Craig Thomson

The Fink media report with the Gillard and Thomson protection recommendations

Former Federal Court of Australia judge Ray Finkelstein QC has handed down his report into the media which having a quick read seems to have been co-signed by Julia Gillard and Craig Thomson.

Make no mistake, it is a political document designed to protect corrupt politicians and dodgy policies from scrutiny and outing by the media. If The Fink’s recommendations had already been in effect we would not of heard about a lot of the dodgy dealings of the politicians because the reporting would have been closed down in record time.

The recommendations by The Fink would make any communist dictator proud.

When complaints are made against media organisations they will be denied natural justice and procedural fairness in their attempt to defend themselves against the compliant. Yep, you guessed it, just like a Kangaroo Court.

The new laws would also apply to bloggers so it is from this perspective that I mainly write about as I am what is considered a blogger. For those who do not know a blog is just a type of website like mine where I write my own articles.

I will start off having a look at a few of the recommendations and then see what effect they would have had in a number of cases if they had already been legislated. For this we will look at the Craig Thomson defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media, Julia Gillard’s attempt last year to close down reporting of her past and the post I did on Mr Finkelstein’s suitability to head up the media inquiry.

The Fink says “that there be established an independent statutory body which may be called the ‘News Media Council’, to oversee the enforcement of standards of the news media. It is envisaged that the body would take over the functions of both the APC and the news and current affairs standards functions of ACMA.” (From page 290 of the report. APC currently looks after print media and ACMA looks after broadcast media, TV & Radio) (Click here for the full report)

Some of the proposed legislation/laws

Page 291

11.50 The chair should be a retired judge or other eminent lawyer. That person need not be a practising lawyer. (A retired Judge, no need to say what I think about that. Maybe The Fink is looking for a job)

Page 292

11.53 Funding should be by the government out of the consolidated revenue and not be recovered through a levy on the media. This is preferable to funding from the industry. One of the concerns identified by the APC is that it is not seen to be independent of the press because it is funded by the press. This is not an unreasonable view. (This is what happens in communist countries. It would be controlled by the government of the day)

Page 295

11.67 “If a publisher distributes more than 3000 copies of print per issue or a news internet site has a minimum of 15 000 hits per annum it should be subject to the jurisdiction of the News Media Council, but not otherwise. These numbers are arbitrary, but a line must be drawn somewhere.” (15,000 hits a year is just under 300 hits a week which is almost every blogger who posts at least twice a month. Whether he means page views or unique browsers I do not know but it does not make much difference at the end of the day. It is a very low number and would even capture high school children who have a blog)

11.69 Another aspect of jurisdiction concerns how the News Media Council will exercise its power over all internet publishers. Foreign publishers who have no connection with Australia will be beyond its reach. However, if an internet news publisher has more than a tenuous connection with Australia then carefully drawn legislation would enable the News Media Council to exercise jurisdiction over it. (That is a joke and would not work. What are they going to do? Send the Federal Police overseas to arrest people?)

Page 296

It is not proposed that the complainant should first present his/her complaint to the media outlet. That may sometimes be an effective means of resolving a complaint, but it would take time and often a complainant is at a disadvantage when dealing with an experienced editor. (This part is designed to protect politicians like Julia Gillard and Craig Thomson. If they made a complaint to me or other bloggers we would scan the compliant in and do another post which if it was from Julia Gillard for example would probably go viral)

However, if the organisation has an effective internal complaints handling procedure, the Council should have a discretion whether to refer a complainant to the organisation in the first instance. Specifically, the ABC and SBS have dedicated complaints handling sections18 and one newspaper has a readers’ editor. (This I suspect is what would happen if the average person made a complaint, they would be palmed off to the media organisation to get the run around)

If not resolved informally, complaints should be dealt with by a complaints panel consisting of one, three or, only in exceptional cases, five members of the News Media Council. The chair should have power to select the panel for any given complaint and may, where appropriate, select himself/herself.

Page 297

· Complaints should, as a general rule, be dealt with on the papers and not by a hearing. (Here we go. A clear denial of natural justice starts with this one)

· Privilege should attach to all information provided to the panel; (What does The Fink mean by this? You can not sue for what the other party says in the complaint or reply to the compliant? What I suspect he actually means is “Legal professional privilege” which means that media organisation would not get to see the full complaint against them and would only get a summary. This would be open to abuse by the likes of politicians)

· There should be no requirement for the panel to provide reasons for a decision although it would likely ordinarily do so. (That’s right, no requirement to provide reasons. How dodgy is that)

11.71 The News Media Council would require a rule-making power to further develop its own rules and practices for complaints-handling. The rules should exclude lawyers from hearings (although a complainant might be permitted to have lay assistance), impose strict timetables on procedural steps, forbid cross examination without leave and make other provision for the speedy and efficient resolution of a complaint. (No cross-examination without their approval. What do you think the chances of a blogger being allowed to cross-examine Julia Gillard or Craig Thomson or any politician would be. Zero. They could make complaints all day every day knowing full well they would never have to defend the complaint.)

11.74 The News Media Council should have the following remedial powers for complaints and own-motion investigations:

To require publication of a correction.

To require withdrawal of a particular article from continued publication via the internet or otherwise.

To require a media outlet to publish a reply by a complainant or other relevant person.

To require publication of the News Media Council’s decision or determination; (But hold on a minute they do not have to give reasons. So what would there be to publish?)

To direct when and where publications should appear.

Page 298

11.75 When a media outlet publishes a correction, apology, reply or determination as required by the News Media Council both it and the News Media Council  (This is a bad joke. What they would have no confidence in their own decisions. To me sounds like it is to the benefit of politicians who can get the News Media Council to make news outlets to make false apologies and take down from the web evidence of the criminal conduct of politicians.)

11.77 “There should be a legal requirement that if a regulated media outlet refuses to comply with a News Media Council determination the News Media Council or the complainant should have the right to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order compelling compliance. Any failure to comply with the court order should be a contempt of court and punishable in the usual way.” (This a big stick and real communist style laws. A government body with government paid employees can take out court orders and if you do not comply you can go to jail.)

Page 299

11.78   In order to preserve the ability of the News Media Council to act swiftly, there should be no internal appeal from, or internal merits review of, a determination. Nor should there be external merits review via the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. (Once again a clear denial of natural justice)

11.79   It would, however, be neither desirable nor possible to preclude all judicial supervision of determinations. In any event, because enforcement may need to be by way of court order, judicial supervision would be built into the process. In the course of enforcement proceedings a collateral challenge to a determination may be available and this would provide a sufficient mechanism for judicial supervision. (Sounds very vague to me and also it would be after the damage is done. And how can you mount a proper appeal if the News Media Council have not given reasons for their decision)

11.80 The proposed News Media Council will be an independent body that would not compromise editorial independence and would provide an effective means of resolving disputes between members of the public and the media. It would, in addition, foster democratic institutions by improving the quality of information that is available to the public. (This is a joke and like I have said it is to protect corrupt politicians and policies from scrutiny, not to protect the public as The Fink would have us believe)

Craig Thomson

The federal MP Craig Thomson is accused of ripping of the Health Services Union. In my previous post it says the below:

“The union’s accusations were reported by The Sydney Morning Herald in April 2009.In response, Thomson initiated defamation proceedings against both the Health Services Union and against the publisher of the Herald, Fairfax Media. In pretrial proceedings in the New South Wales Supreme Court, Fairfax Media claimed that subpoenaed records showed that details of Thomson’s driver’s license had been noted on the credit card receipt, that phone records showed that Thomson’s phone had been used to call two phone numbers associated with a Sydney escort agency and that mobile phone records showed that Thomson had travelled from his constituency to Sydney on one of the nights on which one of the impugned charges to the credit card had been made.” (Click here for the previous post)

The key part to that is because Mr Thomson initiated defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media this allowed them discovery which means they could subpoena documents like phone records and credit card receipts. It was a major mistake by Mr Thomson to initiate defamation proceedings as it allowed Fairfax Media to uncover further evidence.

