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Thank you and goodbye

G'day. Webdiary will close at midnight tonight. Thank you to everyone who contributed and helped me try to make it work.

Unfortunately I couldn't get funding in time to stop me going broke, and certain events have proved to me that my skin is not thick enough to survive in this game.

When I decided to go independent I thought long and hard if I could accept failure in what was always a high risk venture. I decided I could, and I will.

Webdiary's closure marks the end of my career in journalism. It's time to move on.

I still believe that independent journalism is crucial to the future of Australia's democracy, and hope that what I've tried to do will help others have a go.

Again, thank you to everyone who's participated in Webdiary since July 2000. It's been an experience I will treasure.

Margo Kingston

PS: If anyone would like to continue Webdiary in some form, please contact Hamish at hamishalcorn-at-hotmail.com

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re: Thank you and goodbye

I was so distracted by your news, Margo, that I posted my response to the wrong thread. A sense of emptiness is in me. Coincidence that my Irises thread was a sort of summation and battle cry?

Thank you for your comments, you understood what I was doing when I stood up for ethical debate. My approach was inspired by behaviour I saw here and by the treatment you received elsewhere. It is offensive.

Amidst the expected expressions of sadness and well-deserved praise for your efforts I hope the WD community can discuss how to keep involved in some form.

Thank you so much for trying so hard and so long and at such sacrifice against the slings and arrows.

Margo: Thanks Bob.

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Maybe it was those joooos who control the media who did it? Glad you are going. Fuck off.

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Noooooooo! Isn't there something we can do, Margo? If not, thank you for a wonderful site, for your hard work, your integrity and your courage. And, bon voyage.

Margo: Thank you FK.

re: Thank you and goodbye

Dear Margo, I am so shocked and saddened. Yours was the voice of the people, fighting for our freedom. Did you ever ask for funding? I do believe many of us would have helped out.

Oh Margo. I'm devastated. The anti-terror laws have passed, the sedition laws are in, and you've gone.

Please, please reconsider this. You are so very important to us.

If ever you try to take up the cause in another way, Margo, please count me in.

And finally, as I don't think you are going to change your mind, thank you so much for what you tried to do.

Margo: Thank you Daphne.

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Dear Margo,

I have pointed out my concerns at what I perceived as the direction Webdiary was taking several times. Never the less, this is a sad day, and certainly not what I wanted to see.

I wish you the very best in life Margo, you have given so much that you deserve nothing less.

Best wishes,


Margo: Thanks Craig. I never did get to visit your workplace. Maybe one day.

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Margo, I'm admiring a rose just outside my window. It's magnificent and it won't last but it hasn't been a failure.

Margo: Thanks Ron. Better to have tried and failed I suppose.

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Gee, all those blogs that John Smith (if that's the brave little man's REAL name) and his/her ilk frequents will now have so little to wank and froth over.

Seriously though, Margo, you will leave a void and many more of us will miss you.

Best of luck and lots of love. I'll look out for you to leave your mark in other ways.

Margo: Thanks Jacob, especially for defending my honour that time when I was, not for the first time, unjustly accused of behaving unethically. My mark, such as it is, has been made. I've been lucky to have had the chance to do so.

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But, but, how will I get my daily dose of loon? Lataan and Shepherd, could you two start your own blog with special comments by Dee Whitless? That should give me more than enough Loon.

Well done Margo for giving it a shot. I never thought I'd say this but I think I'll miss you.

You should to what Blair did and become an editor for one of the mags. What about GLW?

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I am sorry to hear this about Webdiary Margo. I must admit to disagreeing with a lot of things but it is always interesting to hear diverse perspectives.

It was very enjoyable reading and posting on this site and something that I will truly miss. It is not easy finding something like this where people have more than passing interest in topics. I think you are a good journalist and you will go on to do many other things eventually in this field.

When all is said and done I sincerely wish you the best in your future endeavours. In the end it is only really politics and that will never be as importaent as real life no matter how heated it gets at times.

So Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to not only you but everyone else out there in readerland. I hope everything goes well for you Margo and once again goodluck.

PS: Maybe you could post on other sites in the future. It is a lot easier sometimes to just get your views across posting without the headaches of all that comes with running a site.

