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

going too far « Previous | |Next »
May 28, 2012

I've been away in Queenstown, Tasmania on a photoshoot and in coming back to Adelaide I find that the Craig Thompson affair still dominating the agenda of the Canberra media gallery and the 24/7 news cycle.

It is pretty clear that Thomson is a pawn on a political chess board within the hothouse atmospherics of minority government. Tony Abbott has pushed the politics of this too far. Though Thomson is facing serious non-judicial findings after an extensive investigation by Fair Work Australia and is the subject of police investigation, he is entitled to the assumption of innocence in a representative democracy based on the rule of law. Until proven guilty he is entitled to a fair hearing, however implausible his claims.

PopeDThompson.jpg David Pope

What has shifted in the week that I have been away is that the media are now in the spotlight for the way they have handled the affair. They have been part of the campaign to push Thomson out of parliament before he has been charged with any offence, let alone convicted of one that satisfies the Constitution for his disqualification.Though there is no basis or precedent for Thomson to resign, and though Abbott has made no convincing argument for such a resignation, the media have acted to judge the guilt or innocence of Thomson.

Though the Thomson affair is unlikely to deliver Abbott the election he wants now that will deliver him the power he needs to roll back the reforms the affair indicates just how deeply we have entered into world of bitterly adversarial politics. It is a media world where politics, like sport, is now part of the entertainment industry,

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:45 AM | | Comments (22)
Comments

Comments

One narrative in the News Ltd media is that all the problems faced by the Gillard Government have been caused by minority government.

The solution? Majority government. Decoded this means regime change. That is what the News Ltd media are campaigning for.

The Melbourne Sun had a picture of Craig Thomson with a Pinocchio nose and about 5 or 6 pages devoted to his perceived heinous crimes and cover-up, as well as a poll by Sun readers on whether he was deemed guilty, etc.

All implied criminality per the Sun rag style.

The issue now is whether he lied in the speech not whether he has been convicted of anything. He is finished anyway.Politics can be brutal sometimes. If your just going to stand up and sook like a baby you dont belong there.

The demand that Thomson resign his seat is based on findings by Fair Work Australia . Politics and the law are separate.

Parliament smells these days. It is illustrated by the vitriol and bile around the Craig Thomson affair.

The strategy by both the Liberals under Abbott and News Ltd is to discredit government itself. They are copying the strategy of the US Republicans.

As soon as the last election result was finalised, it was obvious the conservatives would exploit any opportunity at all to force a by-election somewhere. Following the NSW model, accusations of impropriety were going to be the the most likely avenue. In a backhanded way it's a credit to the ALP that the opposition has been able to come up with so little - you can bet there have been a lot of people looking under any rock they can find.

Bill Kelty identified Labor's problems accurately a week or two ago. They should just get out and tell the truth. They've got nothing to lose.

Dragging pollies like Slipper and Thompson through the mud will make the others more honest. Which is good for us all.

Oh yairs, Les....

I'm suuuure that's exactly why young Tony is baying for blood... To make Parliament a nicer/cleaner place.

As we've sen from Thompsons ludicrous performance... pollies NEVER consider what's in it for them. Such a selfless bunch.

Les, if you truly believe your last statement, you haven't been paying attention.

Adding to the morass, the grubby antics of Sam Maiden trying to pour oil on troubled waters.
Latham reckoned her nickname was "the Beast".
No, I'm sorry.
People will just to understand and learn to accept the reality of the current stage in the electoral cycle- the carnival of noiseworks/ FX will continue unabated from now on and after the election stunned and bemused people will look at each other and not be able to recall the last time there was peace.
The lights are going out, all over Australia.

I think there is a general feeling around those in the media that are close to canberra that Thompson has some issues with truth. He is becoming a bit of joke in the way he is conducting himself.
A person with his high esteem for himself who would see himself as a future PM has a very long way to fall when they crash. This would be causing him the more angst than the issue itself.
Mars,
I truly believe the sun will come up tomorrow and I will have have a humorous adventure.

The junk media are a problem. News Ltd newspapers are bad news --they write fiction in their campaign for regime change.

It's not just the Thomson affair ---there is The Australian's anti-wind farm campaign. Wind farms make people sick from their noise is their assertion. They claim:

A growing body of evidenceā€ that wind farm noise could have health effects has prompted Queensland Health to call for caution when approving wind farm developments.

Queensland Health explicitly denies this and refers to the National Health and Medical Research Council 's findings on wind turbine health effects.

The Australian and other Murdoch media have lately completely crossed its previous line of simply muddying the waters of debate on climate issues (i.e. the daily articles and opinion items suggesting the science is very uncertain or wrong), to outright deception of the electorate on this issue.

The Murdoch papers are guilty of an "abuse of political power" . In these papers news and comment is deliberately blurred, and some of the newspapers became not merely politically partisan in their comment or editorial line but in their news coverage as well.

the normal for the Murdoch Press is unremitting thuggery

The savagery with which Julia Gillard is treated online is disturbing. Mainstream media condone and even encourage this by promoting a discriminatory line against her.

Its entrenched sexism. Its lies deep in the media.

Les,
At the moment Thomson faces no civil or criminal proceedings so those on the cross benches will not support a Coalition move to suspend Thompson from Parliament.

Hence their move to find any evidence that Thomson may have transgressed Parliament's own rules--misleading the House in his address (eg., he lied) or failure to declare financial interests.

So the Coalition referred Thomson to the privileges committee of the House of Representatives which does have the power to suspend members.

Thomson is being pressured to resign before the findings and allegations are tested in court. Therein lies the injustice.

Gary,
The truth is out there.

Weasel words, Les.

I don't think that GST ever said that the truth was NOT out there. But he DID ask that allegations be tested in court.

Mars, my comment related to the tv show x files. That was the catch phrase. My meaning was that its all becoming a conspiracy. All that is needing is a smoking man in the corner of question time.

Forget the TV shows, Les... parliament is more like a cheap circus. Way too many clueless clowns and not nearly enough highwire acts.

Just reading Gary's thread starter again, the last couple of paras were worth the reread alone.
Mars is right, "a cheap circus".
And all for the love of justice eh, Les?

Paul,
Looks like blonde got some justice yesterday. He will look quite handsome in orange.