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The Future by Us

Margo Kingston writes:

Here is the speech by journalist Chloe Adams, delivered last Saturday in Canberra to a literary event called Words Change Worlds at which I spoke as an 'historical figure' on online journalism. How inspiring!

The Future by Us
by Chloe Adams

I’ve been asked here today to speak on behalf of the authors of The Future by Us, to talk a little about my chapter which focuses on the media, and to perhaps give some insights into how young people might better engage with the media and in turn, with democracy.

The Future by Us is quite simply a blueprint for the vision of Australia’s young people in 2009. A book written by young people, for young people, but hopefully also for the elders of our community, so the dreams and ideologies of Australia’s youth might have a voice. May I just say at this point, that at the age of 31, the irony of still being referred to as a young person is certainly not lost on me! But I can assure you, most of my co-authors are much younger and far sprightlier than I am.

The Future by Us was the brain-child of former Young Australian of the Year and well-known philanthropist Hugh Evans and former Young Victorian of the Year Tom O’Connor. The book was conceptualised following Hugh’s role as the co-chair of the Youth 2020 Summit, which was held here in Canberra last year. The idea was, for each of the authors to create a vision for our country in the years post-2020, and while I may be a little biased, I must say I think there are some really interesting ideas and issues raised in the book.

At the very least, this book should give Australia hope that there are young people out there who are engaged in the world around them, and who care about the future of this nation. Of course, that should come as no great surprise, but unfortunately, some stereotypes stick.

Now, before I go on, I have a confession to make. Not so many years ago … I worked as … a gossip writer. Yep, a real live gossip-mongering, martini-sipping, party-going, celebrity magnet … or more to the point, tragic celebrity voyeur. Let me be clear. This is not something I am proud of! I would be living it up on the French Alps right now, if I had a dollar for every time someone told me back then that my job was the "dream job". The funny thing was, all this celebrity obsession and adoration was completely lost on me. I hated that job. I fell into it like other people fall into a Tuesday night dinner date they really can’t be bothered going to. But there was one plus-side to the "dream job". It gave me plenty of time to observe human nature’s obsession with celebrity. And the longer this went on, the more concerned I became at what I can only describe as the dumbing-down of our collective knowledge.

I know that probably sounds alarmist, but I honestly think that whether we choose to face it or not, celebrity-centric, tabloid and sensationalist news media is defining our age. Our young people are drowning in a deluge of what I call fast food media. Whether it’s through reality television, your daily newspaper, prime-time current affairs programs, the internet, pay-TV, radio, or magazines, there is no shortage of this cultural effluent. I define fast food media as a sycophantic worship of all things celebrity, a devastating lack of substance, soft on real issues, heavy on pop culture, but always with a sexual leaning, a desire by the creators to push new and bigger buttons of the collective spirit. Fast food media is about the here and now, filling the mind with vacuous, disposable fodder. It appeals to our Western hedonistic nature. It fuels gossip and our own insecurities. It’s about what’s new, what’s hip. Combine it all together and you’ve got an instruction manual on how to be cool in the modern world. The only problem is, while you’re busy cramming into your head all that useless information, you’re running out of space and time to engage in valuable information; information that might do you, the country or the world some good.

So herein lies the core of my argument. If we continue down this path, where Australia’s youth engage too heavily in fast food media and not enough in real news, we will be doing democracy in this country a huge disservice. Democracy depends on knowledgeable citizens. It depends on transparency of government and business, and it depends on a well-functioning media that offers every person, not just the elite, an opportunity to access accurate and unbiased information of substance.

