Let’s face it Murdoch was caught out with the fake photo shoot at the Alfalfa Club in Atlanta in an effort to boost Tony Abbott’s stocks in his Daily Telegraph and they were both cought out in that lie too.(ODT)
Mr Turnbull challenged Mr Murdoch over the coverage of his government in News Corp newspapers and its Sky News television channel, arguing the media company was intensifying the leadership turmoil.
Fairfax Media has been told Mr Murdoch played down his part in fuelling the leadership speculation, saying it was primarily a matter for his son Lachlan, who is his co-chairman and a stronger presence in the company’s Australian operations.
Australia’s Democracy corpratized and brought to it’s knees for over a decade. (ODT)
Malcom Turnbull’s demise as Australia’s 29th prime minister was unusual for many reasons, and truly unique for one: his was the first known prime ministership to be the subject of a billionaires’ tug of war between the nation’s most powerful media moguls.
Just over a week ago, on Friday 10 August, U.S. media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s private jet touched down in Sydney and unloaded him back in the land whose citizenship he’d spurned years before for reasons of rank ambition and untrammelled greed.
Rupert Murdoch owns a very big business — News Corp, which produces 60 per cent of the newspapers in Australia by circulation and operates the only cable network. He would have also seen Turnbull emerge from the Party room last Tuesday, overjoyed his caucus had endorsed his centrepiece energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). Much of the media declared this a triumph for the (current) Prime Minister. Murdoch probably wouldn’t have agreed, being not only a climate change denier, but also an oil-man.
Last month, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell made headlines when he suggested he aimed to empower the far right across Europe, drawing the ire of critics at home and abroad. Yet a new Reuters report reveals he’s hardly an outlier within the Trump administration.
According to the international news agency, Sam Brownback, a former Kansas senator and governor, who currently serves as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, lobbied Britain’s envoy to the U.S. to release infamous ultranationalist Tommy Robinson following his 13-month conviction for contempt of court. What’s more, Brownback appears to have acted at the behest of Breitbart, the far-right news site whose former chairman, Steve Bannon, previously served as Trump’s senior White House adviser.
When the US and Bannon are Australia’s greatest threats. 1) Following the US model of enslaving citizens and diminishing the value of labor 2) Hanging on the coattails of Trump’s global unpredictability. (ODT)
Australia, you didn’t know it, but you’ve been at the very forefront of Donald Trump’s project. “I think Australia is in a fight for the ages” that will decide whether the nations of the West can keep their sovereignty against Chinese intrusion, says Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, now a coach and adviser to populist movements worldwide.
“Australia is at the forefront of the geopolitical contest of our time,” he tells me in his first interview with an Australian media outlet. He goes so far as to say that “what’s playing out in Australia is more important than what’s happening in the US and other places”.
Of course, The Australian is Rupert Murdoch’s favourite broadsheet. It loses around $20 million every year but Murdoch refuses to give it a decent burial, instead, using it as a feeder publication for the likes of Jones, Bolt and Hadley and other shock jocks of dubious accountability.
Shock jocks who shout the most outrageous lies and vilify people’s character with impunity and in the process do nothing to promote decent democratic illumination.
The Australian online edition is full of anti-ALP headlines that at times beggar belief. One example is their support for the Government’s massive tax cuts for the top end of town. One day recently I counted 10 headlines either supporting the government or attacking Labor.
In every publication, derogatory names for the Leader of the Opposition are used more often than “stop the boats.” Because of there juvenile nature none have captured the imagination of the public. Now they are having another go with “Unbelieva-Bill.” Unbelievable isn’t it.
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Of course, these days Murdoch and his majority-owned newspapers; with blatant support for right-wing politics have done nothing to advance Australia as a modern enlightened democratic society. On the contrary, he has damaged it, perhaps irreparably. His only interest seems to be the elimination of the ABC and the superiority of right wing conservatism.
Just how many Cabinet Ministers and LNP Politicians are paid up menmbers of the IPA Fifeild is ? Why can Murdoch’s Pay to view Channels be allowed to also take in advertising revenue and when is it obvious that programs are little more than advertorials? (ODT)
You’d think the relationship between News Corp and the business lobby was cosy enough already. But the Business Council of Australia wanted more favourable coverage of its campaign for big business tax cuts. After talking to, but not using, Cambridge Analytica to improve its campaigning style, the BCA began raising funds and locked in the support of News Corp Australia.
