Let’s turn back the tide of media nastiness infecting our national psyche

Noely Neate

Noely Neate

Columnist at No Fibs

Female, Mother, Partner. Day job: small business owner, co-founder and community site co-ordinator on a regional portal. Doonan (the land of the dam and franken–spiders), Queensland.

Noely Neate

@YaThinkN

Memo to self: Remember Democracy rules; Don’t swear on Twitter, even during #SOO; Just a Punter; #NBN; #MyBroadbandvReality

@lutajobe you should contact Caitlin re this tweet about sharing thoughts :) RE https://t.co/FELMviTm48 – 18 mins ago

Noely Neate
I am not a journalist, nor am I a writer. I don’t belong to any political party, though I will admit that back in the day I was a paid-up Democrat until Meg Lees screwed us over. Now, I don’t believe in political parties at all; I find them terribly UN-Democratic. In my preferred world I would have actual elected representatives whose primary responsibility was to accurately represent their electorates – not the party, not men in grey suits – the punters, then get together with all the other reps to compromise and work together to run this country/state/council. I know, I know … but a girl can dream!

Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 19 July 2013 - Just an example of the top 3, all featuring the Asylum Seeker problem, not the only ones, I suggest you visit http://www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm for a snapshot around the country :(

Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 19 July 2013 – Just an example of the top three, all featuring the Asylum Seeker problem – not the only ones. More Front Pages for a snapshot around the country

By Noely Neate
Source: Yathink.com.au
19 July 2013

What has happened to this country?  It’s the chicken and the egg scenario – are we drawn to sensationalism because it is handed to us by the media or do the media mete out the ridiculous hyperbole because the public demand it?  From the outside looking in, it feels like hysterical coverage cements both the media and the Australian public as part of a nasty, self-obsessed nation.

Today alone we are told the biggest issue affecting our political landscape is the dreaded ‘illegal’ asylum seekers and that Kevin Rudd has to address this.  Really?  That is the biggest problem in this country that needs to be put on the front page of the papers?  How many people have actually even met an asylum seeker?  Beverley O’Connor on ABC breakfast this morning stated that this “Asylum seeker issue resonates in the public”?

Yeah, umm, why?  Because the media have constantly flogged it as being a problem regardless of FACTS.  I have to admit I love trolling the die-hard conservative with one simple question “Really, OMG! You must be so scared of the harm those Asylum Seekers will do here in Nambour

Yes Nambour, FFS!  How many who raise this ‘problem’ have any bloody idea, ever met one of these poor buggers fleeing poverty or persecution? How many in this country actually will have their lives affected by an asylum seeker?

The asylum seeker issue is extremely complicated and has perplexed many far more knowledgeable than me.  IF Australian’s were actually the caring compassionate people we like to think we are, we would not be tolerating this persistent demonisation. But we are!

Same with the FBT changes.  Really?  PM Agenda had to focus on the “OMG one company is already sacking people”. Seriously? Twenty four hours after a perfectly reasonable request that people actually prove they deserve the tax break a company announces sackings.

Sorry, I smell bullshit.  This company obviously already had a problem.

Again this morning they are still carrying on about the FBT and getting finance experts on TV to tell us how scary this all is.  Basically, we want a surplus, we have to cut costs and the Government picked out an area that is being rorted.  Yes being rorted, and  the finance people and other talking heads they get on TV from the Novated Lease companies that say that it is not being rorted are bald faced liars.  We all know a few people who have taken advantage of that loophole.  That is not a problem, hell, good on you, if you could take advantage and legally reduce your tax, fair call.  Sorry, it is over, you have to actually ‘prove’ it now, big bloody deal!

Where was the outcry from the media of the sky falling in when single parents had their payments reduced to ‘help the budget get into surplus’?  Where was the wall to wall coverage?  Where was the 24/7 talking to experts with dire warnings of children being made homeless due to poverty?  Where were the experts discussing the serious concerns in regard to extra pressure on charities to help these people?  Where were the mental health professionals advising that a system that can’t cope now will be crushed in coming months with support needs for struggling families coping with depression?

media and politicians (of all flavours) need to take themselves outside and give themselves a good uppercut. You are responsible for feeding into the most base, racist, selfish and self-obsessed aspects of human nature and it is disgusting. All you Australians that are buying into this, you follow them out the door and give yourselves an uppercut at well!

We have a shocking amount of rising homelessness in this country.  We have people on Newstart who may never get out of the poverty cycle.  We have children growing up with very little hope for a brighter future in this country.  We have people in aged care facilities being abused.  We have Australians suffering from mental illness who can’t afford or don’t have access to help.  I could fill a page listing serious concerns for people in this country, yet all we are seeing in the media is the ‘problem of illegal asylum seekers’ and ‘drama of FBT changes’.  Really, those two issues are the most important facing our country?

Yesterday on PM Agenda on Sky, David Speers questioned  Julie Bishop in regard to the Coalition stating that this election will be a ‘referendum on the Carbon tax’ and Mr Speers point blank asked Ms Bishop that should the ALP win the election would the Coalition respect that the Australian public had given the ALP a mandate and would the coalition therefore support that?  Ms Bishop after a ridiculous amount of Carbon Tax tyre kicking, refused to agree to that.  Basically stating that what the Coalition thought was more important than what the Australian people thought.  This is actually what I think is the biggest problem we have in this country!

We are pretty much in a situation where what political parties think will win votes and protect their ideology is more important than actually representing the Australian public.  Forgive me for being naive, but I thought representing punters was actually the primary job requirement for an MP?

I would like all Australians to give our politicians and media a kick up the butt.  Every time you see  racist dog whistling or defence of aspirational bogan middle class welfare at the expense of real issues, call it out!  Write to your papers and complain.  Email the TV stations and complain.  Write to your politicians and complain.

What is happening in this country at the moment is not politics, it is just plain nasty pandering to the lowest common denominator and it is time we all stood up to it and took our country back to the caring, ‘fair-go’ Australia we like to think we are.

Best wishes that we can turn back this tide, not of Asylum Seekers, but tide of nastiness our infecting our national psyche :(

Noely @YaThinkN

Comments


  1. well put.


  2. Hear hear. I think Australia has many issues more important to worry about that asylum seekers. But it gets front pages, so politicians keep working themselves into a lather about it. How many other nations are even interested in this as an issue on such a regular basis? This has been front page news for almost FIFTEEN YEARS! Its insanity, and it allows governments to avoid discussing issues which have a much larger impact on our society. It is pandering to the lowest common denominator, but so much propaganda and hate has been spewed out over the years, its daunting to know just where to begin combating these attitudes. Even educated, liberal and compassionate individuals I know are completely rabid on the ‘boat people’ problem, and fail to listen to any kind of reason on the topic.


    • Seriously glad to know I am not on my own here… I can’t comprehend why Asylum seekers needs to be news on a daily basis? If they were reporting a change in the rules, fair call, but they aren’t, is like they have become a ‘sport’ and it is terribly unedifying. Same with hysteria on FBT, no bloody difference if you are doing the right thing, so doesn’t deserve the drama & forests that are being felled to report on it. I with some Ethical Editors & News producers would take a stand against this sort of beat-up journalism, would be doing the nation a favour.

      I honestly believe that in decades to come, this period of our history will be looked up with as much shame as we do the White Australia or Stolen Aboriginal Children periods :(

      • Joy Cooper says:

        Totally agree Noely. Do think the media like to start frothing at the mouth to make themselves feel important & setting the agenda. It’s part of the narrative. The sanctimonious LNP promptly hops on board for a free ride & starts to act all “holier than thou”, the hypocrites.

        Mirabella mouthing off about what a disaster to the car industry the mild changes to the FBT to make rorting it a bit harder was a case in point. Pure hypocrisy as she had already announced a couple of weeks ago that the Coalition would slash $500 million from the car industry assistance package!!! (Also people will still need cars). Do they think we all have short term memory loss. Isn’t it time the media did their job & cut such bald-faced lying off at its knees.

        Don’t get me started on ex-Minister for the Pacific Solution, Amanda Vanstone’s recent remarks, either. :lol:

        PS Am still having all sorts of problems commenting on your YaThink blog so am pleased I can do so here at No Fibs.


  3. Is there anything lower than a News Limited journalist !!!!!!!


  4. To be honest, I don’t care about the FBT. Bill Shorten said today that the changes will not be retrospective, and that they are seeking to primarily affect the personal use of vehicles. So for a company to say that they’ve got to sack all those people, so soon after the announcement of proposed changes (that’s right, they’re only proposed at this stage), is highly dubious. If there are people that are exploiting generous provisions, which most other people aren’t able to access, then they need a good slap across the wrists.

    Regarding the carbon tax / ETS, I fully support measures to penalise the companies that are damaging the environment, which is the very thing which sustains our lives as a species. And apparently, even the shadow minister Greg Hunt wrote a paper in support of the notion a number of years ago.

    And as for “stop the boats” or “turn back the boats” or “…only when it’s safe to do so” or whatever the slogan is these days, well this whole exaggerated fear campaign, and everyone responsible for it, can give themselves a good hard uppercut.

    How about we stop the slogans? Or stop the unending rivers of verbal diarrhoea and brain vomit from these wingnuts dressed up as politicians?


  5. Well said Cranky Pants, you have touched on something that many have had in mind for quite a while. You have put words and substance to our thoughts. The press constantly hone in on the trivial, or sensationalize that like asylum seekers and create a problem that otherwise would not exist. It is something that requires world-wide thought and solutions, unlike the Abbott solution of sink…er..stop the boats. We want more long term solutions and far fewer slogans, mouthed as though they were policies, and the media should be held accountable for the lack of professional journalism.


  6. I believe we are in a truly dire situation. Two Christian males vying for leadership of this country and both of them have not one ounce of compassion for asylum seekers. It’s not my thing but Jesus is supposed to have said in the New Testament: ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’. What would those two heros say to that?


  7. Two packs of savage brutal dogs fighting over the bones of innocent people like gladiators of old in the Roman days.


  8. I don’t think “Australians are tolerating” anything. Australians, are for the most part, a pretty lazy mob. We get worked up about things, but if any of us actually had to lift a finger to change it, that same fervour would wane very quickly.

    I really don’t care about how many people want to move to Australia. I just have one caveat. They must not demand that we change our ways in order to suit their customs. If they want to move here, then they accept the dominant culture. The same way if we want to move to China, we must learn Mandarin and outwardly adopt the dominant culture in China.

    I have no problems with asylum seekers, however, when they commit a crime, they should be arrested and immediately deported to where they came from. We must not just allow unfettered migration with no consequences. We cannot afford to end up like Sweden, the UK, France or Netherlands, where there are areas that are too dangerous for the locals to go, let alone anyone who might be Jewish.

    Other than that, I welcome the hordes. Let them in. We need a good injection of fresh blood into this country. We need to stop being a backwater and start being a powerhouse, with a powerhouse population to match it. But we must do it responsibly.


  9. Hi Noely,
    “Email the TV stations and complain.” I’d like a dollar for every complaint I’ve sent to TV stations and got no reply.


  10. I Give Up.

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