Murdoch – Being Conned With Bullshit


Last week in Australia Media mogul Rupert Murdoch addressed the Lowy Institute at the Sydney Town Hall. The function was attended by a who’s who of those with money, power, media influence, and conservative politics. While watching the news report my mind wandered to the word credibility and what it means.

We all tend to judge others through the prism of our own moral understanding of right or wrong. This prism of course is in turn influenced by the law, collective community standards and other factors.

For example, given the way the Catholic Church has treated children it is an institution devoid of credibility. Yet it still talks on issues of morality as though it has some credible right to do so.

The same applies to the phone hacking scandal. For me Rupert Murdoch has no credibility whatsoever. Yet in spite of his obvious involvement in the destruction of people’s lives and their right to privacy is it right to use his publications to corrupt the truth? The wealthy still turn up to celebrate his importance to capitalism and privilege as though it is an accompanying entitlement of wealth. Or perhaps they see it as a duty.

It’s as if decency and morality no longer inform our judgment when we shape our views about wealth and its place in society. Or the privileged are oblivious to community standards and because of the power they have, ignore them. Maybe they think they have a dispensation? But are they above the common good?

In his speech Murdoch emphasised the advancement of technology and spoke about the need for Australia to embrace innovation.

‘’And with the pace of innovation increasing dramatically, Australia is well positioned to excel.’’

He also had this to say about choice.

“I have always been a firm believer in providing the public with choice and access to quality content – it was the driving force behind the launch of Sky, Fox News and, particularly, The Australian.’’

“Now, each and every one of us can have our news and information when and where we want it. For me, it’s right here in my pocket, on my iPhone, where I can get my Australian, my Wall Street Journal, The Times of London and my personalised stock quotes, any time I want.”

Now let’s look at these statements and relate them to the word credibility.

Meaning the quality of being believable, trustworthy or whether or not someone is being truthful. It also applies to one’s reputation depending on your ability to be believed.

He is correct to talk about technology and innovation as being fundamental to the future prosperity of Australia. The advance of science in my lifetime has been incredible. Perhaps more than any other period in history and there is no reason to suspect it won’t advance at a staggering rate into the future.

Science explains both the potential for good and bad. 97% of the world’s Climate Scientists have explained the ramification of rising temperatures. Other science and technology has shown us how to harvest renewable resources.

Murdoch’s credibility is laughable when he contradicts himself. On the one hand he says our future is in innovation and technology but at the same time he demands that his publications oppose climate science and the innovation of renewable resources which would enable Australia to be at the forefront of a new global economy.

When he says he has always been a ‘’firm believer in providing the public with choice’’ does he mean Andrew Bolt’s version of climate science or a slightly better articulated version of the same thing in The Australian? Some choice. When people in some major capitals have no choice but to read his publications and he owns 70% of the print media I fail to see the choice he is talking about. When Fox News is universally condemned for its biased and bilious commentary, I fail to see choice. The only choice I see is between gutter journalism and sewage journalism.

Murdoch’s media is where the truth goes to die. So the only choice is untruth. When he approves the hacking of phones and the nefarious implications involved, where is his credibility. Why does he have the right to speak such bullshit or more importantly why do people listen.

A study titled ‘’Sceptical Climate’’ carried out by Wendy Bacon, Professional Fellow at the ACIJ for the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism found that Murdoch owned newspapers overwhelmingly supported an anti-science view.

What the report concludes is that Murdoch owned media is deliberately telling lies to the Australian people. Where is the credibility and the choice? What hope is there for truth against this avalanche of Murdoch propaganda?

The report showed that during the research period Australia’s biggest selling newspaper, the Melbourne Herald Sun was the most biased. 81 per cent of all the coverage, including 97 per cent of all the opinion stories, were sceptical of human-caused climate change. Of course the most cynical of all journalists is none other than syndicated climate denier Andrew Bolt. Bolt wrote a total of 38 comment pieces and more than 13,000 words “nearly half of all words in articles that included material about climate science in the Herald Sun.”

Lying in the media is wrong at any time however when they do it by deliberate omission it is even more so. The Herald Sun does it with impunity.

The report says of Bolt:

‘’Given his influence, a consideration of how Australian media covers climate science needs to include an analysis of the strategies used by Bolt to persuade his readers they should reject the findings of the vast majority of climate scientists. These strategies include personal abuse, cherry picking specific findings to refute the entire body of findings of climate scientists, portrayal of advocates of climate action as ideologically motivated with totalitarian tendencies and criticism of journalists who report on climate science. He presents himself as someone who is fighting a battle to reveal ‘truth’ and ‘secrets’ which ‘warmists’ want hidden to protect their vested interests. Once the ‘facts’ are established a triumphal, mocking tone is adopted.’’

‘’Of all the newspapers monitored, The Australian produced the most coverage of climate change science but almost half of it was sceptical of the scientific consensus. The study noted:’’

‘’While scientists overwhelmingly agree on anthropogenic climate change, The Australian represents climate science as matter of opinion or debate rather than as a field for inquiry and investigation like all scientific fields.’’

You can read his damming indictment of Rupert Murdoch by clicking this link. At the end pause and think. Ask yourself if we don’t deserve better. Where is choice? Where does credibility show its head?

In a quarterly essay ‘’Bad News’’ Robert Mann tackled the same subject. He analysed climate change articles printed by The Australian between January 2004 and April 2011 and found that 700 articles were “unfavourable” to action on climate change.

That is, they either disagreed with the consensus of climate science, didn’t support Australia’s ratification of the Kyoto protocol or didn’t support previous governments’ steps towards a carbon trading scheme.

Balanced against these 700 articles, there were 180 stories and columns “favourable” to action on climate change.

Now if a newspaper article is written in a manner to suggest objectivity but subjective words are scattered throughout it together with carefully phrased unsupported statements then we should dismiss the article as having no cogency.

In Australia it seems that our lives have become controlled by the noise of the mass media. The sad thing is that we listen. It seems that those who control the dissemination of news, mainly Murdoch, have more power than government and they are intent on exercising it.

And in the history of this nation never have the rich, the powerful, the privileged and big business been so openly brazen.

Less informed voters unfortunately outnumber the more politically aware. Therefore, a pro conservative Murdoch media feeds them all the bullshit they need. And the menu generally contains bucket loads of untruths.

It is encouraging though that a newspaper like the Los Angeles Times has made the bold decision to no longer publish letters from climate change denialists saying it would not print ‘letters that have an untrue basis’.

‘’Scientists have provided ample evidence that human activity is indeed linked to climate change … The debate right now isn’t whether this evidence exists (clearly, it does) but what this evidence means for us. Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying ‘there’s no sign humans have caused climate change’ is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.’’

With some prompting from its readership the Sydney Morning Herald has decided to follow suit. And it set itself on a campaign to get other papers to do the same.

My message to those who allow themselves to be corrupted by the drivel of the Murdoch media is this.
Sometimes it is good to stop, think for yourself, evaluate and formulate one’s own opinion and allow fact, truth and science and reason to guide you.

There was a time when Australians didn’t like being conned.

‘’Don’t listen to him, he’s a con artist’’ My folks would say.
Now it seems they are everywhere and gullible people listen. A former Prime Minister cons kids with the launch of a denialist children’s book.
The Prime Minister cons the people by saying he believes in the science of climate change but his actions don’t back his words. He even invites fellow con artists to dinner at our expense.

But the greatest con of all is when Rupert Murdoch says.

“I have always been a firm believer in providing the public with choice and access to quality content – it was the driving force behind the launch of Sky, Fox News and, particularly, The Australian.’’

No bullshit mate. No choice. No truth, No credibility. Quality content. Pull the other leg.

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42 replies

  1. Choice? I CHOOSE not to click on any Murdoch news item, preferring to inoculate my thinking against rampant bullshit and lies. Viva the Murdoch Blocking App! It’s brilliant.
    PS…the rotting, maggot filled sack of flesh surely can’t have too many more years in him? I’ll be buying a new pair of dancing pumps for his funeral.
    Must be difficult being despised by most of the world population, including by your own ex wives, and children…… while simultaneously having your arse licked by sycophants, who really do not care one bit for you but all the while trying to impress.
    You can’t take it with you Rupes….that’s one thing that is undeniable, and you know it tosser.

  2. When Labor is re-elected maybe then they will amend media ownership laws to no more than 40%. Surely this would cut back on the falsehoods and out right lies that are published and would limit the bolt reach.

  3. Lowy and Murdoch and much of the rest = Israeli firsters.

  4. Well said John. I feel your rage.
    We need to get these facts out to the general public but my question is just how can we do this?
    Why won’t Fairfax journalists start coming out of the woodwork & fight for reporting truths instead of repeating Murdoch’s lies. Surely it would improve their readership & give them some credibility again.
    We need to maintain the rage against what has happened in Australia. Not only are we being conned with bullshit from Murdoch, but if anyone takes the trouble to read what is happening in Q’land with Newman & his mob, there is a very serious problem that could sweep through the rest of Australia if we are not careful. Newman is making the Bikie so called problem much bigger than it should be, taking the law into his own hands. There has been much condemnation from the Legal profession about this mans’ tactics.
    The whole country is starting to suffer from ‘Being Conned With Bullshit’. We need to make sure that this is countered.

  5. ‘’And with the pace of innovation increasing dramatically, Australia is well positioned to excel.’’

    I was waiting for commentary on how the Murdoch press has white anted Labor’s NBN. But I guess we all know that.

  6. “The advance of science in my lifetime has been incredible. …… and there is no reason to suspect it won’t advance at a staggering rate into the future”

    Oh but there is! Science relies on technology which relies on energy, in particular, FOSSIL FUELS, the cheap and abundant sources of which are all disppearing fast. It takes 250kg of fossil fuels just to make the computer you are reading this on….. before you even switch it on and draw power…

  7. “science and technology has shown us how to harvest renewable resources”

    ONLY doable with fossil fuels. Point me to ONE, just one, fully solar powered solar panel factory, ditto with wind turbines…

  8. Murdoch and his publications are astonishing in their total disregard for the truth and their obvious manipulation of the narrative. People concerned about climate change are “warmists”. “Latte-drinking” has become a disparaging adjective variously attached to different groups and by both sides on occasion. Asking billionaires, or companies making billions in profit, to pay tax is “class warfare”. People with university degrees are dismissed as “know-alls”. Asylum seekers are “invading hordes” of potential terrorists raking in welfare and clogging up our roads and emergency wards. And, in his speech to the Lowy Institute, Murdoch quite eloquently tells us that progressive thinkers and leaders are “stuffy elitists”. Obviously it is not incumbent on Papal Knights to tell the truth….but then again….suppressing the truth for the purpose of self-interest has been their MO for centuries.

    “You only need to look at the words of Rupert Murdoch speaking at the annual Lowy Lecture to see how progressives have lost control of the conversation – somehow we’ve let one of the richest, most influential and recognisable members of the global media and business elite turn the word “elitist” into the latest attack word against progressives. Almost unquestioned we’ve let one of the most (to use his words) narrow-minded and stuffiest of elitists turn “elitism” into anything that doesn’t represent a pro-business, pro-conservative philosophy – and it’s working. Murdoch has led a very powerful narrative which turns progressive thinkers and leaders into “stuffy elitists” ”

  9. THE AGE LETTER | Rupert’s Brave new world

    I can envisage what Rupert Murdoch’s Australia would be like. We would flood the country with immigrants (excluding refugees – you need someone to demonise) for cheap labour and abolish the minimum wage. Then we would change the system of government so that, as in the United States, a cabinet minister would not need to be a member of the parliament. We could appoint Alan Jones minister for media and communications and Andrew Bolt minister for science and climate change. Gina Rinehart would be in charge of industrial relations and George Pell in charge of education.

    Rupert Murdoch would run the department of truth and justice. The ABC and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission would need to be abolished. In lieu of the Tea Party, we could have the institute of pumpkin scones advising the government. Advance Australia backwards.

