Sunday 15th of September 2019


Two sites now list most of the 'honesty statement' signatories: but none have all 43 (Philip Sutton)

Dear Margo,

Thanks for listing the eminent signatories to the statement calling for honesty in Australian politics. Many media reports mentioned that there were 43 signatories. But of the two websites that have offered a list of signatories, neither have 43. Yours had 39 at: And there are 42 at:

I wonder why it's taken so long for the list to come out and even then not have all the names. I think the signatories need a better media liason officer!

Cheers, Philip

NHJ responds (AL): This is indeed a mystery. I've just done a Google search, and have come up with nothing more substantial. If anybody has further info, please let us know. As you say, Philip, this kind of information should be a public service.

An angry, passionate, but hopeful call to arms (chris albone)

Not Happy, John!

Australians have a reputation for understatement, and the title of this book - to me - is a paradigm example. Margo Kingston and other contributors write with a passion for democracy and a fair and just Australian society, and a white-hot anger at what has been done to, if not destroy, then at least tarnish them by John W. Howard and his cronies.

This book strikes me as being incredibly valuable for a number of reasons. It is written by someone who is passionate about our democracy, and ensuring its ongoing health and vitality - and that she sees that a critical and honest media is as essential to that as honest and caring politicians. Margo is also well placed to access information and stories that we'd never otherwise hear about - I've learned a lot about the ins and outs of cross media ownership for example from this book.

But one of the most impressive things is that the anger and the passion do not drown out the humanity of either the au

And on it goes... ()

NHJ is happy to report that the book just keeps running out bookseller's doors.

We've been informed that an additional 3K were placed on order last last week - that brings us up to 32K in print. Amazing numbers after only 6 weeks.

The Herald Sun printed the top ten sellers at Angus and Robertson in their Saturday edition - happy to report than NHJ was sitting at number 7! They're the biggest player in Australia's book trade.

Thanks for your continued support and long may it continue.

Representative Democracy Evolving into Participatory Democracy (Neil Druce)

What I believe we are seeing is the death of representative (Westminster) democracy, as we know it. Although necessary, just outing 'grease ball johnny' isn't going to stop it all happening again - the quote in NHJ from Hermann Goering says it all.

We actually need to start to truly understand the psychology of fascism in all its forms and the limitations of hierarchical structures or it will just happen again, which is why it isn't just a case of strengthening the 'rules'. In fact JH is actually doing us a favour - representative democracy needs to become dysfunctional before there is the momentum dissatisfaction/outrage/energy) to evolve into something better - participatory democracy.

Maybe there has to be a stage in between where there is a functional balance between representative and participatory democracy, but isn

NHJ camapign office contact details (Damien Hogan)

If you want to volunteer your time, skills, ideas or your money then here is the contact number for John Valder's NHJ campaign office: (02) 9929-6818. See for John Valder's statement.

Angus & Robertson (Peter Hackney)

Just adding to the comments regarding 'Not Happy, John!' at Angus & Robertson bookshops. Looking through their store at Chatswood the other day, I couldn't find NHJ anywhere - and upon asking, was told that they don't have it in stock.

I found this situation quite strange, considering the book is one of the political works of the year, is distributed by a major publisher and has maintained respectable sales positions since release. While A&R not stocking NHJ mightn't seem particularly grave (one can always buy it elsewhere), the fact is that they're Australia's largest bookseller - and in many suburban, provincial and rural locations, the most accessible (and sometimes only) bookseller. So if they don't stock it, the message of NHJ is definitely curtailed.

So here's my suggestion: How about a little grassroots campaign encouraging the chain to stock the book? I'd encourage anyone who's 'Not Happy, A&R!' to send an email to the feedback and general enquiries address -

The group of 43 and Not Happy John! ()

G'day. Dr Russell Darroch in Canberra is steamed up about the Howard regime's response to the unprecedented plea for truth in war and politics by 43 of Australia's most senior retired defence chiefs and diplomats (the text and signatories are at Webdiary):

'The behaviour today from Howard and co proves how out of touch and morally bankrupt they are as a group and as a government. How dare they, any of them, be so dismissive and disrespectful of senior Australians who have given so much for OUR country on the behalf of ALL Australians. How dare they not at least engage in the basics of common courtesy to which all 43 of these people are fully entitled, never mind treating their public statement of serious democratic issues with proper respect for honest discourse in a democratic society.

