“Just the facts, ma’am”: What a citizen should expect from the media

Today’s Guest Author is Catalyst, with an eloquent plea to the media and our legislators. Thank you, Catalyst.

The earnest request for ‘Just the facts, ma’am,’ came from Dragnet’s lieutenant Joe Friday. An old time TV series with clear back and white values. Joe Friday’s remark encapsulates what I want from the media in their role of reporting news stories. The facts, clearly stated without distortion or interpretation.

Opinion pieces that are labelled as such are another matter. For some time now in my opinion, our ‘fourth estate’ has been failing us, the public, in factual reporting

The fourth estate, which is how journalists are described, has a unique function in our western democracies. They are supposed to represent us, the people. Their task is to stand for the interests of the people in scrutinizing the events of the day, fairly and without favour, especially the actions of the government and opposition. I’ve italicised where I believe our media fails us, most especially when it comes to subjecting the opposition to scrutiny. Not just reporting what they say, but actually looking for policies.

The term ‘fourth estate’ derives from the British Westminster system. This includes the Lords spiritual, the bishops, the Lords temporal, the aristocracy, in the House of Lords and the lower house, House of Commons, representing the majority of people in the Parliament. Accountability was supposed to be ensured by the scrutiny of the parliament by the ‘fourth estate’. Our Parliament is run along Westminster lines- replacing the concept of The House of Lords with the Senate- also supposed to be a house of review.

Under their own code of ethics (which some these days believe an oxymoron) journalists are expected to ‘report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress facts or give distorting emphasis.’

(Australian News Commentary. Journalists code of ethics – an oxymoron? http://www.Australian-news.com.au/codethics.htm. Accessed 28/6/2009)

The Journalists’ code states that they are not supposed to display any type of bias. ‘Do not allow personal interest…to undermine your accuracy.’

(Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance, Journalists’ Code of Ethics http://www.alliance.org.au/code of ethics.html. Accessed 24/06/2013)

Additionally, journalists are also expected to apply the rules of disclosure. These say that a journalist must publicise facts about themselves which might reasonably be assumed to colour their opinions.

Opinions might be influenced by belonging to a political party, company or organisation. Equally, being married to someone who was a member of a political party, having worked or consulted for a party, company or organisation. Being a relative, a friend or former employee, would also need to be disclosed, as would any payments made to the journalist or gifts or trips. I believe that these rules are breached almost daily, knowingly, and flagrantly. The process has escalated since the tabloidization of the media.


(Image credit: iStockphoto)

What I want are the facts: unadorned, reported as fairly and accurately as possible, given these I want to evaluate them for myself. Facts unslanted by bias, opinion or commentary.

I don’t want to read reports affected by the ‘special relationship’ a columnist has with a pollie. Neither do I want an opinion paid for by Telstra, Qantas or any major company or person. The type of thing that both John Laws and Alan Jones espoused a few years back, whilst failing to disclose their commercial arrangements to their listeners.

And I want a code that is enforceable: one than makes journalist responsible for accuracy, look out for bias, and actually be responsible for checking their facts. How can I believe in a self-regulating code which has journalists judging the actions of other journalists? A code that has no meaningful penalties?

One example we in Australia might emulate is a code that has amazed Americans: the Canadian Truth in Media Code. This made news when a new broadcaster, SUN TV, wanted to enter the Canadian television news market.

Americans discovered that you could not lie on Canadian broadcast news. They were shocked. The idea that a FOX-type news programme was set to be presented in Canada galvanised thousands of ordinary Canadians into action. They liked their factual news, and did not want to the sort of reporting FOX is known for.


(Image credit: Roguemedia)

The Canadian Media Authority, CRTC or Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (similar to our ACMA) had a proposal under consideration, one which would have relaxed the current rules. Disallowed programming content included ‘broadcasting false or misleading news’. The plan to loosen up this rule was scrapped once Canadians made their feeling known. It appears the public feared a lack of civility in public discourse and a deliberate muddying of political waters.

(On the Media http://www.onthemedia.org/2011/mar/o4/lying-is-illegal-in-canadian-broadcast-news-transcript.30/06/2013)

Canadians expected, nay, demanded that their news remained factual. While the Canadian code only applied to broadcast news, it is surely not beyond the will and wit of lawmakers to extend its scope to newspaper reportage. Something similar, if applied here, might help restore civility to the public domain.

