The Ministry of Truth is recruiting today…

Posted this on Facebook yesterday:

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I wrote: Chilling at Steelers Club. Great lunch. And an app whose batteries don’t run out! And no idea what nonsense the abominable Abbott was apparently spouting at the time. Words fail me about him! Why did anyone think HE was a good idea?

Here is what Mr A was saying on Sydney’s best connected radio station these days:

Just to remind you of some greatest hits:

And a couple of opinions from the comment thread on that last one:

    • Hadley is magnificent , just luv it wen the left wing braindeads abuse u , the coup de grace is wen tony abbott becomes their prime minister , LOV IT!!!
    • I cannot believe idiots believe and listen to this idiot??? Not the sharpest knives in the draw, bless!

Tones these days is faster than a ferret up a drain pipe when it comes to tooling with Ray H! Not so keen on appearing on QandA or 7.30 or Lateline.

Mind you, it is all proving a bit much for Malcolm Turnbull. Intelligence will out, eventually.

”What’s the alternative … the editor-in-chief [of the ABC] becomes the prime minister?” he said. ”Politicians, whether prime ministers or communications ministers, will often be unhappy with the ABC … but you can’t tell them what to write.”

The furore was sparked by the emergence of a note on Wednesday from an ABC reporter who said of the broadcaster’s allegations asylum seekers were burnt by navy staff: ”My boss believes the allegations are likely to be untrue …”

Mr Abbott told radio 2GB that Australians wanted ”some basic affection for the home team”, but Mr Turnbull said the broadcaster was more constrained by rules around editorial fairness than its competitors in commercial media….

So many of us rather agree with this FB comment by my former teaching colleague Maximos – an Order of Australia Medal winner by the way for what he contributed in Bali after the bombings of 2002: “Waiting for Abbott to form a Ministry of Truth to replace the ABC. Smile

On the other hand, it should be noted, as the Sydney Morning Herald does this morning, that having potshots at the ABC didn’t begin with Tony Abbott and hasn’t ever been an exclusively non-Labor activity.

See also Tony Abbott blasts national broadcaster: ABC takes ‘everyone’s side but Australia’s’ and Tony Abbott’s ABC outburst sits uneasily with ideals of a robust democracy.

In The Age Jonathan Holmes notes a delicious irony:

Like almost everyone else, I find the notion that members of the Australian navy would deliberately inflict agonising pain on helpless civilians very hard indeed to believe. But so is the notion that would-be asylum seekers would inflict this kind of pain on themselves at the behest of scheming people smugglers.

No doubt there is an explanation for those burns – probably one that the navy could readily give us, if it were allowed to. But there is no way that I can see that the ABC could have ignored the evidence of injury, and the allegations surrounding them.

Rather than yet more ABC-bashing, perhaps The Australian could echo the call of its News Corp stablemate.

Back on January 8 – the day this story first broke – The Herald Sun editorialised: “Let’s put an end to secrecy on the high seas.”

Meanwhile the Sydney Daily Telegraph – not really a newspaper any longer  by the way, as any read of the print version quickly shows: very little hard news ever graces its colourful and highly opinionated pages these days – tub-thumps disgracefully:

Tony Abbott: You can spell treachery A-B-C

There is a poll after that, and as you might expect YES is currently winning, but I am rather chuffed that 30% are saying NO to “Do you agree with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s criticism of the ABC?” There is a follow-up story suggesting Anti-Aussie’ ABC service faces axe, meaning the Australia Network Asian Service. That would be dumb, but seeing  the history it is quite likely to happen.

That pic yesterday was to make a point: I am not a rusted-on leftie, despite what you might think.

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I have never been a Marxist, or even a Marxist’s bootlace. I continue to hope against hope – because the man is such a headcase – that the Abbott government could do some good. I acknowledge bad smells coming from the CFMEU stories lately and the Health Industries Union before that – but I think the disappearance of unions would be a very bad idea.  In the morass that Indigenous politics has become I can listen with a high degree of sympathy to what Warren Mundine had to say on Australia Day.  There is much in Jonathan Green’s Racial radicalism and the moderating middle on The Drum:

It remains to be seen whether Abbott’s push for recognition will succeed, but his enthusiasm for it echoes a broad sense among the great body of Australians that there is something meaningful and good to be done here.

