Home > Economic policy, Oz Politics > Murdoch backs Bligh

Murdoch backs Bligh

November 23rd, 2010

Michael Stutchbury’s piece a while back supporting the QR asset sale (my critique, his response) turns out to have been the first of many as the Murdoch press tries desperately to talk this flop up. But the punters aren’t buying, and even some of the subeditors appear not to have got the memo. This (unsigned) piece in the Courier-Mail says that, rather than repaying the debt that was the pretext for the sale, Bligh and Fraser plan to spray much of the proceeds on electoral bribes of one kind or another. The text gives the most positive spin possible, but the headline referring to a “desperate push for votes” gives the game away.

And if Bligh and Fraser weren’t feeling desperate, the comments on the story ought to make them so. In 127 comments, I didn’t find one that actively supported the government, although there were a fair few that were also critical of the hopeless LNP. My personal favorite from “Skeptic”

Hands up those who reckon they can be bribed by this behaviour. If so, I have a bridge to sell you. Oh, wait, they’ve sold that too…

Bligh and Fraser are doubtless on the way to well-paid sinecures in the financial sector. But those members of the Labor Caucus who don’t have anything lined up post-politics must soon realise that their only chance of keeping any seats at all next time round is to sack them both.

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  1. Alice
    November 23rd, 2010 at 18:42 | #1

    Where was the referendum?

    The people would have overwhelmingly voted no to privatisation of QR had these two people (Bligh and Fraser) decided to run a referendum. My goodness – fancy that? Two people have the right to decide against the wishes of the majority of people in the state of QKD. There is something very wrong with the whole Bligh Fraser interaction and there is something very wrong in the State of QLD.

  2. November 23rd, 2010 at 21:31 | #2

    No, there was no referendum.

    Most importantly there was no mandate. One candidate (James Sinnamon, who ran against Fraser in Mt Coot-tha) in the last election specifically tried to raise asset sales on 612 with Rupert’s Madonna when Fraser was on. Madonna shut him down and allowed Fraser to wriggle out. You can find the details somewhere on “candobetter.org”.

    If you ever saw the doco about the Traveston Dam (was it Dean Love? ‘Damning Of Mary’??) there is a devastating scene with Beattie at a meeting at Gympie. He faces down the crowd and says: “The deal is done”. One member of the crowd yells out: “Yeah, but with who?”, and Beattie just stands there. He gave no answer and it was never chased down by the ‘media’.

    What other state would spend $279 million on a payroll system that has done nothing except stuff up health workers’ pay and enrich IBM? If we had real journalists doing real journalism and a real media, someone would have followed the money and told us why the old system was worth spending nearly $300 million to “fix”.

    As at close of trading today, after 1.5 days of trading, 634,959,589 QRN shares have changed hands. Someone is still putting a floor at $2.66 and, presumably, spending about $1.7billion of someone’s money on the ‘free’ market.

    As I reported earlier today, Rob Messenger this morning called for the compulsory re-acquisition of all the sold assets “at no cost to the taxpayer”.

    Don’t share your confidence that B and F are off to “well-paid sinecures in the financial sector”, I see them parked harmlessly on comfy boards “raising awareness” of something, or doing something equally facile but not with their hands anywhere near the machinery.

    As for the others who may not land on their feet, post political life didn’t work out so well for Nuttall, Rose, Wright or D’Arcy.

    These people, and their Murdoch handlers, make Joh look like a naughty boyscout.

  3. Alice
    November 24th, 2010 at 05:16 | #3

    @Megan
    Megan says “Someone is still putting a floor at $2.66 and, presumably, spending about $1.7billion of someone’s money on the ‘free’ market.”

    Yes – this will be the government buying the shares of QR rail….regardless of whether its done through an FS frim doing their dirty work and of course earning commission as they hold up the floor.

  4. Alice
    November 24th, 2010 at 05:27 | #4

    This is what the courier mails own poll says about it…despite Murdochs own rags trying to talk up the flop

    Do you think Queensland Rail shares are a good investment?
    Yes
    15.9% (490 votes)
    No
    84.1% (2592 votes)
    Total votes: 3082

  5. Ikonoclast
    November 24th, 2010 at 08:22 | #5

    No matter who you vote for in the major parties, you get a corrupt corporate stooge. I’ll be voting Greens from now until Anthropocalypse Day (which isn’t far away).

    Note: I attempted to invent a word by coming up with “anthropocalypse – human generated apocalypse”. A quick search of the internet showed me the word had already been invented and appropriated by a band.

  6. Alice
    November 24th, 2010 at 10:24 | #6

    Im utterly convinced things have become so bad Ikono that there is nowhere else to go to get clean government. Im with you. Ironically the Greens are the only party the News either ignores or insults – despite the dirty dealing and incompetent government that is becoming the norm in Australia from our two majors at both state and federal levels. We know Rupe just stacks his papers with articles and commentary designed to convince the rest of us that feeding and helping the rich at any cost (like the cost of selling QR) so they get even fatter is good for us all when it isnt. He has an empire devoted to this.

    He would support that. He is one of them (a rich bastard who thinks the rest of the nation is irrelevant) and he doesnt like the Greens because they still believe in some public investment in infrastructure and dont support rampant privatisations….
    As was once an accepted view in both sides of politics in this country – but now only one party still maintains a sensible view and it is not labor and it is not liberal.

    The best of all reasons to vote Green and ignore what Murdochs newspapers say. Murdoch is in media for himself and others like him, not the middle classes and not the lower classes both here and elsewhere across the globe. Murdoch is in the media not just to disseminate news, but to disseminate his politics via the news and the way it is deliberately slanted (by his empire) to promote yet further inequality.

    Example – the news is telling us this QR float is a great success but the numbers just dont stack up. They never did from day one.

    Its been a conga line of lies.

  7. Richard McGuire
    November 24th, 2010 at 16:06 | #7

    @Ikonoclast and Alice. In QLD State elections at the moment, you do have option of voting just for the Greens and any other minor party candidate, without seeing your vote eventually end up with one of the major parties, thanks to optional preferential voting.

    There have been noises coming from Bligh and others lately about re-introducing compulsory preferential voting. Why ? Because of the informal vote in QLD during the last federal poll, due apparently, to the different voting systems in State and Federal polls, the feds having compulsory preferential voting, the state optional preferential voting. I have yet to see any evidence that it was a major factor in the informal vote. Even if that was the case, why should other voters be press ganged into voting for a major party, just because some voters can’t read how to vote cards or the instuctions in the the booth and on the ballot paper.
    The sudden urge to dump optional preferential voting is likely to have more to do with the government’s unpopularity, the emergence of the LNP and absence of three cornered contests. The “Just vote 1″ slogan has become a double edged sword for the government.

    As for the privatisations, hang on to your seats, QLD Motorways is next cab off the rank, it will be a doozy.

  8. November 24th, 2010 at 18:29 | #8

    Pr Q barely conceals his contempt:

    Bligh and Fraser are doubtless on the way to well-paid sinecures in the financial sector.

    The marriage of public and private sector in both institutional governance and infrastructure provision is often presented to us as some kind of brilliant synthesis of free enterprise and government planning. Instead it is a more dignified and lucrative way to put officials on the take.

    Give me Joh and his brown paper bag of slush funds any day. At least he did not line his own pockets with the family silver.

    As Steve Sailer observed, in reference to the orgy of private corruption and public spend-thriftnes that was the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

    They are all whores.

  9. November 24th, 2010 at 18:34 | #9

    Thank God the NSW unions blocked the privatisation of the state power utilities. And well done Pr Q for your perseverance and perspicacity in following the audit trail of destruction in this unholy mess. Comprehensively demolished the flimsy case for privatisation.

  10. wilful
    November 25th, 2010 at 08:54 | #10

    One point, one question:
    a) money is fungible, it’s possible for Bligh and Fraser to use the money to pay down debt. The savings on the debt can then be used for bribes! :) So I don’t really buy that criticism.
    b) what’s Murdoch’s interest in this? Why is he backing it? Surely he’d be in favour of the LNP?

    Ikonoclast, on a related word, the term “anthrocene” has been invented for the climate we’ll be enjoying for the foreseeable future.

  11. JamesH
    November 25th, 2010 at 08:56 | #11

    Jack Strocchi : John Quiggin :: Bob Katter : Adam Bandt?
    (see here for context)

  12. November 25th, 2010 at 09:44 | #12

    No wilf,

    Murdoch loves the blindly ideological free-market fundamentalism of the right wing ALP.

    The LNP are too liberal.

  13. Fran Barlow
    November 25th, 2010 at 09:50 | #13

    @wilful

    Ikonoclast, on a related word, the term “anthrocene” anthropocene has been invented for the climate we’ll be enjoying for the foreseeable future.

  14. Alice
    November 25th, 2010 at 17:30 | #14

    @wilful
    says “b) what’s Murdoch’s interest in this? Why is he backing it? Surely he’d be in favour of the LNP?”

    Sureky you dont have to ask Wilful. He is in favour of privatisations acxross the board. He wants to see nothing run by government so he gets to pay lower taxes and wants everything in the hands of the private sector…he doesnt give a rats how badly its run in private hanfds or whether it returns anything to the state by way of a profit. He just doesnt like tax (any tax)…which means he just doesnt like government…but then he has the money to look after himself and his tribe by just moviing somewhere else doesnt he…when the disorder comes.