Margo: Thanks Jay. As I said, my journalism career is over. I've given it my all for nearly 20 years, and it's taken its toll. Happy New Year to you, too.

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"As expected by everyone except the Yanks, the Afghans are too tough to avoid sending US troops in. As predicted by everyone except the Yanks, it appears, it's supposed be a LONG war, requiring PATIENCE and INTELLIGENCE."

You may want to Yank that sled out of the fire, Rosebud. Strike three, you're out!

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Why not write another book? You could've pinched Barry Jones's title Sleepers Wake for the title of Not Happy John, such was the feeling I had reading it. That book had a chapter dedicated to a BBQ list. How much more have they given you to write about this year? Best of luck with whatever direction you take.

Margo: Thanks Dan. I have a contract to write another pre-election book, but at this stage I couldn't face it. The two books I've written took a lot out of me, and NHJ marked my rejection by Fairfax, and finally, my having to leave the company I'd loved for so many years. It was a high cost. Too high for me personally, in retrospect. What next? Who knows.

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Margo, I was shocked when I saw this post. I thought for a while it was a hacker. But as it seems to be real, I thank you for the opportunity to take part in WD. I am sorry it has cost you so much. I will miss my hour or two every day reading WD. More than ever we need outlets to voice alternative ideas. I hope in someway our community can remain connected. I wish you every success in what ever you choose to do. Keep up the good fight and good luck.

Love to all who took part in WD and especially the staff and management.

John Pratt

Margo: Yep, tha lot of people and put their hearts and souls into keeping Webdiary alive. I feel I've let them down, but I've done my best. I too hope the Webdiary community can keep contributing to civil discourse on our democracy.

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Margo, I was very new to Webdiary. In fact I've been here only a few days as a contributor. None the less, I feel a profound sense of loss. It seemed to be one of the only places that provided the opportunity to have your say. The fact that the majority of "diarists" were against the passing of the recent laws in the senate clearly demonstrated to me that they are intelligent, discerning people. I was very honoured to be in such company and admire you greatly for the balanced views that you put accross. It allowed open discussion without being leading in one direction or another.

Anyway, I thank you sincerely and I wish you well. Thank you to all the diarists as well and who knows? We may meet again.

Margo: Thanks Silvia.

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Bob Wall's comments are most shrewd, and John Smith's Neanderthal response illustrates the point. But Margo did NOT fail, at least not before some one (Bob in this case) identified and explicated on the contexts of Webiary, including the context of its downfall, after a fierce and protcracted fight, now as examplar for the times it is representative of.

Nowadays, people regularly discuss in a climate of detached objectivity the events of the McCarthyite era of the 'fifties, free of the emotionalism that enabled its worst excesses- blacklists, ostracisms, false imprisonment, smear campaigns; massive misappropriation of media for disinformation and propaganda purposes; all operating as smokescreen for the worst sort of politics and pol-economy at home and in the foreign affairs context.

The good will of Roosevelt, Keynes, Bretton Woods and the Marshall Plan were overridden by selfish parochial neo-medievalist interests and mindsets typified most of all by Joe McCarthy himself.

In our time we have moved from the hope of the end of the Cold War and Apartheid; represented by people like Mandela, Clinton and Gore, to an era typified by Howard and Cheney and the new Sedition laws.

Margo, you didn't "fail". WD falling now rather than at an earlier time means it falls at a time when the previous efforts can clearly be demonstrated and justified. This significantly includes in the context of the very fact and necessity of its existence and circumstances and context of its downfall relative to and illuminative of, the New McCarthyism.

It is one of a wide range of faltering institutions, ideas and entities, ranging from Environmentalism and the Senate, that reveal the power of the New McCarthyism.

About the time the WD endeavour got going, a lecturer of mine at uni took me aside and said very quietly and earnestly that Australia was entering a period of serious political reaction. Four or five years later, the fact and probable circumstances of WD's existence and then downfall reveal just how prescient this person's comments were.

Margo, if you have to walk away, after such a prodigious efort in the face of black-hearted oposition, only you will know if if your self-respect is still intact - unlike the scum who drove you out. And after all, what else is there, in the end worth earning and having but self respect?

