Tag Archives: ABC

The IPA fears the ABC, because we trust it


During the neoliberal boom of the 1970s and 1980s, it became fashionable to sell many valuable state-owned enterprises, often for a song, and usually to friends of the regime. Later on this would become something of a blueprint for the Russians, who created a whole class of thieving kleptocrats, who then went on to pillage Russia’s wealth, and waste it on buying fripperies, like English soccer clubs and Faberge eggs.

They justified the sales by stating that ‘the market’ would run things a whole lot better than career bureaucrats, and that the profit motive would cause the new owners to utilise every trick of modern management principle, to strip down waste, and to maximise service, and customer satisfaction. They would make loads of lovely profit as well, because of their inherent efficiency.

Have a look at your latest electricity bill, or your water bill. That shows you what ‘the market’ will do, when let loose. The misfortune we all suffer is that the same class of idiots are still in charge of government policy, and contrary to all evidence, they maintain their absurd faith. As the late, great Maynard Keynes said so clearly, “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”

No matter how often energy companies, or public transport, or toll-road operators make huge and stupid losses, they bring the begging bowl along, demanding more state subsidies, and the neoliberals continue to deliver. Of course, many of these same true believers pick up a post-career job, often working for the very same outfit to which they gave taxpayer subsidies.

As my old Uncle Jeff remarked many years ago, quoting Jack Lang, “always bet on Self Interest if it’s running, because you know it will always do its best.”

Is Rupert Murdoch just a big, old socialist?

You can see this magical farce playing out, in real time, right now. Rupert Murdoch cannot run his media organisation at all well, and so he has an army of ‘servants’ pushing for one of his competitors to be closed down, and also getting lovely, un-tied, taxpayer-funded subsidies. I think it has been $40 million so far this year, but you never know where our money is going, with this Government.

That inability to thrive seems to prove that he is not very good at running media companies, and that he is just a big, old socialist. He wants to close down his competitor, and he wants taxpayers’ funds, presumably so that he can rule the world. And he wants his ex-countrymen’s Government to pay for it.

If you listen carefully to the frenzied attacks on our national broadcaster, you will notice that there is a constant theme, repeated loud and long, that the ABC is left leaning, and biased. This comes from many different voices, most of whom spend time at Sky News. If you want an example of an unhinged set of ‘journalists’ look no further. Alan Jones, Peta Credlin, Paul Murray and the legendary Andrew Bolt are names to consider when looking for bias.

Alan Jones probably felt he was doing Mr Trump a favour, by personally not conceding the election, but he did not do himself, or his tattered reputation, any favours. Is it any wonder that almost no-one watches it?

Let us look at that scary ABC

Firstly, they argue that the ABC is now an anachronism, past its use by date. How they came to this position is peculiar. They state that when the ABC was founded, in 1932, there was a shortage of media available, and so the ABC was designed as a stop-gap measure. It would ‘fulfil a need for information’, until the real thing came along.

As the local commercial media matured, and evolved into something able to adequately serve the Australian public, the ABC, having served its purpose, would pack up its tent, and slip away.

Secondly, they argue that the ABC is not past its use by date, but rather it is cannibalising media opportunities, by competing too well with the media professionals, and shrinking their market. Global monopolies like the Murdoch empire cannot compete, and feel that the government funding gives the ABC an unfair advantage. This is the actual position put forward by the free marketeers, with access to seemingly unlimited funds, being unable to compete with ‘the luvvies’ of the ABC.

So on one hand the ABC has become redundant, as their charter is now being performed adequately by the corporate media; on the other hand they are too good at their job. Thirdly, the people like, and trust, the ABC.

They acknowledge that the ABC is popular, but in remaining true to their neo-liberal beliefs, they argue that there is no value in something merely because it is popular. It is a drain on the public purse, and must be divested. Another reason they don’t do well managing anything. Perhaps trying to please their audience would be a starting point.

What does the ABC do?

