Friday 27th of January 2023


Yes, vote the big two number 2! (Mark Adamski)

Margo, great book - it made me feel for the first time that its my privilege and obligation to be more active in our democracy. I thought your idea of denying the Big Parties their public monies by not voting for them Number 1 was a good one - it needs to be explained and sold to the public.

I also hope you continue to pursue the AEC and Tony Abbott - wouldn

Howard - v- Valder on Sunday ()

G'day. Adelaide citizen and NHJ team member S is a worried man after Howard's appearance on Sunday this morning, which was followed by a feature called Not happy, John!. on John Valder's campaign to unseat Howard in Bennelong. S wrote:

''I'm very worried. The PM's focus on interest rates on this morning's Sunday programme, makes it clear that he's going to focus on that during this campaign. During the recent property boom, a significant number of people have borrowed significant amounts of money, so they're likely to be influenced by the PM's scare campaign about higher interest rates under Labor.

'Recent elections have shown that even the smallest tax cuts influence voters one way or another (e.g. the 'GST' Election - without tax cut sweeteners, the Howard Government would never have been r

mango you have sold out! (Dailys S and J .)

Mango, we sadly, have a problem.

Valda will never have our support!

He cannot be trusted.

We reckon that Wilkie is the way to go, there.

Go Greens!

Cheesed off, mate: Brendan Nelson does state schools in a marginal seat (Peter Bath)

I bought the book while having a lunch time browse and I'm up to page 9 and feeling better already. I was feeling particularly cheesed off with John and his mates this week.

Last week my daughter brought home the papers for a school council meeting. I'm on the council of her value free zone (sorry I should say her public school). Included with the papers was a note from the principal saying that our local member (Trish Worth) had been on the phone to him and wanted to know if Brendan Nelson could visit the school during the election campaign.

My blood boiled. They use every opportunity to bag public education and now they want photo opportunities. They are pouring public money into private schools. Just a coincidence that the school (Unley Primary School) is at the liberal voting end of one of the most marginal electorates in Australia (Adelaide).

So I went to the school council meeting and tried to sink the visit. No luck - the principal said the state educa

NHJ conversations on Melbourne trams (Sarah Griffith)

I read your book to and from work for about a week, and several people on the tram asked me about it, seeing the front cover. I ended up having some interesting discussions with my fellow passengers, and surprisingly found a lot of common ground and, even from committed liberal voters, a sense that all is not well. My optimism is restored!

Australias crisis (Tom Kelsey)

Words, to describe matters, can sometimes fail people yet there is no doubt in my mind. Margo confirms for me that Australia is in crisis if we continue to tolerate Howard and his oligarchy any more. Enough of the lies, the outrageous disregard of social contract, and the insipid toadies who give legitamacy to this disastrous hegemony. The time has come for each and every one of us to reclaim our past heritage and rid ourselves of such fascists.

Where is your 'Judeo-Christian' Love, John? ()

Very long post - please forgive.

If you care about where this country is headed then you should take the time to read all of Thursday's Hansard speeches from the laughably-truncated Marriage Bill 2004 'debate', but you should in particular read Senator Brian Greig's and Senator Andrew Bartlett's. First, though, you should read the PM's speech to the National Marriage Forum in Parliament's Great Hall the previous week, to see where his standard 'dog-whistling/wedging' stump tactics have now led both the Liberal Party and the country: to the hitherto unthinkable juncture whereby religious fundamentalism is explicitly driving secular legislative change. Browse the pale, grim, joyless, loveless faces in those podium photos; skim their grim, strident, humorless, loveless speeches; sense the aggressively populist, simplistic, barren, lovel

A wonderful eye opener. (Mark Holmes)

Margo, thank you.

As just a twenty year old I am yet to participate in my first federal election and consequently the past year I have increasingly become interested in the running of our country and the politicians who are meant to represent us on our behalf. The book has given me great motivation as a citizen, enabling myself to write to local political representatives voicing my opinion, worries as well as asking questions about the current free trade agreement with the United States.

Secondly, the book has spurred on my inquisitive side into politics and I have now undertaken an 'Australian Politics' subject at university as an elective. Allowing me to further understand the system meant to represent us as well as further contemplate becoming directly involved in the political system itself.

