Over the weekend, Crikey readers raised their voices about the Murdochs (whose history of political pressure is being detailed by Chris Warren) and about Australia’s bipartisan decision to allow multinationals to direct its foreign policy (as written by Bernard Keane, reviewing a new book by Clinton Fernandes). Elsewhere, new Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Leong Tan’s apparent apathy for his role (detailed by Kishor Napier-Raman) raised some eyebrows and triggered some theories.
Persistently Baffled writes: Astonishing how the Murdoch-owned media set the political agenda for both sides of politics. The two major parties clearly fear retribution; although why Labor even bothers is beyond me — News Corp will never be its friend. It also baffles me how News Corp’s situational politics and ethics seems to invariably crystallise around hardline populist conservatism, when they are clearly just hardline populist. Why anybody uses their services (admittedly the crossword is diverting) is beyond me.
Edumf writes: There is a national history yet to be written as to how the Murdoch dynasty has influenced politics in Australia. It is now more urgent as Rupert has not been an Australian citizen since 1986.
Rais writes: Isn’t it good to know that we have bipartisan policy in the face of aggressive threats like Timor-Leste? (Sarcasm off) What a disgrace. Can we blame anyone but ourselves if Timor-Leste turns to major powers in Asia for help with development, perhaps in return for providing them with a port for their navy and an airstrip for their aircraft? Really, Australia? The true argument is a moral one but I know that won’t wash with our establishment so let’s point out the security argument.
Peter Wileman writes: Politicians feather their own nests by ensuring post politics rewards, power and employment, and ever have done, but it seems more blatant today. This Timor-Leste farrago is an exercise that Australia should be terribly embarrassed about. Both of the two major parties are implicated to varying degrees, but they put aside the sham of differences to pull together to protect… what?
NAP writes: I would love to be a fly on the wall in the boardrooms of some of these multinational resource companies. They must think that Australia has the softest touch when it comes to extraction of minerals and gas resources from Australian territory. In almost all cases, history shows that agreements are one sided, loaded in favour of the multinationals. It is no wonder that a large number of politicians on both side of politics have skipped off into the sunset with cushy, extremely well-paying sinecures with multinational companies that they have assisted during their time in office.
Birdbrain writes: What would you expect from a Christian Porter nomination? Porter gets kudos for appointing a man with Malaysian/Chinese background, thereby showing the electorate he, Porter, is not a racist himself. He appoints a man who is clearly not at all interested in “rocking the boat” with unpalatable truths about racism in Australia; who is probably hoping to take another tilt at being successfully preselected for a Liberal seat in the Victorian parliament once he has served a forelock-tugging role as the new Race Discrimination Commissioner. He’s been given the Murdoch tick of approval by The Australian.
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