Month: April 2013

Tony Windsor’s Response to Abbott’s NBN…. via TuneFM 106.9

By Kate Doak.
By Kate Doak.

Tony Windsor did an interview with my old radio station TuneFM at the University of New England earlier today.

Tony Windsor ~~ Picture: Alan Pryke The Australian

As some of you would be aware, this is the radio station at the same University that Windsor, Barnaby Joyce and Guardian Australia’s Katherine Murphy went to in their heyday, which The Hon Richard Torbay was the Chancellor of up until recently as well.

While I’ll do an indepth analysis of the interview later, Windsor went into detail about topics as diverse as Coal Seam Gas, the National Broadband Network, the corruption cases surrounding Craig Thomson and Richard Torbay, the political scandal surrounding Peter Slipper and the political leadership style of Tony Abbott.

Regardless of your political ideology, this is a pretty thought provoking interview and is likely to twist the proverbial tails of a few politicians at both the State and Federal government levels.

Podcast link – (courtesy of TuneFM 106.9)

Comment Is Free – An Interesting talk with Peter Phelps MLC

By Kate Doak.
By Kate Doak.

A couple of days ago Peter Phelps MLC made a rather interesting response to my previous post that focused on the negatives of online drama.  By using a healthy dispute between Mr Phelps and Peter Van Onselen, I attempted to define what’s healthy in regards to social media activity and what’s not.  While their debate was reasonably mature, it was emotional enough in tone that I decided to use it as an example predominantly because it wouldn’t fill my website up with potentially defamatory material.

Needless to say, I feel touched that Mr Phelps took the time out to write an extremely thought provoking response to my article.  In order to give credit to this intreaguing and original commentary on Mr Phelps’ behalf, I’ve reposted his comment and added a few responses of my own to it.  Mr Phelps’ comments are marked as quotes in purple, while my responses are in bold.

I hope that everyone enjoys his engagement throughout this discussion as much as I did.


Peter Phelps — 1. Actually the matter was in dispute for two days and if you only saw last night you missed out on the bulk of the discussion between myself and PvO.

Kate Doak — That’s true, however my primary focus in regards to that article was to show what to try to avoid when it comes to social interactions via platforms such as Twitter. While both Peter and yourself weren’t “crossing the line” so to speak, the both of you were close enough emotions-wise when I checked your timelines to suit my purposes, without reposting a massive amount of abuse on my website.  That said, I don’t mind the occasional bit of drama in order to spice things up a bit. Like orange juice though, sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad for you.

PP — 2. I didn’t make things “personal” – unless you consider calling into question the professional abilities of a person who purports to be an expert is “making things personal”. Moreover, I made my initial assertions and these were not refuted. Specifically: that PvO made his name as a “one trick pony” on the basis of political databases – the truth or otherwise of which may be evinced by a brief look at his professional publication list ( Notable is the fact that of the 14 publications mentioned, 7 (50%) are about political databases and/or the Government Members Secretariat (which provided logistic and other support). The residual are articles which anyone with even a cursory involvement in Federal politics could have written. Moreover, I asserted that PvO had never ‘broken’ a genuine political story – an assertion which would have been easy to refute if it were untrue. And yet all I received was a deafening silence in response to that claim.

KD — For the record, I wasn’t suggesting that either Peter Van Onselen or yourself were making any comments personal in nature. If you look at all sides of the political divide on social media however, a lot of people do though. From smart-assed cracks at Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard, Julie Bishop, Kevin Rudd, Tony Windsor and even Warren Entsch, there’s a lot of unrealistic and downright offensive stuff that gets bandied around when people do make things personal on all too often a basis.  I don’t think that what PvO and yourself were saying was crossing the line, however it was close enough to use as an example of what to avoid.

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“Cracking the Whip” over political flame wars…

By Kate Doak.
By Kate Doak.

Last night I noticed part of a running battle on Twitter between Peter Van Onselen, Peter Phelps MLC (Liberals Whip) and The Honourable Premier of NSW, Barry O’Farrell.

After a bit of too-ing and fro-ing between the “Pair of Peters” over the issue of professionalism in both the media and politics, the Premier started “Cracking the Whip” a little after it started looking like Phelps was just trying to provoke an incident with a journalist for the fun of it.


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To which Phelps replied:

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Now while “flame-wars” may appear to be a lot of fun, more often than not they only end in tears and a whole world of professional hurt for all parties involved.  Given that Van Onselen has deleted all of but a handful of tweets on his account again due to the drama, it’s not hard to see that what was going on yesterday touched a few nerves with him.  Needless to say, there’s a few lessons to be learned from incidents like this for both journalists, politicians and the general public alike.

These include –

  1. Don’t make things personal:  Regardless of a person’s position in a political party, profession or society in general, everyone has feelings and those feelings can be hurt. More often than not, more opportunities are lost than gained when somebody decides to take disagreements to a personal level in public. Australian politicians, journalists and the general public are particularly guilty of this one on occasion.  Also just because people disagree on some issues, doesn’t mean that we’re not similar on others. e.g. The ALP/Green/Coalition Parliamentary Friends of LGBTI Australians Group in Canberra.
  2. Once something is published online, assume someone has a copy of it:  While it’s possible to delete a tweet, there’s plenty of programs and websites around today that can allow people to make a copy of anything you put online as soon as you publish it. From Google Cache through to PolitWoops, it isn’t hard to see what public figures have tweeted and then deleted if you know where to look.
  3. People have long memories, especially when they are offended:  More often than not, people will remember grudges longer than what they will remember happy occasions. While sometimes sharp words need to be spoken, don’t burn your bridges over something that in the grand scheme of things is only of minor significance (if that) in the long-term.
  4. Don’t be a “Keyboard Warrior” during conversations:  In the digital telecommunications era, the Internet is just as real a world as the physical one we live in everyday and will become more so over the coming decades. If you wouldn’t say something to somebody’s face, then you haven’t got an excuse to say it online. This goes for both “flame wars” and ordinary disagreements that occur both online and in the non-virtual world.


So while I’m not taking sides in this little dispute (both Peters are adults and can look after themselves anyway), there’s a lot that we can all learn from such encounters when they occur. By learning from and admitting our mistakes in both the real and virtual worlds, we can learn from such incidents and become better people as a result from them if we try hard enough.