Fighting Fake News with REAL 21/1/23 Murdoch and heard of scum puppets revealed, Jacinda Ardern is proof,
What’s even funnier is Andrew Bolt dreams of retiring on a barge in Amsterdam and writing a novel. Let’s never forget it’s just a dream to placate the guilt of being the most impotent of the above Three Amigos whose only thing in common is being able to talk with their heads up their clackers.
In the Herald-Sun, Andrew Bolt managed to blame the war in Ukraine on climate activism, saying “Vladimir Putin would never have dared invade Ukraine if the green movement hadn’t first made Europe look helpless.” The only surprise was Andrew Bolt didn’t also try to blame the Ukraine war on African gangs from Melbourne’s outer suburbs.
Source: The war in Ukraine has nothing to do with “wokeness”, you’re just a right-wing nutjob | The Shot
Some of Sky News Australia’s biggest stars have refused to weigh into the network’s decision to remove more than 30 videos from its platform featuring them criticising public health advice on unproven treatments for COVID-19.
Source: Australia COVID: Sky News hosts silent as the channel deletes unproven treatment videos
A COVID-induced rancour that has broken out between Sydney’s commercial radio shock jocks and the Sky News night-time ravers over Sydney’s lockdown would be funny if it were not so serious.
Source: Right-wing shock jock stoush reveals the awful truth about COVID, politics and media ratings
Andrew Bolt attacks the educated simply because he’s not. He pretends to be and tells one and all he was educated at Adelaide University expecting that nobody would be bothered to check.( ODT)
Conservative politicians and political commentators are the antitheses of progressive education and free thinking in Australia, writes Dr A L Jones.
Source: Conservatives at war with Australian teacher education
Now that Donald Trump has gone, what will his ride-or-die supporters in Australian media do? How will they “own the libs” when the libs have their hand at the tiller? Whose ideas will they crib as US conservatism falls deeper into a post-Trump fugue? The recent output of high-profile Australian Trumpists suggests that the solution will be to gradually back away from Trump himself, even as they double down on aspects of the Trumpist movement. That’s necessary because, even for the diehards and the know-nothings, since the 6th of January, Trump the man has revealed himself to be a spectacularly toxic liability. He departed, according to Gallup’s numbers, as the least popular US president in the history of opinion polling: he had the lowest average approval rating over the life of his presidency and, unlike every other president since Roosevelt, he never enjoyed majority approval.We shouldn’t forget which Australian commentators carried water for Trump | Donald Trump | The Guardian
My beautiful but astonishingly pooey two-year-old has handled himself through this pandemic with more grace than Melbourne’s largest newspaper. And the Victorian Liberal Party. Both of whom should feel grateful I’ve listed them as distinct entities.These creeps are going to make the next few weeks harder than they need to be | The Shot
Shame, Pell, shame. You already know your standing in the general community. Yet you seem incapable of doing anything, ever, to try and put things right. You harp on about your innocence so much that the disconnect with Jesus’s own lack of similar protestations when his life was on the line seems almost laughable.
Of course, Pell can pick whoever he likes to interview him. But if he thinks he can recover one scintilla of public respect for going this way, he is badly mistaken.
via George Pell’s motive for Andrew Bolt interview is questionable
Western Culture looks less Western these days.
Whose Muslim? Whose Christian? Complexion protectors or Hijabs. Middle East was always hot; Now we all keep our distance and out of the sun.
Fighting Fake News with REAL,12/4/20; The Hidden Face of Western Culture; Perth Hottest April ever; News Corp promotes the vilification of Chinese Australians;
A Tale of two States
Paid for your crime and did your time yet? Not if you’re Indigenous, Working Class or belong to any other minority but Middle Class, White and Christian. Andrew Bolt with a history of guilty charges against him will tell the world that you can’t be trusted if you speak out on Q&A or protest on any other platform reinforcing this cultural bias in our justice system yet maintains he’s an exceptional victim.(ODT)
Victoria is the only state or territory in Australia that does not have a spent convictions scheme, which allows for minor convictions to be wiped from someone’s record after a period of time with no offending.
