02 June 2013

The aroma of decay 2: starve the hungry

People are hungry for information about different aspects of public policy and what it means for the country. Three experienced journalists from three of the country's major news organisations freely admit that's all very well, but we're going to write about whatever distracts our tiny little minds and you can all go to hell.

According to 'Sweet' Barrie Cassidy:
Australia, it seems, is not having an election on September 14, but a handover. Never before has there been this level of expectation that a government is about to be thrown out
It does if you are trapped in the narrative. People are ambivalent about both the government and the alternative - by "people", I exclude current and past press gallery journalists.
Tony Abbott's near tearful tribute to the departing former government minister Martin Ferguson was properly, and widely, acclaimed for its generosity and bi-partisanship ... He was none too subtlety [sic] implying that Labor under Julia Gillard was no longer the party that "over the years, made a monumental contribution to this country… at its best, a nation building party".
Martin Ferguson helped dilute the mining tax to the point where it brought down one Prime Minister, became a laughing stock under the next one, and none of it blew back on Ferguson: clever politics that. Ferguson helped make Rudd an irritant long after his own talents and behaviours should have rendered him politically inert, which earned him the gratitude of the Liberals. He never really got stuck into the Liberals that much - other Labor people, and Greens, were more his targets - and they in turn spared him.

Abbott has made the same point with less subtlety in the past. Note that we've seen the Prime Minister weep twice in recent months - over her late father and for a scheme that would help disabled people and their families. We've seen Abbott tear up for a political opponent who helped him; it's always about him.
That same morning, the lead story in The Australian newspaper detailed how the Government is continuing to write green loans in defiance of the Coalition's call for the contracts to cease.

Imagine that. This lame duck soon-to-be-replaced government is blatantly defying Coalition policy!

Had they forgotten that the Coalition wrote to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation way back in February asking them not to write any more loans after July 1?
Clearly the 'lame duck' idea needs to be reworked, if you can bear to break from the press gallery herd. What Cassidy is describing here is an overreach of the part of the Coalition, not a bearing-out of the Abbott-inevitable-Gillard-doomed Narrative in which the broadcast media are stuck. This is what Cassidy means by "this level of expectation" and "atmospherics"; it's a media concoction, not a real thing (and before you start on about polls: they're media concoctions too).
This is not so much hubris on the Opposition's part ...
Oh yes it is. On their part, and on the broadcast media's too, Barrie.
So now Tony Abbott, without appearing to be too presumptuous of course, gets himself up to speed on national security issues and invites the cameras in as he discusses weighty issues with the 'incoming' Attorney General George Brandis.
He hasn't had a national security briefing in three years. Brandis has form in disclosing matters which ought not be disclosed publicly, and yet there Abbott is doing a theatrical consultation with him. It is clear why they would want the publicity; it is less clear why the cameras would bother turning up.
And the best Julia Gillard can do in the meantime is to adopt a persona of strained civility. That's what lame duck American presidents usually do.
Oh fuck off, and never mind US Presidents. The broadcast media treated Obama like he was a 'lame duck', until his opponent proved himself to be a worse option for that country. Obama won last year's election in the face of a more-in-sorrow-than-anger media expectation to the contrary, similar to those besetting our media now.

Gillard does best when she fights, when shows that she's passionate and why, when she backs her words with actions. Anyone who's been paying attention to Australian politics in recent years could and should have observed that.

Cassidy's attempt to link current Australian politics with the US system fails at one crucial point: the election hasn't actually been held yet. This is not a minor technicality. Anyone who's seen the ups and downs of Australian politics should be a bit more wary than Cassidy has been.

Jacqueline Maley goes on and on about a minor incident affecting the PM, and finds reassurance in her interpretation that we're all as shallow as she is:
The media are often criticised for focusing on trivialities, but judging by the reader traffic on the sandwich story on the Herald website, people were more interested in that, at least in a casual sense, than they were in the electoral funding story which was also running hot on Thursday.

