Money has swamped Qld politics, and that endangers democracy: @Graeme_Orr #qldvotes comment

Money makes the world go round.  That’s a truism in a market economy.   The promise of democracy – one vote, one person, one value – ought to balance that.   But what if money makes the political world go round? Nothing less than the fate of electoral democracy is at stake if we let money swamp politics.   Swamps have formed again in Qld and NSW, as they do periodically elsewhere. Last week ‘50 prominent Australians’ published an open letter beseeching Queensland’s parties to agree to 4 governance and accountability principles.  It was motivated by concerns that Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission, judicial independence and political finance laws have been weakened recently. […]

Perth supporters stand up against #OurABC funding cuts: Rick Hoyle – Mills @RickHM reports

[View the story “Perth Supporters Stand Up Against #OurABC Funding Cuts” on Storify]

Citizen journo @Wendy_Bacon on Joe’s ‘Widen the Gap’ budget

[clear]Last night I headed over to FBi, a successful not for profit radio station in inner Sydney to meet up with the Budget_Aus team to listen to Treasurer Joe Hockey deliver his first budget speech. We were hosted by Heidi Pett and the rest of the FBi Backchat team who were working on their show about the budget for next Saturday morning. We were all there to support the idea of open access to information and data journalism and in particular, Rosie Williams who is the founder of Info_Aus and No Fibs’ data journalist. Info_Aus has created Budget_Aus which has allowed us to search a database for information about the budget […]

Will Libs bite bullet, withdraw Howard’s over-the-top entitlements to self-funded retirees?

By Margo Kingston  @margokingston1 9th March, 2014 When Samantha Maiden reported today that the Audit Commission wanted super-generous seniors health card benefits to self-funded retirees reversed, I dug up my 2002 SMH budget comment on the matter. The Libs are to blame for this totally unsustainable entitlement culture they knew would help cripple the budget over time due to our aging population. If they don’t act in the budget and instead just cut benefits for the less well-off they will be credibility-naked. * Don’t hold your breath for action Source SMH: http://www.smh.com.au/specials/budget2002/730/730_6.html What a shocking dilemma! The Liberals overwhelmingly won the over-55 vote at the 2001 election, while Labor outpolled them […]

#leardblocksde stops #Whitehaven work – Margo’s Day 13 live Twitter report

Citizen Journo MARGO KINGSTON preview of Tuesday’s action at the #leardblockadeon Citizen journalist Margo Kingston talks to Paul Bevan about #leardblockade and the hash tag as space for comment from all sides of the debate on the Maules Creek mine in Western NSW. He also speaks to 91 year old Bill Ryan on why he has taken part. Citizen Journo MARGO KINGSTON live interview in the blockade with Paul Bevan. Newcastle ABC radio on the #LeardBlockade Citizen journalist Margo Kingston dropped by the 1233 ABC Newcastle offices, while being embedded with protestors at the Leard State Forest.She spoke to 1233’s Paul Bevan about why she’s set up with protests to […]

Miners’ case against #leardblockade: Anyone like to respond?

Opinion: Time to get tough on extremists ignoring the law 22nd January 2014 Originally published in The Daily Telegraph. By NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee This Australia Day weekend, most of us will gather with friends and family to celebrate our nation. In stark contrast, a small group of extreme activists will be gathering in a state forest this weekend for training on how to flout the laws the rest of us are bound by, putting themselves and others at risk of injury or worse. The call has gone out for artists, musicians, face-painters and hula-hoopers (yes seriously) and others to gather in the Leard State Forest for a […]

The sociology of how Cathy won Indi, by @ktbar0

[clear] By Kate Sleeman 12 September, 2013 Life in regional cities and towns is often perceived by our city cousins to be a step back in time; dull, slow, backward and socially conservative. However the election result in Indi has hopefully changed their perceptions and highlighted the power of real communities. They are beginning to wonder why the Cathy McGowan campaign has been so successful. Even current and past campaigners are at a loss. This quote from the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg may help explain the Cathy McGowan phenomena: “A movement starts because of the social habits of friendship and the strong ties between close acquaintances. […]

Alexander talks up 24-hour spy cameras in low-crime Bennelong

By Jack Sumner 5 August 2013 The July 10 edition of the local Weekly Times featured Cameras to zoom in on racism, in which federal MP John Alexander proposed that the federal government pay for CCTV cameras on shop awnings in Rowe Street, Eastwood, in the heart of his Bennelong electorate in Sydney’s northern suburbs. Why? “A few months ago a Sydney man, Mr Kim and his Korean aunt were racially abused on a bus” and “—while the crime rate in Eastwood is one of Sydney’s lowest, some crimes involving Korean speakers are not always reported”. On July 31 Mr Alexander’s regular Weekly Times contribution was Tackling local crime. He confirmed […]

My Twitter interview with #Ashby’s media adviser

By Margo Kingston May 3, 2013 Mr Anthony McClellan followed me this morning, after I tweeted on the #Ashby appeal. His invitation to talk. So I threw him some questions and he threw me some answers. We’ve published the interview for the record here. It is interesting that he chose to speak for Ashby lawyers Harmers on the $millions question of who is bankrolling Ashby’s case. The amount of damages awarded on court success could not cover the enormous costs involved, and perhaps not even the solicitor-client costs remaining if the Court ordered Slipper to pay party-party costs. Another mystery is why, if Harmers was carrying costs out of goodwill to […]