Old convictions holding back Aboriginal Victorians, inquiry told
When 9 year olds show their ability to think those politicians that don’t come racing in to the media space and declare beatings need be legalized (ODT)
Politicians are roasting an Australian nine-year-old after she refused to stand for the national anthem. They are now calling for grade 4 student Harper Nielsen, who says the anthem is racist, to be kicked out of school.
Harper, who goes to Kenmore South State School in Queensland, told Nine News that she chose to sit during the national anthem. She was given detention last week over her refusal to join her classmates in standing.
via Politicians, ex-PM slam 9yo Australian child for refusal to stand during ‘racist’ national anthem — RT World News
Murdoch Media is doing much the same in Australia
via Sinclair’s “Terrorism Alert Desk” segments are designed to gin up xenophobia via local news
Andrew Bolt still supports Milo and all other spokespersons for Pedophilia. Bolt will be MC on Milo’s live shows and can’t wait.
Milo Yiannopoulos Lashes Out After The Daily Caller Cancels Column
Rather than directly disputing the idea that same-sex couples should have the right to marry, they are highlighting the left’s allegedly intemperate rhetoric and dirty tricks. Rather than asking whether it’s anyone’s business who marries whom, they are trying desperately to make it into a question about something else.
Source: Burst your bubble Australia: marriage equality edition starring Bolt, Jones, Latham and Devine | Jason Wilson | Australia news | The Guardian
Margaret Court says tennis is full of lesbians and LGBT tendencies in young people are ‘all the devil’.
Source: ‘The devil’s after our kids’: Margaret Court’s second serve
Super sleuth Richard Koser reports on a fireside chat between Cory Bernardi and his bestie Andrew Bolt during a break in the filming of the ABC’s Recognition.
Source: Bernardi and Bolt have a fireside chat about the TV movie Recognition
Source: Krugers, Bolts and glass houses
The office of the Sydney Morning Herald has been a busy place since Paul Sheehan wrote his infamous piece on “Louise”. The column’s racially charged rape allegations have since unravelled. In the two weeks or so since it was published, it has yielded a video plea from the author to the subject, at least five separate apologies, a correction, a retraction, a press council complaint and an internal investigation by the editor-in-chief of the Herald.
Source: Lessons from Louise: the story of Paul Sheehan and the Sydney Morning Herald | The Monthly
A single image of a drowned boy half a world away has already split Australia’s ‘stop the boats’ consensus. Tony Abbott can only paper over it for so long
Source: The refugee crisis has opened an ugly fissure in Australia’s rightwing politics | Jason Wilson | Comment is free | The Guardian
As I flicked through the Murdoch Muckraker this morning, I spied a headline where I had difficulty deciding whether the sub-editor had a sense of irony, or no understanding of ambiguity:
TIME TO ACT ON ABC LYNCH MOB
Was this a change of heart from Andrew Bolt telling us that we should put a stop to this attack on the ABC’s independence? No, apparently it’s Q & A, that’s the lynch mob, not the media or the government. As the Prime Minister so eloquently put it:
“Now frankly, heads should roll over this, heads should roll over this.”
Which given that we’re talking about IS, I found a rather unfortunate choice of phrase. Beheadings are uncivilised, but heads rolling is apparently ok.
Mr Abbott wants an inquiry. And not an ABC inquiry because he’s afraid that they won’t find themselves guilty. He wants an inquiry that decides that heads need to roll. Which makes one wonder if there’s any actual need for an inquiry at all. Why not just ask Andrew Bolt:
‘No wonder that Abbott on Tuesday told his MPs: “We all know that Q&A is a Leftie lynch mob and we will be looking at this.”
But where’s the action?
Will the Government sack the board for the ABC’s failure to observe what it admits is its “statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial”?
And will it cut the vast ABC, with its five radio stations and four television stations, to a size less dangerous to democracy?’
See the ABC, by allowing someone into the audience has shown that it’s not impartial. What was it that Tony said :
“I think many, many millions of Australians would feel betrayed by our national broadcaster right now, and I think that the ABC does have to have a long, hard look at itself, and to answer a question which I have posed before – whose side are you on? Whose side are you on here?”
So we have a national broadcaster that is meant to be impartial, and not take sides. Except, of course, they should be on the government’s side. In a totally impartial way.
