Meaningless distinction

Stephen Conroy, asked why the Government’s $250 million bribe to TV networks that was supposed to “encourage local content” had no such conditions attached to it:

Quizzed on why conditions were not attached, Senator Conroy cited Australia’s obligations under the free trade agreement it has with the United States.

He indicated the government’s objective had been to protect existing Australian content rather than to boost it.

Um, what? That’s a spectacularly bullshit answer. Please tell us, Stephen, what the meaningful distinction is between those two in your mind, and why the FTA insists on the former rather than the latter. And also, while we’re there, how the lack of conditions satisfies EITHER of those objectives.

Name a minister in the current government worse than Stephen Conroy. I can’t think of one.

PLUS! Free bonus quote from the FTA TV station lobby group:

Julie Flynn, chief executive of Free TV, said: ”The licence fee rebate … recognises that we are demonstrably out of step with world’s best practice on licence fees.

“World’s best practice”. LOL.

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35 responses to “Meaningless distinction

  1. Abbott calls it a bribe and is furious. “I wish I’d thought of that”, he said.
    Howard gave away a billion dollars to the advertising industry to push the GST. How quickly people forget.

  2. The Dudd government is losing credibility fast: destroying relations with our neighbours;
    Fitzgibbon taking cash from the Chinese;
    Krude sending Neal for anger management when he should have gone himself;
    Conroy nobbling the internet;
    Krud being exposed on Q&A by school children doing a better job than the sycophantic media lackeys;
    then appointing a power-tripping rock star to a position of responsibility.

    Battman Garrett showed he was always prepared to sacrifice his principles for power. Something must have happened to the passion along the way.

    Of course, if the Dudd government actually had the courage of its convictions, it will call an election on the CPRS. They lack the principles and the guts to do that.

    It is time for the ALP to replace Rudd with Gillard. She has common sense, comes across as human being and plays the game of politics well.

  3. Name a minister in the current government worse than Stephen Conroy. I can’t think of one.

    Nor can I, but the problem isn’t that it’s Conroy, but government policy. If it weren’t Conroy it would just be someone else.

  4. “Nor can I, but the problem isn’t that it’s Conroy, but government policy. If it weren’t Conroy it would just be someone else.”

    And…. Govt policy = Rudd policy, why else would Gillard be giving zillions to the nations richest schools, they can claim that it’s because of an election promise though it seems that it would actually be a promise worth breaking.

    “Name a minister in the current government worse than Stephen Conroy.”

    Nor can I.

  5. RobJ: there’s no evidence that it’s Rudd policy any more than a decision of Cabinet which is actually the more plausible explanation.

    As for schools, nobody is more disappointed than I, but remember the last time Labor took a policy of slashing private school funding to the voters? They got hammered with class envy stuff by the Libs and punished by all those parents who have become addicted to government handouts for their children.

    Clearly if the issue is to be resolved it will be slowly. Gillard is putting in place systems which give information to the public: Myschool is a start, and if I’ve got this right she’s been making noises about putting the school funding up as well. All this brings the public along and builds momentum for change over time. When it comes time to stop public funding of private schools hopefully voters will be at the stage where they wonder why it has taken so long to do so.

  6. Agree with SB, Rudd has done a nice conjob on you all.

  7. “Agree with SB, Rudd has done a nice conjob on you all.”

    Yeah, hands up who wishes the rodent won the last election?

  8. [RobJ: there’s no evidence that it’s Rudd policy any more than a decision of Cabinet which is actually the more plausible explanation.]

    Well there isn’t any evidence, you’re right but I will say that it is very unlike Gillard considering I thought she was from the left of the party.

    “As for schools, nobody is more disappointed than ”

    I’m outraged 😉

  9. I think SB’s and Anthony’s reasoning is best summed up thus:

    There’s at least one commentor over at LP seemingly put out by the fact that Kevin Rudd’s latest reported socially conservative utterance doesn’t have left-leaning bloggers rending their garments and wildly exclaiming “how could we have been so wrong about him?”.

    But the thing these tightie-rightie stooges have never understood is that actual Leftists were never the ones who bought into the Kevin07 hype. We acknowledged it as an effective electoral campaign, and we were happy to see an effective electoral campaign from Labor for a change. We always knew Rudd was a centrist with socially conservative leanings, but his value to the Left in Australia was that he was a Not-Howard who was appealing enough to the swinging voters to stand a good chance in the 2007 election and rid us of the spectre of WorkChoices.

    Labor are Centre-Left, not The Left, and in many ways Rudd is actually a more genuine conservative than Howard was. Simply trying to paint all Labor voters as leftists, or indeed Rudd as a lefty is bizarre.

  10. “Labor are Centre-Left.”

    I disagree, they are right of centre, the centre hasn’t moved but both major parties have moved to the right over the last few decades.

  11. i think I have said this before and got no reply, but has anyone seen those “political compass” things. The ones with 2 axis’ an x one representing left right differences and the y one libertarian/authoritarian differences.

    Most of them … the questions are obvious and leading, but as a concept it makes sense.

    I agree that Rudd and labour are to the right of centre. There is no real “left” anyway. Not in Australian politics, maybe in South America, but not here.

    As far as Rudd’s government goes tho, its definitely got authoritarian tendencies. (And thats why the politcal compass metaphor would be more useful. Humans perceive the world in more than one dimension, its stupid to map our politics that way.

    I think most “lefties” knew that about Rudd before we voted for him. It was still no contest.

    If you are gonna get stung by a wasp its better to get stung on the arm than the balls.

  12. “but has anyone seen those “political compass” things.

    Yeah I’m a fan, that’s how I know where the ALP sits, there are comparisons between UK Labour in the 70’s (left of centre – socialist) and today – centre Right party. I believe Rudd is plotted on one of them

    Me, I’m over with the commie hippies known as Jesus and Gandhi.

  13. “I think most “lefties” knew that about Rudd before we voted for him. It was still no contest.”

    I didn’t vote for him. I voted for the Greens.

  14. I voted Green too because I consider myself Left of Centre, I will be voting green again at all levels of govt because the major parties do not represent my lefty views.

  15. i think I have said this before and got no reply, but has anyone seen those “political compass” things.

    Rob linked to one at PP last year – can’t remember when, but it was fun to do it.

    Me, I’m over with the commie hippies known as Jesus and Gandhi.

    LOL that’s right! And only Jeremy was to the left of you IIRC. 😆

  16. Yeah fair enough jeremy.

    I should have said “preferenced him ahead of Howard.”

    “Me, I’m over with the commie hippies known as Jesus and Gandhi.”

    Me too RobJ.

    I think it would be good for Australian society if the libertarian vs authoritarian aspects of politics were explored alot more.

    Right now the concept just doesn’t seem to make the radar.

    I’m not really a fan of “libertarianism” myself, especially that US right wing school of it, but I’m not a fan of authoritarianism either from the left right or centre.

    But a libertarian v authoritarian model would be useful to criticise conroy’s recent actions, and not just with his attitude to the net.

    I’m pretty sure those Rothbardian libertarians would look upon Conroy’s cash give away as an appalling abuse of the power of the state, and a great argument to abolish it while we are at it.

    I might not agree with them on that last bit personally, but having the model in public use would enable some more useful structures to criticise him. Instead of just calling him an arrogant, intrusive corporate stooge.

  17. And in breaking news:

    When Tony Abbott was attacking Kevin Rudd yesterday over the Government’s despicable $500m handout to free-to-air television, suggesting “it looks like an election-year bribe”, he neglected to mention his own recent dealings with media moguls.

    Crikey understands that Abbott had a secret meeting with News Ltd supremo Rupert Murdoch on Sunday morning and had breakfast with him. Murdoch was in Australia to celebrate his mother Elisabeth’s 101st birthday last week.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/02/17/abbott-and-murdoch-breakfast-but-no-skiing/

  18. Agree with RobJ, Labor are centre-right. Your heads in the sand if you think otherwise. The power in the ALP is in the hands of the right wingers.

    With ALP’s policy of no crossing of the floor. The left-wing politicians like Gillard and co within the ALP are nothing more then paper tigers.

    Only left voice is the Greens at present.

  19. Agree with RobJ, Labor are centre-right. Your heads in the sand if you think otherwise. The power in the ALP is in the hands of the right wingers.

    If you believe that Labor are right of centre, then you have to believe that 80-90% of the Australian population are right of centre given the command of the vote both Labor and the Coalition get.

    So are you saying that Australia and it’s population are a right wing country?

  20. No – but there’s a very strong pre-existing bias in favour of the major established parties, in terms of
    – funding
    – media support
    – voter apathy
    – ignorance about preference voting

    There are a lot of people who wrongly think that a vote for other than the major parties is a “wasted vote”. This misunderstanding is encouraged by the bigger parties and their media friends.

  21. Bill, about 60%+ of the country voted against the LNP coalition in 2007.

    I sense that most Australians are “centre”, whatever that is, regardless of how they vote.

  22. confessions, many happy returns to Dame Elisabeth but I hope her longevity isn’t genetic.

  23. There are a lot of people who wrongly think that a vote for other than the major parties is a “wasted vote”.

    I’m one of those people Jeremy, and I wouldn’t class my reasoning as wrong. It’s only wrong when others demand I be voting in a certain way.

  24. Really. Why is a vote for a non-major party a “wasted vote”? That IS wrong – it’s not wasted, it’s a legitimate vote that you prefer the policies of a particular non-major party.

    I’m not saying you should vote for a minor party – if you feel that the ALP or the Liberals best represent your views, vote for them by all means.

    But don’t do it because you think anything else is a “waste”.

  25. As I keep saying I live in a safe LIberal seat. My vote is worth nothing unless there are a truckload more people like me who can effect change. If I lived in a marginal seat my vote wouldn’t be wasted.

  26. If your seat is really safe then your vote’s unlikely to be the deciding one, but that’s the case whoever you vote for. It’s not more “wasted” just because you vote for a minor party.

    Also, it denies a major party funding.

  27. Yes, the issue of funding is about the only reason I can see for changing my vote at present. As I’ve noted previously (here from memory?) the Greens don’t accept corproate funding so are wholly reliant on individual donations and AEC funding.

  28. Quite. In any case, it’s never the case that a vote for a major party is less a “wasted vote” than one for a minor party. A major party is such a broad church your vote tells them nothing. At least a vote for a minor party makes your voice heard, even a little bit.

  29. Deja vu.

    You two had this argument here a little while ago.

    I thought Lefty won convincingly on the count.

    Vote 1 “Huntin’, Shootin’, Fishin’ Bait-ammo-n-ice Party” for all anyone cares (although that would send the money to a bogus LNP type front organisation), but put your least hated of ALP LNP above the other, and BINGO, democracy!

  30. “So are you saying that Australia and it’s population are a right wing country?

    Yes, after all both main parties, that the vast majority of Australians vote for are indeed right of centre. the centre hasn’t moved in the last thirty years, it doesn’t move, both major parties have moved to the right.

    As I keep saying I live in a safe LIberal seat.

    confessions, then your vote for the ALP by your own criteria is a wasted vote??

  31. RobJ: Labor have a greater chance of winning the seat than any other party. It’s not a wasted vote in that context.

  32. But if you and all the others in that seat who identify as Lefties voted Green then they would have the next best chance?

    Essentially what I’m saying is what might make a vote for the Greens a wasted vote is that exact attitude, if you know what I mean 😉

  33. Similarly if we all voted Labor it would be another seat to the government. 😀

    And I’m waiting for you to convince me why I should change my vote to Greens Rob! 👿

  34. Ooh that’s a nasty looking creature – at PP it’s a cute red devil, here it looks terrible! Sorry, not the sentiment I’m wanting to convey at all rob.

  35. “And I’m waiting for you to convince me why I should change my vote to Greens Rob! ”

    Because they are lefties and I reckon you’re one too!

    “Similarly if we all voted Labor it would be another seat to the government. ”

    Which IMO would be bad because I don’t like our govt 😀

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