Heffernan a disgrace


What is the difference between the Channel 7 allegations against John
Marsden and Senator Heffernan’s allegations againgst Justice Michael Kirby
yesterday? Nothing, except Heffernan used the privilege of Federal

Heffernan’s comments are just disgraceful. If they disqualified every member
of the court that was straight from hearing straight sexual cases, they
would be incapable of running the court system at all. Should straight
judges be allowed to hear straight divorce cases? Should female judges be
disqualified from hearing rape trials?

Redneck Heffernan is the voice of Howard’s homophobic conservative politics,
and while many people dislike Marsden, many lawyers and politicians respect
Kirby’s intellect and capacity for work, and international achievements.
Howard doesn’t like Kirby’s tendency to speak independently on any topic he
chooses, and get media to report those views. That’s why Kirby has been

Senator Heffernan has said that Justice Michael Kirby had: “Made a speech to Kings College School of Law in London in 1999 in which he said gay men faced suicide, blackmail, police entrapment and hypocrisy before NSW decriminalised homosexuality in 1984.”

This has been proved in many court cases and police files and is true.

Made a speech to “impressionable young men” at St Ignatius College in
Sydney in February, 2000, when he said it was OK to be gay and that
homosexuals deserved acceptance.

Shock horror. Saying poofs deserve acceptance in the community is subverting the law, even when the act has been decriminalised?

The charge Kirby used comcars to pick up boys for sex is very unlikely. Any
guys Kirby let accompany him in the comcars would have been over 18, as
Kirby would not be so stupid to allow himself the charge of having sex with
underage men.

Heffernan’s comments suck.

subscriber 806

CRIKEY: Well said 806. It is amazing that f***wit farmers with 19th century attitudes are still wielding power in Canberra. Will someone stick him back in the wheat silo down in Junee.

Political perks reveal double standards

Re your revelations about the benefits the pollies assign to themselves..

The usual excuse given for this regular and excessive trough dipping is that
“you have to pay for quality..” Now, as a basically cynical and usually
disinterested observer of the goings on of this class of “person” I can not really
comment on their quality. But I have grave doubts…

However, this excuse is a direct contradiction of the other one they use to justify
their early access to their (tax-payer funded) super. This is that they are unable
to get work after politics…

If that is the case (and we know from your wonderful lists that it is NOT..)
then the question has to be “Why are we paying so bloody much for the
services of the self confessed inept??”

This is a wonderful example of having it both ways..

Keep up the good work, Anon

CRIKEY: Well said. And what about the double standard of enjoying parliamentary privilege whilst subjecting the rest of the population to highly restrictive defamation laws.

Edith Pringle responds on Ralph Clarke

I’d like to clarify a few points in the Rev’s article entitled Battle of the Duds. As it mentions my apparent sex life too – I must say I feel it was an appropriate title.

With regard to the printing of Ralph Clarke’s Police Testimony in which he stated that he hit me five or six times to calm me down. For the record – it did not make feel calm or serene.
Chockies or flowers are the way to go guys!!

Ralph Clarke was my ex-defacto partner. If you must insist on using the title, ‘mistress’ then in this age of equality for women you should 50% of the time label the man too. Therefore it
would read, “Ms Pringle’s ex-adulterous lover”. Thank Goddess my parents named me Edith and not Roxy !!

Prior to my years with Ralph Clarke I had been active within the Labor Party. I worked for them, held numerous positions including Sub-Branch President, Delegate to State Council etc., I also studied Politics at University. Then I met Ralph – and effectively became the first woman in political history ever to sleep their way to the bottom!

The Reverend Father should be careful about sexist, victim blaming remarks or he could find himself becoming the next Arch Bishop.

Regards, Edith Pringle

PS It is interesting that spell check doesn’t recognise the would defacto and offers defecate instead – what does Bill Gates know that he should have shared with me?

CRIKEY: Thanks for clearing that up Edith.

You clearly don’t like Carmen Lawrence

Dear Sir/Madam,

Your article on Carmen Lawrence only establishes two things:

i) you do not like female politicians and,

ii) you do not like this particular politician.

The entire Liberal Party (& Labour Party) has sat on its collective arse while their
leaders pretend they don’t use the suffering of refugees as a vote winner.

To pull this particular issue out the hat as an example of parliamentarian’s
questionable behaviour only goes to display your particular dislike for
women politicans and/or Carmen Lawrence.

Keep up the good work, Non-subscriber.

