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SA health politics: The Advertiser « Previous | |Next »
December 19, 2003

In an earlier post on the ongoing health crisis in South Australia I briefly described the politics of the Murdoch-owned Advertiser as being gullable for the swallowing the Minster's line. I also said that it's journalists were content to recycle media releases instead of doing investigations.

There is a long tradition of this in Australia. Did not Bjelke Peterson, the ex-Premier in Queensland, call it feeding the chooks? From memory, Paul Keating, the ex Federal Treasurer, called it putting the journalists on the drip feed.

I've changed my mind about my representation of the politics of The Advertiser. It is more than bootlicking by media whores. It's management has decided to use the recent symptons of the systemic crisis of the public health system to bash the bureaucrats. That is politics of the Murdoch media in Adelaide.

The Advertiser holds that the bureaucrats in the Human Services Department cannot balance their budget. The Department is run bytoo many over paid fat cats. The inference? The budget is in the red because of overpayment of highflying executives. The conclusion? We have six years of budgetary mismanagement. Those highflying executive fat cats need to to be taken out.

That --"bash the bureaucrats"---is the frame they put around the Rann Government's crisis management flowing from years of budget cuts. And the media hacks running the Rann media machine would be pulling out the champagne corks.

The reality is otherwise.

The decades of budgetary cuts have seen the hospitals being run down. Their normal condition is no capital works, outdated equipment, decaying buildings. The public hospitals are out of date and run down.

Of course, the Rann Government's spin is that it is doing all can. It was the previous Liberal Government who let things slip. But the state budget is tight.

The line is not even questioned by the media whores at The Advertiser.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:16 PM | | Comments (2)


Yeah, we should try and stay on this Gary. I'll try to do a post on casemix funding and its downsides next week, depending on how things unfold.

Funny. I thought I heard Foley chestbeating a few weeks ago about his good fiscal managment and the surplus he'd generated. Situational selection I suppose.