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Like this political ad - or not

Hello.  I've been off line for five days traveling with a friend from the South visiting her friends and mine and chilling out. Thank you, thank you to Fiona, Richard and David for keeping comments ticking along. I hope everyone is content at how Webdiary is traveling, but if not let me know in the comments box.

On my last trip South I collaborated with a few people to make a political ad in support of Kerrie Tucker's campaign to replace a Liberal Senator in the ACT. It's up on YouTube here. I outline the political context in Coles, Woollies: are they ripping you off.

(Funny how a FF press release predated by a few weeks Rudd's decision to call the big two to account if he won power.)

I 'd really appreciate your feedback on the ad re its potential effectiveness.

I'll write about how the ad was made some other time. Onward! 

I thought maybe some of you would like to try writing in, say, less than 200 words, a pitch to people who don't vote as you do and that you would like to persuade to vote your way. It's an interesting process, believe me.


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Has Minister Andrews defamed Dr Haneef?

G'day Webdiarists, As the case [sic] against Dr Haneef melts into air, I wonder if it is time for all of us to ask whether we should compensate Dr Haneef.

Wrongs demand recognition and payment of restitution. In a different but not unrelated context, another illegitimate detainee, Vivian Alvarez, was compensated. Cornelia Rau is still waiting.

With each passing day, it would seem that Dr Haneef has suffered a great wrong. His detention may well be lawful, in the sense that a legitimately constituted Parliament passed legislation empowering the Federal Police to detain him. Accordingly, any claim for compensation for unlawful detention might be difficult to make.

However, what price his reputation? Minister Andrews declared, many times and very publicly, that Dr Haneef had "failed the character test". On what grounds or supported by what evidence, the minister is not required to make public. Such an exercise of ministerial discretion would not usually be so public and consequently, do the incredible amount of damage to Dr Haneef's reputation. I wonder: Has Minister Andrews defamed Dr Haneef? Could anyone enlighten me?

Margo: Possibly. Howard & Co. definitely defamed Keim by falsely calling him unethical or in contempt. Good to see you back on Webdiary, Sean!

GetUp on Haneef

GetUp's email today:

Dear friends,

As the Dr Mohammed Haneef case joins the Tampa, Children Overboard, David Hicks and Iraq in the growing list of security-related scandals, Australians are demanding to know why the lines have once again been blurred between politics, justice and national security. When will our politicians get the message that we are tired of the politics of fear?

Mr Howard and Mr Rudd, we want real leadership protecting civil liberties and security, not cynical political reactions based on opinion polls. We expect a trusted counter-terrorism system that responds to legitimate threats, not imagined or political ones. Watch this Oz in 30 Seconds ad now to join the call demanding our politicians not sacrifice the integrity of our society in the name of 'security':


But Dr Haneef's case is not another Tampa, because this time there is another voice out there: yours. With new technology, we are banding together like never before to tell our side of the story, and put the issues we want to see on the air. We're sending a message to our leaders that they can't ignore: we expect you to protect us from terrorism while maintaining the integrity of our legal system and our valued rights and freedoms.


Your favourite political ads in GetUp's Oz in 30 Seconds project have been narrowed down to a top ten with one to be selected at our Gala Awards night under the sails of Sydney's Opera House. Once the winning ad has been selected, you'll have the opportunity to help support Australia's first-ever community-fundraised election advertising campaign.

It's an unprecedented opportunity to send this message back to Canberra: you can't buy my vote with fear. Now that's enough to make any fear-mongering politician shake in their boots!

Thanks for being part of this,

The GetUp Team

PS:  Thanks to the thousands of you who donated to broadcast London bombing survivor Louise Barry's appeal to the PM on Iraq, airing nationally on everything from Today Tonight to A Current Affair to McLeod's Daughters. It's unmissable!

PPS:  GetUp is now hiring!  A range of part-time and full-time positions are available immediately, in both Canberra and Sydney.  Click here to learn more.

Margo - More on Getup?

G'day Margo, Rosalie and I have added our names to the Getup petition because its wording speaks for itself and we would like the Australian Labor Party federal members to also sign it.

However, we know little about the GetUp Team, but if they are about removing some or all of the Howard "New Order" fascist legislation, we are all for them.

Cheers Ern G.

