responding to jeremy

It’s been a busy few days. On Thursday, Clubs Australia issued a media release stating that the Salvation Army had rejected mandatory pre-commitment (MPC) for poker machines. The story was picked up by the press, starting with the Daily Telegraph. Soon, however, the Salvos issued a media release of the own, contradicting the story and seeking to clarify that their Southern division fully supported MPC, and that while their Eastern division would like to see some trials of MPC take place, they were not rejecting it.

Later on Thursday I published this write-up covering the situation. It was initially published on this blog, but on Friday it was also published on the ABC’s The Drum website. A number of people left comments there, including one Jeremy Bath… who described himself as a ClubsNSW employee.

Now, comments on the article on The Drum were closed before I could respond to Jeremy’s statements, which is a shame. So I’m addressing them here.

This is what Jeremy said:

Jeremy Bath (employee of CNSW) :
02 Sep 2011 3:59:52pm
Tom, pity you havent bothered to request from clubs Australia a copy of the original statement from the Salvos outlining their position on pre-commitment. Give me a call, I’m happy to send to you. It’s pretty clear…MPC is no magic bullet to problem gambling

As for Louise Duff, ClubsNSW is not a client of hers. Rather she has worked with clubs that are members of the association. based on her website, it would be appear clubs make up just a tiny fraction of her work. the most recent club Louise worked with was Easts Leagues…writing their code of conduct policy. Sorry if that bursts your PR bubble.

also, you fail to state in your piece that the eastern territory of the Salvos represents 80% of Australia’s poker machines. The southern represents just 20%…

I’m also happy to email you multiple interviews the eastern Salvos did yesterday where they make it clear they have seen no evidence that MPC will reduce problem gambling…hence their call for a trial.

If you have such evidence, I would love to read it.

Right. Before I respond to Jeremy’s comments, let me just say that calling him an “employee of CNSW” is like calling Louise Duff a simple Salvos charity worker. Jeremy is the media manager for Clubs NSW and Clubs Australia. His office is responsible for a number of media-related things, including issuing media releases; Carissa Simons, who wrote Thursday’s media release, reports to him.

Now onto the comments.

Tom, pity you havent bothered to request from clubs Australia a copy of the original statement from the Salvos outlining their position on pre-commitment. Give me a call, I’m happy to send to you. It’s pretty clear…MPC is no magic bullet to problem gambling

First things first. Jeremy, before I published my article I spoke to contacts within the Salvos and the InterChurch Gambling Task Force, and received confirmation of their position on MPC.

Regarding the “magic bullet” concept: I don’t know why you’ve brought this up. There IS no “magic bullet” as far as problem gambling is concerned. Not MPC, not voluntary pre-commitment, not counselling, not education… none of these things on their own will stop problem gambling. No one who supports MPC is saying this. In fact, the only ones mentioning it are those who oppose it… people like yourself and your bosses. This has nothing to do with the issue at hand, being that Clubs Australia has misrepresented the Salvation Army’s position in this matter.

As for Louise Duff, ClubsNSW is not a client of hers. Rather she has worked with clubs that are members of the association. based on her website, it would be appear clubs make up just a tiny fraction of her work. the most recent club Louise worked with was Easts Leagues…writing their code of conduct policy. Sorry if that bursts your PR bubble.

Jeremy, I don’t have a PR bubble. PR is your field of expertise; Louise’s too. I will come back to this statement shortly.

also, you fail to state in your piece that the eastern territory of the Salvos represents 80% of Australia’s poker machines. The southern represents just 20%…

What does this have to do with anything? The fact that NSW, Queensland and the ACT have three quarters of Australia’s pokies does not mean that you did not misrepresent the Salvation Army’s position. It’s irrelevant, and the only reason I can think of for you to mention it is to try and deflect attention away from the issue.

I’m also happy to email you multiple interviews the eastern Salvos did yesterday where they make it clear they have seen no evidence that MPC will reduce problem gambling…hence their call for a trial.

Yes, I know the “eastern Salvos” would like a trial of MPC. How does that equate to rejection of MPC?

If you have such evidence, I would love to read it.

I’m sure you would… but again, the issue at hand is not whether or not MPC will work; it’s that you misrepresented the Salvation Army’s position in this matter.

Now back to Louise Duff. Jeremy, you state that ClubsNSW is “not a client of hers”. You point out that her most recent club-related work was with East Leagues.

Hmm. Louise’s company is Brilliant Logic. Let’s take a look at their website.

This is the “Clients” page of the Brilliant Logic website.

Scan through the list of featured clients on the right hand side and it’s a beautiful feel-good moment. The Salvos, Carols in the Domain, The Smith Family, Child Flight… the list goes on.

But near the bottom of the screen is another link. It says “Click here for a bunch of favourite clients.” So I did. And this is what was displayed.

Look in the bottom row: there’s Easts Leagues all right. But Jeremy, take a look at the top row. Right in the middle. Notice something?

Now… either you’ve made a mistake, or Louise has. Either ClubsNSW is Brilliant Logic’s client (a favourite client, according to the website) or their inclusion on the Brilliant Logic website is incorrect. I’m sure you can clear this up.

Share

4 Responses

  1. Libby Mitchell says:

    You really are a crack-up Tom…bloody great rebuttal to an oafish attempt to spread yet more spin! Truly I despair at the rot that is being pushed…all to vainly hope that the ‘great Aussie majority’ will take the pokies reforms issue off our political agenda. It won’t in my view. A bunch of noisy rabble-raising Clubbers will find that out in the end! Stick this response right where it fits best!

  2. Chris Hosking says:

    Tom

    brilliant work and keep it up.

  3. Peter B says:

    Well written Tom.
    The only thing that impressed me about Jeremy Bath’s response was the fact that he made an attempt to come out of his hole and engage in a debate of an indefensible position. But I suppose when you are being paid by the blood money of gambling addicts you have to be seen to be doing something to defend your paycheck!

  4. Gabi Byrne says:

    Great work Tom, – before you came along, they would have got away with this – because it takes time to research and than also put it into the public domain. Make sure ‘our clubs employee’ reads this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *