At the time of writing towards the end of March 2013 the Australian media with a uniformity that would have done credit to state-controlled media was telling Australia that Tony Abbott would be the next Prime Minister of Australia.
The message was not new. It was the same narrative that Australians had been fed by their newspapers, televisions and radio for the last two years. During those two years while Australian were being told by their media that they had possibly the worst government in the world, others who had access to data and broader perspective and less agenda adjudicated that the country Julia Gillard was Prime Minister of was one of the best country in the world to live in, one of the best countries in the world for a child born in 2013 to be born, one of the most financially sound economies in the world with one of the highest standard of living and greatest opportunities, and a country with one of the lowest debt levels in the developed world. The country that Australia’s news limited media had “awfulized” so effectively was a country that people were literally dying to get to.
The Gillard years were a time where Australia’s media enjoyed unfettered freedom of the press. There was a possibility however that others were deprived not only of accurate information and a diversity of views, but of the opportunity to take pride in the remarkable achievements of their country at a time of great economic difficulty across the world, to savour the peace and prosperity in which they lived, to celebrate the successes that the government had achieved – be it avoiding the worst impacts of the GFC, securing a seat on the Security Council, earning a Triple-A credit rating from all major agencies, achieving enviable scores on indicators such as unemployment, growth, inflation, strong dollar, improved safety net, manageable debt levels, and real wage growth, and cementing its place in the world strengthening alliances with old friends and looking forward to an Asian century.
Julia Gillard will not be the last Prime Minister of Australia in the same way that she did not assassinate anyone, or stage a coup, or stab anyone in the back, or have blood on her hands.
However it is very likely that she would be the last Australian Prime Minister prepared to fight for the freedom of the press of ordinary Australians as distinct from the opposition and many in her own party who are more interested in protecting the freedom of the press of media barons. She is very likely to be the last Prime Minister in Australia who will dare to impose any taxes on corporations and on the wealthy people who run the big corporations. She is likely to be the last Prime Minister who will not stand idly by while middle class tax payers are asked to pay a price for the pollution in our atmosphere so that the big polluters who run the big corporations won’t be asked to pay a carbon tax. Julia Gillard is likely to be the last Australian Prime Minister to put the rights and conditions of Australian workers ahead of the privileges and power of the corporations.
A multinational corporation does not owe allegiance to a specific jurisdiction or nation. Its first obligation is to its bottom line. The News Ltd chorus will tell the folk that unless a good product is being provided the folk can turn away. That is logical on one level.
But those who are in a position to manipulate the masses have shown throughout history that good folk are trusting of those who have power- especially the power to control the flow of news and information. Examples can be found from the crowd who fell to the charm of Mark Anthony’s silver tongue and were persuaded to avenge Caesar’s death, to the crowd who at the prompting of certain powers of the time shouted “crucify him” on good Friday to the trusting crowd that make News Corporation’s Fox News Channel in its fifth year of dedication to diminishing and destroying the Obama Presidency the most profitable of cable networks in the USA to