Monday 5th of June 2023


Who are the full 43 who think that Australian governments should tell the truth? (Philip Sutton)

Peter Gration and John Menadue plus about 6 others have been named as the signatories to the 'top brass' letter calling for truth from Australian governments. But who are the full 43 people who signed? I would have thought the Australian public might have been interested to know but so far no web search I've made has revealed the full list. Can anyone on this list help?

Margo: I've published the full list on Webdiary - see

President George is bound to hold these truths to be self-evident; President John, alas, may legislate them daily on a wedgy pop

If we Australians ever needed a fine reminder of the foresight of the men who crafted the US Constitution and the resulting sanctity of the American Citizen's individual rights - if the comparitive legal franchise extended fairly early to Gitmo detainees like American John Walker wasn't reminder enough, that is - then this latest twist in the Gay Marriage debate is it:

Gay marriage ban unconstitutional, rules US court

A second US judge has ruled that Washington state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The decision by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks came just a month after another jurist in the city of Seattle also decided that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry if they so desire. Judge Hicks ruled that the state's Defence of Marriage Act, that was passed in 1998 limiting marriage to a contract between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional.

He said that Washington cannot grant a privilege like marriage to one group

Adelaide gigs this Thursday and Friday ()

G'day, I'll be in Adelaide on Thursday and Friday to launch the book there - AT LAST! The details:

Thursday 12 August 2004

6pm: Launch at IMPRINTS/PENGUIN Event, Grainger Studio, ASO Headquarters, 91 Hindley Street (behind Tempo) Bookings essential. Tickets $10. Ph: (08) 82314454

Friday 13 August 2004

10:20am: Radio 5DN Adelaide, Interviewer Jeremy Cordeux, LIVE

2:40pm: Radio 5AA Adelaide, Interviewer Nicole Hauck, LIVE

4:10pm: 891 ABC RADIO Adelaide, Interviewer Kevin Naughton, LIVE

6pm for 6:30pm: MATILDA BOOKSHOP joint book launch with Brian Deegan, 8 Mt Barker Rd, Stirling

Seems more people are unhappy...and about bloody time!! (Dr Russell Darroch)

A who's who of Australia's former military chiefs, departmental heads and top diplomats is set to launch a scathing attack on John Howard's foreign policy and call for 'truth in government' from whomever wins the election.' See Deceptions over Iraq strongly condemned.

I'm sure that NHJ has helped to give some of these people the courage to speak up. We obviously have a long ways to go (back) to honest democracy - this is how deep the damage has been that even a who's who list is unwilling to state a preference. I appreciate the concept of 'neutrality' but there's nothing neutral in what this government has wreaked on the Australian public.

And then of course there is the flagpole fiasco...see School's flag bid up the pole after funding has strings attached - another abuse of people's patriotic impulses.


NHJ extracts online ()

G'day. Dr Russell Darroch in Canberra wrote: 'Given how close the election is likely to be, could you put at least part of the book on the web site so more people can read it faster? Or even in audio format? Both? There are a lot of elderly voters who would be interested and many are on the internet too. Let

Valder's bid to oust Howard in Bennelong - how do I sign up? (Margaret Stuart)

I live in Bennelong, I've read John Valder's manifesto on Webdiary, and I would like to get involved. Does anyone know how?

Cause I'm mad as hell and not going to take it.

NHJ! (HA): Pertinent question! Watch this space and I'll get back as soon as possible with the contact details for the (JV) Not Happy John campaign. Feel free to beat me to it anyone.

Think about it.... (Go Fojo)

John Howard will not hold the election until after the US election.

Male who is a week away from 49 (Lloyd Douglas Casey)

Margo, I purchased the book yesterday, read it today and I am absolutely relieved that while I am Mad, I am not insane and most certainly not on my own. As a full time Unionist I am of course automatically deemed to be somewhat biased against John to start with, but my utter contempt for him is as a person and not as a Liberal. Indeed I have over time come to admire Liberals such as Fraser and Gough's dueling mate Jim Killen.

After Tampa I lost faith in the `me too' attitude of Federal Labor and whilst I could never ever personally support one iota of One Nation's homophobic, racist, and ill-informed view of the World, I would nevertheless become almost anything else to rid Australia of John Howard, the absolute 'evil dwarf' and most anti Australian persona in history.

I was in my mid forties before Howard rendered it shameful for me to espouse that I was an Australian after Tampa. While that was bad enough, my boys did not reach 21 before they too had to be embarr

The Sydney Morning Herald (finally) 'does' NHJ! ()

It may have taken 6 weeks for the SMH to review NHJ, but today, finally, Max Suich, founding editor of The Independent Monthly and chief editorial executive of Fairfax's Sydney and national newspapers between 1980 and 1987, weighs into the debate.

It's a mixed affair. Combining praise and criticism in equal measure, it's a full page review, the longest I've seen in the paper for some while.

Personally, I reckon Suich's missed the point of the book. He argues that 'much of this book is simple opinion asserted, dressed up as fact-based comment - just as it is so often in the newspapers and TV current affairs programs.' He does not appear to understand that the rules of journalism have changed. It is no longer sufficient to simply report on the events of the day, the old he said/she said paradigm. That may have worked in Suich's day, but not today. Those in power, business, politics or big media,

Valder's manifesto to defeat Howard in Bennelong, and another NHJ reprint! ()

G'day. I've just published on Webdiary the manifesto of John Valder's 'Not happy, John!' campaign to unseat John Howard in Bennelong. There's also a fabulous piece by David McKnight on the death of the old right and the old left and an emerging alliance of conservatives, greens and true Liberals to haul back the rampant dominance of neo-liberalism and restore integrity and morality to our enfeebled democracy. Highly recommended.
Penguin are reprinting another 3,000 copies of NHJ, and another 50,000 stickers for distribution to bookshops. I've got more too, so let me know if you want some.

Lawsuit against Howard and co for war crimes? (Nada Gergich)

I recently bought the book and am enjoying it immensely. Latham seems to have totally dumbed down his image and seems to be going along with most of the Lib's ideas as he doesn't have any of his own. He would stand a much better chance if he stayed somewhat controversial and pulled a publicity stunt close to the election whereby he goes up to Howard and asks him to accompany him to the closest police station in a citizens arrest for breach of the UN policies on war - I feel most Australians would respond to that kind of passion and touch of larikinism rather than this new quiet, restrained image.

Isn't there some gungho lawyer out there with wealthy contacts who wants to make a name for himself and starts a lawsuit again Howard, Bush and Blair for illegally invading another sovereign country - of course he would never win but at least the press being what they are will jump on its sensationalist aspect and more people may be hit with the truth closer to the US and Australia

I suddenly noticed I'd slipped into apathy (Paul Barnett.)

Thanks for relieving me of some of the shame that I have felt in recent years. I've been ashamed to be an Australian every time that Howard speaks, Costello smirks, Downer bumbles and Reith lied. I'm proud to say that Margo Kingston is my fellow Australian.

May your common sense approach to regaining our pride and our democratic rights prevail. I didn't notice that I'd slowly slipped into apathy. Thanks to your book, that won't happen to me again.

Our challenge - finding people to lead for Australia's sake, not their own (Simon Coburn)

My wife gave me your book for my birthday, 22 July, and on Saturday night I read it between 11pm and 5am, experiencing quite unpleasant bursts of anger and frustration along the way. The Bush visit particularly irked me.

Part of me is wishing that I hadn't read the book because I wouldn't be upset but part of me is eternally grateful to you. Thanks.

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment that democracy is not a natural state of affairs and that our predecessors made sacrifices that most of us (myself included) do not appreciate. I have always felt drawn to public service. Having read your book, I realise that I also have a duty to do my share to uphold this wonderful society that our predecessors have created.

I also agree that John Howard is not the only culprit - he is partly a sum of his own experiences and our current political system. Our challenge is to change the political culture so that it promotes the people who can lead Australia for Aus

Ordinary retired swinging voter (Ross Evans)

I found the book gave me a better understanding of what goes on in the real world of our Political 'representatives'. I was disappointed - to put it mildly - that these people while going on about democracy at election time, act like abosolute rulers during the in between periods. I can't think of any at the moment who I would see as 'Statesmen' - ie leaders interested in the next generation rather than the next election.

Imagining Australia (John Thompson)

Katie Blair is right to say that we need Margo to point out how bad the country has become. But the reason I mentioned 'Imagining Australia' was that we need to do more than get mad. Macgregor Duncan and the other authors have this great metaphor for Australian public debate -- the hedgehogs and foxes.

They reckon we have hedgehogs, who only think of the big picture; and foxes, who only think about policy detail. And on the Left, the two groups are talking past one another. Maybe between us all, we can work out a way to fix that.

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