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Independence: it’s all ours

Judging by regular and somewhat repetitive comments that have been sent to our site’s Facebook page it appears (still) that many people have absolutely no idea what the word ‘independent’ means. Otherwise we wouldn’t receive comments that dispute our claim to be independent. For those that cannot grasp the meaning of the word . . . this is what independent means:
  1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinker
  2. not subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction; autonomous
  3. not influenced by the thought or action of others
  4. not dependent; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence, operation, etc.
  5. not relying on another or others for aid or support
  6. rejecting others’ aid or support; refusing to be under obligation to others.

Yep, that’s us. No-one owns us, no-one sponsors us, and no-one tells us what to do.

We are not affiliated with any political party, although some of our authors do belong to the ALP and some to The Greens.

Some of the other criticism we attract is that we’re left-wing.

So what?

A number of our critics seem to think that independence means you have to be balanced between left and right.

Does it? Do you see that balance in the Murdoch media or other right-wing journals? Of course not.

They are entitled to write about whatever they want. So are we.

If we want to write about the horrors caused by the Abbott Government then so be it. Some people seem to take exception to that as judged by the number of messages we receive telling us so. Well bad luck.

If the Abbott Government is replaced by a Labor Government who are just as bad as the current incompetents then we will no doubt expose them too. Independence gives us the license to do that.

Our independence also means we will not obliged to reject a submitted article just because it is not aligned with majority opinion, left or right. Perhaps some of our regular critics – those who don’t like what we write about or keep telling us what we should be writing about – might like to take the opportunity to submit a civil article for consideration.

 

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43 comments

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  1. Kim Wright

    Love your work. Keep it up

  2. diannaart

    Well said.

  3. juliefarthing

    Well it sounds like the AIMN is being read by a wide audience. Well done, you are giving Rupert et al a run for their money.

  4. Blinkyewok

    Well said. Good work.

  5. billshaw2013Bill Shaw

    Your on the ball! Bad government by any political party needs whacking!

  6. deanyz1

    Well writ, Michael. Independent is not properly understood.
    I subscribe to Fairfax online. My wife brings home Murdoch’s “Feral Scum” rags from her work. It is interesting to compare both. People with basic grammar skills will recognise the negative political bent which Murdochs papers continually put the perspective into their own favour (Indocrination). To read Andrew Bolt is to plunge into a cesspool of negative adjectival phrases, false and misleading commentary with the only purpose of:
    (1) Supporting the Abbott government and defending criticism of it.
    (2) Denying Scientific evidence of catastrophic climate change because he is allegedly paid by BigCoal to promote Abbott’s ‘Health Food’.
    (3) Denigrating the people and the evidence of those who oppose his views. Definitely not “Indepenent”.

  7. johnlord2013

    The main stream media will only ever print or say whatever is in it’s best interests. Then it might say something interesting and truthful” THE AIMN is an independent voice, an alternate one.

  8. M.A.

    hehheh – I like it !

  9. Möbius Ecko

    Wonder if those complaining about the Independent in this sites title would be complaining if this was a predominately right wing site.

  10. Matters Not

    For those that cannot grasp the meaning of the word . . . this is what independent means

    While I might agree re the ‘meaning’ of the word (as defined in current dictionaries), I do so on the understanding that words don’t have ‘meaning’ in any enduring sense, both in the ‘historical’ and likely ‘futuristic’ usages.

    Take the word ‘decimate’ as an example. Originally it was ‘created’ to convey that one in every ten of a group of people, (originally a mutinous or defeated Roman legion), would be killed as a punishment for the whole group.

    Currently, the word ‘decimate’, while in frequent use, bears no resemblance to its original usage. Now there seems to be no distinction between ‘decimate’ and ‘devastate’.

    Perhaps we need a law or something …

    Just jokin …

  11. juliefarthing

    Abbott loves bringing in new laws, I’m sure he will oblige in removing the word independent from the dictionary.

  12. corvus boreus

    Michael Taylor.
    To me, the “Independent” in AIMN means that you publish all my comments (if they are not seriously libelous or openly profane) and, although you would love to receive a monetary donation from me to help cover costs (one day soon), if such payment came with any demands or dictates upon editorial policy, I would more than likely see the cheque returned to me with attached instructions for inappropriate anatomical insertion.
    Thank you for the existence of this independent news network/forum, which allows me to share a little and learn so much.

  13. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    Indeed, I have heard ‘decimated’ (Latin, meaning ‘1 in 10 gone) used to describe everything up to total extermination.
    There was an occasion recently in parliament where our PM was describing an alleged 10% reduction in allocation to the Australian military under Labor’s watch.
    This was a rare occasion where ‘decimate’ could have been used and it would have been both reasonably appropriate terminology and an admirable little historical-linguistic reference for those who appreciate such things.
    Instead he chose to call the 10% military reduction a “holocaust” (Greek, meaning ‘all-burnt’), which denotes a burned blood sacrifice, apocalyptic catastrophe or the attempted genocide of European Jews by Hitler’s fascist regime.
    Abbott hastily retracted the claim (“I withdraw, I withdraw”), a repulsive display which would not have been necessary had he bothered to get his terms straight.
    I do not know about instituting new laws to govern appropriate linguistic usage, but, until we work out a better method for clearly communicating our thoughts, we should all be a bit more careful to use words with the right meaning.

  14. Harquebus

    Not only was one in ten legionnaires of a dishonorable legion selected for decimation, it was the other nine that beat them to death. That’s what I call incentive.

  15. Roswell

    There was a bloke here the other day derailing topics by telling The AIMN what they should be writing about. I suggested he submit an article himself. He said he wouldn’t. Just happy to complain, I guess.

  16. RosemaryJ36

    I listen to the news on ABC, I download and read articles on Twitter and, above all, I delight in the offerings of the AIM Network – many of which I pass on via Twitter and Facebook.

  17. Des Pensable

    Well said … keep up the good work bringing the sociopathic, immoral, unjust and corrupt practices of the current government to account for the benefit and knowledge of the people of Australia.

  18. kerri

    Well said Michael Taylor!
    It amazes me how the concept of “balance” only seems to arise when there is a “perception” of left wing bias?

  19. mars08

    @kerri…. the perception of left wing bias is due largely to the relentless (and accelerating) move of Australia’s major political parties to the right. This has been going on for more than 25 years. These days, any ideas with even a hint of progressive scent tend to make the herd very nervous.

  20. stephentardrew

    Agreed Micheal to stand alone in the face of the pressure to conform never captured by another ideology or political party always being critical of injustice and inequality.

    There is so much compromise and deflection from true moral obligations to stand by goodness no matter what any party spins as their version of justice.

    I get sick of being told I must vote for Labor. I must not do anything and will not decide until I am in the ballot box. That is what a true independent does. We realise that the people we think are right today may well be wrong tomorrow.

    Naive conformity is what has gotten us into this damn mess.

  21. Annie B

    Good onya Michael …. and thank you for affording those of us with an opinion or three, the opportunity to express them – independently.

    Whether we argue amongst ourselves or not, is neither here nor there. …. this is a legitimate form of media, with legitimate opening for comment toward debate.

    Well done.

  22. Douglas Evans

    Well said Michael. AIMN is not only independent but consistently progressive in the stance it promotes and it is more and more widely read. That is what is really annoying ’em. Keep it up.

  23. Kaye Lee

    In my opinion (am I allowed to have one?) it is social conscience rather than political affiliation that connects people who read, write, and comment on the AIMN. If some feel that we are critical of the government I would suggest that is because they are not fulfilling their part of the social contract.

  24. corvus boreus

    Political representatives should be able to ethically and rationally formulate sound policy, and accountably delegate it’s competent implementation (without fear or favour).
    They should be able to clearly and accurately articulate their intentions, and the reasons behind them, to the people they purportedly represent (including those who ask questions requiring detailed answers).
    When they fail to do so, I get critical.
    This applies to all who sit in parliament, both the people in government and the alternatives who aspire to be.

  25. corvus boreus

    Ps Taylor Mali on linguistic trends;

  26. Kaye Lee

    “If you care about other people, that’s now a very dangerous idea. If you care about other people, you might try to organize to undermine power and authority. That’s not going to happen if you care only about yourself. Maybe you can become rich, but you don’t care whether other people’s kids can go to school, or can afford food to eat, or things like that. In the United States, that’s called “libertarian” for some wild reason. I mean, it’s actually highly authoritarian, but that doctrine is extremely important for power systems as a way of atomizing and undermining the public.”

    – Noam Chomsky “Business Elites Are Waging a Brutal Class War in America”.

  27. Kate M

    Love it!

  28. lawrencewinder

    Appreciate your existence….

  29. Michael Taylor

    Everyone’s kind words are truly appreciated.

    I’ll have to write a similar post in six months or so . . . the critics questioning independence just don’t go away.

  30. Kaye Lee

    If they want me to show my independence by saying climate change is crap and that asylum seekers should be tortured and that renewable energy is baaaad then they should make me Prime Minister.

  31. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thank goodness for AIM Network. I take great pleasure that the LNP Deg
    enerates’ supporters are offended.

  32. diannaart

    Kaye made a good point regarding the social contract.

    We AIMers are disparate in many ways, one thing we all have in common is care – a social conscience which extends beyond our immediate interests, a social conscience which embraces us, our families, friends, town and even towards other people of other nations – it ain’t easy.

    Apparently this makes us left-wing.

    Apparently this also means we are not independent – Labor is often blamed for having factions and apparently this is bad.

    How ironic that Abbott’s Libs claim to be faction-free because they claim to be staunchly loyal to each other (tell that to Turnbull and Abbott).

    However, duplicity is something which many conservatives have in common – what they say and what they do can be completely antithetical. This contradictory mode of thought enables them to toss any label they please at others who do not share their narrow world view.

  33. juliefarthing

    I grew up in a Liberal family – I had enough secrets and lies shoved down my throat to last me a lifetime. Being Liberal is an excuse to look after yourself, to mock others, to be high-and-mighty and virtuous about doing things to others who are seen as lesser. As the youngest and rebellious child, I felt the full brunt of Liberal-ism. As an adult, I am ignored. It took me a long time to actually value my beliefs, values, and ideas. If this is what is called ‘independence’ then bring it on.

  34. jimhaz

    [A number of our critics seem to think that independence means you have to be balanced between left and right]

    Not just entirely left though please, be wary of creating a forum full of goody too shoes Thought Police. The middle ground doesn’t have an abundant representation in the News media nowadays either. I class Latham as middle ground 🙂 – the pub class.
    No need for any right based articles as they are too often absent of facts.

  35. Florence nee Fedup

    What makes Abbott government so dangerous, is the fractions, which are natural in any party of organisation don’t get a hearing.

    Abbott has gagged them, allowing only his voice to be heard.

    Most have differing political views, because we all have our own beliefs and agendas. We have differing beliefs in what is the role of government, who they govern for. That is the battle the is reigning now,

    The days when one could judge ones political beliefs as left or right are gone. Not so simple now, There are many issues that fall into neither camp.

    Abbott seems to believe there is a choice to be made between the economy and environment. Many would disagree, believing that one can’t have a economy, if one destroys the environment. They would come from both the left and right. Another would be, how we treat refugees that attempt to come by leaky boats. Neither left or right want this, I refuse to believe many on the right agree they should be subjected to the cruelty Abbott imposes on them. Yes, left and right no longer works. Becomes blurred in many issues.

    That government is there for business, That people have a duty to look after themselves. Hockey is out today, once again attempting to convince us, the wealthy pay to much tax. That in his eyes, the days of entitlement are over. That neither business or people have no right to expect anything from the government.

    Abbott sees the government role as defending the country, ensuring that business can operate in a environment where no government regulations get in their way. He also believes that business is not entitled to handouts from government. Rationale for closing down such thing as the auto industry.

    Most of all, be believes that business needs access to a workforce that is at their beck and call, paying them what they consider fair.

  36. Bronte ALLAN

    Please maintain your integrity, your independence & your ability to show all of us just how inept, morally corrupt & untrustworthy it seems all our right wing politicians are, just how far right the Murdoch press is, &, so it seems, how similar to the Liberals are some of the Labor lot! Keep up your good work, all of you columnists & reporters etc!

  37. eli nes

    I have a great admiration for the work of gillard, personally and her government, good, bad and ugly. The understanding and foresight of oakeschot and windsor was marvellous.
    But independent to a labor pollie means remote control by ‘term of reference’ (and for the libs control by grateful captain’s picks) so her abrogation of voting for pay increases and using ‘independent’ to describe a fixed panel makes the rabbutt’s behaviour open and above reproach..

  38. kizhmet

    AIMN does fantastic work. I can only add my thanks to those already expressed. This site offers me an opportunity to learn from the articles and the debates in the comments, to better understand social, environmental, political and economic issues.

    Bravo AIMN. Keep up the good fight!

  39. gangey1959

    This is a wonderful site. it gives all of us, even those of you with tiny minds, a place from which we can climb whatever molehill we desire and shriek our frustrations into the wind.
    Where else would I be able to call someone I have never even met a dickhead, or better still, a bmw driving wanker. And be supported for expounding my opinion.
    Independence and balance are not the same thing, nor should they have to be. Just ask our dickheaded bmw driving wanker of a pm.
    Thank you all. Rage on.

  40. Ricardo29

    Joining the chorus of admiration for AIMN but it still astounds me that despite all of the clear demonstrability of the failings of Abbott and his LNP dunderheads, there are still people prepared to come onto this site and protest the allegedly unfair treatment of them. Saw a tweet on QANDA last night about the lack of respect for the position of PM and thought it’s a bit hard to have respect for a position when it’s occupant is so clearly unsuited. Funny thought really, the position of PM deserves respect! Keep up the good work.

  41. philgorman2014

    AIM and it’s contributors form an essential bastion of humane sanity. Of course it attracts independent minded people. It’s a challenge and a privilege to participate in its conversations. Thank you, one and all.

  42. Faye Cox

    Simply adding my two cents worth. Please keep up the good work. In these dark days AIM is very much needed and appreciated.

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