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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

The Australian's hammer « Previous | |Next »
December 31, 2010

The Australian's editorial--- The politics of vacillation is holding back the nation --hammers out the standard News Corp message about a weak Labor government not knowing where its going or it standing for anything substantial by way of substantive reform.

This message or agenda is hammered because we get little by way of an argument. You get get impression that, since the Australian is basically talking to itself about itself, there is no need for an argument. It has well developed ideas about what Australia needs and it routinely hammers away at an insular leftish culture that is out of touch with the values of mainstream society which it supposedly represents. The editorial says:

It has been the year of indecision for Australia, cocooned from the economic problems of Europe and the US but complacent about the nation's future. Weak political leadership and a lack of vision was greeted with ambivalence by voters...A resources boom and strong economic growth cloaked a policy vacuum as our politicians enjoyed a reform holiday the nation could not afford. At year's end, the country's political class is all but deadlocked, with a minority Labor government in Canberra still trying to navigate its way around a Greens agenda obsessing on 10th-order issues rather than the substantive productivity, infrastructure and tax reforms so vital to our future.

What then are the substantive productivity, infrastructure and tax reforms necessary for the nation's future prosperity? Strangely, the editorial doesn't say.

What it says is this:

The government must start governing according to what the country needs, not what focus group studies claim it wants... While $31 million buys our elected representatives a lot of data, it cannot overcome a policy paralysis born of disconnection with the electorate and a lack of courage in implementing essential reforms.The second lesson of the year is that governments have limits, and we cannot continue subcontracting tasks to bureaucrats that they are incapable of performing...Governments play a crucial role in setting economic policies and broad directions for defence and for delivery of essential services, but we must disabuse ourselves of the notion that governments are omnipotent...a nation's achievements are built on the enterprise of its people and it is from their labours, not the work of governments, that growth and prosperity will flow.

There is no content at all about the substantive productivity, infrastructure and tax reforms so vital to our future that would facilitate the enterprise of the Australian people and their labours that build economic economic growth and prosperity?

it doesn't even bother to engage with the Gillard Government's spelling out that substantive productivity reforms will be achieved through investment in education and training to lift skill levels in the work force; its proposals to enhance infrastructure; CoAG's agenda for a "seamless" national economy etc etc. What we are offered is little more than office gossip in the form of commentary about its editorial line.

The Australian is talking to itself about itself.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:07 PM | | Comments (7)


A typically drunken homily, from them.
It won't talk about the "paralysis of government" because it and its zealot mates from the stink tanks are largely responsible, through the imposition of a sado-economic regime, implemented behind closed doors, that demands weak government through political cyphers, to facilitate the looting.
The Murdoch press is like the thief with a hand caught in the till, who then blames others for having money in the till, in the first place.

Oh good lord!!!

Just take a look at what passes for "leftist culture" in Australia these days!!! No doubt Malcolm Fraser would be dismissed as an unpatriotic ,bleeding-heart hippie!

Clearly NewsCorp thinks we're faaar to socialist (shudder) for our own good. I wonder what they consider a "reasonable" amount of leftist culture might be. can only assume that it would be somewhere to the right of Obama.

This is an interesting look at News corp.

The ALP is not in a good position. It is weakened.

As Shaun Carney points out in Labor crisis of faith in The Age:

Federally and in every state and territory it has either lost or is losing the critical mass of support that would allow it to hold government in its own right. Only one word can sufficiently describe the condition of the ALP across the country at the end of 2010: disillusioned.

Federal Labor's primary support is very weak. And it slowly keeps falling.

No doubt News Ltd's propagandists are following the successful methods of their US parent company. One tactic is to simply assume that a whole raft of misconceptions and lies are actually facts so well proven they require no further justification ("Islamists hate us for our freedoms" ... "Obama is a socialist" etc). Base your argument on these asserted facts and your ideology appears quite rational. Anyone like Gary who questions the assumptions is dismissed as a 'liberal', whose views are worthless by definition.

Therefore Australian conservatives 'know' that Labor's incompetence at economic management is exceeded only by that of the Greens. Anyone who thinks otherwise is self-evidently a leftist fool whose opinion does not deserve a serious rebuttal.

As to specifics, I'm sure they would roll their eyes and shout "smaller government and tax cuts!". After all that is the eternal conservative dream: a world run by large corporations which fund a national security state to look after their interests.

one cannot say that News Ltd is interested in defining the public interest as government begins to reform our aging media policy regime as new technologies remake journalism.

Their concern is their commercial interest in a world witnessing the collapse of traditional newspaper business models, the hemorrhaging of thousands of well-paying newsroom jobs, and the rise of disruptive—and highly promising—new digital technologies and social media.

I don't recall any ideas from News Ltd to strengthen journalism other than kill off the ABC and to claim that the future of journalism is inseparable from the future of newspapers. That's the limit of their free-market forces media policy.

In Reboot in the Columbia Journalism Review Steve Coll says:

trying to force profit-seeking licensees to tack public interest work onto their commercial enterprises is for the most part a fool’s errand. It would be far more rational to let commercial enterprises respond to market incentives as they see fit, while leaving the construction of public interest journalism to organizations and leaders who want to do nothing else.

News Ltd goes on about freedom of the press (to make a profit) but it has no interest in a healthy public square that is vital to our democracy. It's goal has been to dominate the public square.

What we need is a stronger public media.