Abbott knifes the ABC – labels it ‘unpatriotic’


So far left it's coming back the other way…

So far left it’s coming back the other way…

Tony Abbott finally makes noises against the ABC’s incessant bias. From global warming to asylum seekers, from Julian Assange to Edward Snowden, from Obama-worship to apologists for Islamist atrocities, from smearing our Navy to damaging the relations with our international neighbours, the ABC is always of the hard left. It even criticises Labor and the Greens from the left! I repeat my post from September 2013:

Reform of the ABC long overdue

This blog has frequently exposed the barely-concealed left-wing bias of our publicly funded broadcaster, the ABC. As Gerard Henderson points out regularly on his must-read Media Watch Dog, there isn’t a single conservative presenter or editor on any mainstream current affairs programme, earning the corporation’s acronym the alternative interpretation of “Anything but Conservatives”.

In their stead we have had to suffer “Red” Kerry O’Brien (whose “old leather bag” visage will be gracing the ABC’s election coverage tomorrow, naturally), Tony Jones (adding another lefty voice to the already skewed Q&A panel every week), Fran Kelly (activist presenter of Radio National’s Breakfast show), News Radio’s political editor and resident Lefty, Marius Benson, Jonathan Green (editor of the Drum, which is banged repeatedly for Labor/Green causes) and Mark Scott himself – wilfully blind to the “groupthink” that is endemic in his organisation – to name but a few.

Then we have all the climate change alarmists, like Dr Karl, Robyn Williams, Adam Spencer, Bernie Hobbs, Tony Jones again, all the Catalyst team etc., 95% of the contributors on the online site, extremists like Clive Hamilton, Stephan Lewandowsky etc, and the list goes on.

It is galling that taxes paid by all Australians go towards funding that Lefty/Green echo-chamber, which caters for a small urban elite, staffed with inner-city Ultimo types who couldn’t run a chook raffle. Privately owned media organisations stand or fall on their output, witness the enduring success of News Corp, and the rapid decline of Fairfax, as it too panders to the latte-sipping, sandal-wearing intelligentsia, and in the process ignores the vast majority of Australians. The Age astonishingly endorses Labor for the election tomorrow – as one commentator pointed out, after asylum disasters, NBN, massive debt, waste, dysfunctional leadership, knifings, in-fighting, Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper, what would it take for them not to endorse Labor?

But the ABC is paid for by all of us, and it should be representative of the views of all Australians, not just a mouthpiece for the Left. It is probable that a Coalition government will be elected tomorrow, sweeping away six years of Labor incompetence. Yet you wouldn’t believe it listening to the ABC this morning, with the majority of stories either puff pieces for Rudd and Labor, or criticism of the Coalition and Abbott. Maybe they realise that the clock is ticking, time is running out, so they have to make the most of it, like the last gasp of the Roman Empire.

It’s time for the ABC to be subjected to significant reform. Balance must be restored in current affairs broadcasting, and the ABC must fully reflect the diversity of Australian opinion. Whether this is by some form of privatisation or otherwise, the population have switched off in droves, with Sky taking over as the de facto national broadcaster.

When the ABC isn’t trusted to run the election debates, something is seriously wrong. Let’s hope Tony Abbott and the Coalition will start to fix it.

It looks like they might. The ABC itself reports (ouch, that must hurt…):

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stepped up his criticism of the ABC, accusing the national broadcaster of being unpatriotic in its coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks and asylum seeker abuse claims.

Mr Abbott also questioned the ABC’s newly established Fact Check unit, saying he wanted the corporation to focus on straight news gathering and reporting.

“A lot of people feel at the moment that the ABC instinctively takes everyone’s side but Australia’s,” he said in an interview with Ray Hadley on Sydney radio station 2GB.

“I think it dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everyone’s side but its own and I think it is a problem.”

Asked if he shared those sentiments, Mr Abbott said he was “worried and concerned” by the ABC taking a lead in reporting leaks from Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor.

The NSA leaks revealed Australia’s spy agencies tapped the phones of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudohoyono and his wife in 2009.

The revelations caused a rift in the Australia-Indonesia relationship early in Mr Abbott’s prime ministership.

“The ABC seemed to delight in broadcasting allegations by a traitor,” Mr Abbott said.

“The ABC didn’t just report what he said, they took the lead in advertising what he said, and that was a deep concern.”

Mr Abbott’s attention was also drawn to a Facebook post published by an ABC researcher seeking off-the-record discussions with Navy personnel.

