Citizen Journalism

Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

The Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard labels Mr Abbott a misogynist.

In Misogyny, Tony The Geek on December 29, 2012 at 1:37 AM

The Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard made the most important speech of 2012. The speech has now been seen and praised all over the world by men and women alike.

It was included in the Google Zeitgeist video and received 2,193,819 views just on this ABC video alone. No other video the ABC has ever done, comes even close to this one.

Here is a storify feature which covers the whole impact of the speech.

[View the story “Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard – Speech of 2012” on Storify]

Speech

Thank you very much Deputy Speaker and I rise to oppose the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition. And in so doing I say to the Leader of the Opposition I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.

The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation. Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn’t need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror. That’s what he needs. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

The media now operates with all the subtlety of a Pugilist.

In Ashby Conspiracy, Craig Emerson on December 24, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Subtlety lost

By Craig Emerson
Date: 24 December 2012
Source: Craig Emerson

Newspaper Front Pages Collage

At Sydney University in the early 1970s a course simply called “Government” was offered to economics, arts and law students. It was a time of social upheaval and the election of the Whitlam Government had ended 23 years of conservative rule. The Murdoch press had backed a change of government.

My tutor in Government, Lex Watson, a gay rights activist, had set us a task: to identify bias in the media. But as left-wing as Lex was, the six-week project wasn’t about left versus right, it was about the techniques used by the print media to slant a story to suit an editorial position.

During those six weeks I learned many of the established techniques, simply by comparing the treatment of the same story in different newspapers. Placement on an odd-numbered page gave a story greater prominence than on a left-hand side, even-numbered page. A front-page story in one newspaper might have been well back in another. An otherwise balanced story might be thrown out of balance by the editor’s headline. And oh so important, an archived photo of a scowling or cheerful politician could be retrieved from the files to capture the editor’s intent. Read the rest of this entry »

Timeline for #AshbyConspiracy & Questions for an #AshbyInquiry

In Ashby Conspiracy, Tony The Geek on December 23, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Collage of pollies in AshbyGate

[View the story “Timeline for #AshbyConspiracy & Questions for #AshbyInquiry” on Storify]

A Federal Court Judge has found a conspiracy by James Ashby, Karen Doane, Mal Brough to advance their own interest and that of the LNP. Mr Abbott maintains that he had no specific knowledge. Here is a timeline & questions.

This timeline will not cover every detail, as all of this was already covered extensively in the court case ruling as well as the media. What is covered is some of the aspects of the timeline which do not receive as much attention for whatever reason.

There are some questions on the record from Twitter below in the second section. Please feel free to add some more under the hashtag #AshbyQuestions after reviewing some of the info in here. Also please feel free to suggest more relevant facts that should be added to the timeline. A crowd-sourced effort has more chance to get the public record right.

Mr Abbott and Mr Slipper were best friends. Here seen in happier times.

Overlooking Australia’s Watergate

In Ashby Conspiracy, Victoria Rollison on December 22, 2012 at 11:51 PM

By Victoria Rollison
December 15, 2012
Source: victoriarollison.com

The Watergate scandal was, apparently, rather big news at the time. People went to prison, the President of the USA was forced to resign and investigative reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein became household names. Nixon’s Republican party came undone through a conspiracy to find dirt on their rivals in the Democratic Party. Dirt that was to be used in an election smear campaign. In the end, they sufficiently smeared themselves out of office, when Nixon’s replacement, President Ford, lost the 1976 election to Democrat Jimmy Carter. As scandals go, I can see that this one was very newsworthy. When President Nixon said he had no knowledge of the conspiracy, it took the work of investigative journalists to prove he was lying. Woodward and Bernstein investigated this conspiracy for two years. It was the story of their careers.

The Watergate scandal has left an indelible mark on our language – political scandals are now nicknamed ‘gates’.  In Australia, we’ve had the famous OzCar affair (Utegate), which contributed to the demise of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership of the LNP opposition. Over the last two days another ‘gate’ has been born – Ashbygate. To be entirely accurate, this gate was actually born in independent media over the last ten months (Independent Australia including contributors Peter Wicks, Vince O’Grady and editor David Donovan, Crikey, and Vex News). After thousands of words were exchanged via independent news sites and social media about the very clear and obvious conspiracy behind the Peter Slipper sexual harassment case, it wasn’t until Federal Court Justice Steven Rares threw the case out on Wednesday that the mainstream media decided the story warranted attention. But why had it not received any attention before? Read the rest of this entry »

From Watergate to Ashbygate – Front Pages on Slipper Scandal.

