Monday, November 26, 2007


Great call on talkback radio - what the Liberals should do for leadership "Have one last look for Harold Holt".

Since K_Rudd said on saturday that he'd celebrate with a strong cup of tea and "an iced Vo-Vo" we went out on saturday to buy ourselves a pack of what we now call "Kevin biscuits".

Great item today in the AFR by Pamela Williams about Peter Costello, and the Liberal campaign in general. It stood out to everyone but the Liberal party eighteen months ago that they should change leader. That they didn't is their collective fault.

I hope they realise that if they'd changed leader the ALP wouldn't have...and that would have made all the difference.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Help please

I am currently a "gentleman between engagements" and today had the experience of a large professional services firm telling me they weren't going to hire me on the basis that "there was growing concerns about the risks to them from my political views which are widely known". In discussions this, my blog, had been raised.

Apart from my blog I contribute letters to the AFR, comments in Crikey, comments in an industry journal Communications Day and have contributed two Opinion pieces to another industry journal called Exchange. What would you find from reading this lot?

Well from this blog it is pretty clear that I'm leftish. I have blogged about my experiences of working with the ALP, I've talked about my experiences with the Howard fund-raiser at Kirribilli House. Like many Australians I've expressed concern about the treatment of David Hicks - but mainly by praising his US lawyer.

I've also commented on rugby, netball and bridge. On rugby I had a throw away line about John Howard not being able to welcome home a winning team - and I note now he didn't seem to bother at all about our wonderful netballers winning the World Championship.

If I go back further I find a whole catalogue of slightly leftist commentary, but very little that is overtly political. I have been critical of truth in Government and I suspect I will be when the Government changes. I was specifically critical of a reaction I got from some Liberal staffers to some comments in Crikey. I was also generally critical of the approach of the Liberal party in an item headed "No small l in Howard's LiberaL party" which was actually a note about how I thought my Optus colleague Paul Fletcher would have made a good candidate in Cook.

So I'm interested in any help any of my few readers can give me in telling me how my obvious politics would be a risk to a major professional services firm.

If they've read more widely over recent days they might have seen some items in Crikey like the one referred to in today's blogging. There was also a reference to ASIO and the Izhar Ul-Haque case in which I questioned whether the AG should perhaps undertake further investigation. Then there was a reference to remuneration at Telstra. This comment was meant to be about the use of comparative statistics but I did go over the top a little. But just as interestingly I spent that morning at an AICD workshop on "Directing Today for Tomorrow" in which many thought the correct action of the Telstra remuneration committee was to have told shareholders they would resign as Directors if the "non binding" vote was lost - it probably would have had a better outcome.

Elsewhere I recently had two letters published in the AFR backing the so-called Birdsville amendment (which I can't link to because AFR content is no longer available). I've also had a recent exchange in Communications Day backing Telstra's plans to cut the copper in its FTTN plans (which I will link to once they are in their archive).

Apart from that this year I've been a candidate for the Democrats at the State election before being unsuccessful in seeking Senate pre-selection. I'd never have thought that the Australian Democrats constituted a radical anti-business party.

So - as they say - live and learn. Or as they also say - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. "They" are very wise.

WiFi and all that

Readers of Crikey might have seen a series of rather sad comments flying between me and another Crikey contributor over the health effects of WiFi that one observer close to me referred to as like a pair of eight year olds arguing.

For the record the sequence started with a contribution to Crikey
about WiFi
, in response to which I submitted a contribution to Crikey's comments section.

This scored a response from the original author (which misspelt my name). I came back with a curtish reply which logically got another bite, this time accusing me of being a spin doctor and not revealing my identity.

By this time Crikey was getting sick of it but allowed me a last reply. They actually asked me to edit down my original submission which I did.

The bit I ommitted for space reasons was some further analysis of the work of The Bionitiative Group. This was in relation to one of the chapters of their study which had used studies of seamstresses to claim health effects from low magnetic fields. The research pointed out these fields came from both motors in sewing machines and transformers. This posed the obvious question that if we believe in this risk as well we should presumably be concerned about the tranformers driving the power supply of PCs, printers, scanners and modems far more than the WiFi.

We could of course be wrong, but as far as I can see we are still far better worrying about the number of people killed on roads than worrying about health effects that haven't been observed from some very old technologies.

Friday, November 02, 2007

How slow is the AEC

Nominations were declared at 12 noon today and draws for ballot positions conducted immediately - so how come at 7:22pm there isn't a list of candidates on their website?

Have they all gone home and we have to wait till Monday?