Australia’s essential peace and equanimity is evidence of that generous body of our people who see no sense of threat in ethnic difference or identity, all of it expressed within the textured and many faceted wholeness of our easy multiculturalism.

These are accepted tenets of middle Australia, a reality nowhere better expressed than in the great and politically powerful sweep of Western Sydney, a focus of our centrist, marginal politics and a meeting place of all the nations on earth.

That same middle ground inertia that keeps us from dealing imaginatively and energetically with many of the core issues that confront us socially, economically and environmentally may at least do us the great favour of keeping the racial radicalism of the aggrieved and vocal right at bay.

It was nice to be reminded in the Frank Hardy episode of Persons of Interest on Tuesday night that Communist Frank and the LIb Minister Billy Wentworth could work together on the famous Gurindji land rights claim. Wikipedia:

Wentworth’s other long-term interest was in Aboriginal affairs. He was one of the Liberal backbenchers who supported a constitutional referendum to give the Commonwealth the power to legislate specifically for the benefit of indigenous Australians, something which was finally achieved under Menzies’ successor Harold Holt in 1967 (see Australian referendum, 1967 (Aboriginals)). When Wentworth’s friend John Gorton succeeded Holt, he made Wentworth Minister for Social Services and Minister in Charge of Aboriginal Affairs, the first minister to hold this office.

As Minister, Wentworth was disappointed that the Cabinet was reluctant to take any steps to pass the kind of far-reaching legislation he wanted, mainly due to the resistance of pastoral interests represented by the Country Party. Nevertheless, Wentworth took the first practical step towards the granting of indigenous land rights when he proposed giving the Gurindji people control of their land at Wave Hill station in the Northern Territory (which was at that time under Commonwealth control): this scheme, in a fine irony given Wentworth’s history, was denounced as “communist inspired” by the Cattle Producers Council (a reference to the fact that the Communist writer Frank Hardy was an adviser to the Gurindji).

Speaking of such things: do watch 88 on – yes – OUR ABC tonight! Good on Graeme Blundell at The Oz for this:

THIS superbly crafted documentary from Adrian Russell Wills and Michaela Perske looks at January 26, 1988, when more than 2.5 million people lined the streets of Sydney Harbour to commemorate the arrival of the First Fleet in NSW. While it was coined the “Celebration of a Nation”, the re-enactment held a very different meaning for Australia’s Aboriginal community, and on that same day a convoy carrying Aboriginal people from across the country also cruised into Sydney. They had travelled from every corner of the nation to take part in the March for Freedom, Hope and Justice, the largest gathering of indigenous people this country has ever seen….

I participated that day.

Update

See another Liberal with a brain. Reblogged from Advice from one Liberal MP to his ABC-hating colleagues: if you don’t like it, change the channel.

Craig Laundy MP, Federal Member for Reid (Lib, NSW) has some advice for people who are unhappy with the way the media cover the news in this country: change the channel, the dial, or the website you visit

Laundy’s full statement 30 January 2014

There are many great things about living in a democracy – one of them the luxury of free speech.

Free speech, when coupled with freedom of the press, is a VERY powerful thing. The beauty of free speech is that it can be used to say things some people like, and some people don’t like – but they can always be said.

I’ve been watching, with interest, arguments over the ABC and the quality of their coverage of different issues.
Do I believe they should have aired the story re Indonesia – probably not.
Do I believe they should have run the story about abuse claims re the Navy – definitely not.

However – as a proud Liberal, they ABSOLUTELY have the right to do so without fear or favour. The best part of “freedom of the press” is that you get a HUGE variety of views – just as you get in society.

My advice to those who don’t like the job the ABC are doing, my colleagues included, is to do what those living a democracy have been doing since “Adam was a boy”….change the channel, the dial, or the website you visit. And before the howls of “but they’re funded by the taxpayer” breaks out – stop and think about how vast Australia is, and diverse it’s {sic} media needs are, as well as how commercially “unviable” the media markets are outside of our major cities …i.e. rural Australia.