Richard:  I used to work with Kate Fehrmann, one of GetUp's founders, years ago.  She stood for the Greens in 2001.  Her dedication is unquestionable.


 Ernest William, get Rudd to sign the petition and criticise the laws, and I will sign it too. Rudd is walking a tightrope trying not to upset anybody, but he will come a cropper before the election.

Choices and Changes

"Insight into change teaches us hope. Because change is built into the nature of things, nothing is inherently fixed, not even our own identity. No matter how bad the situation, anything is possible. We can do whatever we want to do, create whatever world we want to live in, and become whatever we want to be."

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Climate is a self evident truth; we can observe it like we observe the clouds, the sky and the stars above; change is the ever present constant. Adapting to change is the challenge we all face; life is a struggle and our real characters are revealed in the way we cope with and behave in relation to change.

At present the ordinary nobody has no idea or genuine understanding in relation to climate change science. Margo’s advert. simply focuses our attention to that which has become a mainstream issue and in a clever way relates the term “conservative” with the Greens.

Sound bites usually leave me nonplussed, and in a world pregnant with information who knows whether we are being fed the real McCoy or the bastard child of self-interest?

Nothing will stop climate change for that is what climate does, as it always has. Once upon a time when things got bad we could stay where we were and perish or could pack up the tent and move to a better place. But times have changed (evolved) and we trade flexibility for security, stability and permanence and the economic advantages related to same.

Yes, let’s play it safe and do what we can to reduce the effect of carbon output into the atmosphere, but with the emerging powers of China and India, who will do as they please for as long as they please, it would be unrealistic to think we will have much effect on the inevitable consequences of a world in economic and climatic flux.

The true test of our character will come when millions of desperate human beings need somewhere to live.

Are we going to treat our fellow human being as queue jumpers or land grabbers, or are we all going to share in the disruption and pain?

Climate change may yet be a blessing in disguise for humanity, or it could reveal the true nature of self-interested beasts.

It is our choice; pray God we make the right one.

Greens join Howard, Rudd and me on YouTube re climate change

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the launch at Now look who's in bed together. The ad is a parody of the ALP climate change ad sending up Howard's ad. My ad is here.

Killing with kindness

I wonder if perhaps compliments are as damaging to people as abuse. The internet facilitates approval-seeking behaviour, especially for those who are deprived of it in the offline world. Far be it from me to moralise, but I think that is an issue to watch. Also consider the way in which the delayed response, the expectation of potential abuse and the public record, make signs of approval all the more powerful to the subject. It is like light and shadow in photography: the one feeds off the other. You start making allies and enemies.

Minor disabling physical qualities are made inconspicuous, and the lack of immediacy compared to real-time conversation means you can carefully craft your image to suit your audience. Most of the act of creation occurs in the imagination of the receiver, and I think people are inherently hopeful in their approach to online strangers, wishing them to be as they wish them to be. So they treat you well.

There is also a self-serving motivation with site administrators to attract attention to their own creation, so there is an extra motive to behave in "customer service" mode 24 hrs a day. You are, for the duration of your stay on a site, told that you are the most important person in the world. I think the young are particularly vulnerable to this kind of predatory consumerism. Or predatory behaviour full stop.

For a while now I have been concerned with the way in which media constructs false senses of identity, through consumerism and marketing strategies, especially in children. I call them false because they are not earned – rather, they are bought and transferred. I think the internet has the immediate potential to create pseudo-identities and pseudo-communities. Some of the most powerful advertising centres around identity, and, advertising practice is becoming increasingly sophisticated.

My concern is what happens to people once they grow up to realise they don't exist, and, that their personality has been constructed for them, by all that external and loaded affection. Suicide doesn't seem to quite work so well any more; the world won’t let people off the hook quite so easily. The authorities are fairly savvy now on that score, making sure to stick you together with glue, and filling you up with all those fancy pills which, I now suspect, are crisis control measures rather than chemical balancers. They are as false in what they do as any other external stimulus – they might keep your head above water but they won’t ever pull you out of the ocean.

The only person that I know, the only self-awareness that I know to be real, comes from the inside: slowly, devastatingly and at the expense of easy impersonations of self, that you see as if hanging from coat-hangers in every store.

Fiona: That way, Solomon, lies true insight in my book.


