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43537Re: Media Monitors and information gathering

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  • bobgould987
    Jun 7, 2007
      By Bob Gould

      People engaged in spin, particularly those like the verbally abusive
      Peter Murray, should at least try to get their story straight and be
      fairly careful about how they organise their arguments.

      The blustering Peter Murray asserts: "At some point, the meeting went
      from public to private. It was not made clear when, but the ETU is
      mistaken in its claim that the [meeting] was not open to the media."

      How does Murray know all that? He wasn't there, so he must be relying
      on somebody else's say so, possibly his friend who did the taping.

      Well, if he was interested in trying to sort out what actually
      happened, he could go and read the whole of Dean Mighell's speech,
      which is on the Media Monitors website.

      It's quite clear from Mighell's remarks that he doesn't believe the
      media are present, but he has a suspicion that somebody else is
      recording the meeting, and we now know who that was.

      Further in his contribution, again presumably relying on his anonymous
      informant, Murray claims that at no stage did Mighell say that the
      section of the meeting open to the media was over.

      I prefer to believe Mighell's account of events rather than rely on
      Murray's anonymous informant, but that's all speculation on Murray's
      part and on my part.

      This could easily be cleared up if the bloke who did the taping,
      and/or Sue Bolton, answered my very reasonable questions on these
      events: have they had any contact with Dean Mighell or other ETU
      officials since the story broke on Friday, and what did Mighell or the
      other officials say to them and what did Bolton and the bloke say to
      Mighell?

      In that kind of face-to-face situation it's likely that some sort of
      clarity would have emerged about what actually happened. The left and
      labour movement public have a right to know what happened.

      Certainly, when Graeme Matthews wrote his article in Green Left Weekly
      he accepted Dean Mighell's account of events.

      I find the attacks on Mighell by ostensible leftists such as Murray
      and Raven, when he's under attack from the right in all its forms,
      deeply offensive as a socialist.

      The venom and hysteria people like Murray are directing against me for
      asking legitimate questions from a socialist point of view underlines
      just how bizarre this series events is becoming.

      I ask a further question based on Raven's attack on ETU officials as
      part of "Hard Labor" and his defence of Media Monitors. Is it
      seriously being proposed that socialists should treat as normal media
      activity that Media Monitors, via their representative, should
      routinely go "on spec" as the Media Monitors manager put it, to
      meetings of workers' organisations to record material to onsell to
      their clients, many of which are vicious opponents of the labour movement?

      It's also worth saying that all of this is happening in the context of
      sustained attack on the labour movement by all of the forces of
      reaction in this country. The leaders of the Socialist Alliance would
      be better served by providing a sensible answer on this matter, rather
      than relying on Murray's verbal abuse of me in the hope that this
      matter will somehow go away.
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