web analytics
≡ Menu

 No improvement at their ABC—in fact, worse!

10.11.19. With the ABC’s style of news reporting it is little wonder that the voting populace has a severe attack of apathy. Ever growing numbers of the young, those that could have an interest in politics, say they can’t be bothered because they don’t know what the truth is so how could they make an informed decision about important matters? Gerard Henderson offers yet another exposure of the public broadcaster stepping up it’s anti-conservative mission, all at the taxpayers’ expense while arrogantly spitting in our faces! What damned fools we are!
On any empirical analysis, Australia is one of the most stable democracies in the Western world. Moreover, it suffers none of the current political tensions that ­afflict its closest allies, Britain and the US, under the leadership of Boris Johnson and Donald J. Trump respectively. Even so, a degree of hyperbole prevails in the land that an uninformed visitor might regard as a sign of crisis. This is primarily the case in what passes for political debate in contemporary Australia.Source: Gerard Henderson, News Corp

The Conversation and the ABC demean public debate

Take Monday’s Q&A on the ABC, another example of its conservative-free zone. Fran Kelly was in the presenter’s chair and there was not one conservative among the all-female panel chosen by the executive producer.
No one dissented when Egyptian-American Mona Eltahawy described the US President as a fas­cist or depicted Australia as a dic­ta­torship. Likewise, there was no objection when panellist Nayuka Gor­rie justified violence on the (alleged) basis that the powers that be were “trying to kill” indigenous Aus­tralians. She concluded this rant with: “So yeah, let’s burn stuff.”
Yet, the reality is Scott Morrison leads a government with a ­majority of two in the House of Representatives and a minority in the Senate. Then there are the states and territories, the judiciary, an independent police force and so on. These are not the signs of a ­dictatorship.
On November 1 the Prime Minister addressed the Queensland Resources Council in Brisbane. Some media reports drew attention to Morrison’s presence in Queensland as a sign that he was intent on holding the seats of Herbert and Longman, which were won in the May election in a state heavily reliant on agriculture and mining along with gas production. That’s true.
But it’s also true that the Coalition would not be in a majority government without the two seats it won in northern Tasmania, Bass and Braddon. They happen to be areas that have some of the lowest incomes in Australia. In other words, the Coalition’s support for mining in this year’s election was an important factor in its victory. But not the only factor. Labor failed to connect with its traditional base in many parts of Australia.
Towards the end of his Brisbane speech, Morrison said the ­Coalition was “not interested in closing down the mining industry but building it up”. He spoke about mining as a hi-tech industry that created good, high-paying jobs. And he spoke about “a new breed of radical activism” that was “on the march … sneering at wealth-creating and job-creating industries” in the regions.
While acknowledging that “there should always be a place for peaceful protest”, he argued that this was not “an unlimited licence to disrupt people’s lives” and said there was “no place for economic sabotage dressed up as activism”.
Morrison went on to express concern about “the escalating trend towards a new form of secondary boycotts in this country”.
Currently, secondary boycotts are banned with respect to trade union activism. This was one of the few industrial relations reforms of Malcolm Fraser’s Coalition government four decades ago. When he was minister for business and consumer affairs in the early years of the Fraser government, John Howard introduced legislation banning secondary boycotts.
A secondary boycott applies with respect to a situation where Company A is in dispute with a trade union. The union takes industrial action against Company B, which trades with Company A, to put pressure on Company A to settle with the trade union. Secondary boycotts have been outlawed as a trade union leverage tactic for many years.
However, the legislation provides an exemption concerning environment and consumer groups. They can engage in secondary boycotts by putting pressure on Company B to act against the interests of ­Company A.
There is no logical reason a trade union should be prevented from engaging in a secondary boycott but an environmental activist group is free to do so. As the Prime Minister put it: “Environmental groups are targeting businesses and firms who provide goods and services to firms they don’t like, especially in the resources sector.” He added that businesses of all sizes are being targeted.
The Prime Minister acknowledged the difficulties of legislating to stop secondary boycotts initiated by environmental and/or consumer groups, but added that he was working with Attorney-General Christian Porter to “identify a ­series of mechanisms” to outlaw such practices.
Also, Morrison recognised that the Australian government “cannot force one Australian company to provide a service to another”.
All up, this was a considered speech that raised a real problem without offering a dogmatic immediate solution. Yet it has led to a storm of opposition.
Writing in The Conversation on Tuesday, University of Queensland law professor Graeme Orr criticised the Prime Minister’s speech and suggested that it might be mere “kite flying” in an appeal to small businesses.
This was a reasonable critique. The same cannot be said for the howl of outrage that appeared on The Conversation’s comments page.
There were references to “Fuhrer Morrison”. The Prime Minister also was referred to as a “cunning mongrel”. And then there was a sneering reference to Morrison as a “rancid creationist” and he was told “get your head out of your bum”.
Now if this were social media it would be par for the course. But The Conversation’s editor, Misha Ketchell, takes its comments section seriously, so much so that he has banned anyone he regards as a climate sceptic from taking part in the online journal’s discussions.
Yet The Conversation readily runs commentary on its website comparing Australia’s democratically elected Prime Minister with the one-time leader of the Nazi Party.
So debate in Australia has come to this. The taxpayer-funded public broadcaster allows a comment to go to air unchallenged that depicts Australia as a dictatorship. And a journal funded by many Australian universities provides the opportunity for Morrison to be compared with Hitler.

