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It’s Time

Image by whitlam.org

Image by whitlam.org

We’re not in the habit of publishing our letters to the editor but there have been a few lately that demand a wider audience. The first of these appears below, written by a person I shall refer to as ‘He’.

He has written to The AIMN asking that we ramp up our efforts to bring the government and the Murdoch media to account. We wish we could. We wish we could do everything that He asks, but we don’t have the professional, financial or legal resources. Apart from requesting the impossible from The AIMN team, He has raised some very interesting points concerning the behaviour of the Murdoch media and the Government, in particular the unethical manner in which they conspired to deliver the election to Team Abbott.

He gives us much to think about. Here is his correspondence:

Letter to the AIMN Team:

IT’S TIME! – TO STOP . . .
Stop accusing the LNP of “BREAKING ELECTION PROMISES”
Stop accusing the LNP of “RORTING TRAVEL ENTITLEMENTS”
Stop accusing the LNP of “HYPOCRISY OVER THE DEBT CRISIS”

IT’S TIME! – TO START . . .
Start thinking about “MISLEADING & DECEPTIVE CONDUCT”
Start thinking about “FRAUDULENT MISAPPROPRIATION”
Start thinking about “SEDITIOUS INTENTION”

In the current political situation of Australia, your intellects and your talents for fact collecting and thoughtful analysis are not being employed to full advantage by writing articles which largely reach only the converted – marvelous though they are! You demonstrate concern for the welfare of all Australians and have gone ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ to draw attention to unfair policies and and actions of those governing the country. You have already done enough but . . . I am now appealing to you to consider directing your energy and your attention to legislation such as the Trade Practices Act and the Crimes Act to make connections between the activities of the LNP and the Murdoch press and various laws. What, if any laws have been broken? How often have they been broken?

We have all carped on about the despicable behaviour of the LNP and the Murdoch press over the past six years when, in the commercial world, no business would actually be permitted to get away with misleading and deceptive conduct; making false or misleading claims; false advertising; predatory behaviour; anti-competitive conduct; unconscionable conduct etc etc. The LNP is in power only because of misleading and deceptive conduct by its own members and by the media – especially the Murdoch media – and whereas the ACCC would swoop down on any company that falsely advertised, the deliberate, repeated, misleading, false claims of the LNP (and Murdoch press) have been allowed to pass as some sort of warped ‘political or press license’ when, actually, they are often violations of the law. For example: The Abbott – Pyne denial that they ever promised to support the Gonski education reforms . . . “We didn’t mean what you thought we meant . . . or hoped we meant . . . ” Under the Trade Practices Act, it comes down to ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’ when a normally accepted meaning is denied or distorted by a commercial enterprise. Penalties, compensation and even criminal charges might follow such a blatant attempt to deceive. Another example: Was it ‘unconscionable conduct’ to introduce unrelated issues into a court case with the intention of destroying a career and thereby destabilising a Government?

The first challenge to anyone making such suggestions will be: “That’s in the business world but politics is different.” or “Politics is not covered by such laws!” But is that strictly true? I suspect that political parties and their off-shoots have some sort of ‘incorporation’ which could bring them under laws such as the Trade Practices Act and, of course, the Crimes Act would cover a wide range of activities such as “fraudulent misappropriation of Commonwealth funds” in a hypothetical case where a person claimed ‘entitlements’ but acknowledged that he/she was actually campaigning to win votes in a marginal electorate. Professionals too have obligations under the Trade Practices Act and surely a group of professional Politicians would easily qualify as such. (Please refer to what professionals should know about the Trade Practices Act).

In relation to ‘anti-competitive conduct’, The ACCC states that it: ” . . . will be particularly concerned where such restrictions are imposed in the guise of assisting consumers but are ultimately for the purpose of controlling competition.” Now, we would normally read this to apply only to a business or a profession but it might also apply in a situation where, say, a concentrated media empire sided with one political party “for the purpose of controlling competition” . . . in the political arena, as well as in the commercial arena. If you follow my reasoning, there are probably many opportunities under the Trades Practices Act to bring at least a civil case against those who deliberately deceived and misled the Australian voters for both political and commercial advantage. A challenge to the result of the whole 2013 election might even follow.

The predominant ‘justification’ arguments for LNP and media ‘behaviour’ over the past three years centre around “Freedom of Speech” legislation which permits the media to destroy lives and bring down democratically elected MPs and Government. It is apparently legal, if not morally acceptable, to vilify and denigrate and distort the truth to sell newspapers and make money and . . . if that happens to ‘incidentally’ bring about a change of Government, which will further business interests, then that’s all part of being in a democratic ‘free’ society!

What I am suggesting is that it is not just about “Freedom of Speech” laws; it is also about “Competition and Consumer” laws by which those same professionals (politicians and journalists) and those same media groups must abide. It is also about other laws of the country which may have been breached but are often simply ‘accepted’ by Australians as normal political behaviour. Politicians are elected to make and change the laws which protect the population and ensure the smooth functioning of society, not to abuse those same laws to gain or retain power . . . they are not above the law themselves. Yet we are witnessing a period in Australia when many citizens have rewarded those who gained power by irregular means and others appear willing to overlook gross misdemeanours which would induce outrage in say, any sporting organisation.

A wide range of possible ‘breaches’ of the law for political and monetary gain are surely there to be identified and collated in order of ‘seriousness’ . . . without even touching on laws which might have been broken in the Ashby- Slipper saga! Might it be unlawful, for instance, to receive taxpayer money ‘under false pretences’ if a ‘professional’ claimed qualifications for a job such as (hypothetically) ‘an impartial speaker’ when there was no attempt or intention to be impartial at all?

We must stop pretending. We cannot simply accept that the last election was in any way a ‘normal’ political event, or that the Abbott-led group is now a legitimate Government. We must start questioning the means by which they achieved that position of power over Australians.

Was it a fair process? How would it be viewed in a commercial sense? Were any laws broken? Are we accepting in politics and the media that which we would never accept in any other section of society? Would we even accept such a low level of ‘fair play’ in any sporting game? Is it time to change that ‘anomaly’? Can it be done by invoking existing laws?

Let’s stop using euphemisms such as ‘broken election promises’. Let’s start contemplating instead: “Was it misleading and deceptive conduct?” Let’s stop making politics an exception to the rule of law. Let’s start thinking in terms of: “Would that be against the law in the commercial world?” It’s time to take a legal perspective of the activities of the LNP & Murdoch press in recent years. If we view it all in commercial terms, or even sporting terms . . . we get a very different sense of just how low a standard has now been accepted in politics and that must surely alter our attitude to what has been going on in the world of the LNP and Murdoch.

The “Born to Rule” mentality; or the “Above the Law” mentality; or the “Optional abidance by the law” mentality; or even the “Exception to the rule of law” mentality are very difficult to change but some will respond to potential loss of money and their rampage will stop only when ‘hit where it hurts’ and that will only be achieved by hauling them through the courts.

Appeal to The AIMN team:

  • The ALP is probably too traumatised and bewildered to initiate any systematic trawling through of Legislation to identify breaches by any parties which might lead to penalties, prosecutions or a fresh election.
  • Unfortunately, I am not a lawyer, just an outraged citizen who has observed that companies and sporting organisations are punished and fined for far less serious breaches of the law and with far less impact on our lives than a deceitful Government can make.
  • Your work is brilliant! You all have the passion and capacity to read and absorb the intricacies of legal documents and to connect the dots with recent happenings in politics and media.
  • You have an understanding of ‘Defamation’ law and will avoid pitfalls in that area.
  • You might consider forming a team of researchers and a co-ordinator to collect and scrutinise the findings.
  • You might wish to also ask followers to contribute ideas and angles through a ‘suggestions’ section.
  • If enough material is gathered to convince many of you that a significant and appropriate case/s could be mounted, you might then wish to call on the ALP and The Greens to have their lawyer MPs view the evidence.
  • If action is recommended, an appeal for funds could be launched across the appropriate social media sites.
  • I can see possible avenues to stop the political madness but I must call on those of you who are skilled at research and understand the implications to take up the challenge if you agree there is a need and an opportunity.

Yours sincerely,

‘He’.

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77 comments

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  1. John Fraser

    <

    Perhaps "He" could lay a complaint with the Queensland Attorney General alleging Murdoch's subsidiary companies in Queensland (Courier Mail, Sunday Mail, Quest Newspapers etc) be charged under VLAD law for publishing "tainted property" obtained from its sister companies in Great Briton.

    Those sister companies are "incorporated" and to date 3 News Corp employees have pleaded guilty to phone hacking and a further 2 News Corp employees are currently before the British Courts on the same charges.

    And that should make News Corp Queensland subsidiary companies eligible under VLAD law.

    News Corp employees in Queensland should have their finger & palm prints taken, have their tatts photographed and not be allowed to congregate in groups of more than 2.

    Should any of News Corp (QLD) employees not abide by VLAD law they should be locked up without Bail for 23 hours a day until their case can be heard …. currently sometime in March 2014.

    The VLAD law should apply to all Queenslanders and people from other States just as it does for Queensland bikies.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Tony Abbott said “The law must be supreme, no one is above the law.”

    Of course he was talking about re-establishing the ABCC with it’s draconian powers directed at smashing the unions but perhaps we should ask him does that apply to politicians too?

  3. bighead1883

    Michael I believe this to be the most intelligent thing anyone has said since the election

  4. Kaye Lee

    The Fair Work Ombudsman’s office could get busy

    If elected, a Coalition government will:
    •amend the law to ensure that registered organisations and their officials have to play by the same rules as companies and their directors;
    •ensure that the penalties for breaking the rules are the same that apply to companies and their directors, as set out in the Corporations Act 2001; and
    •reform financial disclosure and reporting guidelines under the Registered Organisations laws so that they align more closely with those applicable to companies.

    In addition, a Coalition government will establish a new body, the Registered Organisations Commission that will:
    •take on the role of registered organisations enforcer and investigator, currently held by the General Manager of the Fair Work Commission;
    •provide information to members of registered organisations about their rights and act as the body to receive complaints from their members; and
    •educate registered organisations about the obligations that apply to them.

    The Registered Organisations Commission will be independent and will operate within the office of the Fair Work Ombudsman. The Registered Organisations Commission will also be required to cooperate with other law enforcement bodies.

    A dodgy company director and a dodgy union official who commit the same crime should suffer the same penalties.

    The Coalition believes that the members of registered organisations, mainly workers and small businesses, deserve better. They are entitled to the same protections as shareholders of companies.

  5. lawrencewinder

    Superb letter…and something that’s occurred to me as well …if advertisers can’t lie why can political parties?

  6. bobrafto

    ‘He’ is not the only one thinking along those lines. And the same can be said about Kaye Lee on Bernardi, can there possibly be an electorate full of crazies in SA?

    In the past, the media has held the govt to account but now the media has formed a coalition with the LNP govt.

    If there isn’t any sustained media editorials expressing outrage and indignation of our politicians criminal behaviour, there certainly won’t be any change and Abbott and Co will just keep thumbing his nose at the law.

    And I’m sure they have a mantra that goes like this: ‘We’ll decide (LNP) who gets charged and under what circumstances they get charged with’.

    What we need is a new messiah to keep the Bastards honest.

  7. Ricky Pann

    Since this fraudulent lot has spun into office, I don’t quite know where to start Scotties MIA and after Be Nutty’s tirade of teabag I’m just in an endless told you so loop of despair…

  8. bobrafto

    Damn, I just made a grammatical error above.

  9. Gooky74

    Thankyou ‘He’ that is a very interesting point you make. Time to get busy and hold the prick accountable.

  10. Monicas wckd stpmthr (@Monicas_WS)

    Lawrencewinder @ 3.44 “Superb letter…and something that’s occurred to me as well …if advertisers can’t lie why can political parties?”

    Because POLITICIANS wrote the laws, and they exempted political advertising!

  11. Ellie V

    Am willing to participate for research and/or groundwork where applicable.

  12. MargL

    Yes, great letter “He”, it would be so good to bring this “government” to account for the wrong they have done and for their lies. Well done John Fraser, I hope you continue to get your thoughts published in the media.

  13. TimePasser

    Talking about Sedition Laws, many coalition MPs, radio ‘shock jocks’ and the Murdoch press in general may have broken the law on numerous occasions over the past six years. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_sedition_law

    “Seditious Intention: An intention to effect any of the following purposes:
    (a) to bring the Sovereign into hatred or contempt;
    (b) to urge disaffection against the following:
    (i) the Constitution;
    (ii) the Government of the Commonwealth;
    (iii) either House of the Parliament;
    (c) to urge another person to attempt, otherwise than by lawful means, to procure a change to any matter established by law in the Commonwealth;
    (d) to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different groups so as to threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth.”

    There’s was never much doubt or secret about the ‘Intention’ of the Abbott led opposition to bring down a democratically elected Government by “promoting ill-will” and “to threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth.”

    Nor, in my opinion, was there much doubt about intentions behind the ‘chaff bag’ or ‘slit her throat’ type comments directed at our Prime Minister…. or behind the relentless vitriol in newspaper headlines. The legal terminology: …. “to urge disaffection against…” is putting it mildly!

    And, who could forget the “Ditch the Witch” incident?

  14. Fed up

    I am sick of being told, that we have to wait for the next election, to change events.

    Some seem to believe that democracy in this nation consists of voting once every three years.

    Some believe that once a government is elected, everyone has to shut up, and accept all they do. It seems, when it is the Coalition government, criticism and scutinary of any type is not allowed.

    Some go further, and see those who vote for minority parties or independents as undermining the system. Yes, if one does not vote for either of the major parts, your vote does not count.

    Now this is not what our Constitution says. It says each member of parliament has been given a mandate by the voters in their electorate. Yes, and every MP vote is equal.

    The parliament is all about numbers. The numbers come from the voters.

    In a democracy, one has the right to freedom of association., One wonders what is going on ion Queensland, when one has to have fingerprints taken, and permission from the police to be a tattooist. The police then gives permission. If they knock you back, one cannot challenge., Even find out why. Yes, and the records are kept forever,.

    The big worry is that is not the only example that is going on at the moment. It is found in all coalition governments. Not respect for one’s rights.

    We also have the right to protest. Yes, take to the streets. The governments are also bringing new legislation, curtailing this right.

    Governments are there to represent those who vote for them. Not big business or powerful interest. Not to put in place their own pet prejudices or ideology.

    The government also has a duty, obligation, to be open and transparent, to let the people know what THEY ARE DOING.

    Yes, Mr. Morrison we have the right to know what you are doing with our Navy.

    Yes it is TIME for people to wake up, and begins playing a part in our democracy.

    Sitting back, saying and doing nothing is not an option.

    Waiting three years to vote them out, is not on. . Sitting back, saying nothing, waiting three years to vote them out is not an option.

    No politician or in our case, union leaders can do anything, unless we get out, let them know what we want, and back them all the way.

    Anything less, is allowing this government to operate as if they are a dictatorship.

    That is what we are seeing now. Seeing our rights being curtailed, left right and center,.

  15. kathysutherland2013

    What a great letter! It certainly has me thinking!

  16. Fed up

    “Tony Abbott said “The law must be supreme, no one is above the law.””

    Trouble is, most laws are made by politicians. They do not just appear out of nowhere.

    Laws also have to be just and apply to all.

    Laws should never interfere with other rights, under a democracy.

    Laws should never be administered by the government, but by the judicial system. That is their role.

    That is one of the checks and balances that is demanded by any democracy.

  17. Gaz

    Start up a way for the public to provide funding to mount a legal investigation and challenge – democracy itself is at stake here and something I for one would be happy to help fund.

  18. ozbrays2

    I have been mentally flailing about trying to get some direction into thoughts of a similar nature but I thank ‘He’ for putting it in such cogent order for me. I was thinking ‘sedition’ when it became apparent the LNP was trying to overthrow a legitimate government with the Slipper case but unfortunately I don’t know enough about the law or the laws of governance to do more than that. It seems to me that ‘He’ has laid out a plan that could bear much desired fruit.

  19. Joan

    BUT who has the guts and balls to take this on I agree with it all but we need to take it further and WHO will do it I am sure you will get the backing of all the labor supporters and surely there is lawyers solicitors legal people etc out there willing to co operate with this GO FOR IT GET THEM OUT DUMP MURDOCH

  20. Fed up

    Those proposed IR laws take away rights. Not even company directors are faced with such strict laws.

    We also have common law rights that this mob is thrashing.

  21. Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    I would also like to thank ‘He’ for putting into words everything that so many of us want. TA & his government need to be held to account & its about time that the ALP, the Greens & the Indies who are now starting to complain long & loud got their legal teams to work.
    ‘He’ is right with his observations regarding the legalities & responsibilities of running a company or any business for that matter. Running a government has the same responsibilities in as much as they need to be accountable to the people.
    Every person who thinks that ‘He’s’ ideas are something that should be taken seriously should hound their local MP’s regardless of which party they follow.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Leftmatt,

    I agree legal action is highly improbable but I do find the conversation interesting in that Tony Abbott is insisting no-one is above the law, and that union executive should be subject to the same laws as corporations. It raises the issue of accountability for politicians.

    Beyond that is the discussion about accountability of the media and its responsibility to inform the public. It is a discussion that Labor tried to have but, as too often happened, they didn’t do it well, though how you beat the campaign waged against them by a monopoly media I’m not sure.

    For those reasons, I find the post thought-provoking.

  23. Fed up

    Lefty, no one has suggested this government is not legit. In fact most have voiced the opposite.

    What is being criticized is the behavior of this government,

  24. Matt Martin

    Kaye (and Fed),

    To my mind there’s an unhinged, petulant quality to the bloviations coming from the Left at the moment and this risible letter from “He” (why is this person pseudonymous?*) is an excellent example.

    It’s not thought provoking, it’s just bloody silly.

    This letter is not an answer. It’s a hissy fit. People are feeling and reacting rather than thinking and planning. We will not beat this odious tory regime by pulling the political equivalent of sweaty undergraduates occupying the VC’s office.

    We have to be clever, crafty and engaging. Like we were back in the WorkChoices days.

    That’s how you fight tories.

    *I normally use my real name on blogs, not my twitter handle. I have uncloaked now. ^_^

  25. DISSENTER

    This is a very important ARTICLE. There is no doubt in my mind that a CONSPIRACY was set into play to destabilise and BRING DOWN A GOVERNMENT BY ANY MEANS.
    I personally wrote to many politicians about this very matter following the election.
    Murdoch and the privately owned mainstream media in AUSTRALIA were the MEANS that made this possible.
    MURDOCH through the PRINTING and REPEATing OF THESE LIES THROUGH MEDIA ORCHESTRATED THE DOWNFALL OF A GOOD GOVERNMENT AS MUCH AS THE LNP did.
    THE LNP SPOUTED LIES the most REPUGNANT and OUTRAGEOUS BEING the BUDGET EMERGENCY, the SPIRALLING DEBT CRISIS. THIS WAS A COMPLETE LIE. IT was not just an exaggeration for political purpose it was a complete and TOTAL LIE.
    According to my knowledge politicians have to undergo police checks and be found to be OF GOOD CHARACTER before they are SWORN in.FOR THIS REASON THIS LNP GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE THROWN OUT. NO-one who could sit there in parliament and SUPPORT THAT LIE COULD BE OF GOOD CHARACTER.THEY ARE ALL FRAUDS.THEY DO NOT HAVE THE GOOD CHARACTER TO MANAGE AUSTRALIA.
    THEY HAVE ALREADY PROVEN THIS WITH THEIROUTLASNDISH AND WANTON INCREASES TO THE DEBT in such a short period of TIME.

    THIS LIE AND ITS TELLING is of such GREAT MAGNITUDE and caused such GREAT CONSEQUENCE when pedalled by mainstream media ESPECIALLY EVERYTHING MURDOCH that it took on ITS OWN MOMENTUM and LIFE. THIS LIE STRUCK AT THE CORE OF GOVERNMENT IN AUSTRALIA AND OUR CAPACITY TO CONTINUE.
    THis lie is the REASON WHY THE ELECTION SHOULD BE REHELD.

    Fundamental to a nations SECURITY is the MORAL COHESION WHICH HOLDS IT TOGETHER.
    THE TREASURY and nations FINANCES are the MOST FUNDAMENTALLY IMPORTANT ASPECT underpinning the GOVERNANCE of a nation.
    THIS ATTACK on the STRUCTURAL STABILITY of the nation THROUGH OUTRIGHT LIES ABOUT THE STATE OF AUSTRALIAS FINANCIAL ASSETS AND ACCOUNTS strikes at the very HEART and CORE of government and as SUCH is SEDITION and TREASON.

    This is NO SMALL MATTER> IT IS THE LARGEST POSSIBLE LIE THAT COULD BE TOLD. IT WAS TELLING THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA THAT AUSTRALIA WAS INSOLVENT.

    IT WAS ENTIRELY INVENTION/ FABRICATION AND FLAGRANT LIE. IT WAS NOT JUST MISINFORMATION. IT WAS ENTIRELY A LIE.
    There was no basis, It was not exaggeration.
    THIS GOVERNMENT should be held to ACCOUNT FOR THIS THROUGH THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND.
    THE PLAYERS made a mockery of DUE PROCESS in the way they managed the election CAMPAIGN overall
    This LIE DOMINATED their CAMPAIGN, UNDERPINNED THEIR CAMPAIGN.
    FUNDAMENTALLY a government GAINED POWER BY TELLING AUSTRALIA THAT THE SKY WAS GREEN AND PURPLE WITH PINK SpoTS BECAUSE THEY SAID SO and then when they GOT INTO POWER THEY TOLD AUSTRALIA THAT THE SKY WAS REALLY NOT THOSE COLOURS BUTWAS INFACT BLUE AND THAT THEY NEEDED TO GREATLY INCREASE THE DEBT.
    THE BUDGET EMERGENCY WAS JUST POLITICS and NOT REAL.
    COULD THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE TRUST THESE PEOPLE TO RUN AUSTRALIA FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS.
    NO WAY. THEY ARE NOT OF GOOD CHARACTER> THEY LIED WHILE UNDER OATH AS PARLIAMENTARIANS OF AUSTRALIA.

  26. John Hand

    The Australia way?, has the new messiah arrive in the nation the Liberals, to keep the Bastards -Drunks all the way out side are homes with so much Danger for are Life’s honest !!!!,.

  27. Leftymatt

    I think people need to stop and take a deep breathe. Take a couple, if it helps.

    Seriously, these articles (and the attendant commentary) are beginning to resemble the left-wing equivalent of the Daily Telegraph. o.O

    As much as we may not like it, the Abbott government is legitimate. Yes, they lied but the Australian electorate doesn’t expect much better than that because they’re really not much more honest than the representatives they elect.

    Remember the timeless Shavian adage — “democracy ensures you get the government you deserve.”

    And “Monica’s wicked stepmother” of course politicians wrote the bloody laws, that’s what they do. WTF?

    Why is a nutter like Cory the lead senator on the SA Liberal ticket? Because the SA Libs have been captured by christian loonies. Normal people have abandoned mainstream political engagement for clicktavism, shrill, whiny blogs and limp wristed online petitions.

    Decisions are made by those who turn up. Remember?

    But really the sort of shitty, hyperventilating articles being churned out of blogs like this of late are just too much.

    Get a grip comrades. We lost. We can spend our time and energy shrieking and running around with our undies on heads like a bunch of climate change deniers, tea party nutters and gold bugs on a meth binge or we can start working out proper strategies to do these torys over like reasonable people we’re meant to be.

    Time to stiffen up and do something useful. Anything but this.

  28. stephen cowie

    great work… with one exception… parlimentary priviledge must not be effected by this… it can be abused sure but must hold even so… but not really a problem since most of abbotts lot didnt even bother to use it when they had murdoch. Why our politicians somehow are not expected to adhere to laws they expect us to, is beyond my understanding.

  29. John Fraser

    <

    @Bobrafto

    Jesus Bob , forget the "grammatical error".

    Not another "messiah".

    Had a gutful of them.

  30. Gregory McIntyre

    Matt, you hint at what you think would work better than blogging and discussing without really describing it. “We have to be clever, crafty and engaging. Like we were back in the WorkChoices days.” Can you share more detail? What do you suggest?

  31. bjkelly1958

    I see two diverse but not opposing views in this post. On the one hand, “He” is saying get stuck into the research that is needed to present to the Australian people to demonstrate how poorly and dishonestly we are being governed and the other is a call for more direct action than writing blogs and signing petitions.

    I see the first as the precursor to the other. There is no point in “storming the barricades” if we don’t have the right ammunition. This battle is going to be fought in the media and on-line. Half bricks and Molotov cocktails aren’t the answer but articulate well-informed advocates are.

    The most useful weapon we could have is our own TV network but that won’t happen. Why not a people’s newspaper. It existed in the past, why not again? It doesn’t need major presses. It could be compiled centrally and sent digitally to supporters in the community who could print it on the home printers and disseminate it in their neighbourhoods. Just a thought.

  32. Peter Stock

    Agreed. Time to get serious about criminals in leadership roles. Untrustworthy people ought not be involved in public life and certainly not in parliaments whose role is enacting policy for the public good.

  33. Glenda Rowntree

    @ Ricky Pann…”I’m just in an endless told you so loop of despair…”
    I have been trying to think of a way to describe how I have felt since the election and the daily unfolding of unbelievably regressive decisions by this new ‘gov’t, but your sentence sums it up perfectly. 🙁

  34. Kaye Lee

    Matt I understand a lot of what you are saying and agree with you about most of it…except the part where you tell me this article isn’t thought-provoking. It provoked you to make some very thoughtful comments. it made me think about accountability. Who knows what thought processes it stirred others to.

    People are getting passionate…that is the first step and a crucial one…one you are achieving in your won way. Don’t underestimate the value of getting people up and talking.

    I have been having an interchange with a couple of climate change denial “experts” on Ross’s stories. I find even their comments make me think and look elsewhere and research more.

  35. Kaye Lee

    ^^^someone edit that will ya.

  36. Matt Martin

    Michael, “generally” seems to be a relative thing. Take a peek back through this thread. You’ve got people talking about sedition.

    Sedition? This isn’t sedition, this is the government that our fellow citizens voted for.

    You’ve got some bloke who THINKS that TYPING every SECOND AND THIRD word in capital LETTERS makes HIM SEEM like TOTALLY coherent and REASONABLE.

    Fine.

    We can either spend our time whining or we can spend it planning.

    ‘s all I’m saying bro. ^___^

  37. ethik

    this is absolutely brilliant. if somebody could put together some kind of plan to put a group together to research this and prepare cases for litigation I would so be on board and would contribute financially, perhaps via some kind of crowdfunding effort? everybody is time and cash poor but if there was a way for many people to contribute small amounts of time and money then we might be able to get somewhere.
    speaking for myself I can offer graphic and web design effort and hosting resources, plus cash, plus contributing to team strategy and governance. if someone has the time to formulate a plan and kick it off, im in.

  38. Matt Martin

    Kaye,

    In part we’ll have to agree to disagree I suspect. That said, I take your point about getting people talking and I respect a lot of what you’ve been doing.

    But there comes a time when we have to translate that talk into action if we want stuff to change. That’s what the 2004-2007 WorkChoices campaign did. It turned inchoate rage into useful action.

    AKA activism.

    Perhaps that’s something blogs like this can do more of. Converting misdirected frustration into activism.

  39. Kaye Lee

    The first step in that is to give people information Matt and to inspire them to look and think further, as you have done with me.

    I have to admit that I have resisted joining a political party because none of them exactly fit my ideals ( which of course I should not expect…perfect political synergy does not exist) but I should do more than just write. As you so rightly point out, we are often preaching to the converted. I did go to the climate change rally but it’s not enough.

    Your writing is inspiring, but a tad judgemental. Help to show people a way to convert their frustration into activism. I write to try to inform people but I should go to some party meetings to see if I feel it worthwhile.

    Let’s work together remembering that we all come from different starting points.

  40. DISSENTER

    @Matt Martin.

    I AM.

  41. Michael Taylor

    Matt, this is a forum for people to have a say. The Left don’t have many options apart from sites like this.

  42. Roswell

    When posting from a mobile device I’ve found it easier to type in CAPITALS than in bold.

  43. Matt Martin

    @Greg, blogs are great. Great for reporting what we’re doing in meatspace. In my experience that’s what it’s all about.

    Got a community union alliance in your area? Join it. Oriented towards a particular political party? Join it. Get a group of people together (using the internet where necessary) and get a stall together at your local show/community fair/student orientation day.

    Do things. Real things. In real times and real places. Make sure you present a clear, coherent message tailored to the people you’re seeking to reach.

    It’s what we’ve been doing out here in the NSW state seat of Bathurst. A seat where the ALP took it’s biggest hit ever. At the 2011 election we were wiped out with what was then the biggest swing in Australian political history. 37.5%.

    Since then we’ve fought back by covering every public event we can. Good old fashioned street corner parish pump politics. And, as the reality of tory rule at state level has bitten, our efforts have been rewarded with a stream of people returning to the Party and to the progressive movement in general.

    This stuff requires planning and calm, sober thinking.

    Miranda byelection, people. And I expect some interesting results in the two upcoming QLD byelections as well as something worth watching should WA have a senate byelection.

    But we won’t realise any of that (especially in the long term) if we give in to the temptation to embrace our collective inner f*wit.

    @Dan Rowden, you know it babe. That petition is prescription strength dumb.

    @Michael, you have an impressive reach here. Please don’t waste it with the cretinous prattle that’s been the standard fare on this blog of late. The Left has many options, being phase locked loons is not one of them.

  44. Michael Taylor

    Matt, generally the discussion is of a high standard. Which is lucky for me, as we don’t hold comments for moderation.

  45. TimePasser

    Matt said….. “…….this is the government that our fellow citizens voted for.” ….. Yes, this is how many people just shrug off the election result which we all instinctively know did not arise from a fair contest.

    Certainly, voters made a choice, the numbers were counted and the outcome of the election was decided according to a procedure.

    The problem is: Some voters made that choice based on false or distorted information fed to them by the media and many politicians – they did not give INFORMED CONSENT – and are now finding out that they were duped.

    We have all heard of doctors being sued because a patient did not give Informed Consent – was not given enough accurate information before the procedure on which to base an informed decision about undergoing it.

    Voters too must be given accurate information from political parties and the media if they are to make an informed decision about which candidates will best protect their interests.

    When the public has been seriously misinformed or deliberately deceived before an election, the NUMERICAL result of that election does not indicate a LEGITIMATE outcome.

  46. Roswell

    Spot on, TimePasser.

  47. Kaye Lee

    That is the crux of it TimePasser. It was the last three years that prompted me to get up and vocal because I could stand the lies no longer and the more I looked the more lies I found. I don’t ask that everyone agrees with me…I demand that they be told the truth.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Mark Textor and Peta Credlin and all those manipulative advertising image spin bullshit artists should be made irrelevant.

  49. DISSENTER

    @Timepasser
    I would extend you excellent concluding point to read
    “When the public has been seriously misinformed or deliberately deceived and manipulated to believe that deception by relentless attacks on the government by media and bullied to believe that deception by corrupt mainstream media ACROSS THE BOARD, the NUMERICAL result of that election does not indicate a legitimate outcome.”
    Fundamentally the crux of the argument lies in the two points
    THe lies that were told and the degree that they were lies OUTSIDE of the scope of any parliamentary privilege or any reasonable interpretation of the FACTS most particularly the lie about the DEBT CRISIS.
    THe bullying of the AUstralian people by mainstream media and the ABC too to ACCEPT these lies as TRUTH.
    THe role of MuRDOCH in this was particularly PERVASIVE AND OFFENSIVE AND AMOUNTS TO OVERSTEPPING OF HIS RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF THE PRESS in AUSTRALIA.
    THe responsibility of parliamentarians as legally sworn in representatives of the people sworn to uphold the law to behave in line with socially accepted standards in relation to telling the truth under oath as they are parliamentarians.
    THey are under oath at all times because they have SWORN an oath of OFFICE.

    I argue that their flagrant disregard for the Truth in respect to the BUDGET makes them unfit for OFFICE.
    THE BUDGET is one of the most important operations of a government and any DISHONESTy in that area is equivalent to A THREAT TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY.

  50. Kaye Lee

    Ok Dissenter you are getting a bit out there even for me. Getting the budget wrong, even lying about it, is hardly a threat to national seciurity….in fact it’s pretty much de rigeur.

    Besides we don’t really have a debt problem…yet. We have a future revenue problem and we have structural deficit problems that need addressing. Every sign I see so far is failing to address these issues (along with countless other short-term decisions in the pursuit of a surplus).

  51. John Fraser

    <

    What … Matt Martin … is saying is correct up to a point.

    He blew it when he added "fu..wit".

    There are plenty of Aussies out there who want a place to let off steam and sites like The AIMN give them that opportunity.

    As well as seeing what others are saying, and formulating an opinion that is most likely different from the one they had from reading MSM.

    In short plenty of people are disillusioned with MSM.

    But they soon get turned off when the language turns blue.

  52. Crash Skeptic the Censored

    “He” wrote:

    •Unfortunately, I am not a lawyer

    That much was obvious. 🙂

  53. doctorrob54

    Reblogged this on doctorrob54 and commented:
    A true man of my heart.How I wish there were more people in this nation like He,true patroits that think more about an honest,just nation,governed by compassion rather than greed.

  54. Brian Concannon

    Abbott has become a dictator, abandoning any transparency or accountability to the public he is supposed to be serving. He has given away $billions in our tax payer funds to the privately owned RBA. Hockey has cooked the books using new corrupt methodology to make debt appear a lot worse than it is, so they can get away with pleasing his puppet masters Murdoch and the RBA with privatizing the ABC, Australia Post, Medicare, prisons …… hijacking the NBN and selling out Australia’s sovereignty to foreign corporations with the TPP and free trade agreements
    They are a pack of traitors, plain and simple, who would have lost their heads in the old days for their mass corruption

  55. DISSENTER

    @ Kaye Lee.
    We never did have a debt problem. That is entirely my point. What debt there was was reasonable, low and could be reasonably managed.
    I agree that to a certain degree it is expected that attacks will be made on government by opposition. This is de rigeur.
    However I argue that those attacks went beyond what is reasonable, beyond what might be defined within parliamentary privilege because the facts were distorted to such a high degree.HUGE BIG LIES WERE TOLD.
    That they were distorted TO such a HIGH DEGREE was outside of the parameters of what is reasonable behaviour and as such was misconduct on the basis that parliamentarians have to swear under oath to observe the law and represent the people of Australia in a lawful way.
    Inherent within this oath is the presumption of reasonable behaviour and also the reasonableness of that behaviour if that makes sense.
    Constructing complete lies does not constitute reasonable behaviour in any workplaceOR ANYWHERE.
    THe Budget and DEFICIT are facts and figures.
    These being facts and figures should not be able to be stretched and distorted to such an extent.
    There was no BUDGET EMERGENCY or DEBT CRISIS as the public were bullied into believing.

