By Joe Montero
A by-product of Malcolm Turnbull’s fall has been more revelations about the involvement of Rupert Murdoch in the manipulation of Australian government and politics.
The mountains of evidence accumulated about this, makes it clear that the protection of the democratic rights that we do have and improving on them in the future, depends on putting an end to the media mogul’s power to do what he does. A line must be drawn to prevent other moguls from doing the same.
It was the other media billionaire Kerry Stokes, who revealed the involvement of Murdoch in the dumping of Malcolm Turnbull. It may have been because of rivalry, or Stoke’s relationship with Turnbull. The reason doesn’t really matter. What went on is what does.
That Murdoch arranged meetings for the ouster of Turnbull is now well known. There were also the months of undermining headlines in the News Corp television, radio and newspaper outlets.
The vendetta also revealed something about the dependency of politicians at the highest level. Unlike the rest of us, their office door is always open to Rupert. We are certainly not all equal, when it comes to access. Not surprising really, in a situation where political fortunes depend so much on the deep pockets of those with the money and a good media profile.
Murdoch has been a major factor in the continuing disarray within the Liberal Party. And if past form is anything to go by, the treatment will soon be visited on the Labor Party. Remember, Murdoch was a key figure in the promotion and subsequent dumping of Kevin Rudd, which made a major contribution to the rise of Tony Abbott.
In the present scene, the destabilisation of Turnbull has turned into the destabilisation of Morrison. As the days pass, it is becoming clearer that the objective is redesign the Liberal Party.
One reason to do this, has been the ambition to extend the News Corp business empire in Australia, through the abolition of restrictions on cross media ownership, and to gain the advantage to corner digital media. A good illustration of Murdoch’s business ambitions and power to manipulate the political arena for gain, is his successful campaign to compromise the National Broadband Network (NBN), so that it would not damage Foxtel in the short-run, and buy time to move into position when the network must be redone.
Even more important is that Murdoch is a political player with a given outlook, who wants to reshape Australia to match it.
He champions an extreme form of capitalism where corporations are permitted to perform without restriction and pay no tax. In this world, wages and working conditions would be pulled down enormously and welfare would be put to an end. The state and corporations would merge much more thoroughly, and the mechanism to enforce social obedience put in place. This is corporatism, which happens to be the essence of the ideology and practice of fascism.
It is this political ambition, which led to the manipulation of dissatisfaction, to create One Nation and the promotion of Pauline Hanson, a vehicle used to put pressure on the Coalition parties and bring the fascist outlook into the mainstream. Stage two of his project is to build on this foundation. The liberal party has been penetrated and is being shaken up to carry the standard.
To suggest that Rupert Murdoch is a threat to democracy and a danger to Australia is an understatement. Everyone concerned about what is going on, must come together and build a resistance, and the best way to do this, is to do whatever we can to protect the democratic gains that have been won to date, and to work together to lift democracy to a new level.
Defending democracy means that the power of Rupert Murdoch must be curtailed. His capacity to control Australian media must be thwarted. The tie between the state, political establishment and the corporations must be severed.
The alternative is to walk down the dark road, where Murdoch’s ambition becomes a reality.