Do we have the media we deserve?

Watching ‘insiders’ Sunday demonstrate how low even the ABC has sunk in its reporting of politics.I did not hear any discussion at all about polices. There was no discussion of any depth of any of the issues facing Australia. All there was commentary on who won which round by how many points.

All that was needed was to speed it up a little and it would have been ringside commentary of a boxing match. Abbott landed a low punch but the referee ignored it. Rudd landed a right to the face and Abbott countered with a knee to the testicles.

Is this the media we deserve? Has the Australia public sunk so low that policy means no more than three word slogans and who beat up whom? Are we all really that stupid? When the section came to the headlines in the Sunday papers the headlines where massive instructions to the readers to vote for Abbott. What was that about? Is this Journalism?

The only thing that I have learnt for the mainstream media in the last three years is not to trust it. There has been the complaint from the print media moving on line that if we want quality journalism we will have to pay for it. Show me quality journalism and I will pay for it, but not the rubbish that passes for journalism in Australia.

Then on Monday evening I saw Q and A with Kevin Rudd. The audience were asking questions that indicated that they have real questions to ask that could have been answered years ago if the Main Stream Media had been doing its job.

The audience was lively and inquisitive about basic policy and this gave me hope that not all Australians have descended into the hell of ignorance and stupidity.

Australians are not all Bogans who can only think only in terms of three word slogans and insults.

Does the Australian public deserve the media they have inherited from the dominance of foreign ownership? No, they do not.

It is no good complaining that the media should be fair and unbiased. It is never going to happen. But we can have a balance of bias by having a multitude of bias that collectively gives a balance view.

It is not the totally biased view of the Murdoch press that is the problem. It is that there is no diversity of biased opinion. That is the problem with dictatorships. Sooner or later the Murdoch Empire will fall, as all dictatorships must when the need for diversity will not go away.

I did not agree with all the questions asked on Q and A on Monday but it was exciting to see that, contrary to what seem to be the case that in the poll driven Mainstream Media free will, independent thought and diversity still exists in Australian. That is the stuff democracy thrives on.

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Exploring Australian Democracy

Democracy is elusive because there is no definition to tell us what democracy is.

Democracy is not voting for a government each three years and leaving it to ‘them’ to rule us until the next election. That is just a series of time-limited dictatorships.

Doing whatever the majority of people vote for at any moment is not democracy. That is mob rule. And even mob rule is not the will of the majority.

We are all part of a minority. Mob rule is many minorities believing they have a common cause even though their rationale for thinking they support a common cause differs from the other minorities.

When thinking about democracy it is worth remembering that every one of us is in a minority. We are never in the majority. So if we are to have democracy it must be about minorities. If it is not it becomes a dictatorship suppressing minorities.

If we find a minority to blame for some perceived catastrophe we need to remember that next time it might be the minority we belong to blamed for things completely outside our control.

The strange thing here is that contrary to popular thinking a true democratic society is continually shifting groups of minorities working together for the greatest common good for any issue.

The biggest bar to a true democracy is that in order to make decisions the population has to be informed. That is a real problem. The last thing a politician needs is an informed population of minorities making considered choices for the common good.

Magee (1973, p.28) wrote;

Popper (Karl Popper) denies this. Any fool, he points out, can produce an indefinite number of predictions with a probability of 1 — propositions like “it will Rain” which practically bound to be true and can never be proved false—never, because however many millions of years go by without a drop of rain, it may still remain true that it will, one day rain. The probability of such statements is a maximum because the information content is nil, namely tautologies, which tells us nothing at all about the world because they are necessarily true regardless of the way things are.

The quote was about science but it is the principle on which our supposed democracy works. If information given to the people by politicians is sufficiently general it will always be true at some time. This is the perfect breeding ground for meaningless slogans that can never be proved untrue because they have the probability of 1 that sometime, somewhere, somehow they will be true.

What is missing in Australia’s version of democracy is content. Even with issues like climate change the content is zero in the public arena. Basically Australian democracy is a vacuum filled with predictions with no content but cannot be proved untrue.

It was part of Popper’s philosophy that the less content the harder it was to falsify. If we are to test content there has to be content.

The debate in Australia on climate change has no content. The debate the economy has no content. There is no content in the slogans about border security. Whenever there is any content provided by either major political party the other says ‘me too’ and there is no alternative to vote for. Without content democracy is an empty shell and that will lead to bad things.

When George Bush claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction the claims had no content, but that lack of content proved to be the reason it was impossible to prove Bush was mistaken and the US presentation to the UN was an example of using zero content masquerading as something in a way that could not be proved false.

The Australian election campaign is about nothing. Niether leader of the two major parties has any content to present to the Australian public. Who can be the cruelest to refugees is not about content it is about lack of content. If you have nothing to say or add find someone to blame. It saves the inconvenience of having to find real solutions to real issues.

Is there anyone out there who has the slightest idea what is happening with the economy? The pronouncements of Abbott and Rudd drown out anyone who might be able to add content to the debate,

According to those with the knowledge to add content human induced global warming is real. However the debate in Australia about global warming in Australia is not real because the politician’s slogans have no content and slogans is all the population hears.

The September election will be about slogans not content fought between two political parties that have nothing to offer and democracy in Australia will be dead because it will be devoid of content even if we continue to believe this is what democracy is about.

Reference.

Magee, B. (1973) Karl Popper. Modern Masters. New York, USA: Viking.

Abbott dictates Labour policy.

Rudd to scrap the ‘Carbon Tax’ and bring forward the market based carbon trading scheme. What does that mean Mr Rudd and what will it cost?

Are you going to scrap carbon pricing and leave nothing, absolutely nothing to price carbon until carbon trading starts in July next year? Or does carbon pricing stay until carbon trading starts. The art of generalities sounding like policies but with no details was perfected by Abbott, but has now been adopted by Rudd.

And what is it going to cost? Where will the savings come from? Does this sound like the same questions we are asking Abbott?

Rudd sounds more like a smooth version of Abbott with every passing day. What a choice. We can have a used car salesman or a bogan as Prime Minister with the only difference the style of the delivery, not policy.

War with Indonesia: Rudd Copies Abbott Tactics

Kevin Rudd’s comments implying that Abbotts ‘Turning back the boats’ policy will lead to war with Indonesia has used the same tactics Abbott uses, and listen to the opposition squeal. Say something that is a lie but say it in a way that cannot be proved to be a lie and it will be believed.

In scientific terms, lie in a way that lacks the property of falseability. It cannot be proved untrue. But to many of the population not being able to prove it is untrue means it must be true.

Dirty, dirty tactics have no place in a democracy. But here we are with Abbott and Rudd facing off to see who can tell the most un-provable lies in a bid to lead the next government. No sign of any policies yet from either.

It is possible that by ‘out-Abbotting Abbott’ Rudd might lead to a Labour victory in the next election and to the end to Abbott, but for me it will be a bitter victory.

I want to see the Labour Party win the next on policies, not on who can be the biggest liar.

Fighting evil with evil only doubles the evil. If winning means becoming no better than the Liberal Party is it worth it?

In the mean while a good Prime Minister with policies that benefited ordinary Australian has her political life cut short long before the good she has, and could still have done comes to fruition. It is a dreadful waste of talent. There is also Greg Combet and others who are leaving before they have reached their full potential. Australia is the poorer for it.

I want to see the Labour Party win the next on policies, not by a contest to see who can be the biggest liar.

There will be no Carbon Tax under A Government Rudd leads.

In fact there will be no government Rudd leads. Rudd must be either suicidal or really believe that he is the Messiah to take over Labour now. Maybe it was just blind revenge.

Re-election for Labour was problematic with Julia Gillard but she was a good PM and I would not have written here off. But does Rudd really have any support amongst the bulk of Labour supporter? I don’t think so. From my own little survey it seems that his support comes only from dedicated followers of polling.

What was looking like a big ask has just become like climate change. We know it is coming but think it can be ignored. The human race has a massive capacity for indulging in cognitive dissonance.

There are those who don’t want Abbott and who will not vote for Rudd so where are they going to go? The Greens could win big time. I have a strange vision that maybe the Greens will decide who will be in power after the election. Can you imagine Abbott on his knees begging the Greens for support?

Labour being returned in coalition with the Greens is not an impossible outcome. It might be a good ‘Plan B’ if we are to keep Abbott out.

We might even be able to invite Murdoch the Yank to return to his chosen home.

Julia Gillard. A woman of principle and strength.

Julia Gillards has shown that of the four main players in the current political soap opera she has been the only one who can stick to principle and have the strength to follow through no matter what.

If Rudd had stuck to his principles and dissolved both houses of Parliament when the Senate rejected his carbon reduction policy three times that would have settled things. At the time it is probable that Labour would have trashed the Liberals and we would not have had three years of subjected to the antics of the sleaziest little Bogan to have ever lead an Australian political party.

Rudd totally failed the test of principle and backbone and since then has caused more damage than the little Bogan could possible have caused. The totally gutless way he has stalked Julia Gillard has only reinforced how unprincipled he is.

The fourth player in this circus has been Malcolm Turnbull. Anyone with a reasonable amount of intelligence could gain the reputation of having a brain as big as a Universe when surrounded by the other members of Murdoch’s Tea Party.

But when it comes to principle he has the same failings as Rudd. He has abandoned all of the policy principles he was supposed to have when he was leader of the Party. He was called on from several sources to form a new party that reflected true liberal values but he was content to follow the Murdoch/Abbot consortium but did not act.

Possibly because of the flack he would receive from the real Murdoch Press if he tried.

As Far as I am concerned he may have a brain as a big as a Universe but he has sold his soul.

Julia Gillard, you are the best Prime Minister Australia has had in my lifetime.

I can understand that someone who has been subjected to the vilest forms of abuse in the way you have could reach a point when enough is enough. I Shudder to think what the future of Australia will be if Abbott becomes Prime Minister, but in the end it was the enemy within that won. Thank You Julia. You have been an inspiration to those Australian with the capacity to think and not just follower slogans and opinion polls.

It may take a little time but you will take your place as one of the greatest leaders Australia has ever had.

How low can Murdoch go?

How low can Murdoch (and Australian Politics) go. Front page of Sunday Times today ‘The Night Julia Knifed My Dad.’ The ‘Story’ was that Rudd’s daughter Jessica was in her fathers office the night before he resigned and she left when Julia Gillard arrived.

That story took almost a full page on page nine of bleeding hart emotive words including ‘Knifed’ several times but no ‘news’ other than how shocked she was. Is that it Murdoch? Is that what passes as political reporting.

Murdoch, have you ever heard of policy? Is your news empire capable of reporting anything other than non-news opinion setups that displays nothing more than your total disregard for truth in reporting? I don’t think it is possible to stretch the imagination far enough to consider anything you report as news. Bias, prejudice and lies yes, but not news.

Lets look at today’s Sunday times.

Page one.

Advert for Murdoch’s Perth Now.

The Night Julia Knifed My Dad.

Killer TXT.

Page two

Adverts.

Page three

Red-hot Pink back in balck.

Jako palms of Clive.

Compulsory blood test for biting cop.

And so on till page nine when we have ‘The Night Julia Knifed My Dad,’ ‘Combet double-dealing claims,’ ‘Rudd wins hearts but no coup.’

Murdoch, is this what you call quality journalism?

Keeping the Faith. Labour leadership issues

The Mad Monk as Prime Minister of Australia is my worst nightmare.

There is only one way that I can see for Labour to recover is to return to keeping the faith. Labour needs to keep up the policies that are reforming Australia for the better and scrap the Abbott induced refugee policies in favour of a humanitarian approach. Just stick to good policy and ignore Abbott. Get the message across.

Labour is supposed to be the party of principle. Labour works well when it will stick to principal when faced with adversity. It can stare down Abbott if it finds some backbone.

Rudd blew principal when he blinked over carbon pricing. That was where labour lost me and it is only my total opposition to Abbott that keeps my intention to vote Labour strong. Rudd blinking was the point where Labour traded its principals for political expediency and lost its soul.

Where is a Labour leader who can return to Labour to being a party of principal? Not Rudd. Rudd is increasingly looking like a smiling pleasant version of Abbott; addicted to power at any price. Julia Gillard has generally done a good job but lost many supporters when she changed her policy on asylum seekers.

If anything showed a willingness to dump principle for politicking it was the change in policy in caring for those who need our help.

There are several potential leaders in the Labour cabinet. Gillard and Rudd have both passed their use-by date. My preference for leader would be Tanya Plibersek, but whoever is to lead Labour into the next election it has to be sorted out now along with a return to principal.

New Leader for Labour?

Is it time to make a leadership change for Labour? Julia Gillard has done a very good job as a leader of the Government but has not been able to contain Abbott. What is needed is a leader as competent as the PM but without the profile for Abbott to attack.

Not Rudd. Labour needs to dump the whole Rudd-Gillard saga.

In short a ‘clean skin’ who will be listened to when he/she talks policy but does not present a target for sleaze and innuendo. Someone who has intelligence, personality, conviction and does not lose their ‘cool.’ Someone who can calmly put Abbott back in his box every time he attempts to attack.

Greg Combet and Bill Shorten have all the qualities except that they have been mauled by Abbott in Parliament even if they have given as good as they have taken. Both would be good leaders, but not against Abbott.

Nicola Roxon is leaving. Nicola would have made a good leader at some time and I hope she changes her mind and stays.

My choice would be Tanya Plibersek. It would be difficult to chose between Combet, Shorten, Roxon and Plibersek because they all have their strengths, but against Abbott it would have to be Tanya Plibersek.

Tanya is everything a Labour leader needs to be to counter Abbott, and if Abbott was silly enough to try to get at her via her husband, Michael Coutts-Trotter I am certain it would by counter productive because of the high regard so many people hold him in.

President Abbott?

The great thing about the Monarchy is not the power it has but the power it withholds. Imaging having a presidential election where the candidates were (Sir?) Tony Abbott, Robert Katter, Kevin Rudd, Joseph Hockey or The Puddle? Or maybe Murdoch would become an Australian again so he could be elected by News Limited.

At the moment the idea of a Australian Republic would be suicidal. Our political system is just not robust enough yet. Maybe one day, but if the position of a Head of State became a political position at this stage we would be in real trouble.