You can’t call a dead man “prat”

I suppose a campaign for someone to receive an honour (or have an honour restored) would be much easier if the person were recently dead and thereby entitled to the “speak no ill” rule, wouldn’t it?

FRIENDS of billionaire businessman Richard Pratt, who died after a battle with prostate cancer yesterday, have backed calls for a return of his Order of Australia (AO).

Well, since the man – by virtue of having just died – had no flaws whatsoever that you can mention, I can’t see any reason not to give him every honour under the sun. And whilst a list of his dubious – even criminal – activities might have shown such an award to be bizarre and farcical, the fact that only a shameless git would dare raise them now makes it almost plausible.

Vale Richard Pratt. We honour the good things you did, and forget the rest.

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41 responses to “You can’t call a dead man “prat”

  1. “John Lennon chose the hippy life
    He chose a nutbag for a wife
    And his songs were never quite as good as Pauls
    Jeff Buckley fooled all lovers
    Lust one album
    Mostly covers
    With more wailing then Japan does off our shores

    But all that’s not forgotten once they took their final breath

    Even wankers turn into top blokes after death”

  2. And I was told, “The good is oft interred with their bones.” Lies, all lies.

  3. He handed the AO back himself.

    He’s not been convicted of anything criminal and pleaded guilty to a civil matter because the defence of it would cost more than the admission. That’s in part your fault Jeremy.

    The ACCC undertook that in pleading guilty Mr Pratt would not incriminate himself and they renegged on that undertaking.

  4. Heh. Who didn’t think of the Chasers’ Eulogy Song?

  5. I think it was inevitable…

    Andrew Hanson is an under-rated genius…

  6. “That’s in part your fault Jeremy.

    Yeah, sorry about that.

    As for the “criminal” – depends how you define “criminal”. He paid a whopping fine. Anyway, he only got out of the more serious criminal investigation because he was about to die.

  7. As I understood it, his lawyers frucked up by failing to include an indemnity against the possible perjury charge [the deal was to not prosecute for the $700million rip-off cartel stuff] and some bright spark prosecutor took the opportunity.

    Dirty pool perhaps, but dogs and fleas and geese and ganders and all that.

  8. Baby, show me what you feel
    Come to me, show me something real
    I need to know, I need you completely
    Closer baby closer, come on let’s begin.

    Love is taking over, got to let it in
    Ooh I need to feel the heart of you
    Need to reach the very deepest part of you.

    Can I touch you there, touch you deep inside?
    Can I touch your heart, the way you’re touching mine?
    Can I touch you there, touch you deep within?
    Can I touch you there, can I touch you… there?

  9. Oh god, not another. I don’t even want to know what the dishonest git is saying this time. I can guess.

  10. He sent me a Xmas hamper basket in 2000 which was wonderful. For that he should get the medal back.

  11. If he gets the medal back who is going to deliver it to him?

  12. Sorry, maybe not perjury (or was it??). Whatever the current criminal charges were for… lying under oath to the ACCC? Whatever, same diff.

  13. Jeremy:

    As for the “criminal” – depends how you define “criminal”. He paid a whopping fine. Anyway, he only got out of the more serious criminal investigation because he was about to die.

    Civil penalty provisions are clearly not criminal. They are a way of allowing criminal sanctions such as large fines to be imposed on people without having to go to the bother of meeting the criminal standard of proof. As such they are an abomination.

    Although the DPP said the charges against Pratt were dropped because of his ill health, it may also have to do with the fact that allegedly key evidence was ruled to be inadmissible.

  14. Ripping off half a billion dollars is on a par with parking tickets, so fair enough.

  15. Ahh, yes this does ring a bell.

    There is more from the past about this at:

    http://business.watoday.com.au/business/email-trail-reveals-curious-pratt-accc-trust-20081218-71pf.html?page=-1

    “It was 2007, and Mr Samuel, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and Mr Smith, then head of public relations firm Gavin Anderson & Co, were finessing how to handle the public fallout as the ACCC settled a huge cartel case against Pratt and his family-owned Visy Industries.

