Monday, 30 May 2011

Bully Boy Tactics at the Oz Betray another Great Australian Political Swindle


The Australian is rapidly losing credibility as a source of news, writes Peter Botsman. It's not political bias that will sink the national broadsheet, but a tendency to create its own reality through bully tactics.

One hundred years hence let us hope that future historians do not pore through the columns of The Australian to find out what happened in our period of history.

(Original Story by Professor Peter Botsman, for the New Matilda, at:  )

There is something immediately admirable, and rare, about a public thinker who thinks in one hundred year blocs.
Professor Peter Botsman's 2000 epic "The Great Constitutional Swindle" is perhaps the bravest and most honest (frankly, ferocious in his fearlessness) legal or historical or political or social commentary ever written by any Australian.
He even surpasses in my honest opinion Emeritus Professor Donald Horne's 1964 "The Lucky Country", and a string of other worthy contenders from Thomas Hardy and from Manning Clarke, for laying bare two of Australia's best kept and most dangerous historical and contemporary secrets.
Secret #1 is that the Australian Constitution is not a Constitution at all, but is a Royal Licence drawn up by Australia's pre-federation ruling class of lawyers, and rubber stamped without ado by Queen Victoria and her British House of Lords and House of Commons, to entrench their concentrated political powers, so much so that 110 years later Australia remains a 1st rate country run by a 5th generation of 4th rate lawyers (our second secret).
So much for 'separation of powers' written on a piece of Victorian English parchment, when (Secret #2) 98% of all parliamentarians, 99% of all Ministers of the Crown and other Senior Bureaucrats, and 100% of all Judges and senior judicial officers are 5th generation lawyers - lineal descendants of their (not our) founding law-fore-fathers.
And whilst political powers in our unLucky Country remain so concentrated, and all government processes, practices and outcomes (including tax systems, tertiary legal education institutions, access to legal professional positions post-graduation, vote-buying welfarism, and lawyer-enriching legal systems) have for so long orientated themselves to fit this lawyer class "ownership" of the reins and seats of power, there is no reason to think that these statistics will be any different (let alone any democratic or representative) in another 4 or 5 generations.
As one who was there with Gough in 1972 - 1975, who was there for the 1974 Brisbane floods as well as the 2010 sequel, Professor Botsman speaks with authority rare amongst social and political academics in Australia. Is he Australia's best, but least appreciated intellectual treasure?
So when Professor Botsman says that political bias or, more exactly, "being politically active and partisan" is "not the real concern" with the Australian, one shudders at the depth and depravity of the things that are the "real concerns" - lack of a paying readership appearing to be a virtue rather than a sin in these circumstances.
It stands for its own self importance. The problem isn’t that the organisation favours one side of the news over another, it is that it is an insular club which is cold to outside influences. News Limited likes, above all, to be seen as a king maker and power broker. It does not want to report the news — it wants to make the news.
Newspapers should have strong opinions, make choices and offer recommendations. But such views need to be merit-based and emerge from a rich editorial process. At The Australian the conversations that occur between editorial bosses are extremely narrow. You contribute if you are in the News Ltd club. The choices that it makes are not informed by anything of substance but rather a perspective that such and such is someone’s friend, or has the tick of approval by the bosses, or is part of an establishment club view of the world.The club shows no restraint. It will feature a half page picture of a favoured personality or raise a 16-point headline, even when the substance of a story contradicts it, in order to please the perceived hierarchy. Gail Kelly of Westpac found herself at the mercy of the News Limited spin merchants last week. Many have suffered a similar fate over the past few decades. .. Because of its club-like atmosphere, .. 
Some further observations on the troubled Australian, from Professor Botsman:
.. like a ship being steered by several captains  

Similarly those of us who still occasionally buy The Australian — its circulation figures are closely guarded so that advertising is not jeopardised by a falling readership — do so in order to read one or two columnists. In so far as the overall presentation of the world is concerned, you have to learn to read through the pages. This is difficult for those who have no idea of the internal permutations of personalities and masters within News, or who don’t seek out other sources of world news.