    Rupe is a greedy rich jerk.

  15. Alice
    November 25th, 2010 at 18:35 | #15

    @JamesH
    James H
    Bring Katter on – I kind of like the guy. I like the way he doesnt just give us weasel words over banks like Hockey is doing (thats all we get from liberal and Labor – weasel words – like oh “we are thinking about a plan where the ACCC can watch price signalling anmd has a bit more power (big woop) – well the ACC staff will get paid over 150,000 a year most likely, to watch out for price signalling between banks and they will do nothing because they would never be able to prove it in court, it will cost a otz, and banks will beat them to court with their defence lawyers and deeper pockets and the ACCC will crumble like the weasel organisation it is.

    Enough of the weasel words. Just legislate and now. Katter is right. So is Bandt.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/news/independents-back-greens-bank-bill/story-e6frg90f-1225960200883

  16. Andre
    November 25th, 2010 at 22:34 | #16

    JQ I like that you seek to discredit the QLD government for its misuse of public assets.

    In regard to Murdoch though, this man is a not a free market fundamentalist, he is a prostitute of the state and the state his. Murdoch is nothing more than a corporate arm of the government, he is not a Liberal or Labour party man, just a slimy corporate trader who wields his company power for his own purpose through a state that needs him as much as he needs it.

    Murdoch empire would be over the moment his influence over the government ended. In fact the very ideology that backs state power, breeds “murdochs” all over the world. These people rape our resources, twist our morals and dumb our senses.

  17. gregh
    November 26th, 2010 at 06:28 | #17

    The best analysis I’ve heard of Murdoch was a radio piece by Bob Ellis when we had the ABC. He gave a great rave about Murdoch as the last and most successful of Stalin’s men, working undercover to destroy the West.

  18. Alice
    November 26th, 2010 at 09:57 | #18

    Oh well they got one corrupt politician…”that man of integrity” as described by one premier of QLD…who managed to enrich himself by half a million bucks in a few short years by awarding government contracts to sleazy businessmen for kickbacks…Gordon Nuttall.

    Now how about the rest of them?.

  19. Alice
    November 28th, 2010 at 12:38 | #19

    Bernie Oriordan is telling the unions to pull the rug out from under the feet of NSW Labor and vote Green, independent or even the coalition they are so on the nose.

    Now why dont unions QLD do the same to Bligh and co?

    I think unionists should all vote Green. What a good idea. The Coalition will just continue the right wing privatisation agenda and ignore job creation and public infrastructure needs anyway (more of what we have had ie years of dysfunction because the liberal party is still trapped in ideology land and cant pronounce the words “public investment” without choking).

    It serves NSW labor right that the unions are abandoning them – who are NSW Labor? Who do they stand for?

    Not the people of the state – after the obscene antics of the right faction, its bullying and its outliberalling neoliberal agendas (those who stayed in long enough to get on the mates backslapping game, enrich themselves and friends have all jumped ship and taken their pensions anyway).

    Who will be left? Just Kristina and her bicycle?.

    A lesson for Bligh and Fraser and unions QLD should go the same way.

  20. Alice
    November 30th, 2010 at 20:10 | #20

    This one just takes the “I am so false even Paris Hilton could do a better job of QLD Premier award”….Call up Murdoch – see if he can run a “MasterPremier” TV show and get some real talent on board…

    “Labor Party national president Anna Bligh says the party will be doing some soul searching following its heavy losses in the Victorian election.”

    Thats OK if you have a soul to search.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/labor-to-do-some-soul-searching-bligh-20101128-18c60.html

  21. paul walter
    November 30th, 2010 at 21:50 | #21

    Hee, that’s the prob!
    The scabbocracy that commandeered Labor destroyed it. Down here in Adelaide, the Ranns chief headkicker, Foley, got caught out after a nasty and irrate state ALP conference later that evening when, in the company of his developer mates, someone else kinghit him outside a pizza bar.
    Meanwhile, over at LP, they are currently dissecting another of the Legends of the Right, Richo, over his unintentionally revealing comments on the Greens- Greenophobia is de rigeur for morons who have forgotten how to think, except in gangsta terms.

  22. paul walter
    November 30th, 2010 at 22:07 | #22

    Boy, I put my foot in it. at LP, they were discussing Charles Richardson’s comments, not Richos.
    But I still reckon the Labor right is more worried about Greens than Tories and the obsession is revealing to the electorate, and what cost Labor in Vic .

  23. Alice
    December 1st, 2010 at 07:23 | #23

    @paul walter
    Oh so thats how he got the bruises…!

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