Next Fed Election > Aug  2018?
DAVID BARROW
Unlikely SENATOR for Aust.Cap.Terr.

Why AndrewBoltParty.com ??
I was a self-represented 
PARTY in litigation against ANDREW BOLT which ran for 4 long years.



DAVID BARROW -- INDEPENDENT Candidate

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DAVID BARROW, INDEPENDENT Candidate, Federal Election, Senate Candidate, Australian Capital Territory


David Barrow
David Barrow
David Barrow's Blog

Q&A with News Corp journo Claire Bickers
Filed Under:



Update



To: Claire Bickers

13 November 2017 at 7:08am

Your article in Daily Telegraph


Dear Claire,


I read your article in the Daily Telegraph today titled “How bounty hunters are trying to make money from dual citizen politicians”.


Was you article edited or pretty much published as you filed it?


Do you consider the reference you made to me was fair in the context of the slant of your article as a whole and the answers I gave to your questions on 8 November 2017?


Could you please send me a response by 3pm today.


Kind regards,

David C. Barrow






From: Claire Bickers

13 November 2017 at 4:40pm


Hi David, following up on your email, may I contact you on your mobile?


Kind regards,

Claire






To: Claire Bickers

13 November 2017 at 4:55pm


Dear Claire,


My concern remains that if I speak to you via telephone you may mis-report my words.


If we communicate in writing there is a documented record, which I can share online, in the public interest of the community then judging if News Corp papers are fairly and accurately reporting on persons contacted by its journalists.


Kind Regards,

David C. Barrow






From: Claire Bickers

13 November 2017 at 5:02pm


Hi David, the purpose of the conversation is not for publication.







To: Claire Bickers

13 November 2017 at 5:52pm


Dear Claire,


It seems that I will effectively be reporting on you.


There should not be anything that you seek to communicate to me as a journalist in a telephone conversation that you cannot also put clearly in writing.


Kind Regards,

David C. Barrow






Previously



From: Claire Bickers

8 November 2017 at 10:26am

Media query: citizenship seven common informer case


Hi David,


I'm touching base about your common informers case against the 'citizenship seven'.


Are you free for a chat later today, say after 3pm?


Kind regards,

Claire Bickers








To: Claire Bickers

8 November 2017 at 10:37am


Dear Claire,


I'm assuming you got my email from my website AndrewBoltParty.com


I'm not confident that anything I might share with you would get [reported] fairly or accurately in the News Corp papers.


I ask that you send any content concerning me for review prior to publication.


Kind Regards,

David C. Barrow






From: Claire Bickers

8 November 2017 at 10:51am


Hi David,


I'm requesting a phone interview but if you prefer I can send questions and you can respond via email?


We don't send out copy before publication.


Kind regards,

Claire






To: Claire Bickers

8 November 2017 at 11:05am


Dear Claire,


As you may know, relevant to the reasonableness of publication in a Lange defence is whether the publisher seeks a response from the person affected by the publication.


In a statutory defence of qualified privilege, a relevant factor as to reasonableness of the publication is "whether the matter published contained the substance of the person's side of the story and, if not, whether a reasonable attempt was made by the defendant to obtain and publish a response from the person".


Please be advised that I will not do a phone interview. Written questions are sufficient for your purpose and will provide me with documentation of answers and questions.


You are welcome to send me your questions.


As you can appreciate, I am quite busy so will require some reasonable time in which to respond.


I may also post your questions, and any answers I might give, online.


It may be that I am not the best subject for a News Corp story.


Kind Regards,

David C. Barrow






QUESTIONS asked.  MY ANSWERS:




Did you lodge a common informers case against all seven federal MPs who appeared before the High Court? If so, why?


Yes. See attached Writ of Summons issued 27 September 2017. This was the day after the Attorney General filed submissions (see ATTACHED) -- which gave me confidence that there was a proper basis for my allegations.


The action I commenced on 27 September 2017 gave a pathway for politicians to pay the penalty to a person (me) who would donate it to a worthy charity without seeking legal costs against them. It is a matter for the politician as to whether he or she wants to embrace that, starting with accepting service of the writ. The alternative is to face perhaps more mercenary 'bounty hunters' in the 12 months after last sitting in Parliament while disqualified.



Have you dropped the case against any of them? If so, who?


I discontinued against Senator Canavan on 24 [October] 2017, as I came to the view following the 10 to 12 October 2017 High Court hearings that a retrospective change to the Italian Constitution was not the safest foundation for disqualification. And so it turned out.


I congratulated Senator Xenophon via email on the referral question minutes after the 27 October 2017 decision and that is in the process of being discontinued.


Greens Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam consented to judgment back on 9 October 2017. We are waiting for the consent orders to be made.


Malcolm Roberts is waiting for developments as to whether he will consent to judgement against him; although I have also offered to discontinue with no order as to costs if he wants to deal with another 'bounty hunter'.


Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash have not made themselves available for personal service of the originating Writ of Summons and so I filed a discontinuance against each of them on 6 November 2017. They can deal with those other 'bounty hunters' now.


See attached various filings.



From your website, it appears Greens senators Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlum agreed to pay you $200 each to settle the case. Have you received those funds?


I have not received the funds as yet. The consent orders have been filed but not as yet made by the Court. I expect that the Court will deal with the various common informer actions together, at which time orders will be made.



Are you intending to lodge a Common Informers case against Liberal MP John Alexander or any other current federal politician? And if so, why?


No. The action I commenced on 27 September 2017 gave a pathway for some politicians to pay the penalty to a person (me) who would donate it to a worthy charity without seeking legal costs against them. I've done what I set out to do.






To: Claire Bickers

8 November 2017 at 11:05am


Dear Claire,


Perhaps this fellow will be a more interesting subject for your common informers story:


https://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/10/30/21/14/nsw-man-could-be-owed-thousands-from-dual-citizen-politicians


Although tell him he's dreamin' about $460,000. Maximum is $3,800 for a Writ served on 5 politicians between 10 and 15 October 2017.


I would prefer that you leave me out of it.


Kind Regards,

David C. Barrow







High Court of Australia proceeding
M140/2017 David Charles Barrow v Malcolm Roberts, Fiona Nash, Nick Xenophon, Matthew Canavan, Barnaby Joyce, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters








27 October 2017: High Court JUDGMENT


5 Members of Parliament were incapable of being elected by reason of having dual citizenship.


One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts disqualified.


Greens Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam resigned with integrity from the Senate in July... and then doubled-down with more integrity on 9th October by consenting to judgment against them and payment of My Penalty Writ.   Story of their integrity at LINK.


Nationals Politicians Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash disqualified.  Did not serve my Writ of Summons. I will leave them to some other bounty hunter.


Senator Matthew Canavan is and was capable of being chosen and sitting in the Senate.  I had discontinued my claim against him on 24 October 2017.


Senator Nick Xenophon is and was capable of being chosen and sitting in the Senate... but is resigning to contest the State Election in South Australia.  See LINK






On 27 September 2017, I sued 6 current and former Senators and Mr Barnaby Joyce MP under the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (Cth).


This provides a bounty for citizens ‘hunting down’ any Parliamentarian who has sat when disqualified.


$200 is paid for proving the Parliamentarian is caught out during the 12 months before being served with a lawsuit; and $200 is paid for every subsequent day on which he or she sat.


Any penalties I receive and personal tax benefit, I will donate to the The Fred Hollows Foundation:


“We see a world in which no person is needlessly blind and Indigenous Australians exercise their right to good health.”



I will donate politician penalties to The Fred Hollows Foundation to end avoidable blindness www.hollows.org








Penalties have stacked up since I issued the Writ on 27 September 2017:


Yes, I slipped in Former Senator Culleton (formerly of One Nation) who was disqualified on 3 February 2017.








Public Statement PDF (click)



SEE ALSO (click): My Reasonable Steps to renounce Dual Citizenship last year






CLICK to Scroll All My Blog Posts




Bounty Hunter (me) rewarded for 5 Disqualified Politicians
Filed Under:

High Court of Australia proceeding
M140/2017 David Charles Barrow v Malcolm Roberts, Fiona Nash, Nick Xenophon, Matthew Canavan, Barnaby Joyce, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters








27 October 2017: High Court JUDGMENT


5 Members of Parliament were incapable of being elected by reason of having dual citizenship.


One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts disqualified.


Greens Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam resigned with integrity from the Senate in July... and then doubled-down with more integrity on 9th October by consenting to judgment against them and payment of My Penalty Writ.   Story of their integrity at LINK.


Nationals Politicians Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash disqualified.  Did not serve my Writ of Summons. I will leave them to some other bounty hunter.


Senator Matthew Canavan is and was capable of being chosen and sitting in the Senate.  I had discontinued my claim against him on 24 October 2017.


Senator Nick Xenophon is and was capable of being chosen and sitting in the Senate... but is resigning to contest the State Election in South Australia.  See LINK






On 27 September 2017, I sued 6 current and former Senators and Mr Barnaby Joyce MP under the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (Cth).


This provides a bounty for citizens ‘hunting down’ any Parliamentarian who has sat when disqualified.


$200 is paid for proving the Parliamentarian is caught out during the 12 months before being served with a lawsuit; and $200 is paid for every subsequent day on which he or she sat.


Any penalties I receive and personal tax benefit, I will donate to the The Fred Hollows Foundation:


“We see a world in which no person is needlessly blind and Indigenous Australians exercise their right to good health.”



I will donate politician penalties to The Fred Hollows Foundation to end avoidable blindness www.hollows.org








Penalties have stacked up since I issued the Writ on 27 September 2017:


Yes, I slipped in Former Senator Culleton (formerly of One Nation) who was disqualified on 3 February 2017.








Public Statement PDF (click)



SEE ALSO (click): My Reasonable Steps to renounce Dual Citizenship last year






CLICK to Scroll All My Blog Posts




Greens double-down on Integrity
Filed Under:

Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters sign consent to High Court judgment entered against them and pay $200 Penalty to be donated to The Fred Hollows Foundation to 'end avoidable blindness'








In July 2017, Greens Politicians Scott Ludlam (STATEMENT) then Larissa Waters (STATEMENT) resigned from the Senate when they became aware of holding dual citizenship which disqualified them from sitting in the Australian Parliament.


Although they had resigned, the Senate President referred questions as to their disqualification to the High Court of Australia.


On 28 September 2017, their Counsel filed written JOINT-SUBMISSIONS to the High Court as to why it was proper that Ludlam and Waters were disqualified and so too should 5 other Federal Politicians.


On 10 October 2017, three-days of hearings began in the High Court to determine the referral questions, with 24 Counsel appearing (along with instructing solicitors) before 7 Justices (each with an associate).  Quite an aviary.


Lawyers for Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters also signed the following consent orders for judgment against them in my related High Court proceeding.










Apologies to Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, but it's a thing.  If not me then some other Bounty Hunter.



On 27 September 2017, I sued 7 Fed Politicians myself under the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (Cth).


This provides a bounty for citizens ‘hunting down’ any Parliamentarian who has sat when disqualified.


$200 is paid for proving the Parliamentarian is caught out during the 12 months before being served with a lawsuit; and $200 is paid for every subsequent day on which he or she sat.


Any penalties I receive and personal tax benefit, I will donate to The Fred Hollows Foundation to end avoidable blindness www.hollows.org:


“We see a world in which no person is needlessly blind and Indigenous Australians exercise their right to good health.”









You can see the penalties for each sitting day stacking up in this Graph (although caped at $200 for each Green as they have resigned from the Senate):






The $200 penalty rate was set in 1975. Adjusting for inflation, that’s $1,400 in 2017 Aussie dollars. A disqualified politician could voluntarily make up the difference with a personal donation of $1,200 per day:









Public Statement PDF (click)


High Court of Australia proceeding
M140/2017 David Charles Barrow v Malcolm Roberts, Fiona Nash, Nick Xenophon, Matthew Canavan, Barnaby Joyce, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters





SEE ALSO (click): My Reasonable Steps to renounce Dual Citizenship last year






CLICK to Scroll All My Blog Posts




Nick Xenophon ducks Penalty Writ? (he sort of did)
Filed Under:

Update


27 October 2017: High Court JUDGMENT


Senator Nick Xenophon is and was capable of being chosen and sitting in the Senate.


Congratulations to Nick Xenophon.... who is now retiring from the Senate to contest State Politics in his truly-native South Australia.






Senator Nick Xenophon and 6 other federal politicians are facing the High Court on 10 to 12 October 2017 to determine their eligibility of being chosen and sitting in Parliament.





Section 44 of the Australian Constitution has picked a fight with them for being dual citizens:


Any person who:

(i)     is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power; OR     

(ii) is attainted of treason...

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.






On 27 September 2017, I sued the 7 Fed Politicians myself under the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (Cth).


This provides a bounty for citizens ‘hunting down’ any Parliamentarian who has sat when disqualified.


$200 is paid for proving the Parliamentarian is caught out during the 12 months before being served with a lawsuit; and $200 is paid for every subsequent day on which he or she sat.


Any penalties I receive and personal tax benefit, I will donate to The Fred Hollows Foundation to end avoidable blindness www.hollows.org:


“We see a world in which no person is needlessly blind and Indigenous Australians exercise their right to good health.”









On 3 October 2017, I emailed the High Court legal teams for the 7 Fed Politicians to see if they had instructions to accept service (or undertake to enter an appearance) for the Writ of Summons.


The alternative is to give "personal service", which is effected by handing to the person a copy of the document to be served or, if the person does not accept the copy, by putting the copy down, in the presence of the person to be served and telling the person the nature of the document.


I got a curious response from Peter Jackson, the Managing Solicitor at "Nick Xenophon & Co. Lawyers".


He said that he would need to take advice from the leading minds of the Constitutional Lawyers representing Senator Xenophon before he could say if the mundane mechanical step of personal service could be dispensed with.


And, further, the Constitutional Lawyers were so busy preparing for the 10-12 October trial that he could only try his utmost to respond within 7 days.


I ventured that this might lead to a public perception that Senator Xenophon was 'ducking service'.  But Peter Jackson was adamant.


So I said that he need not respond further and I will attempt to effect personal service on Senator Xenophon in Canberra before 16 October 2017 (when Parliament resumes... and a $200 bounty is levied for every day he sits if disqualified).


You can see the penalties for each sitting day stacking up for Senator Xenophon in this Graph (in Orange):






The $200 penalty rate was set in 1975. Adjusting for inflation, that’s $1,400 in 2017 Aussie dollars. A disqualified politician could voluntarily make up the difference with a personal donation of $1,200 per day:









On 9 October 2017, Peter Jackson popped up by email:


"We refer to recent correspondence, and have now received the advice of counsel [leading minds of the Constitutional Bar] and instructions [from Nick Xenophon].


We advise that we have instructions to accept service of documents in the proceedings you have instituted in relation to Senator Xenophon, and that you may take it that the informal service on us such documents can now be taken as proper service.


However, as you would be aware Senator Xenophon has announced his intention to resign from the Senate after the High Court has determined the matters in dispute. There are likely to be no further sitting days. The consequence of this is that even if you were successful, section 3 of the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (Cth) would limit any recovery you could obtain to $200.00.


Further, it is likely that the High Court will determine the matter very shortly. If (as we respectfully anticipate) Senator Xenophon is successful (and it is the position of the Commonwealth Solicitor General in the proceedings that he will be), your action would be foredoomed to failure, and would be liable to be struck out. In that event, naturally our client would reserve his entitlement to seek costs against you on a full indemnity.


We anticipate corresponding with you further in due course, after the determination by the High Court."



I thanked Peter for his email and replied:


"I note that you optimistically believe that the matter will be determined by the full court prior to the 16 [October] 2017 resumption of the Senate sitting.


I also note that the full court took 58 days to find Rod Culleton was ineligible to be chosen and sit as a Senator.


And 57 days to make the determination for Bob Day.


Perhaps 57.5 days is more realistic?


Please also note that former Greens Senators Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam have now consented to judgment to be effected against them and to pay a $200 penalty which I intend to donate to The Fred Hollows Foundation.


Consent Orders are as follows [amended]


1. Judgment be entered for the Plaintiff against the Defendant in the sum of $200.00.


2. There be no order as to costs.


I urge your client to be on the right side of history with this.


The tradition of the Common Informer is hopefully in part the future of the Bounty reward system of the foreshadowed advances in Whistleblower legislation [see REPORT].


I expect to be in Canberra until 16 October 2017 if Nick or his NXT staff would like to discuss. Or I can be contacted on Mbl... before there is an X-IT from NXT (and any more poor puns).






I am a big fan of Nick Xenophon. And almost met him at the gala fundraiser for NXT candidate Marie Rowland in the 2016 Federal Election.


I was running as a fly-in, fly-out Independent Candidate from Melbourne against Tony Abbott in the NSW Northern Beaches electorate of Warringah.


So the NXT organisers of the gala event in Warringah were not too keen for me to ask Nick a question in the Q&A after his speech.


I simply wanted to ask Nick this Dorothy Dixer: Will there be any horse trading in a party you lead?


Nick didn't need to answer.  His principled "No" actions on the job spoke for him.  And that's very cool.


He will be missed in the Senate acting for South Australians (and all Australians) howsoever his troubles in the High Court might break.


Vale (Federal) Nick Xenophon.  And on the third month of 2018 he may be resurrected (SA State Elections)?



SEE MY: 2016 Federal Election in Tweets






Public Statement PDF (click)


High Court of Australia proceeding
M140/2017 David Charles Barrow v Malcolm Roberts, Fiona Nash, Nick Xenophon, Matthew Canavan, Barnaby Joyce, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters





SEE ALSO (click): My Reasonable Steps to renounce Dual Citizenship last year






CLICK to Scroll All My Blog Posts




I sued 7 Dual-Citizen Fed Politicians in High Court
Filed Under:

Public Statement PDF (click)


High Court of Australia proceeding
M140/2017 David Charles Barrow v Malcolm Roberts, Fiona Nash, Nick Xenophon, Matthew Canavan, Barnaby Joyce, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters





On 27 September 2017, I sued 6 current and former Senators and Mr Barnaby Joyce MP under the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (Cth).


This provides a bounty for citizens ‘hunting down’ any Parliamentarian who has sat when disqualified.


$200 is paid for proving the Parliamentarian is caught out during the 12 months before being served with a lawsuit; and $200 is paid for every subsequent day on which he or she sat.


Any penalties I receive and personal tax benefit, I will donate to the The Fred Hollows Foundation:


“We see a world in which no person is needlessly blind and Indigenous Australians exercise their right to good health.”


In recent referrals to the High Court by the Parliament, the 7 defendants are being questioned over whether by reason of having dual citizenship they were incapable of being elected.


In my High Court statement of claim, I allege they were disqualified and I seek a penalty to be paid to me.



I will donate politician penalties to The Fred Hollows Foundation to end avoidable blindness www.hollows.org








Penalties could stack up for the remaining sitting days in 2017:






The $200 penalty rate was set in 1975. Adjusting for inflation, that’s $1,400 in 2017 Aussie dollars. A disqualified politician could voluntarily make up the difference with a personal donation of $1,200 per day:






SEE ALSO (click): My Reasonable Steps to renounce Dual Citizenship last year






CLICK to Scroll All My Blog Posts




Roads to Warringah
Filed Under:

MARRIAGE EQUALITY


Problems with a Plebiscite (Poll):


  1. It may not be compulsory. And people who show up to vote may not represent all Australians.

  2. It's not binding. Some politicians have already said they will not follow it.

  3. It's costly. Over $160m to run.

  4. Let politicians do their job. Like they did with women voting, ending capital punishment, and no-fault divorce.





Federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb is a prominent Liberal MP silent on his views about Marriage Equality.

So back in Feb 2016, I thought I would run against him in the safe Victorian Liberal seat of Goldstein for the 2016 federal election.

 

My single-issue: Marriage Equality to see if I could flush Andrew Robb out to take a stance.

 

 

 

 

With Andrew Robb not seeking re-election, I then considered running against hard right wing Liberal MP Kevin Andrews (a Marriage Equality hater) in the Victorian seat of Menzies.

 

But the vibe was that Melb City Councillor and activist Stephen Mayne would run against him as an Independent.

 

Kevin Andrews also does not have wide household recognition – but former Prime Minister Tony Abbott does.

 

Would you believe I've got a fear of harbours and the Warringah electorate is (sort of) harbouring Tony Abbott?

 


 

 

These have been my ROADS TO WARRINGAH – even though I am a FLY-in-FLY-out candidate from Melbourne who has crossed a harbour by FERRY to take the fight to Tony Abbott on MARRIAGE EQUALITY!!

 

 









CLICK to Scroll All My Blog Posts




Satire in VIC Division of La Trobe
Filed Under:

A Satirist's Dilemma


When to break character after you've made your point?


Sacha Baron Cohen still hasn't broken character with his Borat creation he used to tackle intolerance and racism.





Joaquiem Phoenix spent over a year pretending to drastically change careers from actor into a hip hop artist.  The performance was captured in the I'm Still Here (2010) mockumentary.  It was all a strange satire as it turns out, where he appeared to be having a mental breakdown.


People were worried for him but he stayed in character until the film premiere.



 


Charlie Chaplan broke character to add a speech about humanity in an epilogue to his The Great Dictator satire.


Me, I don't think it works:






So what about Jeffrey Bartram and Me?


Both Family First Party candidates for the federal election in the La Trobe Division.


Bartram right now in 2016 – and Me in 2010 until I was disendorsed (not unexpectedly) on my first day of campaigning for publicly stating that families must include gays and lesbians for equality.


Well, I'm not sure that Bartram is actually putting on a satirical performance.


As for me, I don't believe most people were aware that I was using satire in 2010 to make my points on inclusiveness and the importance of context when value judgements such as abortion and other social issues are concerned.





I know Jeffrey Bartram to be a musician and satirist.  His work as Lil' Aussie Battler is breathtakingly-unsettlingly in parts.


The Goin' to Uni music video is part of this work.


Bartram ran as an Upper House Independent candidate in the 2014 Victorian Election.


The quota to be elected to the Upper House is 16.67%.  Bartram got a bit over 16... votes out of 436,788 in the EASTERN VIC REGION.


Bartram's platform was "a strong advocate for the residents of the Eastern Vic region and an independent voice free from the factional deals and machine politics of the major parties" and "to see the upper house used as a house of review not a house of obstruction".


He had some conventional policies on industry assistance to the Latrobe Valley to generate employment; easing regulatory burden for small business; TAFE support; improving ambulance response times and the V-Line train service.


And then later in the 2014 Vic Election campaign, Bartram achieved a cut through by whacking an "Authorised by Jeffrey Bartram" to the end of his Goin' to Uni music video.


It was featured in the Guardian story VICTORIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN VIDEOS:




At first, it’s hard to see what Jeff Bartram, independent candidate for the upper house, is trying to get at in this epic four-minute music video.


We see Bartram emerge, in his underwear, from a box, leading a continuous chant of “goin’ to uni” as shorts and high-vis vests fly onto the bodies of the tradies who are seemingly being deified over slovenly, befuddled university graduates.


One useless uni grad is shown wallowing in a paddling pool gorging on watermelon fed to him by a woman but things take a darker turn when – rather controversially – he attempts suicide in the bath. A completely mind-boggling ad that will have the words “tradesman’s entrance” whirring around your election-hating mind.



Blogger Cate Speaks ALSO COVERED Bartram's curious electoral ad:


And now we come to our third ungrouped independent candidate for Eastern Victoria, and what a candidate he is.  I’ve been keeping a vague eye on Jeff Bartram‘s website for a week now, and had concluded that it was just going to be that single photo, announcement of his candidature, and his slogan “Looking for Good in People and in the Region”.


But sometime in the last 24 hours, everything changed.  The website sprang to life, and what a life it is.  Because Jeff Bartram, my dear readers, is another member of that exclusive club – the club of political parties and independents who decide to sell themselves with a song.


Once again, I find myself speechless.  My husband came in to find out what on earth I was listening to, and watched the video with delight for several minutes, before opining that it would make a first-class gay nightclub anthem.  Which was at almost exactly the same moment that I, looking for the Youtube link to the video, found myself being educated by Google on just what tradesman’s entrance can be slang for.

So.  If this song is anything to go by, one can probably surmise that Mr Bartram is not a big fan of tertiary education being brandished as the one true solution to everyone’s problems.  And one might also conclude that Mr Bartram is a tradie.  And one would be right.



I share Cate's surmise on Bartram's Goin' to Uni; although with a work of art the audience ultimately makes up their own mind as to meaning – and the artist may not intend any fixed meaning at all.


I don't see Bartram advocating misogyny and trivialising self-harm in Goin' to Uni – albeit that offense can be taken from some of the purposely ridiculous scenes.





I'm a fly-in-fly-out Independent Candidate from Victoria in the NSW Division of Warringah for the 2016 federal election.


I'm also registered to vote in the VIC Division of La Trobe for this election.


On Thursday 16 June, I was looking up the 2016 candidates to square away my own voting early since I will be in NSW on the 2 July election day – when I was very surprised to see that the Family First Party candidate in my LA TROBE ELECTORATE was Jeffrey Bartram.

 



 

Still a bit in shock, I have questions for Candidate Jeffrey Bartram:


When did you join the Family First Party?


When were you chosen as the candidate for La Trobe?


Is this a satire?  (And if it is, when will you say so?)


What is your understanding and commitment to Family First policies and principles?


For the 2013 Federal Election, the Rationalists Society of Australia SCORED FAMILY FIRST poorly on secular policies although this should be done in the context of the circumstances for particular cases.


Candidate Bartram – how you do you respond to that detailed critique?



Apparently candidate profiles for the Family First house of representatives are COMING SOON.


I'm not sure that Bartram will still be there if he moves through the questions I pose – or the Family First Party executive makes any further investigations of him.





On Friday night (17 June), I was harangued a bit by a person on Twitter who objected to the content of Bartram's music video and queried why I would be associating myself with it.


I responded with a series of tweets (since deleted after the person deleted their own tweets); but you can only get so far with the limitations of 140 characters per tweet.


So I said that I would write up a clearer response in what is now this blog post.



Well, I have my own videos to roll out via YouTube between now and the 2 July election day.


Public ones are here (which include an "Authorised by" end card):


http://www.andrewboltparty.com/YouTube


I had a copy of Bartram's Goin' to Uni music video. Without his knowledge or consent I posted this on my YouTube channel under the title "Tradesman's Entrance".






As this was done in the context of a political situation, I thought I better bung my "Authorised by" end card on it – which also has (somewhat confusingly) "Marriage Equality" and "worth fighting for" on it.


The "Authorised by" is an Australian Electoral Commission REQUIREMENT FOR PUBLICATION, including even for attack ads.  I do not endorse the content of Bartram music video – although I do find it a catchy tune.


By including my name in the end card, I also thought this might deal me in to any controversy that may arise from a Family First reaction to Bartram talents as a satirical-musician – especially since I was dramatically disendorsed as the Family First candidate in the same La Trobe Division in the 2010 federal election.


Bartram seems to be using "tradesman's entrance" in the music video as a class division where tradesmen were once conventionally required to enter a building by a separate door so as not to trouble the upper classes.




It sets up a criticism of perhaps a modern form of class distinction in Australia between those with tertiary degrees and those with trade degrees.


From the context of the video, notwithstanding there is a Village People aesthetic to the whole thing, I don't believe Bartram is intending to make any point about sexual identity politics – but nevertheless "tradesman's entrance" is also a gay sex reference.  It just is.


As far as I understand, Family First is opposed to same sex relationships.


Stirring the possum, I thought it would be an interesting confrontation for me to post the "Tradesman's Entrance" video on my YouTube channel, then tweet about it and see how the Family First candidate runners respond.






As for revealing more about my satirical run as the Family First candidate in the seat of La Trobe for the 2010 federal election, I've already written something about this in my book "BOLT: WORTH FIGHTING" (not for)



Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

 


 


Some people have also been curious about my brief 2010 Family First Party candidacy.   Well, here's MY INTERVIEW from 11 August 2010 with Jade Lawton of the Pakenham Gazette which gives a flavour of my satirical run:


LA TROBE Family First candidate David Barrow has been sensationally dumped by his party, and has entered talks with the Australian Sex Party.


In a dramatic leap from one end of the political spectrum to the other, Mr Barrow was disendorsed by Family First after posting extraordinary comments on Mia Freedman’s internet blog “Mama Mia”. The certified practising accountant from Boronia wrote on the blog that a family was “a committed relationship between a man and a woman: Adam and Eve.”


He then added: “And it is also Adam and Steve – gay and lesbian couples – and Eve with Eve (even Eve with Eve if you will). So when it comes to families, Family First is a ‘broad church’ (in the modern secular sense of that term): heterosexual, gay and lesbian couples, as well as bi, trans and intersex.”


Family First booted Mr Barrow out of the party on Monday night.


He was due to launch his campaign outside Berwick’s Commonwealth Bank yesterday (Tuesday).


In a defiant show against the conservative Family First party, Mr Barrow announced he was meeting with Fiona Patten, leader of the Australian Sex Party, at Melbourne Airport yesterday.


The Australian Sex Party already has a candidate in La Trobe.


Family First Chairman Peter Lake said Mr Barrow had deliberately misled the party.


“Clearly the views expressed by Mr Barrow are not in accordance with the views of Family First and as a result, the party has disendorsed his candidacy, effective immediately,” he said.


The party informed Mr Barrow of the dumping via email after he failed to respond to phone calls.


“This is a regrettable incident; however, Family First is committed to moving ahead with a strong campaign and standing up for ordinary Australians on issues that are important to them,” Mr Lake said.


Mr Barrow said he would now run as an Independent, although his name was already printed on ballot papers with the Family First tag.


“It’s an egg that can’t be unscrambled,” Mr Barrow said.


“It’s a bit hard to know what they were on about. I was presented with a questionnaire and I had to put a tick, yes or no. Things like do you support abortion and I ticked the no box but it is contextually based. It’s (permissible) when there is severe harm to the woman.”


“As for gay marriage – I’m in support of equality of committed, loving relationships of co-dependant adults. One aspect of that are homosexual relationships. I would not say I am an advocate for gay marriage; I’m an advocate for equality.”


But Mr Barrow says his core policy is not about gay marriage or equal rights – his core promise is an ambitious pledge to redistribute 85 per cent of his parliamentary entitlements to the La Trobe electorate.“


This is fully costed, funded and guaranteed. I’m happy to work for minimum wage,” he said.


He said he signed up with Family First because he admired Senator Steven Fielding’s battle against the big banks.


Mr Barrow is currently fighting the Commonwealth Bank in the Federal Court for what he describes as ‘bank fee justice.’


“I’m really standing for mainstream values,” Mr Barrow said.


“The gay movement took the word gay, which had negative connotations, and they turned it around and appropriated it, so I guess I’m appropriating the term Family First. I’m the real family first.”


An AEC spokesman said there were no powers to change a nomination after it had been received.



Others (perhaps not many) say that I have a federal government forming past.


Out of 150 seats in the 2010 Fed Election, La Trobe (where I ended up campaigning as an Independent) was 1 of only 2 that changed from Liberals to Labor.... which enabled Labor to form a minority government.


So in April 2011, I posted a question on Antony Green’s election blog:


Antony, as you know – and sort of akin to Pauline Hanson's situation in the 1996 federal election – I was an endorsed candidate of a registered political party (Family First Party) in the marginal Victorian seat of La Trobe in the 2010 federal election, but after publicly stating that families must include gays and lesbians for equality I was disendorsed by Family First after the close of nominations.  Similar to Pauline Hanson, I then remained on the printed ballot paper as the candidate for my former political party (Family First) even though I was campaigning as an Independent after being disendorsed.


http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2010/guide/ltro.htm


La Trobe was 1 of only 2 electorates across all of Australia gained by Labor from the Coalition in the 2010 federal election.  And the margin required to win the seat (held since 1990) was only 0.5%, with ALP Laura Smyth upsetting the Liberal incumbent Jason Wood to take the seat with a 1.4% swing to Labor.


It seems to me it is possible that my unusual situation may have had an effect on the change of seat, and if so the dynamics of Labor forming a Minority Government needing only 2 of the 3 Independents of Oakeshott, Windsor and Katter (whereas the Coalition would only have required support of, say, Katter and one of the others if not for the La Trobe seat loss to Labor).


Family First Party (FFP) and the Liberals had swapped No.1 and No.2 preferences in the La Trobe electorate, but after my disendorsement the FFP abandoned the Liberals to their fate.  I had no-one at any of the polling stations handing out How-to-vote cards on the 21 August 2010 election day, and in fact had left Victoria the night before to spend the weekend in Brisbane.


Labor won the seat with 0.9% margin (810 pref votes in their favour)


Antony responded:


59.94% of your preferences flowed to the Liberal candidate, as oposed (sic) to the national Family First figure of 59.82. There was essentially no difference in the Family First preference flow in La Trobe compared to the nation as a whole.


Anyway, I replied:


Thanks Antony, yes that does look to be consistent with the national Family First Party (FFP) trend, but in my situation I was not running as a FFP candidate.  FFP just happened to be printed against my name on the ballot paper.


So I can see that those who mistakenly thought they were voting for FFP may have followed the national FFP voting pref trends (even though they had no how-to-vote card in my electorate) – however in the 2007 federal election I note 68.43% of the votes for the FFP candidate in La Trobe flowed to Liberals:

http://results.aec.gov.au/13745/Website/HouseDivisionTcpFlow-13745-223.htm  So that was down.


And the whole primary vote for my Independent candidacy (labelled FFP on the ballot) was 2.2% as compared to 2.9% for the 2007 FFP candidate.  A difference of 0.7% is a significant margin in a 0.5% marginal seat.


Just laying out some of the possible mini-demographics (and some questions):


(1) Those who thought they were voting FFP without knowing there was no longer a FFP candidate. (With no FFP how-to-vote card directives did more skew towards Labor prefs than would otherwise be the case?)


(2) Those who did not vote FFP only because of my disendorsement; but otherwise would have voted for a FFP candidate if there was one. (This could be up to say 3% of all voters; unshackled from the FFP how-to-vote directions where did their ultimate prefs end up?)


(3) Those who voted for me because I was truly an Independent.  (If there was a Labor-pref-bias in this group, does this explain the 68.43% flows to Libs in 2007 going down to 59.95% to Libs in 2010?)


Seems to me there could be a Disendorsement Effect [just made that term up]: what would have happened if there had been no public, media-interested disendorsement of a candidate for a registered political party after nominations closed?


e.g. what would have happened in Oxley electorate in QLD in 1996 if any other low-profile Liberal candidate had run instead of Pauline Hanson being disendorsed?  Expect Labor would have retained Oxley as a safe seat.  If you consider Hanson Disendorsement Effect through the same sort of mini-demographics of (1), (2) and (3) above then there could be some ranging answers for the 19% swing away from Labor to the Pauline Hanson candidate who happened to be listed as a Liberal on the ballot paper. Of those Demos: (1) some thought wrongly they were voting Liberal; (2) does not seem relevant; (3) there was a surge of primary votes to Hanson to 48.61% – a good chunk of which would be a conscious vote for Hanson running as a true Independent.


Antony responded further:


          The Hanson comment I agree with. The preferences in La Trobe were exactly what I would have expected, and the result was exactly as I would have expected for the electorate given other Victorian results.


I chipped in:


          A fair professional assessment.


IMAGINE though: 501 informals come of the bench for a more Joan-of-Arc type Family First Candidate; leakage of 1600 Labor, 400 Libs and 600 Greens votes return to the FFP; prefs from FFP run 70% to Libs

==>> that's 50.01% to Liberals after FFP prefs, and the seat is held; Libs join with support of Independents Katter and Windsor to form Minority Govt and the world spins different! (but mostly the same)


IMPOSSIBLE?  Stranger things have happened at sea... albeit La Trobe electorate is fairly land-locked in Dandenong Mountain Ranges... yet there is the large Cardinia Reservoir within its bounds and one of the suburbs in the neighbouring Aston electorate is called "Bayswater".  And where there is water to walk on... or just talk about walking on... there is hope.



I don’t know if Antony Green was professionally embarrassed – or embarrassed by my overuse of metaphors – or what was going on really, but he then deleted my questions and his replies from his ABC election blog.  And that was that.  Until now.




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OPEN LETTER to ALP Andrew Woodward
Filed Under:

Update 1 July 2016

 













OPEN LETTER

 

17 June 2016

 

ANDREW WOODWARD

Labor Party Candidate, Warringah Division, 2016 Fed Election

 

By email:         inbox@warringahlabor.com

 

Dear Andrew,

 

I note you've had some troubles with the ALP How-to-vote card in Warringah.

 

Monday 13 June 2016, you tweeted a concealed-version of the ALP preferences:

https://twitter.com/WarringahLabor/status/742235152307355648 (archive.is/J0Ajy)

 

 

You then built some suspense about flicking on a switch vaudeville-style:

https://twitter.com/WarringahLabor/status/742245561655427073 (archive.is/8BfId)

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 14 June 2016, you did the big reveal – "1/2" preference swap with the Greens:

https://twitter.com/WarringahLabor/status/742541327544557568   (http://archive.is/v9f6b)

 

 

 

Later that day, it was revealed that the Greens had actually directed their second preferences to Independent Candidate James Mathison.

 

You then publicly accused the Greens as "Rats" and a "Sell-Out"; and James Mathison as being a "Lib stooge".

 

 

On 15 June 2016, HuffPost Australia reported that you said the ALP had printed 150,000 How-to-vote cards with the Greens as second preference.

 

 

I can see that it is a troubling time for you, however there is also the situation where aspects of the ALP How-to-vote card have a resemblance to my Independent Candidate (suggested) How-to-vote card.  Please see below.

 

I suggest the following: you pulp your 150,000 HTVs.  You print a new batch (from recycled paper) with a new colour scheme and layout that does not resemble my own.  A Special Warringah edition!   And then you can direct your preferences elsewhere if you are still unhappy with the Greens (please note: I do not seek preferences from any candidate).

 

Anyway, please let me have your response soonest – as the Australian Electoral Commission will be making my How-to-vote available in mobile voting places from Monday 20 June 2016.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

David C. Barrow

Independent Candidate, Warringah Division, 2016 Fed Election






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Reasonable Steps to renounce Dual Citizenship
Filed Under:








I confirmed my Australian Citizenship!


Then took 'reasonable steps' to renounce my dual British Citizenship to run as an Independent Candidate – to bother Tony Abbott in Warringah for the 2016 Federal Election.




I filled out the British Home Office application and attached the following cover letter:


Special Circumstances – Renunciation British Citizenship

I am applying to renounce my British Citizenship solely so as not to be incapable of contesting the Australian federal election which is fixed for 2 July 2016.

Section 44 of the Constitution of Australia provides:

  "Any person who:
  (i) is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power;
  ... shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives."


In Sue v Hill [1999] HCA 30; 199 CLR 462, the High Court of Australia found that the election of Senator Hill (an Australian Citizen) to the Australian Parliament was invalid as she had not taken 'reasonable steps' to renounce her British Citizenship.

What constitutes 'reasonable steps' has not been defined by Australian Courts, however there are indications that it does not necessarily mean that a candidate must actually be declared at any particular time by the foreign country to have renounced their foreign citizenship.

In the event that I am not elected as a member of the Australian Parliament on 2 July 2016, I will notify your Department to immediately withdraw my application to renounce my British Citizenship, if possible.

I note from the Guide RN for Declaration of Renunciation that if the declaration is registered in the expectation of acquiring another citizenship (which is not my circumstances), the applicant has some 6 months to provide further information concerning this.

I will provide further information on the outcome of the Australian federal election division that I am contesting when this becomes known. I expect that this will be in July 2016.

I understand that it is totally a matter of discretion for your Department as to whether final processing of my application to renounce my British Citizenship will await this further information.

Yours sincerely,
David C. Barrow

Enclosed: RN application to renounce British Citizenship together with payment slip, British Passport and Australian Passport

 


Back on 30 May 2016, I also alerted other aspiring candidates that I would be taking these steps.


From the responses I received my information was pretty popular – with one (nervous?) candidate sharing it around her party 63 times! (per email stats) 





There is a movement that challenges the legitimacy of Barack Obama's Presidency because they say he was not a natural-born citizen of the United States.  They demanded he show his birth certificate.  He did.  It says Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Many challengers were still not satisfied.


In Australia, some challenge sitting members of Parliament to prove that they are not incapable of holding parliamentary office as dual citizens.  Prove your renunciation of foreign citizenship they say.  I'm not sure if these challengers can be satisfied either.


What I can say is that Australia is a multicultural nation: 28% of Australians are born overseas.   A further 20% have at least one parent born overseas.  And over 5 million Aussies have dual citizenship.


On 30 October 2003, the Senate passed a motion moved by Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett, expressing the Senate's view that s 44(i) of the Constitution should be amended to remove the current prohibition on dual citizens being able to nominate for election to the Commonwealth Parliament.


I agree with this motion.


Perhaps in time we will see a referendum question for the Australian people to achieve this.





Here again are some sentiments from 5 May 2016 when I started to explore this area in our High Court:



DAVID CHARLES BARROW – I am a Welsh-Australian!


I am an Australian Citizen born in 1969 in the outer-eastern suburb of Ferntree Gully in Victoria.


 

Portrait of Me as a young artist


My father Malcolm Barrow is a British Citizen born 1934 in Skewen, a small Welsh village on the outskirts of Swansea, South Wales.  His parents and grandparents were all born, lived and died in Wales.


In 1959, my father arrived in Melbourne, Australia, from the UK on RMS Strathnaver with the support of the Australian Government "ten pound ticket" Assisted Passage Migration Scheme.



My father only planned to stay in Australia for 2 years.  Then he met my mother Shirley at a social dance at the St Kilda Town Hall.


My mother is an Australian Citizen born 1935 in Cheltenham, Victoria.  Her parents were born in England and immigrated to Australia in the 1920s.


My parents Malcolm and Shirley courted and then married in 1962.


In 1966, they built a house at the foothills of the Dandenong Mountains in Victoria – on a Welsh-sounding street, on land that was a former daffodil farm (the national flower of Wales).


They have lived in that quiet place for 50 years.


My sister Julie, was born an Australian Citizen in 1967 in the same hospital where I was later born in 1969.


In my boyhood, my friends found my father's distinctive Welsh accent hard to understand so sometimes I had to interpret for them.  Cooking Welsh food and seeing Welsh people on the television was something special for us.


Very rarely did we encounter other people who identified as Welsh in Australia.


Through my father's Welsh ancestry, my sister Julie and I both obtained dual Australian-British Citizenship.


On a number of occasions we each travelled to the UK and stayed with our Welsh relatives.  For me this was in 1979, 1995, 1997 and 2009.


In 2008, tragically my sister Julie suffered a severe asthma attack and died shortly after (aged 40) at the St Vincent's Intensive Care Unit in Melbourne.  It was very, very sad.


My sister's ashes were flown to the UK and scattered by our Welsh relatives at Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.



My father had become an Australian Citizen in 1985.  His Welsh father, Dai Barrow, wrote him a fiery letter disowning him, perhaps not understanding that my father still retained his British Citizenship.  Thankfully the disowning didn't last.


When my father travelled back to Wales in 1988 an ailing Dai asked had he received the letter.  My father said perhaps it had been lost in the mail.  And no more was said of it.  My grandfather died not long after that.


My parents and I remain in regular contact with our Welsh relatives through email and videophone – and they recognise us as Welsh and Australian.


Although I have English ancestry on my mother's side, I do not feel English.  I do however very much identify as Welsh.


Given my upbringing being Welsh for me is not something that I have chosen.


This resonates with the decision in the 2011 Federal Court of Australia case of EATOCK v BOLT where the controversialist Andrew Bolt was found to have QUITE WRONGLY implied in a slurry of Herald Sun articles that some prominent Aboriginal people with fairer rather than darker skin "chose" to identifying as Aboriginal for career and other benefits.


It was not a choice for them.


Having 'official' British Citizenship or indeed Australian Citizenship is not something totally necessary for me to be a Welsh-Australian.  Bureaucrats cannot take that away from me.


However having this Citizenship of both countries helps manifest my identity for myself and others.


So I want to retain my dual Australian-British Citizenship – like millions of other Aussies who enjoy dual Citizenship in our multicultural nation.


 


Sincerely,

David C. Barrow

Melbourne, Australia




 

STATISTICS


2011 Australian Census


Australian Population        21,507,717


Overseas Born                   5,294,150


BORN IN WALES                     28,675



Australians with Dual Citizenship ESTIMATED AT 4 TO 5 MILLION.



MEDIA RELEASE  30 March 2016  –  Australian Bureau of Statistics 'Overseas born Aussies highest in over a century'



o      28.2% of Australian resident population born overseas


o      FURTHER 20% have at least one parent born overseas.




