Tuesday, 6 August 2013

NBN: Turnbull staffers, not just stonewalling...

Update 2: 15-May-2015
Staffer bailed to reappear Jun-5, quits. ABC News, Herald-Sun.

Contrast this "its personal" position with the Turnbull attitude to Free Speech.
My opinion: rampant hypocrisy, possible political interference.

SBS sports presenter sacked after Turnbull tweet & phone call

Update 1: 15-May-2015.
Malcolm Turnbull's NBN adviser Stephen Ellis charged for indecent act, drugs

Delimiter story, 7-Aug-2013, caused minor media fracas over swearing, nothing reported about lack of transparency in Turnbull's office and NBN Policy figures.

Turnbull Tweet [Note: Never contacted me in any way, no apology ever offered.]
Regret my staffer's lapse into vulgar anglo-saxon in an email to a blogger. Charm remediation has been administered & equanimity restored.
Original Post: Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Following on from their previous diatribes and attacks in May, when I also sought concrete figures and was stonewalled, yesterday the same guys got stuck into me for again asking for numbers from their spreadsheet.

I wrote to a senior Turnbull staffer, asking a reasonable commercial question that Retailers should know before the election, so they might review their business plans and start contingency planning.

His response left me in no doubt about his character and "born to rule" attitude.
To these people, everyone else is mere pond-scum. Wonderful that Turnbull surrounds himself with people of this calibre. Is this an aberration, an outlier, or like-seeking-like? I've no idea.

I replied to Lynch that I didn't need to ask the Government or NBN Co such basic questions - it's all on public record, in detail. There's a lot about transparency and openness that he seems to fail to grasp.

He also seems to have problems with plain english: I asked for the Coalition wholesale costing. Lynch answered as if I'd asked "what would the retail pricing be?". Why answer questions that can only harm your cause? Far better, in his mind, to flip the sense of the question and go on the attack.

Lynch, by his own lights, is an impartial observer and doesn't favour one side or the other in the NBN debate. How can someone so ill informed and demonstrably prejudiced maintain this position? I have no idea.

Message 1:

From: stephen.ellis.aph@gmail.com


I mark your emails 'junk' (like your copy) so didn't see your note until Grahame replied.

Nobody challenges your numbers because nobody takes your psychotic rantings seriously.  Nobody. Nevertheless they are all wrong.  All of them - you don't have a clue about the existing deal, much less how it might be modified.  Given what you write is a delusional fantasy that exists only in your own mind, you can get fucked.

Since the NBN stands to be greatly modified under whoever wins, your serial lies and distortions will be exposed in due course.  In the meantime do not contact me again.

Have a nice life.

Stephen Ellis / +61 403 411 898

Message 2:

From: grahamelynch@commsdaymail.com

With respect do you understand that a wholesale only network and its patron (whether they be LABOR or LIBERAL) have no control over retail pricing?

Why do you never ask these questions of the current government and why do you hold one side of politics to a considerably higher standard of burden of proof than the other that is AHEM actually in government? Will you ever speak an ill word against the present situation or will you hide behind your defence that there is "no data" about the NBN as it stands (that was your justification for your single minded pursuit of the claimed flaws in the Coalition policy)? What is your real opinion of the current CVC? Does your silence EQUAL endorsement?

In the real world of media, we subject people IN power to as much scrutiny as the people who seek it. When will you subscribe to that basic tenet of reporting discourse?


My email

Subject: Disclosing Retailer Pricing for FTTN/HFC Plans

On 04/08/2013, at 6:43 PM, steve jenkin <stevej098@gmail.com> wrote:


Now is the time for you to disclose Retailer pricing in your Plan

I'd like to know a couple of modelling assumptions as well


If I don't hear back from you, I'll derive some numbers that seem reasonable to me and use them in my models, on the same basis as your "if nobody has challenged them, then they're correct".

steve jenkin


  1. Whatever the merits of the arguments, Stephen Ellis has revealed himself as a person who is not fit to be in or near public office. It raises the question again of accountability of pollies' staffers. Of which there is none. And there should be.

    It doesn't bring any credit to Mr Turnbull that he chooses such staff.

    On the other hand, you (SteveJ) do yourself a disservice in your writing. The misuse of capitals and such basic grammatical features as full stops gives an impression of sloppiness and lack of care or interest. I agree with Grahame in his confusion about what you were asking ... in the email itself you ask for 'Retailer' pricing which sounds to me like the price retailers might charge. Wholesale doesn't get a mention in your email. I guess you were asking about prices TO retailers, but it's not said unless you go to your link, which busy people are not likely to do.

    1. aaardvaark,

      quote person who is not fit to be in or near public office unquote - in my uneducated geriatric view, neither Turnbull nor most of the current trough-snouters are fit to hold any office.

      If this self-adoring dud (name rhymes) had not effed up Labor since 2010, we wouldn't be in this mess.

      To late... But please don't make any excuses for Turnbull by blaming his staffers: it is he who doesn't have a clue!



  2. Dear "anonymous coward"
    (one of my all-time favourite Internet handles, not denigrating commenter, see later),

    Thanks for you comment. I appreciate both your positive comment and your criticisms.
    Yes, I could've phrased my question as "Wholesale Pricing". I would now, knowing after the fact it might cause confusion.

    I'm a bit lost to the "full stops" reference. Ellipses are a valid typographical construct.
    I overuse italics and Ellipses, I know. I also deliberately capitalise phrases, like A Good Thing to bring attention to them. It's a matter of style, not content or comprehension. I accept that it doesn't work for everyone, including you.

    I've always used my real identity and made my self easily reachable in this writing.
    I'm not accusing you above of being a coward, just using a little Internet Humour. There really was someone who wrote long-term under that pseudonym, and I loved it's self-deprecating nature.

    There are many valid reasons a person can choose to not reveal their identity on the Internet.
    There may be a good reason you haven't disclosed your name or associations in reply to me.

    But because you didn't address this issue, it also leaves a question unanswered about your position in the Industry, your associations and motives in writing... Questions, but nothing more.

    If you were an LNP schill or just trolling, your language would be considerably different.
    I DO NOT think you're either. You're a calm, rational voice with specific, useful criticism.

    So, thanks again for your comments, both positive and critical. I appreciate feedback and honesty and you've given me both. And I thank you for taking time to read my post AND respond. I see that as a generous, personal gift.

    We need more people in this debate LIKE YOU. seriously. People who are prepared to say their piece, even if it may not be well received.


  3. He he ... no no no not that at all ... I use ellipses all the time, and I'm not one to pick on grammar just because it's wrong ... I was just saying really that *I* found myself devaluing what you'd written because of lack of full stops after sentences and non-capitalised name and 'regards' etc. Reminded me of internet commenters as opposed to the internet commentariate. I also like using initial caps to emphasise things and to name them.

    My identity is not here simply because I had to find a way to log in and the only way that worked was via Google on which I am aaardvaark. I'm not schilling or trolling, I'm a member of the public who happens to be interested in the mechanics of politics and also the NBN of which I greatly approve. The NBN may not be the most perfect of ways to spend whatever it will cost, but the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages and it's a no-brainer as a concept. One of the great problems with the opposition's arguments against NBN is that they constantly refer to the present rather than the future in terms of dimensioning, which is worse than wrong. It gives a false impression of satisfactory outcomes which will mislead many into thinking the problems are solved. It doesn't matter really what percentage of people use the net heavily now, it matters what the demand WILL be and the number of people who WILL use it when our expectations and available products change.


  4. Julian,

    Glad to make your acquaintance and thanks for your solid feedback.

    My work needs a proof-reader, I miss a lot of detail errors, thanks for picking me up.

    Love your Google name, I'm a fan of Yellow Pages too :-)

    Agree with comments on NBN. We could've done other stuff, now we have to continue.

    All the best


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