If newspaper sales are declining (and they are) and journalists are held in little regard, may I suggest that in some small part this situation is of their own making? They told us what they were supposed to do – and then failed to do it.

They played their own game, rewrote the rules to suit themselves, and forgot that they were supposed to be representing us, the people: verifying facts, and working on our behalf. Instead they decided to collaborate, to tell us the same stories, and to direct us to think as they did and do as they told us. How can they fail to realise they trashed the brand?

——————————————————————————————————-

Disclaimer. I am not, nor have ever been a member of any political party, none of my family are politicians, I have not worked, consulted or been paid by any political organisation, or worked for any political organisation in a paid or voluntary capacity.

I am simply a citizen with an interest in politics.

963 thoughts on ““Just the facts, ma’am”: What a citizen should expect from the media

  1. Abbott is releasing a NEW POLICY just now on tv. Da Da — Its The 15,000 strong Green Team. So There!

  2. Well, there you are people. The abbott’s green army will give 15,000 young people opportunity to acquire skills so that they can move into jobs in parks/gardens, landscaping etc. In other words, it is revamp of the work for the dole scheme.

  3. The abbott is going to harp on the HIS right through to the election. Rudd will have to come up with something better than an apology and stand up for the policy – he doesn’t have Garrett to offer as a scapegoat this time around so he’d do better to apologise for his mea culpa and stuff a pink batt or two in the abbott’s mouth.

  4. It looks like Batts might be Rudd’s Kryptonite.

    Rudd is probably incapable of self-reflection, but you’d expect someone as savvy as Hawker to have worked out a better response than what he gave last time. It was the very thing that put him on the back foot. And now the same piss-weak type of response.

    The only consolation is that it is so old in the news cycle now that the fall-out shouldn’t last more than a few days. But it gives us some idea how, even with an aggressive media, Gillard was always stronger.

  5. Tony Sloganman has released a Green Army Safety @ Work Video to show the 15,000 conscripts how to go down an embankment with dress shoes on.

    We will be expecting quite a few of this new WPHS vids over time

    So is he going to resign should someone in the Green Army get injured.

  6. I am trying to keep personalities and policies apart. One or two posters here have pointed out that it’s the policies that matter and I know that that is true but I find it so difficult to escape from the individual-people issues to think about the collective people issues.

    As to the personalities, on the one hand I see an iconic figure, a great Australian Prime Minister, cut down – the advertisement put together by the Victorian Women’s Trust is an excellent tribute- and on the other a devious, nasty Opus Dei supporter who, having spent three years dummy-spitting, now expects to take over this land and hand it to his friends and puppet-string holders Murdoch and Pell. In between these two is another who I spend as little time as possible thinking about. I’ve managed to not see or listen to him since he became PM again. I know that he led us poorly once before; I know he scattered largess among his former political opponents; I know he ran from OM criticism and then backtracked away from good decisions (and I read he’s done it again now over the pink batts initiative); I and all of us were let down by him once and may well be again in the future.

    However they are the personalities and as C@t and a few others have told us they don’t really matter, it’s the policies that matter. All those excellent policies that the Labor Government has implemented into such a successful legislative framework MUST be preserved and the only way they can be preserved is if the nation reelects a Labor Government. It’s the Party, not the individuals, not even the leader.

    And that’s why, slowly, day by day, I’m coming to accept that I must vote for and even work for the reelection of the ALP Government. All I have to do is keep on repeating to myself: it’s the Party, not the hollow man leading it and his whiteanting mates; it’s the Party, our Party; we’ve got to stop Tony and Rupert and George and Gina and all their ilk; it’s the Party, it’s the ALP; Rudd is only temporary; it’s the Party that matters.

    In the meantime and the long time, let us remember Julia and watch her career continue on other stages and she so many others benefit from her abilities. Time does not go backwards and we haven’t got her at the helm any more but let us be grateful for all that she has done for us progressive men and women.

  7. Rudd should not have apologised. Instead he should have had the guts to say the employers were at fault.

    This is a report of the proceedings on just one day of the Queensland inquest.
    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2013/s3754863.htm

    A death was due to an employer’s wish to make a profit, not to anything the federal government might or might not have done or to any failings by DEWHA staff (and there were failings). Turning off the power before allowing someone with just two weeks training to use metal staples (banned in New Zealand) to lay electrically conductive insulation was considered too expensive by the 19 year old in charge. Making a profit was more important than ensuring workers were safe. The company sounds dodgy as for other reasons as well. And yet Rudd apologised, opening the gate for a compensation claim. What a dim-witted fool.

