Leave Big Jack to the market

Crikey! You say you are for privatisation and despite your current anti howard feelings probably more liberal than labour, and so somewhere I believe you believe in market forces. Of course, not corrupt market forces like the banks, but market forces nonetheless. When will you STOP trying to get rid of Big Jack Elliott? It is not just that he a revolting human being who has driven Carlton into the ground (where they belong) that makes me happy he stays at Carlton. No, it is more than that. It is that what has happened to both Big Jack and to Carlton is the perfect embodiment of market forces at work. He has ruled through bullying, through being pig headed, stubborn and uncaring of any opinion around him (I know this from certain staff at the club).

And Carlton members and fans have let it happen. Like any dictator, the first few years are great. Crime falls, the trains run on time and everyone starts collecting flies to get rid of the fly problem. But this success is built on weak foundations, suddenly the lack of transparency, the dishonesty, the lack of capable management at every level, the rigged constitution to prevent the majority of members having valid votes becomes apparent. At first people put up with it but eventually there is a groundswell. You know all this. Why are you fighting it in the case of Carlton?

Please leave them alone. Yes it is great to see them suffer for their arrogance (Optus oval anyway?) but that is not my point. Market forces will eventually come into play. Let them work here. Let the members and staff get to work and start fighting the crooks at the top, the weak kneed middle management of the club that let Big Jack treat it as his personal fiefdom for so long. Then whatever changes happen will be real, deep and sincere and will ultimately benefit everyone.

As an example, look at Collingwood. Insufferably arrogant for so long to the extent they would not appoint a non-Colingwood person as coach. Result? Colliwobbles and Ron Richardson and the other committee members watch the club decline into irrelevance in order to protect the old boys network. Ultimately, the members forced a management in that led to a non-Collingwood person as coach, then what happens? A premiership. Okay, what followed is not so flash, as the old boys climbed back, but you get the idea.

Let the market forces work. Let Carlton stew and maybe learn. That will be the ultimate disgrace for Big Jack anyway, to be so completely proven wrong and hopeless.

Yours sincerely, Eddie McGuire

CRIKEY: Interesting comment about your mate Eddie. Jeff Kennett was of the same ilk.

Barney Balance on the ball

I don’t know who Barney Balance is or whether he is a Democrat insider, but “Lees and Kernot always had problems with Britney” is a terrifically well -written analysis. Full of interesting background, it has the feel of authenticity that is consistent with what we already know and feel about the characters involved. I particularly like the phrase “a party which by its nature is made up of people with views which extend from the eccentric to the absurd.”

One can only wish we could read such incisive material in our Paper of Record (SMH) instead of the biased crap masquerading as analysis emanating from Mike Seccombe.

Ron Mead

CRIKEY: He’s one of our finest contributors old Barney.

Eddie Everywhere’s power point presentation

While surfing, unfortunately on the TV, with my zapper last night I came across this Melbourne oriented sports show called “The Footy Show”, hosted by non other than Eddie “Everywhere, “Sydney,Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth Basher” McGuire. He got on his high horse, as usual, and took out, on a PowerPoint presentation, a number of graphs showing us how the Brisbane Lions and Sydney Swans were receiving gross amounts of funds from the AFL and how this gave them an advantage over the so called”Melbourne Teams”.

Has anyone told the President of Collingwood, Host of the Footy Show, Host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Host of the Sunday Footy Show and caller of the, no conflict of interest, Friday night games, where Collingwood seems to play almost every Friday night. I’m sorry if I left anything else out. Oh yeah, I forgot about the IQ TEST.

Anyway, does this character realise that the AFL in the Brisbane and Sydney markets has very strong competition from the 2 Rugby codes and that if there isn’t a wining team no one attends the matches or watches them on TV. Also Mr. Everywhere should realise that the grand final is played in Melbourne, so if you are an out of town team playing a Melbourne one, you are at a bit of a disadvantage.

