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Introducing the new “ABC free” AUSTRALIA … now with extra ignorance, selfishness and cruelty

(Or why we need the ABC)

abc

Since the coalition’s Murdoch lead victory in last September’s federal election there has been a palpable shift in our national narrative. The images of a sun burnt country forged by convict sweat and hard working immigrants is fading fast, and in its wake a new story is being fashion.

It is a tale of well intentioned, hard working corporations, (who really just want to keep us all employed), being squeezed by draconian regulations and pushed offshore by rampant, out of control wages. It’s the chronicle of a government being driven into the red, not by cutting taxes for the wealthy and turning a blind eye to the corporate “offshoring” of profits (read “legal” tax evasion), but by those lazy unemployed/disabled bludgers on welfare, and their “anti business” environmentalist buddies. It’s the saga of nation overrun by so called “illegals” intent on subverting our immigration laws for the sole purpose of suckling endlessly on OUR government teat, (Ironically most of whom are coming here LEGALLY as refugees).

These new LNP/Murdoch sanctioned mantras are repeated so often, and with such earnest conviction it seems people are finding it pretty damn hard not to buy into it. There are even those in the Labor party who seem quite happy to have joined the chorus.

I hear it everywhere I go, everyday Aussies out there parroting the coalition’s vitriolic hatred for anything even vaguely related to the unions, the unemployed, the environment, asylum seekers, disability pensioners, ABC lefties, foreign aid, etc.

So why all the negative jawboning?

Well, if you read the papers Australia has, up until our recent electoral liberation, been a nation under siege by left wing “special interests”! Because of this evil leftist scourge we have been forced to endure such indignities as the 2nd highest standard of living in the world (after Norway), the planets largest houses, one of the worlds best/most affordable health care systems, quality education, disposable incomes such that we can afford to be the be the worlds leading per capita emitters of of CO2, and the dubious privilege of ranking 69th in our per capita refugee intake (49th in overall terms).

australia__s_contribution_to_the_asylum_seekers_by_wordswithmeaning-d56owrr

When you lay it out like that it’s easy to see why we have all been so unhappy, we have been really suffering! Clearly something had to be done.

But seriously, something has happened to us. If you listen to the rhetoric, it would seem we are no longer a nation that strives for the fair go, but rather one that values our own perceived self interest above all other concerns.

I scratch my head and wonder, how did this happen? When did Australia become a place that embraces the social and political agendas of the most ignorant, selfish and cruel among us?

It wasn’t that long ago that Australian public opinion was DEEPLY CONCERNED with the environmental legacy we are leaving for our children. As recently as last year people seemed happy to talk about the scandal that is corporate tax evasion. There was even a time, in living memory, when refugees that came here by boat were welcomed with a broad smile and a hand up.

So what happened? How did the social and moral imperative get banished from our national narrative? Did it happen by accident, or by design? And if by design, then by who’s hand?

And then there’s the bigger questions. Exactly who’s interests are served by these apparent changes in our attitudes? And is anyone standing against the tide?

The sculpting of public opinion has a long history and there are many tools, such as fear and scapegoating, that have been used to great effect through out the ages. “Group think”, for example is an extraordinarily powerful weapon, (after all who wants to run outside the herd, everyone knows how dangerous that is). The truth however has never been a necessary component when seeking to sway the prevailing sentiments of the masses.

William James, the father of modern Psychology notably once quipped “There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will not believe it”. This rather glib observation was most infamously put into practice by the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, (a man on whom the power of the press was most certainly not lost), who used the simple “lie, repeat, lie, repeat, lie, repeat” principle to whip up the greatest genocidal frenzy in history.

More recently Goebbel’s philosophical musing “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play” has been turned on it’s head by the irrepressible Rupert Murdoch, our prodigal puppeteer d’jour, who, like some gruesomely wizened “whack a mole” has popped up here again to lead his relentless political cheer squad for which ever side will acquiesce to do his bidding. It would appear that, in spite of his meddling hand being beaten down in UK and much of the USA now being hip to the fact that “FOX NEWS” is an oxymoron, if you hand the old boy a monopoly he’ll show you he’s still got it.

murdoch-puppet_1940215i

One rather startling revelation that came out of the UK’s recent Levinson enquiry into press standards , was was that Murdoch had actively lobbied former UK prime minister John Major to change the Torries policy on the EU, lest he engage in willfully biased coverage in order to “hand the election” to Blair’s New Labor (a party/man seemingly more willing to do his bidding). Major refused to allow Murdoch to dictate policy and was duly slammed by the Murdoch press, who came out swinging hard for Blair.

So in spite of the Torries having had a clear lead in the polls up until Major’s “disagreement” with Murdoch, the Torries, (much like Gillard), found the power of a vindictive, inflammatory press mobilised against them simply too great to overcome. Blair was elected and the rest, as they say, is history.

While the Brits were duly outraged, you would think something so blatantly corrupt as seeking to dictate government policy in return for favourable press would raise a dubious brow from someone back here in Aus; but much like the “March in March” (a mysteriously unnoticed gathering of over 100,000 Australia wide) somehow it failed to be deemed newsworthy enough to make any significant impression on the Australian mainstream media.

So… If a media baron is dictating government policy in return for press support, but no one ever hears about it, is the political process actually being subverted? Probably, (but then who has time to worry about such things when we are all so busy hating and punishing refugees).

no to refugeesNauru Detention Centre

Or… If a crowd gathers in the city and no one is there to report it, did it really gather? Maybe it did in the hearts and minds of those who were there, but for anyone else, or in the archives of history?… Well maybe not.

march in march

We have been told a lot of things recently, (much of it negative), about everything from the unions to environmentalists, from asylum seekers to the NBN. And while it’s easy to put a question mark over anything a politician might say in an effort to popularise their chosen policy agenda; I can not help but wonder if a press core that is practically a monopoly, (and known to actively pursue it’s owners personal agendas), is actually telling us the whole truth, or even any small part of it?

Like many others I can’t quite shake the feeling that we’re being fed a grab bag of skilfully crafted misinformation, half truths and innuendo designed to direct our hostility toward the poor and disenfranchised, or anyone out there pushing for a fairer, more sustainable policy agenda.

According to the official story, Australians are apparently (on average) far richer than we were 10 years ago… but for some rather opaque reason we just don’t feel it.
I can’t help but wonder why that is?

Is it because we feel more entitled than we used to? (If we don’t have a car, a mobile phone, a laptop, an ipad, a kindle, a 50″ TV, Foxtel, Quickflix, a yearly overseas holiday, and at least 3 restaurant meals a week we think we are suffering an intolerable injustice?).

Is it that we are constantly being assaulted by the relentless negativity of a 24 hour news cycle, telling us that our unfettered access to “more stuff” is being threatened by the poor and disenfranchised?

Or maybe it’s that the wealth is only going to the top end of town, and no one else is reaping the benefit?

It’s perfectly understandable that when we are feeling squeezed we like to have someone to blame, but it is worth asking ourselves, is our anger being misplaced?

Here we are, literally seething with contempt for refugees, single mothers, greenies, protesters, students, socialists, the disabled, lefties, intellectuals and the all those former bank and manufacturing workers that have now joined the ranks of the unemployed. Meanwhile the gap between the haves and have nots is at an all time high. Our trusty government is busy reducing taxes for the top end of town, Corporate profits are breaking records left and right, (but strangely corporate tax receipts are not, Google, for example, had revenue of over $1 billion in Australia in 2012, and yet paid only $74k tax). CEO’s wages and share options continue to defy gravity, and our banks, whilst being incredulously profitable, are shipping jobs off shore faster than you can say “transaction fee”, and so it goes…

*(brings to mind a joke I heard recently: A banker, a Daily Telegraph reader and a refugee are out to lunch. The waiter puts down a plate with twelve biscuits on it; the banker takes eleven, nudges the Telegraph reader and says “hey watch it mate, that refugee wants your biscuit”)

Everyone knows trickle down economics is bunk, and yet we keep buying into the myth, lauding the lords and kicking the powerless. The cognitive dissonance simply staggering!

So my question is this…Who’s interests does this new hateful narrative really serve? Murdoch and his buddies in the 1%, or those of us in the mortgage belt?

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not wholly blaming Murdoch. We all lobby for our own interests, and why should he be any different. What I am saying however is that a virtual monopoly concentration of Australia’s media in any ones hands is dangerous. We need visible, diverse mainstream media to give a balanced range of views.

We also need some measure of mainstream media presence that is not driven by profit, or dictated to by advertising revenue and share holder values. We need a media that is prepared to objectively challenge the veracity of the story as told to us by Murdoch, (and given the governments proposed changes to section 18c of the racial vilification act this is now more important than ever).

In short, we need our ABC.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LetitiaMcQuade’ show_count=’yes’]

47 comments

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  1. bighead1883

    Thank you Letitia as you article asks the question so many are bewildered with,what happened to the fair go?
    I believe its morphed into the ultimate selfish meme that`s promoted by commercial media.
    It`s come through over the last 30+ years from the greed is good decade through the bling is the thing decade to the social debts privatize profits decade.
    Murdoch has brought his Fox Media Mania here in full force prior the 7/9/2013 election and they have spread to all Australian MSM.
    The ABC itself has been on a “hire a long haired blonde” to front cameras and to turn it`s news into commercial type “opinionated news” where it`s slowing beginning to resemble Sky News [ Sky Opinions}.
    The recent MSM propaganda against the marches in March by first omission and then denigration shows the true Conservative agenda.
    Yes Letitia the sheep are brainwashed and do the bidding of the 1% against their own best interests because they are afraid,for what it`s worth.>>
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5M_Ttstbgs&feature=player_detailpage

  2. Ruth Lipscombe

    I shudder when I think of life without the relatively ad-free ABC.I read articles like this and wish that the average Aussie would take the time and consider what this Government is turning this country into!

  3. bighead1883

    Correction above to socialised debts and privatised profits decade.

  4. Cathy

    Thanks for writing so eloquently on an issue I have been worried about for decades. Diverse media is an absolute requirement for a democracy , though these days this term almost seems a mythological construct.

  5. Terry2

    After watching ‘The walking Dead’ (SBS zombie program) where the unthinking zombie hoards lurch across a decimated landscape, terrifying the remaining sane population, I heard on the news that the LNP parliamentarians in Canberra had demanded that the TV in the parliamentary gym be tuned to SKY NEWS rather than ABC NEWS 24.

    I had this creepy vision of our Liberal and National Party leaders sitting on their exercise bikes blindly pedalling to the Murdoch drum beat. Why so ? Because they know that Emperor Tony will never appear on the ABC and apart from that Peta is watching and taking notes

    Scary isn’t it ?

  6. bighead1883

    Terry2
    March 29, 2014 • 9:32 am
    Is that fair dinkum Terry?
    It`s time for Labor MP`s who use the gym to have their own universal remotes haha.

  7. Mic

    I cannot understand Murdoch’s motives. How much money is enough? Even Kerry Packer knew when to pull his head in.

    Back in 2001-2002 when Georgie Bush jnr used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq, I found I was watching SBS news because we were being told what was really happening. SBS kept giving us facts instead of Faux scripts and subsequently it was blatantly accused of bias!

    Then, along came Facebook. Being happy with phone calls and email, I was a very late entry into FB, but got the hang of it and built up a small group of friends and found it generally a source of strange entertainment. However, I am getting very close to deleting my account, because it has turned into an “Activism site”. I am constantly bombarded with the latest Abbott idiocies, even by people who have been staunch LNP supporters in the past.

    I find that I’m no longer watching any TV. I’m heartily sick of propaganda “reality” shows that would have us believe that every second person coming through Kingsford-Smith airport is a drug mule, one in three motorists is a whacked out drunk stoner which is why we need the Police to transform into a para-military organization that can barge into our homes whenever they like. The only relief from this artificial construct is the mind-numbing “reality” competition shows. I don’t need advertorial programs that pitch holiday destinations that I can’t afford, home renovations that look like they need to be completely redone again, or take your favorite family recipe and turn it into a processed cardboard box for the supermarket shelves.

    If it gets much worse, I see Indonesia trying to “stop the boats” full of political refugees fleeing Australia.

  8. Damo

    Australia is indeed heading in an interesting direction. I first came to these fair shores in 1996 and found the people amazingly down to earth and welcoming. Everything was dirt cheap – laughable in comparison to the UK I grew up in.

    And then the ‘Liberals’ came to power. ‘Oh, great’ I thought, having been a member of the Lib Dems in the UK. That was until someone explained that in Australia, Liberal doesn’t really mean ‘liberal’, it means Conservative.

    Oh.

    ‘Now you’re f’ed’ I explained and relayed the experience of growing up under the Tories, the recessions and class warfare we’d experienced in the UK. ‘Oh don’t be daft’, they said. ‘That could never happen here’, they said. The entire country will march on Canberra if fuel got anywhere near $1/l my (Australian) Wife said. ‘Aussies aren’t like that’, they said. Oh the naive Pom. Oh the lulz…

    Little could anyone know that in a short few years house prices would go into orbit (no accident given that state governments from Tassie to the Top end locked up the land), owning 3 huge 4WD’s and a boat would become seen as the new norm to be measured against and that fuelled by this new wealth, the everyday down to earth Aussies I had come to love would turn into the worlds most indulged snobs of the likes the British class system could never dream of producing.

    Gone was the egalitarian spirit. People seemed even to have given a pass on the Tall Poppy Syndrome I’d been warned about. Suddenly greed was anyone had to speak of.

    Talk of cricket and a few beers had turned to the price of everyone’s houses. Suddenly everyone was earning $150k/yr. Aren’t you too? We’ve just bought our second boat. ‘Equity mate!’. Little Jayden is starting at X-expensive Private next year. You’ve got your kids on the waiting list, right? You’ll never get in otherwise. You’ll have to go ‘public’. Oh the horror…

    Money. Money is how this happened. No longer should Aussies laugh and pass snide comments on the British ‘class system’ and establishment. You’ve all embraced it wholesale and the degree of self-interested snobbery evident in Australia today is staggering.

    That the lunatic right wing and it’s ugly lies have been embraced should come as no surprise. It’s just possible however that the greed & expectation of instant gratification that brought them, will see them gone as it becomes evident that no one other than the Pollies and their mates are getting wealthier under this Government. This isn’t the Howard crew, these aren’t boom times anymore and Aussies will once again vote with their wallets. Just a bit of patience is all that’s required.

    I don’t write this in a UK vs. Australia sense – more a what happened there has happened here tale. The biggest problem is that with such a relatively small and distributed population, there are far fewer competitive barriers to contain this kind of thing as has inevitably happened in the UK. I would never have believed that the UK would look cheap on comparison to Australia but there we are. And I don’t think it’s done much for the collective Australian character.

    I’ll don my fire retardant suit for the barrage of criticism this comment is sure to draw but the question was asked and as an outsider, this is my view of it.

  9. Konstantina Vlahos

    Thank you Damo, for your brilliant and very insightful comment. I don’t think you’ll be needing that fire retardant suit :). I wanted to ask if I may please share your contribution to this comment’s page? It simply too good to be published only the once.

    And thank you Letitia, for this very brilliant article…I wish everyone could read it and understand.

  10. hi2lea

    Reblogged this on hi2lea and commented:
    This is everything I feel summed up so nicely.

  11. Damo

    Hi Konstantina. Share away.

    I probably should have clarified earlier that although I’m an unashamedly whinging Pom, I don’t write that kind of thing gladly and intended no offence to Aussies in general. I Love Australia. I’ve lived here permanently since 2000 and took my Citizenship in 2005. My Wife and Children are Aussies.

    I write simply as having seen both sides of the coin and am saddened by the way things have changed and how the national character has changed which is what I felt the article was getting at.

    In 1998 Abbott and his cronies would never have been elected. Like him or loathe him, Howard was a very different animal and his Government (again, like or loathe) was far more professional than this current joke outfit ran by clowns could ever aspire to.

  12. mars08

    Let’s leave out asylum seekers for a moment… Why? Ha… because we all know they’re coming here for entirely for economic reasons, riiight? I mean even Bob Carr said so!

    Instead let’s look at that rare breed, the GENUINE refugee. In dollar terms (the only measure most voters understand), Australia hosts 0.6 refugees per US$1 of GDP per capita. Germany hosts about 15 refugees per US$1 of GDP per capiia. In Pakistan the number rises to over 600.

    Okay, so a comparison to Pakistan might no resonate with the Australian electorate. But what about Germany? Dividing the wealth equally, each Australian is worth about 10% more than a German citizen. Yet, on that basis, we are shouldering less than 4% of Germany’s load. That is, in terms of GDP per capita each Australian is contributing less than 1/25th of their “wealth” when compared to the average German!. Where’s the fairness in that?

    It’s an embarrassment! We should be ashamed!

  13. Murphy

    ‘So what happened? How did the social and moral imperative get banished from our national narrative? Did it happen by accident, or by design? And if by design, then by who’s hand?’

    OnYah for asking the question Letitia.

    At the heart of global currency wars is the IMF rewarding violent regime change with debt offerings. Paul Keating hints at this tactic when discussing with Kerry O’brien as to why China is wary of the behavior of the IMF exhibited in Indonesia. Keating told a half truth when stating it was the recession we had to have. The alternative was that Australia ends up like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria etc. That China and Russia are current enemies of the IMF regime is more than obvious. Ukraine, what an out in the open fiasco that is.

    Global politics is beyond the LNP comprehension. Their job is to do as they are told, spread hatred, stupidity and the myth of worshiping the obscene power of wealthy individuals. This is done via distraction such as inane MSM. IE http://www.mediaite.com/ , comes with it’s own botchat comment industry network industry to give the impression we primates of reason are non existent. Yes, I know propaganda is a broad sword used by all nations but since the onset of Iraq, Oz has been hammered with lobbyist industries like ALEC. IPA is just an extension of said industry. For more clarity on what Australia can expect can be seen at http://www.sourcewatch.org.

  14. pvcann

    I guess anyone can be over biased and coloured by their political leanings, but as to how someone who is a Rhodes Scholar can be so dumb confounds me.

  15. Letitia McQuade

    yes Damo, I agree with Konstantina… a noble reply and worth a repost!

