July 01, 2004


Antony Loewenstein, one of Margo Kingston’s democracy militants, has sent a rousing email to his fellow Margonistas:

Dear all, last week saw the Australia-wide launch of NOT HAPPY JOHN - DEFENDING OUR DEMOCRACY. It was a big success everywhere, from Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane to Melbourne. Capacity crowds everywhere, Tony Fitzgerald, Julia Gillard, Bob Brown and other assorted types spoke with passion about reasserting our democracy and taking back the power.

For Margo Kingston, Jack Robertson and myself, the book is just the beginning. We've created an interactive website designed to get people involved.

Sounds like a duplicate Webdiary. Margo's bosses will not be happy.

We'd love you to write comments, thoughts and ideas. Form groups around issues which you feel passionately about. Engage with the issues that frequently get ignored by the mainstream press. A daily blog will update the newest views on relevant issues. We hope this is the beginning of something bigger. We love MoveOn.org in the US. We have similar visions here.

Australians are imitating Americans! Somebody alert Phillip Adams.

This is an experiment and indeed, as far as we know, it hasn't really be done anywhere before in the world (feel free to correct me!) we want to hold politicians, journalists and big business accountable for the decisions that affect us all and having a bloody good time in the process.

It’s a world first! Hail Australian innovation. Sadly, however, the Sydney Morning Herald will now be forced to fire Margo for obvious ethics violations:

Herald staff shall avoid any prominent activity in partisan public causes that compromises, or appears to compromise, the journalist or the newspaper.

(Via Stephen Mayne)

UPDATE. Be dazzled by the competence of this first-time-anywhere-on-earth interactive online political experiment.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 1, 2004 05:01 PM

Ow, my brain hurts. Please stop linking to Margoese.

"In the end, the old cliche is true: you get the leadership you deserve.

Well, I reckon Australians deserve much better leadership than the kind we're getting now. And in all political parties, too."

Either we do have the leadership we deserve or we do not. ow, ow, ow, poor brain.

Posted by: am at July 1, 2004 at 05:21 PM

I don't get it. Exactly which aspects of our democracy are under attack?

Posted by: yobbo at July 1, 2004 at 05:26 PM

So thats what Margo looks like
"Robbers dog" comes to mind

Posted by: smedleythebarbarian at July 1, 2004 at 05:42 PM

Yobbo: The democratic right of Australian to vote only for the parties Margo wants.

Posted by: Quentin George at July 1, 2004 at 05:47 PM

She asks - what is the solution? Politics? Participation? Democracy? Citizenship?

No... the answer is Paranoia!

*capacity crowd of 8 cheers*

Posted by: Now heed Martin at July 1, 2004 at 06:09 PM

The picture of the Lowensteins reminds me of Peter Simple's description of aging Communists with "lines of dialectic traced on their withered Marxist cheeks."

Posted by: Sue at July 1, 2004 at 06:41 PM

I think you are wrong calling it webdiary 2.0 Tim. At least they offer you the option of sending in corrections.

Oh wait - didn't read the fine print:

"2. Don't submit trivial, vexatious or subjective corrections or unconnected, meandering amplifications, because we'll probably ignore them. By that, we mean spelling, grammatical or stylistic complaints, errors that really don't have a bearing on the points being made, typos or any 'insignificant' misquotes or quote-truncations, or anecdotes that don't relate in some hard way to specific sections or issues covered in NHJ."

You are right - Webdiary 2.0 it is!!!

Posted by: Rob at July 1, 2004 at 06:56 PM

I hope they double their medication on polling day because otherwise, if Johnny wins, they'll be mass suicide from this crowd--and, and, it'll be because we get the leadership we deserve!

Oh what poor simple ignorance voters we are...

Posted by: stan at July 1, 2004 at 06:59 PM

Terribly sorry about the spelling mistakes.

I was laughing too hard.

Posted by: stan at July 1, 2004 at 07:00 PM

"we want to hold politicians, journalists and big business accountable for the decisions that affect us all"

You can already do that, dickheads. Vote the politician out of office, don't read the journo's newspaper, don't buy the business's products.

I swear to Christ, the Lefty solution for every "problem" is to talk it to death.

On the other hand, I should be grateful they don't actually _do_ anything. As long as they're busy freeing their minds to use their brains, we're in no danger.

Posted by: Dave S. at July 1, 2004 at 07:12 PM

That site is to net expertise what Bill Leak is to wit and originality. Gawd, they're ugly enough already, they have to show them twice!

Posted by: slatts at July 1, 2004 at 07:40 PM

Hmmm. I am no expert on things Australian - but are we sure this site is authentic. Really, that could not be a serious attempt at...well, anything other than satire, right?

