Tuesday 16th of July 2024

My copy NHJ circulated from public library in centre of Prosser's electorate for 6 weeks before nine-ten (Nancy McIntyre)

Howdy from a WAlien.

We in the west are doubly disconnected from the federal process - by historic distance and now by the sydney-centric blinkers of John Howard's regime.

Geoff Prosser has distinguished himself as my federal member by only appearing publicly to hand out money and never appearing whenever integrity/ethical/planning issues are under scrutiny. His slick little advertising 'Southwest News' liftout in the local rag (which rag managed this election to avoid a single headline on a single issue - great achievment even if negative) was the first to publish the fuxed photos of kids overboard pre the last-but-one fed poll. And his office was right on track this poll with more than 3 letterboxings about fiscal dangers of non-coalition voting, together with two nice big advertising splashes about 'security' and 'homes' - whatever those words mean these days.

There has been no opposition to the Prosser line around here for too many years.

So when I got a copy of NHJ from my brother-in-law - John Boots, who is president of the fellowship of ANZ psychiatrists (sorry I don't know chapter and verse but I know he's president) and who has been a not-happy John for some time about ethics in public life - I took it to the local library for putting into circulation.

I reasoned that 6 weeks before the federal poll was quite a bit of time for the book's reporting to show up the lack of reporting in local media. Enough to get a few more brains into gear anyway.

Was I surprised when a week later, the librarian told me she couldn't take the book's 'tone' ? That she disliked 'aggressive' complaining which didn't 'offer positive criticism'? Can't you just hear the same-ol same-ol Liberal squelch? She was unconsciously feeding the old censorship routine. Not her fault but it has become the only thing which makes me see red. I told her that I had always thought that a librarian is an information gateway officer and not a censor.

Result? NHJ went into circulation that day and has been borrowed 12 times since.

So I thought that a little more activism by members of regional public libraries - which imo are the last place you can access information pretty freely these days - would be all to the good for ethics and public participation.

I am going to formally request copies of works on ethics and public affairs to be added to the Harvey Libraries' circulation stock at every opportunity. I think that regional libraries may have too many self-censoring librarians in charge. We here in the sticks don't all do patchwork and ponies.