'In line with Margo

More to it than NHJ reveals? (Iain Waller)

Margo, I once had you as a Law Lecturer at what was then the Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education, you were and still after 3 degrees are my favourite Lecturer for your no nonsense make it real approach to knowledge. I find your comments re the state of our democratic process very interesting and largely accurate, but I wonder if there is more to it?

Perhaps my 3 favourite books are Jared Diamond

NHJ & Fahrenheit 9-11 (Steve Goldsmith)

Critics' complaints that Fahrenheit 9-11 is propaganda rather than documentary is more understandable having seen the film myself, but I was never under any illusion that Michael Moore would present anything other than his own perspective. That's OK; in a democracy we're supposed to be open to dialogue, to allow airtime for opposing views. What was disappointing for me was that Moore's selective use of information, while targeted to a US audience, detracted from the potency of his message.

The clearest example of this selectivity was in Moore's roll call of the 'Coalition of the Willing'. Omitting to mention Australia (or the UK) as collaborators in the Iraq invasion may have passed unnoticed in the US, but here it contributes to the sense of helplessness I feel in the face of a government that cynically distorts facts to suit its own purposes.

It is clear from the opening scenes of Fahrenheit 9-11 that Bush should never have been elected President. However, it i

Helping define better government (Shaun Carter)

Keep up the good work. Lets hope, in some small way, your fine work can help rid us of Howard, Downer (never has there a more appropriately named politician), Abbott and co, and help define a more liberal, honesty and healthy Government - of any political colour.

Moggies are next ... (Jonathan Medwin)

I'm experiencing great difficulty reading NHJ - I don't have time at work during the day, the weekends are full, and if I try to read it in bed at night, insomnia ensues. Please help!

Who are the full 43 who think that Australian governments should tell the truth? (Philip Sutton)

Peter Gration and John Menadue plus about 6 others have been named as the signatories to the 'top brass' letter calling for truth from Australian governments. But who are the full 43 people who signed? I would have thought the Australian public might have been interested to know but so far no web search I've made has revealed the full list. Can anyone on this list help?

Margo: I've published the full list on Webdiary - see

President George is bound to hold these truths to be self-evident; President John, alas, may legislate them daily on a wedgy pop

If we Australians ever needed a fine reminder of the foresight of the men who crafted the US Constitution and the resulting sanctity of the American Citizen's individual rights - if the comparitive legal franchise extended fairly early to Gitmo detainees like American John Walker wasn't reminder enough, that is - then this latest twist in the Gay Marriage debate is it:

Gay marriage ban unconstitutional, rules US court

A second US judge has ruled that Washington state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The decision by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks came just a month after another jurist in the city of Seattle also decided that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry if they so desire. Judge Hicks ruled that the state's Defence of Marriage Act, that was passed in 1998 limiting marriage to a contract between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional.

He said that Washington cannot grant a privilege like marriage to one group

Adelaide gigs this Thursday and Friday ()

G'day, I'll be in Adelaide on Thursday and Friday to launch the book there - AT LAST! The details:

Thursday 12 August 2004

6pm: Launch at IMPRINTS/PENGUIN Event, Grainger Studio, ASO Headquarters, 91 Hindley Street (behind Tempo) Bookings essential. Tickets $10. Ph: (08) 82314454

Friday 13 August 2004

10:20am: Radio 5DN Adelaide, Interviewer Jeremy Cordeux, LIVE

2:40pm: Radio 5AA Adelaide, Interviewer Nicole Hauck, LIVE

4:10pm: 891 ABC RADIO Adelaide, Interviewer Kevin Naughton, LIVE

6pm for 6:30pm: MATILDA BOOKSHOP joint book launch with Brian Deegan, 8 Mt Barker Rd, Stirling

Seems more people are unhappy...and about bloody time!! (Dr Russell Darroch)

A who's who of Australia's former military chiefs, departmental heads and top diplomats is set to launch a scathing attack on John Howard's foreign policy and call for 'truth in government' from whomever wins the election.' See Deceptions over Iraq strongly condemned.

I'm sure that NHJ has helped to give some of these people the courage to speak up. We obviously have a long ways to go (back) to honest democracy - this is how deep the damage has been that even a who's who list is unwilling to state a preference. I appreciate the concept of 'neutrality' but there's nothing neutral in what this government has wreaked on the Australian public.

And then of course there is the flagpole fiasco...see School's flag bid up the pole after funding has strings attached - another abuse of people's patriotic impulses.


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