As part of its political campaign, For the Common Good, the business lobby inked a media deal with News Corp and Sky News for which it paid Rupert Murdoch’s empire a reported $1m.
For the cash the business lobby gets coverage of its agenda in the form of a series of television programs over 12 months, newspaper articles and community events to promote the “positive contribution of business” to the nation.
When Roger Ailes left Fox News, the network lost its programming mastermind. But Donald Trump has stepped into the void.
In an article posted on Vanity Fair Friday, correspondent Gabriel Sherman explained how Trump has replaced Ailes as the Programmer-In-Chief:
But the internet service providers– corporations such as Verizon and Comcast, were deeply unhappy about the neutrality, the liberty of the internet. They would like to charge MSNBC millions of dollars a year to deliver their news site to the public. What they have in mind is to create lanes on the internet– fast lanes and slow lanes.
It has been demonstrated that if a web site takes a little longer than usual to download, readers simply close the page and go on to another site. So the sites slotted into the slow lane over time will lose all their readers.
And you get slotted in the slow lane because you cannot pay the millions for delivery of your site that MSNBC or Fox can.
In other words, fast lanes and slow lanes wipe out the diversity of the internet and deliver it into the hands of a few billionaires and of governments such as the Russian Federation, who can pay for a fast lane.
It would be as though all highways in the US cost $1,000 to get on each day, and if you couldn’t pay that, you’d have to use surface roads, service roads and dirt roads to get where you are going. Billionaires could get on the highway because for a billionaire $1000 is chump change.
Ken Clarke has suggested that David Cameron did “some sort of deal” to win the support of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers in the run-up to the 2010 election. According to Clarke, in his evidence to the Competition and Markets Authority, when – at Cameron’s instigation – he held a meeting as justice secretary with Rebekah Brooks, she “described herself as running the government now in partnership with David Cameron”.
Bannon sent articles to white extremist leaders for line edits
With Bannon gone, the far-right media trolls are ready to break up with the White House
A Vice News film crew embedded with a far-right speaker in Charlottesville last weekend seeks to highlight the motivations of white supremacists
ReachTEL: 51-49 to LaborThe Coalition gets a better federal voting intention result from ReachTEL, although the result would be more typical of recent polling of preferences are applied as per the 2016 election result.Essential Research: 54-46 to LaborLabor maintains its wide lead in an Essential Research poll that also gauges opinion on party polarisation, same-sex marriage and foreign leaders.BludgerTrack: 53.0-47.0 to LaborA bit of a fillip for Labor in the latest reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, and also for Bill Shorten whose net approval rating has edged ahead of Malcolm Turnbull’s.My thought for the day.”Just because we are governed by clowns it doesn’t mean we have to laugh.”
Fox guest: “If it’s an interview” with Trump, “it’s on Fox”
Media Matters to Ofcom: Latest developments at Fox News prove the Murdochs aren’t fit to take over Sky
In the firing line is Ten’s news division. Staff fear their local weeknight bulletins will be replaced by a national news hour, produced by Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News. Sydney newsreader Sandra Sully is tipped to host the new service, which may retain the Eyewitness News branding. Share on Facebook SHAREShare on Twitter TWEETPopular Ten programs such as The Project will continue unchanged. For now.Popular Ten programs such as The Project will continue unchanged. For now. Photo: TenIt’s possible this bulletin will feature local news “windows”. Even so, viewers will see a drop in state-specific stories. Any cuts to news will affect Studio 10 and especially The Project. Every day, it uses Eyewitness News footage. Sometimes, it even borrows its equipment.
Right-wing media is failing in its attempt to manufacture consent. Jeremy Corbyn proved that even with the entire mainstream media against him (even the BBC) it is possible to smash through the lies and spin of Murdoch and his other 5 billionaire friends who control more than 80% of the U.K media
Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is currently trying to take full control of the United Kingdom satellite broadcasting company Sky — which oversees Sky News. Such a move would increase media consolidation in the U.K., and it raises concerns that the Murdochs could seek to turn Sky News into a right-wing propaganda outlet like Fox News. In the c
The merger has been greeted with silence by ministers who usually welcome foreign investment. That’s because Murdoch is as controversial as ever
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The ‘Fake Sheikh’ has been jailed for 15 months for lying in the service of News UK. It’s time for Leveson part two to begin, and end the company’s corruption
The screaming headline on the front of today’s edition of The Sun added to the shredding of Tony Blair’s reputation. “Weapons of Mass Deception,” it blared. That was bit rich, considering the role of The Sun and the rest of the global media empire owned by Rupert Murdoch in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Media mogul, who was gung-ho for the invasion of Iraq, now wants us to believe he – and the Sun – were taken in by Britain’s prime minister
Two weeks ago Rupert Murdoch’s ex wife No.3 Wendi Deng was arm-in-arm with hunky violinist Charlie Siem, 17 years her junior who also dabbles in a bit of underwear modelling.