In the post, the researcher said her “boss” doubted asylum seekers’ claims they were mistreated during a boat turn-back operation.

The asylum seekers say they suffered burns when Navy personnel forced them to hold onto hot pipes coming out of the boat’s engine.

The Navy has denied the allegations and the Government has strongly defended the military, without confirming or denying the operation took place.

“You can’t leap to be critical of your own country and you certainly ought to be prepared to give the Australian Navy and its hard-working personnel the benefit of the doubt,” Mr Abbott said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the ABC should apologise for casting doubt on the reputation of Royal Australian Navy sailors if the organisation felt it was wrong.

If the ABC now finds that these allegations were utterly unsubstantiated then it should come out and say so,” Ms Bishop told reporters in Brisbane.

The first step on a long road, Tony. Don’t waver. You can listen to the interview here.

Climate at the heart of Abbott’s election victory


So claims Tom Switzer, in an article at WSJ Online:

For two years, the global warming debate had been conducted in a heretic-hunting and illiberal environment. It was deemed blasphemy for anyone to dare question not only the climate science but the policy consensus to decarbonize the economy. Mr. Rudd even claimed that climate change was the “great moral challenge” of our time and even denounced critics of cap and trade as “deniers” and “conspiracy theorists.” The hapless Liberals led by Mr. Turnbull—an Oz version of Mitt Romney—were in the deepest political valley.

Mr. Abbott, then widely written off as a remnant of the Howard era, decided to challenge the media-political zeitgeist. Cap and trade, he argued, merely amounted to economic pain for no environmental gain, especially for a nation that accounted for only 1.4% of greenhouse gas emissions. He contested the Liberal party leadership, winning by a single vote.

Like Margaret Thatcher‘s victory in the U.K. Conservative party leadership ballot and Ronald Reagan’s nomination as the Republican presidential candidate in 1980, this delighted the left. They considered him too divisive and—gasp!—conservative to be electable. According to one distinguished intellectual, under Mr. Abbott’s leadership the Liberals would become “a down-market protest party of angry old men and the outer suburbs.”

Then along came the failed 2009 Copenhagen summit, which exposed the Rudd agenda as a sham. When the rest of the world refused to endorse the climate enthusiasts’ fanciful notions for slashing carbon emissions, Mr. Rudd imploded. Mr. Abbott seized the moment and highlighted the higher energy costs created by Labor’s emissions trading scheme.

Almost overnight, Mr. Rudd’s stratospheric poll figures cratered. Facing a changing (political) climate, he ditched the emissions trading scheme, his government’s key-note legislation.

Rudd’s popularity slipped and he was knifed by his own party soon afterwards. In the election of 2010, as climate alarmism’s downward spiral was well underway, Julia Gillard shackled her fortunes to the Greens, environmental extremists who demanded urgent action on climate as part of the deal to support Labor. Gillard was forced to break her pre-election promise on the introduction of a carbon [dioxide] tax, and from that moment, trust in her and Labor was gone.

Once again languishing in the polls, Labor, in a fit of desperation, reinstated Kevin Rudd, forgetting all the leadership dysfunction and chaos of his first stint, and believing him to be the Messianic figure that would transform Labor’s fortunes. Wrong. The veneer of “new Kevin” chipped and cracked within days to reveal the same “old Kevin” underneath. Voters (and his own party) had had enough.

Thus, Tony Abbott became Prime Minister of this great country.

From the archives: How Australian Climate Madness reported on Abbott’s victory in the leadership election, 1 December 2009:

Abbott claims the leadership

Abbott claims the leadership

Australia awakens from the Labor/Green nightmare


Abbott - PM at last

Abbott – PM at last

The six-year Labor/Green nightmare is finally over. Tony Abbott is the nation’s new Prime Minister.

Abbott gave a brief, dignified victory speech, promising to govern for all Australians, in stark contrast to Labor who only sought to entrench division and disunity. Rudd, on the other hand, rambled on for what seemed like an eternity in his concession speech, as if he himself was the victor – delusional to the last.

Whilst Rudd will not contest the Labor leadership, he will remain in parliament as an ever-present threat of destabilisation.

Labor’s nightmare has only just begun.

UPDATE: James Delingpole – Go, Tony, go!

Australian politics update


Parliament House, Canberra

Primarily for our international readers, I thought it might be useful to review the current political situation in Australia. Why? Because if the present government loses power, our famous (or should I say, infamous) carbon tax will go too.

In August 2010, the general election was so close that it came down to three independents holding the balance of power to determine which party formed government. In the end, the independents sided with Julia Gillard’s Labor party, with two of them, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, betraying their naturally conservative electorates.

