Monday, January 15, 2007

How Andrew Landeryou starts the working week

It's the start of another working week.

For most of us it means trudging off to work, and for some that means putting in 80 hour weeks.

For Andrew Landeryou, however, he doesn't suffer the same fate. The start of his week involves sitting before his PC surfing the net for more sleaze for his poorly regarded blog.

And Andy has a real problem with working people. He frowns on people putting in the hours to get the job done. Why would that be? Andy doesn't work. Is it because he lives off unemployment benefits? Or is it because he lives off undisclosed income streams?

13 Truth On Comments:

Cait Catt said...

The Slanderyou blog is disgraceful and beyond contempt. I repeat below an anonymous comment previously posted on this (that is Slanderyou) blog:

Previous post (critical of the Landeryou blog) is unfair. Andrew Landeryou is one of the best journalists in Australia. He has just won a Walkely Blog award and justly so. Below is what the Walkley award page says. I know Andrew is too humble to publish it himself but I am as I think all blog readers ought to be aware why he won the award. He won it for excellence and the award is well deserved:

This award is given in recognition of the best and most well informed election commentator/blogger during the 2006 Victorian State Election.

The number of award winning news breaking stories published on Andrew Landeryou's web site is unsurpassed in quality and quantity. Andrew has set down the challenge taking on the main media and online media and surpassing both in news and content. His editorialising is funny, witty, amusing, and informative. One of the best reads on the Internet.

Colleen Hartland is Attractive said...

Andrew Landeryou is a great and good person. His blog IS highly regarded. Tell my one polly's office in Victoria that does not regularly look at its content.

Andrew Landeryou I have always found to be an honest and ethical person. The trite on this blog never ceases. I am gobsmacked by the utter temerity of Slanderyou and Company. Why don't you leave Landeryou alone and publish something that makes sense.

Wendy Wilmott said...

Dunny seats again. At least new readers are coming to their senses. Only 65 per cent, down from 70 per cent, now think you can catch AIDS from a toilet in the National Library.

About the only thing I agree with Yarra Ranger on is that you can't catch AIDS from a dunny seat.

Spring St said...

Funny isn't it: Landeryou liked to dress up as Delia Delegate; now he likes to dress up as a Cait, a Collen and a Wendy.

Anonymous said...

Cait Catt, Colleen Hartland is Attractive and Wendy Wilmott all post pro-Landeryou statements within nine minutes in the wee small hours of the morning. Funny isn't? Who would thought Andrew had so many female friends?

Anonymous said...

The Landeryou blog is disgraceful and beyond contempt. Landeryou is a pretend journalist. His delusional blog is just a vehicle for him to slash out at old and imagined foes. Honesty and ethics are not his strong points - talk to his former business associates and debtors. And to invent an award to garner some self-respect and perpetuate the myth just show how desperate he really is. Get a job, Andrew. And please not as a female impersonator.

Cait Catt said...

The following item has just been posted on my favourite blog, the best blog on the net, the blog with all the gossip and all the information before anyone else gets to hear about it, the blog with the professional OC intelligence unit, the Andrew Landeryou blog. Read all about the shonky shonkster Mayne man:

MAYNED: Shonky Stevie Gets a Big Dose of His Own Medicine in Wonk v Shonk Web Feud

On the weekend, People Power's President Vern Hughes was rolled at an AGM putsch in a beerhall bakehouse. Highly dubious and possibly forged proxies were used to achieve this outcome and there are reports this morning that a complaint will be made to the Victoria Police about some of the forgeries.

Today, the deposed former President Vern Hughes - now liberated from the constraints of high office - has fired back on the People Power website, transforming the site into a personal explanation of what happened and when with what he calls the People Power project. He doesn't miss Party co-founder, the expelled Stephen Mayne.


■ Revelations that People Power's state election campaign failed when big talkers like Stephen Mayne failed to recruit any candidates to run in lower house seats, while he had recruited 25;

■ Now expelled member Stephen Mayne's frenzied public statements about People Power, identifying "internal turmoil" as the reason for his withdrawal of his candidacy led to the party "not being taken seriously";

■ Shows the hypocrisy of Mayne's questioning of his expulsion when he voted in favour of the expulsion of former Party Treasurer Bill Hackett; and

■ Mayne's conflict of interests corruption has been slammed too: Stephen Mayne’s association with Crikey from the outset of People Power’s life was problematic. In 2001, the first of many subsequent disagreements took place between Stephen and Vern Hughes about the wisdom, and appropriateness, of writing publicly about the party's struggles in getting established. Stephen maintained throughout this whole period that his tell-all journalistic style is to write about events as a participant using insider knowledge (writing about shareholder activism, writing about starting a political party). In contrast, many journalist friends of his have argued that you can’t combine both roles without getting caught in spiralling conflicts of interest. The latter view is widespread, but this issue simmered in People Power since 2001.

Game on.

Anonymous said...

This comment was placed on the Landeryou blog this morning:

This is the text of what Vernon Hughes said on the People Power web site. It is very anti-Mayne, of course.

The People Power project has ended. Thank you to everyone who supported the attempt to create a new kind of politics from 2000 to 2006. Alas the old kind of politics prevailed, even in the shell of something new.


People Power 2000 - 2006 RIP

People Power was formed in 2000 by Vern Hughes with the support of Stephen Mayne. The aim was to be both a conventional electoral party hoping to contest several elections in 2001, and a somewhat unconventional attempt to nurture reform and renewal in other kinds of institutions (not just governments) where the organization of citizens and consumers is weak and undeveloped (mutuals, companies, councils, NGOs), with a loose Third Way philosophy.

This was always going to be a big ask. The institutional barriers to new political movements getting established in Australia are formidable. But the cultural hurdles in establishing a party based on concepts of strengthening civil society, dispersing power more widely, and nurturing participation and self-help are more than formidable. Australia's political culture has always been 'statist', arguably more so than in most western democracies - from our beginnings as a penal colony, the state preceded civil society and has always been 'on top'. Parties and politicians who offer to 'fix things' and 'solve problems' will always do better than those which offer to nurture self-help and self-determination. It has always been so. A party based on the aim of nurturing self-help and self-determination is revolutionary in our country, and its road was always going to be hard, to say the least.

After participating in the Aston by-election in May 2001, and the Melbourne City Council election in August 2001, the challenge of breaking into the political conversation in our country seemed too overwhelming.

Early in 2003 People Power shelved the party role, and became a non-party organization for reform. A rule change to this effect was made. Competing against the big machines and the media's devotion to them was felt to be too hard, at least until a social base had been built.

In March 2004, Vern Hughes began exploring the possibility of representing the disability, mental health and carer communities, having been involved for many years in various parent and family support groups related to his two sons with autism. The disability, mental health and carer communities are invisible in political debate and unrepresented in parliaments. Unlike many communities, they have never believed that politicians and governments look after them well. As a result, they have a deep suspicion of bureaucracy, and know in their bones that you have to do things yourself for your loved ones with a disability or a mental illness, because no-one is going to come knocking on your door saying "We're from the government,
Anonymous | 01.15.07 - 9:27 am | #

Anonymous said...

Hey Andrew

why do you keep posting great slabs of your blog on this one?

is it because no one is reading your blog anymore?

Anonymous said...

This doesn't come from the Landeryou blog. It's the rest of the People Power letter from Vern Hughes that didn't get published in the previous posting which was copied from a comment on the Landeryou blog. The rest of the material is copied from the People Power website, controlled by Hughes, and is powerful reading:

With an enforced acceptance of self-help in daily life, Australia's 2.6 million carers and their loved ones not only loomed as the natural social base for a new political movement based on strengthening the capacity of civil society, they loomed as one of the biggest in the country. Bigger than trade unions, bigger than the farming sector, bigger than all the industry lobby groups combined. Could this not be the social base for People Power?

For Vern Hughes, being a parent of two boys with autism with a decade behind him of experiencing the powerlessness of parents and carers in the human services, the marginalisation of service consumers, the capture of social policy by providers, and the heavy-handed thoughtlessness of bureaucrats working their way up their career ladders, it was a case of discovering what had been under his nose. "Even I had accepted the invisibility of parents and consumers in politics and policy, because no-one else talked about it".

In May 2004 Vern Hughes was invited to speak on the idea of a party for these communities to a meeting of the Gippsland Carers Association in Morwell. The idea received a strong and positive response. "This is the path we need to take, because there ain't no other path", was a common response.

In July 2004, People Power reverted to being a political party once again. A People Power website was established by Robyn Allcock and with Robyn's invaluable assistance in marketing and communications, a clear strategic direction has hatched. The plan was to be an electoral party based on the disability, mental health and carer communities, with a philosophy of family and consumer empowerment informed by distributist and Third Way themes (Distributism is a philosophy generated from Catholic social thought in the years following World War 1 which seeks to distribute power as widely as possible in society, and to favour smaller units rather than big in government, industry and social life). The idea of trying to organise citizens for reform in non-government institutions was retained, with the intention of integrating these two streams. People Power would be a conventional electoral party with a defined community base, and a movement to renew social institutions outside the field of conventional politics. In October 2004, a loose steering committee of 12 activists from 5 states was reconstituted as the Board of People Power to pursue this course, with the Victorian and NSW state elections in late 2006 and early 2007 as the focus.

Could it be done? Would the activists from the disability, mental health and carer communities come on board? Would policy reflect the new politics-in-embryo, or would it fall back on quick fix promises that politicians, journalists and voters alike have been used to all their lives? Would figures like Stephen Mayne, with no connection to the disability, mental health and carer communities, grasp the concept?

Election trauma no.1

In March 2005, a by-election was held in Werriwa following Mark Latham’s retirement. People Power’s NSW Convenor Deborah Locke, a member of the newly revamped Board (and a parent of an autistic son), stood as an Independent in the by-election (People Power was not yet federally registered). Deborah Locke had signed up in six months about 600 NSW members, and the goal in the by-election was to build on the considerable momentum underway in NSW. Unfortunately, there was a field of 16 candidates, but Deborah nevertheless polled a creditable 3.7%.

The campaign process, however, was traumatic (an ongoing theme for this electoral novice). Preferences and campaign financing were divisive issues. Many of the activists wanted to put Labor last in a field of 16, while the Board opted for a simple ticket which put Labor 9 out of 16 (after the Greens and Liberals) on the advice of campaign manager, Nell Brown. The candidate and some supporters rejected this ticket, then wanted to accept payment from an Independent candidate to reprint the already printed HTV cards (which is a breach of federal electoral law and a serious offence). The Board rejected the idea. On finances, the candidate initially understood that she and her supporters would have to fund the campaign, but subsequently expected the Board to meet the expense (even though the candidate was a millionaire property dealer).

The fallout from the campaign was intense. Bill Hackett, also a Board member (and a grandparent of a son with autism), led the charge to overturn the Board decision on preferences. After the election he and Deborah Locke continued an anti-Board campaign, encouraging the NSW members to resign from People Power on the grounds that the Board, and Vern Hughes in particular, were ‘socialists’ and a Labor front because they had not placed Labor last in the field of 16 candidates. Deborah and her supporters resigned, and considered forming a breakaway Carers Party. Bill Hackett did not resign, and when rapprochement seemed possible, he became the first member of People Power to be expelled (Stephen Mayne as a Board member voted for this expulsion).

Registration trauma

In November 2004, People Power lodged an application for federal registration as a political party. Processing of this application was put on hold during the Werriwa by-election, and when objections were called to the registration in mid 2005, Bill Hackett, Deborah Locke and the Independent who offered to pay for their reprinted HTV cards, lodged objections on every possible ground they could think of, including technicalities about membership. This delayed the process of party registration for 12 months, and after submitting two revised membership lists, and securing membership renewals from 200 members as requested, the AEC took legal advice and was satisfied that the requirements for party registration had been met. People Power was federally registered in March 2006.

Bill Hackett, not to be deterred, lodged an objection to People Power's application for Victorian state registration in September 2006. He took his campaign to the media, causing considerable negative publicity for the party over internal membership issues. The Victorian Electoral Commission rejected the Bill Hackett objection and granted state registration in October. Bill then took his objection to VCAT (the administrative appeals tribunal in Victoria) which granted a hearing on the issue scheduled for February 2007. It is unclear at this time whether the February hearing will proceed.

People Power’s federal registration lapsed on December 27 2006. Federal legislation in mid 2006 deregistered 19 parties on this date which did not have, currently or in the past, a federal MP. This was a blatantly political abuse of government power aimed at wiping out several minor parties that might, now or in the future, present electoral challenges to the big two machines. But the announcement of this deregistration of 19 parties on December 27 passed without public outcry. Who notices such things two days after Christmas?

Election trauma no.2

The November 25 state election repeated the earlier trauma for the party, with some new twists. A campaign committee was formed in January 2006 comprising Max Jackson, Jack Reilly, Stephen Mayne, Robyn Allcock and Vern Hughes.

At its first meeting, the committee set a strategic objective of standing in all 88 lower house seats to build a platform for possibly securing the election of upper house candidates. Was it feasible to hope for one or two People Power candidates getting up in the upper house? Yes, 2 or 3% would have delivered several MPs. Indeed, the DLP achieved a representative with 1.9% so People Power's hope was not entirely unreasonable.

The platform of 88 lower house candidates was deemed essential for two reasons. The first was to be competitive with Family First and the Greens in winning media attention, since only minor parties which stand in all seats are accorded significant media recognition. The second reason was to develop an on-the-ground network of people and supporters to distribute HTV cards in significant numbers.

At close of nominations on October 31, People Power lodged only 23 lower house candidates. Immediately, media attention followed Family First and the Greens, and People Power was starved of media oxygen for the following month. It was also starved of a campaign structure, since the party's adopted campaign model was based on a full complement of 11 lower house candidates in each of the 8 upper house regions.

In the campaign model, the principle role of each upper house candidate was to recruit and lead a team of 11 lower house candidates. Would a newly formed party based on the most invisible and marginalised sections of the community be able to do this? It was in the hands of the party's 8 lead upper house candidates, and its committee.

At close nominations, the following recruitment had occurred:

Stephen Mayne (Southern Region) 0 recruited candidates
Linda Hancock (South Eastern Region ) 0 recruited candidates
Max Jackson (Western Metropolitan Region) 0 recruited candidates
Denise Allen (Northern Region) 0 recruited candidates
Greg Jones (Western Region) 0 recruited candidates
Gabi Byrne (Eastern Region) 0 recruited candidates
Karen Orpen (Eastern Metropolitan Region) 3 recruited candidates

Vern Hughes (Committee member) 25 recruited candidates

The somewhat lopsided recruitment pattern indicated that several of the party's assumptions were not correct. Equity in motivation and drive cannot be legislated for. Upper house candidates were chosen for a mix of selection attributes, including capacity for self-organisation and appeal to media, and many of those given the nod were not organically connected with the disability, mental health and carer communities. For Vern Hughes, this shocking inequity came as a .... shock.

There was a further shock. Stephen Mayne withdrew his upper house candidature in mid October, reversed it in late October, and publicly identified ‘internal turmoil’ in the party in the process. The media picked up the ‘internal turmoil’ theme as a result, which strengthened a media perception that People Power was to be cast off the "to be taken seriously" list. Media oxygen, so important in electoral contests, was denied.