Under the proposed new media laws Mr Thomson would not have initiated defamation proceedings. He would have made a complaint to the News Media Council and they would not have had a hearing. They would have handed down a judgement directing Fairfax Media to publish an apology. The News Media Council would not have had to given reasons.

And the News Media Council would “be protected from legal proceedings based on the publication—in other words, a form of privilege should attach to the publication.” This is important because as we all now know Mr Thomson did rip off the union and if the New Media Council did not have privilege they could be charged with concealing a crime.

The bottom line is defamation laws do not protect politicians from committing crimes as Mr Thomson has found out. But the proposed new media laws would.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Ms Gillard phoned numerous media outlets last year to close down reporting of her past involvement in a $1,000,000 theft of the AWU in the mid 1990’s. We know for a fact that she phoned John Hartigan the then CEO of News Ltd and also spoke to Chris Mitchell the editor of the Australian and Mike Smith ultimately left radio station 2ue over the same matter.

But she has never come after me even though I have done a number of posts on this. (Click here for one of the posts) Why? Well, I have the evidence to support my claims for starters. And a phone call to me would be fruitless as she would know and under defamation laws she would have to send me a concerns notice as the first step of defamation proceedings. A concerns notice is basically letter on complaint and also detailing what action they want, like an apology or for me to remove the post.

The problem being is that if Ms Gillard sent me a concerns notice (or any blogger for that matter) I would do what I previously did when Kerry Stokes’s lawyer sent me a threatening letter. I would scan it in and do another post. I never heard from Stokes or his lawyers again. (Click here for the post)

To get a concerns notice off Julia Gillard and then for me or another blogger to publish it would be highly embarrassing to her for starters. She never would or could initiate defamation proceedings because then I would utilise discovery and subpoena documents which would be very damaging to her without a doubt.

But under the new media laws she would not have to make a complaint to me. She could make a complaint to the News Media Council who could then make a decision without a hearing and without giving reasons demand that I take my posts about her down. If I did not comply they could then take out a court order and if I did not comply with that I could be found in contempt of court and be sent to jail. And even if there was a hearing I would never be allowed to cross-examine her.

Ray Finkelstein QC

I wrote a very critical post about Ray Finkelstein being appointed to head up the inquiry. It related to his time as a Federal Court judge when he tried to hear a case where he had a financial interest and was a party to the proceedings via his own private superannuation fund. He can not take any action against me because under the law I am well and truly covered. (Click here to read the post)

But under the new media laws, like Gillard and Thomson, he could have made a complaint and without hearing or reason given I could have been directed to take down my post with the threat of jail time if I do not.

The list of people who could abuse the proposed new laws goes on and on. But it is mainly the politicians and say corrupt judges who would benefit the most. Not the public.

Sit back and think about all of the other stories that would have been closed down under the proposed new laws.

General Observations

THE new media laws would apply to bloggers for the first time. But there is no need. This site and others like it are not exempt from defamation laws and they protect the general public very well from bloggers. In the last few months Melbourne based blogger, Marieke Hardy, was sued for defamation and she paid a settlement “after erroneously identifying Joshua Meggitt, of Melbourne, as the author of a hate blog dedicated to her.” (Click here to read the full article)

So the laws work fine for the public and protect them from bloggers.

How do you enforce the 15,000 hits for the bloggers? is the main ranking site for websites but does not give you the number of hits. For that you can go to for an estimate of the number of hits, but estimates the number of hits based on the sites Alexa ranking. So what is the New Media Council going to do? Hack into your account? Or maybe it will be a case of honesty and you tell them how many hits you get on your site.

My site for example is sitting at a ranking of 3.67 million on Alexa but the number of hits has been sky rocketing the last week and I know from previous experience my ranking should be at least 2 million places higher but it has actually been going backwards the last week. So I could say to the media council that I do not get 15,000 hits as the ranking is actually wrong and it should be outside the top 10 million. How would they be able to prove different.

Alexa is actually owned by Amazon who gave WikiLeaks the boot from their hosting service. As you are aware I have done a number of posts on WikiLeaks and my ranking started playing up the other night when WikiLeaks started to publish new material. Makes me wonder. Whether or not that is just a coincidence does not matter. It is well documented that governments around the world have been trying to tighten control of the media and WikiLeaks is a prime example and so is the proposed new media laws.

The government led by the communications minister Stephen Conroy tried to bring in an internet black list 18 months or so ago. The list would have been kept secret from the public and internet service providers would have been made to block certain sites. That did not work because the online community rallied against it.

If the government tried to pass the new media laws as recommended by The Fink which captures bloggers who would be next. Twitter users and Facebook users? I have no doubt there would be an online Armageddon led by the bloggers and backed up by ten’s of thousands if not hundred’s of thousands of Twitter users and Facebook users etc.The government would be destroyed at the next election.

The Greens need to watch themselves as well as Bob Brown has apparently come out in support of the proposed new laws. It is one thing to attack News Ltd which Mr Brown did 6 or 7 months ago but by supporting the new laws he is attacking all the media and that could really come back to bite his party.

I do not think the government would be stupid enough to try to legislate the proposed new laws, but in saying that governments around the world have tried some very stupid things in the past and this current federal government is no exception.

The bottom line is defamation laws do not protect the politicians from bloggers in relation to their dodgy and corrupt conduct, they failed with the internet blacklist and the proposed new media laws are just another attempt to close down bloggers as well as other media.

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52 replies »


    • I’d rather take my chances with opinions from Menzies House or the Institute of Public Affairs. Like KC, both highlight the danger of interfering with the free press and free speech.

      However …. can you imagine how the Government would cope with all of us speaking our minds via FB, Twitter and Blogs? We could clog up the courts for 100 years.

      • All the govt would have to do is send 2 people to prison,get 10 journos the sack and it will all be over

  2. SHANE,



  3. Shane, Verinica; here’s my letter to Dear Professor Parker at MU:

    I write to you out of my concern that one of the authors, Matthew Ricketson, of the recent report on the media, heads the journalism program at your highly respected institution.

    From the various snippets I’ve read in that scurrilous report, I find that the proposed changes to the law will seriously erode, if not curtail significantly, what I had come to believe in my 65 years was my right to think and say what I like, and those that took offence had an equal right to challenge my assertions under the laws of libel and slander. These proposed laws seem to encompass only one perspective of reporting, and that is, reporting only what the giver (government, particularly) of the information demands it to be, regardless of the veracity or acuity of the matter, let alone any absurdity, exaggeration or distortion. Personal commentary would be curtailed, if not denied, unless permitted or ‘approved’ by the giver of the information. This seems infamously like those dictatorial regimes we are all too familiar with but compares frighteningly like the examples in the Ministry of Truth in 1984.

    If these proposed laws become vogue I think your institution would be tainted, irreparably, as it would be seen as promoting this outrageous reduction in my life as a natural born Australian, and all my compatriots likewise.

    I implore you to take charge of your institution to give direction and tuition for a proper perspective in the teaching of journalism, not those determined or expressed only by Matthew Ricketson.


  4. I am so sick of this Government’s “The end justify’s the Means” attitude.
    This is our Australia, We want it back!

    Shane another great article, I have just finished reading your book
    “Love Letters From The Bar Table” a great read.


  5. This is the greatest peacetime threat in the history of Australia to freedom of speech, freedom of the press and democracy itself! No matter what their political persuasion, every Australian should be gravely concerned and use any and all means to stop any attempt to enact legislation based on this disgraceful report. Some people may see some short-term advantage to their particular current cause, but draconian restrictions and controls such as those proposed have a habit of initiating unforeseen and dire consequences in the long-term.

    Shane, I have recently linked your site to WUWT and have just linked this particular article in Anthony’s Tips and Notes. IMHO, we must spread news of this proposed bastardry to as many parts of the world as possible to expose the lengths to which members of this Government is prepared to go to cover up their obvious corrupt past and prevent legittimate scrutiny and comment on what it seems the majority of Australians see as their disastrous policies!

  6. Thanks Shane for getting the message out their! This seems to be a worlwide issue that is going on with media censorship. May I ask people to google operation black march and operation blackout .

  7. You have heard of it happening in third world countries, with dictators and guns on every street. But in a country highly industrialized, and on the top of the wealthy nations list it is nothing more than scandalous. I lived in the USA for many years and thought that was bad. But it is nothing compared to what is going on in this country today. What amazes me is that more Australians are not voicing their disgust. I be-moan the fact that second-rate is good enough for most of the citizens here. Australia’s saving grace is only a small population of people who can actually think for themselves. The rest are a semi-literate, culturally ignorant, cognitively backward population that is easily manipulated and fooled at the voting poll. Australian Society will break down and we will reap the result of what Australia has become, a very stupid country!!!.

  8. I thought I’d check out your site after the mention on Media Watch but it seems you’re just an Abbott fanboy.

    • Well I would not be ragarded as an Abbott fanboy. You need to have a better look around the site. Can you point to where I have talked him up or done a post on him? No.

    • Reducing politics down to one team vs the other is infantile but convenient for people who only think in cliches. Maybe you’d be better served at Yahoo7.

    • I, like you, wondered about the political affiliations of this site and spent some time examining its content.

      The thoroughness and fairness of the reporting here is such a refreshing find and I commend the site to all.

      My own 82 year old mother is always anxious for me to print off another post as she agonises over the state of our nation today.

      The last two weeks has been a shameful exercise of bullying, coercion and lies, leaving me anxious about how our younger generation and inbetween can do anything other than take this type of behaviour as being “okay”. This coupled with coverups of wrongdoings sets a sad example of acceptable standards.

      I am confident that Shane Dowling will report fairly on the other side of politics when such information comes to hand.

    • yes tong, shane deludes himself with his ‘but i’m fair and balanced mantra’ but the proof is in the pudding, the only reason this report was commisioned was the murdoch press trying to control opinion like fox in the usa and now gina wants a newspaper and clive owns the qld lnp and he cant even organise a game of soccer without making the other players angry, shheeesh and he wants to run the state, hheeeeelllpppppp!!!

      • So what you are saying is that Gillard and the Greens set up the inquiry just to go after Murdoch and in your mind that is a good thing when the government uses their power to do that. And I suppose you would also like them to go after this site and any site that criticises them in any way just like they do in communist countries.

      • no shane, money cant buy influence on any side, simple really, but the skewed media coverage suits you so you will defend it.

  9. This LIEbor Unions Extremist Greens Independents Traitors Party treats the electorate like imbeciles.
    This is just another of their cunning plots to cover themselves, to stop the truth and to control what information we actually can obtain.
    This is no accident, but part of their plan to remain in office.
    What an arrogant, despicable, untrustworthy Govt we have.
    LIEbor have obviously not sold their fraudulent Carbon Dioxide Scam Tax to the people or their $80Billion Not Bloody Necessary NBN, which is off budget & not even included in our $230Billion current Debt, nor their sellout Australia open borders $4Billion asylum rorts & need to closedown any scrutiny or detractors of LIEbor Greens detrimental policy.
    They think with another 18 months in office they can close down all media outlets & forms of communication to suit their purposes & Socialist Govt agenda.
    LIEbor have been exposed & we ARE awake up to them with their repetitive lies, scams & manipulations.
    We can expect more lies, misinformation, hate campaigns against the Opposition, insults against any detractors in LIEbor/Unions/GetUp taxpayer funded propaganda campaign to hold onto power and run our country like a dictatorship.

