BREAKING: Pro-lockout elements of the Sydney mainstream media inadvertently throw their support behind businesses whose demise they have been tirelessly campaigning for! – surelynotnews 18/4/16 contact us to get some positive exposure for your business for FREE. No catches, no clauses, no bullshit – just a shout out for a friend in need.
Last weekend a Sydney Morning Herald State Politics Editor decided to publish an article about Surely Not. Or more specifically, she published a malicious and potentially ____ article about yours truly. You can read all about it here. I’ve always tried to make the best of a bad situation, and while this situation is now in more professional hands than mine, I did manage to work out a way to generate some good out of this. And while I’ve already given Ms Needham and her bizarre article more thought than it deserves, she did inadvertently contribute to a fantastic idea so what the hell, a little bit more for old times sake won’t hurt.
Amongst other things, the Herald labelled Surely Not as an “anti-lockout blog”. Pardon? I won’t deny the fact that the lockout laws get their fair share of coverage. After all, isn’t half the point of writing/journalism/blogging/ranting about what makes the news? To cover issues that are current and relevant? That’s what I thought anyway, perhaps I was mistaken. Regardless, it’s a debate that is going to be topical for some time, so I will continue to cover it as long as it’s in the public interest. But to suggest this website is a one trick pony? I won’t be spoken to like that, and I certainly will not be copping that!
In fairness, the topic does get a mention in its fair share of articles. 13 out of 25 published include the laws in discussion with 6 of those 25 being written solely to discuss them. I’m not sure if 24% is a big enough portion to say that’s what the whole thing is about. Over 50% sure. But if you start getting into the small percentages then you’re just trying to incorrectly label someone. I mean, if I wanted to draw an even longer bow I’d say the state politics editor is actually a prohibition lobbyist and temperance society member on account of over 11% of her articles being specifically anti-alcohol and/or pro lockout. 47 in fact out of just over 400 published since mid 2013. Many of them were personal comment & opinion pieces, most of them were written in an emotive, sensationalist style and included personal commentary, thoughts and rhetoric. All push the same agenda.
However let’s use the editors inference here for a minute. If 24% is indeed the magic number, from mid 2013 to early 2013 she seemingly must have abandoned her post and become a prohibition lobbyist! In this time as the Sydney Morning Herald Temperance Society Correspondent she published around 100 articles, with 25 of them directly lobbying against alcohol and campaigning for lockouts. Roughly 25%. Now, obviously I’m not in charge of a major cities biggest media outlets. If I was though, I’m not sure how I’d feel about my state politics editor dedicating a quarter of their output towards a single topic that was tenuously linked to their position. Although, to be fair it isn’t like there was anything else going on during that time that would be relevant for a state politics editor to write about. Except for a few, tiny, irrelevant and unimportant things
July – September 2013
- Carbon Tax scrapped by federal government
- Tax-payer funded prohibition lobby – Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education (FARE) loses the war against shopper dockets.
- The editor in question pre-occupied writing opinion pieces demanding “the public” have the biggest say on liquor laws whilst backing NSW police association calls to abolish OLGR (NSW Government – Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing)
- An anonymous editorial soon follows, curiously though it starts off by continuing an ongoing campaign our moralistic editor was waging against shopper dockets. It’s also heavily focussed on the children, much like another running them witnessed. Regardless, A ludicrous hypothetical imagines a 17 year old boy spotting a “two for one” bottle of wine offer on the docket for his mums grocery shopping. “You beauty” he thinks to himself, knowing he has mates who are 18. What tripe! I can safely guarantee this scenario dreamed up by an anonymous editor is about as likely to occur in real life as me winning the lotto three weeks in a row. I don’t even enter the lotto. Long story short, whoever the anonymous editor was, they clearly had never heard of a goon bag!!
- August 4th Kevin Rudd announces federal election. Campaigning officially begins
- On that very same day our editor was reporting the fact a proposed bottle shop in Liverpool did not open. A win for the community, and clearly the bigger story!
- in Tony Abbott becomes Prime Minister
- The worst bushfires in NSW since the 1960’s
- ACT passes the Marriage Equality Act 2013, legalising same sex marriage
- October 2013 Sydney named safest & friendliest city in the world
- After a frenetic year to date, the world had a breather. The editor took the opportunity to show just why the public should not have any say on liquor laws by writing an incoherent, out of touch piece. This article was apparently about “alcohol related violence” in the city. Yet it started off discussing Kieran Loveridge consuming 24 drinks whilst in the western suburbs before acknowledging talkback radio “howling” and mainly focussing on cash-strapped and violent teenagers “pre-loading” before “hooning” into the city. She winds up by declaring the community have lodged carefully considered submissions to the liquor act review hope the liquor lobby won’t be let off the hook. By the community she means the people who share her opinion out of the pitiful 113 submissions, which included groups like FARE, the 2011 Residents Association, Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, St Vincent’s and the health & psychology department of a Victorian university.
- Actually, there was also Packer’s Barangaroo casino given the green light, but no biggie
- Unions take on O’Farrell donation laws in the High Court
- Royal Commission into the Home Insulation debacle
- Holden announces cease of production of vehicles in Australia
- A two hour siege at Parliament House, Macquarie St thought to be a bomb threat. Our insightful editor must have predicted it wasn’t really that serious.
- Daniel Christie tragically passes after being randomly attacked around 10pm NYE
- Pressure for lockouts. Editor personally publishing 13 including various opinion pieces and conspiracy theories.
- Two months after Sydney was named safest & friendliest city in the world, our editor published an “exclusive” claiming “the people want their safe city back”. Quoting a poll commissioned by FARE with 321 respondents she claimed two third of Sydney residents feel unsafe in the city on a Saturday night with 94% blaming alcohol for their concerns! Sound familiar?
- Barry O’Farrell announces lockout laws and mandatory sentencing after spending months ridiculing the concept and producing a plethora of evidence showing the measures are completely unnecessary and ineffective
- Our editor writes about the“epidemic” of street violence declaring “it has happened again”. She then highlights highlights it’s the 15th death in 7 years and 91st since the year 2000. Quite an odd point if you’re trying to suggest an epidemic. Breaking that down, between 2000 -2007 there were 76 deaths and from 2007-2004 there were 15. Yet “king hit culture” was at “epidemic” proportions?
- The laws pass through parliament, supported by an opposition eagerly looking forward to seeing them fail
February – April 2014
- Lockouts begin across the CBD and Kings Cross
- ICAC Public Inquiry – Operation Credo
- ICAC Public Inquiry – Operation Spicer
- Barry O’Farrell and his bottle of Grange, “memory fail” and resignation
- Mike Baird sworn in as Premier
Clearly none of those events were anything major. Dedicating a quarter of your output over half a year to your own, personal agenda of promoting prohibition is totally justifiable given all those other non-events taking place. Since then the articles slowed up. After all the goal had been achieved. Other than a state election, a terrorist siege, more ICAC drama and now the donations scandal it’s been pretty quiet. The editor resumed another moral war she was waging, one that we’re one the same page on, the war against poker machines. This had been happening for some time, although I’m not sure if she was crusading because it’s actually a serious issue or just because it was also on the sin list. I found about 16 articles dedicated to exposing the evils of gambling right up until mid 2015. After this point I did not see a single article of the same nature. I don’t recall any major wins for the anti-gaming lobby last year, or in a long time for that matter so I’m not sure why the pieces suddenly stopped. I suppose people to get bored and move on.
So as you can see, it would appear the editor has very strong feelings about these lockout laws. On of the longest bows drawn was in January 2014 when a photo gallery of “victims of street violence” was used to emotionally manipulate the public. Whilst it was certainly a poignant look at the effects of violence, I’m not too sure what these poor souls had to do with the so-called “epidemic” in Sydney. As well as featuring Daniel Christie and Thomas Kelly, to drive the point home many other young victims of fatal assaults were featured. There were a couple attributed to licensed premises including a football club in Brisbane (QLD), a pub in Yarraville (VIC) and a nightclub in Southbank (VIC) Other than that the incidents
exploited featured were people killed in car park incidents in East Maitland, Windsor and Tweed Heads, a taxi rank in Coffs Harbour, a pizza shop in Rye (VIC), a street in Pakenham (VIC) and a house party in Balwyn North (VIC). Also thrown in was a man attacked by a 17 year old at a show in Maitland and in Woolooware who was attacked by three 16 year olds in an oval. However the most manipulative and despicable inclusion was a 17 year old victim who was attacked by two 15 year olds at a taxi rank in Griffith.
The overwhelming majority of these had zero to do with street violence in Sydney and even included incidents where the victims and/or perpetrators were barely teenagers. These horrible incidents that no doubt destroyed many lives were shamelessly exploited to push a bullshit agenda.
On the day of the Keep Sydney Open rally, she posted an article making the absurd claim that two thirds of the state supported lockouts. It was an obvious attempt to undermine and patronise the movement as a whole. Only problem was, she was using a poll commissioned by FARE with 353 respondents to make that claim. I suppose if you don’t know it’s broke, don’t fix it. Meanwhile, 15,000 people were out in the CBD letting the world know just how much they opposed said lockouts. Naturally, I called her out on this and was promptly blocked on Twitter. A grudge was born. I can only assume the editor really fucking hates the demon drink and really fucking loves prohibition. And if someone really fucking loves prohibition and lockouts, there’s a fair chance they really fucking hate venues, fun, music, drinking, socialising, having friends and exercising free will. Moral judging and wowserism at its worst. I guess it explains the farcical conspiracy theories.
This website was already doing quite well with traffic thanks to all your support, but I’d be lying if I said the article hadn’t slightly boosted the profile. I’ve received a couple of expressions of interest regarding advertising on this website but to be honest I haven’t been overly keen. I don’t want to break up the articles with anything other than my own informative and/or witty pictures. I definitely don’t want subject you all to creepy click-bait articles or strange, useless products they can’t even flog on a 4am infomercial. If I ever really had to advertise anything, it would be shout outs to those who deserve it. That’s when it hit me. Thanks to the editor and her kind promotional efforts I will try to do something constructive!
I’ve decided to offer free advertising space on Surely Not to any venue or club night in the CBD & Kings Cross Entertainment Precinct as well as any other business that has suffered an adverse impact due to the lockout laws. Same deal for Newcastle and if if anyone is reading up in Queensland, this goes for you too (at least it does until Origin time, then we’ll re-assess).
Anti-lockout blog? I’ll show you an anti-lockout blog! By writing an article attacking myself, the anti-lockout movement, venues and small business owners the editor in question has essentially generated interest in this website and will be helping to promote venues & small business owners.
Readers, let me assure you this won’t be an intrusive form of advertising (no pop ups, no videos that automatically play, etc – I wouldn’t even know how!). There will be nothing at all that detracts from the articles other than my writing. I’m yet to decide on the format for this, but chances are it will just be a simple banner and caption at the top or bottom of the page. Open to suggestions and/or expert advice.
If you would like to discuss please send an expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be in touch.
Thanks to everyone for their support, and thanks to the editor for the promo 🙂