the full story

The GetUp story



While researching this article, I tried to be mindful of my personal experiences with GetUp both as one of the many people who clicked like and instantly became a member, and as one who has personally endured their deceitful practices on more than one occasion. I still receive their emails, so I am sure I remain one of their quoted 400,000 supporters, which begs the question “How many of the quoted 400,000 supporters genuinely are?” (Assimilation by email)


My first experience with GetUp, was to support their save the senate campaign, which seemed as it was designed, as a grass roots campaign to support democracy, something very close to my heart, the idea was to ensure no one party controlled the senate, well that is what the campaign appeared to be, “Come meet your local senate candidates” and become informed.


I have always believed that the day our representatives were chosen by the Free will of an informed electorate will be the day we see the change we all seek.


GetUp had their own agenda, and it was not to support grass roots democracy, as I quickly found out when I attended their first forum, seems only senate candidates chosen by GetUp where welcome, not as their email had explained, Independents, some minor parties and the Liberals were not welcome, it seems the word “Independent” to Getup means Labor/Greens, how would I have known.


Seems since then the agenda has remained the same, with Getup regularly taking up issues that either attack the liberal government or promote the Labor/Greens coalition, even there on-line “How to vote” guide and sms service was found wanting, as regardless of how a person filled in the questionnaire, Labor or the Greens was the resulting answer, and trust me I tried every combination.


The Australian Electoral commission were the first to be questioned on GetUp’s “Misleading and Deceptive” conduct, as was the Court of Disputed returns, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, were also asked to investigate their back ground, but as usual a slap on the wrists wasn’t even made public, by now I decided to do some research myself.


In brief 2 people, Jeremy Heimans and David Madden formed GetUp in 2005, some information links have recently been closed, but they reign from one of several similar lobby groups, established in 1998, and a similar political lobby group. Heimans history links appear to now be missing, Madden has a history with the World Bank and the United Nations, both are included in the top 10 people who have influence in world politics, both have also been accused more than once of being Labor policy supporters, so is there connections?


Their first executives included Evan Thornley (Labor, Fabian Society) Bill Shorten (Labor) and Cate Faehrman (Greens) and more recently Skye Laris (Labor, Rann and Tony Burke) along with several Union officials, previously aligned with the Labor party.


The group advisory board with history in similar groups included Tony Lake (CIA, UN, Politics) Gary Hart (US senator) and Leon Fuerth (Advisor to Al Gore) as well as their largest donor George Soros.


GetUp’s donors have changed over the last few years, Australian workers unions are their largest donor, followed by individuals with similar connections to the picture already painted, Joseph Skrzynski a major donor, was just appointed a lucrative seat with SBS by the Labor Party, Ex Telstra, AUSTAR, and other multinational players divert past labor support, to donate heavily to GetUp, many dead ends from links relating to funding and the recent financials of GetUp make the story even more intriguing.


Brett Solomon tidies up the direct connections between GetUp, AVAAZ and , Simon Sheikh is now put up by the media as the brains behind GetUp, but so many big players have their hand in the GetUp pie, with their other groups having direct links to people like George Soros.


I would think that their most recent campaign to demand a price on Carbon, is the nail in the coffin when seeking the truth, with GetUp backing Gillards new carbon tax, with out the details even being on the table, let alone passed by the house, and the ideal of a grass roots campaign is soured by the fact 146 of our 150 federal representatives were recently elected on a promise “Not to introduce a Carbon Tax”.


Simon Shiekhs words “We are the last line of defense for mother nature” not only makes a mockery of our 4.5 billion years of existence, but belittles the use of the words “Carbon Pollution” to describe Co2 the very gas that feeds the forests they stand to protect or do they?


Don Mercer’s sudden disappearance from GetUp may just warrant further investigation, with long links to Orica ltd, Shell petroleum and Newcrest mining ltd, not something that supports GetUp’s green agenda, just ask the Indonesians.


GetUps most recent idea of allowing all members to submit ideas for future campaigns seems, on the surface, a promising example of grassroots democracy. However, regardless of how many votes a campaign suggestion might generate, the GetUp executive maintains the power to veto any issue they don’t consider consistent with their organisation’s agenda.


Tony Abbot himself entered the debate, regarding the human rights of Gillards intension to process asylum seekers of shore, knowing too well, GetUp could not oppose the Labors government’s position. GetUp have made a habit of denying many issues put up by their supporters, regardless of the support from their own members, in once case saying “A few people try to game the system by flooding certain campaign suggestions with votes from fake accounts” so what does that say about their membership quota, let alone their online grass roots actions remaining valid?


It seems strange that a so-called grassroots democracy movement, which is rarely shy to boast about its membership base of over 400,000, would suddenly take such a dismissive attitude to many of these same members when they overwhelmingly vote in favor of an issue, which a select few individuals at head office don’t approve. Coincidentally in each case they were issues, which went against the Labor/Greens agenda.


Misinformation and missing information is not my idea of a genuine and honest grass roots peoples movement, in fact it reminds me more about what our system of politics has become in the eyes of the electorate, “promise and do what ever is needed to achieve an agenda” rather than working towards what the people themselves prefer.


GetUp’s annual reports for both the 06/07 and 07/08 financial years are both absent from its website, which also claims replacements for Thornley and Shorten are “imminent”, well that was years ago, and they still remain heavily involved, and copies of their reports I saved years ago, clearly show both as large donors to Getup.


I must admit to being confused by GetUp’s financials, when they proudly announce their “Not for Profit status” while spending excessive amounts on wages and administration. The ASIC filings reveal a massive $1 million wages bill, an issue former Executive Director Brett Solomon was grilled on in 2007. The $2.2 million gap between total donations ($3.4 million) and political expenditure ($1.2 million) would indicate a significant proportion of total revenue is spent on day-to-day running costs, on top of a huge wages bill, but where are the details?


“Divide and conquer” is a relevant saying here and clouding the truth is an integral part of maintaining the divide, just like the words “climate change” rather than “Environmental protection” continue to divide opinion, we may all back the later words, but unity is not part of the plan, and haven’t we all had enough of games when it comes to our future?


While the people of the world continue to reward false promise and deception, our path will remain in the same direction, genuine grass roots unity is the only way forward, and a large part of that is seeing through the lies and deceit, which if we all sit back and reflect on what we all know, is not that hard.


The saddest part of this story is I have so much more to add, in particular my own documented experiences, but for now, I will leave it to the reader to make their own conclusions.


It may be the case genuine grass roots movements like the Alliance, have no chance with out big money and the almighty spin machine, as if we the people simply can not unite without others pulling our strings, in the same way our supposed representatives must adhere to policy direction not of the peoples choosing, lets hope that is not the case.


Mark M Aldridge

The Alliance “in the pursuit of unity”


(08) 82847482 / 0403379500



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “ the full story”

  1. flyingtigercomics Says:

    Reblogged this on Flying Tiger Comics and commented:
    It seems strange that a so-called grassroots democracy movement, which is rarely shy to boast about its membership base of over 400,000, would suddenly take such a dismissive attitude to many of these same members when they overwhelmingly vote in favor of an issue, which a select few individuals at head office don’t approve. Coincidentally in each case they were issues, which went against the Labor/Greens agenda.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: