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The Australian's hypocrisy « Previous | |Next »
January 8, 2011

An editorial in The Australian---The great power of Adam Smith's invisible mouse--- celebrates digital capitalism in no uncertain terms:

We live in an age where the internet provides a marketplace that is the nearest thing yet to a classical economist's utopia, the perfect market where individuals have perfect information and where there is perfect competition available with a click of a computer mouse. It is a time where new and nimble entrepreneurs can compete with, and beat, enormous organisations that have dominated markets for decades. It is an era where entrepreneurs create new uses for digital devices that their inventors did not envisage. Most important, we live in an epoch when capitalism is doing what Adam Smith understood in the 18th century it one day would: improving the lives of ordinary people by providing them with the power to buy the best products at the most competitive possible prices. One of the enduring criticisms of classical economics is that consumers have never had all the information they needed to make rational decisions -- they do now.

So why has The Australian done all it can to attack the Gillard Government for building the national broadband network infrastructure? Why oppose the infrastructure that would enable ordinary people to buy the best products at the most competitive possible prices?

Why is it silent about the News of the World's systematic phone hacking in the UK. After all News of the World is owned by News Corp. Imagine the response by Murdoch's papers if the BBC or the ABC had routinely engaged in phone hacking "persons of interest".

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:03 AM | | Comments (8)


Apparently the free market is good, as long as it's happening to someone else.

Why oppose?

One strand is economic ideology-- the NBN should not be a government project by definition. It should be built by the market cos governments are bad at building things (eg., the wasteful school building scheme, despite it being a media beatup).

Then we get the same old repetitions-- don't need the speed (an Aston Martin car be nice for every Australian but in reality a Holden would do.) wireless is better, etc, etc

Murdoch is about the power of News Corp. The free market is okay if it can be manipulated through the government to increase the power of News Corp.

If the NBN enables competition to challenge the power of News Ltd 's market dominance, then it must be opposed.

The capitalism of Smith's 18th century is nothing like the capitalism of the 21st century with its global corporations who have more power that nation states.

My favourite is the bit where individuals have perfect information. If they do, they didn't get it from The Australian. More likely they got it from some forum full of internet savages, or some anonymous armchair critic not a real journalist blogger.

Murdoch's News Corp is well known for its News of the World tabloid continually hacking mobile phones messages of private citizens in the UK.

Is that culture of hacking what The Australian means by perfect information?

News Corp's close ranks strategy and lock it all down through paying cash to shut people up is failing. Its defence---we did not know what was happening on the news floor with a "rogue" reporter ---looks to be full of holes with the drip-drip-drip revelations.

News Corp is only interested in killing off the competition in the printed media market via subscription bundles and paywalls. In Australia that subscription bundle will be with its newspapers and Foxtel and Sky.

In the long run will Sky News be rejigged by News Ltd to become something like Fox News?

News Ltd and their echo chamber the Liberal party dont want the NBN because when its up and running NEWS can kiss Foxtel goodbye.
Who will want to pay Murdock over a 130 a month for HD channels plus the rest,when they will get it cheaper on the NBN,and more than likely be able to pick and choose.
I think FTATV might be in for a well earned scare as well

It may turn out that the exposure of Murdoch's cover-up of the widespread hacking mobile phones messages by News of the World may be a great deal worse than the criminal investigation by the Met into the paper's practices following the jailing of the private detective Glenn Mulcaire in 2007.

The extent of Murdoch's power in Britain is such that the police have been making strenuous efforts over several years to bury this matter. They are not even bothering to inform people that their phones have been hacked.

Someone will have to use the legal system to compel the Met to hand over evidence about the alleged hacking of their phone.