Gillard signed a deal with the Greens, effectively buying their support with a promise to take urgent action on climate change. As a result, the carbon tax legislation was enacted and is due to come into force later this year.

Gillard also came to an arrangement with another independent MP, Andrew Wilkie, promising to introduce “pre-commitment” technology on the country’s many “pokies” or slot machines as they are known elsewhere.

However, in the past few months a number of events have occurred which have put Gillard’s minority government on even shakier ground.

Firstly, Labor MP Craig Thomson has been embroiled in a rather unsavoury saga involving allegations concerning the use of a union-funded credit card to procure the services of prostitutes. More of this later.

Secondly, Gillard welched on the pokie deal with Andrew Wilkie, who has withdrawn his support for the Gillard government. Gillard would never have been able to force the legislation through, since pokies are essential to the survival of many Labor-dominated workers clubs in the suburbs. Maybe Gillard forgot this obvious fact when she signed the agreement with Wilkie…

Thirdly, at the end of last year Gillard poached maverick Liberal MP Peter Slipper to take on the role of Speaker of the House of Representatives (a position formerly held by a Labor MP, Harry Jenkins). This added an extra vote to Gillard’s numbers. However, “Slippery Pete” (as he’s affectionately known in the media) has a few issues himself, having been accused of making excessive claims for travel expenses. See Andrew Bolt here for more on this subject.

As for Craig Thomson, allegations are flying that Labor has been involved in delaying the inquiry into Thomson’s actions in order to protect the tiny majority on which it operates. I predict this is going to blow up spectacularly in the next few weeks. Again, Bolt has more here.

Finally, many of you will have seen the appalling pictures of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott being herded out of a restaurant in Canberra by security staff, after a demonstration by occupiers of the “Tent Embassy”, who are protesting for aboriginal rights (and have been for 40 years).

It transpires that one of Gillard’s own staff tipped off the embassy occupiers (indirectly) that Tony Abbott was in a particular restaurant, fanning the flames by claiming that Abbott said the embassy should be removed. What he actually said was that those at the embassy should “move on” from the 1970s mindset, given that so much has been done to improve the lives of aborigines since then.

Gillard (as always) pleads ignorance (she does however sack the staffer concerned), and the Labor spin machine grinds into action with its default response: blame Abbott. No apology, no remorse, just vicious attacks. Except this time it’s not working, and the few conservative journalists we have here are digging deeper and deeper into this sordid little episode.

So the upshot of this is that Gillard’s wafer thin majority may be compromised from a number of directions in the near future. If there were to be an election now, the Liberals (in coalition with the Nationals) would romp home. Currently the two party preferred lead is 54% to 46%, which is huge. Labor is so desperate that there is even talk of bringing back Kevin Rudd, who Gillard knifed in 2010 to steal the leadership!

Tony Abbott has vowed to repeal the carbon tax in government. There may still be hope for Australia.

Interesting times!

 

Quote of the Day: Tony Abbott


Australia's only hope

Something to make you smile. Go TA!

“We will repeal this tax, we will dismantle the bureaucracy associated with it.

“I am giving you the most definite commitment any politician can give that this tax will go. This is a pledge in blood this tax will go.

“If the bills pass today this will be an act of betrayal on the Australian public. We will repeal the tax, we can repeal the tax, we must repeal the tax.” (source)

Abbott: Carbon tax "the longest political suicide note in history"


[tube]T9zHH5lb2Eg[/tube]

Tony Abbott responds to Julia Gillard’s introduction of the carbon tax bills to Parliament:

Let’s be absolutely blunt about the bills now before the parliament: this is a bad tax based on a lie and it should be rejected by this parliament.

The Prime Minister said yesterday that the question for members of this parliament was are you or are you not on the right side of history? Well, let me say, Mr Speaker, this is arrogant presumption by a Prime Minister who is on the wrong side of truth. That’s the Prime Minister’s problem. She is on the wrong side of truth when it comes to this issue.

I say to this Prime Minister there should be no new tax collection without an election. That’s what this Prime Minister should do. If this Prime Minister trusts in the democratic process, if this Prime Minister trusts her own judgement, trusts her own argument, that is what she should be doing. She should be taking this to the people.

Mr Speaker, the whole point of this tax is to change the way every single Australian lives and works. That’s another reason why this should be taken to the people. This is not just a minor bit of financial engineering. This is not just – if you believe the Government – something to do with the revenue. This is a transformational change. This is something which is supposed to impact on our country, not just today, not just next year, not just next decade but forever. That’s how important this is, if the Government is to be believed, and this is why it should go to the people first.

