Thursday 20th of June 2019



Margo, I just loved your book it has given me hope that we can save Democracy Australian Style.

I am a 57 year old female from country NSW who took to the streets to try to halt the war on Iraq, but being called 'The Mob' and 'Unaustralian' deeply wounded me. After reading Not Happy, John! and the reviews on this site I now feel energized along with many concerned true aussies that we can stop the deceit.

The other evening I heard the horses in the surrounding paddocks neighing wildly, when I took the torch out to see what was happening I found these majestic animals forming a 'Mob' and on top of the hill the torch light caught the eyes of a fox. The horses had formed a 'Mob' to protect themselves from a threat. Now I don't feel wounded being called 'The Mob' because we are banding together to fight off the threat to our democracy just as the horses had done with the threat to their lives.

Diggers Oath's idea appears to be illegal (Troy Rollo)

Nominating without having any genuine intention to serve appears to be an offence.

As part of the nomination process, the person nominated must make a declaration that inter alia they consent to act if elected (Commonweath Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) s170). A false or misleading statement within the nomination form is likely to amount to improper influence of an AEC official, which is an offence punishable by imprisonment for 12 months (Commonweath Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) s78). This appears to be the view of the AEC, who state that the penalty for any false information on the nomination form is 12 months imprisonment on page 10 of their Candidates' Handbook.

NHJ! (JR): Thanks, Troy. Digger's Oath might want to correspond with the AEC directly to confirm this via a specific query, but the relevant
One of the thing about which I was heartened on reading your book was the number of ordinary people who do so many things, big or little, to investigate and help others. I feel also that its no small thing [at any time, but especially in the current climate] to just be aware of what is going on in more detail. Thankfully my family

Howard and gay marriage (Peter Hackney)

Hi Margo, I take it that John Howard's most recent excursion/diversion into wedge politics - attempting to enshrine homophobia in our constitution - came too late for inclusion in 'Not Happy, John!'. I was wondering if you'd care to share your views on Howard's plan to ban gay marriage and if future editions of your book will include a chapter on this issue?

I also just wanted to congratulate you and thank you for the book. I've long felt that Australia needs to become more politicised. Thankfully, I feel that this is starting to happen - and it's because of the efforts of people like you!

Margo: Hi Peter. Gay marriage has never been a significant issue in Australia - what gay politics is about here is giving gay partners equal rights re superannuation, tax concessions etc. Howard's change to the law is meaningless - it is already clear in our Marriage Act that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Therefore it's a classic wedge to split the Labor side's str

How much do you care? ()

We feel energised by all the feedback we hear on NHJ. We can tell how much Australians care about our democracy. We have had many ideas from you and we have some ideas of our own. I'm leaving Switzerland tonight, bound for Australia. I'm coming home to work for Australia. I'm not sure for how long but I'm excited. That's the power of NHJ for me! We have a lot of work to do and the more that pitch in, the easier it will be.

Last weekend I set up Check it out. An easy example of how you too can become an activist! Activism in defence of free speech and Australian democracy is something we should all be proud to be a part of, regardless of our political colours.

People fighting back ()

NHJ seems to be finding new examples, almost daily, of citizens who are sick and tired of their governments restricting the flow of information about important issues. As ever, America is leading the way in progressive ideas and websites. Today, a few examples. Anybody keen on starting something similar here?

Media Matters is a Web-based organisation dedicated to monitoring bias in the US media, through campaigning, emailing, letter writing and public awareness programs. They have just launched Activism Network, a hands-on campaign designed to tell media outlets about their flaws, omission and bias. Media organisations will certainly respond positively when contacted by enough people with the right message.

Another new addition is Outraged Moderates, a one-stop shop for hundreds of government and court documents, many of which

Where's democracy now? (john augustus)

I am prompted to write after reading 'disappointing goes nowhere does nothing and is hardly left'. I am a regular Webdiary reader and occasional contributor, and my view on the book is completely different. NHJ documents carefully how the Howard Government unravels the true democratic process. It is clearly written, extremely well referenced, sometimes funny and often very very disturbing. It is a valuable permanent collection of the many lies and distortions that usually get lost in the fog of time.

It revolves around a basic definition that jumps out at you on page 321: 'democracy's bedrock promise:that each citizen shares equally in political power'. It highlights crowd control by ignorance and fear. It is neither left nor right, but idealistic to the point of frustration!

