Archive for May, 2013

May 17, 2013

Tony Abbott announces the Oprah Winfrey of budget replies: You can have free money and You and You

The Day After:

What we witnessed from Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott was the Oprah Winfrey of campaign launches. You can have free money, and you, and you, and you…

Unfortunately Tony was pointing to the Gallery, where his family were watching from, and Gina Rinehart, who was also watching.

Tony’s speech (full speech can be found here) was designed to satisfy only 3 people: Gina Rinehart, Rupert Murdoch, Tony Abbott.

[Correction: Thursday night was a budget reply, not a campaign launch]

The feedback to the Budget Reply was a little like an episode of Orpah – a buffet of everything.

Tony’s plans to scrap the carbon “tax” to save families up to $300 a year in exchange low-income Australians will lose the low-income super contribution as well as the supplementary bonus paid to people on benefits. Makes sense? Perhaps to a Coalition voter. Although, as NSW Senator Doug Cameron points out, the Liberals are far from economic geniuses.

Gina spend the morning comparing herself to an ATM. Forgetting that the natural resources belong to all Australians and she is treating our environment like a ATM.

Rupert wasn’t happy and had some advice for his Chosen One. This is what we have come to expect in modern elections, most benefit suffer, from the intervention of foreign billions who dominate almost the entire media industry.

It was a budget reply that pleased the on-air presenters on the ABC’s Breakfast Show, so much so, they were happy to show wear the colours of Team Tony. As any athlete knows, if you want to join the team, you wear the uniform.

Tony Abbott’s use of “You” throughout the budget (eg. “It is not about us. It is about you”), is not the accepted way of speaking on the floor of the House Of Representatives, where “You” is discouraged.

Oh and Tony, when I cast my ballot, and I put the Liberal National candidate last, behind Bob Katter’s Australia Party, behind Family First, behind Keep Australia White Party… it’s not me, its You.

Post BY Diane Murphy and Janet Sharp for Turn Left

May 16, 2013

Tony Abbott’s #budget reply: It’s one for the Mad Men and the Good Wives


Across this wide-brown land we call home, nuclear families gather around the wireless radio, relaxed and comfortable. With a piping-hot plate of hasenpfeffer balanced precariously on their laps, and glass of chardonnay on the nested tables by their left side, they prepare for Tony Abbott’s budget reply.

Despite the newest member of the family being sick, running a fever and in distress, no one was allowed to get up to go tend to her. Everybody has to sit through this radio address to the nation.

It was a clear-as-crystal night for a broadcast. Nothing in the skies, despite what some thought, we were not being invaded. A beautiful evening for a speech. What could go wrong?

Nuclear families of Australia:

iVillage is Mamamia’s sister website

Tony Abbott is announcing what he would if he ever got the keys to the Lodge, sounds like he would be running a forthright government.

Border protection? Let’s not go overboard.

Good idea. Wunderbar, let’s run it up the Howard-funded flagpole and see who salutes, hey! I’ll do that.

No, Joey, you can’t have more pork, we had cut it all to the bone, and you have already had more than your fair share, go sit on the naughty step

*yap, yap, yap*
Aw, how cute, Pyney the brown-nosed poodle is begging for scraps from little Julie’s plate, who is forced to share, as Julie says frequently, she can’t have it all, and Julie doesn’t like sharing

Baby Anthony has just spat his dummy, again

Baby Anthony needs his nappy changed, Shit Happens

After Dear Leader waffled on further-
mmm waffles
– it’s time for dessert, a strudel made from a mix of cored-and-non-cored apples. After all, a little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down.

“Please, sir, I want some more?”
More?! You can’t handle some more, what do you think this is Joey? a magic pudding

The broadcast is interrupted by ads for a used-car lot.

Correction: not a used-car salesman, just more Tony Abbott.

*crackle, crackle* as the wireless radio breaks into static

Master Malcolm rolls his eyes, he knew the family should have invested in broadband, not this ‘Back To The Future’ 1950s technology.

*bang! bang! boche!*
A couple of thumps on the side of the wireless radio doesn’t stop the static. Apparently hitting never makes anything better.

Correction: not static, more Tony Abbott

As the broadcast draws its long-winded way to a merciful conclusion, a latte would make a perfect end to the evening’s indoctr- er, entertainment.

