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Talk:Robert Askin

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Correction as to birthplace

An earlier contributor has given Askin's birthplace as Stuart Town. This may well be right but his army service record says he was born in Sydney. For now I have changed the reference to the latter because the National Archives of Australia is a pretty good primary source. Maybe someone will be able to sort this out. Cheers!CallMeHenry 10:31, 9 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reading further, it is clear that this article is a very good start but could be improved enormously by better sourcing. Please, where does all this stuff come from? Two sources at the end ain't nearly enough ... CallMeHenry 11:03, 9 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Double knighthood

I wonder at the relevance of the bolded part of this:

  • Askin was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) on his own recommendation in 1972; he was elevated to Knight Grand Cross (GCMG) in 1975, becoming only the second NSW Premier (after Sir Henry Parkes) to be granted these two honours

Parkes and Askin may have been the only 2 NSW Premiers to be made KCMG then GCMG, but George Reid was both a GCB and a GCMG. Others may have had 2 different knighthoods. -- JackofOz (talk) 00:29, 13 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


No actual proof of corruption has been found. Saffron's claims that his father indulged in sly grogging are just nonsense, and nothing more than a ploy to sell his book. Alcohol was easily available and cheap after the 1954 NSW referendum. Kate Leigh was the queen of sly grogging, and she went broke as soon as the early closing laws were repealed. So did all the other bootleggers. I would imagine that David Marr and his chums would not be too interested in such details. (Marr has made his career with endless accusations, yet over four decades he has not once offered any sort facts to backup even one of his claims.)

A quick synopsis of Sydney crime: the Sydney underworld survived on underground Casinos and SP bookmaking. US servicemen from Vietnam introduced heroine to Sydney in the 60s, and it quickly became the #1 drug, displacing cocaine which had been one of Tilley Devine's profitable ventures. Opium distribution and use remained mostly withing the old Asian community. Heroine made prostitution highly profitable for crooks. Young attractive girls were hooked on the drug and they became an army of cash robots for their owners. The old battle-axe street walkers of Tilley Devine's era were out. The typical crime boss had the first floor devoted to gambling and the second floor accommodated commercial sex, for the hornier cashed-up punters. Heroine was and still is the #1 money maker for crooks. (talk) 03:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Paul Loughnan

This article is continually being targeted by someone (apparently Paul Loughnan) attempting to use the article to promote his PhD thesis and the fringe opinion contained within, to depict it as the final word on the subject, and continually reverting several editors to readd it to the article again and again. No evidence is provided that any reliable source has so much as acknowledged Loughnan's claims, let alone taken them seriously. The text does suggest that a more notable source might make similar claims, but it isn't referenced to what and where and gives no details about what they might say, merely attempting to use their supposed claims to promote Loughnan. It's plausible that something based on the Duffy and Hordern source could be notable (I have no idea how credible it is), but it needs a rewrite for NPOV and self-promotion, and Loughnan needs to use the talk page in future. The Drover's Wife (talk) 05:16, 19 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    • Sigh, another PhD thesis pusher, I recall something similar occurring on Jack Lang (Australian politician). If you are going to add information researched in your thesis (and there is nothing inherently wrong with that), please ensure you are adhering to all Wikipedia guidelines (especially NPOV) and not just uncritically promoting your own work.Siegfried Nugent (talk) 06:20, 19 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This does deserve note, following verification. Paul Loughnan's thesis name checks David Marr and David Hickie, can we get confirmation of interviews/reassessment of Askin/totally validating his thesis from them?
MartinSFSA (talk) 04:20, 20 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't follow what you mean: just because a thesis from some guy namechecks famous respected journalists, it doesn't logically follow that they've so much as heard of him. The Drover's Wife (talk) 05:44, 20 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apologies if that's not clear, the conclusion was reached after rigorous research including discourse with David Hickie and David Marr. If so, they probably have firm ideas on the worth of the claim, if not, outright falsehood. Hence that's an easy part of the claim to verify. MartinSFSA (talk) 09:25, 20 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Google turns up nothing that would suggest either has ever said anything publicly about Loughnan and his claims, so it's not at all easy - if not outright falsehood, it'd take some serious original research to verify. The Drover's Wife (talk) 11:28, 20 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The only item sourced to a Hickie interview is "(Perce) Galea, who was Hickie’s primary source, has already been discounted." (p. 327, footnote 106). This occurs after a section with an in text quote attributed to Hickie claiming he had disposed of “24 filing cabinets” of evidence. There is zero attributed to Marr, but much on them both. As such we can dispense with the discourse quote. Beyond that, the entire thesis's probably worth one sentence and a reference, unless you want to engage further with it. Anyone? MartinSFSA (talk) 14:58, 20 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fine by me (as long as any new text complies with NPOV - e.g. "claimed" instead of "disproved"). The Drover's Wife (talk) 23:14, 20 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So as a last item under Allegations of corruption ... "A 2014 PhD thesis on Askins's leadership of the Liberal-Country Party coalition Government claimed he was not personally corrupt." Comment? MartinSFSA (talk) 02:44, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, that's fine. The Drover's Wife (talk) 09:00, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
How do you get a link with information to be an author promotion ? Could you perhaps reference and link and advocate details to disprove your reversions ? Dave Rave (talk) 04:36, 20 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Putting the thesis line into the intro is inappropriate, can we put it in the "allegations of corruption" section?Siegfried Nugent (talk) 04:35, 28 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Sydney Noir

