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Day to Day: Politics: The book that never Bolted.

Saturday 16 July 2016

1 I was walking through our local newsagency this week when I happened to notice a book titled “Worth Fighting For”. The author’s name was Andrew Bolt. Not knowing that it was a new title I thought it must have been the original book he had written. Anyway I picked it up wondering why anyone would want to read it and casually flipped through its contents. It was just a collection of his newspaper writing. I came across his piece about Adam Goodes and the girl at the MCG. A disgraceful exhibit of bad journalism if ever you have read one.

I recalled writing a rebuttal of his take on the events at the time; ‘Deconstructing Andrew Bolt‘. Coincidentally, the same day I was idly surfing the web and I came across an article about his book written by Osman Faruqi for Junkee. The writer said that the book was released in June and that to date had sold 713 copies.

Book industry sources confirmed that figure to Junkee today, citing the Nielsen Bookscan database that tracks book sales across the country. When it was first released Bolt accused booksellers of placing a “ban on its sale and quoted a number of commenters on his website who struggled to find the book in shelves.”

The article goes on to suggest the Bolt is upset that his work is not being displayed in conspicuous places in stores.

But Faruqi suggests that:

A bigger issue for Bolt was probably the fact that a number of bookstores simply refused to stock his book altogether. When it was first released Junkee thought it might be worth reviewing, given Bolt’s enormous national media profile and influence on Australian conservative politics, but we struggled to find a store that stocked it.

We checked more than half a dozen book stores around inner-city Sydney and none of them were stocking the book. A number of sales staff laughed in our faces when we asked for a copy.

The experience reminded me of when in a writing class I attended we would discuss journalism. Andrew Bolt and the Herald Sun or the Daily Telegraph would always be at the centre of our discussion. The course facilitator, herself a former journalist would observe that the articles were written for the intelligence of thirteen year olds with the attention span of six-year olds.

They were rarely more than 300 words. As a journalist she had little respect for Andrew Bolt who she said didn’t know how to construct a challenging sentence let alone use thought-provoking words.

And let us not forget what Justice Bromberg, said about Bolt’s use of language:

“His style and structure is highly suggestive and designed to excite. His style was ”not careful, precise or exact” and the language not moderate or temperate but often strong and emphatic”. There is a liberal use of sarcasm and mockery,” he wrote. Language of that kind has a heightened capacity to convey implications beyond the literal meaning of the words utilised. It is language, which invites the reader to not only read the lines, but to also read between the lines”.

Anyway I just thought I would let those of you busting your gut to get a copy just what the difficulty is. If you come across more than one would you please, in the interest of decent factual journalism please destroy them?

An observation.

“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 dismiss the article as having no cogency“.

2 It seems donations to the Liberal Party are never out of the headlines. Usually for the wrong reasons. Now we read that Malcolm Turnbull has donated $1million from his own fortune to help the party get (or himself) through the election.

On TV Anthony Albanese bemoaned the fact that Labor didn’t have a multi millionaire.

Remember prior to the election the NSW Electoral Commission announced it was withholding $4.4 million in public funding from the NSW Liberals until the party formally disclosed who donated $693,000 to it via a controversial fundraising body, the Free Enterprise Foundation. We are still waiting.

Donations to political parties are always controversial. There needs to be more transparency but governments are loath to reveal the names of donors. For Turnbull it is surely a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

The worry here is what sort of a precedent does this set? Are we heading down the track where the extreme rich will be able to purchase power?

3 Pauline Hanson is scheduled to appear on Q&A on Monday night. I’m wondering if anybody might ask her a question about her party’s policies and how she might answer given they all seem to have been lifted from various web sources.

Perhaps she should consider renaming her party The cut and paste policy party‘.

4 The first post-election Essential Poll has the parties on 50/50.

On the question. Do you think the issue of same-sex marriage should be decided by Parliament or should there be a national vote?

60% favour a national vote on same-sex marriage and 25% think the issue should be decided by Parliament.

This represents a shift away from support for a national vote since this question was asked in March.