CRIKEY: As the editor of this ezine I tend to agree with you that it was a pretty heavy attack on Carmen when she’s actually doing the right thing over refugees. But as a broad church with lots of contributors, a well-researched piece like that should still get a run even if we did not commission it in the first place.

Crullers too harsh on Newtown RSL members

With regard to Crullers’ blanket bucketing of Newtown RSL members (such as myself), who failed to attend the special meeting on Moday night, I think he’s being a
bit harsh. To anyone who read the letter outlining the proposed deal the message was obvious, as Crullers himself pointed out, “they could either vote for this deal
or see their club close”. As the deal was an absolute disgrace, I wasn’t about to vote for it. Voting that the club close altogether was an equally unpalatable option
so I chose not to attend. It would have been like fronting up at the last federal election and being restricted to voting either for the rodent or Beazley only.

Crullers is also overlooking the fact that the membership situation is unusual in that a lot of people (both Crullers and myself included) joined simply because they
were obliged to so they could attend the venue. This is not a situation where you could reasonably expect a commited body of members. I suspect that a lot of
people simply didn’t feel that they were ‘real’ members and thus left it to the members of long standing to sort things out. Who was more apathetic, those who joined
recently for no other reason than to see bands or the long-term members who also stayed away in droves? I wonder if Crullers would have attended if he didn’t
thrive on, and get columns from, stirring the pot a bit at these events for the amusement of your readers.

Crullers is always a good read but I reckon a bit of journalistic attention should be turned to the whole sorry mess of mismanagement from the board and
administrators which led to this situation, rather than attacking those who had no effective say anyway.

As far as the loss of another venue, anyone who has been around the live music scene for more than a couple of years knows that places close, new places open
and old places reopen again a few years down the track. The Annandale, Hopetoun, Vic on the Park and Lansdowne have all held ‘last ever’ shows at least once in
the last ten years . This may not happen with the rissole, and I will miss going there as it was a great room and an easy stumble home, but it isn’t the end of the

Cheers, Deano

CRIKEY: Fair point, the administration of the club was the germ of the club’s problems.

Liberals also troubled by stacking

It may surprise the Rev Cleophus James to know that Liberals are not blind
to the problems within their party. It used to be a point
of pride for hacks to point at ALP stacking rorts and say,
“we don’t do that sort of thing”. Of course, it wasn’t to
last. A new system of factionalism has grown in the libs,
and a new generation of turks have emerged knowing no other
kind of politics.

Speaking on a more local level, the problem also reaches up
to sting the CLP in the NT. They recently had their strategic
planning workshop. I got to come along. The biggest source
of argy-bargy – surprise surprise! – was about preselection.
Whilst the concept of Primaries didn’t come up, there was
considerable debate about centralised versus local selections.
The CLP is in a reformist mood. Keep an eye open for a very
aggressive winnowing of potential candidates in future.

But in the long run, I can promise you this: no matter what
you do, no matter what change of rules you have or what
reform you make, someone will find a way to rort, and will
rort it. Primary elections will not change this basic fact.

So long as the prize is, essentially, a career in parliament,
people will use any unsavoury means to get there. So long as
being elected to parliament is viewed as a *career* and
not a *duty*, you will have to suffer all the scum and
duds that float up to the top these days.

The solution now doing the rounds in George II’s Kingdom
is to have term limitations applied to the legislature.
This destroys careerism, as one can only serve so many
years. This also means that the incumbent advantage is
also regularly negated. Experience shows that this opens
the field up quite sharply in places other than Hornsby.
Anyone following Darwin’s mayoral elections (yes, both
of you) can probably relate.

This means, say, that one could only serve two terms in
the House and one term in the Senate. Six years, tops.
This means that one can look on time in parliament as
a service, a short break out of private life, a duty.
Not a career.

The usual objection is, “but what about the good
politicians? We wouldn’t be able to re-elect them”.
True. But quickly, without peeking, name twenty
politicians you think deserve, in a cosmic
edge-of-the-world sense, to be re-elected. If the
bad ones are out, more good ones will come forward.
And when the honour is restored to politics, perhaps
the honourable kind of people will actually take it

Anonymous Hack, Darwin.

CRIKEY: Love that idea hack but the terms you propose are too short. It should be four terms in the Reps and two terms in the Senate. Twelve years is surely enough.

How John Wayne died in WA

Hi there,

I notice you’ve included the “real story” from news presenters misquoted on your website.

I’m the Channel 7 Perth news reader who supposedly read that Rock Hudson had died at the “Eucla hospital.”

For the no-name gossiper who sent it, it was actually John Wayne – 20 years ago.

Those were the days when you ripped urgent news from the telex and ran into the news break studio to read it “cold.”

In block capitals it read JOHN WAYNE HAS DIED AT THE UCLA MEDICAL CENTRE…and that’s the way it came out; “Eucla” as “UCLA” !

Regards, Rick Ardon

CRIKEY: Thanks for clearing that up Rick. Thoroughly understandable and amusing sequence.

Tacky advertising

Dear Crikey,

I’ve just seen an ad from a survivor from the Sydney to Hobart yacht race,
where he attributes his survival to his torch. So it was the torch, rather
than all the emergency service people who risked their lives. If ever
there’s been a case for making the rescued pay for their own rescue…
Is this the beginning of a tacky trend? Will we see, for example, someone
claiming to have survived the Port Arthur massacre because they had the
foresight to go to Queensland for their holidays instead of Tasmania.


CRIKEY: The torch may have helped obviously but whether they should be profiting from this is another matter.

Stan Zemanek a disaster

Dear Crikey Team,

I am a subscriber and this information is accurate but I have to write under
an email nom-de-plume for personal reasons.

The suits at Southern Cross Broadcasting, owners of 3AW, are in a major flap
about the behaviour of Stan Zemanek, the Sydney shock jock imported to
Melbourne to fill the drivetime hole left when Steve Price went to take Alan
Jones’ slot at 2UE.

It started last week when a female listener rang in to complain that a
tradesman who was carrying out work at her house had deliberately exposed
himself to her and her young daughter.

Instead of expressing sympathy and concern (which would have been the
hallmark of a normal human being) and getting the offender’s details so the
story could be followed up (which would have been the hallmark of even the
most inexperienced news reporter), neanderthal Stan made sniggering remarks
along the lines of, “Yeah, but you’d have enjoyed that, wouldn’t you?” and
“Was it a twig or a branch?” (the tradesman was a tree remover).

Can you believe this?

Management was naturally horrified and I am told by an AW insider that after
a major confrontation they forced Stan to apologise on-air the following

SCB executives are now starting to realise that Melbourne is a very
different listener market to Sydney and they are worried that Stan will be a
liability rather than an asset, especially with Jeff Kennett currently
putting his stamp on the drivetime shift at 3AK.

All this is in addition to the unrest among AW staff following the discovery
that despite the rewards of a huge office in Bank St, his own personal
assistant and a mega-salary, Stan still needs to be ‘handfed’ -that is, all
his editorials have to be written for him by underlings.

When taking listeners’ calls on air, Stan has displayed his ignorance of the
Melbourne market with mistaken geographical references such as “let’s go
down to Preston” (which is north) and “up to Frankston” (which is south).

The only time he sounds really comfortable is when he crosses to his 2UE
counterpart to discuss the day’s Sydney news.

It makes you realise what a good broadcaster Steve Price was by comparison.
Stan can be rude and abusive but lacks the intellect or the news sense of a

Melbourne Subscriber.

CRIKEY: Stan is an appalling racist, sexist pig and he’ll sacked in months. 3AW have my CV and I’m expecting the call shortly.

Peter Isaacson sets the record straight

This is Peter Isaacson’s response to a letter having a go at him on a number of fronts which we have chosen not to publish.


To answer your questions first

1. Yes, I am a member of the Melbourne Club, a fact which you cd have
ascertained for yourself by reference to any one of the last 15 editions of
‘Who’s Who in Australia’.

And just by way of information for you and anyone else who reads this – without condoning what may have been past practice, there are other members of the Melbourne Club who are Jewish, a Rabbi has been my guest
there and the President of the Club gave a luncheon in honour of the Israeli
Ambassador to Australia who of course attended with members of his staff.
2. No advertisements for massage parlours, brothels or others of a sexually
explicit (or inexplicit) nature were ever published in the Southern Cross.
And further to that you may recall that when I took over the Sunday Observer
from the bankrupt Maxwell Newton company (and saved the jobs of many
journalists), I ceased publishing the sex advertisements which at the time
were almost the sole source of advertising income.

As for the inaccurate, intemperate diatribe from yet another ‘name withheld’
correspondent I am content to rest on my reputation as airman, journalist,
editor, publisher, employer – and citizen.

I suggest that if you want a reasonably full description of my career (good
and bad), you read the biography ‘Pathfinder’, written by Denis Warner, one
of Australia’s greatest journalists. You may get a copy of the hardback
edition, but it is almost sold out. A paperback edition, published by Crown
Content is due to be released on or about 7 March.

Why is it that all those critical od my comments are from ‘name withheld’?

If you wart to do a researched article on what you term “the Jewish network”
I will be pleased to help you. And you may consider doing similarly to all
the other networks – Catholic, Anglican, military, legal, medical et al.

I believe that to identify anyone by their race, color, creed or sexual preference unless
it has a bearing on the story is journalistically unethical. This statement
was part of the written editorial policy of my company, a copy of which was
given to every journalist with their letter of appointmment and which they
were required to accept in writing before their appointment was confirmed.

I regret one thing – on reflection I realise I should not have threatened you
with the MEAA or Anti- discrimination council. That I agree was foolish. I
am big enough to fight my own battles.


CRIKEY: And that is the end of the matter as far as Crikey is concerned.

Carmen Lawrence showing some courage

Having just read Rev Cleophus Jones lengthy diatribe resurrecting the 10 year old charges against Carmel Lawrence. I must go on record in saying that she is one of the very few Labor politicians currently displaying a set of balls.

Regards, Alan Barge

CRIKEY: I agree and believe she should be given another chance.

Rev Cleophus defends his attack on Carmen

Just because Carmen has shed a few crocodile tears
after the election doesn’t mean she is displaying any
balls. Why for instance, if she was so concerned about
the policy, did she not make any complaints before the
election? Why didn’t she say anything before the
election in caucus?If she’s so upset about the whole
situation, why can’t she come up with an alternate
policy. This is just more chardonay socialist

Sometimes people, by their own choices and actions,
are beyond redemption and Carmen is a great example.

Crikey is wrong to suggest she get a second chance –
she’s already used her chances up and the
correspondent is wrong to suggest she has any balls.
She’s just carrying on her pattern of selfishness and

She should resign from the shadow cabinet and from
Parliament and let someone young who really does have
a bit of guts, have a go.

I’m not holding my breath though because Carmen
certainly doesn’t have the courage to do that.

She should never have been allowed back into shadow
cabinet in the first place. Carmen is a joke and the
sooner both she and the left realise that, the sooner
we can start to get a bit more regeneration into the
party from WA.

Rev Cleophus James.

CRIKEY: Hmmm, you’re pretty tough on her Rev. I reckon she deserves another go and anyone speaking out on refugee policies is to be applauded.

Priest victim on why GG should resign

Dear Stephen,

I am the survivor of three Catholic pedophiles (Fr. Gerald Ridsdale, Br. Edward Dowlan, Br. Robert Best) all have been convicted and are either still in goal or just recently released. I am angered and horrified at the behavior of the GG. He is in denial and stonewalling,
just like Bishop George Pell et al did in Ballarat and Melbourne when it
was reveled that many Priests and Brothers have been molesters and
rapists (over one hundred convicted in Australia so far!).

At Broken Rites in Victoria, we hear the horror stories of victims,
how they told the religious authorities what had happened, and the
subsequent cover ups – it is a very familiar pattern. This vile and
sordid episode needs to teach decision makers that all Catholic and
Anglican Bishops – and higher office bearers – are tarnished with the
brush of sexual sins and crimes and subsequent cover ups. So much has
been covered up and glossed over that none of these amoral men are
innocent, nor are they to be in respected positions of authority.

The GG is arrogant and needs to be removed immediately before more
damage is done to the position to which he is so desperately grasping.
Long live Hetty Johnstone!

Stephen Woods

CRIKEY: George Pell certainly came through this episode intact despite living with Risdale for a while at Ballarat.

Hetty sometimes looks like an ambulance chaser

Hi ya Ppls,

Your “Anon” correspondent was correct in that HJ ran in a federal election against David Jull in the electorate of Fadden, that was two elections ago and I think she was
with the Democrats that time.

As for the Bill D’Arcy thing, HJ timed it pretty well to try and get mileage out of that case. Just as D’Arcy went to trial, HJ appeared in anything that resembled the media,
and proceeded to use his case (he was subsequently convicted of paedophilia) to further any of her causes (be it child abuse, or her politics). Guess some thing’s don’t

Just as I abhor child abuse and paedophiles, I loathe those types that prey on the misfortune of others, to further their own ends. They remind me of ambulance chasers of
old (Oh, yes THEY’RE still around too aren’t they?).

Steve F

CRIKEY: If Hetty is really passionate you can’t blame her for getting on her soap box with the high profile cases.

Overpaid Bill Clinton

Dear Crikey,

I just heard a news grab that Bill Clinton is planning to spend the rest of his life redistributing the world’s income.

This fits in well with the report in the Australian on Monday that he got $700,000.00 for rehashing some of his earlier speeches ; also with the rumour that his fee for
opening the World IT Congress was $1 million — although the spin doctors were keen for this info not to leak out. Although with our exchange rate, this is probably enough
for some new pads on his old sax when tramslated into American dollars.

Regards, The Central Coaster

CRIKEY: It is just amazing how Bill is so money hungry in the way he charges for speeches but given that Crikey was once paid $3000 for a morning at a conference I can’t get too outraged.

Richard Carleton damages us journalists


It’s good to see an over-rated and over-paid Channel 9
reporter enhancing the standing of the journalists in
the community:

Barrister: “Did you mislead viewers, Mr Carleton?”
Carleton: “In the technical meaning of the word
misleading, yes.”

Barrister: “Did you lie to viewers?”
Carleton: “In so far as the meaning of the word lie is
taken (to mean) misleading, yes.”

Mr Carleton denied he had behaved unethically as a

Should see us placed firmly below real estate agents
and second-hand car dealers in the next survey!

Cheers, Glenn Moore

CRIKEY: Hmmm, I’m about to go through what Carleton is doing so might just keep my powder dry.

Where was Beattie on Darcy

I think that the hysteria over the G-G has a lot more to do with the man
than the issue. Although he has come across appallingly for a man so
experienced in using the media to advance his career, this whole issue seems
to be more a case of (a) he should never have been appointed and (b)
personal blowback (to use a current cliché).

His appointment was granted with underwhelming support from all sections of
the commentariat. Few openly criticised his appointment, as this is not
really done to a newly appointed GG without good reason. But it was obvious
that almost no-one warmly supported it. At the very earliest opportunity
(his complaint about the language used by rowers) the media subtly lampooned
him. People’s willingness to go after him for issues as small as that and to
go so amazingly berko over the abuse stuff is because they finally have a
reason to say he should never have been appointed although dressing it up as
he should now resign. How much of this is also a case of the person who
lives by the media dying by the media?

Another sidelight is that people like Peter Beattie and Jim Soorley, who
have no involvement in the issue, are coming out to call for his sacking.
The hypocrisy of Beattie is astounding. For purely political reasons
Beattie did nothing to Darcy – who was actually charged with child abuse
offences. He remained in parliament and took his super with mild
protestations from Premier Pete about natural justice and innocence until
proven guilty. Where was Beattie’s public outrage then? I’m sure that
privately he was appalled – but did nothing to take a stand against it
because it might get politically tough if he did. But he will happily call
for Hollingsworth – who is guilty of appalling judgement, being a product of
his day and dreadful self-justification – to resign. But then again,
Hollingsworth was famous as Archbishop for having media conferences to call
for others to be more compassionate, charitable and caring – hence the
blowback now.

Well that’s enough for this little rant.

Oh, by the way – referring to Tony from Brisbane, notice how many people
just “happen” to be listening to redneck radio?

Anon, of course.


Insurance madness must stop now

Hi Stephen!

This madness has to stop! Every week more businesses and professional people are shutting their doors because they cannot afford to insure
themselves, or because insurance companies will not renew policies!

My son, a chiropractor, says his Professional Indemnity Insurance has gone up 850% THIS YEAR. He has to see an additional 600 patients to break
even! One of his colleagues, an obstetrician for 20 years, says he has delivered his last baby as his professional indemnity insurance costs are

I know of one “not for profit” youth and lifestyle centre, who will have to close their operations tomorrow because they cannot get Public Liability
Insurance. Please refer to my attachment for further details. It will be a tremendous loss to our community.

We have lost festivals (eg Carols by Candlelight), sporting clubs, community residential services for youth, etc, and our lives will be poorer for it. People
who have run businesses (adventure tourism, horseriding schools and trail rides,camp grounds, publicans etc) even with no previous claims, have had
to close their businesses even though they have been paying insurance for years. Jobs are lost, homes are lost… relationships affected etc…. The
human cost is high!

It appears there is only ONE insurance company left in this country that even considers any Public Liability Insurance policies. Insurance costs have
gone through the roof.

Could we start a force of insurance clients who are prepared to move all their other insurances to the insurance companies that also offer reasonable
Public Liability Insurance and Professional Liability Insurance to companies that have good track records and are certified with risk reduction

Perhaps someone can think of a way to unite all the others who feel the rage that I feel about this problem, and use our collective power to get some
action quickly!

Regards, Christel Jensen

CRIKEY: Totally agree that this madness must be dealt with straight away and I tend to agree with Joe Hockey that curtailing the advertising of lawyers is one answer.

Unions and ruthless Fox-Lew to blame for Ansett


Here is my attempt at a short critical analysis of the whole Tesna debacle.

Fox & Lew with the assistance of the ACTU effectively bought themselves a 6
month option to pick up Ansett (or at least the parts they really wanted) at
a fire sale price. When they could not offload it at a profit, merge with
Virgin to form a real competitor or carve out some key property assets to
hold for capital appreciation (eg Sydney Terminal – more a small shopping
centre than an airport terminal), they let the option lapse because they
never really had the intention of running Ansett in its present form (they
are too smart for that). Fox & Lew then blame the Sydney Airports
Corporation, the Federal Government, the Administrators, Peter Hollingworth
and anyone else in sight for the sale not proceeding to placate the unions
(with whom Fox & Lew did a dirty deal in the first place) and to try and
save face with the Aussie public (as if Fox & Lew really care about them).

If anyone really thought that Fox & Lew were in it in the first place as
white knights determined to save jobs, save an Aussie icon etc then I have
the name of a good therapist. These guys did not build the empires which
they have by being charitable. It was all about the opportunistic
acquisition of some cheap assets for resale at a profit with the assistance
of the unions who now find their constituents (the Ansett workers)
completely screwed. The ACTU has been conned but will never admit it and the
anti-Government rhetoric will no doubt continue in order to take the heat
off the real culprits Fox & Lew (ruthless businessmen) and the ACTU (moronic
pawn in Fox & Lew’s profit game).

The irony of the ACTU supporting Fox and Lew in order to preserve ridiculous
entrenched work practices at Ansett with the net result of no work practices
at all will not be lost on most. It all begs the question as to whether the
ACTU’s primary objective is to preserve 19th century work practices at all
costs or to save jobs (albeit a few less of them)? Chris Corrigan must be

We will no doubt see how accurate this all is over the coming months when
more facts emerge.

Cheers, Brett

CRIKEY: Lew and Fox are absolute bottom fishers so it comes as no surprise that when the government refused to hand over the cash and Richard Branson refused to hand over his business that the deal was off.

Anderson caused this Ansett disaster


I do not claim to be an authority on the aviation industry however while everybody seems to be preoccupied about what the government did or did not do to help the Fox Lew bid, surely of more consequence is what the government did to sink Ansett in the first place.

The CEO of Singapore Airlines which of course was the largest shareholder in New Zealand Ansett Airlines had been warning for some time that Ansett was perilously close to collapse. Gary Toomey had told the Australian government that Ansett was losing up to $20m a week

Obviously there was a need for a major injection of funding to save Ansett. Singapore Airlines proposed to increase its stake to 49 percent which of course would have saved Ansett. Qantas’s alternate proposal was to buy Singapore’s interest in New Zealand Airlines and sell Ansett to Singapore Airlines. The only problem with that proposal was that Singapore had no intention of selling and had publicly and firmly said so.

Qantas immediately saw the danger to them of a much strengthened competitor in the region.

Dixon’s answer to this threat was to convince the hay seed Australian Minister for Transport John Anderson that Ansett’s financial circumstances were not nearly as perilous as both Singapore and New Zealand were claiming in spite of the fact that the government had been directly informed by Gary Tommey of their perilous financial state.

Dixon convinced Anderson that the Qantas proposal was the way.

Dixon provided Anderson with incorrect figures which showed Ansett was not in trouble in spite of the government having been told of its real situation by its owners, whom you would expect to know.

Qantas then packed up Anderson and sent him off to New Zealand to sell the Qantas proposal and to convince the New Zealand government not to allow Ansett’s rescue by Singapore Airlines. In spite of the fact that Singapore Airlines had no intention of selling, John Anderson flogged the Qantas deal to the New Zealand government. He even took the incorrect Qantas figures on Ansett’s financial position with him and used them to argue against Singapore rescuing Ansett. It worked a treat.