It’s a brave politician who dares take on Rupert Murdoch, especially in an election year. But that’s exactly what Malcolm Turnbull looks set to do.
Those puzzled by the Heydon Gang’s decision to clear Bill Shorten of all criminal hypotheses months ahead of schedule need only look at the timing, writes Bob Ellis.
‘This guy has got to go, and it has to happen before Christmas,’ Malcolm Turnbull said of Tony Abbott a month ago in conversation with colleagues.
Illustration by Simon Kneebone For those watching closely this week, Rupert Murdoch’s tweets clearly signposted how the political scenario is likely to unfold over the next six months. There will be a snap election. The trigger for this will arise from either a leadership challenge or a double dissolution. The latter is the more probable of the…
Fox News is outraged that the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia — where over 87% of residents are Muslim — moved their annual Fourth of July celebration “out of respect” for those observing Ramadan in the country, claiming that they’re just being “overly sensitive” to Islam and using the event to claim the United States is “leading from behind” on foreign policy.
On June 4, the United States Embassy in Indonesia celebrated the Fourth of July after Ambassador Robert Blake moved up the celebration one month “in order to respect the upcoming Ramadan month,” according to The Jakarta Post.
During the June 10 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck and guest Jim Hanson criticized the embassy’s decision to move up the Independence Day celebration, blasting them for being “overly sensitive to Islamic sensibilities.” Citing the decision as evidence that the Obama administration has “lost its way,” Hanson asserted that the U.S. is “the exceptional nation” and “should act like it. That’s not being rude or insensitive to other people, that’s just what you should do.” Hasselbeck agreed, suggesting that this is another example of the administration “leading from behind”:
Hanson argued that “Indonesians are hardly the most extreme Muslims,” but Fox’s outrage ignores that Indonesia has the highest population of Muslim residents in the world. According to the Pew Research Center, 87.2% of the population in the country identifies as Muslim — meaning the large majority of the country would be fasting in observance of Ramadan during the celebration had it not been moved.
From The Age : Stephanie Peatling,
” Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appointed a new personal photographer:”
News Corp photographer .
By proposing new regulations to cover Australia’s media, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has started a war with cranky old press propagandist and pay TV monopolist Rupert Murdoch, writes Rodney E. Lever.
‘A government can no more regulate the news that it can regulate the weather. Hitler and Mussolini tried and look what happened to them?’
[Note: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were European dictators who exerted iron control over their media. In the end, Hitler shot himself in the head and Mussolini was last seen hanging from his feet outside a butcher shop in Italy.]
I wrote the above Tweet when I woke to Fran Kelly on the ABC passing on the news that Rupert Murdoch had entered the fray over a submission presented to Prime Minister Tony Abbott by his wily rival, Malcolm Turnbull.
The previous day, the whole story had appeared in the Fairfax-owned Australian Financial Review, also engaged heavily now in a battle with the Murdoch papers.
Of course, we all know that Rupert Murdoch himself has been personally regulating his own media from the moment his father died in 1952.
The 84 year old Rupert has employed the same strategies in Australia, Britain and the USA for the past 63 years, and any ambitions Turnbull might have to change anything is centred on Turnbull’s own desire to crush Abbott.
Regulating the media is as old a part of world politics as the media itself — from when in 1440 Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg, a blacksmith, launched his home made printing press in Germany and human beings soon began to read for the first time from printed paper.
Now, in 2015, on March 16 Murdoch tweeted to his half million followers the following:
What Turnbull wants to do is to give the existing Australian media (including TV Channel 9) an opportunity for greater sharing of stories and for easier merging with other TV stations. The overall plan would enable media companies to compete with unregulated digital enterprises, like Independent Australia and its various competitors.
What is not clear yet is whether the unregulated new sources would remain unregulated.