Thanks for opening the eyes of a WD enthusiast. Have a good rest- you've earned it!

Margo: Thank you Paul.

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I am disappointed Margo. I know we have hardly seen eye to eye all the time and some of your posters could from where I stand be the tragic result of an unnatural experiment involving the splicing of the genes of a Frankenstein monster with those of a killer Zombie, but that's irrelevant.

There was a certain spark about this place. The atmosphere of an 18th Century coffee house or what true universities used to be like. Genuine scholars and thinkers of all stripes prepared to trade frank and free opinions among themselves, with those willing to learn and with outright ratbags. And then all adjourn to the bar to continue the argument. This is something that I came to appreciate in the short few months I was here.

I for one will certainly not be gloating over this. I think you and WD, with all its idiosyncracies, will be badly missed.

You are a courageous lady and I wish you all the very best. For what it is worth I forgave you for your Zionists controlling the media comments ages ago.

Margo: Thanks Geoff. It is lots of comfort that some aren't gloating. I tried from the beginning to give all comers a fair go within the bounds of civil discourse and to be transparent about what I was doing and accountable for my errors. I've really enjoyed your comments on Webdiary, and for your support when it counted. .

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God bless, Margo. You done good, girl.

Margo: Thanks Rosie. At least I had a go, eh?

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I strongly resent the accusation that I am a Neanderthal. That wouldn't be a smear campaign would it?

Webdiary was a predicatable failure. Margo has smeared and jeered and denigrated quite liberally. She has defamed me personally and gives considerable comfort to all of the Jew haters and baiters. Oh sorry, they hate Zionism. Oh, and didn't Margo say that the Jews controlled the media and politics in Australia? Thats really ethical Margo.

At the end of the day, you relied on your mates to support your efforts. Despite all of the platitudes, did they dig into their pockets?

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Margo, I must say that although I was "not happy" with some aspects of editing and moderating in Webdiary and I stopped posting I have always hoped that you would be successful in your venture as I do feel that there is a need for an avenue for people to have their say. The concept was good.

I am sorry that you have had to throw in the towel and I truly wish you health, wealth and success for the future.

Just in case anybody is interested in what is happening in my family's issues and in issues in relation to Education maybe you could allow my website address to be posted here today. It's called Education - Keeping them Honest".

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My dear Margo,

A glorious morning, but the sun has gone in. For your courage and conviction we all thank you. And - somehow - I hope that we've not heard the last from you....

Coffee on 22 December still on, so far as I'm concerned!

Take care.

Margo: Yep, see you and Peter W. and Mardi and Peter F. there.

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If you cater for the left and lefter, this is the outcome. There are only so many lefties and most seem to be here whilst the main market simply votes for John Howard... wonder why?

In any event, sorry to see you go but at least you have seen how difficult it is for any small business to survive. It’s much easier having one’s snout in the tax payers wallet.

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Thank you, Margo, for keeping Webdiary going as long as you did. No matter what side of any issue I've found myself, discussion on Webdiary has always been thought-provoking, and has made me sharpen and/or reconsider my own ideas. As all debate should.

Good luck with whatever is next for you.

Margo. Thank you Will. Your posts have been wonderful, always.

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Margo, I know we’ve had our differences but I’d always hoped that over time those would have been put aside for a common cause. This truly must be a blow for you and also for Hamish and Kerri and the others that had worked so hard.

You must be congratulated for all that you have done. You can justly be very proud of what you have pioneered and achieved thus far and I hope that others will be able to take up the baton and the challenge and continue to run with it.

Best wishes for the future.


PS You’ve got my email address if ever you think I might be of help.

re: Thank you and goodbye

Christ, look at all this bold text, no wonder you blew your budget.

re: Thank you and goodbye

Well I think I might just sit here quietly wimpering for a while. I've barely contributed but I've been reading Webdiary from its conception. Buggered if I know where I'll be able to get the same sort of info from now.

I tips me hat to you Margo. A bloody big well done to you for making it this far. I hope you find a more relaxing field of endeavour now. God knows, I reckon you deserve it. Well done you for the passion and perseverance. I'm gonna miss you.

Margo: I'm gunna amiss the Webdiary community too. It's given me hope and food for thought every day. Thank you for reading for all those years, Janette.

re: Thank you and goodbye

Margo, a sad day. More than ever we need independent hard-hitting media as a counter to the lies coming from the Government.

It is hard to see at the moment where a quality home for the diverse pieces you have hosted can be found. Most bloggers in this country, even those of the Left, are almost wholly responsible for the journalistic content; you were bravely prepared to host a variety of contributors then stand back and allow free debate. This made Webdiary unique. It helped to maintain quality, consistency and reader interest while many competitors degenerated into wank fests and troll holes.

Such an atmosphere did of course mean that occasionally barking crazies slipped through the net , but they did not last long under the critical weight of the vast majority of Webdiarists.

Some of the collected commentaries like Welfare to Work, the Irises thread and the ID debates are priceless records in both historical and informational terms.

Was the main problem finance/cash flow? Surely in that case there are solutions, perhaps for instance in calling temporarily on one of the community-based banks or a credit union for small business finance until monies from advertising sponsorship kicked in.

I will miss bashing up Jay. I was hoping to lead him to an appreciation of real economics next year.

If A Mills lacks material to jeer at he could always retrieve his own pieces from the Archives and read them.

Margo, I somehow do not think we have heard the last of you or of Webdiary. Do not let any temporary setbacks or shrieking nay-sayers grind you down.

Email me if there is anything I can do.

Margo: Dee, I've loved you work. Tough, informed and articulate. I'd love to meet you one day. Thanks for all you've done for Webdiary.

re: Thank you and goodbye

Damn, I used to direct my students to this place as an example of Weberian charismatic authority. Some people are going to have their lives seriously deprived of meaning by this closure.

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Oh my! Webdiary is closing! I guess now that Jay White and A.Mills have so comprehensively bashed you all about the head you'll awake from your leftwing coma and............blame John Howard of course!!

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What's a po' boy gonna do now the forces of light are dimming (Rob Corr's Red Rag is also on permanent hiatus)?

The only way we're gonna get rid of these motherf...ers is by revolution (violent, I expect) as they do not respect the so-called 'democracy' that they profess to represent. The 'average' voter is either too stupid or too greedy to understand the perils we face; not from terrorism, but from a world controlled by the unelected and totally amoral military industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower so presciently warned of. As Thomas Jefferson once remarked:

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience [has] shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

Good luck with whatever you choose to do, Margo, just don't give up the fight.

Margo: I've done my bit, Terry. Thanks for reading Webdiary.

re: Thank you and goodbye

Thanks, very appreciated (your work, not your departure)

With the dawn of the new laws I fear voices a la John Smith's will be the only noise being emitted from a country in utter silence

Christian Wesely, Vienna

Margo: Thanks Chritian, and thanks to the many expats who've enriched Webdiary over the years.

re: Thank you and goodbye

This website has given me so much enjoyment. I will be lost without my daily fix of left wing moon battery.

I'll especially miss a certain aeronautical "lying, ranting, rodent" engineer.

All the best.


re: Thank you and goodbye

Hi Margo, this is indeed a hard day for us all. Please do not give up, I am sure there is something that can be done if we all put our minds to it. My poor state of health does not permit me to do a great deal, but I am going to see if if I can call in a few favours that people owe me.

You once said I was your "lucky charm", sorry about that.

Please let me know by email what is going on. Good luck and may your God go with you.

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How depressing. I just read about the changes to the electoral laws and now this. Thank you Margo and everyone else for producing the one thing I have consistently wanted to read since I came back to this ignorant backwater of a country last year. Best wishes for all future endeavours. I will miss all the interaction...even that which I didn't agree with. It's good to know where we are all coming from and that we can have public political debate.

Margo: Thanks Syd, and good luck with your health battle. It's been a pleasure getting to know you.

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Dee Bayliss, oh I will miss the economics lessons myself Dee.

I never got to tell you where I learnt mine, who knows it might have even shocked you. Oh well perhaps another time and another place? Good luck to you in the future - it's been fun.

Whoever it was that debated me about $1 petrol by Christmas at the time petrol was around $1.35 I hope you took my advice.

re: Thank you and goodbye

Sorry to hear this Margo. The blogosphere will not be quite the same.

I don't think anyone has skin quite thick enough for a world where some dreary maxims seem to hold sway - honesty rarely pays, and there is no justice.

In the media reality of human activity there exists only relative levels of ignorance and anyone with an iota of awareness or sensitivity is bound for a rocky ride. Problem being that the world more than anything needs people with awareness and sensitivity. Irony prevails as always.

Good luck with your new big horizon.

Margo: Thanks CK. I'm gunna look at the trees and the sky for a while.

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Farewell Margo, and thanks for the opportunity to participate in a lively debate. It's sad though to read that you are ending your career in journalism. Never say never ! Webdiary has been an amazing success over the years and you proved it could be done long before most others.

Margo: Thank you, Michael, for all you work. Strong, provocative and fact-filled posts. Thanks again.

re: Thank you and goodbye

Hi Margo.

I haven't contributed to Webdiary before now but I have been an avid reader of your work both now and when you were writing for Fairfax. It saddens me greatly that you are stopping your work, there really isn't enough left-wing voices in Australia to balance the overwhelming bias towards the right in our media. Thank you for your insight and determination over the years and I wish you well in whatever you do in the future.

Margo: Thank you, Brad. The irony isd that I'm not left wing, I'm a small l liberal. A dying breed.

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Sorry to see it all end, Margo. I didn't post much but I read nearly every day. I will miss this forum so very much. Where am I going to find out what is really happening out there? And all the wonderful people who contribute here where do we all go to have our little say?

Thanks for everything. We will all miss you. Good luck in whatever you do in the future.

I would appreciate it if you would please keep my email address on your files and pass it on to anyone that may get something similar going in the future.

This is so very sad. With everything this government has just done and now where do we all go for true information? If you can recommend any sites for us it would be appreciated.

Again, Thank you for all you have done. You all will be so sadly missed.

Margo: Thank you, Wendy.

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This is devastating news. I am an avid reader don't contribute, but find this site absolutely essential to keep me informed. As someone who has gone through most of their lives without thinking much about politics and how much they affected our lives, this site was a wonderful place to come and learn. I don't know where I'll go now.

Margo: Ah, a lurker! Thank you for reading Webdiary, Mairi. I believe independent media will emerge and grow, because it must, and that another space for civil discourse between Australians of different views from all walks of life who care about Australia will emerge too, because it must. My go didn't work. Maybe I was too ambitious, maybe I was the wrong person to do it. Believe me, I put everything I had to give into Webdiary. It was a bruising experience and one where I had to work hard to maintain my hope. But it paid off in spades for me personally. I felt I was going good, and that's a feeling worth having. I won't forget that, or all the people who helped me and tried to make the independent Webdiary a goer.

re: Thank you and goodbye

The twisting of the apple
With limp-wrists
Love is dying

Purple and scarlet appleskin
Against naked palms
Love is dying

Spring mourns
Apple blossoms fall
Love is dying

re: Thank you and goodbye

Margo: Your site was perhaps the only site where truth could be openly debated. It will be sorely missed.

Good Luck in the future and hope things go your way in any future endeavours.

Margo: Thanks John.

re: Thank you and goodbye

Dear Margo,

I am struggling to find words to adequately express my sadness. Webdiary provided me with a sense of connection to fellow Australians and to the world. I am haunted by the feeling that I could have/should have done more to help you succeed.

Thank you and the team for all your efforts, and thanks to all of my fellow Webdiarists who came here in good faith. I will miss you all.

Take care, Margo, and next time you're travelling in FNQ, come and have a beer with me.

Margo: I'd love to Michael. And thanks for all your work for Webdiary. I"m sorry it didn't come off. Life's like that sometimes.

re: Thank you and goodbye

Love you, mate.


Margo: Great work on Webdiary, Chris. Thank you.

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Very sorry to hear this Margo. Is there anything that can be done or is it truly all over red rover?

Thank you very much for the blood you have put in. Sorry I didn't support you more. I hope the experience was good for you and has not left you too much of a toxic aftertaste.

Peace and good health.


Margo: Hi Brock, and thanks. No, not toxic. I tried my best. I can live with that.