Folks just loved that salami sandwich yarn.
At least in a casual sense. You don't generate or maintain reader loyalty with shite like that. The Daily Telegraph is Sydney's most-read newspaper but it has been in decline by 9% year on year, thanks to the legacy of Col Allan out of which they cannot snap. When big stories happen readers abandon the Tele for more trusted sources, reducing the Tele still further to orchestrated stunts called "campaigns". Maley is adopting the shallow metrics of the Tele in justifying her position, if not her career, and frankly I can't see it doing her or her employer much good.
The white noise of constant reportage - video, tweets, short-n-sharp news stories online, not to mention the countless columns, like this one, that comment on all that stuff - becomes like chewing bubblegum after a while. You get a headache and you long for a square meal.
And if there is one thing you won't get from Jacqueline Maley, it's "square meal" journalism. Oh, but she has an excuse - you're it.
But the fractious media landscape just holds a mirror up to the public's lack of engagement with politics. While those inside the bubble of Parliament House are paying as much attention as ever, beyond the occasional chuckle at a sandwich story, most casual politics observers have had enough.
Both leaders are personally unpopular and there is even caution among some television producers about putting the Prime Minister on screen for any length of time. People are switching off.
Yes, because the only stories on offer are bubblegum journalism. If you go looking for "square meal" journalism, the broadcast media can't and won't help you. Maley knows that reporting of the sandwich thing is 'casual', but it's all she has to go on, so she 'reports' in detail a story that was covered in greater detail by others without adding anything new. This might be her idea of adding value, and it is clearly her editor's - but it adds no value at all to anyone who was looking for further insight, how a trivial incident might illustrate something of wider significance.
The only things that cut through the white noise are mini-scandals such as the sandwich ...
They don't "cut through". Stuff like that is white noise. Jacqueline Maley is white noise, not a trusted source of information about how we are and might be governed. She has latched onto an insubstantial story and tried to insist that it's indicative of something bigger, which it isn't. She's tried to absolve herself and the other press-gallery ovines, but she can't.

You can't just write crappy stories and then claim that because people are switching off your crappy stories, you're justified in writing crap. Insofar as Maley is saying anything at all, that's it, and once again she's got it wrong.
Labor had signed consent from Abbott on its legislation for extra taxpayer cash for the parties' "administration fees", but in the face of public anger and internal party disquiet, he reneged.

It was smart populist politics.

"The people have spoken," he told reporters of his decision. The about-turn might have made him look tricky, but it had the greater political benefit of putting him on the right side of the argument, in terms of public opinion.
Abbott has a reputation for shifty behaviour that he needs to shake if he is going to be elected - it would be "smart populist politics" if he acted to diminish that reputation rather than enhance it. If he's going to shaft people he works with every day, what makes you think we can trust what he says? Maley cannot tell what's smart and what isn't. She assumes that whatever Abbott does must be smart. This is a key reason why her employer is declining in market reach and influence.

The public is looking to Abbott to lead the nation away from a doubtful incumbent government. Maley can't help you when it comes to Abbott, and she sees the guy more often than most. It's her job to give us the facts that will help us make the decision, not tell us what the decision is; but she ain't in the fact-providing decision-supporting business and nor is anyone else in the press gallery really. She said that it isn't her job to ask dixers [i.e. easy questions that invite flattering answers], but when it comes to Abbott it clearly is.

What's special and different about the Canberra bubble is that they are the only people who actually take Tony Abbott at his word. He signed a deal, he's a man of his word. He broke a deal - he's a man of his word. He was rolled by his party, he's the leader our nation needs. Gillard has a salami sandwich tossed at her, she's a loser; Abbott has a shit sandwich served to him, he's a winner. Canberra insiders like Maley accept this and pass it on, can't see the problem. Maley genuinely can't see that her job is to find out and tell us what, if anything, Abbott won't renege on, and why Gillard keeps going in the face of ignominies and what she achieves in the process.

Keep tossing those sandwiches, boys. You're keeping Jacqueline Maley in a job, for the time being. There is no proof that she or most of her colleagues could write anything worthwhile about education funding (the real reason why the Prime Minister went to that school and what she achieved there - brought to you by an unpaid blogger, not a 'professional' like Maley), or about public funding of political parties (again, unpaid blogger 1, 'professional journalist' 0 in terms of reliable coverage of substantive issues).

