To anyone who looks for consistency, political commentary can be confusing. You know the sort of thing, Brett Sutton is meant to be in trouble because he claims that he didn’t remember something in one of the thousands of emails he received, but Gladys is ok because she can’t be expected to remember that her boyfriend had to stand down because he was dodgy.
Ok, I know that it’s wrong of me to call Dodgy Daryl, Gladys’s boyfriend. As she’s made it very clear, he wasn’t a boyfriend, he wasn’t even an intimate associate, he was a mere ship that passed in the night, occasionally docking and causing her a lot of stress just like the Ruby Princess. She didn’t want to reveal her relationship because she’s a private person and there would be no conflict of interest because she wasn’t interested in anything he wanted to tell her. I know how much she didn’t want to reveal the details of her private life because I’ve read at least a dozen stories about all the things that she doesn’t want to talk about.
Speaking of NSW politics, did you notice that the Upper House suspended the Liberal leader for not providing paperwork pertaining to grants? The NSW treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, found this terribly unfair because such paperwork doesn’t exist and nobody has found any proof that millions of dollars of grants were outside the guidelines because, well, it’s pretty hard to find evidence when you’ve made sure that none exists in the first place.
Similarly, Michael Sukkhar has been found completely innocent of everything by a law firm he used to work for, but that’s okay too, because the guy they put in charge of the investigation wasn’t there at the same time Mr Sukkhar was. Some of you may be wondering why a law firm would be investigating allegations against a federal politician, rather than an organisation like the AFP but the reason is simple: They couldn’t use the AFP to investigate a Liberal politician without a conflict of interest.
Anyway, as for my great idea. I know some of you are signing Kevin Rudd’s petition calling for a Royal Commission into the Murdoch media. While I fully appreciate the motives behind it, I think it’s doomed to fail at one of the following hurdles:
- The government will argue – as they did with the Banking Royal Commission that it’s unnecessary.
- If public pressure becomes too great they will appoint someone with limited terms of reference. Possibly someone like Dyson Heydon whose already headed one RC and has found that he has no political bias and it’s only those nasty, unwashed lefties who think that he has.
- If the Royal Commission does happen to find that there is a fundamental problem with the Murdoch media’s reach, their approach, the lack of ethics, the lack of qualified people being presented as experts or indeed, anything at all, then the government announce a billion dollars to form a committee to examine the recommendations of the RC.
- When it’s pointed out that the committee still hasn’t been formed, the government will hastily appoint a committee with at least three of the following on it: someone from the IPA, someone from the Business Council, an ex-politician from the conservative side of politics, Twiggy Forest, a current politician’s in-laws, Hillsong, someone from a fossil fuel lobby group, or Scott Cam.
- The committee will conclude that some of the Royal Commission’s recommendations violate the principals of free speech, and while there are certain practices that need reform, the best way to achieve this would be for all Murdoch editors to spend some time working at the ABC on a rotating basis where they can see the way that it’s done and given the ABC useful tips on how to ensure that they meet their charter and don’t forget to balance all those left-wing commentators they have from organisations like the Climate Council, charities and the IPA.
My idea is much simpler. As well as signing the petition, if everyone who signed were to contribute an amount from $1 to $100 and the money go towards buying out one of the media organisations. Each week there could be a raffle and one of the lucky donors would be awarded a small parcel of shares, so it wouldn’t necessarily be a loss-making donation. In fact, you could treat it like Tattslotto where you know in advance that you’re not going to win enough to retire on.
Now, I know that even three million wouldn’t be enough to take over something like Nine, but it might buy enough votes to elect some troublemaker to the board. And once the Liberals got wind of the idea that there’s people on the left trying to influence the way the media spin stories, they might actually do something about changing the media laws so that there were greater consequences for misleading or inaccurate stories.
Yeah, probably not. But it would be interesting to see the reaction from all those who advocate that the private media should be allowed to show bias!
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