ISSUE – NO. 283
21 AUGUST 2015

The inaugural issue of “Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch” was published in April 1988 – over a year before the first edition of the ABC TV Media Watch program went to air. Since November 1997 “Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch” has been published as part of The Sydney Institute Quarterly. In 2009 Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog blog commenced publication.


  • Royal Commission: Is there a Journalistic (Perceived) Conflict of Interest?; Contradictions in the AFR
  • Can You Bear It? Leunig on Quackery & Fascism; Alice Workman & Anti-Semitism; Derryn Hinch’s Netball Confusion; Waleed Aly on Hyperbole and David Leser on what “Everyone” Thinks
  • MWD Exclusive: The Phillip Adams/Hendo Interview – An Inside Account
  • Mike (I’ll Pour the Gin”) Carlton’s Latest Confusion
  • History Corner: When Leftist Justice Murphy Involved the High Court in Politics
  • Correspondence: James Carleton Helps out Concerning the China/Australia Free Trade Agreement
  • The First Anniversary Update of the David Day v Anne Henderson Score-card


● What about Journalistic Perceived Conflict of Interest?

Today’s a big news day. In the Canberra Press Gallery, at least. And especially among ABC and Fairfax Media types who have been banging on about the fact that Justice Dyson Heydon accepted and then declined to address what some call a “Liberal Party fund raiser” which rarely, if ever, raises funds. We’re talking about the Annual Sir Garfield Barwick Address where former judges and current QCs/SCs say nice things about former High Court chief justice Garfield Barwick – over a three course meal costing – wait for it – $80 per head. Not much of a funding base there.

The Canberra Press Gallery has been obsessed about whether retired High Court judge Dyson Heydon has a conflict of interest – perceived or otherwise – with respect to his role as the Royal Commissioner into the trade union movement.

It seems journalists have a one-way attitude to perceived conflicts of interests. Many believe that Mr Heydon’s decision to accept an invitation to deliver a speech about a judge who died a quarter of a century ago to a room full of Liberal lawyers plus some others is a perceived conflict of interest – a position embraced by the ACTU. However, the very same journos see no perceived conflict of interest in reporting on the Royal Commission without declaring their membership of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA, the journalists’ trade union of choice) which is affiliated with the ACTU. This despite the fact that the ACTU has declared that Mr Heydon has a conflict of interest and MEAA fees help fund the ACTU. In other words, journalists with a perceived conflict of interest are criticising Dyson Heydon for having a perceived conflict of interest.


Today’s Australian Financial Review on why Labor wants Dyson Heydon to step down as royal commissioner into Trade Union Governance and Corruption – Page 5:

Labor leader Bill Shorten will not object to the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption continuing under a new commissioner should Dyson Heydon step aside, even though the Opposition Leader still believes the commission is a politically-motivated witch-hunt.

Hitting back at government claims that he was pushing for Justice Heydon’s ouster because he was worried about the commission’s final findings, Mr Shorten said, “I’ve always said I would be willing to co-operate with this royal commission. If they find another royal commissioner, so be it.”

Monday’s Australian Financial Review on why Labor wants Dyson Heydon to stay on as Royal Commissioner into Trade Union Governance and Corruption – Page 7:

The Labor Party and union movement will keep pressing for Dyson Heydon’s removal from the trade union royal commission, but also believe his staying put is the best option from a political perspective because it will make it easier to discredit his final report.

Well there you are – or perhaps not.



The leftist sandal-wearing Michael Leunig (who declines to reveal his date of birth in Who’s Who in Australia) is very much the embodiment of the leftists who control The Age – otherwise known as “The-Guardian-on-the-Yarra”.

In years gone by, it was the fashion of the Communist Party of Australia – on instructions from Moscow – to depict its social democratic opponents in the Labor Party as “social fascists”. Last Wednesday The Age – editor Andrew Holden – ran this cartoon by its in-house cartoonist Leunig, depicting the Victorian Labor government led by Daniel Andrews as a “fascist” administration for insisting that children be inoculated against dangerous diseases (including whooping cough) in order to attend kindergarten or childcare.

In defence of his position, Leunig described the term “fascist” as just another word for both “authoritarian” and “totalitarian”. Really. He also claimed that the (alleged) “primal hostility” towards him is driven by a “semi-conscious fear” about mortality. Really.

Nancy’s (male) co-owner’s primal hostility towards Comrade Leunig has taken the form of (i) commissioning a cartoon by Nancy in response to Leunig and (ii) re-publishing a photo of the sandal-clad Leunig on the set of Enough Rope some years ago. Sandalistas – by their sandals you shall know them.

Meanwhile Michael Leunig (born circa 1945) refused to tell Age journalist Neelima Choahan whether his own four children have been vaccinated. Since it is likely that the Leunig off-spring would have been born in the 1960s/1970s/1980s, they would be in all likelihood have been vaccinated – since anti-vaccine Quackery was not rife at The Age during this time.

Your man Leunig then went on a rant to Ms Choahan about the Vietnam War and all that:

I was conscripted for military service in Vietnam when I was young. I felt the full weight of that kind of authoritarianism for a futile and sad tragedy that took place in Vietnam. I am weary of compliance in the name of civic responsibility.

The fact is that men born after 1 January 1945 were called up for military service – which may, or may not, have resulted in military service in Vietnam. In any event, the Australian Army did not take conscripts to Vietnam who did not want to go. As to the Leunig claim that he felt the full weight of authoritarianism – well he failed the medical due to deafness in one ear and only felt the “authoritarianism” of the Army Medical Service. Can you bear it?

Mark Scott Squibs ABC Anti-Semitism Episode

ABC managing director and editor-in-chief Mark Scott earns more than the salary of the Prime Minister and Opposition leader combined. Yet Nice Mr Scott seems to spend an inordinate amount of time sending out tweets – only to disappear under the bed whenever a controversy arises at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. Like this one.

Here is the tweet – now removed from the web – which ABC Triple J reporter Alice Workman put out around the time of the July 2015 ALP national conference. It depicts Labor leader Bill Shorten with a Jewish prayer instrument on his head standing in front of a fighter-bomber jet which contains a “Visy” sign. Visy is the Australian company founded by Jewish Australian Richard Pratt (1934-2009).

It seems that Workman’s tweet was discovered by Labor MP Michael Danby who passed it on to The Australian’s “Media” section which covered the issue on Monday.

Ms Workman, who also reports weekly on ABC Radio 702’s “Mornings with Linda Mottram”, appears to have taken the Shorten image from an ant-semitic website. This suggestion in the tweet is that Shorten (a Christian) has sold out to International Jewry and the military industrial complex. Ms Workman’s use of this image to state her criticism of Bill Shorten’s performance at the ALP national conference demonstrates the point that ABC journalists tend to criticise both the Coalition and Labor from the left with a Green/Left perspective.

And what has Nice Mr Scott said about the fact that a prominent ABC journalist has given anti-semitism a nudge in attacking the Labor leader? Well, nothing. Absolutely nothing.

MWD asked the ABC on Wednesday whether Mr Scott had made a comment about the Alice Workman incident. MWD was directed to a statement issued by an anonymous Triple J spokesman which reads as follows:

Triple j sincerely apologizes for any offence caused by this tweet. Reporter Alice Workman was unfamiliar with the image of the phylactery and did not realize its religious significance. When the issue was raised with Alice at the time she first published the image, Alice apologized on Twitter for any offence, but did not remove the image in the interests of transparency and so that her apology would be seen in context.

Alice is profoundly sorry for any offence caused, and has been counseled by her editorial managers. Alice is meeting up with Michael Danby MP this week to discuss the issue.

Er, that’s it. Taxpayers are asked to believe that Alice Workman did not realise the “religious significance” of a Jewish prayer instrument. And no explanation is even attempted with respect to the “Visy” markings on the jet fighter-bomber. None at all.

MWD went back to ABC management and asked whether Mark Scott had made – or intends to make – any statement on this matter in his capacity as ABC managing director and editor-in-chief. It received what amounted to a “No comment” comment. MWD was also advised that “the issue has been handled by the appropriate division”.

So there you have it. Mark Scott regards it as a valuable use of his time to send out by Twitter the results of the latest Newspoll. But he regards it as appropriate that Alice Workman’s offensive tweet should be handled covertly by unnamed persons at Triple J. Can you bear it?

Derryn Hinch’s Netball Ignorance

As if Sky News’ Hinch Live isn’t boring enough. Last Sunday, Derryn Hinch led his (boring) program with a photograph of – wait for it – the Human Headline Himself. There Hinch was – with plastic tubes up his nostrils. And there he was – with a view of a replaced knee at the end of which there was a somewhat bunion-challenged foot. [What kind of rating does Hinch Live have? PG, surely? And let’s hope he doesn’t need an operation for piles – Ed]

Your man Hinch presents himself as a sheila-friendly kind of bloke. So much so that he invariably has a female-only panel of two. Last Sunday it was Andrea Clarke and Martine Harte.

Soon discussion turned to netball, following last Sunday’s victory of Australia’s Diamonds over New Zealand in the Netball World Cup. Let’s go to the transcript as the Human Headline admits that he knows almost nothing about women’s netball or, indeed, women’s basketball.

Martine Harte: We’ve been dominant [in netball] since the early 60’s. We have been dominating the game. So you’re right. It should be reflected in our columns, it should be reflected on our websites.

Derryn Hinch: Okay, let me ask an ignorant question. When did it suddenly change from basketball – as we knew it, “girls’ basketball” where you didn’t run you stopped before you shoot, you passed – and became netball? Do we know?

Martine Harte: I’ve always thought it was netball.

Derryn Hinch: Have you?

Derryn Hinch is obviously unaware of some facts. Namely that both Netball and Women’s Basketball are over a century old. He almost seemed unaware of the fact that the Australian female basketball team, called Opals, is currently playing in Australia. Can you bear it?

[I note that “Gutless (Media) Wonder” Derryn Hinch and “Gutless (Media) Wonder” Paul Murray have still not given you a right of reply to respond to their howlers about your comments on Cardinal George Pell – Ed]

Waleed Aly on the Hyperbole of Others – but Not his Own

In today’s Fairfax Media newspapers, left-wing academic Waleed Aly accuses the Abbott government of being “gigantically hyperbolic” since it is “compelled to overstate everything”.

Could this be the very same Waleed Aly who recently blamed Indonesia’s executions of drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on (i) the Treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and, wait for it, (ii) “our War on Terror” along with (iii) Indonesia’s reaction to Australia’s tendency to “push them around”? Oh yes. He also mentioned Australia’s beef exports to Indonesia and “our bellicose approach to border protection”. So it was all Australia’s fault – due to the policies and attitudes of “successive governments” – both Labor and Coalition. But not, of course, the Greens. Moreover, Aly did not mention that this year Indonesia has also executed citizens from such nations as Brazil and Vietnam.

And Waleed Aly reckons that the Abbott government is into hyperbole and overstatement. Can you bear it?

David Leser’s Anti-Abbott Exaggeration

In yet another anti-Abbott rant in Fairfax Media’s newspapers yesterday, freelance journalist David Leser devoted an entire column to asserting that the Prime Minister is a boy – not a man.

Once upon a time papers like the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age would not have published such evidence-free sludge. Moreover, a good editor would have junked Mr Leser’s final rant which was as follows:

We have a boy running the country and he’s scaring the pants off everyone.

Everyone? Really. What a load of tosh. And Fairfax Media is paying for such tripe. Can you bear it?



As a rule, Gerard Henderson believes that what happens in a media green-room or studio before or after an interview, stays in the green-room or the studio. One such exception to this rule-of-courtesy occurs when the interviewer makes an incorrect claim about the interview. Then Hendo responds – to correct the record and all that jazz. As with, for example, the ABC Radio National Late Night Live program which aired on Thursday 30 July 2015.

This is how Phillip Adams commenced his column titled – “Santa’s follower” – in The Weekend Australian Magazine last Saturday:

We’ve been a mutual admonishment society for almost 30 years — yet there he is. Sitting in my studio. Small as life. Gerard Henderson! About to discuss his bio of the wondrously enchristianed RC warrior Bob Santamaria. The atmosphere’s tense — both of us supping with long spoons. And even before he begins talking about Santa (or was Gerard channelling him?) we’d disagreed about what had brought us together. Gerard insisted we’d invited him and that he’d accepted “out of politeness” whereas my understanding was that he’d made the overtures. Both versions are equally improbable.

Now here’s a SCOOP. Late Night Live is always late (it goes to air at 10.05 pm) but not always live. The LNL Adams/Henderson interview, which aired at around 10.30 pm on Thursday 30 July 2015, was pre-recorded at 9.30 pm on Wednesday 29 July 2015.

Now, as Hendo told the LNL executive producer before the interview, he had not appeared on LNL for over 20 years. The last occasion was late 1991, when in Phillip Adams’ absence (or what journalists like to call a well-earned break) a debate between Hendo and Quentin Dempster on the ABC was chaired by Vivian Schenker. The last time the ABC’s Man-in-Black invited Nancy’s (male) co-owner on to LNL was some years before this.

Originally MUP asked James Carleton whether RN Breakfast would like to interview Gerard Henderson about Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man. The offer was declined. So MUP asked LNL and, much to Hendo’s surprise, the offer was accepted. And so it came to pass that Gerard Henderson returned to what Phillip Adams likes to call his little wireless program after an absence of a mere quarter of a century.

This was not quite how Phillip Adams described the occasion in his piece in The Weekend Australian Magazine. These are what, in these cliché-ridden times, are called the true facts.

Hendo rocked up to the LNL studio, after an absence of several decades. He entered the ABC’s Man-in-Black’s personal space at his little wireless program.

Hendo was quite relaxed as he was shown into the studio. PA was sitting at the side of his desk, with hands clasped. Hendo was expecting to shake your man Adams’ hand. But Adams did not stand up. Problem here. And he did not unclasp his hands. Impossible now. [Interesting. Perhaps the ABC’s Man-in-Black should enrol in Nancy’s Courtesy Classes – Ed]

And so Hendo sat in front of his microphone. And PA moved to in front of his microphone. The exchange was filmed – so viewers can draw their own conclusions as to whether Hendo was “tense” as Adams has claimed.

When the interview commenced, Adams thanked Henderson for coming on to the program. Hendo thanked Adams for the invitation – and then joked that he had brought flowers and chocolate. The following exchange then took place – which went something like this.

Phillip Adams: Well, why did you decide to come back on the program?

Gerard Henderson: Because I received an invitation for the first time in over two decades. I accepted because I’m polite.

Phillip Adams: That can’t be correct.

Gerard Henderson: It is correct.

This conversation is re-constructed because it was cut from the interview which went to air. As far as Hendo is aware, it was the only cut to a lively, pleasant and polite interview. [I can see that you are angling for another interview in a quarter of a century’s time – circa July 2040 – Ed]

And that was that. Gerard Henderson AC (aka Always Courteous) is not the kind of guy who would personally invite himself on to Phillip Adams’ little wireless program which is brought to you by the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. Like any gentleman, he waits for an invitation – sure in the knowledge that, every 25 years or so, one will arrive. And it did – albeit not in the way Phillip Adams described it in The Weekend Australian Magazine last Saturday.

Here’s what Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton had to say at 7.16 pm – Gin & Tonic time – at his Avalon Beach abode last Saturday about Gerard Henderson’s book Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man (MUP, 2015).

That’s the voice of the Sage of Avalon in Gin & Tonic mode – talking about a book he has not read. And here’s what some sober commentators – who have read Hendo’s latest tome – are saying:

“Gerard Henderson has done Australian history a considerable service with his highly ambitious biography.” – Geraldine Doogue.

“Bob Santamaria deserves Gerard Henderson’s lively and informative biography, Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man…Henderson has produced a rounded and at times fascinating portrait of Santamaria and of some of his closest colleagues.” – Professor John Warhurst, The Conversation, 18 August 2015.

Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man – “fascinating”, “compelling”, “captivating.”

– Professor Ross Fitzgerald, The Weekend Australian, 8-9 August 2015.

[I note that you are appearing with Ms Doogue at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival at 2.30 pm on Saturday to discuss B.A. Santamaria – see here.You will either have to wear sandals or engage a security detail to protect yourself from the inner-city Sandalistas. – Ed]


It appears that Graham Hryce has become Fairfax Media’s go-to lawyer when it comes to discussing legal matters of relevance to the Abbott government. This is how the Beazley Boorman lawyer concluded his article in Fairfax Media newspapers on Wednesday concerning Dyson Heydon and the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption:

The political consequences of a finding of perceived bias and/or of terminating the royal commission are dire. So too are the political consequences of a contrary finding and the continuation of the royal commission.

One way out for Heydon would be for him to resign as royal commissioner before Friday and leave the political consequences to the politicians. This may be the only way for Heydon to escape this controversy with his integrity and reputation relatively unscathed.

Owen Dixon, former chief justice of the High Court and Australia’s most esteemed jurist, was strongly of the view that judges should not accept appointments as royal commissioners. Heydon’s dilemma, whatever the outcome, confirms the wisdom of that view.

Needless to say, Dyson Heydon did not resign as royal commissioner before today. And Owen Dixon’s advice is of no moment in this instance, since Mr Heydon agreed to head the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption after he ceased being a judge.

MWD is not aware that your man Hryce ever handed out advice to the Labour Lawyer fraternity who ended up on the judiciary. The left’s hero Lionel Murphy, who was appointed by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to the High Court in 1975, from his position as Whitlam’s Attorney-General, certainly got involved in politics. Oh yes.

On 29 June 1979, while a sitting judge of the High Court of Australia, Justice Lionel Murphy addressed – wait for it – the first national conference of Labour Lawyers in Adelaide. His speech can be located on the Justinian website.

Here are a couple of takes from the left-wing hero Comrade Murphy’s sermon, of recent memory, to the Labour Lawyers:

The criminal justice system in Australia, and not only in Australia, is a disgrace to civilised society.

* * * *

Two hundred years ago Europeans came to a country inhabited by peaceful people living in harmony with their environment, with an ancient system of law and a highly developed system of social justice. They had no need of the goods, the law, or the ideas of the invaders.

* * * *

I move to the doctrine of precedent, and that’s a favourite doctrine of mine. I have managed to apply it at least once every year since I’ve been on the bench. The doctrine of precedent is one that whenever faced with a decision, you always follow what the last person did who was faced with the same decision. It is a doctrine eminently suitable for a nation overwhelmingly populated by sheep.

* * * *

We need definition and development of the law in many areas – children’s rights, prisoners’ rights, those of other disadvantaged groups. We need community legal education beginning in the schools; we need provision of legal aid as an instrument to equalise opportunity. This will require change in the attitudes of academics, of practitioners, government as well as private, and of judges.

The impetus for change will not come from the establishment lawyers, it will come from lawyers like you. It is worthy of the efforts of Labor lawyers; it is a labour of love.

* * * *

Lionel Murphy’s beliefs that (i) Australia is a disgrace to civilised society, (ii) Australia was a peaceful utopia before white settlement, (iii) precedent suits a nation overwhelmingly populated by sheep and (iv) Labour Lawyers should be an impetus for change, no doubt inspired the audience assembled in Adelaide. But Justice Murphy’s speech was unprofessional, alienated and superficial.

In view of the (then) Justice Murphy’s 1979 comments, the idea that the former judge Dyson Heydon somehow has diminished the reputation of the judiciary is bunk. Just bunk.

This overwhelmingly popular segment of Media Watch Dog usually works like this. Someone or other thinks it would be a you-beaut idea to write to Nancy’s (male) co-owner about something or other. And Hendo, being a courteous and well-brought up kind of guy, replies. Then, hey presto, the correspondence is published in MWD – much to the delight of its tens of millions of readers.

There are occasions, however, when Nancy’s (male) co-owner decides to write a polite note to someone or other – who, in turn, believes that a reply is in order. Publication in MWD invariably follows. There are, alas, some occasions where Hendo sends a polite missive but does not receive the courtesy of a reply. Nevertheless, publication of this one-sided correspondence still takes place. For the record and in the public interest, of course.

As MWD readers are aware, The Guardian Australia’s deputy editor Katharine Murphy put out the following tweet on 6 June 2014 at 4.33 pm – when that issue of MWD was “hot off the press”. Here is Ms Murphy’s tweet: “Without in any way wanting to breach anyone’s human rights or free speech – why do people write emails to Gerard Henderson?” It’s a very good question. Thankfully, not everyone follows Katharine Murphy’s wise counsel.


In last week’s MWD, reference was made to the fact that Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash had put out a statement contradicting a finding by the ABC’s (bloated) Fact Check Unit concerning the Australia China Free Trade Agreement.

Russell Skelton, John Barrow and their Fact Check comrades had delivered a finding which ran the line taken by the CFMEU and the ACTU. Namely, that the Australia China Free Trade Agreement will allow the Chinese companies on Australian work sites at the expense of Australian workers.

MWD wrote that, under the Australia China Free Trade Agreement, Chinese workers can only by employed when it can be proven that no qualified Australian workers are available to do the same job. This continues the tradition of Section 457 visas which have been in operation for some years under both Labor and Coalition governments. Also, no Chinese worker employed on an Australian site can receive lower pay or inferior conditions to Australian workers.

In any event, MWD’s coverage upset ABC Radio National Breakfast’s James Carleton who wrote to Nancy’s (male) co-owner. Here we go:

James Carleton to Gerard Henderson – 15 August 2015

“Chinese workers can only be employed [under CAFTA] when it can be proven that no qualified Australian workers are available to do the same job.”

To use a phrase that has been used before, you just made that up. And another, you should be able to to [sic] better than that.

Gerard Henderson to James Carleton – 19 August 2015


How wonderful to receive your email of Saturday morning.

As I recall, the last time we talked was on 21 May 2015 – the day before you interviewed Archbishop Anthony Fischer on Radio National Breakfast. You told me – and, presumably, the Archbishop’s office – that the focus of the discussion was to be the impact of atheism on anti-Catholic sectarianism.

In fact, you focused almost exclusively on child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. In the process you claimed that George Pell had been the Catholic “Bishop of Ballarat” when sexual abuse by Catholic priests and brothers against young boys was rife in the diocese.

Of course, as you should have known, George Pell was never the Bishop of Ballarat, Archbishop Fisher corrected your howler – but the fact that so senior an ABC journalist made so serious a mistake speaks volumes for the anti-Pell prejudice at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.

Your howler would be akin to saying that Paul Bongiorno, a former Catholic priest in the Ballarat diocese who knew the paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, held a more senior position than in fact he did – say, that of monsignor. But you are not inclined to make such a mistake since Bonge is now a leftie and has a role on Radio National Breakfast.

In relation to your email last Saturday, I would be interested in any evidence you might have to support your assertion that Chinese workers can be employed, under the China Australia Free Trade Agreement, despite the fact that qualified Australian workers are available to do the same job. Here’s hoping that you can do better than CFMEU or ACTU “talking points”.

Over to you.

Keep morale high.

Gerard Henderson

PS: It’s great to know that you read my Media Watch Dog so diligently.

James Carleton to Gerard Henderson- 20 August 2015

G’day Gerard,

Happy to oblige. The evidence is attached.


Gerard Henderson to James Carleton – 21 August 2015


Thanks for your seven word reply. As you will be aware, the “evidence” which is attached to your email consists of an unmarked copy of the 163 page long Australia China Free Trade Agreement.

You did not point to one section which (allegedly) supported your case. Not one. This must be a leftist tactic. As an avid MWD reader, you will be aware that this is the very same tactic used by left-wing historian David Day in defence of the undocumented assertions in his book Menzies & Churchill at War.

Dr Day (for a doctor he is), does not cite any page or pages when asked to provide evidence to support his case. Rather he tells evidence-seekers to read the entire book and find the (alleged) evidence themselves.

If I am asked to provide evidence to support my claims about a document or book, I provide it. If you, or David Day, are asked for evidence – you tell enquirers to read the document or book. What a convenient tactic – if there is no evidence.

Over and out.


* * * *

[Note from Editor: Perhaps you should publish a one year anniversary update of the David Day/Anne Henderson scoreboard to celebrate the “fact” that Dr Day has been flat out like a lizard drinking for a whole year.

Also, your readers might be interested in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s refutation of the CMFEU/ACTU/James Carleton conspiracy theory. Here it is in part]:

China-Australia FTA (ChAFTA): myths versus realities

This document addresses some misconceptions about the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), signed in Canberra on 17 June 2015.

First myth: Chinese companies will have unrestricted access to Chinese workers for major projects, threatening Australian jobs

Reality: FALSE

ChAFTA will not allow unrestricted access to the Australian labour market by Chinese workers. It will not allow Australian employment laws or conditions to be undermined, nor allow companies to avoid paying Australian wages by using foreign workers.

Australia’s existing visa arrangements, including the 457 visa program, will continue to be the basis for implementing Australia’s commitments on labour mobility under ChAFTA. The 457 visa program assists employers to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers where they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian. ChAFTA will not remove the need for employer sponsorship under the 457 visa programme.

Through Investment Facilitation Arrangements (IFAs) made available under a separate MOU concluded alongside ChAFTA, Chinese companies making significant investments in Australia (more than $150 million in specific types of infrastructure development projects) will have increased access to skilled overseas workers when suitable local workers cannot be found.

IFAs will strengthen infrastructure development and investment, leading to the creation of jobs and increased economic prosperity for all Australians.

IFAs will not allow unskilled or underpaid Chinese workers to be brought in to staff major projects. In fact, consistent with existing programmes, IFAs will provide certainty that investors will be able to access skilled overseas workers, under Australian employment conditions, when suitable local workers cannot be found.

Under IFAs, Australian workers will continue to be given first opportunity. Consistent with existing practice, employers will not be permitted to bring in overseas skilled workers unless there is clear evidence of a genuine labour market need, as determined by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection….

And now for a David Day vs Anne Henderson scoreboard:

[table id=37 /] 

Until next time – keep morale high.


“[Gerard Henderson is a] professional filing cabinet”

– Leftist scribbler Jeff Sparrow, Crikey, 13 August 2015

Leaving the house to avoid listening to GHenderson on @774melbourne

– Jonathan Green via Twitter, 31 July 2015

“gerard henderson trending on twitter, omg [looks out window, where the sun is eclipsed and the sky blood-red] oh yeah that makes sense”

– Adam Brereton via Twitter, 31 July 2015

Gerard Henderson on @891adelaide right now & I find myself shouting at my radio. What a morning”

– Louise Pascale via Twitter, 31 July 2015

“oh hell why is Gerard Henderson trending? Has boredom become the new black.”

– MNihilon via Twitter, 31 July 2015

Told I made the late Gerard Henderson’s little blog today. Read it. What a rancorous, nauseating, humourless little turd he is.

– Mike Carlton via Twitter during Gin & Tonic Time on 12 June 2015.

“On Sunday before Insiders…I was giving you a rich and full account of what a weird shit I think you are…”

– David Marr to Gerard Henderson, 1 June 2015

To #swf2015 this morning. Sunlit harbour, fabulous crowds radiating civility. And no Gerard Henderson ! It doesn’t get any better.

– Mike Carlton, via Twitter, 1:48 PM – 21 May 2015

Gerard Henderson’s friday self-harm update is here

– Adam Brereton, via Twitter, May 15, 2015

[Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog is] batshit mad.

– Guy Rundle in Crikey, 14 May 2015

I’m in the sort of mood that if I saw Gerard Henderson in the street I’d hit him with his own umbrella

– Ben Pobjie, via Twitter, 8 May 2015

It’s a glorious day when Gerard Henderson has a go at you

– Adam Gartrell, via Twitter, 8 May 2015

Meeting of Gerard Henderson Appreciation Society tonight Sydney Opera House phone booth

– Phillip Adams, via Twitter, 28 April 2015, 1.36 pm (after lunch).

“Gerard’s condescension levels high on #insiders this morning”

– Lenore Taylor, via Twitter, 22 February 2015

“Gerard Henderson and David Marr are on #Insiders this week. Like a political Felix and Oscar.”

– Mark Scott via Twitter 19 February 2015 at 1.10 pm

“I once called Gerard Henderson `a complete f%^wit’. I deeply regret that. I was being much too harsh on f%^wits.”

– Malcolm Farr via Twitter 14 February 2015 at 10:14 am

“Oh Gerard. You total clown.”

– Jonathan (“Proudly the ABC’s Sneerer-in-Chief”) Green on Twitter, Friday 3 October 2014, 4.31 pm [Mr Green must be an obsessive avid reader to respond so soon. – Ed]

“Good morning. All the gooder for being attacked (for thousandth time) by silly Gerard in the Oz”

– Phillip Adams via Twitter,  27 September 2014

“What troubles me most is that he [Gerard Henderson] shows such low journalistic standards, yet he is politically quite influential. He is often on Insiders. It’s hard to see why: he comes across as a crank.”

– Kate Durham as told to Crikey, 16 September 2014

“The unhinged but well spoken Gerard Henderson….”

– Bob Ellis, Table Talk blog, 10 August 2014

“Gerard Henderson and Nancy are awful human beings.”

– Alexander White, Twitter, 25 July 2014

“This is my regularly scheduled “Oh Gerard” tweet for every time he appears on #insiders”

– Josh Taylor, senior journalist for ZDNet, Twitter, 20 July 2014

“…that fu-kwitted Gerard “Gollum” Henderson….”

– Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton, via Twitter, 12 July 2014

“[Gerard Henderson is a] silly prick”

– Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton – tweeted Saturday 27 June 2014 at 4.15 pm, i.e. after lunch

“If Gerard Henderson had run Beria’s public relations Stalin’s death would have been hidden for a year and Nikita [Khrushchev] and co would have been shot”

– Laurie Ferguson via Twitter – 22 June 2014 [By-line: Mr Ferguson is a member of the House of Representatives who speaks in riddles.]

“[Gerard Henderson] is the Eeyore of Australian public life”

– Mike Seccombe in The [Boring] Saturday Paper – 21 June 2014

“Without in any way wanting to breach anyone’s human rights or free speech – why do people write emails to Gerard Henderson?”

– Katharine Murphy, Twitter, Friday 6 June 2014

“[Gerard Henderson is] an unhinged prick”

– Mike Carlton, Twitter, Thursday 12 June 2014

“There’s no sense that Gerard Henderson has any literary credentials at all.”

– Anonymous comment quoted, highlighted and presumably endorsed by Jason (“I’m a left-leaning luvvie”) Steger, The Age, 31 May 2014

On boyfriend’s insistence, watching the notorious Gerard Henderson/@Kate_McClymont Lateline segment. GH: What an odd, angry gnome of a man.

– Benjamin Law, via Twitter, Thursday 17 Apr 2014, 11:21 pm

Can’t believe I just spent my Thursday evening with a video recap of Gerard Henderson. I’m a f-cking moron.

– Benjamin Law, via Twitter, Thursday 17 Apr 2014, 11:23 pm

“[Gerard Henderson is an] unhinged crank”

– Mike Carlton, via Twitter, Saturday 29 March 2014, 4.34 pm

Complete stranger comes up to me: that Gerard Henderson’s a xxxxxx.

– Jonathan Green via Twitter, 8 February 2014