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 jeffed.com.

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

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Peter Fray
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