Alan “knuckles” Jackson has firestorm form

I for one was not at all surprised by Alan Jackson’s extraordinary behaviour as Chairman in punching his MD Greg Beatty last Xmas

Around 1995 I was involved with the Australian Manufacturing Council when Jackson was appointed Chairman in July, replacing John Prescott who had resigned.

The AMC strove for months to get a meeting of the Council but Jacko was always busy in the UK finishing off his involvement with BTR plc.

Eventually someone was able to contact him and got a date for a Councill meeting late in 1995 – about four months overdue.

When I contacted local board members, most of whom were senior execs themselves , of the calibre of Ron Mc Neilly of BHP, they all said the date Jacko had picked coincided with their own monthly board meetings and asked could I contact him to get some alternative dates?

The AMC duly faxed Jacko in London several times and getting no replies, but someone eventually managed to track him down and telephoned him to discuss their quite reasonable requests.

For their pains, this person copped a tirade of abusive bad language and rage the likes of which he had encountered rarely – all along the lines of “I am the chairman and I’ll call the board meetings when I f–ing like and who do those c—ts in Melbourne think they are, and if I have to start off as chairman by thumping an executive director thats allright with me ” etc etc

It went on for about 15 minutes at high speed full shouting volume. We formed the view then that the man was a either a maniac or that he had a serious personality defect that he could not cope with being queried even in the mildest of ways, which caused him to behave like one.

Certainly last years antics seemed to suggest that Beatty by reflecting on the need for changes to Jacko’s business strategy, unsuspectedly triggered off a similar
firestorm.

I am relieved to say I have nothing to do with Jacko now and that furthermore I sold out of Austrim several years ago before this year’s serious share price drop.

Cheers

Name Withheld

CRIKEY: He certainly got very abusive at Crikey when I questioned at the 1998 Austrim AGM for selling $40 million worth of shares at the top of the market.

Ruddock revelling in misery

To the staff,

Whilst I realise that you don’t have the resources of the big media groups, you do have a growing influence in certain areas. Is it possible to mount some sort of campaign
against P.Ruddock? I know Howard is a lost cause and is now in emperor mode but I watched Ruddock on the news last night and I’d swear blind he is ENJOYING what
he is doing. I don’t know what motivates this man (or this government) but he appears to be revelling in the misery he is helping to cause.

I have no particular brief about refugees one way or the other. There are bound to be be a few bad eggs in there somewhere, but if they are smart enough to get this far in a
boat, then they are absolutely smart enough to put one over numbskulls like Ruddock. I do know that the chap who was going to knock over the building in Melbourne
(yeah, right!) didn’t come here by the route Ruddock’s other terrorists are currently using. More likely up the comfortable end of the plane. None of those pesky kids around!

Is it just me who has a problem with Phil? If so, then I’ll drop off. But I don’t think that it is just me. Why not see what misery you can cause him. I know you are not fans of
his.

Regards, A reader

CRIKEY: Crikey just wishes he’d hand back the Amnesty badge pinned to his lapel.

Warby makes some good points

Hey there,

Michael Warby makes some good points. ‘Staff capture’ and poor management at Fairfax has long caused problems at the SMH too.
As Sydney’s population moves westwards, the Telegraph has scooped up the readers the Herald ignores or insults while it writes
for the AB’s in the eastern suburbs and lower north shore. It would be interesting to see where the hacks at Herald live these
days, I’d be backing a strong bais towards the yuppie ghettoes around the city. Weren’t the Olympics an interesting experience –
the first and last time so many of Herald lovelies have been seen so far west of Drummoyne. A newspaper can’t serve a city while
ignoring three-quarters of it.

Warby’s point about the Internet is an excellent one too – while Fairfax pours millions into a seemingly bottomless pit, smart
operators have been making good money selling news on the Internet and wireless platforms for a while. The ABC tried and came
close but ultimately failed for many of the same reasons. But it’s not their aim to make a profit is it? Fairfax hasn’t even tried
partly because it can’t get it’s staff to file short grabs in real time like their colleagues overseas have been doing for years. (Never
let it be said the MEAA helped stand in the way of progress.) Without that, their claim to be a 24-hour news source is pure
hyperbole since for most of the day it’s the same wire copy you can read on just about any major Australian website.

