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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Sunday political talkies: Coalition pining over end of Bush Howard era
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt


Author's general introductory note

 This is not a well packaged story. It's a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media. 

For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don't really give you the image content value.


Media backgrounders (and see following post on SAM of 'big media short takes')

* Refer previous two posts on the big press ‘tantrum' after the mini budget last week in NSW perhaps indicating the old media don't realize they don't make or break government's anymore in the age of Get Up etc. There is the 5th estate accountability on their spin and selective editing. True it's still early days but Obama literally leveraged the internet to the US presidency, and young mind Nathan Rees is in the cycle race of his life starting at 29% primary vote polling handicap to win in 2 years. And the alternative media will play a significant role in that now that he has stared down the Daily Telegraph and SMH front page malice. As if in agreement it's a new media future editor David Penberthy to go to new projects in the same stable.

* Speaking of Penberthy, notice this ‘truth or fiction you decide' piece by Joe Hildebrand in yesterday's Terror:

* Tim Blair is replaced in his location by serial reactionary Andrew Bolt spruiking Melbourne. The tactic is to make the Sydney public feel embarrassed or humiliated based on collective pride. But this will likely misfire just as Howard attacked Obama and was told to ‘shut the f*ck up and mind your own business', so Sydney and NSW people will likely be offended by the Daily Telegraph running Bolt with no loyalty or history in NSW to qualify anything he says.  We wonks and insiders know it's the same News Corp but the readers don't - they will see Sydney Daily Telegraph as treacherous giving a platform to  a Melbourne critic.

* News Corp papers are at least an hour or more late Saturday morning. Desperate headline too about blood suckers attacking Rees Govt.

*  Paul Kelly hopelessly flawed article in The Australian yesterday. Airbrushes real NSW political history regarding Greiner years - seeking to buy off Metherell's vote on forest destruction by job sinecure in the EPA, over feisty public servant Neil Shepherd. Carr winning on the green vote - narrowly. Falsely conflating two very different energy sell off proposals 1997 to 2007-8 with a $10 billion disjunct in the assets (no transmission infrastructure in the second). Greiner being a big business lackey in name as well as substance today working for British American Tobacco. Kelly needs a good spanking.

* Mark Scott revealed on ABC conversation hour. If it looks like, sounds like, smells like a lone Liberal Party SAS advance inside the ABC then it probably is. Reveals his days as political staffer with Terry Metherell presumably not for his forest loving ways. Rather his attempt to split and scatter the teacher union stronghold in the education sector for free market ideologue Nick Greiner. The man for a job would have been the thought of the Howard clones.

* SMH runs another natural history puff piece for the new Govt via James Woodford about an island habitat on the NSW South Coast. Their real environment reporter did a web story on the koala habitat logging on the NSW south coast a week ago. As did PM abc. As did ABC TV news. As did JJJ late last week. But not the newsprint at Fairfax this weekend. Instead they do a book review of depressed, maybe neurotic, Woodford entitled Grid Life Crisis. Arts graduate passenger on the backs of 1,500 people arrested trying to stop the Eden woodchipper destroying our south coast.


* Indeed the SMH compounds the conformist conservative careerist view of the environment with a profile of Kathy Ridge, a greenocrat former exec officer of NSW Nature Conservation Council at a time when the state govt became quite disastrous on environmental management. But don't take our word for it - let me quote Ridge herself in email effectively reporting on the failure of her own tenure at the helm:

From our own SAM/ecology action archive: Tarnished credentials of Bob Carr's ALP NSW Govt 1999-2003 written about March 2003, and see links below for more archive of the Carr years:

5. Nature Conservation Council spits the dummy and gobs on Premier Bob Carr!?

Extracts of Kathy Ridge Executive Officer summer newsletter article 2002/2003.

[Intro by Tom McLoughlin of Ecology Action Sydney.

