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IPA: Institute of Pathetic Authoritarians

By Christian Marx

Australia has a big problem. The democratic processes and freedom of the press is under threat. Not content with having an out of control Murdoch-owned media, the Institute of Public Affairs is now attempting to destroy the only balanced mainstream media outlet in the country: the ABC.

This deplorable organisation is made up of some of the wealthiest people in Australia. The IPA was founded in 1943 by none other than Rupert Murdoch’s father. It is a pressure group, and increasingly is now enmeshed into the political system itself, with over a dozen politicians in parliament affiliated with this partisan, extremist group.

The sheer Orwellian guile from these soulless cretins is a sight to behold. The IPA claim that private companies should be able to print what they like (irrespective if much of it is lies, spin and outright persecution). However, if it is a tax payer funded media organisation, it must remain within its charter and more disturbingly the reason it is funded by taxpayers negates its right to exist! Their mantra is state-owned media is evil … So in their warped world, private media can lie and spin, but if a balanced and neutral media dares to expose any inkling of corporate corruption, it must be gagged and/or put into private hands. This reeks of Fascism, and the hypocrisy of the IPA is breathtaking.

These rats at the IPA do not want a well-informed populace, as critical thinkers move away from conservatism in droves. Universities are meant to be halls of science and learning. IPA is fearful of this though, as their anti-science, climate-denying agenda upsets their fossil fuel donors.

Their recent shrill of fear mongering regarding Western Civilisation is another leitmotif of the IPA.

Apparently, learning about the horrors and mass deaths and slavery caused by Western Imperialism is taboo, and all must be turned into pro-Western Civilisation robots.

Those pesky hundreds of millions slaughtered for land, oil, gas and other minerals are to be ignored and the supremacy of the white man is all powerful. The ancient regime of Neoliberal capitalism must be maintained at all costs … even as its demise is glaringly apparent throughout the West. Forty million live in poverty in the United States and 3 million in Australia.

Compounding their hatred for human rights is their rampant attacks on anyone who is not wealthy or white. The IPA will do anything to create division within society. They do this to throw shade on the rampant theft and erosion of social services by their wealthy donors. Instead of fighting for equality and a harmonious society, they seek to dislocate all that is decent and good, and push their “Political correctness is stifling free speech” mantra.

Demonising minorities in the mainstream press can lead to holocausts … but heaven forbid if the media is regulated in order to stop this cancer of hatred from flourishing in society. The Institute of Public Affairs need hatred and division. Their policies are so toxic and detrimental to the majority of Australians, this goon squad needs scapegoats in order to enrage those who lack critical thought and are poorly educated.

Unless this horrendous lobby group is tackled head on and exposed to the general public, the damage they will do is catastrophic. The IPA have already implemented many disgusting policies from their 75-point manifesto. The IPA are the very definition of a Fascist organisation. They seek to limit human rights in favour of private, corporate rights. Here is the definition of Fascism according to Wikipedia:

“A form of radical authoritarian nationalism. Characterised by dictatorial power, forcible opposition and control of industry and commerce … Opposed to Liberalism, Marxism and Anarchism, Fascism is usually placed on the far right of the traditional left/right political spectrum”

Unless the mainstream populace wakes up to this horrendous putsch from corporate Australia, we the people will lose everything we fought for over the past 100+ years. This includes pensions, our national broadcaster, unemployment safety nets, health and safety laws, our education system and our universal healthcare. The Institute of Pathetic Authoritarians must be fought with the fire of 10,000 Suns! The future of Australia depends on it!

Below is the 75 IPA manifesto for a dystopian Australia. Be very afraid!

1 Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy. But if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefits will be undone.

