A Bunyip’s challenge

This story won’t please Professor Bunyip, whose third greatest pleasure in life (after castigating Phillip Adams for alleged serial plagiarism, and futilely fantasising about fornicating with firm young female flesh) is ridiculing the commercial acumen of Fairfax boss Fred Hillmer:

Australian newspaper publisher John Fairfax Holdings Ltd said today that it expected further earnings growth in the coming year after it more than doubled its net earnings for 2003/04.

Fairfax today reported a net profit of $276.014 million for 2003/04, compared to $125.53 million in the previous year.

I strongly suspect this result wasn’t achieved through giving away copies of The Age (the Bunyip’s latest anti-Hillmer gambit). Will the Professor face up squarely to the uncomfortable reality of a resurgent Fairfax? Or will he hide like a sulky child, like that other great RWDB hero Tim Blair, who lets his repulsive stormtrooper offsider Andrea Harris do his talking (or rather banning) for him when he can’t think of a (half) witty riposte? To his great credit, the Professor has always seemed to be made of sterner stuff than T1, and even fulsomely unreservedly apologises when he’s wrong. The gauntlet has been thrown down.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Tim Lambert
2022 years ago

fulsomely: Offending or disgusting by overfullness, excess, or grossness

Maybe you should change it to “full apology” before Professor Halfwit gets on your case.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Tim

A usage note in Dictionary.com says:
Usage Note: Fulsome is often used to mean “offensively flattering or insincere.”

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

He’ll tell you that you’re confusing readibility with the Rivers of Gold from advertising, Ken. Way more people still read the Hun and the Tele -for some reason……

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Geoff

He may well say exactly that, but it’s hard to believe that classified advertising revenue has doubled in the last 12 months. But it might have. I’m partly being duplicitous, and hoping that the challenge will provoke the Prof into delving into the Fairfax balance sheet and telling me things in which I’m idly interested but too lazy to check for myself.

Rex
Rex
2022 years ago

The Press Release is here

Metropolitan papers. Advertising revenues increased 3.7% to $696.2 million. Revenue growth accelerated in the second half, with a recovery in employment classifieds and display, continued growth in real estate classifieds, and double-digit growth in retail display advertising.

Total employment revenues across classified,
display and online were up 13.1% in the second half, and grew by 6.7% for the year. Real estate classifieds and display revenues were also higher. Automotive classified revenues were softer.

Circulation revenue was up marginally over last year. In readership, The Sydney Morning Herald increased its market share overall and in the key AB demographic. The Age gained AB market
share on Saturdays and Sundays, and had a slight share decline in overall figures during weekdays.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

And they probably saved a bit by outsourcing Margo.

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

The $270 million contained a net $60 million in one off items (in particular, a one-off gain resulting from introduction of the new tax consolidation regime). “Underlying” profit (ie excluding one-offs) was $207 million.

Also, a lot of the revenue and margin growth seems to have been driven by the NZ business acquired in the last year. Australian newspaper revenue only grew from $1.197 billion to $1.274. Profit on Australian newspapers went from $201 million to $215 million, which means that basically, the margin hasn’t changed … so much for the cost-cutting.

On the other hand, the margins on the NZ newspaper business seem fantastic – looks like a good acquisition.

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

Correction – the last figures are for all Australian revenue – both newspapers and magazines – they only give you a NZ/Aust breakdown and a total newspaper/magazine/other breakdown.

So, you can’t work it out directly, but you can still get a fair idea from the fact that the NZ business is almost all newspapers that Aust newspapers were pretty stagnant. The press release says that overall australian metro paper ad revenue grew by 3.7% and circulation revenue “was up marginally”.

All the revenue growth seems to have come from New Zealand, magazines and “other”.

Francis Xavier Holden
2022 years ago

I seem to remember out of the corner of my ear hearing Hilmer on radio today somewhere saying that he was proud of the fact that they had diversified out of newspapers and were no longer “an Age and SMH business” as they used to be known.

That would indicate that newspapers arent so hot – no need to diversify out of a growth business. As we all know shareholders can and do diversify their own portfolios so no need for the company to do it for them.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

Ken, why take up the Blair bashing lines the left use. If you read the comments on Tim’s page, you’d know that he rarely engages in debating the commenters there. He simply isn’t interested. Andrea Harris is a different kettle of fish, and she deserves everything she gets, but you’re simply damning Blair by association for something that’s beyond his control.

If you’ve actually read Andrea’s site, you’d realise that she really is a fascist bitch and nothing really at all like Blair. Andrea isn’t Blair’s “offsider”, she owns the site that he appears on, and makes full use that fact to silence anyone *she* doesn’t like.

It’s one thing coming from frothing-at-the-mouth lefties who probably genuinely believe that blair is out to crush their dissent, but you should really know better, or at least give him the benefit of the doubt.

craigM
craigM
2022 years ago

Yobbo

If it bothered him he’d move.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Sam

I suppose what really gets up my nose about Tim Blair is that he’s continually held up in the mainstream media as the epitome of Australian blogging. If he was just some right wing nonentity with low public visibility, I wouldn’t give a stuff. The trouble is that whenever there’s a newspaper article or radio story on blogging, he’s inevitably a central element of it. But the way he runs his blog (or allows it to be run) is a shameful, ignorant, fascistically intolerant disgrace. And that’s the way the blogosphere is being judged in the mainstream.

I think it’s time people on both the left and right started objecting and saying loud and clear that this bloke’s blog is not representative, that most of us are much better, more mature and tolerant than that. If I was Al Bundy or Currency Lad or yourself, I’d be mightily ashamed to have people assume that Tim Bair’s standard of behaviour is the norm, even for right wing bloggers. Frankly I wish he’d go back to not having a comment box at all, because the way it’s being “refereed” by Andrea Harris (presumably with his willing consent) is causing my respect for him to disappear very rapidly. I once thought very highly of Tim. I no longer do. Any honourable person would be repulsed by the way Andrea runs the joint, but since Tim hasn’t voted with his feet I can only assume he approves of it. Hence my reaction. Presumably, however, he only cares about his reputation with the sorts of halfwits who mostly inhabit his comment box, otherwise he would have done something about it well before now.

Peter Murphy
2022 years ago

I don’t want to bash Blair (or as Ken puts it, “T1”. Makes him sound like the Terminator. Praising with faint damn?) Let’s say that I don’t like his style or his commentary. So I choose not to read him. (Yobbo: I hope that doesn’t count as Blair-bashing, but just as critical disagreement.)

The odd thing is that his censor-happy comrade in arms, Andrea Harris, makes it easier for folk to bash Tim. People banned from his site are less likely to think “He’s crushing my dissent” rather than “What a prick.” They can always post in the 200-odd blogs in Ozplogistan… dissent elsewhere as much as they like. But they are still going to feel “Tim Blair is a prick.” The word spreads.

Are there any other bloggers in Australia who love the delete button as much as them? That singles them out. And not in a good way.

David Tiley
2022 years ago

As an aside – I reckon there’s a lot more than 200 blogs in Ozplogistan now. A whole bunch started in June and July, some of which are looking like heaps of fun. I think Ken is adding the political ones as they turn up.. Mr FX Holden himself is a case in point.

mark
2022 years ago

I’m not too sure about Tim’s comments-box reflecting badly on him. My respect for the man, at least, has grown considerably since I discovered what he *could* have been. His comments invite comparisons between Blair and the dickheads that infest his comments-box, and such comparisons can only be favourable…

Ron
Ron
2022 years ago

After a rare visit to Blair’s blog, I am still of the opinion that it must come close to being rated as an Internet ‘hate site’.

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

Too recent to have an impact in these statements (year ended 30 June). Plus, making people redundant usually increases costs in the short term because of redundancy payments.

tim
tim
2022 years ago

Ken,

Andrea’s decisions are nothing to do with whether I can/can’t think of anything witty. I suspect you already know this.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

No I don’t. I’ve seen numerous examples of people who were banned for no proper reason whatsoever. If you value your reputation with anyone other than your comment box sycophants, I suggest you give her the flick ASAP. If you lie down with dogs you get fleas, they say. And they’re right.

Bill O'Slatter
Bill O'Slatter
2022 years ago

Andrea is Timmie’s alter ego , and really if you try hard enough it is possible to get her(him?) on the ropes( rope-a-dope).

tim
tim
2022 years ago

“If I value my reputation with anyone other than my comment box sycophants”? Someone’s coming a little unhinged here.

Ken, it’s a simple deal. Andrea is kinda like a bouncer in a nightclub. People get unruly, start chewing up the bandwidth, derailing threads, promoting their own sites, she chucks ’em. Please forward your official list of “proper reasons” for banning, and Andrea may compare that to her existing criteria.

In the meantime, get a grip. You’re acting all Sheilish.

Robert
2022 years ago

Sounds like Tim has set (or at least agreed to) the rules for banning people.

Al Bundy
Al Bundy
2022 years ago

The Bunyip has spoken.

thersites
thersites
2022 years ago

The Fairfax performance which seems to be so admired here bt some(mork excluded who seems to have worked out whats going on)is probably close to the worst among the listed media groups in what has been a booming advertising market. Copied below are comments from a leading stockbroker (Macquarie Equities) on the latest Fairfax result.

The lagging performance can’t just be sheeted home to Fairfax being in the newspaper business with Fairfax continuing to trade at lower PE multiples than other newspaper focussed groups such as West Australian News, Rural Press, and APN.

I believe the Bunyip is closer to the mark with his analysis of Fairfax as a laggard rather than resurgent. I suspect he may also be closer to the mark with his assessment of Ken’s financial acumen and no amount of irrelevant blather about RWDB’s can distract from that deficiency. Or is it just that laziness Ken mentioned rather than ineptitude?

John Fairfax Holdings
Full year result

Stock: FXJ AU
Volatility Index: Low/medium

Fairfax announced a 2004 full year result of $276m and on an adjusted basis, $190.8m.

Total dividends for the year were 16.5

Gary
2022 years ago

Hows that saying end “pot,kettle Ken” at least it gets the gaggle together for a big sulk fest.

yarraside
yarraside
2022 years ago

Ken,

Whatever your views about banning on Blair’s blog, at least when a poster is banned, it is there for all to see.

I have had the recent experience of posting on Chris Shiel’s blog in which I pointed out Chris was 100% incorrect about a matter he claimed expertise in (the intent and effect of national competition policy agreements, if you really want to know).

Having engaged in a spiritied exchange with Sheil, he promptly went and (a) banned me (b) deleted my last post and (c) refused to acknowledge on his blog that he had done so.

I’d prefer to read a ‘fascist’ who admits when he is crushing dissent than a coward who crushes it without disclosing to other readers that he has done so.

Stan
Stan
2022 years ago

Ken, I think you’re forgetting that there’s an element that go to Tim’s site in order to get banned. It’s a badge of honour for some.

As an example I quote my recent experience with a dick called Darp. He turned up in one very long and quite funny thread while Tim was in Malaysia. He made some quite incendiary remarks in what was otherwise a fairly playful thread about nothing in particular (I think it may have been an open thread). Anyway, Andrea gave fair warning a view times and someone I knew reasonably well, it may have been CurrencyLad, actually suggested that Andrea leave him in the thread just to show what dickheads some people can be. Sadly, in the end he was banned, and boy was he proud of it. He was back every day under a new IP to cause trouble–and he was trouble Ken. I see Darp made enough of a name for himself to be given mention at Margo’s place.

I know you say you’ve seen some fairly gratuitous banning by Andrea, and I don’t doubt that she’s made mistakes, but I wonder how you would handle a comments thread that regularly had 70 posts. Perhaps like Tim, you might outsource the police work. After all, I do recall that you had a minor dummy spit recently wearing your own police hat.

Or is it just that the biggest blogger in Australia is a guy from the other side of the fence?

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Stan

I don’t have a problem with deleting abusive comments, or even closing off a thread when it has become unproductive. Sadly those things are sometimes necessary. But I don’t accept that banning someone permanently is necessary or desirable other than in very exceptional circumstances. I’ve never had to do it even once, and I don’t accept that Tim has needed to do so anywhere near as frequently as he (or rather Andrea) has seen fit to do. I don’t really want to have an ongoing discussion about it though. As I’ve said before, Tim (or anyone else) can run their own blog however they like. It’s really none of my business. However, this whole discussion started because some RWDB whose name I choose to forget objected because I dared to qualify (though fairly neutrally) a comment about Tim being a “father” of Australian blogging. I responded that as far as I was concerned, the intolerant and ungenerous way he ran his blog disqualified him from some of the respect that he would otherwise merit, and the discussion has gone on from there. I’m not going to change my fairly negative opinion of Tim as long as he (or Andrea on his behalf) keeps behaving like that, but I don’t see any useful purpose in continuing to discuss the whole thing. I’m entitled to my opinion just as Tim is entitled to run his blog however he wants. Those who want to read him and hold him in high regard will keep doing so, while I’ll keep checking his blog on odd occasions for light relief only.

Stan
Stan
2022 years ago

I will leave it there Ken, though I think you’re being fairly disingenuous. Read your own post again. You’re the one that hacked into Tim’s commenting policy in the first place despite saying that he could run his blog however he liked and that it really was none of your business. Just don’t read the comments or take part if you don’t like them.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Stan

This thread is merely a continuation of an earlier one that began exactly as I explained above. But let’s leave it there, because the discussion is pretty much exhausted. Hence I’m closing this thread (but not banning anyone).

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Actually before I close the thread I might just respond to a comment by “yarraside” that I’ve only just noticed. I don’t want to sound like a sanctimonious git, but Yarraside’s description of his treatment at Chris Sheil’s blog does indeed sound disturbing, to every bit as great an extent as Tim Blair’s habitual behaviour.

I wouldn’t want to give the (totally erroneous) impression that I object to grossly illiberal, intolerant behaviour only when it emanates from RWDBs. I object whatever the source, and my objection flows from my fundamental belief that political blogging is valuable mostly only if it promotes (reasonably) civil discourse between people of differing opinions. Consistent intolerance of opposing opinions (especially in refereeing comment box debate) makes blogging an essentially pointless exercise in opinionated ego gratification and reinforcement of one’s own prejudices.

However, I certainly wouldn’t want to condemn Chris (or anyone else) without hearing both sides of the story. And even if he did go over the top with “yarraside”, that’s forgivable as long as it’s infrequent. We all have bad days when we’re on a short fuse, when we spit the dummy in situations where we really should have been more tolerant.

I might leave the thread open for a little longer to see whether the air can be cleared on “yarraside’s” grievance. However, if it just degenerates into an ill-tempered tit-for-tat “slag Sheil” fest, I’ll close it without hesitation.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Re yarraside, I guess there are at least two sides to most stories. I try to be as tolerant as possible at Back Pages. In all, I’ve deleted less than half-a-dozen comments in total ever in history (yes, OK, before they pop in and bang on about it, as they are want to do, as well as yarraside, I’ve deleted one of Steve Edwards’, which I let him repost minus the abuse, and one by Paul B, which I thought defamatory of a third party, as I explained to him). Still, the explicit conditions of commenting on my blog, as stated on the homepage, always have been, are and will remain:

Civilised discussion and disagreement is invited. Purely abusive or vexatious comments may be deleted, and persistors may be IP banned.

IMO yarraside crossed the line, vexatiously and abusively repeating the same opinion without advancing the story. I admit, I’ve little patience for non-humerous, grossly assertive (in his above comment, note the humble and fanciful “Chris was 100% incorrect”) abusive comments by anonymous commenters. Being anonymous is material, imo, as the stakes are uneven (incidentally, I don’t generally regard commenters or bloggers with sites of their own or established reputations who don’t use their real name as ‘anonymous’). Where, pray tell, are we aiming to get to in allowing anonymous figures to repeatedly and rudely assert the view that a post is 100 per cent wrong, without advancing new reasoning or evidence? To establish a level playing field, which is something that should appeal to a lover and self-proclaimed expert on national competition policy, if yarraside was to disclose his real name and qualifications on the subject, and refrain from excesive intemperance, he would always be welcome at Back Pages, as everyone else is.

Yarraside is to be congratulated nonetheless, as he’s only the second person I’ve ever tried to ban. Tim Blair was my first, in the middle of our conflict over his (mis)reference to me in The Bulletin (he, or Andrea, has banned me several times). Alas, or not, my ban on tim didn’t work. So, yes, yarraside is effectively the sole titleholder. Quite an achievement, given the many thousands of comments that have passed through Back Pages. In view of his distinction, which he doesn’t appear proud of, perhaps he might be advised to have a good look at himself, as Roy & HG would say. Should anyone perchance wish to refer to the post in question, it is here.

Gary
2022 years ago

“repeatedly and rudely assert the view that a post is 100 per cent wrong, without advancing new reasoning or evidence?”

Try not to have a hart attack when you read that I agree with you on that one,cs. Hopefully someone will sneak in after Homer Paxton has had his daily medication and tattoo that on his eye balls.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Chris,

In fact both of you were wrong in different ways, which may be one of the reasons why you were getting increasingly irritated with each other. Yarraside was wrong about “tied grants” (or SPPs), because they include both grants that tie how the money can be spent and ones whose receipt is conditional on meeting specified pre-conditions (but which can then be spent however the States wish).

However, you were wrong about general revenue grants (or FAGs). Except in relation to section 51(i) (interstate trade and commerce), Constitution section 96 is NOT constrained by section 99 (discrimination and preference). The Commonwealth can be as discriminatory as it likes in the way it distributes revenue grants under section 96, and is not required to impose any conditions at all if it doesn’t want to (either preconditions or conditions as to how the money is spent).

In fact general revenue grants usually contain no such conditions. Their size is determined solely by Grants Commission formulae concerning population density and other factors, and designed to ensure as far as possible that all States are able to deliver to their citizens roughly equal levels of services and infrastructure. That’s why general revenue grants to smaller states and territories are much larger per capita than those to the larger states: the smaller ones don’t enjoy economies of scale and don’t have the same local revenue base as the larger ones. Thus general revenue grants are clearly discriminatory (in that smaller states get more per capita), but they are not subject to either pre- or post-conditions imposed on the States that receive them. They can spend the money however they like, and they don’t have to do anything in particular in order to receive them (although in a broad sense the amount is dependent on a state’s population and stage of development, both of which will in the long run be affected by what the State does with the money it receives).

As for the broader discussion you were having about whether it would be worth abolishing payments to the States under National Competition Policy and devoting them to tied grants for infrastructure , I commented at the time that it was an interesting idea. Yarraside made some well-reasoned criticisms of your position, to which you responded cogently (leaving aside your counterbalncing errors over section 96). It seems to me that both of you were a bit dogmatic and repetitive, and the discussion had certainly reached a point where it wasn’t getting anywhere very much. I would have thought the appropriate course was to close off the thread, because it had reached a natural conclusion where further discussion would inevitably have kept going round in circles, but not to IP ban Yarraside (if that’s what you did). I don’t have any problem with your deleting an abusive comment, but given that by definition the one you deleted isn’t there now, I don’t know whether its tenor was what I would personally have regarded as excessively abusive or not. Certainly claiming to be “100% right”, especially when you aren’t, is both immature and irritating. But maybe Yarraside deserves another chance at engaging in civil debate. As I said, he did make some cogent points, and it seems a shame to boot him when perhaps he just got a bit carried away in the heat of the moment.

It’s also conceivable that he was a tad irritated by your resort to reliance on the assumed authority of having been involved in negotiation of National Competition Policy. Although I’m sure you didn’t intend it, “I know better than you because I was there” tends to raise the hackles of lots of people (not just Yarraside). One would hope that people would exhibit a degree of deference (or at least conditional respect) if they’re aware of your peronal expertise, but your arguments still have to be able to stand of their own force (not that I’m suggesting yours didn’t). Sometimes merely asserting (truthfully) one’s own authoritative experience can be counterproductive to civil discussion, for reasons not totally unrelated to to Godwin’s Law. Just as a Nazi analogy may sometimes be partly apposite but inevitably turns opponents apoplectic, so it may be with claiming you know best because you were there!

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Cheers Gary – pop over to my place some time.

Ken, perhaps you are right about the reference to my role. I see what you mean, but it’s hard to know. In other discussions, commenters have mentioned their backgrond etc, and it has cleared air. In this event, the anonymous commenter just took advantage. ‘You show me yours’ only works with its converse. It is difficult, moreover, I hope you appreciate, when you sweated blood through the thing to ensure that it didn’t mandate privatisation to be told it is all about promoting private sector competition!

I know the CGC stuff backwards (am I doing it again?), but claim no expertise in my own right over sec. 99, except in that I have sat through 100s of meetings (blast, there I go … can’t help myself) where public service lawyers have appealled to it in the terms I’ve explained, and so have long assumed it gospel. Are you aware of any decisions I can read on this?

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Cheers Gary – pop over to my place some time.

Ken, perhaps you are right about the reference to my role. I see what you mean, but it’s hard to know. In other discussions, commenters have mentioned their backgrond etc, and it has cleared air. In this event, the anonymous commenter just took advantage. ‘You show me yours’ only works with its converse. It is difficult, moreover, I hope you appreciate, when you sweated blood through the thing to ensure that it didn’t mandate privatisation to be told it is all about promoting private sector competition!

I know the CGC stuff backwards (am I doing it again?), but claim no expertise in my own right over sec. 99, except in that I have sat through 100s of meetings (blast, there I go … can’t help myself) where public service lawyers have appealled to it in the terms I’ve explained, and so have long assumed it gospel. Are you aware of any decisions I can read on this?

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

W. R. Moran Proprietary Limited v Deputy Federal Commissioner of Taxation (NSW) (1940) 63 CLR 338 (30 May 1940)

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Chris

To explain a bit more fully, what the government lawyers were probably trying to explain (although not very carefully by the sound of it) was the cautionary note by the Privy Council at the end of Moran:
“In coming to this conclusion their Lordships wish to make it clear that, as at present advised, they do not take the view that the Commonwealth Parliament can exercise its powers under sec. 96 with a complete disregard of the prohibition contained in sec. 51 (ii.), or so as altogether to nullify that constitutional safeguard. The prohibition is of considerable importance; and the Constitution should be construed bearing in mind that it is the result of an agreement between six high contracting parties with in some respects very different needs and interests. Cases may be imagined in which a purported exercise of the power to grant financial assistance under sec. 96 would be merely colourable. Under the guise or pretence of assisting a State with money, the real substance and purpose of the Act might simply be to effect discrimination in regard to taxation. Such an Act might well be ultra vires the Commonwealth Parliament. Their Lordships are using the language of caution because such a case may never arise, and also because it is their usual practice in a case dealing with constitutional matters to decide no more than their duty requires. They will add only that, in the view they take of the matter some of the legislative expedients–

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Ken, many thanks, and yes I follow all that (and will read the decision when I have an opportunity). The CGC is fine. In fact, if there was no CGC you could claim discrimination. You might be surprised how often this comes up as a routine test in Comm-state relations, even if there is lttle action arising on the outside. It was often raised in the course of the ncp processes, and complex issues have long turned around matching grants; namely what if you don’t want to pick the money up because the policy is stuffed? Is the money than included or excluded from your share of the distribution? How that plays inside the CGC is a black box. One legendary side-step was worked out by Joh Bjelke Peterson. Apparently, the story goes, Queensland’s middle ranking in the distribution can, or at least could be, played off both ways within the distribution formula. Joh’s treasury guys, or whoever advised him, figured out that they could knock back the matching grants, and pick up more in untied funds over time – a structural factor that underlay a lot of anti-commonwealth rhetoric, as Joh always had to publicly bag the programs themselves to get away with it. It was a good stunt, technically I mean.

yarraside
yarraside
2022 years ago

Ken,

I appreciate your pointers re: sections 96/99.

I should note that not only am I the only ‘bannee’ on Sheil’s blog, but it is the first and only time I have ever been banned on any blog, which is why I was astounded by his actions.

You have correctly identified that, for me at least, Sheil’s comments in relation to his drafting of the NCP agreements appeared to be asserting a superiority which was both condescending and unjustified, given what I regard as his clear misstatement of the effect of the NCP agreements.

But what I found really galling about Sheil’s actions was his banning me without disclosing that he was doing so to his readers.

It left the impression that I had merely ‘signed off’ on the debate, rather than being banned.

Surely if you are banning a commenter, it is only right to tell your readers you are doing so, thus allowing readers to decide for themselves whether the banning was warranted or not?

Ken, if posters on Blair’s blog were simply banned without disclosure, you wouldn’t have the information to form an opinion as to whether Ms Harris is ‘ban happy’ or simply aggresively enforcing the blog’s policy.

Either way, shouldn’t readers be given the information to decide for themselves?

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

OK – I think that closes off this thread fairly neatly and without any unpleasantness. With a bit of luck it might even have cleared the air a bit between Chris and “yarraside”. In any event, I’ll close off further comments now and quit while we’re ahead.