Sunday 14th of July 2024

archive's blog

Transportable idea from the US presidential campaign (Mike Sprange)

This URL details a US advertising campaign to request that George Bush admit he was wrong about IRAQ. It could almost directly be transcribed for Australian purposes with Howard substituted for Bush. It has some interesting ideas in it.

NHJ! (JR): Going by the PM's post-Flood interview on The 7.30 Report last night, we're gunna need a ute full of gelignite to shift the PM even an inch on Iraq, Mike.

Australian Story - On being 'out' in John's Australia (Peter Peridis)

As I initially stated, I have been moved to take a stand. If any of you watched the ABC

Ruffling feathers ()

The Australian Jewish News (AJN) continues to feature comments and coverage on NHJ and my Ashrawi chapter.

A letter appears today from Michael Danby, Labor MP for Melbourne Ports. He accuses me of being 'a non-entity who represents a telephone-box group of Jewish Australians', a 'fringe player' and says the Sydney media gave Ashrawi far too much positive coverage during her visit to Sydney last November.

(There are a few more letters in print, hammering Margo and myself, not available online.)

Suffice to say, I strongly disagree with the charges made by Danby. Attempting to portray Margo and myself as outsiders on the Israel/Palestine question belies the facts. Important debates about Israel's future, the occupation and Ariel Sharon are increasingly occurring overseas, but perhaps we aren't mature enough to have them here yet. NHJ is the first step in addressing this imbalance.

An opinion <

Fantastic but depressing book (Anne-Marie Kingston)

I really am loving the book, only bought it yesterday but am galloping through it. But it is really depressing to find that all my fears about our so-called democracy, which has turned into a a clerverly disguised dictatorship, are true, and more so. I will do everything I can to stop John ('my best friend is George') Howard from serving another term.

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
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.

Compelling (Paul Somerville)

Margo, just wanted to thank you for your excellent book. I found it passionate, well-written and disturbing. Sometimes I laughed out loud, sometimes my blood ran cold. The chapters on media ownership and Bush's visit angered me the most. It's fantastic that in these cynical times, someone has made the effort to write and compile a book like this. And I love the fact that (despite the title) it's not just a partisan rant, but aims to create dialogue across and beyond the old Left/Right divide. Every time I read a transcript of an interview where you asked tough questions of a politician (or one of their media people), I felt so grateful that there are (a few) journalists keeping these people accountable, despite all their attempts to prevent it. More power to you.

Encouraged, despite myself (David Hall)

Thank you for your vigorous

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.

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!

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

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


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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