    The four deaths that occurred (1 in NSW caused by heat exhaustion, 3 in Queensland from electrocution) were due to employer greed and employer negligence. What’s wrong with saying that? Yes, DEWHA should have dome more work on regulation, but all the regulation in the world cannot stop unscrupulous employers out to make a fast buck from government funding.

    And for anyone interested , the government’s own audit report on the whole program.
    http://www.anao.gov.au/Publications/Audit-Reports/2010-2011/Home-Insulation-Program/Audit-brochure

  8. jeffemu,
    Yes I remember that clip, I ever saw that clip once and it was never shown again on free to air TV again. There must be a rule that says “Don’t show any Abbott mishap” for the public to see.

  9. The accuse the media and the LNP too. The ABC skipped that in the headlione. It is pretty crook when a group has to pay $100k to print the facts the msm is supposed to report as part of their jobs.

  10. This re-apology sets a bad precedent. PM Rudd could have met with the families in private and talked to them.

    I notice only one family of the four is doing this. Who is manipulating their grief for political purposes? Are the Libs behind this? It looks like exploitation of a grieving vulnerable family to me.

  11. puffy
    Yep. I posted the same thing earlier. Citizen-funded journalism seems to be the trend. Ashbygate Trust set up to do the things the OM won’t, now a women’s group paying for an ad to say the things the OM won’t.

  12. leone2,
    I cried in my coffee listening to Rudd apologise. I thought there is some more cannon fodder for the LOTO to attack Rudd (fool).
    Sure enough that is exactly what has happened and Rudd cannot fight back. If Rudd thinks he can now forget this, well he better think again.
    Rudd is not a fighter. He can only succeed by being popular nothing else.

  13. Jaycee…

    Alan Bennett is one of the all time great British playwrights …his Talking Heads series was a showcase of wonderful writing and acting.

    Unfortunately not much available on Youtube… 😦

  14. muskiemp
    I read about his apology last night and had to restrain myself from throwing something at my screen.

  15. Rudd apology ….

    He hasn’t learned anything …he hasn’t changed a jot.

    He’s only SAYING he should be “more consultative” …he doesn’t believe it.

    I have a sinking feeling that Rudd will stuff up big time before the election …she’s already started with that F**KING stupid mea culpa… 😦

  16. There is one conclusion that you can draw form Rudd’s actions, that he panicked.

  17. Ugh, this utter fool. I’m so sick of the phrase “Pink Batts!” being squawked by LNP supporters and now they’ll start up again.

    Oh well, maybe this will just be a small blip. I’ve been looking at news.com.au to see how they’re reacting to Rudd, and they don’t seem to be out to get him like they were with Julia Gillard. So if they actually aren’t, then this issue might blow over like everything that Abbott did these past 4 years.

    But Rudd can’t afford to make mistakes if he’s going to beat Abbott, especially repeated mistakes that he should have learned from.

  18. Maybe his attack dog, Albo, with his natural gift of the gab, or B Shorten, with his compassionate eyes, will relieve K Rudd of this burden.

  19. I think i remember some connection between one of the families and the coalition, not sure really at the moment, but I would like to know if someone is milking their grief foe political gain?

  20. Just on the HIP deaths …

    The three in Queensland were caused by electrocution when stapling aluminium foil in roof cavities …

    The fourth in NSW was caused by heat exhaustion from working in a roof-space in hot weather…

    All these tragic deaths occurred as a result of ?criminal negligence on the part of contractors who imo recklessly ignored safety precautions any DIY enthusiast would consider second nature.

    These contractors specialised in fitting insulation and MUST have been aware of the dangers & associated OH&S precautions/procedures.

    It beggars belief that Rudd would apologise for this … I’m F**KING angry with him for meekly accepting responsibility & apologising 😦

  21. Cassidy is a bloody brilliant thinker. To be able to work that out; to be able to differentiate between what happens if Rudd’s vote goes down or up. The ABC, nay the whole country is so lucky to have such a brilliant analyst to guide it.

  22. You’d have thought that Rudd might have come up with a good answer to the generic Pink Batts accusation in the past three years.

    Then again, perhaps he was too busy being a termite, reading the polls, stalking Gillard, swallowing his own Messiah Kool Aid, leaking to his favourite journalists and big-noting himself?

