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Margo on Murdoch

Hiya, Webdiary tragics. I wondered if any of you are feeling as strange and disbelieving as me while watching what happens when the emperor is seen to have no clothes. Is there a media debate going on about what inquiries our nation needs to have in the wake of the British revelations? Are journos asking Gillard and Abbott whether they, like their British counterparts, have been unduly influenced by Murdoch? Are our police commissioners reviewing whether any of our police officers have been corrupted by News Corporation?

We must determine if Australia's political leaders are guilty of the same conduct as both major parties in the UK in allowing themselves to be directed by an organisation out of fear. We need a judicial inquiry into whether corrupt connections exist between News Corporation's Australian media assets and elements of the police force. We must uncover the truth behind Government watchdogs' bad calls in allowing takeovers such as that of the Herald and Weekly Times group many years ago.

While we are at it, we need an urgent review of regulation of the TV and radio media. The Labor Government's decision under Hawke and Keating to end official accountability of the owners of public licences has led to disaster in terms of the quality of political news and debate.

So, where is the debate in Australia? Could someone point me to a few sites?  


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How Bad Is News Corp.?

How Bad Is News Corp.?

As bad as it is allowed to be?

Margo, it would appear your candle shall become a lantern, while it continues to give a lovely light - that's brilliant.

Thanks for the space Margo, and best wishes from just another tragic, mmmmm - Timmy the tragic , Timmy the Tragic Tarantula - sounds good - thanks.

Spiders are beautiful, don't you think?

Fiona: Justin, spiders are not beautiful when they nearly cause one to lose one's finger. A bit(e) lik(e) News Corpse, when I come to think about it.

Femme Fatale

Fiona, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is it not? And cannot one be beautiful in appearance, yet deadly by nature; men usually learn this early in life (not that it makes any difference).

BTW, what type of spider was it?

Incey wincey spider

It was probably a common house black, Justin. The problem was not so much its venom, but the interesting collection of bacteria that it had in its jaws.

the past and the future

My mother is 76 today, and this evening, home after celebrating at dinner, my sister rang. I congratulated her on her paper's piece on the Burmese family in Malaysia without the cash to come here by boat hopeful of coming here under the Malaysia deal. Who else has made this point in the media?

She was excited about an experiment she's started with a group called 'Democracy is not a spectator sport'. The idea is that questions are asked about climate change which will be answered in her paper. Memories...

Many years ago, I agreed to take redundancy and go on a 3 year contract with Webdiary, in the knowledge that if I didn't the bosses would close Webdiary and that after the 3 years I'd be on my own. Several Webdiarists met in Sydney to organise the go to place when that happened. My brother Hamish agreed to manage that new space., which we decided to call 'Your democracy', with the logo "Democracy is not a spectator sport". 

Webdiary tragics, we were ahead of our time. So much has changed since then, but in relation to the mainstream media, so little! Go Gay!

On my way home from Uni this arvo, I heard the bloke on 'Counterpoint' read a Patrick Cook satire on how Julia had said "there are questions that need to be answers" to Murdoch - done to change the conversation blah blah. I thought, how easy to run that way. So hard to ask the real questions, and demand the real answers.

Webdiary tragics, thanks a miliion for keeping this space. Yours now. I'm so grateful I can say my say here. And I wouldn't want to say it anywhere else. 

To update, I'm a second year nursing student looking forward to being useful.

love margo 

Oh dear, falling for propaganda are you?

How nice that a Burmese family can come to Australia, like hundreds of others in a human trade scam.

It makes not a jot of difference if they have money or not and that puff piece was pure lazy propaganda by the lazy AGE.

Here is a story about the AGE that is less salubrious.

Four years ago that moron Tom Allard starting using propaganda nonsense from the DIAC website about "people smuggling rings', it was not true then and is not true now but he persisted.

In 1954 it became legal to enter this country without papers and not be punished, they must have their claims heard and be given protection so there is no people smuggling.

In 2004 forced Ruddock to ratify the people smuggling protocol which says clearly that giving refugees a ride is not people smuggling because it is a legal right.

I have talked to dozens of journalists too lazy to get the facts and too ignorant to publish them so when I heard that Indonesian kids as young as 13 were being jailed in adult prisons I talked to Michael.

He took 6 weeks to even get it investigated and we discovered that not only was it the truth but DIAC had literally kidnapped the kids and imprisoned them with pedophiles on purpose without contacting their famiiles or embassy.

Yesterday Justice Hayne did not buy the stupid people smuggling lie.

The thing is this country is still in thrall of the lies of the SIEVX, I think after the Malu Sara where 5 Australian citizens were allowed to drown after making 137 calls for help we can safely say that the government did kill those on the SIEVX.

The fact that the ALP has shut down every opportunity to investigate makes me know for sure that it is the truth revealed.

Not even John Faulkner cares.

So the story in the AGE was sheer propaganda, Mischa had no idea if the family paid smugglers or had money to get them from Burma to Malaysia and she didn't ask.  Last year only 1059 were allowed to apply from Malaysia and only 340 accepted so it's not like we care a jot.

Bowen though is making Ruddock look kind and caring.

Oh dear indeed

Marilyn, keep bringing these people in and ten years down the track you will have riots in Sydney and Melbourne, just like London.

Never mind, Gillard and Bowen will sort it all out with the help of the Greens.

Crystal Balls 'R Curran(t)

Alan,the whole world can't tell you what will happen in 1 second from now , or 1 minute, hour, day etc.

You apparently have the gift of prognostication and can accurately tell us what will happen in a decade. How do you do that? It's worth a fortune if you just apply it to the stock market. By the way, did you predict the current crash especially from last week? Jolly good show old chap.

Anyway, seeing that you are that good, can we go into business? I want Saturday's, Monday's, Tuesday's, Wednesday's and Thursday's Lotto numbers as well as the results of this weekend's football matches so that I can go down to the TAB and make a motza. I'll split with you 50/50.

What's the odds on the Greens picking up a few more seats?

Try some common sense

It's fairly easy to "prognosticate" that uncontrolled migration will replace one society with another society.  Uncontrolled migration of Tamils into Sri Lanka produced a war which was not wholly pleasant for all concerned. Uncontrolled migration of Albanians into the Serbian ancestral homeland of Kosovo (assuming the Serb claims of Kosovo's historic status were truthful) resulted in total conquest by the Albanians and total loss by the Serbs of their homeland. There are less extreme cases than those two, which may still destroy societies.

Multiculturalism was tried in the special context of displaced Vietnamese and seemed to work, in that special case did work, leading to reckless and stupid generalization by ignorant sentimentalists into circumstances in which it very definitely doesn't work and will not work.

Australia is still beset by that blight and also by that of infantilisation though coercive sentimentalism, which aggravates the first.

We are well on track for very, very major social problems.  It is the most total absurdity to say that since the future is unknown we should mock those who seek to rationally plan for it, base themselves on rational probabilities, know history, can learn from it, and urge that we pursue a course towards what is benign and avoid what is reasonably likely to lead, what reasonably might lead to the most frightful outcomes.

"Can accurately tell us what will happen in a decade".  The mockery of a total fool.

The two factors, sentimental multiculturalism and sentimental infantilisation of adult society, are bearing true fruit in England.  Thankfully, the authorities there are responding with great decency, so far. 

Prognostication Blues

Hi Michael

I don't find that your assessment is wholly accurate. The story of King Canute has a salutory lesson, you cannot prevent what is inevitable.You have to plan for it and embrace it. Australia could be the story of unqualified success in the integration of asylum seekrs if we just had the courageous leaders and a non-xenophobic citizenry.

Multiculturalism, that is, the movement of different groups of people to other parts of the earth where people are already living is the story of humankind.

There is a blanket acceptance that the concept of 'U krane', our land, is the natural order of existence. It is not. This very land, whose borders we are "protecting" was seized from its then inhabitants a mere 200 years ago. The US history is the same as is every country on earth.

As to the source of the violence in the UK, I read an article yesterday which identified many of the participants and it hardly seemed to be the failure of multiculturalism at work. From university students to the unemployed, people from all strata of UK society are involved.

I can tell you that if riots happened here, I might feel like joining in myself. I am of retirement age and my superannuation has been decimated to the extent that I can't see myself ever retiring. My contempt and anger toward those responsible runs deep. Surprisingly, the culprits/thieves did not come in boats but we could be a lot better off  if we stuck them on a boat and sent them to Manus Island where they could do no more mischief.

The whole world is in a state of tremendous upheaval. My prognostication is that something worse than the "Great Depression" is just around the corner. Heaven help us, we might end up exporting ourselves to China. But here's another prognostication within 100 years China will have taken over Australia mostl likely militarily, but certainly by "legal" migration. The largest intake of people coming live here is now from China. But, hey, what were we thinking - we are living in Asia.

Crystal Ball

Roger, after reading this crap you would be the last person I would go into business with.

I do not play the stock market or play Lotto, I leave that to people don't like to work.

As for the "gift of prognostication" this belongs to to people like PM Gillard.

Do you remember when Gillard said "Labor will get rid of homeless people",

"Labor will look after the Aborigines , they are now worse off than 40 years ago.

Instead of hoping to win the Lotto, why don't you go out and get a job and work hard. Try it you might like it.

If an election was called this week the Greens along with Labor would be decimated, and you don't need a crystal ball to know that.

Hopeless Romantic

Alan, it seems to me that you are a hopeless romantic (read naive). Somewhere along the line someone convinced you that politicians tell the truth.

Here's the shocking truth, Alan, they all lie. It does not matter what their political persuasion is, they are all liars. Some tell little lies, embellishing the truth, oversimplifying complex issues, always telling you that they have the answers. Some tell whoppers and some are downright malicious.

Do you know why there is such a thing as Parliamentary Privilege, because it means you can tell lies with impunity.

Not a single one of the rest of us has that protection, only politicians. If you tell lies in the general community you will become a pariah and may go to jail but not if you are a politician.

So you can stop waffling on about Labor or Liberal or Greens. Once you accept that they are all liars, life becomes very simple. You can use your nous to pick the bullshit out of whatever any of them say. Of course, you are very one-eyed so it may be an effort but give it a try. "The Truth Shall Set You Free!"


"Not a single one of the rest of us has that protection, only politicians. If you tell lies in the general community you will become a pariah and may go to jail but not if you are a politician."

Come on Roger. Who is being a hopeless romantic now? Lying, including malicious lying, is hardly confined to politicians and parliamentary privilege is not the lead cloak you imagine it to be, even if they did most of their lying in parliaments which they don't.

 What about journalists and the media? People around here hate Murdoch and his papers an awful lot. I don't at all but I can understand the passion even if the motives are unfathomable.  I'm sure they involve allegations of lying.  I feel the same way about The Guardian and the news divisions of the BBC. Come to think of it the whole rotten core of the liberal/left-wet media establishment. Malicious lying is just the start of it

What about religious leaders? Here again you can take your pick depending on your life's prejudices but one of my current favourites may well be none other than the famous Anglican cleric , Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

This is the man who has brought his tremendous moral authority to bear on the Israel/Palestine issue and has suggested he sees parallels to the apartheid state in South Africa he helped to dismantle. Or something.

If he sees apartheid then this can only mean that he sees the Jews are the whites and the Arabs are the blacks in a land where there is no space for a Jewish state.  

Which is a malicious lie, morally contemptible and a recipe for neverending war all wrapped up into one.

I respectfully suggest Archbishop Tutu needs to be very clear about what he does see.  He has lent his name to the BDS campaign which openly calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. Where does he stand? Any prevarication on this most basic of all fundamental questions can only be lying in anybody's religion.

Which brings me to my last point.

It's not the liars who scare me the most. It's the ones who are deadly serious about what they say who are much scarier.  Where the good Church of England man stands on the dismantling of the Jewish state is now a matter of public interest. He has made it so. It is also a matter for him and his moral code and those who share it I suppose. But there are many other clerics in the world who are very open about their views on the Jewish state and Jews in general. Some of them will shortly have their hands on nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.

These guys are far more dangerous to the world that just another addle minded churchman who may well be hiding a post-Jew vision of the world. God knows there have been plenty of them.

Et Tu Tutu

Geoff, personally I think that there is a whole level of lying that passes for religion (as distinct from spirituality).

The major religions of the world all claim moral authority from a god, or the god. So at the outset we have an impasse in that unless we can subdivide god up they can't all be correct. Anyway, the idea that a frail intellect can so surely fathom the unfathomable is complete tosh. I just wish "they" would stop lying about it.

In Israel's case, I believe that the Israelis have a claim to exist just as any cohesive grouping of people living in an identifiable area has an expectation of that claim. Of course, so do the Palestinians. Sadly for them the Israelis have the bigger sticks to whack them with so the Palestinian claims are somewhat moot.

That is always the problem of the dispossessed, the lack of whacking authority. For example let's just assume that there were 10 million Aborigines in this land and they did a secret deal to acquire powerful weapons from the Chinese. There would be an almighty amount of whacking going on. So aren't we lucky that our indigenous are not numerous enough or have powerful benefactors.

The Isrealis should hold their land for a time until the Palestinians get sufficiently bigger sticks. The history of the world my dear Geoff is littered with the carcasses of those tribes that failed. Isreal's real problem is that the US is going down the tubes and will eventually be a 2nd-rate power. If the Chinese are not so fussy over whacking potential or existing customers then the game changes for the Israelis. The saviour might be that the oil in the Middle East may be all sucked up and the West will leave the sands to the Arabs. The Arab/Israeli problem may then recede.

However, I am puzzled: where is YHWH when his people are being attacked? He's a very negligent god who has seemingly out-sourced the protection contract to the Americans. I wish he'd make an apearance and clear this mess up once and for all.

The natives are restless

With all that money spent on silly stuff it would appear some Israeliss are missing out:

Last Saturday, more than 250,000 Israelis took to the street to call for social reform. Tent cities have sprung up across the country, drawing in an ever-expanding cast of protesters – from students to pensioners, and Holocaust survivors to taxi drivers....Until now, the protesters have shied away from targeting the privileges awarded to settlers and the ultra-Orthodox. They fear that any overt political statement against specific groups will fracture the movement and break its momentum.

And this from that lefty rag:

“On one hand there’s this selfishness, of a people living off another people’s misery, with no regret. On the other hand, it is obvious that they would be better off were they to live like a normal country, not squandering their money on upholding the occupation... 

When the oil runs out what will happen to Israel, and will anybody care?

Not much (nothing) in the papers here (I suspect) re the above protest, I haven't read/heard anything at all actually, maybe nobody cares down here in Oz.

I bet Bertie couldn't give a stuff.

Well that's just perfect.

“The protest is shattering the Palestinians image of Israel as a perfect country, where all are full, own villas and trade in their cars every year," Abu Zaida added.

Geez Louise. There goes the image. Still there's always the oil.

Hang on. Israel hasn't got any oil. Has it?

Perfectest: Guillotine display stuns Rothschild's 'tent city'

There ya go Geoff, this is how Jews deal with corrupt leadership - a colour revolution.

Guillotine display stuns Rothschild's 'tent city'

French Revolution symbol becomes main attraction at Tel Aviv's protest center, as rallies continue to spread across country. Protest leaders say Beersheba to hold next mass rally

Of course Israel don't have oil, but when there's no ME oil to control, or the US can't afford wars anymore (not that they can now), then what?

Will the US taxpayer happily fork up billions to protect what will be (to them) a worth-less military base?

Levin also argues that American aid contributes to Israel’s lack of economic self-sufficiency. He observes that despite a sharp drop in Israel’s economic growth rate since 1973, the rate of private consumption growth has not dropped proportionately because a large percentage of the Israeli workforce is employed by the government or by government-owned corporations, which U.S. aid props up. As a result, Israelis are living beyond their means, and according to Levin they depend on U.S. aid to be able to do so. If this fiscal irresponsibility continues and the flow of aid ever stops, Israel’s lack of economic self-sufficiency could jeopardize its stability.

The simple life

Roger, just to get the record straight I am not a "hopeless romantic" or "one-eyed".

I can tell you that whatever Labor, Liberals and the Greens do can affect my lifestyle, except to give me a bloody good laugh every day.

What did Murdoch do to you, give you the sack?.

By the way did you see the Murdoch companies paid $1billion in taxes this year. That's what I call a great businessman.

Glad That You See The Game


You are source of continuous pleasure. I am glad that we agree.

I find the tax figure interesting. Most working people pay between 20-33% of their income in tax. News Corp and other large companies pay far less. In the case of News Corp that is 3% of their revenue.

Stupid, lying politicians again.

Getting scrupulous about the truth

I'm sorry Roger but I really cannot let this pass. Large companies, like small companies, and their owners, pay about the same rate of income tax as other working people most of whom they employ.

No one pays tax on their "revenue". That would be idiotic.

News Corporation is an American company. Their is nothing about it that marks it as unusual for a large American company other than the fact it is subjected to far more scrutiny. The same goes for its Australian subsidiaries. 

Scrutinising Murdoch is an industry. It employs hundreds. Why? Walt Disney is a bigger American media company than News Corporation. Where are all the Donald Duck Watch blogs?

Did you know that the second biggest shareholder of News Corporation is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia through his Kingdom Holding Company, a public company headquartered in Riyadh that he owns 94%? Or so Wikipedia reckons and I'm sure they're right.

I didn't know that.

How did all the Murdoch hating leftie nutcase conspiracy theorists miss that one? I know it doesn't immediately meet any obvious ratbag world view but they have vivid imaginations. I'm sure they could cram it in somewhere.

Maybe a little naive?

The way Newscorp is structured I can imagine prince whatsisface has no voting rights, (what class of shares does he hold?) and no influence on Murdoch's modus operandi. Its been a good investment, simple.

As to hating Murdoch, far too strong a term Geoff, contempt is more apt and it's not exclusive to him. Liars I don't like.

Unscrupulous Murdoch

Geoff, of course large companies have the opportunity via the various national tax codes to minimise their tax obligations. My point was that everyone who is a wage-earner has very little opportunity to minimise the tax on their revenue.

Murdoch is an employer and gets the tax breaks that his clever lawyers and accountants find. This is done with the acquiesence of the governments where News Corp operates and of course applies to other big businesses.

I understand the prevailing government attitudes of the special status that large employers should be afforded. But there is an argument for less favourable treatment. Big business does not operate in a vacuum, it is able to leverage the resources of any country that it operates in in a way that provides an element of "free rent". The quid pro quo therefore needs to be even. The amount of tax that News Corp pays is paltry compared to the revenue opportunities it is given.

Ethics and the law - a choice we make

Roger, this may interest you as it is just a very tiny example of how things work - in reality, not just for Bertie but for all big corporations.

Below is my response to a mate who I've known since primary school (he's a life long true believer and public servant), it was in regards to a discussion regarding the advantages big business have/inflict over small business and the individual:

JO, how many beers have you had? You’re delusional tonight – you don't conduct your business according to your ethics, you conduct it according to the laws of the land. Even arch capitalists understand the need for the protective and facilitating structures of "the state".

My reply:

Glenn, having sobered up (just a little bit) one feels a reply may be appropriate.

You wrote: "you don't conduct your business according to your ethics, you conduct it according to the laws of the land."

Well, yes and no.

Now let's have a look.

Let's say you work for a large media corporation; you have a product to sell that also requires a service to distribute it nationally.

The product and service can be produced and provided under the same corporate umbrella, an advantage not enjoyed by smaller competitors, that would do one or the other.

Let's say the product attracts a sales tax, the service does not.

Would such not provide an opportunity to give you a competitive edge over your competitors, without effecting your (corporate) bottom line, while at the same time offer your client a discount.

How is this done?

Simple, just discount the price of the product (reducing sales tax and in effect defrauding the taxpayer) and inflate the price of the service. The client pays less (tax) while the media company experiences no net loss, and at the same time making it hard for competitors to compete on the price of the product.

Is this legal, is this fair, is this ethical?

Did/does this type of thing go on.

Of course, I once knew a chap (me drunken mate) who was involved in just that type of stuff, routine really, but to make it more interesting the service side of the equation was structured on an illegal premise, according to section 221A of the Taxation Act.

Of course the media company's very highly paid legal advisors agreed that such a set up was in fact illegal, but did (for profit) design a "contract" that would "solve" the problem, or at least create wriggle room if contested.

I won't go into the boring legal details but the consequences of that arguably illegal corporate set up meant that anyone who wanted to compete with the media corporation's service subsidiary had to play the same (illegal) game - or be totally uncompetitive.

The sad thing is the chap I referred to decided to set up a competitive (and superior) service on the same illegal basis (simply because he structured such for media companies he worked/consulted for) - only to be threatened with incarceration by the good fellas at the ATO if he did not stop his illegal practices (me mate couldn't afford a highly paid legal team).

When me mate informed the good fellas that he was operating in the same manner as a large media organisation they insisted that is was still illegal - the law is the same for all players.

The good fella who threatened me mate with gaol informed me if I had any complaints to refer them to the ATO legal department.

He did.

The legal department said the media company was acting illegally and took the time to apply ALL the ATO tests to explain why (in a very long document) - I was hard to disagree, but indeed helpful and concurred with the initial advice of the media company's lawyers, who no doubt has also applied the same tests .

The legal department referred me mate to The Specials Branch as this media company's operation was clearly not legal.

The Rambos at TSB made no bones about it, if the media company was behaving in such an illegal manner that they would be dealt with, but needed proof. TSB said if me mate could go to gaol, then same for the directors of the media company/s (fat chance me mate thought to himself).

A few days later TSB actually visited me mate at his home, all balled up and ready to do the legal thing - proof slipped into their hands, PROVIDING all of this was strictly confidential me mate insisted. TSB agreed, privacy is of utmost importance.

Good luck with that one me mate thought to himself as the ever so grateful good fellas marched of with the evidence.

Three days later a good fella rang me mate and said the following (with sincere apologies): "Canberra has told us we can't talk about it."

Nothing in writing and not a word since.

Two weeks later me mate ran into somebody who worked with the media company's service subsidiary and they said to him directly:

"I heard you have been talking to the tax office".

Mmmmmm, so much for confidentiality - bastards!!!

Me mate now considers the government his enemy, and the friend of criminals, especially having written to members of Parliament of same, who appeared not to give a shit.

His friends (in business) are those who have the ethics to honour their word, the common law - the law of offer, consideration and acceptance, not this corporate/government sneeky crap.

Now, the above is just one micro expample of how the law can be used by the powerful to squeeze the less powerful, the weak, all with the blessing of the governments of the day.

Of course when one looks at the criminal behaviour of the governments/banks/credit agencies (theft/deception a business model), along with pharmaceutical companies (bribery/scientific dishonesty is a business model), military contractors (death creation a business model) etc. then the question begs:

Is the law an ass?

I suppose it is those politicians and corporations who act in camera, for their own interest who make it so, no?

Has the law protected our global communities from the bankers' greed and corruption? No, our global communities are now paying for that corruption and lawlessness - the law says they have to.

The law is an ass.

At the end of the day it would appear that the law is optional for our deceitful governments (WMD, mushroom clouds), and our large corporate empires, but for the poor bastard surviving on the dole, on sickness benefits or less, then the law is as brutal and unforgiving as the Powers That Be want it to be.

As far as me mate is concerned, you can stick the law up an ass, for it appears to be the plaything of the rich and powerful - if you want a fair and decent society then ethics trumps the law every time, no?

Tis something us common folk understand, especially those who live and play in the real world, as brutal and unforgiving as it is?


Cheers mate JO

We didn't need imports though

Plenty of lousy rednecks brawling in the streets don't you think Alan, and bringing in whom?  Most of the refugees are hindus or christians from Iraq.

So whom should we keep out ?

Spiders, that's who

So whom should we keep out ?

Spiders Marilyn, but only spiders that don't keep their fangs clean; other than that everybody else is welcome, as far as I'm concerned.

I agree with the spiders

There should be a ban on spiders, most humans though are pretty nice.

Au contraire

I can't believe you wrote that Marilyn unless you're having a laugh. Spiders aren't wrecking the planet humans are; they're vermin but some I grant you have their saving graces.

Arachnids Are Persona Non Grata

It is illegal to import spiders into Australia because of our quarantine restrictions.

Some of the buggers get around the proscription by hiding in a box on a boat coming to Australia and taking their chances that they won't be detected and killed.

Of course, as a civilised country we openly kill spiders to protect ourselves but we don't kill other humans with the same gay abandon. We subject them to whatever lie is the flavour of the month for the great unwashed. If the next poll showed that Aussies were all in favour we'd be parading the boat people on floats down the main street.

Does any one know if Rupert is an arachnophobe?

Some diabolical reporting in the AGE

A LARGE wooden boat crowded with 100 asylum seekers, legs hanging off its bow and crammed under a stretched tarpaulin, chugged past the Bosun pub and belched diesel into Flying Fish Cove as people smugglers again ignored the federal government's Malaysia threat.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/another-boat-lands-as-png-shored-up-20110811-1ioxv.html#ixzz1Uk1CTz7R

This is the sort of "reporting' that needs a bollocking.

1. Has Needham met and interviewed the supposed people smugglers who then told her they were ignoring Bowen's prattle?

2. If she has who are they, can they be quoted, can they have their point of view put to us? Are they smugglers, is anyone being actually smuggled when they arrive in the open at Christmas Island?

3. Who is being smuggled anyway when it is a legal right to arrive here without being punished for doing so?

Honest to god I am sick to death of the deranged prattling of a fucking PM who wants to bribe the neighbours.

And how can Manus Island be a regional "solution" to anything when it is hundreds of miles from anywhere and the only asylum seekers who ever went to Manus Island were sent by us.

I wonder why our media are so useless and racist these days that they can't ask one simple question of the moron Gillard - what if every nation who ratified the refugee convention decided to push people away to other countries.


Thanks heaps Roger.

Nos vemos después

Timothy, the tragic tarantula...

...and now a very depressed tragic tarantula (sob, sniff, sob).

Taking the piss old Mate

I suspect spiders are far more civilised than the stupid humans.

i should have known better

At least I hedged Marilyn. Knowing your concerns for the plight of refugees I wasn't too sure from whence you came. I too am compassionate for the  individual (man or beast, and I make no distinctiion) but in the general scheme of things there is little that can be done. Too many humans unfortunately and this could easily lead to another thread. Not going there.

Roger, great to have you back. Now as to Rupert being an arachnophobe, well, after my experience with  Marilyn, I'm not going to fall for that one. You know full bloody well that xenophobia (and a very specific type of the same,) is exclusive by its nature, (monoculture) of atrax robustus and its kind.

Best Wishes

Hello Margo

Please give your mother my warmest regards. I am trying to find a way to leave good old Melbourne and get back to warmer climes.

Congratulations on you career change. We can never have too many good nurses.

My wife and I continue our volunteer work with the Victorian AIDS Council which has been a real joy in our lives.

There have been only few people in this world for whom I have reserved a deep hatred, Horward was one and Murdoch is another. Both men know nothing about the futility of pursuing power.

Murdoch's empire like all other empires will be eventually dismantled and no one will miss it or be thankful for its existence. He will become an irrelevant rump in the media's history because he has created nothing worth remembering. His children will hopefully blossom into worthwhile global citizens once he has been removed. Thank the universe for his mother, a truly remakable lady as is your mother.


Am intrigued by a phenomenon arising from the antics of recent times. Since exposure, the Murdoch press locally has not retreated to a shamed quietitude, but if anything ramped up its hyperbole and vituperations of  its imagined opponents.

The slagging off of Prof John Quiggin, the economist,  by the Oz's Michael Stuchbury, someone who would have trouble counting to ten without his fingers, is a case in point.

What is this terrible grudge against the truth?


Paul Walter: "What is this terrible grudge against the truth?"

To the Murdochracy, truth is inconvenient if it gets in the way of profit.

Nothing less, nothing more.


The saga has directed The Australian into a pro-privacy campaign because News Ltd needed to shift the blame for privacy violation to others and there were plenty of others.  In particular, our leading political parties conspiring.  Let's put other things behind us and support The Australian's campaign.

mad dogs and..

I understand they are after him bigtime in America, also. Listening to victims of hacking on Dateline last night, whatever fleeting doubts I may have had for "the poor ol fella", rapidly evaporated in the stories of some of their thousands of victims: What sort of megalomaniacs arrogate to themselves this sort of right to make these decisons concerning other peoples lives, for their swollen egos and wallets?

The English Vice

News Corporation employs approximately twice as many people as the Royal Navy. These bizarre scenes in the UK could not be weirder if the Queen had been hauled before a  Parliamentary committee and cross-examined about her responsibility for the criminal behaviour of a group of RN sailors on shore leave.

Isi Leibler, the former head of Australian Jewry who now lives in Israel, has a column in  the Jerusalem Post. He had this to say:

Despite the proliferating media feeding frenzy, which journalist Melanie Phillips describes as a Robespierrian moment comparable to the death of Princess Diana, there is, as of now, no proof that Murdoch was even aware of the events taking place. True, even in a major conglomerate like the Murdoch media conglomerate, lapses of this nature should have been prevented and even if Murdoch is personally exonerated, it will impact adversely on him and his senior management. However, he has expressed contrition, apologized for what took place and, in fact, closed down the newspaper involved – a weekly tabloid, with the largest circulation in the U.K.

While the News of the World was unquestionably a scurrilous broadsheet, one must not overlook that the Murdoch media empire also includes some of the finest daily newspapers in the world such as the Wall Street Journal, the London Times and the Australian.

The hysteria and hatred directed against Murdoch personally is transparent, primarily motivated by politics. He is repeatedly being accused of distorting the news. Yet, when it comes to media prejudice, it is noteworthy that the BBC, by far the largest and most powerful media outlet in the world, renowned for its bias and selective reporting, has never been subject to anything remotely compared to the witch hunt facing Murdoch. Yet the BBC is at the forefront of the campaign personally attacking him.

Over the years, Murdoch has emerged as a bastion against post modernism. In a world dominated by moral equivalency, he has promoted the values of Western civilization. One could even argue that it is primarily due to him that the delusional far left failed to take virtual control of the British media.

For Israel, a major erosion of the Murdoch media would have highly adverse repercussions. In an era in which the liberal global media has increasingly turned against Israel, most of the Murdoch outlets maintain a fair and evenhanded approach.

Which of course is the main reason al-Beeb and the left/liberal feral media hate him so much.

We are witnessing a classic and particularly nasty and dirty outbreak of the English vice. This horrible condition may well spread to these shores. It has happened before. The ABC and Fairfax own and operate the Australian franchise. Like Bob Brown, they dream of a world where criticiisng the ugly post modernist authoritarian left will simply be against the law.

No doubt mentioning Lee Rhiannon's dirty secret past will be an "invasion of her privacy" if the Greens have their way.

Rum Sodomy and the Lash

Why Geoff, never knew you were into spanking, but then again them RN sailors are into a little bit of rum, sodomy and the lash, as another Winnie once said (hehe). All good fun mate - ouch.


It's a funny old world, isn't it Justin? I can"t remember which  Winnie first said that.

I would never suggest she should be hauled before a  committee and cross-examined about her responsibility for the criminal behaviour of a group of RN sailors while below deck.  That would be too much English vice for anybody ... Mind you it could make a good plotline for these guys. I might suggest it.

Vice as a Tradition

Ah Geoff the imagination goes wild, and none of it is pretty. No, all of it is pretty, pretty horrific - but as the saying goes: whatever turns you on.

But seeing we are on the subject of The English Vice (ouch), let's have a closer look at said vice, taken in relation to Orwell's essay: Decline of the English Murder.

When I read the essay it was not so much the subject matter that interested me, rather, the tradition in which the subject matter (also traditional in a sense) was consumed.  The opening paragraph reveals this tradition, the following paragraph introduces the object of that tradition, it also being a tradition:

It is Sunday afternoon, preferably before the war. The wife is already asleep in the armchair, and the children have been sent out for a nice long walk. You put your feet up on the sofa, settle your spectacles on your nose, and open the News of the World. Roast beef and Yorkshire, or roast pork and apple sauce, followed up by suet pudding and driven home, as it were, by a cup of mahogany-brown tea, have put you in just the right mood. Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what is it that you want to read about?

Naturally, about a murder. But what kind of murder?...

The initial tradition I refer to is reading itself, although the Internet is changing that as time goes by.

For many souls, reading is not just words and the feel of paper, reading is a tradition, a joy, your favourite chair, a friendly smoke, and for many an escape. A past-time to be enjoyed cocooned in safe familiarity, while one peers into the private lives and behaviour of criminals, social deviates and the famous (people so alien from our boring/uncolourful selves).

A past-time to be consumed in private, where one can be intrigued by sexual undertones, and the "reality" of a world that most would never, nor want to, experience - only in your newsprint inspired dreams can you enter, and play a part in that world of the colourful and the depraved.

It sounds all a bit voyeuristic doesn't it? But is there not a little bit of the voyeur in us all? It sells, and is readily consumed all over the Globe.

I'm sure the Israeli, the English and French have their reading traditions, and an innocent penchant for voyeurism as well, n'est-ce pas?

But traditions evolve as technology has evolved, and today the tradition of reading about murders in the News of the World on a Sunday afternoon is now less popular than, say, (un)Reality Television, which in the UK is pretty well wall to wall, I've been told.

And what is it that makes these reality shows so popular with the viewer?

Once upon a time public executions were a (popular) tradition of sorts, the eager viewers would flock to the town square to witness the spectacle, the viewee not so eager. As time went by public executions/floggings/humiliation became a thing of the past, they were replaced by metaphorical executions/floggings/humiliation in the press, and then TV as well, where readers could satisfy that part of their nature which attracted them to the town square, generations beforehand.

I have never met a genY or X for that matter who reads/buys main-stream newspapers. Everything is electronic/visual in their world, but nevertheless the (universal) derivatives underlying their interests/titillations are no different from those of their parents, except those interests/titillations in this day and age can be spray painted, in brutal colour, across the global media in seconds. It can be powerful - overwhelming.

It could be argued that today Reality TV/online-media is a mere substitute for our primitive desire for the macabre, the unusual, for vengeance, schadenfreude or whatever the unreconciled motivations, that attract us to the exposure and humiliation of others.

I suppose that's what we are experiencing today, in regards to Bertie: the power of the media, something Bertie has used to his own advantage for decades, but now the power of the media has been turned on the Master himself, to the schadenfreude of many, and to the absolute horror of Bertie and co.

This REAL Bertie Show, that entertains us today, could be described as a feeding frenzy, yes, a feeding frenzy of delighted voyeurs - but can you blame them? This is the type of thing Bertie promotes and profits from, all of which underpinned by what Freud would call the id: that basic part of our psychic that seeks pleasure, and avoids pain (for most, safe within our cocooned familiarity):

"It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learned from our study of the dream-work and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of that is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations... It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organisation, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle."
These days the electronic "popular" media lends itself to exploiting the iD in many colourful (and also subtle) ways, and now Bertie knows what it's like to be part of a media spectacle, the focal point of a "tradition" that he has helped redefine and sophisticate. What goes around comes around - sometimes.

Poor Bertie, does he deserve this public humiliation? Bloody oath.

The stupid prick got caught out, and he knows it, all he can do is manage the situation, be evasive, and let the media frenzy die down, he'll survive this real reality show; some of which is fun, some of it misleading, some of it damn good journalism (a dying art?).

There are many of us who feel these revelations are a good thing, an opportunity to save our democracy from the oligarchs who manage it - I agree.

But Bertie is just one of many who direct power from upon their privileged pedestals. They have their capital, access to capital, the technology, the infrastructure, the lawyers, and the bloody determination to win at all costs - the tradition of giants.

And what have the ants got to fight back with?

Not much, they don't even have their privacy (they gave it away), secrets are now the monopoly of giants, and all the exposed, and vulnerable ants have remaining, are their numbers.

So what are the ants gunna do with them numbers, use them numbers - or get numbered, in this the age of Big Brother?

Balance on ball bearings

For Israel, a major erosion of the Murdoch media would have highly adverse repercussions. In an era in which the liberal global media has increasingly turned against Israel, most of the Murdoch outlets maintain a fair and evenhanded approach.

Quoting Geoff Pahoff quoting Isi Leibler.  

Neither of whom, perhaps, is perfectly unbiased on the question of Israel.

It was a gratuitous attack on Malcolm Fraser in The Australian for a letter he wrote to The Age (!!!) shortly after the Gaza attack that turned me, at least for a time, against Israel.  That was quite an achievement, because I come from a family background that was strongly supportive of Israel from the first.  I was already critical of the Gaza attack but that article was the last straw.

I didn't see the Fraser letter but I was disgusted by the several pieces of counterattack by Jews quoted in that article, which apparently was editorial.

To be as generous as possible to The Australian, it may be that it is genuinely open to publish all points of view and would as readily print an attack on Israel.  The problem then would be the productivity of the pro-Israel lobby in truculent polemic which always gets published, and provokes a counter-reaction.

In part because (should I mention the elephant?) Jews and Christians have different moral codes, one in retrospect of the Sermon on the Mount, one not; and what a Jew considers a legitimate thing to argue and quibble over can turn the Christian off, instinctively, totally, disgustedly, and terminate the discussion.

Jewish defenders of Israel, for that reason, are often Israel's worst enemies, which contrary to what Leibler thinks, makes That Australian one of Israel's worst enemies.


Given that I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, Michael Talbot, it would ordinarily be just difficult to respond to this.

I do recall Fraser making some particularly dickhead comment some years ago about Israel and the Holocaust  But he has made so many dickhead comments. The man is a dickhead.  Always has been. Always will be. Without question Australia's worst Prime Minister.  He set the country back at least a decade and created divisions that burden us to this day. I used to say the only thing he ever did that wasn't bad or a catastrophe was SBS but now I doubt even that. I've despised him from the very start. I protested in the streets against him when he was Prime Miniister. More than once. I still would if he came anywhere near me and we weren't both too old for it.  It's not me that's changed. That's for sure.

If you are talking about something said by community leaders of the stature of Isi Leibler then you are talking about people who would know Malcolm Fraser well.

I've never met Isi Leibler but he is a man I have respected since I first saw him across the crowd at a pro-PLO antisemitic rally at UQ organised by one or another of the lunatic usually antisemitic homicidal poliltical cults that have hung around campuses everywhere for decades and longer. Like blowflies at a Barcaldine barbeque. Have I said  that?

That would have been about 1974. He would have come from Melbourne to watch the event.  A man of enormous dignity. His very presence seemed to take the stuffing out of the local Stalinist cadre frontmen leaving the "Palestinian" thugs standing there with their arms folded glaring at the crowd. A disaster. Beautiful. 

Lee Rhiannon could well have been there too. Or Lee Brown. Or Jones. Or whatever her name is. Unlikely since she's a Sydney girl but those outright Stalinist,. pro-slaughter cults in particular bused themselves around for events like this so it's a possibility. They still do come to think of it. Melbourne had been a riot. Literally. The Stalinists wouldn't have missed it for all the vodka in Moscow.

So it's not just ordinarily difficult to respond. I think I've made my position on what I care Fraser might have said pretty much clear and I can read Isi Leibler any time I like. But we have this additional problem of the elephant you have raised.

I'm not a religious man so I don't ordinarily comment on religious matters, Michael Talbot. But you seem to be saying that Australian Jewish leaders adhere to an inferior moral code to other people. Well all Jews really. This is for religious reasons. And by other people you mean people like you of course. Although how many people think like you is another question..

I don't care too much about a person's religion so long as they don't try to shove it my face.  When they start talking about inferior and superior moral codes and attributing this to what communities and their leaders say and do that's where to draw the line. This is where religion divides us. I don't think like that about any people. You need to take a closer look at what that young rabbi said that day and then look deep into your own soul.

Therefore it is not just ordinarily difficult to respond. It is impossible. This is possibly the longest non-response ever. Sometimes someone says samething so sour and dripping silly schoolkid bigotry and so totally out of left field as to turn any decent person off, instinctively, totally, disgustedly, and terminate the discussion.

Fiona: Meanwhile, Geoff, now that you have exercised your right of reply, I think Margo would appreciate it (and I know I would) if everyone could get back on topic.

Bertie's an amateur...

As the saying goes: just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they are not out to get you.

Uncle Sam’s and John Bull’s Crimes Dwarf Murdoch’s Eavesdropping  

As eavesdroppers go, next to Uncle Sam and John Bull, Rupert Murdoch, the moral force behind Fox News, is an amateur.

That’s because a global eavesdropping scheme being run today by the United States and Great Britain dwarfs anything that Rupert Murdoch’s editors at The News of The World(TNTW) ever dared attempt.

Happy Returns


 Many happy returns Margo, I trust the candle on your cake still:

gives a lovely light


Speaking of birthdays, if my  memory serves me well, it is also my dear psych's birthday in July. I suspect I have missed it by a little bit. So a really big belated:




And, I believe that Fiona and Malcolm B. Duncan share the same date. 


 happy birthday ya pompus bastard

where ever you are...


Anyway ...

Happy birthday Margo. I would have said hiya back to you the other day except it might have implied assent to your description "Webdiary tragic". Anyway hiya and happy birthday.

Once more to the breach, dear friends

Have caught Fiona out on a typo. Grauniad is the correct error, not Granaiud.

On more substantial matters, am sure Margo is right, the rump of labor, an early and long term victim of the torment, would dearly love to see the parasite hooked off its torso - this is the honest impulse represented and led by people like Lindsay Tanner...

But within the labor hierarchy there are also very powerful reactionary forces that could line up against dealing with the Dumpster Digger.

For example, in Adelaide we've just had a politician who is part of the philosophical right and pro developer make a weird speech in parliament criticising members of the public challenging the New Secrecy in council matters as sort of socialist plot.

That's right.

Into the second decade of the twenty first century and there is still a domineering clique that descends back to the McCarthyism of sixty years ago, in a bygone era. I should say the politician involved, apart from being litigation-happy, is an ex Murdoch hack and pal of Murdoch columnists, where do the values come from, for a democratic impulse to clean things up when they are so anti-accountability on other things.

So, what are the Conroy, Shorten et al types going to do, given they haven't got the staff member back on the board at the ABC after four years? 

Australian Murdoch inquiry

Hi all. Still no mainstream media push for a murdoch inquiry here. It's up to the online media to breakthrough. Dunno how - I'm new at this game after six years allergy. Perhaps everyone could sign up to the online petition to Julia for an inquiry and start suggesting the campaign to other online sites. Any other ideas?

I have a Facebook closed group to campaign for a murdoch inquiry here. Perhaps we could link to articles on the issue there.

Credibility shot to bits

Thinking on Margo's remark above, from an analysis point of view it seems the heat has now be turned on Cameron, over his hire of and then retention of disgraced former notw editor Andy Coulson as an adviser (another JA type?).

Now, Coulson has been right at the top of the Murdoch organisation until his outing over the original phone hacking, and he is personally close to both Murdoch and his organisation and theTory party, including in the performing of a stint at head office for them. So he is a key linking component within the "Elvden set"- the go between between Cameron and Murdoch, in effect.

Cameron obviously did know of Coulson and his antics and hired him (because of his "talents"?) and not by accident. These elite people are all on personal terms, they really saw a chance to dumb down media and make a sly buck in the sale of Bskyb at the same time, whilst consolidating the continued marriage of convenience between Murdoch and the Tories, at the expense of everyone else.

So Britain heads toward banana republic status, except that Murdoch and Cameron have exposed themselves through incompetence as to what sort of people they are really and their real and tarnished goals.

We think of the dismembering of our own press and media and the effect on politics this has had, we realise it hasn't happened by accident, it's just that in England they got caught out - that's where the scandal is heading now; all to do with keeping Cameron and Murdoch, the head and body of the snake, apart for self-preservation.


Hello and Happy Birthday!

Lovely to see you crafting words.

Yes, time for thorough review of many things in Oz media - the ABC is sloppy and lop-sided on a far too regular basis - just do the content analysis on the coverage of JG and The Rabbit and it stands out like the proverbial budgies (and wasn't that pathetic today!). Media Watch is just barely that and wimps out on too many occasions. SBS is doing a better job of "balance" generally speaking. Tonight's 7.30 on JG and "advertising" was seriously distorted but done to look "neutral" - I suspect if one digs into the 3 ad agencies used they all have dubious links to the Coalition; their language was death by a thousand cuts kinds of words and implications.  I agree with them on the general point that JG needs to sort out her media strategy and the ALP need to get their bottle back and confront the "crap" (as per JG's remarks) head on but they have to do it consistently and firmly and stop the dilly dallying.

There are bits and pieces all over the place http://newmatilda.com/2011/07/19/how-murdoch-keeps-it-family has come good content and there are others. Facebook has a number of pages/groups as you probably know - nothing as journalistic as WD but still getting out to people. Getup! and Avaaa.org is right in there http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_murdochs_monopoly/?cl=1172935983&v=9634 

Campaign for an Australian Murdoch Inquiry

Hi Russell. Thanks for remembering my birthday! I've just made that Facebook group 'Campaign for an Australian Murdoch inquiry open. Hope you will join! love margo

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