Politics

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: Staring at the Sky and galloping towards the abyss

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(Cartoon by Mark David / @mdavidcartoons)

The current Federal Government may be the most out-of-touch, divorced from the concerns of the electorate, Australia has ever seen.

Whether it be their drubbing in Victoria on the weekend, Julia Banks bailing out to the backbench yesterday, or the historic loss of Wentworth a few weeks ago, the Liberal Party fail to see sense and keep galloping like lemmings to the right, where a cliff and cavernous abyss awaits.

The question is, why are the Libs so intent on self-destruction?

THE BUNKER MENTALITY

If you have ever been to Parliament House in Canberra, the first thing you will notice is that it is a bunker — literally built into a hill, well away from the people below. If you happen to make it into MP’s offices, you will notice that almost all of them have Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News cable television channel running in the background.

You may have never even watched Sky News — most people don’t, since it’s generally only available to Foxtel subscribers and its viewership numbers are miniscule. But all Federal politicians seem to watch, perhaps partially because it is dedicated to Australian politics and has MPs and former MPs on constantly. Some current MPs, such as Christopher Pyne (LPA) and Richard Marles (ALP), even host Sky News programmes. Another, slightly more sinister, reason for its popularity is because Pay TV lobby group ASTRA, dominated by Murdoch’s Foxtel, gives all Federal politicians a free Foxtel subscription, worth up to $1,600 a year. Many MPs feel so entitled to this perk, they don’t even bother to declare it.

THE PIED PIPERS

And so our politicians are swamped daily by Murdoch propaganda only seen by a minute percentage of other Australians. During the daytime hours, the Liberal Party bias is less overt, but still evident. The news hosts, sympathetic when interviewing conservative MPs, become hostile when a Labor or Greens MP enter the lion’s den. But it is after the sun goes down that the Pied Pipers of the Right come out, piping their merry tune as they lead the children of the Coalition dancing to their doom.

The Pipers – Paul Murray, Andrew Bolt, Chris Kenny, Peta Credlin and Alan Jones – all play the same tune: that the Government must move further to the right to win the next election. That Malcolm Turnbull, whom they regard as more or less a Communist, was destroying the Party by pushing it far to the left. That Australians want more coal mines and coal-fired power plants, and aren’t interested in action on climate change. That the ABC is a subversive leftist organisation, out of touch with the concerns of “real” Australians (whoever they may be).

Despite all these beliefs being demonstrably false and laughably misguided, as shown by repeated opinion polls and by-election losses, most Government MP still believes them. Or at least, wants to believe them, as these views concur with their own. And so they skip merrily away towards the abyss.

Bill Shorten should pay these minstrels and clowns for their invaluable services to the Labor Party.

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

Sky is the forum rightwing politicians – and even some Labor ones, presumably suffering from some sort of weird Stockholm Syndrome – bunkered down in Canberra get many of their dumb ideas. Gain what they think is an insight into the views of “real Australians”. Get the support and re-encouragement to follow their own conservative ideological bent and move the Government even further to the Right.

The Pied Pipers of Murdoch are leading the children of the Coalition into the abyss, as they stare vacantly at the Sky. After the next Federal election, which will probably be held in May next year, very few conservative MPs will return to the burrow in that isolated hill in Canberra. Some of the ones that don’t, of course, may end up on Sky News to spout their irrelevant, out of touch opinions.

And the Australian people will be glad, because most of us will never need to hear from these out-of-touch fools again.

This is only half the story. The uncut version of this editorial was originally published as part of the Independent Australia weekly newsletter and is also available to subscribers online in the members only area.

It takes less a minute to subscribe to IA and costs as little as $5 a month, or $50 a year — a very small sum for quality journalism and many great extras.

Subscribe to Independent Australia HERE.

You can follow managing editor Dave Donovan on Twitter @davrosz. Follow Independent Australia on Twitter at @independentaus and on Facebook HERE.

Fresh off his appearance on ABC’s The Drum a couple of weeks ago, managing editor Dave Donovan was last week interviewed by prominent comedian and broadcaster Meshel Laurie for her podcast Nitty Gritty Committee. Dave spoke about Sharri Markson winning a Walkley for her Barnaby Joyce “scoop”, Ashbygate, Jacksonville and the state of media in Australia. You can listen to this excellent and entertaining interview HERE.

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