It’s true that since the days when Rupert Murdoch virtually dictated Gough Whitlam’s "It’s time" campaign, News Limited editors have never shied away from being politically active and partisan. But this is not the real concern — what we should be worried about is the propensity for News Limited papers to create their own version of the news. The offensive quality of News is their sheer ability to bully a sort of reality. So much important information is left out.  

But still, there is more:

.. Kevin Rudd spoiled his opportunity when he dared to criticise the editor of The Australian for either erroneously quoting him or quoting something off the record about a phone call with George Bush Jr. From that time on Rudd was history so far as The Australian was concerned — even though the former PM enjoys a strong personal friendship with Chris Mitchell, the paper’s editor in chief.The implosion of the Gillard government is also being covered in an imbalanced way by The Australian. Blind Freddy can see that the Gillard Government will not win the next election — whenever it is held. But neither does the Abbott Opposition deserve to win government.  ..
The Australian's Special Editor at Large, Paul Kelly's recently penned manifesto "The March of the Patriots" showcases as its central theme that the Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating and his successor the Liberal Prime Minister John Howard, headed parliaments and greater federal governments that were so alike from policy and political achievements perspectives, they could as well have been one and the same person, let alone one and the same political party. Isn't this a reflection of Professor Botsman's "Great Constitutional Swindle" hypothesis?
And then there are Paul Kelly's threats against ANU Journalism teacher Julie Posetti, threatening to sue her for defamation, for accurately transcribing speeches to the effect that Australian Journalists suffer from over-editorial governance from their senior editor(s), which roared around social media sites such as under the tag of #twitdef. Isn't that a reflection of Professor Botsman's present hypothesis of bully boy tactics by the Australian newspaper's governing class to create their own version of the news.
Seems there is fertile ground for a grand unifying theory that links great Australian swindles of our first three estates of government (parliamentarians, bureaucrats, judiciary) with another great Australian swindle of our fourth estate (journalists and mass media). 
Should our fifth, sixth and seventh estates (church, family, individuals - individuals, like wikileaks' Julian Assange, or Peter Lalor, or Matthew Brady or Ned Kelly) stand up as checks, to balance the dysfunctioning and swindling of our first four estates?  
Can our eighth estate, our Queen of Australia, Mrs Elizabeth Windsor (or her antipodean nominee, Mrs Quentin Bryce) be counted upon to operate as a sole check or balance against the dysfunctioning and swindling first four estates - or is our ceremonial monarchy (with undemocratic, unconstitutional benefits) a symptom, a cause and an effect of the dysfunctions and the swindles?
I wonder which generation of Australians, and using what mediums of communication, may be able to hault, quarantine and reverse "the "March of the Swindlers."
As a 23 year old Edward “Ned” Kelly might have said in his famous Jerilderie Letter or on the gallows of Melbourne Gaol before he was hung (his skull taken by the Governmen and even today, 130 years later, never returned to his descendants) - "Such is Life" / "Such is Media".

James Johnson
Independent Federal Candidate for Lalor
Constitutional Human Rights Advocate
Solicitor and Barrister of the High Court of Australia
(Celebrating 20 Years of Legal Practice 1990 - 2010)

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Are We Nations of Winstons, Loving and Loved by our 1984-Style Big Brother Governments?



A few minutes ago, I attempted to post a 2856 character set of comments at .

On hitting the POST button, I was greeted with a response - "Your post has triggered the spam filter. Please modify it and try again."

Comments deleted and author blocked as a spammer.  I wonder what the world's Government and NGO #FreeSpeech organisations will make of this.

@TheNewEconomist asserts this in its online "About US"  
About The Economist online
Our website
The Economist online offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science and technology.
Is  this one of many misleading and/or deceptive statements that possibly abound on the written and electronic pages of @TheEconomist?  Maybe. Let the public judge.

For the record, and for the benefit of UK Press Council and other GO and NGO freepress organisations in the six countries where @TheEconomist Magazine is printed and published every Thursday, the following are the comments that were "BLOCKED AS SPAM" by @TheEconomist today.

My previous blog post is a reposting of my original comments on @TheEconomist article, which were binned after a 12 hour posting. Irrelevant, Irreverant, Spam? Let the public judge.

"Your post has triggered the spam filter. Please modify it and try again." ... [ ]

MYUNDERSTANDING (whose comments currently appear as #11 in the list of "oldest first" below) is absolutely right in saying that John Grimond and @TheEconomist are "ignoring the life at Australia and looking at only glitters..."