Gerard Henderson is executive director of the Sydney Institute.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • DT 10/11/2019, 6:24 am

    Until a majority of politicians on both sides of the Parliament agree to change the ABC Act of Parliament and amend the ABC Charter nothing can be done, the ABC is untouchable, the Government only has the power to appoint the Board of Directors and they appoint the Managing Director.

    • Cliff 10/11/2019, 6:51 am

      Holdeth not thy breath waiting for that to happen, comrade.

  • lorraine 10/11/2019, 6:28 am

    The media has been left for many years, very few are conservative .The ABC has been out of control for more than 15 years. Good manners and truth in a debate has been AWOL at the ABC with more gutter snipes employed there than all other outlets combined.

  • SebastianF 10/11/2019, 7:45 am

    Cut their funding, though, of course, Scumo hasn’t got the balls to do it. They’d squark and squeal a lot but it wouldn’t be much different to what they’re doing now.

  • DT 10/11/2019, 8:05 am

    The ABC is a federal agency which works within the following legislative framework.

    The ABC Act 1983

    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act (1983) (ABC Act) is the instrument which established the ABC.

    ABC Act
    The ABC Charter

    The ABC Charter is contained in s6 of the ABC Act. It outlines the ongoing functions and responsibilities of the ABC.

    6 Charter of the Corporation
    (1) The functions of the Corporation are:
    (a) to provide within Australia innovative and comprehensive broadcasting services of a high standard as part of the Australian broadcasting system consisting of national, commercial and community sectors and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, to provide:
    (i) broadcasting programs that contribute to a sense of national identity and inform and entertain, and reflect the cultural diversity of, the Australian community; and
    (ii) broadcasting programs of an educational nature;
    (b) to transmit to countries outside Australia broadcasting programs of news, current affairs, entertainment and cultural enrichment that will:
    (i) encourage awareness of Australia and an international understanding of Australian attitudes on world affairs; and
    (ii) enable Australian citizens living or travelling outside Australia to obtain information about Australian affairs and Australian attitudes on world affairs; and
    (ba) to provide digital media services; and
    (c) to encourage and promote the musical, dramatic and other performing arts in Australia.
    Note: See also section 31AA (Corporation or prescribed companies to be the only providers of Commonwealth‑funded international broadcasting services).
    (2) In the provision by the Corporation of its broadcasting services within Australia:
    (a) the Corporation shall take account of:
    (i) the broadcasting services provided by the commercial and community sectors of the Australian broadcasting system;
    (ii) the standards from time to time determined by the ACMA in respect of broadcasting services;
    (iii) the responsibility of the Corporation as the provider of an independent national broadcasting service to provide a balance between broadcasting programs of wide appeal and specialized broadcasting programs;
    (iv) the multicultural character of the Australian community; and
    (v) in connection with the provision of broadcasting programs of an educational nature—the responsibilities of the States in relation to education; and
    (b) the Corporation shall take all such measures, being measures consistent with the obligations of the Corporation under paragraph (a), as, in the opinion of the Board, will be conducive to the full development by the Corporation of suitable broadcasting programs.
    (3) The functions of the Corporation under subsection (1) and the duties imposed on the Corporation under subsection (2) constitute the Charter of the Corporation.
    (4) Nothing in this section shall be taken to impose on the Corporation a duty that is enforceable by proceedings in a court.

    The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

    The ABC is a corporate Commonwealth entity operating under Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act). The PGPA Act sets the standards of governance, performance and accountability for all Commonwealth entities. It imposes specific duties on the ABC Board and Executive relating to things such as the preparation of financial statements, the way in which accounts are to be maintained, the disclosure of directors’ interests, and the preparation of annual reports. It also imposes general duties on all ABC employees to, amongst other things, act honestly, in good faith and for a proper purpose.

  • DT 10/11/2019, 8:08 am
  • Penguinite 10/11/2019, 9:02 am

    Never ceased to be amazed by their (ABC) myopic view of the world. Having just recovered from Greta Thunberg crisis, the news on Thursday was all about 11000 scientists declaring a climate emergency. I don’t know how the news readers can maintain their composure after this crap was exposed. Seems most of the 11000 names were anything but scientists!

    • Peter W 11/11/2019, 7:06 pm

      So they can only find 11,000 dubious scientists from a world population of 7,503,828,000.

      Surely we have more than 11,000 scientists?

Leave a Comment