    Leigh Sales’ introduction of the grieving parents last night, and her virtual public apology to them on behalf of the nation, was sickening. It was cheap, tabloid TV current affairs on a level to rival Today Tonight.

    If Rudd had been thinking over the past few years, instead of preening himself and doing street walks to the adulation of the Daily Telegraph readers, he might have come up with a form of words that put “blame” in its proper perspective.

    What the Coroner said was unremarkable. He said that there was an undue haste in implementing the program and that to certain extent the normal OH&S protocols were put to one side. The Commonwealth tried to impress upon the states that these rules should be applied, but the states dropped the ball, overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of one million roofs being insulated.

    The employers, for the main part acted responsibly, but – as always – there were cowboys who saw a good lurk and, absent proper oversight, went for it.

    Basic (you would think, common sense) considerations – like you can’t work when it’s 50 degrees inside the roof, or you should turn off the electricity – hardly even registered in the minds of some of the workers, young workers who thought they were bullet-proof, or who were making too much money to slow down, lest the gravy train was stopped.

    There was fault – a better word is “causation” – all the way down the line.

    Balanced against this was the Coroner’s statement that the Commonwealth judged the economy to be more important than human lives, with the obvious implication being that this should never happen, and that the Commonwealth had been negligent in its thinking.

    But of course there are circumstances where “the mission” is more important than the risk to human life. Battle in war is clearly one of these. No matter how much care is taken, eventually it gets down to people trying to kill each other and some of them getting killed.

    OK, so Pink Batts adon’t qualify for “war” emergency status – the nation’s fate wasn’t at stake… or was it?

    A ramping-up of OH&S infrastructure by either the states or the Commonwealth – hiring staff, training them, gettng them out to the workplaces – would have taken months, if not years… anathema to the economic emergency in which Australia found itself.

    It’s clear that a decision was made to get the program going and administer the OH&S aspect of it on the fly.

    You don’t think of installing Batts as a life-threatening activity. The classic insulation project is Joe Citizen and a few mates getting up in the roof with Batts purchased at Bunnings and going for it. Knock it over in a day, have the girls over for a barbeque and spend a week itching from the tiny slivers of glass that manage to get past even the most professional protective clothing. Batts must have seemed the perfect thing to do – better than writing cheques or just giving people cash (as in the first stage of the GFC response), lowish risk (the worst contemplated would have been people falling either off or through roofs), not requiring highly skilled workers, good for the environment and so on. It’s not dangerous at all, but anything you do in million-off lots will incur casualties.

    Put it this way… for the average householder doing his own roof to cause it to catch fire, he’d have to install and re-install Batts five thousand times to match the probabilities of his roof catching fire. If someone was to be killed during the installation, that roof would have to have Batts installed two-hundred and fifty-thousand times to make the likelihood of someone dying during the installation. Pretty slim odds, I’d say.

    Balance these odds against the benefits of the installation, and there’s your context.

    The question is: are these casualties, sad as they are, worth it?

    Is having the ten to twenty thousand people who worked on the Batts program, the drivers who delivered the materials, the storemen who worked in the warehouses that held stocks, the managers, the shipping clerks, the milk bars that sold cool drinks, the newsagents that sold newspapers to be read during smoko and all the rest of the multitude of indirect beneficiaries languishing, out of work, preferable to losing a few lives and causing a few accidents? Especially when those lives lost and the accidents that occurred were reportedly less than the average over the years for insulation installation?

    These are all things that a politician prepared to utilise more than sound bites could have and should have considered.

    Instead we heard yet another grovelling apology, and an effective abandonment of the first Rudd government’s response to the GFC, which was exactly the blunder that got Rudd into strife the first time, back in 2010 with his unnecessary, smartarsed, and (I think), cowardly “mea culpa” to Barrie Cassidy.

    Rudd hasn’t learnt much, has he? In three long years of termite infestation? All he seems to know is PR, Sue Cato tactics, leaking against his political enemies, weakening the party’s prospects to fuel his narcissm, and spin, lurching from one crisis to another with silver-tongued catchwords designed more to head off Daily Telegraph and shock-jock faux outrage campaigns than to get at the truth and to defend Labor’s record.

    Rudd has been a lazy little termite, playing Murdoch’s game, no doubt with advice from the aforementioned Sue Cato, and the Hawker-Britton cabal who totally equate politics with avoiding the truth – more with running from trouble – at all costs.

    That one Coroner in Queensland can put Rudd in a position where he feels it necessary to re-committ the cardinal sin of politics – self-destruction – shows that while some things have changed, Rudd is still Rudd.