AUSTRALIANS WITH WELSH-ANCESTRY


PRIME MINISTERS




Billy Hughes

born in England to Welsh parents; migrated to Australia 1884





Julia Gillard

born in Wales to Welsh parents; lived in Australia since age five





Tony Abbott

born in England; lived in Australia since age three; Welsh maternal grandmother




ENTERTAINERS





Kylie Minogue

born in Australia; mother born in Wales





Dannii Minogue

born in Australia; mother born in Wales





Naomi Watts

born in England; Welsh maternal grandfather and Australian maternal grandmother; lived in Wales from age 7 to 10; moved to Australia age 14;


February 2016, Naomi became honorary president of Glantraeth FC, a small football club in Malltraeth, Anglesey, Wales, near to her grandparents' farm, where she spent time as a child.








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Peter Dutton confirms I am Australian Citizen
Filed Under:

Obscure law had me in doubt of being an Australian Citizen

 

You and your Neighbours may be safe along with me



Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed that I am an Australian Citizen – wrestling with an uncertain ("section 17") shadow of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 (Cth).



I was born in Australia 1969 to an Australian-born mother and Welsh(British)-born father.


Australia has always been my home.


In 1997, I applied for a British passport for travel purposes.


When it was granted, British Citizenship also followed. [Update: actually as my father was a British Citizen when I was born in Australia, I am a British Citizen by descent]


However, at that time (up until 2002), if you were Australian and added British Citizenship – or any other Citizenship of the World – the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 purports an automatic forfeiture of Australian Citizenship:


17 (1) A person, being an Australian citizen who has attained the age of 18 years, who does any act or thing:

(a) the sole or dominant purpose of which; and
(b) the effect of which,

is to acquire the nationality or citizenship of a foreign country, shall, upon that acquisition, cease to be an Australian citizen.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to an act of marriage.



After a few weeks of equivocation, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton finally gave me the thumbs up to say I am still an Australian Citizen.


Thanks.  Sort of.  Why did I need his permission in the first place?


Anyway I rejoiced.  I love being Australian:







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Open Memo to ANTONY GREEN
Filed Under:

UPDATE


28 May 2016


ANTONY GREEN SNIPS BUT NOT SNIPPY



Antony Green has posted Warringah Candidate profiles on the ABC Election Website:



BARROW
 is campaigning from Victoria as an fly-in-fly-out candidate. He holds a Juris Doctor law degree from RMIT University; a B.Com honours degree in accounting and finance, B.A. honours in philosophy, and a B.Litt in English literature at the University of Melbourne. He is a CPA Accountant who runs a small business arranging testamentary trusts for willmakers. Barrow was a self-represented party in Andrew Bolt litigation which ran for 4 years until it was settled when an application for special leave to appeal was before the High Court. Barrow previously contested the Victorian seat of La Trobe in 2010 as a Family First candidate before he was disendorsed after stating that families must include gays and lesbians for equality. This came after the printing of ballot papers so he remained listed as a Family First candidate, campaigned as an Independent but also probed becoming an Australian Sex Party candidate. 
Website


Antony did some sentence shuffling from my profile request (below) and a BIG SNIP of what could have been my Labor-Government-forming impact in the 2010 Federal Election in the marginal seat happenings of La Trobe.



BARROW was disendorsed by Family First in the 2010 federal election in the Victorian seat of La Trobe after publicly stating that families must include gays and lesbians for equality. As this took place after the ballot papers were printed, he was listed as a Family First candidate even though he campaigned as an Independent after also probing a switch to the Australian Sex Party.
La Trobe became one of only two seats captured by Labor in 2010, allowing Julia Gillard to lead a minority government. Barrow was a self-represented party in Andrew Bolt litigation which ran for 4 years until it was settled when an application for special leave to appeal was before the High Court. Barrow is campaigning from Victoria as an interstate fly-in-fly-out candidate for Warringah. He holds a Juris Doctor law degree from RMIT University; a B.Com honours degree in accounting and finance, B.A. honours in philosophy, and a B.Litt in English literature at the University of Melbourne. He is a CPA Accountant who runs a small business arranging testamentary trusts for willmakers. 
Election Website: www.andrewboltparty.com




My own 2016 election profile on Antony Green (updates welcome):



Antony Green
ABC Election Analyst


56 year-old Green was Born in northern England and emigrated to Australia with his family in 1964.  He attended James Ruse Agricultural High School in Sydney, graduating in 1977. Green graduated with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and computing, and a Bachelor of Economics with honours in politics from the University of Sydney. He worked initially as a data analyst in the computing industry and for a polling company before joining the ABC in 1989. Green first appeared on the ABC's election-night television coverage in the 1991 NSW general election, following with the federal election in 1993 and has covered every territory, state and federal election since then. He designed the computer system that he uses to predict election results based on partial counts. A cycling fanatic, Green regularly dons cycling lycra, too infrequently for some people's taste.





ANTONY GREEN SNIPS TONY ABBOTT LYCRA



In the 2016 ABC Election Website – Antony Green has Snipped the following quip that was in Tony Abbott profile 2013 ABC Election Website:



A fitness fanatic, Abbott has regularly been photographed in swimming briefs and cycling lycra, too regularly for some people's taste.





UPDATE

 

24 May 2016

 

PROFILE PRODDING OF ANTONY GREEN




Dear Antony,

...

I like to keep the profiles I publish on my own election Website fresh.  Kindly advise me of any updates concerning your profile as they arise.  I note some old stats via Wikipedia that I would like to serve less unfresh:


"As of 2010 he [Green] had analysed 51 Australian territory, state and federal elections for the ABC, starting with the 1989 Queensland state election to the 2010 federal election."

 








I'm a big fan of Antony Green's ABC
ELECTION BLOG


And yet, Antony is not unknown to get a bit snippy sometimes.




I experienced this firsthand in the 2010 federal election with my ABC candidate profile for the marginal seat of La Trobe. 


Alan Sunderland (now ABC Editorial Director) then came in to sort it all out.


Here is my OPEN MEMO wording up Antony Green for my 2016 Independent Candidate profile for the NSW seat of Warringah (presently held by former PM Tony Abbott):



OPEN MEMO


Date:  19 May 2016

To:      ANTONY GREEN, ABC Election Analyst

From:  DAVID BARROW


Dear Antony,

In  the 2010 federal election, I'm afraid you slipped into being a bit snippy when it came to my candidate profile for the seat of La Trobe on the ABC election website.

Thankfully Alan Sunderland (now ABC Editorial Director) came in and sorted it all out.

Here is my 2016 profile as an INDEPENDENT Candidate for Warringah:


Barrow was disendorsed by Family First in the 2010 federal election in the Victorian seat of La Trobe after publicly stating that families must include gays and lesbians for equality. As this took place after the ballot papers were printed, he was listed as a Family First candidate even though he campaigned as an Independent after also probing a switch to the Australian Sex Party. La Trobe became one of only two seats captured by Labor in 2010, allowing Julia Gillard to lead a minority government. Barrow was a self-represented party in Andrew Bolt litigation which ran for 4 years until it was settled when an application for special leave to appeal was before the High Court. Barrow is campaigning from Victoria as an interstate fly-in-fly-out candidate for Warringah. He holds a Juris Doctor law degree from RMIT University; a B.Com honours degree in accounting and finance, B.A. honours in philosophy, and a B.Litt in English literature at the University of Melbourne. He is a CPA Accountant who runs a small business arranging testamentary trusts for willmakers.


Election Website: www.andrewboltparty.com






Flipping it around, here is my 2016 election profile on Antony Green (updates welcome):



Antony Green
ABC Election Analyst


56 year-old Green was Born in northern England and emigrated to Australia with his family in 1964.  He attended James Ruse Agricultural High School in Sydney, graduating in 1977. Green graduated with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and computing, and a Bachelor of Economics with honours in politics from the University of Sydney. He worked initially as a data analyst in the computing industry and for a polling company before joining the ABC in 1989. Green first appeared on the ABC's election-night television coverage in the 1991 NSW general election, following with the federal election in 1993 and has covered every territory, state and federal election since then. He designed the computer system that he uses to predict election results based on partial counts. A cycling fanatic, Green regularly dons cycling lycra, too infrequently for some people's taste.


Website: blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen









Some people have also been curious about my brief 2010 Family First Party candidacy.   Well, here's my INTERVIEW from 11 August 2010 with Jade Lawton of the Pakenham Gazette:



LA TROBE Family First candidate David Barrow has been sensationally dumped by his party, and has entered talks with the Australian Sex Party.

In a dramatic leap from one end of the political spectrum to the other, Mr Barrow was disendorsed by Family First after posting extraordinary comments on Mia Freedman’s internet blog “Mama Mia”. The certified practising accountant from Boronia wrote on the blog that a family was “a committed relationship between a man and a woman: Adam and Eve.”

He then added: “And it is also Adam and Steve – gay and lesbian couples – and Eve with Eve (even Eve with Eve if you will). So when it comes to families, Family First is a ‘broad church’ (in the modern secular sense of that term): heterosexual, gay and lesbian couples, as well as bi, trans and intersex.”

Family First booted Mr Barrow out of the party on Monday night.

He was due to launch his campaign outside Berwick’s Commonwealth Bank yesterday (Tuesday).

In a defiant show against the conservative Family First party, Mr Barrow announced he was meeting with Fiona Patten, leader of the Australian Sex Party, at Melbourne Airport yesterday.

The Australian Sex Party already has a candidate in La Trobe.

Family First Chairman Peter Lake said Mr Barrow had deliberately misled the party.

“Clearly the views expressed by Mr Barrow are not in accordance with the views of Family First and as a result, the party has disendorsed his candidacy, effective immediately,” he said.

The party informed Mr Barrow of the dumping via email after he failed to respond to phone calls.

“This is a regrettable incident; however, Family First is committed to moving ahead with a strong campaign and standing up for ordinary Australians on issues that are important to them,” Mr Lake said.

Mr Barrow said he would now run as an Independent, although his name was already printed on ballot papers with the Family First tag.

“It’s an egg that can’t be unscrambled,” Mr Barrow said.

“It’s a bit hard to know what they were on about. I was presented with a questionnaire and I had to put a tick, yes or no. Things like do you support abortion and I ticked the no box but it is contextually based. It’s (permissible) when there is severe harm to the woman.”

“As for gay marriage – I’m in support of equality of committed, loving relationships of co-dependant adults. One aspect of that are homosexual relationships. I would not say I am an advocate for gay marriage; I’m an advocate for equality.”

But Mr Barrow says his core policy is not about gay marriage or equal rights – his core promise is an ambitious pledge to redistribute 85 per cent of his parliamentary entitlements to the La Trobe electorate.

“This is fully costed, funded and guaranteed. I’m happy to work for minimum wage,” he said.

He said he signed up with Family First because he admired Senator Steven Fielding’s battle against the big banks.

Mr Barrow is currently fighting the Commonwealth Bank in the Federal Court for what he describes as ‘bank fee justice.’

“I’m really standing for mainstream values,” Mr Barrow said.

“The gay movement took the word gay, which had negative connotations, and they turned it around and appropriated it, so I guess I’m appropriating the term Family First. I’m the real family first.”

An AEC spokesman said there were no powers to change a nomination after it had been received.










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2016 Fed Election: My Case in HIGH COURT
Filed Under:

UPDATE

 

13 May 2016

 

MY High Court case Discontinued


 

 



Where to from here?


After writs are issued 16 May 2016, I will lodge an Independent Candidate Nomination form to contest Warringah.


Before Candidate Nominations then close on 9 June 2016, I will take 'reasonable steps' to renounce my British Citizenship.


I will document all this and make it available to the other 2,000 or so candidates, some of whom may be struggling to find a way to be eligible under s 44(i) of our Constitution:


(1) to satisfy the 'reasonable steps' to renounce a Dual Citizenship; and


(2) not otherwise make a false or misleading statement on the Candidate Nomination form – on pain of 12 months imprisonment under Division 137 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).


Section 44(i) of the Constitution provides:

Any person who:

(i)     is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power;     

...

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

 


And I will continue to run a totally negative campaign AGAINST Marriage Discrimination.







HIGH COURT – FRIDAY 13TH

A Cautionary Tale


Senator Bob Day CRUSHED in High Court

 

My better (Maverick) way for 2016 federal election


Senator Bob Day chanced a Constitutional Challenge to Senate voting reforms.  He got CRUSHED.


I still presently have my own High Court APPLICATION on foot seeking a 'declaration' backing a SENSIBLE WAY for me to renounce my Dual British Citizenship if I am elected in the 2016 federal election.


Through all this I was shocked to discover my Australian Citizenship is in question – even though I was born and resided my whole life in Australia.


You and your Neighbours may be facing this situation as well (see below).


I rate my chances of wrestling the Warringah Division seat out from under Liberal Party incumbent Tony Abbott as somewhere between zero and very negligible.



 

Can I beat lonely Tony Abbott MP?  Unlikely in a vote count.


Liberals have WON WARRINGAH on primary votes for every federal election in living memory.  I would be astonished if it was otherwise in 2016... although other candidates are more optimistic.


As an Independent Candidate I can however campaign effectively for Marriage Equality.


Have you seen the "Eddie the Eagle" movie?


About the British outsider who competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics ski-jump even though he was only jumping about half the distance of the pros from Austria and Scandinavia etc.

 

 

 

 

There was a quote from Pierre de Coubertin (founder of modern Olympics) in the movie which resonates:


 
The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle



I may only get 2% of the Warringah vote – but I will raise awareness for Marriage Equality.


A free-conscience vote for our politicians to do their job in our Parliament for Marriage Equality is a better way than an expensive and unnecessary Plebiscite.  I will make this more widely known!


The Word is that Tony Abbott MP will be attending the Warringah Candidates Forum before the 2 July election day – so that's a battleground right there that I can represent the Right-side-of-history for Marriage Equality.


Unlike CRUSHED Senator Bob Day, I'm now going to discontinue my High Court application... and take a more Maverick route.


Each Candidate is required to make a declaration at the time of nomination that he or she is not disqualified under the Constitution – on pain of 12 months imprisonment for making a false or misleading statement under Division 137 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).


Well, I believe in the soundness of my points for the High Court 'declaration' – so I will use those points as the basis for my Candidate Declaration that I am complying with the Constitution.


I will express this all in a Statutory Declaration at the time I lodge my Candidate Nomination – as soon as the election writs are issued on Monday 16 May 2016.


And I will continue to run a totally negative campaign AGAINST Marriage Discrimination.






SHOCKING UPDATE:

6 May 2016


I may not be Australian Citizen

 

And neither may You or your Neighbours


I was born in Australia 1969 to an Australian-born mother and Welsh(British)-born father.


Australia has always been my home.


In 1997, I applied for a British passport for travel purposes. When it was granted, British Citizenship also followed. [Update: actually as my father was a British Citizen when I was born in Australia, I am a British Citizen by descent]


However, at that time (up until 2002), if you were Australian and added British Citizenship – or any other Citizenship of the World –

the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 purports to forfeit your Australian Citizenship:


17 (1) A person, being an Australian citizen who has attained the age of 18 years, who does any act or thing:

(a) the sole or dominant purpose of which; and
(b) the effect of which,

is to acquire the nationality or citizenship of a foreign country, shall, upon that acquisition, cease to be an Australian citizen.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to an act of marriage.



