Justin Milne ABC

With Justin Milne's resignation as chair of the ABC, the risk is that this sorry saga will be seen as only about Milne's political motivations and failures in the role. Instead, Milne's performance makes more sense if he is seen as the Liberal Party's inside man in a broader, and increasingly relentless, war against the ABC.

The Liberals' war against the ABC is wide-ranging. It consists of multiple funding cuts totalling hundreds of millions of dollars; a constant stream of vexatious complaints about journalism that the Liberals find inconvenient, and attacks on journalists in parliament; attempts, mostly successful, to intimidate ABC management; the adoption of a party policy to privatise the broadcaster; a constant stream of "reviews" by commercial media executives and a remarkable singling out of the ABC in the government's police state-style prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery, in which the media company that broke the ASIS crime story, News Corp, was omitted.