  16. Bec

    I could not agree more with Damo .I too left the UK in1988 at the age of 25 ,so could also be referred to as a whinging pom.Having lived under the Thatcher regime . What her government did to the ordinary working class citizen (I count myself as just that ) was unforgivable ( I still haven’t forgiven it yet !I might add).In short,like Damo I have seen both sides of the coin and I don’t like what I am seeing here in Australia right now.
    I marched in March because of my strong feelings against this government & their lack of vision & appalling policies for the country I call home.
    I feel that things have gone far enough already! & it needs to stop right now.
    I would just like to add this little quote made by Geoffrey Howe (I will not add the title of sir to his name either as it will just remind me of Abbott’s latest announcement) about Margaret Thatcher “Her real triumph was to have transformed not just one party but two, so that when Labour did eventually return, the great bulk of Thatcherism was accepted as irreversible.”.
    I feel that there is great danger in that regard for our Labor party & other parties unless they take a different direction & start consulting the wider population & start being more inclusive .

  17. Hamish Maccormick

    Thanks Letitia, I agree wholeheartedly with your article, we do need aunty ABC to provide at least some balance to the Murdoch/commercial medias overwhelming far right bias.

  18. Terry2

    Can anybody help me here ?

    Tone has said that the Knighthoods and Dame(whatevers) are Australian awards and complement our existing Australia awards, but surely the Knighthood and dame(dodgers) are awarded by the Queen and consummated with a sword at Buckingham Palace and it is only Tony’s recommendation that the Queen accedes to.

    Sorry, but how is that an Australian award ?

  19. Dave

    I am afraid i agree with all the above.I am a born and bred Australian and used to be very proud of it but i find that day by day i am becoming less proud of my country. The current government seems to be on a path of total destruction with scant regard for the country and the people who elected them.Their stance on refugees sickens me whilst making Australia an embarrassment on the world stage.Their policy’s and total arrogance has to be seen to be believed,I am absolutely flabbergasted that they feel they have the mandate to just railroad the people at any cost due to winning the last election.They only won the last election because the public were sick of the musical chair games being played by labor and the promise of getting rid of the carbon tax( regardless of the environmental consequences) the people swallowed all the propaganda due to the perceived costs the carbon tax was supposed to inflict.We now find ourselves with a government that feels it is ten foot tall and bulletproof and beyond reproach.This situation needs to be addressed,we cannot all stand by and allow any more of this crap.This government needs to be held to account and only allowed to be in power for a maximum of one term.I am not advocating a vote for labor,I am not a greens voter either,I hold the vast majority of politicians with an equal amount of contempt.They all claim their aim is to make a difference and help build a great nation.When in fact they are just there for their own benefits and could not give two stuffs about the people they claim to represent.The only politician i had any time for was independent Ted Mack who did his utmost for his constituents, firstly in local government then state and finally federal before falling on his sword one day before he was eligible for the obscene federal pollies super scheme.We need more Australians willing to stand up for this great country and bring it back to a place we can all be proud of and stop putting up with the politically inept crowd we currently have.

  20. olddavey

    Biggie,
    At least the long haired blondes hired by the ABC mostly seem to be pretty intelligent, unlike nearly all of the bimbos on MSM TV

    Not to mention the male newsreaders/commentators.

  21. bighead1883

    I have to agree as to compare the ABC`s staff to most MSM is chalk and cheese and the MSM is very cheesy.

  22. Stephen Tardrew

    Letitia:

    I agree with your article however on one point I vehemently disagree.

    We can and should blame Murdock. He has little or no moral scruples at supporting the Republican’s reduction of food stamps to the poor and obviously supports a broad range of immoral pursuits. I do blame him for having little or no regard for low wage employees who have to get welfare payments to support their families. Australia is not an island unto itself. Look at the phone hacking scandal in the UK.

    I am sick of this condescending he is not to blame bullshit. Of course he is. We live in a democracy not a Darwinian winner takes all oligarch of entrenched power and self-interest. Oh! excuse me we do live in an oligopoly.

    He has been the driving force, along with Roger Ailes, of that appalling lying right wing rag Foxs News. If you or I did as much harm to even one human being as he has done to millions we would be in jail.

    The right wing is morally corrupt and he is one of the promoters of that festering sore. Keep up with the US media and find out just how cruel and greedy this mob are. I grew up with values that abhorred this type of unmitigated greed and avarice. This is a pig with so much lipstick he will willingly to take down civilization with him.

    Murdock is one sick mother….. Wealth beyond your wildest imagination while people live in poverty and hardship all over the world. The exploitation of the third world; global warming denial; continual attacking Obamcare in an attempt to deny millions of people health care and on and on it goes.

    And that my friend is the tip of the iceberg.

    I don’t believe in evil as such however this lying and condescending shyster is the next thing to it.

    He is stealing the peoples voice. Speech is money. What an absurdity.

    And if Abbot has his way its coming to a town near you.

    What type of blind person excuses this sort of behavior.

    Not meant to be abusive or harmful however I have had enough.

  23. bighead1883

    Stephen many people like me are standing right beside you.

  24. Stephen

    Stephen, I like Bighead will be standing right beside you….laughing at how ridiculous those comments were. Lol.

  25. whatismore

    A good article, thanks. I agree a strong and independent public broadcaster is essential for a democratic society in Australia. Like many Australians, I campaigned against the Howard attacks on the ABC in the lead up to the Mansfield Report in 1997 which found mostly in favour of the ABC. In spite of these findings, over time, Howard managed to bring about a cultural change at the ABC with the appointment of a radically conservative board, leading to the employment of Mark Scott as Managing Director; a former Liberal Staffer who had intentions of running for the NSW Liberal party.

    Since 2006 there has been an increase in IPA representation on panels such as the Drum and the Murdoch press particularly on the Insiders. Between 2010-2013 nearly all news broadcasts gave preference to the then Coalition opposition starting news broadcasts with “the leader of the opposition says” often to the exclusion of sound Labor policy achievements. In addition there was little or no critique of slogan based Abbott narratives. This led to a call by 5,000 concerned individuals for a Get up campaign that the “ABC return to it’s charter”.

    Now the ABC which will always be described as left-wing by conservatives such as Abetz and the Murdoch press will be fighting for funds and independence. I predict the first to go to Murdoch will be the Australia Network to extend his already substantial influence in the Asian region. The ABC made a grave mistake by not scrutinising the Abbott opposition. It is now a case of being careful of what you wished for but hopefully with strong public support it will survive to be properly independent according to its charter.

    http://www.abc.net.au/sundayprofile/stories/s1687585.htm
    http://www.independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/abc-provides-platform-for-murdoch-manipulators-to-mislead,6233

  26. randalstella

    The ABC was not simply the victim of Howard. The problems with the ABC precede him, and are internally produced. There were very strong elements of reaction and simplistic News treatment on the ABC well before Howard.
    It has been an internal cultural problem, which the hounds of the LCP have been able to exploit.
    The notion that the ABC is, or ever was, “Left wing” is an intended slur of repressive politics; some of this slur coming from within the ABC.
    The ABC has been traditionally and nearly always a most conservative body; in administration certainly, and in News and Current Affairs most often. Now that News and Current Affairs dominate the corporation, the opportunity for other perspectives than pre-digested, patronising MSM slants is very much more limited.
    The ABC has never been so much “independent” as insular. It is this insularity which continues in its regression into Murdoch-lite.
    The present Shaun Micallef programme is the corporation’s nearest thing to unencumbered political comment. This shows how far its regard for truth and fair comment has fallen.

    Abbott does his blockheaded ‘loggers are the real environmentalists’ speech. ABC News Breakfast the next morning reports this as “an important speech”. Satirists might be able to mock the Orwellian boofhead, but they would be muted by the demoralised, craven inanity of this ABC response. No one told them to say this; not Howard, not Abbott, not the Board. It was their own idea. The problems at the ABC remain generic, internal.

  27. Letitia McQuade

    Stephen Tardrew,

    Thank you for a wonderful and totally valid reply. When I say I do not blame Murdoch, do not mistake my meaning. He is indeed responsible for all that he does, (much of which is questionable in the extreme), and for the crimes which are rightly attributable to him, I blame him whole heatedly. There is no question in my mind that Murdoch is responsible for much pain and suffering.

    That said, his right to say his piece, and promote his view can not and should not be removed in a free and inclusive society. Murdoch believes in what he is doing, and he has a right to advocate for his position, (we want a free society, right?)….

    Those that are truly to blame are our so called leaders who have fought hard, and continue to fight tooth and nail to silence all other voices in service to the News Limited oligarchy…
    The problem is not so much that Murdoch wishes to buy political souls, it is that there are so many politicians that seem happy to sell theirs.
    Further it is those of us in the broader community that unquestioningly consume Murdoch’s hateful rhetoric that are the rank and file of this hateful revolution, and as such must bare a good part of the blame.

  28. whatismore

    Thanks randalstella. You have added to my knowledge and corroborated my long held view that the ABC has always been a conservative body. The article by Pamela Williams (2004), “Howard’s Empire”, describes how in 2004 Howard strategically appointed staff through government bodies and bureaucracies such as Telstra and ABC to form a “conservative river as deep as it is wide”. Research conducted by ANU (2006) indicates this situation existed before this.

    The Chaser and Micallef have some influence but not to the same extent as news and current affairs headed up by the conservative big hitters: Kelly, Uhlman , Sales, Mark Simkin and Cassidy. Kelly admitted to Crikey (2011) that “The Australian “is one of her quality sources of news. These staff are protected by management under the control of MD Scott. Scott’s term should finish in 2016 so it will be interesting to see if the Coalition abolishes the system of independent board appointments introduced by the Rudd government and reintroduces government appointments leading to further political interference.

  29. lawrencewinder

    Weirdly the same as Ray Bradbury’s “Farenheit 451” ….

  30. whatismore

    Agree Paul that we must maintain the rage. I think we must keep the momentum from the March in March.

  31. Paul Raymond Scahill

    There is very little that I could reasonably add to what you have said Letitia, or for that manner what Stephen has added. This country and a large number of its inhabitants have become so hateful of those wishing to join us. You do not have to look very far back in history to see that a very large majority also came here by “boats”. One has to be on a “winner”, hence the perceived attitude of voters, cricket lovers et al. There is no suggestion of loyalty, only the glory of backing a winner. Those who supported the no-allition have gotten what they wished for, if anyone could have in their wildest dreams wished for a government led by Tony Abbott. When one is aware of the “clout” the MSM and all its forms of media, can influence the conservative vote to such a degree that it did, one must realise that it is time for some serious stocktaking. Let us all band together and make sure this mob of money-grabbing politicians is banished forever. Just remember that the public supports politicians and MSM journalists about fourteen per cent (14%) in all, so we as a nation allow a very small percentage to influence our decision for who is to govern our country. Maintain the RAGE!

  32. Maree Elizabeth

    so proud of you guys… thank you for your honest reporting.. breath of fresh air… sometimes i go check out ninemsn and yahoo but the stench of bullshit is so overwhelming it makes me ill for days after.

  33. Michael Taylor

    Thank you, Maree.

  34. whatismore

    Hi randalstella, a question with reference to your comment that “It has been an internal cultural problem, which the hounds of the LCP have been able to exploit. The notion that the ABC is, or ever was, “Left wing” is an intended slur of repressive politics; some of this slur coming from within the ABC”. Do you see the current conflict between The ABC, led by Mark Scott, and News Corp as having a hidden agenda? It seems that some of these accusations and disputes are contrived to consolidate the ABÇ’s left wing image. I can see Scott eventually being rewarded by News Corp, perhaps as head of the Australia Network, once it is secured by Murdoch.

  35. mars08

    randalstella:

    The notion that the ABC is, or ever was, “Left wing” is an intended slur…

    The notion that ANY mainstream organisation in Australia is ludicrous. Just laughable!!!

    Still, that doesn’t stop oh-so-many people whining about the influence of the far-left and socialism, and leftist do-gooders! Do they have any idea how dumb they sound when they accuse the Labor party of having a leftist agenda? Do they have any idea about what represents the “centre” in the 21st century? Do these twits have any understanding of socialism… other than the imported rants of American nutjobs? Do they have a clue about how far to the right the Liberal party have veered in the last 20 years?

    Left wing? In Australia? Ha! Pig’s arse!

  36. mars08

    “…notion that ANY mainstream organisation in Australia is left wing is ludicrous…”

  37. Dave Bradley

    It worked for the Nazis against unions and the Jewish people, it worked for every coloniser from Africa to India etc. Create an underclass starve them in every possible way and they will often turn on each other and eat each other. the Fair Go is Turning into Watch it Go as Australia turns into a giant version of Nauru or Christmas Island, just a big empty hole to banish unwanted people to and fill with industrial and probably nuclear waste. They have already shown they know how to do it. none of this is an accident Thanks Leticia keep us thinking we musn’t give up.

  38. randalstella

    Sorry whatismore, I didn’t see your query earlier.
    I doubt that there is any plan between Scott and Murdoch’s minions.
    Scott would probably be seen as a ‘soft’ Liberal, and thus a bit out of the loop these days.
    However you may have something there on his prospects with Murdoch’s Aust.Network.
    In my small number of formal contacts with him,over matters he has ultimate responsibility for, I found him routinely untrustworthy; just about insensate on issues which reflect on the ABC’s integrity. I don’t consider him devilishly devious however.

  39. whatismore

    That’s interesting -thanks for getting back. I have a contact who holds the same opinion of Scott and thinks that initially people welcomed him because he was a stark contrast to the madman, Jonathon Shier.

    I think that if Shier was in power now Abbott would never consider replacing him.

  40. Jaiteah

    Great to stumble on this discussion and see some quality thoughts and passion for not sitting idly by.

    Can I suggest the Nazi comparisons are left out however – it doesn’t strengthen the argument and just leaves it open to attack.

    Presumably we want these types of articles to penetrate beyond a private group of similarly minded people and for it to land on the Facebook pages and inboxes of the ‘mainstream’

    The same mainstream who buy the Oz or the Telegraph and give Murdoch his power and influence.

