Roughan declares Australian election result | The Jackal

23 Mar 2013

Roughan declares Australian election result

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Meanwhile, in Australia the Gillard Government is at an end.

That's news to me... It would seem that the Australian Labor Party is still in power, which makes John Roughan's claims farcical!

The commentaries coming from Australia yesterday were utterly confused about the outcome of the governing Labor Party's leadership vote. It was variously thought to be a victory for Julia Gillard, a back-down by Kevin Rudd and an inexplicable switch of allegiance by deputy Simon Crean.

It was none of those. Even from this distance it was obvious what happened. It has been clear for some time that the Government is finished. It is going to be slaughtered in September.

What a load of tosh! Right wing propagandists might want the Australian Labor Party to be at an end, but it's not. Instead, current polling shows they're down 4.6% on the 2010 election result. In fact the latest Roy Morgan poll had the ALP up 1.5%, which clearly indicates that they're not done and dusted.

Political commentators don't like to say this categorically because it might sound partisan and you never know, a miracle might occur. But it is not partisan, it is obvious to politicians on all sides and they don't wait for miracles.

It's true that most political commentators don't usually make false claims that are easily refuted. However in New Zealand, we often have little journalistic integrity or accountability, meaning that old hacks like John Roughan can pretty much write whatever rubbish they like.

In Australia on Thursday, Crean tried to stop Rudd destabilising the Government by encouraging him to challenge for the leadership again. It was the classic poisoned chalice - nobody can save them now. As obvious as that was, even to Rudd, it was just possible his legendary ego could not resist it.

What exactly this has to do with the headline 'Memo to Key - listen to Brown' is beyond me. Working a story about the ALP together with a story about the ruction between the Auckland City Council and the National Party simply doesn't work. Along with there being deliberate lies in Roughan's article, there's no proper context, and it should therefore have been consigned by the editor to the dust bin.

But back on topic... The main problem with Australian politics at the moment is the amount of money being spent by the mining industry and their associates to undermine Julia Gillard's government. Like New Zealand, there is also a biased media that favours the right. Mining magnate Gina Rhinehart for instance has considerable shares in Channel 10 and Fairfax, which undoubtedly gives her editorial rights to promote her pro mining agenda.

With the current ALP moving towards ensuring polluting industries pay their fair share of taxes putting them at loggerheads with the mining industry, it's likely we will see an increase in campaigns of disinformation, that use similar techniques to Roughan's claim that the ALP is at an end.

However there's still six months until the next Australian election, which is more than enough time for Julia Gillard to regain the 4.6% she needs to ensure the right wing doesn't win. With the ALP now more compatible with the Greens than ever before, and the fact that they'll likely have the sole balance of power in any future Australian Senate, it's conceivable that the Greens will again provide confidence and supply to a Labor led government after the next election. However declaring the result at this stage is premature, which is obviously news to idiots like John Roughan.