The hottest topics and general feedback

Last week’s editorial was the first for José Borghino, NM’s new editor:

‘I’d just like to welcome José and his comments. I agree that online publishing is the future of reliable journalism. Good luck on the ‘rollercoaster ride.’ (Barry)

‘Talking about "filtering opinions", hopefully New Matilda, with its new editor, is going to stop ignoring constructive criticisms and respond to subscriber’s comments, suggestions and questions.’ (Dennis, ‘the outsider’)

‘Welcome José and congrats on the issue. I forbid you to use my comments without first checking with Dennis to see if I present any risk of being holier than he.’ (Mark)

‘When Howard is clamouring to appear in New Matilda then I will agree that the web site matters.'(Vicki)

John Hooker’s article on the antics of the Melbourne University Liberal Club led to two distinct debates and a suggestion from one of our subscribers for direct action:

Firstly, on how serious to take the young Libs:

‘I hate Ruddock and Howard too but as for the Hitler bit a bit over the mark.’ (Corin)

‘This is a tremendous article and an expose of normalised Australian racism.’ (Barry)

‘You are putting too much emphasis on the behaviour of a bunch of undergraduate Liberal prats. The best way to deal with them is to ignore them.’ (Jeremy)

‘A lot more of us need to take off our rose-coloured specs, get a bit harder-headed, a bit more wary, and stop taking refuge in comforting assumptions — they are no more than that — about the presumed basic decency of our society. Get real, folks, for your own and your kids’ sake. It can happen here too.’ (Tony)

‘The depressed tone that I detect very often in this online publication is a serious issue, because underneath it all I suspect that some writers appear to be giving in to the seductive fantasy offered by neo-liberals and neo-cons alike that democracy is dead, people can’t change things, and that there is no alternative.’ (Linda)

‘While I agree this article might not ‘convert’ a lot of people, I am glad the Young Libs and their ilk are getting more attention in the press. I tend to think, or hope, that their kind of extreme views are best aired in the open so people can see them for what they are.’ (Aron)

And secondly, on the value of protests:

‘Was anyone at the mass rally in Melbourne against the industrial relations roll back sought by the Howard government? What I saw and heard was inspiring.’ (Michael)

‘Nothing makes government happier than to know the populace is responding with a rally. Brings out the usual suspects, good chance of a melee with cops, two hours of repetitive speeches and chanting.’ (David)

‘Public protest is a very important tool in the shed of any democracy. Public protest reminds people that there are other people like themselves, so it strengthens resolve.’ (Linda)

‘And as for protest, protest is good. It isn’t always effective but what is? We must get over the idea that failure is shameful and hopeless.'(Jane)

At the end of this discussion, Dennis Smith suggested some direct action:

‘Why couldn’t N.M. management select a topical issue each week and present a sample email which, each Wednesday morning, would be sent to a Government Minister or a CEO of a large company or a media tycoon or a Church leader or an American President, etc. The wording of the email could be modified in line with subscriber feedback then everyone who supports it supplies their name and email address. Imagine the impact if an email arrived in the towers of power with 3,000 signatories. Surely such an email couldn’t be ignored!’


He received these replies:

‘Now that’s a great idea, Dennis!’ (Barry)


‘Dennis’ suggestion is difficult to criticise, because I believe that it has a lot of potential. But I never took you for being naive, Dennis. Of course it can be ignored — this is a key problem.’ (Andrew)

‘I’m not at all sure what you imagine Howard would make of a list of email addresses Dennis, even if he saw it. Now if 3,000 people of voting age wrote their names and addresses on the petition and they were all from a knife-edge marginal electorate, different story.’ (Terry)

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.