THIS … IF anything should RING the Alarm Bells! Be very concerned in view of the Federal Coalition Agenda of Privatisation, and the NSW Government track record!
-NSW sell-off of $BILLIONS of public assets including Public Housing
OUR magnificent Sydney Harbour Historic Sites … are they up for a Sell-Out … or the very least … commercialization? Cough … cough …
–Manly’s North Head and Mosman’s Georges Heights
–Middle Head, Chowder Bay, Cockatoo Island, Sub Base Platypus, Woolwich Dock and Parklands, the former Marine Biological Station at Watson’s Bay and the Macquarie Lightstation in Vaucluse
AUSTRALIA NEEDS TO TALK … and not be Silenced!
WHAT CAAN wants you to do … COPY AND PASTE THIS into an Email for your Contacts … EVERYONE needs to know … in Sydney, New South Wales … across Australia ... we all need to be talking about this!
The recipients can then forward the email onto their contacts …
FOLLOWING this why not ask the people in your street, club, community to write to The Editor of all the papers … of your Objections!
DEMANDING that our Governments … act in the interests of Australian Heritage and ensure the protection of our Historic Sites from sell-off or commercialization!
BE AWARE that pretty much to date oodles of submissions have been written to be ignored … by all means write submissions but do let others know by sharing and following through as outlined above!
EXTRACT: Wikipedia: Sussan Ley
‘ … In January 2017, an examination of Ley’s expenditure claims and travel entitlements revealed she had purchased an apartment on the Gold Coast, close to the business premises of her partner, for $795,000 whilst on official business in Queensland. Ley defended the purchase, saying her work in the Gold Coast was legitimate, that all travel had been within the rules for entitlements, and that the purchase of the apartment “was not planned nor anticipated” (a claim which was widely derided). On 8 January, Ley released a statement acknowledging that the purchase had changed the context of her travel, and undertaking to repay the government for the cost of the trip in question as well as three others.The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Ley had made 27 taxpayer-funded trips to the Gold Coast in recent years.
On 9 January 2017, Ley announced that she would stand aside from her ministerial portfolios until an investigation into her travel expenses was completed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. She announced that she would not be making her diaries public. On 13 January 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Ley had resigned from the ministry.Greg Hunt was appointed as Ley’s replacement as the Minister for Health and Sport, and Ken Wyatt was appointed Assistant Minister for Health and Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care, both with effect from 24 January 2017.
On 26 August 2018, Ley was appointed Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories in the Morrison Government.
On 26 May 2019, Ley was announced as Minister for the Environment, to replace Melissa Price.’
Zali Steggall calls for residents to act over review of Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
Zali Steggall calls for residents to act over review of Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
The future of some of Sydney Harbour’s historic sites including North Head and Georges Heights could be at risk of development, says MP Zali Steggall.
Julie Cross, Manly Daily
January 19, 2020
Subscriber only|January 19, 2020 12:00am
Warringah MP Zali Steggall is calling for the public to have their say on the future of Manly’s North Head and Mosman’s Georges Heights if they don’t want another “Barangaroo on their doorstep”.
She said the State Government has set up … ‘an independent review of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust’ … which currently manages the two iconic spots.
It also ‘manages’ other historic foreshore locations including Middle Head, Chowder Bay, Cockatoo Island, Sub Base Platypus, Woolwich Dock and Parklands, the former Marine Biological Station at Watson’s Bay and the Macquarie Lightstation in Vaucluse.
The review announced by the Minister for Environment Sussan Ley, will consider the trust’s “legislative, financial and governance arrangements” and identify pathways to maximise public access to its sites on Sydney Harbour.
Joseph Carrozzi, the chairman of the Harbour Trust, said it is an opportunity for the agency to “take stock of our achievements and ensure arrangements for our places are fit for the future”.
Ms Steggall said if the state government decides to take back responsibility for the land many fear some of the spots could be commercialised.
“These precious parcels of land are iconic,” Ms Steggall said.
“Being on the harbour they speak to all Australians, especially to us as local residents who are very concerned about what might happen.
“If we don’t want a Barangaroo development on our doorstep people should be interested in this issue.”
She said the land should be preserved and the trust should be properly funded, citing the poor state of some of the army buildings at North Head and the naval heritage buildings of 10 Terminal in Mosman.
“These places should remain available to the community not becomecommercialised, that’s the biggest concern,” Ms Steggall said.
Ms Jean Hay, former Mayor of Manly and Deputy Chairman of the Harbour Trust, said the board welcomed the independent review and believed there was no “ulterior motive” behind it.
She said the organisation which was mainly self-funded hoped that the findings would support the trust’s work and lead to more funds.
Ms Hay also said she did not believe that the state government intended to commercialise the land.
Ms Steggall said volunteers have been doing letterbox drops to alert residents of the review.
And she encouraged people to send in submissions.
She also encouraged should also attend the review panel’s public forum on February 18 from 6pm to 8pm at Pullman Sydney Hyde Park, 36 College St, Sydney.
To book a place go to eventbrite.com.au.
Photo: Middle Head Sydney. Visit Sydney Australia.
Having grown up in the spotlight, with his father Michael also a member of parliament, Mr Hodgman has a unique insight into the toll that politics can take on family.
His resignation speech made clear that toll was on his mind.
“It’s undeniable that it’s had an impact on my family,” he said.
He made mention that his 17 and a half years in Parliament encompassed his and wife Nicky’s “children’s whole lives”.
“It does have an impact on my family, and I cannot deny that I’m conscious of that — what they read in the paper and what they see on the news can affect them,” he said.
Surprise all in the timing
But even before Tuesday’s hastily announced press conference, there was plenty of speculation that Mr Hodgman would not stay on for his Government’s full second term — not due to end until 2022.Rhiana Whitson✔@rhianawhitson
He went as far as to stress to the media and everyone listening at home that he “honestly didn’t finally arrive at [the decision to resign] until the last day or so”.
“I’ve always said I’d give this job 100 per cent every single day I do it, and I believed that I would continue to do so in this role, but I’ve taken time to reflect with my family over the Christmas period,” he said.
“It’s unlikely and indeed would not be the case that I would contest the next election, so this gives new leadership an opportunity at this point in time.”
Leaving Tasmania ‘in a better place than when we started’
Mr Hodgman said it was unclear what his next move would be once he was replaced by the Liberal partyroom — expected to occur next week — and officially resigns.
AUSTRALIA now confronted with allegations of ‘politically motivated’ VISA delays … but not only does Visa Manipulationthreaten our National Security with foreign students somehow infringing intellectual property, and transferring sensitive technology to Chinese Government authorities …
BUT Visa Manipulation has had many negative ramifications for Our Society … with such cunning the CCP has silently taken ownership of much of Australia’s sovereignty … it is now building its City, Chatswood with the Hong Kong Consortium MTR Sydney Metro privatising what were publicly owned heavy rail lines … advancing across Sydney north, south and west …
The Department of Home Affairs has been accused of delaying the visa applications of Chinese PhD candidates, with prospective students telling state media they were victims of “politically motivated setbacks”.
The students say cool relations between Beijing and Canberra may be to blame
Home Affairs says its assessment requirements are “not specific to Chinese nationals”
Concern is growing over how research collaboration with China may be used
A group of 135 Chinese PhD students and 30 other visiting students sent an email to the state-owned Global Times tabloid newspaper, saying they had all experienced lengthy delays on their Australian student visa applications.
*Asked whether national security concerns were driving the alleged visa slow-down, Home Affairs told the ABC processing times were driven by a range of factors, including “assessments in relation to health, character and national security requirements”.
“These requirements are not new and they are not specific to Chinese nationals,” Home Affairs said in a statement.
*It said the student visa grant rate for visa applicants for Chinese postgraduate students was 98.9 per cent, which was slightly higher than the overall grant rate of 98.6 per cent.
The University of Melbourne told the ABC it was supporting prospective PhD students “from various countries” experiencing slower-than-expected processing times.
In a statement, it said there were in many cases “considerable delays” in getting their visas approved.
“[The University of Melbourne] is communicating with the Government about this matter to help them to understand the problems caused for the students and for the University by these delays,” it said.
“*At a broad level, there is increasing anxiety about Chinese party state influence and interference in Australia, this has extended into research collaboration, and recently into individuals that are conducting research,” Mr Ni said.
*”Certainly the cases are quite disturbing that came to light over the last decade about researchers that are conducting espionage or somehow infringing intellectual property.“
I’m surprised that state governments haven’t acted to curb News Corp i rresponsibility. Australian states are treated no better than South American countries by this American libertarian agency. Not only do they engage in character assassination of anyone leading positive change, we can now see they deliberately frustrate state governance, seed false arguments and destroy community wellbeing. This is an emergency, the planet and our capacity to transform human behaviour is at stake.
Mary-Anne Well said Paul. That self-entitled evil old man and his corrupt spawn should have the numbers 666 stamped on their foreheads. Australian citizens should demand the re-introduction of media concentration laws because no single person/organisation should ever be allowed to exert so much influence/manipulation over the national conversation. He has succeeded in stiffling important debate and dividing this nation by promoting tribalism rather than sensible rational discussion.
Brian You are forgetting how beholden our state and federal governments are to Rupert Murdoch and their dependence on him for re-election. We no longer have a free press in this country with the domination of News Corp.
Kate Thank you Emily Townsend. If only Murdoch journalists had your strength of character. They could join forces against their errant bosses. Surely they couldn’t all be sacked?
Belinda Maybe we should start a GoFundMe to financially liberate any News Corp reporters and staff who want to speak out. I think it would go nuts, imagine if even half the staff could quit and speak out without fear of losing their income. Imagine the truth that could come out.I think it would spread throughout other News Corp owned countries.
The email was highly critical of News Corp’s reporting.
A News Corp employee has slammed the organisation for spreading “climate change denial and lies” through “irresponsible” and “dangerous reporting” on Australia’s catastrophic bushfires.
In an email, obtained by The New Daily, Emily Townsend, a commercial finance manager at the company, hit out at executive chairman Michael Miller after he sent a company-wide email talking up all the ways News Corp is helping communities affected by the bushfire crisis.
In the email addressed to Mr Miller, which was was distributed to all News Corp Australia staff, Ms Townsend said she was grateful for the company’s fundraising efforts, but added that it did “not offset the impact News Corp reporting has had over the last few weeks”.
“I have been severely impacted by the coverage of News Corp publications in relation to the fires, in particular the misinformation campaign that has tried to divert attention away from the real issue which is climate change to focus on arson (including misrepresenting facts),” Ms Townsend wrote.
I find it unconscionable to continue working for this company, knowing I am contributing to the spread of climate change denial and lies.”
The email was reportedly deleted from New Corp staff inboxes within an hour of it being sent.
Four hours later on Friday afternoon,News Corp issued a statement to The New Daily on behalf of Mr Miller.
The statement claimed Ms Townsend had resigned in December and was due to leave News Corp shortly.
“We respect Ms Townsend’s right to hold her views, but we do not agree with them,” the statement reads.
“Our coverage has recognised that Australia is having a serious conversation about climate change and how to respond to it,” it said.
“However, it has also reflected there are a variety of views and opinions about the current fire crisis. The role of arsonists and policies that may have contributed to the spread of fire are, therefore, legitimate stories to report in the public interest.
“Contrary to what some critics have argued, News Corp does not deny climate change or the gravity of its threat. However, we – as is the traditional role of a publisher – do report a variety of views and opinions on the issue and many others that are important in the public discourse on the fires.”
Rupert Murdoch’s influential newspapers and television stations have been widely criticised in recent weeks for spreading misinformation about climate change during Australia’s out-of-control bushfires.
The Australian has repeatedly argued that this year’s fires are no worse than those of the past – a claim which scientists have slammed as untrue.
Ms Townsend’s decision to write a damning letter condemning News Corp’s coverage has been welcomed by some current and former employees of the company.
The New Daily is aware of a growing discomfort among News Corpemployees with how reporting on the crisis is being handled.
While afraid to speak openly for fear of reprisals from the company, some News Corp employees were quietly cheering their colleague’s stance.
One current employee described it as “huge”, while another said it was “amazing”.
“We’re all pretty thrilled,” another current news reporter said.
So far, more than 12 million acres have burned, and more of New South Wales has been burned in 2019 alone than the previous 15 years combined.
This week, an independent study also found online bots and trolls had been exaggerating the role of arson in the fires, at the same time that an article in The Australian that made similar claims started trending on the newspaper’s website.
MONEY LAUNDERING IN AUSTRALIAN REAL ESTATE IS DAMAGING OUR ECONOMY ON TWO FRONTS …
ASIDE from the high influx of foreign buyers and our Real Estate awash with ‘Hot Money’ come newly made ‘Permanent Residents’ … and in some instances almost a complete demographic change sweeping across vast tracts of Sydney …
THEN there is an economic logic behind the puzzle of high prices and high vacancy … and it LOOKS like there is a criminal logic!
–much of the vacant housingin Australia is due to money laundering
–no checks on the source of finance for home purchases
–no checks on who the ultimate beneficiaries are in the ownership structure
–a home can be purchased in a trust or company name
.the identity of the trustees and the company owners need not be disclosed
–if there isnorental income, the corporate structure is protected from scrutiny by tax authorities
–with most of the return to housing from capital gains housingis an attractive place to hide money; three-quarters of the total return can still be had
One pattern that stands out in the property market is that although homes prices are at all-time highs, so too is the proportion of vacant dwellings. This is a puzzle.
How can it be the case that when housing is in high demand it is also rational to keep more housing vacant?
Australian data shows that the number of residential dwellings has grown faster than the number of households for the past decade, indicating a substantial rise in the proportion of empty homes. This phenomenon has been a broad one, experienced in cities such as Sydney, Vancouver, and Toronto. Here are some of my previous thoughts on the topic.
The resolution to this puzzle is as follows.
Housing is an asset, and in asset markets there is a trade-off between liquidity and returns.
A vacant home is a more liquid asset than an occupied home. Timing a sale is easier, the sale is faster, and it is likely to result in a higher price when vacant.
When capital gains are a large proportion of the total return, and capturing this return requires timing the market because of price variability, the value to liquidity from vacancy can be high. In short, when yields are low and prices high and variable, the benefits to vacancy are high.
Here’s an example. In Scenarios A and B the total asset return to housing is 10%.
But in Scenario A the price is high and yields are low. Here, leaving the property vacant forgoes only a quarter of the total return from the asset. If prices are variable in this Scenario, then timing a sale becomes an important factor for earning the capital gains. Hence, the liquidity from vacancy has a large benefit.
In Scenario B the price is low, as the rental yield is 7.5% of the price. Capital gains are also low at 2.5%. In this low price, low capital gain, scenario, keeping the property vacant requires giving up three-quarters of the total return. The benefits from doing so are limited since capital gains are low, and hence less variable.
So there is an economic logic behind the puzzle of high prices and high vacancy, and it stems from the fact that housing is an asset as well as a consumption good. But there is * also a criminal logic.
*Much of the vacant housing in Australia (and probably Canada and a few other locations) is due to * money laundering.
*There are no checks on the source of finance for home purchases and no checks on who the ultimate beneficiaries are in the ownership structure.
*You can buy a home in a trust or company name, and the identity of the trustees and the company owners need not be disclosed.
*If you then also do not earn rental income, the corporate structure is protected from scrutiny by tax authorities.Housing is a great way to hide ill-gotten gains.
*The criminal logic and economic logic are closely aligned. When most of the return to housing comes from capital gains it makes housing a more attractive place to hide money as three-quarters of the total return can still be had.
But when most of the return comes from rent it is much less attractive — and it may require corporate disclosure due to local incomes warranting taxation.
Finally, some new data
On another note, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics came out recently, filling one of the holes in the housing data landscape — the share of lending to investors that is directed towards purchasing or building new homes.
This data helps to answer questions about the economic value of new credit in the economy, the real economic effects of monetary policy, and more.
In standard economic thinking, low interest rates make borrowing to invest in new buildings and equipment more viable. Because standard economic models do not include secondary markets, the effect on the trade of existing assets is mostly ignored. Yet we can see that the majority of home purchases are simply trades of existing housing, and hence are a key mechanism through which low interest rates mostly cause higher priceswithout having much effecton new construction.
As you can see in those few months of investor data, investor lending is not substantially more biased toward new housing than lending for owner-occupiers.
For investors, 24% of loans have been for new housing in the past few months, just as 24% of loans to owner-occupiers have been.
The main difference seems to be that the typical existing home bought by owner-occupiers is more expensive than the typical new home, whereas for investors the mean value of lending to both is the same.
Photo: The Chinese use numerous tactics to transfer money abroad, and smurfing is routine. From: China’s ‘smurfs’ beat cash controls, sending real estate soaring
HYDROPANELS will eliminate the need for prohibitively expensive AND ENVIRONMENTALLY damaging plants for Desalinated Water …
FOR anyone who questions the viability of water produced by HYDROPANELS … this comment from a CAAN Contributor:
‘My dehumidifier is producing litres of water with humidity over 80% (atm 84% 10 January 2020) it needs to be on. I am putting it on the garden. Free water.’
SHARE to ensure WE keep what remains of our family budgets and quality of life in Australia … so that we maintain our independence from the Harbourside Huxters, the Banksters and pollies having signed an ‘historic’ memorandum of understanding on water cooperation back in November 2019 between Israel and NSW … that appears to have been set up by Baird back in 2016!
PLEASE FORWARD this to your local MPs and Political Party Candidates …
View: A ‘historic’ memorandum of understanding on water cooperation was signed this week between Israel and New South Wales.
Water is one of the world’s most precious resources.
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HOW TO FIND WATER WHEN YOU’RE STUCK IN THE DESERT
US-based company Zero Mass Water creates Source hydropanels that use sunlight and air to produce drinking water, and regional towns throughout Australia have been tapping into its benefits.
Zero Mass Water founder and CEO Cody Friesen told Business Insider Australia the idea was to create “the world’s first fully disintermediated, infrastructure-free source of water” which doesn’t require electricity or a pipe input.
When coming up with the hydropanels, Friesen said the company started to think about how it can apply the principles of renewable energy – using local resources and sunlight to produce things in a sustainable way – and how it can do for water what solar did for electricity.
“What we end up with inside of SOURCE hydropanels is effectively distilled water,” he said. “We’re distilling that water vapour off of those materials and we make absolutely pure water.”
Inside the panels, the water goes through a mineral block which adds minerals such as calcium and magnesium to give the water a “soft mouthfeel” and a “crisp finish”.
Friesen said it takes roughly 15 minutes to set up the panel and after about a half an hour it will start producing drinkable water.
He added that for the first time, the panels are “making renewable water that doesn’t invoke an extractive process and [is] not taking water from somebody else.”
Friesen, who did his PhD in materials science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), explained that his background is in renewable energy. He said that when people talk about renewables, a lot of them focus on renewable electricity.
“I think everybody, when they say renewable energy, what they really mean is renewable electricity,” he said. “But the reality is that only about 20% of the global energy mix [goes into] electricity. 80% is transportation and embedded energy in the stuff we buy, the food we eat and the water we drink.”
And what exactly is embedded energy? Friesen uses the example of a drinking glass.
“It started out as sand, the sand had to be refined, melted, made into glass beads and then eventually formed into this glass. So all of that supply chain and all that transportation, all the things that were happening, that’s energy at each of the steps.”
Friesen added, “In fact, the embedded energy in the food we eat is far bigger than [our] electricity needs. The embedded energy in water is huge.”
Friesen explained there’s a deep connection between energy and water – for example, the use of desalination plants which remove salt from water to make it drinkable. But in order for people to become more resilient in terms of climate change, companies like Zero Mass Water “have to get much more aggressive about decoupling traditional energy sources from our water.”
Zero Mass Water in Australia
Source Hydropanels are available in 34 countries including Australia.
Zero Mass Water has installed panels regional and rural areas in Australia including Murrurundi in New South Wales and Thulimbah, 15km north of Stanthorpe in Queensland. It also has them at schools such as the Cunnamulla State School in Queensland.
In addition to that, the company has worked with Indigenous communities such as those on Stradbroke Island – also known by the Indigenous name Minjerribah. Zero Mass Water installed an array of 30 panels at the Island’s community centre, which will produce more than 3000 litres of water a month.
Friesen believed the Source panels aren’t just a sustainable way of getting clean water, but also a way to reduce plastic and protect Indigenous land.
“Minjerribah is a World Heritage Site, a beautiful preserved island right there off of Brisbane – and yet tourists show up and they buy bottled water, and then you have a plastics problem,” Friesen said.
“So honouring Indigenous peoples is not just about going in to see their land and their places, but also in returning in some way to a more sustainable way forward. More sustainable doesn’t mean less, necessarily. More sustainable means making decisions and using the technology at our fingertips to… make progress.”
In 2019, Aussie NBA basketball player Patty Mills partnered with Zero Mass Water to donate panels to remote Indigenous communities. Mills’ organisation, The Community Water Project, together with National Basketball Players Association and Australian Indigenous Basketball brought hydropanel arrays to six remote communities in Australia.
Friesen speaks passionately about supporting Indigenous communities through this technology. Upon winning the 2019 $US500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for invention, he said at the time he would donate it to a Conservation International project that provides clean drinking water to a community in Colombia using Source Hyrdopanels.
“I set out to develop a technology that really would provide social equity and ultimately lift people up,” Friesen said. “And now for us, our ability to do that in a real way is, you know, awesome.”
While Friesen doesn’t see Zero Mass Water as having competitors per se, he said its “incumbents” are bottled water, filtration and rainwater catchment systems.
“Our vision is to perfect water for every person, every place,” Friesen said. “We have the technology that entitles us to that crazy vision. The technology can do that. Now it’s about us executing.”
A very thorough … and long report published in the lead-up to the May 2019 Federal Election … covering much of the damage inflicted byNews Corp otherwise known as ‘Limited News’ that has emerged to be an ‘unhinged propaganda outfit that is central to the identity of the company’.
CAAN has highlighted passages.
Much of this report is focused on where News Corp is at … the issues of racism, Islamophobia … stirring up hatred …
-the demonisation of migrants
IT appears on our reading NEWS CORP is all about distractingAustralians from what is going on …
AND this all plays into the hands of the Liberal Coalition … with Scummo announcing a cutback of 30,000 migrants (which happened 2 years prior)
–a vote catcher for those believing the propaganda
-meanwhile … the Liberal Coalition backdoor migration through Visa Manipulation flourishes
-as thousands of foreign home buyers and workers fly into Australia weekly on temp Visas seeking a ‘Permanent Resident’ Visa!
-2.2 Million Visa holders in Australia of which 1.6 Million Visa workers
-those from China are members of the CCP!
As CHINA advances … and ‘invests/buys’ up Australian property …. residential, agricultural and commercial … from local stores to healthcare, power, mines, and transport
-facilitated by the Coalition policies; the FIRB; no Anti-Money Laundering laws for the Real Estate Gatekeepers
NEW ZEALAND has matured and progressed just as Australia has stalled and regressed it would appear the absence of News Corp media in New Zealand is a factor in all of this!
BILL SHORTEN’S ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN was about what People want and need …
-investments in affordable and social housing
–increased funding to the ABC
–making childcare cheaper
–changes to negative gearing (Search CAAN Website for the benefits of this)
–banning foreign donations and curtailing corporate donations to political parties
–investment in renewable energy
–and the adoption of elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
*NEWS stridently opposes every one of these policies.
*Instead, NEWS advocates a suite of highly unpopular policies:
–defunding or privatising the ABC
–privatising public assets
–“wage reform”, tax minimisation, foreign military adventurism
–the building of coal-fired power stations
–meaningless action on climate change
–the obstruction of a fibre-to-the-home NBN
–and the overturning of anti-vilification legislation
*This is near-identical to the policy platform of the Coalition. So far, the real-world implementation of these ideas has been mixed, but the conversational bandwidth they have taken up, considering they have almost no natural constituency beyond vested interests, has had a ruinous effect.*
NEWSCorp: Democracy’s greatest threat
Denialism, nihilism and the Murdoch propaganda machine
*The slim, match-fit form of The Daily Telegraphcolumnist Piers Akerman, resplendent in a blue Tony Abbott T-shirt, and standing next to the former prime minister,was not supposed to be there. Not supposed to be in the photo, that is.
It was Abbott who posted the picture to social media,accidentally revealing his mate on the hustings. A “campaigning columnist” didn’t used to mean someone literally handing out flyers, but that devolution, from advocate to participant, was not really surprising anymore.
Could you call it a breach of journalistic ethics? “A lot of people are lookingat this thinking, this surely crosses a line,” Mark Kenny said on the ABC’s Insiders. But it’s hard to breach journalistic ethics when neither journalism nor ethics are involved, so perhaps the wider media reaction – bemusement – was the right one. As usual, the presence of Akerman was treated as just another regrettable ideological excess of an otherwise normal news organisation.
Except it isn’t a normal news organisation any longer.
At News Corp – in an inversion of journalism’s ideal– the old-fashioned, straight-down-the-line reporting is expendable and surplus to requirements. It is the unhinged propaganda outfit that is central to the identity of the company. It is the core that is lunatic, not the fringe.
By the standard of his stablemates, Akerman’s doorknocking was unremarkable.He was not, like the associate editor of The Australian, Chris Kenny, a former Coalition chief of staff campaigning for a Liberal candidate who was his own sister, or, like the national affairs editor of The Australian, Simon Benson, advising Abbott over a private dinner that “the only people who give a shit about the kids on Nauru are in Kooyong and Wentworth”.
These kinds of contacts go undeclared, presumably on the principle that if you’re past the paywall, you’ve got the gist already.
*In the lead-up to an election, the ridiculousness of News Corp front pages, especially on the tabloids, is so pervasive and routine it has almost become part of the pageantry.
*The bias, like New Years Eve fireworks, gets bigger every occasion, and this time is ascending into the awesome and spectacular. Former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who has called the Murdoch media a “cancer on democracy”, documented the front-page tumours on Twitter:
“Bill’s $5k car-bon tax”, “Labor climate plan hits food costs”, “PM warns of Labor’s $380bn tax grab”, “Scomo ready to go: Morrison into poll position”.
*The standout was The Courier-Mail all but devoting its splash to a premature how-to-vote card (except real how-to-vote cards aren’t punctuated by bullet holes, and don’t say “RI$K” next to Labor).
The pantomime staged during this festival centres on an important character type, a kind of fall-guy figure called “the good journalist”, whose role is to work at News, and then hand-wring in private about how awful all this is, as though this unpleasantness has come as a huge shock and they have found themselves trapped at an embarrassing masthead by mistake. You might recognise them from the rejoinder phrase “at least they’ve got some good journalists”, so vital for defusing the discomfort of legitimate (and always insufficient) critiques of media peers.
So far, these players have discharged their role to perfection, with “sources” telling Amanda Meade in Guardian Australia’s “Weekly Beast” columnthat staff at the “Queensland masthead say this week’s effort upset more than a few. Many … were ‘mortified and embarrassed’ by the editor’s none-too-subtle treatment of the budget.” Bravissimo. There is a theoretical particle called a graviton that is supposed to exert the weakest force in the universe, but until its discovery, the “good journalists” of News Corp will have to hold that title.
Other reporters commiserate with them – I have done it myself – treating grown adults as if they are somehow victims of their own chosen employment. It is a folie à deux: you have to pretend that your confidant has become adrift in a rudderless ship of fools (and don’t mention the bad “journalists” towing them in a motorboat), while they have to pretend they are working on the kinks of their troubled conscience, as though they weren’t already smoothed out on payday.
*Occasionally, senior News journalists do voice their dissatisfaction in public. On Murdoch’s Sky News Australia, where the battle for the network’s soul plays out daily before the sun sets and the witching hour begins, the anchor Kieran Gilbert finally snapped, live and on air.
He was trying to do serious political analysis against the interjections of a time-travelling medieval oaf called Paul Murray, who was fulfilling the terms of his employment by repeatedly calling Bill Shorten “disgusting”
(Exhibit A: footage showing Shorten talking to voters).
Gilbert had had enough. “You’re not a big fan of Bill Shorten’s,” he said to Murray. “He could have orchestrated the Second Coming and you probably wouldn’t have been too positive about it. So that’s the starting point, isn’t it?”
Then David Speers broke them up, and balance – which is to say no balance – was restored.
Under normal circumstances – if all that was at stake was another Scott Morrison term, or a two-year-long hysterical episode about vilification law – we could probably leave these petty humiliations to play themselves out.
*Rudd might be right (you won’t see me write that very often), but until recently in Australia, the Murdoch media was a kind of stage-one cancer of democracy, something causing pain and fatigue, but not terminal. Apply light critique, appeal to angels of better nature, repeat for 40 years.
Part of this cycle has been a particular kind of article(or essay, or book) that accumulates and presents the sexist, racist, vituperative and weaponised propaganda of News Corp over time. This is not one of those articles. There are enough of those already, outlining thousands of incidents, and together, they describe only what is going on and not what to do about it.
Their conclusions are usually quite tepid and reliant on either News Corp journalists to create accountability themselves or other journalists to create accountability for them. This was always a hopeful approach. It now looks like a delusional one. The defensiveness, and self-defensiveness, of journalists, always abundant, is brimming.
*Spooked by dire working conditions, pressed into an artificial guild solidarity by the long winter of cutbacks, they are not going to turn on their own, especially when that means jeopardising a job with the biggest employer in town.
Matters are too urgent to leave to this ineffectual opposition. Their professional respect is not even reciprocal – in the United States, the heat arraigned against the media has become so intense that when I was planning to attend a political rally, I was advised to buy some body armour. Anyone who thinks Fox News isn’t partly responsible for that is kidding themselves.
Fear is part of what tempers the criticism, but there is another reason we don’t describe things as they are: it sounds unreal.
*It sounds unreal to say that News Corp is not a media organisation. It sounds outré to say that it is instead a political propaganda entity of a kind perhaps not seen since the 19th century, one that has climbed to its pedestal through regulatory capture, governmental favours and menace, and is now applying its energies to the promotion of white nationalism, even as white nationalists commit scores of murders.
It defends a child rapist and demeans his victims. It degrades and cows the national broadcaster until it threatens its function, and occasionally its existence. It undermines the rule of law. It does everything it can to impinge on climate change action, just as the ramifications of climate change begin to bite.
Who has the better predictive record: climate scientists or boosters of the Iraq War? Now dwell for a moment on News’s relative treatment of each. We are stuck listening to the megaphoned opinions of the wrong people, who have been rewarded rather than penalised for their failure.
*News Corp is not merely biased against Labor and in favour of the Liberals.This underestimates the international nature of the franchise. It is a series of multi-platform metastases that endanger minorities – sexual, racial and religious – all over the world.
Right now, in the US, it is pouring its hatreds onto individuals– with a special emphasis on women, and women of colour in particular – in a manner unchanged by the upsurge of massacre and vigilantism. Its treatment of the Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar is an almost carbon copy of the treatment it meted out locally to Yassmin Abdel-Magied. All this has happened with the “good journalists” barely uttering a peep. Any potential friction this would cause with people of colour in the newsrooms is solved by having almost none. Some of those have left, unable to bear the culpability.
Any one of these factors, by themselves, would make an entity like this dangerous. Together, they represent an existential threat to democratic society. If you think this is hypothetical, or hyperbolic, look to the US post-Trump, or the United Kingdom post-Brexit, and realise that this is what these people fought for – and they want it to happen here.
*“It’s mind-blowing to look at the wreckage of UK politics, realize that it’s basically all Rupert Murdoch’s fault, and then look back to the US and realize that’s *also* all Rupert Murdoch’s fault”, the American political analyst Matt Yglesias tweeted in March.
*It’s a simplification – these are complex, multi-factorial events (and it’s also Lachlan Murdoch’s fault) – but it is not a simplification to say that the Murdoch media has ultimately been the decisive factor. The evidence, both quantitative and anecdotal, is very clear.
*The MSNBC host Chris Hayes replied to Yglesias: “Australia ain’t doing so hot either.” He was right, yet at the same time Australia’s political turmoil has a different character to it: more of a depression than a psychosis, a decade in which we have lurched from one dysfunctional government to another.
News Corp hasn’t been entirely responsible, but it must carry a significant share of the blame. If we could borrow from one Labor PM demonised by News, its influence “doesn’t explain everything. It doesn’t explain nothing. It explains some things. And it is for the nation to think in a sophisticated way about those shades of grey.”
Unable to fully implement its own agenda in the political arena, News has instead stymied the reforms of others, in particular making action on climate change impossible.
*This election (MAY 2019) offers an opportunity to repudiate that agenda. News Corp does not have its preferred candidate in the Lodge – that would be Peter Dutton – but it has a close analogue in Scott Morrison.
*The shared strategy of both is, or was, the demonisation of migrants, something that has always appealed to News.
Most recently, the Herald Sun and the Liberal Party made attacks on a Sudanese “crime wave” central to the last Victorian election, very unsuccessfully. But this old favourite became briefly unacceptable in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre, and without this centrepiece, the government for a moment looked like a sales force in search of a product, before settling on a battle over taxes.
Yet the danger has not passed, and will not pass if Labor wins. If history is a guide, there will be some post-election months of ingratiating best behaviour, the loss will be laid at the feet of Liberal moderates (who are on their way out of the party anyway), and News will lament that the right was too kind.
At first glance a Shorten prime ministership will look like a moment of progressive ascendency, and a consequent moment of weakness for the Murdoch agenda (Shorten has already broken with tradition by declining an invitation to meet the mogul in person).
But if Dutton or Morrison becomes Opposition leader, and Sky News continues its shape-shifting into Fox News while broadcasting free-to-air on regional network WIN, the components of a reactionary doomsday device are being assembled at the same time.
Progressives must not be fooled by this quiet period. They must not meekly wait their turn. They must not rely on journalists to defend them. They must not simply hope for the best. Instead they must do something very different:apply any legal means necessary to stop the bad actors within News, before it is too late.
*All the limit cases have already been passed. Self-accountability has failed, and so has accountability created by the media class. It is time for accountability to be created by the direct action of civil society itself.
*Any thinking Australian has spent the better part of two decades looking across the Tasman with envy. I spent several months living there in 2017 and, in person, the difference seemed so pronounced it was almost shaming. Since roughly the turn of the millennium, just as Australia has stalled and regressed, New Zealand has matured and progressed.They stayed out of the Iraq War, while we entered it. They came to terms with their colonial history, while we denied ours. They invited refugees, while we made a show of punishing them.
*Friendlier, less belligerent, more cultured, more innovative and somehow more at ease, New Zealand really was, in the shopworn parlance, “punching above its weight”, while Australia settled into being merely punchy, assuming the international role of a small man with a big mouth.
*The absence of News Corp media in New Zealand, surely a factor in all this, felt like fresh air.
When I was in Dunedin, a few suburbs away lived another Australian expat who, it turns out, was drawn by a similar sense of sanctuary. He was plotting to puncture it; he was in New Zealand for the express purpose of planning a massacre. He believed an attack would prove that there are no safe places left anywhere in the world. He was an immigrant plotting to kill other immigrants as a protest against immigration.
New Zealand’s readily available semiautomatic weapons were a drawcard; so too its relative public safety and absence of terrorism, which meant a plethora of soft targets. You will know that this attack was realised, and that it killed 50 people in Christchurch, all of them unarmed, among them many women and children. It was also livestreamed on Facebook and watched by an audience of nearly 200, mainly drawn from the racist message boards of the website 8Chan, where the killer posted regularly. None of these people reported it to authorities, or even to Facebook, for the duration of those 17 minutes of broadcasted killing.
Several of the more horror-seasoned observers to this, veteran correspondents of war zones or genocides, said the video was the worst thing they had ever seen.
It is not the first example of what could be called “massacre as meme” – the Utøya killer described his murder of 77 young people in Norway as “marketing” for his manifesto– but it was the most advanced. The livestreaming was new and so was the soundtrack (the killer blared Serbian pro-genocide songs and British Grenadier marches in his car en route, and then set up a speaker in the mosque).
The live and largely appreciative online audience was also a dystopian innovation. I would recommend not watching the video, but a taste of its soul-destroying quality can be found in the live reactions on 8Chan, now archived: “Piling into the corners like rats is not how you survive this sort of shit. Buncha cowards. So much for the protection of Allah.” Fifty dead, with a comment section cheering on a mass shooting as a form of nihilistic slapstick. What do you say after that?
But you have to say something, and New Zealand, which had this travesty thrust upon it, turned the conversation to resilience, love and inclusion.
“My belief in the humanity of New Zealanders has strengthened,” said the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, afterwards. “I just know we have a lot of work to do to make that universal.” Her response was praised internationally for its poise and compassion. Those who had contributed to a climate of prejudice that turned to violence began to apologise: “I look back at my comments ashamed,” the Christchurch-based radio host Chris Lynch wrote, rescinding an old column about Islam. A 95-year-old veteran called John Sato took four buses to attend a rally against racism at Auckland’s Aotea Square. “I think it’s such a tragedy, and yet it has the other side,” he said on Radio New Zealand. “It has brought people together, no matter what their race or anything. People suddenly realised we’re all one. We care for each other.”
If you knew nothing about Australia, you might think that this process of reflection, accountability and protest would begin here as well, since it is this society that produced and exported the killer, incubated his prejudices, and then subjected its national neighbours to them.
But that naive hope would fundamentally misunderstand where we are and what we are doing. There was no unity in grief – the trans-Tasman contrast became more pronounced than ever. Where New Zealand chose maturity, Australia chose malign idiocy. Everything was permissible, as long as it was irrelevant.
Before the bodies had cooled, the “national discussion” had explored the optics of censure motions, the question of whether or not egging someone was political violence, the ethics of undercover journalism, the hurt feelings of journalists, the hurt feelings of Pauline Hanson, whether or not David Koch should be fired for hurting her feelings (thousands on social media thought so), and the regulation of unrelated media platforms like Twitter. Wasn’t it really about social media? Weren’t the Greens really as extreme as – wait, more extreme than – One Nation? The Murdoch media said so with an almost unified voice. The Greens politician Mehreen Faruqi was really the same as the neo-Nazi senator Fraser Anning, said the minister for home affairs. Both-siderism, long an incurable disease, became a terminal one.
Australian conservatives seemed most concerned that someone might take their racism away. In The Sydney Morning Herald, the former Howard government minister Amanda Vanstone wrote a piece headlined “It’s not wrong to worry about immigration in the wake of terror”, as though there was some danger that a multimillion-dollar, multi-channel, multi-title media apparatus dedicated to this worry might be switched off overnight. The prime minister’s office threatened to sue our most prominent Muslim broadcaster. Pauline Hanson was invited onto ABC radio’s flagship Breakfast program to discuss One Nation’s preferences and Australian immigration rates.
Andrew Bolt drew an equivalence between Christchurch and “left-wing terrorism”, by which he meant the time someone threw glitter at him. Chris Kenny drew an equivalence between the fostering of bigotry and someone on the ABC joking about conservatives being murdered: it turned out he had mistaken a discussion about a murder mystery featuring art conservators for a Maoist insurgency. In two sad little articles in The Australian, Judith Sloan and someone called “The Mocker” decided to criticise Jacinda Ardern, as though offended by her dignity.
As one, they repudiated the idea that either the mainstream Australian media, the most openly and pervasively Islamophobic in the English-speaking world, or the country’s wider culture of unfettered racism had anything to do with this Islamophobic Australian murderer. He was instead inspired by the “ancient racisms of Europe and the fanaticism of medieval Christians”, according to a hastily written 300-word article by TheAustralian’s defence and national security editor, Paul Maley. “With Australia’s political class poised for a national bout of cultural self-loathing … it is worth noting there is zero evidence the man paid any attention to anything said or done in this country since 2014.” In fact, it was quickly revealed, the killer had posted many times on Australian far-right Facebook groups as late as 2016, and made a cash donation to an Australian anti-Muslim group, but this cheap attempt at exoneration was never amended or corrected. If there was no culpability, then why lie about it?