In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is legally required to ‘encourage and promote the musical, dramatic and other performing arts in Australia’ and ‘broadcasting programs that contribute to a sense of national identity’ with specific emphasis on regional and rural Australia’. Wikipedia

The ABC Charter, set down by Parliament, requires the Corporation to provide informative, entertaining and educational services that reflect the breadth of our nation. That summary is taken from the ABC’s own website. https://about.abc.net.au/abc-history/

This year they have covered the bush-fires, peerlessly. Their staff were spectacularly committed, professional and pushed to their limits. Of course there were some who accused the ABC of committing too many resources to the coverage. That is easy to say, after the fire-storm, but I live in regional Victoria, and there is no other place I would trust to provide me with accurate, up-to-date information.

Take a look at their coronavirus coverage. During the darkest days of April they provided us all with straight, professional, uninterrupted coverage of a once-in-a-century pandemic situation. They did not drop the ball when the second wave arrived.

When researching this article I went back in time. They were there in the 1930s, broadcasting by wireless about the death of Prime Minister Joseph Lyons, and the declaration of war, by Robert Menzies, in 1939. Cricket broadcasts began.

During the 1940s the ABC provided war reports from various overseas offices. It also attempted to provide an independent news service. In a precursor to today’s problems, it encountered some early government interference and censorship, by way of the newly formed Department of Information, run in 1940 by newspaper proprietor Sir Keith Murdoch. He was Rupert Murdoch’s father. So it seems that the Murdochs have always had a problem with public broadcasting. And they clearly don’t like competition.

The list of disasters, triumphs, royal weddings, funerals, bush-fires and floods is too long to recount, but there is not a time when Australians did not know where to look, if they wanted fearless honest reporting. We remember that the ABC is always there, and it is not swayed by the views of their advertisers, because there are none.

And if the ABC continues to outshine the so-called ‘professionals’, then the professionals need to lift their game. Stop asking the umpire for favours, and get on with it. The ABC does.

Why does the ABC use people like this?

My only complaint about the ABC is its regular use of right wing people whose stated aim in life is to eviscerate the ABC. Why have Amanda Vanstone? Tom Switzer? John Roskam? Tim Wilson? James Paterson? They are not ‘talent’. They are ‘assassins’, waiting to slip the knife in. I reckon they would all look great over on Sky News.

What we need on the ABC are people who are interested in the contest of ideas, rather than the mindless parroting of partisan rubbish. So disagree with me, but bring your brain along.

Arise Sir Tony! We’re not sure why.


At the risk of beating the same old drum, this current Government seems to be heading steadily down the ethical and moral drain, ever since the unexpected election win. So much of the country’s malaise, however, can be traced back to the ascension of one Tony Abbott, firstly as Opposition Leader, and then, unbelievably, as Prime Minister.

As Opposition Leader

He was a surprise, because no-one believed he would ever be elected to lead anything. He was almost universally derided for his open and unashamedly pugnacious Catholicism, and his awkwardness with language, and his seeming inability to move into the 21st century. He was the polar opposite of progressive, and seen as something of a likeable dinosaur.

He had an unexpected skill, however. This special skill lay in his ability to focus on a single, simplistic theme, and then to carry the fight on, daily, against both his own moderate fellow-Liberals, but also against Julia Gillard, until the death. This ‘theme’ was the carbon price, still the best and only successful mechanism so far tried in Australia, to combat climate change. So it became his mania, and we still suffer from his short-term-ism, his willingness to throw Australia under a bus, in pursuit of his own political advancement.

He came to embody opposition; he lived the dictum of the (British) Whig Mr Tierney, “the duty of an Opposition was very simple—it was to oppose everything and propose nothing.”

He was in the right place at the right time – Kevin Rudd and Abbott, between them, destroyed Gillard’s Government, and allowed the election of Abbott, as Prime Minister.

As Prime Minister

Tony Abbott set about dismantling Australia’s pact with its citizens, from day 1. Perhaps his most unpopular act was to break an election promise NOT to cut the funding to the ABC. Of course he did, because he had warned us, back in his Opposition Leader days, that he was somewhat flexible with the truth.

