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Friday, 13 February 2015

The Elephants in the Press Gallery - The AIM Network

The Elephants in the Press Gallery - The AIM Network





The Elephants in the Press Gallery














The Press Gallery have been busily, emphatically, excitedly making
the most of the new leadership tensions story that Abbott has gifted
them over the past few weeks. But amongst the innumerable number of
articles about what’s gone wrong for Abbott, how he got to this point so
quickly in his first term, and what he plans to do to fix this mess,
there are some massive elephants in the Press Gallery who are being
consistently ignored. In fact, there are enough elephants to build a
pretty decent circus, if you throw in the journalists as the clowns.



Here are some of the most obvious elephants who have been ignored in
the leadership crisis coverage, the 16 months of Abbott’s government and
in some cases, his entire 6 years in Opposition:



  • Abbott’s ‘budget emergency’ is a lie he has used to justify cutting
    government spending for ideological reasons, at a time when the economy
    needs stimulus, not cuts. This fake ‘budget emergency’ has decimated
    consumer confidence and has reduced the amount of money in the economy
    to the point where Australia is teetering on the edge of a recession.
    Put simply, Abbott has ideologically wrecked the economy because he
    prefers small government.
  • Abbott’s budget aimed to protect wealthy Australians from ‘budget
    pain’ and to blame poor people for all the economy’s problems. The blame
    is based on the lie that the unemployed are lazy and if they want to go
    on being so lazy they will be punished because of it. This ideological
    position relies on various economic lies such as the following:
    • That jobs can be created by the unemployed applying for more jobs.
      There are 5 unemployed people per available job in Australia. People
      want to work and there are no jobs for them to work in.
    • Tax cuts for the rich create jobs. No, they don’t. Demand from
      consumers create jobs. Tax cuts for the rich just make the rich richer,
      and inequality worse. If consumers can’t afford to spend, the economy
      grinds to a halt.
    • Wealth trickles down. No it doesn’t. By next year, the 1% richest people in the world will own half the world’s wealth. There is no trickle.
    • Government spending and taxation is like a household budget. No it isn’t. If you haven’t heard of Modern Monetary Theory yet, follow this link.
  • Abbott is failing to get his budget through the Senate, not because
    Labor controls the Senate, but because right wing minor parties, those
    who traditionally supported (and in one case funded) the Liberal
    National Coalition, are refusing to pass policies they know are so
    unpopular that they would threaten their political careers putting their
    names to them. It’s really as simple as that.
  • Abbott never properly defined what he would do as Prime Minister
    because he knew if he told the voters what he really wanted to do,
    ideologically, to the Australian economy, culture and society, he would
    never have won the election. The Press Gallery ignore this elephant
    because to point it out would be to also admit that they never
    scrutinised Abbott in the lead up to the election since they were too
    busy writing about Labor leadership tensions. The first rule of
    political journalism in the Press Gallery is ‘never ever admit you were
    wrong in the past’. Anyone with eyes could see exactly what the Abbott
    government was going to be like and if you followed independent media
    sites like this one you would have got a very accurate preview of the
    situation we are in now. But you never got this preview from the
    mainstream media. And the last thing they want to do now is to admit
    they were the reason the electorate got such a shock when they realised
    who Abbott really is, and what his real plans for this country were.
  • There are things Australians should be scared of, and there are
    other things Australians should stop being scared off. We should be
    scared about Climate Change. We should be scared about wealth
    inequality. We should be scared about our own and future generations’
    ability to find jobs in an economy where manufacturing is declining, the
    mining boom is over and competitor economies are forging ahead with
    technological innovation on the back of better education systems than we
    have access to in Australia. But instead, Abbott, at every opportunity,
    without scrutiny from the Press Gallery, goes straight to two
    boogeymen-under-our-beds as diversionary tactics to try to scare us into
    supporting his ideological agenda (which we’ve already proved we don’t
    like). These boogeymen are ‘debt and deficit’ and terrorism. The quest
    for the revered ‘surplus’ is akin to the government throwing all their
    resources behind an ideological holy grail, at the expense of Australian
    jobs and to increase household debt. It is nonsense, yet the Press
    Gallery don’t seem to understand this. Oh, and terrorism? According to this helpful analysis on Crikey,
    more people died in the past ten years falling off chairs in Australia,
    than they did from acts of terrorism here and overseas. What would you
    say if the Abbott government tried to make you scared of sitting down?
These five elephants should be at the heart of any political
discussion, at the heart of debate about policy and what is right for
Australia’s future. But this is where the grand-daddy elephant needs to
be pointed out. Political journalists in Australia are not interested in
discussing policy. According to them, there was no need to discuss the
effect that Abbott’s policy decisions have had on his current
leadership-crisis predicament. No, as usual, the journos are as shallow
as a puddle, with analysis such as this from Lenore Taylor, Laura Tingle, Laurie Oakes and Peter Hartcher.
These articles all share two things in common; they perpetuate the myth
that the Liberal government’s problem is all about Abbott and the
dysfunctional processes around him, when really the entire government
has helped create this situation by all sharing the same ideological
agenda as Abbott. They all supported the turd, cooked the turd, and
perpetuated the lies that brought the turd about. And now they’re all
complaining that Abbott’s has failed to polish the turd and they want to
give Malcolm Turnbull a go. But it’s Turnbull’s turd just as much as it
is Abbott’s. Where is this analysis? And of course, they ignore the
elephants I’ve described, whilst also ignoring the role the Press
Gallery played in putting Abbott where he is, without scrutiny, without
analysis, without a heads-up about what the country was about to
experience. Rather than taking a step back and looking at themselves,
they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Exactly like
Tony Abbott. The Australian public deserves better government. And we
deserve a better Press Gallery to help explain what a better government
would look like.













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