Monthly Archives: October 2012


Rupert tells people who’d dare challenge his family’s little gerrymander at the News Corp AGM that if they don’t like it, go sell their shares. And meanwhile the increasingly ironically-named “News” dot com dot au* website does this for a fellow media billionnaire:

It’s like they don’t care how obvious it is any more. They have the power, they’ll do what they like, and it doesn’t matter how dodgy and corrupt it looks. Suck it up, ordinary people – you’ll swallow what you’re given, and be grateful for it.

*I’m going to have to start pronouncing the word “News” in “News Ltd” with the sarcastic inflection you give to the word “Christian” in the “Australian Christian Lobby”.

ELSEWHERE: By the way, talking of Quality Jernalisms

Bad luck, next generation

So, this is what a decade or so of driving up house prices in a vicious little feedback loop (Howard slashes CGT and chucks in a homebuyers’ grant and prices jump, then more of those with now increased equity in their home think hey, I should invest in rental properties, pushing up prices, so more try to get in with their further increased equity, rinse, repeat), combined with half a century of signing off on housing developments further and further away from the Melbourne city centre without either building necessary transport infrastructure or even leaving space for it to be built lateronly a tiny fraction of young people in Melbourne can now afford to buy a home anywhere within reasonable commuting distance to the CBD. (And of course it’s even worse in Sydney.)

MOST Melbourne homes are too expensive for households on a median income, and only a handful of suburbs – mostly on the city’s fringe – pass the affordability test, a government report reveals.

The report shows households earning the city’s median annual income of $70,300 have few suburbs to choose from. Even the cheapest suburbs require an annual household income of between $67,000 and $90,000 to pay the mortgage and other bills.

In many inner Melbourne suburbs – which have better access to public transport and services – a household requires an income of between $120,000-$200,000 a year.

The Tandberg sums up part of it:

It’s difficult to overstate just how much long-term damage this stuff does to our society.

Could we please (a) stop encouraging the burying of investment capital in rental property, and (b) stop just giving state governments a free pass when they permit developments to be built without leaving space for necessary infrastructure? Just because the harm won’t be felt till after they’ve left office is no reason we shouldn’t be calling them on it now. Unless you’re planning not to be here in twenty years, it’s going to affect you, too.

Point made

So an Australian protester JUMPS INTO THE THAMES, delaying a BOAT RACE, in order to protest inequality and elitism in the UK…

…and they jail him for six months. Jail. The most serious punishment in their system (and ours). What we do to murderers and those committing violent assaults and people for whom other options have been shown not to work. And not just a short sharp sentence to make the point. Six months. Shove a political protester in with violent criminals. Why consider other sentencing options like community work or fines? When you can just rocket up the sentencing scale and do what you can to brutalise the bloke for, remember, jumping in the Thames and slightly delaying a boat race.

Why would the community want the guy’s sentence to be something that puts back to the community, like community work, when instead taxpayers can pay the huge amount of money it costs to jail a person for six months?

By the way, if you were looking to make the guy’s point that the British system is massively skewed in favour of the interests of the rich and against ordinary people – you probably couldn’t have made it more clearly. Congratulations.

PS If he has a history and they’ve tried other options before, then that should have been in the bloody report. From the barrister’s remarks quoted in the Independent article, it sounds like he had no priors.

A triumph/defeat

It’s never seemed more like there are two completely different Australias than today, with right-wingers declaring that yesterday’s speech by Julia Gillard was a “disaster” for the PM (the far-right Australian calls it an “embarrassing finale” and declares that the “PM will rue bad call”); and, for their part, the broad left declaring it a “triumph” cheering Gillard for an “inspiring” speech that finally makes them proud of the PM.

It’s like a Rorschach test. Apparently you see what you want to see.

That’s either a devastatingly powerful speech or her “acting like some cheap fish-wife”, depending on who’s in your twitter feed.

Which interpretation will sink in with swinging voters, and which will turn out to be hopeful self-delusion, we’ll have to see in a fortnight.

Meanwhile, the Liberals and Labor voted together to slash the pension for the poorest families in the country. The national media barely noticed.

Let’s ignore the young Liberals who lied about Jones’ speech until the tape was revealed

I’m just glad we appear to have forgotten about all the young (and otherwise) Liberals who tried to lie to the Sunday Telegraph journalist before he revealed he had a tape of Alan Jones’ comments.

It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.

What a relief to them that the nation’s journalists appear to have forgotten that, and aren’t pursuing it.

ELSEWHERE: Isn’t the real reason Jones’ remarks hit a new low is that they weren’t just rude or violent, it’s that they took a recent tragedy for the target, the death of her father, and than used it for the attack? If Alan thinks back to the last time he suffered a serious personal tragedy like the death of a loved one, it’s the equivalent of his opponents using that to attack him. And I haven’t seen his defenders yet raise any examples of that by his critics.