Maley’s excuse-making wasn’t an outlier. This hand-washing instinct, the reflexive equation of self-examination with self-loathing, was pervasive and astutely diagnosed by the American feminist Roxane Gay who happened to be in town. It was, she said on NITV, a quality of invincible naivety that made a real conversation about Australian race relations so impossible. “I find Australians to be just in deep denial about the problems of race here. I find them to be not even willing to entertain the possibility that racism exists,” she said. “And it’s challenging, but— actually there’s no but, it’s just challenging, and it’s disheartening, and I think it must be incredibly disheartening to be a person of colour here in Australia.”
It is that faux naivety, when expressed as a form of amnesia, that makes the public discourse in Australia reset with the frequency of a sitcom. “Are racist cartoons racist? Why are they racist? Well, the Press Council doesn’t agree!” is the kind of position that is prosecuted again and again from scratch. So too “Why is Islamophobia wrong?” Even argued in bad faith, “One Nation and the Greens are equally bad” is a belief constructed from such intricate self-delusion that it is difficult to counter from first principles. If it is not self-evident, how can you make it evident? If it is not widely accepted that prejudice is racism, and that racism is bad, or that white nationalism is dangerous whether its consequences extend to murder or not (and they do), what happens next?
You could make a coherent, albeit unconvincing, classical liberal free speech argument that the media doesn’t make anyone do anything, that unpleasant views are better ventilated than suppressed, that responsibility for extremism lies with the extremists themselves. But this is not at all like the mainstay of the arguments offered by News-led Australian conservatives, which rely on a bafflingly selective application of principle.
If a social media giant publishes material that breaches community standards, it should be brought to heel by a regulator. But if a national newspaper does, regulating it is authoritarianism. Section 18C is a grave impediment to free speech, but the more commonly used and repressive defamation legislation is fine. *Racists can express their democratic right at a neo-Nazi rally, but vegan protesters are “domestic terrorists” who need to be shut down.
*These contradictions are much more intelligible when seen for what they are: not tenets of a political philosophy, but aspects of a commercial strategy, a business model.
Alongside the inability of Facebook and Twitter to corral extremist material, it is this commercial strategy that is responsible for the mainstreaming of white nationalist sentiment not just in Australia but also in the US, and to a lesser extent in the UK.
There is still an argument within political science about the degree to which media hate speech directly produces real-life violence (one influential study, by the American science journal PLOS One, chose New Zealand for its experimental conditions, because it had so little native Islamophobia), but it’s irrefutable that it contributes to an atmosphere that fosters violence. The BBC called Christchurch “Australia’s moment of hate speech reckoning”. This was true. But the hate was embraced rather than repudiated: three weeks after the massacre, The Australian was already running the headline: “Whites find their knight in Eric Kaufmann”.
The reference is to a Canadian politics professor, whose 2018 book Whiteshift is a more dilute and studied version of the same “Great Replacement” theory that catalysed the killer. The latter’s manifesto has been described as extreme and incoherent, poorly written, pretentious and verbose, but aside from trolling and extraneous flourishes, it is not really any of those things. At its core it echoes a quite commonplace tenet of Australian conservatism: that Muslims represent an unprecedented threat to the West, particularly in demographic terms.Change the typeface and the byline, and most of it could run in the Australian press any day of the week. It is only the tactics that are deemed unacceptable.
Take this kind of sentiment:
… the second wave of multiculturalism has been an unmitigated disaster for not only Australia and Britain, but also much of Europe. This is the wave of immigrants and refugees who have poured out of the Islamic hell-holes of the Middle East, Africa and Asia over the last few decades, bringing with them a political ideology disguised as a religion that has no interest in integration, but only wishes to leech off the generous welfare and political freedoms of the West.
This comes not from the Christchurch killer’s manifesto, nor from one of Senator Fraser Anning’s Facebook posts, but from an editorial in the Australian edition of The Spectator, edited by Sky’s Outsiders host Rowan Dean. The magazine came complete with a cover praising the archetypal British white nationalist Enoch Powell.
As a case study it has plenty of company: if Sky News’s “after dark” programming is not getting into bed with neo-Nazis and card-carrying Islamophobes, it is at least staying in the same dorm room. Before he was fired as a Sky host, Ross Cameron was a speaker for the anti-Islam Q Society (at the same event, the cartoonist Larry Pickering announced “Let’s be honest, I can’t stand Muslims”, in case there were any doubts about the tenor of the occasion). The “identitarian” Lauren Southern, given extensive and beneficial coverage by both Sky and News platforms while she was in Australia, is a close associate of Martin Sellner, the head of Generation Identity’s Austrian branch. He was raided by police after they discovered the Christchurch killer had made what was described as a “disproportionately high donation” to Sellner’s group. Southern chose former members of the United Patriots Front as her security detail when in town – the Christchurch killer was an enthusiastic poster to their Facebook page. Sky invited neo-Nazi leader Blair Cottrell onto the network – the Christchurch killer had praised him as an “Emperor”. These appearances were not sober cross-examinations: several Sky News presenters took time to pose for selfies with Southern, Cottrell and the now-banned Milo Yiannopoulis backstage.
These are only the most egregious examples. A study by OnePath Network found that, in 2017 alone, News Corp’s Australian newspapers dedicated almost 3000 negative stories to Muslims and Islam, with some prominent columnists writing almost 50 per cent of their pieces about them. Malcolm Roberts, another recipient of the red-carpet treatment on Sky, has a party piece where he compares the contents of the Koran to Mein Kampf. If these sentiments were confined to Sky’s miniscule cable news audience, they might be harmless. Repackaged for social media, repeated in newspapers and broadcast regionally on the free-to-air WIN television network, they are not.
The latter arrangement with Sky, in place since 2018, also creates a spaghetti junction of conflicted interests: WIN is owned by Bruce Gordon, also the largest private shareholder of Nine Entertainment Co. Nine has taken over Fairfax, which owns a large share of Macquarie Media, where Sky presenter Alan Jones broadcasts as well.
At the end of March, Nine announced a new social media policy that directed its journalists to “not use social media to directly attack rival journalists or publications”.News Corp is extremely unlikely to follow suit, which amounts to a unilateral disarmament. The ABC has been so harried by chronic abuse and threats of funding cuts that its criticism is muted as well.
The reach of News Corp’s newspapers may be diminishing, but their voice is so uniform, and their agenda so clear, that it can still set the tone for other media.
*Its influence on the agenda of the Liberal Party, and so the government, is clearer still. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell where Liberal Party talking points begin and News coverage ends, or where each originates. On April 12, the three major Murdoch tabloids, the Herald Sun, TheDaily Telegraph and The Courier-Mail, ran near-identical splashes
*– “PM Warns of Labor’s $380B Tax Grab”, “Tax Time Bomb” and “Tax Bomb” – all in lock step with Scott Morrison’s first major attack on Bill Shorten.
*This style of crude obfuscation and propaganda poisons the political atmosphere far beyond the confines of the electoral campaign.
*In her recent Quarterly Essay, Australia Fair, social researcher Rebecca Huntley discarded the idea that Australian politics is poll-driven.
*It was “bunkum”, she wrote, pointing out the broad popularity of investments in affordable and social housing, increased funding to the ABC, making childcare cheaper, changes to negative gearing, banning foreign donations and curtailing corporate donations to political parties, investment in renewable energy, and the adoption of elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
*News stridently opposes every one of these policies.
*Instead, News advocates a suite of highly unpopular policies: defunding or privatising the ABC, privatising public assets, “wage reform”, tax minimisation, foreign military adventurism, the building of coal-fired power stations, meaningless action on climate change, the obstruction of a fibre-to-the-home NBN, and the overturning of anti-vilification legislation.
*This is near-identical to the policy platform of the Coalition. So far, the real-world implementation of these ideas has been mixed, but the conversational bandwidth they have taken up, considering they have almost no natural constituency beyond vested interests, has had a ruinous effect.*
*This is why News is made so angry and afraid by grassroots activist groups like GetUp and Sleeping Giants.
