Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 12 Official Organ of LaborNet 07 May 1999  




Piers Watch

Witness for the Piers-ecution

Our bounty on Piers has sparked widespread interest, with notes of encouragement streaming in from around the nation.

Keen Akerman watchers will note that Piers this week referred to Workers Online $1000 bounty for information leading to criminal charges being laid against him.

But in what we can only interpret as "shoddy journalism", Piers focussed his attack on the Sydney morning Herald for publicising the offer, rather than crediting us with having initiated it.

Having fired off the letter to the Telegraph correcting this grievous omission of fact, we were surprised to find that it was not published in the following day's blatherings. Or the next day. or the next.

Chasing up the letter, we were referred to Ian "Cookie" Moore, the Telegraph's one-eyed editorial writer, who is filling in as Letters Editor. "If you want publicity, take out an ad," he spat, when asked if he'd print our letter.

This is what the Telegraph was too scared to print:

"Dear Sir,

Piers Akerman this week incorrectly attacked the Sydney Morning herald for publicising a $1000 bounty that has been placed on him.

What he did not disclose was that the reward was offered by the Pierswatch column Workers Online, the weekly internet newspaper published on LaborNet.

This is precisely the type of shoddy journalism which Pierswatch is dedicated to exposing.

For the record, Workers Online will pay $1000 to anyone who gives us information that leads to criminal charges being laid against Mr Akerman,

Yours Sincerely,

Peter Lewis

Editor, Workers Online"


Meanwhile, keen Piers-watchers have dug up the following extract from the NSW Legislative Council's Hansard, dated November 27, 1997.

We reproduce it here without any comment or implication:


The Hon. R. S. L. Jones [11.51 p.m.]: I draw the attention of the House to yet another highly defamatory attack by Piers Akerman on me and my crossbench colleague the Hon. Franca Arena. In today's Daily Telegraph, referring to the Hon. Franca Arena, Piers Akerman said:

"As a member of parliament, however, she should be aware that many members of the public think that she, and those of her parliamentary colleagues who have also abused parliamentary privilege to make scurrilous personal attacks on members of the public, are also guilty of a form of blackmail."

The article continued:

"Nudist MLC Richard Jones, for example, or the Victorian Federal MP Kelvin Thomson, both supporters of the aborted ACT heroin trial, have also used their privileged positions to make false allegations about those whose views do not coincide with their own."

But he does not refer to the fact that he is the one about whom I was making the allegations, not anybody else. In an article in a Saturday edition of the Daily Telegraph he confirmed that he had indeed used several of the drugs mentioned in the allegations.

I do not know whether it was one, two, three, or four different types of drugs, but he did make that admission. He did not, of course, admit ever being addicted to those drugs, but he did admit to using them.

He attacked us in the general sense that we - I in particular - abused parliamentary privilege when in fact I did not. I drew the attention of the House to a matter of public interest: The man who was condemning the heroin trial, who writes about drugs time and again, and who writes article after article on pot, himself had been a long-time pot user. He had also used cocaine and perhaps other drugs such as LSD. According to the information that I had he did indeed use LSD and cocaine. We know he used cocaine many times both here and in the United States of America, yet he campaigns against drugs, which makes a joke of the whole thing. The article continued:

"The shameful activities of politicians such as Mrs Arena, Mr Jones and Mr Thomson, all operating under the cloak of parliamentary privilege, have done as much to discredit the reputations of our politicians ..."

Piers Akerman has done a lot to discredit the reputation of journalists. He has discredited his newspaper by making allegations about our abusing parliamentary privilege. He has abused his position as a journalist by making false allegations about us. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. By this stage he must have a few broken windows.


*   Send us your Piers-back!

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 12 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: The Call of the Wild
We meet a union organiser whoís taking the union message into the call centres.
*  Unions: After the Gold Rush
Call centres are the boom industry and governments everywhere are touting them as major job creators - particularly in regional areas.
*  History: From Steam Trains to Information Superhighways
A new project is dedicated to promoting the heritage of the Eveleigh railway workshops.
*  Work/Time/Life: This Working Life: Issue #1
The debut issue of the ACTU's new monthly bulletin for it's Working Time and Employment Security Campaign.
*  International: British Unions Halt Membership Decline
Union membership has stopped falling in the UK for the first time in 18 years, suggesting that unionsí increased committment to recruitment and organising is starting to pay off.
*  Review: Cold Warriors' Secrets Exposed
NSW Attorney General Jeff Shaw looks at two books that lift the lid on Cold War espionage.

»  Push for Decent Call Centres
»  Shaw Unveils Second Wave
»  Union Raises the Roof for Beryl
»  Cotter Withdraws Currawong Standover Claims
»  Reith Second Wave Will Prolong Industrial Disputes
»  Itís Rio Telstra -- Union Braces for Attack
»  Fears of AWA Push in State Rail
»  Age Tele-Centre Seeks Pay Equity
»  Advocate Ads to be Referred to Auditor-General, ACCC
»  Labor Council to Stage Pre-Drug Summit

»  Guest Report
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Piers Watch

Letters to the editor
»  Wran Wrong on Wrepublic
»  Digging the Dirt-Digging

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