The umbrella group for most big and small green groups in NSW - though not all e.g. Greenpeace, NEFA, ecology action and some others - has laid the boot into Bob Carr's 'green' credibility. The NSW Nature Conservation Council is supposed to be a networking and service provider to the green movement rather than a spokesperson per se but the group is recognised in NSW legislation and has undoubted stature and influence with the community and the public. Often it does act as a small 'g' greens spokesperson.

The NSW NCC is emphatically stating there is something wrong in the state of Denmark. It is a safe bet to say Bob Carr is following former NSW ALP Premier McKell's successful rural electoral strategies to win over redneck votes from the coalition. However, Carr has forgotten one thing - McKell was a Premier for a pre-environmental age of the mid 20th Century, when the word 'ecology' was barely invented, and 'environmental flows' meant the reverse of today i.e. damming the next floodwater, not saving the fish or South Australia's water supply.

But don't take my word for it - read the esteemed Ms Kathy Ridge in her last newsletter for summer 02-03, soon to bail out for a legal career as a judge's associate. A careeer change can do wonders for the vocal chords, they say. Extract follows,]

"Selling out the environment"

"Kathy Ridge [pictured, lead story, page 1 Environment NSW, the quarterly newsletter of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW Summer 2002/3]

"At the time when the landscape of NSW and its dependent regional communities are suffering the worst drought in 100 years, the Carr government has backed away from the very reforms that would have delivered a more robust environment.

"The last two months has [sic] seen the NSW government fail to put in place two of the most important strategic natural resource management frameworks - the Native Vegetation Management Strategy, and the State Water Management Outcomes Plan.

"Both policy frameworks were designed to guide the work of regional natural resource committees, including Catchment Management Boards, Regional Native Vegetation Committees and the Water Management Committees.

"Without clear policy positions being articulated by the government, community based planning has been an utter failure dogged by poor data, insufficient resources and lack of transparency and accountability in committee processes.

"It has also limited the discussion of the value of the outcomes within government. Each of the draft regional vegetation plans are of varying quality with no cohesive statewide direction being discernible. The extensive, not to mention expensive, Water Sharing Plan process is going to deliver less than a 0.5 per cent increase in water for the environment statewide, and very little of that increase is protected as environmental health water.

"Against the backdrop of landscape scale failure to address land clearing and over extraction from our rivers, the ongoing destruction of old growth forests, woodchipping and charcoal threats, loss of valuable public lands to developers and suffocating stacks in our suburbs, Carr could well be advised to not rest on his environmental record.
"It will be a long 'hot' summer, both politically and environmentally speaking."

 More archive here:

9 Mar 2006: Blast from the past, Sid Walker former Executive Officer NSW Nature Conservation Council 1990-1995 on Carr's broken 'ban on woodchipping' promise.

21/3/05...Objective analysis of Carr on the environment, it's not the TEC director? [discusses undue positive reports by SMH/TEC re Carr regime '95-99,'99-03 and Green Party/other ngo balance effect]

Material on this page below focuses mainly on the NSW Govt period of 1999 to 2003.  For the Carr Govt "dodges"  up to 1999 see: 

30/1/99...The REAL Carr govt on forest protection and destruction, prelude to 1999 election


Whether despite KR's stirling efforts under an increasingly brown and spin driven govt, or because of it we remain agnostic. We have real regard for her spouse barrister McAvoy, and she did seem to be getting an independent mojo by the end of the NCC tour. But the point is while saying she doesn't want the PR she is pictured beaming into the camera with chunky jewellery and business suit in place. 

KR we assume has never been arrested for her beliefs and lives a comfortable career and that's about the speed of the SMH commitment to the environment. Tame captured greenies including by flattery in the first instance. We reflected recently how precious privacy really is. Good luck KR you're going to need it after that profile piece. And what a miserable life it must be in the public eye 24/7.