2 Abolish the Department of Climate Change

3 Abolish the Clean Energy Fund

4 Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

5 Abandon Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council

6 Repeal the renewable energy target

7 Return income taxing powers to the states

8 Abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission

9 Abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

10 Withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol

11 Introduce fee competition to Australian universities

12 Repeal the National Curriculum

13 Introduce competing private secondary school curriculum

14 Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

15 Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’

16 Abolish television spectrum licensing and devolve spectrum management to the common law

17 End local content requirements for Australian television stations

18 Eliminate family tax benefits

19 Abandon the paid parental leave scheme

20 Means-test Medicare

21 End all corporate welfare and subsidies by closing the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

22 Introduce voluntary voting

23 End mandatory disclosures on political donations

24 End media blackout in final days of election campaigns

25 End public funding to political parties

26 Remove anti-dumping laws

27 Eliminate media ownership restrictions

28 Abolish the Foreign Investment Review Board

29 Eliminate the National Preventative Health Agency

30 Cease subsidising the car industry

31 Formalise a one-in, one-out approach to regulatory reduction

32 Rule out federal funding for 2018 Commonwealth Games

33 Deregulate the parallel importation of books

34 End preferences for Industry Super Funds in workplace relations laws

35 Legislate a cap on government spending and tax as a percentage of GDP

36 Legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of budget deficits and the period the federal government can be in deficit

37 Force government agencies to put all of their spending online in a searchable database

38 Repeal plain packaging for cigarettes and rule it out for all other products, including alcohol and fast food

39 Reintroduce voluntary student unionism at universities

40 Introduce a voucher scheme for secondary schools

41 Repeal the alcopops tax

42 Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including:
a) Lower personal income tax for residents
b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers
c) Encourage the construction of dams

43 Repeal the mining tax

44 Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states

45 Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold

46 Cut company tax to an internationally competitive rate of 25 per cent

47 Cease funding the Australia Network

48 Privatise Australia Post

49 Privatise Medibank

50 Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function

51 Privatise SBS

52 Reduce the size of the public service from current levels of more than 260,000 to at least the 2001 low of 212,784

53 Repeal the Fair Work Act

54 Allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them

55 Encourage independent contracting by overturning new regulations designed to punish contractors

56 Abolish the Baby Bonus

57 Abolish the First Home Owners’ Grant

58 Allow the Northern Territory to become a state

59 Halve the size of the Coalition front bench from 32 to 16

60 Remove all remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade

61 Slash top public servant salaries to much lower international standards, like in the United States

62 End all public subsidies to sport and the arts

63 Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport

64 End all hidden protectionist measures, such as preferences for local manufacturers in government tendering

65 Abolish the Office for Film and Literature Classification

66 Rule out any government-supported or mandated internet censorship

67 Means test tertiary student loans

68 Allow people to opt out of superannuation in exchange for promising to forgo any government income support in retirement

69 Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built

70 End all government funded Nanny State advertising

71 Reject proposals for compulsory food and alcohol labelling

72 Privatise the CSIRO

73 Defund Harmony Day

74 Close the Office for Youth

75 Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme

Christian Marx is a political and social activist interested in making the world a fairer place. He has a Bachelor of Social Science and has a keen interest in sociology, politics and history. He was one of the organizers of the March in March rallies in Melbourne and is the founder of the progressive news and information page, “Don`t Look At This Page”, and is also a co-founder of “The Global Revolution” website.


18 comments

  1. Keith

    “Odious” is the word I use constantly to describe the IPA. They just don’t give a stuff about Australia, or ordinary decent Australians.
    Small government is their wish along with deregulation. The Banks were supposedly regulated, post secondary private education has become shambolic indications of the need for regulation.

  2. John O'Callaghan

    They go to extreme lenghts to keep the organisation secret, i was talking to a friend who i thought was right up with Australian and world politics which he is,and we could discuss most topics with ease, and i asked his opinion of the IPA,and he gave me this vacant blank stare and said he had never heard of them.
    When someone like my normally informed friend had’nt head of them,than that is a concern which we must address!

  3. MobiusEcko

    Please, someone, help us stop this right-wing media blitz. Just flicked through three morning news channels and at the same time they had:

    2 = Some IPA clown they regularly have on.
    7 = Pauline Hansen
    9 = Miranda Devine

  4. paul walter

    It has been horrific, the progress these lunatics have made over the last generation in particular.

  5. Andreas Bimba

    The Institute for Phucking Australia and likeminded organizations have also succeeded in building up the number of bigots and self centred conservatives in our electorates so that our corrupted democratic process often calls for even more neoliberal poison. The recent Tasmanian and South Australian election results being recent examples.

  6. Adrianne Haddow

    John O’Callaghan, I have had the same experience with friends.

    Even last weekend, in a discussion with friends on what we can do to stop this authoritarian lurch in government, I mentioned shining a light on the membership, activities, agenda and infiltration of these odious parasites, the IPA, into MSM and government positions.

    My friends asked ‘what is the IPA ?’ and were shocked to hear that a ‘think tank’ could have such influence.
    I wonder what cloud they’ve been living on….

  7. Sharyn Lacey

    They don’t mention abolishing government subsidies to private businesses, like the $30 mil they gave to Fox, apparently for Women’s sport. Why don’t they give $30 mil to the ABC for Women’s sport, then we can all see it for free. Surely this $30 mil flies in the face of IPA ideology?

  8. New England Cocky

    This excellent analysis clearly demonstrates why the IPA and similar organisations should be required to publicly disclose donations and donors within 24 hours (one business day) of receiving them, and then the Australian voters would be able to determine whether they wanted to support such individuals and corporations with their business. Certainly any donations from foreign owned multinational corporations should be banned.

    Then the about $150 BILLION PER YEAR free gratis and for nothing charitable gifts to the undeserving wealthy and corporates should be stopped which would seriously reduce the Budget deficit created by these alleged “more competent financial managers” whose have doubled the national debt for the benefit of foreign owned multinational bankers.

    Thank you Malcolm Turnbull for looking after your international banker mates our expense.

  9. helvityni

    I always suspected that all our Right-wing politicians had gone to their Finishing Prep School, they called it IPA for short to confuse their enemies….

    Always believe that your school is the best.
    No jokes allowed, put-downs are fine,
    so is smirking.
    Sledging lessons every Friday.
    Sunday is the Church Day.
    Attack the Left-wingers openly,
    your own side only behind closed doors.

  10. etnorb

    Perhaps the number 76 “reason” could be to ban this stupid, lying bunch of right wing flat earth idiots! From what I have read & heard about this bloody IPA mob, they should be made to close up, shut up & fuck up, for good! It seems to me that everything they supposedly stand for, is at odds with what should be happening in Australia, & the majority of their stupid “ideas” (?) are diametrically at odds with everything the Labor party represents. Perhaps the Federal Police could “investigate” this bloody mob, to see whether or not they are breaking any laws, as this Liberal mob seem to think it is ok for this to happen to any quasi Labor “thing” they want to close?

  11. Jennifer Demas

    The baron (Murdoch) treats Australia like the proverbial family farm, he dictates, the what, how, when of information and the whose to run the show. So really does anybody really believe and think that the baron, hoovered up media outlets for the sake of independent press freedom, pull the other one. Cicero, “here is a man whose life and actions the world has already condemned, yet whose enormous fortunes has already brought him acquitted”. He came close to eviscerating the social fabric of UK and was roundly condemned in (phone hacking scandal), yet he, like his hand picked kelpies (journos) sticks together like a nits on a horses mane caught in a wind tunnel, no different in Aus.

    IPA’s vision for the family farm named, Australia, the than USA President Woodrow Wilson, “the government which was designed for the people has got into the hands of bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set p above the forms of democracy”, and the rest is history, trickle morphed into a slow seep, viscerally angry people divided against it self and more trusting of the Trumpeter’s bull horn than the journos, a rear vision for Australia.

  12. David Bruce

    If getting rid of Murdoch and the IPA would solve the problem then it could be well intended karma. Somehow, I doubt this would be enough to turn the good ship Australia around.

  13. corvus boreus

    David Bruce,
    I think you might be seriously underestimating the pervasive malignancy that ‘Newscorp’ exerts upon the psyche of our society.

    Ps, that statement does not just apply to Australia.

  14. Zathras

    The above list of 75 items was published in August 2012.

