Archive for the ‘Dummy Spits’ Category

I don’t normally shop at Woolworths if I can possibly help it.

Call me stubborn or perhaps principled, but I have avoided them like the plague ever since the infamous dinner function where one of their executives Simon Berger was Master Of Ceremonies. That infamous dinner function was where Alan Jones made the derogatory and highly offensive comment about the death of Julia Gillard’s father, and Berger himself offered up a jacket made of chaff bags for auction in reference to Alan Jones’s public comments suggesting our first female Prime Minister should be killed by letting her drown at sea in a chaff bag.

The auction items list from the function

The auction items list from the function

Woolworths claimed Berger was there in a private capacity, although given that his job was as Woolworths State Government Relations Manager, you could probably be excused for thinking otherwise.

Woolworths statement to distance themselves

Woolworths statement to distance themselves

Despite this I was in a rush the other day and quickly raced into my local Woolworths as I needed washing powder and some cereal.

I grabbed a packet of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes (a weakness I admit) and seeing that Cold Power was seemingly on special for $7 I grabbed a box and headed for the checkout.

With one item being $6.99 and the other on an “Extra Saver” special for $7 I was rather surprised when I was charged more than $14.

What I was charged in fact was $16.48.

I queried this with the checkout operator who took me back down the aisle and showed me the fine print on the “Extra Saver” shelf-talker that I had not noticed. This fine print explaining that without an Everyday Rewards card I would be paying $9.49 rather than $7 advertised in big bold print.


Beware the fine print...

Beware the fine print…

She offered to refund the item, an offer I accepted and grabbed another brand that was on a regular style special.

I explained to the lady serving me that I thought that the shelf-talker was inappropriate and unclear, although she didn’t give an opinion, she made mention that there had been a significant number of complaints about the campaign from customers.

I have since spoken to many customers and the consensus is that the campaign appears to be deceptive and misleading.

Most people do not read the fine print on a shelf-talker, and if they see a special advertised there then they assume that is what they will be getting when they reach the checkout.

Those who have a hectic schedule, are in a hurry, have children with them, need reading glasses, or don’t wish to bend over to a lower shelf to read fine print on an advertisement are the ones that will be taken for a ride with this campaign.

The only reason I noticed that I had not received the advertised discount is because I only purchased two items and it was clear to me what I perceived to be an overcharge. If I had been purchasing numerous items, I would probably have been blissfully unaware that I had been overcharged anddeceived.

The average person doing their weekly grocery run would be unlikely to notice at all unless they really combed through their receipt and remembered the products they assumed were purchased on special.

The amount we are talking about is not an insignificant amount either. The item I purchased had a perceived discount of approximately 26%. For someone on a weekly grocery shop spending between $200 and $300 it is not hard to imagine how these perceived discounts could add up.

Some of you will probably think “What’s the big deal? Just get an Everyday Rewards Card”

For starters I have enough junk in my wallet without adding to it.

There are however many who don’t like the idea of passing on their personal details to a company like Woolworths and then allowing that company to analyse their purchasing habits.

Although I’m unaware of Woolworths doing this, companies can often sell or pass your details on to other companies that on-sell databases to charities and telemarketing companies, giving you the pleasure of a barrage of unsolicited phone calls. Even if you are on the Do Not Call Register your number may be provided to registered charities to call you given that they are exempt for the Do Not Call Register restrictions and are free to call you up until 8pm.

All my details and all my purchasing history in one card...

All my details and all my purchasing history in one card…

For those who think this may be paranoid behaviour, bear this in mind. In the US the Target chain of stores were able to detect a teenager’s pregnancy before her father was aware of it, this was done via her buying patterns, and Target then aimed advertising at the teenage girl based on her pregnancy.

I should point out here that the US Target is in no way related to the Australian Target.

Nobody should be expected to have to explain their wishes for privacy, although it would appear that Woolworths are comfortable in punishing those of you who wish for privacy by charging you more.

I approached Woolworths for comment and was assured that someone would get back to me. Despite speaking with two people, at the time of publication I am yet to receive an official response.

I also contacted the NSW Department Of Fair Trading for comment.

A Fair Trading spokesperson responded and stated that Woolworths were not breaking any laws as the price for those who didn’t have an Everyday Rewards card was displayed.

However they also added a section of the consumer law which in part states;

“The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) prohibits businesses from making false or misleading representations in regard to:”

• “the price of goods or services”

I would have thought that having a large discounted price displayed, and in italic fine print a vastly more expensive price displayed for those who don’t meet a particular criteria would fall under the category of a “misleading representation”

As we await what is expected to be a painful budget to be handed down by the Coalition, one thing we all know is that things are likely to become tighter as the cost of living and unemployment rises.

The best advice I can give is, spend your dollar wisely.

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There is a saying I have that goes;

“It is better to be pissed off than pissed on”

An undisputable fact I assume, and I use the saying often.

Today I wanted to write about something that fits in with that saying.

Have we become a nation of barbarians?

A brutal nation of bigots, bogans, and bastards?

Because as Australians we are currently pissing on some of the worlds most vulnerable and desperate people and you know what, it is really pissing me off.

The people that I am referring to are asylum seekers or refugees.

Not boat people, queue jumpers, illegals, freeloaders or whatever tag some would like to burden them with, real people with real lives and real families who are really desperate. For real.

Now when I say “we” that is exactly what I mean. Before you climb on the nearest high horse and plead “I didn’t vote for them” we are all responsible. There is another saying that goes “we end up with the government we deserve”.

Coming to a workplace near you

The government we deserve?

No matter what Party you support or are a part of, you failed, let’s build a bridge and get over it. We can all piss and moan about Murdoch, bias and fear campaigns, but at the end of it all there are some facts we all have to face.

Tony Abbott was the one of the most unpopular opposition leaders to have become Prime Minister and even as Prime Minister was the most unpopular PM for 25 years in the first polling after the election. Despite that being the case no other Party was capable of putting up a viable alternative, otherwise we’d have a different government.

So what has sparked my anger?

The Department of Immigration published the personal details of some asylum seekers on their website, which is a breach of law and can have the outcome of each of these asylum seekers being granted refugee status. The case is soon to be heard in court.

This is not my issue.

What has got under my skin is the government’s decision to move these asylum seekers from Villawood detention centre to Curtin detention centre the day before the matter is due in court.