The Turnbull plan also covers matters like free to air sports coverage and the imminent entry of the U.S. Netflix service to Australia. It will offer a paid fee opportunity to watch current movies on the home TV.
The plan leaked from Abbott’s office so fast that the ink was barely dry and Murdoch in New York was informed of Turnbull’s plan only minutes later.
News has always been a problem for those who want to manipulate it to their own advantage and Rupert Murdoch is the master of that skill. His newspapers are losing money nearly as fast as his multiple other ventures in other parts of the world are bringing in profits.
His personal use of newspapers has always been the source of his power over governments, politicians and other and his business rivals — but has been rarely displayed in such force until today.
You can follow Rodney on Twitter @RodneyELever.
The purpose of journalism is to serve the community and the purpose of political journalism is to give citizens the information they need to participate in civic affairs. Political journalists should serve as watchdogs to assure honest governance and campaigns.
Politics is often portrayed as a “game.” Indeed, sports and metaphors pepper political writing. Unlike other “games,” political ones have real world consequences: war or peace; high taxes or low; jobs or unemployment; health care or not; tackling climate change or pursuing unfettered mining. Considering the ramifications, political journalists bear a heavy responsibility to present the facts to the electorate.
The Herald Sun is a Murdoch tabloid newspaper based in Melbourne. It is the highest-circulating daily newspaper in Australia, with a weekday circulation of 515,000 and readership of 1,500,000.
Two days before the 2013 Federal election the anonymous editorial gave this ‘astute’ pronouncement which read more like a paid advertorial than insightful analysis:
“TONY Abbott stands ready today to become Australia’s new prime minister with a set of economic and social policies to take the nation into a safe and assured future.
Mr Abbott and the Coalition have shown they are more than ready to govern whereas another three years of Labor will condemn the nation to more destructive class-war politics and policy on the run.
We believe Mr Abbott stands ready to seize the day. His has been a disciplined performance in a bitter and deeply divided Parliament. He has proved himself a man of principle.
Tony Abbott has matured as a leader. He has gained people’s trust to do a tough job in tough economic times.
The Herald Sun believes Mr Abbott should be given the opportunity tomorrow to restore Australia for Australians.
We urge Australians to vote for Mr Abbott and elect him as our 28th prime minister.”
Righto then. (Note to self: Do not rely on The Herald Sun’s judgement)
Fast forward to February 2 this year. Also in the Herald Sun, Tony’s most ardent supporter, Andrew Bolt, is forced to concede:
“The LNP defeat [in Queensland] also damaged Abbott because the analogy between Newman’s fall and Abbott’s own decline is so powerful.
Newman broke promises, picked too many fights, rammed decisions down voters’ throats and carried on at times like an autocrat, making idiosyncratic decisions such as appointing an underqualified magistrate his chief justice.
He just seemed arrogant and beyond voters’ control — a fatal flaw.
Australian voters can’t be commanded, tricked, bullied, surprised, taken for granted or treated like fools. How many leaders have learned that already? Abbott, too, has broken promises — on spending cuts and tax rises. And, like Newman, he picked too many fights, announced radical schemes without real consultation and made several idiosyncratic decisions, such as reinstating knighthoods.
He now seems out of touch, unpredictable and too self-willed. One who imposes, not persuades.”
Oh? Do tell.
Abbott, in his all-encompassing search to blame others, has suggested that we have been too generous in giving “benefit of the doubt” to bad people.
I could list countless examples where that is true in domestic violence and child abuse cases. If you look at the history you wonder why those entrusted to protect us failed so badly.
In politics, it is up to the media to protect us but, with some notable exceptions, they have failed to see the pattern and to warn of the risk.
The mainstream media, along with the Liberal Party, are like a victim of political abuse, wanting to believe that their abuser truly loves them and will change.
“I have listened. I will change from now on. I’ll be better…..promise.”
How many times do you listen to this before you decide to leave?
Look at the examples of violence and aggression over the years that Abbott has either denied, defended, skited about, or, as a last resort, apologised for.
In 1976, while at University, Tony kicked in a glass panel door after a narrow defeat in the University Senate elections .
There was the 1977 charge of indecent assault where Abbott argued that Helen Wilson “was speaking about me in a highly critical way”.
The same year saw the ‘alleged’ physical intimidation of Barbara Ramjan. After she beat Mr Abbott for the presidency of the Sydney University Student Representative Council, he put his face close to hers and punched the wall either side of her head.
There was also the proven charge of destruction of public property. In celebrations after passing his final year economics examination, Abbott was challenged to bend a street sign. As he did so two policemen spotted him. The offence was proven but no conviction was recorded. Look how strong I am, nobody punishes me.
Lindsay Foyle, a former deputy editor of The Bulletin and a past president of the Australian Cartoonists’ Association, revealed that Tony Abbott once threatened to punch him because of a disagreement over abortion.
“Greg Sheridan, the education writer on The Bulletin, arrived with some people who did not work with us. The interlopers were soon identified as radicals involved in student politics at the University of Sydney.
They quickly explained how the world went around and why they had to extinguish their opposition at the university and the rest of the country. Unfortunately, I did not agree with everything that was said and a few feathers got ruffled. The main point of contention was a woman’s right to control pregnancy, either via contraception or abortion. My view was that it was something those involved should settle on, not people like me who didn’t have to live with the consequences of the decision. To the activists that view was just as unacceptable as abortion.
The largest of the lot was a person named Tony Abbott. He decided the quickest way to settle our differences was to take me downstairs and demonstrate how I was wrong by punching my head in.”
Abbott loves to speak about his sporting past which is more renowned for aggression than talent or finesse.
After being swiftly dumped from the rugby union team at Oxford, Tony entered the boxing ring where he got his much wanted blue for hitting people.
In the 80s, Abbott punched team mate Joe Hockey at football training leaving him unconscious and with two black eyes. The angst was caused by Hockey’s disapproval with Tony’s captain’s picks for team selection. How ironic.
Tony has skited about his point scored in the best and fairest awards for landing a good punch on an opponent suggesting that “sometimes, to be the best and fairest, you have to throw the first punch”.
He has admitted that his only skill at cricket was sledging.
This same ‘skill’ was on display in his threat to “shirtfront” Vladimir Putin. What leader of a democratic nation speaks this way?
Throughout his public career, Abbott has expressed his dislike of outspoken women and his mistrust of homosexuals, finding both “threatening”. His attitude to feminists and gays has changed little over the years.
During his time in the Howard Government, Tony Abbott was once escorted out of Parliament because he moved in a threatening manner towards the Opposition benches just after Labor’s Graham Edwards, a Vietnam Veteran who had lost both his legs during the Vietnam War, had interjected: “You’re a disgrace”.
Tony has admitted to ‘mistakes’ over the years, like when he personally attacked terminally ill campaigner, Bernie Banton. These admissions only happen after public outrage and outing by the media.
After Abbott became leader of the Liberal Party, he encouraged his followers to attack Julia Gillard in the most personal vile sexist manner that I have ever viewed in politics. And this is how the Abbott government has proceeded. Watch how Christopher Pyne tries to shut down Kate Ellis on Q&A.
When the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, suggested we were already seeing the results of climate change and criticised Abbott’s Direct Action Plan as inadequate, he dismissed her saying she was “talking through her hat”.
Tony will not tolerate being questioned.
When asked about his “shit happens” comment about the death of a soldier in Afghanistan, Tony went into catatonic meltdown where the suppressed violence was palpable.
When asked why Peter Slipper was facing prosecution when Abbott had incorrectly claimed far greater expenses for his book signing tour, Abbott repeteadly says “the matter has been fully dealt with” before telling the female journalist to “calm down”.
When asked about corruption in the NSW government, Abbott attacked the female journalist.
“Prime minister, do you trust this government – the state government – which is proving to be corrupt, to deliver your major infrastructure plans?”
Abbott reacted angrily to the question, lecturing the woman who asked it and demanding that she “withdraw” the question.
“That is an entirely unjustified smear,” said Abbott. “Let me not mince my words, madam, an entirely unjustified smear and frankly, I think you should withdraw that and apologise because there is no evidence whatsoever for that.”
This same attack mode is used against those within his own party who dare to speak up as shown by the violent verbal tirade directed against Wyatt Roy for suggesting that honesty might be a better way to deal with their broken promises.
“Abbott was furious. He rounded on Roy, yelled at him, then directed his remarks to all of them that there were no effing broken promises and no one should concede there had been.”
And if any further proof was needed, Tony Abbott’s reprehensible response to the report on children in detention shows exactly what sort of person we are dealing with.