This tax is all about making the essentials of modern life more expensive. Modern life, Mr Speaker, is utterly inconceivable without fuel and power, without fuel to move us around the country, without power to make our homes, our businesses and our factories work. So, if this tax comes in, as the Government wants it to come in, we won’t be able to turn on our air conditioner or our heater without being impacted by this tax. We won’t be able to get on a bus or a train, ultimately to drive our cars, without being impacted by this tax. That’s how important, that’s how significant this tax is. This explains the obvious impact that this tax will have on every single Australian’s cost of living. This explains the obvious impact that this tax will have on every single Australian’s job and this explains why it is so necessary for this tax to go to the people before the parliament tries to deal with it. Mr Speaker, if this parliament is to have any democratic credibility on an issue like this there must be an appeal to the people before a decision by the parliament.

So, all of those bold claims in the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday, all of that big chest-thumping talk of a massive reduction in emissions as a result of this tax, utterly wrong, utterly wrong and disproven on the basis of the Government’s own documents. We aren’t reducing our emissions, we are just engaging in a massive transfer of wealth from this country to carbon traders overseas. That’s what’s happening. That’s what’s happening under this tax. It will be $3.5 billion in 2020 to purchase almost 100 million tonnes of carbon credits from abroad, it will be $57 billion – one and a half per cent of gross domestic product – shovelled off abroad by 2050 to purchase some 400 million tonnes of carbon credits from abroad.

So Mr Speaker, this carbon tax proposal from the Government would be disastrous for our democracy. How can Australians continue to trust our democracy when the biggest and most complex policy change in recent history is being rammed through this parliament by the most incompetent government in recent history? The biggest and the most complex change, sponsored by the least competent government in recent times, not only does it not have a mandate to do what it is proposing it has a mandate not to do what it is proposing. That’s why this package of bills is so disastrous for our democracy.

Mr Speaker, it’s disastrous for our democracy, it’s disastrous for the trust that should exist between members of parliament and their electorates.

Why are the Members for Throsby and Cunningham sponsoring such damage to BlueScope and to the coal miners of the Illawarra?

Why is the Member for Hunter and the other Hunter Valley members of the Government doing such damage to the heavy industries and to the coal mines of the Hunter?

How can the Climate Change Minister talk to his constituents with a straight face given what he is doing to them?

How can the Member for Capricornia want to close down so many mines in her electorate?

How can the Members for Corio and Corangamite be doing this to the cement industry and to the aluminium industry and to the motor industry of Geelong?

What we have from this Government is politically and economically and environmentally disastrous.

But it’s more than that.

It is going to turn out to be the longest political suicide note in Australian history.

Read it all here.

The debate is over… on the carbon tax


Contempt for Parliament

With the carbon tax bills being introduced to Parliament, the government is doing its best to ensure that there is as little debate as possible. Greg Combet, difficult to like at the best of times, is at his most arrogant, contemptuous worst:

“Tony Abbott’s misinformed people, deceived people, told lies about things,” he said. [Better not mention the lies in the government's ad campaign then - Ed]

“I don’t expect the Coalition to make much in the form of a constructive debate.”

The Coalition claim that there is no where near enough time to debate the complex bills, with each member only having a minute to debate the 18 bills. Combet explains helpfully:

“That’s all rubbish,” Mr Combet said, adding the bills would be debated as one piece of legislation. [That still is only 18 minutes per member for one of the most complex changes to our economy in Australia's history - Ed]

Mr Combet said there had been 35 inquiries into climate change [all of them fudged or fixed - Ed].

“It really is time we got on with it.”

“Time we got on with it.” I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning. Just imagine Labor’s outrage at a minority Coalition government with no mandate, which broke an express pre-election promise to force through a hotly contested piece of legislation and then stifled proper democratic processes in Parliament by cutting short the debates. We’d have Combet, Gillard, Albanese and all the other Labor attack dogs shrieking from the rooftops. Tony Abbott responds:

Mr Abbott said it would be a “travesty of democracy” for the Government to rush its legislation through Parliament, especially as it had no mandate for a carbon tax.

He vowed to repeal the laws once a Coalition government was elected, despite concerns it might cause disruption to business.

“It’s never disruptive to get rid of a bad tax,” he told ABC Radio.

“It’s always advantageous to reduce business costs and they don’t want this tax and if they get it, they will want to be rid of it as quickly as they possibly can.”

Read it here.

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