Eddie didn’t own The Footy Show magazine and didn’t support it

Stephen,

Remember The Footy SHow Magazine? It was published by ACP via your typical
Packer TV-to-Mag spin offs, but our mate Eddie was none too pleased.

When former editor Greg Leech was introduced to Eddie along the lines of:
“This is Greg Leech. He’s the editor of The Footy Show Magazine.”

To which Mr Modesty replied: “No-one fucking told me!” and he stormed out.

Thereafter the mag was barely sighted on the show, with a shitty little plug
– about 2 seconds – each week.

It eventually folded, to which one would expect to Eddie’s delight. Why? He
wasn’t getting a cut!

It could unkindly be suggested that unless it lines Eddie’s pockets, it ain’t gonna get a plug.

Anon

CRIKEY: I dare say his contracts with Nine and Triple M would provide for bonuses based on ratings so the constantly plugging would have a financial benefit for Eddie. And the more he builds up Collingwood and football generally, the more he’ll make from Sportsview and Tipstars so the thesis about plugging for a dollar does have some credence.

NRMA service a bloody disgrace

What’s with NRMA – it is impossible to get thru to them and when you do, the story is not consistent. We were trying to call to cancel our home insurance for when we
leave Australia.

I called them Thursday afternoon, 4pm, and I hung on 17 minutes to get an answer. I was then told that they needed to talk to my husband at the same time
because the policy was in both our names and I couldn’t cancel it on my own.

I pointed out that I had set the policy up on my own but was told that because his name
was on the policy it meant he had a financial interest in the insurance cover and they needed him on the line at the same time to be able to cancel it. They said they are
open 24 hours a day so that evening we called them together at 11pm – but after 45 minutes on hold, we gave up.

Today (Saturday) I hung on 22 minutes, finally got to talk
to someone, explained I wanted to cancel our policy and she arranged it within 2 minutes – never said a word about needing to speak to us both. That irritation aside, I am
truly astonished that this is supposedly a service organisation – how they can possibly justify leaving CUSTOMERS hanging on that long? How many people are in their
damn call centre?

And if it is actually more than one person, what are they all doing???? While you are on hold, every two minutes a voice interrupts the muzak to
say “Thank you for your patience” and frankly that made me feel like smashing the phone against the wall…. Every other minute another voice would try and sell us some
other service or tell us all the things we could do on their website – which don’t include being able to cancel a policy, of course, so you have to phone for that.

All I kept
thinking was thank goodness I am cancelling the policies I have with you because I can’t take another minute of this. Whatever it is, it isn’t service. Take this with you to
the next AGM….

Name Withheld

CRIKEY: The customer is certainly not king in Australia. I recommend people use AAMI because at least they have a customer charter that includes financial compensation if all sorts of service benchmarks are not achieved. No other Australian company has such a commitment to customers and NRMA should follow this AAMI model just like Telstra and ANZ have.

Swedes invented Big Brother and now have ‘Minister’

A new competition for you from Sweden. The Swedes invented survivor and
Big Brother before the Americans reinvented it. Now they have a reality
program called, something like, ‘Minister’. Here a camera crew follows
around a Minister in the current social democrats government. It’s quite
startling what we get to see. He meets constituents, goes to caucus (yes
caucus is filmed! could you imagine that in the ALP!), makes big decisions
about public policy, kicks heads, plays tennis and golf. I actually feel
sorry for this guy. The poor bastard has to constantly perform the way he
thinks, we think, he should behave to be real. And there is no off switch,
the camera even goes home to see him hanging out with the kids.

Maybe you want to start a competition to pick who in the new Howard
government should be chosen make the Australian version? Alexandra Downer
could do a great performance in fish nets, we might get to see little
Johnnie strap on the pads. Maybe Ruddock could do a piece to camera on his
preferred grades of barb wire. Better still, and this would rate well in
Sweden, Costello could discuss the benefits of accrual accounting.

I haven’t seen enough of the program to know if there is some form of
voting (off) system (like survivor), but I’m sure your readers could
invent something.

ps. the scary thing about the Swedish version is it rates really well.

Cheers, Swedish subscriber

CRIKEY: Great idea. My preference would be for Tony Abbott as watching some good old fashioned head-kicking would make for good television.