    The leopard’s spots are still firmly in place.

    I think of all that trouble he has caused, only to sell out Labor yet again. What a disgrace.

  23. Abbott shouldn’t even be talking about ‘pink batts’. To do that shows just what an ill-informed dill he really is. The product that caused the three deaths in Queensland was foil insulation. it comes in sheets and is stapled down. In Queensland metal staples were used so you had a recipe for disaster. Inexperienced young workers, conductive foil and metal staples accidentally pounded into live wiring.

    Still, it’s so much easier to say ‘pink batts’ over and over like a demented parrot than to have to say ‘electrically conductive foil insulation’. Abbott couldn’t manage to get all that out without a major stuff-up and all those shock-jock listeners would have lost attention after the first two syllables.

  24. Agree GD. ……..and what can one now say…so close…so very close….trouble is, there was always someone who wanted to make a buck and ruin it for everyone!

  25. I have no problem with KRuddPM talking to the families, offering condolences, even a private apology, but this public mea culpa, dissing a very successful program, when the deaths were caused by capitalist greed, is bad.

  26. Are we sure Rudd apologized last time? He threw Garrett under the bus, and was planning to apologize, but did he actually do it before being deposed?

  27. I don’t watch the drivel that Their ABC regard as ‘comedy’ so I was spared the garbage that was served up on Wednesday Night Fever. People said it was bad, but what didn’t make it to the program was appalling.

    It sounds like Their ABC’s ‘comedy’ offerings are going to get even worse.
    “Rick Kalowski — the creative director of the production company responsible for WNF, and the creator and executive producer of both this show and At Home With Julia — is the ABC’s incoming head of comedy. The man soon to be responsible for creative and editorial oversight of the ABC’s comedy programming thinks Julian Assange is just a misunderstood breast aficionado, finds the term “curry-muncher” hilarious and considers the depiction of an indigenous Australian being physically assaulted and removed from their native land entertainment”

    This Crikey story seems to be unlocked. Please read it.
    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/wiresandlights/2013/07/05/leaked-abc-scripts-blackface-mock-mp-sex-and-more-fever-dreams/

  28. leonetwo

    Just so that the record is straight, the death in the Cairns area was caused by the workers themselves going out and buying metal staples (which were banned in the latter part of the HIP) because they didn’t like working with the plastic staples. ‘Cause of death’ – personal stupidity.

    The one in Southeast Qld was caused by an inexperienced worker using an aluminium pole (some reports say steel) to push the batts into place. ‘Cause of death’ – insufficient supervision by employer + personal stupidity.

    The death in Sydney was of a young man of simple intellect who turned up for work because his mate couldn’t make it so he was covering for him. ‘Cause of death’ – inexperience + lack of employer supervision.

    The users of aluminium foil insulation went to great lengths to maintain their self-regulation when they were faced with the threat of an independent regulator such as existed for pink batts and ‘slurry’ installers.

    Here’s the run-down on all of the deaths:

    Mitchell Sweeney

    WORKERS laying government-subsidised ceiling insulation, including a young man who was electrocuted, used banned metal staples because it made the work go faster, a court heard yesterday.
    
Mitchell Sweeney, 22, died in February last year at a home in Millaa Millaa, far north Queensland. The accident occurred months after staples were banned on the order of environment minister Peter Garrett.
    
The court heard Titan directed staff to use plastic fasteners, but Mr Sweeney and co-workers ignored the advice, one saying, “we found it faster”.

    
www.theaustralian.com.au/…/story-e6frg6nf-1226124879571 



    Matthew Fuller

    QHI Installations Pty Ltd was fined after the company was charged with failing to conduct its business in a way that was electrically safe, 
Christopher John McKay pleaded guilty to the  charge. 
    A guilty plea was also entered on behalf of the company.

    
www.couriermail.com.au/…/story-e6freoof-1226000144988 



    Rueben Barnes 


    The first-year apprentice carpenter was working with two other men when he was electrocuted while using a steel pole to move the insulation into place.


    http://www.abc.net.au/…/2265916 



    ‘Casual approach’ a factor in roof death: coroner
    
by Paul Bibby     SMH



    The “casual approach to health and safety” by a Sydney insulation company contributed significantly to the death of a teenager who passed away after installing roof insulation in 40-plus degree temperatures, a coroner has found.