GetUp collected donations from 64,956 individuals in the last financial year, a democratic base that no organisation on the right, not even the Liberal Party, can match. News has placed its great white hope on a series of failed bodies styled as the “conservative GetUp”, without realising that the community support to furnish such a phenomenon is not there.
The Australian noted that GetUp was turning its attention to the “hard right” of the Liberal Party, targeting Tony Abbott, Kevin Andrews, Nicolle Flint and their ilk. It was, said the paper, “courtesy of GetUp’s multimillion-dollar war chest … a marked shift to US-style negative campaigning tactics geared towards denigrating particular candidates”. That sounds very much like projection.
Sleeping Giants is implementing something similar, aimed at the hard right of News Corp itself. It has already taken huge gouges out of the advertising spending on Fox News in the US and on Sky News Australia, most recently persuading Pizza Hut to drop its advertising locally, simply by pointing out the kind of content to which its ads ran adjacent. Sky host Rita Panahi, in a stung response, described Sleeping Giants protesters as “sad, pathetic totalitarian bullies who want to essentially shut down any speech they don’t agree with”. But it is not censorship, or anything like it. It is a voluntary coalition of like-minded interests that draws its power from persuasion.
It even has the private support of some of the News’s own good journalists who, after all, like all of us, are overdue for liberation.
Alex Turnbull, Malcolm Turnbull’s son, has begun an attempt to “destroy News Corp’s influence in Australian politics”, pushing independent candidates in electorates where News is popular. “Members of LNP can only laze in the hot tub of Murdoch endorsed far right craziness while ignoring their constituents so long as their seats are not at risk,” he tweeted. “Putting their seats in play tends to sober them up.” This kind of criticism, coming from Turnbull’s family as well as Kevin Rudd, is often treated as sour grapes, instead of what it is: the warranted alarm of two former prime ministers, who have seen up close the distortions created by the company. Others say the same in private.
These counter-Murdoch operations are small but growing, with mainly informal links so far. Their enemy is not so irregularly organised. After a decade of lost opportunity over climate change, after Christchurch, after Pell, any benefit of the doubt about News Corp’s intentions and results has disappeared.
“Do you really think Australia would be a better country without News?” a senior reporter asked me recently. Once that might have been debatable. But as the entity is constituted now, my answer is yes – Australia would be a better country without News. Of course it would be. Either it changes, or we do.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this essay incorrectly stated that the WIN television network is owned by Nine. It is owned by Bruce Gordon, Nine Entertainment Co.’s largest private shareholder.
Craig Kelly was slammed by the hosts of Good Morning Britain.Photo: Twitter
AUSTRALIA’s putrid politics … can it be any uglier?
MORE about this MP … so you can see where he is coming from … what’s in it for him ?
–Chinese gas deal: National security concerns could be eased if it invests in local market, argues Liberal MP
Federal LNP MP Craig Kelly DESPITE conceding the national security concerns being raised were well founded has suggested that if Australia sells off our gas pipelines to the Chinese it will enable expansion… BIZARRE!
Of course the Chinese would like to gain control of our gas resources … they have our Ports!
These days Washer’s old environment committee is run by Craig Kelly, a Christian conservative, climate sceptic and coal advocate with no scientific background. The seat Washer used to represent, Moore, is now held by Ian Goodenough, a pillar of Globalheart, a Pentecostal church that has deeply infiltrated the Liberal Party in the west.
–LABOR asks AFP to investigate $350,000 job offer to Craig Kelly preselection Challenger … PART 2
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age revealed on Thursday that Mr Briggs had offered Sutherland Shire councillor Kent Johns a $350,000 job for six months’ work as the Liberals’ federal campaign director in NSW, on the understanding he would withdraw from the contest against Mr Kelly.
Labor senator Don Farrell, the shadow special minister of state, wrote to AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin on Friday asking him to investigate the matter “to protect the integrity of our democracy”, arguing the job offer could be considered a bribe. …
Mr Briggs acknowledged Mr Kelly could “bring down the government” if he did not get his way, and that Mr Kelly “holds the power”.
Senior Liberal MP Craig Kelly has come under fire over his climate denial in a trainwreck interview on morning television in the UK.
As deadly fires continue burning across the south and east of Australia, Mr Kelly was fronting Good Morning Britain to defend the Prime Minister and his own comments about climate change, oil and coal.
It comes after Mr Kelly told the BBC on Saturday that fires were a result of “drying” of the environment but that Australian scientists had disproved any link between climate change and drought.
While Scott Morrison has stressed in recent days there is “no dispute” about the impact of global warming, Mr Kelly has doubled down on his comments while under questioning from Good Morning Britain hosts, saying the bushfire crisis was due to a lack of hazard reduction burning.
The backbencher was called a “disgrace” and told to “wake up”.
“To try to make out as some politicians have to hijack this debate, exploit this tragedy and push their ideological barrow, that somehow or another the Australian government could have done something by reducing its carbon emissions that would have reduced these bushfires is just complete nonsense,” Mr Kelly hit back.
“You have the second-highest carbon emission per person on Earth and you are burying your head in the sand … this is a climate emergency.”
Defending the PM’s controversial Hawaii holiday, Mr Kelly said, “The only thing the national leader can actually do on this is basically wait until he gets response from those state premiers asking more resources”.
“Any time one of those state premiers has come forward and said we need something, the Prime Minister has done that – he’s shown leadership.”
Host Piers Morgan hit back, describing Mr Morrison’s disaster response as a “dereliction of his duty as leader of Australia”.
“The truth is, he was absent when the fires were burning. Scott Morrison thought the right response to these fires erupting in Australia was to go lie on the beach in Hawaii,” Morgan said.
Pundits predicting the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party have been proven wrong decade after decade.
IN response to this report CAAN will focus on where it appears China, the CCP, poses a threat to Australian society is whether the CCP can continue to provide economic benefits for the Chinese … with its growth having slowed in China, and having the fastest ageing society in the World …
IS this why Xi Jinping has been encouraging the migration of his people and investment across the World especially in the United States, Canada, Africa, New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere? Whereby they now continue to grow their families across the Globe …
WITH 1.4 Billion Chinese … despite having an ageing population … such a huge number impacts the World with the rapid consumption of resources, pollution and their contribution to climate change through increased Co2 emissions, a consequence of urbanisation (high thermal mass from high density living in high-rise built of concrete, bricks, steel and glass)
OTHER societies … as a consequence of the Silent Invasion of China (through immigration and foreign investment) have cut their birth rate unable to attain a home or obtain secure work in their own country … such is the negative impact of China’s high growth, the competition from their ‘hot money‘ and sadly Government policies in Australia, for example, that are favourable to Chinese investment and immigration to the detriment of Australians! …
China’s Communist Party is at a fatal age for one-party regimes. How much longer can it survive?
But one-party governments have rarely survived longer than 70 years: the Communist Party of the Soviet Union ruled for 74 years before the bloc collapsed in 1991, and Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party retained power for 71 years until its defeat in the 2000 elections.
Analysts say while there’s no time limit on authoritarian governments, the CCP’s one-party rule may not be sustainable in the long run despite its past resilience and distinctiveness from other regimes.
But to look at when and how China could eventually undergo political reform, it’s important to first understand how the CCP has kept its grip on power for so long.
Rory Truex, assistant professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, told the ABC the CCP was unique in terms of how it has mitigated the two major threats to authoritarian regimes — coups and revolutions.
To prevent the former, Mr Truex said the party had a system to ensure the transfer of power from one leader to the next happened “relatively peacefully”.
Meanwhile, the regime has safeguarded itself from a revolution by “governing reasonably well to keep the population happy, so they have no desire to revolt”, and through controlling information and repression, Mr Truex said.
*Michael Albertus, co-author of Authoritarianism and the Elite Origins of Democracy, said the CCP staked its legitimacy on national development and had delivered on that promise in an incredible manner, lifting half a billion people out of poverty in recent decades.
At the same time Beijing has used its power to censor and eliminate what it sees as threats to its legitimacy.
Mr Truex noted the Communist Party was arguably “the most sophisticated regime” in terms of repression and controlling and distorting information with the use of the internet, technology, censorship and propaganda.