Great that someone goes the distance to shed some light on the Howard darkness. (Rob Parkhouse)

I wish I could say I'm enjoying your book Margo but in a way it is depressing.

Like you I didn't think it a bad thing when Howard first won government, I thought it good for democracy that governments change regularly. I admired his stance on gun control and Australia's intervention in East Timor. There is not much more good I can say about John Howard.

I also lobbied the independent senators to defeat the cross media legislation and feel I at least played a very small part in its defeat. The detailed expose on the political and moral corruption during the Bush vist in 2003 appalled me. As I said to my local (Liberal) member, I can live with a coalition government, I just want the barren Howard years to end and for the Liberal party to become liberal once again.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Overwhelmed by emails, MK in Adelaide, John Valder on <i>Sunday</i> ()

Hi all.

'Scuse us if we're taking a while to get back to you on your latest emails. We've been a bit swamped by requests for stickers. MK's in Adelaide just now, but she'll get back to you asap. Also, be watching Nine's Sunday this weekend for a feature on John Valder's 'NHJ' campaign in Bennelong.

The Daily Telegraph mention ()

The Murdoch press have virtually ignored NHJ. Rather unsurprising really, considering the book takes aim at the Murdoch philosophy and concludes his vision for media consolidation is an anathema to a healthy democracy.

So it is with some surprise that the Daily Telegraph's Malcolm Farr mentioned the book at all, albeit in passing, on August 2.

Writing about the alleged rush of political books in an election year, Farr couldn

Angus & Roberston stocking situation (Cheryl Weisenberg)

Angus & Robertson here in Toowoomba don't have Not Happy John, even though they've got most of the other current political books. I asked about it and was told they could get it in for me within two weeks. I just bought it elsewhere instead (Mack Campbell's). I've emailed head office for an explanation and will let you know if I get a reply.

Small Businessman (Michael McCluskey)

I heard of your book via Steve Austins programme in Brisbane and requested and received it as a recent birthday gift. It is a truly disturbing book for anyone who cares about our country.

If economic management was the only basis upon which people could vote, then the Howard Government would quite rightly deserve to be reelected. It isn't and the Government's actions regarding Iraq, children overboard and refugees have illustrated they hold the people in utter contempt and believe they can get away with it. They are a government that has abused the ultimate trust and as a result are no longer fit to hold office.

What has troubled me for a long time is that both of the major parties do everything they can to distort and hedge on issues. It is little wonder why people generally think little and expect the same from our politicians. At the crux of it in my view is career politicans who are so desperate to stay in parliament they will say and do anything to get reele

A&R feedback (Derrick Ashby)

I bought my copy of NHJ from A&R in Melbourne, for what that's worth.

NHJ! (HA): For what it's worth, I'm pretty certain there is no conspiracy at a book-distributor level to not stock Margo's book. Instead, what people are finding is the result of sales far outstripping expectations very quickly. As a rule, booksellers sell books because of the profit margin, and not many would bother cutting profits for the sake of some political point in full knowledge that other shops will just say, 'Thankyou very much'. If individual booksellers here and there choose not to stock the book for their own quixotic political reasons that is another thing, but not of much concern to our democracy. There might be a fine line between a healthy nose for problems in our democracy and paranoia. I might be wrong.

Still, Angus and Robinson's reply to Cheryl Weisenberg might be worth noting, but I suspect it wi

Re Shirley Blair and compulsory voting (Derrick Ashby)

Shirley wants to know what other countries in the world have compulsory voting. Don't know the answer to that, but I do think that having it improves our democracy. How many other democracies in the world actually work as well as ours (as badly as it does sometimes work...)? She would like to ensure that only committed people vote. I sometimes think that being committed is just what the people who voted for our current government need to be. Most people faced with a compulsory vote actually do think seriously about the choice. The main problem is that they are not provided with the information required to make an informed choice because both politicians and media organisations lie to them. You only need to look at the United States to see what happens to a democracy where not only voting but registration to vote is voluntary.

NHJ! (HA): See also the comments of