Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Bob Hawkins

Long Live our gracious Aunty …

First published June 21

I am far too old not to feel a shiver of time-worn apprehension snake down my spine when I hear Finance Minister Mathias Cormann uttering his latest pronouncements, especially when I have long come to realise it is mostly propaganda and bullshit that flows with his soporific guttural.

My contemporaries, I’m sure, experience similar vertebral vibrations when they hear that accent, of which the senator himself is reported to have once said: “With my accent, no one would vote for me if I tried to get a seat in the [House of Representatives].”

I make these observations after listening to reports that NSW Liberals, at their conference over the weekend, emitted a rapturous response of unanimous approval of a Young Liberals motion that the ABC, Australia’s revered Aunty, should be privatised.

Naturally, Liberal bigwigs have denied that their government intends to do any such thing (though they are not condemning this sickening urging from a section of our nation’s rapidly growing fascist-lookalike ranks). These limp Liberal bromides should be taken with large doses of salt in light of the massive financial cuts first Tony Abbott, and now Malcolm Turnbull, have made to our public-broadcaster since the Liberal/National Coalition won power in 2013.

It is, paradoxically, a good thing that those youthful NSW Liberal louts have given the wider Australian public a notion of their malignant intentions.

Something similar was in the air before the 2016 federal election: it was about Lib/Nat plans to destroy, or at least water down, our wonderful Medicare, by turning it into a greedy, incompetent privatised corporatocracy.

I treasure my memory of the so-called “mediscare” tactic. Irrespective of the degree of accuracy of its case that the deceitful Turnbull’s reactionary regime had a secret plan to sabotage our world-leading health and medical programs, the very fact that “mediscare” was dreamed up by Labor as a campaign tactic was enough to ensure that the Liberals — at least not in the short term — would not dare to vandalise a system that provides reasonably efficient and affordable hoi polloi access to basic health services.

I note on this morning’s responsible radio (ABC) that the Liberals appear to have admitted to keeping a crime-log of examples of what they deem to be Aunty’s left-wing bias. I wonder if Cormann, Abetz and Co also keep logs of the political inclinations of the likes of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph; the myriad idiot shock-jocks of commercial radio and TV; and the Liberals’ think-tank Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), of which a “research fellow” is Georgina Downer, daughter of buffoon and high-society freeloader Alexander Downer! She is a candidate for the Liberal Party in the approaching federal election.

Decent Australians won’t let Aunty be dumped into the hands of corporate thieves and scoundrels, as the banks and their ilk have been proved to be by a royal commission appointed with extreme reluctance by ex-commercial banker Turnbull, but only after two years of sustained Labor pressure to do so.

Long live Aunty.

*Bob Hawkins is a longtime admirer of both the ABC and BBC for the magnificent way in which they doggedly, yet entertainingly, track a middle line through the minefield laid by idiot politicians who can never believe they are getting a fair deal from public broadcasters though rarely seem to complain about the excesses of commercial broadcasters.

Labor: Libs cant be trusted with our ABC

Michelle Grattan, ABC via The Conversation: The threat to the ABC is not sale but more bullying

SMH: Footage from Liberal Party meeting reveals who voted to sell the ABC The divisive Liberal Party vote to privatise the ABC was backed by at least four of the party’s top federal officials, according to footage that also shows the idea gained support from at least one federal Liberal MP …

Greens: Premier Busted by Photo Finish on ABC Sale Push

Labor: Premier Hodgman lied to Parliament

Fairfax: ‘We are not your punching bag’: ABC boss Michelle Guthrie hits back at the Liberal Party

Greens: Liberals Committed to Trading Heritage Treasure for Trinkets

Peter Gutwein: Labor-Green hypocrisy over Treasury Building

First Dog on the Moon: Ian the Climate Denialist Potato wants to flog off the ABC

SMH: ABC motion reveals immaturity at heart of Liberal Party

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. TGC

    June 30, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Can the ABC train its female presenters across its range to stop speaking from their throat – and complete a sentence?

  2. Russell

    June 22, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    All proposals to privatise, or sell off in any way public assets, should have to go to a referendum.

    Telstra is one prime example of what could go wrong.

    Re #26 … Please provide some examples of positive things that Abbott and Abetz have done.

  3. Luigi Brown

    June 20, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    The ABC has nobody to blame but itself. If only they its people gave Tony Abbott a bit more positive press, they’d be sweet. And Erich, too.

    They just need to search a bit harder for good stuff to say about them.

  4. Jack Nimble

    June 20, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Re # 22 … ?

    J B Nimble.

  5. friend of auntie

    June 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I feel it is in the public interest for the ABC to remain free from party political and commercial interests. We need to support journalistic freedom of thought and expression. Security of employment with program planning and evaluation is vital.

  6. TGC

    June 20, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    #21 … Jack be Quick!

  7. Jack Nimble

    June 20, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    I despise the Liberal party and politicians more than anything else on this planet. They are nothing more than an organised crime syndicate and have the hide to call themselves ‘honourable’ members. (‘honourable’ … honest, moral, ethical, principled, right minded, worthy .. to name a few).

    Does that sound like the cesspits in the Liberal party?

    J B Nimble.

  8. Chris

    June 20, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    The elephant’s in the room. There were two of them at least, on public display, holding each others trunks, in tandem.

    SOME elephants have good memories.

    Some elephants perform tricks. They stand on their pedestals and trumpet their guttural sounds and expect applause for their trained antics.

    Elephants may have good memories, but there are different varieties. Some are clones of their fathers, who remember their antics and others imported from elsewhere with all the trappings they inherited before they joined the circus. Seen one trunk raising circus and marches – seen them all.

    One elephant forgot he was there, then recalled he was, then he trumpeted he had sucked the motion, but did not inhale, then he recalled his mentor, oops, the other bull elephant would “at the end of the day” wait till he had moved his motion on the table of the Liebrals tent before he would second the motion.

    These two creatures forgot who feeds them, who gives them air, and who allows their intolerant views to be proclaimed in their tent. They forget they are a dying species in circuses and should be put out to pasture before their memories become so short term.

    These two never objected when learning their ABC could be used to their benefit, they could remove the stools from under their big trampling feet and in their minds there exists only one way, Ear IC Ah way or the Highway !

  9. TGC

    June 20, 2018 at 12:55 am

    #18 … What on earth are you on about?

  10. Andrew Ricketts

    June 19, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Re #14 Perhaps you should try answering that question and see where you end up, Trevor.

  11. Simon Warriner

    June 19, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    re 13,14, given the influence being wielded by the membership of the liberal party, perhaps the public should be told exactly who is in the liberal party so “we” can form our own opinion as to the degree of “representation” being performed.

    Likewise for all other political parties.

  12. John Hawkins

    June 19, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    Abetz should bear in mind that his Government cut the funding to SBS, and as a result they could then not afford sole coverage of the World Cup! Clap, clap, clap.

    SBS was forced to sell the rights to private enterprise – only retaining the Australian matches at this all important world event.

    This gave them the money to protect their Tour de France rights.

    But of course those who play football and ride bikes speak no known language, so in his eyes they mere dross.

    Abetz, well may you clap at the promised demise of the multi-cultural ABC.

    Extreme Right Wing fascist politicians who would lock up forest protesters, scrap the ABC, roll back World Heritage Listing of Tasmanian Forests and send goons to my front door .. are an anathema.

    What to do?

    Will you emigrate and join the Trumper? He is just your sort of chap. Clap, clap, clap.

    Will your weak and wet-behind-the-ears Tasmanian Liberals finally see the light, and put a boot into your backside and chuck you out of the Party? Clap, clap, clap.

    PS: Telstra is going to axe 8,000 jobs .. which is nearly a quarter of its staff. Is this another triumph for private enterprise in this now totally useless company? Crap, crap, crap.

  13. auntie fan

    June 19, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    I really so hope that the federal government including Mr Turnbull, PM and cabinet realise that keeping the ABC is actually in their best interests.

    This is because the ABC gives the government of the day incredible depth of coverage and exposure interviews by top reporters about policy and issues, as well as topics of community concern.

    It is very important for the participatory strength of a democracy far beyond labels such as “left leaning”. The ABC is non party political.

    The public would most likely not know who the cabinet ministers were, if it were not for the ABC.

    It is in the interests of all politicians to thank the reporters for an opportunity to inform the public and to show accountability. They really need to calm down a lot and be really proud of the standard of investigative journalism and reporting etc on the ABC; and also about the breadth of topics of interest in Australia and elsewhere that the ABC promotes.

    If politicians did not take the strength of the ABC so personally they might like to enjoy it, and see it as a social asset that can enhance our interests.

    An aware public is a thinking and reflective public more inclined to engage with the political process – what we want surely.

    the ABC also promotes a lot of great cultural programs, too.

    Privatising the ABC would completely change the character of the ABC, and the entire nation would be impoverished.

    It is in our interests to promote rigorous reporting. If the government feel offended then it needs to realise that the journalists are protecting the principle of freedom of speech – a core value of our shared identity.

    I hope that all politicians appreciate good journalism even if the journalists ask challenging questions. This is the mark of an effective democratic system.

  14. TGC

    June 19, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    #12 … “Many Liberal politicians completely fail to understand the notion that they are there to represent us.”

    Who are the “us”?

  15. TGC

    June 19, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    #11 … Really?

  16. Andrew Ricketts

    June 19, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    That absence of any real Liberal opposition to the Liberals’ ABC proposal recently surely shows the innate inadequacy of their philosophy.

    There is apparently a very poor understanding of the substantial public interest benefit of the ABC amongst Liberals, which is surely the reason none spoke against the motion.

    Many Liberal politicians completely fail to understand the notion that they are there to represent us.

    Is there anyone out there in TT land who supports the Liberals’ motion to abolish the ABC?

  17. max

    June 19, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    # 9, TGC … Your cavalier one word answer “Quite” shows you are a believer in a dystopian society.

  18. Wining Pom

    June 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Nice to hear (well, not really) Abetz criticising the ABC on the ABC this morning.

    I wonder if he could go onto a commercial channel and criticise it?

  19. TGC

    June 19, 2018 at 12:17 am

    #7 … Quite.

  20. john hayward

    June 18, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Something in the conservative hindbrain is constantly urging its host to oppose anything which increases public awareness about matters which don’t reflect well on the Liberal Party, or any measure which doesn’t benefit their own milieu more than everyone else.

    They aren’t at all frugal with public money – just very selfish.

    John Hayward


  21. max

    June 18, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    # 6 TGC. And what is wrong with keeping Medicare and the ABC, are you that rusted on to the LNP that you trust unequivocally all your party tells you. Did you happily go along with Tony Abbott’s draconian first budget, Low income families were hit hard, the middle class even harder, sole parents hardest of all. The incomes of the wealthiest 20 per cent of Australians were largely protected, declining by just 0.2 per cent. Do you truly believe that the American style medical system that the LNP aspire to is the way to go. The cost of the ABC is the cost of having a totally free media, the first thing that goes when any political party wishes to manipulate the people for their own gain.

  22. TGC

    June 18, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    No worries #4 … The incoming Shorten Labor Government – the ‘Labor’ mob that send you emails … has guaranteed that, like Medicare, it will stay in public hands and be funded, not only adequately, but with a significant increase.
    The minority of Australians who are rusted onto the ABC demand that its funding be legislatively guaranteed permanently – and if taxes need to be increased to meet that obligation then other Australians will gladly cough up.

  23. Jon Sumby

    June 18, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    The interesting thing about the constant shrieks of the ‘left-wing bias’ of the ABC coming from the right-wing is that it isn’t true.

    It is just people who believe that if the ABC doesn’t speak with the beliefs of Pauline Hanson or Tony Abbott then it is ‘leftie’ as in ‘If you’re not with me, you’re against me’ and forgetting the ABC Charter saying it must be independent and speak truth to power – which it used to do …

    What most people don’t know is that the ABC has a biennial wide-ranging independent content and broadcasting review, every two years, and every review concludes that the ABC’s coverage falls on the conservative side; specifically the ABC is considered to be ‘centre-right’ in how it reports news and current events. It’s been like this for over a decade.

    There are also spot reviews, editorial checks, and in-house and specifically commissioned reviews: http://about.abc.net.au/how-the-abc-is-run/what-guides-us/abc-editorial-standards/editorial-reviews/

  24. Keith Antonysen

    June 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    I’m not a paid up member of any political party, but do receive emails from the Labor Party. An email from yesterday in part stated:

    [i]”The Turnbull Government has just voted against a motion in Parliament to keep the ABC in public hands.

    This is on top of the Liberal Federal Council’s vote on the weekend to support the privatisation of the ABC, as well as their refusal to reverse their $83.7 million cut in this year’s budget.”[/i]

    It had been the LNP in 2013 which had stated on the eve of the election that there would be no cuts to the ABC or SBS – a broken promise.

    It unwise to trust the LNP as their promises are not worth anything.

  25. max

    June 18, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Long live our gracious Aunty. May it ever be a voice for good, to speak for the good of the down-trodden, and be a voice for reason in a world of unreason.

    Liberal senator Linda Reynolds on Q &A said she supported the ABC but said it’s a legitimate debate within the government .. whether or not the ABC should be privatised. She debated the high cost of the ABC and whether we got value for money spent. It appeared to me as if she wasn’t game to come out and say she would like to privatise the ABC but rather would be willing to see it die a death of a thousand cuts.

    The ABC tries to walk the tightrope of politics and it’s accused of political bias by both sides .. when often public opinion disagrees with statements by either sides. If privatised and sponsored by paid advertisement, the whole of Australia would be subjected to the same outcome we saw in the last sponsored election in Tasmania.

  26. john hayward

    June 18, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    The only way the poor Libs can ensure themselves of the flattering culture they yearn for, is if they own it themselves and can shut down the stuff that doesn’t toe the line.

    A few Libs may be content with their own assurance that Quadrant is the Olympus of intellectual life, but others still favour an aggressive takeover of the ANU.

    John Hayward

  27. Chris

    June 18, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    There were no objections to the motion at the conference all the Lieberals there, which means Hodgman and his whole cabinet and back seat warmers all agreed that the ABC would be sold, even though he, through squinted eyes, would deny such truths.

    Like State planning plans, he allowed certain conflicted persons to draw them up, and now without fear of refusal those dinosaurs can now develop our State any way they choose and you, the public, will not object, because “we will build what we like, where we like, at any height we like, and you all can lump it”!

    With Developer Councils toeing the line with Gut Whiners/Hodgman intentions and the rate payer continues to be slugged for their friends’ wants and needs we live now in developer heaven.

    Bring on the skyscrapers and more football.

Leave a Reply

To Top