Sydney Noir differs wildly from the vast majority of reliable sources about Askin's alleged corruption - as historian Ross Fitzgerald calls it in the Sydney Morning Herald, "deeply revisionist". It isn't an unreliable source (as Fitzgerald says), and we shouldn't exclude it, but suggesting that it trumps all other sources because you agree with the authors' claims is some hardcore POV editing. The Australian goes much further, being especially critical about Sydney Noir's claims about Askin and Allan, and specifically questioning their central claims. I haven't even seen a reliable source, period, that has treated it in the authoritative way attempted here. Some of the language used in the articles linked here provides a sensible way for talking about their claims about Askin and Allan in a more neutral way. The Drover's Wife (talk) 06:39, 23 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since we are dealing with an encyclopaedia article, the burden of proof is on Askin's accusers, who I'm sure you'll agree have failed to produce conclusive – or even compelling – evidence of the former Premier's corruption. Sydney Noir may be wrong, and Askin may have been corrupt (I certainly always thought he was), but this article can't be written on the basis of "the vibe". Mqst north (talk) 05:18, 27 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It isn't being written on the basis of "the vibe", it's being written on the basis of the sources, and when the overwhelming majority of sources come to a factual conclusion, that is the one we give the most weight to. There is no "burden of proof", because we're reporting what reliable sources say, not coming to our own personal conclusions, and what you or I personally find compelling is irrelevant. We may still mention minority views or revisionist views with little support, but we don't ever base the article on them just because a Wikipedian passionately agrees with them. The Drover's Wife (talk) 05:30, 27 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm passionate about making this article fair-minded and factual. "The majority of sources" (whatever that means) do not include the outcome of defamation proceedings brought by Askin, the 1974 Royal Commission, the testimony of Bob Bottom and John Hatton, nor the Sun-Herald's comprehensive review of the evidence. The sources you consider more compelling than these include allegations made by anonymous sources, and the friends and relations of crime figures Abe Saffron and Perce Galea. Mqst north (talk) 06:11, 27 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You've persistently attempted to rewrite the entire section around the thesis of Sydney Noir, even though it's considered to be anything but authoritative by basically every reliable source that has engaged with it. That is just your personal view, and it's never going to be acceptable under the neutral point of view policy. Any Royal Commission findings, the testimony of Bottom and Hatton and the Sun-Herald's investigation are all things that might reasonably be included: the problem is that they've been included in an opinion-piece style explicitly trying to use that information to "debunk" more established contrary views, instead of including representative coverage of the issue as covered in reliable sources and allowing readers to form their own opinions.
The defamation proceedings are another matter: virtually every alleged corrupt figure of that era successfully sued journalists due to Australia's strict laws, including many figures who subsequently went to prison for corruption or admitted corruption before Royal Commissions - the mere fact of a successful suit says absolutely nothing about whether or not they were factually corrupt. Many, many people writing about this era have made this point.
Finally, your opinions about the sources used or otherwise by people who've written on the subject are not relevant: Wikipedia does not care what you or I find personally compelling. We can certainly cite the opinions of the Sun-Herald and the Sydney Noir authors (with appropriate weight - not the entire substance of the section), but their inclusion in an opinion-piece format, as you've repeatedly tried to do, is unacceptable. The Drover's Wife (talk) 06:30, 27 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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