Now if there is one thing Australians hold dear – it is the ABC. If you want a simple test as to whether someone despises the people of Australia, see who wants to dismantle, or hobble, or sell, or just remove funding from, the ABC. Read more about their really reprehensible moral vacuity here https://askbucko.com/2020/04/29/the-abc-is-the-latest-target/

The reason is that we all value information, and we expect it to be delivered without bias, and we don’t want Rupert Murdoch https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Murdoch or Kerry Stokes to have had a say in what form, or how, it is delivered.

It is profoundly undemocratic to stifle the voice of the public broadcaster, and cutting its funding is just another way to bell the cat, to keep us all in ignorance. And it removes oversight; it allows the political class to escape scrutiny. Which in this country these days can mean all sorts of chicanery.

The list of assassins is long, and it includes people like Eric Abetz, Cory Bernardi, Simon Birmingham, Matt Canavan, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Mitch Fifield, Bridget McKenzie, James Patterson and Anne Ruston, to name a few.

Oddly, the names are eerily similar to the list of middle aged people, who are very angry with Greta Thunberg, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Thunberg because she dares to have an opinion, and because she is a leader. And she is 17 years old.

Many of these ‘young fogies’ believe that schools are for learning only, and not about thinking. They also disapprove of same-sex marriage. One can only wonder at the double standards shown by the Nationals on the list, because they know full well how much regional Australians value their ABC.

As a backbencher

Of course we all rued the days of Abbott, and we were all desperate to escape him; we were all hugely relieved when someone apparently adult took over. But he never could, really. Abbott held Turnbull as a virtual prisoner, and he led his posse of wreckers on a kamikaze mission to destroy Turnbull, all the while trying to dismantle the renewable energy industry, and to hamstring Australia’s efforts to deal with climate change.

This was not necessarily because he did not believe, (although it is still impossible to know where he stands on the issue), but purely for reasons of personal vindication, and simple revenge. So much for service to the community.

His successor fought the good fight, for as long as he could, but a combination of his own political ineptitude, and his opponents’ bloody-mindedness, finally did him in. It appeared to be a coup, by Abbott’s supporters, at the expense of the Australian people. How depressing to discover that we had a choice between the devil, and the deep blue sea: Peter Dutton, or Scott Morrison.

Abbott had the gall to then state that he was finally satisfied, because Turnbull was no longer PM. He behaved as if removing Turnbull was a noteworthy achievement. Remember that Abbott had promised, “There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping.”

If there is an individual who bears responsibility for Australia’s recent ‘fall from grace’, it is Abbott. He is shameless, a self-confessed liar and a man who seems to have jumped on the gravy train early, and who continues to ride it. He lacks the personal insight to reflect on his legacy, which is threadbare at best. Many struggle to find a single achievement to honour him for.

He was removed from his leadership role, and coincidentally the Prime Ministership in 2015, and then he got the ‘bum’s rush’ from his own electorate in 2018. He did manage to get back onto the public payroll in October 2019, when he was appointed to the council of the Australian War Memorial.

Post politics

In an attempt to retain some sort of relevance he has continued to travel the world, making speeches to anyone who will listen. Recently he has excelled, giving support to reactionary and oafish world leaders, including Boris Johnson and Viktor Orbán of Hungary, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/13/tony-abbott-doubles-down-on-praise-for-hungarys-far-right-pm-viktor-orban.

He also believes that the world is in the grip of a climate cult https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/australia-wildfires-bushfires-latest-tony-abbott-climate-change-scott-morrison-a9268801.html.

He has stated that he remains ready to serve. Today Tony Abbott was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. Some may remember the public outrage when he awarded a knighthood to Prince Philip on Australia Day in 2015. What irony that he is awarded a gong, on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, five years later. Could it be a ‘quid pro quo’?

This article has been updated to include changes, including the awarding of the AC to Tony Abbott in the Queens Birthday 2020 Honours List