So many of those racist attacks on Indian uni students (working as taxi drivers or at fast food outlets) took place in my Federal Electorate of Lalor (Bequeathed to our Prime Minister #JuliaGillardMHR, whose every political action, her very political foundation stones, are an "illegal act" - more in a long line of political swindles).

I am surprised that MYUNDERSTANDING's expressions of free speech have not yet been censored by John Grimond or @TheEconomist's moderator. After all, how relevant is a real comment on the reality of life in Australia, how relevant is an expression of #freespeech, to a British Magazine like @TheEconomist, or a despotic ex-British colony like Australia, that both disallow expressions of #freespeech.

[Are we in the West nations of Winstons beholden to Orwellian BigBrother Utopias of political and media power absolutisms and 1984 dominations of the masses?]

EXHIBIT A: My tweet of #FreeSpeech this morning, in defiance of acts of political censorship by @TheEconomist yesterday: - #SorryDay. #StolenGen #DeathsInCustody #FamilyLawFail #ConstitutionalSwindle. Yeah, "NO WORRIES" @TheEconomist #auspol

EXHIBIT B: My tweet of #FreeSpeech yesterday evening, reposting in the public domain my comments of May 27, 2011 on John Grimond's / @TheEconomist's taffy piece on Australia, which appeared briefly (as comment #4) before they, and more, were deleted by @TheEconomist @TheEconomist GAGS #AusPol'itical Dissent @Amnesty @UtneReader @NewStatesman @Guardian @latimes @newAustralian @wikileaks #humanrights

Even if MYUNDERSTANDING, Professor Niall Ferguson, Professor Peter Botsman, Emeritus Professor Donald Horne, George Orwell (aka Edward Anthony Blair), (@Guardian's) Steven Poole, Ned Kelly, Matthew Brady, Peter Lalor, Julian Assange, and I wrote and spoke nothing but idiocies and stupidities, surely any person who claims to believe in democracy and therefore free speech should, as Voltaire said, say "I don't agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your rights to say them."

Well not at @TheEconomist it seems, judging by @TheEconomist's moderators' judgements of what comments are "allowed" in respect of this piece on Australia, it seems that things that may be going on in Siberia, Mongolia and China has more relevant to the topic of what is really going on in Australia, than what real Australians report is really going on inside Australia.

If these comments even get posted by @TheEconomist, I predict that they will once again be @TheEconomist-destructed, #FreeSpeech snuffed out, within 12 hours (again).

As Edward “Ned” Kelly might have said in his famous Jerilderie Letter or on the gallows of Melbourne Gaol before he was hung (his skull taken by the Governmen and even today, 130 years later, never returned to his descendants) - "Such is Life" / "Such is Media".

James Johnson
Independent Federal Candidate for Lalor
Constitutional Human Rights Advocate
Exiled Political Dissident
Solicitor and Barrister of the High Court of Australia
(Celebrating 20 Years of Legal Practice 1990 - 2010)

"No Worries Australia" - Well The Economist Magazine is Certainly Worried - by Dissident Truths

"Never let the truth get in the way of a good story."

That seems to be the unofficial motto of the Weekly Economist Magazine - especially if, like me, you think that actions speak so much louder than mere words.

Two days ago (May 26, 2011) I published my first blog here at wordpress.
  1.  In the PREAMBLE, I spoke of the tragedy of Australia's history of Great Constitutional Swindles - including our woe begotten Constitution that asserts itself as a foundation for democratic institutions and practices, such as the separation of powers of the branches of Government, when the reality is that Australians were swindled into receiving a concentration of powers (the fast track to tyranny) with all important roles in all three branches of government stacked 98% (parliamentarians), 99% (Ministers of Crown and Senior Bureaucrats) and 100% (Judges and senior judicial officers) with members of the ruling lawyer class.
  2.  Today, 98%, 99% and 100% of our Governmen (and Governwomen) are 4th and 5th generation lawyers,  lineal descendants of the ruling lawyers who, er, 'framed' our Australian Constitution in the late 1890s.
  3. Unlike the founding forefathers of the United States of America (who were polymaths and not purely, mostly, but only incidently lawyers) our Australian founding forefathers seized up for themselves the structures and controls of our federal system of greater government.
  4. Australia's founding fore-law-fathers swindled us Australians  out of our basic civil, political and other human rights (1215s Magna Carta, 1688's UK Bill of Rights, or an English or Australian equivalent of the USA's 1776 Declaration of Independence or the USA's 1791 Bill of Rights (The First to Tenth Amendments)).
  5. To the enrichment of subsequent generations of the ruling lawyer class, our 1890s federal fore-law-fathers swindled us out of a historic opportunity to address some of the previous century's human and political and social and economic wrongs, and set Australia on a path towards becoming an even less democratised society, whilst spinning a merry jig of propaganda and rehetoric to pretend and convince us that we were (and always were and will be) a shining light amongst the world's best praticing democracies.
Yesterday (May 27, 2011 at about 8.00 am),  I became aware via the Australian Broadcasting Commission Breakfast News Bulletins of a special report published yesterday in the Weekly Economist Magazine out of the United Kingdom under the title "No Worries".
  1. The article is accessible via the Economist home page - .
  2. Here is a snapshot of what The Economist has to say on its homepage:

From The Economist's Homepage -

Australia's promise

With two decades of unbroken growth behind it, record prices for its minerals and an insatiable market on its doorstep, Australia can afford to be carefree. Or can it?(10)

Yesterday (May 27, about 1.00 pm) I posted to the Economist my comments (about 2,500 characters or half the maximum allowable limit) on their article.
  1. These were automatically posted on the Economist site, as the 4th set of comments on the article, under my nickname of JamesJohnsonCHR.
  2. The 5th person to comment, under the nickname of "Hubris before the fall" posted 4 sentences commenting on my comments, but without commenting on the original Economist story at all.
Yesterday (May 27, from 1.00 pm up until about 11.00 pm yesterday evening) I tweeted links to the Economist articles, together with links to my comments, via twitter - as .

Today (May 28, 2011, at about 6 pm) I became aware that the Economist had taken down my comments - binned them.  The Economist's "moderator" has also deleted the comments on my comments posted by "Hubris before the fall".  Of the 24 comments that have escaped The Economist's censorship cuts, they seem to be mostly about Mongolia, Serbia and China - places that are somewhat distant from Australia and one would think therefore not nearly as on title as my comments which were censured.

Today (May 28, 2011, at about 7 pm - here and now) 
  1. For the record, below are, word for word, an exact replica of the comments that I posted at the Economist website, my observations on the simplistic "No Worries" story.
  2. Thank goodness for the power of http// and , so that I can both report this act of Economist censureship, and I can repost my original comments, word for word, back in the public domain.
  3. I wonder how often in times gone by, and in places like Australia today, where the mainstream media exercise enormous klout, freedom of expression and freedom of speech can be simply snuffed out via a failure to print (a letter to an editor) or a failure to educate (keeping those who might protest without the education or the tools of pen or paper or phyiscal safety, from which to print their protests).
  4. If my criticsms of The Economist (which j'accuse as being an active bastion of anti-FreeSpeech, and j'accuse of the corrolary of being an organ for the promotion of Orwelian NewSpeak and Poolean UnSpeak) are unwarranted and unfounded, then I stand to be criticised for making them.
  5. I note that it is to The Economist's credit that my comments were published first and moderated after - though I do wonder how long before this process is reverse.
I hope that Truth will continue to find a way to express itself, no matter the adversities to be overcome.

My comments, that were deleted by the Economist, are below:

COMMENTS BY JAMESJOHNSONCHR  It is lovely to see @TheEconomist putting Australia on the front cover and headlines of its world famous magazine. Of course we 22M Australians have been in the world headlines for most of the past decade(s), most recently compliments of the latest in a long and growing line of Aussie whistleblowers, @TheEconomist's own, award winning, @JulianAssange_.

Australia is not a "Happy Country." We are in the world headlines for all the wrong reasons. We are not a "flourishing democracy, one of the oldest in the world". Quite the opposite in fact. As UK Prof Niall Ferguson's 2003 "Empire: How Britain Made The Modern World" and Aussie Prof Peter Botsman's 2000 "The Great Constitutional Swindle" amply testify. Ditto the true stories and writings of Ned Kelly and Matthew Brady, and Peter Lalor (the 1855 Eureka surviving, Aussie-transported Irish Political Dissident's son turned colonial parliamentarian, after whom my Australian Federal Electorate is named).

Australia has never come close to being a "democracy". Immediately consult pp 194 - 200 of the UK's @theGuardian's Steven Poole's 2006 epic "Unspeak" if you think that Australia might be a "democracy" or a "meritocracy"). Orwellian "Newspeak" and Poolean "Unspeak" have reached their, er, global and historic "peaks", in Australia's broken parliaments, our broken media, our broken bureaucracies and our broken lawyers' court rooms and tribunals.

Australia is a 1st rate nation, run by a 5th generation of 4th rate ruling class lawyers - a reality that almost breaks through the surface of the skin of facts elegantly displaced in these @TheEconomist special pieces.
So, I applaud @TheEconomist's energies and intentions. But I would love to see this special feature revised with less (unawares) artificial sweetener to political correctness, and more of the bitter political reality.
My @wordpress blog could be a sensible starting point to begin sweeping away domestic and world delusions of what and who drives our unLucky, unHappy, Sorry and Worried Nation, and how and where they are driving us.

 James Johnson
Independent Federal Candidate for Lalor
Constitutional Human Rights Advocate
Exiled Political Dissident
Solicitor and Barrister of the High Court of Australia
(Celebrating 20 Years of Legal Practice 1990 - 2010)

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

My Political Introduction and Pledge

These are my first Words on Blogspot.

I have been micro-blogging on twitter as and since March 2010, and prior to that as

My two websites and http// have been functional for about as long, though they both requiring significant upgrades of content and media presentation to complete them and keep them green and growing. 

My plan starting out is to blog three times a week - on a point of local (Lalor Electorate) interest, on a point of national interest (Australian Internal Affairs) and on a point of world interest that affects all Australians (Australian External Affairs). But I realise that this will involve a significant workload and discipline.

As this is my first blog, I believe it is fair and reasonable that it be a bit longer than future blogs. It is important to build a firm foundation for future blogs.

So for this first blog, here is a brief PREAMBLE, followed by my 2 paragraph POLITICAL PLEDGE and the equivalent of 2 pages of PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS from my 20 plus years of top tier commercial, government and constitutional legal practice 


My POLITICAL PLEDGE and my PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS and my above links to my twitter micro-blogs and my websites are intended to give 14,000,000 voting Australians (with special reference to the 140,000 franchised voters on the electoral roll for the Federal Electorate of Lalor) some starting information by which they can measure up my qualities and abilities to be elected as their (and my own) Federal Member of the House of Representatives, when the next Federal Election is called, some time between now and the end of 2013.

Obviously, Australia is suffering from a dreadful period of political disenchantment, chronic sickness within our long dominant two (or one) party dominated political organs of State and Federal Government, and our many suppressed Constitutional Crisis's.  Our suppressed Constitutional crises are not only the lingering legacy from the Whitlam Dismissal of November, 11 1975 but more recent legacies such as the Rudd Dismissal / Gillard Ascendancy of June 24, 2010 and the continuation since September 13, 2010 of the current, compromised Gillard minority federal Parliament and Government.   Our suppressed Constitutional crises include submerged legacies from our pre- and post-colonial centuries of White Australian elitism and apartheid government laws, practices and customs, unaddressed injustices done to our earliest forced settlers (Irish political prisoners and petty British thieves), and of course the unaddressed wrongs done to the first indigenous Australians (who landed millennia before the British Red Coats and their convict slaves first arrived, a mere 220 years ago).

Probably the root relic of the Constitutional crises which are at the heart of our present political malaise is the Federation Constitutional Swindle that was foisted on 2,000,000 then living Australians (including the few Australian men and South Australian women who were "allowed" to vote), whereby the ruling class lawyers of the day drew up a Constitution for themselves (with few voices of dissent within their class and very little allowance for dissatisfaction from the majority of, non-lawyer class Australians).  We know the name given to the parchment of that instrument, which was little more than a licence to rule, drafted by the elite within the self-interested lawyer class of the Australian colonies pre-federation era (the 1890's), was sanctioned by Queen Victoria of England and the United Kingdom House of Lords and House of Commons, and was passed into British laws on July 9, 1900 as the "Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (of the United Kingdom)".  

Today, we know the fruits of that Constitutional Swindle, taught to us in our official history books as "Federation" and "the birth of the Commonwealth of Australia", by the reality of government in Australia today, where 98% of all State and Federal parliamentarians, 99% of all senior State and Federal Ministers of the Crown and other senior bureaucrats, and 100% of all State and Federal Judges and other senior judicial officers are ... members of the elite ruling lawyer  class.  Almost every one of our governmen and governwomen today (those holding top positions in the parliamentary, the bureaucratic and the judicial branches of our State and Federal governments) can trace  their family trees back through 4 or 5 generations, to governmen (or in more recent generations some governwomen) who held those or similar positions and of course had the same surnames.

Our Australian political caste system, our barely out of sight "Bunyip Aristocracy" with its rigidity of birth rights to positions, privileges and political powers, makes the Indian Hindu Caste System look positively liberal and liberating.  And yet, almost all of the time, we think very little of it.  We very rarely even see it.  Though we feel its effects and consequences every where around us as we attempt to go about our daily lives unhampered by maximum government regulation and interference.

Despite the lip-servicing and candy-coated appearances of ballot boxes and other supposedly democratic institutions and processes, and despite the saccharine spin and propaganda for what passes for (and what doesn't pass for) independent (of government) press and electronic media, the reality of government in Australia today, at all times since Federation, and even in colonial times right back to the first white British landing in 1788, is that government in Australia is a birth right and a hereditary occupation reserved for the current generation of ruling class lawyers and their future lawyerly offspring.  

Today, Australia is, as always, a 1st rate country run by a 5th generation of 4th rate lawyers.  

In 1960's Australia, where I was born, we were labelled "The Lucky Country."  As we sang "God Save the Queen" at morning assemblies and on important  public occasinos, we were propaganda filled to take this as a label of pride, when Donald Horne meant this as satire, as a wake up call that much was not right. 

"We are a 1st class country run by 2nd class people" is what Emeritus Professor Horne wrote and said at his book launches in 1964.  

Bowing to pressures of political correctness - Academia is just one more of the multitude of halls of government, of course - Professor Donald Horne later revised this to "mostly 2nd class people" in successive revisions up until about 2004.} The "mediocre" country is the repressed label he gave to the  political elite, the ruling class lawyers of that generation, 50 years and two generations ago.

Fifty years and two generations later of accumulating mediocrity (some might say degenerate, in-breeding) within our ruling lawyer class political elite, how much more mediocre are our parliamentarians, ministers and other bureaucrats and judges than their grandfathers were back in 1960s Australia?  A disturbing trend that we see every night on the TV news, we read every day in our newspapers, and we feel every time we try to go about our ordinary daily affairs free of government over-governing us.  

I don't think we Australians can afford to suffer or to sustain this disturbing trend for too many more generations, however beneficial the whole set-up is for our ruling lawyer classes and their future offspring.

Well my name is James.  And I am going to take us away from all that.

I have  not found traces of any pre-1778 Australian ancestors or any post-1788 white Irish or British convict-slaves in my family tree.  Nor, disappointingly, can I claim any recharging of my bloodlines from the waves of white European immigration to Australia in the 1950s or the waves of Mediterranean European immigration of the 1960s, or the successive waves of Asian immigration into Australia that began at the end of the 1970s at about the time that Americans Neil Armstrong and Edwin Buzz Aldrin were walking on the Moon (when I was in primary school).

But I can count my blessings that, within the benefit of knowledge of 5 living generations of family history, I am a first generation lawyer (even a first generation university graduate) who has no blood, school,  marriage or even postcode ties or allegiances to any of the past or present ruling caste lawyer elite who control all of all halls of government.  

As far as I can tell, within 5 generations of living memory in my family, I am at least 5th generation indigenous to this Sorry Country - A country where the parliament, the government and the media are all broken - and the breaking occurred by deliberate political acts of sabotage by generations of ruling class lawyers.  