Now, many of you may not have watched Q & A, so they wouldn’t heard the response to Mr Mallah’s question, “What would have happened if my case had been decided by the minister himself and not the courts?”
“From memory, I thought you were acquitted on a technicality rather than it being on the basis of a substantial finding of fact,” Mr Ciobo replied.
“My understanding of your case was that you were acquitted because at that point in time the laws weren’t retrospective.
“But I’m happy to look you straight in the eye and say that I’d be pleased to be part of the Government that would say that you were out of the country.
Let’s sum up:
- Abbott and Dutton were suggesting a few weeks ago that the Minister should have the sole power to cancel the citizenship of a dual national, with Abbott arguing that if it were left to the courts, the person might be found not guilty.
- As Steve Ciobo pointed out, this person was only found not guilty on a technicality. That is, at the time of the offence, the offence wasn’t an offence, so he was really guilty and it was the court’s insistence that it apply the law rather than arbitrarily decide that “We shall decide who stays in this country and we should be allowed to pass laws retrospectively so that we can claim that the only reason that you haven’t been convicted of anything is that there isn’t a law against it yet, but by tomorrow, you’ll be charged with possessing an annoying attitude and we’ll introduce a mandatory sentence for you whether you’re found guilty or not!’
- Abbott wants his own inquiry into the ABC because allowing the ABC to run their own inquiry might result in them not finding themselves guilty of treason, whereas every inquiry Mr Abbott has set up has resulted in findings completely in agreement with his own views.
- The ABC is meant to demonstrate their “impartiality” by not allowing certain undesirable people to ask questions on Q & A. Tony Abbott is concerned that Q & A have provided a platform for people like Mallah and Malcolm Turnbull.
So, after being told that Stevy Ciobo would happily throw him out of the country, did Mr Mallah becoming violent? Threaten him? Urge us all to boycott “Masterchef”, or something else unpatriotic?
“The Liberals have just justified to many Australian Muslims in the community tonight to leave and go to Syria and join ISIL because of ministers like him.”
Well, if heads must roll, then heads must roll.
Tony Abbott became Prime Minister of Australia on September 7 2013. His leadership, and indeed his government has been so dreadful that less than half way through his three year term, a spill motion was moved against him. It was an election he won handsomely.
The only obstruction in his way was the appointment of a bunch of senators who in normal circumstances would never have been elected.
After surviving the spill he announced that good government would start the next day.
Since then there has been an attempt by the MSM to absurdly paint Labor as being responsible for the Coalition’s failures. But prior to this ridiculous notion its incapacity to govern with the slightest semblance of authority was blamed on “first term blues” which of course is a nonsense when you consider that most of the ministers are from Howards ministry. They should have been prepared.
And as Miranda Devine pointed out, the most academically qualified government ever. They had all the experience necessary to govern why then do they now blame Labor for all their woes.
On Andrew Bolt’s blog this week one could be forgiven for thinking that the right actually wanted the left to bail them out. To govern for them.
Try these for example.
“There are actually two governments in Australia. The main one controls the House of Representatives and is trying to cut spending – now – before the country gets smashed.’’
“The other government is a loose coalition in the Senate, comprising Labor, the Greens, Clive Palmer’s Senators and Jacqie Lambie. This coalition believes there is no financial disaster to fix and is blocking spending cuts and reforms to our welfare culture.”
“The Australian public should now demand Labor plays its part in resolving the nation’s fiscal problem.”
“Labor is content to let the Senate crossbenchers exercise the balance of power, but Labor has 25 seats in the Senate. Acting in concert with the government, the Labor senators could pass a package of measures to bring the structural budget back into surplus by the end of the decade…
If Labor can happily announce what it won’t pass, surely it can indicate the kind of measures it would vote for. That, voters might reasonably think, is a pretty basic responsibility of any alternative government that is using its numbers to hold up a significant part of a much-needed fiscal repair program.”
“According to record low polls for the government, we, the ¬people, have told the Abbott government it will be obliterated at the next election for aiming for a budget that spends only as much as it earns….
A modest Medicare co-payment with carve-outs for the needy and the young? No thanks.
A sustainable university funding model? No thanks.
A fairer pension system to better fund those in need as the ageing population grows? No thanks.
Reining in disability payments so those in genuine need are better cared for? No thanks.
Fewer middle-class perks — think baby bonuses, family benefits, childcare rebates — so money can be better directed to the poorest? No thanks…
And if voters continue to rebuff these efforts, what then? … [Labor leader Bill] Shorten will be handsomely rewarded for being irresponsible about budget reform, let alone the economy … “
Are these writers seriously suggesting that the Labor party should put lay long held ideological beliefs to appease a party who created a false economic spending crisis and the when it came to power, doubled it. All in the cause of bi-partisanship.
Bullshitting is bad enough but when people believe their own. That is intellectual dishonesty.
Middle class perks that Howard created every three years to get re-elected. Just forget that the LNP has never done a thing for pensioners and support an ill founded policy that takes from the poor and gives to the rich. A co-payment doctors fee that could be the pre curser to an American style health care system and a University funding scheme that reeks of inequality. In other words give up all that it stands for.
Putting aside the political naivety of all that rubbish for a moment, and the stupidity of it, one is entitled to remind the Prime Minister that it was he that was elected to govern and not Bill Shorten.
We might even remind him that incumbency gives government enormous powers and it’s not necessarily the job of the opposition to always take a bi partisan approach.
There are numerous reasons for the Coalitions inability to govern but the three main ones are, poor leadership, an ideology based on unfairness and a hostile senate. None of which the Labor Party is responsible for.
The first is a result of their own selection, the second, unfairness is anathema to the Australian public and the third is Abbott’s inherent stubbiness for compromise, or persuasion. It’s the captain’s choice or abandon ship. Take your pick.
Compromise or bi partisanship can and has been practiced in this country for as long as I can remember. Very rarely has a government controlled both houses. But not at the expense of the first rule of politics ‘’gain power’’ or indeed the second rule “retain power.”
“There are still people in my party who believe in consensus. I regard them as quislings, as traitors … I mean it.”
Too much bi partisanship can negatively result in a blurring of ideological demarcation between the parties, even discouraging agreement between more than one party. It can also prevent people not thinking beyond a two-party system.
Just because a party is finding it difficult having its way, it doesn’t follow, as the media and the government seem to want, that the opposition should, compromise and rescue every situation.
Rightly or wrongly we have an adversarial form of government. The Coalition is the government with everything at its power to form policy and implement it. The opposition is there to hold the government to account.
Abbott as Opposition leader said that “Oppositions oppose, that’s what they are there for”. He was called Dr No because of his blatant hostility to everything proposed by the Gillard and Rudd governments.
The reason put forward for Labor to reveal its economic policies is the current state of the budget, and in particular, spending, yet in 2010, in Tony Abbott’s first term as Opposition leader, he failed to produce anything like a detailed plan to curb spending, even in his Budget reply speech attacking debt and deficit just months out from the scheduled election. Abbott told Parliament that shadow treasurer Hockey would unveil measures to reduce spending and increase productivity at the National Press Club the following week. Joe hand balled it to Andrew Robb and the whole thing became a balls up.
The government doesn’t need bi partisanship to resolve these issues. It simply needs to come to its senses and admit it delivered an unfair budget and that revenue is as much a part of the problem as is spending.
I am yet to hear an economist say that the budgetary problems are beyond repair. It simply needs a strategy that takes into account an equitable fairness. Not a lifters and leaners approach that rewards the rich and privileged and condemns all others to some degree of poverty.
As Shadow Treasure Chris Bowen said in the Financial Review on Thursday. The Government could sell its fiscal reform message, but not when they are: (a) dishonest (b) inconsistent (c) flogging ill thought out policies and (d) not up to the task anyway.
The call for bi partisanship in this case is politically motivated and immature.
Having said that, there is a strong case, generally speaking, for less confrontational politics in this country and I have argued the case for openness, transparency and the common good many times.
We saw in the UK a very unique and rare example of bi partisanship when the three political leaders, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, have this month signed a pledge to tackle climate change. The closest we come to this is on National Security where it is in the Oppositions best interests to be bi-partisan.
Our system requires vigorous debate with a better, more civil and open exchange of ideas. But politics by its very nature cannot be devoid of opportunism and the pursuit of power. We can only ever hope for the better practice of it.
If you want otherwise then invent another system.
Bill Shorten has promised that this year will be a year of “ideas”. He will not be taking the small target approach that has been the norm for some time. “We are prepared to work on the big policies that go beyond parliamentary terms”, he told the National Press Club in November.
Let’s hope they are creatively sound, relevant for the times, the future, and economically affordable. That they have public support and don’t require political bi partisanship. The last recourse for bad ideas.
Tony Abbott said good government started on Tuesday 10 Feb. If he’s fair dinkum he doesn’t need Labor to get him out of a hole.
“The whole point about corruption in politics is that it can’t be done, or done properly, without a bipartisan consensus.”
“Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.”
Murdoch is turning the screws again, this time he has Abbott in his sights. When, Andrew Bolt, Nicky Savva, and Team Murdoch turns on him. you just know he is in trouble, and Team Australia is abandoning him in their droves. Must be driving Brian Loughnane quite mad, having his wife being asked to step down, I wonder who and how many phone calls he is taking these days?
NORMALLY, opposition parties are forced to cope with life in the wilderness. Not now. Today, and for almost 18 months, we have endured, enjoyed or been bewildered by government in the wilderness.
More disturbingly, the man in charge, so brilliant as opposition leader, so flawed as Prime Minister, shows few signs he is capable of leading his government out of it, and every sign the job is beyond him: that he is not up to it and might never be up to it.
The situation is that dire. Not because of a hostile media, a restless backbench or an effective opposition leader brimming with conviction or ideas, but because of the Prime Minister’s own actions.
Frontbenchers as well as backbenchers are realising it’s time to stop criticising staff and start directing the blame for the government’s predicament where it really belongs. With him. They now accept they have to convince him to change and if they can’t they will be forced to consider changing him. If their survival depends on his elimination, eliminate him they will. Count on it.
That is because ultimately Tony Abbott is responsible for all of it. He decides what is done, as well as who does it, he signs off on it or cedes the authority which allows it to happen, or simply turns a blind eye to it.
There is no guarantee the Prime Minister will perform better if he is forced to sack his chief of staff, Peta Credlin. Government insiders fear he has become psychologically dependent on her, a view supported by the private comments of friends who worry he would feel bereft without her.
Publicly his colleagues grappled with formulations to distance themselves from him after his decision to award a knighthood to Prince Philip without stabbing him in the front. Privately there was sorrow, anger, humiliation and as one said “utter utter disbelief” that he could do this to himself and to them. It will never be forgotten nor readily forgiven. Some were already doing numbers, apparently intending to impress upon him how much trouble he was in. After Monday, it acquired a deeper, more urgent focus.
According to one Liberal MP, the most obscure backbencher game enough or riled enough to put their hand up today would get 15 to 20 votes. Imagine what Julie Bishop could do if she wanted to.
Despite Kevin Andrews saying it has cost nothing, it could ultimately be the costliest decision Abbott has ever made because it encapsulated for sensible Liberals, including the monarchists, everything which is wrong with Abbott’s conduct as Prime Minister: his failure to consult; his failure to gauge the mood of the electorate; his failure to concentrate on issues mainstream Australians deem paramount; his failure to live up to repeated promises to do better.
Yesterday, his preparedness to accept responsibility, cop it on the chin and again undertake to consult more fell on increasingly deaf and hostile ears. They have heard it all before. Often.
If it was an isolated incident, he might have got away with it. If everything else was going swimmingly he might have got away with it. But it is not. Far from it. Unfortunately it is only the most recent of a very, very long line of blunders and miscalculations which have undermined his authority and diminished his capacity to prosecute the government’s case for tax reform, workplace changes or budget repair.
Take the Medicare rebate debacle. Abbott announced it after parliament rose, without backbench consultation, against the advice of Treasurer Joe Hockey and then health minister Peter Dutton. Days later as Christmas approached, he unveiled a ministerial reshuffle, including a new Health Minister, Sussan Ley.
Everyone went on holidays assuming it would automatically proceed as they had announced just because they had announced it.
Not bloody likely. Complicated, contentious policies have to be properly sold and explained before, during and after announcement.
Back in their electorates, MPs were confronted by irate GPs.
Queensland backbencher Mal Brough, flexing his muscles, was unhappy with the policy, as well as its plopping into the middle of the state election campaign, and orchestrated the campaign against it. Finally Ms Ley was called off the Titanic (or whatever cruise ship she was on), to declare the government would not proceed with the changes.
Unfortunately her cabinet colleague Bruce Billson was still strapped into his deck chair declaring, despite the icebergs, that it was full steam ahead. Another triumph for the internal communications of the government.
Abbott won the leadership five years ago as a result of a policy contest. If he falls as prime minister, policies will be a contributory factor, but it will be mainly because of the now fully exposed personality or character flaws.
The question is what next. The gloom will deepen and the resolve to act intensify if Queensland goes worse than expected, especially if Campbell Newman loses his seat. Abbott’s warnings to remember the consequences of the Rudd- Gillard battles and to consider that Ted Baillieu’s removal did not help in Victoria hold little sway. His faults are more pronounced and better known to voters than were Rudd’s, while the problem with Baillieu was not that he was removed, but that he was left there too long.
Liberals are evaluating the qualities of potential replacements, mainly Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull, with Scott Morrison on the periphery.
As Foreign Minister Bishop has performed very well, however, while she remains quarantined from them, she is also untested on domestic issues.
Turnbull is hated inside the party as much as he is admired outside it. His prospects would improve if he undertook not to push for an Emissions Trading Scheme until the rest of the world moved.
As one senior member of the government put it, choosing a leader is not so much about deciding who is the best candidate, but who is the least worst.
That is how Abbott got there and if he doesn’t improve, he will go out the same way.
Congratulations, God! Messiah Sets All Time La Liga Scoring Record!
CAMP NOU, BARCELONA, CATALONIA, SPAIN (CT&P) – Our Lord and Savior, the goal scoring Messiah Leo Messi scored a hat trick against Sevilla yesterday to set the all time career scoring record in La Liga. The three goals came during a 5-1 trouncing of the unfortunate Sevillistas much to the delight of Barcelona fans at Camp Nou. The former record was set by Telmo Zarra and has stood unbroken since 1955.
The Lamb of God tied the record of 251 goals with an absolutely divine free kick in the 21st minute that rose over the wall of opposing players, dipped like a star falling from the heavens, and sailed into the corner of the net. Sevilla goalkeeper Antonio Alberto Bastos Pimparel was powerless to block the shot delivered from the left foot of Our Lord.
“It was like the heavens opened and a bolt of lighting hit the net,” said a shaken Beto. “There is no fighting the power of the Son of God.”
The Prince of Pitch scored again in the 72nd minute to set the new scoring record at 252 goals. The goal came off a cross from his disciple Prince Neymar of Brazil.
To celebrate, his devoted disciples raised his body toward the heavens in an act of divine ecstasy.
“I’m just delighted to be here to witness these miracles week after week,” said Neymar after the game. “Leo is an all-powerful and all-knowing force out there on the field. He shepherds shot after shot through the heart of the unbeliever’s defenses. I’m just proud to assist him spread the Good News of Barcelona victories in any way I can.”
The King of Kings completed his Trinity of goals only six minutes later with a powerful low strike from the edge of the penalty area.
In an interview after the game, Barcelona captain Cardinal Xavi Hernandez told reporters that the Messiah was “simply the best player ever to grace a pitch.” “He is absolutely without sin on the football field,” said Xavi. “And he’s quite useful during practice as well, turning water into Gatorade on a regular basis. All praise be unto Him.”
Messi, who is only 27 years old, has a chance to top three hundred goals in his career, making it almost impossible to beat unless there is a “Third Coming” sometime in the distant future.
To the TROLLS at News Corp Bolt, McCrann, Sheridan who couldn’t have a moment of silence or bipartisan respect before dancing on his body ” virtually none of Gough’s reforms were repealed by the Fraser Government and most continue as part of our political identity to this day.” That is completely overlooked by you all in doing your masters work.
We want Gough
The list of reforms of the Whitlam government is quite unbelievable for such a short time in office.
