Rupert’s reporting instructions on Abbott's disastrous first six months

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Alan Austin is endeavouring to verify the authenticity of a leaked internal News Corp's memo, believed to have been sent from Rupert Murdoch’s chief of news operations to editors of his Australian publications.


Rupert has issued directions for this week’s six-month review of the Abbott administration. They are quite simple, so those at The Telegraph and The Herald Sun should be able to keep up.

No point beating about the bush — it’s been a debacle. But, as you know, we must conceal that and depict a confident, strong, united, adult government.

It’s clear that half the areas of responsibility have been handled poorly. The other half? Absolute disasters.

But after so much energy and money spent misreporting Labor’s achievements, talking up Abbott’s prospects and denying the obvious dangers, we cannot admit we were wrong.

Not yet, anyway. Not until Rupert has received the pay-offs he’s expecting.

So, we must redouble the efforts which have served well so far. But with some tweaking.

Continue blaming the disunited, dysfunctional Rudd and Gillard regimes for the dreadful debt, the asylum seeker policy unravelling and the loss of viable industries. It's worked brilliantly so far, so keep it up.

Well done this week, by the way, to Nick Cater calling Labor’s Senator Conroy

'... completely barking mad.'

It was vital you didn’t reveal the truth of the shadow defence minister’s statements, Nick. You didn’t even say what they were. Nice work.

From now on, however, some matters must be ignored completely.

Never refer to the travel rorts scandals, the education funding triple backflip, the closed businesses, the mounting job losses, Holden, SPC Ardmona, CO2 emissions, electricity prices, women’s issues, the excessive secrecy, all the jobs for cronies, the increased debt, or the deficits projected now for more than ten years.

It’s instant dismissal for anyone who breathes a word about the internal brawls within the Coalition over Qantas ownership, industry assistance, asset sales, same sex marriage, threats to the ABC, the renewable energy target, paid maternity leave, Peta Credlin and the general policy vacuum.

Needless to say, all Abbott’s lies and broken promises are strictly off limits.

Full credit to Patricia Kavelas for telling the ABC’s News Radio listeners last week that Abbott:

"... doesn’t want to break any election promises. He’s made that extremely clear."


Stay silent on the poor performances by the ministers for Indigenous affairs, for industry, for health, for trade and investment, for defence and for justice.Get on the ABC as much as possible to spread our stories. Tell our tame producers and presenters they will definitely have jobs when Rupert and Gina get hold of the parts of the ABC they want. If they believe it, that’s their problem.

Thanks to your sterling efforts most readers don’t even know who they are.

Keep it that way.

Repeat endlessly that the boats have stopped. Make sure you downplay or ignore:

  1. the multiple lies by Scott Morrison and Angus Campbell;
  2. February and March are the monsoon months;
  3. the dreadful relations with Indonesia and PNG and the dismay of the watching world;
  4. the deaths from suicide and homicide, the injuries and the mental illnesses in detention; and
  5. the catastrophic cost blow-out on security at Manus and Nauru and on the orange lifeboats.

And one more strategy change....

Time to start claiming credit for the remarkable achievements of the last few years.

Our people in London and New York still can’t believe one small nation could have achieved so much in foreign affairs between 2008 and 2013.

Restored diplomatic relations with Malaysia and Indonesia, vastly improved connections with Solomon islands and Fiji and excellent rapport with Papua New Guinea. No longer deputy sheriff to Uncle Sam. Got the seat on the United Nations Security Council. Plus chair of the Pacific Island Forum, and chair of the G20 group of the world’s major economies. And that standing ovation for Julia’s speech to the US Congress. Four minutes!

Our men at the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal were so astounded, they even almost reported it.

Then there’s the actual economy, with clearly the world’s best set of books from 2010 onwards. Plus finance minister of the year 2011 and international infrastructure minister of the year 2012. And, of course, triple A credit ratings with all three agencies, the Western world’s top ranking on the Heritage freedom index and so many other accolades.

Just extraordinary! You all did incredibly well keeping readers ignorant of these facts. Now, however, we must try to show how these are all great achievements — of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

We realise this will take some barefaced lying along with the routine distortions, omissions and exaggerations – like Shanahan’s reports from Davos in The Australian making the stumblebum look like a statesman – but, hey, that’s why we pay you.

Now, the opinion polls. Yes, most embarrassing when Clive Palmer revealed that they show what they are paid to show. Awkward. Can’t be helped.

And I know some of you are puzzled as to why we aren't rigging them in the Coalition’s favour at the moment.

Don’t worry. Pressure on Tony’s troops won’t hurt. Just until Rupert and Gina get what they want. There’s time enough to falsify the numbers again before the next campaign.  

Finally, never refer to any news or analysis in Independent Australia, Guardian Australia, Crikey, New Matilda, Hoopla or any of the other reliable outlets.

Don’t attack them. Don’t even acknowledge they exist. They are doing our cause great harm by reporting fairly and accurately. So the less publicity the better.

Remember, the government which serves our interests relies on a populace kept fearful, prejudiced and ignorant.

Go to it!

You can follow Alan Austin on Twitter @AlanTheAmazing.

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The originals of John Graham's art, featured in this piece as well as throughout IA, are available for purchase by emailing You can see a gallery of John's political art on his Cartoons and Caricatures Facebook page.

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