Australia invaded Iraq by deceiving Australian people: 43 Australian elders

‘We must return stable, predictable, AND honest government to Australia.‘  Joe Hockey, May 23, National Press Club By Margo Kingston May 23, 2013 When I saw Paul Barratt’s tweets today on some momentous big Howard government lies, I remembered this letter, which Barratt signed in 2004. The government’s trashing of the elders who signed it triggered the decision of public servant Michael Scrafton to blow the lid on the children overboard lie. Thanks for the memories, Paul. And Joe Hockey, don’t talk about bringing back honest government, please. Your last government’s record does not allow it. Paul Barratt, AO, former Secretary Dept of Defence and Deputy Secretary Dept of Foeign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) […]

The art of journalism: satisfying beginners and expert readers

By Sally Baxter May 19, 2013 What makes a journalist? A lot of people – inside and outside the profession – are asking that question. If you think it takes a genius, think again. Good journalists have a representative of their audience in mind who informs every step of their work. My background’s print, so it’s natural for me to refer to a reader. Who’s your reader, a genius or an idiot? My first Editor was also my dad which means I spent a good deal of my career wondering if I was a journalist at all. I certainly didn’t feel I really was until I was a newspaper reporter, but that […]

Ethics overboard: How to promote integrity in the moment of choice

By Margo Kingston January 14, 2003 MARGO: With all the talk about stronger shield laws for journos, I think we are edging ever closer to needing an answer to the question: What is a journalist? We cannot argue for special protections and exemptions from privacy laws unless we can distinguish ourselves from non-journalists. To me the essential requirement is commitment to a genuinely accountable code of ethics, yet this is still just a dream. I gave this speech to a 2002 corruption prevention conference in Sydney, and reckon my idea is still relevant to the debate. I will run several pieces covering different aspects of the ‘What is a journalist’ question […]

Bolt no free speech champion, just another rhetor*

By Thomas Connelly May 11,  2013 Margo: I read with incredulity Andrew Bolt’s begging letter to citizens to donate to the IPA’s fund to defend free speech http://support.ipa.org.au/. IPA donors Murdoch and Gina could finance a free speech fund with their spare change. This appeal is about something else, changing the very meaning of free speech to suit the very big, very rich, very powerful end of town. Shocks come in threes, and this surreal threesome kicked off with Abbott’s ode to Murdoch and his IPA as freedom’s discerning friends and his yes, Sir nod to the IPA’s policy wish list. The Brandis free speech fantasy kicked off this week […]

The Skull Beneath the Skin

By Margo Kingston 10 May 2013 In his Cry, Freedom speech this week, Shadow Attorney General George Brandis said this: ‘But at least the debates about freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which we have seen in the past couple of years, have been a sharp reminder to the Liberal Party of its historic mission. For in the freedom wars, there has been only one party which has stood steadfastly on the side of freedom.’ @NoFibs has disproved this claim – indefensible given the Howard Government’s record – in several pieces which detail just some of the relentless assaults on free speech and political freedom by the Howard Government. At […]

George Brandis, free speech charlatan

MARGO: I am so disgusted with the Brandis free speech interview on @Lateline I don’t trust myself to write about it. It brought back memories of the Howard Government’s relentless assaults on free speech, egregiously denied by Brandis last night, and of his nasty record. So @NoFibs will try to drag truth back on the public record with a Brandis archive. We begin with the transcript of his intellectual dismemberment by Emma Alberici on last night’s Lateline. EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: The Shadow Attorney General George Brandis has tonight delivered a swingeing attack on the Gillard Government for what he calls a war on free speech. In an address to the Sydney […]

Nazi Greens an enemy of democracy, government decrees

By Margo Kingston October 29, 2003 Source: Webdiary “I intend to continue to call to the attention of the Australian people the extremely alarming, frightening similarities between the methods employed by contemporary green politics and the methods and the values of the Nazis.” Liberal Senator George Brandis launches a government campaign to destroy the Greens as a political force. George Brandis is a Queensland Liberal Senator. The Government chose him to conduct the tactics for and lead a front-on Parliamentary attack on the Greens which asserted that the party was an enemy of the State. The speech responds to a Greens’ motion for an inquiry into procedures for joint sittings of […]

Missing an IPA transparency moment

Jon Faine’s Friday Wrap. with John Roskam from the IPA and Sally Warhaft from the Wheeler Centre. Broadcast Friday 26 April 2013. FAINE: I’d like a pet plebiscite on disclosing the funding sources of the IPA says Belinda in McLeod. ROSKAM: We’ll do a deal Belinda, we’ll disclose our sources one we know how much Jon Faine is paid. FAINE: Sixteen minutes to eleven on 7… WARHAFT: I wouldn’t have put that, oh Faine. FAINE: Sixteen minutes to eleven on 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Victoria. WARHAFT: Fess up now. WARHAFT: Now is your big opportunity. It’s finally come… ROSKAM: Now is your chance Jon to find the IPA’s funding sources. WARHAFT: …after […]

The legal saga against One Nation, and legal possibilities against Abbott

Margo Kingston: For people interested in the details of the One Nation court saga, the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission published a report in 2004. Here we publish its findings on Abbott’s involvement, then my 2003 Webdiary piece  on the possibilities for legal action by Hanson and Ettridge and an explanation of champerty and maintenance. CMC Report into the prosecution of Mr Ettridge and Ms Hanson Source: CMC Report First publisheed January 2004 Turning to Mr Abbott’s involvement, the Commission wrote to Mr Abbott and asked for a submission. Having initially informed us that his part in the Hanson litigation was on the public record, Mr Abbott replied by a letter […]

My people’s petition for Abbott to reveal his other IPA policies

By Tom Cummings (@cyenne40) April 15, 2013 The Australian Labor Party is often accused of being at the beck and call of the unions. Of course there is a decent element of truth in this, in so far as they both tend to focus on workers rather than corporations, and the historical links between Australia’s unions and the ALP are many. However, in recent years those links have weakened (although never broken) and the dynamic of today is different than it was 20 or 30 years ago. But what about the Liberal Party? What of their affiliations, their preferences? They have always come across as friends of industry and big business rather […]