As far as I can tell, my first "Australian" ancestors were of a mixture of mostly Scotts and Germans, sturdy and industrious folk who came to this land by free choice (“boat people” of their days, who paid full faires and carried all requisite legal documents of entry). My ancestors were not victims of British political and legal injustice, draped in prison garb and shipped like live cattle, in British prison chains, like too many of their contemporaries.  

If you have read this far into my first blog, I thank you.  

I encourage you to follow my hashtag discussion tweets on some of the history and politics and current affairs behind these points I have made in this preamble.  Please search on #ConstitutionalSwindle #FamilyLawFail #AusNewFederalism #Auspol and #Lalor in my twitter feed at -  http:/

And I leave you with my simple, 2 paragraph, political pledge and 2 pages of professional profile.

Best wishes
James Johnson
Independent Federal Candidate for Lalor



1. WORK by educating and empowering individuals, families and communities,

2. ARE SENSIBLY FUNDED within conservative, open and accountable government budgets, AND

3. ARE DELIVERED through LEAN AND LOW COST legislative and public service frameworks.

I PLEDGE AT ALL TIMES, from both inside and outside of the Parliament, TO ADVOCATE MEASURES:

1. TO CUT the Cost of Government

2. TO INTRODUCE democratising election laws and practices

3. TO ENCOURAGE more, new, non-lawyer, non-political party controlled Senators & MHRs

4. TO RESTORE Justice to our Courts (and remove lawyers-only privilege-laws & end taxpayer / litigant funded lawyers picnics)

5. TO INVESTIGATE, Stop and Prosecute the daily #HumanRights abuses in our anti-family #FamilyLawFail Law Courts.

6. TO INVESTIGATE, Stop and Prosecute Governmen and Governwomen rorting, waste and abuse, currently rampant in all levels and all branches of State and Federal Government.

Independent Federal Candidate for Lalor
Solicitor and Barrister of the High Court of Australia
(Celebrating 20 Years of Legal Practice 1990 - 2010)


James Johnson


Professional History
[1990 –        ] Legal Practitioner, Legal and Media Consultant, Australian Solicitor and Barrister
[2001 – 2007] Senior Legal Counsel with Primelife Corporation and RenaissanceTV

[1999 – 2007] General Counsel with $%^&* Regional Water Authority

[1994 – 1999] Senior Associate and then Special Counsel with *%^&* *%^&*
[1989 – 1994] Articled Clerk, Solicitor and then Senior Associate with *%^&* *%^&* *%^&*
[1987 – 1988] Economist (Tutor and Relieving Lecturer), Dept. of Economics at Monash University

Other Professional Roles
[1998 – 2003] Author, monthly column on Tax Issues for the Victorian Law Institute Journal
[1999 – 2001] Member, Legal Practitioners Liability Committee’s GST Panel

[1999 – 2000] Member, Victorian State Revenue Office's State Taxes Liaison Committee
[1999 – 2000] Chairman, Law Institute of Victoria’s State Taxes Committee
[1998 – 2000] Chairman, Law Institute of Victoria’s GST Taskforce

[May 1990] Admitted to Practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Federal Courts of Australia and the High Court of Australia and as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria
[May 1989] Graduated LL.B, Monash University
[April 1986] Graduated B.Ec (Class 2A Hons), Monash University
Practice Areas
Government – Constitutional Law – International Law – Human Rights – Civil and Political Rights – Major Projects – International and Australian, Project, Structured and Corporate Finance – Property Construction – Aged Care and Retirement Villages Regulation and Development – Power & Gas – Transport – Water Regulation and Development – Public Finance and Administration – Taxation – Information – Media – Communications – Technology

During a 20 plus year legal career James has provided top-tier legals and advisory services to hundreds of
major Australian and International Corporations, and worked with all tiers of government in Australia.
These include 19 of Australia's top 20 (and 48 of the top 54) most profitable ASX listed Companies
(source: based on Business Review Weekly's Top 1000 Corporate Money Earners for 2010).


James is the author of more than 100 substantial published papers, seminar presentations, government and client training manuals on legal and commercial issues as diverse as GST, stamp duties, banking law,
project finance, structured finance, privacy laws, constitutional laws and human rights laws.

Full Publications List is available on request.

Over Twenty Years of Australian and International Transaction Experience – 1990 to 2011

Energy, Infrastructure, Transport, Water and Government Projects
  • Advising on industry, regulatory, acquisition and financing aspects of Victorian electricity privatizations 1996 to 1998 including: (1) the Electricite de France – AGL A$1 billion bid for United Energy; (2) the AGL – GPU consortium’s A$950 million acquisition of Solaris Power; (3) Westpac and Bank of America syndicated funding of Texas Utility’s A$2 billion acquisition of Eastern Energy; (4) the PowerGen plc – Itochu – AMP Society – Hastings consortium’s A$2.4 billion acquisition of Yallourn Energy; (5) The National Grid Group plc – Itochu consortium’s bid for PowerNet Victoria.
  • Advising Commonwealth Government Owned ANL Limited through a 1995, 3 month, secondment from on legal due diligence and tender sale process, on general banking facilities and the workout of leveraged charterparty lease facilities.
  • Advising ANZ Bank on, and documenting the A$500 million issue of tax-enhanced infrastructure bonds as part of the A$1.8 billion plus financing of the Melbourne City Link Project (1995).
  • Advising various Government and non-Government stake-holders on water, sewerage, recycled water, wind, hydro, solar and other green energy projects.

Corporate, Commercial and Trade
  • Advising on domestic and international supply contracts for commodities, goods, services, intellectual property and technology rights, including assistance documenting and negotiating transactions.
  • Advising on banking, trading and commercial contracts, mergers, disposals and acquisitions of businesses.
  • Advising domestic and international clients on Australian commercial, trade practices, foreign investment and privacy laws.

  • Advising Fosters Brewing Group Limited (then Elders IXL) on the operations and trade sale of a number of Agribusiness Divisions, including Elders Meat, Brewing Materials and Elders Pastoral, via secondment (1990 – 1991).
  • Advising Italian textiles and technology company Naco SpA on the A$100 million plus supply of paper processing plant and technology to an Australian public company Arissa Limited (1999).

Property, Construction and Development
  • Front and back-end advice on various construction projects, including civil construction works (such as water treatment and reclamation plants, dual reticulation schemes, agricultural recycled water projects, biosolids projects), residential projects (including resort style and retirement living facilities) and on commercial, retail and industrial projects.
  • Advising on bricks and mortar mortgages, corporate loans, construction loans, project financings, joint venture and profit share arrangements for residential, commercial and retail construction projects.
  • Advising Primelife Corporation Limited / Babcock & Brown Communities, Australia’s largest ASX-listed developer and manager of resort style retirement villages and premier aged care hostels through a 3 year general retainer for property, commercial, finance, regulatory and taxation matters (2001 – 2007).
  • Advising Hudson Conway Limited on property transactions with a combined value in excess of A$1 Billion, including acquisitions, sales, restructurings, financings, securitisations and public and private securities offers for landmark properties including suburban and regional shopping centres, CBD Office Towers, Luxury Hotels (1989 – 1994).
  • Advising ANZ Bank on the A$280 million plus structured sale and partial leaseback of the landmark Melbourne Stock Exchange Building, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne (1992).
  • Advising the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance on various privatizations and industry reforms, including legislative requirements and establishment of corporations law entities for industry ownership restructuring of the A$400 million Construction Industry Long Service Leave Fund (1996).
  • Advising the City of Maribyrnong on the A$23 Million workout of a major property development, including a major lease renegotiation and the then largest, structured debt raising by a Victorian municipal corporation (1998).

Finance and Taxation
  • Structuring and documenting structured lease facilities (including leveraged, financial and operating leases) for aircraft and ships and other tax effective financial structures.
  • Structuring, documenting and negotiating corporate banking and treasury facilities, including secured, unsecured, and subordinated debt arrangements.
  • Advising, structuring and documenting mortgage, lease and other receivables-backed securitisation programs for arrangers (including ANZ Bank and Merrill Lynch) and for ratings agencies (Standard & Poors) (1994 – 1999).
  • Advising Goldman Sachs J B Were on documentation and issue of exchangeable unsecured notes products, including for ASX-listed securities issued by Djerriwarrh, National Australia Bank and Fosters Brewing Group (1996 - 1999).