This article has been in the pipeline for a number of days. I’ve deliberately allowed that amount of time to pass so I didn’t write an overly emotional piece. I’d also hoped that this article wouldn’t be necessary at all.
An event occurred at the auDA AGM which spoilt what was a very good meeting. It also left me extremely upset and disillusioned.
So what happened was this. I was verbally abused by an auDA Director at the end of the meeting. This was witnessed by another Director – as well as a fellow member.
The Director in question was Simon Johnson – the freshly re-elected Demand Class Director. I went up to him to congratulate him on his success, and said words to the effect of:
“Simon, congratulations on your re-election – 66 votes is a very impressive result. You are a master campaigner. Well done!”.
He reluctantly shook my proffered hand, and then said words to the effect of:
“It’s no thanks to the defamatory crap you have written about me on your blog. You need to be very careful what you write”.
And so he went on in a similar vein for a couple of minutes. It was totally unprofessional, particularly considering the occasion.
Given my initial approach to him, I was gobsmacked by his reaction … as were those around me it seemed.
As is my nature, I fired back at him – and asked him how I had defamed him. He started backing away, and did not giving me specific examples. All he kept saying was that I had said untrue things about him. I told him that I always call “a spade a spade”, and that wouldn’t change. I reminded him that I had offered him the opportunity on more than one occasion to do a guest article / candidate statement on Domainer.com.au; and that he never responded or acknowledged my invitations.
Is This Defamatory?
I’d like to ask my readers if any of these statements are defamatory in their opinion? I don’t think they are, which is why I repeat them here. (Simon, if you think they are, then please instruct your solicitors).
Perhaps it was this article where I said in part:
“This is a most vital election – and I’m hopeful that the majority of Demand Class members (particularly those that are domain investors) will elect two candidates that represent their views. People who are not afraid to stand up and be counted – and who are prepared to engage with their constituencies after they have been elected!
I urge everyone that is interested in the future of the .au space to read all candidate statements before agreeing to sign a “blank proxy”. An incumbent auDA Demand Class Director (who is seeking re-election) was very quick off the mark yesterday – I was told by several people that he had sent them a proxy form urging them to sign and return immediately! As one of my mates told me, he claimed credit for almost everything (he was surprised he didn’t also claim to have invented “sliced bread”). ????”
Or maybe this one:
“Whatever happens on Monday, well done to every one of the candidates who decided to have a go.
Whilst I voted for Simon Johnson at the last election, I’m not going to be voting for him this time around. Why? Because he made absolutely no effort to talk to me this year. He simply didn’t ask me for his vote. I also invited him twice to post a candidate statement on Domainer, and I didn’t even get the courtesy of a reply. That was disappointing. In my opinion, he has also neglected his constituency this past year by refusing to say where he stood on direct registrations. All those things tipped the balance for me.
Good luck to Shane and Tim.”
Joe Manariti (Supply Director) witnessed Simon’s tirade, and so I asked him if that conduct was acceptable. He also seemed astounded by what he witnessed.
I then reported the incident to Stuart Benjamin (Chairman of auDA). He went out to speak with Simon, and when he came back to me, he said that Simon refused to apologise. Stuart did apologise for what had transpired – however, it’s not the same.
If the Chairman thinks that type of conduct is acceptable, then his recent statements about “cleaning up” what has happened in the past have little meaning about them. It was all supposed to be different under the new regime.
This type of behaviour by Simon at an AGM flies in the face of any corporate code of conduct for Directors that I have ever known.
As I said at the start, I had hoped this article wouldn’t have been necessary, but no apology has been forthcoming. Perhaps they thought I would just forget about it.
What do you think?
Ned O’Meara – 2nd December 2016