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Murdoch and his influence on Australian political life

In 2007, journalist Ken Auletta spent a great deal of time with Rupert Murdoch while writing a magazine profile of him. Auletta observed that Murdoch was frequently on the phone to his editors and this…

Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers have already come out swinging against the current government in the early stages of the election campaign. AAP/Paul Miller

In 2007, journalist Ken Auletta spent a great deal of time with Rupert Murdoch while writing a magazine profile of him. Auletta observed that Murdoch was frequently on the phone to his editors and this prompted him to ask: “of all the things in your business empire, what gives you the most pleasure?” Murdoch instantly replied: “being involved with the editor of a paper in a day-to-day campaign…trying to influence people”.

Over the course of the 2013 federal election, Australia will experience a real time experiment which will demonstrate the degree of influence exerted by Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers on Australian political life.

That Murdoch has had an influence on elections previously, especially in the UK, is no secret. In the 1992 UK election, The Sun, his biggest selling tabloid in the UK and editorially a kissing cousin of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, claimed victory on behalf of the Conservative party. As the headline famously bellowed: “It Was The Sun Wot Won It”

Could we see “It’s The Tele Wot Won It” on the morning of September 8?

Papers owned by Rupert Murdoch have never been shy in using the front page as a political bludgeon. The Sun/News Corporation

On Day One of the campaign (the Monday just gone), the Daily Telegraph staked a claim for the most thuggish headline: “KICK THIS MOB OUT”. Two days earlier the Daily Telegraph’s headline was “PRICE OF LABOR: Another huge budget shambles”.

The headlines underlined the fact that when he chooses to, Murdoch uses his newspapers ruthlessly to make or break governments or parties. Given that he controls 70% of the capital city newspaper circulation in Australia, his moods and beliefs are a material factor during elections in Australia. Prime ministers and opposition leaders seek his favours but are grateful if they can just have his neutrality.

Political leaders do this because they have a keen sense of where raw power lies in election campaigns. They know that in the crucial state of Queensland that Murdoch’s Courier-Mail reigns supreme. In Adelaide, The Advertiser has no rival. In NSW and Victoria, he has the powerhouses of the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph.

After the 2010 election - which resulted in a minority Labor government - Murdoch summoned his Australian editors and senior journalists to his home in Carmel, California. He made clear that he despised the Gillard government and wanted regime change. In 2011, Murdoch met Abbott and told his editors he liked him. His newspapers (a couple of which had actually supported Gillard in the 2010 election) thereafter campaigned strongly against the Gillard government, particularly on the issues of asylum seekers and climate change.

Some regard newspapers as dinosaurs, but this is mistaken in my view. Newspapers continue to set a daily agenda, particularly in politics. They are responsible for the majority of online news which in turn feeds blogs and social media. Radio and television feed off newspaper coverage, creating an echo chamber, particularly in small state capitals. During election campaigns, the day begins at 4am when the party strategists review the morning’s newspapers and plan their campaign.

Daily Telegraph front page, August 5.

The arrival in Australia of New York Post editor Col Allan has aroused much comment. Allan is a radically conservative editor whose newspaper led the charge against Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Allan is a loyal lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch’s and is particularly close to Lachlan Murdoch.

The reason for Murdoch’s dramatic intervention in the current election has caused some debate. One interpretation of Murdoch is that he acts only for commercial advantage. Reflecting this, Paul Sheehan in the Sun-Herald argued that Murdoch wants to destroy Rudd and Labor because they are building the National Broadband Network (NBN). The NBN’s capacity to allow the quick downloading of movies and other content would be a threat to Murdoch’s Foxtel TV operation, so the argument goes.

Whether true or not, this underestimates Murdoch and reduces him to a comic book capitalist. If commercial advantage was Murdoch’s real measure of success, he would have closed newspapers like The Australian, London’s The Times and the New York Post many years ago. All lose money. The Australian, for example, which lectures the nation about the need for a level playing field and free markets is reportedly subsidised to the tune of A$25-30 million for its losses per year. The New York Post has never made money under Murdoch. The Times has been in the red for many years.

Murdoch’s personal politics are more ideological than most people think. His pick for US president last year was Rick Santorum. Murdoch praised his “vision” for the country - yet Santorum opposed birth control and wanted to ban abortion. At one stage four of the likely contenders for the Republican nomination were on his payroll as commentators on Fox News.