“The takeaway is that this is a smart authoritarian regime, and they’ve figured out the threat to their power and managed to mitigate those threats,” Mr Truex said.
“But there is some evidence that some of this might be changing under Xi Jinping, and some of the things that actually made the Communist Party strong might be eroding under his rule.”
The contrast between China today and the Soviet Union before its collapse couldn’t be more stark.
By the time Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, the economy was already in decline, and his aim was to revive it with two major reforms: perestroika and glasnost (economic reform and political opening).
Sarah Percy, an associate professor of international relations at the University of Queensland, wrote recently that the economic reforms invited public criticism — but “the problem with allowing some criticism is that it becomes impossible to control”.
“Once people were allowed to speak out in some areas, they inevitably began to do so in others, challenging the state’s control over political issues as well as economic ones,” she wrote.
Glasnost opened up a Pandora’s box of free speech, with decreased media censorship allowing criticism of government officials.
Maria Repnikova, a political scientist at Georgia State University, told the ABC the collapse of the Soviet Union turned it into an “anti-model” for the Chinese regime.
“[It’s] something that the party-state in part blames on Gorbachev’s shock therapy reform that yielded a dramatic and uncontrollable political opening,” she told the ABC.
“That’s something that the [People’s Republic of China] wants to avoid at all costs through a combination of responsiveness and pervasive control.”
Ms Repnikova, author of the book Media Politics in China, says Beijing has been obsessed with grasping and guiding public opinion, managing crises with large-scale exposés in both traditional and social media.
How is the CCP different from other one-party regimes?
Experts also attribute the longevity of the CCP’s rule to its ability to learn and adapt.
Kerry Brown, professor of Chinese studies and director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London, noted the party was flexible in that it wasn’t “too strung up on ideology”.
While North Korea’s one-party rule is also quite distinctive, with the Kim family dynasty functioning almost like a monarchy, its notoriously closed-off political system has severely limited any opportunities for economic growth.
“I’ve always thought that North Korea today resembles in some sense China under Mao,” Mr Truex said.
“You might call it totalitarian, where the party itself has complete control over peoples’ lives and [is] in complete control over the flow of information.”
Graeme Smith from the Australian National University said the CCP realised very early on — even before it came to power in 1949 — that having regular purges to purify the Party’s ranks was not going to work as a long-term strategy.
He said in Cambodia, purges contributed to the toppling of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.
While the CCP had also purged a large number of party members in the past, it later turned its sights on a party rectification strategy.
“If you’re found to be ideologically suspect or have engaged in activities the party doesn’t approve of, then efforts will be made to [make] you right,” Dr Smith explained.
“[It’s] the idea that all cadres are basically good and they could be reformed by thought work.”
But Dr Smith added that Mr Xi’s signature anti-corruption campaign on so-called “tigers and flies” — a slang phrase referring to high-ranking officials and local civil servants — had made him many enemies since he became President.
He said this would include some powerful people who may in the future come after him.
Mr Diamond from Stanford University told the ABC that while there was no “iron law” dictating that one-party regimes must collapse after 70 or 80 years, he also didn’t believe Communist one-party rule was sustainable in the long run.
“On the other hand, Communist Party rulers are keenly looking forward to the Chinese Communist Party becoming the most powerful political force in the world in 2049, when the regime would turn 100, and I don’t think that will happen,” he said.
“While the political effects of modernisation have been slowed and delayed by multiple factors, including the regime’s intense management of information and Orwellian levels of repression and surveillance, the regime faces the same long-run contradiction that other autocracies have.”
Mr Diamond says people’s values change when they have more income and a higher level of education, and eventually “they want more autonomy, more dignity, more freedom and more control over their own lives”.
“A lot of people are leaving, or have left, because they can’t get this freedom and autonomy in China — certainly not now under the tightening grip of Communist Party control,” he said.
“It’s true that some people are returning for the Thousand Talents Program or related opportunities … it’s also true that there has been a recent surge in nationalism among the young.
“Still, if I were the CCP, I would be concerned about the [longer-running] trends, and the basic contradictions in the system.“
FROM: ABC Report MERITON Sydney Olympic Park 2018: Chinese text.
07 FEBRUARY 2016 MERITON launches its Chinese Website to promote its residential apartment developments, townhouses and hotels to its Market … in the year of the Clever Monkey …
MAY 2016: Property developer Harry Triguboff tops the 2016BRWRich 200 list for the first time, as a surging real estate market changes the face of wealth in Australia.
Mr Triguboff, owner and head of Meriton Group, number one on the BRWRich List with $10.62 billion wealth. May 26, 2016
CAN we thank Harry for more Chinese coming into Australia every day?
100% of Meriton apartments sold to Chinese Communist Party members … the CCP!
Of course, they love it here … and until now they were able to breathe fresh air … Sydney and Melbourne are more like home … Beijing, Shanghai … Hotan … with bush fire smoke shroud …
Meriton apartments with views of motorways … and surrounds of high-rise precincts … they love it here … they love it ALMOST as much as We Australians love it here!
We Australians welcome them to come and visit … spend their ‘hot money’ in tours, sites, theatres, restaurants,our Department Stores, and then fly away … back home!
2019 … we are still in the Year of the Pig!
This is a Year of Earth Pig, starting from Feb. 5, 2019 (Chinese NewYear) and lasting to Jan. 24, 2020.
MAY 2019: Property developer, Harry Triguboff … despite Meriton”s 100% China Market … slipped down a spot to be named Australia’s third richest person in 2019. HT increased his wealth by $770M in the past year … that’s the $$ not in a haven … a net worth of $13.54B in the AFR Rich List May 31, 2019
WHY not copy and paste this and share with your email contacts! More people need to know how Our Town has been taken over! … Many wonder but don’t know how! *
‘DESTINATION’ … after flying in to buy … awake in tranquility at Meriton serviced apartments down the road …
‘Destination,’ the apartment precinct for sale on Talavera Road formerly Macquarie Park Business and IT Park … devil’s transformation and expansion of the Chinese CP city of Chatswoo in Macquarie Park … overlooking the M2 Motorway … view through the grey smog the highrise commercial towers cluttering Sydney …
“Destination’ on a massive site largely occupying the block on Talavera Road … grey smog sky … looks like that in China … and around Macquarie Park the new residents wear masks!
Tree Protection Zone … with high-rise Precincts like that of Meriton … this is what happens to Australia’s gum trees … gone! 2019 … except at Harry’s Vaucluse Harbourside Huxter mansion … with its magnificent bushland grounds …
MERITON LAUNCHES CHINESE WEBSITE
Already offering the services of bi-lingual agents across its business, Meriton has now launched its new Chinese website www.meriton.com.au/cn
Photo: The Australian; April 2019 Triguboff makes Meriton’s First Move into the Melbourne Market
Covering all the information already available on the English Meriton website, the Chinese version will make navigating the search for property much easier.
According to Meriton boss, Harry Triguboff, building the Chinese website was very important to streamline the process when searching for, and purchasing, property.
“You don’t want to battle with language barriers when you are looking to buy property,” Meriton managing director, Harry Triguboff said.
“There are more Chinese coming into the country every day and they are looking for somewhere to buy either to live or as an investment.
“The familiarity of their own language while viewing property should make their task easier,” he said.
Chinese Australians are considered one of the largest groups of overseas Chinese people and the largest community in Oceania.
“The Chinese love it here,” Mr Triguboff said.
“They love the space, the larger size of our apartments, the expansive views of our magnificent harbour, the height of our apartments and most of all they can breathe fresh air.
“Many who come to visit, end up coming back to stay.
“In what is widely referred to as the Asian Century, we must embrace this community and encourage others who wish to immigrate,” he said.
In 2018 we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first officially recorded Chinese migrant, Mak Sai Ying.
Many others followed during the great Gold Rush of the early 1850s looking to make their home and fortune.
Through their hard physical work and the determination to make a good life and provide a good education for their children, Chinese Australians have excelled academically. This is the year of the monkey which symbolises cleverness.2016
This country has felt deep appreciation for the genius of surgeons such as heart surgeon the late Victor Chang and neurologist, Charlie Teo who have saved, and through their research, continue to save countless lives.
“I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Chinese a very safe and happy Lunar New Year.