Editorial: More gag attempts…more intimidation…

Filed in Just In by November 4, 2021

YESTERDAY I had to refer a matter to police, which is now being investigated, I’ll leave that investigation to occur and then yes, I will report on it. I was also advised from other sources that there are desperate moves afoot to try and prevent me from publishing.

The moves for an injunction were colourfully described to me from a legal perspective as like someone punching themselves in the face, then reporting themselves and wanting action taken. When Council fought the matters in NCAT, the senior member concluded Council had presented no relevant legal arguments, not light arguments, not tenuous, NONE. Talk of an injunction is even more tenuous than the legal cases they spent $24,000 of ratepayers money on in NCAT. God knows how much they plan to spend now on legal fees trying to silence me in the lead up to the election. So frankly, we are just entertained by their self-serving ridiculous antics. 

But it shows that there are people who will really stop at nothing, be it intimidation worthy of police involvement or legal shenanigans in order to prevent me reporting on their behaviours. When I first began scone.com.au I was told that if I wrote one negative story about Council I would not receive any advertising from them, needless to say I did not take their dodgy deal and remained loyal to my readers and journalistic ethics. Yet these are the same people who accuse me of lacking journalistic ethics because I continue to report on their bad behaviour. None of those strategies have worked during the past five years and they are not about to now. 

Of course an organised posse will continue to attack me, try to intimidate, name call and all of the other school yard antics they carry on with and will then still accuse me of bias for standing up to them. If I didn’t run for Council, I’m biased. I run for Council, I’m biased. Basically if I criticise the establishment and hold them to account for their actions, I am biased. The only way I wouldn’t be accused of bias is if I did as they told me and never reported on any of their bad behaviours and only write what they send me in media releases to republish verbatim. No deal.

It is incredibly telling what has occurred over the past few days. I have never had one of my family members, my parents, my spouse or my children enter into my professional life and berate people on my behalf, to the point of police involvement. None of the Councillors or Council staff have ever received one abusive post or phone call from my family in five years, because we’ve been raised better than that. So, to the posse doing the bidding of grown adults behaving badly, your attempts to silence me will not work, you can cry bias all you want, but since you can’t control your own behaviours and want to persist with intimidating me into silence, you will now be silenced on my platforms. You can knock yourselves out on your own platforms with all the “free abusive speech” you want, but not on mine, not anymore, you have crossed the line once too often. And to the Council, if you want to try and take away my voice, on my own platform, knock yourselves out, but you can’t have it both ways either. If readers want to hear from the people trying to silence me, simply go to those people’s platforms.

As John Preston said to me as we laughed about the desperation, “Council keep having the same conversation with itself, it has only ever had a conversation with itself and long ceased having a conversation with the community.” So, by all means it can continue to do so, but we will keep having a conversation in the community and I won’t now or ever cower to thug behaviour.



Elizabeth Flaherty

Editor, scone.com.au

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