    Graeme Madigan, Brighton

  10. We all know that Murdoch is an unprincipled, self-interested, arrogant megalomaniac. His right to say whatever he likes is enshrined in law, as is his right to monopolise the media.

    What makes me even angrier than Murdoch’s manipulation of public information is the fact that the Coalition has done much greater damage with their lies. To them, politics is a game to be won or lost rather than a responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the nation.

    Everything for this government is judged by money, profit, trade, big business. They campaigned fiercely about debt, deficit, and waste and somehow convinced us that Labor had trashed the economy. Mathias Cormann repeated the claim on Lateline last night.

    A word of warning to Abbott, Hockey, Cormann and the Murdoch mouths…..people will be watching you try and better this record.

    “So what is the actual state of the economy Hockey has inherited?

    1. Income

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) measures Australia’s income per person at US$64,157 for 2013. This places Australia fourth among the IMF’s 35 wealthy nations.

    2. Wealth

    According to last month’s Credit Suisse global wealth report for 2013, Australia’s wealth per adult is US$402,600 — the second highest in the world after Switzerland.
    “Even more strikingly, its median wealth of $219,500 is the highest in the world.”

    3. Economic growth

    Gross domestic product (GDP) is expanding at an annual rate of 2.6% — currently the 5th best performance in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Australia is the only OECD country to have had continuous growth for 22 years.

    4. Employment numbers

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) records the total workforce in September as 11,645,800, just below the all-time high of 11,658,300 in June. The increase since the previous administration took office in 2007 is 943,000.

    5. Employment participation

    Defined as the number of people employed or looking for work as a percentage of the total population, participation in September was 64.9%.

    6. Unemployment

    Australia’s jobless has remained reasonably steady through the global crisis which has seen disastrous increases elsewhere. For the last 57 months the rate has ranged between 4.9% and 5.9%. September’s level was 5.6%.

    7. Interest rates

    Australia’s current rate is 2.5%, the lowest in living memory. This is down from 6.75% when Kevin Rudd won government in 2007.

    8. Inflation

    The inflation rate was 2.2% in September, having stayed within the range 1.2% to 2.5% for the last seven quarters.

    9. Taxation

    The total tax take in 2012-13 was 22.2% of GDP, down from a high of 24.2% between 2004 and 2006. Income tax was just 16.2%, down from 17.6% in 1999-2000.

    10. Borrowings

    Australia’s general government net borrowings – or skyrocketing debt as it is known by the Coalition when Labor is in office – were just 13.74% of GDP when the new Government took over in September. In the OECD, only the four small Scandinavian countries and Estonia have lower debt.
    The IMF projects Australia’s net debt will rise next year to 14.54%, then decline steadily to 10.1% in 2018.

    11. Deficit

    The final general government underlying cash deficit for 2012‑13 was $18.8 billion, just 1.2% of GDP, one of the lowest in the developed world.
    This is an extraordinary turnaround from last year’s deficit of $43.4 billion, or 2.9% of GDP.

    12. Credit ratings

    Since 2011, Australia has had triple A sovereign debt ratings with all three major international agencies — Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poors.

    13. Productivity

    Labour productivity has boomed recently, rising for ten consecutive quarters to an all-time high of 104.6 index points.

    14. Economic freedom

    This year’s Heritage Foundation survey ranks Australia’s economic freedom first among the OECD nations and third in the world behind merchant city states Hong Kong and Singapore. Measuring freedom from government obstruction in starting and running businesses, Australia’s score was 82.6.

    15. Business profits

    Gross operating profits for the June quarter were $73.98 billion, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (Table 15, line 52, column AG). Profits have not been below $70 billion since March 2010. The highest during the Howard years was $58.96 billion.

    16. Business investment

    This has peaked at over 18% of GDP recently, the highest level in more than 50 years.
    The ABS shows new capital investment (Table 1E) at $26.8 billion in June. It has been above $25 billion each quarter for the last six quarters. The highest during the Howard years was $11.2 billion.

    17. Foreign exchange reserves

    These are the assets held or controlled by the Reserve Bank, usually in gold or foreign currencies. The September level was AUD$52,971 million, up from $32,718 million when Labor took office.