I only just found this out today.  It could be that I've been an illegal alien in Australia for 19 years since 1997!


There must be 100,000s of 'Aussies' like me.   YeGods!


The automatic Australian Citizenship forfeiture purports to be in force from 26 January 1949 to 3 April 2002.


Is that You or your Neighbour as well as Me??


What to do?


Well, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection informed me that I can apply to resume my Australian Citizenship.  They aim to process this within 3 months.


I can also apply to check if I may still have Australian Citizenship.  Processing takes about 1 week.


I can seek an urgent application in the circumstances that the Federal Election is coming soon and I will need to be an Australian Citizen to be an elected candidate.


I can also request the mercy of Minister Peter Dutton. Hmm.


Or I could file a Show Cause application in a Federal Court for the onus to shift onto the Government to persuade the Court that I am not an Australian Citizen.





HIGH COURT APPLICATION


Seeking HCA Declaration

 

reasonable renunciation of dual British Citizenship to run as

 

Independent candidate, Warringah Division, 2016 Fed Election





NOTICE OF CONSTITUTIONAL MATTER (PDF)



WRIT OF SUMMONS (PDF)



  • 28% of Australians born overseas.  Further 20% have at least one parent born overseas.

  • Over 5 million Aussies have dual citizenship.

  • All may be disqualified from running for Federal Parliament.
  •  


Section 44(i) of the Constitution provides:

Any person who:

(i)     is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power;     

...

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

 


High Court previously found Australian politicians disqualified:


  • 1999 Senator Hill – dual British Citizenship

  • 1992 Mr Kardamitsis – dual Greek Citizenship

  • 1992 Mr Delacretaz – dual Swiss Citizenship
  •  




 

DAVID CHARLES BARROW – I am a Welsh-Australian!


I am an Australian Citizen born in 1969 in the outer-eastern suburb of Ferntree Gully in Victoria.



 

Portrait of Me as a young artist



My father Malcolm Barrow is a British Citizen born 1934 in Skewen, a small Welsh village on the outskirts of Swansea, South Wales.  His parents and grandparents were all born, lived and died in Wales.


In 1959, my father arrived in Melbourne, Australia, from the UK on RMS Strathnaver with the support of the Australian Government "ten pound ticket" Assisted Passage Migration Scheme.





My father only planned to stay in Australia for 2 years.  Then he met my mother Shirley at a social dance at the St Kilda Town Hall.


My mother is an Australian Citizen born 1935 in Cheltenham, Victoria.  Her parents were born in England and immigrated to Australia in the 1920s.


My parents Malcolm and Shirley courted and then married in 1962.


In 1966, they built a house at the foothills of the Dandenong Mountains in Victoria – on a Welsh-sounding street, on land that was a former daffodil farm (the national flower of Wales).


They have lived in that quiet place for 50 years.


My sister Julie, was born an Australian Citizen in 1967 in the same hospital where I was later born in 1969.


In my boyhood, my friends found my father's distinctive Welsh accent hard to understand so sometimes I had to interpret for them.  Cooking Welsh food and seeing Welsh people on the television was something special for us.


Very rarely did we encounter other people who identified as Welsh in Australia.


Through my father's Welsh ancestry, my sister Julie and I both obtained dual Australian-British Citizenship.


On a number of occasions we each travelled to the UK and stayed with our Welsh relatives.  For me this was in 1979, 1995, 1997 and 2009.


In 2008, tragically my sister Julie suffered a severe asthma attack and died shortly after (aged 40) at the St Vincent's Intensive Care Unit in Melbourne.  It was very, very sad.


My sister's ashes were flown to the UK and scattered by our Welsh relatives at Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.





My father had become an Australian Citizen in 1985.  His Welsh father, Dai Barrow, wrote him a fiery letter disowning him, perhaps not understanding that my father still retained his British Citizenship.  Thankfully the disowning didn't last.


When my father travelled back to Wales in 1988 an ailing Dai asked had he received the letter.  My father said perhaps it had been lost in the mail.  And no more was said of it.  My grandfather died not long after that.


My parents and I remain in regular contact with our Welsh relatives through email and videophone – and they recognise us as Welsh and Australian.


Although I have English ancestry on my mother's side, I do not feel English.  I do however very much identify as Welsh.


Given my upbringing being Welsh for me is not something that I have chosen.


This resonates with the decision in the 2011 Federal Court of Australia case of EATOCK v BOLT where the controversialist Andrew Bolt was found to have QUITE WRONGLY implied in a slurry of Herald Sun articles that some prominent Aboriginal people with fairer rather than darker skin "chose" to identifying as Aboriginal for career and other benefits.


It was not a choice for them.


Having 'official' British Citizenship or indeed Australian Citizenship is not something totally necessary for me to be a Welsh-Australian.  Bureaucrats cannot take that away from me.


However having this Citizenship of both countries helps manifest my identity for myself and others.  So I want to retain my dual Citizenship.

 

SINCE 9 APRIL 2016, I have been actively campaigning and seeking nomination by electors to run as an Independent candidate to contest the Division of Warringah in the next Australian federal election.


It is widely believed the next federal election day will be on 2 July 2016.


If s 44(i) of the Commonwealth Constitution requires me to renounce my British Citizenship to become a member of the House of Representatives, then I am willing to do so – however I seek to take only such steps of renunciation as are reasonable and necessary prior to me being confirmed as the elected candidate for Warringah (if at all).


I am now seeking a High Court of Australia declaration that the reasonable steps can be met if:


(1) prior to lodging my formal nomination to run as a candidate, I sign the required form to renounce my British Citizenship and attach this to a statutory declaration stating that I solemnly intend to lodge it with the British Home Office as soon as practicable should I be confirmed as the elected candidate for Warringah; and


(2) I deliver a copy to the Australian Electoral Commissioner within 7 days of making the statutory declaration so as to further document my intent.


This would avoid me paying £272 to renounce my British Citizenship to contest the federal election – and should I not be confirmed as the elected candidate (the highly likely outcome) – I would not cop a further £1,121 to apply to get it back.


More important than any money however is that I simply want to retain my dual Australian-British Citizenship – like millions of other Aussies who enjoy dual Citizenship in our multicultural nation.


 



Sincerely,

 

David C. Barrow

5 May 2016

Melbourne, Australia




 


STATISTICS


2011 Australian Census


Australian Population        21,507,717


Overseas Born                   5,294,150


BORN IN WALES                     28,675



Australians with Dual Citizenship ESTIMATED AT 4 TO 5 MILLION.



MEDIA RELEASE  30 March 2016  –  Australian Bureau of Statistics

'Overseas born Aussies highest in over a century'


o      28.2% of Australian resident population born overseas


o      FURTHER 20% have at least one parent born overseas.




AUSTRALIANS WITH WELSH-ANCESTRY


PRIME MINISTERS




Billy Hughes

born in England to Welsh parents; migrated to Australia 1884





Julia Gillard

born in Wales to Welsh parents; lived in Australia since age five





Tony Abbott

born in England; lived in Australia since age three; Welsh maternal grandmother




ENTERTAINERS





Kylie Minogue

born in Australia; mother born in Wales





Dannii Minogue

born in Australia; mother born in Wales





Naomi Watts

born in England; Welsh maternal grandfather and Australian maternal grandmother; lived in Wales from age 7 to 10; moved to Australia age 14;


February 2016, Naomi became honorary president of Glantraeth FC, a small football club in Malltraeth, Anglesey, Wales, near to her grandparents' farm, where she spent time as a child.










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2016 Fed Election: Tony Abbott, Bob Ellis & Me
Filed Under:

The Late, Great BOB ELLIS died, aged 73, Sunday 3 April 2016. 


Writer, filmmaker, embedded chronicler of the Australian Labor Party.  Roguish, infuriating, brilliant, endearing.



I only met Bob Ellis once in person.  It was at the 1999 Australian Film Institute Awards after I'd ridden a joke entry to victory in a "pitching competition" at the Screen Producers Conference.


Who would share a film project idea with a room full of hungry producers?   I conjured up a story about a Russian tax policeman who comes to Australia on an exchange program and things go haywire.



There are two certainties in life.  Death and Taxes.  The TAXMAN is both of them.


Well, I won!  And was off to Cannes as a prize!  Bob was delighted by my mischief – and in his rumpled suit he welcomed me warmly into the Aussie film industry – which he'd pioneered with NEWSFRONT (1978) and a whole SWAG OF OTHER WORKS including THE NOSTRADAMUS KID (1993).


Bob was one of those people who make you feel like you've known them forever.  He was witty and unguarded.  And I was fortunate to already be a reader of Bob's sprawling, beautiful film reviews/musings, which he always ended: "And so it goes".


Alas, Bob Ellis has gone from us all on Sunday 3 April 2016, a 'home-death' surrounded by family, as were his wishes it has been reported – if he had to go at all.


Tributes flowed HERE and HERE and HERE and EVERYWHERE!






In the past week, Bob also caused me to have a holiday from my holiday – and I'm glad his spirit moved me to do so.


I was on a budget break last weekend away from Melbourne up at the Sunshine Coast ($50 accom)... when in the early hours of Saturday morning I read on Bob's TABLE TALK blog a post from the Ellis Family welcoming everyone to attend Bob's 11:00am funeral and wake in Sydney that same morning.


The allure of two final Bob Ellis shows seduced me onto a 6:40am flight down to Sydney!


In transit via the Sydney CBD, I worked up some WARRINGAH DIVISION campaign materials at OfficeWorks to hopefully help me be nominated by locals as an Independent Candidate against Tony Abbott for the coming (2 July 2016?) Federal Election.


I mean why not?  Since I was in town and all.


Warringah has been sat upon by former-PM Tony Abbott MP for the past 22 years; which also abuts the Sydney Northern Beaches MACKELLAR DIVISION where the once-future-touted-PM Bronwyn Bishop MP has also hovered for 22 years since 1994 after already enjoying 6 years as a Liberal Senator.


That's a Golden Wedding Anniversary of 50 years Parliamentary sitting between them; which might require a scramble for Hamlet standing orders to make sense of Tony Abbott's famous ancestral claim:



TONY ABBOTT: "I am the ideological love-child of John Howard and Bronwyn Bishop."


Anyway, as everyone and THEIR MEMES know, Bishop ran afoul of community standards in the "Choppergate" scandal where it was revealed in Annika Smethurst's WALKLEY-AWARDED scoop that Bishop had burdened taxpayers with a $5,227 private helicopter travel claim to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.


On Bob Ellis' own assessment, he derailed the Bronwyn-Bishop-for-PM hype train in 1994 when he opposed her as an Independent Candidate in the Mackellar Division by-election.


Bishop had drawn national attention for her aggressive inquisitorial style of (ah) government spending responsibility at 'Senate estimates' sessions.


There were no limits to how long the sessions ran and Senator Bishop reveled in running them late into the night – including a memorable one in 1992 where she ripped the Tax Office Commissioner Trevor Boucher a new calculator-battery slot.


Hard as it is to believe today, this stoked a Bronywn Bishop push for a possible Liberal leadership tilt.  But first Bishop needed a safe lower house seat: Mackellar was the prize.  And Bob Ellis stepped up as an Independent Guardian to oppose her!


Bob embarrassed the dickens out of Bishop in that by-election – securing a PRIMARY VOTE OF 23.14%





CAMPAIGN SLOGAN: "We will fight her on the beaches."



Back to the present day – after I left the Sydney CBD, I followed the Ellis Family instructions for train and bus routes to the Frenchs Forest Bushland Cemetery.  It was a meandering journey where I got to see a lot of the Northern Beaches suburbs on the way.


I could have done without the tease of the bus almost arriving at the Cemetery grounds... and then veering off for a loop somewhere else.  By the third loop I was planning to alight the bus whether it was moving or not – but we pulled up gently at the Cemetery and I'd finally arrived.


I walked across the grounds towards the sound of the ceremony, joining quite a crowd to bare witness to the memory of Bob Ellis.


Family spoke movingly along with Labor Party leader Bill Shorten and former South Australia Premier Mike Rann.   Bob was a good age and had led an eventful life.  The service celebrated this well.


A nice musician couple gave me a lift to the wake at the Belrose Hotel and people broke into groups to discuss politics, the arts – and the art of Bob's politics.  All reminiscing of Bob's wonderful life.


The musician couple shared a story of how Bob was grateful that they kindly agreed for him to use their outdoor patio to do a read through of a play he was planning to direct.  There was a whole bunch of actors around this patio table... and part of the script required an excerpt from an Adolf Hitler speech – which was shouted out with the actors adding liberal Zieg Heils!


The read through was all apparently done as tastefully as possible, for artistic purposes, but nevertheless the musician couple thought it prudent to later assure all their neighbours that they did not reside in the midst of a Nazi coven.


I had my Warringah campaign materials at the wake all ready for nomination as an Independent if there were any local electors there.  I imagine Bob would be tickled that someone might launch a Tony Abbott guerrilla campaign at his wake – however I kept myself in reserve for later in the day.


Only that Saturday morning I'd got a cheap 6:40am flight down to Sydney from the Sunshine Coast; but I had not as yet booked my flight back.  The return rates had looked okay at 2:00am – but when I looked again after leaving Bob's wake I was alarmed to see that they had shot up dramatically beyond my budget.


I scrambled for options and the only flight that was a fair price was later on Monday.


So I took a breath and looked up the AEC election stats site... to find the polling place with the lowest % of votes cast for Tony Abbott in the 2013 Federal election.  Abbott's primary vote was a healthy 55% to 72% across about 50 polling places.   However, he only lured 50.26% in Manly.  So that's where I headed!


I checked into the Steyne Hotel ($99 accom) for 2 nights. Booked the Monday flight back to my Sunshine Coast holiday.  And got out on the hustings with this pitch:



I want to run against Tony Abbott.  As an Independent.  I need 100 locals to nominate me.  Can you please help?
I'm running for Marriage Equality!




I walked The Corso main strip and the open-air Manly Market Place on Sydney Road.


And I talked to the people.  Very few were fond of their local member of 22 years Tony Abbott MP.


I got 48 nominations during the time I was in Manly... and this was pretty good going since I was on the brink of hypothermia the first night....


The Steyn is one of those old style pubs where there is a shared bathroom down the hall.   My room had a modern electronic swipe lock and they gave me 2 e-keys for this.


I had a call of nature during the night and so for modesty I slipped on some pants, grabbed one of the e-keys, and headed down the passage to the shared bathroom.


When I came back, the e-key didn't work.  I swiped it.  And swiped.  And it just didn't work.


What to do?  I wandered downstairs to the bar.  All quiet.  No staff.  Nobody there.  It was dark outside the pub windows.  Maybe 4:00am?   And then I started to get cold.


I went back upstairs.  A few more swipes.  Still locked out.  Then I saw the next room door was slightly ajar.


I knocked politely.  Nothing.


I figured it's getting to a sort of situation where you're climbing in the mountains and a sudden blizzard blows in and the only way to survive is to break into some cabin you chance across.  I could explain that to the police.  Surely.


So I open the door.  Say a polite, "Hello?"  I can't see anyone.  I switch on the light.  There's a half-made bed.  But no luggage.   No sign of life, I tell myself.


I'm really pretty cold by this time.  It's dark outside.  No-one in here.  No clothes in the cupboard.  So I decide I'll leave the light on and just lie on top of the bed with a blanket over me.


There's a packet of mints on the bedside table.  And an airport shuttle ticket.  I don't eat the mints but I do fall asleep, with the light still on.


I wake up and dawn has broken.  There's bustle on The Corso street below.  And more importantly, there's no-one next to me.  And no police.


I go downstairs to the bar again, in my barely modest pants.  This time I meet a cleaner.


The cleaner takes me back to my room and we do an experiment with the e-keys.  Only one of them was configured to let me back in the room.  The riddle solved!


I talked to the Steyne duty manager later and she said that there were 8 rooms allocated for band members last night.  I'd crashed one of them.  Goodness knows where or with whom they crashed with.  And I had a small adventure to tell....


 

And So It Goes (in memoriam)







POST SCRIPT


Does anyone have a copy of the Bob Ellis doco RUN RABBIT RUN (2007)?




SYNOPSIS: In 2006 the Labor Party historian Bob Ellis followed his close friend Mike Rann, Premier of South Australia, though an election campaign he could have lost by 91 changed votes, and the rock concerts, horse races, television debates and UFO sightings that accompanied his run, unveiling with unprecedented intimacy his backroom cunning, impelled ambition, childhood traumas, failed marriage and politics, climaxing in his second marriage.

And let's also ensure a copy joins the ACMI Bob Ellis COLLECTION












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David Barrow -- DickSmithian advertisement
Filed Under:

A T T E N T I O N


Liberal Party Members for Warringah


A Message from David Barrow

 

Please consider the future of our children and grandchildren when casting your vote to disendorse Tony Abbott MP as the Liberal candidate for Warringah.


Politicians of most political persuasions talk about the need for human rights and equality, however, those that claim to be Liberals and oppose marriage equality are very careful not to communicate the inconsistency of this position with the Liberal Party Constitution and founding principles of liberalism.


Surely it's obvious that a Liberal who is not liberal on marriage equality should be disendorsed.


ARE WE HEADING TOWARDS THE DESTRUCTION OF THE LIBERAL WAY OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT IN AUSTRALIA TODAY?


Please disendorse a candidate who is not game enough to say that we must live in an Australia where there is marriage equality – disendorse a candidate who does not want to keep Warringah consistent with the Liberal Party Constitution and founding principles of liberalism.  That is, predominantly clause 2(d)(iv) "freedom of citizens to choose their own way of living and of life, subject to the rights of others".


That's surely better than endless marriage discrimination.


Please disendorse a candidate who has a view that we must not change the definition of marriage in the Marriage Act to include all committed loving relationships between consenting adult couples.  A definition of marriage equality, not more and more and never ending discrimination.


Warringah Members – I understand many of you have probably been told by the Party Machine and the Faction Leaders not to disendorse Tony Abbott. I point out that you will be involved in a secret vote and that our forefathers and foremothers fought for fundamental freedoms in Australia, where people are free to act as individuals and make decisions they considered to be best for the whole community.


Please disendorse a candidate who does not have the courage to admit that whilst our present generation of men and women who come under the definition of legally married in the Marriage Act have benefit from this legal recognition, that this is simply not equitable for same-sex couples.

Disendorse a candidate who will not support the Liberal Party moving in a equitable direction where we live in balance and recognise marriage in a fair way.


Please reject the clearly Non-Democratic Party Machine.  Don't be manipulated by the Factions.

 

MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND –

VOTE TO DISENDORSE
TONY ABBOTT


 This announcement written, paid and authorised
by David Barrow 63/135 Cardigan St, Carlton 3053



 

Can't we all just swim together?



DAVID BARROW -- DICKSMITHIAN ADVERTISEMENT (PDF)



 

 



ULTIMATUM to Tony Abbott MP











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Ultimatum to Tony Abbott MP
Filed Under:

 

ULTIMATUM to Tony Abbott MP







16 April 2016 – RETIRE before this date – or DAVID BARROW will run as Independent against TONY ABBOTT in Warringah.

 

 


Whhat?


16 April 2016 – is also Liberal Party preselection ballot in Mackellar.  Dick Smith says he will run as Independent against Bronwyn Bishop MP if she is preselected over a younger candidate.




DAVID BARROW says Tony Abbott MP is too illiberal to be a Liberal Party candidate –


as he opposes marriage equality for same-sex couples

 

 

So Tony Abbott REPLACED by true liberal candidate – or DAVID BARROW runs as Independent in Warringah.



This is no April Fools' Day prank.  DAVID BARROW has a government forming past.



DAVID BARROW ran as the Family First Party candidate in the 2010 Federal Election in La Trobe Division.


http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2010/guide/ltro.htm


DAVID BARROW was disendorsed on his first day of campaigning when he said that the true meaning of a family couple is a committed loving relationship between two adults in its widest sense.  "How else could we be equal citizens?"

 

DAVID BARROW then campaigned as an Independent against the sitting Liberal Party member.

 

Out of 150 seats in the 2010 Fed Election, La Trobe was 1 of only 2 that changed from Liberals to Labor.... which enabled Labor to form a minority government.





Authorised by David Barrow, 63/135 Cardigan St, Carlton VIC


 












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ALIASES: when online goes off
Filed Under:

In Australia, "goes off" has different meanings

     His car goes off like a rocket  –  a fast car

     This party goes off  –  social gathering is successful

     This vanilla slice goes off  –  this pastry is delicious (pictured)

 

Better eat your vanilla slice before it goes off  –  your pastry is spoiling

Goes off like a bucket of prawns in the Aussie midday sun  –  depending on context, either a success or a room-clearing stench

 

Online we all encounter Aliases (or pseudonyms).  There are good reasons to obscure identity.  It can protect privacy or employability, and give us more freedom to play out a role.  When successful an Alias goes off!

However, Aliases can also be used to unfairly attack others with impunity.  This nasty side is when an online Alias goes off – like a spoiled vanilla slice.

Ethicist Dr Leslie Cannold resigned as lead candidate of the WikiLeaks Party (Julian Assange senate ticket) in the 2013 Australian Fed Election.  This was a new political party established with a National Council but when political deals were done with far-right parties that subverted the National Council directives there was a raft of high-profile resignations.

Leslie and others who resigned then experienced nasty online attacks from people hiding behind Aliases:

 



 

Source and further story: Cathy Vogan http://thing2thing.com/?p=3822

 

TRANSCRIPT

INTERVIEWER:  Leslie when you think about it do you see this is a kind of a nice asymmetrical warfare?

Because on the one side you've got people's real identities, the victims of the attacks.

And on the other side you've got people hiding behind pseudonyms – or behind websites where nobody even knows who's speaking. It is an asymmetrical sort of unfair – because people who have been accused can be pursued and attacked by others – whereas those who have uttered the statements, well it's not really being directed to anybody.

Who's interested in a PollBlogger [Alias] being attacked?  Holding them accountable for what they're saying?  Even if it's defamatory.

DR LESLIE CANNOLD: Well, they're choosing that medium on purpose because what they're trying to do rather than answer the actual claim which they can't answer without admitting to having problems with the process, which is what we said, and without admitting that there was something not right that happened in terms of the actual preferencing – they've just gone right around and gone well we'll go after their credibility.

And the best way of going after someone's credibility?  I mean Tweeting and Facebooking is brilliant for that – if you've got people who are already set up under pseudonyms.

And you know, there can be legitimate reasons people have pseudonyms.  But there can also be very illegitimate kinds.

So these people are custom made for attacking the credibility of people who are public – who do have their reputations and their face on the whole thing.

And of course you can't respond to them at all.  You've got no idea what their intentions are. What their background is.  You can't ask questions and demand answers.  Well, where did you hear that?  Can you provide some evidence? They can choose to answer what they want.

 


 






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CRIKEY Guy Rundle rallies in Mental Health Wars
Filed Under:

As detailed in Mental Health Wars in Oz Media


– CRIKEY journo Guy Rundle was asked to please explain himself.


2 April 2015, Rundle has rallied to now have a serious go: Rundle: ‘depression confessional’ culture obscures the true nature of mental illness.


It is, however, unclear when Rundle writes:

"This in turn has thrown doubt on the serotonin/cortisol hypothesis. This isn’t unusual in this area; for more than half a century, lithium has been used to treat bipolar disorder, yet there is still no authoritative theory of how it works. The placebo effect disturbed many practitioners, which they dealt with by ignoring it (no profession is more practiced in psychological defences than psychological professional practice)."


Does he mean lithium has a placebo effect?  Or the wider "serotonin/cortisol hypothesis"?

 


 

Lithium was not a placebo effect for me (I'm sure).


October 2014, in a defamation trial against Andrew Bolt (of the NewsCorp stable), I publicly disclosed for the first time that that I have a bipolar condition well-managed with medication since 2007.


One 'benefit' (sort of) from having an illness that was raging untreated for so long is that I have some lengthy comparative time periods with and without medication.


Here's my timeline:


1989: age 19 onset of bipolar symptoms: disruption to relationships, career and finances due to manic and depressive moods.  This raged for the next 18 years.


2005: age 36 first bipolar medical diagnosis after attending psychiatric sessions for 6 months.  Diagnosis confirmed through second opinion of world leading psychiatrist Prof Isaac Schweitzer.


29 March 2007: after 2 years of resistance I finally started taking Lithium. Very positive results stabilising moods which enabled me to work the regular hours of a job again.  Since then have taken Lithium daily for 8 years and added Lamotrigine in Dec 2007 to give more protection against depression.  It should be noted that these bipolar medications can have serious harmful side-effects; although I have not suffered any that I am aware of or have shown up in regular blood tests.


Summary: 19 years with no symptoms; then 18 years bipolar raged without medication; then 8 years on bipolar meds and have achieved mood stability.


I would recommend people with disruptive moods seek out an opinion, or a couple of them, from a healthcare professional, and also consider medication.  For me it has been a miracle and perhaps it will work wonders for you as well.


For all the insight and empathy-awareness that came from the 18 years between 1989 and 2007 of whiteknuckled, untreated rapid-cycling bipolar chaos, I would have preferred that someone encouraged me to explore medical help earlier.  In my case, it would have saved me much needless suffering.


David Barrow

 


 

Guy Rundle


 


Article: Rundle: ‘depression confessional’ culture obscures the true nature of mental illness

 

Mia Freedman’s original confessional on her anxiety, coupled with her supporters’ follow-up commentary, display a profound lack of understanding of the historical and social causes of depression and anxiety.




Good God, when you go to war with Mia Freedman, everyone piles on. Your correspondent made a comment on la Freedman’s piece “I’m finally ready to talk about my anxiety”, and suddenly everyone was there, from la Freedman herself to her Dad to Ageistas-turned-Guardianistas, to (ha) Paul Murray, one of Sky News’ resident shock jocks. It was like a Wes Anderson movie, you keep expecting Owen Wilson to come through the door in a silly uniform.


So let’s try and get a bit more light than heat from this conversation, shall we? First off, depression and anxiety are a real thing, individually and socially. Despite being compared to Mark Latham by Freedman (of which more later), I’m emphatically not of the “pull yourself together we didn’t have this in the 1950s” school.


But there are different types of depression and anxiety. Manic depression/bipolar disorder seems a fairly separate condition. Serious or clinical depression, which leaves people unable to function, is separated off (in various different ways, by various categorisation systems) from a more common-or-garden variant. There are various types of anxiety, but one particular type appears to be related to depression — which is why it responds to SSRI (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) drugs that were originally marketed as anti-depressants (whereas other types, which respond to other drugs such as Xanax and Valium, do not). “Standard depression” and anxiety appear to be on the rise in contemporary society. But are they?


The question is not easy to answer. Some types of subjective disorder/mental illness appear to occur in all societies. The condition we call “paranoid schizophrenia” appears to be constant, with a 1% occurrence in all societies — and is identified as a disorder, even in societies that believe in magic and supernatural forces (which is one thing that marks schizophrenia in a secular-scientific society). Serious clinical depression appears to have a degree of universal occurrence, too — stories of people falling “into a melancholy” lasting for years appear to be a record of this.


But what appears to be new are distinct forms of depression and anxiety spreading over an ever-wider area of social life. For a century or so, a form of anxiety — known for a number of decades as “the nervous breakdown” — has been current. More recently, it was joined, and to some extent superseded by, a persistent form of depression that leaves people functional but feeling utterly hollowed out inside — feelings of meaninglessness, obsessional negative thinking about self, disconnection, lack of pleasure, low energy, fuzzy mind, psychosomatic illness, etc. A certain type of anxiety has a similar structure of circular thinking — extreme hypochondria, panic, etc — to the obsessional negativity of depression.


Whatever the occurrence of other types of subjective disorder across cultures, this condition appears to be very specific to our culture, that of prosperous consumer-oriented, media/image-dominated mass society. Cultures based around smaller intimate societies, pre-capitalist forms of production, strong religious or traditional beliefs, may have all sorts of problems, but they don’t have these ones, by and large. From within the sociological/social-psychological discipline that suggests a root cause — meaningful life in such societies is founded on shared meaning, a lesser role for individuality and choice, and a common belief system. That puts a ground beneath people’s feet. Sadness, even misery, occurs, but they do not become that vague, cloudy but tormenting, depression/anxiety that many modern people recognise.


“The argument that mental depression could create a persistent physical depression pre-existed the rise of the market for SSRIs, but it was effectively cemented in place by their success.”


Further to this theory of the psychology of depression/anxiety is a theory of physical changes created by it. This is the “cortisol hypothesis” — the argument that the long-term occurrence of such feelings elevates levels of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol, which is eventually depressive in itself, and also lowers the levels of the brain chemical serotonin. Playing a role in many functions, serotonin has a role in regulating mood, chiefly by allowing us to gain pleasure from the presence of trusted others (the “loved-up” effect of MDMA/ecstasy, which creates a serotonin flood, may be, in effect, causing one to identify strangers as loved others). The suggestion would be that persistent depression gets people “stuck” in a physical-mental rut, from which it is difficult to get out of by an act of will or self-determination alone.


Chemical anti-depressants have been known since the 1950s, but they were fairly crude in their effect. In the 1970s, fluoxetine was discovered, the first SSRI. Serotonin fills the “synaptic gap” in the brain — the space between synapses, the brain’s many billions of connection points. The cortisol hypothesis suggests that in depressives, it is reabsorbed too quickly by the “receptors” (like little drains) budded on the synapse. SSRIs have a chemical structure similar to serotonin, but they are not absorbed by the receptors — so they “plug” some of them, and serotonin stays in the gap longer. This appears to produce an immediate lift in many users of SSRIs, but the main effect appears to occur three to five weeks later, when a sustained lift out of depression often (but not always) occurs.


