The first ripples of controversy at
the Sydney Writers’ Festival have been felt, and Crikey can claim
responsibility. Readers have hit back at our report yesterday on Tony
Kevin’s $15,000 premier’s literary award.

Julian Zytnik writes:
“I would like to ask Hugo Kelly on what grounds does he think Tony
Kevin is a ‘conspiracy theorist’. I haven’t read his book on SIEV X
yet, but his website reads quite reasonably and compellingly on now
neglected topics.”

Meanwhile, the author himself writes:

“Dear Hugo, all publicity is good publicity (ie.
for the cause of justice and truth for the sake of the SIEV X victims,
not for me) but have you considered the short label ‘Tony Kevin, SIEV X
whistleblower’ rather than ‘Tony Kevin SIEV X conspiracy theorist’?
This would be less pejorative and more accurate.

“My book (as
you will find if you read it) is a work of exact historical
scholarship, based on media reportage and Senate Hansard records and
documents – not the spinning of conspiracy theories. I leave that to
the present federal government, who do not need any help from me.”

CRIKEY: OK, Tony Kevin’s book is hardly as far out as some notoriously wacky conspiracy theorists like David Icke.
But as Kevin said on accepting his award from Bob Carr, “only a full
and thorough public inquiry will determine whether I am right, given
the seamless cover-up conducted by the national security agencies.”
Hmmm. Sounds spookily like a conspiracy theory to us. Check out Kevin’s
SIEV X website and decide for yourself: