Tuesday 19th of November 2019

Welcome to the NHJ! blogsite! Let's roll... ()

Hi all. Thanks for dropping in to the NHJ! daily blogsite, and - first up - our thanks especially to the brilliant Penguin IT team for their patience, skill and creativity in arcing up this site for us to play with. Love your work, guys!

Now in the best traditions of cyber-organics, we're not exactly sure how this blog-beast is going to develop in the coming weeks, since this whole site is still in a way a new-ish concept in interactive, post-publishing 'value-adding' (to chatter in the vogueish Bean Monkey-speak for a tic. Groan.) But in general the aim of this section of the NHJ! website will be to blog more or less daily in order to keep interested types informed about how the project is progressing overall. Among other things, we'll try to:

a) let you know what Margo is up to as far as promotions and appearances for/related to the book are concerned;
b) point you towards related cyber-stuff, such as external reviews, comments and discussions arising from the book;
c) note and link to any other democracy-defending stuff that catches our eye;
d) make the odd comment about citizenship, participation, democracy and politics as we think it may relate especially to the non-partisan points raised in the book...and
e) generally let ourselves and our conversations here develop in as natural and democratic a kinda' way as possible.

Pretty vague, huh. Well, like anyone else, Margo, Antony and I will have no real idea of what sort of response the book, the site and our various ideas on democracy will draw from the wider public until...well, we've drawn them. D'oh! But we'll all try, in the spirit of this book (and Margo's Webdiary and her journalism, for that matter), to be fully transparent in our postings, starting with noting clearly who is posting (as you can see). You already know where Margo is coming from very clearly. For what it's worth, I'll be voting Green this election (Sydney electorate) in both Upper and Lower houses, with Labor first preference. I supported the anti-Taliban operations in Afghanistan and opposed the Iraq invasion. For me the UN, as in need of reform as it may be, is the only way ahead for Humanity. It must be. That's me.

BUT please, please do keep in mind that none of the political views you'll find expressed here are in any way endorsed by and/or representative of Penguin and/or any employees there-of. This site is an exercise - a gutsy, generous one - in true free speech, publishing creativity and visionary elan, one for which imho Penguin ought to be warmly congratulated. We'll all do our very best not to abuse or misuse their good faith. So fire in those dissenting views, and let's get a good conversation happening here!

What we can say at this early stage is that the response at the launches so far - from a wide-ranging set of political 'positions' - has been pretty encouraging. Margo'll have more to say about them shortly, no doubt, but for now here's a few happy snappies of those occasions. Our warm thanks to all those Oz citizens who took the time to come along. It's a pretty daunting thing to throw a book that's ultimately trying hard to be upbeat and positive about politics out into the public realm for any old cynic, time-server or 'pragmatist' - all of which just = someone whose heart and soul has become too atrophied to dream grand dreams, imho, but then I've always been hopelessly naive! - to take a potshot at, and I'm pretty sure it meant a lot to MK that heaps of you were there to give her your support.

Anyway, more soon from MK herself. In the meantime, if you're interested you can tune in on her discussing the book with that naughty arch-elitist Phillip Adams on the ABC's Radio National Late Night Live program tonight (Wednesday 30 June), from 10 pm. And do send us your own reviews of the book, your ideas, upcoming events and general thoughts on defending our democracy. We'll try to give you a plug here. Keep in mind our core aim, though - FINDING COMMON GROUND that ALL citizens across the Aussie political spectrum can agree upon. As a start-point for our conversations at the very least...

Debate, disagreement and democracy should be feisty and full-on, for sure...but it should be FUN, too. The launches sure were...