Thursday, August 25, 2011

Space Filling on The Drum

Barrie Cassidy seems to have quickly typed up an article regarding Craig Thomson on ABC's The Drum this morning.

You can read the full article here.

What is interesting is how the title of the piece, "Never mind the substance, feel the hyprocrisy" doesn't accurately reflect the contents of the article. Well, not in the way that it was hoped by Barrie and the ABC.

The piece tries to tie together a number of current issues involving the government and politics at the moment, including low opinion poll numbers for Labor, the Carbon Tax, pokies reform and Craig Thomson. It also includes a trip back to the early Howard years in a bizzare attempt to connect code of conduct breaches made in parliament to Carig current "alleged" issues.

Now Barrie may or may not be writing with a political bias. It is really not for me to say. Sometimes his writing is so haphazard that it is difficult to see this clearly.

Anyway, here is my response which has been forwarded to The Drum for posting.

Barrie, I have a number of issues in respect of another poor article that you have written.

Let me say from the outset that it's not a good look for Labor at the moment.

However I am glad that our judicial system does not work on whether something is a good look or not.

A police investigation is underway in relation to this matter. It is too soon to say whether charges will be laid. And then the man has a chance to defend himself in court.

We live in a society where in a court of law a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.

It's a real shame this doesn't seem to apply in the media, and the court of public opinion.

I also consider that your attempt at comparing the Liberal ministerial resignations in the late nineties due to breaches in a "code of conduct" to Mr. Thomson's alleged activities to be a bit of a red herring. It is interesting that you didn't refer to a more recent and more relevant comparison with current charges against a member of the Liberal Party. You may have strengthened your case had you done so.

Barrie, you may not like the coalition currently in Government and think that it is unworkable. I guess I would look at the volume of legislation that has passed through parliament as evidence of the fact that it is workable.

You may point to the current opinion polls as evidence of the dislike of the current arrangements but dislike does not mean unworkable. The electorate, as a collective, has provided the mix of politicians ad parties in the current parliament, meaning that this is the new political reality. Deals need to be done in order for a major party to form government. Liberal would have done the same. It is indeed fortunate for the Labor Party that the current opposition leader has managed to alienate himself from the independents to such an extent that a future Liberal/Independents coalition is unthinkable whilst Abbott is in that role.

In respect of your comments that "the jurors have been announcing their verdicts one by one" I can only believe that you think that you and your ilk, as political commentators, are the "jurors". If that is the case then that is extreme arrogance. If the next election sees a change in government it will not be because a bunch of journalists and commentators think that this should happen.

The Carbon Tax is certainly a brave step for a government to take, as is the pokies reform. Reform is always scary. Fear plus loud opposition does not necessarily mean bad reform. It just means that the communication from the government needs to be clearer about the benefits of the reform. If the current government is guilty of anything it is that they can't sell a policy to save themselves.

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