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How come readers of the Fifth Estate can see what our journalists can’t?

Apart from momentarily shouting that it will make Australia a better place, ie, acting as Tony Abbott’s mouthpiece, the mainstream media hasn’t said boo about Abbott’s Industrial Relations policy, unveiled a few days ago. I’ve been waiting. No doubt they are aware that in truth it will hurt the pocket and the work/life balance of most working Australians and they think it’s best to keep that a secret to themselves. Either that, or they see nothing negative about the policy.

If you want to know if the policy is being dissected and discussed then you can’t rely on the old media (the mainstream media – MSM). You need to turn to the new media – the Fifth Estate. I did such a thing today and it was refreshing to see the opinions of people who really matter: workers, not journalists. Following is a sample of what I found:

From Tom R at Café Whispers:

I get the distinct impression that the voices such as our media and the Australian Industry Group etc claiming that the libs IR policy is ‘timid’ are not being completely frank with the electorate.

The Daily Derp has a column highlighting Productivity and the effect the previous workchoices incarnation had on on it:


But the gist of what is going on is highlighted in this statement from that column:

This article was copied form The Daily Derp on 9 May, 2013 at 22:04. You can read the original article here: http://thedailyderp.net/2013/05/10/abbott-and-abetz-announce-workers-paradise/

These new IR laws the LNP plan to introduce are Workchoices by stealth, designed to do nothing except smash the unions, and put all the power in an employer/employee relationship fully in the hands of employers, just as Workchoices did.

It is only by ‘stealth’ if our media refuse to analyse and then report their findings in the media at large. I have not seen that happen to date. It is all ‘timid’, which it isn’t, it is just sneakier.

The unions and Labor need to be vocal about this, not rabidly so, but very loud. Point out that, even though he says ‘no disadvantage’, that means ‘no disadvantage’ under the liberals interpretation of the term, ie, ‘no disadvantage’ for the employer.

I am pretty sure the media will not highlight this. It is time for Labor to shout it out for all to hear. Workchoices is back, no matter how much our totally failed fourth estate try to tell us otherwise.

From Min at Café Whispers:

. . . clearly the words “timid” and “industrial lite” are being used to enhance the somewhat false impression that New WorkChoices is non-threatening . . . to help us remain “relaxed and comfortable”.

The one which makes me smile (somewhat wryly) is the claim that Tony Abbott was never all that keen on WorkChoices. This is due solely to his often reported comment that WorkChoices went too far. This was never about policy but Abbott speculating on why the Liberals lost the election. He wasn’t suggesting that WorkChoices was wrong, just that they shouldn’t have gone so far because it cost them the election. With a good majority a likely outcome, Abbott will not have any such qualms in the future.

From Tom R again.

While reading the coalitions document, this is the relevant section that worries me the most:

A Coalition Government will ensure that enterprise agreements cannot restrict the use of IFAs. Because a Coalition Government will retain Labor’s own ‘Better Off Overall Test’ it will mean that any IFA will always lead to a worker being better off. A Coalition Government will not reintroduce AWAs.


Now, correct me if I am wrong here, but an enterprise agreement is designed specifically to restrict an IFA, in that trades can only be done where the IFA will not result in the agreement being worst off.

For them to claim that enterprise agreements will not restrict an IFA, means that the worst off test cannot be applied. It is internally inconsistent. Both cannot happen. Reading it in the worst light, it can only mean that they will apply a ‘Better Off Overall Test’ without being restricted by an existing enterprise agreement. Basically, they have bypassed the enterprise agreement section of the ‘Better Off Overall Test’, while at the same time claiming they will retain Labor’s own ‘Better Off Overall Test’.

I also recall a previous rendition of the Libs IR policy that claimed an AWA will always lead to a worker being better off.

A Coalition Government will not reintroduce AWAs.

No, they are just calling them IFA’s, but they are designed to do the same thing.

From Min:

. . . the reason that Howard originally brought this in was to delay OH&S inspections by union representatives. Many is the case, mostly onsite at isolated locations where following an industrial accident that the bosses sought to exclude any data being gathered pertaining to the accident site. The delay in accessing the site written into legislation suited the bosses perfectly.

From Jane:

As for SerfChoices, it has always been unpopular with employees and i can’t see any advantage for employers, particularly small employers, in having to negotiate and set individual rates of pay & conditions for every employee.

Inefficient and frankly bloody stupid. Much easier and less time consuming for both boss and employee to work within the existing framework and for employees who have never been taught how to negotiate their rates of pay or conditions.

Tom R, of course it’s SerfChoices by stealth and there are no doubt still plenty of people in the workforce who suffered under the imposition of that attempt to reduce the workers to servitude.

And some evidence that Serfchoices is counter productive wrt productivity:


And some evidence that SerfChoices is just that – a plan to return to the good old days of personal fiefdoms and serfdom for the workers:


From Nasking on The Political Sword:

One only has to think back on Abbott’s gleeful address to the Tea-Part like anti-carbon rally . . .

His kowtowing to Murdoch, owner of Fox News, at the IPA dinner . . .

Hockey’s brandishing of American Republican Party propaganda lingo like ‘entitlements’ . . .

Their addiction to loud mouthed shock jocks who sound more Rush Limbaugh and less sane and rational by the day . . .

To know that their softly softly approach on industrial relations, health care, education and do on are a ruse . . . complete BS.

Yes, Abbott and team also get into UK Cameron’s ‘big society’ . . . but let’s face it . . . even American Republicans love the idea of replacing essential service jobs paid for by Govt with volunteers . . . working for tax exempt charities.

The corporatised MSM . . . the neo-Liberal spruikers and apologists will generally fail to tell you that Abbott and Hockey are born again foxes in sheep clothing . . .

I won’t.

Again from Nasking:

. . . And only want to get out the chainsaw to rip into the unions splattering blood all over the workplace.

Be a wee bit more convincing if they weren’t the old guard Liberals . . . the Blitzkrieg troops who got so excited and showed so much hubris about IR reform when they last had both the Senate and House of Reps.

I bet that Workchoices’ body is being reanimated now in Joe Hockey’s basement . . . Andrew Robb furiously working on the new costume and makeup after the facelift approved by Dr Rodent and Mr Smuggles themselves.

“Not long now my creation . . my love . . . not long now . . . you shall walk amongst them again soon” squeals Dr Rodent . . . fingers twitching, stroking the jutting eyebrows in rapturous glee.

The bride of Workchoices farts.

No longer eyes wide shut.

There we have a very small sample from a few contributors. But what astounds me, is that on just a couple of ‘new media’ sites and from just a handful of commenters chosen randomly, how come they have more to say than our political journalists, who appear to be in hiding? How come they can sniff the truth out of this policy but our political journalists can’t?

Further, one only has to go to Twitter to see the number of exchanges that citizen journalists are having with the media journalists, and raising the same points. More and more people are questioning their lack of honesty in the way this policy is being reported, which they unanimously laugh off as just another lefty conspiracy theory. It sums up why they don’t report the truth: they are simply oblivious to it.

How come readers of the Fifth Estate can see what they can’t?

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  1. nasking







  2. Michael Taylor

    Hi Nas, sorry about that. 😳

    I’ll fix it up when I get on my computer later. I don’t dare try anything technical from my iPad.

  3. stavr0s

    There is such a thing as a Reality Tunnel. These Reality Tunnels only allow certain perceptions to be seen as real. Let’s face it – the reality is that most of these journos have been to private schools, been to boarding colleges at uni and simply have their world view – Reality Tunnel made in such a way that they can’t see what others see.

    They have their world view applauded by being in the Press Gallery – a place where the Reality Tunnel is large enough to hold their egos and sense of self importance. This applause is then used to confirm that what they see and report on is THE REALITY instead of just a tunnel.