10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am

Press roundup - decline the Rees beat up, run with breaking G20 summit. Sunday mail in Brisbane re vaccine for skin cancer. SunHerald story about ABC Learning chosen.

First guest is Kim Carr - Industry Minister.  Traverse the Rudd Bush dynamic ‘can't take it seriously' says Carr.

Great out take of axe weilder comedy show with Julie Bishop. Very comic and charming and alarming too. Panel really amused on recommencing.

Next segment of show, grab of Ken Henry don't talk ourselves into a recession.

Panel is Alison Carabine 2UE, Brad Norrington News Corp. Get to his portfolio about industry. Structural advantages. Carr is earnest, articulate big bear of a guy, quite persuasive. Sounds steady. His suit seems to fill ¾ of the screen.

AC goes Rees "betrayal" in NSW. Helped by NSW? Presses. This is the business. Get's to it by saying NSW has "special problems" working through it as soon as we can. Or something like that.

Another ripping out take animation of PM Kevin and Wayne Treasurer on the scene of filim "Australia" (speaking of hyperbole). Bombing of the surplus by the GFC says a lot, levering the plot line of bombing of Darwin, a seriously untold story here of WW2. Hundreds killed apparently. Grim.

Australian Industry Group - Heather Ridout without even looking - 60% per cent reduction. Sounding as articulate as ever, but a lot slighter and softer voiced. Has she been ill? [Reminds saw her in Newtown street possibly but looking a lot thinner than I recalled.] Diplomatically declines debate over 1.5 to 2% Coalition.

BN criticism of NSW? 30% of economy reducing, need Federal Govt send in administrator - very careful investment path, stable let alone growth.

AC lack of political leadership, drag down national economy. Why is Victoria doing better than NSW? It's all about management. Ridout relies on USA for precedent of no arbitration in industry - back to the bad old days. Bongiorno intervenes umpire is in our constitution. Free market ideologue leveraging economic downturn to ruthless business power. Inner Ayn Rand showing.

Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.


Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am

 Very good comic traverse of Rudd hyperbolic ‘war' rhetoric on all kinds of topics. Hockey line "war on relevance" is cute and Rudd sidelining the institution of parliament is starting to resonate as real. Rudd needs to show more respect for parliamentary institution as a real politik risk, not just an insider's gripe by Ramsay et al. The 4th estate have got a point. As do Opposition. Don't blatantly avoid parliamentary scrutiny.

Riley off to APEC in Peru this week but cut to LO below during this Q & A.



9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am

LO has Julie Bishop on. It's a balancer for Therese Rein launching his book 2 Fridays ago. His column yesterday was also symbolically rude to the ALP PM though only while Rudd was out of the country.  It's also good value grist about real politik of GFC, fallout of USA election for Howard's People.

Cut's across Q and A in Riley Diary cie la vie.

Missed some of the boiler plate on political economy of the GFC with $21 billion of surplus spent etc. She also retreats  a little on the 2% versus 1.5% growth projections and moderates her approach to ALP Governance - ‘that we will get through this' showing she realizes the problem of blame for talking the economy into a recession as per Henry comments on MTP.

Dives into the "confidential talks" with Bush story but projects her own anxiety over Obama winning, and her side losing. It's a proxy argument, somewhat in denial of changed real politik - for instance refuses to repudiate Howard attack on Obama as friend of Al Qaeda. A disgusting slur. Shows Bishop remains a Howard clone.

LO gives several chances to "repudiate" slur on Obama and she like the nasty Republicans leaves these things hanging out there.

LO presses her hard on this. Combine with MTP grab of  anecdote of the 4 year old axe wielder of sisters swing set  10 Newsweek comedy and that she is happy to reveal her zeal and determination beyond sensible balance, shows that she is indeed something of an extremist. In a telling and cruel blow LO quotes Dennis Shanahan of News Corp hardly a "mad leftie" against her as "damaged political goods" failing to take Swan down. She takes it squarely but it's serious impact on her cred as Julia Gillard floats on through as deputy PM (as per Crabb columns).

