Sunday, December 16, 2012

James Ricketson is a liar

James Ricketson is a liar

This is the clear implication contained in a letter written to me two years ago in which Fiona Cameron claimed I had made certain statements in written correspondence regarding the greenlighting of CHANTI’S WORLD that I insisted I had not made. 18 months later, after a lot of arm twisting including two FOI applications and a complaint to the Information Commissioner the relevant correspondence was identified. It contained not one of the statements Fiona alleged I had made.

Ruth Harley is a liar

I write this not with reputational damage as my intent but as a statement of fact made by someone whose reputation has been damaged by Ruth’s false allegation that I have intimidated and placed at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff.

The Screen Australia Board has minimal commitment to the precepts of transparency and accountability.

Again, I write this not with reputational damage in mind but as a statement of fact. The Board has refused my many requests to be provided with evidence that I have intimidated and placed at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff. To ban me without providing me with evidence of the crimes I am alleged to have committed does not demonstrate a commitment to the precepts of either transparency or accountability that the film industry has a right to expect from the Board.

Does this matter? After all, the fate of one filmmaker (described by one ‘anonymous’ Screen Australia contributor to my blog as a ‘nutter’) is not, in the grand scheme of things, all that important. I agree. However, the dynamic in place here should, I believe, be of enormous concern to everyone involved in Australian film – whether their primary interest be with the industry or the cultural aspect of it. If Ruth Harley can ban me without providing any evidence that I am guilty as charged, she can ban anyone for whatever reason she likes.

If the Board will accept anything Ruth says without requiring evidence of its truthfulness (and providing the accused with this evidence) the Board’s role can easily become (if it hasn’t already!)  little more than that of providing a rubber stamp to decisions made by Ruth. Given that what Ruth presents to the Board for consideration are recommendations made to her by others further down the bureaucratic chain, it is possible for a variety of decisions to be made (at the development and investment levels) that are subject to no form of oversight. The lack of transparency and accountability at every level of Screen Australia (as is evidenced in my dispute) is a recipe for disaster.


Twice I have been arrested in the foyer of Screen Australia for doing nothing other than sitting there. Perhaps calling the police was designed feed into the narrative that I have a tendency to place Screen Australia staff at risk.

On Friday, as I sat in the foyer, I seemed to no longer pose such a risk as the police were not called and no beefy men appeared to protect the Receptionists or others coming and going as they prepared for their Christmas party.

I wonder if the lack of arrest last Friday signals that I no longer pose a risk to Screen Australia staff?

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