The human condition seems unable to manage such propriety as true democracy demands. This book is a must read for anyone interested in good government, the principles of democracy, and who love

Blue Mountains event ()

G'day. My next outing for the book is at the Springwood Civic Centre in the Blue Mountains at 2pm this Saturday, July 24. Former federal liberal party president John Valder - now an activist against the Iraq war and for human rights - will join me for a chat on the state of Australian politics and what we can we do to defend our democracy? Everyone is welcome.

Blue Mountains event ()

G'day. My next outing for the book is at the Springwood Civic Centre in the Blue Mountains at 2pm this Saturday, July 24. Former Liberal Party President John Valder - now an activist against the Iraq war and for human rights - will join me for a chat on what's gone wrong in Australian politics and what we can do to defend our democracy. Everyone is welcome.

An independent challenger to Howard in Bennelong (Troy Rollo)

Like almost everybody here, I believe Howard should face a real challenge in his home seat of Bennelong. The problem is that there is no way Labor, the Democrats or the Greens can successfully do it. Bennelong votes Liberal. They have always voted Liberal, and there's no reason to expect they'll change this time. Even in the GST election he was comfortably re-elected after preferences - he has margin to burn. With the pollsters saying Iraq isn't even a vote changer, it's a pipe dream to expect enough Liberal voters to cross to the other side of politics and put Labor, the Democrats and the Greens ahead of Liberal in Bennelong. If this is where we put our efforts, Howard will win Bennelong as he always has.

That is in large part why I am running as an independent in Bennelong. I believe that enough Liberal voters would be willing to vote for an independent running on a platform of accountability to reduce Howard's vote in Bennelong be

Welcome passion in a barren landscape of political commentary (DAVID WRIGHT)

I read the book while on a plane to a conference in Ottawa. I finished it between Sydney & Honolulu. While in Canada and North America for only a few weeks I was surprised by the variety and sometimes the depth of critical commentary that is available. I read small publications primarily and remember in particular Mother Jones. There is little in Australia of this kind. This came to me very forcefully on my return.

Despite the often flippant Australian dismissal of American critical commentary it is alive and lucid over there in a way it is not in Australia. Passionate and committed political commentray is hard to find in Australia. This book is a welcome exception. Alan Ramsey's columns in the SMH are often another. There are few others.

There is no longer a Nation Review or any other equivalent small publication that is well written and prepared to state the obvious - that our political fortunes have been hijacked by big business; that our political leaders are co

More people power in the Senate - no Ministers please! (Brian Austen)

Having read and been reinspired by your book, I want to make some considered comment in due course. (I retired from active politics just a few years age to recuperate after more than 20 years battling; so I find much with which to agree in your book.) For now I'd like to offer an idea I have had for some time about a small change which would have a big result and contribute toward restoring some of the behaviours we used to witness.

But first, your book makes strong reference to the value of the Senate as it is currently constituted, ie not controlled by either Liberal or Labor. It wasn't always so and I think significant credit should be given to the Australian Democrats for continuing to still be there despite the odds and the opposition from all sides and much of the media. It is the Democrats persistent existence which has finally ensured that so many people now recognise that only a Senate not dominated by the major parties stands against a total takeover of unfettered G

Action plan - grassrooots letter box drops? (John Dalton)

You may be interested in the following website: info, an existing effort to organise a grassroots letterbox campaign. My long term vision is an online resource to allow anyone to coordinate a letterbox drop in a distributed manner (a letterbox version of petitiononline). I'm happy for others to take over the concept if they can make faster progress.

Margo: Great idea!

Encouraged, despite myself (David Hall)

Thank you for your vigorous


Some weeks ago I came up with a democratic method to remove Howard at the next election. I understand that the tactic has never been used before in an Australian election, and also that it is entirely legal. Subsequently I have read Not Happy John, and whilst I do not have the means of executing the plan you may well be able to cause it to be acted upon through your contacts.

The selection of the candidate and his/her upfront declaration is essential, as you'll see!

I prefer to remain in the background at this time, however I can say that nothing in this document or about me in anyway violates/conflicts with your Webdiary charter. Just call me a pissed off traditional liberal voter. I am a practising lawyer. I can be, and would appreciate being, contacted on this hotmail address.

Why a 'Digger's Oath'? Maybe it's too cute, but it's the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade, and the oath is 'We swear by the Southern Cross to stand by each other and f

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