Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Trends 2004 Cold Japanese River
Japan is now considered the " Empire of Cool ." I have to admit, I do have a weakness for Japanese toys, food, and artwork.
Japan is reinventing itself -- this time as the coolest nation on Earth. Analysts are marveling at the breadth of a recent explosion in cultural exports, and many argue that the international embrace of Japan.

· If it's Japanese, the world wants it: Japan is hot [blatantly pinched from Looking at what's on eBay to determine the health of the economy ]
· Generation E.A.: Ethnically Ambiguous [ via Swing Voter]
Everybody who lives in New York (Sydney), (Praha) believes he’s here for some purpose, whether he does anything about it or not.
Arlene Croce, Afterimages

About Last Night has lived in New York for the better part of two decades now, and you'd think he'd have gotten used to it.
In a way, I suppose I have, but even now all it takes is a whiff of the unexpected and I catch myself boggling at that which the native New Yorker really does take for granted. As for my visits to Smalltown, U.S.A., they invariably leave me feeling like yesterday's immigrant, marveling at things no small-town boy can ever really dismiss as commonplace, no matter how long he lives in the capital of the world...
· Poland is the most pro-Amerikan country in the world — including the United States [ courtesy of The most desirable places to live in Amerika ]

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Polution free cities Alternative Transport
Green ideas for 2004...
· Online Gas Scooters [ via Cheap Electric Scooters ]

Santaless Cities
If we were physical we would have killed each other. In 1986, she quit and didn't speak to her father for nearly a year.
· Then they resumed talking, at high volume... [ courtesy of Murthy ]
· Familiar Families [blatantly pinched from Amerikan v Prahe]

Monday, December 29, 2003

The Journalism of Complacency
I know this sounds both personally naïve and institutionally self-serving - after all, I've been a journalist for 40 years, 35 of them with The Times - and I'm aware of not just the blatant betrayals of the public interest by the likes of Blair and Glass but the more systemic, more damaging betrayals represented by what I've come to think of as the four horsemen of the journalistic apocalypse: superficiality, sensationalism, preoccupation with celebrity, and obsession with the bottom line.
· Journalists who are among the comfortable and therefore not among those who wish the afflict the comfortable [ courtesy of TimPorter ]
· Paul Krugman posits a few rules for political journalists in 2004 history will not forgive us if we allow laziness to rule [ courtesy of An Australian journalist gets a taste of Department of Homeland Security hospitality ]
Delinquent Taxes Unpenalized
Michael Mansur of the Kansas City Star confirms a longstanding tradition in Jackson County, Missouri: giving delinquent taxpayers a break instead of penalties and interest. "It is unclear exactly how much tax money the county is forgiving, because it has failed to keep track of the waivers. The Star's review of about 100 of the roughly 31,000 delinquent properties in Jackson County found that nearly one-third were granted waivers totaling more than $180,000 since 1999." State officials questioned whether waiving such fees was legal, and the county is now reviewing its practices.
· One-third were granted waivers [ via Scoop]

Sunday, December 28, 2003

A certain amount of brick-throwing might even be a good thing. There comes a moment in the career of most artists, if they are any good, when attacks on their work take a form almost more acceptable than praise.
Anthony Powell, Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant

Golden Age
The Internet is still a free country, and I’d like to think this level of interest and activity will last forever, but this may be remembered as the Golden Age.
The dynamic and democratic nature of the Internet (at least at present) ensures that arts debates will no longer be confined to the pages of newspapers and periodicals but will be open to anyone with smarts and a knack for expressing him or herself. Every day I happen across new sites written by people who are at least as passionate about books as I am and can express their passions in an intelligent, charismatic way. Three or four years ago it would not have been possible for me to read their opinions, or for them to read mine. While online debates can be splintered and diffuse and sometimes clubby, I'm heartened by the sheer number of them. Who knew so many people cared about books?

· 2003: a real literary culture online developed [ via Saloon: Fortunately there is room for disagreement]
· 10 Technologies to watch in 2004
Sydneysiders stand in front of the estate agents, staring at the photographs, their jaws dropping... Looking back at a year of economic & political carping.