Posted by: Major John at July 1, 2004 at 08:01 PM

Fuck me. What a lot of deranged drivel from
Margo and friends.

Why the fuck is it that these people presume
anyone who disagrees with them is a fascist,nazi

Where the fuck are the death camps? Where
are the knocks on the door of dissenters?
Where the fuck are the ballot papers
with one candidate.

These people are cunts!

In a democracy a majority of people decide
what happens.

And these shitbags can't handle the fact
that the majority reject their loony
conspiracy theories.

PS.Not happy John?

Maybe he can write a comeback called
"Fuck off Margo".

Posted by: fred at July 1, 2004 at 08:15 PM

Margo's 'female'(tm) friends are called 'Margonistasistas'. ok?

Posted by: roscoe.p.coltrane at July 1, 2004 at 08:23 PM

Margo's "female" friends are called "carrot"
"cucumber" "banana" and "Jack Robertson".

Posted by: fred at July 1, 2004 at 08:29 PM

I think I saw that page on "websites that suck" in like, 1996. They could have hired a 12 year old primary school kid to do a better job for 30 bucks.

Posted by: yobbo at July 1, 2004 at 08:32 PM

Margo used to scare the hell out of me , as a child . When she played the part of witchie poo
ih HR Puffnstuff.
But she's heaps scarier now and uglier..

Posted by: John P. at July 1, 2004 at 08:40 PM

Margo looks like she got hit in the face with a shovel.

More than once.

Posted by: ushie at July 1, 2004 at 10:02 PM

Is is a cruel and crude piece of sexist stereotyping to say Margo's friends are called "carrot", "Cucumber" and "Banana".

I think it is nore likely they are called "Rover."

Posted by: Sue at July 1, 2004 at 10:06 PM

If you take the time to read the SMH code of ethics, the hysterical rantings served up as the "webdiary" breach this code of ethics on a daily basis.

It just goes to show you that the dills running the SMH have not got a fucking clue. But hey, a quick glance at the circulation numbers could have told you that, right?

Its quite sad really, a pathetic little book, a pathetic little column and a pathetic little life.

Posted by: Nuffy at July 1, 2004 at 10:11 PM

I've always wondered, do these yahoos who post on web diary (other than Margo) actually get paid for their halfbaked missives?

Posted by: PW at July 1, 2004 at 10:24 PM

BTW, that Antony Loewenstein guy sure looks like a 10-year old with a toy gun could overwhelm him if he ever tried to "take back the power" for real.

Posted by: PW at July 1, 2004 at 10:26 PM

Worst. Photographie. Ever. I could do better while comatose.

Posted by: Evert Visser in NL. at July 1, 2004 at 10:50 PM


having just walked in from the march here in HK where there are REAL democratic issues, it pisses me off to see a spoilt lefty like Margo whining that there is no democracy simply because she is not getting her way.

The penny has yet to drop with this moonbat and others of her ilk that in terms of real democracy, ie, individuals voting, the majority of Australians don't give a toss about the issues that mean so much to Margo.

As for that website! shit, a couple of primary 4 kids could have done better, and look at this comment!

first up - our thanks especially to the brilliant Penguin IT team for their patience, skill and creativity in arcing up this site for us to play with. Love your work, guys!

They seriously believe it!

And the general wankery in this!

Now in the best traditions of cyber-organics, we're not exactly sure how this blog-beast is going to develop in the coming weeks, since this whole site is still in a way a new-ish concept in interactive, post-publishing 'value-adding' (to chatter in the vogueish Bean Monkey-speak for a tic. Groan.) But in general the aim of this section of the NHJ! webs

Margo with her face like a dropped pie, looking like a sofa, the only nerds in Australia who cant develop a half decent web page and such wanky dialogue make this site the comedy hit of the blogosphere without any doubt.

Posted by: nic at July 1, 2004 at 11:00 PM

My God!

Its deja vu, all over again!

My God!

Its deja vu, all over again!

Posted by: Parker at July 1, 2004 at 11:41 PM

Why do Leftists think, that when their ideas fail to prevail in a democratic contest, that democracy has failed or is somehow lost?

It is simple: their ideas of a democratic process are the same as those of Joseph Stalin and Kim Jong Il, who presided and preside over a trembling array of rubberstamp lackeys. The deliberative process has already occurred . . . in their own minds.

At least the new E.U. overlords have the balls to openly disparage democracy, rather than resort to faux indignation and theatrical pro-democracy pretentions.

