The Victorian Liberal Opposition has formally sided with Rob Hulls in his illegal banning of two best selling books Victoria Police Corruption and Victoria Police Corruption – 2.
In June this year, Labor Attorney General Rob Hulls had letters sent to booksellers across Australia telling them that if they sell the books by corruption author Raymond Hoser they’ll be jailed.
Most shops have buckled under to the illegal threats and several thousand sales have now been irrevocably lost. Publisher Kotabi has already lost tens of thousands of dollars due to the illegal ban.
Meanwhile since the books were first published, chunks of information published within the books has also been effectively rehashed and published in the Age newspaper, the Herald-Sun newspaper, the books Underbelly Three by Sly Inc. and No Justice by Robin Bowles.
None of these publications have been banned and the latter two books have also attained ‘best-seller’ status, indicating deep public interest in matters of police corruption.
In justifying the continuing ban on the books, Labor MP’s have privately conceded that they were originally trying to suppress public knowledge on corruption matters, but with thousands of Hoser books now in circulation, the battle has now turned to financially attacking Raymond Hoser and the publisher in order to prevent them publishing further ground-breaking books on corruption.
The Liberal Party has joined Rob Hulls and supported the ban for several improper reasons, including on the basis that Hoser’s books were directly to blame for the ultimate demise of the Kennett government (16 votes in Geelong where several hundred copies of Victoria Police Corruption had been sold).
This Liberal support for the illegal ban was formalized when Shadow Attorney General Robert Dean said he’d support Hull’s continuing banning of the books.
In a letter dated 27 October 2000, Dean made it clear that he was ignoring the Victorian Supreme Court’s own ruling that a ban on sales would be unlawful and would support the continuing ban.
Dean also made it clear that he had no respect for the UN Human Rights conventions signed by Australia, which also ruled the bans illegal as well as other legal matters such as High Court precedents, the Trade Practices Act and so on.
Recently the D-notice on reporting the ban was shattered when a courageous journalist managed to get a story onto the front page of the Murdoch controlled Yarra Leader newspaper and also into the Doncaster and Templestowe News.
Talk-back radio censors working for Derryn Hinch (3AW) and Jon Fein (ABC) have also failed to prevent numerous callers getting on air to complain about the illegal banning of the books by Rob Hulls.
However the Sunday Age newspaper was successful in spiking a column by Terry Lane complaining about the illegal ban just hours before it was due to go to print. We also understand that Lane was threatened with the sack should he try to submit similar stories again.
To their credit, the following publications, Strategy (newspaper), Anarchist Age Weekly, Nemesis and Exposure (now Hard Evidence) have all prominently reported on the illegal banning of these books, noting that if it is allowed to continue, then a dangerous precedent will have been set, whereby corrupt governments can ban and suppress any information that they’d rather the public not have access to.
Hoser’s books banned today – who knows what tomorrow?
Demand for the books remains high in spite of the illegal ban and an increasing number of booksellers have ignored the threats and either continued to sell the books and/or recommenced selling them.
In June this year, Hoser’s lawyer, Alex Tees invited Hulls to put his threats into action and charge Hoser with contempt of court for the thousands of copies already sold.
Hulls refused to do so.
Hulls has also refused to answer any and all letters sent to him in relation to the illegal bans and these number in the hundreds and come from hundreds of concerned people within Australia and elsewhere.
Furthermore hundreds of Victoria Police Corruption books continue to sell each month in spite of the illegal bans.
Books are also being sold on the internet at: