Sitting in front of a blank computer screen is confronting, but strangely quite liberating.

KRudd: all set for internet censorship: Caricature by Eric Lobbecke

There is a glimmer of anticipation, of unknown opportunity. There is a sense of freedom – now that is a strange coincidence. It is actually a sudden, unexpected challenge to my freedom that crowds my thoughts.

Who would have thought that in 2009, I would be sitting at my desk in the Australian Parliament, earnestly searching the internet for quotations about censorship?

I consider myself to be middle of the road conservative. I have never been spurred on to researching censorship issues in response to a risque arthouse movie – nor have I rushed to write a letter to the editor on the Passion of Christ – veterinarians are by necessity, quite broadminded.

But enough is enough. The buck stops right here!

This is Australia 2009 and as of a fortnight ago, as a Senator representing the State of Western Australia, my right to comment on flawed, reckless or irresponsible Government policy is threatened. I cannot accept that.

The redoubtable sage Wikipedia tells me that in wartime, explicit censorship is carried out with the intent of preventing the release of information that might be useful to an enemy.

But the Rudd government has just imposed explicit censorship on Parliamentarians. In response to an enquiry or request from a school student, a citizen or the media, I can no longer post a letter which is critical of any decision or policy of the current Government.

So what am I now? The enemy?

My key role in opposition is to scrutinise Government policy and performance and communicate with my electorate.

This censorship is designed to curtail the first and prevent the second if it highlights government inadequacy.

I have not been long in Parliament and I love it. But I did not leave a successful career in business to submit my letters and, yes, Christmas cards, to bureaucrats in the Dept of Finance for their approval.

(Perhaps I should put the members of the Parliamentary Entitlements Advisory Committee bureaucrats on my Christmas card list? That might provide them with some welcome relief from the prospective hundreds – no thousands - of Christmas cards spewing out of electoral offices, coming their way in the next 8 weeks).

I am sure they are fine people and have no real interest in reading my mail……

As a taxpayer, I would rather they were at their desk doing what they are paid to do, and that is manage the nation’s economy. Heaven knows, under this government, it needs all the help it can get.

Like WW1 officers, the Finance ‘thought police’ now go through our letters with a black marker and cross out any words like ‘incompetent’, ‘disastrous’, ‘disgraceful’, ‘reckless’, ‘inept’ or ‘flawed’. In fact, there are not many words left to describe the performance of this Rudd Government.

I wonder if ‘illegal’, ‘Indonesia’ or ‘border security’ will be on the naughty list next week?

Now, Hansard is the official, public record of the Parliament.

I can make a speech in the Senate and the record goes on to the parliamentary website for all to see. However, if I want to include a printed copy of the same Hansard record in a newsletter, that is where the trouble begins.

Hansard in this form, will not pass the censors’ black pen if it contains criticism of this Government.

This nonsense extends even further.

I can I can email it, hand deliver it, fax or sky-write this public record and be critical of government policy ; but I can’t have it printed externally in a newsletter or use my allowance to post it to you or members of the Western Australian community.

It was French revolutionary Voltaire who said:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Well, it is time to storm those barricades again.

Can you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men… ?

Ah! I see it is morning tea time – shall I eat cake???

Don’t miss: Get The Punch in your inbox every day

Most commented

72 comments

Show oldest | newest first

    • Bob says:

      06:22am | 04/11/09

      It took a bit of research to figure out what the heck you were talking about. For others who missed the original story, try this:

      http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,26282573-5014047,00.html

      I agree that this sucks. However, it applies to the government as well as the opposition and it seems both sides hate it. The amendments that made this nonsense possible were also passed with opposition approval.

      Before making a partisan sh*t-fest out of it you might have explained that.

      Further, the quote you attribute to Voltaire is wrong. It was actually made by Evelyn Beatrice Hall in her biography of Voltaire in reference to his Essay on Tolerance. Not sure if I would call him a ‘revolutionary’, either. He was more of a radical.

    • Adam Dennis says:

      06:23am | 04/11/09

      Chris, this is a somewhat horrifying scenario ... and I’d like to understand more so that I can protest loudly at these censorial transgressions by our federal Government Of Mixed Performance. But while your article raises spectres, it doesn’t give me even the slightest smidgen of information. What the hell are your talking about? Is there some legislation I missed? Or did our PM write an IM to you tut-tutting about something you wrote?