In Australia, Murdoch’s newspapers - subsidised or not - give him a seat at the table of national politics. From this position he is determined to exercise the kind of influence which he was honest enough to admit to Ken Auletta.

Join the conversation

49 Comments sorted by

  1. George Michaelson

    Person

    Don't you think the most likely reason is "a little from box <a> and a little from box <b>" -his personal polity may well inform business decisions which are costly, but if blocking the Labor NBN happened to delay the decline in Foxtel revenue ($1.2b?) for a couple of years, where's the downside?

    I think Murdoch does have a brain. But I doubt he is used to spending time with people who chose to say "no" to some core values. I suspect he likes and respects strong individuals because none of the…

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  2. John Lucas

    logged in via email @bigpond.com

    The sanskrit word 'artha' means both wealth and power.

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  3. David Lang

    Business Development Manager at Get Qualified Australia

    There is no denying that there has been some incredible bias in the MSM in recent times. But owning media provides the opportunity to express personal views, whether fair or reasoned.

    It is just a shame that so many people generally seem to be willing to trust the views expressed, without researching the specifics of the story.

    Recently though, there seems to be a dramatic shift towards people also following "high calibre" quality journalists that can express issues with valued judgements that reflect the real situation via social media and blogs. This allows that they can escape the heavily controlled publishing demands of an editor.

    Even the ABC, which should be absolutely impartial, is clearly expressing it's own slanted views on many newsworthy articles. This must change.

    I personally hope that people are able to see through the haze of "junk" reporting that is influenced by personal, commercial and political gain. But, sadly, this seems a long way off.

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    1. Chris Reynolds

      Education Consultant

      In reply to David Lang

      David, I share your desire that people as readers become more perceptive, but as an educator of many years I know how difficult it is to build critical literacy in the young much less promote in adults who for the most part do not believe they need to develop these skills.

      In other words I believe that it is naive to expect much change to the reading audience in the foreseeable future who will therefore continue to remain vulnerable to the sort of strategies employed by Murdoch and his generals…

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    2. James Jenkin

      EFL Teacher Trainer

      In reply to Chris Reynolds

      David and Chris, how do you know that 'so many people generally seem to be willing to trust the views expressed'? That readers of the Tele don't have 'critical literacy'?

      If we can see Murdoch has an agenda, why wouldn't other people?

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    3. David Lang

      Business Development Manager at Get Qualified Australia

      In reply to James Jenkin

      Chris, I agree wholeheartedly with the benefits of this forum and others that create these discussions.

      James, I am simply going by my own personal experience, with the many people from all backgrounds that I have contact with. I find that many people are caught up with the "daily grind" and don't have the time to really find out the truth behind the story or do the research.

      Many either trust what they see on their favourite news source (often NO fact checking done or leading their own agenda as discussed) or they are frustrated and simply switch off.

      I have pointed out reality of news stories to many people who are shocked to hear the truth. Many people believe what they are told.

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    4. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to David Lang

      "There is no denying that there has been some incredible bias in the MSM in recent times."
      I'm pretty sure things have been even more so in the past.
      "Recently though, there seems to be a dramatic shift towards people also following "high calibre" quality journalists that can express issues with valued judgements that reflect the real situation via social media and blogs."
      Really, who are these 'high calibre' quality journalists. I haven't sense any improvement whatsoever over the past 20 years.

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    5. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Chris Reynolds

      "but as an educator of many years I know how difficult it is to build critical literacy in the young much less promote in adults who for the most part do not believe they need to develop these skills."
      Chris, what do you mean by "critical literacy"? And what is it you do? You say you're an "educator". Is that just a fancy word for school teacher? And just as a matter of logic, if you are not having much luck teaching this "critical literacy" have you had your won teaching methods assessed? Their might be better approaches.

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    6. Chris Reynolds

      Education Consultant

      In reply to David Thompson

      Sadly David you resort to ad hominem argument rather than deal with the substance. You do not seem to want to acknowledge the blatant attempt to subvert an open democratic process by the use of a corporate platform to sprout your own political views to millions and to set the political agenda as he quite publicly (twee after tweet) declares he does.

      That is the issue and my identity is not.

      However, I can assure you that my academic credentials and lifelong experience in and out Australian classrooms, lecture rooms and government decision-making bodies here and overseas provide me with greater capacity to make the assertions you object to than most. I think you need to deal with these assertions and the arguments of the article that we are reacting to before making presumptuous and impertinent remarks about me.

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    7. Chris Reynolds

      Education Consultant

      In reply to David Thompson

      Not too fine a point I hope to suggest that the spelling of your last sentence suggests the need to attend to literacy.

      Critical literacy is the next step where the reader does not allow the wool to be pulled over the eyes by shoddy argument and can explain its shortcomings.

      A good lawyer can do it about technical legal issues. A good reader can do it with text which is meretricious or misleading. It's a very healthy thing for the body politic

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    8. Stephen H

      In a contemplative fashion...

      In reply to James Jenkin

      James, given the number of people who comment on The Conversation but don't bother to inform themselves first, I think it is fairly safe to assume that most people will happily let someone else tell them how to think.

      We don't need to assume anything though - it is human nature and has been proven in several studies. We develop some way of seeing the world, and then hold onto that through thick and thin. Cognitive dissonance leads to ignoring of facts that conflict with one's world-view. The…

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    9. Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

      REALPolitik Outlaw Journalist

      In reply to Stephen H

      " ..., it appears that large numbers of Australians do not have the cognitive skills..."

      Full stop.

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  4. Venise Alstergren
    Venise Alstergren is a Friend of The Conversation.

    photographer, blogger.

    DAVID McNIGHT:

    The Oz has always been one of the few loves of Rupert Murdoch's life. He started it with a mildly left wing bias and has hung on to it with the amount of desperation that only a lover feels for anything: right the way through to the hard right-wing fundamentalist politics he now practises. He has been happy to waste his, and his shareholders, money in order to support it. The quality of this newspaper has had a savage decline. It is arguable as to whether this is because Rupert…

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    1. James Jenkin

      EFL Teacher Trainer

      In reply to Venise Alstergren

      Hey Venise, can you explain how the Australian has had a 'savage decline'? Do you mean in terms of quality of writing, analysis, coverage?

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    2. Venise Alstergren
      Venise Alstergren is a Friend of The Conversation.

      photographer, blogger.

      In reply to James Jenkin

      All three.

      The quality of writing has to mean something. And, whether by following Murdoch's dictates, or by exercising self censorship any reader seeing an article on Liberal National Party should know that the Oz will give scant analysis, and come to a forgone conclusion. Analysis? Ha! Give me a break. Coverage? Theoretically good. After all they get freebies if they travel as part of the official news team.

      I've seen copies of the early Oz work. There was a sense of youth, humour and hard-won news stories. You should try researching these papers for yourself.

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    3. John Cook

      Retired

      In reply to Venise Alstergren

      "as he reaches the lower middle class mass voter: a section of the electorate not known for its political smarts."
      That's a very elitist remark!

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    4. Venise Alstergren
      Venise Alstergren is a Friend of The Conversation.

      photographer, blogger.

      In reply to John Cook

      Possibly. However, the real elitist in these pages is Rupert Murdoch. Yet the people who admire him
      never seem to realise what a malign and elitist bästard he is. Also, given the audience his media pitch is aimed at, they deserve every bit of opprobrium I can fling at them.

      Another fine elitist is Alan Jones who gets away with murder by passing himself off as 'one of the great unwashed.' (I used the word unwashed because I didn't want to misuse the word blokes.'

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  5. John Bromhead

    logged in via email @netspeed.com.au

    "Whether true or not" You know this is not true. Murdock has nothing to lose regardless of the configuration of the NBN. It's all about content, not delivery.

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    1. Nicholas Roberts

      Software Engineer

      In reply to John Bromhead

      Foxtel/News Corporation has good control over content access in Australia but it is not absolute. Delivery is a massive barrier to entry for any new prospective pay/subscription TV competitor in Australia and Foxtel has cable monopoly. At present time, there is no feasible alternative than cable/and or satellite (both with cost or technical hurdles). Current broadband access speeds and costs for average Australian households cannot provide reliable/cost effective streaming content delivery. Murdoch has much to lose from an FTTP network in Australia. Speed capabilities of FTTP would likely attract significantly more new competitors than the inherant speed/bandwidth restrictions of an FTTN with last mile copper.

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    2. Stephen H

      In a contemplative fashion...

      In reply to John Bromhead

      John, are you trying to say that Foxtel wasted its money rolling out cable? It and Optus certainly didn't do it from some sense of community obligation - which is why a few suburbs ended up with duplicated infrastructure while most of Australia got none.

      At the moment, companies are able to control telecommunications infrastructure AND content. The NBN finally breaks that invidious business model, by offering the same infrastructure to all content providers at the same price. There are plenty of people who hate that idea, but they cannot pretend to be acting in Australia's interests in opposing it. The best they can come up with is "you're creating a monopoly". This ignores Telstra, which currently has a near-monopoly both in some forms of content and in infrastructure - thanks to a government which got greedy about selling off assets.

      Murdoch has plenty to lose, starting with a sense of control.

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  6. Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

    REALPolitik Outlaw Journalist

    That any unelected individual can have as much power over our politico-economics, by seducing illiterate middle-lower class punters with cheap unsupported slogans, exactly the same script as the Lib/Nats use, and that no-one bothers to chance being criticized, or condemned, in doing something drastic to Murdoch, or any of his editors et al, shows how lame Australia is, and how farcical the whole charade is.

    We are so lax, spoiled in other word[s], that none of us acts for the good of the nation, outside of writing tepid, politically-correct things against Murdoch [and sons - "G'day, Lads!"], 1 or all of whom, in another time, and now, still, in many other nations, would be assassinated. And, straight-up - should be!

    Too many catholic women shocked if such hardball realpolitik actions are effected too close to their comfy coffee shoppe.

    Taruleee? 'Twill be the downfall of us all, darlinxsss!

    Just Defiance

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  7. Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

    REALPolitik Outlaw Journalist

    Of course, before such drastic action is taken, all avenues, even a class action, by a public campaign, bringing the Murdoch media to face charges of illegally interfering with the political process, should be exhausted.

    Isn't it the job of the police and ASIO to investigate and arrest any who're found to be interfering in this way.

    I mean, Murdoch and his rags are blatantly and overtly screwing our [at least potentially] democratic parliamentary processes.

    Damn the IMF!

    This type of agency softcockery by ASIO and our feds, is why I laugh at them.

    The same as the British and US law enforcement agencies.

    But O! They come down on the likes of Julian Assange for doing their work for them.

    Yeah! Real tough and detective of you, coppers!

    The Department of Oxymorons - "police intelligence"!

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Just Defiance
    Gunai Aborigine Outlaw

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  8. Pat Moore

    gardener

    The observations regarding the lack of commercial success of Murdoch's various papers overlooks/underestimates/misjudges the real function of his role in the Western Anglosphere. The lateralized penetration of Murdoch's massive international media empire facilitates his role as agent for the Big Body Corporate for want of a better term, the dominant alliance of globalized corporate capital in this era of its neoliberal empire. The role Murdoch has played in promotion of climate change scepticism/denial…

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    1. Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

      REALPolitik Outlaw Journalist

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Excellent commentary Pat!

      You should be on the staff of "The Conversation", if not on the benches of the High Court. Thought of running for the Wikileaks Party?

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  9. Garry Baker

    researcher

    ""The Australian, for example, which lectures the nation about the need for a level playing field and free markets is reportedly subsidised to the tune of A$25-30 million for its losses per year. ""

    Oh yes, indeed - the sales brochure blurb for News Corp . Profits/losses, can be whatever the corporate heads of a multinational owned company choose. As our own ATO are finding lately in trying to squeeze some taxes out of them.

    Hark back to why Rupert changed his nationality. The money of course, the US had more of it

    Then to add some about the supposedly sagging news business. Gina, with her pitch to own Fairfax - her very own public marketing vehicle to help seize and operate assets of the public common - In this case - minerals.

