The philosophical opposition to the ABC is deeply entrenched in Tony Abbott’s political DNA, writes Ricky Pann.
The ABC is a unique Australian asset that provides essential services that are part of the fabric of Australia’s egalitarian democracy, free from the shackles of commercial interest and influence.
The ABC as a technology leader is seemingly being punished by the neo-conservative government in direst contradiction of a promise made on the eve of the election. This promise was made on the eve of polling day which would have had great sway on swinging voters decision as cuts to the ABC is a bipartisan deal breaker.
Quite simply Tony Abbott has lied and despite all the creative linguistic rhetoric of painting these cuts as “efficiency dividends” for essential budgetary measures they have cost 400 jobs which equates to ten percent of the ABC’s operational workforce. This lie is more proof that Tony Abbott is untrustworthy, unscrupulous and incapable of governing for the whole of Australia.
Neo-conservatives, as evangelists of free market capitalism, are using economic rationalism as a sickle of faux outrage painting the ABC as a left wing biased, bloated waste of taxpayers money. Applying “commercial imperatives” to relate the logic of this justification to a broadcaster, uniquely disparate from the model of commercial broadcasting not rationalised by advertising revenue is bordering of farcical and at odds with the ABC charter.
All this is rhetorical posturising as there are no evidentiary proof of bias, other than the rigors of exceptional journalistic accountability. The standards of editorial review are internally rigorous and detached from the proprietors business agenda. It is apparent that this government considers itself above scrutiny due to its soft run by right wing commentators flying the conservative flag. The appointment of right wing conservatives to the board and board selection panel is an attempt to kill Aunty with their own ideological bias from within.
While all the commercial media outlets have been centralising the ABC has been expanding regional presence with ABC open and regional radio.
This philosophical opposition to the ABC is deeply entrenched in Tony Abbott’s political DNA. Abbott’s ideological imperative were shaped as an operative soldier of ABC detractor Bob Santamaria, Abbott’s Mentor.
Let’s look at the cuts:
- 300 job cuts immediately and up to 400 representing 10% of the broadcasters operational workforce
- 5 regional radio hubs to close in Wagin, Morwell, Gladstone, Port Augusta and Nowra.
- Adelaide TV production to close
- Shutting down the fleet of Outside Broadcast vans
- Program cuts to RN and Local radio, ABC Classic FM
The cuts represent around 254 million dollars which is about 5% of the operational budget.
$20 million will be cut from the ABC’s budget in 2015-16, rising to $61 million in 2016-17, $55 million in 2017-18, and $68 million in 2018-19.
The quicker the Liberal party reclaims liberalism and conservatism from the right wing radical religious neo-conservatives the better. Australia needs some middle ground away from this divisive political football match where anyone who disagrees with their radical program of social engineering disguised as fiscal conservatism is a Lefty. I am not a Lefty, I am a centrist and I find it offensive, it’s nonsense.
The ABC is not a play thing to shape as an instrument of political ideology, it is an important and vital component of society’s fabric that shapes Australia’s story. It is the voice of the nation. This government should be judged by its contempt for the ABC and all who support it.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne was quick to start a petition objecting to the cuts when he found out that his electorate would be effected, with the decision to close down the Adelaide TV production facility. The magnanimous hypocrisy of this ass covering exercise is ironically like shooting yourself in the foot and blaming the gun you loaded by your own hand. He was boasting 2500 signatures, he should have looked a little closer at the detail as I’m pretty sure Steve McQueen is dead.
Malcolm is as his namesake . . . as he will “Turn” his back on his beliefs and “Bull” shit though an indefensible lie using up his dwindling personal collateral. Turnbull’s justification was pretty much like his NBN charade, unconvincing and insincere as he sells a chocolate dipped turd to a hostile electorate in shock. His double cross handshake with Kerry Packer comes to mind. This sign says it all:
Excusing Murdoch’s Newscorp of a 800 million dollar tax bill when they move HQ offshore as Rupert viciously attacks the ABC, then cutting the ABC of 254 million dollars claiming Australia has a fiscal emergency is a little rich, don’t you think?
I just hope Australians wake up from this catastrophic dalliance with neo-conservative radicalism, its UnAustralian and regressive. Maybe, just maybe the ABC has taken the bullet to prove the reality of just how divisive and unfair this socially disconnected government are.
Remember this phrase. It will besmirch Abbott’s tarnished political reputation (that long precedes the hair dye and election reinvention) and serve as a warning to anyone contemplating a promise from any member of the current right wing neo-conservative religious right dominated Liberal party . . .
“No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS” under a government he leads.
This article was first published on Ricky’s blog as “Today Ideology has won over the national interest“.