5 Conservatives seemingly have some sort of angst against women. Representation of the female sex in this parliament will be half of what Tony Abbott had. A major setback for the fair sex. Only 14% of women will grace the floor of the House of Representatives. The lowest in more than twenty years and is an utter disgrace when 50% of the women. They urgently need to do something about it.

An observation.

“At some time in the human narrative . . . in our history, man declared himself superior to women. It must have been an accident, or at least an act of gross stupidity. But that’s men for you”.

6 In theory I suppose anyone elected can claim to have a mandate but when an election is so close who can honourably say they have one. When you have stood on the finish line and see just how narrowly you have won can you genuinely say you have one? No, when almost half of the people have voted against you, I think not. It’s little more than an excuse to keep on with what you were already planning to do.

My thought for the day.

People often demand free speech to compensate for the freedom of thought they rarely use“.

PS: Eighty people are now needlessly dead in France.

“In the cycle of life people we care most about are taken from us too soon. We struggle to come to terms with the why of it and there is no answer. It is only by the way we conduct our living that we salute the legacy they leave behind”.

41 comments

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  1. Sir ScotchMistery

    I wonder how representative of the population, booksellers are?

    I would ask them a few questions to focus my thoughts:

    1) Do you listen to Alan Jones (if his program is available where you live)?
    2) If you don’t, and it is, do you make that choice due to any particular political view?
    3) Under normal circumstances would you describe yourself as a “conservative” voter or an “intelligent” voter?
    4) If Andrew Bolt walked into your shop, would you reach for a pen or a sword?
    5) Do you shout at the TV during Q&A?
    6) If Alan Jones walked into your shop, would you be filled with pride that he did so?
    7) See Question 4

    Then I would write a scholarly article on why a subset of the thinking population don’t subscribe to the thought-bubbles of Jones, Bolt or any other 4 letter name “media” person.

    I would name the article, “Why freedom from Bolt is worth fighting for”.

    I would use the nom-de-plume J.A’lbrechtsten.

    My thought for the day is “when God created man, she was only joking”.

  2. Maureen Walton (@maureen_walton)

    Interesting article. Sort of interesting subject. Andrew Bolt told Barry Cassidy that he could no longer work on his show anymore as he had a new job that paid really well working for the Liberals. Barry said best if you stay with us, Bolt told him pay is far to good. To me that explains all about Bolt and others like him. No thought what they are doing to Australia just complete self interest..

  3. Terry2

    So, Malcolm Turnbull say he has a mandate to govern : if you ask him nicely, he’ll show you the receipt, for one million dollars.

    What a strange world we live in.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Interestingly, Bolt’s younger brother, Richard, helped develop Australia’s first comprehensive national cap-and-trade scheme. “Climate change threatens the world’s and Australia’s economic activities, communities and ecosystems,” was the key message of the former National Emissions Trading Taskforce’s final framework report, released in December 2007. “It is in Australia’s interests to promote international action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Richard Bolt was deputy chair of this taskforce and, in May 2010, the Gillard government appointed him to the advisory board of the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy.

  5. helvityni

    My three year old grandson told me once: I don’t want to talk that about.

    No doubt he will be a Liberal politician when he grows up; after all they don’t want to talk about much, not about donations, on water matters, about what happens to PEOPLE on hell hole islands, they can’t remember anything; they keep things secret, or blame Labor…

  6. Terry2

    Interesting feedback in naval circles that the new French submarines are already obsolete for the functions they are destined to perform when they finally hit the water.

    Their main operational function – seeing as we don’t do ICBM’s – is to gather intelligence through the interception of electronic communications by foreign nations.

    The idea seems to be that you sneak up to the coast of those you want to spy on and waggle a microphone above that surface with the expectation of picking up some juicy gossip. The problem is that modern technology has already made that sort of stupidity obsolete.

    The general consensus seems to be that the twelve submarines, costing $50 billion, are all about creating jobs in South Australia and from the time of the first launch , a new contract will be let to dismantle them and thus create continuity of employment : between them, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell just about got it right.

  7. Osiris

    “The worry here is what sort of a precedent does this set? Are we heading down the track where the extreme rich will be able to purchase power?”

    This is not a new development in Australia or something that could happen in the near future. On the contrary, it’s been getting worse for quite some time now and much harder to miss. Capitalism in due time always leads to fascism because capital means power, and more capital accumulating in fewer hands results in more power resting with fewer individuals – and of course fascism is upon us. Governments become puppets in the hands of these obscenely rich individuals and democracy ceases to exist. Many people are reluctant to accept that we live in fascism, even though the signs are obvious and the effects it produces are impossible to dismiss.

  8. Sir ScotchMistery

    Terry the gathering of digital data is done by Fibre-tapping. and that is really how it’s done.

    These frog boats are completely capable of undertaking this role.

    @Helvityni please don’t write the child off yet. A course of regular floggings while being shown pictures of coats turning, interspersed with pictures of the Turdball fellow and his predecessor, you know the one, that English chap, may save him from a life of conservatism.

  9. Sir ScotchMistery

    @Osiris while I was writing the note about the boats and cable tapping, I missed yours. My long suffering keyboard has now had to be cleaned again, as I sprayed my first coffee of the day all over it.

    “The worry here is what sort of a precedent does this set? Are we heading down the track where the extreme rich will be able to purchase power?”

    I notice you “quoted” it, and wondered where it came from, then found it in the original post from Lord John.

    That particular horse has well and truly bolted:

    Already in place:

    Reinhardt
    Murdoch
    Forrest
    Lowy
    Turnbull
    The IPA

  10. Dr Bones Snr

    “Only 14% of women will grace the floor of the House of Representatives”

    That’s over 1.7 million women, we’re going to need a bigger house of reps, or a better proof reader.

  11. Osiris

    @Sir ScotchMistery “I notice you “quoted” it, and wondered where it came from, then found it in the original post from Lord John.”

    My apologies, I should have put a name to the quote.

    As you said: It’s already in place and they are becoming bolder and more belligerent as their power grows. They tend to believe that their reign will last forever, even though history proves otherwise.

  12. mark

    What a disgrace that book stores would stifle free speach by not stocking books because they dont like the author or disagree with the contents. Why not let the buyer decide what they like or dislike.
    Maureen -im not sure when Bolt spoke to Cassidy but he has had a tv programme on the 10 network and now has a show on foxtel. I dont see him employed by the Liberals .
    Kaylee -what point are you trying to make with his brother ? I have many different views with my brothers.

  13. helvityni

    mark, isn’t it possible that booksellers know which books will sell, and which ones not…?

  14. mark

    Helvityni -i dont think they do. Anyway what gives them the right to judge what i will like or dislike . They last election showed that there are multiple views in the Australian population .

  15. Winston

    There is something odd in me that wants’ to see something good in Andrew Bolt. I have just realised this reasoning comes from my mother. Unfortunately a lot of my mothers ways of thinking had very little to do with my world view. I have always been an egalitarian and have at many times stuck up for the underdog many times at my own peril. Like Steve Price he really is incapable of any form of self analysis. It would be too painful and time consuming for them to figure themselves out. So they take the easy road and continue going around in circles and screwing up things for everyone else. These men are stuck.in their muck.
    The only good thing now for these 2 is a sledgehammer.

  16. Dan Rowden

    What a disgrace that book stores would stifle free speach by not stocking books because they dont like the author or disagree with the contents.

    So, privately owned, commercial bookstores ought be forced to stock titles they don’t wish to stock on the basis of some sort of convoluted appeal to free speech? Gotta say that’s the most bizarre interpretation of the concept I’ve ever seen.

  17. mark

    So someone deciding what i can and cannot read is normal for you Dan.

