Have Premier Mike Rann and his upright uptight Attorney General, Michael Atkinson, bitten off more than they can chew in SA? Having pushed through a bill impinging on the freedom to associate for all proscribed groups last year the Attorney-General is now considering a number of related matters.
The first club in the sights of the Attorney General are the Finks. As a result of this action the bikies have been discussing forming a political party as political parties are exempt from the prosciption process. In return the SA Government is considering raising to 500 the number of people required to form a political party, a move that could impact on many other potential parties as well. It would limit the formal opposition effectively.
Meantime on Saturday there will be a bike run organised by the Gypsy Jokers annually for their members but this year open to Hells Angels, Descendants, Finks and others. The Bikie gangs are talking and working together as never before as they can see that this legislation has the potential to prevent them gathering together at all. An unintended consequence of the repressive legislation.
When this is counterposed against the other big news in SA about the SA Jockey Club, which has upset many people with its desire to put housing on the racecourse at Cheltenham, the attack on bikies is looking like a diversionary tactic from a government which is increasingly cosying up to the development industry.
It appears that Ministers and the friend of the Premier are up to their necks in a scandal which is detailed in a report still under wraps. No wonder the SA Government is dead against setting up an Independent Commission Against Corruption.
It wants the law and order attention to be on the bikies not friends of the government.
No wonder Financial Review subscription circulation numbers are falling. My annual subscription was stopped before it should have. I sent two emails over a week — received auto response to both stating that I “should get a reply shortly” — I didn’t! The email suggested if I wanted to contact subscriptions to phone Customer Service team on 136666 — the problem is no one answers. Finally got through today using home delivery number (took 30 minutes). Someone who answered said that they were not set up to answer emails despite advertising “[email protected]” (which sends auto-responses.) He also told me that there is only one person looking after subscription problems!
The Age‘s New IT system is only small part of the reason customers are waiting nearly an hour on the phone. Age management recently sacked 20 circulation department employees. No wonder subscribers can’t get through. There aren’t enough people manning the phones.
Fairfax Business Media appears the latest publisher to put the broom through their staff and this time it was a dozen or so sales staff. Most of Wednesday’s redundancies came from the magazine sales division. BRW was the most seriously affected with its team cut in half, clearly reflecting the troubled landscape the business print media market faces right now. The AFR sales team was relatively untouched despite also struggling to meet budgets and with AFR online still being a financial basketcase.
The writing has been on the wall for months now with movements of all sales staff being tracked closely by Finance Director Alistair Macrae. All staff have been clock watched via their security tags to the Fairfax Media building.
Ironically amongst all the chaos, Alistair still managed to get his PA to put up all new fresh images of his yacht across his office wall.
We’ve been warned of coming redundancies at the Cumberland Courier. But apparently for those who escape the axe “there will still be room to move in the company”. This is a mainly young workforce (most of us are in our first reporting jobs) and we’re not convinced.
Funny thing is, Turnbull’s Twitter profile is, sensibly for an attention-seeking politician, public. Anyone can see his tweets anyway — including FSC, who just has to log out and be an anonymous user. All a “block” does is tell the world that, as Pauline Hanson might say, “I don’t loike it!”Poor Malcolm.
PS No, I am NOT Fake Stephen Conroy.