    As such to say there was was unreasonable behaviour- outside of the parameters of what could be said to be reasonable because it was a COMPLETE LIE.

    Parliamentary Privilege is outlined comprehensively and the expectations under these guidelines do not extend to telling lies, repeating lies continuously or repeating sloganised LIES.
    In respect to the Treasury and the facts and figures of the debt and budget. These Reports are in a sense sacred in that they represent the degree of wealth and debt that Is available at any given time to government. Any attack on this is effectively an attack on AUstralia because of the importance of the TREASURY($$$$) not the people employed to manage it.
    I argue that the people of Australia should rightly have a reasonable expectation of reasonable behaviour from parliamentarians of any persuasion and that expectation DOES not extend to fabricating complete LIES about anything and nor does it EXTEND to REPEATING those liES continuously over and over again.
    This is more than misconduct and it is LESS than reasonable conduct.
    It is what it is : lying while under OaTH and that is just as in court CONTEMPT and as such is criminal.

  56. DISSENTER

    Why was the mainstream media guilty of bullying the Australian people?

    The relentless reinforcement of lies which the journalists and commentators knew were complete lies.
    The COMPREHENSIVE Extent of the barrage and the relentless nature of the barrage of attack on Labor Repeating of the lies,slogans and headlines.
    The attacks on Labor came from almost every radio and mainstream TV channel Australian wide and pay TV of course and all newspapers.

    The lack of any balanced representation of Labor, Labor arguments or even data about Labor in the written media most particularly Murdoch.The lack of any balanced representation of Labor on radio and on TV.

    IT is one thing to have a Labor person on but another altogether to treat that person dismissively and interrupt them and fragment and trivialise their argument with interruption and aggressive attacks.

    When on TV the method of attack on labor which included continual interruption leading to the fragmentation of the Labor point and the triivialisation of the Labor point and the ridicule of the Labor person
    Outright ridicule of Labor, their policies and record including laughing openly about them even on the ABC particularly 24channel THe DRUM and Capitol Hill.
    THe fact that this ATTACK on Labor was so COMPREHENSIVE and applied to almost all mainstream media and the ABC

    That this was so comprehensive STIFLED the LABOR party and PREVENTEd them from adequately EXPRESSING their policies or their record factually to the AUstralian people.
    IT prevented Labor from getting any air in fact.
    It prevented Labor from arguing its record of achievement and policies for the future.
    THis is key.

    ONE SIDE was completely supported by the media overall and another side was completely ATTACKED,

    THe campaigns were reported differently
    Abbotts campaign was reported as targetted and disciplined and Labors campaign was reported as chaotic and dysfunctional and out of control. It was openly reported that the Rudd camp were not taking orders from the Labor party as if they were mutinous pirates.
    The reporters on the ABC in particular were speaking in negative and disparaging tones about the chaotic nature of the labor campaign. THey were rolling their eyes on TV etc.

    This was to discourage the australian people from voting labor. Labor was chaotic, dysfunctional and mutinous and in dissaray
    The carbon tax was an unfair impost on the australian people..bLa and bla

    ALl of these chosen words were loaded words to bring down the government.
    On other channels such as Channel 7 I saw one panel which Just said These idiots have to go
    WHo voted for them in the first place
    Other insulting and ridiculing statements were made which basically said that labor were not real people and that they were intolerable. Then the entire panel laughed in a superior way.

  57. alan s

    hasn’t the likes of the AFP already been approached over certain matters with no action taken, to my knowledge? – so who does one approach seeking pursuance of justice if the AFP do nothing, and realistically, nothing will get done whilst the current tool of an AG is in power

  58. Kim Wright

    Fabulous letter, thanks He. So how can we enact some of this? I am no lawyer, but what He is saying seems to be something that perhaps with legal advice we could all get our teeth into. I am guessing it is ok to share?

  59. Zachary

    Look, does anyone here actually think any reasonable lawyer would dare destroy their reputation by attempting to convince a judge (or panel of justices) that the rules of contract law should be imported to statements of policy even though THERE IS A LONG STANDING RULE IN CONTRACT THAT STATEMENTS OF POLICY DO NOT TRANSLATE TO OFFERS OF CONTRACT?

    Was the person who wrote this article a lawyer or a law student?

    ‘Your honor, I think that the Coalition should be found liable under the Trade Practices Act because check out all these people that didn’t vote for Abbott. Check out the statements Abbott made in the lead up to the election (maaaaaaaaan). It was a conspiracy, maaaaaaaaaan.’

    It just doesn’t work that way.

  60. John Fraser

    <

    @Dissenter

    "Mr Smith is allowed one six-minute phone call a day, which forces him to choose between his wife and the lawyer who holds his best chance of eventual freedom"

    "Late yesterday, a one-line response from Queensland Corrective Services stated: "Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) is unable to comment on specific matters involving the management of prisoners due to safety and security considerations."

    Read more about how Morrison style censorship is taking place in Australia :

    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/in-cell-23-hours-a-day-daniel-morcombe/2133578/

  61. Michael Taylor

    Kim, you may share as freely as you wish.

  62. Matt

    wow, that is the first rumblings of the right course of action. The only way to change the system (which the LNP and Murdoc currently control) is from the inside. use their own laws to bludgeon them with. It is a very well considered thought, with serious potential. Can I suggest a possible class action against the Murdoc press for false and misleading statements? I, as a registered voter, would be happy to add my funds to this, as I think will many others. This is serious food for thought. If we can be successful at the federal level, then I think the State governments will defecate themselves and fall into line very quickly. No more bull excrement on the evening news……what a wonderful thought, a world where the commercial media finally have to research and verify information prior to broadcast.