“The Australian Bar Association and Law Council of Australia agree that personal attacks deflect attention from the very serious findings of the report and place an individual office holder under significant pressure – we cannot tolerate our public officials and institutions being subjected to this barrage for fulfilling their statutory duties,” ABA president Fiona McLeod and Law Council president Duncan McConnel said. “To do so is to compromise the integrity of those institutions charged with holding the government to account.”
Tony Abbott is an aggressive controlling man who has been encouraged to believe his abilities are greater than they are. He is a serial abuser.
What sort of message are we sending if we tolerate and reward this sort of behaviour?
Are we going to continue to be taken for mugs by this bully?
Are the Liberal Party and the media going to give him “the benefit of the doubt” yet again?
Will the people of Australia believe that a man whose natural reaction is aggression has “listened and changed”?
As Tony Abbott himself pointed out, “we need to have decent standards in this country. We need to have decent standards from the media, if I may say so as well as decent standards from politicians.”
PM moves vote forward shortly after Malcolm Turnbull emphasises the importance of keeping it on Tuesday, angering numerous MPs
Tony Abbott has brought forward the vote on the leadership spill motion by one day, shortly after Malcolm Turnbull emphasised the importance of keeping it on Tuesday.
The decision to rush the vote angered numerous MPs, including NSW senator Arthur Sinodinos, a former assistant treasurer and the chief of staff to John Howard.
Time is running out for Tony Abbott’s chaotic and dysfunctional government
Lenore Taylor political editor
The backbench MP for Brisbane, Teresa Gambaro, warned against an “internal climate of fear and intimidation” and said: “We cannot govern the country through belligerence and hubris.”
The prime minister announced he had asked the chief government whip, Philip Ruddock, to call a special party room meeting for 9am on Monday to consider the spill motion.
The spill motion brought by two West Australian backbenchers was originally expected to be considered at Tuesday’s regular party room meeting, the first of the year.
Abbott said it was “important to end the uncertainty at the very beginning of the parliamentary sitting week” and deal with the spill motion and “put it behind us”.
“The normal party room meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning will also go ahead in the usual way,” he said.
“The only question – the only question – for our party is do we want to reduce ourselves to the level of the Labor party in dragging down a first-term prime minister,” he told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.
“Obviously, I’ve been talking to many colleagues over the last few days and my very strong sense is that we are determined to do what we were elected to do, to clean up Labor’s mess and to give our people the economic security and the national security that they need and deserve.”
Abbott left the media conference without taking any questions from reporters.
Bringing the vote on early raised the possibility of some people not being able to make it to Canberra in time. Ruddock said 101 of the 102 Liberal party room members were confirmed to attend, while he was checking the status of the final person.
Earlier on Sunday, Turnbull said Abbott had “shown great respect for the party room by saying that the meeting will be on Tuesday” rather than rushing it forward to Monday.
“He knows members coming to Canberra who will have been getting lots of phone calls and talking to their constituents, many of which will be uncertain, will want to have the opportunity to sit down and talk to each other in the nation’s capital in the course of that Monday leading up to the Tuesday,” the communications minister and former Liberal leader said.
Turnbull’s supporters have indicated he is likely to run for the top job if the party room passes the initial spill motion declaring open the leadership positions.
Turnbull said on Sunday he would vote against the spill motion because that was what was expected of all cabinet members, but refused to rule out being a contender if the motion succeeded.
“It’s very important to remember that the leadership of the Liberal party is, as John Howard said, the unique gift of the party room,” he said. “Now, what that means is that members of the party room have got to have the time to talk to each other, backbenchers talking to each other, backbenchers talking to frontbenchers, frontbenchers talking to frontbenchers and so forth.”
In an apparent reference to Abbott supporters fronting the media to push their case, Turnbull said it was important to talk to colleagues directly “rather than, you know, giving them advice or lecturing them or trying to communicate with them through the media, through the megaphone of the media”.
Turnbull also praised Abbott for suggesting the spill motion would be voted on through a secret ballot, saying this would allow the party room “to make its own decisions without any pressure, without people feeling that if they go one way or another, they’ll be subject to some sort of recrimination or vindictiveness or something like that”.
Gambaro issued a strongly worded statement after Abbott’s announcement.
“We cannot govern ourselves in an internal climate of fear and intimidation,” the Brisbane MP said. “And that is the unacceptable situation we have endured for the past five years.