In Ashby Conspiracy, Tony The Geek on December 13, 2012 at 4:35 AM

Quote of the Year 2012 is a tie between Ms Alberici and Mr Abbott:

  1. Emma Alberici: “Virtually every commentator in the land is echoing the thoughts of the Opposition on this one. “
  1. Mr Abbott on #AshbyConspiracy: This is a tawdry state of affairs, to say the least. 

 

This shows our esteemed mainstream media at work. It is a study in how the press makes sausages.
We have our very own Australian Watergate minus investigative journalism. What happened? Where did it go?
Does mainstream journalism still exist or is it now left to the Fifth Estate, social media, blogs, twitter to do their work.

You decide.

Newspaper Front Pages Collage

Tony Abbott’s Slush Fund

In Margo Kingston on December 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM

By Margo Kingston
Source: NewMatilda
11 December 2012

This week New Matilda is republishing journalist Margo Kingston’s investigation into Tony Abbott’s own slush fund. Here she explains why the story needs to be pursued as strongly as the AWU case against Julia Gillard

Mr Tony Abbott

I blame the ABC for my initiation to Twitter. Or rather, I thank them, because the experience has been refreshing for this disillusioned ex-journo and long-time internet refugee.

I happened to be watching ABC News 24 when Tony Abbott again confronted Julia Gillard about her role in the AWU affair on the last day of sittings for 2012. He was repeating his sole claim, that she was a criminal for allegedly misleading a Western Australian government body by letter. It was a question of character, he said. She was unfit for office. However, he didn’t have the letter in question, so there was no evidence for his claim. Read the rest of this entry »

In Politics, Slush Happens

In Mike Seccombe, The Hanson Affair on December 4, 2012 at 11:37 PM

By Mike Seccombe
Source: The Global Mail
November 29, 2012

26 August 2003

26 August 2003

Extract 1:

Abbott insisted the whole thing was done at his own initiative, and that neither John Howard nor anyone else in the government had been involved.

Said Abbott in our interview: “There was myself and two other trustees. We raised … it may not have been $100,000 but it was certainly close to $100,000 and the job of Australians For Honest Politics was to fund court cases against One Nation.”

He said most of the money had been spent trying, unsuccessfully, to get another One Nation defector, Hanson’s former private secretary Barbara Hazelton, to take legal action to stop the payment of $470,000 in public election funding, following the failure of similar action by Mr Sharples.

There was more to the story. You get the drift, though. And the irony, too, given that Abbott — who set up his slush fund 14 years ago — is now leading the call for the removal of Prime Minister Julia Gillard for her role in setting up a slush fund 20 years ago.

Extract 2:

Abbott’s actions 14 years ago were a manifestation of such internecine nastiness. Let us not forget that Pauline Hanson was a creation of the Liberal Party, which selected her as its candidate for the seat of Oxley in Queensland. Abbott himself was even more deeply involved; he employed the man who would later become Hanson’s Svengali, the egregious David Oldfield. (Just another of those interesting personal associations which mark Abbott’s career, like BA Santamaria, George Pell, Cory Bernardi, et al.)

Then of course the Liberal Party and Abbott got rid of Hanson and Oldfield, but adopted much of the substance of One Nation’s distasteful policies on race issues. Then they set up a slush fund to try to ruin Hanson.

Full Story at the The Global Mail.

Abbott faces questions over Hanson slush fund

In Guest Author, The Hanson Affair on December 4, 2012 at 2:10 AM

Source: The 730 Report ABC TV
26 August 2003

Kerry O'Brien

KERRY O’BRIEN: Welcome to the program.
A political furore has erupted over revelations that one of the Howard Government’s most senior ministers, Tony Abbott, set up a slush fund to pay for legal challenges to Pauline Hanson and her party, One Nation.

Despite repeated denials back in 1998, Mr Abbott last night acknowledged to the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ newspaper he’d raised almost $100,000 in an attempt to fund actions against One Nation.

While he and his colleagues were refusing to make any comment today, the admission is a setback for the Government.

It clearly suggests Mr Abbott did not tell the truth in the affair at the time, and has provoked government fears of a backlash from voters responding angrily to Pauline Hanson’s jailing.

Then, today, Mr Abbott’s stalking horse, One Nation dissident Terry Sharples, claimed that the PM was also aware of the machinations.

Heather Ewart reports.

HEATHER EWART: Pauline Hanson is wreaking political havoc once again.

The severity of her sentence handed down last week raised widespread public debate and was questioned by various politicians across all parties, from the PM down.

JOHN HOWARD, PM: Like many other people, I find the sentence certainly very long and very severe.

HEATHER EWART: But how the political wind can shift so quickly.