    A string of emails between the pair, tendered to the Federal Court yesterday, reveals they tic-tacked between August and October 2007 about the precise wording of public statements about Pratt’s involvement in the cartel.

    And in early October, when rumours of an imminent settlement began to leak, Mr Smith kept Mr Samuel in the loop about media coverage.”

    As Stevie Wonder would sing: isn’t it wonderful…

    That wouldn’t be the same ‘Gavin Anderson & Co’ where Greg Baxter, James Hardie’s chief spinner, worked while he was dishing out PR which was ‘simply false in every particular’?

    But fear not, lovers of free markets and democracy, that very same Greg Baxter sleeps comfy every night now that he is chief of spin for Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd.

    Things must be getting grim if Murdoch needs people like that to do his spin!!

  16. And just to save ‘Mighty Radzzbott’ time:

    ‘So Mr Samuel deleted the suggested sentence and told Mr Smith: “That dot point is not correct as it is expressed, but in the interests of settling this matter we have agreed not to press the other matters alleged in the pleadings (of the cartel case).

    “To say that we have no evidence of any other involvement would immediately raise the question of why we pleaded the other matters if we had no evidence.”

    On October 1, 2007, Mr Smith emailed Mr Samuel, alerting him that Visy’s corporate affairs director, Tony Gray, had been contacted by a journalist at The Australian Financial Review inquiring about rumours of a potential settlement.

    Mr Gray had told Mr Smith: “I have played straight bat but you might like to let the other side know. I would expect rumour mill to crank up this week. We will need to get our employee and customer message out Wednesday.”‘

    By the way, nice lapel pins these guys wear, aren’t they?

  17. I think it’s sad that despite his generosity to various charities over many years, Prat’s legacy and the thing that most people seem to be fixated upon is the criminal charges hanging over his head in his last few months…

    It’s a little like Clinton’s Presidency only being remembered for his dalliance with Lewinsky.

  18. It’s quite easy to be generous when you’ve got billions. Give me a bundle of cash and I’ll give half to charity. Am I entitled to an AO yet?

  19. Of course I’d expect a comment like that from you Karl, West = Bad, Capitalism = Bad, Wealthy = Bad, blah, b;ah, blah — YAWN…..

  20. Gavin, maybe you take a look at just how Richard Pratt made his wealth. Here is one example from 1999 (after a quick google search of Visy and Union):

    “One of Australia’s wealthiest tycoons, Richard Pratt, has used helicopters, security guards, police and the courts against workers fighting to defend their basic rights and conditions at Visy Board factories in Sydney over the past two weeks. Pratt’s packaging empire has boosted his personal fortune to an estimated $2.4 billion, but his company pays production workers a flat rate of only about $500 a week, before tax, effectively forcing them to work long overtime hours.”

    or possibly here:http://www.amwu.org.au/read-article/news-detail/80/Visy-uses-WorkChoices-to-sack-injured-worker/

    I think the link speaks for itself. Damn workers, how dare they want a decent life for themselves!

    Oh yes, Bill Clinton was just fantastic for the world and his country.

    So Gavin, you’re such smart worldy guy. What exactly was it that made Clinton a good president? He’s attacks on workers living standards? The sanctions on Iraq that cost so many lives? The bombing of a pharmacutical plant in Sudan perhaps?

    It’s you that sounds like the broken record Gavin.
    War = good, Massive gap between rich and poor = good, Capitilism = good. Following orders without using your own brain = good.
    blah blah blah. YAWN…

  21. I don’t recall saying war is good, nor the massive gap between rich and poor – I’m not quite a millionaire yet, capitalism – well, it’s better than the alternatives that have been tried so far.
    Following orders is what you do as a soldier, its pretty clear really, if you don’t want to follow orders don’t join up and don’t sponge off the benefits of being a member of the armed forces.

    Clinton’s Presidency was like any other, some things good, some not so good, but my point was that sometimes people should be remembered for the sum of what they achieve not just one event in their lives — of course I shouldn’t have expected you to be aware enough to pick up on that.

  22. So what is the sum of what Clinton achieved Gavin?

  23. I’m not a Clintonite, but I reckon his Presidency was quite successful by modern standards… Kudos to Wiki for the list below.

    Average economic growth of 4.0 percent per year, compared to average growth of 2.8 percent during the previous years.

    The economy grew for 116 consecutive months, the most in history.

    Creation of more than 22.5 million jobs—the most jobs ever created under a single administration, and more than were created in the previous 12 years. Of the total new jobs, 20.7 million, or 92 percent, were in the private sector.

    Economic gains spurred an increase in family incomes for all Americans. Since 1993, real median family income increased by $6,338, from $42,612 in 1993 to $48,950 in 1999 (in 1999 dollars).

    Overall unemployment dropped to the lowest level in more than 30 years, down from 6.9 percent in 1993 to just 4.0 percent in January 2001. The unemployment rate was below 5 percent for 40 consecutive months.

    Unemployment for African Americans fell from 14.2 percent in 1992 to 7.3 percent in 2000, the lowest rate on record. Unemployment for Hispanics fell from 11.8 percent in October 1992 to 5.0 percent in 2000, also the lowest rate on record.

    Inflation dropped to its lowest rate since the Kennedy Administration, averaging 2.5 percent, and fell from 4.7 percent during the previous administration.

    The homeownership rate reached 67.7 percent near the end of the Clinton administration, the highest rate on record. In contrast, the homeownership rate fell from 65.6 percent in the first quarter of 1981 to 63.7 percent in the first quarter of 1993.

    The poverty rate also declined from 15.1 percent in 1993 to 11.8 percent in 1999, the largest six-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years. This left 7 million fewer people in poverty than there were in 1993.

    The surplus in fiscal year 2000 was $237 billion—the third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever.

    Clinton worked with the Republican-led Congress to enact welfare reform. As a result, welfare rolls dropped dramatically and were the lowest since 1969. Between January 1993 and September 1999, the number of welfare recipients dropped by 7.5 million (a 53 percent decline) to 6.6 million. In comparison, between 1981-1992, the number of welfare recipients increased by 2.5 million (a 22 percent increase) to 13.6 million people

    I guess that’s why he still has an approval rating of somewhere around 60% over there.

  24. yes and wiki also ommits the Aduph Rupp was a massive steaming racist…

    Next you’ll be telling us that we should remember John Wayne Gacy for all the entertainment he gave the kids as “Pogo the Clown” and his activist work for the Democrats instead of the rape and murder of 30+ young men he was executed for…

  25. “I build a hospital, do they call me ‘Marco the Hospital Builder’? No.
    I build a school, do they call me ‘Marco the School Builder’? No.
    I build them a nice church, do they call me ‘Marco the Church Builder’? No.

    But I fu*k just ONE goat, and what does everyone call me?”

    [old European joke]

  26. Don’t see your point Ev, you asked me for a list of achievements from Clinton’s presidency — I gave you one…Christ you really are a moron, why am I bothering.

    I’ve never heard of Aduph Rupp, have heard of Adolph Rupp though – (not too bright are you) – I have no idea if he was a racist or not all I know is that he was a basketball coach – and what the hell has he and Gacy got to do with this anyway ?

    Piss off Troll.

  27. You forgot Clinton’s bombing of Serbia. This is understandable though, because no one wants to talk about it.

  28. Hello Karl,

    I’ve already said I’m not a Clintonite, that means I don’t think his Presidency was without faults…

    The request to me was to provide a list of the achievements of the Clinton presidency — I did so.

    I haven’t done a lot of reading up on the NATO bombing of Serbia, so I’m not going to try to either defend or criticise it.

    Try again please…

  29. haha, my god Gavin. You take a list from a site like Wiki, that could have been entered in by anyone, don’t analyse the data for yourself but accept it as gospell yet I’M the moron? Oh that’s right, i made a typo. Typical of the right to hack on someones typing mistakes in lieu of an actual argument.
    I said the SUM of his presidency, which means you need to take into account the bombing of serbia because the SUM is not WHOLE without ALL parts. But you cant and you wont, because you are an ignorant fuck.
    Fuck me you’re thick as pig shit.
    Now lets take a look at what you have provided,
    For example, you cant just go and say that economic growth under clinton = good, because during the Clinton years people were already starting to live of credit because of shitty wages (which Clinton helped keep down) and now that this Credit bubble has burst we have a GLOBAL FINANICAL CRISIS.
    Which if you would bother to pull your head out of your ass for moment would release is bad, and that it was more than just Bush that contributed to it.
    As for real wages, you have given an example of the first year of his presidency, what about the last 7? The fact that real wages have decreased over the last 30 years would indicate that what you have provided is “cherry picking” from when things improved.
    Do you ever get sick of being stupid Gavin? fuck i would if i was you…

  30. Piss off Ev, I’m not your lackey — if you want a more detailed analysis go do one yourself — If that list isn’t to your liking, go look for a different one, you seem to have as much time on your hands as I do…

    I told you I’m no great fan of Clinton, so if it turns out those achievements aren’t 100% correct, its no skin off my nose, I’m sure you can amuse yourself debunking each item on it and showing the whole entry to be a fabrication — go for it by all means..

    The point of my example, which again you missed — is that people should be remembered by the sum of their achievements, not one indiscretion — which isn’t also to say that that indiscretion shouldn’t be entirely forgotten. (Clearly to any sane person, people convicted of serious felonies are an exception to this). I could just as easily have used Elvis Presley as another (note : just 1) example, for all his great music, he was a drug addict — but should he solely be remembered for taking drugs ?

    And bringing up racists and murderers isn’t an apt comparison to Pratt.

    So yes, you’re right — you are a moron. Now crawl away and find someone else to play with — I’m bored.

  31. Marek Bage

    Hey EvShow, if you want to be taken seriously then I would suggest that you spend some time constructing your own arguements rather than attacking what others have to say without offering any substantive counter arguement.

    Pissweak radical Lefties like you give us proper progressives a bad name.
    Just because Daddy touched you during bathtimes doesn’t mean you can hate everybody who’s not engaged in political vengeance.

    Now, GavinM,
    Karl said this:
    It’s quite easy to be generous when you’ve got billions. Give me a bundle of cash and I’ll give half to charity. Am I entitled to an AO yet?

    And you replied with this:
    Of course I’d expect a comment like that from you Karl, West = Bad, Capitalism = Bad, Wealthy = Bad, blah, b;ah, blah — YAWN…..

    Now, c’mon Gavin(may I call you Gavin?), where did Karl mention “the West”or “Capitalism”or any of the shibboleths that you accuse him of proclaiming?

    Karl only said that if he were that rich, he’d be giving money away and earning AOs as well.

    An extremist hears what s/he wants to hear.
    A moderate hears what’s said.

    Which are you?

    Cheeras.

  32. Um excuse me Marek, are you telling me that I give you a bad name being a “progressive lefty”
    I hate to brake it to you buddy, but you aren’t progressive. being progressive would mean that your actions contributes to progress, and the last time i checked, sitting around patting Jeremy on the back for his blog here never achived a fucking thing.
    Which is why I dont really give a shit whether any of you keyboard warriors “take me seriously”, I have told Gavin i type here to give him shit, because he deserves it, and that is it. I have no intention of even trying to pursade any of your so called “progressives” of anything, let alone morons like Gavin and SB.
    but Marek, but please, dont fool yourself into thinking that by sitting around being morally superiour on a blog = being progressive.

  33. Remember the “no dickhead rule”?

  34. Quite, Greg.

    “Which is why I dont really give a shit whether any of you keyboard warriors “take me seriously”, I have told Gavin i type here to give him shit, because he deserves it, and that is it. I have no intention of even trying to pursade any of your so called “progressives” of anything, let alone morons like Gavin and SB.”

    First warning, EvShow. Why doesn’t everyone just calm the frak down?

  35. YEAH: WorkChoices is not to boost wages for low-paid workers, it is to exploit them, to make labour cheaper—LET’S not follow America where you can be working full time and living in your car. Labour creates wealth for some– like Richard Pratt.

  36. Karl – I’m happy to discuss the bombing of Serbia. It made the Bosnians quite happy, and everyone else Milosovic was slaughtering.

    In my mind, the bombings were a case of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’.

    A lot of people were calling for someone to stop marauding Serbs at the time, and the US eventually responded to that call.

    From memory, it was a NATO bombing anyway, so you can’t just blame Clinton/US.

    It was an awful, awkward time for all Yugoslavia.

  37. Jeremy, If someone posted on that black people are stupid and lazy and predisposed to crime and then tried to back this up by using US crime statistics of over representation of blacks in the US prison system to prove their point, I would hope that you wouldn’t entertain such rascism and spend too much time trying to reason with that person. Such statements were used as excuses for segragation and lynching, and that Blacks supposedly inferiour where used as an excuse for slavery.

    If someone posted some anti-Semitic crap about Jews being behind the 911 attacks, or all the wars in the world because of the Jewish lobby, I would hope they would be called the racists that they are and hounded off the blog.

    Yet when someone posts racist shit on here about Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims being predisposed to violence, or being “murderous Jew haters”, and of wanting to “take away our freedoms”, or tries to demonize veterans who have the courage to stand up to these occupations (that causes incidents such as this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abeer_Qassim_Hamza_al-Janabi), you pander to them and make them feel welcome so share their racist thoughts. These are the justifications for dropping white phosperous and the deliberate targetting of Palistinian civilians. These are the justifications for the current occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and when people spew this sort of vile, or try to justify any of the middle east occupations they should also be hounded and verbally bullied, called out for the racists and war mongers that they are and made to feel unconfident to share their racist thoughts with others.

    Take a good god damn read of that case about Abeer Qassim Hamza and then tell me to calm down again Jeremy.

    It’s all well and good gain some sense of moral superiority because you take a little time to have civilised discussions about what’s wrong with the world but after all these discussions, what do you actually DO? You’ve all ignore invitations to hear from Iraq Veterans about their time there, from activists from South Africa speak about their fight against Apartheid and the current fight against Neo Liberal reforms. You all ignored Barbera Shaw when she was here speaking about the Land Grab in the NT disguised as a humanitarian intervention and of Thanasis Kourkoulas talking about the pressure being put on the right wing Greek government by people willing to take a stand and take action to fight back for their economic rights.

    The whole history of reforms being granted for gay rights, black rights, women’s rights, and the end of wars in Vietnam and US involvement in South America etc is not a history of blogging and back patting, it’s a history of mass protests, strikes and other industrial action as well of support for war resisters

    I’m not in the business of making myself feel good about my beliefs with discussions alone or pandering to racists shit bags, I’m in the business calling a spade a spade and a racist a fucking racist so they can be driven back to the slime holes they slithered out of and cant spread their racists world views.
    Im in the business of speaking reasonably to people who want change and who are actually prepared to put in some effort to make that happen, and not pandering to the soft left types that inhabit this blog.
    The point of being part of the progressive left is not to calm down, it is, as Barbara Shaw says, to keep the fire inside burning.

  38. Don’t patronise me, EvShow.

    This is a space for discussion. There are other places for more concrete action. I didn’t ask you to “calm down” in the sense of abandon the fight for social justice or whatever – I meant “calm down” in the sense of “stop being a git”.

    You can advocate for change – and do some good advocating for change – without being needlessly abusive. I’m not sure what you think that’ll achieve.

    If people have views with which you disagree, try to persuade them as to why they’re wrong and change their mind.

  39. Hello Marek,

    You’re welcome to call me Gavin.

    I think I’m a fairly moderate, middle-of-the-road type.

    You are right that I was unfair in my response to Karl though.

    Karl,

    I apologise.

    What I should have said is that if anyone has any evidence that Pratt’s philanthropy was aimed at getting himself awarded an AO, please present it.

    Regardless of how wealthy he was, Pratt had no obligation to make any effort for charity and it is a poor reflection on anyone who would denigrate him for his generosity in that regard.

  40. Returned Man

    “Vale Richard Pratt. We honour the good things you did, and forget the rest.”

    Whhhha’?!?!?

    U R Unorstraaaaaaaaaaayan!

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