Low dollar is all bad news

It is interesting to note that in the run up to the election last year Anderson, Vaile and
even The Souper were banging on about the benefits of a low Australian dollar with
Anderson and Vaile even saying that it was deliberate Government policies and actions
that had produced an exchange rate so favourable to primary industry exporters.

At the time I was surprised that you didn’t ever bring them to book on this – I assumed
that I was the one who hadn’t been listening in Economics lectures and hadn’t
understood that an undervalued currency was “a good thing”.

Personally I think we have a fair chance of heading the way of Argentina. A mere 70
years ago Argentia was a country that vied with the US as being the the European
migrant’s destination of choice. Now it is stuffed and that process of economic
disintegration has taken about 10 years. Has anyone done a compare and contrast
between Australia and the Argentine? It might be a useful article/running series.

One thing we should consider is adopting the Euro as either a primary or secondary
currency as some Balkan countries have done and Russia is apparently considering.
Being a defacto member of the Euro Zone might be better than wallowing around with a
unique currency that nobody wants or needs and unable to gain entry to NAFTA or the
emerging Asian free trade zone.

CRIKEY: We haven’t got the debt of Argentina and that is a key difference.

Too many uni graduates working for politicians

Stephen

A long long time ago in a government very distant and insignificant I went
to work for a labor minister. Whilst admittedly very inexperienced in the
ways of government and of the bureaucracy I did bring the job my knowledge
as an activist in branches and my faction. To this party experience I
brought my experience as a union shop steward and managing a small business. (In case you were wondering I can’t stand the left of the party).

My minister would often talk of the importance of having staffers who had had experience outside of politics as well as having experienced what he saw as the triumvirate of
labour experience being the unions, the bureaucracy, and the party. It was
only through working in each of theses areas that a future labour politician
could really understand the nature of labour politics. Since that
government’s collision with democracy I have had the opportunity to work for
both a union and within the bureaucracy for governments of both persuasions.
(No I have no desire to ever be an elected politician)

Having had these experiences over the last few years I believe
wholeheartedly that the view from each place is unique. Further, not only
is the view unique but it is necessary if our future politicians are to
genuinely understand their respective constituencies and their competing
interests that they also take the time to experience the difference. (This
is not meant to be exclusively aimed at the ALP as I am sure that the
Liberal party also has methods by which it educates its people in the ways
of politics.)

What I have noticed since I left working for a minister is the increase in
advisers sourced from university politics often with little or no experience
outside of university or the parliament sphere. Whilst this has I assume
always been one path to working in politics it now appears to be one of the
only paths to politics. If this is the case then there is also a reduction
in the breadth and diversity of opinion available to the political process.
(I also believe this process has an in built bias toward sycophancy as it
creates an economic dependency by the adviser on the politician).

At the moment of course this is just supposition on my part and where you
may be able to shine some light on things with a list of sorts though I
fully understand if you cannot.

What I would really like to know once all the new staff have been employed
at parliament house is

1. what was the job the staffer had immediately prior to the one they
hold now?

2. if it was for another politician when was the last time they were
employed by someone other than a politician? and

3. what was the job?

I know this might be to big an ask but I think there are some serious
concerns about who is advising our politicians and where they come from.

And thank you for taking the time to read my deranged ravings.

Yours sincerely, name withheld

CRIKEY: This might be a hard one to put together but please feel free to send in your details if you’re a ministerial adviser out there reading this.

A pox on all your publications

Wendy Wedge does make a point which resonates; that of the unanimity of
view held by the Press Gallery. I suggest that the absence of an
independently thinking media (not only Press Gallery) is a serious problem.
(Even Crikey devotes a lot of space, time and effort to the frivolity of
Hawke photos; who gives a toss for goodness’ sake.)

I have finally abandoned The Australian because both news presentation and
commentary is so predictable. Writers such as Devine and Woods are utterly
predictable and, worse, shallow, in their argument. McCrann can’t even
construct a sentence. There is an absence of rigorous right perspective,
left perspective is irregular and news is too often slanted. I just can’t
believe that the summary of policies just days before the election was
independently judged.

In Adelaide, we are presented with the monopoly of The Advertiser, of the
News Ltd stable. The less said of this paper the better.