The New Zealand government which was already apprehensive about selling off a further stake in Air New Zealand, for whatever reason was influenced by Anderson. Singapore was blocked from pumping money into New Zealand Ansett Airlines.

The net result was that Ansett fell over and the New Zealand government had to pump nearly a billion dollars into New Zealand Airlines. Well done Mr Anderson.

Channel 9 “Sunday Program” of some weeks ago gave an excellent account of Anderson’s clumsy bungling unless you believe the outcome was the right one for Australia.


CRIKEY: You can’t escape the fact that Qantas is just too big and strong and one aspect of this is their influence over government. And their disgraceful cash for comment deals just show how low they are prepared to go.

Hetty’s cheap shot


Correspondent “Les” makes a telling point in referring to the G-G
witch-hunt selling papers. Fairfax just announced a whopping 58 per cent
drop in profit and Rupe’s still reeling from the $4 bill that Lachie et
al dropped in the past annus horribulus. It’s not much better in idiot
box world where the dumbest and cheapest shows ever contrived have
failed to hold viewers. It’s not smooth sailing on the airwaves either
with new competitors eating into audiences. Was it Nova or Jeff on AK
that sent Price packing? So, expect daily scandals and controversies
until the dickheads who run media finally wake up that their audience’s
eight-year-old kids are packing more smarts than your average news
editor and that sales are still plummeting. As for the dreadful Hetty,
who sparked this hysterical nonsense, she demonstrated that a
responsible media would show her nothing but the door by insisting on
Lateline that Hollingworth should be behind bars.



Janette won’t let PM sack Hollingworth

Hi Stephen

Three observations about Janette Howard:

1) It is hard to imagine two more ambitious – for their husbands – people than Janette Howard and Ann Hollingworth. To see them strutting about on official
occasions is not something that fills me with joy. Hence …

2) It is my theory that Little Johnny won’t sack Hollingworth because Janette won’t let him and that Hollingworth won’t resign because Ann won’t let him.

3) Glenn Milne merely reported the bleeding obvious, but nevertheless he reported observations made TO him, not BY him. It’s not often I will defend Milne, but
this is one occasion when he has my full support. Twice now, Janette has demanded an apology from him for this report: I’m not sure that, if he did apologise,
anyone in the Howard household would realise that he had…”sorry” is not a word that’s terribly familiar to them.

Keep up the good work, Bryan

CRIKEY: Interesting theory and certainly plausible.

Unions and ALP have a lot to answer for on Ansett


Now that the floundering wounded beast known as Ansett has at last
mecifully been put down, hopefully we will see some light shone on the
inept efforts of the ALP and the greed and incompetance of the unions.

The unions greed as well as hopeless management are what sent Ansett under
in the first place. They then got rid of the original administrator under
the guise of conflict of interest as he was talking to several interested
parties that included Lang Corp.

Bye Bye to the first 5000 jobs. Enter the ALP who turned up at every
available photo op but did stuff all else.Remember Fat Boy, Slimey Simon,
Heimi etc, at Ansett HQ when Fox/Lew first got involved, what a joke. As
soon as the election was lost they dissappeared.

Back to the unions who hijacked the creditors meeting and abused any
frequent flier who had spent thousands of dollars gaining points ( and
keeping unionists in work)from speaking up at the meeting. They were then
done over by Fox and Kelty during wage and condition negotiations.
(Bye Bye to another 2000 jobs!)

What an absolute goose Combet now looks, he has presided over the loss of
more union jobs than even Reith was able to manage.
What a sad and depressing time for all the workers and their families,
especially the “lucky” ones who were offered jobs with Tesna, they have
been shafted twice.

It certainly would make anyone think twice about pissing away hard earned
money on union fees in the future.

Bill Ibrox.


Media moguls and AFL coverage

Dear Stephen

Re: the articles in the last couple days about the dealings and the broadcast scheduling of the rounds in the preseason comp, I have to agree with the others about this having to watch the night games @ midnight & beyond.

I have sent 3 letters to the AFL in this regard & they still haven’t the decency to reply to my concerns.

Below is a letter that I forwarded to Senator Alston, Murdoch, Packer, the AFL & the ACCC outlining my complaints about this ridiculous new setup.

“I am writing to lodge a complaint about the anti-competitive nature of the new broadcasting rights agreement between the AFL and Foxtel, Channel 9 and Channel 10 and the loss of live AFL coverage to people here in regional areas which can lead to the Murdoch group being able to dictate and monopolise what we can access in the area of live football broadcasts.

