The rise of radical conservatives, who control almost all the mainstream media and care little about facts, may just be sending the world crazy, says managing editor David Donovan.
SOMETIMES, I look around the world, and it seems as if it has gone completely mad.
Did it seem like this in the lead up to World War II? Frankly, I am starting to get quite worried.
With the rise of the extreme capitalists, social division and inequality grow as common-sense recedes away in the rear view mirror.
Around the world, the same ultra-capitalist bankers whose greed and mendacity led to their banks being socialistically bailed out by taxpayers during the "global financial crisis" are not in gaol – they have not even lost their jobs – but are, in fact, earning bigger salaries and bonuses than ever. And while the banks now thrive, the nations that transferred their taxpayers' money into the banks' clutches – they were said to be "too big to fail" – now teeter on the edge of bankruptcy as the world economy stares into the abyss.
And while scientists come up with ever more definitive scientific proof that global warming is happening and that it is largely being caused by man, vested interests have convinced a large segment of the conservative voting population − without a shred of real proof − that this is just a grand conspiracy undertaken by socialist scientists who want to create communism by stealth and put the world back into the “dark ages”.
Moreover, these vested interests – usually fossil fuel companies – pay so-called political “think tanks” to create false grassroots organisations to sow panic about global warming action — even going so far as creating a fictitious medical condition called "wind turbine syndrome" to scare people away from clean renewable energy. Scandalously, both fossil fuels and nuclear energy have very real and well-proven health impacts.
All this means, ironically, that rather than insuring for the future, so-called "conservatives" gamble not on a spurious conspiracy theory — but rather on the slim 5 per cent possibility given by climate scientists that global warming isn't actually being caused by man.
At the same time, in the interests of some fallacious notion of "balance" – which it doesn’t apply to other similar debates, such as the reality of the moon landing, who killed JFK, or even immunisation – the media present the arguments of untrained sceptics and real climate scientists to the public as if they were both equally authoritative. And, as this needless and corrupted debate meanders on, the world goes on warming.
And a new form of "Christian" has arisen, one that insists that material acquisitions and worldly gains show God loves you, and that religion is not really about compassion, sacrifice, tolerance and doing good deeds − as would appear to be indicated by the written down words of the one the faith has taken its name from − but rather, apparently, is about enforcing a narrow set of very debatable scriptural principles − about women, homosexuals, marriage, and so on − and to preach a gospel of hatred against other religions, such as Islam. Then there are Church leaders like George Pell, who go around spruiking against global warming and in favour of ultra conservative economic principles.
And so, to many, actively practicing Christianity would appear to be pretty much the most unchristian practice thinkable.
In U.S. politics, ideology rules and Republicans blame the Democrat administration for the enormous budget deficit — despite the previous Republican Bush administration both making the economic mess through lax regulation of the financial sector and through incurring the vast majority of the debt by bailing out bankrupt banks.
Lies have taken the place of truth, with vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan making what has been described as the most dishonest campaign speech in political history at the Republican National Convention. The Republican campaign team ignore the media outrage over the mendacity, saying they aren’t going to let their "campaign be dictated by fact-checkers in the media".
Truth lies bleeding in the gutter, perhaps terminally injured.
Things are just as bad here in Australia, with an opposition leader, Tony Abbott, who is destructively opposed to everything and doing everything in his power to bring down the Government before its term expires.
It seems his argument is that the best thing for the country is to get rid of a “bad Government” ― but is summarily unflustered by the trail of chaos and damage he causes in the meantime.
And despite this man being a frequently found out and, indeed, a self-confessed liar, nevertheless he has managed to portray his opponent, the prime minister, as the dishonest one on the basis of a single remark made during an election campaign — a comment that people still debate as to whether it was actually untrue.
This opposition leader is a man who, despite professing to believe in both markets and climate change, says he plans to repeal a market based carbon trading scheme to combat global warming with a (far more expensive) direct intervention policy. How this is meant to advantage taxpayers is not clearly explained. He initially tells everyone everywhere that the carbon tax will deliver a “wrecking ball through the economy”; but then, when this prediction is not borne out by economic modelling, it becomes a “python squeeze”; and now, as his dire predictions have failed to eventuate, he nevertheless still resorts to trying to create moral panic in the community.
Meanwhile, the media − including the so-called "impartial" public broadcaster (which is, perhaps not just coincidentally, run by a former Liberal Party staffer) – boost Abbott at every opportunity, play dead on his manifold gaffes, contradictions, follies and lack of substance and, generally, deny the Government and the other non-conservative forces a fair say.
This is a Government that – in my professional opinion as an experienced accountant and financial analyst – is arguably one of the most economically competent in recent history, having ably steered Australia through the global financial crisis without allowing the country to fall into a recession — virtually the only G20 nation to have achieved that distinction.
The sterling record of the Government is well-known in the international community, with Treasurer Wayne Swan receiving an international award for Australia’s astonishing economic success in producing – all at the same time – record low unemployment, low interest rates, excellent GDP growth and one of the lowest levels of sovereign debt in the western world — even while delivering necessary infrastructure and economic stimulus during the GFC.
You wouldn’t be aware of that in this country though, as the Government is derided by both Opposition and media alike as “chaotic and dysfunctional” and “the worst Government in Australian history”. A Liberal Party strategist even went on air advocating the assassination of the PM, but the mainstream media didn’t bother to report it.
Despite their outright unfairness, in a final insult, the media then go on to cry crocodile tears about how poor the Government is in "selling its own message".
A debased debate.
Here at Independent Australia, we investigated the allegations of corruption by a former Government MP whilst working as a union leader – something the media and Opposition had built into a witch-hunt — and we found that the so-called whistleblower had deep links to both the Opposition and the body investigating the MP — as well as having allegedly committed far more serious acts of corruption than those of which the MP had ever been accused.
We also found the allegations against the MP lacked substance.
So, we produced and published filing cabinets full of documentation showing evidence of all this, but the media seemed almost completely uninterested — some of them citing spurious legal concerns they have been shown not to have in other similar circumstances.
And then, of course, there is the case of Peter Slipper, again seemingly orchestrated by the Opposition.
Finally, in the biggest head shaking moment of all, the super wealthy miners in Australia, supported by their media cronies, launch a massive and corrupt campaign against a sensible tax on the overly inflated profits made by them digging the minerals – which are fully owned by the people of Australia – out of the soil and then sending them overseas in boats, almost always unprocessed and without adding any value to them.
These self-professed "wealth creators" heave their magnificent waistlines onto the back of trucks, jangling their expensive jewellery and Rolex watches to decry the onset of "socialism" and to “axe the tax” — which was affecting no-one but themselves, and then only at the margins.
Their power is so absolute, the Government deposes the prime minister of the day and brings in a new prime minister who eventually introduces a much watered down scheme.
Victory to the miners.
Despite this, one of these miners – the very living embodiment of a corporate "fat cat" – still goes after the Government to this very day, decrying the advent of socialism in the form of the carbon and mining taxes, and pushing for even less regulation.
She suggests mining in Australia is uncompetitive because in Africa miners work for as little as $2 a day.
It can't be damaging her interests too much, though, because she is the richest woman in the world. (Perhaps she thinks, with better policies, she would be the richest person of all?)
In a display of mind-blowingly ironic hypocrisy, given she inherited her wealth, she suggests her riches came from hard work — writing that people who are envious of her should get out of the pub and drink and socialise less.
This foolish person has a large stake in a television network and is trying to take over one of Australia's main newspaper publishers. Tellingly, she refuses to sign a document saying she will not attempt to influence the papers' editorial policies.
The world has truly gone mad — and this is just scratching the surface.
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