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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 18 May 2007
Aye there cabin boy Hartcher over yonder Capital deck, tis a scurvy day for plundering the tax purse, aye
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: big media

Pardon our reprise of talk-like-a-pirate day, as the rain patters down here in Sydney Town. Ain't it lovely.

We at SAM here wonder whether youngish Big Media blade Peter Hartcher - who like Stephen Mayne at crikey.com.au has the excellent capacity to see over the financial ramparts - has been stung into action by some stirring letters there at the Sydney Morning Herald today 18th May. Or maybe stung by our criticism Big Media including PH are pirates (just like Macquarie Bank) for amplifying matey corporate advertisers barracking for cruel AWA's. Or is PH simply taking corporate revenge with his column today on behalf of Fairfax against the govt for losing the AWA stoush beloved of corporate bean counters everywhere?

Indeed the dirty little secret of AWA's is that they have suppressed wages growth in a booming economy, as a sharp lad like Hartcher surely knows: Wages held down by IR laws - NEWS.com.au - 16 May 2007. If AWA are so good why are everyone's wages not growing with the profitability of the economy? Because it's a rip off obviously.

In our view that report of suppressed wages killed AWA's dead 2 days ago. Hence also our call for the Big Media commentariat to reveal their rare high AWA salaries while barracking for oppressive AWAs for everyone else on behalf of Big Capital/Govt/Media complex. 

The letter writers in the Herald today take umbrage at  the revealing but jarring opinion piece here only yesterday

  • Peter Hartcher: Macquarie's small bickies compared with big boys
  • pointing out no doubt accurately the home grown international pirate Macquarie Bank is small fish compared to the whale sharks on Wall Street, New York USA. '100 times our PM's salary' for their CEO is some 'small fish' apparently, but to make the point was always going to get Peter Hartcher a big reaction. And friction from us little guys.

    Now also today the bleeding hearts in the Fairfax readership have been appeased in quick measure with a 'look over there' cannon fire at the PM while he's down in the polls by Peter Hartcher; a Howard Hating piece dense with facts re $1.7 billion of govt advertising in the life of the Howard regime. Ouch. It's a cracking read too.

    Picture: PM Howard looks like he's in the crows nest of good ship Big Capital stuck in the canon sights of his critics, arms raised in surrender (adapted from Rocco, Sydney Morning Herald today)

    Here it is:

    Hey, big spender, that's our money

    PETER HARTCHER | Government use of taxpayers' money to propagandise for political causes is utterly unjustifiable. It shows contempt for taxpayers.

    But the sub text seems to be this: Big Capital are pirates with their crappy AWAs no one believes are generally fair. That's understood even in popular culture: mcleod's Daughters gets political

    Big Govt are pirates with their propaganda adverts at our own expense and doing Big Business dirty work - that's understood as above.

    And finally if you look through the gun smoke of real politik battle Big Media are pirates too: No matter how well senior journalists, even blades like Hartcher jig a sea shanty as a diversion with cracking political corruption stories like this one.

    For up until yesterday Big Media commentariat and the Govt were singing the same song as Big Corporates that AWAs were best for the economy and the people. But something went wrong in the chorus. As the ALP win the politics on AWAs with polling and lowly wage growth figures, the Big Media have effectively avoided transparency on their own motives from ultra hierarchical pay structure and cost cutting, while barracking for oppressive AWAs for everyone else. Suddenly the burning torch of transparency was getting way too close to their own backs as the govt case fell apart.

    The Big Media's moral exposure has only really emerged as they shifted to 'he said - she said' type reporting in the face of the ALP and the unions hanging tough.

    Yes the Herald piece by PH today does sledge a juicy advertiser in the govt party (on the way out) but that won't stop the govt advertising drip this election period so no problem there. And Hartcher still gives comfort to big business advertisers with:

    "...business has threatened to fund a campaign against Labor in this election campaign, which is surely its right"

    But let's be real here. Cabin boy Pete and the pirate crew in Big Media have been doing the advertising on AWAs sans election endorsement for Big Capital/Coalition Govt at least up until 2 days ago when the govt raised the white flag and virtually to half mast now. Lest the polls go even further down, down to Davy Jones Locker.

    Indeed Hartcher in this light virtually reads as a revenge story today with "unchain your anger" exhortation to voters in the last line, for the govt expensively losing the AWA argument and Fairfax cutting and running . Ouch again.

    And only now do we read this other letter today about AWAs/Work Choices, which is the burr under the skin of Hartcher and all his Big Media/Govt/Corporate colleagues now for lack of their own transparency. Indeed a dirty little secret obscured by sound and fury:

    By the by this writer lives on about $10K after tax per year. Perhaps its a fitting time to say "the workers united will never be defeated. Oi"

    Posted by editor at 1:55 PM NZT
    Updated: Saturday, 19 May 2007 1:07 PM NZT

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