In any event, Everywhere should draft a proposal to maintain an AFL national competition but with Melbourne teams only, 5 or six teams, that way Collingwood could win many premierships. Its a win win situation, Eddie gets what he wants and we don’ t get to see him on TV, on some shows anyhow.


CRIKEY: You get no argument from Crikey on this stuff Richie.

Peter Picketline on the money

Dear Crikey,

Peter Picketline’s series on the ASU/MEU is fascinating, and I hope other union insiders might have similar stories — not because of voyeurism, but because the Labor Party needs to know that a turned-off unionist is often a turned-off labor voter, and because workers pin their hopes on unions, and need to know what’s going on with their money if it appears the union is not representing them.

Speaking of which, my last letter talked about the case of “casual” workers being harshly treated by the union. The full-timers fared no better (in spite of family-friendly policies). The council boss ordered them to perform compulsory “reasonable overtime” several weekends per year.

This was an unusual move, as their award had no provision for compulsory overtime, and the normal procedure in this case is that overtime can only be ordered in an emergency — and this was definitely not an emergency. When the workers queried this with the union, their ever helpful rep told them he agreed 100% with everything the boss said, and reiterated they should shut up and do what they were told. When workers pointed out that the NSW Industrial Relations Act prohibits part-timers from being forced into compulsory overtime (and many of the permanent staf were part-time), the union legal minds confessed they’d never heard of that one.

The secretary sent a stinging letter to the council complaining about troublemakers among the staff who were opposing the bosses.

Peter Picketline mentions the blokey nature of the union — I can’t agree with that, as one of the union reps offered lifts to female staffers regularly so that they could see his nice new car.

Incidentally, the union is still not taking too much notice of the disappearing jobs in this area, which are gradually being contracted out, so that council doesn’t have to deal with messy union problems …


CRIKEY: The internal politics of unions are fascinating but all too often we don’t get to hear about them. Peter Picketline has changed all that as far as the ASU is concerned and there should be more of it.

Stop slagging us hard working Qantas people

Dear Crikey,

Reference your two shots at QANTAS staff this week – “crew in business class & QANTAS profit result” – a couple of facts might be of interest to you.

What your contributor who complained about the crew positioning (they were working) in business class should understand is that check-in would only allocated those seats after the flight had been closed. If your contributor was really ‘a regular business traveller’ he would know that you have to get in early to get the seats. Business class is always full these days.

The QANTAS club lounge staff just have visibility of the available seats – not the break-up of whose who.

Both the Pilots and the Flight Attendants took a pay freeze as part of the 02 EBA. In relation to the bonus shares this is part of an staff share plan which has been going on since the float of the airline. It has hardly ‘diluted shareholder value’ during this time if you bother to examine the performance of the airlines shares.

All staff share plan shares are subject to 3-5 year trading restrictions.

$1000 of shares is hardly recompence for the very significant productivity offsets given by all QANTAS staff over the last 2 years. In the case of the cabin crew, their manning levels per aircraft are now the lowest of any airline in the world.

US airlines (whose flight attendants earn more than most Australian pilots) have 2-3 extra F/A’s per aircraft. Despite QANTAS spin to the contrary, this has the obvious effect on service levels.

The term ‘trolley dolly’ is highly offensive. The cabin crews primary role is to evacuate passengers from the aircraft in the event of an emergency. One day, Stephen some of these individuals you deride might just save your life.

I am a big fan of your website, and reckon the sole subscription is worthwhile, but Crikey’s weakness is the ridiculous and puerile bias which sometimes clouds your coverage of otherwise important issues.

yours, Airline Insider

CRIKEY: An interesting perspective. All this industrial strife at the moment would suggest that many of the staff are pushing the envelope.

Who can’t sit in Parliament

Dear Crikey,

The Constitution clearly outlines the criteria for memebers of Parliament in section 44:

43. A member of either House of the Parliament shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a member of the other House.

44. Any person who:

i. Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power: or

ii. Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer: or

iii. Is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent: or

iv. Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth: or

v. Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:
shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

The list posted on your site, may only indicates where those representatives were born.

Chris Hadley

CRIKEY: We just need someone to start lodging a few challenges after the next election.

Journalists should disclose their religion

Another day another religious scandal. But surely reporting on the latest Pell controversy should be accompanied by a religious disclosure. Journos who own shares declare their interests so why don’t those who are reporting on religion tell us if they have a vested interest. I don’t live my life by religion but plenty do and I’m sure it has a greater influence on their life than whether they have a parcel of Telstra shares. The Courier-Mail’s Tess Livingstone wrote “It is understood that the complainant, now 53, is a former painter and docker and a tax cheat with 40 criminal convictions including amphetamine and cannabis trafficking. He has served several years in prison etc etc”. Surely the readers deserve to know Tess is one of the hardest-core Catholics about. Instead she just tells us her Pell biography is out later this year. How long until the Oz’s Angela Shanahan gives us her opinion on hard done-by Big George?

A Census Anglican.

Pay by Snap 2451
Btw, interested in more stuff on the Tony Koch scandal at the Bowen Hills bunker?

CRIKEY: A very good suggestion. We advocate that everything is disclosed so when dealing with religious controversies this should be adopted.

I’m with Natasha but she did make some mistakes

Dear Whoever,

You wanted comment on the fiasco. Well, it’s pretty clear to me.
Plain old Meg was rolled by a young attractive intelligent woman who looked
as though she might, just might, be able to reverse the Democrats plunge to
the ratings deep, and Meg didn’t like it. So she took every opportunity to
put the slipper, not the boot, into Natasha, so as to undermine her

And then Natasha made mistakes.

What Meg said about selling Telstra was not all that terrible. In fact to
never say ‘never’ about selling Telstra only made good sense, but Natasha
didn’t have the political nouse to recognize that, and instead only saw an
attempt to undermine her own not selling Telstra stance, and thereby her
leadership – which was exactly how Meg meant it.

Enter Aden who would make Mark Antony as he delivered his funeral oration
for Caesar look like an honorable man. I trust that none of the Gang of Four will be pre-selected again, but it doesn’t matter for me.

I won’t be voting Democrat again.

One last: For Meg to say that she might have signed an agreement to resign
her Senate seat if she left the party that gave it to her, but doesn’t
remember it, and won’t be doing it anyway, indicates her level of political
morality. And her sense of fiscal survival in not throwing away the source
of her parliamentary pension.

John Lynch

CRIKEY: I think Meg has already secured her Parliamentary pension but Natasha needs another couple of years before she’ll be able to do a Bill O’Chee.

Did the Hun doctor the Britney pic

Hi Crikey,

What do you think about the Herald Sun front page photo of Natasha? I reckon it’s been tampered with – her eyes are too pink! She did get a little shaky during the press conference, but she certainly didn’t cry.

The Age photos don’t show any hint of “pinkness” either. Do you reckon the Hun has “enhanced” the photo in some way?

Cheers, Sarah

CRIKEY: I certainly noticed a slight difference but would be very surprised if Hun editor Peter Blunden would do such a thing.

Denise Brailey unfair to ASIC

Denise Brailey in her critique of the Perth operations of ASIC claims that ASIC is missing the point by not discussing corporate fraud. She also makes the lofty claim of being the “one person who may be able to provide answers to corporate surveillance practices”.

Unfortunately Denise appears to have missed the point of these seminars and thus, to me, sounds unlikely to be at all qualified to speak on the actual subject matter. About 3 weeks ago an estimated 2200 Perth locals were scammed through an offshore internet investment. These seminars are a response to this particular scam. This has absolutely nothing to do with corporate surveillance and absolutely nothing to do with businesses near insolvency.

