THE VIEW FROM MY POND

the online presence of Don Keayes

Tag: politics

How the media trades free speech for influence

Australian cartoonist, political commentator and quintessential pot-stirrer Larry Pickering writes what no media outlet in this country will … that our pollies are all corrupt of questionable character and the media is fine with that:

Thomson is involved in rorting $500,000 from the HSU. Gillard is involved in rorting $1 million from the AWU. To date, no attempt has been made by either union to recover one cent.

As a backbencher, Thomson had no clout with media. As Prime Minister, Gillard used her clout to kill the story… and this is how she did it:

Bruce Wilson was an AWU heavy and Gillard’s boyfriend at the time. He had been threatening developers in a thinly disguised, mob-style protection racket: Industrial peace for payment … up to $50,000 at a time. The payments went straight to accounts Gillard had arranged while she was still working for the Left wing law firm, Slater & Gordon. Gillard was into the scam up to her elbows and, as she was [having a sexual relationship with] Wilson at the time, pillow talk wasn’t confined to her other sexual exploits including married father and current Trade Minister Craig Emerson, and now Gold Coast spiv Tim Mathieson who departed the Coast leaving multiple unpaid debts. Her part in the scam was rewarded with $50,000 of renovations to her house and a $25,000 account at a top fashion house (although one could be forgiven for thinking she never used it).

The story broke and Gillard went into frenzied damage control. When the dust settled, Gillard was still PM but ground-breaking journalists were sacked, News Ltd CEO, John Hartigan, resigned. Both Fairfax and News Ltd immediately spiked the story and pulled broadcasts, Andrew Bolt threatened to resign, Laurie Oakes was told, “Don’t even think about it!” Blogs disappeared in a cloud of dust. Radio jocks were instructed to drop it.

ABC and ‘The Australian’ journalist, Glenn Milne, had spent months carefully documenting Gillard’s devastating involvement. His story had been legalled and it ran in ‘The Australian’ on Monday, August 1st 2011. It was immediately pulled after one phone call from Gillard. Slavish supporter of Gillard, the ABC, promptly sacked Milne.

Gillard continued a barrage of phone calls to the then CEO of News Ltd, John Hartigan and there was a meeting arranged at the offices of News Ltd. What exactly was said at that meeting may never be known but it certainly didn’t resemble what Gillard said it was about.

The Leveson Hacking Inquiry was threatening to engulf Australia’s media and Gillard saw her opportunity. She used Bob Brown as a verbal battering ram to threaten Fairfax and Murdoch with an “inquiry”. Gillard herself publicly entered the fray with her now famous utterance: “There are questions that need to be answered.” That statement was carefully crafted to put the fear of God into the media. After much questioning she has refused to say what those questions might be.

A Leveson-style inquiry here would mutilate the very core of Australia’s media and their executives as it has, and is still doing, in the UK. Fairfax and Murdoch executives, to put it bluntly, were [soiling their pants]. Their indecent grappling for a piece of an ever-decreasing circulation market-share would have opened an ugly can of worms. A can I will let sit for another time.

So, this squalid deal was done but the sordid tale still bubbles below the surface. It reaches to the very heart of the Labor movement. We are witnessing only the tip of unions’ mob-like protection rackets and their corrupt manipulation of our Parliaments. This shameful story will eventually be told in full colour. It will be a long and agonising read. But, in the interim, today’s fetid political power holds sway.

“Democratic Socialists” such as the trade union movement and the Australian Labor Party have never been interested in the working man’s lot; just like every other socialist group they’re merely using the means at hand to amass personal power and wealth. Don’t believe me? Then check out this interesting article from the Socialist Alliance … yes, that’s the very same organisation for which our Prime Minister wrote policy papers like this one.

HT: (For the backstory to some of these goings-on check out Andy Semple’s courageous attempt to keep the story alive.)

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A wall is a wall

If you’re a tadpole of the TV age you’ll have some excellent images lodged in your mind as I do. One of the most vivid is Ronald Reagan’s dramatic call, “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” In my mind’s eye I can see the Brandenburg Gate behind him, and from that image begin to flow amazing scenes from just two years later of ordinary people – East and West Germans alike – hacking away at the monolithic Berlin Wall with anything to hand.

President Reagan’s speech was made on 12 June 1987 and has since come to be known as the “Tear Down This Wall” speech. One of the downsides to watching speeches on television rather than listening to them on bakelite radiograms is that we tend only to remember those ‘soundbites’ that are accompanied by images. Thus, almost nobody remembers the far more important part of that speech; the undergirding question of why the wall would eventually have to be brought down by somebody at some time. It was the issue of freedom:

Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere–that sphere that towers over all Berlin–the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: “This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.” Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

Making speeches is largely out of favour in our modern world. Politicians are only interested in getting a ‘talking point’ to air for the nightly news cycle and virtually nobody has the inclination to sit quietly for an hour to absorb, consider, and later ruminate over such profound issues as these. I wonder if this is why so many people in the West barrak for a side (Coalition vs Labor, Republicans vs Democrats etc) to gain and hold power, comforted as they are by illusory statements of intention rather than the hard consequences of enacted policies in real peoples’ daily lives.

The Berlin Wall may now be down, but in its place is the stupefying banality of the modern media. Where once families sat about the dinner table and examined deep issues of faith and character in the context of current affairs, now the only things being grappled with are the remote and the dinner tray. Since President Reagan made his speech two generations have been intentionally divorced from the Judeo-Christian values of personal liberty and objective truth. Theirs is now a world of the secular, the relativist and the self-serving manipulator. Their young minds, once filled with unbounded potential, now drearily serve out their time on earth in the gulag of gossip magazines and TMZ. They are enslaved and they neither know it nor care.

I don’t like secularism, atheism, socialism or any other form of totalitarianism. I like freedom of thought and action, artistic expression that lifts the soul, acceptance of personal responsibility for one’s own life and the pursuit of intelectual growth … just as our Creator intended. Concrete or idealogical, I guess I just don’t like prison walls of any type.

President Reagan’s speech–and many others–may be found here.

Progressives or Regressives?

A fabulous quote from somebody I’ve never heard of before (aren’t they the best, though?). It’s a joy to see how many ‘normal, everyday’ people are waking up to the realities of the Leftist agenda now.

Recently it came to me. The “progressives” claim to be leading us into the brave new world of the future, and accuse us patriots of living in the past and being afraid of change. But they, especially those of the watermelon (green on the outside and red on the inside) variety want to suddenly and drastically reduce the world population to the level that existed thousands of years ago. They want to redistribute wealth (but not George Sauron’s) and end private property (but Gory Al can keep his huge mansions). In other words, they want to create a world where a small wealthy elite will rule over landless serfs (that would be us, or any of us allowed to exist at all)…like in the Middle Ages. They want most of the world returned to a wilderness state, as it was thousands of years ago. They want to stamp out Christianity and Judaism and replace them with pagan worship, as in ancient Babylon. They want to deindustrialise the world, forcing us to labor with primitive tools.

The “progressives” are attempting to lead us into the past.

William B Stoecker