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Jazzy Jan

Australia's political shambles

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@Kim @karbatal

 

Think you both might be interested in this - despite it being in Australia -  but at least Murdoch and Stokes are getting exposed by the ABC here in Australia.  Stokes was frightened of the union movement affecting his businesses and Murdoch is always self centred and for the far right - especially if they favour his business interests.  This has broken tonight all over the ABC news.  Hate that billionaires have so much power over what is written in the media and on tv. 

What did Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes have to do with the Liberal leadership spill?

Malcom Turnbull's demise as Australia's 29th prime minister was unusual for many reasons, and truly unique for one: his was the first known prime ministership to be the subject of a billionaires' tug of war between the nation's most powerful media moguls.

The final blow for Mr Turnbull came in the Liberal party room on Friday August 24, but since then the ABC has pieced together an emerging picture of critical contacts with two media titans in the days before, as the prime minister sought to fend off the assault.

It began some weeks ago when Mr Turnbull and Kerry Stokes, the chairman of Seven West Media, began discussing what looked very much to the then-prime minister like a campaign to oust him by News Corp.

He believed it was being led by The Australian newspaper and the Daily Telegraph, egged on by 2GB's Alan Jones and Ray Hadley and Sky News commentators "after dark".

But it was more than that. Mr Stokes had high personal regard for Mr Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Stokes have long had a good relationship, curated and then nurtured by the wily Bruce McWilliam, one of Mr Turnbull's best friends and closest confidants.

Mr McWilliam, a lawyer, was a business partner with Mr Turnbull and is now Mr Stokes' "Mr Fix-it", also known as the media mogul's commercial director at Seven West Media.

Mr McWilliam is known to be furious at sections of the media because he believes they "killed" the prime ministership of his good friend.

The ABC understands that Mr Turnbull and Mr Stokes were in contact a lot in the final days.

Murdoch told Stokes 'Malcolm's got to go'

Mr Stokes took it upon himself to inquire with Rupert Murdoch what was going on inside News Corp for the company to be going so hard against Mr Turnbull.

Exactly when and how this happened is unclear, whether it was in person or by phone, but the 87-year-old Mr Murdoch was in Australia the week of Mr Turnbull's leadership calamity.

He had arrived in Australia on August 10, when his Sydney-bound corporate jet flying from California was diverted to Canberra because of fog.

He was still in Australia on August 20, on stage with former prime minister John Howard for the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne.

In any case, the two billionaires spoke about this time.

"Malcolm has got to go," Mr Murdoch told Mr Stokes, according to multiple re-tellings of the conversation, relayed back to Mr Turnbull by Mr Stokes.

Mr Stokes told Mr Murdoch that rolling Mr Turnbull would deliver government to Labor, that the industrial relations landscape would see the likes of the CFMEU thrive.

Mr Murdoch's reply? One version, told to the ABC, is that Mr Murdoch told Mr Stokes:

"We have got to get rid of Malcolm. If that's the price of getting rid of him then I can put up with three years of Labor."

A remarkably similar version was told to the Australian Financial Review. In it, Mr Murdoch told Mr Stokes: "They'll only be in for three years — it won't be so bad. I did alright under Labor and the Painters and Dockers; I can make money under Shorten and the CFMEU."

2GB, Daily Telegraph crank up leadership speculation

Concern inside the Turnbull camp had been mounting in the week before the leadership coup. But concern became a sense of awful dread on Friday, August 17.

Sydney radio station 2GB's Twitter account tweeted at lunchtime to say:

"Ray Hadley confirms there will be a move against Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the next two weeks. 'It's happening for sure and certain … 100%'"

That morning, the Daily Telegraph's Sharri Markson had a front-page story headlined "MPs hit the panic Dutton".

Markson's story read: "Conservative MPs are urging Peter Dutton to seize the leadership from Malcolm Turnbull within weeks, on a policy platform of lower immigration and cheaper energy bills."

The next day she followed up with a more foreboding front page splash: "Dutton ready to roll," the Tele screamed.

"Peter Dutton is seriously considering a leadership challenge for the prime ministership," Markson wrote.

