Alan Howe, is thought to be paid some six thousand dollars a week to pretend to be an executive editor of the Herald & Weekly Times. The truth of this sad case is that heâ€™s an overpaid, underworked columnist and parasite on the fine news-gathering organisation. While Howeâ€™s title is executive, we can reveal he has no real executive duties at all at the paper and that he has just been kept on as part of the loyalty the company shows long-serving folk who are unemployable elsewhere. Centrelink are no doubt grateful.
Some darkly whisper that his role as a strike-breaker and scab in various battles with militant unions in foreign lands many years ago might have earned him some gratitude.
GUILTY OF CRIMES
The company even stood by Howe after he was found guilty by Magistrate Lisa Hannan in 2006 of the serious crime under the Children and Young Person’s Act of revealing the identity of a child in legal proceedings, potentially endangering the boy and subjecting him to ridicule. This incident is thought to have been one of many factors making him unemployable elsewhere in the industry.
Howe was not sentenced to jail but fines in the tens of thousands of dollars were ordered to be paid. An expensive legal appeal was unsuccessful, meaning the guilty criminal finding against Howe stands.
We donâ€™t object to News Corporation sparing the taxpayer the burden of maintaining the former scab as a well-remunerated essentially-unemployed person.
But we do object to the content of his appalling columns.
Today Howe wrote a typically gutless surrender monkey column talking about how the public are never wrong and that they donâ€™t want Australian (or Western) forces in Afghanistan.
Howe cites polls to that effect. Well, we can read a poll too. Weâ€™ve even scripted a few. And weâ€™d love to see the response to the question â€œShould Australia be part of surrendering control of Afghanistan to the murderous, misogynist, terror-exporting Taliban?â€
The consensus in favour of doing the right thing in Australia is usually pretty strong. Very few â€“ even Greens supporters â€“ want to surrender to Taliban evil. Consider how even the Greens party leadership loudly insisted that we â€œdo somethingâ€ about the humanitarian crisis in Libya. Standing by and doing nothing while evil runs unchecked is the wrong thing. And just as that applies in foreign policy, it applies in life too.
Because we like â€“ in fact we really like – the Herald Sun, weâ€™ve allowed monstrous outrages like Howeâ€™s boneless opinions on this to continue unchecked. Those days of appeasement are now officially over.
For evil to triumph, it takes good people to do nothing. History teaches this self-evident truth but we also know it in our hearts.
TAKE OUT THE TRASH
Gossip in the HWT building is that Alan Howeâ€™s bosses are increasingly of the view, VEXNEWS has learned, that they need to bone this angry, troubled psycho now. More power to their arm. Insiders say he is a divisive, expensive indulgence the company can ill-afford as it deals with the threats and opportunities that come from the web and the increasingly real prospects that Melbourne will be a one-newspaper town reasonably soon.
Howeâ€™s weekly column is invariably vacuous and ill-considered. Perhaps the result of an hourâ€™s thought and thirty minutes of drafting. We feel quite ashamed that our fondness for the News Corporation family has led us to pull our punches with Howe. Not now. The Howe Offensive has begun.
PICK THE SCAB
Scathing colleagues say Howe is a troubled little egomaniac, a name-dropper who is keen to have those on the executive floor conned that he has good political contacts.
In truth, his political connections are very limited. Few could dispute the reach of the VEXNEWS Investigations Unit, by contrast. We seldom hear Howeâ€™s name mentioned around the traps other than when we heard from all and sundry in the PMO that Howe had â€œburnedâ€ his supposed chum Tim Mathieson (the PMâ€™s partner) with a story that beat-up his innocent thoughts about their life together into a false yarn about an impending marriage proposal. Some mate. He apparently lulled him into a false sense of security by pledging loyalty to the Labor and Menâ€™s Shed cause. No shame.
COKE ADDS LIFE
Howe has all the qualities of a dog except loyalty. In fact, I have two dogs â€“ Ronnie and Nancy-Jane – who show more commitment to truth, protecting their own and an honest life lived in full than this vile little grub Alan Howe ever will.
Previously loyal chums of Howe include Molly Meldrum, Michael Gudinski and others who hang around the music scene. Those with a nose for such things insist that Alan really knew how to party and enjoyed a good slurp of the popular sugary beverage Coke and ice.
Whether all that partying played a vital role in the contempt for which he is held by colleagues is at this stage unconfirmed. A sugar rush can cause all sorts of calamity it seems.
CAR CRASH WAITING TO HAPPEN
But what we can confirm is that the Afghani terroristsâ€™ little mate has a notorious reputation in the building for being unable to keep his company-provided motor vehicles in good order.
In one shocking incident, after a big night of partying where the beverage Coke was freely available, Howe managed to leave the hand-brake off his News Limited Ford Falcon when he parked it near his country dacha. Because he was staying in his mountain retreat, gravity played its role and the car was found in written-off state several hundred metres down the road, deep in mountain scrub. Itâ€™s frightening to think how many childrenâ€™s lives were endangered by his recklessness and casual disregard for human life and company property.
Thereâ€™ll be many more of these stories to come as the VEXNEWS Investigations Unit launches its regular series â€œHowe Offensiveâ€. Tips, sightings and pics welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org and 0415 99 33 26.