03's company: what a crowd
The scent first went to the Dobermans. A sniff, a whiff in the sultry days as 2003 began, and they quickly divined that the year would be a stinker. Some seasons were like that. And it would probably also stay hot, they figured.
Now at the end of the year, they had been proven right. In the office at Tried and True Trustees, Sisyphus worked the abacus and shook his head and the dogs became very still, though their nostrils flared and their exhalations whistled faintly in nervous staccato.

· AMP. What a dog [blatantly pinched from Finally, there was zzzzzzzzmh. ]
· You've been a good mate tradition is alive and well in NSW [ via SMH Terrigals and Trogs dine out on Carr's fate ]
· Bones to pick [ courtesy of Praguepost]

Friday, December 26, 2003

Have Yourself a Merry Little Boxing Day
How dare we question our leaders who have blisters and blood from making us and our families safer, richer and happier? Biting the very hand that feeds Us? We are an unpatriotic, flag-hating conspiracy freak if we doubt the regime our honest politicians are sooooo proud of creating! It's stuff in journals like the Wahington Post that makes me sit up. Usually, when political journalists in the trenches say something this momentous, it means something. It speaks of a lack of faith in leadership; a disafection in the fourth estate. Readers sit up, listen and ponder.

Under Bush, Expanding Secrecy
Last Monday, the Supreme Court announced it would consider an effort by Vice President Cheney to keep private the records of the energy policy task force he ran. On Friday, the White House announced that it has known for two weeks about an attack on a convoy carrying Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer -- but had decided not to divulge the information. Later that day, President Bush announced a disarmament deal with Libya reached during nine months of secret negotiations.
· It is a banner for government secrecy: I Rule, Therefore I'm Golden [ courtesy of Washington Post ]
· Chomsky has written about the selective memory and the morality of convenience [ via Independent ]
· Lord Black: Friendship and Business Blur in the World of a Media Baron [ via Thoughtlines: On the dust jacket: blurbs by an impressive set of conservative thinkers...]
God is not a right-wing boxing zealot
God has given us two eyes, two ears and two arms and two hands, but only one heart. And it's in the center and a little bit to the left.
In the heart of the Bluegrass, a Bible Belt preacher is rallying people to political action around what he calls "basic religious values." Think you can describe his politics? Think again. This man of the cloth wants "regime change" in Washington.

· Washminsters [ via Salon]

It's greed, not ideology, that rules the White House
Why the US wants Iraq's debts cancelled - and Argentina's paid in full
· NO Ideas [ via Guardian(UK)]
Vintage year for the wages of sin and the wagers of lawyers
The 2003 legal year commenced badly and didn't get much better. The tax lives of barristers continued to feature unhappily throughout the entire season. Clarrie Stevens, "QC", who missed putting in 16 years of tax returns, finally agreed he was not a fit and proper person to stay on the roll of practitioners.
· Does that complete the cross-examination? [ courtesy of SMH]

Thursday, December 25, 2003

As Krusty, the Klown, would say: ‘Have a Kooky Christmas, a Happy Hanukkha, a Crazy Kwanza, and a...very respectful Ramadan.

The 411 on Faith
Now that we're in the season of Ramadan, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, check out for the 411 on every religion.
Season's greetings to Media Dragon readers -- and a big thank you. We rely on you for tips and feedback and look forward to hearing from you in the new year.
SUBMIT YOUR TIPS FOR THE VIRTUAL 6 DEGREE OF SEPERATION: What websites and stories do you find most ironical, trendy, savvy? Which dragon tails about political and managerial bullies have been missed by the journalistic profession? Send a link and I'll publish a selection.

· Greetings [ via Ideas ]

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Truth and consequences
Michael Kinsley, who has his moments (but oh, those quarter-hours!), recently put his finger on something that’s always irritated me. We all know that politicians never tell the truth, but I don’t mind flat-out lies—that goes with the territory. What drives me wild is their inability to say anything without spinning it. The day any politician of either party makes so blunt a remark within earshot of microphones—and declines to retract, moderate, or invert it before the day is out—you’ll know the barometer of cultural health in America is moving in the right direction. But don't hang by your thumbs waiting for it.
· About Politics [ courtesy of About Last Night]

Monday, December 22, 2003

The Loophole Artist
Few Americans have heard of Jonathan Blattmachr, a partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. But among the 16,000 or so lawyers in America who specialize in trusts and estates, which is to say in the passing of wealth from one generation to the next, he enjoys the status of a Hollywood star. In these circles, his first name alone prompts recognition.
Men (and a few women) of great wealth confide in Blattmachr. The Rockefellers are among those who seek his counsel. Because his specialty is maintaining wealth across time, he needs to know more than just the size and shape of his clients' fortunes. His work requires knowing whether a marriage is an enduring bond of love or a commercial relationship, or whether heirs can be trusted with fortunes or only allowed a stream of income. He knows of prodigal sons and promising granddaughters, of executives at family-owned businesses who will not learn for years that the brass ring was never going to be theirs. Sometimes men of great wealth whisper secrets they would never share with their wives. He knows how much a mistress costs or whether, if health fails, a spouse can be trusted with the power to pull the plug. His clients reveal these things to Blattmachr because he can help them maintain their wealth now and for their children. He can chart clandestine routes through the maze of the tax code, making a man who appears as a Midas to his bankers look like a pauper to the tax man.

· Helping the superrich keep their richer [ courtesy of How to Save the world]

· Taxing Letter 2003 AD style
Is This Legal?
I Spy impulse, families and employers are adopting surveillance technology once used mostly to track soldiers and prisoners. New electronic services with names like uLocate and Wherify Wireless make a very personal piece of information for cellphone users. physical location, harder to mask.
· Are CEOs & SES becoming SS of 2004? [ courtesy of Auction Wagon: ebay trends...]

Dumpster can be a gold mine
It was the first time I had ever been to the dump,'' Massey recalled, wrinkling his nose. ''I said, 'I'm not going to get dirty,' so I wandered over to a shed where the recycling was stored. I notice there's a big barrel for recycled paper that's full of discarded tax forms from an accounting firm.'' Each form had the person's name, date of birth, Social Security number -- all the information necessary for taking out a line of credit.
· Aspiring identity thief [ via Google]

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Tyrrany of Land Speculations
The Prime Minister has urged the Carr Government to release more land for homes as he moves to shift the political onus on to the states to solve the housing crisis.
John Howard told The Sun-Herald it was "predictable" that the states reacted coolly to a recommendation by the Productivity Commission that stamp duty be scrapped and replaced with other taxes such as land and payroll.
They don't want to give up money, despite the fact that they will be wallowing in money from the GST.

· GST [ via SMH ]
Servants? There were anomalies. To anyone outside Germany, Hitler looked ludicrous. How could you take him seriously, given that he was born within minutes of Charlie Chaplin and looked uncomfortably like his tramp – a point not lost on Chaplin, whose masterpiece, The Great Dictator, exploited this historic happenstance. As for Mussolini, he shared Hitler’s problem, looking like a bad joke to anyone outside Italy. Yet Adolf and Benito became the embodiment of national desires.
· Misleaders [ via Phil Adams]
· Pension off politicians' superannuated hypocrisy [ courtesy of Australian ]

Saturday, December 20, 2003

The end of the American & Australian dreams
Where is this taking us? Thomas Piketty, whose work with Saez has transformed our understanding of income distribution, warns that current policies will eventually create "a class of rentiers in the U.S., whereby a small group of wealthy but untalented children controls vast segments of the US economy and penniless, talented children simply can't compete." If he's right--and I fear that he is--we will end up suffering not only from injustice, but from a vast waste of human potential.
· Goodbye, Horatio Alger. And goodbye, American Dream.
[ via Roadtosurfdom]
· Aussie $700bn credit binge [ courtesy of Gittins]
· Negative Gear [ via Road to Nowhere]

Lives? No One Cares; Revenue? Show Me The Money!
The introduction of speed cameras, dual carriageways and random breath testing has done little to cut the number of deaths on NSW roads.
· StaySafe? [ courtesy of SMH ]
The Kindest Cut

Virginia's strip clubs don't have to pay taxes on the drinks that patrons buy for dancers or on the private dances that they provide
· Dancing [HeraldMail ]

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Community development finance institutions: evidence from overseas and Australia
Australia has failed to follow most other developed countries and develop a set of specialised financial institutions that are needed for the successful regeneration of disadvantaged communities. Community Development Financial Institutions constitute one such new institution. This paper describes the emergence of CDFIs, the various forms they have taken and the kinds of government support they have received in various countries. It suggests initiatives that can carry forward the task of institutional development in Australia.
· regeneration of disadvantaged [Australian Centre for Co-operative Research and Development, University of Technology Sydney (PDF file) courtesy of APO ]
· Simply the best: workplaces in Australia (PDF file) [ via APO ]

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Writers Pay Ahead of Time
There's a habit they have, not of paying back, but of paying forward; I know of no other branch of literature where the established "names" so keenly encourage wannabe writers to become their competitors. I came back from that event determined to be a writer. After all, I'd shaken hands with Arthur C Clarke, so now it was just a matter of hard work...
· More than half the skill of writing lies in tricking the book out of your own head [ via Bookslut ]

Our sea still girt by the rich
If you need proof that the rich are getting richer, just look at the residents of Darling Point-Point Piper. Not only are they the wealthiest in Australia - again - but their incomes have jumped another $20,000 in a year.
· Be Wise & Rich: Gear Negatively Get Others to Pay Backward; Be Fool & Pay Rent [ courtesy of SMH ]

Sunday, December 14, 2003

The Saudi Connection
David E. Kaplan of U.S. News & World Report spent five months tracing the relationship between Saudi Arabian money and terrorism, finding that over the past 25 years, the desert kingdom has been the single greatest force in spreading Islamic fundamentalism, while its huge, unregulated charities funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to jihad groups and al Qaeda cells around the world. Saudi charities played an important role in a $70 billion campaign to spread the message of the ruling Wahhabi sect. Saudi largess encouraged U.S. officials to look the other way, some veteran intelligence officers say. Billions of dollars in contracts, grants, and salaries have gone to a broad range of former U.S. officials who had dealt with the Saudis:
· ambassadors, CIA station chiefs, even cabinet secretaries [ via Scoop ]
Howard flags family tax cuts
John Howard has virtually guaranteed tax cuts at the next election and nominated young parents who both work as those most in need of relief.
· Better LaterThan Never ...Hej! [ courtesy of Jungle Law]
· The property bubble had been pricked ...Rubbish! [ courtesy of Schemes ]

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Cold River: Hot Mega-Sale!
Cold River has come a long way since 1980, and this week it celebrates its spring with 35% off (club members 44.89% off) its Multiformat eBook. Hurry, this sale only lasts through Sunday, December 14.

Is this the Cheapest 400 page tome in the brave new world of publishing?
One dragon eats quiet slice of humble pie and claims dubious literary history. Lock up your reading loving wives!
· Cold Reality backfires on Dragons: All you need is discount! [ courtesy of Taxing Jackpots]

Friday, December 12, 2003

You never would have guessed that I would give my life for saint/sinner Soros! Indeed, Soros will always be my hero; even beyond my grave. (smile) Please note this one teeny, tiny step closer to a less corrupt world. Since the Open Society Institute’s U.S. Programs began in 1996, one of the foundation’s central efforts has been to improve the functioning of U.S. democracy and, in particular, to promote an understanding of the influence of money on U.S. politics and to explore solutions that reduce this influence. OSI’s long-term goals have been to reduce the corrupting influence of very large donors to political parties and candidates, to increase public trust and participation, and to open the system so that candidates without access to financial resources can be heard by voters.

Finance Law
The consensus seems to be that political corruption is so rampant and detrimental to the American political body that any measure to slay this monster is welcome. The NY Times ran an editorial titled “ A campaign finance triumph ” and blithely noted:
The Supreme Court delivered a stunning victory for political reform yesterday, upholding the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law virtually in its entirety. The court rejected claims that the law violates the First Amendment, making it clear that Congress has broad authority in acting against the corrupting power of money in politics. The ruling is cause for celebration, but it should also spur Congress to do more to clean up our political system.
· Campaign [ via NYTimes ]
· Cleaning UP [ courtesy of Soros ]
Corporate citizenship and the role of government
Good corporate citizenship integrates social, ethical, environmental, economic and philanthropic values in the core decision-making processes of a business.
· Public policy case [Information and Research Services, Department of the Parliamentary Library]