Many of the people involved are unwilling to believe that they have been defrauded, even to this day. As a professional I have spoken with some of them and found myself up against cognitive dissonance. They are unwilling to accept new information that causes them regret over their past actions. These people are likely to be fooled again.

Talking to the public is exactly what is needed. ASIC lends additional credibility to the arguments and I applaud them for doing so. They have approached community groups affected and have widely disseminated information which I believe in the long run will save a large number of people from falling into similar traps.

Yes corporate fraud is a big issue, but it’s not the only issue that ASIC has to deal with. Each year hundreds of millions of dollars are lost offshore by naive Australians investing in get rich quick scams. Increasing public awareness through free seminars, with the goal of trying to reduce this substantial cash outflow, is hardly a fiasco or a waste of taxpayers money.

Perth adviser with a few answers

CRIKEY: Fair point. I think ASIC certainly went missing on the finance brokers scandal in the early days but the educational programs now are to be welcomed.

Hugo’s petty name calling

Dear Crikey

I was tremendously disappointed in reading Hugo’s response to Chris Kelly.
I have been an admirer of Hugo’s work in the past but in this case the
intellectual weakness of Hugo’s argument was clearly evident from his
inability to address any of Chris’s points. Rather than offering a rebuttal
of Chris’s argument, or at the very least, letting the two cases stand side
by side and inviting the reader to weigh them, Hugo chose to claim the
final say and then only to resort to pre-school name calling.

With a seeming majority of correspondents and columnists for Crikey
assuming pseudonyms, Chris Kelly made an easy mistake in assuming that Hugo
Kelly was not the author’s real name. Hardly the central issue for Hugo to
take umbrage with..

Otherwise, keep up the good work at crikey!

Nick McKenna

CRIKEY: The response was just tongue in cheek so don’t get too upset.

Do ya research Patrick

Dear Crikey

If Patrick Fitzgerald had bothered to do some research he may have discovered that Daniel Southern has a legal dispute with the Western Bulldogs relating to his final year of playing. The Bulldogs did not want to be put in a position where radio comments about a current legal dispute may have occurred. This was fully explained by Terry Wallace on Triple MMM before yesterday’s game.

It was not as Patrick said due to any “outspoken comments” by Southern.
As for his irrelevant comment about the Bulldogs being onfield bullies the current champions at this are Brisbane as evidenced by the amount of tribunal appearances they make. The difference is that there is no media based campaign based on tried and boring Western suburban stereotypes against Brisbane like there is any time a Bulldog is involved.


CRIKEY: Our man Patrick is a good fella and I’m surprised he’s copping all this criticism at the moment. As if Southern was going to raise his legal dispute in the context of a game.

Those Canberra tomatoes were Sun-Ripened

I was in Canberra at the time that we had to vote for the first assembly and the
panoply of party names did not include Red Ripe Tomato Party. I believe it was
the Sun-Ripened Warm Tomato Party, the Party Party Party Party and the overly
cute Residents’ Rally.

Please treat this contribution anonymously as I shouldn’t be looking at Crikey
at work.

Thanks, anon

CRIKEY: Why was there never a Cardigan-Wearing Party?

Crude Democrat jokes

They’re probably not laughing now, but this little bit of comedy relief turned up on the ADnet on Tuesday night, posted by Western Australian Democrat and Britney fan Collin Mullane.

From: “Collin Mullane”

Date: Tue Aug 20, 2002 7:20 pm

Subject: The Democrats Party … crude joke!

BEWARE … if you are easily offended DO NOT READ THIS!

The WA Democrats decide to have a t

heme party in honour of Andrew Murray where guests are asked to come dressed as different emotions eg. anger, fear, love etc. etc.

On the night of the party Mark Reynolds [National executive member for WA, runs the dreadful Dems national website & Andrew Murray supporter] arrives covered in green paint, with the letters N and V painted on his chest. Everyone asks “Wow great outfit. What emotion have you come as?” And Mark says “I’m green with envy”.

A few minutes later the doorbell rings and Andrew opens the door to see Jack Evans [former WA Senator, Democrat stalwart, national administrator & strong backer of Andrew Murray] covered in a pink body stocking with a feather box wrapped around his most intimate parts. Again, all the other guests ask “Wow great outfit. What emotion have you come as?” And Jack replies “I’m tickled pink”.

A couple of minutes later the doorbell rings again. The host opens the door to see Collin Mullane [see above] and Rod Swift [Chairperson WA southern branch, WA state policy co-ordinator & Britney fan] lover, stark naked, one with his penis stuck in a bowl of custard and the other with his penis stuck in a pear.

Everyone is rather shocked and Andrew says “What the hell are you doing? You could get arrested for standing like that out here in the street. What emotion is this supposed to be?”.

Rod replies “Well I’m f**king dis custard and Collin has just come in dis pear!!!!!!!


CRIKEY: What a great party!

Danna Vale an illiberal Liberal

Hillary Bray tells us Danna Vale may be elevated to Cabinet.

Her electorate covers the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor site in Sydney.
Vale won the seat in 1996 and issued a press release on March 5, 1997
saying that “expansion of the Lucas Heights nuclear facility … is one
option which can be crossed off the list here and now. This reactor
itself was built at Lucas Heights 40 years ago when this area was
uninhabited bushland. Now, new residential development, over 10,000 new
homes, have been built close to the site. Such residential expansion
should never have been allowed to occur if the Government intended to
expand this facility. As a matter of fact, the community has been under
the impression for many years that the reactor itself would be phased
down and a new one built somewhere else. Let’s face it, Australia is not
exactly short of empty, open space.”

But by the time the government decided to build a new reactor at Lucas
Heights, i.e. September 1997, Vale was singing the government’s song.
Loudly. Very Loudly. She threatened three critics of the reactor plan
(including myself) with defamation suits.

I was threatened for suggesting that ‘information’ emanating from her
office about the reactor was in fact misinformation (a claim I
substantiated in some detail in a submission to a Senate inquiry). She
did not pursue the legal threat. She has declined repeated requests to
publicly debate the reactor issue, and she has declined repeated
requests to provide a substantive response to my Senate submission (in
particular the critique of her mis-information).

All of which would make her ideal Cabinet material. And she’s a
God-botherer, too. Pencil her in.

Jim Green

CRIKEY: Not another polly threatening defo. Don’t you hate that. But you can’t claim her for attending church – lots of decent people do that.

Honorary doctorates are offensive and irritating

As a person who has recently submitted a PhD thesis for examination at
Melbourne University, I find this list offensive and irritating. (I had to
‘scroll’ through it!) Having toiled for four years to compose a thesis
that would stand up to the scrutiny of two independent examiners , I feel
cheated that Universities can hand over degrees to people for what, in
many cases, are services to themselves.

Name a new ‘wing’ of a building in their honour, but don’t misrecognise their achievements with an ill matching honorary degree. How does the painter Russell Drysdale qualify
for a honorary law degree? As for Cathy Freeman and Ballarat University,
the stupidity of the logic underpinning this decision hardly warrants

She has gold medals for her wonderful sporting deeds. Why award her a degree? ‘Real’ doctorates are themselves getting watereddown. Specialist doctorates for fee paying students allow course work to
be topped up with a small thesis component (40 thousand words) that leads
to the award of ‘Doctor of Psychology’ or the like (as opposed to the
original high degree which is Doctor of Philosophy).

Course work is fine for bachelor and masters awards, but a doctorate should require a major
contribution to an academic discipline. Pure research doctorates are
distinguishable from lesser degrees by those who know what to look for, but
if this trend continues the degradation of the ‘term’ and ‘degree’
doctorate will see the prestige and quality of the qualification seriously

Yours etc Derek Dalton


CRIKEY: Well said Derek, I’m sure every genuine PHD out there would feel the same.

Peter Fray

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