In a cheap and counterproductive factional stunt, the Young Liberals (a group whose very existence surprises me) raised a motion at the national conference that the ABC should be privatised. And even more embarrassingly for the LNP government, the motion was passed overwhelmingly.
Unsurprisingly, the government went into damage control, insisting there were no plans to sell off the national broadcaster. And I kind of agree with that explanation… For now.
For a government as duplicitous and ambitious in its goals of upwards redistribution of wealth, a well-funded and well respected ABC is an obstacle. The media’s role of being an impartial 4th pillar of democracy requires that journalists are able to investigate and report on the actions of our elected representatives without fear or favour so that they can expose corruption and wrongdoing.
Can we at least stop pretending that the secrecy around our abuse of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru has had anything to do with security?
The images of refugee children on the US border separated from their families and being kept in cages were powerful and resonated around the world. Credit to the American people, their outrage forced the hand of the Trump administration, which backtracked quickly on the family separations. Admittedly their hostile refugee policy still remains deeply problematic to almost anyone with a shred of empathy for people with different coloured skin, but it was good to see that a nation’s outrage can force a policy reversal from a government that wants to be seen as tough on immigration.