And everybody gets a unicorn that cries tears of diamonds, apparently

The “Be Alert Not Alarmed” fridge magnets slid to the floor, baby Anthony spat out his dummy, Joey kept asking for more pork, Malcolm wandered away muttering something about “fibre”, must be all the non-cored apples, Pyney the Poodle leapt into Julie’s lap, spilling hasenpfeffer all over the floor.

What a disaster.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, gute Nacht

May 15, 2013

Australian Media: unbalanced and completely (*NSFW*) up

BY Diane Murphy for Turn Left 2013.

Australian news media is completely screwed up.

Is there anyone who still thinks there is any future for Australian news media, the way it currently is? Paper news and online news services are losing readers by the thousands (over 14% in the past year)

Australian news media, dominated as they are by foreign billionaires and mining magnates, are so unbalanced they will likely fall over any day.

They ceased being about NEWS a long time ago, they are now advertising-delivery and anti-government propaganda delivery systems.

Partisan news is turning off readers and subscribers.

Ross Gittins, Fairfax economist, produced these two budget-related pieces. Compare the pair:

Cornered Labor chooses brave way out

Budget becomes Canberra’s con job
(This article is also titled “Budget becomes Canberra’s con job on the nation” on Gittins personal blog.)

Gittins ends Cornered Labor chooses brave way out with:

Even so, for a government that’s been far too timid in tackling unjustified spending programs and tax breaks, this budget is surprisingly brave.

And if, by being the one to propose last night’s unpopular measures, Gillard makes it easier for Abbott toagree to them now or to introduce them after the election, Labor willdeserve respect for initiating such a heavily disguised form of bipartisanship.

For what it’s worth, this is a good budget. But that is the trouble: under these strange circumstances, it ain’t worth a lot.
two spacing errors in the second paragraph are in the original source

Then there is this offering from Budget becomes Canberra’s con job:

And that’s even if, following the usual budget media-manipulation script, the government has held back a few nice measures for the media to give exaggerated attention to on the night.
Even so, Canberra’s dirty little secret is that the decisions we’ll be making so much fuss about on Tuesday night will have surprisingly little effect on how the macro economy performs over the coming financial year.
…Even the government has long been crying crocodile tears about how tough people are finding it to keep up with the rising cost of living.

So what does Gittins mean – Is it a “good budget”? or is it a “con job”?

And, who is the “Canberra” referred to? it is a city, cities don’t “do” things, they exist, it is the people in them who “do” things.

“I think being a liberal, in the true sense, is being nondoctrinaire, nondogmatic, non-committed to a cause – but examining each case on its merits. Being left of center is another thing; it’s a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they’re not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen. If they’re preordained dogmatists for a cause, then they can’t be very good journalists; that is, if they carry it into their journalism.”
― Walter Cronkite

Australian news media is dying, perhaps it is time to let the patient slip away peaceful. DNR – Do Not Resuscitate.

May 14, 2013

#Budget2013 The way twitter saw it

May 13, 2013

ABC struggles to know which party is in Government (hint: it is not Tony Abbott’s side)

What does bias against the government at the ABC look like?

Culture warriors (for example, Gerard Henderson, Andrew Bolt, Piers Ackerman) on the Right continue to rail against the Left-wing bias in the ABC. They regard anything that isn’t 100% critical of the ALP government as being Left.

The Left are also railing against ABC bias, only they do it from Facebook and Twitter accounts, and not national newspaper columns.

The following screenshot is just one example of how bias gets in. Subtle and insidious.


Christopher Pyne is part of Tony Abbott’s Opposition, whereas, David Bradbury is Assistant Treasurer.

You might see this, and think “so what?”. This is one example. If this was to happen with every news item, every blog post (and both sides have opinions on that), it would work to undermine the authority of the current democratically elected government, by giving seniority to the Opposition. This is from a news network, where people commonly say “they begin every news bulletin with ‘Tony Abbott says'”. Subtle and insidious.

It doesn’t matter that someone can argue the fact “oh, we all know Bradbury is in the Government”, what matters is how you feel. The more subtle it is, the easier it accusations of bias are to dismiss as “unhappy viewers”. Subtle and insidious. This kind of subtle bias may make a viewer feel that Pyne is the most important one in that interview, and view what he says from a position of power, rather than opposing. Come election day, how you feel about a politician, gut instinct, can have as much influence as what you know to be fact.

by Janet Sharp with -99- for Turn Left