Short answer? Not much.
Like many other Australians, there are lots of things that I love about Australian society, but of course don’t talk about, as we all know that acknowledging the positive status quo is against the law :-). There are things that don’t like, but I accept because it’s part of living in a democratic society. Equally, there are those things where my own views mirror that of Australian society, and I think should be eradicated, such as child pornography. As a father of two little wonders under five, I find the concept abhorrent. On this issue, the Australian Labor Government and I agree.
Where we disagree is how to go about protecting the innocent community. Rhetoric offered by Senator Conroy suggests that those that object to the ‘clean feed’ internet filtering policy are supporters, or advocates of child pornography. This absurd view appears to be blindly accepted (in the main) by the party room. Wanting to learn more about the views of my sitting federal member, I took the (unusual for me) step of writing a letter to the member for Bennelong, Ms Maxine McKew. Surely with her history as an investigative journalist (her website mentions her 30 years as a journalist / in public life no less than four times in two pages), she will have asked the hard questions and formed her own view, and all she has been waiting for to break her silence is for someone to ask her opinion of her.
What follows is the correspondence chain between Ms McKew’s office and me, and a reproduction of the letter I received from her. I’ve reproduced all the email correspondence and a scan of the letter that I received here. There are a couple of things that are really important to note before you start to look through:
- Maxine is an awful correspondent. Her responses are generic, her turnaround time horrendous, and her obfuscation obvious.
- Based on other feedback from others that have corresponded with their federal member, it’s essentially the same letter that Senator Conroy and Ms Gillard are using
- I still don’t really know where Maxine McKew stands on the issue. She avoided my simple questions. All I received was a form letter which she (and her staff) were too lazy or disinterested to tailor to the correspondence received. Maxine – you’re welcome to respond either to me personally or via comment to this blog – I’ll publish in full without modification.
With her much publicised background as a seeker of the truth, and asker of the hard questions, I should be surprised by her immediate ducking of the questions. Perhaps her time as a journalist watching politicians duck her questions was simply on the job training for her transition to politics.
I look forward to your comments and feedback. Should I have let it lie? Should I keep chasing? (more…)