Still, who needs to make money when they’re winning all those lovely awards and producing top quality work like Margo Kingston’s
web diary? They’re not as good as they think they are. Nobody could be that good.

Mind you, New Ltd is similarly clueless in cyberspace, why pay US dollars for an e-copy of the Oz, when you can get an e-copy of
the New York Times for less?

cheers, Grumpy.

CRIKEY: I’m not aware of anyone who is making money selling news on the web in Australia at the moment.

Alan Jones a failed Liberal candidate

Crikey’s media article of December 11 describes Alan Jones as “a failed candidate for Liberal preselection”. This is not
true. In 1978, Mr Jones was the Liberal candidate in a by-election for the NSW state seat of Earlwood, vacated by the
ex-Liberal leader Sir Eric Willis.

The Labor candidate Ken Gabb won the seat easily. This was a genuine turning point in the fortunes of the ALP in
NSW, as before the by-election they had just a one seat majority in the Legislative Assembly. It established beyond
doubt Neville Wran’s authority, and set the stage for the ALP’s landslide win in the general election later that year
and Mr Wran’s long tenure as Premier.

Jerome Fahrer

CRIKEY: He’s still a loser and a goose. The Parrot is a complete disgrace and how he remains on air is beyond Crikey’s comprehension. Southern Cross Broadcasting CEO Tony Bell should grow a spine and sack the man.

Senator Winston Crane sets the record straight

Dear Mr Mayne

I read the following statement in your Website dated 3rd December, 2001
titled ‘Tuckey, Crane, Lightfoot, Campbell, Bishop, travel rorts, warfare
and Federal coppers’:

“The incentive scheme appears to work this way although
Crikey has not put this directly to the Federal coppers or the politicians
involved yet. If a politician charters to Kalgoorlie for instance, he will
be charged $1000, the cost of the charter plus a further 30 percent loading.
The latter figure is credited by the charter company to the
parliamentarian’s account, to which the parliamentarian then has free access
for his future personal use. The department is presented with an invoice for
$1300 shown as the cost of the charter and certified accordingly by the
parliamentarian.”

You then further state:

“As for Senator Crane’s charter arrangements, he is reported
in the Australian Financial Review as saying that “the effect of using the
bonus (points system) was that it increased by 30 per cent my flying hours,
which was to the benefit of my Western Australian constituency and that I
absolutely refute that I’ve used it for personal purposes.””

The first paragraph implies that the Loyalty Bonus scheme was a 30% loading
on top of the commercial rate. In fact, the opposite was the case. I paid
the commercial rate that, let’s say was $1,000. I was then granted a
further 30% flying time at no additional cost.

You further state that the travel incentive scheme offered by the airline
provided travel for personal use. This is not so. Any travel provided was
for official use. Further, a spokesman for the Special Minister of State
has been quoted as stating that the general principle that applied was that
it was permissible when used to defray the cost to the public of additional
travel by the member or senator.

I hope that you will publish this correction.

Yours sincerely

Senator Winston Crane

CRIKEY: Happy to publish Senator.

Irris Makler back on the ABC

Dear Stephen,

Some observations from the world of media in South Australia…

Firstly, loved the piece like Brack’s Babes would get you counselled to within an inch of you life in the ABC…

Speaking of the ABC. It was a case of “the fish that John West reject” during Deutsche Welle’s English language news service yesterday on SBS.

There was the fabulous Irris Makler, the ABC’s former Moscow correspondent doing a live cross from Afghanistan. That’s the same Irris, sacked because some twerp at Gore Hill didn’t like the sound of her voice. (Why’d you hire her then dickheads?)

And who should she be speaking to on the DW-TV set in Berlin? None other than a fellow called Shane Fankhauser! He was better known in Australia as Shane Dannatt, the ABC’s former Adelaide newsreader, who was unceremoniously shown the door so John Lombard could get a soft landing after Aunty’s pay TV news service went belly up. He also went on to produce a wine show for Channel 10, before heading o/s.

The sad state of reporting on media issues in Adelaide was beautifully typified by the coverage of a reunion of generations of staff from one of the country’s most historic radio stations, the now defunct 5KA.

The only mention was in the chatter column at the arse-end of the Sunday Mail about who was at the pie-cart at 3:30am, and who latched onto some busty singer after the event. Pretty banal stuff for a station that saw the best and worst the radio industry has dished up.

And please, please, please… when JK Rowling comes to Australia next to promote her young wizard’s books, could Channel 10 Sydney send out their ace crime reporter, Harry Potter to interview her!

The look on her face would be priceless!

Regards, Name withheld

CRIKEY: Now this is a good letter with lots of good gossip and tightly written. Should be more of it.

Outrageous anthem tactics by Soccer Australia

Dear Crikey

I was at Olympic Park, Melbourne on that infamous day when Deutschland Uber Alles was played for the Israeli team. The excuse put out afterwards was that a
German schoolboy team had played there earlier in the week and they “forgot” to change the tape. Boos all round.

Unfortunately I have also seen the Socceroos fail at the final hurdle against Israel, Scotland, Argentina, Iran and now Uruguay. As a mate’s father said to me after another disaster, watching the Socceroos is like watching Collingwood in a Grand Final or Greg Norman in the US Masters.

Tragically yours, Robert

CRIKEY: That really is an appalling thing to do. Have these people no shame.

Andrew Bolt an ideologue

Andrew Bolt is an ideologue and hence it is impossible to conduct a
rational debate with him. I have written him several letters and, to his
credit, he does reply but where can you go with responses such as ” as you
don’t seem to like men there is no point in talking to you.”

The ‘stolen generation’ episode was the lowest point in his journalistic
life. Lois O’Donoghue’s mother was completely erased from the story.

Her white father stole the child from her black mother.and handed her over to white
custodians…….To say that this means the child was not stolen from the
mother is such torturous logic and such a total disregard for the feelings
of the mother in this case (from all accounts she experienced terrible
grief) as to defy belief. If a white child had been taken by a father and
placed in a home against the mother’s wishes/ knowledge would this have
been considered OK?

It is impossible to understand Andrew Bolt’s motivation for this
story…..the only explanation is that he will do anything to further right
wing agendas in this country.

And another thing. Why is it that in this country there is such a dearth
of serious, conservative commentators (unlike the US and the UK)? There
is not one who is not an apologist for John Howard. Robert Manne was a
conservative who dared to challenge the orthodoxies and look what happened
to him. Left-wing commentators spend as much time running a critique of
Labor as they do attacking the other side. Why is there no equivalent to
this in the right side of politics? It lowers the intellectual debate to
such an extent that you end up arguing with people like Andrew Bolt, who is
hardly worth the effort.

Margaret Brennan

CRIKEY: You’re certainly sticking the boots in here Margaret. He puts his views forcefully and is hard to argue with in the flesh but don’t think he’s quite as bad as you’re portraying.

Crosby living in a fantasy world

I’ve been worried about a friend of mine since the election. He’s spent
some time pondering that parallel universe where September 11 was just
another day, the Tampa rescued no one and Labor’s ‘small target’ strategy,
combined with the unpopularity of a visionless, mean-spirited government,
delivered Prime Minister Beazley a large majority. I’ve worried about my
friend, but his fantasy is still more sensible than Lynton Crosby’s
attempts to re-write history.

Bruce Hogan

CRIKEY: Howard obviously told Crosby to try and undo the huge damage done by the fear campaign so full marks for trying to save a bit of Liberal face but he completely failed.

Buy foreign stocks to invest in Australia

Crikey

Your updated comparison of Australian companies offshore and foreign companies in Australia makes for depressing reading.

However, the foreign company list looks at first glance like a reasonably well balanced portfolio. Surely, there’s an opportunity for an enterprising fund manager to launch an
“Invest in Australia” fund to buy shares in these companies and getting some of dividends to flow back here?

If the dollar continues to slide there’s a currency gain on the capital as well!

Big Mac

CRIKEY: A sad but novel suggestion. How about an Aussie fund where the stock to be bought must be majority Aussie owned.

Peter Fray

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