  10. My Question Shane is, can somebody else issue you with a concerns notice re Gillard or “on her behalf”? It would be nice to get it out in the open.

  11. James Delingpole has today taken this international, and a while ago a long and wrong comment was put up by a troll supporter of Finkelstein.

    Time for a demolition of this and other trolls on Deller’s site by those at this Ozzie Court who know the truth? Frontline battlefield in the court of world public opinion. Over you go, guys (sorry I am working today; will try later).

  12. If the Finkelstein report is acted upon and successfully sees legislative light of day, it will be the biggest blow to democracy in the history of our nation. The unimpeded dissemination of information via a free media, in whatever form, is essential to a free society. The cover ups, and corrupt dealings must be exposed to the glare of transparency. In all of my 67 years I have never felt so despondent about the direction of my country. If the so called “Independants” had one ounce of decency they would agree to a no confidence motion.

    • Well said Kevin. I’m 52 this year and for the first time in my life I have thought about moving my family elsewhere. Then I thought, hang on, why should I. We need to take our country back, by any means neccesary

  13. I just stumbled on your site – absolutely bloody fantastic. Keep up the great work – you are now bookmarked on my computer and I’ll spread the word far and wide.

  14. in the very first sentence of the original post, quote “having a quick read seems to” , that was when the crap alarm started ringing and credibility left the building, nuff said.

    • Yes attack the man not the post. The best you can do is six words. Where else is it wrong. What you believe we should live a communist style country where the media is shut down when the government wants? If The Fink gets his way this site would be gone in five minutes and you think that is good do you? And what are the parts you like about The Fink’s recommendations? Maybe the part where they do not have to have a hearing and/or maybe the part where they do not have to give reasons for their decisions?

      • rubbish, nobody is coming to get you and your little rightwing website shane and you know it, its not like the liberal awfull attack on the waterfront unions, your opinions and your band of merry men are safe but dont get cranky because a nasty person like me has the hide to dissagree.

      • Shane

        I wouldn’t even bother about answering these two two left wing Labor loonies. Don’t waste your time.

        Someone just sent me a recent article from Piers Akerman that has backed up most of the corruption you are trying to get out into the public arena.

        You are both doing a great job and keep it up

        Our Unethical Government, by Piers Akerman….

        This morning, I am fighting back tears of despair and disgust, when the reality sinks in that seventy two (72) politicians who have been elected by ordinary, hard-working people in their electorates, have demonstrated that integrity and honesty are no longer to be considered when voting.
        72 politicians have voted to support Gillard and Labor in concealing the truth; to once again permit and encourage this disgraceful, contemptible, corrupt government to continue on its ever downward spiral of lies and criminal acts.
        Quite apart from the well-documented policy mismanagement and blunders, which have become the norm for this government, and the incessant squandering of our finances and resources, the criminal offenses of Gillard, Rudd, Slipper, Craig Thomson, etc are swept under the carpet and will never be investigated whilst Labor is still in power. When there is a change of government, we should demand that justice be done and fully investigated…..

        The Heiner Affair (Rudd, Beattie) saw legal documents shredded to protect Labor ministers. Perpetrators still not answerable to the law, and still holding high positions within Labor.

        The Gillard affair with Bruce Wilson where Gillard, as a “naive and innocent” lawyer with Slater and Gordon, set up accounts for Wilson which enabled him to appropriate millions of dollars from his union – money never repaid. Perpetrators still not answerable to the law, and still holding high positions within Labor.

