Pile-on planned

SBS is doing a program on the Greens next week. See if you can guess what sort of a program it will be from this callout (now removed):

Media outlet/Publication:
SBS TV Insight

Does your source need to be local?

Are you a disaffected Greens voter, who thinks the Greens should have been more pragmatic on the ETS? SBS wants to find someone for Insight!

Are you a Greens voter who thinks they should have done more to introduce a CPRS when the going was good?

Are you thinking of changing your vote because of it?

Are you someone who thinks “something is better than nothing”?

We want to speak to you.

Contact james.west@sbs.com.au with your mobile number, and we’ll chat.


James West

28 July 2010 @ 5pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time

(Successful sources will not be paid.)

I couldn’t see where they asked for Greens voters who are not disaffected and and have come to support the Greens as the only real progressive party remaining in Australian politics, people who do not fit the News Ltd stereotype as lentil-eating drug-addled hippies in hessian bags. Ordinary voters who actually support the Greens standing for principle, and not just passing counterproductive Liberal-Labor legislation the ALP utterly refuses to negotiate with them at all. I asked if SBS would like one such voter and they said, no, they had some Greens MPs to defend themselves. Well, of course – if you’ve got the MPs, why would you need to give a fair representation in the audience of Greens voters? Why not portray them as Labor would like, as dissatisfied dupes who’ve come to their senses and who should go back to Labor?

I suspect this is going to be another pile-on.

20 responses to “Pile-on planned

  1. “Something must be done
    The ETS is something
    Therefore it must be done”

  2. weewillywinkee

    That is absolutely disgusting and frankly gutter type of journalism. Sure have disgruntled people but you should also have members of the audience who have a different point of view. Insight has gone to the dogs.

  3. jordanrastrick

    Its gutter journalism to canvass the opinions of disaffected members or potential members of the Greens’ voter base? Why?

    Would it be gutter journalism for a show to have Conroy trying to explain himself to ALP voters disaffected over the Internet Filter? Or moderate Liberals disaffected by all Abbott’s bullcrap?

    Do you weewillywinkee, or you Jeremy, or anyone else here angry about this, think the Greens don’t want to have the debate? That they’d rather not be given airtime to try and convince people who feel this way that they voted the right way on the ETS? If so, why have their MPs agreed to go on the show?

    For what its worth, as someone prepared to put aside anger, and principles, by “selling out” in order to achieve important political objectives, I am seriously weighing up whether I should vote 1 Greens in the Senate after all, even though they truly deserved to lose any chance of my vote over this issue alone. Tony Abbott’s scare campaign is semi-accurate in that Labor will now clearly go nowhere on Climate unless there’s a Green balance of power in the Senate; I’d be prepared to risk a 1-term Gillard government with a voter backlash when they start doing deals with the Greens, in the hope that Abbott might not make it through as Liberal leader to the subsequent election. Climate change is an important enough issue for such a gambit to make sense, to me.

    Anyway, if SBS really is now part of the right-wing mainstream conspiracy to unfairly suppress and attack the Greens, I guess that leaves The Green Left Weekly as the most widely distributed media outlet that is objective in its treatment of the party. Well, good luck getting the message out to voters then. Sounds to me like the conspiracy wins.

    Of course Jeremy you’re choosing to spend your time complaining about the injustice of it all, rather than, for example, addressing my arguments about the actual substance of the ETS vote. Which you said you were going to do later… 10 days ago now. When you’re ready.

  4. I’m sure the Greens will be happy to respond to those voter concerns.

    My point here is in SBS quite cynically selecting the audience of “Greens voters”. We’ll see what they do, of course – maybe they just didn’t need to advertise for enthusiastic Green supporters – but after speaking with Mr West I am concerned that what we’ll be shown is a highly selected group of “Greens voters” designed to make it look like most of us are on our way back to Labor or something. We’ll see, I guess.

  5. I have no knowledge of what is planned for the program but there’s always the possibility Insight producers already have a bunch of content Greens supporters lined up and the callout was merely to find those disaffected. The optimistic view is that the callout was needed due to only a low number of Greens voters who believe they voted the wrong way on this issue.

    I find Insight is usually fairly balanced.

    Just a suggestion.

  6. shabadootwo

    I find it hysterical that you are now accusing SBS of being some right-wing troll network! Were this callout for disaffected Liberals, you’d be applauding, or at least not outraged. But you seem to have a very thin skin when it comes to your beloved Greens (given that they are likely to wind up with more power after 21 August, I am not sure what your ongoing snippy anger is about).

    Incidentally, I took your advice and spent some time reading Greens policies today. I reckon Tony Abbott ought to debate Bob Brown: It would be great fun to watch the doddering old Tassie get flayed for some of the bizarre, contradictory, politically correct nonsense in there. I hadn’t realised the Greens were quite so nationalist, protectionist (both culturally and economically) and autarkic.

    When you get your 50% marginal tax on incomes over $1 million a year, will you also introduce Cuban-style exit visas to keep more clever people from heading overseas?

  7. “Were this callout for disaffected Liberals, you’d be applauding, or at least not outraged.”