Now it’s turned to a desperate bid by the Liberal Party to fob off revelations today that one of John Howard’s most senior Ministers, Tony Abbott, had set up a $100,000 slush fund to ruin Pauline Hanson.

And the Labor Party is having a field day.

CRAIG EMERSON, OPPOSITION INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS SPOKESMAN: The PM has sought to gain the support of One Nation voters by expressing sympathy for Pauline Hanson and yet his senior minister was up to his neck in raising funds and disbursing funds to ensure that she was prosecuted. Read the rest of this entry »

A question of character?

In Ashby Conspiracy, Margo Kingston, The Hanson Affair on December 3, 2012 at 10:05 AM

AC0hi

by Margo Kingston
Source: Independent Australia.net
30th November, 2012

My mouth fell open when I heard Abbott’s final flourish in Thursday’s speech denouncing Gillard as unfit for office. I remembered, suddenly, vividly, Tony Abbott’s very own slush fund. Could he too have forgotten?

It’s ancient history now, Abbott’s slush fund ― but less ancient than the slush fund now in the news. And there’s many unanswered questions about it, and him.

In 1998, Abbott privately agreed to bankroll Terry Sharples, a disaffected One Nation member, to take legal action against Pauline Hanson.

Less than 2 weeks later, he categorically denied to the ABC that he had done so, and 18 months later he repeated the lie, this time to the Sydney Morning Herald’s Deborah Snow. But when she
confronted him with his signed personal guarantee, he said that:

‘…misleading the ABC is not quite the same as misleading the Parliament as a political crime’.

He then created a slush fund he called Australians for Honest Politics and raised $100,000 for it from 12 people he declined to name. The fund began bankrolling more court actions against Hanson and her party.

And there it rested, his lies largely unknown to the public, until court proceedings by Sharples he’d helped kick-start finally resulted in her being jailed.

The overwhelming majority of Australians, like her or hate her, hated that, blamed Abbott for setting the legal wheels in motion, and wanted to know the details.

In a famous interview, Kerry O’Brien demolished Abbott’s facade of misunderstood nice and proved to a much bigger audience that he was a serial liar.

But there’s more!

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Mike Seccombe then reported that, in 1998, the Australian Electoral Commission asked Abbott to disclose his donors, as required by law.

He refused, telling the Commission that before seeking donations:

‘I spoke with one of Australia’s leading electoral lawyers who assured me that the trust would not be covered by disclosure provisions.’

The AEC took him at his word and closed the file until forced to reopen it in 2003.

Abbott had lied again! Read the rest of this entry »

Tony Abbott’s unholy dealings with the AEC

In Christian Kerr, The Hanson Affair on December 3, 2012 at 10:02 AM

By Christian Kerr
Source: Crikey
30th December 204

Has Tony Abbott been protected by some slip-shod work at the Australian Electoral Commission? Read on.

Yours truly is a friend of Margo Kingston’s, but when I reviewed Not Happy John in July I had the following to say:

“Margo pinpoints everything that’s wrong with the Howard Government – but, being Margo, wants to talk about more. Much more. Too much more.

“Eighty odd pages of brilliant polemic on matters ranging the corruption of the system supposed to protect the integrity of Australia’s electoral system downwards is obscured by 350 pages of tangents. It’s so Margo. Passionate, captivating and utterly infuriating all at once.

“Buy it and persevere. Yes, you’ll want to bin it at times. Skip some parts altogether – the Hanan Ashrawi peace prize folly chapter, definitely – but plug on. Read the damn thing.”

I don’t think Margo liked my remarks, but six months and an election later, I feel that they’re even more applicable – particularly after reading The Australian today.

Towards the end of Not Happy John there’s a fascinating chapter called “Australians for Honest Politicians”. It’s lengthy and impossible to summarise adequately here, but is perhaps the most comprehensive journalistic investigation of the campaign Tony Abbott conducted against Pauline Hanson under the Australians for Honest Politics banner. It’s also scary as all hell. And – surprise, surprise – it got completely buried by the hype and hyperbole surrounding much of the other material in the book.

The chapter makes some serious allegations about the truthfulness of Abbott’s public statements about Australian for Honest Politics.

More concerning, it also examines the legality of Abbott’s activities in his campaign against Hanson – and, remember, whatever you think of Margo, she is a lawyer by training.

Margo looked in detail at the way in which the Australian Electoral Commission – the supposed guarantor of the integrity of the way in which the elections that are fundamental to our democracy are run and the integrity and propriety of their participants – dealt with Australians for Honest Politics.

Given its subject matter, it deserved to be higher up the book. Much of its contents, alas, were obscured in Margoisms, too. The key conclusion, however, was unmistakeable. Read the rest of this entry »