Sunday, 28 September 2014

Partisan pundits

It is a crucial part of any journalist's remit to adopt a healthy measure of scepticism when scrutinising an incumbent government. After all, it would be a foolish inquirer who took everything he or she was told at face value without probing further. 

 And perhaps it's something peculiar to Australian society where, in so many facets of everyday life, the options boil down to a slightly rigid choice comprising a duopoly. You drive either a Holden or a Ford, you shop at either Coles or Woollies, you live in Sydney or Melbourne, you read the Oz or the Age/SMH, you vote Labour or the Coalition, in Sydney you live north or south of the harbour and you prefer Bondi to Manly for your beach frolicking or vice versa.

 Granted, it's fair enough to keep a close eye of the government's introduction of enhanced security legislation. I wouldn't want to live in a country where hard-won checks and balances had been obliterated for the sake of political expediency. 

 And yet, the noises from some deluded corners of the media landscape seem infantile at best, outright dangerous in other respects. To keep suggesting the current threat from the death cult within Islam is something the prime minister has cooked up himself to deflect attention from a budget that was handed down six or seven months ago strikes me as outlandish and juvenile in the extreme.

And, while I cherish the right of the media to keep an eagle eye spotlight on any government's actions, I do wonder whether some of these media commentators raised their influential voices in similar righteous disquiet over the previous federal government's attempts to curtail free speech by proposing to have a Kremlin-style state licensing authority aiming to censor news outlets that might, Heaven forfend, disagree with the Gillard point of view?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Alas, the Swans..

Oh well, never mind. From what I glimpsed, Hawthorne seemed on top for most of the game. What a weird thing is momentum really. When you have it, you can't seem to put a foot wrong but when the pendulum swings the other way nothing you do seems to work.

All aboard the looney train

At least they pay their own way and don't require $1.2 billion in public money to spout their left-wing adolescent ramblings like the national broadcaster, but at times Channel Ten's Project gets my dander up in a way that never ceases to baffle me. 

 I believe they have now been forced to halt their insane and strangely deluded attempts at classing the atrocities by the muslim forces in northern Iraq and Syria, together with David Cameron and Barrack Obama's involvement in trying to deal with this clear and present threat as a ruse by prime minister Abbott to "distract from the Budget."

 And the knee-jerk standard jibes, trying to paint Abbott as some kind of bumbling fool seem to be failing to land as his international standing rises exponentially. After all, the world is a bit bigger than the People's Republic of Newtown and Marrickville. And I suppose for many, there is only one thing worse than a conservative leader and that's a conservative leader who gets things done.

 The other day, in a fine demonstration of this point, one of the 'funny' panel members frowned her most earnest frown and proceeded to speak profoundly on the speed with which recent government proposals to increase legal powers for the security forces had been processed. She said, in a worrying and conspiratorial tone that "I don't know... it all seems to be happening very fast." The poor thing was at a loss and seemed utterly non-plussed. Imagine that... a responsible adult government taking swift and decisive action in the face of an imminent, severe threat? Now, we're not used to that, are we?

 She must have yearned for the days when we had a prime minister who knew how to take selfies, bearing the signs of a mocked-up shaving cut incident. Or else, the time when we had a prime minister who so bravely fought the big bad monster called misogyny. I hear those ISIL guys have some right-on views on feminism and misogyny...

 And hasn't the Greens child-senator Hanson-Young been incredibly silent? Perhaps she's enjoying a well-earned break, sunning herself on a lovely palm-lined beach in..oh..Sri Lanka maybe?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Banner Day


The Abbott government has appointed conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen and former deputy Liberal Party leader Neil Brown to the panel overseeing appointments to the boards of the ABC and SBS.

Pork chops politics..

Following some debates in the Senate last week, I was struck by some odd phrasing and linguistic glitches on the part of some of the honourable members. There was the Greens child-senator Hanson-Young who said the nasty old government was literally bashing up the poor unfortunate children of refugees (..).

She also described the circumstances of an indeed very tragic case of a juvenile asylum seeker who had suffered the trauma of his father not just being murdered by the Taliban but what made matters worse was that his father also ended up dead as a result of the murder.

But it wasn't all one way by any means. A Coalition senator (at least I'm guessing she was, dressed like Margaret Thatcher on acid), responded to the questions around underage asylum seekers, consistently talking about "unaccompanied minders."  I take it she meant to say 'unaccompanied minors'.  If the juveniles had had minders with them, they wouldn't have been unaccompanied, surely.

Another nice usage was a Labor MP describing a plan initiated by his opponents as follows: "To call this a half-baked plan would be unkind to half-baked plans."


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

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