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    1. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Garry Baker

      Garry as a researcher your comment
      "Hark back to why Rupert changed his nationality. The money of course, the US had more of it"
      OR alternatively in order to buy American Newspapers he had to meet citizen requirements.
      "The Australian, for example.... is reportedly subsidized to the tune or A$25 - 30 million" Where is this actually reported and is it $25m or is it $30M? I can't find any Fact Checker information to confirm your statement?
      You inference concerning what News profits/losses can…

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  10. Maureen Searson

    Part - time student

    I totally agree that Rupert Murdoch influences Australia's political life.

    Mr Murdoch's backing of Tony Abbott using, or misusing, the political influence that his 70% media ownership has given him is clear. The evidence is irrefutable.

    At least the Murdoch/Abbott relationship is being discussed on the ABC. What needs to be publicly aired, is what Tony Abbott has promised Rupert Murdoch in return for his support, and the fact that it will not in the interest of the Australian public…

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  11. Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

    REALPolitik Outlaw Journalist

    A? Being asked to prove our credentials here, distracts from the crude rude and quite illegal fact, that Murdoch DOES severally influence our political processes, as he and fox did in the 2000 US Presidential election, and no doubt the 2004 one.

    That's media, always has been.

    The question is "is it correct that unelected tycoons, born into inherited, unearned wealth, have the right, in so-called "democratically elected government" to manipulate who is served by the government?"

    The answer…

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  12. Doug Hutcheson

    Poet

    Thankfully, I live in a regional town, which has a bi-weekly paper. It is fairly red-necked right-wing, but I am under no obligation to read the pap that passes for journalism. (I actually buy it for the sudoku.) Rupert does not dictate my thoughts. Bwaaahahahahah! I am a free agent!

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  13. Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

    REALPolitik Outlaw Journalist

    Reply to Stephen Hines - " it appears that large numbers of Australians do not have the cognitive skills" Full stop.

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  14. Jena Zelezny

    research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

    "In Australia, Murdoch’s newspapers – subsidised or not – give him a seat at the table of national politics. From this position he is determined to exercise the kind of influence which he was honest enough to admit to Ken Auletta."

    Let's take this last wrap-up paragraph as naiveté and wonder at it for a little while.

    How could an Associate Professor be so childlike? Murdoch is not honest and using the word honest in connection to any Murdoch activity is astoundingly foolish. After having stayed…

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    1. Chris Reynolds

      Education Consultant

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      I sympathise with this view but you may be indulging in some "look-what they done to Julia nostalgia.

      The record shows that politics is an ugly business at the personal career level and what may be a reasonable judgment about who should lead at a particular juncture of the nation's history (arguably Rudd) may seem to be bitter infighting and back-stabbing. What is particularly interesting a tt he moment is that there is ample evidence that similar dirty tricks occur within the Liberal party and…

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    2. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Chris Reynolds

      Hi Chris. No I do not think I am "indulging in some look-what they done to Julia nostalgia." It's more than that.

      I am considering the change - the real change - in the Labor Party and I am disappointed that they chose to destroy a fellow party member (someone, anyone, not necessarily a Julia) who was elected to the leadership.

      Having chosen, for good reason, to go for a change of leader they should have had the integrity and the guts to stand by that leader so close to an election. It is…

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    3. Chris Reynolds

      Education Consultant

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Excellent t response to my more pragmatic position - possibly the difference between our ages. However if politics is the art of the possibility and Macchiavelli the final reference for success your arguments I am afraid do not stand up rather they are like the apparent beliefs of the kamikaze pilots, or Taliban suicide bombers, they may achieve immediate impact and reflect a purism which is admirable but they do not actually achieve significant progress. The 43rd parliament arguably achieved a range…

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    4. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Chris Reynolds

      Sorry Chris but I have to ask. How old are you?

      I am in my early 60's and I am on my second PhD now. Why do males always pull the paternalistic put down of age on me?

      I have as you will imagine a long standing interest in the government of this country and I speak from experience not youth, although it is not OK to dismiss any comment because of the age of the commentator.

      As a 60+ person with a PhD under my belt and experience of Prime Ministers and campaigns from Menzies onward AND having…

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    5. Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

      REALPolitik Outlaw Journalist

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Jena? If I may, Australia has a very worrisome undercurrent of both misogyny AND misanthropy.

      That is, females who are seriously vengeful against males.

      We should understand why, what with the age old oppression of females, I agree.

      But I see it as both being quite dysfunctional in terms of using and NOT abusing power.

