Peta Credlin
(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

On Friday night Peta Credlin, Sky News presenter and former chief of staff to Tony Abbott, made the following statement on her program, which was then reproduced by The Daily Telegraph as part of a comment piece by Janet Albrechtsen:

A mob called Ownership Matters -- a proxy firm -- is trying to replace Katie Page with professional corporate agitator Stephen Mayne on the Harvey Norman board at the company AGM later this month. These proxy firms are a nasty new pest wreaking havoc on business. They invite small shareholders to assign to them their proxies, and then try to turn public company AGMs into town hall debates about climate change, gender equality, or bringing boat people to Australia.

Where do we start? Poor old Peta has no idea. She seems to have confused the proxy advisory firms Ownership Matters, CGI Glass Lewis and ISS (which advise institutional shareholders how to vote their stock at AGMs) with a combination of the Australian Shareholders’ Association (which does collect proxies from small shareholders) and the activist outfits Market Forces and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (which does put up-climate related resolutions at AGMs).