The ABC understands that Mr Turnbull's concerns about his political mortality drove him to call Mr Murdoch himself, just days before he lost his job.

The billionaire told him he was not driving any campaign against him but said he was not responsible for what "Boris" might be doing. By Boris, he meant Paul Whittaker, the editor-in-chief of The Australian.

Turnbull in trouble

By Monday evening, August 20, Mr Turnbull knew he was in substantial trouble.

That night, Turnbull lieutenant Craig Laundy had dined with Luke Howarth, the Liberal occupant in the ultra-marginal Queensland seat of Petrie.

Mr Howarth told Mr Laundy he was "gone" as an MP under Mr Turnbull, and would rather he stepped down.

The Brisbane MP planned to use the partyroom meeting the next day, August 21, to call on Mr Turnbull to step down for the good of the party. This he did not tell Mr Laundy.

Mr Howarth had rehearsed what he would tell Liberal colleagues, but when he rose to speak at the very start of the Tuesday meeting at 9:00am, Mr Turnbull cut him off immediately to bring on a motion to spill the leadership positions.

Mr Dutton nominated for the leader's job. There were no speeches.

From that moment on, Mr Turnbull was cooked.

He hadn't anticipated that as many as 35 Liberals in a party room of 84 should, in effect, cast a vote of no confidence in his leadership in favour of Mr Dutton.

Mr Turnbull was now very worried about where Mathias Cormann's allegiances lay.

The Belgian-born Finance Minister and Leader of the Government in the Senate is Mr Dutton's best friend.

He and Mr Dutton had formed Turnbull's right-wing Praetorian Guard and been the reason why, since Tony Abbott's ouster in September 2015, there'd been relative stability up until the third week of August 2018.

The ABC has been told that Mr Stokes, a proud West Australian, was also keen to know where Senator Cormann stood. He made it known to Senator Cormann that he didn't want Mr Dutton to become Prime Minister.

He believed that Mr Dutton's pledge to take GST off energy bills might come at the expense of the $4.7 billion GST deal that benefited WA over a decade, a deal that he knew had to be navigated in Cabinet past Mr Dutton, who thought the sweetener for the West had come at the expense of Queensland.

But Mr Stokes also knew that Mr Turnbull would likely not survive, and while News Corp newspapers swung behind a Dutton ascendancy, Mr Stokes had other ideas.

West Australian touts Morrison for leader

On Thursday, August 23, Mr Stokes' Perth newspaper The West Australian splashed a picture of Mr Turnbull and Scott Morrison on its front page, imploring a "BETTER CHOICE".

The sub-headline said the "PM SHOULD STAND ASIDE FOR SCOMO".

The editorial inside the newspaper daily opined:

"Mr Turnbull's leadership is damaged beyond repair and he should stand aside. And while the focus has been on Mr Dutton as an alternative, there may be a better option — [Scott] Morrison."

The Stokes masthead presciently noted what would become the new Prime Minister, Mr Morrison's, mantra too:

"It was a quintessentially Australian way of expressing a core Australian value: the notion of a 'fair go for those who have a go and who put in the hard yards'. And it sums up well what our leaders should strive to deliver. The sentiment was expressed in a speech by Treasurer Scott Morrison on Tuesday that was all but lost amid the heat and chaos of the failed bid by Peter Dutton to replace Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull."

But The West Australian is not Mr Stokes' only conduit. He has long had a warm relationship with Julie Bishop, then the Liberal deputy leader.

At a meeting of several WA Liberals at 10:30am on Thursday, August 23, in a room in Parliament's Ministerial Wing known by politicians as the 'Monkey Pod Room', Ms Bishop laid bare the Stokes strategy.

Ms Bishop told the WA Liberals in the room — Nola Marino, Ken Wyatt, Steve Irons, Melissa Price, Dean Smith and Ben Morton — that Mr Stokes didn't want Mr Dutton to replace Mr Turnbull.

"In good conscience, you cannot let Peter Dutton become Prime Minister," she told them, telling them that the GST deal delivered by Mr Turnbull for WA might be unravelled by the Queenslander.

Whether her intervention made any difference is debatable, but Mr Wyatt, Mr Irons, Ms Price and Mr Morton are known to have voted for Mr Morrison in the final vote the next day.

None of them voted for her.

Which is ironic, given that on Friday, August 24, the day Mr Turnbull fell, The West Australian seemed to have forgotten it had anointed Mr Morrison the fail-safe alternative to Mr Turnbull.

When contacted by the ABC, neither Mr Stokes, nor Mr Murdoch's News Corp would comment.

Until the end, News Corp's The Australian had been unabashed in its advocacy for an end to the Turnbull prime ministership.

In its final editorial of the Turnbull era, on Friday 24 August, it described the PM's behaviour the preceding day as sinking "to a new low".

As for its own conduct, The Australian editorialised with pride on its "mission" of backing economic reform and tax cuts, but added "we warned repeatedly about dangers" which, in its view, Mr Turnbull had failed to address at his own cost.

It's a curious postscript that neither Mr Murdoch nor Mr Stokes might've got their final pick for Prime Minister, even though one of them got closest.

It is understood one of them, Mr Stokes, made contact with Mr Turnbull on the weekend after the leadership tumult.

Mr Stokes urged him to move on, for the sake of himself and the country.

The former prime minister greeted this entreaty coolly, noting with some venom that what was so frustrating for Australian politics is that everyone knew what was happening and "no-one" wanted it said.

Andrew Probyn worked for News Corp for eight years, and Seven West Media for more than 11 years.

 

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Thanks for posting this, Jan. 

These past five years the controlling of the press and media by influential groups or personalities has increased A LOT for several reasons: 

1. Social media is hard to control so elites use traditional media as a counter defence. 

2. Elites are TERRIFIED for the increase of social revolts and anger by citizens so they use media to destroy any possible rise of new social union or new parties. That's why they don't care about the rising of far right, as usually far right is complice of the elites and destroys minorities and social union. 

Most of this has happened for decades but now we are much more aware because we have access to other sources of information. But sometimes we can't do anything if campaigns against a politician are exposing truths. These elites have lots of dirty secrets from those politicians and use them at convenience. 

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I don't say this lightly, but it'll be a happy day when that old Murdoch cunt drops dead.

 

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Jan, I've been listening to the BBC World Service (which I love) and they've been reported about the journalist at ABC  being forced to resign because his reports were not liked by the Government! 

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35 minutes ago, karbatal said:

Jan, I've been listening to the BBC World Service (which I love) and they've been reported about the journalist at ABC  being forced to resign because his reports were not liked by the Government! 

Karbatal, It is a shambles.  The chairman of the ABC has been forced to resign because he demanded that a journalist was sacked because she was writing stuff that the Government would not have liked.  His emails regarding this were leaked. The staff of the ABC have all been demonstrating against him and how he threw a journalist under the bus to please Turnbull.  They did not like the journalist complaining about corporate tax cuts.  I have just got home and going to look into it a lot more.  I love our ABC - so is a shock.  It sounds like the ABC was starting to be pressured and could be going like the BBC in the UK which @Kim has talked about in the Brexit thread and on this thread too.  This getting exposed will stop this happening I think.  Australians demand an independent ABC so this has been met with fury from the public and ABC supporters and workers. 

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On 9/18/2018 at 11:19 PM, Kim said:

I don't say this lightly, but it'll be a happy day when that old Murdoch cunt drops dead.

 

Agree.  No tears from me when he goes.  What an evil manipulative heartless person.  One of our presenters and comedians Julia Zemiro said on QI with Stephen Fry when the question was "  What is the deadliest Australian animal worldwide"  or something similar with the answer "  Rupert Murdoch"   She is spot on.  He spreads his evil all over the world.  

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13 hours ago, karbatal said:

Jan, I've been listening to the BBC World Service (which I love) and they've been reported about the journalist at ABC  being forced to resign because his reports were not liked by the Government! 