We also have the Adelaide Review, a monthly, currently with Christopher
Pearson as editor. In the past, it could be relied upon to present both
sides of a debate; we could read Don Dunstan next to Tony Abbott. Today,
the left view is almost non existent; Guy Rundle has a regular article
while Pearson in the last issue declared Peter Walsh (ex Finance Minister
under Hawke) as another leftie. Peter Walsh as a leftie??? Instead the
Review now presents a largely one sided view of the world, the view of
Walsh, John Stone, Tony Abbott and so on.

Surely a vigorous and independently thinking and challenging media is an
essential ingredient for a vital society. Crikey recognises that approach
in its challenges to the stagnant, self interested, blinkered board
structure which controls so many Australian companies. Just as Australian
companies need to rejuvenate their boards with new ideas, new approaches,
more dedicated members, and greater accountability, so Australian media
needs to question the information being given it by spin doctors, provide
differentiated opinion, chase sources outside the normal loops.

To progress, there must be debate. To debate, there must be a willingness
to entertain new ideas. To present new ideas there must be a media capable
of so doing. We are failing at step 1.

Joe Hoogland

CRIKEY: Everyone cops a slap here but the point is still well made by Joe. We’ve got so many of the same tired old columnists and a media on a whole that is not very adventurous, well resourced or internationally competitive. Where are all the new entrants on the web giving it to the incumbents. Crikey is the only poor imitation of one.

Wendy Wedge an obvious Labor supporter

Fascinated by Wendy Wedge’s article on the Mad Monk where Wendy Wedge said:

“In his first venture into the fray the Mad Monk compared Simon to Andropov
and then later to Gorbachev somehow concluding that this illustrated his
contention that the system was unreformable and that Crean was as
ineffective as them.”

I know crikey will take to task for over-analysing but the use of “Simon”
sounds awfully familiar with Simon Crean.

Wendy Wedge needs to take some pointers from Hillary Bray about how to stay
anonymous, though Hillary’s task seems to be made easier by the fact that
there seem to be several people at work there.

Anyway, after the way that Crean attempting to make some political capital
out of Hollingsworth (what a media beat-up), I think he deserves what he
gets on the union area.

NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD

CRIKEY: If you’re suggesting that Wendy Wedge is Simon Crean I can only say that we have some great anonymous columnists but not quite that high powered. Clearly Wendy is no screaming Liberal but she definitely is not a Labor staffer or politician.

Crikey’s conflict with Sally Loane

Dear Stephen,

I hope you will take this as constructive criticism in the spirit in which it is delivered. I am slightly uncomfortable about you defending the likes of Sydney broadcaster Sally Loane and feel you may have a conflict of interest in doing so. You are a regular guest on her program and you two obviously share a rapport.

The contributer, Seamus, who wrote that Sally Loane has never been west of Strathfield is surely exaggerating. Sally Loane may have been born into the ‘squattocracy’, but she sounds like she has never been further west in the city than Leichhardt! She is the perfect example of what a well-to-do, sheltered upbringing can turn one into….and then she inflicts her (mostly) ignorant opinions on the 2BL listening audience.

Sally Loane gets on her high horse about everything : from drug addicts being ruled as ‘disabled’ in the Federal Court (“I wonder how the ‘true’ disabled react to being lumped in with junkies?” she opined, without having read the judgement and missing the whole point of it); to the “illegal immigrants jumping the queue” (ie. asylum seekers fleeing regimes about which she would have no idea, when there is no “queue” and Australia has not filled its refugee intake quota for the past two years). She seems to be ignorant of the fact that the greatest number of ‘illegals’ in this country are from the UK…..or maybe like the Immigration Dept, she prefers not to mention that?

Sally Loane could do with a lesson on balanced journalism. Her personal opinions come out starkly if she disagrees with callers, when she doesn’t listen to them and proceeds to give them short shrift. We may expect that from the commercial talkback broadcasters but we expect more from the ABC.

Her parochial insights into her shopping trips to Woolworths, Double Bay are also far from edifying. (Lucky you live in Melbourne, Stephen, and miss out on all this!)

There is a wider issue : it raises the question about how you may become a ‘target’ of public figures/journalists/broadcasters who want to woo you to ensure that they themselves do not become a target of one of your broadsides. Just a thought.

