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The ABC of Ideology

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.

Ricky 2 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.

Ricky 3 It is my hope that the swinging voters who voted Liberal will remember Abbott’s pledge and the litany of undisclosed agendas that were unaware they voting for.

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.

Ricky 4





Ricky 5














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:

Ricky 6








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.

Getup petition:–2/protect-our-abc–2

This article was first published on Ricky’s blog as “Today Ideology has won over the national interest“.

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  1. Peter Ball

    Its plain to see the Modern Liberal Party is driven by Ideology, revenge and hatred . This a government born of lies and the lies its keeps pandering will be their undoing . The same goes for the Murdoch Press its too powerful and needs to be broken up . The same Lie goes for the so called Budget emergency. This Liberal Mob will be the undoing of everything Australian I Know – remember just vote this mob OUT

  2. Kaye Lee

    $254 million cut from the ABC, $243 million for an unconstitutional school chaplaincy program. Which do you want your money spent on?

  3. Kaye Lee

    We have $105 billion sitting in the Future Fund to pay for public servants’ superannuation. How about we use that to pay for the society we want and issue bonds as required to pay for future super obligations.

  4. June M Bullivant OAM

    So out of touch with the people, do not worry about telling lies, no conscious, arrogant just a few that springs to mind.

  5. John Fraser


    Abbotts building the road to recession and before its even finished he's hooning down it.

  6. corvus boreus

    Good article, Ricky Pann.
    The Pyne petition really is a relentless avalanche of abuse and derision directed at the poodle in the comments.
    My personal contribution was to name him a tittering twat with powdered nostrils and a wig of pubes, who castrates his dog them bitches about its’ performance.

    The gameplay of undermining the informational function of the ABC by the twin assault of LNP attacks on funding (and manipulation of management structure)and the social propaganda arse-trumpeted by the Murdoch press is pretty obvious in intent and manner of implementation.
    I expect the next stage will be will be a combined LNP/Murdoch(et al) push for the ABC(and SBS) to be ‘asset recycled'(fully privatised[sold to the biggest brown-bag]).
    All the while, there will be political shadow puppetry aimed at dismantling ‘media red tape'(regulations protecting against monopoly of control of broadcast information). In these times, laws are burnt in bonfires.
    There may also be plays made against the function and existence of ACMA(media regulator/investigator).

    All dissemination of information to be based upon one crooked liars’ word with none left to question.
    All named and numbered in the IPA plan.

  7. mark delmege

    There is one thing about the ABC you do get to see some dumb stuff. Like all those IPA ideologues paraded endlessly in our programs. It reminded me of Gillard and how often she would give a speech or presentation in front of a Zionist outfit like the Lowy Centre. Why she or the ABC did/do those things is beyond me. Pandering to these organs of oppression never helped anyone.

    Similarly my heart rate quickens every time I hear or see someone try to tell me just how the ABC is unbiased. Or is even left wing. What utter crap. I’ve said it all so many times but when it comes to foreign news the ABC is THE propaganda outlet in Australia – the shaper of views and opinion. The one who promotes enemies and ascribes friends or is that promotes friends and ascribes enemies? We are fed a diet of bullshit to ensure we support wars of conquest and play our supporting role. Be it wars in Libya, Iraq, Syria, the former Yugoslavia, Ukraine to name just some or even our acquiescence over the isolation of North Korea or maybe even the unspoken war against Iran. Add to that the two recent Malaysian aircraft downed in mysterious circumstances. You won’t get the truth about any of these from the ABC.

    It’s a pity really cos we need an independent public news outlet and you can’t have a democracy without honesty in public life.

  8. silkworm

    There is one cut to the ABC that I do support, and that is, cut out The Drum on ABC24. It is used mainly as a platform for neoliberal propaganda. Unfortunately, The Drum is being protected from cuts.

  9. Rob031

    I’ve already put this clip up before but when I saw the clip of Bob Santamaria in the main article I couldn’t resist reposting it. The Gilles Report version of this idiot. Does he sound like Eric Abetz?

  10. Ricky Pann

    Silkworm I dont think you can have one without the other. I was a strong advocate at the Drums conception when Annabelle was the editor… it has since become unwatched for me. The trouble with the middle ground is it dominated by divisive radicalism. When I see articles by Reith in there as a lobbyist for CSG talking up environmental concerns as overstated and anything but compliant unregulated approval fiscal irresponsible…I feel they have a big big problem with editorial standards. Why is the IPA such a “go to” commentator for right wing opinion? I would suggest that there is a big shortage of true conservative contaminators in this country who are not radicalised by teapartyism…

  11. Ricky Pann

    Abets was in the senate yesterday saying that all ABC employees only work 10 to 3 and organise their day around their yoga classes after saying nobody would lose their jobs… I mean by virtue of the very fact that Abets is resorting to such language while every other Fiberal is in damage controls shows his utter contempt for the ABC and the electorate.

  12. marg1

    This government would have to be the worst we’ve ever seen with the outright lying, the blame shifting, the weasel words, the arrogance and hypocrisy on display every day. They have utter disregard and contempt for the Australian people. On one hand you have Turnbull saying that the ABC had a pact with Labor to maintain their funding, then on the other you have Abbott accusing Mr Shorten of wanting to bring in cuts, then it’s ABC’s fault for doing what the Libs want! These people are flailing about all over the place constantly blaming Labor and everyone else for their own inadequacies and dumb policies. They have no credibility whatsoever. A lie is a lie is a lie.

  13. Ricky Pann

    Most people that winge about ABC content don’t watch the ABC just as most people who whinge about the budget don’t know anything about the massive infrastructure costs and labor intensive process to produce content.

    Considering all the costs incurred by the ABC, the ABC does a stirling job producing a very versatile cross market product of exceptional quality for the money……

    What pisses me off as a content producer, is comparing the totally unique model to the commercial networks ..its rediculous…

    Bias like taste is in the mindset of the beholder…
    Religious Political Gastronomical Sexual…. its all about the psychology of attachment.

    If an issue is attached to the “projection” of personal Bias when people talk outside their own experience it is in fact hallucinatory as it is not grounded in any reality…

    So unless the bias is attached to anything that is routed in anything other than factual first person it is not quantifiable nor defendable..

    Let me give you an example

    “I’m sure they could have saved that man from brain cancer”

    Are you a brain surgeon?

    No I’m not, but I just know he is lazy and didn’t do his best!!!

    Then how could you possibly know?

    I pay my taxes and that counts for a lot…

    Thats rediculous.. How does it qualify you to make a judgement?

    What kind of brain surgeon wears a shirt like that?

    What has that got to do with anything?

    Everything, I’m a taxpayer…..

    The great problem is those who make decisions on most everything in government are not remotely qualified to do so and are at the beck and call of lobbyists for interest groups…

    Look at climate change, renewable energy and Education… to name a few

  14. Möbius Ecko

    The ABC has been threatened with greater cuts if it doesn’t improve content. This is straight out of Howard’s book of deviousness.

    Cut the ABC then blame it for bad ratings/quality, stack its board, put in a crony oversight with a large pay packet and cut it some more on foregone reports. Repeat until it dies of a thousand cuts.

    Can’t shut it down in one hit or too quickly as the backlash would be too great, but you can slowly degrade it whilst attacking its integrity at every turn.

    We are seeing this in action now, only far less subtly than Howard.

  15. corvus boreus

    To me factual inaccuracy is a much greater sin in a chronicler than bias(which is inevitable and ever-present).
    As with studying written history, you can sift through loaded language if the events described are factual. If the recount is concocted, the source becomes practically worthless.
    The credibility given to sources should be based upon a demonstration of intelligence and integrity through gting accurate information and checking and correcting errors.
    There’s bias and there’s bullshit.
    For example, Ray Hadley recently claimed that the (lazy)ABC had an annual budget of 5.2 billion dollars.
    This information was incorrect, as the figure stated was the national broadcasters’ budget for a 5 year period. The wrong statement has not been corrected or retracted by Hadley or his publisher(Daily Terror).
    Publishing misinformation makes Hadley wrong, standing by his dis-proven claim makes him a liar.
    Likewhise, Bolts’ bigotry breached 18c mainly because the ‘facts’ he presented to back his claims were inaccurate(misleading).
    People who unquestioningly heed the words of liars diminish the value of their own intelligence and integrity.

  16. Albert M. White

    This action by Turnbull and Abbot should be seen for what it is a vengeful action. Saying it is an “efficiency dividend” is sophistry, plain and simple. Turnbull has cast his integrity to the winds, whatever shreds he had left as a result of associating with his extreme right group of social fabric plunderers. Hopefully people will not suffer amnesia between now and 2016. The gouging, vindictive ABC/SBS cuts should help act as reminders via the blank spaces they encounter when switching on and finding blank spaces where their favourite program once was. As good Christians they should be familiar with the exhortation: “Vengeance is mine said the Lord”. Who knows with this mobs track record to date the electorate’s opportunity may occur sooner rather than later.

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