    18. Currency value

    The Aussie dollar fluctuated between 89 and 93 US cents in the two months before the September election, between 57 and 62 British pence and between 67 and 72 Euro cents.

    19. Balance of trade

    From an all-time high surplus of AUD$2,717 million in June 2010, the balance has slipped into deficit recently due to falling export values and rising capital imports.
    In August, the trade deficit was AUD$815 million.

    20. Terms of trade

    This reflects the amount of imported goods an economy can purchase per unit of export goods, hence the higher the better.
    Australia’s level was 91.5 index points in the second quarter of 2013, down from the all-time high of 106.5 in 2011, but well up on 77.9 when Labor took office.”,5866

  11. Mikestasse

    RE: Murdoch’s Brave New World by Graeme Madigan of Brighton?

    What’s new? It’s here. Except Murdoch & Co don’t even have to appoint/anoint themselves into government. Well, OK, Clive Palmer has…

    And remember, Rupert’s mum lived well over the century mark, pity her son failed to learned the privilege of money from her – he could’ve helped make Australia great, a major player, instead of a plaything.

  12. Murdoch is an unprincipled, self-interested, egotistical, arrogant megalomaniac who misleads the Australian people.

    So are Abbott, Hockey, and Cormann.

    They campaigned fiercely about debt, deficit and waste. Hockey has raised the debt ceiling by 200 billion because we are in such a mess, a claim repeated by Mathias (axe the tax) Cormann on Lateline last night.

    Since the government has decided to keep it’s blue books secret and refuse to answer questions, it is important to understand the current state of the economy before assessing the value of various policy paths.

    Firstly, cost of living. The video in this link is well worth watching.

    And this article looks at 20 key economic indicators. It will be very interesting to see how the Coalition intends to better these figures (which I will be keeping and eagerly comparing):

    So what is the actual state of the economy Hockey has inherited?,5866

    The lies from Murdoch anger me but the lies from the Coalition scare me.

  13. The very latest bullshit from the catholic church :

    No doubt “Slick”: Abbott will endorse this spin.

  14. Thanks for another great article John.

    We all should be angry, at how prevalent and pervasive Murdoch’s misinformation has permeated into the mainstream conscience.

    This manifested itself on the weekend when I visited my parents. My father, a man who, while not a scientist himself, always displayed a deep and abiding interest in science. This passion was so great, instead of reading fairy stories to me at bedtime, we read encyclopaedias together. I still recall delighting in tales of the planets and stars, how science advanced our civilisation and knowledge, the wonders and diversity of the natural world and this led me on my own pursuit of questioning and drove my own passion for science. My father who is a British migrant himself who worked most his life alongside many migrants and always went out his way to instil tolerance of different cultures. A man who was interested in politics, was always a unionist and believed firmly in standing-up for the rights of ordinary workers.

    Yet now I find both my parents sprouting stories about how climate change is a load of crap dreamed-up by greenies to destroy jobs, how Australia is deeply in debt, how unions are out of control, how wind farms are making people sick and ranting against “our money being wasted on refugees”.

    I listened respectfully for a while but I when I heard this rubbish coming from the lips of my own father I just couldn’t let it pass, I had to speak-up and remind him of the message he always taught me – to look behind the story and seek the truth. But in doing so we got into such a heated argument he refused to acknowledge any of my points, storming-off and refusing to talk about it any more. In the end my mother suggested it might be better if I leave. Both my parents are now angry at me for challenging their “beliefs” and I fear it may be some time before we reconcile.

    As you can imagine, I’m somewhat angry. In fact I am livid and frustrated, that if an intelligent man like my father can be so unduly influenced by the messages being delivered Murdoch and his cronies in the MSM, what effect is this having upon the rest of the disinterested populace?

  15. Anomander, the propaganda is doing its job. Anecdotal stories are given more weight than statistics and trends.

    “Decisive evidence emerged just a few weeks ago when National Australia Bank published a new measure, the Consumer Anxiety Index.

