Monday 20th of March 2023


Honesty in Politics (Ian Simpson)

Congratulations Margo on an outstanding and motivating account on how to get rid of John Howard.

It is interesting to note though in past discussions with Don Chipp, I was amazed at how furious he was that Robert Menzies lied to Cabinet and the Australian public on the reasons to commit Australia to the Vietnam war. Maybe that's the only way seen to gain public support for wars that are questionable.

Even though the account of the Hanan Ashrawi episode is important to explain the political power groups that are at work in our community, I found this chapter a little tedious. Over all a wonderful insight into the operations of John Howard's government. I'm thrilled that you had the courage to put it all into print. I couldn't put the book down and read it in two sessions.

Looking for more stickers (Nanna Van Dam)

Would like 10 more stickers.

NHJ! (JR): Watch this space - someone's getting 100, 000 printed up as we chat...

Immediate action is possible (John Levett)

Margo. Enjoyed the book: loathe the man; lost some sleep. There is one immediate way of getting involved. We've all got local members from both of the big sides: stir them. Ask them for THEIR positions on the FTA, on the Bush Invasion of Australia, on Iraq, and ask them why they never break ranks, whichever side they come from. Don't take the first answer if it's invasive. Be persistent but polite. Ask for an interview. Check on the electoral balance for their seat. Let them know you know what it is. Finally, your analysis of the Pauline Hanson phenomenon was spot on - and there is a real message there. Small, independent people can make a difference. She did. And scared me to death in the process!

Thanks very much for the book.

Keep smiling.

Correcting Myself (Mark Harmon)

Hi - yesterday I sent a query suggesting that we teach about Democracy in Schools.

Well I spoke to soon. I have since found out that these days they have a curriculum called - Discovering Democracy for primary & secondary students. I apolgise for my mistake. But it was a happy discovery for me.

NHJ! (JR): Mate, as JWH would say, never apologise for anything! Still, we say 'curses'! Because there's nothing worse for a JH-basher than to have to (grumble, grumble) give a grumpy nod to the bad guys. Here's Brezza Nelson's Ministerial Opener for the DD website:

'Introduction - Ministerial Statement

Dr Brendan Nelson Commonwealth Minister of Education, Science and Training

Civics and citizenship education is an important national priority. Our democracy depends

Well researched book in which the writer has tried hard to stay non partisan. (Deb Wands)

Congratulations Margo, I'm pleased that you have been so incensed that you had to get it off your chest.

I found a lot of the book (about 6/8ths) to be solidly what I have researched for myself and did not find any new revelations.I suppose it was 'preaching to the converted' really. I do wonder though, was there maybe a lot of stuff that I don't know and would have loved to read, but you could not print for legal reasons. Now, that I would have liked! I do note that there has not been a lot said by either of the big two political parties, why are they being so shy?

The bit that I really liked was right at the end, Part 18 Democrazy - Ten ideas for change, Idea no.1 Stop the public funding rip-off. Now, can we get that out, far and wide as an election strategy. Who will run with it, motivate the masses, and get it on the airwaves. I like it!

Hold that thought.... ()

We may have gone quiet for a few days, but we'll be back shortly.

NHJ continues to race up the charts as well as inspiring some wonderful thoughts in readers and citizens alike.

The Canberra Times reviewed NHJ over the weekend, and said the book is well-researched, and laden with facts and figures.

The reviewer was Charlotte Harper, former books editor of the South China Morning Post and Sydney Morning Herald journalist, and recent member of the Canberra Times. She says that in parts NHJ is 'emotional and rambling', but overall, salutes Kingston and the NHJ team for 'earning a place in the nation's top ten non-fiction best-seller list within weeks of publication - no mean feat for a political tome.'

She especially mentioned my chapter on Hanan Ashrawi, suggesting it is 'one of the best', and 'the uproar that surrounded her [Hanan Ashrawi's] selection makes for fascinating reading.'

Importantly, Harper salutes the 10 ideas for improving our d

Unrepresentative swill....and no, I don't mean the Senate! (Robyn McGee)

Thank you, Margo, for writing NHJ. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! And thank you to my aunt, who after waiting weeks for her local bookshop to stock more copies of

Recommended reading for every Australian (Lisa Faulkner)

Thank you Margo! I have now become a 'Not Happy, John!' evangelist and have started badgering all my relatives and friends to read your book. This should be mandatory reading material for all Australians. Thank you for pulling together all the threads and allowing people like myself, who have been becoming more and more dissatisfied with the political state of our country, an opportunity to marshal our thoughts and realise that we are not alone! Congratulations!

Upcoming conference (Eleanor Gibbs)

Hi NHJ gang,

Will write a more detailed review of the book and process when I have more time, but thought MK may be interested in a trip to her old stamping ground for this Amnesty International conference on Human Rights. Regards, El.

NHJ! (JR): Bewdy Newk, and thanks, El. Hope it goes well. Imagine...

Arresting Howard probably not a good idea, but in a similar vein... (Troy Rollo)

Arresting Howard is probably not a good idea, since an arrest has to be made based on domestic law. Unfortunately it appears that aggressive war has not yet been criminalised under Australian law, partly due to problems in agreeing on a definition for the purposes of the International Criminal Court Statute, and there needs to be a crime against Australian law to make an arrest. That doesn't mean there is no crime under international law - it is just that there are two sets of law, and something you do can breach one even though it doesn't breach the other.

Even if you identify a specific domestic law, you have to be able to show that the arrest was necessary to ensure his attendance before a magistrate, otherwise it's false imprisonment (yes, I know this means that there are false imprisonments going on regularly).

There are however other areas where Howard might be challenged in the c

Democracy Education (Mark Andrew Harmon)

What do you think of the idea that Democracy should be learned in High School ? It seems that many people think they know what Democracy is, but if questioned they unfortunately don't even know the basics.

Isn't a healthy Democracy an informed one ? Are there any problems with this proposal? I'm sure a lot of kids would find learning about democracy more interesting than Calculus, and it would prepare them better for the real world.

NHJ would be great required reading. I'm sure it would promote very interesting discussions in the classroom.

NHJ! (JR): See Mark's own answer above. And how about we all write to Brendan Nelson lobbying the government to put in a bulk order for 100, 000 school-distribution copies of NHJ!?

Brezza'd see the funny side of it, I'm sure...chuckle, chuckle, chuckle...Brend? Mate?

it's overdue (joe leggett)

Thanks Margo for writing a great book - it deserves to become a keystone in our re-built Democracy. If this expose of a sustained and systemic attack on our hard-won democratic principles and structures doesn't horrify and inspire us to beat back these flag-flappers and their patrons and sycophants then we will have failed the real men and women who have fought and died in this struggle.

I am inspired and encouraged.

Become a webdiarist.

Look out you bastards!

Congratulations Margo! (Benjamin O'Reilly in Sydney)

Congratulations Margo! Reading NHJ made my blood boil. The veil of deceit woven from the thread of lies and super-spin that this government has shrouded itself in is a disgrace. I believe that the day will come when we will look back on this period in our nation's history with a terrible sense of shame.

It would be a great coup for any party in the upcoming election who used the catchcry of your book as part of their campaign. Ever since the wonderful Deborah Kennedy first uttered the words 'Not Happy Jan!' the phrase has slipped seamlessly into our idiom. I'm sure the slogan of 'Not happy John!' voiced by different Australians could fire the imagination of the electorate in the way 'It's Time' did for Whitlam and drive this shameful government from office.

Margo: Hi Benjamin. Watch this space!

An arresting suggestion (Rick Pass)

Why don't we cut to the chase and just arrest Howard.

The UN Declaration on Friendly Relations says that no state may wage war without UN approval unless under imminent threat of attack. To do so is to wage a 'war of aggression' which constitues a 'crime against peace'. (A capital offence under international law - and no I don't think we should support the death penalty, I was just pointing out how serious the law takes this kind of thing.)

The Nuremberg principles state that culpability for waging a war of aggression lies with the head of state and the heads of government and senior ministers.

So here's the challenge Australia. Every time John Howard (or Downer or Hill) hit the campaign trail to shake our hands and ask for our vote, simply walk up to them, smile and ask them to accompany you to the local police station. The best way to take back our democracy is to insist that no man is above the law, not even the PM.

Independent political recording artist/poet website (Annette Hughes)

Goodness Margo, I knew that there was something rotten in the State of Oz, but your book pulls the bodybag off the stinking corpse of our polity. I sincerely hope you are right - that we can reverse the decline in our democratic institutions, but the pong is so high now that the very idea of mouth to mouth resuscitation takes some courage.

Well done, and thank you for your passion and persistence.

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