      Please be honest and admit, as I do about errant males, that women are tyrants in how they abuse every opportunity to condemn males for standing up for themselves…

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    6. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

      Max, I believe the conversation was about Murdoch's relentless power. Oh gee yes I see it all clearly now - his mother is to blame.

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    7. Pat Moore

      gardener

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Interesting exchange here Jena, Chris and Max. If I may add some observations...the political process is bought JZ like 'the world's greatest democracy' has been long bought and sold at the seat of empire. Australia is merely a province of its economic ideology and war conducting regime? So our political leaders, though they enact the pantomime of national sovereignty, are merely provincial governors. But Labor still has vestiges of social welfare policy by which it attempts at least to balance…

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    8. Pat Moore

      gardener

      In reply to Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

      Max, your 5th paragraph does not make sense so your meaning is not clear & you need to restate it succinctly.

      The 'rift' between the genders is indeed absolutely radical (goes to the roots of) human society and is systematic. Patriarchy as a social system is thousands of years old...some little flimsy, occasional waves of feminist protest make little difference to the towering edifice of pancultural male dominance of planet Earth. And you're right regarding the eternal rule of war between and amongst the power blocs of global patriarchy.

      But what planet have you and 'so many males' been on if you 'have good reason to be sworn misogynists' from living through '58 years of matriarchal insanity'?

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    9. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Pat, with respect my cynicism is directed at people who opt for pragmatism instead of recognition that change takes work. I think pragmatism is simply lazy.

      I'm way beyond idealism by the way and I don't think an electoral wipeout for Labor would be a bad thing necessarily. It might force them to shake up the sieve, pick out the gold and throw away the hardened and truculent lumps who do nothing but perpetuate the the system. Using the same methodology over and over can't really effect change.

      Sexism and misogyny are structural features Pat because we allow it and accept it. This is lazy.

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    10. Venise Alstergren
      Venise Alstergren is a Friend of The Conversation.

      photographer, blogger.

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      JENA ZELEZNY: Surely the political ugliness you mention was in place long before the first Rudd government? It may not have been as evident as it is now, but not even Rudd can fertilise a piece of barren ground.

      "Neither Rudd nor Abbott deserve to govern." Quite so. But, as Abbott brings with him the values and morals of the Howard government, and as he admires the inglorious memory of the late Bob Santamaria, he brings with him incalculable damage, and is not afraid to use it.

      Much as I loathe Rudd do I abhor Abbott.

      REMEMBER folks. A vote for Abbott is a vote for Rupert Murdoch!

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    11. Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

      REALPolitik Outlaw Journalist

      In reply to Jena Zelezny

      Right! A PhD [TWO PhDs!] andst thou art holier.....

      A twisting response, how you assert superiority.

      More proof...

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    12. Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

      REALPolitik Outlaw Journalist

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Thanks for the tick, Pat.

      I do write in lengthy convoluted ways, so I apologize. But to me, para 5 does make sense.

      And, yes, a VERY different planet I've been on. Can't qualify as to 'so many males' however, 'tis assumption to some degree, from news items of women being brutalized, etc.

      My travails..? Born into a large, warped, power-crazy, matriarchal cult, of huge secrets.

      I can't be bothered to qualify it, but "patriarchy" has not always been the dominant "archy". Matriarchy as…

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    13. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Max JUST DEFIANCE Cook

      I'm sorry Max but you do present yourself as a journalist so you had better take some responsibility for the quality of your writing.

      I do not present myself as superior. This is in your imagination.

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    14. Jena Zelezny

      research for second PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences (Performance Studies/Theatre & Drama/Dramatic Literature/Visual Arts) at La Trobe University

      In reply to Venise Alstergren

      REMEMBER folks, the voice of dissent is the voice of agency.

      Promote change not maintenance of the status quo.

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  15. Theo Pertsinidis

    ALP voter

    As an ALP voter I wish my rank method at my website is installed as the method of determining government... Rank 1 and govern.

    Result: The ALP govern based on history and Monarchists keep their history and love of their Queen... their are no elections for the Monarchy are their.

    And Murdoch media can blow all they want against the ALP.

    This way... stability is assured and not a revolving brothel or massage parlour door.

    Call it a pleasant intervention. Call it a Tampa scenario that helped…

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