“Equally we cannot govern the country through belligerence and hubris. In our parliamentary democracy, MPs, as elected officials, have the individual honour to serve the people of their respective electorates and as such deserve to have their voices heard. This is the path to good government.”
The manoeuvring came as a new poll suggested a leadership change would boost the Coalition’s standing with voters, but not would not place the government in an election-winning position.
The Galaxy poll for News Corp showed Labor was leading the Coalition 57% to 43% after preferences. Labor’s lead would shrink to 51% to 49% under Turnbull, the poll suggested.
In another scenario put to respondents, with the Coalition led by Julie Bishop, Labor’s lead would be 53% to 47%.
The Galaxy poll also asked whether Abbott should stand down, with 55% of respondents saying that he should and 35% disagreeing.
Senior ministers moved on Sunday to quash speculation Abbott could strike a peace deal by dumping Joe Hockey as treasurer and placing Turnbull in the key economic role.
News Corp reported that several cabinet ministers had urged Abbott to replace Hockey in the role. But the finance minister, Mathias Cormann, told the ABC’s Insiders program: “Joe Hockey has the full and complete support of the prime minister. That story is wrong.”
The Coalition’s Senate leader, Eric Abetz, emphatically rejected claims he had suggested the treasurer should be replaced. “I continue to support the leadership team and I continue to support all of my ministerial colleagues, including the treasurer,” he said.
The News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch called on the Liberal party not to change leaders. Murdoch tweeted on Sunday: “Abbott, good guy, not perfect but no case for rebellion. Remember last one gave us Gillard disaster. Country still paying for it.”
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) February 7, 2015
Abbott, good guy, not perfect but no case for rebellion. Remember last one gave us Gillard disaster. Country still paying for it.
Abbott has brought forward the spill motion to Monday but said the normal party room meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning would also go ahead in the usual way.
THE CABIN ANTHRAX, MURPHY, N.C. (CT&P) – This month’s edition of Scientific American is somewhat of a departure for a magazine that normally steers well clear of politics. It boasts several well-researched articles examining the right wing in general and the Tea Party in particular.
“We wanted to highlight how a group could overcome the serious handicaps of its individual members to become a viable political force in our society,” said SA editor Michael Moyer. “The rise of the Tea Party, the Christian Right, and their propaganda arm, Fox News, illustrates how a species crippled by superstition, racial hatred, and lower than average IQ’s can rise to a position of prominence in the modern nation state.”
The issue, which is on news stands now, traces the growth of the Tea Party from a ragtag army of inarticulate individuals all the way to this year’s midterm elections, when an alarming number of the insecure cretins won national political office.
“We tried to get inside the minds of these people, as frightening as that prospect was,” said Moyer. “We really wanted to find out what made these people tick. We placed particular emphasis on finding the common threads that unified this group of backwoods bumpkins.”
“What we found was fear. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of minorities, fear of science, fear of gay people, fear of just about any fucking thing you could imagine. The overwhelming consensus was that this group of people yearns to return to the days before the Enlightenment, where their outdated ideas and archaic societal standards ruled with an iron fist.”
The SA team spent a great deal of time analyzing the movement’s leaders Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and a host of other kooks such as Steve King and Louie Gomhert.
“One only has to look at the leadership of this movement to see how incoherent and insane their beliefs really are,” said Moyer. “If you go back and examine some of the speeches and statements made by Bachmann and Palin over the last decade, it reads like something out of H.P. Lovecraft. Nothing makes sense. For example, last weekend in Iowa, Palin was apparently possessed by one of her demons and began writhing around the podium and speaking in tongues. It was truly scary.”
Although the writers and editors at SA came to no definitive conclusions about the future of the right wing and the Tea Party, Moyer said that they will most likely be swept away by the tide of history.
“To paraphrase Huxley, extinguished theologians, and in this case reactionary political factions, lie about the cradle of progress as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules,” said Moyer.
Although many midterm Congressional races were won by Tea Party supported buffoons, the facts seem to support Moyer’s argument.
Gay marriage, Obamacare, and decriminalization of marijuana, three policies that the far right is rabidly against, are more popular than ever and gaining national acceptance.
“It gives us hope for a bright future in which the voices of these kooks are drowned out by the voices of reason and science,” concluded Moyers. “I am a fervent supporter of free speech and support these people’s right to be as ignorant as they want to be, but I fully believe that they will be remembered by history as the wingnuts they truly are.”