If I were running Howard's Youtube efforts, the first thing I would do would be to make an analysis of the comments. The purpose of such new media communication should be to elicit information, rather than to prolificate it. One difference between public relations and propaganda is that PR operates on at least a two-way model of communication.

If you can look at it dispassionately enough, the revelations about human nature brought on by the internet can be useful, especially for corporate and political interests. Of course, it is similar to stalking, but I think stalking has been given a bad name.

Regarding the Ad

Margo, nice advert. Mind if I ask, why was the embed function disabled? Surely you want people embedding the video on their blogs etc in order to get it the widest possible circulation?

Margo: Hi Kieran. Will check it out... 

My space

Most of Labor's key people have a My Space page.  Check out Rudd's friends and you will see the rest of them (scroll down Rudd's page to see them).  Right now I see his friend, Catherine King is online as there is an icon blinking above her face.

Joe Hockey also has a My Space page.  Most agree his is the best.  It even has cool music by The Romantics on it.  Go Joe!

Howard's YouTube experience

See Cyberspace:it's the new toilet wall.

Tell me about it - I suffered that stuff for years!

Former Webdiarist Antony Loewenstein is interviewed.


Well Margo. I see the expression is that one has been flamed. I suggest we form The Flamed Society with you as President.  And I think given recent cyberflares that I have qualified for honorary life membership.

I will say this, if you did not have a thick hide when you ventured into the bloggery world, you darn soon grew one. I guess word abuse is like drug abuse. It takes more and more to ensure a hit.

I note the comments re use of pseudos.  Some have very genuine reasons, but many are just cowards.  And I note that moderation is seen as a positive thing to prevent the lowest common denominator being the accepted level of debate.

So I think WD is on the right track.

online election

The election campaign, running hard with three months to go, is going online big time. Bob Brown has a MySpace. Know of any other candidate who's done the same?

Brown's MySpace includes a video of that famous day in October 2003 when he interjected during Bush's speech to Parliament. For my news report, see Charge of the Lightfoot brigade doesn't stop Greens protest. A nice reminder on the eve of Bush's second visit to Australia.

The last half of 2003 was very big. If you have a look at the Webdiary 2003 archive, you'll see lots of stories on the government's ASIO power hike too. And lots more, including Hanson's jailing.

Howard joins me on YouTube re climate change!

OK, how about comparing my YouTube climate change ad with Howard's. Isn't this fun! See Video ad is down the tube. You can check out Howard's YouTube ad here. He timed it to coincide with his announcement on more climate change cash for voters.

And see Labor's great timing at Labor climate change ad shows bedridden Howard.

Petty point

Labor's 'Sleepy Head' download page has this instruction:

"To save the file below to disk, right-click and select Save Target As (Internet Explorer, Opera) or Save Link As (Netscape)."

When did anyone last use Netscape?

I've sent a Comment along that line. An automated response came back, but I wonder if they will bother to bring their web design into the 21st century.

Petty point

Trevor Kerr, you have to forgive them as they are all L-Platers. They will run the economy the same way.

Citizen's ads up and running

Here is GetUp's latest email:

Dear friends,

Last week, David took on Goliath.

London bombing survivor Louise Barry created an ad with GetUp, calling on the Prime Minister to rethink his disastrous policy in Iraq - and it sent shockwaves through the media with over 130 news stories. Momentum around the world is building towards exiting Iraq; now a matter of when not if. We've seen the power of political advertising, where a single voice can strike a chord with the nation.

That's why GetUp created the 'Oz in 30 Seconds' project - to showcase political ads created by the people. And if you think we've already made a splash, get ready for a tidal wave. You have just one week to view the people's election ads, and vote for the ones you want to see on TV. Click on the link below - some of the 30 second clips are nothing less than incredible.

The winning ad will be aired on national, prime-time television in the lead-up to the federal election. You'll find a selection of unique ads highlighting the issues that matter, from climate change to reconciliation; and cutting through the spin on questions of economic prosperity, terrorism and our real Australian values.

You'll see ads from every state and territory, from grandmothers and uni students, amateurs and aspiring filmmakers. Louise Barry's ad showed how an everyday Australian's passion can resonate around the country. We've already raised nearly $70,000 to air it, and you can still donate to put Louise's message into living rooms around Australia.

This election, the Australian people will have a voice like never before, and we're all a part of that. Help choose the next citizen's ad that will make it to primetime by voting today, and put the issues you really care about on the air.

Thanks for being a part of this,

The GetUp Team

PS:  Last week, thousands of you attended over 170 climate change GetTogethers all around the country. If you missed a GetTogether but would like to help GetUp members in your community implement their plan, send an email to national@getup.org.au -- and stay tuned to your email for more opportunities to GetTogether soon!

Not sure it will change anyone's opinion

Margo: I like the ad, its very sincere. I'm sure it will influence people who are already concerned about climate change. Not so sure, it will move any of the climate sceptics. But then, I have no idea what would influence the sceptics, it's hard to know what motivates them. Fear, I suspect is their main motivation, fear of change, fear of an economic collapse, fear that man can influence all life on the planet. The only way to effect people who are controlled by their fears is to get them to believe that climate change, if left to run its course, will be an even greater threat.

 Good luck with the ad, I think Howard's on the run, today's polls are encouraging. Maybe, enough people have already  made up their minds,

Video up again now

Hi. The video ad I helped make is back up on YouTube now. It's here.  Feedback welcomed!


Margo, your ad is honest, not like the ones Combet is putting out.



Margo, the Kerrie caper is off-air, according to You ChewB™. Was it in response to the true horror of the Reich’s little effort on the other channel?

But as one said, one’s abhorrence cannot be overstated none the less, at the repugnant vandalism wreaked on the PM and Joe Hockey’s MicePace™ website photographs

OR here

Like one also said, in another life, man, the Security Services MUST go to work at once to fix this travesty, under National Terrorism Laws if need be.

Oh yes, the Howard-haters may chuckle over their undergraduate attempt to make it appear that our leader is giving a Roman salute to Joe, the latter crudely daubed with a toothbrush moustache.

But remember socialist greeny trade unionist thug latte sipping Muslim-lovers of chardonnay quaffing Aboriginal paedophile rings, two can play at this game.

The Young Liberals can use PhotSop™ too, and can make Kevin Rudd look like the Pommy magician kid with specs™. Let him try grocery shopping looking like that!

And don’t forget, we can lock you up for weeks or forever, if we should want.

The Schnurrbard mit Heil was nothing to do with me, they done it themselves – it even has a Young Libs caper aboard, just near the Young Labor and ACTU capers.


Margo: Love your work, "Peter". Perhaps you would consent to be Webdiary's satirical columnist. Name of column? Logo? Bio? Mugshot?

But it wasn't satire, MK. Check the bizarre Howard-Hockey MySpace entry. I never done nothing to no one, Ma'am. True. (see above)

Maybe it's also true what Crikey says - they really need Arthur back. He was very good at saying nothing elegantly on Radio National this week, as you might have heard.

And he didn't make his leader look like the other 1939 bloke, even with John Hewson kibitzing nicely in the studio. Power behind the Throne, Australia Talks ABC RN 11/7/07

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, Year of Dien Ben Phu bloke, ready to rock and roll BOOMCRASH! at APEC, by all accounts in Kent Street Reichslager and Friend of Akkaran the Barbarian, another non-satirist.

Margo: But would you like a column, Peter? The YouTube video is down for correction. Up again soon.


Would I what, ? (Like a Column?©), attributed to Madonna™, c. Late 20th century

Margo, it’s a kind offer, and I truly appreciate it.

But my current circumstances don’t permit me to make fair dinkum contributions to community affairs, whether WD, PM&C, NRK* or even PBS. I’m too irregular, as befits my old Kazakh unit.

But I will keep on truckin’, as both Mr Natural© and Gregor the Mandrill © used to say. Now that’s dated, I’d reckon.

Yours sincerely

Jack Woodforde

* in the UK, The Sex Pistols, c1970s)

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde, 70s cartoon figure not in Mice Pace™ or UteChewB™ thingies)

Margo: It doesn't have to be regular. Name of column? Mugshot?

New media for politics

In answer to Margo's question about using her video clip to "raise funds to broadcast it in Canberra" - No, it belongs on Youtube. Leave it there. 

But, yes, emerging political parties need to address the expanding roles of these diverse new media formats. Just today, on ABC Melbourne 774, a couple of people discussed MySpace and FaceBook. The presenter (Tim Cox, I think) reeled off some of the contents of Andrew Bartlett's entry, and the guest made some pretty astute observations. It's probably best to continue the discussion with someone who knows the territory.