    What is often overlooked is that the following year the same three IPA authors (John Roskam, James Paterson and Chris Berg) added the following 25 items to the list:

    76 Have State Premiers appoint High Court justices

    77 Allow ministers to be appointed from outside parliament

    78 Extend the GST to cover all goods and services but return all extra revenue to taxpayers through cutting other taxes

    79 Abolish the federal department of health and return health policy to the states

    80 Abolish the federal department of education and return education policy to the states

    81 Repeal any new mandatory data retention laws

    82 Abolish the Australian Human Rights Commission

    83 Have trade unions regulated like public companies, with ASIC responsible for their oversight

    84 End all public funding to unions and employer associations

    85 Repeal laws which protect unions from competition, such as the ‘conveniently belong’ rules in the Fair Work Act

    86 Extend unrestricted work visas currently granted to New Zealand citizens to citizens of the United States

    87 Negotiate and sign free trade agreements with Australia’s largest trading partners, including China, India, Japan and South Korea

    88 Restore fundamental legal rights to all existing commonwealth legislation such as the right to silence and the presumption of innocence

    89 Adhere to section 51(xxxi) of the Constitution by not taking or diminishing anyone’s property without proper compensation

    90 Repeal legislative restrictions on the use of nuclear power

    91 Allow full competition on all foreign air routes

    92 Abolish the Medicare levy surcharge

    93 Abolish the luxury car tax

    94 Halve the number of days parliament sits to reduce the amount of legislation passed

    95 Abolish Tourism Australia and cease subsidising the tourism industry

    96 Make all government payments to external parties publicly available including the terms and conditions of those payments

    97 Abandon plans to restrict foreign investment in Australia’s agricultural industry

    98 Cease the practice of setting up government-funded lobby groups, such as YouMeUnity, which uses taxpayer funds to campaign to change the Australian Constitution

    99 Rule out the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment for electronic gaming machines

    100 Abolish the four pillars policy which prevents Australia’s major banks from merging

    More than a few of the items are cause for concern. A true fascist/corporatist state is waiting in the wings.

  15. Zathras

    Tony Abbott’s speech at the IPAs 70th Birthday in 2013 –

    “Andrew thank you so much for that truly lovely introduction. All I can say is: I prefer your judgments to your reminiscences!

    Mr Premier, Mr Lord Mayor, Your Eminence, parliamentary colleagues, I don’t want to single anyone out because there are so many of them here but I should particularly mention the Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis who did such magnificent work in opposing the current government’s attacks on free speech, family members of the founder of the IPA, CD Kemp, Gina Rinehart, who has given what I’m sure is the best speech that any one will give tonight, ladies and gentlemen.

    At one level, tonight we celebrate the 70th birthday of the Institute of Public Affairs; but at a deeper level we celebrate things that are timeless – the freedom that our civilisation has nurtured and the faith that has nurtured our civilisation. In celebrating the IPA, we celebrate its calling which is to support and sustain the public culture which has shaped our country and influenced so well the wider world.

    In the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve could do almost as they pleased but freedom turned out to have its limits and its abuses, as this foundational story makes only too clear. Yet without freedom we can hardly be human; hardly be worthy of creation in the image of God. From the Garden of Eden, to the Exodus, Athenian democracy, the Roman Senate, Magna Carta, the glorious revolution and American independence, the story of our civilisation has been the story of freedom and our struggles to achieve it.

    Freedom, ladies and gentlemen, is what we yearn for but it can only exist within a framework of law so that every person’s freedom is consistent with the same freedom for everyone else. This is what the poet Tennyson meant when he described England as “a land of just and old renown, a land of settled government where freedom broadens slowly down from precedent to precedent”. At least in the English speaking tradition, liberalism and conservatism, love of freedom and respect for due process, have been easy allies.

    The IPA, I want to say, has been freedom’s discerning friend. It has supported capitalism, but capitalism with a conscience. Not for the IPA, a single-minded dogmatism or opposition to all restraint; rather a sophisticated appreciation that freedom requires a social context and that much is expected from those to whom so much has been given. You’ve understood that freedom is both an end and a means; a good in itself, as well as necessary for full human flourishing.

    I particularly congratulate the IPA and its marvelous director, John Roskam, for your work in defence of Western civilisation. Contemporary Australia has well and truly – and rightly – left behind the old cult of forgetfulness about our indigenous heritage. Alas, there is a new version of the great Australian silence – this time about the Western canon, the literature, the poetry, the music, the history and above all the faith without which our culture and our civilisation are unimaginable.

    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the foundation of our justice. “Love your neighbour as you love yourself” is the foundation of our mercy. Faith has weakened but not, I’m pleased to say, this high mindedness which faith helped to spawn and which the IPA now helps to protect and to promote.

    I want to say of the IPA that, unlike some other bodies dedicated to the promotion of an ideal, the IPA has never been too proud or too pure to campaign for its beliefs or to take sides in a good cause. Your campaign against the bill of rights caused a bad government to capitulate. You campaigned against the bill of rights because you understood that a democratic parliament, an incorruptible judiciary and a free press, rather than mere law itself, were the best guarantors of human rights.

    You campaigned against the legislative prohibition against giving offence and I’m pleased to say that the author of those draft laws is now leaving the parliament. Well done IPA! And, of course, you campaigned against the public interest media advocate, an attack dog masquerading as a watchdog, designed to intimidate this government’s media critics and that legislation was humiliatingly withdrawn. John, whatever you did to persuade independent members of parliament, please, give it to me!

    John, you’ve done very well with just 20 staff – but remember what Jesus of Nazareth did with just 12 and one of them turned out to be a rat!

    John, there is one campaign where you will not prevail – namely your urgent advice to me in the IPA Review last August to be more like Gough Whitlam. You had a great deal of advice for me in that particular issue and I want to assure you that the Coalition will indeed repeal the carbon tax, abolish the Department of Climate Change, abolish the Clean Energy Fund. We will repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, at least in its current form. We will abolish new health and environmental bureaucracies. We will deliver $1 billion in red tape savings every year. We will develop northern Australia. We will repeal the mining tax. We will create a one stop shop for environmental approvals. We will privatise Medibank Private. We will trim the public service and we will stop throwing good money after bad on the NBN.

    So, ladies and gentlemen, that is a big “yes” to many of the 75 specific policies you urged upon me in that particular issue of the magazine….but Gough Whitlam I will never be!

    Now, as it happens, John Roskam is not the only member of this audience to have had some regard for Gough Whitlam. Based on his papers’ 1972, support for the Whitlam Government our guest of honour tonight was once described as a “recovering socialist”. I suspect we will discover later on just how completely he has been cured!

    John Howard has said that Rupert Murdoch has been by far Australia’s most influential international businessman; but I would like to go a little further. Along with Sir John Monash, the Commander of the First AIF which saved Paris and helped to win the First World War, and Lord Florey a one-time provost of my old Oxford College, the co-inventor of penicillin that literally saved millions of lives, Rupert Murdoch is probably the Australian who has most shaped the world through the 45 million newspapers that News Corp sells each week and the one billion subscribers to News-linked programming.

    Rupert Murdoch has sometimes changed his political allegiance but he’s never changed his fundamental principles. At least since the mid-70’s, those have been greater personal responsibility, smaller government, fewer regulations and support for open societies that don’t build walls against the world.”

    Note the future echoes” of the recent Western Civilisation course funding debacle.
    The opening reference to Andrew is to Andrew Bolt, who MC’d the event.

  16. Win jeavons

    Insidious Pustulent Agency?

  17. Martin Connolly

    Great article – we need more people to realise how close a group like this is to serving and aspiring politicians.

    Just one issue I have with it – taxpayers’ money does NOT fund the ABC, or anything else.
    This is yet another story that might have been true when governments has to back their currency with precious metals or whatever.
    It certainly isn’t true today, so all the ‘debt and deficit’ talk, all the ‘return to surplus’ is just babble.
    (see https://theaimn.com/modern-monetary-theory-will-help/ for a start)

    This is not just the biggest threat to our democracy: it’s already well into it’s work, and has created a ‘new normal’ situation where we have to defend things like the ABC, Medicare, progressive tax rates which benefit many people but do not have favour with this self-interested group.

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