Out of MTR’s defamation jail! The Streisand Effect, & conduct that offends

13 Jan
Image: Feminists for Free Expression ffeusa.org

Image: Feminists for Free Expression ffeusa.org

This time last year I received a threat of defamation action from anti pornography activist Melinda Tankard Reist. The gist of her complaint is outlined in these extracts from a letter of demand, sent by her lawyer Ric Lucas of Colquhoun Murphy, on January 13 2012:

 We are instructed that you have made a number of defamatory posts concerning our client on the internet, set out principally under the heading “The questions Rachel Hills didn’t ask Melinda Tankard Reist” on your blog No Place for Sheep. These claims have been widely circulated, including on twitter.

For instance you assert that Melinda Tankard Reist is a member of a church that preaches the second coming off [sic] Christ, the end time, evangelism and that sex filthies the human female and renders her impure. You claim that “Tankard Reist is a Baptist.” This is simply false, yet you have erected an entire panoply of criticism upon it. And you finish your attack by alleging without the slightest evidence that our client is “deceptive and duplicitous about her religious beliefs.

This is false and unwarranted, and seriously defamatory.

Our client is very distressed at your behaviour, and requires that you immediately remove these posts from the internet. They are very damaging to her reputation.

Ms Tankard Reist also requires a prompt apology and retraction by signed letter, in terms to be agreed with this firm, and which also should be published upon your blog “No place for sheep” [sic]. She also requires payment of her legal costs.

She reserves her right to damages for defamation. 

We note that this is a concerns notice pursuant to s126 of the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act  2002 and is not for publication.

Then, on January 17 2012, I received another letter from Mr Lucas.

We refer to our letter of 13 January. We note that instead of seeking legal advice and considering whether you should withdraw your false claim that Melinda Tankard Reist is “deceptive and duplicitous about her religious beliefs…” you have redoubled your attacks upon our client, with the result that a number of journalists have raised the issue with our client.

Our client intends to rely on your conduct as aggravating the damages payable to her. The slightest reflection on your part would have led to the conclusion that your false claims are very hurtful to our client, and by circulating them so widely, you have done significant damage to her reputation. We can only conclude from your behaviour, especially since our client sought an apology, that you are motivated by malice.

We have pointed out to you the false basis on which you have proceeded, yet instead of apologising, you assert that because someone else has said (falsely) that our client is a Baptist “She is going to have to sue a few more blogs than mine.”

You cannot rely on anyone else’s false statements on a blog, as a defence for your false claims. Was that the full extent of your enquiries, before you proceeded to make the hurtful and damaging claim that Melinda Tankard Reist “is deceitful and duplicitous about her religious beliefs…?”

We note you have misled the followers of your blog by asserting that our client has demanded that “I withdraw all of my posts about her.” That is just another falsehood on your part. The demand is specific – that you withdraw those which are defamatory, and we specified some allegations, in particular the entirely false claim that Melinda Tankard Reist “is deceptive and duplicitous about her religious beliefs.”

Your sense of guilt about that particular claim is palpable, given that when you were seeking support online against my client’s attempt to censor you, you did not even disclose that was at the heart of my client’s objection to what you had written. 

Since our letter of 13 January you have made further defamatory claims, and comments on blogs, which should also be withdrawn. You should also take down defamatory and abusive comments by others, hosted on your blog.

You have in your published writings pointed to the fact that child abuse is a transgression of several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and have called for domestic law to give effect to a charter of rights. You are no doubt aware that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights powerfully affirms the right to honour and reputation. Article 12 provides that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

You should reflect upon the fact that you have seriously flouted your obligation to uphold the Universal Declaration. Would you like to be described publicly as “deceptive and duplicitous?”

Australian law protects Ms Tankard Reist against your breach of her rights, through the law of defamation. It is an imperfect protection, because it cannot require you to retract or apologise for your breach.

The only remedy the law provides is the right to obtain a judgement declaring that what you wrote was false, and an award of compensation. If you will not retract, the law will protect our client’s rights.

Without prejudice, we note that our client’s aim in this is not to bankrupt you. She would much rather you came to your senses, and realised that a person who wishes to be taken seriously as a social commentator, who has pretensions as a scholar of human rights with a PhD from Southern Cross University, should check their facts, and not indulge in flights of libellous fancy. 

If this matter can be resolved by negotiation resulting inter alia in a correction and apology, that would be far preferable to the expense of proceedings in the ACT courts.

I’m resisting the considerable temptation to deconstruct this harangue.

A complainant has twelve months to instigate defamation action following the issuing of a letter of demand. This period has now expired.

The thing is, if Tankard Reist had bothered to contact me directly, I’d have been more than happy to discuss the situation with her, and to publish her rebuttal on the blog. This is an example of how threats of legal action and demands for money achieve nothing, and indeed, can make matters far worse. See this brilliant analysis of the Streisand Effect as it played out in this case, to Tankard Reist’s considerable detriment.

I have  strong objections to people attempting to intimidate and bully others into silence through threats of financially crippling legal action. I think it is all too often the first resort of a coward. Imagine how much better this could have turned out for Tankard Reist if she’d challenged me, instead of trying to frighten and silence me.

It’s also worth checking out Sarah Joseph’s analysis of the proposed draft anti discrimination bill. In this proposal, it becomes unlawful to engage in “conduct that offends, insults, or intimidates.”  There is quite a difference between offence and insult,  and intimidation and harassment, yet they are lumped together in the proposed legislation as unlawful. As Joseph points out “There is no human right not to be offended or insulted. And indeed, historically much important speech has offended somebody.”

After reading Joseph’s piece, I am at a loss to understand why Attorney General Nicola Roxon is pursuing this avenue. While I would be delighted to watch Alan Jones and his ilk hauled before the courts on a fairly consistent basis as they continue to offend and insult someone because of their protected attribute, the bigger picture is frightening, and smacks of far too much government control. Nobody enjoys being insulted and offended because of who they are and what they believe, yet the idea of taking legal action in such circumstances is extreme, is it not?


150 Responses to “Out of MTR’s defamation jail! The Streisand Effect, & conduct that offends”

  1. The Annonynonnymoose January 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    In this proposal, it becomes unlawful to engage in “conduct that offends, insults, or intimidates.”

    Who is the godlike creature who defines this for everyone? Who says what I say is offending every single person? It’s a disturbing sweeping generalisation being made, and one that doesn’t include my views at all. After all, no one asked me for mine.


    • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2013 at 6:42 am #

      HAS EVERYBODY READ THIS ON RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS EXEMPTION FROM ANTI DISCRIMINATION LAWS? http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/gillards-bizarre-act-of-faith-leaves-vulnerable-unprotected-20130113-2cnf0.html


      • Sam Jandwich January 14, 2013 at 10:35 am #

        Hello Jennifer!

        Yes I did, and it strikes me that the schism (and I use the term loosely) we see in Aussie society is really quite a lot more significant than many of us imagine, and worth pointing out.

        It can seem like a big joke… but actually just a few weeks ago I was at a friend’s *wedding* ie one of the more significant occasions in one’s life. At said wedding, the priest/celebrant read a passage from some religious text whose exact derivation I’m unaware of, but it was about how in the dawn of time ‘Adam” was lonely, and so “God” removed one of his ribs and made it into “Eve”, who henceforth became Adam’s loyal companion.

        Message is that I think it’s important for secular people to take seriously the idea that religious people do actually believe in this stuff. it’s not just some sort of fable that they use to assuage the anxiety they have over the rampant complexity of this world and their helplessness within it. Instead, they actually adhere to these ideas, and even live by them.

        David Marr’s right, it is difficult in an objective sense to comprehend this phenomenon since to us these ideas seem so outlandish. But apart from anything else I just wonder whether perhaps this strong commitment religious people have to their faith provides an explanation for the vehemence of MTR’s reaction, and reactivity.

        Once again thanks for your courage and commitment.


      • Gruffbutt January 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

        Yes, I did.

        I wonder if enough people in this fairly godless society we live in (come on…most of us don’t care about the big cheese) will resort to civil disobedience en masse when they realise further down the track what law they’re up against, the one they didn’t notice being approved by our elected (cough!) ‘representatives’.

        (Or will we all roll over and die a second time?)

        I suspect that strings are being pulled from further up on this issue, i.e. from offshore. I’ll let you know if I come up with a coherent (conspiracy) theory (hell, I’ve heard worse). Welcome to Oceania.


        • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

          My money is on the roll over and die option.

          Note to self.
          Become a lawyer.It’s the new religion.


      • doug quixote January 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

        Not sure just what Gillard has to do with it, apart from Marr’s obsession with her.

        There are differing views on the Bill and its provisions : see also


        Where the Human Rights Law Centre welcomed it.



        • doug quixote January 15, 2013 at 1:12 am #

          No, after four tries, WordPress steadfastly refuses to allow me to link to the NSW Law Society’s submissions. Please use your search engine.


    • conor January 26, 2013 at 9:26 am #

      I allows find it strange that so many people who would , or are described themselves as “left wing” are the first to demand the right to free speech without realising it doesn’t mean the right to say anything, whilst simultaneously refusing to allow comments they find offensive/insulting/stupid etc to exist! Chrys is an example of this, abusing,blocking or banning people on here who’s comments, or ideologies are not aligned with hers. She will use the tired argument it is her blog etc, whilst bemoaning newspapers,government sites use of the same process to block her comments.
      Me I revel and challenge all who seek to criticise me as long as it is detailed and reasoned.. However, again, untrue thoughts and comments have no place being bandied about and should have the protection of law.


      • hudsongodfrey January 26, 2013 at 10:34 am #

        Chrys who? If you want free speech in the marketplace of ideas so badly, and you’re going to attack someone then do so openly by being willing to be challenged. If this is about someone else’s blog (?) take it up with them.

        Otherwise it seems hypocritical or at least backhanded to bring it up here, since there’s no mention (I searched) of anyone called Chrys on this whole page.

        Which is a pity because after a little thing called “elevatorgate” that caused a bit of a stink amongst atheists on YouTube last year we learned that atheism may not be the selector for reason that a lot of people think it ought to be.

        Here’s the contention; there are several ways to deal with comments and opinions that you don’t like, you can moderate them all out (hard work), ignore everything (totally disengaged with any but your ardent admirers), or you can attempt to reason with them, slaughter them with your blinding logic or just eviscerate them with your wit. And while that last one sounds most attractive flame wars that often erupt get to be more about egos than truth or facts.

        Some argue that their blog exists in a private space that they own and insist that they’ve the right to share as they see fit. Others disagree saying that ideas can’t be owned or that it is to the detriment of better ideas if really bad ones are taken down rather than made an example of.

        I think moderating out abuse isn’t a bad thing. But moderating out trolling probably comes at the risk of letting the troll know where your sensitivities lie, whereas you’re better to ignore them until they troll themselves out. And of course one man’s troll is often another’s ideological ally.

        The one mistake that I think a lot, even most people, including the errant atheist feminists have made (read/view their antics before you call me on this), is to imagine that what all intellectual activity, and indeed the internet phenomenon in social media that has become a marketplace of ideas, is all about is the quest for an ideological answer. They’re wrong anyway to think we can, would or should all try to adopt the same perspective, and then they let their egos get in the way anyhow.


        • Hypocritophobe January 26, 2013 at 11:09 am #

          I think we have a dweller from the shaded bridge, and probably the same old one wearing a different sock.The probably get lonely.No wonder,


          • hudsongodfrey January 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

            I kinda figured and much, but it gave me a change to air some other stuff that comes up from time to time in the context of (sort of) recent events…


            • Hypocritophobe January 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

              ..and I know we should resist the temptation to feed them, but I always seem to fling chips at seagulls too.It must be reflex action.


      • Hypocritophobe January 26, 2013 at 11:16 am #

        After tripping over this obvious synapse implosion.

        “I *allows* find it strange that so many people who would , or are described themselves as “left wing” are the first to demand the right to free speech without realising it doesn’t mean the right to say anything, whilst simultaneously refusing to allow comments they find offensive/insulting/stupid etc to exist! ”

        I came across this further down.

        “Me I revel and challenge all who seek to criticise me as long as it is detailed and reasoned..”

        So my detailed and reasoned response is that you pretty much need to think before you write, and let ‘the exchange of information’ get a guernsey at some point.
        Or better yet, troll elsewhere.


  2. Hypocritophobe January 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    So is the 13th or the 17th 12 months?
    How does that work?


    “Would you like to be described publicly as “deceptive and duplicitous?” ”

    as framed in a legal demand sounds strange.Do defamation letters always have a range of philosophical questions like that? A bit of to and fro ?


    • Jennifer Wilson January 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

      Actually, I couldn’t care less how I’m described publicly. How friends & family describe me matters a bit more!


      • Hypocritophobe January 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

        They must have respected your opinion because they asked you to share it, “how would you like” and then they also wanted parts of it shut down. “how would you like to shut up?”.
        I won’t say what that could be called.


        • AnnODyne January 15, 2013 at 9:37 am #

          as JW said, she had to fight her urge to intensely deconstruct every sentence of both letters (the way we all were during the reading of them). From the style, some readers might assume that the author scraped through their degree units with a mere ‘P’ every time.

          My experience has informed me that if one ever needs to ‘threaten’, this is the key opener: “a person who is unbalanced might” to protect the speaker from legal action, ie I didn’t say I would punch your face, I said “a crazy person would punch you”. la la la

          I share your relief at the passing of 365 days.


      • paul walter January 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

        Know the feeling.


      • Gruffbutt January 14, 2013 at 3:29 am #

        You’re a legend, Jennifer…
        From a discerning sycophant 🙂


  3. Hypocritophobe January 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    You should be curious but not too surprised about Roxon.
    Who said it was her idea?
    Nicola Roxon could very well be the only other Minister apart from Smith with any future based on performance and a skill set.
    But it also appears that the entire Ministry is hell bent on self destructing.Nothing would surprise me with this faux Labor circus.

    As we now know, petitions, fuelled by moral outrage (whether they are evidence based or not) are cheaper than lawyers letters.
    Twitter is a constantly metamorphosing petition too, where you can add a bit more than a signature.I agree with you that bullying by litigation is a risk out society MUST avoid.
    Can a petition also act as a threat or a bullying tactic,if it is worded so as the create a narrow self interested outcome, detrimental to the petitions target?


    • Jennifer Wilson January 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      I think a petition can be used as a bullying tactic in the manner of Collective Shout perhaps?


  4. Hawkepeter January 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    I think I speak for many when I say that I didn’t know much about MTR before reading this blog a year ago; and by her own doing, she can be properly judged on real conduct and actions. The phrase ‘hoisted by your own petard’ has never been more appropriate.


    • Jennifer Wilson January 13, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      LOL! There’s a moral in that for everyone!


    • Hypocritophobe January 13, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

      I believe Abbott’s Chief mover and shaker’s name is, Petard……


  5. 730reportland January 13, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Very glad you are out of `Intimidation Prison` Jennifer.
    I always thought this was a #twitdef re-run, or as `skeptic` puts it `slapp`. The silliness on MTR`s behalf, of not dealing with you and your post/s as you suggested and going the `threat` route and then folding, also seems to indicate your post/s and question/s you raised must be very valid and, MTR would not go to court and have to state otherwise, under oath.


  6. doug quixote January 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    I was aware of you, Jennifer, after your writings on the Drum, but I had never bothered to visit your excellent blog until this story broke in January last year.

    So perhaps I have MTR’s threats to thank for joining this blog! Every cloud has a silver lining?

    Someone who says one thing whilst doing another is a hypocrite;

    Someone who claims one basis for saying what they say whilst they deliberately conceal their real basis for holding the views they actually hold is deceptive and duplicitous.

    And one who outs them is to be commended.

    I commend you.


    • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2013 at 6:37 am #

      Thank you DQ. It certainly worked well for No Place for Sheep!


  7. paul walter January 13, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    I’d still be checking with an ambulance-chaser to find out if your opponents have further tricks up their sleeve.
    I also thought it a shame than you and Tankard Reist couldn’t sit down over a pot of tea or coffee and really get to find out what the real differences and similarities in outlook might be.
    Having just returned from a site characterised by some robust exchanges concerning a high-profile dissident, I concede that once words are used and tempers raised and negotiating positions become more rigid, that some things, with the best will in the word involving all concerned, are not resolvable in the short term or even long term some times.
    As with most other posters here, I was incensed at the threat of legal action, something akin to throwing a match onto a bonfire soaked with turps, as it turns out.
    Jennifer Wilson of course has come through it with flying colours, refusing to bow to pressure. We suspect last year wasn’t always easy for her and its a balanced personality and character that can take on and absorb pressure, yet not succumb to the temptation to buckle under at the crunch.


    • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2013 at 6:38 am #

      Yes, I agree there are situations that become so rigid negotiation seems impossible.

      But MTR didn’t even try! She went legal as her first resort. That’s what pissed me off


      • paul walter January 16, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

        Since the the reply link is inadvertantly missing from your comment this morning to a troll, I will remind of you of what you wrote here.
        Never apologise never explain, is not a constructive route to better communication, it is piggish stuff of the sort you accuse mtr of.


  8. paul walter January 13, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    It’s not good to transgress the thread topic, but just out of curiosity, I wonder if anyone else watched the long SBS doco on the US food industry,which is in crisis if the doco is correct.
    Changing tack mid-sentence I could mention a host of ecological crises upcoming, amid a headlong flight from responsibility by big business and politicians.
    Even without the obstruction from vested interests the globe would be in strife, if you heed some the crisis continues intensifying, yet the obstruction and recalcitrance of vested interests holds up action; people’s minds are focussed away from “Big Picture” or “Vision Thing” in favour of focus on celebrities and issues that appeal to people’s baser instincts concerning “human nature”, whatever that is.
    I’ve had a good run, as have others here, but it is difficult to perceive what the future holds for younger people, given that change seems to be accelerating.


    • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 12:03 am #

      We must have posted our similar thoughts almost simultaneously PW.
      I just finished posting mine, and I saw yours.


    • 730reportland January 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Yes. #sbsdocs Food-Inc
      It was very interesting.
      One thing I reckon is a sure thing, these Governments have allowed these Corporations to abuse the planet so much and in so many ways. One day this planet will turn around and abuse ‘mankind’ back.
      It will not be pretty.


  9. Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Check with the legal dudes.

    And a pot of tea sounds great.

    Given the climate we are passing on to our kids, I think they need all ‘real’ the support they can get.’Perceived’ sexualisation is probably a non starter.
    Staring down the barrel of what is over that climactic horizon, some of the poor little buggers are probably going to be thinking of anything but skimpy duds.By ‘us’ changing the physical,especially the ‘big picture’ physical, imagine the impact on their emotional and psychological world.They have not even made it to adult thought processes, and we are about to foist environmental Armageddon on them.
    No wonder they withdraw from the world to their Ipods etc.Wars,climate change,meth,the animals in Canberra………
    I seriously think their are some big arsed issues being bypassed (avoided) for trivial ‘possible scenarios’, when it’s all weighed up.
    For starters I think we all agree we should tackle nation wide uncontrollable bushfires, before we outlaw lingerie football?
    Is their a petition somewhere to save the world?
    Is it being pushed/sponsored by CS?


  10. durutti January 14, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    I suspect the people pushing this are the Joe de Bruyn faction which is the same faction that holds Gilard’s feet to the fire over same sex marriage. They can’t wait to use this law against anyone who critcises the Church. It s not about protecting minorities it never was. Libel laws werre drawn up by the wealthy to use against the poor . This law will have a similar outcome.


  11. jo wiseman January 14, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    So is that what happened? Those things you wrote about this woman that the letter talks about, are they untrue?

    I don’t know what I’d do if someone started trashing my reputation online with falsehoods. Any Tom, Dick, or Harriet can write a blog and put anything they like on it, and there’s a lot of unpleasant people out there. I have to admit that if some total stranger started trashing me online, not trashing what I’d said publicly which is fair enough, but making stuff up or repeating rumours, my first instinct wouldn’t be to have a chat with them. Maybe you are a reasonable person and would have responded better to a direct approach, but if all I knew about it was that you were attacking me with falsehoods I’d quite likely think you weren’t.

    To me it comes down to whether those things were true. I’m sure a reasonable person wouldn’t want to base the fame of their blog on having gotten away with trashing someone with lies.


    • hudsongodfrey January 14, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      Sure I agree with that too, but it wasn’t just a matter of whether something was true or untrue, but of whether the subject was allowed to be open to question at all. You can tell that from the attempts to coerce and cajole contained within the legal letters at the time.

      These aren’t two people who couldn’t enter into a public discourse and clear the air over the matter if it was important enough to both of them to do so. MTR has a well patronised Blog and could easily have used it to argue her case. She could also have posted here as I’m doing now to further the discourse by clearing the air in her own words.

      There are two claims.


      To make a case for defamation there have to be specific falsifiable allegations to which truth is a defence. Whereas the matter of Ms Reist’s association with a Baptist church is possibly based on a biography like the one sourced here….


      Perhaps either the details need to be disputed or the words Jennifer used had some claim to veracity. If Reist wanted to pursue it during the year when the ball was in her court, she probably could have. However if at the time of publication the clarification Reist now provides in the above letters was not made available, then whether the intention was to defame or to refer to hitherto public knowledge of facts that don’t appear to be in dispute may be material. In other words Reist seems to have a very weak case.


      In the case of the second phrase that offends, “deceptive and duplicitous about her religious beliefs”, I think I’d join Jennifer in asking how you can refute duplicity in defence of a position that remains unclear. There’s a very real sense here that the allegation asks one or both sides to prove a negative, and fails to make any specific claim of defamation. In short one can’t defend the accuracy of the word “duplicitous” in relation to “religious beliefs” that one is unwilling to be specific about.

      There has been discussion at length here and elsewhere of what claiming the nebulous title of “Christian” means in terms of the broader political appeal it has for campaigners or candidates for office who prefer not to run on the backing of narrower sectarian interests alone. It appears Reist is similarly being shrewd in how she seeks to position herself to lend her cause maximum appeal to a broader range of likeminded individuals. Yet since these individuals might not be being told entirely what motives lie behind her somewhat censorious agenda I think it is fair to say that fewer would be as taken with it if the very real difference between faith and evidence was openly discussed.


      • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 12:31 am #

        Do you not think that if the highly public and influential figure of Dr.Lesley Cannold originally offered the essay on MTR’s background, that Tankard Reist would have legalled her instead?
        If so, why not?
        Why later, against a figure relatively unknown still, as against Cannold?
        Jo, you must have missed my comment earlier, concerning the bona fides of someone who has political and religious convictions of a certain type that influence the content of a discussion and tries to obscure this to make themselves opposite to what they are, eg, “feminist” when the agenda is probably “conservative” and financed from that quarter.
        Can you give a reasonable and sufficient reason why people should be denied context on real world topics?

        Out there, Hypo?
        What do you think, in case Jo, inexplicably, is unable to answer the query?


        • hudsongodfrey January 15, 2013 at 8:19 am #


          I think that if you read what Leslie Cannold has written, carefully searching as I did for the Baptist references, then you’ll find that the way it is put makes a few concessions by way of framing an historical context to the claims. I suspect therefore that Reist may be unable to say she was formerly a Baptist as opposed to more recently wanting to distance herself from those former associations, possibly for reasons I explained above. What has always been at issue here is the public image of highly politicised campaigners for sexually conservative whose values and motives we’ve been questioning to the obvious chagrin of the affected parties.

          As for Jo’s position she’s only asking questions as far as I can see, I don’t know that, much as we all love a good online stoush, it is really necessary to treat her as the enemy.


          • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

            That is a subtle troll from you Hudson, must remember to guard my back.
            Disagree on all counts, most of all arrogant Wiseman. She is given a reply, ignores it and returns to repeat the same nebulous claims, couched in the same loaded terms that commenced the cycle its tactic, not a characteristic. When she is asked to clarify, like certain other more celebrated figures, the request is ignored, to “silence” it, or you are are talked across or down to rather than to.
            I take her as an enemy for the lack of any evidence other wise.
            Nothing to do with “questioning”; everything to do with reiterating the slanders made by others against Wilson, as a soldier for the conservative cause.
            The rest I’m sure about either, because it is basically what I’ve said during several posts, myself.


            • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

              typo,klast sentence, “..The rest
              Im NOT sure about either..”


            • hudsongodfrey January 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

              I don’t exclude by any means the possibility that others are closed to the debate, or even that we’re unwittingly speaking with MTR or her supporters under a veil of psuedonymity. Not that it should matter if it were as long as their arguments stand or fall on their merits.

              I just feel that the oft stated opinions of others are usually genuinely held, whereas failure to dissuade them in a marketplace of ideas can have as much to do with how we engage one another as what we argue.

              Anyone obviously trolling simply makes a series of comments targeted at provoking others and can be often be caught out in their contradictions.

              You on the other hand should never accuse anyone of trolling when the conversation began when you engaged them by making a response to their post. If you’re going to take me on because you don’t like my simple unwillingness to be drawn into a spat between you and Jo then I think it a little churlish of you to use those epithets.


              • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

                You are drawn into it, by siding with one side against the other. Not that you can “spat” with someone who wont engage, probably out of fear of having their ignorance exposed.
                As I said above, this stuff with Jo and Jennifer Wilson has been going on a long time. Jo insinuates; Jenny refutes.
                How do we keep getting back to the nonsense that it was Wilson who tried to silence Tankard Reist, rather than the other way round.
                Would you like a dollar for how many times the thing has been explained to Jo, yet weeks later she always comes back like a robo-call, repeating word for word the same dislocated absurd inversions of truth, of ill informed.
                Rather than attacking me for merely questioning the material she presents therefore inevitably her good faith bona fides, why don’t you question what it is Jo is about, how she remains selective at best, obstructionist at worst, in material and presentation.
                I’ll just quote Dr David Palmer, a personal and fb friend, from a discussion this morning concerning the ugly death of US whistleblower Aaron Schwartz:

                “So many people do not realise the value- and power -that information has in society- globally.This high level of ignorance amongst many is what allows elites to maintain their positions.”

                He goes on to talk of how people “put walls up” when “news” breaches their comfort zones and retreat into obstinacy, which allows for the continued gross misgovernment of the planet.
                So this time I agree with Hypo, who mentioned else where that attempts to side track or torpedo constructive thought are too serious to be allowed passage, on the basis of a faux “politeness/form” argument.
                Much less concerning someone who is palpably a disruptor rather than contributor.
                Hair-splitting while Rome burns and I continue to wonder why.


                • hudsongodfrey January 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm #


                  Can you please at least try to read the thread in its proper context. Jo made a comment I responded to it refuting some of the claims she made therein, and then you responded to me a couple of times back and forth, culminating at the point whereupon I had to say I don’t want to be drawn into a personal side argument between you and she.

                  The problem as I see it more often than not is that comments which don’t quite go with the rub of what we’d consider fair nevertheless provide too brief an exposition of an interlocutor’s ideology to be really described as the attack on fairness and reason that we may be champing at the bit to repel. I’d simply say watch out, because when all you have to build a case against somebody is a few handfuls of straw, you ought to know what you’re liable to have come up with….


                  • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

                    Well, it’s been done against me, often enough.
                    if you didn’t want to be “involved” in what you see as “something personal” you should just left it, rather than take sides- for what reason I can’t divine.


                    • hudsongodfrey January 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

                      Listen Paul you as much as called me a troll. Normally I’d take a dimmer view of that, but we’re usually on the same side of issues so I’m trying to keep it civil, but I would like a retraction 😉


                  • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

                    Somewhere else in the post when I responded to the alleged “Jo Wiseman”, Iuttered ‘here we go round the Mulberry bush’ because of this circular thing she has done, which is to revisit the original tenet of the issue, and just regurgitate it, from what looks/sound and feels like taking a contrary position which appears to be driven by pure. “I don’t like Wilson, I must always disagree.”

                    Does that M.O. sound at all familiar to others?


                    • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

                      Hypo, not everyone “gets it”, but it is helpful to know someone else does.


                    • hudsongodfrey January 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

                      I give in Hypo, you may as well know I’m lousy at guessing games, I just don’t care for chance when logic or directness could have won the day.

                      I suspect everyone here is a doppelganger for everyone else except for you and me, and I’m not so sure about you…..


              • jo wiseman January 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

                Oh great. Someone, I think Hypo, implies I’m a closet Baptist or Christian, Paul Walter calls me names and complains about how I say what I say and Hudson says I might be a closet MTR supporter or a closet MTR. But Hudson gets it – since you can’t know you might as well go for the ideas rather than the man. In all fairness you’ve done that as well and Jennifer has answered honestly. Maybe you’re right and since I don’t care about it enough I shouldn’t have stuck my neck out.
                I have nothing more to contribute so with or without Paul Walter’s approval I take my leave. I am sorry if that’s unsatisfactory but we aren’t interested in the same things so why waste your time.


                • hudsongodfrey January 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

                  Before you do go though Jo, I’d prefer the quid pro quo of and honest response to the simple proposition that MTR is the problem here. The evidence has been provided you today, so having engaged, perhaps more than you intended, but nevertheless asked those questions and seen the answers your time would not be wasted if you’d indicate whether you’d learned anything?


                  • jo wiseman January 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

                    Just quickly, I don’t see clear compelling evidence that MTR is a Baptist. Well you asked.
                    It comes down to a judgement call. You’ve all been following it closely so you know more, but you also have a barrow to push as much as MTR and Collective Shout. It seems to come down to a judgement call based on having followed the issue and the people involved for a while or being willing to catch up on it and I don’t have the stamina.
                    Doesn’t make you right, doesn’t make me right. If I was really interested one way or the other I suppose I’d just pick a side.
                    I apologise genuinely for butting in but it’s not too terrible a crime and I can’t keep coming back to defend myself or smooth things over.
                    I think I’ve learnt we aren’t interested in enough of the same things for me to intrude on Jennifer’s site but I wish you all the best.


                    • hudsongodfrey January 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

                      Not IS but WAS a Baptist and would have reasonably have been thought still to be one at the time when the furore first broke.

                      The fact that she still neither declares herself as the member of any other church or even simply as a lapsed Baptist seem “duplicitous” enough to me, wouldn’t you say?

                      Nor do people here have any agenda apart from being inclined to watchfulness against forms of regression in public life of which MTR is but one.


                    • Jennifer Wilson January 16, 2013 at 7:14 am #

                      Hi Jo, I hope you don’t go away. Your visits to Sheep are not an intrusion, or “butting in” and I always want a variety of viewpoints here.
                      As Fay Weldon once told me “Never apologise, never explain.” I’ve found that good advice in many situations and pass it on.


                • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

                  another familiar behavioural pattern.Bla,bla,bla.

                  Worm eating time again.
                  If I had a dollar for every-time I heard “I am outta here”,only to have the same behaviour rebirth under another pseudonym I’d share my wealth with Europe.


                  • jo wiseman January 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

                    Couldn’t help seeing this comment by Hypo when I finished typing mine above. Whatever. Go for it.


                    • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

                      Thanks for the extra$$$$


                  • paul walter January 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm #



                • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

                  As on a number of occasions when I have sought clarification on your more nebulous pronouncements, you have either out of ignorance or arrogance,a s a matter of course refused to respond on a significant point.
                  It is actually YOU who is not worth the bother, as far as I am concerned because we cant conduct a rational discovery conversation when the other side wont engage.Now I want you to know that I am probably less impressed with you even than you are of me.
                  Your so-called “witty transgressiveness” amuses me not a jot.


                  • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

                    PW I presume that is for Ms Wiseman?


                    • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

                      You look and I’ll point.


        • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 11:52 am #

          I think if any person goes to an elected representative with an orchestrated proposition which is intended to impact on the legal status quo, that person is a lobbyist.Further if the person has done it regularly, or as a spokesperson for,claims to be a spokesperson for, or is associated (recognised as) with a previous politician/political lobbyists/activists etc, that compounds the ‘status’ of said lobbyists.
          Voters are entitled to be fully informed about those who choose to influence the political agenda (lobbyists) of the day.That has always been the case.

          Personally when it comes to issues which change our lives, I don’t think ‘coy’ comes into it.


    • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      I have a long history of public disagreement with Tankard Reist’s views, including on her website. At no time has she ever addressed my disagreements (which are shared with many, many other people, & she hasn’t addressed their concerns either). The first contact ever made with me was her lawyer’s letter, intended to frighten me into silence.

      At the same time as Tankard Reist threatened me, she also threatened at least two other people that I know of with defamation action. Tankard Reist does not seem inclined to discuss disagreement, or queries about her positions and what informs them, rather she apparently seeks to annihilate dissent and questioning by threatening financial ruin, and job loss.

      To me it comes down to are those things “true” as well. We will never know from Tankard Reist because she will not tell us, however there is a considerable body of evidence widely available that suggests they have veracity.

      This post I wrote at the time will fill you in: https://noplaceforsheep.com/2012/01/17/some-thoughts-on-being-threatened-with-defamation-by-melinda-tankard-reist/


      • jo wiseman January 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

        Hang on there, the letter from her lawyer on her behalf that you’ve posted above says twice that it’s false that Tankard Reist is a Baptist. So we do know from Tankard Reist.
        I totally sympathise with your reaction to the threat of being sued. I feel like applauding you there. You’re genuine about your belief she’s a Baptist and you don’t want to be cowed into silence.
        I also sympathise with Tankard Reist threatening you in the first place though. I would be just as likely to assume malice as mistaken conviction if a total stranger started blogging things about me, especially if they disagreed with my public point of view as you obviously do with Tankard Reist. It would look like an attempt to shut me up.
        Can you direct me to this widely available body of evidence you mention above? Hudson Godfrey provided a link to another blog by someone else making that claim. But that’s hardly evidence. Is there any evidence other than blogs? Because anyone can write anything on a blog. I see it calls itself a biography and the author has some credentials that make her claim worth listening to – Cannold is an academic. But nobody is immune from jumping to conclusions that they want to jump to, including academics. Has she written an academic paper on Tankard Reist with references to the source of her information about being a Baptist, or is it just about jumping to conclusions?
        I am pleased for you that this isn’t hanging over your head any longer. Life is tough enough without that sort of thing.


        • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

          There was reams on Wikipedia, which obviously had multiple sources linked to it but it has been sanitised and edited and changed.
          It was closed and no challenges to its editing etc were allowed due to the pending legal case.
          Some of what was removed may have been 100% accurate,but it’s hard to know now.Another wasted opportunity or just brand protection who would know?

          I think brand protection maybe the key component, but hey it’s just my opinion.
          So Jo, 2 questions for you.
          Is MTR a political lobbyist or not?
          Is the public entitled to know about the background/connections/motives of those who wish to change or enact state/federal legislation.


          • jo wiseman January 14, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

            Frankly, I don’t know much about MTR. I couldn’t tell you whether she’s a political lobbyist or not. I would only agree about the public’s right to know about the b/c/m of people lobbying for legislation if it was relevant; for example if they are lobbying on behalf of a group such as the Baptists it should be up front I agree.


            • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 11:22 am #

              Well to avoid looking like a hypocrite you best run off and find out about whether Reist IS a lobbyist and if so,what her BCM is.
              You seem to want to defend her and claim to know nothing about her.That is either highly principled or distinctly naive, to me.
              Contrary perhaps, for some reason?

              The lobbyist element and BCM (as you say) is exactly what all this was about,in the first place.Good luck on that front, the web appears to lost some of its memory.
              Here we go round the mulberry bush…..


            • hudsongodfrey January 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

              Their background connections and motives are always relevant until proven otherwise, that’s just the way politics works. In any attempt to produce legislation that is fair the nature of the fairness it appeals to has to be measured by something, and its usually going to be who benefits.


        • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

          No, we know from Tankard Reist’s lawyer. Prior to the lawyer’s letter the Baptist thing had been on the internet for years, yet MTR had never been concerned enough to correct the record until I wrote it. Suddenly when I wrote it, it became grounds for defamation. Why didn’t she threaten Brian Baxter or Leslie Cannold who both put this info out years before I did? Why me?

          I wasn’t a “total stranger” to MTR when she threatened to sue me, I’d been contesting her views in the media for some years before she finally decided to try & shut me up with legal threats.

          Again, if she wasn’t offended by others claiming she’s a Baptist for years, why was she suddenly so offended by me making the same claim?


          • jo wiseman January 15, 2013 at 12:12 am #

            That’s splitting hairs surely – her lawyer speaks on her behalf. She blogs and writes books – presumably quite a few people have contested her views over the years. But I don’t know your history together – I just assumed you were a total stranger but perhaps your contesting of her views stood out to her enough to get noticed in a negative way, she already felt you were antagonistic and so took a special exception. How do you know that she hasn’t threatened Baxter or Cannold?
            Maybe you were the straw that broke the camel’s back.
            Anyway, I can’t answer questions about your relationship with each other or her relationship with those others.
            If it’s personal some how that’s a different kettle of fish.


      • Sandra January 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

        I am reasonably new to your blog site Jennifer, so haven’t been aware of the problems that you had with MTR. So I took the trouble to read more about her with the link from Hudsongodfrey re Leslie Cannold’s article.
        It took a while for me to come to the realization that MTR would not like to have her beliefs questioned by anyone who happens to think differently to her.
        I can see now how having been challenged and threatened by her must have effected you. The fact that she would not come to your blog site to debate the different points of view to me, proves my earlier point.
        People who are adamant in their thinking, where they appear to be dogmatic, could possibly actually be afraid to enter into a debate because the line of commonsense or other people’s viewpoints might actually have the effect of making them feel very uncomfortable. It takes guts to debate an issue sensibly doesn’t it.
        I do hope that 2013 will be a better year without this problem hanging over head. We now have better things to do, like getting properly informed TRUTHS out to the general public don’t we.


        • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

          Thank you, Sandra, and yes, we certainly have a lot to do this election year. I don’t think the battle is going to be pretty.


          • paul walter January 14, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

            That’s how I’d put it. This actually foreshadowed the Gillard Abbott Sexism battle of late last year. While the Tories attacked policy and ideas they were on safer ground- many here also criticise the government far more effectively than the opposition because they pick perhaps more relevant issues to argue, although usually from an opposite perspective to a conservative’s.
            The Abbott bit comes with the threat of legal action, a parallel form of intimidation in the verballing and attempted silencing of Gillard through cooked up smear campaigns, not on the basis of her ideas, but the fact that she was a political obstacle to be removed.
            So, n the end it had to be that Gillard was “wrong” because she was “barren” and a “bitch”, not on the basis of detected faulty logic discovered in much of what she was saying. Put in this position she found she could construct a platform on which to fight back.and defend herself, in a similar to the way Jennifer Wilson arguing her case when cornered, through facts and logic.
            I can say here that Gillard as pm is not the issue here. Am merely relating what I think are similarities between Wilson a nd Gillard and their secularist approach to life and the different metaphysics of Tankard Reist and Abbott and the clash of Weltanshuang. Disussion please, not verballing and legal threats, therefore.
            God only knows who’s right. so to speak, but it never hurts to think and ask,


            • paul walter January 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

              *I should clarify “The Abbott bit “sentence. after Gillard I could have added,”. .like Wilson”… through cooked up…campaigns”.


            • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

              I see where you’re going with this PW>>>>

              “Dr Jennifer Wilson, Prime Minister of the Republic of Australia, was sworn in today by the country’s inaugural President, Sir Rolf Harris.Harris, the ever playful larrikin, broke into a revamped version of his classic song, singing ‘sign the document now Jen, sign the document now’, which almost brought the press contingent to their knees with spontaneous laughter.”
              The conservative guests present, however, ‘were not amused’. ”
              The Shadow Minister for Gay and Lesbian Affairs, Tony Abbott, was also present.
              One of the PMs first duties will be to launch the new $250 Leonard Cohen bank note.Cohen was made an honorary Australian, during last years multiple purpose plebiscite, where apart from the successful Republican creation, First Australians were recognised in the soon to be re-written Australian Constitution and includes an all encompassing Treaty.
              The universally popular Constitutional Draft also paves the way for the creation of a level playing field for all citizens,and organisations,including religious groups.Observers say the findings of the 2013 Referendum into Institutionalised sex abuse helped galvanise many of the positions which were successful in the Nations most historic referendum.”


              • paul walter January 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

                “Land of Hope and Glory”.
                I can always relay on you to flesh out the details, can’t I, Hypo?


                • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

                  Once an idealist………


        • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) January 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm #


          Your use of the words ‘People who are adamant in their thinking’ brought to mind a tweet from the peak of the ‘#MTRsues’ tweetstorm, I think by one ‘@RodCub’ who had made up an anagram from MTR’s name letters: ‘adamant riled stinker’.

          Still gives me a giggle 12 months on. I know, one shouldn’t make fun of peoples’ names, but it did seem to capture the ethos of the time.


          • Hypocritophobe January 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

            Sarah Palin = Anal parish


    • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      Why don’t you take the time to read the preamble in some of Collective Shouts online petitions before you race of in judgement about trashing reputations?
      While you’re at it have a look at some of the counter comments supporting MTR on many of Wilsons blogs on the ABC.
      You’re in for an eye opener.Hopefully both of them.


      • jo wiseman January 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

        Because I have no interest at all in Collective Shout. I totally respect that you and Jennifer do though.


        • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

          Now if you could just prise the other one open a bit.

          Just out of curiosity Jo.Are you one for proudly displaying your religious vent?
          You seem tetchy about that side of it particularly.


    • 730reportland January 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      Yes jo wiseman,

      Any Tom, Dick or MTR can write a blog.

      WordPress is a beautiful thing.


      • jo wiseman January 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

        I agree with you 730!


    • paul walter January 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      Come on Jo!
      I’m sure you;ve read many threads without commenting, as well as the comments you yourself have left, you have some ideas of the issues by now?
      Would you agree that Wilson’s disagreement with Tankard Reist is a political rather than personal one?
      That Mtr was less than forth coming in offering good faith credentials as to the conversation in being prepared to explain her ideas to an other ( why the need to obscure her politics and philosophy)?
      Wilson wanted to discover where MTR was coming from in order to understand her ideas and whether they related constructively and accurately to issues like socialisation and the role of sexuality in the formation of the socialised individual, as well as the role of mass media,
      Don’t forget change is initiated on theory, the theory must be correct first. The examples of what happens when change is initiated on weak theory run from a factoid component of wider politics like this one, throught to the Gulags and racial extermination camps.
      You can see it wasn’t necessarily personal. To Jennifer Wilson the analysis seemed incomplete and not quite coherent within its own terms of reference. A person “over” her material would have offered free explanations on points not understood, but significantly. the information wasn’t forth coming, which aroused Wilson’s suspicions. It was from that point that Wilson must have wondered whether the issues remained didactic or had become “political” and slanted to produce certain conclusions a little like the odd-ball propagandist Danny Nahlia, just in the papers recently.
      Wilson’s curiosity arousal grew as she felt less and less reassured on the quality and rationality of the ideas. The seeming continued refusals of engagement obviously led to a frustration I understand very well, trying for good faith conversation on a real world issue with someone with a variant take who refuses elaboration on key points concerns
      Its been firstly a political discovery conversation (or non-conversation.
      When Wilson has vented, it has been through Mtrs incomplete analysis making Wilson’s understanding more difficult.
      It’s quite possible that a personality clash has been in place communication dynamics are complex between people.
      But its still primarily about politics and social and cultural theory rather than personality besmirchment.
      Wilson is no Andrew Bolt or Alan Jones.
      Tankard Reist is not necessarily malicious either, but her refusal to discuss ideas she herself put out into the public arena then seemed to indicate lack of complete understanding or confidence in the ideas involvingTankard Reist herself.
      It is completely correct as a matter of course any way, to check out the bona fides of emerging theories and their authors. Not to do so is the equivalent to sticking your hand in a dark place and then being surprised if something bites it.
      We have have discussions like this, foremost to test out ideas.
      Or we get something akin to the Titanic or Hindenburg disaster, because people have refused to have their ideas tested and proved watertight, to prevent disaster later?


    • 730reportland January 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

      jo wiseman,
      Your `trashing my reputation` statements seem to be a little bit bullshit.

      You seem to be arguing the MTR side of story, as if, MTR and JW are on a level playingfield/agenda.

      JW seems to just be a citizen, re-echoing public concerns and adding her own to the list.
      (correct me if wrong JW)

      Meanwhile, MTR is a Lobbyist and public figure.
      MTR seeks political and media attention in her job.
      Like politicians, Lobbyists should be questioned about their agenda, finance and any other purpose they have to push to change Laws.

      The public should always ask the:
      (who, why, how, what, when) when changes are proposed.

      Rightfully, politicians and Lobbyists should be asked if their `beliefs` or `finance` comes from `big-oil` or `big-church`.


      • Jennifer Wilson January 15, 2013 at 6:17 am #

        Yes, I’m just a citizen exercising my right to know who is trying to brainwash me and why 🙂


        • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

          Halleluja…Same here and as simple as that.


          • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

            Add me to this growing consensus,please.


  12. Michael Cordover January 14, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    You say you’d be happy to speak with MTR, but did you inform her lawyers of that? Did you let them know you’d be amenable to publishing her rebuttal on your blog? Or do you say that now as some sort of post-fact justification?

    Defamation law can prevent speech, which is always a thorny topic. But the law is extremely reasonable about it, most of the time. Your reaction, to me, seems more aggressive than helpful.


  13. Russell Blackford January 14, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    Jennifer, what do you think about the use of “offend” as well as “intimidate” and “humiliate” in sexual harassment law? This area is dynamite for a bloke to comment on, but I’ve always felt that it doesn’t belong there.

    I have some past experience practising in this area of law, and I’m not sure that it made a huge difference at the time, but the law has since been changed so that the concept is basically foreseeability that someone *might* be offended, humiliated, or intimidated, as opposed to *would* be offended, etc. Foreseeability that someone “might be offended” is a very weak test, as almost anything beyond the most anodyne conversation just might offend someone. We have yet to see much of how this will be applied.

    Basically, I don’t think any conduct should be unlawful merely for offence. Perhaps some kind of gross offence, as with exposing unwilling people to nauseating substances or graphic images of wounds, but not mere offence.


    • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      Hi Russell, I think making it unlawful to “offend” and insult is problematic in any circumstances. Granted offending & insulting can be precursors to harassment and intimidation, but they are not either, and do not inevitably become either.

      I agree it doesn’t belong there, or anywhere else in law. Apart from anything else, it’s highly subjective.


    • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      Our nation is heading for ‘foreseeably offend’ everywhere.
      This goes to the nub of this discussion.We may as well all stay in bed eating Bromide 24/7 reading the Bible.


    • hudsongodfrey January 14, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      Obviously the matter of offence is too subjective to be entirely defensible and therefore surely the reverse is implied. At the very least you’d need to have some more specific list of acts such as nudity or the use of some list of seven or more words* that are proscribed under the collective description of offensive behaviour.

      I think that the other problem with the law in this regard is that it seems to encourage puritanical attitudes with its very language. I’m offended by the very idea that it is an offence to use offensive language! The sense of deference to peoples sensibilities being reinforced by the three kinds of offence in my previous sentence alone is unsettling.

      Perhaps apart from Fry we could also learn from Lenny Bruce who said “If you can’t say Fuck, you can’t say Fuck the government.”

      To de-construct that quote neglecting the fact that “Fuck” is one of the list of seven words we’re not allowed use, the idea that criticism of the government has currency and will offend is still valid. And if that kind of free speech was proscribed, then it would be called an offence.

      I think it should be small wonder if this kind of language tends to undermine our respect for the law whenever we’re confronted with aspects of it we find oppressive and difficult to understand. So if sexual harassment law as the case in point could adopt better language then clearly it would make better law.

      Instead of saying “offence” you might need to write “gratuitous and intentional affront “, but at least people would assent to the idea that some harm had been done by the act in question, even if they did annoy the Greens by shortening it to the acronym GAIA.

      * in deference to George Carlin’s original list.


      • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

        In short this crap is BY designed lawyers,FOR lawyers.
        We need it, like we need more bushfires.


        • paul walter January 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm #



      • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

        GAIA! Hudson you are marvellous!


  14. hudsongodfrey January 14, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Thanks Jennifer for adding the Stephen Fry quote, which I must confess I’ve often tried to paraphrase in the past. I think people increasingly mistake their offence for some kind of entitlement that others are meant to defer to by avoiding certain subjects in almost any context. As a society I think we’ve managed to encourage this, and we should stop.


  15. Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 11:17 am #



  16. Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Today’s Song; “Get Over It”
    (dedicated to those with a predilection to taking offence and legaloids, who obviously have too much spare time.)


    “Get Over It”

    I turn on the tube and what do I see
    A whole lotta people cryin’ “Don’t blame me”
    They point their crooked little fingers ar everybody else
    Spend all their time feelin’ sorry for themselves
    Victim of this, victim of that
    Your momma’s too thin; your daddy’s too fat

    Get over it
    Get over it
    All this whinin’ and cryin’ and pitchin’ a fit
    Get over it, get over it

    You say you haven’t been the same since you had your little crash
    But you might feel better if I gave you some cash
    The more I think about it, Old Billy was right
    Let’s kill all the lawyers, kill ’em tonight
    You don’t want to work, you want to live like a king
    But the big, bad world doesn’t owe you a thing

    Get over it
    Get over it
    If you don’t want to play, then you might as well split
    Get over it, Get over it

    It’s like going to confession every time I hear you speak
    You’re makin’ the most of your losin’ streak
    Some call it sick, but I call it weak

    You drag it around like a ball and chain
    You wallow in the guilt; you wallow in the pain
    You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
    Got your mind in the gutter, bringin’ everybody down
    Complain about the present and blame it on the past
    I’d like to find your inner child and kick its little ass

    Get over it
    Get over it
    All this bitchin’ and moanin’ and pitchin’ a fit
    Get over it, get over it

    Get over it
    Get over it
    It’s gotta stop sometime, so why don’t you quit
    Get over it, get over it


    • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

      …fingers at everybody…..


    • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      I love your songs of the day, Hypo

      I’m especially drawn to the line in this one: “I’d like to find your inner child and kick its little ass”



      • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

        Fans of Todd Rungdren (and those of melancholic disposition) will be bitterly disappointed.It was close, but I think an anthemic contribution was required,especially for a Monday.
        That line you were drawn to must be the magnetic lyric.
        I wonder if that’s where the song began?
        More research needed.

        The beauty of Get Over It, is not only the appropriate/relevant content, but that it comes with the “bonus subliminal souvenir hat”.So readers can decide if it fits, they can wear it!


  17. helvityni January 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Sigh of relief, Jennifer, your flock is relieved.

    I have to say that I always thought that I was a reasonably nice person before I started blogging, now I am just a shadow of my former shelf 🙂
    There is too much nastiness
    out there..i


    • helvityni January 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      self…I have been cleaning my bookshelves…


    • Jennifer Wilson January 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      I have never read anything you’ve written that I could remotely call nasty, Helvi.


      • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

        I have heard her growl about wombats!!!


      • doug quixote January 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

        Speaking of bookshelves, she is not so fond of Readers . . .


        • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

          My oh my, Helvi is beginning to appear like the Anti Christ!


        • helvityni January 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

          Not true, there’s only one nasty Reader, whom you might approve of, and whose many aliases you might not know. Do you like Graeme Bird, DQ?


          • Hypocritophobe January 14, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

            Aagh the infamous Co2 junkie!


          • doug quixote January 15, 2013 at 1:01 am #

            Who I like and don’t like are not at issue, Helvi!

            But since we are discussing this topic :

            I try to get on with Reader1, though she is difficult. I doubt that she has any aliases; you see her through a mutual dislike. I see her as having integrity, though she is a little too much inclined to accept conspiracy theories, and too quick to assume hostile intent.

            As for the Avian Infestation, euthanasia would be a true blessing for all concerned. No, I am not joking.


            • helvityni January 15, 2013 at 11:53 am #

              Outed four of her aliases on the Drum,love is blind, I get her posts mixed up with Graeme’s, two conspiracy theorists and nasty to their boot-laces.


              • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

                What I have noticed about the Reader1 thing(and I suspect it is connected to many of the more vitriolic persona’s) is its contrary nature.It enters a blog and takes a side and stays there.Sometimes arguing with no real conviction just to remain on the first chosen side of a fence.

                The glory of the battle, instead of the pursuit of truth.
                Does an angry Reader morph into something more sinister sometimes?

                I think so.


                • helvityni January 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

                  Yes, Hypo, you are pretty astute in your obsevations, some people don’t want to see the obvious.


              • doug quixote January 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

                I would be interested to know which aliases they were Helvi; I may or may not agree with you. (But I can assure you, she’s no love of mine!)

                Please name names.


            • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 11:57 am #

              Death by Co2?


              • doug quixote January 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm #


                CO2 overdose, or perhaps a fluoride in the water overdose? No, then he could put :

                “I told you so!” on his headstone.

                An overdose of his own self-administered bleach :

                Sodium HYPOchlorite ?!

                Hoist by his own petard! Yes!


                • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

                  Surely the problem with any chosen method is the sheer size of the lottery for choosing who would like to administer ‘it’?
                  I mean I am happy to add to the spirit of the occasion by endorsing the use, of sodium HYPOchlorite, but I would prefer to let him self administer his large doses of Co2 in a hot house environment as a way of bolstering his ‘so called’ science credentials.
                  He can come as Ardy,James the Lefty, Bill Bob Hall, (feel free to expand list) or in any one of his gazillion guises, as long as he rolls up.

                  The ABC may need to enrol 45,000 new posters for the Drum, to make up for the vacuum left behind, though.

                  (Is he still posting as Bird, somewhere?)


                  • helvityni January 15, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

                    Hypo, the Bird is not on the Drum, he and Reader are into Paul/Faul conspiracy theories on the Ellis blog, something about Paul McCartney been replaced by someone they call Faul…something mad like that, i don’t read the rubbish….
                    DQ might give you a better picture, he obviously reads them.
                    R1 is the major poster on the Drum, writing under numerous pseudos…


                    • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

                      Good reason to stay here.


                    • helvityni January 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

                      Hypo, only if you are nice to me…only kidding, Jennifer makes sure things don’t get out of hand…
                      I am reading with interst what you all have to say.


                    • Jennifer Wilson January 16, 2013 at 7:10 am #

                      Are people fighting? People better not be fighting. Everybody knows how I feel about people fighting. Robust discussion people!! Robust discussion!!


      • paul walter January 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

        Hear,hear. Its not being nasty, its digging in and defending your principles, which can be and feels l ike hard work because thinking is involved.
        Refusal to knuckle under or swallow an idea without question is NOT “being nasty”.


        • helvityni January 14, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

          There are many ways of disagreeing, it can be done without personal attacks, humorous,friendly ‘nastiness’is OK…can nastiness ever be friendly? I hope you understand…


          • paul walter January 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

            You understand it, many dont,,Thats the shame of it.


          • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

            Like you I prefer the civilised way. But too many wont do it that way. Is it ignorance or arrogance?


            • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

              In my case, it’s both.


              • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

                I think I know what is back of some Helvi’s concern. Checking at Table talk, it seems that THE bird has turned up, to upend an already futile conversation in which Ellis examines R1’s claim that Paul McCartney was assassinated in 1966, explaining the demise of the Beatles.


                • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

                  Fancy rehashing something pimply school-kids tore to shreds in the 70’s.

                  Is R1basing her theory on VW number plates or hot sweaty night visions?

                  What a Nimrod.LOL.

                  I read somewhere on the net that ‘the other aforementioned party’ has never been the same since the off switch broke on his vacuum cleaner, mid coital release.


                • helvityni January 15, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

                  With all these more important issues, only nutters get invoved with Paul/bloody Faul…the songs are enough, who cares about their scull measurements…I think the internet attracts some weird folk; is there something wrong with us as well… : )You two come across as normal… ?


                  • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

                    Can’t speak for PW, but I consider myself ‘perfectly normal’, or is it vice versa?
                    I forget.??

                    I think I am always (mostly) nice to you Helvi.

                    Now if I was a wombat, now that ‘would’ be a different story!


  18. Gracie January 15, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Well after avoiding this place for some 10 months I should have know that it would still be more of the same trash being rehashed.
    You really should get some help, you seem to have a mental problem about Reist.


    • hudsongodfrey January 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

      Why do I suspect you’re not being entirely genuine here?


      • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

        The attitude does have ring of familiarity about it, HG

        Sort of echoes this attitude really

        If we have a mental problem Dr Gracie what is your diagnosis for someone who would take the content seriously enough to sue?
        And when the men in white coats come along, how will they differentiate your ‘sane’ self from as poor inmates?
        Care to remind of the blistering intellect you contributed last time you penetrated the rubber walls of the asylum?

        While you’re mentally masticating, here’s some gentle, soothing think music.

        Oh dear,
        One slips out, another slips in.


        • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

          May be Graceless, or Gacey, or whatever its name is, ought to consider its slavish devotion to the fundy bible-bashers?


  19. 730reportland January 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Our new toys seem to be running plays from the denier-handbook.
    One `turning` up after 10 months.
    The other playing `dumb`.
    Gut reaction, trolls from `big-church` and/or `big-Lobby`.


    • Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      Some of the loyal drones probably require breathing apparatus,given they are so far along the tunnel of sycophantic glory.
      My scant review of March (10 months back ) turned up no Gracie, but I wasn’t that thorough.Then again I am not in the market for dialogue which is less useful than barbed wire bog roll.
      There was a plague of other maggots, around that time.


      • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

        I distinctly remember the time.


  20. fprex scam January 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Fuck you all Forex bustards


  21. Hypocritophobe January 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    Can someone smell a strong pre-adolescent urine pong, at around 8.57pm?


    • paul walter January 15, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

      How dare you people call me “normal”!
      Unless apologies are received directly I will unfriend the lot of you, even if it isn’t Twitter.
      I am, in fact, rather exceptional, remember this critical information.
      I only raise this as a response to doubters who will not grudgingly give way on this certain point….certainly my neighbour seemed to feel this way some time ago, given her colourful language.
      What’s this I spy?
      What is a XXXX bustard?
      Does it have a beak?
      Quick throw it some seed.


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  1. Reist, Devine &sexually suggestive tweets. | No Place For Sheep - May 12, 2013

    […] ‘s offensive tweet dates from the period when she initiated legal action against me, and Twitter took up my cause in a manner for which I will always be grateful. Reist […]


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