Some of these reforms were small but significant in their symbolism — like selling the black Rolls Royce Commonwealth cars and replacing them with more modest white cars like those we see today. Some of the Whitlam reforms were momentous and truly shaped the future of the country, universal health care, land rights, free tertiary education and abolishing conscription being obvious examples.
It’s noteworthy that virtually none of Gough’s reforms were repealed by the Fraser Government and most continue as part of our political identity to this day.
After so many years in opposition, the Labor party were brimming with pent up plans for the country and were in a hurry to implement them — too much of a hurry perhaps. Whitlam polarised the nation as perhaps nobody since has done.
He also cast doubt upon our relationships with our grand old allies, the U.S. and UK.
He gave us a new national anthem to replace God Save the Queen. He abolished royal titles in Australia (that Abbott has now reinstated). He opened the question of whether or not Australia should host secret U.S. intelligence facilities, like Pine Gap. He ended conscription for the Vietnam War and ordered an end to Australian involvement in the U.S. orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected government of Chile.
Never before or since has Australia so substantially chartered its own course with respect to significant international events.
I recently wrote a series of articles at The Guardian on the sorry state of our democracies. Most of the points I discussed in those pieces didn’t relate to the Whitlam Government.
Love them or hate them, you have to admit that they didn’t sail close to the political wind and they weren’t afraid to lead. They stated their aims and they implemented reforms to achieve them. Gough Whitlam had a powerful vision for a different Australia and he tried to lead Australia towards that vision. Despite the high speed train wreck that ended the Whitlam Government, to a very large extent they succeeded in radically reshaping the country to more resemble their vision.
I, for one, think our country is immeasurably better off for having had that brief period of genuine political leadership. I may have lost my love of the Australian Labor Party but I never lost my love of Gough — warts and all.
Thank you Gough Whitlam, rest in peace.
Murdoch’s Brisbane masthead The Courier Mail has clearly displayed bias and inconsistency in its hysterical coverage of the Senate Inquiry into the Newman Government, writes Alex McKean and Stephen Keim SC.
THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF A SENATE INQUIRY into certain aspects of the Newman Government in Queensland has been greeted with howls of derision from Brisbane’s daily print newspaper, the Courier-Mail.
There was little evidence of balance in the coverage of the issue on 2 October 2014, when the paper contained a two-page spread condemning the Inquiry (nor again in today’s issue).
Liberal Senator Eric Abetz was reported as sounding the dire warning that the Inquiry, an instrument of Clive Palmer’s retribution, would cost Queensland 70,000 jobs.
Dennis Atkins said that the Inquiry would render Parliament a crime scene.
Another story, authored by Steven Scott, Sarah Vogler and Renee Viellaris, stated that the ‘taxpayer-funded’ Inquiry would double as a ‘PUP pre-election spruik’.
Yet another article, by Greg Stoltz, drew a connection between the Inquiry and outlaw bikies, who were said to be thanking Clive Palmer for taking up their fight against the Newman Government. Mr Stoltz said that both Clive Palmer and Senator Glenn Lazarus had emerged as ‘heroes of the violent motorcycle gangs that police have spent years battling to bring under control’.
The big guns have been brought to bear, with Andrew Bolt contributing a lengthy piece in which he described the Inquiry as a ‘witch-hunt’. Bolt said the Inquiry was a ‘posse’ which had been created to ‘dig for dirt’ on the Newman Government.
Readers were exhorted to ‘be in no doubt that this is personal’ and were directed to ‘look at the grubbiness’. Bolt derided the Labor Party for ‘sinking to Palmer’s level’ by backing the Inquiry before signing off with the phrase: ‘grubby, grubby, grubby’.
The editorial ran many of the same lines, accusing the Palmer United Party of cynically playing Labor and the Greens to set up the Inquiry.
The Inquiry, itself, was described as
‘… one of the most outrageous abuses of power and process seen in the history of the Senate.’
The editor’s language became even more intemperate when he described the Inquiry as a
‘… voodoo mix of conspiracies and prejudices about the Newman government.’
Readers of the Courier Mail might be forgiven for missing, amongst the hyperbole, the facts that the Inquiry is targeted at investigating the disposition of moneys flowing from the Commonwealth toward Queensland in the days after the Newman Government came to power; the propriety of the Commonwealth’s devolving powers to issue environmental approvals to the Queensland State government; the separation of powers and judicial independence in Queensland; and the extent to which Queensland government policies and practices are consistent with international human rights obligations.
These terms of reference raise, among other things, issues of possible misappropriation of Commonwealth funds, originating from the taxpayer, by a State government. The focus of the inquiry appears to be whether those funds were applied to party political purposes here in Queensland.
These are important issues involving possible high-level government corruption and misuse of taxpayer funds.
The prospect of the Newman Government being released From federal restraints on approval of development on environmental grounds is disturbing and, seemingly, an appropriate area for inquiry by a body truly independent of that government.
There has been a series of revelations of political donations to the Newman Government or individuals, therein, principally, by proponents of development and mining proposals being closely followed or preceded by favourable legislation or administrative actions which have benefitted those donors.
The premier, Campbell Newman, is strongly supportive of developers and miners, seemingly, over many other public policy considerations.
Premier Newman has declared, on a number of occasions, that Queensland is ‘open for business’.
In very recent times, legislation was rushed through the Parliament under cover of darkness to remove, effectively, the public’s right to object to huge mining developments.
It is informative to compare the response of the Courier Mail to this decision by the Senate to establish an Inquiry to its editorial reaction to the announcement of other recent inquiries which may have been thought by some to have political, as well as public policy, motivations .
For example, on 9 February, this year, the newspaper’s headline blared
‘Royal Commission into Trade Unions is Overdue’.
This opinion piece was attributed to unidentified ‘staff writers’. It is tempting to speculate that none of the ‘staff writers’ wished their by-line to be used to identify them as endorsing the establishment of an inquiry that clearly had a strongly partisan purpose.
The ‘staff writers’ began with a series of unsupported assertions, an example of which was:
‘It is no secret that unions… are a haven for crooks and swindlers.’
The writers then heaped praise upon Prime Minister Tony Abbott for having the courage to look into the shadowy world of trade unions. The writers compared PM Abbott, favourably, with Premier Newman, who was also cast in a favourable light.
The staff writers drew favourable connections between PM Abbott’s campaign against the criminal trade unionists and Premier Newman’s legislative campaign against motorcycle gangs in Queensland. It is worthy of note that the manner in which Mr. Newman’s government has legislated, purportedly, against “bikies” has also been controversial, including among experts on law enforcement.
The staff writers ended their by laying down the gauntlet to the Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, to
‘… play a prominent role in stamping out the cancer of corruption.’
Similarly, on 7 October 2013, the same or different ‘staff writers’ welcomed the announcement of the Home Insulation Program, or ‘pink batts’ Inquiry by the then newly elected Abbott Government. Many observers felt that the decision to establish this Inquiry into a subject that had been investigated by a Parliamentary Committee, an administrative inquiry, the CSIRO, coroners from New South Wales and Queensland, and the auditor-general was politically motivated.
Political motivation was not a word in the vocabulary of Courier-Mail staff writers on that occasion.
The opinion piece ran under the headline:
‘Next insulation inquiry merits the whole truth’.
The piece concluded by expressing the satisfaction of the authors that the terms of reference drawn up by the Abbott cabinet,
‘… included the ability to call former Labor ministers, including Mr Rudd and Mr Garrett, to testify as to what they really knew.’
It is the case that political institutions can establish inquiries with mixed motives. Very few decisions of politicians do not involve some calculation of political advantage as well as public benefit.
It is a legitimate concern, however, when the political calculus appears to dominate the considerations of the public good.
It is important that journalists and news organisations monitor and report both the public benefit and political advantage aspects of politicians’ actions so that the public is informed about these matters.
The public and, especially, the journalists’ readers are entitled to accept a degree of balance, consistency and impartiality in the way this task is carried out.
The recent history of the Courier-Mail in reporting the establishment of public inquiries shows that that news organisation, and its journalists (who, presumably, have little choice in the matter), have fallen well below these basic journalistic standards.
You can follow Stephen Keim on Twitter @StephenKeim1.