    The cost of living was rated the No. 1 source of anxiety, ahead of government policy, ability to fund retirement, health and job security in that order. More than 40 per cent of respondents rated their cost of living concern at more than nine out of 10. Parents were the most anxious.

    “We were surprised by the degree to which cost of living was the main concern,’’ says NAB’s head of industry analysis Dean Pearson.

    NAB, in addition to measuring our anxieties, asked about well-being. It compared the results to a survey by the UK’s Office for National Statistics and found Australians’ sense of well-being was lower, despite a stronger economy, higher incomes and a better standard of living.

    One of the nation’s leading researchers on well-being, Richard Eckersley, says he has no doubt that we are affected “by what our leaders talk about’’.

    This despite the fact that “The Gillard government oversaw the smallest increase in cost of living of any Australian government for at least 25 years despite the introduction of the carbon tax, a study has found.

    Moreover, Australian households have seen real incomes – disposable income minus cost of living increases – rise 15 per cent since just after Labor took office, giving the average household a $5324 a year boost, or $102 a week.”

    Read more:

  16. Thanks Kaye. I can attest I’m far more anxious now than I was 6 years ago.

    Not about cost of living – more around what damage Abbott and co. will do to our country over the next few years, how much they will destroy our environment, undermine our hard-fought rights, obfuscate the truth, sell-off every asset to their wealthy mates, tilt the playing field in favour of the rich, and how much more propaganda Murdoch and the MSM can put out to stupefy the populace.

  17. Add to that the power that will be placed in the hands of large corporations who have very successfully managed to convince or coerce governments into thinking it is their profits that should be the aim of every economy – bugger this looking after the people or the environment crap.

  18. Ohhhh, John Lord .. I wish I had the skill to write and tell the complete story without spinning it to fit your opinion! This is such an important subject and you have given us such a clear picture of the depths to which our media and its owners have sunk! Well done. Just a point .. IF Murdoch is so interested in Technology and our place in the sun of a technological revolution, why is his mate Tony Abbott and the sycophantic Malcolm Turnbull so against the National Broadband Network .. could it be that it will give SKY a run for the money? Surely not .. that would be such a betrayal of the Aussie people and their future! But it is an idea firmly planted in my mind and I cannot seem to get rid of it. :-(

  19. Don’t know how I overlooked the NBN. Sorry Bill.

  20. Will he be given a State Funeral, with an oration by the incumbent?

  21. Murdoch has only one interest — self interest!

  22. Great article, I too am angry at the lies and the brazen attitude of the ultra wealthy. I just don’t understand Australian’s at all. Eyes wide shut as they walk towards the precipice. The problem is they will take the rest of us with them.

  23. Murdoch is a self serving hypocrite and those who flock to listen to him do so with an obsequiousness which I find revolting in the extreme. That people of even suspected intelligence could want to have anything to do with this person, knowing his history and the very real threat he represents to a fair and decent society in Australia, speaks most eloquently of their values and contempt for truth and justice. The bastard couldn’t lie straight in bed. The power he wields is not even of his own making. It is a gift of those who worship at his altar. Makes me want to vomit.

  24. John, thanks for another fine piece :cool:

    I first got angry about Murdoch’s speech, when I heard the ABC telling me he was speaking on HOME ground WTF?

    Then it got progressively worse as I heard snippets of what he dribbled out :evil:

    Sandra, You are dead right, and I have just posted a piece about Abbott/Newman “RIP our Democracy?” :sad:

    Cheers :grin:

  25. TONY ABBOTT: “John Howard has said that Rupert Murdoch has been by far Australia’s most influential international businessman; but I would like to go a little further. Along with Sir John Monash, the Commander of the First AIF which saved Paris and helped to win the First World War, and Lord Florey a one-time provost of my old Oxford College, the co-inventor of penicillin that literally saved millions of lives, Rupert Murdoch is probably the Australian who has most shaped the world through the 45 million newspapers that News Corp sells each week and the one billion subscribers to News-linked programming.

    Rupert Murdoch has sometimes changed his political allegiance but he’s never changed his fundamental principles. At least since the mid-70’s, those have been greater personal responsibility, smaller government, fewer regulations and support for open societies that don’t build walls against the world.