Thanks, Name Witheld by Request

CRIKEY: Firstly, I think you’re being very harsh in your judgment. Sally Loane is not a Sydney eastern suburbs establishment type. She comes from Brisbane. I don’t get a chance to listen in much but she is one of the few general interest broadcasters who knows something about business. From what I’ve heard she’s not at all dismissive of callers. However, you do raise an interesting issue about Crikey going easy on media outlets that have me on as a guest or leaving friends in the media and PR alone. To this I can only say that no-one has shafted more mates or former colleagues than Crikey. The list is very long. There will always be biases and favourites but the record in the circumstances of Australia being a small media, business and political pond is not too bad.

Young Liberal factionalism

G’Day Stephen,

I read the Young Liberal saga with interest – they say the Liberal’s don’t do factions
well!!

I was interested in Tony Chappel’s eulogy to John Howard – “…..Let me
state for your anonymous author’s benefit that I regard John Howard as the
most successful Liberal Prime Minister after Menzies….”. I pose the
question as to why Tony had to use “Liberal” in this phrase? Is he saying
he thinks that Labor had a better PM during the period?

Cheers, Bruce (never a YL, and a staunch Keating fan……)

CRIKEY: Yeah, no factions at all!! Keating wasn’t a great PM but he was an excellent treasurer, far better than Howard ever was.

Unionists got Latham into Parliament

Dear Crikey,

You possibly missed Mark Latham. I dont know of any official links but, amusingly for a man who has been bagging the movement in recent times, in particular over party
affiliation and the 60-40 rule, Mark owes his continued presence as a member of Parliament to union officials on the NSW admin committee who got him over the line in his
preselection. Cute eh?

You also missed Brendan Nelson, former Minister Michael Woodridge and doubtless a few others who were/are members of the AMA. I might add membership of the NFF
should probably add a couple of names to your list. Please also add members f the various Law Institutes and Bar Councils.

PS: Any chance of counting the former SDA officials toward the DLP your survey seems alrmingly scewed and many of us in the both the ALP and the union movement
still do . There is a view that the SDA isn’t actually a union more a Catholic glee club and forum for presenting the less socially progressive views of a pre Vatican II world.

CRIKEY: Well said, we’ll get around to that Coalition list of farmers in Parliament soon. Clearly you can’t get into Parliament if the entire union movement is against you but once in there surely you can opine that they have too much power.

The Parrot for Parliament – what a joke

Hi Stephen

Did you see today’s Daily Telegraph article about the prospect of The Parrot taking a seat in the NSW Parliament.

The seat of Hornsby on Sydney’s northern outskirts held by the Libs by a margin of about 2.3 percent is being vacated by former Sydney broadcaster Stephen O’Doherty, who has been a raging non performer and Jones is rumoured as a likely candidate.

Telegraph is tipping Jones as leadership material. Sounds to me like an own goal for the Libs. Carr’s Government could have wonderful fun with Jones’ meanderings around London’s toilets and the cash for comment material.

Anon

CRIKEY: Well said, The Parrot is an absolute disgrace but we should encourage him to run as this would dramatically improve the collective ethics of Australia’s commercial radio industry.

Collingwood AGM and Eddie McGuire

Some comments on member 3506’s account.

There was only one life membership awarded (to Michael Christian). Two
other members (including the lady mentioned) received Special Service
awards.

The poker machine venue in Lilydale is already in existence. Collingwood
will have their name on the venue which will become a “club” under the
current poker machine legislation. Collingwood would probably pocket the
tax differential (one-twelfth of the gross loss by punters) less the
extra cost of conducting the business as a club. Currently half the
pokies in Victoria must be in clubs. You may have noticed that some pubs
are operating as “clubs” with “membership” and visitor “sign-in”.
Examples that come to mind are Royal Oak in Richmond (Richmond FC) and
Leighoak in Oakleigh (Melbourne FC). Thus Collingwood is not
contributing to any fresh self-inflicted financial misery in Lilydale,
which has plenty of other opportunities for those who don’t know what to
do with what little money they have. Nobody seems to have any enthusiasm
about opening a venue in Balwyn.

The meeting also passed a constitution amendment disqualifying any
member of or candidate for the board who has been convicted of
dishonesty which is punishable by a prison term of three months or more.
Obviously no current member of the board has any trouble with this
amendment.

