Monday, January 13, 2014

Response to Rear Window

The AFR 's Rear Window paid me the dubious honour of making a whole item about me today.  Only problem is that I didn't really deserve it.

The first error is to claim I achieved a degree of infamy as a Conroy adviser. I think it is more correct that I had my infamy first. I think the only press references to me at the time was the stories that I'd been hired and the ones about me being retained by Minister Albanese.  A quick Google reveals plenty of earlier references...even a whole Op Ed in the AFR.

The next part about my tweet regarding the ASX delisting of 21st Century Fox is an accurate description of the post.  But the contact with Clare's office was a call to me.  Wow how surprised would the journalist have been if I had said it WAS the party line.  Also let's be clear, I don't like the way Mr Murdoch runs his business these days.  I haven't always had that view since when News was my customer when I was at Telstra I did a fair bit of work to help the Foxtel JV happen. 

But it is also true that I posted here only a few days ago that I thought the claims if Mr Murdoch's political influence are overstated.  On 21st Century Fox I think I am not alone in still wondering whether NSW taxpayers really got a good deal from the redevelopment of the old showground site as Fox Studios...but now Entertainment Quarter. 

Then the biggy where Godwin's law might be in play.  Context is everything. Firstly I never used the word Nazi, for a reason.  The comment followed Christopher Pyne's assertion that the Liberal party is the only true national party because it doesn't represent any sectional interests. This was said by Pyne in the context of his two dodgy mates being appointed to review the national curriculum.  Now Pyne really questions the three cross disciplinary focus areas of Asian century, indigenous past and the third I can't remember. He loves to question the relevance of these to maths and science, as a distraction from his view that shouldn't feature in history or civics.

When you analyse the Liberal position on teaching history it is very strongly "nationalist"...European tradition is better than everything, our judeo-Christian heritage is more important than our place in Asia.  Sounded very much to me like the kind of nationalism that the German national socialists espoused publicly, not the far more brutal version they believed privately. So quite reasonably is response to Pyne's claim the Liberals were a national party, I suggested they might be better able to claim to be "national socialists". Perfectly reasonable claim.  

The journalist thought the tweet had been about the Nationals because basically he was lazy and was taking a feed from someone and really had done no research.  And he ran my correction as if it was an extra story, rather than as pointing out his original version was wrong.

So hopefully next time I make it to rear window it will be by someone who knows I have been infamous in tech circles for a while now, and it will be about something substantial and not just a selective reading if a couple if tweets. 


1. The columnist for the AFR was Will Glasgow.  My grandfather Carl Frederick Spencer Glasgow was a UAP member if the NSW Legislative Assembly for one term.  Makes it possible young Will is a distant cousin.  Just proves you can't chose your relatives.

2. The tweets had been referred to Will by someone, and he just laughed when I suggested he should just ignore future tip offs from Liberal staffers.  Could have been an AFR journalist following me I guess. But most of them would know better on the history.  Anyhow if someone is noticing then something is going right.

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