The Prime Minister didn’t hold back on Clive Hamilton’s Australia
Institute yesterday when he had the following exchange over uranium and
nuclear power with Barrie Cassidy on Insiders:

Cassidy: But just the other day, the Australia
Institute circulated a map that had no real status, and yet the media ran with
that and local mayors were outraged. That’s what you’re up against?

Howard: Yeah, well, I know, but Barrie, is that kind
of behaviour going to be allowed to run the country? I mean, you people quite
rightly criticise governments that take flight in the face of cheap populism
like that. Well, I’m not going to. And everybody knows that that was a stunt by
a left-leaning institute. We all know that.

The Murdoch press houses some of Australia’s leading climate change
sceptics – presumably reflecting Rupert’s personal anti-Green view –
but his sisters don’t all toe the Sun King’s line, especially Anne
Kantor, whose entry in the latest BRW Rich List contains the following:

The Kantor family is known for making contributions to
charity, but this year it has also contributed to the environment
debate by starting a new research organisation. Eve Kantor (Anne’s
daughter) and her husband, Mark Wootton, donated $10 million in late
2005 to the left-leaning The Australia Institute to establish The
Climate Institute, a non-profit organisation to serve as a bridge
between policy-makers and scientists. The organisation will draw up a
five-year plan to alert the public the threats posed by global warming.

Michael Baume’s self-serving column in The AFR this morning
claimed that Rupert “is known to be very concerned about the findings
of the Lowy poll (that 68% of Australians thought that Australia’s
foreign policy took too much notice of America).” Baume went on to directly blame Clive Hamilton’s outfit:

Naturally, self-proclaimed university experts, often in
association with left wing think-tank the Australia Institute, played
their part in the scare campaign that convinced half our population
that the free-trade agreement would be bad for Australia.

Anne Kantor was apparently the only person openly celebrating during a
family function at Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s Cruden Farm on the night
Jeff Kennett was defeated. After all, Rupert’s mum erects Liberal
posters on the property during most election campaigns and Rupert’s
brother-in-law, John Calvert-Jones, succeeded Malcolm Turnbull as
Treasurer of the Liberal Party.

However, it’s one thing simply to vote Labor, but altogether something
else to start bankrolling left wing think tanks that promote anti-Americanism and Green issues, although the original press release doesn’t highlight the direct Murdoch family connection. BRW
reckons the Kantor family is worth $314 million and it must make
Rupert go bananas to think that some of the $600 million he paid to his
sisters between 1991 and 1999 is being used this way.

Peter Fray

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