That this media story was self-generated by Stephen Mayne through his dual role as party candidate and tell-all journalist at Crikey raised fundamental conflict of interest issues for People Power's communications manager Robyn Allcock, and President Vern Hughes.

The combined impact of these two factors (no workable campaign structure based on insufficient lower house candidates, and Stephen Mayne’s public declaration of ‘internal turmoil’) led Vern Hughes to withdraw from the campaign on November 20, describing it as an ‘almighty shambles’.

Despite this trauma, many People Power candidates performed their role with great commitment and dignity, and introduced the party and its ideas to many people around Victoria. These candidates deserve great credit, for they worked in the context of a complete breakdown of the party's campaign structure and leadership.

The Victorian experience recalls the earlier debate in 2002 and 2003 about whether competing electorally with the big players is a task that is too daunting, and replays, at least in some respects, the internal difficulties encountered in Werriwa in 2005. Are newly forming political movements destined to repeat their mistakes over and over?

The Crikey issue

Stephen Mayne’s association with Crikey from the outset of People Power’s life was problematic. In 2001, the first of many subsequent disagreements took place between Stephen and Vern Hughes about the wisdom, and appropriateness, of writing publicly about the party's struggles in getting established. Stephen maintained throughout this whole period that his tell-all journalistic style is, and would remain, to write about events as a participant using insider knowledge (writing about shareholder activism, writing about starting a political party). In contrast, many journalist friends of his have argued that you can’t combine both roles without getting caught in spiralling conflicts of interest. The latter view is widespread, but this issue simmered in People Power since 2001.

The issue surfaced with a vengeance throughout October and November 2006. When Stephen wrote in Crikey about the party's ‘internal turmoil’, he created a story for the media which killed its respectability and kept coming back to haunt it. In December, following the election, Stephen wrote again publicly about the party’s internal disagreements in a way that could not be tolerated further by the majority of Board members.

On November 29 the Board passed a resolution to expel Stephen in accordance with the rules. On December 15 the Board communicated to Stephen that it wished to let the matter lapse and not confirm the expulsion resolution (as required by the rules) if Stephen could propose a solution to this conflict of interest. The Board gave Stephen a deadline of December 19. Stephen replied stating that he did not recognize the authority of the deadline. The Board again offered a further deadline of December 31, reiterating that it did not want to have to confirm the expulsion resolution, and asked for a written undertaking from Stephen that he would not make public comments about internal party matters. Again he ignored the deadline. By January 7 2007, the Board voted to confirm the expulsion resolution, effecting the second expulsion in the party’s short history.

A party formed to create a new politics thus had to expel two Board members in its 6 year history.

The distaste generated by any expulsion is bitter and difficult to swallow. Seasoned political operators have said that a party that only had to expel 2 members in 6 years is doing well. Others have noted that the strategic direction around themes of empowerment, self-help and civil society was always going to involve a fair amount of sifting and sorting, and this would inevitably involve casualties.

What the founders of People Power didn't bank on was that the casualties would include themselves. In the process of opening up the organisation to mass participation, the proponents of the empowerment, self-help and civil society approach opened the door to proponents of the conventional party approach. Trying to combine being a conventional party and and an unconventional movement for renewal of civil society may perhaps have been too great a challenge.

The two things have now unravelled, and the project has ended. Vern Hughes resigned his membership of People Power on 13 January 2007.

It has ended, at least, in the People Power clothing. Perhaps another outfit might be found for the project.

Comments on this short history may be sent to:

Anonymous said...

WTF! No-one cares about People Power. Stephen Mayne is your bugbear and you have your own petty blog for this stuff, Andrew. And please stop trying to pass yourself off as a woman 'cause you would be one ugly sheila; fat and balding.

Anonymous said...

I agree
People Power is old hat
Get over it Andy
Move on

Oh, I forgot, you are obsessive to the extreme
You just cant let go

Anonymous said...

I heard that he likes to start his week with a one hand party!