So, if our aim is to make sure we can enjoy such a healthy and helpful media, we have to ask the question, are we well on the road to this destination? I think on balance, the answer is yes. I think we do have a media that functions on par with most others in democratic nations, and certainly much better than many parts of the world. But that doesn’t mean we’re not faced with real and serious threats. In fact, the Australian media is currently facing unprecedented pressures. We’re up against some of the world’s strictest defamation, contempt, vilification, privacy, and anti-terrorism laws. You may be surprised to learn that there is no explicit constitutional right to freedom of speech in this country and that Australia currently ranks 28 on the Press Freedom Index. We trail behind New Zealand and the UK, and even Latvia, Estonia and Costa Rica. Technology and its ever-evolving nature poses yet more threats. … but I’ll return to that in a moment. There is also the matter of resources and financial security for newspapers and to a lesser extent, the broadcast media… And in addition to all of this, there is another threat that I believe is probably the most sinister of all. And that is the matter of spin doctoring. In the ten years I’ve been working in the industry, I’ve seen a dramatic shift in this area. As newsrooms shrink and editors struggle with smaller and smaller budgets, the opposite is taking place in the corridors of power. The public relations sector is mushrooming at an extraordinary rate. Imbedded in governments and corporations across the country, these spin doctors are highly trained, well-paid and come fully armed with the best new weapons and `weasel words’ to ensure they keep sensitive information out of the public spotlight. The recent Utegate Affair raised a few interesting issues on this topic. The Prime Minister has called for a public debate on journalistic ethics, and in particular the handling of the story by News Limited papers. But I think what I found more interesting throughout that affair, was watching our political figures perform on radio and television.

For me, it illustrated just how sophisticated spin has become. I’m not in a position to make any comment on the accuracy or truthfulness of any of the claims made, but it was a good example of the spin doctor’s agenda. It goes something like this; behind closed doors, and with the help of your large team of ‘’communication’’ advisers, concoct a message that suits your position, it helps if the message is clear and simple but really has no substantial meaning, then enter the interview arena and pig-headedly refuse to deviate from your message, no matter what questions you’re asked. Just recite over and over again, the message you’ve been instructed to deliver. If you repeat yourself more than three times, well, it’s a job well-done. As you can imagine, this technique is incredibly frustrating for journalists and in my opinion, does very little to aid the democratic process.

And it’s not just in Parliament House where we see such sneakiness. A good friend of mine and journalist for The Australian Milanda Rout recently experienced spin in the court room, of all places. She was there reporting on the case of pharmaceutical giant Merck and Co who have been accused of knowing their anti-arthritis drug Vioxx increased the risk of heart attacks long before it voluntarily withdrew the drug from the market. The strange thing about this case was that Merck & Co hired a crisis management team, ie spin doctors, to sit in court every day, and ‘’manage’’ the reporting of this case. The public relations team followed journalists around, continually called them, accused them of ‘’cherry-picking’’ evidence, and even handed out press releases with their interpretation of the facts heard in court. This is, quite simply, outrageous behaviour. In my opinion, this is clear example of a company attempting to manipulate matters heard in court. And the most interesting thing about it all was that once Milanda exposed this behaviour in a newspaper article, the harassment magically stopped… overnight … just like that. I guess they decided the technique didn’t really achieve what they had hoped for … which ironically, was to get good press.

Moving on to technology now … and there’s been a lot made of the "democratisation of the media". In other words, a media dominated by citizen journalism. Technology is now allowing anyone with access to a computer the opportunity to play journalist for a day, and there’s been a lot of hype made of the benefits of such a system. Of course, in theory I agree. The recent events in Iran have highlighted just how important citizen journalism is becoming, especially in countries where the government still controls the news media with an iron fist. When foreign journalists were being removed from Iran, the world was still able to witness the violent events unfolding, and that was largely thanks to citizen journalists posting mobile phone footage on the web. At times, the vision coming out of Iran has been incredibly graphic, particularly the footage of a young Iranian woman dying on the pavement after being shot dead by the military. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch that YouTube clip, but I don’t think you need to see it, to understand the powerful impact it’s had on a global scale.

In recent days, I’ve even read comments from analysts suggesting Iran will be seen in history as a watershed moment for citizen journalism, not least because much of that vision made such an immediate jump into the mainstream media, like on CNN and the BBC.

Citizen journalism does have its downfalls though, and these are not easily ignored. The question often remains; how much of what I’m seeing or reading online can be trusted? An Irish student made this point rather comprehensively earlier this year. In an effort to prove that journalists rely too heavily on the internet, he posted a phoney quote from a recently-deceased French composer on Wikipedia. Within days, the quote had appeared in newspaper obituaries right around the world. Even the prestigious Guardian fell for the stunt. The information was then copied into dozens of blogs and websites. In essence, this kid re-created history in one fell swoop, and he would have probably got away with it had he not owned up to the hoax a few weeks later. An interesting experiment but probably not one we should all be trying at home.

Finally, before I go, I’d like to just say that I hope every one of us here today recognizes the power we hold in this thing we call the media. We can blame the media all we want, but ultimately, we as consumers hold the power to dictate what we want to see, hear and read. We create the demand for vacuous celebrity fodder, or … we create the demand for reliable, informative news.

The most important thing to remember is: without knowledge, we are vulnerable to a minority group of well-informed minds who stand to gain a great deal from our ignorance. Democracy is more than just turning up to vote every three years.


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Media choices - Comfortably numb or What's going on ?

Yes indeed Chloe and Margo; we certainly have an abundance of media these days. With Youtube and the like everyone can be a celebrity; if only for 15 seconds.

Plato warned us of democracy’s short comings two and a half thousand years ago. The ill informed and uneducated voters were always going to be easily distracted, flattered and conned with false fears that would seduce them to vote for the “protector of the people” who was usually the most unscrupulous and cunning of all those seeking ultimate power.

Nothing changes.

Back in those days the media was word of mouth or the local amphitheatre; to get the populace to accept or reject a doctrine it was only necessary to have it ridiculed or praised in a popular play; the comedies of Aristophanes attacked just about every new idea.

Nothing changes really yet today our digital media provides us with an abundance of communication tools to advertise our service or product, manipulate, educate and entertain the masses. Of course the media works best when it both educates and entertains at the same time. There are many wonderful examples of this to be found in the media. One always has choices and today the choices are many.

Our new digital media also allows us as individuals to observe world events, in real time, and interact with people all over the planet. But we must not forget that as we observe the world, persons unknown can also observe us; especially if we play the media/social networking game in all its interactivity. Be careful, very careful for everything you say and everything you reveal about yourselves is useful data for competitors, corporations and governments.

The desire for celebrity could be a very costly ambition, especially today.

The problem we have today with democracy is probably similar to that which Plato warns us of. The voter is dumb and the politician cannot be trusted. It all boils down to a matter of trust, as Marilyn Shepherd mentioned earlier; it always has been about trust, always will be.

And the challenge we face today is no different to the challenge Plato observed; we need a well informed populace to choose the wisest leaders. Today the opportunities to do that are infinite, and our challenge as a socially responsible electorate is to manipulate and exploit this new interactive media in a trustworthy, intelligent, informative and entertaining manner that will attract more and more of the populace to important issues rather than trivia. But it has to be enjoyable and intriguing as well as informative and enlightening.

Having said that it would be very naïve of us to think that in our Western democracies the populace at large are particularly engaged in or well informed about the politics and politicians of the day (about one in ten at best I would guess); usually the ordinary person uses the media as an enjoyable escape from a hard day at work or school or in many cases both.

It is easy to understand the young and their enthusiasm in all these new distractions that give them relief from the issues of a complex world; the young are not on their own I might add for most adults are likewise. After all are not we adults nothing more than experienced children? Did we not enjoy watching I Love Lucy more than listening to an address from Bob Menzies?

Finally all forms of the media has/are to some degree or another being manipulated by those with special interests; not to be trusted at worst, or at best taken with healthy scepticism. We will always have the Murdochs and Hearsts who use/d their power and position to play their selfish and dishonest games, however we must not forget these are also the types who build the networks we so enjoy and need.

But now we (the customers) can and do use these networks they build to expose the proprietor’s questionable behaviour, both commercially and politically. And that is a good thing; the interactive digital world cannot be controlled as a printing press or TV can.

At the end of the day you can take a horse to water but unless it is thirsty it will not drink. Same goes for the media, its audience and democracy; the audience will seek what they thirst for or need the most, the media will give it to them if the audience so demands. But the audience must demand it wise the media will suit itself and the audience like sheep will follow.

As times get harder, which they are, the young and old alike may find themselves a little bit thirsty for truth, honesty and a healthy democracy.

Soon there will be less of us feeling comfortably numb and more or us asking what’s going on?

to air is human

Paul Morrella, are you sure you are not confusing "market forces" for the reality of political and corporate influence in the dispersal of resources?

I guess what you are asking is, can governments determine a more efficient employ of resources than private interests. I guess the question then is,  to what point or for who's benefit,  which one supposes depends on the intelligence, motives and ethics of the decison makers.

Am put in mind of a comment by SMH columnist Elizabeth Farrelly today, which adds an overlay to the basic problem we are discussing re competency, but this time from the viewpoint of gender:

"Here's what I think.  Men do stupid things fast, women do stupid things slowly".

I guess the issue for me is the issue of wastage and it cuts across the board as to motives and decison making quality on all sorts of impac tive serious decisons. So what I was hinting at further, in the wake of Enron, Halliburton, Madoff et al, then Clinton, Bush and Cheney, further still overlaid by the involvement of people like Rupert Murdoch, was the problem of "graft" additonal to, (in) competence, busines or government ( in a corporatist global society?).

Because whatever the priorities of governemts, and they should be the welfare of the community, we know that "the corporation" owes no loyalty to any apart from itself.

Which I realise means we can not logically therefore any thing better from government(s), but what choice have we but to hope that government will operate as independent umpires, apart from remaining alert and informed, in the hope that government receives sufficient scrutiny to encourage it to do its particular job.

You may ask, further "What about China, ( socialist in name only, as far as I'm concerned), say".

Well, whatever mode is pointed to, and it may well we are just talking about local variation on a still-universal system.

After all, China, say,  also collapses if it doesn't accept certain global norms so is arguably just  a (semi autonomous) region (like the US)  within "the system" rather than something outside "the system", there appear to be unsatisfactory outcomes for way, way, too many people. And people, what's more, who have little input into the running of their own lives, especially apparently compared to those who decide the conditions by which they must live their often short lives.

short and long term pain and gain

Paul Walter: "The massive highway robbery implicit in the bailing out of casino capitalism thru public money, with suffering thru increased unemployment in the West and actual poverty in the developing world was schmoozed thru by mass media and centrist politicians, altho this is at least partly to avoid the massive dislocation and consequent public unrest that would have followed a nineteen thirties-type readjustment."

The boom-bust cycle isn't caused by capitalism, rampant or otherwise. And neither was this present bust.

A short and very basic reason why today's governments will rue the day of debt:

Governments didn't need to go on any massive bailout rampage. In fact it will eventually be seen as doing more damage then needed be. Short-term pain means long-term gain, the reverse of this (the road travelled) is also true. The economic system minus "bailout" wouldn't have meant future being of Road Warrior proportions. That excuse is absolute economic illiterate claptrap, and often downright dishonesty.

The point for left leaning governments isn't going to be a good point. They are generally elected for "public spending" reasons. Each and every cent paid in debt takes from this future spending. Each and every cent in tax rises takes from the economy (earning potential) to cover debt, debt that otherwise should've been covered. Ultimately today's governments have set themselves on a path, a path they cannot hope to win in the long run.

Forgoing that of today is saving for that of tomorrow. The reverse again is also true. I see a world with shrinking net earners and payers, walking in unison with a world of higher and higher expectations. Reality comes in sudden jolts - it can often be most brutal and painful - it however always arrives.

If the stimulus is so good (and there's been lots and lots and lots etc) of it, why does unemployment continue to rise? That should be the first, middle, and last question asked.

Motherhood statements

Marilyn: "No matter how much citizens want to report they still need sources and facts, details and evidence  to have an impeccable story."

One such journalist is indeed Paul McGeough.

And Webdiarists may recall that Marilyn famously "reviewed" Paul's book Kill Khalid without once quoting anything from it, anything at all,  because its bleak picture of Hamas conflicted with her risible attempts to cast the terrorist organisation's mastermind Khalid Mishal as some kind of  simple, well meaning country lad on a quest for justice, light, truth and a bag of magic beans.

Well, here's a quote from Paul's book, complete with source details.

This line about Hamas parliamentarian Miriam Farhat, "otherwise known as the Mother of Martyrs":

"She had seen off three of her sons as suicide bombers and had produced a campaign video of herself helping her seventeen-year-old boy into his bomb vest before he went off to kill five Israeilis."

 - Paul McGeough, Kill Khalid , p324

Now, let's not even go into Marilyn's detailed, carefully documented accounts of the selfless, unjustified sufferings of the Wermacht during their long, hard slog in Eastern Prussia nor the mysterious fate of European Jews.

Gosh? Where did they all go?

mother.... statements

Given your own prolific output as to thread starters, Eliot, it seems strangely deja vu that you should have fallen back into your old habit of ambushing others,altho it is in some respects healthy that you resume your old role of interrogative "devils advocate".

Having read (some) of McGeough and had the benefit of hearing his own explications concerning the direction of his book, I find your interpretation of "Kill Khalid" provisionally, really an attempt to stretch credulity and quite fantastic, in the the dictionary sense, unless you are being wilful; perish the thought.

 Even more bizarre is the tendency implicit concerning,

  " Marilyn's (Shepherds) detailed, carefully documented accounts of the selfless, unjustified sufferings of the Wermacht during their long...slog in East Prussia".


MS was commenting a while back on the hypocritical denial of the WW2 victors with another example of the admittedly comprehensibleinf not forgivable tendency to " History from the victors point of  view", eg,unconscious;y or otherwise,   ideologicised history as taught to children in schools, that overlooked the scale of Allied reaction to Germany, post WW2.

MS is well-aware that the "Leon Uris" Hollywood NYTimes version of history certainly manufactured a mass public sympathy for the unjust expropriation of Arab lands by a guilt-riddled  West, whereby the Palestinians were required to pay the price for the Western ruling propertied classes intransigence in the twenties and thirties, that allowed the rise of Hitler and fascism as a prospective bulwark against reappropriating socialism ( the failure of Stalin was not yet widely apparent- Churchill, Ford, Rockefella, Morgan/ Morganthau and other representatives of the ruling propertied class were scared that local working classes would follow the example of their Russian brethren and seemingly overthrow their exploiters, also realised they had " nothing left to lose but their chains").

Part of the myth justifying Zionist expropriation of Palestine was the notion of Jewish ethnicity. But we know the most "Semitic "or indigenous people to Palestine, are the Palestinians themselves, rather than the ethnically and culturally Europeanised remnants of WW2 Jewry.

So Marilyn Shepherd did, in fact actually, as Eliot Ramsay unintentionally claims,  think laterally and outside the ideology-induced sort of box that others live in, to research and investigate obscured but relevant issues that give the lie to the Western explanation of Mid Eastern affairs.

But we also can discover in the propaganda myth relating topost WW2 history something more conscious and sinister:  the subsequent Nazi-like race/cultural denigration of Arabs and "Moslems"; thus no longer entitled to elect democratic governments to operate in their interests as with western nations( Mossadeque in Iran, 1953), or control and use their own oil wealth, for their benefit,  rather than Western militarist capitalism's.

The reality is stranger and much darker  than the pro corporatist,  zionist Murdochist and  McCarthyite propaganda we grew up with indicates.

Which brings us back to the thread subject:  the problematic nature of Western Media, doesn't it?.


Geez, Eliot.  You were able to see thru the bullshit as to Henson; why do you have so much trouble re the true nature of International Relations and the nature of the Press in a corporatist society?

Making history safe for the Wehrmacht

Marilyn's fanciful account of the fate of East Prussia's civilian population itself contained not a single reputable source, falsely attributed statements to other sources, and disingenuously blamed the fate of the East Prussians on the "allied occupation" !

She resisted acknowledging that eastern Europe was actually under Soviet occupation - and she even managed in the process to infer that the Holocaust was untrue!

 It was priceless Marilyn stuff. Just choice.

I have never said any such thing

Eliot, what are you on about?   I was reading two books about the massacre of civilians after WW11 written by Giles McDonogh in England and James Bacque in Canada.

I didn't invent the words.   You are pushing your own credibility further and further down the road to oblivion.



"Meet the new boss, same as the old " - won't get fooled again!

"Citizen journalism does have its downfalls though...".

Most bloggers remain readers, altho many of us will keep well-informed thru following tips we receive via blogsites: the beginnings of a journalistic impulse.

But few of us have the patience to meticulously hunt down the devastating micro information that makes the difference between actual journalism and mere opinion or brainstorming responses to a researched piece from a Marilyn Shepherd or a Richard Tonkin, say.

There seem a lot of articles and comments online and in MSM at the moment concerning indirectly related topics like dumbing down, FOI and commercial in confidence, and surveillance. But these observed tendencies when combined make for a nasty anti-democratic trend that actually builds on the Howard-Blair-Bush years. This indicates that changes in government away from the right to the centre in the last couple of years in several countries has proved to be a botox of Fukuyamian neoliberalism rather than offering an actual response to public desires to reinforce democracy.