At previous AGMs Eddie has promoted Brad Cooper’s role as a Sydney
resident and his access to the big boardrooms there. I do not agree with
him, as Cooper has always been associated with the more adventurous end
of the business spectrum, and his board associations would also be a
that end. I have seen no evidence of any real sponsorship money coming
out of Sydney, although I am prepared to be convinced.

CRIKEY: What’s going on here. This bloke is a Collingwood member and makes perfect sense. He appears to have all his teeth and his knuckles aren’t scraping on the ground.

In defence of Nick Xenophon

Stephen,

With regards to Charles Kingston Cameron’s line on the karaoke
disappearing from the SA Premier’s Christmas Party…

I would suggest that the disappearance of the traditional karaoke
from said party has more to do with exorcising the demon that was
Vicki Thomson.

Attendees at previous years events were more than familiar with the
sight of La Thomson being first up to the podium and belting out a
bracket of her favourites … and then playing guard dog with the
microphone, allowing only the “favoured ones” to participate.

The penchant of Buffy’s Chief Of Staff for karaoke was even documented
in the Advertiser on or about the time of her departure, when it was reported
that she got up in midst of the milling throng at the Fel Fella club one night,
and let rip with a heartfelt rendition of the Gloria Gaynor classic, “I Will Survive”.
How prescient!

The sad thing is, despite having the human resources skills of Jack The Ripper,
she can actually carry a tune. Perhaps if it doesn’t work out at Nick Minchin’s
office, she could always try out for “Popstars” !!!

We live in hope…

Now by contrast, I must take issue with your correspondent trying to make dodgy
implications about the lunch between Nick Xenophon and Nick Bolkus.

Nick X is the only man since Guy Fawkes ever to have entered Parliament
with honest intentions. And if your correspondent was at his Christmas Party, he
would have seen the cordial relations Nick enjoys with all sides of the house.

As his uncles slaved away over the hot coals barbecuing 60-odd kilos of octopus
at the now-lengendary Xenophon al-fresco Chistmas Party in East Terrace, your
correspondent would have noticed the attendance of not only Nick Bolkus, but
state Labor MP’s Mike Rann, and Michael Atkinson, as well as Liberal MLC,
Angus Redford, and ex-Liberal-now-independent, Peter Lewis.

As for the pathetic line about Nick suing the Treasurer. Guess what fella?
Nick was defamed, and he’s fought tooth-and-nail to stop we taxpayers footing
the bill everytime a pollie shoots his mouth off and lands themselves a defo writ !!!
But guess who’s stopping him?

(He’ll get no joy out of Labor on that one either. Who could ever forget former
Labor Health Minister, John Cornwall’s classic about “robber barons” – How much did
that one cost us again?)

I’m pleased the fact that they’re both Greek and MP’s was noted, perhaps
they actually might have something in common to chat about – Or perhaps they were
plotting to overthrow civilisation as we know it.

It’s not often I go into bat for a pollie, but Nick is one of the few straight up and down
blokes you’ll meet in the House. And more’s the pity he’s not running for the Upper
House again, because I reckon he’d piss it in!

I’d better stop there, I feel my cynicism running low. Better watch “A Current Affair” and
get a top up.

Regards, name withheld

CRIKEY: I agree that Xenophon is a good man and Australia needs more anti-gambling campaigners.

2BL spot and 2UE mention

I’m an avid listener to Talkback radio across 2GB, 2UE and 2BL but I do
certainly try and tune into your spot with Sally Loane each Friday. I find it most
interesting so thanks for that.

I like Sally but she gets arty farty often talking about museums,
sculptures etc. She should do more ‘rough & ready’ talkback and you know
what I bet she has never been west of Strathfield in Sydney judging by the
way she pronounces some of the street names which any proper westie would be
familiar with.

I see you got a mention this morning (Wed) on 2UE brekkie with Pricey’s
mate John Stanley. Some reporter was reciting about you being served a writ
by Bolkus’ lawyer with you in your Crikey suit. Was meant to be a funny
segment I think, but I was half asleep so its hazy. It’s not like Stanley to
mention you, in deference to Price.

Seamus

CRIKEY: I’ve never met John Stanley but he sounds like a decent sort of bloke. And Sally is a good broadcaster in my view, but I would say that as she’s put up with me for 2 years now.

Peter Fray

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