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Apart from a few obvious exceptions, I say "hear, hear!" (or should that be "read, read"?) to all the comments before me on this miserable topic. Seems I got my last post in just in time. A dismal day none the less, despite the bright sunshine.

But I'm not disconsolate or pessimistic; just in denial.

Margo: Hi Ian. T'was great to meet you at the peak oil seminar in Canberra, and I loved your 'Beyond left and right' book review. If the offer's still there I'd love to visit you at your property sometime soon. You seemed like a wise man, and I need some wise counsel right now.

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I'm extremely sorry to read this Margo. Actually, I'm in shock.

This is a very big loss to Australian media. If you really do vacate the journalism scene completely, Margo, it's a huge loss to Australian journalism as a whole.

Not that you owe us! The reverse is true. Enjoy a break and success to you in whatever you choose as your future!

I wish I knew more about what's been going on in WD behind the scenes. I wish I had I given Webdiary support when financial support was requested. I also wish this was a reversible decision…

I do hope I didn’t contribute to the decision to close by questioning, on several occasions, your editorial boundaries. I wanted to contribute positively to – and help define - debates that I passionately believe should be occurring, for the sake of us all; I never wanted to see Webdiary fail. Not knowing the inside story at Webdiary, I have no real way of gauging whether these remarks have any real relevance.

At any rate, the coverage you provided of many – if not all – of the key topics of our time to those who used Webdiary in recent months was simply outstanding. I believe this material will be of benefit to readers - and eventually historians - long into the future. I do hope the archived material will remain online.

All the very best to you, to Hamish and to the Webdiary team.

Margo: Thanks Sid.

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So sad to hear this, Margo! Your webdiary has become a friend and companion to me.

And good luck with whatever you plan to do in the future. I hope you won't give up journalism entirely.

If you ever happen to be in Daylesford, Victoria, please call in.

Margo: Thank you, Helga. I definitely will. A beautiful spot on Victoria.

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I'm so sorry this didn't work for you. It wasn't for lack of passion, generosity and intelligence and any fool can see the huge amount of work you put in.

I wish you the best in whatever venture you take on next and hope we haven't lost your voice forever. Apathetic Australians will wake up some day to discover what a a radical government this is. We need people like you to continue to make life uncomfortable for these bastards who are destroying our country's humanity and decency.

Margo: Thank you Spiderman!

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Daryl Norman whilst loonies and hatemongers such as Laatan roam the nation looking for outlets you can never give in.

No doubt they will find somewhere else, I very much doubt though I will be following. I am not interested in the gutter. Apart from a very select few I have found Webdiary interesting and entertaining. It always did have a place in the world.

I really am sorry that it is closing down.

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I was shocked and sad to read the closure announcement, Margo, and was eagerly awaiting the new site. My posts were already getting fewer as I lost any willingness to engage civilly with people who wilfully champion barbarism, but I was still lurking.

I'll be watching for any new ventures once you've recovered from this, and wish you all the best with them.

The coincidence with the cowards In the Senate signing away our liberty yesterday makes this a horrendous week for democracy. Webdiary was the last and best cosmopolitan discussion forum left in Oz. The Canberra Times' "Your Say" went a few weeks ago, with no warning that I saw.

High-profile outlets for discussion and dissent are disappearing. We're down to individuals' blogs now, and it will be less noticeable if/when they disappear one by one...

I'm still having a hard time believing that this is really what most Australians want. I don't think they do want what they are getting, and wish that people hadn't been naive enough, trusting enough, ignorant enough, whatever, to need to find out first hand. Societies seem to have these collective psychotic fits from time to time. They rarely last more than a few years. We'll get through it, and come out better the other side.

Back to WD: there will doubtless be gloating on certain Howardite blogs. Ignore it. History will prove these people foolish in the extreme.

Margo: Thanks Andy, and thanks for your posts; always informative and civil.

re: Thank you and goodbye

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends---
It gives a lovely light!

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Thank you very much Margo and have a wonderful and safe Christmas. The years ahead will be interesting times and I trust it will be the Margos of this world who will out there fighting that noble battle on the side of humanity.

Cheers all.

Margo: cheers, Phil, and thanks for contributing to Webdiary.

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