  18. Pilot

    It is a bookseller’s right to sell any book they like, butchers do not sell every type of meat, shoe stores do not stock every single style of shoe, gun shops do not sell every single make of gun, coffee shops do not sell every single brand of coffee. So, if a bookseller has the brains not to sell Bolt the Dolt’s book, more power to them. He’s an idiot, why would anyone want to buy his book, ffs. He’s a spoilt little boy who demands to be heard, and no one wants to listen. Screw him!!! If the only person to give him air time is the World’s leading fascist, then so be it, but I’ve heard his audience isn’t all that big, so maybe he hasn’t got long cuddling ol’ Rupert. In my opinion the bloke’s an utter dud! If I had a shop and he walked in I’d tell him to “bugger off” with quite a few more colourful words. Alan Jones would get the same treatment, as would any of the Lying Nasty Party frontbench morons. My choice! I’d tell them to read my sign, “Management reserves the right to deny service to anyone, most especially bloody morons!” And Union Members would automatically get a 20% discount on all purchases on presentation of their current Union Card.

    My thought for the day: “The louder they shout, the smaller the penis!”

  19. Winston

    Mark I’m sure you’ll be able to buy it online.

  20. Kaye Lee

    “Kaylee -what point are you trying to make with his brother ?”

    No point at all mark. Why be so defensive?

    As the owner of a retail business, I stock what sells. I sell things I think are silly because other people want to buy them. It would have to be a very rich shop owner to pass up sales based on personal taste or opinion. I would suggest there isn’t a market for Bolt’s blatherings.

    As for his tv appearances….when his show was panned as one of the worst in 2012, they said “a fair degree of his initial ”I’ve got my own TV show! Me!” enthusiasm has dissipated. The show has become a forced march.” One man broadcasting his misguided view week after week is not informative or entertaining. He lives in an echo chamber of ignorance.

  21. Dan Rowden

    mark,

    So someone deciding what i can and cannot read is normal for you Dan.

    No, and that’s not what’s happening. What booksellers are doing is deciding what they will and will not sell. Are you suggesting they ought not have that right? That’s awfully communistic of you …

    Your implication, which you obviously haven’t cottoned onto yet, is that every bookstore must stock and sell every single book ever offered to them by any publisher at any time otherwise an egregious attack on an author’s freedom of speech is being perpetrated.

    I mean, really, dude.

  22. mark

    Thanks Winston -i might just do that to see what has got you all so shit scared that some book book shops wont stock it. Screw the booksellers.

  23. Michael Taylor

    Coffee shops puzzle me. Every one I go to here in Vic will have the Herald Sun but not The Age. Either every coffee shop owner prefers the Murdoch media over Faifax, or the Murdoch media are giving them away. Or then again, it could just be the coffee shops I go into.

    You know what will happen now (after posting this comment)? The next one I go into will sell The Age.

  24. helvityni

    Sir ScotchMistery,

    “6) If Alan Jones walked into your shop, would you be filled with pride that he did so?”

    No, not proud, more like a bit scared, especially if he walked in carrying some large hessian bags under his arm…

  25. Michael Taylor

    Holy Moses! Buy a McDonald’s meal! Getting a free Murdoch rag is no enticement. Both would make me feel ill.

  26. wam

    Are we heading down the track where the extreme rich will be able to purchase power? Are we not trawling down the american way????

    cut and paste? Sadly it is a party with, barely, the skill to read tlob much less able to write a policy.

    Wow women in the libs? Less than the rabbott? Don’t think so!
    He and turncoat have only control over the cabinet. As to the calibre of women in cabinet they reflect the women who represent the libs.
    It is hard to leave bias behind when looking at performance but bleh 3 women the big cuts from their portfolios????. Sadly, the rabbott chose no women for his cabinet(sophie would have made it but the vics said no) The one woman chosen for him he made sure attended the minimum of cabinet meeting(he even sent his trusted FTA man as her minder)
    Women in their party, as in their religion are physically flawed and therefore tokens.

  27. Kaye Lee

    wam, I am not sure I would agree with “physically flawed” but I do think that one reason the Liberals have so few women to choose from is because women think their policies are crap. The few decent women in the Liberals have resigned. If one more of them bats her eyelids whilst saying she is not a feminist I will scream. Look at the body language when Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull do a presser together. Julie says her bit, usually reasonably capably, but she then looks up at Malcolm with a simpering smile as if she is looking for approval. It is sickening.