For those who don’t know Curtin is widely considered to be the harshest of the detention centres, it is located in remote Western Australia and is the other side of the country to where they are currently located.

Not only is this stressful for the asylum seekers before court, it also vastly restricts the access of their legal representation. Lawyers for the asylum seekers are Sydney based and Curtin has one telephone and no interpretation services.

This comes across to me as nothing short of an act of intimidation by the government which would appear to be a bunch of bullies no less. However not only is it that, but this heartless act is also taking away their rights to access legal representation on a court matter.

As a country of what once were decent people we should be ashamed.

When China’s government, which not long ago were notorious for trying to drive over students with army tanks, condemns our recent record on human rights alarm bells should be ringing.

Suddenly we're the bad guys...

Suddenly we’re the bad guys…

Recently we had the tragic news that asylum seeker Reza Barati had been murdered on Manus Island whilst under the care of Scott Morrison’s department.

Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott and the Coalition were all quick to say how tragic it was and how their sympathies were with the Barati family.

Well, actions speak louder than words, and based on the government’s actions the Coalitions message to the mourning members of the Barati family should have been more along the lines of;

“Reza Barati is dead, and we don’t give a fuck.”

Despite warnings before the riot in which Reza Barati was brutally murdered nothing was done by Morrison’s department. Dire warnings falling on deaf ears. That was the before the news breaking.

During the news breaking we had all the lies disguised as mistakes. The riot was outside the detention centre, then inside. No shots were fired, then someone was shot in the buttocks. Every time you looked at the TV it seemed Morrison had a different story. Reports of conflicting stories were a soft way of putting what seemed a deliberate campaign of misinformation, the  information was often contradictory.

After the news of Barati’s tragic murder right-wing commentators like Gerard Henderson started with the story that Barati was a “economic migrant” backed by Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison. This despite Barati’s refugee status claim not being investigated or assessed at the time.

It came across almost is if they were trying to say it was his own fault he was murdered because they claim without evidence that he shouldn’t have been there.

Since when did unfounded allegations about someones financial status excuse murder?

Scott "Hollow Words" Morrison

Scott “Hollow Words” Morrison

Now when it comes to investigating that murder in our detention centre, the message the Coalition seemingly send to the family mourning for Berati is this;

“The murder on our watch of your family member means jack-shit to us and as such we will not lift a finger to help the murder investigation”

Requests for the assistance of Australian Federal Police in the investigation into the murder of Reza Berati were denied, despite him being murdered whilst under our care in one of our detention centres.

Early reports of a Salvation Army volunteer being involved in the brutality emerged but as yet there has been no confirmation of murder charges being laid against anyone.

The human rights inquiry that was to have occurred in the wake of the tragedy was also scrapped with Tony Abbott’s blessing, and Morrison could hardly hold his trademark smirk.

Reza Barati

Reza Barati RIP

When did we as a nation become so desensitized to racism and the plight of others?

The Australia I used to think I was a part of was proud of our multiculturalism and was always quick to lend a hand.

Now we hear of columnists breaching racial discrimination acts and radio hosts being found guilty of inciting racial hatred in the lead up to race riots.

Instead of embracing multiculturalism we now have a government that is looking to pass legislation to weaken the Racial Discrimination Act so that racists are free to vilify people of the cultures that helped shape our nation.

Instead of lending a hand and helping those oppressed, as a nation we are refusing to back the United Nations call to investigate War Crimes in Sri Lanka. While we provide the Sri Lankan government with military equipment we seek to stop investigations into allegations of the genocide and rape and torture of thousands of its citizens by that government.

In fact when it comes to those war crimes condemned by the United Nations, our Prime Minister Tony Abbott states;

We accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances, difficult things happen”

"We accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances, difficult things happen" - PM Tony Abbott

“We accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances, difficult things happen” – PM Tony Abbott

What a lovely bunch we are becoming, we don’t need a backpacker serial killer to show our disdain for foreigners we’re thinking on a far grander scale now. With Andrew Bolt seemingly in place now as our Attorney General even Australian citizens aren’t safe from vilification if their skin is the wrong shade of white trash.

It is about time we all stopped being pissed off about this change of Australian culture and started pissing all over the government that is encouraging it instead.

Where you see racism or injustice expose it. Retweet it, share it on Facebook, write to your local paper, just tell people about it. We sure as hell can’t rely on the media to do it.

It is a shame it has come to this but we have to shame these people into changing their reprehensible behaviour.

Fight Back Folks.

If we don’t, nobody else will do it for us.

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There are many words I could use to describe the man I’m writing about today, most of which are not fit to print here.

Andrew Istephan is someone who is below trash, he is someone who total bastards look down at, if you had a septic sore weeping puss on your arse it would deserve more respect than Andrew Istephan.

Andrew Istephan is someone who should be in jail with the worst of the worst.

Some of you may be wondering what Andrew Istephan has done to earn himself my scorn, well allow me to explain briefly.

There are acts that are pure bastardry, acts that murderers and rapists frown on. Acts such as paedophilia or the assaulting a disabled child, those kind of things. Pretty much anything that involves abusing those who are helpless.

Perhaps the most helpless amongst us are the elderly. Frail, brittle, bedridden and suffering dementia, these are the people Andrew Istephan sought out and preyed upon.

Andrew Istephan was a dentist who used to visit elderly patients in retirement and nursing homes in Sydney’s Hurstville area and treat them.

Istephan was also a Councillor on Hurstville Council, he was also the Deputy Mayor. Istephan was proudly endorsed by the Liberal Party.

Istephan was performing dental work for Elderlink Consolidated Services on these patients as part of a government-funded scheme.

I’m sure providing cheap dental work on the elderly sounded great come campaign time for Istephan and the Liberal Party.

What hasn’t sounded so great for Andrew Istephan or the Liberal Party that endorsed him is the fact that Istephan was performing unnecessary and unwanted procedures on his unwitting patients.

Andrew Istephan - lowest of the low and proud Liberal

Andrew Istephan – lowest of the low and proud Liberal

In a bid to make a few extra quid off the taxpayers, Istephan had been filing down the teeth of his patients and then claiming crowns or bridgework was required, this then of course meant extra money for Istephan after billing the government and taxpayer for the work he created.

This is akin to a doctor stabbing elderly patients with a carving knife and then billing the taxpayer for treating the wounds.

There aren’t many acts lower than to intentionally inflict damage on the body of an elderly person, particularly ones suffering the humiliation of dementia just to make a few extra bucks.

In October last year a jury found Istephan guilty of five counts of assault despite facing charges of twelve counts.

In November last year the government was forced to issue a health warning that claimed that 66 patients across 4 elderly facilities may have been impacted by Istephans callous disregard for human rights. In fact of those 66 victims, 49 were deemed incapable of providing consent according to the Department Of Health warning, showing the predatory nature of the crimes.

Dental files similar to those used to file down elderly patient teeth by Istephan

Dental files similar to those used to file down elderly patient teeth by Istephan

Despite his ghastly crimes Istephan was not sent to jail as he should have been instead being given a two-year sentence to be served as an intensive correction order for what the judge described as the;

“deliberate, callous and systematic exploitation of the residents with the view of financial reward”.

As this happened quite a while ago some may be wondering why I am bringing this up again now.

The answer is simple. This weekend is the council bi-election for the position that was held by the gutless, evil assaulter of the elderly, the former Liberal Deputy Mayor and Councillor Andrew Istephan.

For those fortunate enough to live in the area and have an opportunity to vote against the Party that endorsed the dentist of doom that terrorised the elderly, I wanted to offer a timely reminder that the Party that endorsed Istephan for all those years whilst he was abusing the elderly was the Liberal Party.

For those who don’t live in the area, it may serve as a reminder to look closely at candidates when voting, not just the political spin behind them.

I also wonder if Istephan is still a member of the Liberal Party or if they’ve had the decency to kick him out yet.

Nothing would surprise me.

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The other day I received a letter from the US of A that I thought might be worth sharing with you all.

Unfortunately however the letter was not a pleasant one.

We live in an electronic age where data security is essential for any company that wishes to remain relevant in a digital world.

That is why I was surprised to receive an email from one of the worlds largest software companies letting me know that their system had been hacked and my credit card details may have been stolen.

Below is a link to a PDF of the letter I received.

Letter From Adobe

The company involved is Adobe. Chances are you used Adobe Reader to view the letter via the link.

Adobe are certainly one of the top ten software companies in the world, their products include Adobe Reader, Acrobat, PhotoShop, and Adobe Flash Player.

They are the worlds leading photo editing software supplier and if you have ever created or opened a PDF document, then you have used an Adobe product.


I am one of countless thousands who subscribe to some of Adobe’s online services so I assume I am just one of countless thousands who received the same letter.

What surprised me the most about the letter was not that their system had been hacked into, although for a company the size of Adobe that is alarming, it is the flippant way in which they have informed their customers.

The best they seemed to be able to come up with was that they were sorry and they will keep looking into it because as yet they have come up with zip.

Their only recommendation is that we monitor our bank statements closely, monitor credit reports (something that costs money), and keep an eye out for identity theft.

As comforting as Adobe think that recommendation may be I think it does the opposite of what was likely intended.

Identity theft is not an easy thing to spot. Chances are you will not find out until there is a repo man knocking at your front door because of a loan default, or a thug kicking the door in to chase a gambling debt, or a call from your accountant to tell you that you are bankrupt.

As for keeping an eye on your account transactions, that is not real comforting either.

At best we have to worry and monitor our accounts more closely than usual, like we have nothing better to do with our time. At worst we will see our credit, or debit cards cancelled leaving us with no access to funds whilst we await replacements to be sent after we notice someone in Mexico has been buying up expensive jewellery and booze on our dime.


What was missing from the letter, which was clearly not run past anybody with an ounce of PR knowledge, is any form of compensation for the inconvenience.

I’m not expecting an all expenses paid holiday in Tahiti (although someone else may be having one on my card) or anything like. However the reason that Adobe have our card details is that we pay for an access to a service monthly. Would it be too much to expect a few free months of that service from a company worth Billions? I don’t think so.

Alas we were offered didley squat, all we got for our loyalty was a letter telling us to worry and watch our backs.

I’m sorry Adobe, but I expected better and I don’t I’m the only one.

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Over the last couple of weeks the people have spoken.

In the election for the Labor Party leadership, approximately 70% of rank and file membership voted, which is an extraordinary success considering the voting occurred during school holidays and there was a delay in sending the ballots out as it would appear someone forgot to book in the delivery with Australia Post.

The membership have indeed spoken, and in the infinite wisdom that has seen the Party brought to the brink of crisis point, the powers that be have decided that the views of the membership, made up of those who pay to support them should be discarded  like the leftovers you find at the back of the fridge that are growing hairs.

In the historic election that for the first time in Australia saw the rank and file members of a major political party have a say in their leadership the weight given to the caucus vote ensured that the poor old rank and file punters opinion counted for Jack-Shit.

It would seem that some members of the caucus who were elected to represent the interests of their members have instead chosen to ignore the views of those members who pre-selected them and go with their own self interests instead.

Some of these, such as Julie Owens, Laurie Ferguson, Warren Snowdon, Kate Lundy, Maria Vamvakinou, Lisa Chesters and Brendan O’Conner are from Labors left who chose to vote against theirs and their branches natural alliances, and I hope the members of their local branch remember this next time pre-selection comes around. It would be interesting to know what it was that was dangled before them that made them into turncoats.

Is this the reform that Rudd promised us all?

The NSW Branch of the Labor Party was put into administration by Kevin Rudd as it was being run so badly, what has changed?

Former State Secretary Sam Dastyari was handed a cushy Senate seat, Matt Thistlewaite in return was gifted a safe electorate (which he nearly lost) for a seat in the House Of Reps. We now have Jamie Clements, Sam’s former assistant secretary at the helm, and again what has changed?

Sweet FA is what.

Meanwhile the one part of the reform that has been put in place, the rank and file having a say in who their leader is has ended up a farce, with the rank and file once again put in their place. We won’t be useful again until there is a campaign to run when doorknockers and people to hand out flyers are needed.

It took the media less than three minutes to start asking the questions about the knifing of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and Shortens involvement in both of those knifings, we can expect this line of questioning to continue for a long time to come.

In fact if Tim “the Demtel man” Shaw was selling politicians, Bill Shorten would come with two sets of free steak knives.


Scandals? But wait, there’s more….

As members we pay for the right to have a say. We have seen our say ignored in the past on issues such as our lurching to the right on the asylum seeker debate, something as a Party we can all be well and truly ashamed of, and also the failure of the Party to adopt same-sex marriage as a Party position rather than some lame conscience vote crap that ensures it will never be passed.

The caucus were elected to represent us, not to suddenly find a conscience.

If our say is totally ignored then what is it exactly that we pay for? Little wonder then there are calls for mass resignations from the party all over social media.

There are those who are talking about a now unified Party taking the fight to Abbott. This is wishful thinking on what is seemingly the grandest of scales.

What this election process has highlighted is that the Party is far from unified, it actually has a split of epic proportions. In the past the split has been seen as between right and left, from what we now know it is even worse than that as the split is between caucus and the membership. This is not something that will be fixed in a hurry, if at all.

Instead we can expect the Coalition and Murdoch to make an upsized super value meal out of this.

The leader the rank & file rejected

The leader the rank & file rejected

Tonight I have a branch meeting which I won’t be attending, instead I will be staying home and contemplating my support of the Labor Party, something I don’t do light-heartedly.

I won’t be giving my apologies for not attending tonight, as I think it is the Party that owes its rank and file an apology for ignoring us once again, particularly after being told for so long that our say would make a difference.

The way I see it, we had a chance to push through the reforms the Party needed so desperately and come out fighting, but our elected representatives screwed it up for us.

It feels like a dog that has been a loyal and trusted companion has suddenly become ill and is suffering.

Despite loving it dearly, sometimes it’s best to just have it put down and buy a new pup.

I hope the caucus have a decent explanation for their decision to reject reform and maintain the status quo that is doing us so much damage when they report back to their branches.

Remember the Queensland wipeout of 2012?

The way we are headed as a Party may make that look like a good day.

I hope I’m wrong, but it smells pretty bad from here.

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On Sunday I was pleased to be in Parramatta amongst the crowd cheering on Kevin Rudd after he announced his $122 Million to upgrade Westmead Hospital.

While I was doing that Tony Abbott was in Victoria looking for babies to kiss to give his controversial parental leave scheme another plug. Given the Liberal Party’s lack of anything new to talk about, they chose to talk about their only policy which seems to be fully funded, albeit by taxing big business so they can pass it on to us.

For those who have been critical of both Party’s for being too similar, Sunday was a great day to show the real differences between the two parties.

Kevin Rudd was out giving money to a public hospital in Western Sydney.

Tony Abbott was announcing a tax hike for companies like Coles and Woolworths which we will end up paying for so that rich women can have time off to have babies and get paid from the extra we will all no doubt pay for bread, milk, and groceries.

Quite a stark difference indeed.

If you are a woman who earns less than $75,000 a year may I be so bold as to suggest you share this post online, re-tweet it, or at least tell your friends and colleagues about it? I would be absolutely livid if I was being told I was worth less than someone else, or my child was worth less than someone elses.

Babies - Some are worth more than others according to Tony Abbott

Babies – Some are worth more than others according to Tony Abbott

It seems if you are a nurse, a shop assistant, a cleaner, a clerk, a receptionist, a tele-worker, a manufacturing worker, the majority of teachers and a vast number of other jobs then you are not quite as equal in Tony Abbotts eyes as some women.

Tony Abbott thinks that women who earn over $150,000 a year should be able to have a baby and stay at home and earn more than you do for busting your chops working every day.

Abbott wants to pay these women to sit on their leather sofa’s watching the soapies on their big screen TV’s with their feet up, content in the knowledge that they are still earning a $75,000 a year salary for six months. While they are doing that, Abbott is happy for you to be mopping a floor, cleaning a bed pan, being yelled at over the phone or in your face, or just mopping the sweat from your brow.

You’ve probably heard the talk about class warfare, this is Abbott drawing up the battlelines (pardon the pun).

However I should give credit where credit is due, this is one of the rare policies that the Coalition have explained the funding method for, although Joe “numbers man” Hockey appears to struggle with it. They tell us they are telling us they will scrap the Labor Party’s paid parental leave scheme (the nation’s first) and tax big business, the top 3,000 companies.

Apparently when big polluters were going to pay for their carbon emissions the flow on from smelting, mining, and power companies was going to cripple the nation and send prices on everything soaring. This is what Abbott told us when a Carbon Price was introduced.

Remember the carbon rallies and the whole “Axe The Tax” campaign? It still seems ironic to me that the Liberal Party would run with their slogan “Axe The Tax”, as when the Liberals introduced the GST they were actually the Party who put the “Tax On The Axe”.

Raising the cost of living in a town near you... and everywhere else

Raising the cost of living in a town near you… and everywhere else

However Tony Abbott’s plan sees companies like Coles and Woolworths tax bill soar by 5% and yet he seems to think these companies won’t pass it down to consumers.

Clearly Tony Abbott is delusional or he thinks we are all idiots.

I have listed some of these before, but below is a list of just some of the companies that will get slugged and how much they will be looking to make up from us. The chart below shows the extra tax that would be paid by these companies under a Coalition government based on 2012 reported financial figures from these companies.

Company Profit 2012 Extra Tax To Pay Under Coalition
Commonwealth Bank $7,100,000,000 $106.5 Million
Westpac $5,900,000,000 $88.5 Million
Woolworths $1,816,700,000 $27.25Million
Wesfarmers (Coles, Bunnings) $2,126,000,000 $31.89Million
Telstra $3,400,000,000 $51 Million
Caltex $57,000,000 $855,000
Origin Energy $980,000,000 $14.7 Million
Westfield Retail 1,720,000,000 $25.8 Million
AGL 114,900,000 $1.724 Million
Coca Cola Amatil 459,900,000 $6.899 Million
Qantas 95,000,000 $1.425 Million
Myer $139,300,000 $2.09 Million

These costs will undoubtedly be passed on down to consumers, as well as the millions the other 2.988 companies will be forced to pay.

Many of these will see a triple “Abbott Tax” triple dipping, many of our grocery manufacturers and producers will be taxed the extra, the supermarket chains taxed the extra, and also the shopping centre owners taxed the extra also. Add to that all their power suppliers and logistics companies will also be slugged.

All this so that rich people can get paid to sit at home after having a child.

I'm sure Abbotts $75K would have helped out Miranda if she'd only waited to have her child

I’m sure Abbotts $75K would have helped out Miranda if she’d only waited to have her child

Meanwhile those on a low-income will be forced to rely on family and friends for childminding so they can go back to work after having a child in order to earn minimum wage and be able to pay the rent and put food on the table.

It seems there are winners and losers in this Tony Abbott “signature policy”, the rich are the winners and everyone else are the losers.

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt usually, and would normally say that those who choose to vote for Tony Abbott this September are just misinformed.

However to pinch a line from the anti drink driving advertisements, if you are on less than $150,000pa and vote for Tony Abbott or the Coalition then you’re a bloody idiot.

If you are happy to see rich women sitting at home and collecting a bigger pay pack than you get for working your butt off, then ignore this.

Alternatively if you don’t want to see the cost of living skyrocket, and think that you are worth just as much as anybody else, then spread this information around far and wide.

It may be the biggest favour you do yourself this year, or today at least.

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The 29th May 2013 will go down in history as one of NSW’s blackest days.

On that day the Coalition controlled NSW Parliament passed the Victims Rights and Support Bill with the support of the Christian Democrats and Barry’s new mates, the Shooters and Fishers Party. The changes to compensation have been described as fair, appropriate and considered by the Coalition. While members from Labor and the Greens have described them as heinous, disgraceful, immoral, shameful, and the description I’d agree with, downright evil.

Many have been reduced to tears at the impact this Bill will have. A complaint has even been filed with the United Nations it is so hideously immoral.

If there is something that we can take from this in the most begrudging way possible, it is that hopefully people will catch a glimpse if what may be around the corner with an Abbott led Federal Government.

As you are probably aware there was an enquiry held in Victoria recently into the ongoing problem of sexual abuse of children within religious organisations. Many of you may have heard Cardinal Pell admit to the deliberate acts over covering for paedophiles within the organisation he rules over. Perhaps Cardinal “Headed for” Hell would be more appropriate.

Cardinal "yes there's a cover up" Pell

Cardinal “yes there’s a cover up” Pell

You are probably also aware of the upcoming Royal Commission into the sexual abuse of children by those within organised religions. This Royal Commission was initiated with overwhelming public support, and the begrudging approval of Tony Abbott as long as it didn’t turn into a Catholic witch-hunt, ironically something the Catholics were famous for once…

Australians supported this Royal Commission because most of us agree that a paedophile is the lowest of the low, and the perpetrators of these heinous crimes need to be sought out and severely punished. Instead they were being given a silly hat, a robe, a bible, and a map to another town where a new batch of altar-boys and school children were awaiting their guidance. The public has had enough.

Not only that, this is a chance for the victims of these crimes to start to feel empowered themselves, and a time for many of them to start the healing process. Many of these victims have waited almost their entire lives to see their attackers held to account.

Most Australians also believe that these victims should receive fair compensation. Compensation for a life of fractured emotions, compensation for breaking the ability to trust, compensation for the destruction of someone’s sex life at such an early age, compensation for decades in therapy and psychiatric facilities and care, compensation for the physical pain suffered as children and relived in flashbacks and nightmares all their adult life, compensation for mental scars that never heal, and compensation for being unfortunate enough to have been placed within reach of some of the most depraved and evil people the world has ever known, often referred to as the parish priest.

However it is not always the victims that need compensating, there are others also involved.

It is often the victim’s family that bears much of the brunt.

All too often a family discovers a history of abuse after a child’s suicide. A victim unable to deal with the anguish and pain finds it easier to end it all rather than carry on living.

Tragically the family then suffers the guilt of knowing they put their child in harm’s way. The knowledge that their misguided faith led their child into the hands of evil must be a hard thing to cope with. This also often leads to deep mental trauma that cannot be overstated.

Therefore it is often the victim’s family that should be compensated fairly. It is not only these things, there is often the added cost of the child’s funeral.


So what is fair compensation for a life in hell after a childhood of abuse? After the Victorian enquiry the consensus seemed to be that $70,000 wasn’t anywhere near close enough.

In NSW, the Liberal Party has come up with a more appropriate figure, $15,000.

That is right, it’s not a typo. Fifteen fucking thousand dollars, it won’t even pay for the child’s burial costs. These poor people may as well have the word victim tattooed on their foreheads, as that’s what the Coalition has made them yet again.

But wait, there’s more….

The Bill also changes the statute of limitations for people claiming compensation for violence both sexual and non-sexual this includes child abuse or child sexual assault. An application must be made within 10 years of the alleged act or, if the victim was a child when it occurred, within 10 years after turning 18.

According to a report in claims against the Anglican Church the average time before application or claim is made is 23 years. Reporting this type of offence is often like going through the ordeal yet again, many victims have repressed memories that don’t surface until psychological problems are addressed years later.

Opposition leader John Robertson called it for what it is stating

”This is clearly a deliberately timed piece of legislation designed by the government to prevent thousands of child sexual abuse victims from being able to apply for compensation”

This also comes after news of a secret society of Liberal MP’s that have been meeting to discuss policy and the “lawmaking business”.

These gatherings of the group hilariously titled the “Chartwell Society” as if it’s a Klan, Masons group, or wife swapping club, meet regularly with religious leaders, as well as business leaders.

The group is organised by Baulkham Hills MP David Elliot. Elliott showed his smarts when explaining the secrecy of the special MP’s club according to the linked Telegraph article.

Elliott stated “It’s no secret…” and then went on to say that whatever was discussed was “Chatham House Rules” and as such kept secret, and explained that the key to the group’s success was its secrecy. OK then…

It is interesting to know that one of those to address this group was Cardinal Pell. I wonder what part of the “lawmaking business” he was discussing with them.

Can someone tell me what that says?

Can someone tell me what that says?

The Catholic Church in particular looks to lose millions of dollars as a result of the enquiries into sexual abuse within religious organisations.

This Bill in NSW has ensured that the compensation payouts will be dramatically reduced. In fact the proposed laws would prevent a great deal of the victims coming forward for the Royal Commission from being to make a claim at all.

This is beyond shameful.

The only thing more evil than these paedophiles are those that seek to protect them. That is precisely what this Bill does, protect paedophiles from paying for the damage they have done.

Those who say there are positive aspects of this disgraceful bill are misguided. This is similar to someone claiming that Josef “Angel Of Death” Mengele’s “special treatment” of Jews during the holocaust was justified because he made a few new discoveries.

NSW Attorney General Greg Smith has a history when it comes to looking after victims, it’s only a few months back he took a leaf out of Tony Abbott’s book and spat in the face of asbestos victims and their families by stripping their compensation rights.

NSW Attorney General Greg Smith

NSW Attorney General Greg Smith

Greg Smith also has a history with paedophile priests, paying tribute to Father Finian Egan in his maiden parliamentary speech. When allegations emerged of his buddy sexually abusing children, Smith was quick to vouch for alleged paedophile and label the victims as greedy and only after money.

I cannot think of a bill that has a more evil motive, and a more catastrophic outcome than this bill put forward by the NSW Liberal Party. Why this has not caused a huge public outcry is beyond me.

Below is a list of those in the Upper and Lower Houses who supported the Bill to further violate the victims of predatory paedophiles.

The Shame File

The Shame File

These are MP’s who know of the broken and shattered hearts of victims and have chosen to reach in and rip the hearts out of these victims, and stomp them into the mud. The worst expletives don’t come close to describing the moral fibre of these MP’s who by supporting this bill seem more like creatures from a sub-human species.

As we all know, Tony Abbott is quite fond of the church. He has always been quick to come to the defense of the Catholic Church in particular saying that it should not be singled out for criticism. Despite statistics that show that the Catholic Church is to paedophile priests what McDonalds is to hamburgers, unrivalled leaders in the field.

Tony Abbott was even trained as a priest and earned himself the nickname of the “mad monk”.

Racial Discrimination Laws? Not for long...

Trust me with your childs safety…

If this is what the Liberal Party had planned in NSW, imagine what they have planned federally. They may not be able to stop the Royal Commission, but they will do their damnedest to save their church buddies a few bob. After all the Catholic Church is only one of the world’s richest organisations, it must be tough for them to pay compensation to those Greg Smith would probably refer to as just more greedy victims.

Slashing the rights of victims of crime won’t keep any child safe from harm, in fact it is likely to do just the opposite.

When you vote in September here is something that may be worth considering in light of what the Coalition have done in NSW.

Would you trust Tony Abbott to put your child’s best interests ahead of those of Cardinal George?

I sure as Pell wouldn’t…

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Like many others I awoke to the news that Eddie McGuire did not need to take the “phone a friend” option to say something stupid.

I won’t repeat what Eddie said as it was stupid and foolish, and clearly many people took offense at it. Although it’s available all though the press, and you’ve probably heard it anyway.

I will however say some things in Eddie’s defence if I may.

In the context of how it they were used, his words were clearly meant as a joke. Now I know that is not an excuse, however I think the line with jokes comes down to intent.

I don’t believe Eddie had a malicious intent when he uttered the words he is clearly now regretting. He now seems genuinely upset that he has foolishly caused offense.

Eddie "should've phoned a friend" McGuire

Eddie “should’ve phoned a friend” McGuire

He has however done the right thing so far, he has fronted up and apologised on any programme that will have him, and has spoken to several indigenous players directly to offer his apology and explanation.

Yes we all wish it hasn’t happened, but I don’t believe that Eddie really deserves any sort of harsh punishment.

The timing of this could not have been worse after the weekend’s uproar when Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes was called an “ape” by a young girl in the crowd at a game.

Goodes initial response was one of anger, pointing the girl out in the crowd and letting her know what he thought of her insult.

This story ended with a devastated 13-year-old girl, and a completely admirable AFL Player making amends.

Goodes showed what a great man he is off the field and was quick to forgive the girl for her taunt, believing she knew no better and was only repeating what she hears elsewhere. Goodes used this ugly episode as a means to put out the anti-racism message.

Personally I think next time the award is due, Adam Goodes should be nominated for Australian Of The Year for his handling of this touchy subject.

Adam Goodes. A class act on and off the field, and Wixxy's Aussie Of The Year

Adam Goodes. A class act on and off the field, and Wixxy’s Aussie Of The Year

I hope the public have the same level-headed approach when it comes to Eddie McGuire.

In contrast to the stance on racism in the AFL, we have the NRL the other football code.

The last couple of weeks we have once again seen the level of respect some players seem to reserve for women, and how good they are at tipping horses. Where do they stand on racial vilification, racial slurs, stereotyping and hate speech I wonder?

The NRL for years have had 2GB as their official broadcast station, although now they are using 2MMM.

2GB as you may know is the home of Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, as well as several others who also discuss Islamic related matters, and asylum seekers in such a balanced manner.

Ray Hadley in particular is someone who is a commentator for many of the NRL matches, a regular on TV shows related to the NRL, and someone who often writes a column in The Daily Telegraph that is match related.

Ray "I Love Muslims & Asylum Seekers" Hadley

Ray “I Love Muslims & Asylum Seekers” Hadley

Ray Hadley spews out hate speech on the airwaves on an almost daily basis. He can often be heard referring to Asylum Seekers as “illegals” despite it being perfectly within international law to seek asylum, with or without papers, and by whatever means available. He often questions how many of these asylum seekers are terrorists regularly. This is commonly known as racial stereotyping and I’m pleased to answer his question for him based on arrivals so far, zip, nada, nil, none whatsoever.

Hadley loves to talk up the racist hype about the Islamic community, how they want to take over and impose sharia law on us all.

Despite his co-worker Alan Jones being forced by courts to make an apology to the Lebanese community for his on air comments that many claim instigated the Cronulla race riots, Hadley is certainly the cheerleader for “Team Racism” currently.

If the NRL was in any way serious about taking an anti racism stand, they would remove Ray Hadley from any commentary position for his continuing on-air agenda of racism.

It is interesting to see how Eddie McGuire was quick on the front foot and raced out to offer apologies. Alan Jones had to be dragged through courts for years to obtain one, all the while his station that aired his racist comments remained the “Official NRL Broadcaster”, most codes would not be happy to endorse a station that promotes a broadcaster that refers to Lebanese Australians as “Vermin”, the NRL clearly was.

How long do people think it would take Hadley to admit wrong and apologise?

Instead of trying to make an example of someone like McGuire who screwed up and is going out of his way to right his wrong, we should be targeting those who promote racism and racist attitudes on a daily basis.

It is not just Ray Hadley either, some may remember the case dragged through the courts surrounding Andrew Bolts comments in a column he wrote about some Indigenous Australians.

Andrew Bolt defends himself outside court, while the guy behind is inspired to sleep...

Andrew Bolt defends himself outside court, while the guy behind is inspired to sleep…

Bolt lost his appeal in court for his column which was both factually incorrect and defamatory, yet many still defended him.

One of those who defended Bolt was of course Tony Abbott.

Currently Attorney General Mark Dreyfuss has recently publicly appealed to Tony Abbott to back down on his intent to repeal the section of the Racial Discrimination Act that Andrew Bolt was found guilty of breaching.

If Tony Abbott should gain power after September’s election his vow to weaken racial discrimination laws, and repeal the section of the Act will be a blow for not only the Indigenous community but any other community that fights racism. Abbotts decision to back the perpetrator rather than the victims is something we should all be taking careful note of.

Racial Discrimination Laws? Not for long...

Racial Discrimination Laws? Not for long…

I agree with the public sentiment that racism needs to be stopped and has no place in sport. However I don’t think it should have any place in Australian society at all. Most of us are the descendents of the “First Fleet” of boat people and we live in a Multiculural country, it’s been that way since we were all born, those who don’t like it should get out and make room for someone who will.

After all. racism is ugliness in one of its most pure forms.

Those who promote racism should be exposed and shamed, and those who back and support them should be viewed with nothing less than contempt and scorn.

That’s why this September there is no fucking way I’m voting for Tony Abbott…

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I was contacted by a reader the other day who told me a tale of customer service so hideously bad it was almost unbelievable.

The company she was having issues with were acting like Truly Pathetic Grubs, which is probably how they came about naming themselves TPG.

It all started when she decided it was time to organise a broadband connection at her home, as having a reliable broadband connection these days is quite important, despite what the Coalition may think.

Coalition assess the long-term costs of servicing and upkeeping their sub-standard Broadband policy

Coalition policy advisors assess the long term costs of servicing and upkeeping their sub-standard Broadband policy

She had been advised by a friend that TPG’s plans were reasonable and so decided to check out their plans.

That was her first mistake, but unfortunately not her last.

Her next mistake was to fill out an online application for one of their plans. From there on, there was seemingly no turning back…

As you can see from the link below, TPG were unable to provide her with the service that she was requesting.

Unable to provide service email

TPG stated in an email response to her request

“The address that you have indicated for installation to take place has been unsuccessful in qualifying by Telstra for the following reason: BUFFERED.

This means there is not enough Ports in your Exchange to supply the ADSL2+ with Home Phone service.”

As a result of this another option was sought, and Optus was chosen and an online application was completed as it had been for TPG.

Whilst waiting for Optus to come back to her, TPG had a change of heart and told her that they may be able to indeed connect her service despite their earlier advice and asked if she would like to proceed with her application. Having not had a confirmation from Optus as yet she said yes.

TPG then sent an email, linked below to tell her where the application was up to. It is to be noted that it states that there is no fee owing, it would take between 10 and 20 business days to connect, and that on their diagram/graph it shows they had reached as far as verifying her address.

Account Update Email

At this point Optus contacted their potential customer to inform her that they could connect her service in two days, which was at least five times faster than TPG, as they had cable available in the area.

Naturally Optus had themselves a new customer.

An email was quickly sent off to cancel any action that was intended to be taken by TPG seeing as though there was no fee owing and TPG had only reached the confirm address stage according to their correspondence.

Cancellation request sent same day as no fee stated

TPG sent an email to confirm that they had received the cancellation, and said that someone would be in touch.

From that moment on things became hairy, and I don’t mean in a clean, shiny, blowing in the breeze kind of way, I mean like the gross hairs hanging out an old man’s ears kinda way.


Apparently confirming someone’s address has become quite a pricey process if TPG are to be believed, because below is part of their response:

“According to our Standard Terms and Conditions which you agreed to as part of the sign up process, an agreement is formed whereby you apply to acquire a service from us and we accept your application.

Installation of your service has already commenced in our system based on your application which we accepted on 25/04/2013.

The contract you entered into specified a total minimum charge of $2,029.71 over the contract term which you are liable for. We have decided not to charge you the full amount, however you are required to pay a cancellation charge of $350. Plus $480 cancellation fee for the super unlimited bundle. A total of $830 fee will be incur to cancel the account.”


How nice of them to not charge the full amount. If anybody out there wants an address confirmed, as that is as far as they’d reached, I’m happy to do it at half of TPG’s rate.

This is despite TPG’s own chart shown below that shows that the next step in the customer application after “Confirmation Of Address” is “Advance Payment”. Given the application was cancelled at this point, and the same letter stated no fee owing, I’d assume there is nothing to charge the customer for.


Since this point, TPG have been waging a campaign of harassment, calling repeatedly each day and demanding the $830 or they will continue with processing the connection. These calls have been made to both my reader’s mobile phone and her place of work, causing an awful lot of stress.

TPG seemed intent on harassing and bullying a consumer, who was only exercising her right to choose her service provider, until she paid $830 to TPG for providing no service at all other than sending the original notice stating they were unable to provide the consumer what she was originally seeking.

This bullying and harassment has continued unabated all this month. My reader was also advised by TPG that despite being told daily that she did not want their service, TPG had arranged for a Testra technician to come out and do the connection, something that may actually incur a cost on TPG’s end.

The Testa technician didn’t turn up as threatened, but the harassing calls still continued.

A better option than TPG

A better option than TPG

This week I contacted TPG myself in order to hear their side of the story, and I saw just how frustrating it must have been for my poor reader.

I contacted customer support with the details of the reader and spoke to a young man named Ariel. He informed me that due to privacy reasons that could not discuss the particulars of a case with anyone but the client, which is fair enough.

I asked to be put through to whoever was in charge and said I only wanted to understand why they were trying to charge $830 without performing a service, and then harassing and bullying the poor soul on a daily basis. I made it clear I did not want to discuss anything about the account that would be considered private and was writing an article on the matter, if they wanted their side of the story to be told, they best tell me what it is.

After much discussion with things going seemingly nowhere, I was finally told a manager would not talk to me, and that there was absolutely no record of my reader on their system at all, and I must have the wrong company.

I then asked if the call was being recorded and was told that it was. When I informed Ariel that it was against the law to record the conversation without informing the caller I was told that everybody calling TPG knows their call is being recorded. I have my doubts.

Given that I wanted a record of the conversation to refer to I asked for the recording number, if you work for TPG and are reading this you can look up the record it’s number 180955.

Miraculously, TPG must have used their psychic powers of observation, because moments after I was off the phone, my reader for whom they had no record or detail of just moments ago was being called yet again. How odd.

This time my reader was told by TPG that the service was indeed cancelled, and apparently could not seem to understand why my reader was so upset, the recording number for this call was 2784788 if someone from TPG wants to check it out.

Time will tell if this sorry saga is over, although I fear not as another email was recieved the day after this call saying;

 “We would like to advise you that the installation is still in progress at the moment.  We are still waiting for confirmation on the status of the job order.

    Please check your service in the next 24 hours and should you encounter any issues, please feel free to reply to this email or contact us on 1300 725 322.

     We appreciate you choosing TPG.”

The matter is now being reported to the Telecommunications Ombudsman.

For those of you looking for a broadband solution or any other type of solution, I would avoid TPG like the plague if I was you.

Judging from these links, I don’t appear to be the only one who thinks so, far from it in fact.

If you are having an issue with a company and have the documentation to back yourself up, you can email me here and I will let my readers know about it. I’ve decided to take  a leaf out of Derryn Hinch’s  book and start my own “Shame File” of company’s who bully, harass, and seek to rip-off the consumer.

TPG is no doubt the first of many.

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A few weeks back I wrote a piece about Fairfax Senior Journalist Kate McClymont’s apparent obsession with Craig Thomson.

The article I wrote was in regards to her attack on Thomson regarding two blokes setting up a fund to ensure Thomson can afford a decent defence, something I would consider in the public interest.

As I pointed out in the piece she came out with claims that were completely false regarding one of the men who set the fund up, and some ludicrous claims on radio that Thomson should use legal aid for his defence. Clearly Thomson’s salary prohibits him from legal aid, I would have thought a senior journalist would, particularly one that covers so many court cases. Apparently not in McClymonts case.

There is also the matter of McClymonts Walkley Award winning article that has holes in it bigger than the one that sank the Titanic.

The article titled “Thomson: new credit card claims” had little to do with Thomson at all despite the title. The article detailed ridiculous claims about printing costs quoting incorrect numbers, completely false claims regarding “secret commissions” that were actually invoiced services, and based on what could go down as the most flawed investigation in Australian history, with the possible exception of the FWA investigation into the HSU.

Just the facts please Kate

Just the facts please Kate

The article also went into details of allegations against Michael Williamson, whom Kathy Jackson used to be friends with, before turning on them in a desperate bid for power.

What you won’t read about in McClymont’s articles are details of Jackson’s relationship with Williamson, so here is a sample.

Below is the receipt for a pair of Bulgari earrings that were a present for Julie Williamson from Kathy Jackson.

K Jackson’s Bulgari Earring Purchase

I’m sure that most of the low paid members of the HSU would find it offensive and obscene that Jackson can shell out more for a pair of earrings than they can for a holiday or a car.

The $3000 earrings show that Jackson was indeed cosy with the Williamson’s despite trying to convince the world she was not, why else would one buy such a hideously expensive present?

Earrings? Receipt? Oops...

Earrings? Receipt? Oops…

Those who are concerned with how the earrings were paid for on a lowly union secretary’s wage need not fear, they were paid on what looks like Kathy Jackson’s American Express card.

 I do note however that just a few days later, according to the HSU number 3 branch bank account statements a $6000 cash cheque was drawn, as can be seen below on the first page, dated 29th September 2009.

HSU 3 Branch September 2009 Statement

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, this is one area of Williamson’s story that McClymont does not enter into as it does not suit her spin on the saga.

Many have questioned whether McClymont has some sort of personal agenda against Thomson.

This would be a huge issue, as if this is the case the public opinion if Thomson in particular has been based around her articles. As we now know from her Walkley winning fairytale, McClymont is not going to let facts get in the way of a good story. Her willingness to write complete lies and falsehoods would be a huge issue I’d imagine if it was coupled with some sort of personal vendetta or grudge.

Many of you then would have had your suspicions confirmed over the weekend when McClymont’s article on Chook Fowler and his crotch was published.

Graham “Chook” Fowler had about as much to do with Craig Thomson as he had to do with Elvis Presley, however any excuse to throw Thomson’s name in the paper in a bad light it would seem. Below is what was published in Sundays Sun Herald, it has been amended online since.

“Two years before his death, Fowler and his third wife Sue moved into the same street in Bateau Bay as controversial MP Craig Thomson.”

Thomson does not live in the same street that Fowler lived in and he never has. McClymont could have used the oldest tool in the investigation toolbox to verify the Fowler’s address, the phone book, alas she failed to do so.

White Pages online

White Pages online

Yes Thomson may live in that town, and indeed in a street that starts with a B, however that is where the links end.

McClymont has since made an apology on Twitter the Thomson and the article has been amended online and a correction notice is due to go into Sundays Herald. I will be interesting to see just how prominent that correction is…

Runner up to Alan Jones for years lamest apology...

Runner up to Alan Jones for years lamest apology…

I’m surprised that she hasn’t published claims that the English colonised Australia with convicts knowing that Craig Thomson was going to be an MP here, it seems just as solid as her “Chook” link.

It needs to be remembered that Craig Thomson, like him or loathe him, is a democratically elected member of the Australian Parliament.

For McClymont to attack him via the press based on flawed so-called investigations, the word of dodgy witnesses, and outright lies, is not only an attack on Thomson, it is an attack on democracy by a member of the main stream press.

Who does McClymont really think she is to think she knows better than the people of Dobell?

Her articles, as I have mentioned have formed the public view of Craig Thomson, and have been the lead that other journalists have blindly followed.

Now we know that not only are they based on falsehoods, but they are also the work of someone who seems to have a vendetta.

If a member of the press can do this to a member of Parliament, what could they do to you if they so choose?

Do we not deserve better? I believe so.

Below is a link to a petition that was started after the evidence was produced that proved McClymonts Walkley Award winning article was false. The petition is to have McClymont return her Walkley Award as it was awarded under false circumstances. Given that it was intended to influence our opinions, I’d say that make her actions worse than a drug cheats in sport.

If like me you think that members of the press should not receive awards for personnel vendetta’s  and lies, then it is about time we stood up to the mainstream press and showed them that we will not be treated like mushrooms.

We deserve better. As Julia Gillard once said

“Don’t print crap, it can’t be that hard”

Alas in McClymont’s case, it apparently is.

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