Independent Queensland Senate candidate Hetty Johnston is campaigning
for a seat on a child protection platform, with the backing of Channel
Seven money, while doing deals with the Family First Party, but can she
do all this and stay true to the beliefs she claims she holds?

Hetty’s Sunrise spit

Subscriber email – 29 September

A subscriber writes:

I hope you caught the extraordinary performance of Hetty
Johnston on her ‘sponsors’ program this morning. A dummy spit of epic
proportion re the format of the interview. Now that Hetty has slammed Sunrise,
will she return the money they stumped up for her candidacy? The
amusing and entertaining episode only seemed to underline the error in
selecting this well known political operative for a format purportedly
designed to support political unknowns having a crack at a seat in

Given the regular contributions of David Koch to this forum I’m sure
all subscribers who witnessed this morning’s ripping live TV would
appreciate his views on the whole affair.

We emailed Sunrise‘s executive producer Adam Boland for an explanation and he replied:

Hi Crikey,

We invited Hetty on the show this morning to talk about issues other
than child abuse. After all, any member of the house of review needs to
be more than a single issue candidate.

Hetty felt she couldn’t provide answers to topics in the allocated time
(the same time we allocate to any pollie or wannabe pollie appearing on
our show) – so instead chose to launch an attack on the concept of Vote for Me.

Hetty is a passionate woman – which we admire. Unfortunately, it’s been
my experience than she feels many people are out to “get her” – even
those trying to help her.

The other Vote for Me candidates remain happy with the process.
They understand that I have no intention of turning Sunrise into
Lateline or the Hetty Johnston Variety Show.

She had a chance this morning to convince Queenslanders to vote for her
– but if our soapbox is anything to go by, she convinced many NOT to
vote for her.

Adam Boland

Is Hetty doing a Cheryl with the truth?

Subscriber email – 28 September

By Democrats expert Cheryl Chipp

Has high profile anti-child abuse hysteric Hetty Johnston done a
mini-Cheryl Kernot by releasing her autobiography in the middle of her
campaign for a Queensland Senate seat and failing to tell the truth?

Hetty is parading around the State campaigning on two claims – that she
is an honest, straight shooter and that she puts the interests of
children above all else.

But her autobiography In the Best Interests of the Child, launched yesterday to great media disinterest, gives the lie to both. As readers of last week-end’s Sunday Mail
know, the best interests of the child apparently includes parading your
daughter, adopted out at birth in 1975, before the media complete with
a happy snap of the reunited mother and child.

In her book, the patron saint of children says that she had desperately
wanted to keep her baby but explains in heart wrenching detail that she
simply had no option but to give it up back in those dog-eat-dog days.

Take it away Hetty:

“In those days there was no pension for single unmarried
mothers, or anything that resembled it. The reality was cruel. I simply
couldn’t seriously consider my preferred option of keeping my baby.”
(Page 36)

The reality is Hetty, that is a pile of inaccurate, self-serving tosh!
Had Hetty really been so desperate to keep her child, all she had to do
was apply for the single mothers benefit, introduced by Whitlam
government Treasurer Bill Hayden in May, 1973 – two years before Hetty
adopted out her daughter due to this cruel system.

Oh dear! So the self-proclaimed child protection hero and honest
“non-politician” (on the political make) unnecessarily gave up her baby
and is now telling porkies in public to justify it all.

And this coming so soon after she was found exchanging preferences with
Family First, which has a pro-corporal punishment for children policy
considered to be officially sanctioned child assault by most children’s

Is there nothing pure and true left to hold onto in this cynical, calculating world?

Hetty Johnston and adoption in the 1970s

A subscriber writes:

Your remarks about Hetty and her adopted-out baby hit a nerve with me.
As the father of two children adopted in 1973 and 1975, I can vouch for
the HUGELY altered state of play at that time. The only reason we got a
second child at all was that we were living in the country and were
happy to take a “mixed-race” child. Our daughter’s natural mother
insisted on a country placement and voilà!

To cut a long story short, we were told by the Department at the time
that there was a minimum 14 YEAR wait for our second child and that we
would be too old to adopt when that time came round . Discreet
suggestions were made that overseas adoption was a good option (we had
friends who adopted two Korean children and the Whitlam government lied
to everyone about bringing in orphans from Vietnam)………but the most
interesting part was the continuing rumours about a black-market for
SELLING unwanted babies in Oz at the time.

Given the almost impossibility of adopting an Oz child by 1975, these
rumours persisted and perhaps raise some interesting questions. Hetty’s
own inaccurate remarks about the Supporting Parent Benefit and the REAL
situation at the time regarding adoption are enough to raise a few
niggling doubts.

Do ya best
Ian Carr