Media tycoon out of touch with reality

Out of touch with reality?? !! This is putting it mildly.

I almost fell off my seat when I saw online a report of Rupert Murdoch’s first Boyer lectures, in which he portrayed Australia as a backward nation plagued by welfare bludgers. He reprimanded the Australian public for relying too much on our government, rather than on the free market, for resolving our economic and social problems. He described our public education system as antiquated and was adamant that we are ill-prepared to take advantage of a global economy. Mr Murdoch, are you suffering from Alzheimer’s disease? Or are you simply out of touch with reality? Your Australia seems to be a different world to the one that I am living in right now. Somewhere along the line, you got stuck in 1985, the year when you decided you had enough of Australia and took up US citizenship instead.

On the issue of welfare bludgers, bravidvalour wrote:

Murdoch wants a witch hunt of penniless idlers so that it’s ‘plunder as usual’ for the media moguls. Take people’s minds off the real thieves like himself is what his media empire is all about. His newspapers are nothing more than prejudice pushing, insecurity peddling, and general UNFORMATION for unthinking.

The only idlers are the media moguls and other corporate ‘cor-pirates’ who make hundreds of millions manipulating the economy and people’s opinions for their own ends. It is time not for a witch hunt of indigent “idlers”.  It is time to bring cor-pirates to justice, with windfall profits tax, and unlimited liability for execs.

The people relying on government subsidies are sick and disabled, they are not institutionalised idlers, they are managing huge daily living skills challenges and difficulties. The so called idlers have been dragged and unceremoniously removed from the system with harsh penalties and very strict surveillance and enforcement.

Either Mr Murdoch was uninformed or he was deliberately trying to mislead his audience when he painted a picture of a sharp increase in social welfare recipients in Australia, from 15% to 20% of the working aged population in less than two decades. He failed to mention the fact that (1) the Howard government’s “work for the dole” scheme has made it almost impossible for a normal working aged person to stay on the dole for any extended period; and (2) increasing middle class welfare is one of the Howard government’s initiatives.  In other words, many of these so-called “welfare beneficiaries” that Mr Murdoch quoted are not “idlers”; they are just recipients of baby bonus, first home buyers’ subsidies and private health insurance rebates; they are tax-payers like you and me. So am I too harsh on Mr Murdoch when I say: “he is out of touch with reality”?

Even our most out-spoken critic gives credit to the positive transformation of Australia. Lee Kwan Yew, who once warned Australians that we were at risk of becoming “white trash” in Asia, openly admits in his recent visit that we have changed and we are changing for the better.

Come to think about it, this commenter Charles was not too far off when he made this remark about Rupert Murdoch’s speech:

He lives as a wealthy person in a country that has completely screwed up its social structure and he comes over here and suggests we should do the same. I just wish there was a smiley with two fingers in the air because that is how I would like to end this post.

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6 Responses to Media tycoon out of touch with reality

  1. Well, I couldn’t agree with you more on this one Catherine. Spot on!

  2. Ned Kelly says:

    Hey Mark,

    After I consulted with her about any possible “racial” “sensitivities”, my Lady Catherine, who is Chinese, gave me permission to post a link to this movie clip, and to suggest that the Far Eastern Whore in this clip closely resembles (in spirit anyway) Murdoch’s Chinese wife Wendy Deng:

  3. Ned Kelly says:

    PS, but then, after viewing that movie clip, Catherine and I both wondered why Murdoch’s wife Wendy Deng – who is a lot less pretty than most Chinese or Vietnamese prostitutes – is worth anything more than ten dollars to Murdoch. Catherine and I agree that this is a sign of Murdoch’s senility.

  4. Ned Kelly says:

    PPS, Catherine and I both agree, that we have diagnosed Rupert Murdoch’s brain disease as very similar to this one:

  5. C.A. Yeung says:

    Thanks Mark,

    It means a lot to me for a fellow Aussie to agree with my criticism of Murdoch’s lame attempt to “correct our thought” about Australia. It’s true that Australia, like many other countries in the world, has its unique set of problems and issues. But they aren’t the ones Murdoch is babbling on about. Rupert Murdoch is one of the reasons why I reject an American style Republic for Australia. Can you imagine having Murdoch as the President of the Republic of Australia??!! The mere thought of it makes me want to vomit.

  6. C.A. Yeung says:

    However, I would still like to highly recommend the Boyer Lectures series, particularly to readers who are interested in knowing more about the history and culture of Australia.

    My favourite is the 2006 series of 6 lectures delivered by Ian Macfarlane, the ex-boss of the Reserve Bank of Australia. His lectures provide plenty of food for thought for those who want to find out how a modern democratic nation has diligently strived to ensure a stable growth path for its economy. Macfarlane’s version of Australia stands in stark contrast to the “complacency” stereotype that Murdoch is attempting to reinforce in his recent speech.

    Melbourne Uni’s Max Corden has written a very informative review of Macfarlane’s lectures.

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