Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard - 8th since being banned!

The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House
Canberra, ACT 2600
 24th Jan. 2012

Dear Prime Minister

On your website is written:

“Prime Minister Gillard leads an accountable and open Government which
welcomes your views and feed-back. You can ask the Prime Minister a
question, give advice and pass on well-wishes here.”

I have written to you eight times since the Screen Australia Board
ratified Dr Harley’s ban on me. I have yet to receive even
acknowledgement of receipt of my letters from your office. Consider
the dynamic in operation here, removing myself from the equation:

A member of the public whose profession renders her dependent on
communication with a tax-payer funded government body. Let’s call her
Alice, given the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ qualities my dispute with
Screen Australia has acquired. Alice is informed, in a letter written
by a senior bureaucrat,that she has,in her correspondence, placed
certain statements on file that do not reflect well on Alice’s
character. She asks this senior bureaucrat that she be provided with a
copy of the correspondence being referred to. The senior bureaucrat
not only refuses to do so but writes to Alice saying that she refuses
to communicate with her any further. Alice lodges a complaint with the
senior bureaucrat’s boss, the Chief Executive of the organization. The
Chief Executive hands the complaint back to the senior bureaucrat
about whom the complaint has been made to deal with. Alice, not
prepared to accept that false statements about her can be placed on
file, writes to the relevant Minister and, when the Minister ignores
Alice’s request, to the Prime Minister – whose office does not have
the courtesy to even acknowledge receipt of letters from her.

This one-way correspondence continues for 18 or so months, at which
point the Chief Executive informs Alice in writing that the tax-payer
funded body she heads up will have no further dealings with her
because Alice has intimidated, harassed and placed at risk members of
her staff. Again, Alice requests evidence that she is guilty as
charged. The Chief Executive, the relevant Minister and the Prime
Minister ignore her oft-made requests.

There is just one element to this all-too-familiar scenario that I
would like to add. Let’s say that Alice is a whistle blower. The
accusation that Alice has written certain correspondence (demonstrably
untrue) has been made to discredit her, to silence her and to warn off
others who might feel similarly inclined to speak out.  It has worked.
Alice is persona non grata.

I am not, of course, a whistle blower but merely defending my right to
be provided with evidence of the crimes for which I have been found
guilty; a member of the public who is quite prepared to accept the
punishment meted out to me (being banned) if I have in fact
intimidated or placed at risk any member of Screen Australia’s staff
at any time.

best wishes

James Ricketson

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