        Edited: I have deleted most of what you have put here. Under fair use policy which guides everyone on the net I am only allowed to put small portion of another persons work on this site and then put a back link to their site. I have spent quite a while looking and I have not been able to find the above post on Pier’s blog but will put the main link to his site. Remember when you put someone else’s work on here what I have said above as I can not afford to spend time looking everytime. It is up to you. In future I might to have delete the whole comment.
        Some sites allow you to put someone else’s whole article in their comment section. What they are doing is wrong and they are in effect stealing someone else’s work. Regards Shane Dowling

  15. After reading the Finkelstein Report, one could be forgiven for relating this style of proposed control to the days of Joseph Stalin in pre and post WW2 USSR. As I am 75 years young, it would seem many of the reponses to Shane Dowling’s comments have no experience of such Regimes. Perhaps they learned their expertise on University Campuses – like those Student Associations who forwarded funds to the North Vietnamese who were killing Australian Soldiers at the time. One still has hope that our younger Generation are able to sift fact from fiction/misinformation and eventually make individual, informed decisions on where our great Country should be headed.
    Mike W, Vermont, Vic

    • totally agree mike wells, and thats why we cant have a vast majority of the australian media owned by one company controlled by one person, even his son has jumped ship, we want to hear both sides of the story and i concur that it is essential we must have the non tainted facts so we can develop good and decent opinions. australians deserve that.

    • Mike,I fully agree with your comments. I was one of those Australian soldiers dodging NVA bullets. I believe that the Finkelstein report, if implemented will be the greatest attack on our democracy ever. This has nothing to do with party politics. This proposal protects governments of whatever persuasion from proper scrutiny and legitemate criticisism. Vladimir Putin will want to get a copy of any proposed legislation. It will save him a lot of leg work. While the Government are at it they should send a copy to the Mullahs in Teheran.

      • The Iranians may like it but it won’t be lost on them that the author appears to be a Zionist. Maybe that’s why his recommendations are what they are. The real Zios like to keep their hand firmly on how truth gets defined.

  16. um haha paul, good man, you gave humour a try, pity it didnt work for you, no personal attacks paul as it is a weak ploy. no, i dont support any major party, they are both not worthy paul.

    • Jono well if you dont support a major party is it one of the minor parties which have absurd policies and dont like to be scrutinised that are parasites living off one of the major parties that you support?

  17. In one part of the recommendations it mentions criticisms of global warming or climate change” as we are being socially engineered to accept as a reality or at least as an appropriate term. It is really not fully clear that human activity is actually causing this phenomenon and people should have the inalienable right to criticize that which they do not believe.
    Also, if legislation was to be introduced in respect of this it is left open to the Courts to apply the Common Law to any alleged breach and to create and set precedents as to meanings of wording &c in any part of the relevant Act. When considering freedom of speech, that is dangerous.

  18. This Craig Thomson Saga is a bloody disgrace as Gillard the Liar just keeps way laying this disgraceful episode in our Parliamentary system.’ Surely some where along the way the matter should come before the ethics committee of parliament and show him the door.; With an election just over 12 months away Julia G the .liar will want to keep stone walling as long as possible.

    • Yes, bring on the sex workers, I say. Although some politicians, including Craig Thomson are seeking some respite from the continuing media scrutiny on the whole matter, little thought has been given to those he represents in Dobell: aged pensioners living from week to week; carers in their 70’s and 80’s looking after disabled sons and daughters; small businesses going bust, shops struggling to meet their rent and families facing large mortgage repayments, electricity bills etc, not to mention those facing redundancy and unemployment. If he was door knocking and had any idea of the reality facing most people in his electorate, he would see how difficult it was for so many while he squandered other people’s money on meals and sexual pleasures.

      No, he deserves everything coming to him.

      Union officials usually come from the shop floor – people who used to get their hands dirty. Now the like of Craig Thomson come armed with B Com/LLB straight from university and they work the system.

      Best thing he can do is resign to save some face.

  19. Shane, tell Finklestien to go and jump in the river and take his censorship plan with him, this is a democracy here whether he likes it or not. Let him save his censorship for Tom and Jerry cartoons the violence is deplorable. If Gillard and co. dont like the heat tell them to get out of the kitchen. Allan Myalup WA

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