From the time Prozac, produced by Eli Lilly, came on the market, every other Big Pharma company started to bud off variants. Zoloft and Paxil were the two major ones, and Lexapro, the variant Freedman was spruiking, one of the minor leaguers. Such drugs are all minor molecular variants of each other, and they have a 17-year branded patent (after which they can be sold generically by anyone). However, the corporations producing these drugs can extend the patents if they can argue that they treat other conditions — thus Lexapro had its patent life extended as an anti-anxiety drug, and Zoloft was applied as a treatment for “social phobia”, a pretty amorphous condition that the manufacturers argued was a hard medical condition. In one particularly audacious move, Zoloft’s manufacturer tried to have “shyness” defined as a medicable condition.


SSRIs took off in a way that no drug ever had to date. By the 1990s, they were the most -prescribed drugs, earning Big Pharma billions, hitting prescription levels of 10-15% of the population. They were in use for about five years before people began to notice that they were changing the culture, our idea of selfhood — and the actual materiality of the selfhood of people taking them. The argument that mental depression could create a persistent physical depression pre-existed the rise of the market for SSRIs, but it was effectively cemented in place by their success, their vast marketing campaigns, and the capacity of Big Pharma to fund research that tracked in certain directions.


But as SSRIs spread and governments cut back funding for more expensive talking-therapy approaches, the mental-to-physical theory of depression and anxiety began to fall away , and a simpler de facto model took over — depression and anxiety were treated as purely physical/neurological functions, to be directly adjusted by drugs. GPs had preferred to refer troubled patients to psychotherapists, to apply a mix of talking and drug therapy; increasingly GPs themselves began to prescribe the drugs with very little follow-up. They had initially been presented as taking three weeks to work, but it was clear to many that an immediate effect was occurring in many people. GPs want to alleviate suffering, large numbers of depressed people came through their doors, the drugs seemed to work, and GPs tend to be practical types, not prone to cross-cultural analysis. Though other people tried to emphasise the complex nature of depression as a social/psychological occurrence, the de facto physical theory started to win out.


The approach was also attractive to many sufferers too. Depression has many factors, and some of its particular occurrence may have individual factors — dysfunctional childhoods, bad adolescences, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, personality traits useful in some societies (e.g. mildness, gentleness, introversion) that make life difficult in an individualist, market-based society. Committing to therapy offered a longer, more difficult path, one that involved admitting a lack of success in negotiating parts of life, and confronting things that the depression or anxiety might have been an unconscious strategy to avoid. Not only do SSRIs offer an immediate lift, they also offer the idea that one is afflicted with a random physical condition. It not only absolves the sufferer from a more difficult struggle, it gives one the status of the ill, a degree of special dispensation.


“The physical theory of depression ignores the stark fact that many societies that do not have our characteristics simply do not have the levels of depression and anxiety we are experiencing.”


But this ever-widening acceptance of the physical approach to depression occurred at the same time as some contrary indications. While it was clear that SSRIs altered the chemical processes of the brain, several studies suggested that there was no difference between SSRIs and a placebo in alleviating depression and anxiety. This in turn has thrown doubt on the serotonin/cortisol hypothesis. This isn’t unusual in this area; for more than half a century, lithium has been used to treat bipolar disorder, yet there is still no authoritative theory of how it works. The placebo effect disturbed many practitioners, which they dealt with by ignoring it (no profession is more practiced in psychological defences than psychological professional practice). There was no real theory applied, but the simplest one would be from anthropology — the pill is a gift, a material exchange of reciprocal connection between doctor and patient. Effectively, it’s an invitation to magical thinking that relieves the patient of the burden of their own afflictions, and thus allows their energy to flow outwards to the world again. “Pick up thy bed and walk” — Jesus, by using a touch of the hand, was one of the first documented short-term psychotherapy providers.


SSRIs have been so lucrative for their patent-holders that they have gone to extraordinary lengths to maintain the market. This has meant playing down some of the serious side effects. Earlier anti-depressants had had general side effects — they left users feeling sluggish and fuzzy. SSRIs had particular side effects — they left most users without side effects, but caused a very dire one in a small number (1-2%) of users, which was a sudden and overpowering surge of suicidal feelings. The simple enough theory of that was that depression had the effect of depriving very troubled people of will (and was thus to a degree protective). Recharged by an increase of energy and purpose, but with none of their psychological issues dealt with, the combination supercharged the drive to self-destruction. There has also been an argument that SSRIs promote homicidal behaviour, for related reasons, and Big Pharma fought court cases all through the ’90s to try and head that off at the pass.


Proportionally, these were relatively rare occurrences — though given the numbers of people taking these drugs, the raw figures of suicidality are quite high — but in the 2000s another issue began to emerge, that of habituation and neurological damage from long-term use. SSRIs had been marketed on the claim that they wouldn’t have an effect on people who didn’t have depleted serotonin, wouldn’t diminish in effect over time, and wouldn’t cause receptor damage. But none of this had been tested prior to FDA approval and only emerged after the drugs had been in use for a decade or more. The dangers are obvious — prolonged use could reduce the effectiveness to zero, damage the mood “hardware” and leave sufferers in a worse state than they began in, and with resistance to the drug in question.


That SSRIs are beneficial, life-saving in some instances, and an effective treatment for deep-seated and resistant depression and anxiety seems well-established (though some would disagree). But the level of prescription that goes with the “physical” theory of depression/anxiety is vastly in excess. No one really advanced the simplistic physical theory of depression, bald and unvarnished; it has simply grown up around practice — and then it started to steer the practice and exclude alternatives. But the physical theory of depression ignores the stark fact that many societies that do not have our characteristics simply do not have the levels of depression and anxiety we are experiencing, especially the levels of it in adolescence and childhood.


When we approach it from the other end, the social end, we can say something different about depression and anxiety — that we have a depressogenic society, creating depressed people who would not otherwise be so, and creating a vast amount of unnecessary suffering. But what is it about our society that is creating this depressive excess? As I noted, the clear division is between societies “grounded” by abiding others, shared purpose and work, mutual obligation in close networks and a relatively concrete belief system. Modernity, of any character, is the factor most likely to increase these conditions — scattering villages into cities, replacing traditional culture with mass culture, allowing people to become isolated and disconnected — but that only goes part of the way. After the “great transformation” when we went from “communities” to abstract societies, both the working  and middle class re-assembled community in the form of neighbourhoods, associations, congregations, etc.


But, in the 1960s, those worlds were subject to a fresh break-up. A consumer economy, class mobility, liberal social revolutions and a new centrality for mass media put the individual at the centre of social life — with the increased risks of collapse that individualism creates. In the ’80s and ’90s a further break-up of social networks occurred with the extension of the market into all areas of social life and the absolute dominance of a culture based on a vast stream of images. Beneath this all, a master process ran — working life ceased to be about production for a local community, for each other, and became commodity production, work to produce something with no particular meaning attached to it, to sell on the market.


The result is a society that is supercharged, dynamic, often exciting, and liberating. But it is also competitive, setting people against each other, hyper-individualistic, repeatedly dissolves grounding meanings — where you grew up, how you lived, etc — and all of it driving many people to work very hard with no meaningful purpose. When the going is good, it’s great, when it’s not, you can fall for a long way. It is also afflicted with what one might call the “precursor” of depression and anxiety, narcissism — a see-saw of manic (and defensive) overvaluation of self and a sense of crushing insignificance amid the global image gallery.


That way of life can create outbreaks of depression and anxiety everywhere, but it tends to hit two groups hardest. The first is the powerless — those with little control over their lives, victims of under-resourced education, abusive backgrounds, working-class worlds from which work has been removed, rural areas in serious decline (where community has become attenuated) and the like. Depression and anxiety in these cases are what Martin Seligman called  “learned helplessness” — when no choice you could reasonably make could make a difference, you collapse into a vicious circle of defeated and depressive mood.


The other group that seems to be afflicted by depression and anxiety are at the other end of things — culture and media producers. Levels of depression and anxiety appear to be very high amongst this group, judging by the number of articles written about it in media for affluent consumers. There are many particular reasons for this. Culture/media producers work in a world of images, disconnected texts and relentless production of content with no great meaning. It’s like working in a hall of mirrors. Unless you understand that you’re in a hall of mirrors, you are bound to be disoriented. Then there is the particular form of the work. Whatever the many advantages of such work over factory labour, the latter doesn’t ask for your continued passionate engagement; many people in culture and media circles find themselves sucked dry by the continued demand for ideas, opinions, performance, etc. Increasingly this demands a mobilisation of self, drawing on personal experience and attitude to create material for sale. Within an overarching purpose for doing it — political, for example — many people will simply find themselves out of gas. That is particularly so in our era. The great era of liberal media is over, when large organisations were willing to put capital in the service of truth and inquiry. With honourable exceptions, media are now content mills, and media and culture can feel, for many people, a ghastly parody of what they went into it for.So, many people have a desire to believe that their depression or anxiety is nothing other than a physical illness, and a whole medical system is willing to agree with them. But there is also an interest the system itself has in maintaining such a false and simplistic belief. To really address these issues. we’d have to start thinking about social and cultural change — rebuilding a way of life in which there is more possibility for people to live in meaningful interconnection, less set against each other in an isolating manner, and less dominated by commodities, and images. Those who have an interest — even an unconscious one — in the current world continuing are those who have an interest in selling meaning back to a general populace one piece at a time. Such interests cannot but shape their worldview.


In the wake of last week’s article, the critic fielded a number of criticisms, all of them easily dealt with. A persistent one was that “I was not a doctor”, so couldn’t speak. Well, first of all I wasn’t advocating a course of action. Freedman was, pushing a line pretty strongly pro-SSRI, and implicitly suggesting indefinite use. I merely pointed out the side effects. Freedman’s doctor either didn’t point these out, professionally remiss, or Freedman didn’t pass them on, and she was remiss. More broadly, however, the idea that only doctors, or those channelling them, can speak on the topic is to pre-decide the issue as a medical one, and depression/anxiety as a physical disease, which is pretty circular. The most extreme form of that was the argument that to suggest that people with such conditions, think about whether factors in their life might be contributing — like living in the vortex of media-entrepreneurial mania — was to be “patronising”. This seems about the most bizarre application of the medical “physical” model of depression/anxiety around; that you should entirely abandon any sort of reflection on how you live, and simply jack into your brain with a chemical. This is the denial of autonomy and self-determination at its most confused.


Secondly, was the suggestion that a personal article should be above criticism, especially a “brave”, confessional one. But, of course, it wasn’t just a personal article — it was evangelising for a certain type of drug, so to claim immunity would be perverse. And how brave is it to publish another mental illness memoir, really? Nor is contacting the author for more information a feasible option. If you’re going to advocate a debatable course of action based on your own experience, it becomes a public object, to be debated with robustness.


Depression and anxiety have become major topics in the contemporary world because they’ve become major challenges in many people’s lives, either directly or through people they’re close to. But the depression/anxiety memoir, etc, has also become something else — a heroic narrative, something that lifts the reader out of the mundane and tells of overcoming the odds. Frontier narratives for a built-out world, inward ho! They make people feel alive in a deadened world, which is why they are endlessly repeated. Without pushing back against this on a collective level, it will only get worse. It will be worse for your kids, and it will occur in a context not of expanding opportunity and prosperity, but of the narrowing of such. The crisis will come, best prepare for it.


Australia has become a world centre for this. Whether we have more depression and anxiety than elsewhere is hard to quantify, but we sure love to talk about it. We’ve gone from true blue to Beyondblue in a couple of generations. One reason why that might be, is that our culture was so thin in the first place. With old value systems like imperial mission or cultural nationalism gone, we’re just a big suburb on the coast, swamped by the new anti-culture, anti-social media, etc. Depression confessional has become the centre of our cultural life. Politicians, footballers, writers, etc — it never stops. There was a point to it early on, but now it is part of a cultural predicament. And also of diminishing returns, as the discussion never moves forward to what it needs to do, which is to talk about this issue as a social and historical phenomenon. Ultimately, to make the decision to ring-fence a part of your own behaviour as pathological is to make a separation between self and world that can’t help but put your whole subjectivity “in brackets” as it were. For some it may be necessary; for all it should be a last resort. Better to try and avoid the trap altogether than to hack your leg off to get out of it.


Books from which this article was drawn and further reading for those interested:

  • Rick Ingram (Ed) Contemporary psychological approaches to depression: Theory, research, and treatment;
  • Peter Kramer, Listening to Prozac and Against Depression;
  • Peter Breggin, Toxic Psychiatry;
  • Joanna Moncrieff, The Myth of the Chemical Cure; 
  • Martin Seligman, Helplessness: On Depression, Development and Death;
  • John Cornwall, The Power To Harm;
  • Erich Fromm, The Sane Society and On Being Human; 
  • Susan Pinker, The Village Effect; 
  • Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism;
  • Pierre Bourdieu, The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society; and
  • The depression-anxiety film club! Three films by Adam Curtis: The Century of the Self; The Trap; Watched Over By The Grace of Loving Machines.

Over to you, Mia.






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Mental Health Wars in Oz Media
Filed Under:

15 November 2014, Sydney Morning Herald writer Lisa Pryor makes a personal disclosure that she takes care of her mental health with the help of anti-depressants.


20 November 2014, former Labor(leader) politician turned journalist Mark Latham wrote a column in The Australian Financial Review provocatively titled Why left feminists don’t like kids – wherein he attacked Lisa Pryor's article.




23 November 2014, SMH journalist Annabel Crabb wrote a piece admiring Lisa Pryor's depression disclosure and strives to find the good in Mark Latham's behaviour – although ultimately Annabel is not a fan of bile.  She also writes prophetically:


From the disclosed single fact (Lisa Pryor takes anti-depressants) he confidently inferred a rippling and – one would have to think, at least borderline defamatory – array of contentions. That Lisa Pryor hates her children. That this is typical of feminists. That this is especially true of feminists living in the inner-suburbs, outside of which quasi-infanticidal regions, according to Latham, women do not use feminism as a crutch to "free themselves of nature's way".


31 March 2015, Myriam Robin of Crikey reported that Lisa Pryor is suing Mark Latham and the AFR for alleged defamation:


Pryor sues. Fairfax columnist Lisa Pryor has sued Fairfax columnist Mark Latham in the New South Wales Supreme Court, along with Fairfax itself. A directions hearing will take place on April 30.


The case follows a failure to "resolve matters directly", Pryor wrote on Twitter yesterday. In November, Pryor approached Australian Financial Review editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury wanting a printed apology after a column she wrote for Fairfax's Good Weekend magazine led to her being attacked by AFR columnist and former Labor leader Latham, but she was denied. "As a former opinion editor, I completely appreciate what a disgrace it is that something so malicious and defamatory could make it into any newspaper let alone a newspaper of the Financial Review's standing," Pryor told Crikey sister site Women's Agenda at the time.


Pryor is a lawyer, journalist and medical student with two small children. Her Good Weekend column focused on how she responded when people asked her how she managed to do all this. Her usual response: "caffeine and anti-depressants". Her piece focused on the benefits of her open disclosure, and of getting help when necessary.


Five days later, in The Australian Financial Review, Latham wrote a piece entitled "Why left feminists don't like kids". In it, he criticised Pryor for her column, questioning why anyone would describe needing neurological assistance to raise children. "Women I speak to in western Sydney, who have no neuroses or ideological agenda to push, regard child-rearing as a joy," Latham continued. "Financially, if they can avoid work, that’s their preference." But "political feminists", which Latham used to mean women like Pryor, didn't like children and didn't want to be with them, he claimed.


Pryor has said she won't comment further on the case at this time. Fairfax and Latham were contacted for comment. -- Myriam Robin

 


 

7 March 2015, Mark Latham shared his views on mental health again in the AFR article The one crucial difference between worry and anxiety – with a backdrop of the movie Bird Man.


9 March 2015, Helen Razer of Crikey waded in with Razer on Mark Latham's Harden Up Prescription for the Depressed Chattering Class.  This was an attack on public disclosure on the premise that talking is not a way out of mental illness.  Razer wrote:


It is absolutely true, of course, that the talking cure is one legitimate means of addressing mental illness. But the technique pioneered by Freud to unfold between therapist and patient was never intended to play out in a public context.


10 March 2015, I wrote about my own public disclosure of bipolar illness in my October 2014 defamation trial against Andrew Bolt:


It had plenty of potential to do good for me and those it might reach.  My story is of a long-term sufferer who found a medication regime with no noticeable side-effects that removed the endemic disruption in my life.  If you hear this story and feel the same way then I encourage you to seek a mental health assessment and if diagnosed consider your treatment options.  I feel it can also contribute to diminishing stigma.

 



 

23 March 2015, Mia Freedman's wrote a personal article I’m finally ready to talk about my anxiety.



24 March 2015, the usually insightful Guy Rundle wrote a nasty attack article in Crikey about Mia Freedman's disclosure of anxiety.


27 March 2015, Mia Freedman's father Laurence Freedman responds:

Re. "Rundle: the dark side to Mia Freedman's life blather" (Monday). Guy, I regularly read your posts with interest -- insightful and relevant. However, the post about Mia Freedman was both cynical and uninformed. You assumed that someone else wrote the piece. Not so. She did write it -- her language and style is unmistakable. You trivialised the problem of her anxiety, clearly having never experienced it. Regrettably your cynical comment about her mentioning the drug that has helped her and her search for therapeutic help lays you open to the same criticism of style over substance- something not often seen in your posts.

A little research, or direct communication may have resulted in a more understanding article and a more sympathetic take, not only on her particular plight, but that of the many sufferers of anxiety and depression. Knowing something of the media myself, I understand that, in the same way as Mia's writing is in the language and style of her audience, so is yours. However, your target demographic is quite different from hers and in my opinion, by using the language that you did, you missed your target. A small, yet important, lost opportunity. Look forward to reading your next posts. By the way -- liked your in-depth post on Malcolm Fraser. He sat on our boards for about 15 years. Chaired a number of audit committees. Always difficult for him to open up, due to shyness which came across as aloofness. Had little small talk but loved to talk about cars and always chose expensive wines for meal times and armagnac after. Not so different from most men.



(via Crikey, 27 March 2015)


30 March 2015I wrote some Comments about all this, including a timeline of my bipolar illness if that might help others.



8 March 2016 (a year and a day after publication) Lisa Pryor settles defamation case against Financial Review and Mark Latham.





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CRIKEY Guy Rundle nasty Mental Health Article
Filed Under:

30 March 2015


Mia Freedman's father Laurence Freedman responds to a nasty article The dark side to Mia Freedman’s life blather by the usually insightful Guy Rundle (Crikey):


Re. "Rundle: the dark side to Mia Freedman's life blather" (Monday). Guy, I regularly read your posts with interest -- insightful and relevant. However, the post about Mia Freedman was both cynical and uninformed. You assumed that someone else wrote the piece. Not so. She did write it -- her language and style is unmistakable. You trivialised the problem of her anxiety, clearly having never experienced it. Regrettably your cynical comment about her mentioning the drug that has helped her and her search for therapeutic help lays you open to the same criticism of style over substance- something not often seen in your posts.

A little research, or direct communication may have resulted in a more understanding article and a more sympathetic take, not only on her particular plight, but that of the many sufferers of anxiety and depression. Knowing something of the media myself, I understand that, in the same way as Mia's writing is in the language and style of her audience, so is yours. However, your target demographic is quite different from hers and in my opinion, by using the language that you did, you missed your target. A small, yet important, lost opportunity. Look forward to reading your next posts. By the way -- liked your in-depth post on Malcolm Fraser. He sat on our boards for about 15 years. Chaired a number of audit committees. Always difficult for him to open up, due to shyness which came across as aloofness. Had little small talk but loved to talk about cars and always chose expensive wines for meal times and armagnac after. Not so different from most men.

(via Crikey, 27 March 2015)

 

Mia Freedman's personal article: I’m finally ready to talk about my anxiety

 


 

COMMENT by ME:

 

October 2014, in a defamation trial against Andrew Bolt (of the NewsCorp stable), I publicly disclosed for the first time that that I have a bipolar condition well-managed with medication since 2007.

One 'benefit' (sort of) from having an illness that was raging untreated for so long is that I have some lengthy comparative time periods with and without medication.

 

Here's my timeline:


1989: age 19 onset of bipolar symptoms: disruption to relationships, career and finances due to manic and depressive moods.  This raged for the next 18 years.


2005: age 36 first bipolar medical diagnosis after attending psychiatric sessions for 6 months.  Diagnosis confirmed through second opinion of world leading psychiatrist Prof Isaac Schweitzer.


29 March 2007: after 2 years of resistance I finally started taking Lithium. Very positive results stabilising moods which enabled me to work the regular hours of a job again.  Since then have taken Lithium daily for 8 years and added Lamotrigine in Dec 2007 to give more protection against depression.  It should be noted that these bipolar medications can have serious harmful side-effects; although I have not suffered any that I am aware of or have shown up in regular blood tests.


Summary: 19 years with no symptoms; then 18 years bipolar raged without medication; then 8 years on bipolar meds and have achieved mood stability.


I would recommend people with disruptive moods seek out an opinion, or a couple of them, from a healthcare professional, and also consider medication.  For me it has been a miracle and perhaps it will work wonders for you as well.

For all the insight and empathy-awareness that came from the 18 years between 1989 and 2007 of whiteknuckled, untreated rapid-cycling bipolar chaos, I would have preferred that someone encouraged me to explore medical help earlier.  In my case, it would have saved me much needless suffering.

David Barrow 


 


In my personal evidence at the Bolt Trial, I also had this to say on well-managing my bipolar illness in all the years since 2007:


So all during this time I've had stability of mood, Your Honour.  It's really changed my life and I would recommend to people to get an assessment or a couple of assessments and consider medication.  So I found the stability.  To me, from 2007 it's like sort of waking up from a coma saying, you know, you were 30 then and I'm 45 now.  I don't feel 45.  I feel like I'm about 30 because I had so much disruption in those 15 or 20 years that it's sort of like missing time.


So I've had stability in all that time since 2007 up to now.  That's seven years I've been taking that medication every day.  I mean sometimes I forget but not - I don't ever choose not to take it.  I have a pill box reminder and I actually have Lithium and I explored a different type of medication called Lamotrigine which is anticonvulsant and that actually gives you more of a base under the depression, whereas Lithium stops you more going up too high.  So I use Lamotrigine for the base and a little bit of Lithium to help with the top and I feel like I've felt when I was 16 or 17 and have done all that time.  It's quite a miracle.

 


 

Guy Rundle



Article: The dark side to Mia Freedman’s life blather


Mia Friedman has written a long article about her anxiety and the marvelous medicine that cures it. But she doesn’t mention all those silly side effects — like coma, convulsions and possibly death.



Many years ago, a leading conservative wrote a column in the old Melbourne Herald about the Doug Anthony All Stars. Later I asked him if he’d been pranked by DAAS — had they somehow smuggled a fake op-ed in under his name?


Wasn’t the case, and would have been difficult to do in those quill-and-platen days. Seems to have occurred in the new Debrief Daily, where someone has used Mia Freedman’s name to write the inch-perfect parody of self-absorbed life blather. From the title “I’m finally ready to talk about my anxiety …” to every detail, this is a masterpiece. Thrill to Mia’s commitment to working out her problems via three different therapists, followed by her conclusion that it’s a chemical imbalance, and her manic professional self-promotion has nothing to do with it; cheer as she plugs a brand-name drug three times, sounding like an old snake-oil testimonial. Marvel at this kicker:


“To subscribe to Mia’s free weekly newsletter where she writes exclusive content about her life, shares links to what she’s reading online and includes photos of her often ridiculous outfits, go here.”


Because, hey, why deal with anxiety by reducing excessive self-consciousness when you could take an anti-depressant — the drug she’s taking is just a Prozac variant — and power on with a life where you’ve commodified your own selfhood to build a media brand?


Actually, sadly, one will have to be serious for a moment: Freedman is spruiking a drug with serious side effects. Quite aside from the standard SSRI side effects — sudden attacks of suicidal thinking, reduced sexual response, vomiting, tremors, and a couple of rare (very rare) fatal conditions (serotonin syndrome), the particular SSRI she’s advocating causes birth defects in children if used by pregnant women, and has the highest rate of suicidality onset of all the SSRIs — so much so that in the United States every packet has a “black box” warning — a heavily bordered prominent notice alerting users to a high suicidality risk. Oh, and in 2010 its manufacturer was fined $300 million in the US for illegally marketing the drugs to children.


More generally, it’s a little odd for a self-confessed hypochondriac to be so enthusiastic about what some describe as a neurotoxin. It works by blocking the receptors that absorb serotonin in the brain. Ample evidence now suggests  — surprise, surprise — that long-term use of such drugs creates habituation and, via atrophy, a depression that resists treatment. The term now applied is “tardive dysphoria” — pity really, as it would have made a great name for Mia’s weekly newsletter.


Not the worst thing, but still pretty crap, about this is that it will feed into mugwump Mark Latham’s argument that there’s no depression or anxiety, it’s all a plot by professional women, and all you need to do when feeling down is stay at home for the rest of your life, and you’ll be right as rain. Anti-depressants are hugely over-prescribed — especially now as they are marketed as anti-anxiety, anti-social-phobia, anti-OCD drugs, so they can be re-patented and have their brand names plugged in lifestyle articles — and depression and anxiety overdiagnosed. But they are both real phenomena that largely afflict the powerless and trapped.


If you’re neither of the latter, then before committing to permanent use of a drug that’s a cousin of ecstasy, maybe you should, I dunno, examine your life, and see if changing it will help — especially as some people appear to be regarding you as a guide to life, a thought that has me reaching for the MAO inhibitors. Good god, Dr Kennett will be in on this next, the Black Dog Institute snapping at his heels, Beyondblue hovering like the shadow of Skywhale over the debate. The powerful might need to address issues labelled, accurately or otherwise, depression and anxiety, by changing their lives. The powerless need more power over their own live to address such issues, so the change has to be social as well.


Well, maybe I’m being a little harsh. There’s a common “evangelical” effect that happens when people take a drug that starts working for them (and that they believe, wrongly, will work at that pitch indefinitely) — and that is to a) tell everyone about it and b) consign all one’s difficulties to having a physical cause. Freedman seems to have got a bad case of this, and, by a rough count, 15 blogs where she can talk about her own life, and her affliction of feeling continuously scrutinised etc, etc. Most likely in a couple of years, there’ll be a “my drug disaster” story.


In the meantime, would it be too much to ask people writing about whatever this thing is that we call “depression and ‘anxiety” to do a little cursory research before they sound off? This thing, cosa nostra, has clearly become a feature of Australian life, more so than elsewhere. While trying to work out what’s going on, it might be best to avoid giving one-sided meds recommendations to your fanbase.






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Comment on CRIKEY Helen Razer Mental Health Article
Filed Under:

Razer on Mark Latham’s Harden Up prescription for the depressed chattering class


by Helen Razer


Crikey 9 March 2015 


If Latham is annoyed by anything, it is perhaps the constant act of false revelation. I am absolutely sure that the frequent personal writing and broadcast on mental illness is produced by people who suffer. The personal disclosure is not false but what is false are the ideas that (a) no one talks about mental illness and (b) talking is a way out of mental illness.


It is absolutely true, of course, that the talking cure is one legitimate means of addressing mental illness. But the technique pioneered by Freud to unfold between therapist and patient was never intended to play out in a public context.

 




COMMENT by ME:


There can be more to a talking cure for mental illness than just telling one's own personal story.  We can encourage others to seek out a mental health assessment and consider possibly taking medication and/or talking things through with a health care professional.


I self-outed myself for the first time publicly as having a bipolar condition on 20 October 2014.  This was the first day of my defamation trial against Andrew Bolt and the Herald Sun.


I was self-represented throughout the proceeding which commenced way back on 30 April 2012 when I was still a law student – before I was admitted to the legal profession as an Australian Lawyer on 19 March 2013.


Barrister Dr Matt Collins QC (whom yesterday began grilling Treasurer Joe Hockey in a Fed Court defamation trial), was lead Counsel for Bolt & HWT against me in my October 2014 trial.


Documents that were added to the Court Book by the Defendants just before my Bolt defamation trial was heard by Justice Terry Forrest gave every indication that Dr Collins QC intended to out me as having a bipolar condition for whatever tactical reason.  Perhaps he would argue this would be relevant to damages; or maybe Dr Collins would spring it on me to try and unsettle me if barristers might do that sort of thing.


So on the first day of the trial, 20 October 2014, I got out the front of that and gave my personal evidence from the witness box about my long journey from when the bipolar illness first seized me at age 19 until I finally had the insight to present for a medical diagnosis in 2005 (age 35), and then after much reluctance I started taking medication in 2007.  I then achieved and maintained mood stability from 2007.  It's quite a miracle.  My personal evidence on all that is here.


This was a "self-outing by a middle-class sufferer of mental illness" that Helen Razer (aka Hell Raiser) writes of – however, against her thesis, it had plenty of potential to do good for me and those it might reach.  My story is of a long-term sufferer who found a medication regime with no noticeable side-effects that removed the endemic disruption in my life.  If you hear this story and feel the same way then I encourage you to seek a mental health assessment and if diagnosed consider your treatment options.


In my personal evidence at the Bolt Trial, I also had this to say on well-managing my bipolar illness in all the years since 2007.  It is a talking cure for mental illness which also reaches out beyond myself to encourage others to seek help:


So all during this time I've had stability of mood, Your Honour.  It's really changed my life and I would recommend to people to get an assessment or a couple of assessments and consider medication.  So I found the stability.  To me, from 2007 it's like sort of waking up from a coma saying, you know, you were 30 then and I'm 45 now.  I don't feel 45.  I feel like I'm about 30 because I had so much disruption in those 15 or 20 years that it's sort of like missing time.


So I've had stability in all that time since 2007 up to now.  That's seven years I've been taking that medication every day.  I mean sometimes I forget but not - I don't ever choose not to take it.  I have a pill box reminder and I actually have Lithium and I explored a different type of medication called Lamotrigine which is anticonvulsant and that actually gives you more of a base under the depression, whereas Lithium stops you more going up too high.  So I use Lamotrigine for the base and a little bit of Lithium to help with the top and I feel like I've felt when I was 16 or 17 and have done all that time.  It's quite a miracle.






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