      Dear The Punch: it might be an idea to write a preface paragraph if you’re going to publish a piece like this. Ultimately I feel like I’m stupid because I’ve missed some essential item of background info ... and that’s not a pleasant sensation.

      Anyone care to enlighten me as to what guidelines/rules/whatever the Senator is talking about?

    • Sherley says:

      07:01am | 04/11/09

      Rudd has obviously spent too much time in China with a communist Government.

    • Bazza says:

      07:03am | 04/11/09

      What Kevin Rudd will do to remain popular. This man is not worthy of being Australia’s PM.

    • Old Clive says:

      07:09am | 04/11/09

      Congratulations, now you know how dictators gain control of a country, the thing that bothers me, what has happened to freedom of the press, I think that the majority of journos must be either staunch ALP supporters or stupid , not being able to see the biased reporting that is going on in this country at the present time. I am quite concerned that the freedom that a lot of people have died for is being squandered as we seem to be giving up our freedom without a struggle, our constitution and way of life is under serious threat and no reporter has the guts to do anything about it. If you don’t stand for something you will fall for any thing.

    • DarrenW says:

      07:09am | 04/11/09

      Chris, I read Orwells book ‘1984’ in the late 1980s but I didn’t truly understand what Orwell was warning us about until the regressive John Howard came along. The Liberals started us on this censorship slippery slope, what are you going to do about it? We certainly don’t want to hear Sandgropers whining about this, considering WA’s new 1950 police laws, where you can be searched without reason or suspicion-of-wrongdoing. Or groups of 5 or more people are not allowed to congregrate for fear of political protest. You need to clean up your own authoritarian backward backyard.

    • dude says:

      07:18am | 04/11/09

      Middle of the road conservative, wtf! At least on this issue you seem progressive. Why don’t you use your brains with all issues?

    • iansand says:

      07:34am | 04/11/09

      I bet you guys wish you had thought of this.

    • Old Bert says:

      07:54am | 04/11/09

      Well, I’m sure Joe Hockey will have the common sense to repeal this nonsense after the next federal election.

    • Joel B1 says:

      07:57am | 04/11/09

      To all those commenters going “what?” shows just how open your beloved Labor Government isn’t, doesn’t it? and don’t you get it? no publicist mumble from Kevvy on this’n.

    • John A Neve says:

      08:28am | 04/11/09

      This would appear a classic case of parliamentarians not understanding what they are voting for!!  No, it’s not a surprise, having seen them on TV it wwould appear many of them are asleep.

      The question now is, what are collectively going to do to fix this insane situation?

    • Zeta says:

      08:30am | 04/11/09

      It’s not censorship. Censorship is when the Rudd Government tries to block internet access to websites they find distasteful. Censorship was when the Howard Government banned the sale of books which glorify terrorism.

      The guidelines for what can and cannot be included in official Parliamentary correspondance have not changed, only the level to which they’re being enforced. Taxpayers expect this, because I for one don’t want the $45,000 we give Chris Back each year in envelopes and stamps being wasted on partisan material.

      Also, these requirements are only being applied to bulk mail, those being the glossy pap that you get from your local MPs and Senators declaring what a fantastic job they’re doing. So when Mrs. Smiggens writes Senator Back a letter about how Kevin Rudd killed her cat Cuddles; he’s still able to write a response as critical as he wants of Rudd’s cat-killing antics.

      He just can’t make a newsletter abour it and send it to 20,000 households in a marginal seat.

      The printing allowance needs to be scraped completely. A lot of State MPs are already catching on and using their allowances to create websites, online surveys and petitions, from which they can harvest emails. Sooner or later, these guys need to get with the times and abandon printing, which is expensive, and draws a lot of political flack anyway.

    • Richard says:

      08:31am | 04/11/09

      What a load of pathetic rubbish!  There is no attempt to stop you criticising the Government, just doing so at taxpayers’ expense.  Why should taxpayers pay for politicians to abuse each other?  If you want to do that, use the usually well-stuffed coffers of the Liberal Party.

    • AJ says:

      08:41am | 04/11/09

      This article is blatantly misleading, and the comments border on the idiotic.  The measures put into place by the Government, with the support of the opposition and the Greens, prevents parliamentarians from putting out election flyers with taxpayer money.

      Senator, if you’re too incompetent/lazy/unpopular to be able to fundraise enough to put out your own election material, I don’t want my taxpayer dollars paying for it.

    • E says:

      08:41am | 04/11/09

      Scary stuff, but what do you expect with the type of incomepetents who have sinecures to profect (from both sides of the parliament and the beuracracy). Anyone who thinks the next government will repeal this is missing the point that this legislation has the effect of benifiting whoever happens to be in government at the time, and so none of them will ever repeal it.

      On a separate but related topic., it’s stunning that anyone can say with a straight face that making it a crime to report beuracratic stuff ups is going to do anything but protect incompetents and corrupt officials.

      Peoples Republic of Krudd indeed.

    • phil says:

      09:15am | 04/11/09

      It is the height of ignorance anybody in this conservative opposition (nothing new about that) talking about freedoms in this country after the disgrace of the Howard years. Talk about hypocrites and now it attacks the government for placating their conservative values on censorship to shut down their own loony religious right. There should be no censorship, but a close eye should be focus on the Liberal’s Schizophrenia on issues. I think a change in Meds might be needed.

    • Jennifer Nash says:

      09:24am | 04/11/09

      Open letter to Chris Back, Liberal Senator

      Dear Mr Back

      If you are as concerned as I am about growing fascist style restraint of the Australian media, perhaps you would like to use your considerable power and influence to highlight an issue, which I have mentioned in blogs on this website on several occasions, in citizen journalist articles and letters to the Editor.

      I am talking about the total suppression of very serious allegations on judicial abuse and severely editing courtroom audiotapes and transcripts to pervert the course of justice in a complaint about school bullying and education discrimination.

      It involves four Queensland judges, including Robert Wensley QC, the brother of our current Governor, Penelope Wensley, (who is incommunicado), the Queensland Anti Discrimination Tribunal President, Jean Dalton QC and Supreme Court Judges Roslyn Atkinson and Ann Lyons.

      The PCMC http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/05/429716.html  is refusing to investigate my corroborated and documented complaint and is also refusing to table it in parliament.  The PCMC has also refused me access to my own file and is extremely secretive and unaccountable.

      When I went to Parliament to speak from the public gallery about this I was violently dragged away on the orders of my own local MP, John Mickel the Speaker of the House, while Premier Anna Bligh laughed.  Courier Mail journalist Rosemary Odgers questioned me outside Parliament after my ejection, but the incident was suppressed, no doubt to the great relief of those concerned.

      Ray Halligan, Chairman of the West Australian PCMC has already strongly critised the unethical and unprincipled behaviour of the PCMC in relation to the Heiner Affair, but that criticism was simply ignored.

      Like other bloggers on this site, I see Australian politicians making waves about all sorts of things.  How about making waves about this travesty on human rights abuses, the obstruction of justice and the persistent denial of any attention to our case Mr Back? 

      Isn’t that the job of an effective Opposition?

      Links to the blogs I am referring to:
      http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/words-you-wont-see-in-the-mail-on-kevin-rudd/
      Jennifer Nash says: 10:50am | 03/11/09
      http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/Seeking-justice-for-a-forgotten-victim/
      Jennifer Nash says: 08:22am | 09/10/09
      http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/Bill-of-rights-is-a-dangerous-lawyers-picnic/ 
      Jennifer Nash says: 12:07pm | 20/10/09
      http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/Mr-rudd-asylum-seekers-are-real-people/
      Jennifer Nash says: 12:58pm | 22/10/09

    • Patrick says:

      10:00am | 04/11/09

      This is absolute Bullsh!t. It has *always* been against the rules for politicians of any party to use their TAXPAYER FUNDED printing allowances to publish partisan and political attacks on the government OR an opposition. If they want to do so they can use their own finances. The changes in regulation merely mean these rules will be more strictly enforced.

      The economic Right wing is all about saving taxpeyer dollars and reducing wastefull spending by politicians, so naturally I thought this was something they would be supporting.

      Punch readers, the Coalition is lying through their teeth to you on this, and they hope the bulk of you are too stupid to go research the facts.

    • Clint Walsh says:

      10:23am | 04/11/09

      If elected representatives can’t say whatever they want, then they are not always able to represent in any possible situation. If its garbage they want to spew so be it, but lets not have public servants that cant say boo to the Government deciding what quality of language we can receive in the mail.

      Its a disgrace. Change it back.

    • iansand says:

      10:31am | 04/11/09

      Can we vote Jennifer Nash off the island?

    • DarrenW says:

      10:32am | 04/11/09

      Chris, I think you need to also read up on Liberal internet censorship policy. Rudd copied your policy mate! Actually I’m looking forward to when Rudd censors Liberal websites to see some high pitched squealing. Our Diggers fought for our freedom of speech. Lest the Liberal party forgot.

    • Toddzilla says:

      10:35am | 04/11/09

      I said, a bit grandiosely admittedly, before the last election that Kevin Rudd represented the greatest threat to democracy that this country has seen. Though my comments were driven by a loathing for that sub-standard human being we call PM (snip that, baby), they appear to be spot on the mark with new and more dangerous methods of subverting government and natural justice being introduced by the week. This alone is enough reason to toss Rudd out of government. His record on subverting justice for political gains is already well-founded (see the Heiner affair), but now he holds the reins of the whole nation.

    • Patrick says:

      10:36am | 04/11/09

      Furthermore, after re reading the article and not working myself up into a ball of fury, you don’t even make reference to any specific legislation, this is all just a bunch of broad whymsical musings about censorship and implying that somehow the government is trying to stiffle free speach, which it is in fact not.  Too bad there are so many people the Coalition is using as usefull idiots out there who will lap this up without a second thought.

    • Me says:

      10:43am | 04/11/09

      To the Coalition supporters here, perhaps some of you have been too busy reading Piers Ackerman’s blogs to have looked at the actual regulations.

      You all seem to have a problem with your 8 cents a day going to maintaining the ABC, but none of you seem to care about politicians using taxpeyer money, *your* money, and in much larger qauntities, to print and distribute material for their own political purposes. If a party wants to flood their electorate with partisan material they should do so with their party’s finances, not taxpeyer money.

    • hoofman says:

      10:49am | 04/11/09

      iansand, I will add my vote. Maybe there should be a blog site just for those like Jennifer Nash with tales of conspiracy theories and unlikely accusations of official abuse. There probably already is such a site. Take it there, Jennifer.

    • Mandy says:

      10:50am | 04/11/09

      Oh the Labor Lovers are all a bit angry this morning. Upset are we with the latest newspoll. LOL

    • John A Neve says:

      11:11am | 04/11/09

      On reading most of the posts here, it would appear whatever the topic, the responses will be reduced to snipping at one or both of the major political parties!
      The fact is that our system of government is stuffed. The only connection we have with democracy is the right to vote. Even that is limited and we are so keen to vote we have to be threatened wiith a fine if we don’t!!!!
      Rather than argue about the merits of Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum, lets look at ways of improving the system.

    • Louise says:

      11:36am | 04/11/09

      It’s hard to know whether or not to be seriously concerned about this but there does seem to be a pattern of information control emerging.

      I googled info about the Chinese ambassadors involvement in the Benelong election after some accusations I heard and a lot of material had been deleted from the web. Kim Beazely’s reference to the possibility of terrorist on asylum seeker boats was also edited after Rudd attacked Wilson Tuckey. Rudd has never been asked to account for the documents shredded in the Heiner affair. Apparently there have been significant high level talks with Indonesia for the last few weeks - well what was discussed? There is a link on another Punch blog today to a Sri Lankan Daily News article about Aust officials visiting to recruit 200,000 unskilled workers. Is this true?

      So much for the part of Rudd’s election campaign promising more open and accountable government.

    • Jennifer Nash says:

      11:48am | 04/11/09

      @iansand says: 11:31am | 04/11/09   and @hoofman says: 11:49am |  -
      what exactly or who should I ask are you two sorry characters trying to defend here? 

      Under the cloak of anonymity some people will do all sorts of ‘brave’ things.  The evidence and the totally out of character and highly unusual silence by the authorities and those concerned speak for itself. 

      And sadly most sites have their fair share of internet trolls with little or nothing to contribute.  Trolls be gone!

    • Leo says:

      11:58am | 04/11/09

      OMG! Run for the hills Jennifer Nash is back!

    • Freedom says:

      11:59am | 04/11/09

      This is what rudd does to stay in control and keep up the act of being a ‘great’ pm. Soon he will do more and more to make us a slave society. rudd would be a great politician - in CHINA that is! rudd can’t answer the hard questions or slove real national problems, he needs to wake up to the reality of politics in a democracy.

    • hoofman says:

      12:00pm | 04/11/09

      Are we allowed more than one vote each to get Jennifer off the island?

    • Darren says:

      12:15pm | 04/11/09

      It would great to see the Liberals and Labor punch on over this. If we going to have censorship, I still want some entertainment. Or at least a fur flying catfight.

    • iansand says:

      12:18pm | 04/11/09

      Jennifer Nash@12:48.  You probably have a legitimate grievance somewhere in all those links.  But it has nothing to do with the topics into which you shoehorn it.  Over and over again.

    • Keith says:

      12:42pm | 04/11/09

      Chris,

      You must yell and shout and scream about this.

      If you don’t they will soon apply the same censoriship to all other services supplied as part of your parliamentary package.

    • Steve Smith says:

      12:50pm | 04/11/09

      Both Liberal and Labour parties are unfit to run this country Let’s outsource our government to India.

    • Old Clive says:

      12:54pm | 04/11/09

      Don’t worry about Jennifer,KRUDD is the problem, how can we get him off the Island and leave the 747 behind.

    • Jennifer Nash says:

      02:08pm | 04/11/09

      @iansand 01:18pm -  Instead of personally attacking me for talking about human rights abuses, judicial corruption, obstruction of justice and growing fascist style restraint of the media, which allows this high level political cover-up to continue, why aren’t you concerned about the fact the various authorities are failing in their public duty?!

      And the opposition (state and federal) is NOT doing their job and is NOT holding politicians and parliament to account? 

      And I am NOT off topic here because the issue Senator Back is raising here has to do with censorship, which is a key issue in my argument here and is mentioned in most of my articles. 

      If people abuse their public office and their political power at your personal expense, you would probably complain too, despite your personal attacks on me.

      My blogs show politicians taking advantage and talking big on The Punch are not willing to put their money where their mouth is.  Here they have a perfect opportunity to draw attention to a case of political corruption and obstruction of justice and yet they are not willing to raise this key issue even though this is their very job under the Westminster system of political accountability. 

      Doesn’t the public expect them to do more than posture, grandstand and bombard us is with daily propaganda and spin?  Particularly as most politicians insist on being addressed as The Honourable so and so.

      Honourable is as honourable does.

      Judicial corruption and obstruction of justice is not inconsequential! 
      “Equal treatment before the law is a pillar of democratic societies. When courts are corrupted by greed or political expediency, the scales of justice are tipped, and ordinary people suffer. Judicial corruption means the voice of the innocent goes unheard, while the guilty act with impunity” Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.

      @Leo – you are just too silly and juvenile for words.

    • bella starkey says:

      02:09pm | 04/11/09

      Voltaire didnt say that. I was in a book about him. Voltaire believed in benevolent dictatorship as the ultiamte form of government. F$%@ Voltaire.

    • Why? says:

      03:07pm | 04/11/09

      Dear Mr Rudd please leave Australia and move to China.

    • Mr Hyde says:

      03:29pm | 04/11/09

      Gee, Jennifer Nash, I just cannot imagine why people in positions of authority don’t listen to your grievances with patience and sympathy.  You are not in the least strident or bombastic or without a sense of proportion. And it’s not like they would encounter people like you all the time and so develop a sense of cynicism.

    • Zeta says:

      03:38pm | 04/11/09

      @ Bella Starkey - Let us now reclaim this thread by making it about Voltaire.

      I for one, think he was dead on the money, because democracy really does get highjacked by the ignorant, unwashed masses.

      Also, he married his cousin, which was win.

    • Kenneth says:

      03:38pm | 04/11/09

      Well Chris, if you or any other MP commences to or continues to misuse public funds to send out political messaging documents in contravention of the regulations, then these will be controlled. This has nothing to do with censorship and everything to do with curbing the misuse of public funds. You do not have to submit your documents Chris, just be ready to pay if you are found to contravening federal regulations.

      Or do you believe that you are above federal regulations?

    • Daz says:

      04:10pm | 04/11/09

      Chris, ignore Keiths pleas to scream and shout. I’ve still got a headache from Browyn Bishop moaning yesterday about the same thing. Pay for your own postage tight-a*s.

    • Louise says:

      04:12pm | 04/11/09

      Glen, that is truly terrifying. Perhaps the UN job Rudd is vying for is heading up this massive wealth transfer program. What was Quentin Bryce doing on her recent $700,000 tour to all the countries who stand to gain from this? 

      “Why?”, that’s the best suggestion I’ve heard yet!

    • Unice says:

      04:32pm | 04/11/09

      The opposition needs to hammer home the message to the Australian public on the many weakness of this government. Daily pressure on their poor performance in health, economic management, poor performance of labor run States, wasted tax dollars, interest rates and of course censorship. A daily shamefest is the only way the whole nation will see the true colours of this government.

