dickheads and get behind Howard to keep that loser and failure Latham out of office at all costs.'

The PEOPLE are sovereign - of course they mustn't get away with lying to us ()

G'day again. Here's some great stuff on political and media ethics from Simon Longstaff, Executive Director of the St James Ethics Centre, on Meet the Press this morning. I agree with EVERYTHING he says, except on the Kernot/Evans affair, which I think Laurie OPakes was correct to report. The heated Webdiary debate on this one is at Your say on the Cheryl Affair, Sex and the politicians, Rights of reply and An affair to remember.

GREG TURNBULL: Some cynics see honesty in government as a contradiction in terms. Does it have to be that way?

SIMON LONGSTAFF: Well, it can't be like that. In a democracy, it ultimately depends on - all authority comes from the people and they, w

test ()


Why the emphasis on John Howard ? (martin english)

If, to quote from the homepage, the problems lie with 'Big Parties, Big Business and Big Media', is there so much emphasis on the one individual ? Believe it or not, there are parts of the country that prefer Howard to journos (but don't forget that it was while campaigning for gun reform in front of country people that he wore a bullet resistant vest. But that was years ago, and nobody in this country remembers past the budgie cage lining from last week.

Quite frankly, if I judged ALL criticism of Howard by the mindless schoolboy sloganeering (examples from reader reviews include 'Howard and his oligarchy', 'ashamed to be an Australian', 'our own 'Austrian housepainter'') that comprises most of this site, then I would have to assume he was a saint.

I know that ain't

Howard is very afraid - Adelaide protest shut down (Helen Pedler)

I am angry, I am upset to the point of tears, I am terribly sad. This morning I was reading in NHJ about the extraordinary security measures taken when Bush visited Canberra and I have just witnessed, in Adelaide, the extraordinary measures taken to protect JH.

I went to the Festival Theatre complex to book some tickets and saw half a dozen kids on the footpath with home-made banners and at least half a dozen police. Walking in towards the theatre I saw the white car, number C1. Some Liberal function was happening.

When I came out I hoped JH might cross my path (no one thought me a threat apparently), but he didn't. I saw that the protestors had moved and police had followed them. I stood next to them and heard that they were forbidden to make their protest and had to move on.

Six teenagers, none of them resisting or shouting, were just trying to reason with the police. But six police were not enough. Along came a white car and out gets a plain clothes - what?

What an eye opener (Erica Mors)

Margo, having returned from 18 months in Palau, where I became for the first time an SMH and webdiary fan, I am stunned. Having devoured the book in 24 hours, I am still shaking my head that through our lack of awareness our democracy is disolving like sugar in water. The insidious nature of the erosion of individual and NGOs right is appalling. It makes me shudder.

I view Howard as Gollum in LOTR 3, his power addiction is terminal to all around him. The vulnerable 'articulates' in society (feminists, gay, indigenous, socialists etc...) and the environment suffer .

All I can say right now is Mr Latham 'Get well and help Australia recover!!.' I will take Margo's sugestion and vote independent first, Labor second - the first time ever for a small l liberal voter. Thank you Margo!!

Taking on power rolls on ()

Max Suich, old time media heavyweight, suggests today in The Age that our media establishment is failing in its duty, primarily due to playing the he said/she said game with the political parties, rather than seriously questioning establishment power. It's a very NHJ message.

And, with the American election heating up, an increasing number of entertainers are taking sides and campaigning for Kerry or Bush. This Crikey piece examines the politics of Bruce Springsteen who has teamed up with a number of high profiles musos, along with, to take their message of moderation around the US.

Others in Perth? (Stevan Fish)

I would be interested in joining / starting a NHJ! movement in Perth. Any others in Perth interested?

NHJ responds (AL): Fantastic idea, Stevan. Any interested parties should contact Stevan directly and perhaps soon enough we can unfurl a NHJ banner from one side of Australia to another!

APH web address (Stevan Fish)

The web address for Parliament House listed in the book is incorrect:

The correct address is

Enraged peacock attacks during Latham pancreatitus update ()

Yesterday I was attacked by a peacock on the Pacific Highway at Ulmarra (NSW North Coast) while listening to an update on Mark Latham's pancreatitis

It's great to be back home in Australia!

It seems like every day, something quirky and unexpected happens. You only have to get out and about amongst it and before long you get a bizarre situation like the one above.

I'm certainly not the only one to love this sunburnt country. I was driving between Brisbane and Sydney and have never seen that part of the country looking drier. I could have flown but I wanted to drive and reconnect with my homeland. Dorothea Mackellar juxtaposed many images of Australia in 'My Country'. She wrote of the beauty and the terror of this place.

The juxtaposed images and situations this country has a habit of dishing up have always meant that more than anything you have to respect it. The blue ringed octopus may be pretty, but don't pick it up.

John Howard

Call for a Brisbane NHJ group (Norm Murdoch)

I am living in Brisbane and was wondering if anybody has started their own NHJ OR SIMILAR interest group? Erosion of our DEMOCRATIC rights are only the symptoms of something much more sinister going on behind the scenes.

As an individual Social Justice Activist I'm doing the best that I can in bringing awareness to the masses by way of personally made advertisement and of course the display (at every opportunity possible) of the NHJ book. I can be contacted at 0422 276 294 or Thanks - Keep up the excellent work.

Syndicate content