Posted by: DrZin at July 1, 2004 at 11:49 PM

Just a little more Lefty bashing:

How f*cking cowardly is it, to claim COURAGE for dissenting from only the powerful political forces that will permit your dissent? In fact, those forces that celebrate your right to dissent?!?

I really, really can't stand these c*cksucking traitors to Western civilization . . .

Posted by: DrZin at July 1, 2004 at 11:57 PM

Come on. It was funny at first, but enough is enough. Which one of you guys put that NHJ site up?

Posted by: Moby at July 2, 2004 at 12:31 AM

BTW: did anyone take a good look at the reviews on Margo's "book"? Especially the first one. Occasional poster on these pages, I believe...

Posted by: Moby at July 2, 2004 at 12:40 AM

I believe that Margo reminds me of the oft used phrase that rhymes with Clucking Runt.

Posted by: JBB at July 2, 2004 at 12:59 AM

Were the pictures of the "launch event" posted twice, or was I seeing double?

If that's a lefty idea of a good time...count me out. It looked like the Funeral Home conventions my Dad use to drag us to, only more fun (yes, morticians have conventions, you get to see the latest in caskets, monuments and vaults).

Posted by: KellyW. at July 2, 2004 at 01:09 AM

"It was high time that someone fearlessly took on John Howard and co.," writes Jeff Loewenstein. "A more than timely book which makes one angry and determined to see that Howard and his cohorts [both in government and outside] are given their just desserts at the ballot box."

Question for Jeff: How do you give people outside the government their "just desserts" at the ballot box?

Posted by: tim at July 2, 2004 at 01:33 AM

"Dear all, last week saw the Australia-wide launch of NOT HAPPY JOHN - DEFENDING OUR DEMOCRACY. It was a big success everywhere, from Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane to Melbourne."

Australia-wide indeed - what about Adelaide, Perth and Darwin?

Posted by: Chas at July 2, 2004 at 01:51 AM

Who's the old bat in the beret? Caption says "Jann Alcorn." She's got 'crank' written all over her.

Posted by: Alice at July 2, 2004 at 02:23 AM

I just visited the NHJ website. Clarify for me, because I am confused by the photographs - which are women, and which are men?

Posted by: EA at July 2, 2004 at 02:27 AM

and further to that, why were they all published twice?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 2, 2004 at 02:49 AM

Reader Review - From Sean:

"This is the first book in ages that I wish I had enough money to buy multiple copies of to hand out to friends and family."

Sean,I'm sure your friends and family will appreciate that you are still serving coffee and haven't found a real job yet.

Posted by: LB at July 2, 2004 at 03:10 AM

It's official. Margo Kingston has descended into madness.

Posted by: Don at July 2, 2004 at 04:24 AM

JEBUS CRIPES!!! Is that Margo Kingston?!?

*still shuddering from the picture*

Where's Bruce Campbell and his arm-attached chainsaw when you need him?

Posted by: Rebecca at July 2, 2004 at 04:30 AM

Margo looks like her face caught fire and some kind-but-misguided soul beat it out with a log chain.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at July 2, 2004 at 06:14 AM

That's a woman????

OMG, is that a goatee?!? Now I don't feel so bad.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 2, 2004 at 09:06 AM

You people can't count: the photos have been pasted in three times, not twice.

Posted by: Peter at July 2, 2004 at 10:33 AM

You people can't count: the photos have been pasted in three times, not twice.

No. That bunch of pictures appears to be pasted in every time somebody makes a new post on the "noticeboard", and the third block wasn't there yet when this thread started.

Posted by: PW at July 2, 2004 at 11:01 AM

This place is like a bloody school yard - loads of name calling but no actual substantive argument.
Geez Tim, you must be so proud…..

Posted by: Undarpable at July 2, 2004 at 12:52 PM

That's because it's pretty well impossible to take the Webdiary crowd seriously. If you feel differently, let's hear your eloquent and substantive defense of their "arguments".

Posted by: PW at July 3, 2004 at 07:41 AM

At least the Web Diarists are out and about rather than staying at home

Posted by: mats nilsson at July 4, 2004 at 03:53 PM


I have looked at the photos on the NHJ site. I have the following comments: 'Good God. No wonder we sent all our inbred mutants from sheep farms on ships to the penal colonies. Thank God it was on one way tickets in most cases. But can you please come and take back: Germaine Greer, Peter Thatchall and from Scotland, Roseanna Cunningham? Thank you.'

And I thought the British Loonie Left were unwashed, unmedicated and unloved......do your ones hang out in certain areas like ours do in places like Islington and No 10 Downing Street?

Sincere sympathy to our Australian friends. (Even though you beat us at rugby again you buggers...)

Posted by: Dave T at July 7, 2004 at 07:30 AM