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

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September 22, 2011

Some of the conservative commentators are becoming critical of the way the Liberals are conducting themselves. Paul Sheehan is an example. Principles matter he argues.


Paul Kelly is another. Kelly says that the impression Abbott leaves with his tougher and more humane stance on the asylum issue is that his real motive is to cripple Gillard in political terms-- he is more focused on sinking Gillard than stopping the boats.

It is good to see a bit of argy bargy happening within the ranks of conservatives. Normally they are into consensus---conform in how they think---not debate. Their partisan rhetoric is used to cover over the cracks within the ensemble of power --eg., social conservatives, neo-liberal free marketeers, war hawks, and the Christian right.

It used to be just the neo-liberals stirring the pot on needing to make industrial relations more flexible (ie., the casualisation of labour, ) and to break the power of the unions. Bring back WorkChoices for the battlers is the cry. It's more choice and greater efficiency that is needed.

This is an indication of how neoliberalism will shrug off the challenge that the financial crisis presented. Whilst neo-liberalism appears to be about free markets, in practice the ideology is concerned with giant corporations' dominance over public life. This has been intensified, not checked, by the recent crisis and the acceptance that certain financial corporations are ‘too big to fail'.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:03 AM | | Comments (14)


I just don't get it!

Why does Abbott even bother to pretend to care about the humane treatment of asylum seekers? Surely nobody will fall for this transformation into a bleeding-heart. His hard-core supporters don't care, the rest of us don't trust his motives. And the corporate meeja don't have a f*&king clue.

I could only access one of the links but I suspect, perhaps optimistically and naively, that some media commentators may be becoming dimly aware that they have gone too far in their tolerance and support for the COALition and its Abbott face in particular.
Possibly, just possibly, this is a iceberg tip of a push to put a more human face on the parliamentary opposition in the belief that they have a huge enough media generated margin in the public opinion polls to play some party personality politics and get an alternative [?] to the unacceptable Abbott in as leader without threatening the COALition's poll lead.

Does the number of boats arriving warrant the media and political attention its getting?

Les asks..."Does the number of boats arriving warrant the media and political attention its getting?"

I ask myself the same question.

Here's what sickens me the most about this political theatre/farce... it is being staged by both major parties... just so they can grab a relative handful of votes from some frightened fools in western Sydney and south-eastern Melbourne.

It's only an "issue" because some lazy, opportunist politicians say it is.

hink people here may find this essay about Manne and the OO interesting.

Check it out, see what you think.

Re Limits of liberal critique: Murdoch, the media & the Manne Quarterly Essay I cannot agree with Robert Manne's conclusion to his Bad News essay:

The Australian employs many of the best journalists in the country... It only requires a different editor-in-chief and owner for it to become a truly outstanding newspaper.

That is weak given the outline of how bad the paper is as a source of objective information and the way it uses its power to intimidate.

re Fred's link

The Australian dumped the liberal ideals of objectivity and news-gathering some time ago. It openly conducts political warfare with hyperbole, invective and falsehoods.

It's pages are filled with partisan rhetoric.

"Hate will find a way"

Isn't that the daily message of News Ltd? There is an aggressive, vindictive attitude that runs throughout the News Corp with a disdain for independent journalism and truth. This is a company that perpetually sees itself as beset by enemies and its tactic in the UK and Australia is blackmail of politicians by headline.

Replying to the 2 comments re my link about Manne and the OO.
I agree with both Annon and Paul.

I haven't read Manne's work, its not accessible to me.
But does sound like [from reports around the blogs] that Manne has performed a valuable service in detailing and analysing the OO's faults.
That needed to be done.
I tend to agree with Dr Tad [whoever] that Manne may have missed the point that the OO is acting as mouthpiece for its constituency, those that read it, and that he fails to uderstand the role of capitalist mass media in a capitalist society [strange for a Prof of politics but there you go].
Much as I hold Murdoch in contempt personally I suspect very litle will change when he eventually loses the baton of command.
Tim Dunlop has an interesting essay at the Drum [which I rarely read for fairly obvious reasons - its generally crap] but this effort is a goody.

Anyway I'm chucking these in for consideration, all grist to the mill.


An interesting article --a new preface to his book, Good Times, Bad Times, by the former Sunday Times editor Harold Evans.

It's a good read. Evans argues that Murdoch turned the independent Times into an organ of Thatcherism and that he subordinated editorial independence to his other commercial interests.

Here is some added on context to understand what is happening - remembering the "News" corp is very much part of the right wing noise machine

The reluctance of police, politicians and the media to pursue the News of the World phone hacking reveals as much about power and morality in modern British democracy as the abuses themselves.

It opens a window on the way media and political power operates in Australia to protect its self-interest:

(1) thee extent of hospitality and social dealings between News Ltd and some of the police officers--eg., bribes for information and “hospitality” arrangements.

(2) the Murdoch press – has developed a journalism of scorn and outrage and MPs and ministers have generally reacted with timidity. They are eager to please Murdoch;

(3) the non-Murdoch press is timid and unwilling to embrace criticism of the media's foot in your face conduct. They fear Murdoch because he dominates the media and he is too powerful to be trifled with.

Murdock is about corporation domination of the media market and the political process to further his commercial interests.

His tactics are to weaken of competitive forces by shaping and dominating the media market; and to exercise power over public policy by enjoying special relationships with government;