  28. helvityni

    When Ms Julie and her latest boss Mr Mal appear together on TV, I have to leave the room; there’s simply too much insincerity for me to cope with…

  29. John Lord

    Michael. I was on holiday a few years back in Lakes Entrance. The Newsagent told me they only order THE AGE when the people from Melbourne come up during the holiday season.

  30. olddavey

    “given Bolt’s enormous national media profile and influence on Australian conservative politics”

    That’s funny, Merderock papers that very few read any more, and Sky News that has ratings that make Bold and the Beautiful look like Game of Thrones yet people like Turdball and Co take notice of him and his ilk.

    It really beggars belief.

  31. wam

    sorry, Kaye my silly brain goes faster than my fingers. The libs/christians/jews believe god deliberately made women flawed and accept the view of the shock jock price’s on ‘hysterical.’
    The connection between the interpretations of a cure for hysteria either clitoridectomy or vibrators of 100 years ago and the church belief in ‘hysteria’ as the flaw that makes women unsuitable for leadership is still powerful and in the three religions nearly 4 billion people believe in this flaw. When you add 1 billion Hindus, that doesn’t leave many who think women are worthy as more than below the neck.
    Still there is great hope because the poms have gone for number 2 and the septics may go for their first. With a slim chance that gillard made it easier for us to have another woman?????

  32. silkworm

    Why would anyone want to buy Bolt’s book when his ramblings are all over the telly, the newspapers, the radio and the Internet?

  33. Mark

    Kaylee – Not being defensive just wondered why you would post a bio on Bolts brother if you didnt have a message to convey. In case you hadnt noticed but it is 2016 now and comments from 2012 can be made look stupid. His TV show on the ten network went from strength to strength and was outrating the Insiders regularly. Then picked up by pay for view where the audience really matters and again outrating the opposition. His book launch attracted 400 people and his previous book is being reprinted due to demand. Might i suggest that your retail radar is a little bit off about his popularity.

  34. Mark

    Olddavey – Turnbull refused to go on Bolts show as he has been very critical on him and his non policies. Turnbull also refused to go on the Jones radio show and was talked into going just once. He would only go on shows that were soft on him. Im pretty sure you will also find that the Murdoch papers have the highest readership in the country whilst others are struggling. Also pay for view is somewhere that viewers are crucial. If no one watches it then it will be cut. Free to air has less restrictions. You only have to look at the crap on the ABC to see that.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Mark,

    After appearing on ABC’s Insiders for a decade, Bolt launched his own political show in May 2011 and announced his intention to beat Insiders in the ratings.

    The Bolt Report did manage to pip Insiders on its second episode, but as of November last year was pulling less than half of the ABC program’s audience.

    According to OzTam figures, just 113,000 tuned in to see Bolt’s program as opposed to 287,000 who watched Insiders.

    As for his book launch….

    We are delighted to let you know that on Friday 22 July 2016, the IPA and The Spectator Australia will together be hosting the launch of Andrew Bolt’s new book, Worth Fighting For.

    Worth Fighting For is wonderful. It is about Andrew’s life – the past and the present – and the big issues and his big battles, and his frustrations, and his simple pleasures.

    Andrew will be joined on stage by the IPA’s Executive Director, John Roskam, and Editor of The Spectator Australia, Rowan Dean.

    Please join us for what will be a terrific evening and opportunity to hear from three very influential guest speakers.

    The details of the event are:
    Friday 22 July at 5.30pm for 6.00pm
    CQ Functions
    113 Queen Street, Melbourne

    The event is $10 for Young members, $15 for IPA Members and $40 for non-members. Drinks will be provided.

    The bit about Bolt’s brother was purely shared for interest sake.

  36. helvityni

    Mark, one man’s crap is other man’s substance, or, one man’s mead is other man’s drain cleaner…

    Different strokes,for different folks; makes life interesting and at times, amusing.

  37. Kaye Lee

    One interesting thing of which I was unaware, but should have realised…When Channel Ten decided not to renew Bolt’s show he said “my show is produced by News Corp, and several options are being considered which I can’t discuss.”

  38. diannaart

    As in the Costello household, Christmas must be very fraught when the Bolt boys arrive for Christmas dinner…

    No point to any of the above, just musing.

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