    Is it any wonder that they do not see Abbott’s Work Choices for what it is >> Serf Choices? It is the same with Abbott’s PPL. These journos who pretend some kind of objectivity only see what the architects of their Reality Tunnel wants them to see. These people are People of Calibre ie the Elite and as such will not tell the serfs below that what Abbott and his People of Calibre Party the LNP has in store for them.

    Besides, if Labor gets in again, they’ll complete the building of the NBN and this means that Murdoch and the rest of MSM won’t be around. This eans that these Reporters of Calibre, these Press Gallery Reality Tunnel hacks won’t have a job.

    They don’t want this do they?

  4. pterosaur1

    How come readers of the Fifth Estate can see what they can’t?

    Ignorance/ Wilful Blindness? Hard to justify, given the ready availability of fact-based analysis, the “intertubes”, and the recent history of the (disloyal) opposition’s efforts in attacking workers’ rights as well as their attempts to usurp power without having to face a vote
    Stupidity ? While probably applicable to the troll hordes, I doubt that the media running dogs, or their masters are universally stupid.

    Arrogance? In treating their consumers and voters as fools, and thus unable to discern reality from the misinformation and lies peddled by the opposition and the old media wrt to AGW, NBN, the PM’s “lies”, the AWU, HSU “scandals”, NDIS the MRRT, and pretty much anything else in the public domain, and of concern to Australian voters, or affecting the nature of our society. Certainly the “reporting” efforts of the 4th estate rate as little more than partisan propaganda, and implies considerable arrogance on the part of the propagandists.

    Agenda Driven? One of the few truthful statements I can recall from the 4th estate, is their admission that the Murdoch rag made wrt to destroying the Greens, and the ALP

  5. Craig

    Probably because their own economic interests push them in that direction!

  6. Fed up

    Craig, something that most ignore.
    what is good for that is poor is rarely seen as being in the best interest of the rich.

    What is seen as in the best interest of the rich, never benefit the poor.

    We argue about right and wrong, when it should be about what type of society one wants.

    I have no desire for the world the the far right would like to create.

  7. Lorraine Hyde

    I am in agreement with Stavros. I think the media is operating in a tunnel or a bubble, call it what you like. The environment in which they operate opens doors and provides experiences with powerful people as never before. Can they afford to lose that access? I think not as it would mean being locked out. Power is a huge aphrodisiac and if you are on the right side of it, it becomes addictive. The media cycle being as it is also leaves no time for in depth analysis of issues. Unless it is trivial nonsense the caravan has moved on before any research can be completed. Who is going to read it in the time poor lives most people are experiencing? What we do need are the journos presenting visual “news” to consider the language they use when introducing a news item. Often it is highly opinionated or inflammatory. Many families listen or read in snatches and depend on the intros/ headlines rather than the content/interview so the item is skewed from the start. How do we change the situation? I think it is happening. People will move away from MSM and become more reliant on social media and independent journalists. Word spreads about which journalists are to be trusted with the truth and those not delivering will become irrelevant. It may be some way down the track but it will get there.

  8. Pingback: How come readers of the Fifth Estate can see what our journalists can’t? | lmrh5

  9. lmrh5

    Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  10. dave the brickie

    Noticed in Murdoch’s Perth rag, The Sundry Times, that the small story on 400ppm carbon dioxide was on page 37.Obviously back there to protect Abbort’s stand on climate changing causes.’No problem here,move on.’This should have been on page one and supporting the carbon pricing mechanism.

  11. eleanawi

    Unfortunately talking to an LNP supporter is like talking to a drunk. They interrupt, argue relentlessly and do not see reason. It is a useless pursuit to ask logic of them. I have had a few Tweet arguments with Right-wing journos, they are the same. Have no understanding of logic or reason.

  12. Ken Brown

    Eleanawi, AMEN to your last post! They must suffer from a unique form of tunnel vision.

  13. Gilly

    It isn’t that the MSM can’t see. It is that they have need of a job and TA can be as vindictive as Rupert and Gina.

  14. LOVO

    I feel that the fifth estate has, some what, the same historical resonance as the printing press….. information is power, where as misinformation is an abuse of same. Like many readers on the fifth, I have become relatively sick over the vomit being spewed out by the MSMLNP, so much so that I have been ‘fighting back’ in my own simplistic way…… I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I do so get ‘word of mouth’ advertising…. but how does one get the messages from the fifth out there to those that only hear the forth’s BS……???
    We all have a printing press in our own homes these days, a printing press not controlled by Rupert, mm!! …..for a while now I have been hitting *print* x 10 when ever I come across a post that I feel should be ‘out there’ for all to read and ‘I’ distribute that info with the hope of, at the very least, starting conversations…… starting ‘word of mouth’ conversations……..a tad simplistic I know, and my ‘reach’ may be few, but sitting on my arse and doing nothing while the MSM reporter’s ‘do the p*wned’ for Murdoch.. I’m fighting back, my way 👿 …….and print.


  15. CMMC

    Could the ABC please drop the INFANTILE, HALFWITTED practice of calling every damn government initiative or policy a “PROMISE”?

    Every news bulletin on radio or tv is redolent with these childish accusations that they “broke their promise” on any given metric.

  16. hannahquinn

    A generous headline accompanies this article by Michael Taylor. Perhaps part of the problem, as well as those commented on, is the basic one of survival, ie wanting to be the next cab off the rank not the next cab blocked from the rank altogether. Some journos are complicit, but I don’t believe all are either intentionally or by first choice. However, seeing their choices as limited, they are actually reducing their options, and ours, significantly.

  17. mrharmony60

    perhaps the greatest example of the fifth estate taking up the work of the MSM is the Ashby case. Given the judgement handed down by Rares, it beggars belief that this story didn’t garner further scrutiny. Opponents of any move to ensure more media diversity by limiting further concentration of media ownership argue that sites such as this one act as an equalizer. Unfortunately, even though bloggers/writers disseminate information and encourage debate on policies put up by either party, it doesn’t make much difference when you’re up against the power of a monopoly. Anyway, most of the punters in this country are too busy watching people on tv sing, renovate, cook or lose weight to bother with politics. After 22 years without a recession, most Aussies simply aren’t engaged. They’re happy to get their information via 30 second sound bites, or a complex policy solution delivered via a slogan. Having said all that I’ll never stop trying to educate people so a real choice can be made on polling day. Fascinating to see what the role of the MSM will be in the future, given the democratization of journalism via the blogosphere.

  18. Truth Seeker

    Migs, the reason we can see what they can’t is that we look for the truth whereas they misrepresent it. 😯

    BTW, just posted my latest poem, “Austerity, the right wing solution!” on the back of my previous post 😀

    Austerity… The Right Wing Solution!

    Cheers 😀

  19. Min

    On why the Fifth Estate can see what our journalists can’t. I believe that it’s something called the Great Dumbing Down. It’s a very competitive world out there where journos now not only have to compete with each other, but against citizen journalists and the social media. Therefore the powers that be in their wisdom (or lack thereof) go for that which obtains the maximum number of hits or views – and this in the vast majority is all about scandal of one variety or another. It’s all about that which is “popular”. Want the hits..then manufacture a scandal. If there isn’t one, then just make it up as you go along based on mostly speculation.

    Things such as factual information makes for dry reading. It’s the same as putting a Page 3 girl up against the stock market figures. One needs the factual information, but it’s the Page 3 girl which gets the hits (so to speak ;)).

    That’s the truth of the matter, in an effort to garnish as many hits or views as possible, avoid anything too taxing on the poor brain of “ordinary man” and give him what he wants…or at least what the MSM thinks that he wants.

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