Following my announcement to stand as a candidate in this year’s Victorian state election, AAP produced this report yesterday, which was also picked up in The Australian’sStrewth column. The key quotes were:

In Brisbane to launch a new initiative, on behalf of depression awareness organisation Beyondblue, Mr Kennett sarcastically welcomed Mr Mayne’s move.

“The beaut thing about Australian public life is we encourage everyone to stand,” Mr Kennett said.”And often, it would be a good thing if certain people would be elected because then they would have to be accountable for what they say and do.” Crikey has often been criticised for publishing controversial information left alone by other media outlets, with politicians and big business particularly targeted.

Hang on a minute. This is a guy who abused parliamentary privilege on numerous occasions in defaming people and, when he did get sued, was indemnified by the Victorian taxpayer on up to 12 occasions. He allegedly profited to the tune of $400,000 from a tax free defamation settlement with the Packer family and then, when he chased another $400,000 payday from The Australian but lost, the Murdoch interests didn’t enforce the costs order. If anyone needs a history lesson on all this, check out the 18,766-word treatise on

By way of contrast, I was personally sued three times and ended up losing the house. There were none of the indemnities, privilege or counter-party cost waivers that our Jeffrey enjoyed.

Sure, there is no Press Council or Broadcasting Authority for ezines, but there is no shortage of accountability at Crikey. Maybe Jeffrey is referring to the challenges of actually being elected rather than sparring from the outside.

He’s welcome to look at my performance record at the local kindergarten, where the program is expanding in 2007 and demand is strong such that there are no vacancies.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.


Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey