That’s not a national emergency…

Quick memo Kevin Rudd: mining companies running a smear campaign against your RSPT is not a “National Emergency”. No matter how ridiculous or shameless their lies.

Quick memo Liberals: you’re no better. You wasted just as much money on public advertising, and no doubt would do so again. And on the substance of this issue, you’re even worse, Official Lobbyists For The Mining Industry.

…THIS is a national emergency.

Once again, I’m very thankful that in this country we can vote against BOTH of you. And I can say clearly that I voted for, and am represented by, people who have consistently opposed this kind of undemocratic abuse of power.

20 responses to “That’s not a national emergency…

  1. “National Emergency”.

    What is it with politicians and hyperbole?

  2. Splatterbottom

    It is just an excuse to rort the system and get the taxpayer to fund ALP advertising.

    The toothless Auditor-General is unlikely to say anything about this, as his track record indicates his supine nature.

  3. confessions

    I for one am pleased the government is doing this, and I don’t care how they dress it up in order to justify the adverts. I support their actions.

    The government is facing a concerted campaign of lies and deceit from the big mining companies as they seek to defend their priviledge to exploit the resources we own, and attempt to thwart a democratically elected government putting a fair price on those resources on behalf of the citizens who own them. The government is right to counter the deceit with facts about its proposed reforms.

  4. As long as you realise that you’re giving up your credibility when the Coalition’s next in power and spends millions of taxpayer dollars on advertising against unions.

  5. confessions

    Not at all. I’ve been quite critical of the government’s hospital ads, which carry no message other than a political one. That is plainly government-sponsored political advertising.

    From all reports the intention of these ads to counter the lies and deceit of the big mining companies is entirely justifiable from a public information standpoint.

  6. weewillywinkee

    I was just watching Lateline at the Howard Government spent over $400 million on the GST advertising. The current Government is spending $38 million. I will not comment on the advertising until I see what the Government is funding.

    If they are pointing out the scheme how it will work and benefit Australians that is fine with me.

  7. The propensity of Govt’s of all stripes to advertise themselves as much as important policy makes this kind of thing always sem fairly cyncical. That the Govt has to breach its own guidelines is not a good look.

    Yes, the last bunch were shameless crooks when it came to political advertising, but that’s no excuse.

  8. I’m with confessions on this one.
    If we’re to have freedom of speech for the miners, they we must allow freedom of reply by the government.

    The mining industry threw the first punch and the government has a right to defend itself.
    That reply should be allowed in the same medium and format, be it television, radio or print as the initial campaign by the miners.

    On the other hand, the health reform ads are a shocking piece of propaganda of the same ilk as the GST and WorkChoices advertisements from the Howard Government.
    They should have never been allowed to go to air.


  9. baldrickjones

    Because its really hard for the government to use the media to get it’s message across – no journo’s ever turn up to their doorstops and press interviews.

    Geez, Howards government were terrible because of this and now Rudd is going along with taxpayer funded propoganda.

    Ahd to those of you on here who support it, it’s nice to know where you stand with taxpayer funded advertising – but only if it supports your own political viewpoint eh?

  10. baldrickjones

    “The mining industry threw the first punch and the government has a right to defend itself.”

    Actually MB, I do believe it was the government who proposed the tax to be slapped on them.

  11. confessions

    The only time pressers are watched are when they are doctored down for the nightly news. An ad campaign reaches far more people than that.

    And as for throwing the first punch, the mining industry came out swinging in response to the proposed RSPT, when it didn’t have to. Sending out their foreign CEOs to tell us Aussies to just shut up while they plunder our non-renewable resources is arrogant in the extreme. Go0d on the govt for fighting back.

  12. Thats actually an international emergency.

    This one I duuno. Till I read confessions and Marek’s point I thought what a crock. The hospital ads are fucked for a start, but maybe they have a point. I dunno tho.

    This smacks of desperation and fear. Maybe that fears justified, cos e all know the power of propaganda…

    But this is also different, cos it appears there are non stop lies coming out of the mouths of the Libs and the miners.

    I dunno if the govt’s gonna do any better – I’ll wait and see what the ads are like, but … its hard to see how either side of this debate can claim not to be propaganda.

    If the ads are simply about the information – the proposed changes and their effects they may be ok.

    I think the govt should be able to spend money on explaining legislation, but the budget should be limited and it should be as apolitical or non-partisan as possible.

    I dunno if thats possible in the real world either.

    The hospital ads are no different to the last lot in power imo. If this mining tax campaign is the same sort of propaganda then the govt … well its no different to Howard’s mob on that level.

    Tho maybe we should compare this to the Howard govts spending on explaining the GST. I knew people running small businesses who probably would have been lost without those ads, just cos they would have felt on their own without any info at all. Thats why there might be a case for limited govt propaganda.

    The real test is how partisan it is and how the changes impact on peoples lives. IE “If once you did this then now you have to do that” sort of thing.

    Honestly I’m conflicted on this issue, cos I think a proper govt advertising plan could be done re the RSPT in a way that enabled people to make up their own minds. And that would be fair enough given the bullshit floating around about it, and the potential conflicts of interest.

    “Its bad for the country” patriotism is one of those refuges for scoundrels, especially if they have a massive financial interest.

    But … even with the RSPT and any campaign about it there is massive potential for govt abuse, and part of me thinks that making hard decisions means sticking with them when the going gets tough, and being really strict on yourself about any leeway you might want to take.

  13. “Thats actually an international emergency.”

    It’s Montara, not the Gulf of Mexico, but I suppose that was kind of international too…

    As for the advertising – opposition parties and their backers run misinformation campaigns and legitimate attacks on govt all the time – as do governments against oppositions.

    The public purse is NOT theirs to play partisan games with, no matter how dirty the other side is playing.

    If we cop this, we have to cop the next scare campaign against the unions run by the Coalition.

  14. baldrickjones

    “Sending out their foreign CEOs to tell us Aussies to just shut up while they plunder our non-renewable resources is arrogant in the extreme. Go0d on the govt for fighting back.”

    Local resources for local people? Got something against foreigners?

    This tax is about going into surplus and nothing else. The government had to find someone they could slug whilst not pissing off large numbers of voters in an election year. It’s not about “sharing resource wealth” or anything like that, otherwise why not give the proceeds directly to Australian citizens?

    Besides, I don’t recall the grassroots campaign by supporters of this tax prior to the government announcing it. But now the taxpayer is on the foot for the advertising bill. As I said, no better than when Howard wasted all that money on ads.

  15. Check out this article from Core Economics on who the winners and losers are from the RSPT. The winners include – mine workers and mining communities; the business communities; and the Australian public. The losers are shareholders in big mining companies (inside and outside Australia) and the super rich who are sitting on other non-portable investments like commercial land.

    As they conclude:

    “In short, many of the expected losers of this tax are foreign or super-rich, whilst the expected beneficiaries include the vast majority of the Australian population and the business community. If the tax indeed goes ahead as hypothesised above, the political question will be whether the few losers will manage to fool the many winners into believing that it is in the interest of the many (including workers in the mining industry!) to protect the few.”

  16. confessions

    Got something against foreigners?

    When they jet in first class and proceed to try and thwart a democratically elected govt setting a fair price for resources it owns, just because it might mean their international shareholders get a little bit less return, then yes. Absolutely.

    The tax is about reforming the resources sector so we avoid the boom and bust cycles that place stress on other areas of the economy. At some point our nation needs to start planning for what happens when we can no longer rely on non-renewable resources. Unfortunately the Liberals have shown no interest in doing that, they’ve just nailed their colours to the mast of big mining companies. Make of that what you will.

    The Fritjers article perfrectly sums up the intent of the RSPT, and the selfish goals of the resources sector. Nothing more needs to be said really.

  17. “The public purse is NOT theirs to play partisan games with, no matter how dirty the other side is playing.”


    Why doesn’t Rudd write an essay? Why doesn’t he get his Ministers to submit Op Ed pieces and letters to the editor? If he wants to advertise in prime-time to reach the plebs then he should use ALP money, get his wife to donate? Fuck using my money to feather the nests of advertising execs!

    Especially after all he had to say about the previous govt wasting money on ads, he’s just gone and justified the Work Choices ad campaign, the Howard Govt were countering the Union campaign after all.

  18. baldrickjones

    Confessions, do you actually get that taxpayer money is being used for partisan political purposes, and Rudd has been caught out big time breaking an actual promise? Do you think that it is all right just because you agree with the government? Well if you do then you have no right to complain when another government uses taxpayer funding to spruik its policies that you don’t agree with. As RobJ said, the ALP now have no credibility on this issue.

  19. confessions

    Why doesn’t Rudd write an essay? Why doesn’t he get his Ministers to submit Op Ed pieces and letters to the editor?

    Look how well the attempts to counter the lies and deceit wrt the BER and Insulation program went. It is now established firmly in peoples’ minds that the insulation program was poorly administered, even though the facts don’t support that.

    And the Workchoices analogy is flawed: the unions weren’t embarking on a campaign of disinformation the way the mining companies are. Plus, Workchoices and Howard had crowing editorial support in all the murdoch rags. Can’t say the same about the RSPT.

  20. Pingback: Tell the old parties that refugees ARE welcome here « An Onymous Lefty

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