By owing the rights to both codes of football, Rugby League and AFL, Foxtel and Ch 9 and the AFL hierarchy in particular can not fulfil their promise that people in the regional areas will not be disadvantaged. It is impossible for Ch 9 to show any live coverage of AFL night games when the Rugby League games are played at similar times.

Given the Murdoch Group’s substantial investments in ARL (News Corp also own many of those teams) they now can show the AFL live in the southern capitals (traditional markets) to keep the AFL happy and prevent people in regional areas along the east coast seeing AFL live
by preferencing the ARL thus preventing any competition in the ARL market that the AFL may cause.

Foxtel have introduced another channel called Fox Footy Channel however the only pay TV provider in regional areas is Austar who are trying to broker an agreement with Foxtel to be able to add this to their coverage but enquires to Austar, tell me that Foxtel are delaying that agreement to monopolise the market.

One other option left to gain match results is via the internet. Telstra (one of partners in Foxtel) now own the rights to the AFL Website. The last 2 weeks of pre-season AFL matches have shown the site is so popular that access to it is nearly impossible because the server is incapable of handling the volume of traffic.

Last weekend the only option left to get the latest scores of the matches was to use Telstra’s Pocket News on demand on their mobile phone network. Another windfall for Telstra.

This is clearly a move to disadvantage people in regional areas, to monopolise, take away any competition and dictate to us what we can have access to. We should be able to have the same access and AFL coverage as capital cities, as people in regional areas have enjoyed over the last several years and the choice of either free TV or pay TV but this seems now to have been taken away from us with no viable alternative other than be forced to pay more and more money to the Group.”

Awaiting your response.

P.S. It’s interesting to note that Austar started airing the Fox Footy Show on Sunday night after the the round robin games were finished. And it’s free for the month of March which is big of them given that the finals will be night games & we don’t get them live on Ch 9 anyway. Live night games of AFL footy in regional areas are truly dead thanks to the new deal the AFL has. While the ARL hasn’t started yet Ch 9 Has preferenced Burke’s Backyard over showing the live AFL. Unbelievable!

Regards, Peter

CRIKEY: Let us know if you ever get a response. It certainly is a sad day when sports are so controlled by media moguls but this has now happened in Australia.

Carmen’s refugee tears, self interest and political baggage

I was expecting to get all defensive when I started reading this article about Carmen Lawrenece, but came away feeling a little naive. I’ll be keeping a much closer/critical eye on Queen Carmen in the future.

On a seperate note, can Rev Cleophus James or anyone else at Crikey expand
on the impact that Geof Parry’s actions had upon the choice of refuge that
Penny Easton finally sought.

I can’t recall when I saw the footage, but I can still remember the way in
which a deeply insensistive Geof Parry was hounding an obviously upset Penny
Easton on her own doorstep….intruding onto the property to pursue her
while she tried to get into her car.

I doubt Penny Easton’s address would have been hard to have dug up at the
time, so its unlikely Geof Parry’s eventual Canberra post was the result of
flashy investigative journalism.

Was there any pennance paid by Parry or his news editor for the part they so
obviously paid in assisting to construct such a sad scene?? And if not, why

Or maybe I’m looking at the commercial television ‘news’ services in
Australia all together wrong, they really are commited to truth, justice and

Did Geof Parry cry when he was in East Timor?

Regards, King Kong

CRIKEY: No doubt someone will point this out to Geof Parry so we’d be delighted to hear back from you on this one.

Telling Telstra to f*** off

Hi Crikey,

I just telephoned Telstra on their Billing Line on 13 2200 to cancel some
handsets and got their new interactive system where you have to tell a
computer what you want and, hopefully, will get the department you want. A
great way to feel like a Dork.

As I just installed a new handset with hands-free, I did not appreciate the
fact that I had to lift the handset and talk to a recorded voice.
After finally getting through and lodging a complaint, I wondered how
accommodating the system would be.

So I rang again.


Telstra: Welcome to the Telstra customer (sic) service line. We are
trialing a new…………..

Please tell me what you want………

Me: F*** you.

Telstra: Sorry, I didn’t hear you………..

Me: F*** you.

Telstra: I am having difficulty getting that, please wait and I will
connect you to an operator.

Then you get a live person.

Cheap entertainment but very embarrassing for Telstra. I am sure that more
creative minds than mine can come up with more entertaining scripts.

Keep up the good work, Mike

CRIKEY: Very childish Mike but those goddam call systems do drive you mad.