I have  been watching some very interesting interviews with senior ABC reporters who are well known for their unbiased reporting like Barrie Cassidy. Well known political reporter for decades and well respected.   He was extremely emotional about many things.  Firstly, was brutally honest about his thoughts on the latest senior management of the ABC and how they don't have the same understanding of journalism as previous bosses and how it was previously never comprised by what a government would think about a report.   Secondly,  also said that never before had the ABC as the tax payers independent fair media been gone after so viciously by another major press association which is News Corp.   Said that previously,  there was a comradery between journalists but now News Corp has been actively trying to diminish and undermine the ABC for years.  Which is true.  News Corp  is owned by Murdoch - surprise surprise.   Because of the right wing media papers such as The Herald Scum and the Australian etc really trashing the ABC on mass,  they are emboldening the government to want to slash and burn costs given to the ABC in a way never seen before.  

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What a pity. It's so difficult nowadays to have any kind of unbiased media!!!!! 

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Love Kerry O'Brien.  Yet again,  calling out the Murdoch press and the people trying to destroy the ABC. 

 

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@Kim @karbatal  @runa @Ciccone's Cheeks @Crystal Coffin  @beta_test Keeping you updated in Australian politics !  :lol:  @San  Isn't this Wonderful ! 

This is fantastic !   An independent in Kerryn Phelps winning a bi election in the safest Australian conservative seat in Australia :clap:  Malcolm Turnbull (  PM who was NOT ultra right wing who was replaced as leader by ultra right wing factions )  quit Parliament and his seat of Wentworth was now up for grabs.  Kerryn Phelps is a campaigner for climate change, getting children off Nauru and offshore detention and she beat the Liberal party  ( name of the conservative party in Australia ) .  Really proud of Australia and it is proves that Australians are not falling for the garbage in the right wing Murdoch papers

 

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2 hours ago, Jazzy Jan said:

@Kim @karbatal  @runa @Ciccone's Cheeks @Crystal Coffin  @beta_test Keeping you updated in Australian politics !  :lol:  @San  Isn't this Wonderful ! 

This is fantastic !   An independent in Kerryn Phelps winning a bi election in the safest Australian conservative seat in Australia :clap:  Malcolm Turnbull (  PM who was NOT ultra right wing who was replaced as leader by ultra right wing factions )  quit Parliament and his seat of Wentworth was now up for grabs.  Kerryn Phelps is a campaigner for climate change, getting children off Nauru and offshore detention and she beat the Liberal party  ( name of the conservative party in Australia ) .  Really proud of Australia and it is proves that Australians are not falling for the garbage in the right wing Murdoch papers

 

Someone who actually believes in science and not subpar conspiracy theories floating around on YouTube by right wing "political commentators".

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The gap has narrowed as the postal votes that are being counted are favouring the conservatives. The swing has been massive against the government but it would be dreadful if they ended up getting home by the narrowest of margins. Her victory was called last night but apparently the postal votes are going entirely against the massive swing against Morrison and the Coalition. Wentworth has been the safest seat for the Coalition traditionally and the fact it is even close is a huge slap in the face to the government.  Would hate it if the verdict announced was wrong though and Phelps did not win. 

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It's refreshing if people would really get to their senses. I just hope it also works out that way in the US. 

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Seems like she will still win @Jazzy Jan 😁

I love how some of them are blaming Malcolm of all people for not campaigning on behalf of the new liberal candidate. Like really 😮🙄🤔 These liberal bastards have some nerve 😂

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20 minutes ago, San said:

Seems like she will still win @Jazzy Jan 😁

I love how some of them are blaming Malcolm of all people for not campaigning on behalf of the new liberal candidate. Like really 😮🙄🤔 These liberal bastards have some nerve 😂

San,  they are unbelievable.  I am not a Turnbull fan but the ultra right wingers forced him out of the job because he was too "left leaning"  and now blame him for not campaigning for the ultra right factions in the Liberal party that plotted to remove him.  :wacko:

Love though that Australia is rejecting this party.  How about the Liberal party originally supporting Pauline Hanson's racist "  It's Ok to be white"  bill before they were called out and then pretended they did not know it was racist.  I mean,  it was brought up by Pauline Hanson.  How could they not know ? .   How low can they go. 

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