    • Russ says:

      04:38pm | 04/11/09

      What a load of nonsense.  Your right to criticise has not been infringed at all.  All you have lost is the right to have the taxpayers fund all of your political material.  Given the taxpayer salary you earn and your other perks, why not pay for it yourself if it is so important?  And you admit that you can use methods of distribution other than having it printed and posted.  I am glad to see the government (with the support of the Opposition) do something about an allowance which was being hugely rorted.

    • Simon says:

      05:12pm | 04/11/09

      None of the claims made by Chris Back are true.  He is completely misrepresenting reality and all those taking his comments at face value are allowing themselves to be deceived.

      All Australian ministers remain free to send any and all correspondence they want to their electorates.  Anyone telling you otherwise is either a liar or a fool.

    • Jennifer Nash says:

      05:19pm | 04/11/09

      @Glen 03:57pm - excellent point! I just read the Herald Sun article you linked to and it makes for really compelling reading.  It is one of those fundamental issues we should be able to veto/decide via citizen initiated referendum.  But that would be democracy and we can’t have that.  Can we?

    • Chase Stevens says:

      06:35pm | 04/11/09

      I for one am thankful that the money I pay in tax will not be spent on pointless spin from both sides.

    • iansand says:

      06:44pm | 04/11/09

      Jennifer Nash - We know.  Over and over and over and ov…..

      Oh.  Sorry.  I fell asleep.

      Glen -  I can understand that Andrew Bolt doesn’t understand what a “draft” is.  After all, his articles never show any sign of rational revision.  I think his writing style is what is referred to as blurting.  But the rest of the world does not share his problem.

    • shayne says:

      08:27pm | 04/11/09

      I love it. Using tax payers money to spend on party propaganda gets banned and the libs cry censorship. Nobody has been censored dude. You just can’t spend my tax to promote your ugly party as much as you used to.

      Typical.

    • Bruce says:

      09:02pm | 04/11/09

      So what is the media going to do about it? Lay down and fawn to the government….again. Where is the outrage, where are the major headlines?

    • Girl Fishing says:

      09:19pm | 04/11/09

      @Zeta You are incorrect in your assertion about the postage of partisan material only applying to bulk mail outs. The postage allowance for MPs and Senators is the same, weather it’s bulk mail or a single letter. Therefor if a Member or Senator wishes to respond to a constituent who has asked for their position or opinion on an issue, say for example, the stimulus package, or ETS, the Senator or Member would not be able to reply in a way that is negative to Government policy or action and post the letter using their allotted postage budget.

      To my knowledge, no Government MP has expressed dissatisfaction with Rudd’s new censorship rules. It has been other changes involving the Department of Finance that Government MPs are unhappy about, which includes a drastic reduction to their stationery and printing allowances.

      It is frustrating that people fail to understand that the Westminster System the Australian Parliament is based on relies on a Government and Opposition pitting against each other in order to deliver effective and accountable governance.

      I am bemused when I hear comments such as “all the politicians should just work together”  but reading some of these comments make me realise how undervalued or even resentful people are of the adversarial nature of our political system.

      Good article Chris, the importance of the Opposition’s role in scrutinising the Government needs to be better understood. It is because on this lack of understanding that Rudd’s recent gagging of the Parliament has hardly been given a jot of airtime, even though it is threatening the effectiveness of our entire system of government.

    • Andrew Goff says:

      10:59pm | 04/11/09

      Sorry. Don’t get it. You want parliamentarians to be able to spend taxpayer money sending out electioneering pamphlets yes?

      What you are saying amounts to: “I want to send 50,000 christmas cards to my electorate bad-mouthing the Labor party, and the taxpayer should pay for it.” If there is nothing like this on them then there is no problem. If there is something on them like this then god damn right you shouldn’t me wasting MY taxpayer dollars on your dirty politics.

      As an informed swinging voter, I checked though… this is NOT a coalition attack… this is a disgruntled also-run MP complaining that his electoral slush fund has been cut down.

      Well guess what: suck it in backbencher. Campaign on your merits like your opponents and represent your country instead of you self-interest.

    • Clint Walsh says:

      05:49am | 05/11/09

      To the Labor Knee Jerkers that think this is all just opposition whingeing. Ask yourself if praise of government decisions and lauding their wonderful work should also be banned from being sent via postal allowances. Thought so.

    • Jennifer Nash says:

      07:22am | 05/11/09

      @Mr Hide 04:29pm | 04/11/09 why do you attack me instead of the issue here?  When does an unaccountable and systemically corrupt administration with only a 30% approval rating ever listen with patience and sympathy? 

      You should be concerned about the cover-up here and the dogged silence!  And I have been more than patient!  My allegations are corroborated by retired journalists who witnessed the abuse and have given sworn and signed testimony that the courtroom tapes and transcripts have been doctored to pervert the course of justice. 

      An administration with nothing to hide would have ordered an independent investigation long ago to clear the air and maintain public confidence!  Corruption is like a cancer it grows.  One journalist called corruption in Queensland a growth industry.  You and iansand may well be one and the same troll. 
      http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/piersakerman/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/where_corruption_is_a_growth_industry/

    • Jennifer Nash says:

      07:34am | 05/11/09

      @iansand 07:44pm | 04/11/09 suggestion for you – don’t read my posts if you cannot handle the TRUTH and they infuriate you so much!  Simple.

      It is plain obvious you are honing in here and trying to repeatedly attack, discredit and ridicule me, while completely ignoring the corruption, miscarriage of justice, gross judicial misconduct and political cover-up issue I have documented. 

      You are trying to defend something completely indefensible!  Or should that be someone?  You are clearly not concerned that the politicians are not doing their job here. 

      The fact that the accused prefer to maintain a dogged silence instead of defending their honour, reputation and even private practices as Barristers speaks a thousand words! 

      Your unnatural interest here and attacks are highly unusal and follow a pattern.  You are a phoney!  Go away nasty troll!

    • Old Clive says:

      07:56am | 05/11/09

      On ya Glen, of course Labor will sign such a treaty they have done it before, where do you think the United Nations got their power from to critisize some of the things that are not to their liking, try bringing your child up with a bit od discipline. Labor makes decisions in office that should be put up to referendums and this will be one of those. I said it before and I will say it again Jennifer is not the problem, Rudd and his paid bloggers are, maybe we should be prepared to let the 747 take themm off the Island permanently, Oh I wish.

    • Jolanda says:

      09:44am | 05/11/09

      Jennifer Nash I too have experienced similar responses to you in relation to allegations of bullying, victimisation, manipulation and tampering of state records and abuse of children by the Department of Education.  I too have evidence to support my allegations but we are discredited and ignored and the allegations covered up by all.  For my efforts in trying to access justice and protection for children I too have been absued on the internet. 

      At least we are lucky enough to have the internet as without the internet to be able to speak out I am sure that things would have been harder to deal with and worse.  I know when I first started posting back in the year 2004 everybody told me to be careful and not to critisize the Government as they would kill my family.  They put so much fear into me that I wondered what sort of world we lived in as not to many people seemed to feel any outrage about what was done to my children and family in retaliation for me having complained about the neglect of the education of children.

      It is sad that society has come to this.

      Education – Keeping them Honest
      http://www.jolandachallita.typepad.com/
      Our children deserve better

    • Jennifer Nash says:

      11:46am | 05/11/09

      @Jolanda 10:44am and @Old Clive 08:56am - Thank you for telling it as it really is.  And you are right Jolanda, there is fear and intimidation.  I have been stalked by the secret police for a long time now because I told the truth, which the regime wants covered up at all costs.  And my email accounts have also been repeatedly broken into. 

      This government appointed the very judiciary who abused us.  It speaks for itself.

      The whole Queensland Parliament heard me when I spoke on 23 April 2009 before I was violently dragged away by an armed and dangerous, not to mention aggressive police officer.  They all know precisely what my corroborated allegations are all about. 

      However, Parliament as a whole has remained silent.  And this includes the Clerk of Parliament Neil Laurie who churned out an endlessly long green paper in response to Tony Fitzgerald QC’s scathing attack on the Bligh government.  Churning out knee jerk reaction and diversionary papers is something they are really good at!

      When we all know what we really need and what Queenslanders, including unfairly sacked public servants really want, is an independent Royal Commission into systemic Bligh government corruption.  Even the oblique opposition agrees on that!

      Most of the people who read these sorts of blogs and articles are just far too frightened to say anything, hence the lack of outrage. My son told the court that he was afraid the regime would kill us.  And I agree with you, at least we have the internet where our blogs of the TRUTH are a permanent record. 

      There is no democracy without a strong and effective opposition and an independent and ethical media, capable and willing of representing the public interest above self interest and corporate greed. 

      Our children deserve better indeed!

    • Mr Hyde says:

      11:51am | 05/11/09

      Jolanda & Jennifer: start your own website where people can go if they are interested in your wacky grievances. Judging by the lack of support and the criticism you get from posting here, no-one is. Jolanda - no-one would be interested in killing your family. I’m sure that just ignoring you is an effective and appropriate response.

    • Jennifer Nash says:

      01:56pm | 05/11/09

      @Mr Hide 12:51pm - Your persistent squawks and the speed of your replies alone betrays you! 

      Your persistent interest in following and attacking my blogs is so unnatural.  It’s obvious you are a paid blogger charged with trying to discredit me and maintain the status quo on systemic Bligh government corruption and a high level political cover-up, which involves Governor Penelope Wensley’s own brother, former judge Robert Wensley QC. 

      No democratic and no accountable government with nothing to hide would ignore such grievous complaints.

      As I suggested to iansand previously, don’t read my blogs if the TRUTH angers you so much.  Now go and hide Mr Hide!

    • Mr Hyde says:

      04:45pm | 05/11/09

      Jennifer - ‘a paid blogger’? Ha Ha. Alas, if only it were so. No, Jennifer, sadly for me, and also sadly for you and your increasingly obvious paranoia, I’m not paid to read and respond on here. Neither do I have any brief for the Qld government or judicial system, or much interest in any claims you might be making about them. I don’t even live in Qld.  But if you put it on a web forum where it is irrelevant, you can expect to be called on it. And I’ll keep doing it. So it’s no use complaining about being attacked or telling me to go and hide.
      ‘stalked by the secret police’? You are clearly afflicted by dangerous delusions and paranoia. You should seek medical help.

    • SteveB says:

      06:16pm | 05/11/09

      hoofman says:11:49am | 04/11/09

      Maybe there should be a blog site just for those like Jennifer Nash with tales of conspiracy theories and unlikely accusations of official abuse. There probably already is such a site. Take it there, Jennifer.


      I thought this was that site?

    • hoofman says:

      05:21am | 06/11/09

      SteveB - why do you think that? At this site we are invited to comment on the articles. Jennifer is using it to run a campaign of her own, not related to the articles.

    • frenchelbow says:

      11:23am | 06/11/09

      At least the Net Filter isn’t in operation yet so that we can all actually read this article, enjoy it while you can. Although if you’re still concerned you can do what these two parents have done.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBiHsyCssOY

    • Jennifer Nash says:

      01:58pm | 06/11/09

      @frenchelbow 12:23pm - loved that youtube link of yours.  What a hoot!

    • Jolanda says:

      05:23pm | 06/11/09

      @Mr Hyde I have my own website where I set out the complaints made by my family. 

      And, as the DET and the Government refuse to properly and fairly address our complaints and allegations then they leave me no other choice but to bring the matter to the attention of the people for as long as it takes and in any means that I can.  The internet is the only avenue ordinary people have to hold our Government to any sort of scrutiny and account as the complaint handling processes set up by our Government are set up not to work. 

      I understand that you may not care what is being done to my children and family and that you may see us as acceptable sacrifices of the system but certainly it is not your place to say that ‘nobody cares’.

      I believe that people of reasonable intelligence would be concerned about a complaint handling process that denies complainants procedural fairness and natural justice and people should be concerned when our Government has a process set up where there are no avenues to hold biased or corrupt public servants to account in relation to their actions and/or inaction.

      In our case it was victimization, systematic bullying, educational neglect and psychological abuse that have been allowed to continue to happen whilst everybody looked on.  In other cases it is other forms of child abuse.  When the system does not protect the children then this is a serious concern.  Any adult that does not agree needs to have their motives questioned.

      Education – Keeping them Honest
      http://www.jolandachallita.typepad.com/
      Our children deserve better

    • incervisiaveritas says:

      01:08pm | 16/11/09

      Well Chris, you can at least thank your lucky stars that you’re not a member of the the Labor Party. At least you avoided being called a f***er in relation to this matter by the foul-mouthed current Prime Minister of this country.

    • cheap oem software says:

      10:16am | 19/08/12

      daH59Z I cannot thank you enough for the blog.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

 

Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

28 comments

Newsletter

Read all about it

Sign up to the free News.com.au newsletter