Friday 29th of September 2023

archive's blog

Post Sept 11th New York as you've never seen it ! through the eyes of an Australian woman. (David Hawkins)

Last Night in New York, Kabarett Voltaire. By John Shand September 7, 2004 ? Ground Zero ... Wednesday Kennedy talks the walk. Seymour Centre, September 4 Aeroplanes flying into skyscrapers. Images of everlasting horror. The impossible made real, and the world changed forever. The attacks of September 11, 2001, touched us all, even here, 22 nervous flying hours from the epicentre. After the twin towers of the World Trade Centre were reduced to rubble, the public response was left to George Bush and his cronies in America and around the world. Talk about compounding a tragedy. The exception was the performance poet and actress Wednesday Kennedy. Originally a Sydneysider, Kennedy happened to be in New York that day, and for the next month she filmed, recorded and interviewed her way into the heart of the trauma. The results have been edited and interspersed with her delivery of a live, spoken-word component - part poetry, part reportage - for a package running about 50 minutes.

Column 8 pays some strange tribute ()

Check it out

It's the one two from the bottom.

Also, according to NHJ!er Peter Jull, Arena magazine (no 72, page 79) has a piece answering Margo's section on NGOs. I can't find a link but check it out if you get a chance.

Did someone say Health? (Russell Darroch)

Robert Manne has written an excellent article at:

A very articulate and thoughtful piece on critical problems that face us as a nation when the players do not play by the rules and where Howard and co clearly believe they are above the rules. The lack of balances in powers is woefully apparent under the Howard government with its routine abuses of truth, power, and privilege. Instead of humility we get ever growing arrogance, cynical government in the extreme and utter disdain for the voting public of all ages.

Today brings further insults to the intelligence of anyone over 50

Australians must grasp a broader vision than the hip pocket. (Lindsay David Hope)

Thank you Margo for your stimulating book.

I read it on my plane trips from Queensland to visit and care for my ailing 90 year old Dad on the Blue mts NSW. He served in the Middle East and on the Kokoda Trail and understands the futility of war. He is not impressed with Howard's Australia or our involvement in Iraq, a war that will never be won.

I grew up running free on the Blue Mts and later spent 7 years working in Tasmania, climbing mountains and joining with thousands of others to attempt to save Lake Pedder.

Having now lived and worked as a Land Surveyor in Queensland for 30 years my vote has gone to John's team a few times. No more! I just hope that Australians will think long and hard about the big and honest picture and not be swayed this time by a few extra dollars from John.

My vote will be 1 The Greens for our fragile environment, compassion, community and anti war.

Businessman, writer, editor. (Dr Bill parker)

I bought the book (Not Happy John) yesterday and I have had confirmed in detail what I have felt for years about Howard.

Add that to Moore's film and I think we're done like a bloody dinner.

I am beginning to wonder if the balance of power might fall into the hands of the Greens and Dems etc. That way at least we will have some argument. It won't be comfortable, but the alternative is worse.


Interest Rates/Economic Performance - Need for Perspective

As we all know, a major focus of this election campaign is economic performance & interest rates, & so far we've seen plenty of attempts to scare people about interest rates.

I've been looking for some information that summarises both the Fraser Government's economic record (in which Howard was treasurer) in terms of interest rates, inflation etc as well as something on housing affordability to put the arguments of the benefits of low interest rates in perspective.

Here's an article that raises a few interesting points in a very simple & understandable way I think the parties opposed to the Government need to raise to properly inform voters:

A job well done! (Daniel Taneski)


This book is a blistering and searing account of politics in Australia today, and how democracy is very quickly deteriorating.

I guess I'm sick and tired of hearing Liberals banging on about how they're spreading democracy for everyone to enjoy and embrace.


And I guess I'm also tired of hearing Liberals whinge and sook about why they're always portrayed as mean and nasty and uncaring. We're living in a country where Howard and his cronies have clearly taken us to the dogs with their arrogant, mean-spirited and self-serving policies.


People need to quickly start understanding this.


This book is an alternative form of opposition to the government in such a crucial juncture of our political lifecourse. It is books like this one, and others such as Bob Ellis' Night Thoughts and David Marr's Dark Victory that inform the public about the goings on of such a cowardly

Possible campaign action (David Hall)

Following Margot Kingston's lead, we can ask candidates to address the fundamentals of good government/ governance. Here's a possible formulation:

There are many of us who want radical (in the correct sense) alternatives to the

NHJ in the UK ()

NHJ!er Alexander Strang sent us this link to a distinctly NHJ! article from the Guardian.

Here's the link:,12070,1297548,00.html

a humble call to arms ()

Our site has been flooded with emails since the election was called. Many of them are from people empassioned by Margo's book asking, 'what can we do', or 'is there a NHJ group in my area?' One of the most succinct was, 'Could you please tell me the best method of joining politics?'

So I embarked on a wierd journey. I sent out a post to our mailing list suggesting that people email me their electorates and contact details they would be willing to share with others in their area. The response has been great, and since then I have been corresponding with and talking on the phone with many varied people who just want to know what to do.

Our email is . Email me with your name, electorate and contact details you would be willing to share with NHJ!ers in your area. Do so if either, a) you want to find a way to help / start a group, or b) you have an ideal way for NHJ!ers to help in a particular electorate.

We do need all hands on deck, the

Abbott not Costello will get Howard's job if they're reelected (Marion King)


Thank you so much for being outraged enough to pen your book. I found it intensely interesting and very readable - I'm going to be buying copies to send to Aussie relatives and friends living as expats, as well as those at home, to ensure that people can consider themselves 'educated' about the machinations of Canberra, career politicians and the 'big' media.

I thought that you and others (Latham included) would be interested to know that apparently when Howard (finally) goes it won't be Costello assuming the Liberal Party leadership. I have been told that a senior Liberal Party member was heard to say that Abbott - not Costello - has sufficient Caucus support to be Howard's successor. (I know this sounds all a bit vague, but the retelling of the comment - made at the Tourism policy relaunch a few months ago - is completely reliable).

I don't know about you, but I can imagine few more disturbing scenarios than Tony Abbott as an Opposition Leader, let alone Prime

Mass rally before election ()

Below is a good example of what many NHJ!ers at a loose end may wish to put some weight behind in the coming weeks. The letter, sent out to groups from the 'End the Lies - Howard Out' campaign, was forwarded to me by NHJ!erIsabella. Thanks for that.


31 August 2004

To: Trade Unions, Community organisations, etc

Increase in PBS for pensioners (Mannie De Saxe)

This may or may not be related to the Free Trade Agreement between the USA and Australia, but here are some figures relevant to age pensioners:

At the end of 2003, prescriptions under the PBS scheme were $3.70 per prescription. In January 2004 each prescription went up to $3.80, an increase of about 2.7%

In August 2004, somewhat unexpectedly, and in another of the Howard blows to pensioners, the prescription charge went up to $4.40, an increase this time of 15.8%.

Who has noticed, and who has commented on this?

Not stupid, John!

Next Liars For Howard meeting in Wentworth (Eleanor Gibbs (aka Frau Du Lent))

After the successful inaugral Liars for Howard storming of Martin Place last week, the campaign moves to support the wonderful Malcolm Turnbull in his beleagured mission to enter Parliament.

Additional Liars would be very welcome in our urgent task of supporting Mr Howard's right to lie to the Australian public.

We are meeting at in Bondi Junction Mall (Oxford Mall) near the station entrance. Contact Ruth Overboard on 0423 820370 or Frau Du Lent on 0419 290788 for more details. Also see the website -

Taking responsibility ourselves (Kit Choy Lee)

Dear Margo,

I bought your book 'Not Happy John' yesterday after hearing about the NHJ launch - and started to read with earnest.

I am a New Australian ( not that new though I spent 20 years of my life in Australia - almost 50% ). During this time, I learnt that New Australians must contribute in the political life of their adopted home - it's true - we get the government we deserve. In Asia, many people have long given up and become indifferent in their because of the oppressive political regimes they lived in. Failing to act, they therefore inherit the consequences of their inaction.

This must not happen in Australia. A country's greatness is due to its people and Australia is a great country because Australians are honest, warm in their friendships, charitable and compassionate to the needy and always honorable in their words and conduct. But this is changing owing to the poor leadership we have. And we must stop it.

Recently I wrote Tony Abbott saying that the Howar

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