    Yes we should rage against Murdoch but we should be focussing more on the people who swallow his bile and repeat his mantras.

    Keep fighting the good fight folks!

  41. Michael Tomkins

    Get it right (re australia__s_contribution_to_the_asylum_seekers_by_wordswithmeaning-d56owrr.jpg)

    Is 60k the gap or line? is ditto 30k? ditto 5k? Is this Log? because 5, a, b, c, 30, 60. is not any series of numbers I know ( 5, a, b, c, d, 30, 60 also doesn’t work). Do the lines not match the numbers in any meaningful way.

    Stopped reading because any informative article that messes up so badly on the graphics cannot be held credible.

  42. Patrick

    @Dave “+Ted Mack”

  43. Matthew Oborne

    The libs in power is a history of squandered opportunities, Before Howard factories were moving towards training their employees and adopting the german model of qualified engineers being produced in workplaces, superannuation had it been delivered upon and gone to 15 percent would mean most baby boomers would be close to being self funded retirees, and now we have a handful of node boxes, not surprising in western sydney subdivisions that give faster broadband but not fast enough to make in home medical care as planned to save the health systems billions. Our Universities are set to be over run by the wealthy and our primary and secondary education set to lose to the private schools yet again. Hearing Napthine yesterday quoting the murdoch rags in support of his machinations to hold onto government you soon realise there is a problem. As the englishman said above it was noticeable that Australians were a happy bunch, some issues but no government directives to vilify any particular group. Now everybody knows somebody who thinks the unemployed who are needed to keep wages down are drugged and drunk so much that they cant go without a beer to take their children to the doctor. Vilifying single mothers and refugees, muslims, aboriginals and anyone with a social conscience. Do gooders are naive for some unknown reason, wanting a decent country for our children to live in clashes with the greed is good re run we again find ourselves in. Our taxes help pay for patrolling Sri Lankan waters looking for people fleeing that government of war criminals even today the screams of those they torture with our help should wipe the smiles off our faces but those smiles were lost long ago as a more moderate right wing nutter remodeled our country to suit the desires of a man who had enough intelligence to pump petrol and should never have been given the keys to our kingdom. Next time American comdians make fun of Abbott realise our current government is good for cartoonists and comedy writers, I get the joke, but I am not laughing.

  44. Pitman

    Um. I think you must have gotten your facts and figures from the ABC, because many are incredibly misleading.

    Covering just one glaring error: Australia is 69th in per capita ‘accommodated’ refugees, which has no meaning in the refugee/boat people debate — of the 15 million refugees worldwide, most are in squalid tent camps in Africa and the Middle East, constantly threatened by starvation, dirty water, and communicable disease, with no hope of ever being resettled (average expected time in camps is around 20 YEARS, while less than 1% are typically re-settled in a country other than their own each year). THAT is the comparison that activists want us to consider? Really?

    Australia is THIRD in the world for per capita re-settlement of refugees, below only the US and Canada. That is something to be proud of, not a manipulation of stats used to shame people into thinking Australia is negligent.

  45. Paddy Forsayeth

    Steven Tardrew and others:
    From my perspective the underlying cause of the societal problems we face is the accelerating disparity between the rich and the rest. Joeseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize for economics, former head of the world bank, professor of economics, wrote a book call ‘The Price of Inequality’ in which he analyses the gross distortions in wages, wealth, social mobility,among others caused by the accumulation of vast wealth by a few (small percentage of the population). The french finance professor, Pikkety, writes a tome on the meaning of the parameters, terms, methods,etc in world financial transactions. It is heavy reading. However his conclusion is that without deep changes the world’s few percent will eventually own the lot. The accumulation of wealth, as I read the psychology, is an addiction. One of the commentators asked the question, as most thinkers do, ‘How much is enough?’ The rich necessarily are compelled to protect and enhance their money grabbing processes. As Roy and HG would say ‘When too much is never enough.’ Murdoch and co. in addition to being part of the grand theft are a necessary part of the indoctrination of the populace to accede to allowing this accretion of wealth to a few. We are all too familiar with the hypnotic mantras (I call them falsisms) such as:- trickle down economics benefits the ordinary worker, the wealthy create and provide work, the economy must continually grow, that Gina Rheinhart for example is worth about 240,000 millionaires, (itself a preposterous notion.) Until the time comes when this theft is brought to a halt, I think Pikkety’s prediction is correct. One other major problem is that some are getting rich on the production and sale of arms. The proxy wars that the rich promote would be far less destructive if the arms trade was destroyed. I’m sorry to say that I approach my end years in cynicism and despair. The few rich could easily pay the UNHCR several times over for the refugee camps and still have billions left over.

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