  63. brianconcannon

    In response to Alan S’s comment “The AFP do nothing” I would just like to say that the AFP are a Zionist controlled outfit, just like the FBI is in the States. Remember when Malcolm Turnbull and his fellow Zio mate above the law Godwin Gretch became unstuck with the Oz car scandal, The Murdoch Press had to come up with headlines to keep it quiet and save Turnbull’s ass. Suddenly the Lin family got murdered in Epping and a plane crashed on the Kokoda trail killing 15, 9 Australians and as well the alleged live on air rape of a 14 year old girl on 2 Day FM with Karl Sandilands. After all these headlines the Utegate scandal was dead and buried. Firstly the 14 year old rape story was pre recorded a week before, it wasn’t live at all. Then the Lin family was possibly taken out by mossad and poor Robert Xie was stitched up for it, with the following dubious police investigation. Then we had the Kokoda plane crash, that the media wouldn’t leave alone. The constant coverage of overhead choppers couldn’t show any plane wreckage, only scattered debris everywhere. The biggest thing shown was an engine sitting by itself. The last radio call, everything was ok and that was it. I believe the plane was possibly blown out of the sky and that is why there was no main wreckage anywhere to be seen, just bits and pieces over a wide area, which fits this scenario. The AFP were sent in to investigate and possibly covered everything up. An Australian man based in PNG was called in to investigate the crash because of the unprecedented media coverage of the event and this was quickly called off when he possibly realized it didn’t actually crash.
    Shortly after GG Quentin Bryce replaced the AFP top brass possibly because of their decision to search Gretch’s computer, revealing the real truth. This possibly stuffed up everything for the GG to do a Gough Whitlam to Kevin Rudd and Wayne swan and install their man Turnbull, because they were very unhappy with Labor giving lump sum payments to welfare recipients and tax payers to get us through the GFC amongst other things the international bankster’s didn’t like. They wanted their man Zionist banker Malcolm Turnbull to run Australia for them. But Malcolm stuffed up by crossing the floor on the ETS that the banksters want to make global. This made a lot of his colleagues very unhappy and cost him the opposition leadership. As well possibly almost cost Tony Abbott his life in a close call he had at an accident black spot area he was sent to by his trusty chief of staff. He was very lucky his driver moved over a bit when he saw the careering semi screeching towards them, which if it hit them would have possibly pushed them into the path of another truck coming in the opposite direction, which would of meant bye byes. Very weird how there was a huge media throng of journalists and cameramen present on both sides of the road to capture the event, but if you try and look it up on the net now, everything has been cropped and you can only see a couple of journalists present, no original footage. Also weird that they were not waiting for him inside the property he was heading for, to be interviewed ? coincidences happen, who knows, I hope I am wrong about all this ?

  64. Crash Skeptic the Censored

    Cripes.

    And to think I just ran out of tinfoil.

  65. Quint

    Does anyone truly believe that a broken system can be fixed by another?

    Come now people. Look around you. The preposterously rich are making their big play. A skip down Litigious Lane ain’t gunna fix nuthin’!

    There’s one way and one way only to stop these arseholes and sadly, this race ain’t up to it.

    Why? Because ignorance is doctrine number one.

  66. Rhona Eastment

    Thank goodness there are others out there with similar despairs. ‘He’s’ letter is just what I have been wanting to hear said, but felt that I was probably in the minority. I sincerely hope that something can eventuate from these inspiring comments.

  67. billy moir

    ‘he’ was true from december 2009. For the next nearly 4 years, the lemon, the woman and labor took the moral high ground and hoped that the lies would be exposed. It is history that they were exposed day after day on every TV station on every radio program. Everytime little joey said our economy was like greece, the lemon was silent. Kochie was compromised and remained silent. Murdoch employees became compromised or moved on. The ABC rid themselves of their only peak time honest journalist and employed uhlmann, a man whose first action was to ring the rabbott and ask if he objected to his appointment and he was given a positive endorsement. Hie was so grateful that he was subsequently praised as a journalist by andrew bolt. The manna from heaven was the ABC24 and breakfast where autocue journalism plummeted to the depths of aca. they were(are) awful but labor was worse accepting slogans repeated by the autocue boys and girls with hardly a murmur and in 3 years never a challenge wuth one exception from the floor of the house and despite world acclaim the labor boys and girls didn’t capitalise. As an atheist who was bashed by the nuns at school. put it down to the jesuit training of the rabbott little billy, little joey pyne and joyce plus the christian brother boys like albo agreeing that the women experiments had gone too far.

  68. The Rev

    THERE IS A LONG STANDING RULE IN CONTRACT THAT STATEMENTS OF POLICY DO NOT TRANSLATE TO OFFERS OF CONTRACT? Discuss.

  69. Fed up

    I am confused as what Abbott was telling us this morning. Is he really saying that government is not responsible, or have a part to play in decisions that military leaders in this country and Indonesia.

    Are these military leaders a law unto themselves. Abbott is saying, he has no part to play in these decisions.

    Is he saying, the words of a military leader are above the Indonesian FM and the country leader.
    Shorten now on ABC 24

    What does seems and apparent mean in Abbott’s language.

  70. Fed up

    It seems that we were going to have an inquiry into the harm caused by alcohol to families and others. Today, in spite of what was said loudly yesterday, it is only to be into indigenous people. What happened between today and yesterday. Could the industry be making a noise within the government?

  71. brianconcannon

    In response to Fed up – I am confused as what Abbott was telling us this morning. Is he really saying that government is not responsible, or have a part to play in decisions that military leaders in this country and Indonesia
    I believe non transparency Tony Abbott is a Zionist puppet and does what he is told most of the time. Although he isn’t making friends with the bankers on the carbon tax and gay marriage issues. He wants a little bit of say with his position, but doesn’t want the JFK treatment. He still has strong memories of his close call truck wipe out.
    Abbott seems to want to be a war time Prime Minister with Obama’s/banksters blessing. Thus all the trouble he is causing with Indonesia and China. That’s why all the secrecy and probably why he has hardly any women in his cabinet, he doesn’t want any soft hearts about

  72. Jill cameron

    It is good to see so many thinking as I do and its true , whining and complaining is not going to help. So HOW CAN WE GET RID OF THEM? Where do we start.? I’m a 73 yr old little old lady but count me IN.

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