Then we have a former newsreader who is so ill-equipped to evaluate competing policies, who regards politics itself as so distasteful that she can't even write about those who would govern us and how they would do so, that she seeks refuge in the distraction of colour-and-movement from the political fringes.

Assange has plenty to say, but a) he might not make it to sit in the Parliament and b) how would we be governed differently if he had a casting vote? Palmer has plenty to say too, but he probably won't make it either and his agenda is rendered no clearer for Kostakidis' examination. Both of them can be a bit flaky and change direction abruptly, yet they attract Kostakidis' attention because she's jaded and likes a bit of colour-and-movement.

Here's the bind in which journalists are caught: they won't investigate what they perceive to be the next government, because doing so might upset the ascent they regard as inevitable. They won't investigate the incumbents because they don't think it's worth their while. They're preparing us and making excuses for Abbott. Worse, they are so incompetent at communicating nuance and complex ideas that they think the very attempt at doing so is dull, and turns the audience off, so they don't even try. I agree with this, but the tragedy of most journos (including the three examined here) is that they seriously believe that's what they do as a matter of course.

Cassidy, Maley and Kostakidis are pretty much finished if the Abbott-successful-Gillard-doomed narrative fails, which is why all three and their generation of journalists are plugging it with all their might. It's a sorry sight to see, wherever vindication will sit on them no better than failure.

Maybe, if you're a colour-and-movement aficionado, politics today is just too hard for you. Maybe your idea of colour-and-movement is a tossed sandwich, which it is for Maley. Maybe it's a quick summary of the press gallery is thinking, as it is for Cassidy. If politics is for you, and you want to find out what's going on and why, none of those experienced journalists can or will help you. This is a real pity, for journalism in general and for the organisations that pay Cassidy, Maley and Kostakidis to slap up some journo-pablum from time to time. It's a particular problem for the outfit that put Kostakidis' piece up, being a new entrant to the Australian market promising higher standards but which may end up patronising us with an inferior offering that its home market would not tolerate.


  1. Mary did not deserve that snark, she is not merely a news reader and has greater qualifications as a human rights campaigner and activist for people like Hicks, refugees and others than you have.

    But you are right about Martin Ferguson, he is and always has been a waste of space.

    1. She chose to write an article that is beyond her scope of interest. It's fine to disdain politics but it is boring to simply write about how disdainful it is and lurch for the colour-and-movement. A potential legislator who disdains government is surely worth a sentence. Would've loved to read some work on human rights instead.

    2. As a major supporter of Assange why is it beyond her scope of interest?

      Just because you think it is doesn't mean it is.

    3. Hey Andrew...

      You want to stop the decay??

      Go on rrr and provide some balance!

      Community radio is fun .

      Just heard Dr Napthine on The Party Show with his son and media adviser

      Got it was good and they seem to have a sense of humour...

      Go on son...make your Dad proud!


    4. In the piece I linked to, she doesn't make a strong case for Assange. She refers to him and Palmer as diversions. I have no issue with Kostakidis' career more broadly, nor with her activism on human rights, but am taking this article on such merits as it has.

  2. I would like it if Deb Whitmont and Mark Davis were not the only journos to bother going to see the hell holes we are paying for on Manus and Nauru and the lying cowards who are covering them up.

    These cowards in our media are more terrified of the spivs., in DIAC than of dictators all over the world and simply refuse to go to places like Curtin refugee prison or any of the other places.

  3. Bushfire Bill2/6/13 4:19 pm

    Yep... don't cover government policies because they're gonna lose, and don't cover opposition policies because they're gonna win, whether their policies are covered or not.

    Write about sandwiches instead.

    Every juvenile delinquent with two slices of bread, something sticky in-between them and enough chutzpah to hurl the object can derail a Prime Minister, a historic education policy agreement, a whole government and the clowns at Fairfax, Murdoch and the Guardian couldn't give a toss (except if it's a toss associated with a sanger).

    Two sandwiches have been thrown.

    On the first the kid was reported to the headmaster, and Gillard oted that. Next day Hadley had the little moppet on the talkback line in tears, to let us know hat a great big bully Gillard was for picking on a kid.

    On the second, she laughed it off. Hadley was there, telling us she was not fit to be Prime Minister because she was trivializing a serious security lapse. Gee! Maybe Tony Abbott - if he wins - might have a sandwich thrown at HIM! Gillard is sabotaging the ground for a furutre Prime Minister and deserves to be condemned for it.

    Last election a single woman (whop later turned out to be a Liberal PArty operative) pulled Gillard up and told her, in front of cameras, that she was a liar. That was the end of THAT day on the campaign trail.

    A shoe comes loose, a heel snaps off, some indigenous activists bang some windows at a restaurant, and whatever was the message or the achievement that day is forgotten for the ditzy "colour piece" by Maley or the sombre "metaphor for the state of the government" piece by Grattan.

    Maley and Cassidy are telling us that they are determined to see the campaign derailed, to outdo even 2010's fiasco where the main theme was how bored journalists were. Any excuse, any diversion (no matter however small), any phoney stunt will push policy, even government off the front page.

    Maley, a useless loser of a journalist if I've ever seen one, has made a career of being bored. They probably kept her on because she's cheap.

    Cassidy, is so obsessed with writing stories about other people writing stories about how he's writing a a story celebrating his own gullibility at the hands of the Abbott-Credlin machine that he's forgotten what real news is like.

    Real News is something gathered by what Cassidy calls "The Media". Who "The Media" is I'm not sure, but Cassidy clearly doesn't reckon he's a member of it.

    The frightening thing is they seem to believe that the punters are lining up at the supermarket checkouts, news stands and newsagents' shops to BUY this rubbish.

    The Goldilocks media can never decide whether Gillard is too hot, too cold, or just right. Strike that: she's NEVER "just right".

    1. Shes never just right...

      Not to all!

      The Age,Sam De Brito's piece on our p.m

      Yes I know Andrew,its that guy but to prove my point,he is a fan of Ms Gillard

  4. I do think the MSM. and the shock-jocks have gone into dangerous waters. Their lack of political judgement on matters relevant to state, and this includes the strange behaviour recently of the AFP., are taking us toward a cliff. If the intrigues of the opp’n, the connivance of most of the OM. toward destabilising gov’t and the apparent corruption of a judical authority are not enough to set alarm bells ringing in a number of “agencies” then we, the people are “in for it!”

    It is beyond me how a judicial authority can be spending so much manpower resources and money on investigations whose outcomes seem to only benefit the LNP. with it’s political agenda.

    I have no doubt the DPP. are aware, even more so than myself of this incongruity…perhaps they are awaiting “the moment”…let us hope so, as such behaviour has in the past preceeded more vicious results!

  5. Thank you. I didn't know where to begin with my response to the four 'journalists' on Insiders today. They don't live inside the Australia I know.

    Your immediate reaction as expressed here reassures me, but I guess I have to wait until September 14th to find out if people really 'lack engagement with politics' or lack engagement with the media. My own sense is it's the latter and that people either don't read newspapers or heed newsreaders any more. They know they are being fed crap.

    But these 'journalists' don't seem to understand that, or even to believe this morning that they themselves were talking crap.

  6. Bushfire Bill2/6/13 5:55 pm

    The more that sandwich throwing incident is joked about by our oh-so-sophisticated punditariat, the more like it is that next time, or the time after that, it'll be a brick.

    I'd like to see them write THAT of as some kind of metaphor for Gillard's unpopularity.

    And Abbott's not immune, either.

    1. Bill,

      Correct however with 'Mad Monk' its more hatred and it might get serious...

      The polity is not a fan ,and he incites nasty behaviour from people that might get serious...good observation!

      He seems to enjoy it at times which is weird

      Throughout his career,he has been a loose cannon and he is ready to strike anytime

      I wonder why Obama has such respect amongst a younger demigraphic or am I wrong?

  7. The Guardian has made a few surprising choices, which tends to dishearten those of us hoping it might lead to a breaking of this circle jerk attitude of federal politics.

    Murphy, as you've already pointed out, is too superficial, and will even defend that approach. Apparently, it's the theatre that matters more than what is done.

    Taylor is marginally deeper, but still seems unable to break the group consensus. As I remember (with Fairfax at the time) she was one of the first to trot out the 'context' explanation for the Gallery and the MSM completely missing the impact of Gillard's Misogyny Speech.

    At least Greg Jericho is a positive apointment. The rest I worry about, and judging by what you've said (couldn't get the link to work) she's not off to a very good start.

    A great piece, but what sorrowful news you bring about reporting.

    1. I have been very cautious clicking on to the the past media employees,but what has impressed me there is posting of labor people.
      at the guardian.
      Andrew you seem to have attracted a few right wingers with this article , that's good in way because then posters can see, the other side of the coin.
      GD I don't see it as sorrowful I see as education.

      keep up the good work Andrew,, I do hope your resolve is still in your headline, bushfire bill wrote a great piece that would give all a lift, last night on the PB.
      this family stopped watching the insiders some years ago, journalists { reporters} talking to each other, in my mind achieves nothing and they insisted on having the same speaking juno week after week , is a very boring program
      I have also thought it should been axed years ago, when returned the minister must see that the abc quality in all areas is lifted. if abbott got his way from what I read when he spoke at the lib, conf. in Victoria he would sell the abc, so would there even be an insiders program.
      do these people see the long road in front of them do they work out consequences and see things changing, and not in their direction.?

  8. Sir,

    I will not have you chastise Kostakidis et al

    That s.b.s alumni did the hard yards and are of the good old school of journalism

    Mary is fluent in many languages unlike the current pretty ethnic faces that provide some eye candy for the bored rich old men that watch....


  9. Furthermore Kostakidis isn't just a journalist

    She has had various board appointments Andrew

    Your'e being cute not smart!


    1. See my remarks above: I have respect in spades but the piece I linked to wasn't very good. You'll note that I went after the other two far more. Let's hope for better.

    2. Janet Albrechtson sat on the board of the ABC. Board appointments mean squat wrt writing a credible article.

    3. Anon

      You are correct about Janet however Ms Kostakidis was an innovator in her field and her language skills trained many newspeople at s.b.s in that linguistic capacity.

      Its why to this day,sbs is Australis premium news service and well respected.

      Janets done very little otherwise...her start in the media is an interesting one to say the least....thats another story;)

  10. Thank you. I really enjoyed reading this piece. I don't usually wish ill to anyone, but I won't be wasting tears if any of these and others in the current print media lose their careers (as they will, as print media declines).
    Let them see how they fare in the 5th estate.

    1. Journals often say that bloggers are wannabe journalists, but it is perhaps more accurate to look to people like Adele Horin, Michael Smith and others and see a career in journalism as an expensive preparation for becoming a blogger.

  11. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Kostakidis

    I will use wikipedia ,listing Kostakidis' achievements...(thought that would be very apt)

    She is a very high calibre woman .

    Her enormous contribution to our media landscape is not worthy of a snarky blog entry Andrew....standards are indeed slipping.

    Wit with intelligence in this instance please!!

    Some people are a little jealous with an innovator that started one of Australias best news service.


    1. See remarks above - respect for the career, less so for the particular piece.

      Interesting that defenders of Cassidy and Maley have been less voluble.

    2. Who though would defend Maley, Cassidy and others like Katherine Murphy and Lenore Taylor who write the same ignorant prattle day in and day out without thinking too hard about what they write.

      How many more times do the cretins have to babble about people smuggling, something Ruddock invented in 1999 and has nothing at all to do with people seeking refugee protection.

      Ruddock was even forced to ratify a protocol to prevent us punishing people because they paid someone other than "Qantas to get here.

      Is there anything remotely ambiguous about this protocol and it's provisions?

      UNHCR Summary Position on the Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime
      1.      UNHCR has followed with interest the recent adoption of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, including the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air ("Protocol against Smuggling") and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children ("Protocol against Trafficking"). The Office is pleased to be present at the High-Level Political Signing Conference held in Palermo, Sicily, from 12 to 15 December 2000.
      2.      UNHCR shares the concerns raised by many States that criminal and organized smuggling of migrants, on a large scale, may lead to the misuse of national asylum or immigration procedures. However, given an increasing number of obstacles to access safety, asylum-seekers are often compelled to resort to smugglers. UNHCR is also aware of cases of trafficked persons, particularly women and children, who may, under exceptional circumstances, be in need of international protection. The Office therefore participated in the preparatory work of the Ad Hoc Committee in Vienna, supporting its efforts  to elaborate international instruments which would enable governments to combat smuggling and trafficking of persons, whilst upholding their international protection responsibilities towards refugees.
      3.      The Protocol against Smuggling, for instance, contains a number of provisions which may impact on smuggled asylum-seekers. The authorization to intercept vessels on the high seas, the obligation to strengthen border controls and to adopt sanctions for commercial carriers, or the commitment to accept the return of smuggled migrants may indeed affect those who seek international protection. A number of comparable provisions of the Protocol against Trafficking may have a similar effect.
      4.      During the sessions of the Ad-Hoc Committee, UNHCR therefore emphasized the need to reconcile measures to combat the smuggling of migrants and the trafficking of persons with existing obligations under international refugee law. The Office welcomes the adoption of a saving clause in both Protocols, designed to safeguard the rights of asylum-seekers and refugees under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, in particular in relation to the principle of non-refoulement.
      5.      In addition, UNHCR appreciates the adoption of provisions for the protection of smuggled migrants, such as the obligation of States Parties to take appropriate measures to afford smuggled migrants protection against violence and to take into account the special needs of women and children. The Protocol against Smuggling is also clear in that it does not aim at punishing persons for the mere fact of having been smuggled or at penalizing organizations which assist such persons for purely humanitarian reasons. Indonesian fishermen do not deserve to be charged or jailed.

  12. You can throw Oakes into the ' lame duck' category as well.

    I wonder what colour and movement we will see when Ettridge and Abbott have their day in court this week.

  13. Didnt mind Ellen Fanning with Barnaby Joyce on the new s.b.s show The Observer Effect..

    Mr Joyce had some interesting things to say about Gina Rhineheart and his friendship with her... very revealing about Gina and her wealth

    Did you watch it Andrew?


  14. Whilst waiting in a hotel lobby and watching Sky News Agenda show, I saw possibly the most appalling interview on Hazel Hawkes death...

    It made me sick really Andrew!!

    That young James from the I.p.a commenting that he wasn't even born and from what he heard,she was gracious and respected...

    Ugh...could I initiate a swift slap on that self -entitled brat!

    Research darling wouldn't hurt ,would it?

    Do you have a personality at all hiding behind that awful persona..

    Why do they allow these snots on t.v....why?

    1. I see Wilson has a sense of humour and a personality albeit his very arrogant attitude.

      Waiting for a preselection with some of the I.p.a hacks in the not too near future ...now that the coalition have started looking for new talent

      The arrogance will get worse Anon...

  15. Andrew I don't see journalism lasting in its present form.
    I would of thought that those employed by paper
    printers, would have seen this years ago.

    printed papers, the days of the going out in ones PJS to get the paper is nearly over, yet us blogger saw it coming years ago

    news happens and we read about it on twitter or face book the next day its in the paper, why bother,

    if I see something I don't quite think fits I google and re read, will journalism disappear ?

    but then I had employee around 15 years ago who refused to be retrained in computer , as she said" its just a fad, I want last" I think that reflects how some felt, but also fear of the future is still out there,
    I see abbott as some one who doesn't understand the future and wants us all in the dark about progressive events, I see his PPl as wanting woman to not work .

    but that's another subject thank you Andrew
    you are right though abbott will never be pm

    if they believed the polls there would not the pushing for him we see,

  16. The MSM keep writing these la-la stories as:

    1) It is easier than actually finding data and writing about that, and

    2) They don't care - content is still being generated, the editors are obviously kept happy, and they still get paid. Why change?