Worth consulting the transcript in due course to fill gaps.



Insiders 2: 9- 10am

Headlines, showcasing Fran Kelly on Howard Years. Cross to G20 ie GFC summit fallout.

Refers to Rudd Bush dynamic [is this all a real subtextual balancer in power relations for US ambassador attacking Latham in domestic politics here? That Rudd is an Obama barracker.]

Panel - Fran Kelly. Handshake Bush v Rudd barest of handshakes. Meglo. Mal Farr. The pro observers all agree. But the fact is Obama is pres and it's all about Bush being seriously damaged. The more Bush reacts the more the Obama folks will like him.

Footage of Rudd aggregated stimulus packages of 1 trillion dollars.

Lindsay Tanner - Q of financial sector serving wider economy or other way round. ABC childcare via local councils discussed. Boilerplate about retail and jobs ticking over and public construction hinted at. Diverse approach.Cute reference to arm wrestle or mud wrestle with State Govts after Federal support. Left out Barnett from WA - bad form? Tanner boilerplate doesn't answer.

Have to renege on election promises? Doesn't agree. Tanner says Bush Rudd dynamic is "nonsense" attacks Bishop re slur on Obama. True she was deliberately hardball. Tanner is covering about ‘body language' as Kim Carr was.

BC cross refers to LO interview suggestive he watched it pre 9 am maybe or maybe building on Tanner comment.

Every person segment refers to Barak as Beroc as in berrocca energy lift drink.

Meglo points out deficit under Costello in 2000-01 discreetly. Mal Farr questions loathing of deficit word and won't be marked down if do mention it. Footage of Swan refusing to mention deficit without damaging confidence.

Meglo formula of words "not afraid of deficit to keep the economy growing".


Australian editorial sticks by their story. Good source. Fran Kelly says sure it's false story. Ill judged. Reflects on PM via tone of self aggrandizement. The panel buys in seriously now. Mal Farr from same News Corp stable waxes on it. More realistic person would know it wasn't true. The tone of the story is that a staffer ran a false story and Rudd won't cut them loose.

Rudd footage on Downer refusing to who released a story in 2003. "Unacceptable" .

Paul Kelly late emergence in the show at 9.38 perhaps because of his weasley piece in The Oz yesterday. Voice is a little thick and nasal like a cold, like LO last week, must be going through the gallery? Bangs on about G20.

Kelly says Opp has unhealthy fixation with Ken Henry re mid year forecasts. Opp target officials "never works" should target ministers. Treasury at press club still optimistic. In place most of the Howard period, no question of integrity of independence.

Robb grab not attacking officials, silence critics on every front. Meglo warns Robb be much more careful. Go the govt not the officials. [So is Robb projecting their own period in govt - of cooking up, or at the least anticipating Fran Kelly interview re kids overboard dishonesty courting the One Nation cohort - that rings true].

Nice grab on Rudd using Member for Wentworth not Leader of Opposition. Meglo says one of the best questions in the last 20 years. Cut away to Govt laughing at Rudd would have been good. Rudd amused also.

Showcasing of Howard Years. Daily Telegraph Mal Farr unhappy didn't get a copy of The Howard Years but direct competitors did. Sunday Telegraph did get it. Interesting ABC sanction. Mal sounded aggrieved.

Kelly says loyalty remains to Howard from his then ministers Downer, Reith.

Jim Ballman Cincinnati Inquirer, talking pictures, constructive competition. Likes Obama for being a young mind text and email.

[Howard suffered so long and so deep he wasn't going to give up his achievement to anyone else who hasn't suffered as much. He has set the bar too high really for anyone to aspire for leadership transition. The Liberal Party is deformed by Howard gigantism.]

Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/

Inside Business - 2 at 10am

Refer http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/



Posted by editor at 10:22 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 17 November 2008 10:44 AM EADT

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