Dear diary, it is my sad duty to inform you that this will be my last campaign diary for Crikey because I’ve decided not to contest the 2006 Victorian election for People Power.
There are a range of reasons for this decision.
Firstly, my involvement with People Power meant that the party was not getting a great run in powerful media outlets such as the Herald Sun and 3AW because of long-standing personal enmities with those that control them. Why should people with disabilities and mental illnesses or those battling gambling addictions suffer poorer political representation and media coverage because I’m banned by a few powerful media players?
Then you have this extraordinary media takeover frenzy, which is something that any self-respecting shareholder activist and media watchdog just has to get involved with.
Rather than having our anti-pokies press releases ignored by James Packer’s Channel Nine, which controls Crown Casino, it makes more sense to throw myself into campaigning through shareholder activism. Therefore, it’s goodbye People Power and hello James Packer at next Thursday’s PBL AGM in Sydney. The flights are booked.
The flights to New York for Friday’s News Corp AGM were prohibitively expensive when I looked this morning but Fairfax chairman Ron Walker can expect plenty of attention when shareholders gather at Crown Casino (yes, this is not a sad joke) on Friday, 10 November. Can you believe this Packer confidant is still Fairfax chairman when he personally profited to the tune of about $60 million from his own Crown Casino dealings with the Packers and will now lead the negotiations on any future merger between Fairfax and the old PBL media assets?
Another factor was Paula’s shock election to the RACV board. This is a seismic event in our world and will require lots of preparation before she starts her three-year term in four weeks.
Similarly, the kindergarten has been neglected in recent months and as president it needs some more attention leading into the AGM, which is due to be held in the week leading up to the state election.
Truth be known, like any small party we also had a few differences of opinion amongst our key people. Hopefully my departure will help the party, which finally achieved registration last Thursday, function more professionally.
Now, if anyone fancies giving Rupert some stick on Friday or lining up some other AGM season proxy action, please email [email protected].