Thursday 7th of July 2022


A transplanted Yank who most often agrees with Margo's view on the political situation. (James E. Leslie)

I heard Margo being interviewed on ABC radio and she said a 'NOT HAPPY JOHN' bumper sticker was in the works. I and a number of people I know would like to have one on our bumpers. May I suggest, if they are not yet in print that instead of John holding an Australian flag that he be holding an American flag In any case, I anxiously await their availability.

Margo Hi James. Penguin printed 15,000 stickers and they've just about all gone. Quite a few people have inquired about printing more so there should be some more around soon. In the meantime I'll send you one of the few I've got left. Re the American flag, that was suggested but I decided that Australians still have the chance to forge a proud, independent identity.

Margo Kingston gives voice to the 'silent' majority. (John)

Thanks Mr Howard. You turned me into a 53 year old 'hippy/radical.' I once was your humble, conservative, well educated, professional, hard working, liberal, family man, servant. I had never marched/protested in my life (not even against Vietnam).

With my wife, I joined thousands on the streets of Melbourne last year for the first time. We told you, you were wrong. But you knew better. On every key issue that matters, we kept telling you, you are wrong. But you told us you know better.

We thought you must know something you could not tell us about. The evidence is growing against you, every day. Still you refuse to admit you were wrong. When is it that you will listen to the majority telling you, you are wrong and say sorry? I am sounding like a broken record.

Anyway, who is this Margo Kingston? She sounds just like me.

Responses to Howard ()

NHJ is much more than simply Howard-bashing. It's a rational and measured examination of the ways in which our Prime Minister and his minions are slowly but surely dismantling our very democratic institutions. In other words, we hope it's a wake-up call.

Michael Duffy was recently appointed presenter to Radio National's Counterpoint. Known for his conservative views, his appointment was undoubtedly an attempt to find a 'left-wing Phillip Adams.'

In a recent program, he discussed why 'intellectuals hate [Howard] so much.' It's a fascinating read, and although I disagree with many of the assertions, partially due to its overly simplistic reading of the so-called elites, it's an interesting discussion of the culture wars currently raging throughout this country.

All views welcome here.

My gift to you, by the Dalai Lama (Sam Ashton)

Good afternoon Margo. It is rare for me to provide observations on anything that is ever written in print. In almost 50 years, I have only commented once and that was to the author of a book called 'Wild Swans ' which was written several years ago. I wrote to congratulate her on her excellent, beautifully crafted work on her life's' experience and she was gracious enough to write back.

However, I feel compelled to write to you about your book 'Not Happy John' and to say to you, that I found it both compelling and frightening; having said that, I would also thank you for the gift given.

Gift, you say? - What Gift?

The gift of insight that now compels me to begin to think very carefully about governments at work - 'welding their will' to public opinion; their actions surreptitious and seductively maneuvering towards swaying the community in a scurvy manner causing us to lose the very thing we prize the most - our democratic right to be informed automatically a

It's a Start (david booth)

Margo you have written an excellent book, but volume two will be better. You have left out soooo much about Johnnie. Like his demolition of education. Like his Americanisation of health. Like his aim to build a two tier Australia.

Every Howard Minister represents the opposite to what we expect. The Minister for the environment is the minister for destruction of the environment, the Minister for Defence is the Minister for Attack (pre-emptive preferably), the Minister for Immigration is the Minister for immigration prevention, the Minister for Education is the Minister for privileged non-public education. Likewise the Minister for Communications is the minister for restricting or controlling all communications and muzzling the ABC, the Minister for Trade is the minister for US Trade, the Minister for Foreign Affairs is the Minister for regurgitating US Foreign Policy, the Attorney General is the minister for restriction of Civil Liberties etc etc etc.

I also love John'

Bloody angry, John! (Bruce Tabor)

Thanks Margo for a book that both captivated and infuriated me at the same time. My family fought over who would read NHJ as soon as I'd finished it, so I'm reviewing it without the book in front of me.

The contrast of Menzies and Howard alerted me to a subtle theme of role models running through the book - probably unintended. When Senator Harradine removed his shoes to dance with the native title claimants (was it the Wik people? [Yep - NHJ!] ) he was emulating another who associated with outcasts and 'sinners'. Pity Tony Abbott can't seem to manage the same.

I do think you see Menzies through rose-coloured glasses, quoting his fine words, rather than judging his actions. Trying to make the Communist Party unconstitutional was one of the most undemocratic actions imaginable. That Howard is not a true conservative is clear though.

What to do? (Neville Brown)

I was on of the early readers of NHJ. It made me both sad and angry. The first questions I asked, was 'What can I do about this situation?' My first inclination was to run out and join the ALP. But on reflection I thought - to what end? So thy can have my subscription and I can stand in front of a polling booth? Woo Hoo! Is that making a difference?

Since Tony Abbot of Abbott and Costello can establish 'Australians for Honest Politics' why can not a lobby/exposure group called 'Not Happy John Inc' be established? A extra-political group dedicated to 'Keeping the Bastards Honest'. Worth Consideration?

Margo: Hi Neville. I hear on the grapevine that a few political types are thinking of starting a 'Not Happy John' group to sponsor independent-minded candidates. My hope is that if there's enough interest from Australians on this site - the mailing list is growing fast - we can create an Australian version of the brilliant American website, which has har

Things are not always as they seem ()

Many of us are avid readers and consume all manner of media content. You would think this would give us a good basis to form a view on our government and our democracy. Alas, things are not always as they seem. We've had lots of feedback on Not Happy, John and a consistent theme has been a realisation that the system is more broken than we thought.

There has even been a fundamental misunderstanding about the PM. Many feel he is a conservative harking back to the ideals of the Menzies era. As the book shows, nothing could be further from the truth. John Howard is radical and rarely hesitates to cast aside tradition. Readers of NHJ comment that they never knew the extent of this radicalism until they read the book. In the past week the PM blithely accepted US Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage's foray into our domestic politics. This is against diplomatic tradition between our countries.

Taking the steps needed to improve our democrac

Zionism isn't the only truth (Mannie De Saxe)

NHJ: The following letter was submitted to the Australian Jewish News (AJN) in the last weeks and has thus far gone unprinted:

Dr Colin Rubenstein is quoted in an article in the AJN (25 June 2004), criticisizing Margo Kingston and Antony Lowenstein because they

Itinerary (Norman Murdoch)

Hello 'NHJers'. Could someone please tell me on what dates Margo is conducting radio interviews? Keep up the good work.

Margo: Hi Norman. We're working on an 'uncoming events' link for the front of the site.

Your book articulated many ideas I have held (Ken Webb)

I have just finished reading your book 'Not Happy, John.' I have often heard your comments on Philip Adams' show and this inspired me to get your book. I too have been alarmed at the gradual destruction of our democracy by the Howard administration, its lying, its contempt for the Westminster system, let alone its psychophantic attitude towards the US. Your book articulated many ideas I have held. I shall keep a closer eye on 'web diary' from now on.

One Foot in the Grave (Tony O Hanlon)

NHJ was like a Doctors call with good news. I am a 64 year old grandad who has been feeling very very depressed during the last few years.My darling wife put it down to the fact that I watched and listened to too many news programmes. She was right, the whole political scene became fogged, and for a man who had lived through a lifetime of political disasters I was not coping very well. NHJ cleared the fog. For the first time in years I was able to see clearly what was going on. Margo Kingston has cleared that fog and given me a reason to work to free this country of those who deem it their right to take my Democracy from me. From one foot in the grave I have a new lease on life. In recognition for Margo's sacrifice and commitment I have nominated her as Australian of the Year. see Tony Woy Woy

Ashrawi, AIJAC and the other side of truth (David Langsam)

NHJ: The following piece is by Melbourne based journalist, David Langsam. An edited version of this article appeared in the Australian Jewish News in late 2003.


The winds are blowing ()

Another week and the NHJ buzz is still growing. The latest Nielsen Bookscan chart places NHJ at No 3 (in The Age) and No 4 (in the SMH) on the non-fiction charts. And No 11 on the overall charts. In other words, we're reaching really encouraging numbers for a book that has, tellingly, received little mainstream press coverage. In other words, the message has entirely bypassed the old ways of communicating and succeeded in getting people excited and active. We reckon the mainstream press are a little scared that something, anything, can sell without their promotions, so maybe NHJ is a taste of much to come.

The Brisbane arts publication, Timeoff, has run an informative piece on NHJ.

And Lawyer's Weekly, said to be 'Australia's leading information resource for the legal professional' has a piece by David Hovenden.

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