Is Scott Morrison really a Christian?

Politicians normally try to keep their private lives separate from their public personas. And the media generally respect this separation, unless any probing can be justified as being in the public interest.

But some politicians purposely ventilate aspects of their private lives when they feel that it will help them in their jobs.

Scott Morrison: pretending to be what he is not. Courtesy Channel 10

And that is the case with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who has, right from day one, broadcast the idea that he is a Christian, claiming that this is what drives him. Continue reading “Is Scott Morrison really a Christian?”

Incestuous relationships in Canberra once again on display

The incestuous relationship between Australian journalists and politicians has been exposed again, with the journalist in question being the political editor of news.com.au, Samantha Maiden [seen below in a picture from YouTube].

The politician, sadly, is no longer in this world; Kimberley Kitching, a senator from the Labor Party, died on 10 March of a suspected heart attack. [More on Canberra’s incestuous culture here and here.]

Given the way that News Corporation, the empire owned by Rupert Murdoch, used alleged events prior to Kitching’s death to accuse other Labor senators of contributing to the stress that led to her exiting the mortal coil, nobody except an idiot would have assumed that the topic would not come up for discussion during political programs on the weekend after her death. Continue reading “Incestuous relationships in Canberra once again on display”

Loose lips sink ships. Joe Biden does not seem to know that

In 1991, the US, aided by a number of other countries, waged a war given the moniker Operation Desert Storm, to eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, after demanding billions from that tiny country which it claimed it was owed because the Kuwaitis had stolen oil from wells which were on the Iraqi side of the border.

Iraq’s demands came after a long and debilitating eight-year war with Iran, during which Kuwait backed Iraq and often suffered attacks to its oil tankers in the Gulf as a result. When Kuwait did not give in, Baghdad’s forces invaded and took over the country in a matter of days. Continue reading “Loose lips sink ships. Joe Biden does not seem to know that”

Blah, blah, blah: Scott Morrison goes on and on and on

Listening to the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speak is a painful experience. The man does not seem to know when to stop, even when he is answering pointed questions; he just waffles on and on, giving one the impression that he is trying to exhaust the time available to keep the questions to a minimum.

His verbal acrobatics take him from topic to unrelated topic and the whole thing sometimes makes no sense.

No end of jaw: Scott Morrison. Courtesy YouTube

What came to mind while I was forced to listen to one of his media conferences — I was driving — was the description, in Mark Twain’s 1883 classic Life on the Mississippi, of the pilots who guided steamers down that river during those years.

These men needed to know the river intimately, every swell and literally every rock, in order to avoid getting stuck on a sandbank, or, worse, hitting an obstacle and sinking. They had to develop extremely good memories.

Continue reading “Blah, blah, blah: Scott Morrison goes on and on and on”

Stan Grant shows he is incompetent to host ABC’s Q+A

The ABC should find a regular presenter for its Q+A show, instead of shuffling through three of its employees week after week, after one of the trio, Stan Grant, proved conclusively on 24 February that he is incompetent at the job.

Stan Grant talks more than most of the Q+A panellists. Courtesy YouTube

Grant asked a member of the studio audience to leave after the man, a Russian-Australian named Sasha Gillies-Lekakis, asked a question about the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which contained an erroneous fact. It did not appear to be popular with the audience and the panel which was heavily tilted towards Ukraine.

Gillies-Lekakis would do well to consult a lawyer about his ejection; as an Australian taxpayer, he is also one of those who fund the ABC which receives a little more than a billion dollars from the Federal Government each year.

Continue reading “Stan Grant shows he is incompetent to host ABC’s Q+A”

The world has become the domain of liars

There’s a common element to much, if not most, of the news that flits across the TV screens: lies.

People attempt to add a touch of sophistry to lying, by trying to create classes of lies, but in the end it all adds up to the same thing: saying one thing when knowing that the opposite was correct.

One well-known example: the current president of the United States, Joe Biden, came to office promising a US$15 minimum wage for the country. He also promised to provide medical services for all and forgive at least a part of the billions in student debt.

Continue reading “The world has become the domain of liars”

All the news (apart from the Middle East issue) that’s fit to print

The Saturday Paper — as its name implies — is a weekend newspaper published from Melbourne, Australia. Given this, it rarely has any real news, but some of the features are well-written.

There is a column called Gadfly (again the name would indicate what it is about) which is extremely well-written and is one of the articles that I read every week. It was written for some years by one Richard Ackland, a lawyer with very good writing skills, and is now penned by one Sami Shah, an Indian, who is, again a good writer. Gadfly is funny and, like most of the opinion content in the paper, is left-oriented.

The same cannot be said of some of the other writers. Karen Middleton and Rick Morton fall into the category of poor writers, though the latter sometimes does provide a story that has not been run anywhere else. Middleton can only be described as a hack.

Continue reading “All the news (apart from the Middle East issue) that’s fit to print”

Peter van Onselen is no journalist. He is a political operative

Peter van Onselen is an academic from Western Australia who came to prominence in 2007 when he co-authored a biography of John Howard, the Liberal prime minister who reigned from 1996 to 2007.

Nearly 14 years later, Van Onselen has graduated to become a journalist who writes a weekly column for the right-wing broadsheet, The Australian, and also functions as the political editor for the tabloid free-to-air TV channel, 10.

Recently, however, Van Onselen has shown that he is no journalist, but rather a political operative who looks to back his powerful friends when they need his help. And nobody has needed his help more than the attorney-general, Christian Porter, a close mate of his and a source for many of his stories.

Porter was recently accused of raping a woman in 1988, when she was 16 and he was 17. The woman, known as Kate, died by her own hand last year, and did not make a police complaint, though she did toy with the idea. She is said to have been a highly intelligent person, but the alleged incident appears to have taken its toll, and she was described by many as having some mental problems.

Continue reading “Peter van Onselen is no journalist. He is a political operative”

We need to talk about Tom Switzer’s spin about News Limited

Australia was hit by horrendous bushfires in 2019. Picture: Pixabay

Tom Switzer is a right-wing writer in Melbourne, who is executive director at the Centre for Independent Studies and is a presenter on ABC Radio National.

He often writes in support of Rupert Murdoch and his media empire, for the simple reason that if he were to lose his current gigs, then he could go back on the Murdoch teat.

Thus his defence of Murdoch against criticism by two former Australian prime ministers, Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd, is not surprising. Sucking up to power is a common game used by writers who have an avenue to vent. Switzer has the Nine newspapers open to his rantings.

Continue reading “We need to talk about Tom Switzer’s spin about News Limited”

Vale, Robert Fisk

The veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk died recently at the age of 74, and his death means one of the Western world’s journalists who best understood the region has left the scene.

Fisk lived in Beirut for most of the 30-plus years he covered the region and reported the troubles in Northern Ireland before venturing out of the country.

He reported on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the continuing woes in that country. Fisk interviewed the al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden thrice and also covered the US invasion of Iraq.

Robert Fisk.

Some questioned his approach to journalism; he did not believe in getting opinions from both sides, so-called balanced journalism. Rather, it was his belief that the job of a reporter was to provide an outlet for the underdog.

His famous example was that of the liberation of a concentration camp. And he asked whether one should be expected to get a quote from a SS guard for balance, a query which nobody has attempted to answer.

Continue reading “Vale, Robert Fisk”