    

**********
    

Mr Wilson had been working under the broad umbrella of the federal government’s much maligned home insulation scheme. But the coroner attributed no blame to this program for the young man’s death.

    
www.smh.com.au/…/…-coroner-20121004-270×4.html

    It is worth noting that at the time of their deaths, the states were responsible for the enforcement of their own OHS standards. Even so, how do you maintain sufficient oversight such that you can prevent an employer from sending workers into 60 degree heat or using a steel pole in a ‘live’ ceiling or going out and buying their own staples, leaving the ones provided by the company unused?

  29. Yes, this “new” comedy is really “try-hard” comedy…more to the taste of bogans than to sublety…more “live audience” than broadcast. There is no time to develope “mood” or “place”….just wham, bam!

  30. It isn’t even a week and KRudd is already displaying the “non-spinal specificity” that got him booted three years ago.Caucus & the cardinals had better shorten the leash even further. Labor can’t afford to be on the back foot too many more times in the run up to the election.

  31. If I recall, all electricians are made aware of entering roof-space once the temp’ gets above certain degrees. I don’t know why this was not passed on in some sort of literature from the company.

  32. That same coconer was caught up in the Palm Island death in custody, I believe.

  33. What’s more, coroners have been known to get it wrong – remember Mrs Chamberlain.

  34. NormanK
    I didn’t see it as a blast, I’m all in favour of setting records straight. Thanks for all the information, I started a search for my own purposes but I haven’t had time to go far enough. You’ve saved me a lot of work.

  35. [It beggars belief that Rudd would apologise for this … I’m F**KING angry with him for meekly accepting responsibility & apologising ]

    I share your anger Mark. From coming out of the gates hard and wrong footing the LNP he has now given them ammo and taken the blowtorch off Abbott.What a goose !!!

  36. If Kevin and the Cardinals had realised that coroner’s report was being released this week we might have had another week or two of PMJG. I’m sure St Kevin would have been only too happy to allow her one last Labor-botched-scandal-crisis before he made his move.

  37. What a PM with a brain instead of a giant ego would have done would be –
    1- Have a chat with Mark Dreyfus and the relevant minister (I don’t have a clue who Kev has put into the portfolio) about what the options might be regarding coroners’ reports, responsibilities, possible compensation claims and apologies.
    2 – Arrange a meeting involving the PM, the AG, the minister, the aggrieved parents, the contractors responsible for the deaths and any others involved.
    3 – Quietly and privately, with no cameras involved, negotiate a solution everyone could live with.

    For that to work we’d need a PM with excellent negotiating skills and a proven record of getting things sorted. I think we used to have someone who could have pulled it off…….

  38. I just got in & haven’t been following the apology thing closely. But this issue, like it or not, has entered the public consciousness & perhaps an explanatory apology will go down well. Expressing regret for that part which the government can be criticised for & no more. Explaining that there’s more to it than Rudd & Garrett herding innocents into roofs at gunpoint. Quoting the coroner’s findings on other participants. And, which would require nerve, talking about the long term benefits of the scheme.

    Scarcely watch it anymore but last night’s 7.30 was the worst I’ve seen.
    Haven’t seen any commentary on last night’s Q&A. It takes a braver soul than me to actually watch it.

  39. From where I sit (in front of my slow-mo computer 😦 a fist full of money is the only thing the govt can do to get out of this one. The abbott is more or less saying he wants the reins of power handed over to him because he doesn’t want to take the risk of losing the election. The families are not interested in apologies – they are out for a big compensation package.

  40. I hope this rudd thing works, I really do. (I am saving my invective for over the road, after all I had to put up with 3yrs of ruddstoration there, and the hubris is sickening.) But I am not holding my breath.

    (His treatment of PMJG will never be forgiven, not in exchange for 20 election wins.)

    So I sincerely hope he gets his game in order, because it is going to be one gawdalmighty mess if he doesn’t.

  41. foreverjanice
    Seeing Howard’s deportation of Australian citizens ended up costing millions in compensation, plus that Haneef fella, handing out the cash fast and furious is probably the way to go. it will be a dreadful precedent but we are into whatever-it-takes-land now and turning back is not possible.

  42. Leone2
    PMJG sitting down with the families, handing over some ex-gratia payment (based on the PMRudd demotion of the Minister) and some new strong program administration guidelines, I reckon would have sorted this, as you say, in the background.

    Unless the Libs are deliberately using grieving families for political gain. The would never do that now, would they?

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