    What they don't understand is that they are fighting for their livelihoods in their careers: circulation numbers and amount of respect, both declining, are clear indicators. I wonder how much of the old "it could never happen to me" mindset is in play here.

    1. Maley is a joke, referring to cuts to the baby bonus and opposition to Mr Abbott's maternity policy as 'cruel baby-apartheid' without a trace of irony. Seriously, what sort of melodramatic tripe is that?

      As for Ferguson, good riddance! A 'Labor' man who'd be far more at home in the Liberal party: rich, white, hetero, conservative male with no empathy. He represents much that is wrong with that party, more aligned with the kleptocratic elite than the underpaid working man. No wonder Abbott was so fierce in his praise, he was farewelling one of his own.

    2. Megalogenis has made an interesting point about a demographic that has been ignored largely by the political class

      The ethnic upper middle classes.

      Well educated,bilingual with a european sensibility that has been left in the too hard basket for analysis.

      They don't know what to do with this group.

      Like the quirky title of this fine blog,they have been left

      Politically homeless...!

  17. Andrew than you for your analysis of the political journalists that infect our media.
    We have been treated to such a low level policy evaluation not just by the print media but also our electronic media and in particular the ABC. I have ceased watching insiders this program has not fulfilled its function to present and inform and I would assume the lack of research by the team that produce this program is an indictment on the crew that put this program together.
    Quality has deserted the ABC since they moved to 24 hr news programs.
    What is so reprehensible from my perspective is that the ABC pay the likes of Akerman,Sava,and Henderson to appear on this show.
    As for Ferguson I am so pleased to see this man go he has been a snake in the grass for as long as I can remember even when he was in the ACTU he certainly did not achieve his position on ability and too see Abbott praising him would make me and those that remember Ferguson,s time at the ACTU sick.

  18. Thanks Andrew; I cannot believe the poor standard of msm journalism. In recent months the Liberals have gone out of their way to insist that we are a nation in the grip of a deep crisis and facing disaster if Gillard remains PM. Hockey repeated this nonsense during his less than impressive National Press Club appearance (which should have been the subject of critical analysis, but wasn't). The "crisis" myth has now been repeated by people who should know better. I am old enough to remember back to 1974/5 when the Murdoch press managed to implant in the public mind the notion that Whitlam was solely responsible for the stagflation which gripped the Western world following the Yom Kippur war and the oil aftershocks. (He was also "arrogant" whereas of course Fraser wasn't!) I can remember after the Dismissal the mindlessness of those voters who (metaphorically) patted me on the head and told me that I could rage all I liked but now we were now in good safe hands and that the Liberals would look after us - the result from this mindlessness was 12% unemployment, double digit inflation and near record interest rates (Howard, as Treasurer had this triple achievement to his credit; with such outstanding economic credentials we of course made him PM). Does this country never learn? Would we really be stupid enough to inflict what is possibly the least talented and most extreme front bench in our political history on this country? We are waltzing towards a morasse.

  19. Vadi,

    Its rather insulting and quite perverse to see how our country is being denigrated for political point scoring...

    May I kindly suggest their advisers have a look at the large suicide rate amongst european youth who are dropping like flies..

    My heart bleeds for the dregs of the middle class in our parties that seek to prostitute themselves for power...


  20. Furthermore take a look at the Bunyip Alumni and their arrogance...

    Nick Cater in his book, The Lucky Country speak of this snobbish attitude..

    The I.p.a who held this book launch,contradict themselves with their ridiculous arguments.

    Watch the youtube video by the I.p.a about the new political professional class and their disdain for the polity ...

    In other words yuppies in politics are bloody dangerous!

  21. I agree with the entire thrust of this article except on one point : rather than the Cassidys of the world requiring an Abbott win in order to survive or remain relevant, I believe an Abbott win would hasten the the end of the MSM and quickly.
    I'm now in my 70s and have abandoned all media except fro brief glances that reassure me they are continuing on this doomed path. I know numerous people from all walks and who vote very differently who feel the same.
    The mass media is hated as it has never been before.
    The Guardian is a disappointment- expected a lot more.