Patricia Andreu and Scott Zamost of NBC6 in South Florida have an undercover investigation of personal injury protection insurance fraud, in which criminals stage accidents and then refer "injured" victims for medical treatment to be billed to insurers.
· Stage [NBC6Scoop ]

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Redefining NGOs: the emerging debate
In July 2003, the federal government released an exposure draft of legislation (Charities Bill 2003) which seeks to redefine what constitutes a charitable organisation. It also asked the Board of Taxation to conduct a public enquiry to determine the criteria for organisations to be given charitable status. The report of the enquiry is now expected to be submitted to the Treasurer by 19 December 2003.
· Definitions [Information and Research Services, Department of the Parliamentary Library(PDF file)]
Practical magic - Your initiatives
Send Sydney Morning Herald a brief outline of your organisation's innovative health-care initiatives and we'll publish a selection of them on this website
· A Herald series [ courtesy of]

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Miserable Failures & Successes

It is possible to commit no mistakes -- and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life...
There can be no triumph without loss
No victory without suffering
No freedom without sacrifice
Cold Advise

Meanwhile my short story @ ABCTales received over centenary readers...
Furthermore my long monograph has a dubious honour of being presented on the same page as:
Un Unfinished Life, John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963; Benjamin Franklin; I Am a Soldier, Too; Bill Clinton: An American Journey; (sic) The Jessica Lynch Story; and being stuck between Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton and miserable failures of Bin Laden & Georges Clemenceau statures...
· Reading Palms Digitally [ courtesy of Google ]

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Amber finds hope on a farm
Formerly angry, abused, homeless and addicted, Amber is now one of the thousands of success stories springing from a community-based revolution that is putting health care back into the hands of patients.
· PRACTICAL MAGIC: A Herald Series [SMH ]
Sometimes I feel as if I am pounding out the same message over and over to the point of harping: Newspapers have a destructive, risk-adverse culture that stifles change and initiative. Fix the culture and the rest will follow.
· It's the Culture, Stupid: The Mood of a Newsroom [ via Tim Porter]

Rum Corps to white-shoe brigade
The way that land is at the heart of Australian dream: the source of wealth and security, spirituality and belonging is explored in the second Griffith Review: Dreams of Land. As interest rates rise it might be time to rethink the national hobby of property speculation, but Jim Forbes and Peter Spearritt remain sceptical as they trace the history of speculation.
· We are unlikely to break our addiction to bricks and mortar [The Griffith Review via APO ]
· Low Rentals []

Monday, December 08, 2003

21st century tax monster
AUSTRALIA'S tax system is so complex that if the legislation continues growing at its current pace, it will amount to 830 billion pages by the end of the century.
Businesses, accountants and lawyers are wasting time and expertise on tax compliance that could otherwise be directed to building competitive Australian businesses.

· Context for Scoping Review [ courtesy of Inspector-General of Taxation ]

Office of the Inspector-General of Taxation
Level 27, 363 George Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
GPO Box 551
Sydney, NSW 2001
Mr David Voss, (02) 8295 2200
Ph: (02) 8295 2200
Fax: (02) 8295 2211

· Australia's inaugural Inspector-General of Tax
Alex Wayne of the Greensboro News & Record analyzed Guilford County payroll records to find that some of the largest bonuses in 2002 and 2003 "went to the government's best-paid and highest-ranking employees." The report is based on data released by the county after the paper sued for the information in October. "The records the county released provide a 17-month snapshot of the bonus and merit-raise system, dating to July 2002. The snapshot is incomplete, however, because the county only released records about merit raises, and not about two other common types of salary increases that county employees can attain."
· best-paid and highest-ranking employees [Record via Scoop ]
· Who Tried To Bribe Rep. Smith? [ courtesy of Novak ]

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Yes, the boss is insane: Analysis of the Ego

Like Freud, Bion maintained that individual and group psychology were just different ways of looking at the same thing. Like an organism, the group has its own mentality or mind. Understanding groups sheds light on the forces that drive individuals.
For Bion, the collective simply bristles with tensions between the needs of the individual and the group's mentality and culture. And, like the Cheshire Cat, group mentality or culture emerges only occasionally in a clear way.
In Australia, the list of recent corporate disasters includes HIH, Ansett and One.Tel. In each organisation, cracks in the system appeared well in advance. But regulators, managers and directors pushed on regardless and, in some cases, even papered over the cracks, denying the truth and suppressing dissent.
Few leaders have the ego strength to welcome thoughtful dissent and reward it. Instead, they call in the consultants, management is overhauled and new formulas for success are grafted on to the machinery. The pathology not only remains unchecked, it is denied. The equivalent of the organisation's ego - there to mediate between the group and the real world - and its conscience in the superego break down.

· In the long run, failing to address these issues can be far more painful than ignoring them [The New Age]

Henry Kaye

Henry Kaye promised to repay his debts this week, and none are greater than those he owes the Howard-Costello Government.
The only thing more remarkable than Kaye's hot-air propelled rise was the lengths the Government went to to clear his way.
Peter Costello opened the door for Kaye four years ago by halving the capital gains tax rate for individuals, thereby raising the incentive to invest by 50 per cent. He maintained Australia's munificent negative gearing and depreciation laws for good measure.
John Howard iced the cake by donating between $7000 and $14,000 to anyone who claimed they were a first home buyer.
But not even Kaye was prepared for the gift Costello handed him in 2001, when the Government pushed through its long-awaited Financial Services Reform Act.

· Property Busts: Hard Landing (Ansett) tax on horizon [SMH]
· St Kaye [Australian]

Friday, December 05, 2003

Citizen’s Journalism
Good journalism doesn’t need to be complicated, sophisticated or expensive.
The Brownsville Herald, a 15,800-circulation daily in deep Texas, sent out a few reporters to ask local police and city commissions for various public records such as police logs or expense reports. The result: Runaround, hostility and ignorance by public officials and, in one case, a police car that tailed report Juan Ozuna for more than 20 minutes after he left city hall in Santa Rosa, Texas...
Where do you live? What do you want with this information? What’s your address?
I love this type of journalism. It resonates with truth. It conveys with direct honesty the frustrations of everyday experiences citizens undergo when dealing with government and bureaucracies – and by doing so connects with the public.

· Truth Frustrated [Tim Porter]
I am a straight blogger. I believe I treat everyone fairly and I take Havel up on his slogan to be tough but fair to all sides.

If Latham wants to play with negative gearing, he can target it to affordable housing. It is clearly going to be politically unpalatable - and economically dangerous - to remove it, but why not only provide the benefit to where it is actually needed?
Negative gearing could be targeted towards properties rented at a certain level. If he wanted to be really clever, Latham could devise a policy that linked negative gearing with housing for the people who receive some level of Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
If Latham is the policy genius he tells us he is, he should be able to
* stop ordinary Joes funding real estate speculators
* free up some money to put towards decent tax breaks that can benefit marginal taxpayers while ensuring a supply of affordable housing for those who need it
* keep inflation in check, as rents for this sector would remain relatively static, and if a significant cost such as housing is under control, you are a long way to keeping inflation low
* push more environmentally responsible building by decreasing demand for resource-intensive trophy housing and boosting the market for modest accommodation (particularly when it is designed to reduce the utility bills of the intended occupants.
* slow the housing market to more sustainable levels, without a dramatic bust.

· Boom/Bust I [ ]
· Boom/Bust II [ ]

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Low doc a tax time bomb

Low doc loans and Henry Kaye could well go down as the twin emblems of the 2002-03 Australian property boom, but low doc loans, at least, are misunderstood.
· Missing trends [SMH]
There are some things too dreadful to be revealed, and it is even more dreadful how, in spite of our better instincts, we long to know about them.

Oh, all right, one more taxing thing
Just over a week ago, Mike Richards, chief of staff of deposed Labor leader Simon Crean, broke a habit of a lifetime to phone a senior executive at publisher John Fairfax.
The previous day, November 23, Fairfax's Sydney Sun-Herald newspaper had featured on its front page a story speculating on the demise of Crean.
Written by veteran reporter Alex Mitchell, the article stated bluntly: "Key union defections have threatened to end Simon Crean's embattled federal leadership of the Australian Labor Party."
It was sensational stuff, but there was no attribution and it did not mention the name of any union or individual. Richards, a former principal adviser to ex-Victorian Premier John Cain, was livid, telling Fairfax executive Mark Scott it was "irresponsible journalism".