From #Watergate to #Ashbygate: A review of “Ashbygate” the book, by Joan Evatt @Boeufblogginon

A few weeks ago Ross Jones and Dave Donovan, of Independent Australia, sent me messages asking me to review Ross’s book on the Ashbygate saga. Despite being as crook as Rookwood I was more than happy to agree, and in due course a copy appeared in my letterbox. I was in the middle of reading it very, very late one night when I happened to notice “ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN” being run on one of the Fox channels and started to watch it.  You know how you are in that semi-somnolent state when something is triggered, a penny drops, and suddenly you are alert and alive. What got me going? […]

Selling out ethical journalism: @journlaw on @theage secret recordings #springst

[clear] It is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents, as we have been told happened at this year’s Victorian Labor conference. But it is an even sadder day when we hear a major newspaper – The Age – justifying a senior reporter secretly recording their conversations with sources. That newspaper’s editorial thundered at the state opposition leader: “Here is a lesson in the law, Mr Andrews: it is not illegal in this state to record people without their consent if you are a party to the call.” The journalist involved – The Sunday Age’s state political editor Farrah Tomazin – went […]

On the turning away: Iris Ray Nunn comments on #leardblockade

It is four weeks since I went into the Leard State Forest and witnessed firsthand the widespread destruction of habitat in return for coal. In truth, I am still hurt, still angry. These difficult feelings tear at me because the desecration of our Earth continues – and I am aware that my existence, albeit simple, is still dependent on the wheel-of-harm.  So what do I do? Do I simply shut the contradiction out? Or do I, we, all of us, as Pink Floyd sings in the epic rock classic On the Turning Away: “Don't accept that what's happeningIs just a case of others' sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning away.” When I returned shaken and disturbed from Leard, […]

Corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald QC names Queensland power abuses: @Qldaah analysis

On Friday, March 28, 2014, Tony Fitzgerald condemned Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party (LNP) government for proposed changes to Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC). In a written submission to the parliamentary committee reviewing the bill, Mr Fitzgerald described the move as: “the final step needed to remove the Commission’s independence entirely and bring it completely under government control.” At an administrative level, the Crime and Misconduct and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (2014) removes the need for bipartisanship approval between the government and the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee (PCMC) to appoint a CMC chairperson. The bill would also create a new position of chief executive officer (CEO). While all commissioners are […]

The #MarchinMarch Canberra in pictures, by @Jansant

By Wayne Jansson  @jansant 23rd March 2014 Roll over photos to read captions or click for slideshow. Read More from the March In March Archive 

Sssshhhh, don’t tell the media, but politics is changing from the ground-up, by @ariadne_syd

Ariadne Vromen, @ariadne_syd Source: The Conversation University of Sydney 21st March 2014 Political participation in Australia will soon be about hope – and the transformation of citizenship engagement in this country. Here is why. Traditionally, Australian political participation was centred on, and supported by, the electoral system, political parties and major political organisations. Most media commentators tend to focus on the electoral system as the main way of consolidating political support and bringing about change. They assume citizens make political choices to participate and/or express themselves based on rational, self-interested, often economic, calculations. When citizens have been mobilised it has usually been done by unions, political parties and environmental organisations. These have […]

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 […]

Cory’s book: Part 2 of a blow-by-blow fact check series by @adropex

[clear] [clear] By Lesley Howard @adropex 19 January 2014 In Chapter 2 “The First Pillar: Faith” Bernardi presents a strong and considered study of the historical contribution Christianity has made to Australia’s national development and how this heritage is represented in the laws and moral codes of Australian society today. Bernardi proposes that faith is fundamental to a healthy and hopeful society and provides the “common thread through which our laws, our instinct and our social fabric are entwined.” Faith provides us with a set of values, moral guidelines in which we can trust and a framework for decision-making. Bernardi goes on to discuss how he believes individuals develop faith. Some people […]

Breaking News: Sex, Lies and the Murdoch Succession by Paul Barry

By Margaret O’Connor 1 November 2013 If you want a quick and telling glimpse of the psychopathology that infested Rupert Murdoch’s power house tabloid News of the World (NoTW), turn to the Leveson Inquiry Hearings for Wednesday, 29 November, 2011. On that day, Paul McMullan, ex-NoTW reporter, reluctantly gave testimony about his work practices there – and, in defence of his and his colleagues’ calculated violations of others’ rights to personal space and boundaries, became globally famous for his take on the concept of privacy, proclaiming ‘privacy is for paedos….privacy is evil…..it allows (people) to do bad things.’ Then in response to this, Counsel to the Inquiry, Robert jay QC,  asks […]

The intellectual grunt behind @Indigocathy Indi victory: @sarah_capper report

[clear] By Sarah Capper Sheila’s editor 20 September 2013 When Jeff Kennett lost the “unlosable” Victorian election in 1999, the Victorian Women’s Trust’s Mary Crooks wasn’t overly surprised. In the years leading up the state poll, in her new role as Executive Director of the VWT, Crooks designed and led the ‘Purple Sage Project’ – which involved a community ‘kitchen table’ dialogue process with some 6000 people across the state. During this time, over 600 female and male group leaders (76% were women, all of whom had been taken through briefing sessions, many in country Victoria), met in their own groups of up to ten people. These individual groups met on […]