Quite the opposite. The massive highway robbery implicit in the bailing out of casino capitalism thru public money, with suffering thru increased unemployment in the West and actual poverty in the developing world was schmoozed thru by mass media and centrist politicians, altho this is at least partly to avoid the massive dislocation and consequent public unrest that would have followed a nineteen thirties-type readjustment.

The process has been reinforced by continued implementation of Haneef-type laws that begin to universalise the oppression that must come of the systematic of the cornerstones of civilisation: presumption of innocence and open trials - in short, habeas corpus. Make no bones, the antic involving Stern Hu in China exemplary of a global trend, not just an antic confined to an alien and politically primitive culture. The bikie laws, the latest in the local sequence, demand the same removal of basic safeguards and accountability.

The other factor to consider has been the studied indifference or inability of Labor, with its social conservative right wing in the ascendant, to de dumb Howard era press and media.

The individual who best typifies this is that cretinous architect of internet censorship, Stephen Conroy.

Of course, the immensely destructive clique of neo conservative vandals remain well entrenched, and at Fairfax this has been worsened by the John Fairfax capture of the old family seat, with its consequent denial of resources, as Fairfax tries to pay off the massive debts he incurred pre-recession, to do a "young Warwick" in achieving this dubious goal.

Meanwhile, a Fairfax predecessor, Mark Scott, remains in charge of the ABC - none of the bark of a Jonathon Shier but much more bite when it comes to dumbing down, sly censorship commercialisation. He follows the precedent established by the prototypical barbarian, Shaun Brown of SBS.

These people claim that digitisation and home recording technology means that a now-fragmented audience can still get access to real information, leaving the dumb downed remnants of free to air TV and tabloid press to their idiotised prime time slots.

But the loudest and most arrogant of the new media braggarts, Murdoch's John Hartigan, at a farcical recent press council luncheon, remained utterly unabashed at the criticism of dumbed down MSM: quite the opposite, he loudly lauded future changes that would make the current idiocies look positively educational, in comparison and gloated at the imminent death of apparently distasteful "political" reporting.

What's more, he noisily trumpeted the future introduction of fees for online access to Murdoch "news" sites, when most people with above single-digit IQ know full-well that they should be paying us, in compensation for the insult to the intellect and sensibilities that much of their content typifies.

It is a sad fact that Labor quickly forgets that the reason it was resurrected from its fitful, fractious Lazarus-like state was broadsheet exposure of the dangers and excesses of neocon media and political tabloidism.

It is a depressing fact that having inherited the treasures financial, infrastructure and ideological from the neo con era unexpectedly, Labor's pragmatists have proved remarkably quick in realising that an accommodation with the old oligarchic forces can be obtained by not encouraging the sort of broadsheet examinations that occurred in the few years of the neo com era, when plausible deniability and credibility were tarnished, by incidents like the Weapons of Mass Destruction vaudeville and Dr Haneef, naming just two of many travesties that come to mind.

If anything the situation is even more depressing now, in the wake of stalled political change, than it was a few years ago, when at least we had the hope of meaningful reform to hope for and work towards.

Need for sources

No matter how much citizens want to report they still need sources and facts, details and evidence  to have an impeccable story.

One such journalist is Paul McGeough, another was our gorgeous and long lost and lamented Ms Kingston, drummed out for her unflinching honesty, Mike Steketee at the Australian and in Australia very few others are left.

We can count Marian Wilkinson, David Marr, Nick MacKenzie and one or two others but no-one else - they all rely on fast food media.

As an example I sent to all the media a couple of weeks ago the details of a protocol ratified by Australia in 2004 which forbids punishing refugees who come by irregular means and equally forbids those who give them a means of transport.

I actually spoke to two senior jounalists at the Australian who chose to simply ignore the reality and continue to demonised Indonesian fishermen as "people smugglers" which by legal definition and reality they are not.

Refugees have an absolute right to come to Australia to seek protection and they are allowed to use and pay for any transport they can find.

It is a very simple fact that if people are not being smuggled there are no smugglers one would have thought.

Instead the journalists trumpet literal genocide as wonderful border security for us.


As per this article we take lessons from murderers, traffickers, criminal regimes and others to "stop people smuggling" which still simply means jailing and torture of refugees fleeing wars we started.

I have done a wee bit of reporting on the Department of Ignorant Criminals before today, I had unimpeachable sources everytime with facts and data, documents and details always to show I was being truthful.

I don't have too many friends left in politics or the media because of it.

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