Click to GetUp! for an example.

Margo: Yes, the GetUp Oz in 30 seconds competition inspired me. Some of the ads are very good and worth a look. And voting has started for the finalists!

Toe in the water

It's a start. It's not a work of art, like any version of Dear Mr. President.

For a PayPal button, see the cartoonist Ted Rall.  EBay uses the PayPal method. I think people are becoming more used to making online payments, and if the aim of the exercise is to raise money - no matter how slick the production - viewers should be able to see where and how they can part with their cash.

For another example of fund-raising, Bayer Goes Viral in Web Pitch for Painkiller.

The Tory leader in the UK, Cameron, was running a video blog of himself in action.

MySpace is another dynamic altogether, too cool for my liking.  

I'd like to know how I can get my personal message inscribed on a Katyusha, or get some personal face-time via Skype video with a high holy religious personage. More than that, I'd like to be the bagman for any scheme that can't trace the money back to the contributors.

Trevor, are you saying...

Trevor, are you saying I should try to raise funds to broadcast it in Canberra? It would need a script cut and re-shoot to get it down to 30 secs, but that's doable. I think such a plan would involve legal issues of me having to get details of all donors and disclose them to the Electoral Commission. Not sure, but it sounds too complicated... 

I liked it

It doesn't seem to be there now but I saw it earlier. I liked it. I thought the whole point of having it on You Tube was a democratisation of the process. Something less slick is exactly the point.

Green Peace does slick Green marketing and most people see straight through it these days. Dumping coal and all that nonsense. Been there, done that. Yawn, Greens have been doing slicky tricky marketing for decades it seems. You can't cut through with old fashioned marketing slickness these days and particularly if you are trying to reach Gen Y. Authenticity and humour seem to work best. This ad has authenticity about it. Do one or the other or both. That's the world of You Tube. It works.

Margo: David, thank you! I think it needs to have less words - I'm a word person, and there were too many! We're as one on the feel required. I decided to try to do this when I saw some of the entries for GetUp's 'Oz in 30 seconds' comp. Brilliant!. And I thought wouldn't it be interesting if people wrote ads for their own seat, speaking directly to fellow constituents. Not that I live in the ACT now. But I did for most of the last 20 years, and I feel it's my home politically. And the candidate is a friend for whom I have enormous respect.

Strategic citizenship

When I click the Youtube link it comes up that the video has been removed by the user. Likewise when I search for "Kerry Tucker" it comes up with something about "Greening the Senate" but it has also been removed. I would like to give an opinion - advertising is a pet interest of mine.

200 words is too many.

The new diary secretary for Liberal member for Greenway Louise Markus got back to me not long ago, and, I am meeting with her on Tuesday. I wrote to her saying I wanted to assist her, citing Petro Georgiou, Judi Moylan and Malcolm Turnbull as my role-models in the Liberal party. Today I also began work experience at the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC). I don't consider the two ventures as separate but rather part of the same issue, that some necessity in me dictates that I deal with. I am playing a different game to most here but it all still revolves around the same idea: citizenship.

Margo: Hi Solomon. My friend and collaborator Robert Gammal took the ad down to fix the spelling mistake. I've asked that he put it back up until the correction can be made, which could take a while - Robert is a very busy dentist.

I really like what your doing, Solomon. I'm into citizenship too.


Margo, I am sorry but this is very amateur attempt. If this is going to be the standard of Green ads in the upcoming election campaign, the Libs and Labor will rubbing their hands in glee. As most people consider the Greens a joke, this sort of thing is not going to help.

Margo: Hi LF. Yes, it's amateur. That's because it's made by amateurs, including me. I consider that its amateur nature is a part of its appeal.  Of course, if it was an ad to show on TV, it would be re-shot. That's not what it's made for. It's something a group of us decided to make over lunch one day and spent the rest of the day, and some of the night, getting together. I hope lots of citizens make their own ads for this election. That would be interesting, I reckon.


Margo, some Youtube clips are classics, some are good as reference points. Since this one is the latter, how far away is the PayPal button? 

How easy will it be to correct the 'Kerry'?

Margo: Oh no!!! I'll get it fixed. and I was proof reader! Typical.  I don't understand what you mean by PayPal.

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