    For our guest of honour, as for anyone deeply steeped in reporting, experience trumps theory and facts trump speculation. His publications have borne his ideals but never his fingerprints. They’ve been skeptical, stoical, curious, adventurous, opinionated yet broad minded. He’s influenced them, but he’s never dictated to them – as I happily discovered myself in 1989 while writing editorials in favour of the pilots who were trying to ground the airline that he then half owned. As a transgression, this turned out to be far less serious than spelling his late great mother, Dame Elisabeth’s name with a ‘z’ rather than with an ‘s’!

    Rupert Murdoch is a corporate citizen of many countries, but above all else, he’s one of us. Most especially, tonight, he’s a long-serving director of the IPA, as was his distinguished and celebrated father, Sir Keith.”

  26. How much more conning are we going to get. We still have Cormann each day telling ua how bad the economy is.

    “………………..HAVING THE WORLD’S BEST ECONOMY is great news for all Australians.

    Well, almost all. Perhaps not for the prime minister, the treasurer or senior ministers.

    Government frontbenchers face three awkward realities.

    Firstly, they must now admit that most of their assertions about the state of the economy in recent years have been patently false. There is no “budget emergency”. Australia is not “drowning in debt”. And the path to surplus during the worst downturn since the Great Depression will be uphill.

    Secondly, as they inevitably adopt almost identical broad economic policies as the Rudd/Gillard Governments in the months ahead, they will be judged hypocrites.

    And, thirdly, with Australia’s economy leading the world, there is only one direction it can go in global rankings.

    According to Joe Hockey before the election, “the cupboard is bare”. He insisted that his plans alone would re-stock the larder.

    How will we know if he succeeds? By making time comparisons on twenty key measures.

    So what is the actual state of the economy Hockey has inherited?

    1. Income………….”,5866

  27. “Having been the largest single contributor to the election of Tony Abbott’s Coalition government, Rupert Murdoch is looking for his reward, according to word around the industry. The Sun King – as he has been crowned – is said to have been talking to the freshly minted Canberra legislators about the possibility of acquiring the Ten Network.

    The jungle drums say his agenda also includes discussion on the abolition of anti-siphoning laws restricting the ability of pay-television operator Foxtel to exclusively broadcast first-run premier sports events.

    The lobbying is said to extend to the Foreign Investment Review Board (or at least its ultimate master, Treasurer Joe Hockey) and media regulator the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

    The acquisition of Ten has long been speculated to be on Murdoch’s wish list, but under the previous government the notion of doing News Corp any favours was fanciful. It would make perfect sense for Murdoch to revisit this lobbying under the Abbott regime.

    Indeed, he was seated alongside Hockey and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the Lowy Institute gala dinner in Sydney last Thursday. Both the ministers, together with A-list business representatives, attended the function to hear Murdoch’s lecture on his vision for Australia.”

  28. Speaking of bullshit, here is today’s offering……

    “Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce claims he was entitled to bill taxpayers $4615 to attend three NRL matches because he was on “official business”.

    Mr Joyce’s spokeswoman said he was invited to the NRL games as an official guest of Westpac and of the Australian Rugby League Commission “due to his position as a shadow minister” at the time.

    “Such gatherings are viewed as opportunities for business and community leaders to meet and discuss policy issues with members of Parliament,” she told Fairfax Media.”

    Perhaps someone can explain to me why Westpac and the ARL need to talk to the Agriculture Minister, or perhaps Barnaby can tell us what “official business” was discussed.

    And remember when Tony Abbott promised during the campaign that no Medicare locals would be closed?

    “On Sunday Mr Dutton refused to re-affirm the commitment that no Medicare Locals would be closed, saying he did not want to pre-empt a review of the networks.”