    If you going to damn someone for partisan hypocrisy, it’s a lot more credible with an actual counter-example.

    “I took your advice and spent some time reading Greens policies today.”

    I agree there’s some stuff in there that needs to be removed or changed: stuff that’s undoubtedly there from when the party was smaller, and the MPs and most members aren’t aware of it.

    I suspect it’ll be fixed as the party grows. What they’ll try to do in parliament is what they’ve been actually advocating in the campaign, and the stuff you mention is not part of that.

    “When you get your 50% marginal tax on incomes over $1 million a year, will you also introduce Cuban-style exit visas to keep more clever people from heading overseas?”

    I wouldn’t. If you’re on $1mill a year, and you’d rather live in a ghettoised country like the US, where the poor starve in the streets and are shoved in the prisons, where you need to carry a concealed weapon to feel safe – feel free to go. See ya.

    Most clever people are not on anything close to $1mill a year, and most people on $1mill+ a year are people who’ve inherited wealth or screwed over their fellow citizens in some way to get it. And those who are so selfish they don’t want to put back into the community (we’re talking 50% on the money above $1mill) – well, good riddance.

  8. If you can’t live off $500,000 a year, you either have a serious gambling problem or you’re a giant douche

  9. Well, that and the fact that a 50% tax over $1mill does not apply to the portion of that person’s income below $1ml. So they wouldn’t be paying $500,000 in tax until they were getting closer to $2m.

    People often whinge that they’re paying their top tax rate as if it was on all their income, which is total garbage. The first portion of their income is tax free. The next portion is taxed at the lowest rate (something in the teens). Then the next rate kicks in, but only for that proportion of their income above that threshold. And so on. People who say “I didn’t take that extra income because it would put me in the next bracket on all my income” are idiots or liars.

  10. jordanrastrick

    “I wouldn’t. If you’re on $1mill a year, and you’d rather live in a ghettoised country like the US, where the poor starve in the streets and are shoved in the prisons, where you need to carry a concealed weapon to feel safe – feel free to go. See ya.”

    This is an incredibly parochial view of America. Their criminal justice system and social safety nets are broken, compared to ours, but the poor in America are still better off than in most countries. There are very few places in America where I’d feel unsafe enough to warrant carrying a gun even if I were inclined to that kind of protection. The United States does not consist of “Only in America” news headlines or pop culture stereotypes, anymore than all Australians are fascist rednecks because the Cronulla riots got widespread international coverage.

    “Most clever people are not on anything close to $1mill a year,”

    Because most people are not earning $1 million a year. Many of the people earning over $1million are clever, although of course not as high a proportion as it should be.

    “and most people on $1mill+ a year are people who’ve inherited wealth”

    Your economic data comes from where, the 18th century?

    “or screwed over their fellow citizens in some way to get it.”


    1. Carlos Slim. Mexican, son of poor Lebanese immigrants. Entrepreneur in a wide range of productive industries; seems to be one of the most honest rich men in a country that is otherwise practically run by drug cartels.

    2. Bill Gates. Admittedly grew up as privileged as any upper-middle class American white; arguably screwed over rich western consumers to some extent by anti-trust violations in establishing Microsoft’s temporary monopoly; and is now pouring that money into malaria cures and renewable energy R&D. Strikes me as a Robin Hood-esque figure.

    3. Warren Buffet. Again, entrepreneur; self made fortune by lots of luck and intelligent investment of capital (as opposed to the kind of speculative risk taking alchemy which lead to the GFC.) Outspoken advocate of higher taxes on the rich, lives on a modest salary, and his children are not inheriting most of his estate; he is donating much of his fortune to the same causes as Gates.

    4. Mukesh Ambani. I don’t know so much about him, although its a very pleasant surprise to see a non-Westerner in the top 5. He seems to have made some of his fortune from petrochemicals, which isn’t so great, but I’d strongly suspect the resulting amount of poverty alleviation in India makes it worthwhile in this case.

    “And those who are so selfish they don’t want to put back into the community (we’re talking 50% on the money above $1mill) – well, good riddance.”

    I strongly support higher marginal taxes on the rich in principle because they are indeed morally justified. 50% for over $1 million doesn’t seem unreasonable. However if it turns out empirically that you can tax 200,000 millionaires at 40%, but going to 50% will cause half of them to migrate overseas, well then sure your country has fewer selfish people – at least, who are residents for tax purposes – but it also has less government revenue, not to mention a harder time finding competent people to do those jobs where the expected salary is $1million+.

    See to me, this is the horrendously obsolete form of progressivism that still corrupts so much left wing thought – asking “Who can we blame or punish for the inequality and poverty and injustice in the world?” when the only sensible question is “What, scientifically speaking, will actually be the most effective way to reduce inequality and poverty and injustice in the world?”

  11. And I’d also like to see an honest discussion of all the economic and cultural protectionism that is shot through the Greens platform — hardly the sort of stuff that would make for an interesting, competitive, cosmopolitan Australia engaged with the world. The couple of hours I spent going through the Greens website convinced me that its time for this party to stop hiding behind climate change and “oh, this is just holdover stuff from when the party was smaller” and start telling us what it really thinks about how society and the economy should be organised.

  12. The point of taxing the rich is of course not to “punish them”, it’s to provide services for everyone, so that:
    (a) we make the most of people’s talents (including those now born poor and shoved into second-rate schools where their gifts are wasted);
    (b) we don’t have a ghettoised society with poverty-based conflict and class warfare; and
    (c) government can provide the decent infrastructure that makes a country liveable and builds security for the future.

    And SBD2 – The Greens are very upfront about how they think society should be organised: in a more progressive way. More focus on public services over tax cuts. More focus on civil liberties over religious rules. More focus on humane treatment of the disadvantaged and desperate. More focus on living sustainably.

    You’re implacably hostile to anything “left”, of course, so they’re hardly going to appeal to you in any case.

  13. That’s an interesting list jordanrastrick, but it has nothing to do with Jeremy’s slightly hyperbolic point about corrupt millionaires.

    Billionaires are in a class of their own.
    They are usually entrepreneurs who have built, own and stay with a single business.

    The millionaries that Jeremy speaks of are the professional CEOs like Marius Kloppers, Sol Trujillo, Tony Hayward (ex BP) or Geoff Dixon who’s main talent is to write themselves juicy employment contracts that ensure they get rewarded handsomely just for showing up at the office.

    Taxing these people more won’t bother them.

    When CEOs negotiate their salaries they do so based on how much cash in hand they need every week and what lump sum they want at the end of the contract.
    Mr. CEO, doesn’t care how the deal is structured from a tax perspective, as long as he has his ten grand a week and 3.5 million after three years.

    It’s only the working man’s salary that is spoken of in terms of gross figures.

    You asked;

    What, scientifically speaking, will actually be the most effective way to reduce inequality and poverty and injustice in the world?”

    I would argue that the most effective measure would be to blame or punish those responsible for the inequality, poverty and injustice in the world.

    We should have no qualms about blaming and punishing the likes of Union Carbide, James Hardie, BP, Gunns and Rio Tinto.

    We should also blame and punish (tax) supporters of chocolate slavery like Nestle, Lindt and Hershey.
    In fact Nestle should be twice damned because they also perpetuate coffee slavery through their Nescafe brand.

    There’s no ‘scientific’ antidote to injustice caused by bastardry.


  14. shabadootwo

    The Greens, as suggested by today’s Herald, believe in zero economic growth — do you endorse that?

    How does this:

    “the fulfilment of human potential and the enrichment of lives is best achieved when people work together for common goals.”

    Square with:

    “social, political and economic institutions must allow individuals and communities to determine their own priorities.”

    Which will it be?

    Do you think it’s a good idea to pull out of bilateral trade agreements?

    Fund media according to the BBC model (presumably including scandalous 6- and 7-figure senior management salaries and a license fee, a.k.a. poll tax, on the citzenry)?

    What about the parallel importation of books?

    And you can touch the Shabadoo Family Trust over my dead body!

    Reading the Greens platform reminds me of the old saying that even when you set out to build a Utopia, the first things you need to make space are for a cemetary and a jail.

  15. To be honest, I don’t trust your summary of Green policies or the Herald’s. Links please.

  16. Jeremy, I am not summarising, I am quoting directly from the Greens’ website. You have in the past trumpeted the fact that they are the only “major” party to lay it all out on the table; fair enough; that’s admirable, as are about one in ten of their policies that make sense and which suggest there is some libertarian rump present in the organisation. But I would have thought you’d be more familiar with the manifesto.

    In any case, the contradictory policies noted above are listed here: http://greens.org.au/policies/sustainable-economy/economics

    Points 6 & 11, specifically.

    The desire to remove Australia from bilateral FTAs is here: http://greens.org.au/policies/sustainable-economy/global-economics at point 12.

    Media funding is here, specifically at point 32. The ban on parallel importation is point 43:


    Need I go on?

  17. I don’t agree that 6 and 11 are contradictory.

    The bilateral FTA thing is in relation to existing FTAs, which are pretty terrible. If there’s one that isn’t a step backwards for the country, I’m sure they’d consider it.

    I have no issue with their funding SBS and ABC comparably with the UK. That’s the services, not the executive salaries.

    The only one of those policies I have a problem with is the parallel importation ban, which I might well join the relevant policy committee to try to change.

    Got any others? With links?

  18. jordanrastrick

    Now that wasn’t really such a bad pile on after all, was it? About the only major negative takeaway for the Greens was that the Labor-turning-Greens voter was so inarticulate. But at least the Liberal-turning-Greens voter made up for it by nailing Abetz; in fact I think she came across best out of all the non-politicians.

  19. And you can touch the Shabadoo Family Trust over my dead body!

    I look forward to the day when the rich stop hiding behind family trusts. Didn’t the Torries promise to fix up that loop-hole years ago only for the Nats to back out, fearful of the farming lobby?

  20. Splatterbottom

    One reason family trusts haven’t been taxed might be because too many pollies have them.

    If we have different systems of taxation for companies, trusts and partnerships, people will choose the least tax option. Trusts are now so widespread that elections will be lost if they are taxed as companies.

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