Saturday 9th of December 2023


electoral act and the privacy act and what the Howard government is probably planning to do if re-elected (Kendall Lovett)

Before going out on the hustings, I gather the Howard government announced a review of the Privacy Act. This followed the Australian Bankers Association

Time to get busy ()

Throughout NHJ, we learn of how Australia's democracy is being trashed. It's five to midnight and it's time to get busy.

I remember during the 2001 election feeling cheated because it seemed that as a nation we never got to discuss the vast majority of very important issues. There was never that intelligent debate and analysis we longed for because the discussion was shut down by Tampa. Nothing else mattered.

This time around, there's no Tampa equivalent and to me it seems like a big void. I'm finding the lack of substance in the campaign really disturbing. It seems more trivial and trite than ever. We can't blame Tampa. What's the problem then?

It's everything that's in the book. Both large parties don't want to discuss the real issues. The media would meanwhile prefer to score the game than dig deep into the big opportunities and threats ahead of us.

The only way we are going to get the issues that really matter to us as citizens is by activism and non-tradi

If you liked Not Happy John - Read These!! (Marilyn Sykes)

Thanks Margo for a totally compelling book - now being read by family members in the seats of Ryan, Brisbane, Ballarat and Mayo. It was the catalyst for my reading True Believer - Robert Garran (not as passionate as your book - but it fits so well with what I have seen on my Bush-era American travels); Dark Victory - David Marr & Marian Wilkinson; Axis of Deceit - Andrew Wilke; and A Certain Maritime Incident - Tony Kevin. All the best - from a previous member of the Silent Majority!!! - Maz

Now Howard has really lost it - more proof that this is a bribe based election on Howard's part (Russell Darroch)

If there was any doubt about the level of bribery in this election (which is the worst I've seen in 33 years in Australia) consider today's amazing announcement at,4057,10854269%255E36596,00.html which begins:

'PM commits $10m to Bulldogs September 23, 2004

THE Federal Government would contribute up to $10 million towards the upgrade of the home of Australian Football League team the Western Bulldogs in Melbourne's west, Prime Minister John Howard said today.

Mr Howard said the redevelopment of the Whitten Oval, in Footscray, would benefit the club and the local community.

The Victorian government will contribute $3 million and the AFL $3.5 million to the $20 million redevelopment, according to the Melbourne Age.

Councils in the area will chip in $2 million, while the football club will also contribute to the project.

'We're going to announce some funding of up to $10 million for the oval, for the refurbishment,' Mr How

Three ideas for better democracy (Sundance Bilson-Thompson)

I have been thinking about what would have to change to make Australia a more democratic place.

I have come up with three ideas, which I think we should all urge as many pollies as possible to adopt, with the goal of embarassing the Libs and ALP into adopting them as election issues.

They are ...1) Citizen initiated referenda...2) A bill of rights...and since JH seems to like the idea of weakening the senate, let's propose an alternative 3) Replace double-dissolution elections with a plebiscite on the issue acting as a double-dissolution trigger. Give direct control of contentious legislation to the people, instead of the pollies.

Hopefully if we can get these ideas into the mouths of people like Bob Brown, Andrew Bartlett and the like, JH and ML will be unable to ignore them and democracy, rather than just interest rates, will become an election issue. So start writing letters, everyone!

105 reasons not to vote for little john howard (Hamish)

Tell us why little john should not be elected in the upcoming Australian election. Your reason will be tested for public opinion and if popular will rank in the 105 reasons.

Howards Medicare Views ()

John Samson reminds us of this titbit from The Australian (May 2, 2003) where Howard described the Medicare system as, 'A miserable, cruel fraud', 'A human nightmare', 'A total and complete failure' and ' A quagmire'.

A couple of observations to add to the pot. (Leo Smith)

Observation One. Reading through the other reviews I noticed that the critical ones are never specific. They refer vaguely to factual errors but remain cryptic as to which facts are in error and what the real facts are. C'mon! It's too easy to criticise and never elaborate. So to them, for the good of us all; for the good of Oz and Truth and God and Democracy and little children everywhere, tell us what the errors are.

I've been watching the US election and, from this distance, the partisan nature of that population seems even more obvious than here. I have to say, without the US example, my objection to partisanship amongst the constituency might otherwise be largely academic but now I can see the great lack of logic and tolerance for lies that partisanship allows. Democracy becomes a sport played above us and we are little more than biased spectators. The 'team' we barrack for becomes an end in itself and we are effectively locked out of the Democratic process, with no

Journalism's upside (Sylvie Rogers)

Dear Margo, I have just finished your book Not Happy John. You make a fine case for jouranlism's integrity and it was a pleasure to read such a detailed dissection of the Libs' aviodance tactics. It was very grounding. Since reading it, and maybe this is wishful thinking , but I feel that there is an added bite to journalists questioning of pollies. Maybe they read your book too?

The day beckons ()

I may have been away from NHJ for a week or two (busy election blogging at Counterspin for the Sydney Morning Herald and Age), but I'm still as involved as ever. And just as fired up.

It's wonderful to read all the energy of people around the country, many of whom have never been political in their lives. As we've said for months, this election is surely the time to change all that!

I'm reading many people at Counterspin who are frustrated with the mainstream media's reluctance to move away from the old-style, Big Party, he said/she said dynamic. Thank god for blogs, I say, especially during election campaigns.

For a selection of interesting and challenging 'alternative' viewpoints see Road to Surfdom, Backpages and Troppo Armadillo.

And maybe, just may

Melbourne Supporters of Brian Deegan (Michelle Wright)

Brian Deegan Melbourne Supporters Fundraising Film Night

Brian Deegan has earned the respect of many Australians with his strong and uncompromising pursuit of truth and accountability for Australia

Hijacking democracy (Peter Hall)

Bought your book 'Not Happy, John' today. Very Impressed so far. I have long argued that big business has hijacked democracy. My opinion is that we need to dimantle the current political environment and build a new one that eliminates the political party, and has participatory democracy instead. I outline the idea at, a great little forum run by someone who reads

Anti Howard t shirts (David Hoare)

These might interest quite a few of you, in our fight against Howard. I can make up as many of these are you want, the more you order, the cheaper i can do them. As at the moment i am studying, and an only running a very small business.

Click Here

Or Here


Letter about Margo's book published ()

Check it out here

Onya Hans.

God Save the Queen (Saxon Selvey)

Don't forget that Honest John also robbed us of our most recent opportunity to become a Republic.

The Libs put together a shabby model for a Republic that nobody would want, then promoted the whole affair by saying - Not this Republic. Then they let us all vote against it as confirmation that we didn't actually want one! Unbelievable!! Playing us like suckers!

Yet reading The Book, One realises this is business as usual for Him.

Saying Sorry, Tampa, The Kyoto Agreement, Children Behind Razorwire, Iraq.... What will it take? These are not small issues, they change the way the World sees us, and they change they way we percieve ourselves, as a Nation. Please wake up this time around Australia!

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