    Another review… to go along with the Commission of audit, the review of the NBN, the white and green papers for Direct Action, the Productivity Commission report which includes a cost-benefit analysis of the National Broadband Network, a review of industrial relations legislation, and inquiries into childcare, motor industry support, the management of structural change in the economy and the role of private-sector investment in infrastructure, as well as the 9th investigation into the Pink Batts rollout, a white paper on the development of Northern Australia, an audit of all environmental legislation and regulation, a white paper on agriculture, inquiries into the financial system and competition policy, white papers outlining reforms on tax, federalism and defence, a review by the Indigenous Advisory Council into the allocation of funding….and those are only the ones I found with a quick google.

    “Governments call inquiries for several reasons. Sometimes they simply want the qualification of an independent rubber stamp for their preferred policy. Sometimes they genuinely don’t know what to do and are seeking direction. Often, they are seeking to defer a difficult political decision.”

    We know the 5 people on the Commission of Audit are being paid $1500 a day. I shudder to think what all these reviews will cost (oh to be a consultant) and how many trees will die to print out reams of papers that Tony won’t read.

  29. A Fine article… but it’s all like being in a very bad dream…

  30. Joyce’s spokeswoman said he was invited to the NRL games as an official guest of Westpac

    So why isn’t Westpac paying………..??? It’s not like their profits are down!

  31. Wonder if Joyce declared the gift of attending the matches. Nothing to do with politics that I can see.

  32. Did Joyce perform any official role at the footie game?

  33. Miranda Devine was a guest at the recent soiree at Kirribilli House organised by the leader of our nation, Peta Credlin.

    This is today’s contribution from this “outstanding journalist” who is feted by heads of state…..

    “THE sneering foulness of the Left is bubbling up like overflow from an unblocked sewer at the realisation the Abbott government is here to stay.”

  34. Kaye, yep, here but maybe three years at the most.

  35. How can cost electricity come down,m when it has not been passed on. Wonder how ACCC can make firms pay, for something they did ot put up.

  36. Well, I wonder who will make the biggest mess?

    “………..The prime minister has said the commission is very unlikely to propose tax increases, setting up the proposition that the budget sustainability sought by the new government will be driven by reducing the size of government, eliminating duplication and cutting expenditure.

    The new Essential poll shows 63% of the sample would oppose the sell-off of Australia Post; 59% would oppose the privatisation of the Hecs debt (an option left open by the education minister, Christopher Pyne); 60% would oppose cutting welfare benefits; and 59% would oppose handing control of DisabilityCare to a privatised Medibank Private.

    The poll also suggests mixed public views about the Abbott government’s plans to privatise Medibank Private. Of those questioned, 43% opposed the privatisation, 22% supported it, and 35% didn’t have a view.

    There was, however, strong public support for potential recommendations reducing duplication between the states in areas like education and health (73% were in favour); and the means testing of all welfare benefits (63% support).

    How the Abbot………..”

  37. And they claim to have a mandate.

  38. Yes, enough of their party were elected, to give them as mandate to form government. To give them control of the agenda.

    They do not have a mandate to demand that all roll over and rubber stamp their bills.

    The Constitution still says, that all legislation is passed or rejected on the floor of both houses.

    Hockey is still predicting gloom and doom, without releasing any data or information to back up his claims,

    Still on about the RBA needing money. Funny, they did not ask for it.

  39. Hockey just asked if it is inappropriate to attend a state funeral.

    Mr, Hockey, you answered your own question.

    The clue is “State Funeral”.

    I suggest that MPs in this situation have a duty to attend.

    If it is a friend’s funeral, that is different. That is personal.

    But then your side of the fence had trouble giving MP’s, including Mr. Turnbull leave to attend the state funeral, of one of our leading artist.

    Same goes for state weddings, such as Prince William’s. PM Gillard was obliged to attend.

    Mr, Hockey, desist in trying to muddy the waters, you are bad at it.

  40. Spot-on, as always John. I weep.

  41. I wonder about that too, Fed up

    Given that my power bills sky-rocketed BEFORE the passing of the Carbon ‘tax’ with no change at all AFTER the policy had been implemented. Something wrong with the time lines here. Following that logic, therefore, shouldn’t my utility bills decrease now – BEFORE the ‘Liar’s Club’ AKA Federal government “axe the tax”.

  42. Thanks in favor of sharing such a nice idea, article is nice, thats why i have read it completely

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