Posts filed under 'General News'
George Soros is a bit of a worry. He’s clearly a smart (albeit wrong on many subjects) man, and the timing of many of his moves have been interesting, but today’s move is one of the most interesting and worrying ones I’ve seen in a while.
George Soros is taking an interest in the Nine network, and is set to become a shareholder of the network today, along with a few others. Nine needs new investors because it has a lot of debt. George Soros can certainly help to fix that…he is a billionaire after all, but when he gets involved, things are never quite as they seem, especially when he is involved in media.
To many Australians, I would imagine George Soros is not a name they recognise. Some would, but for many he would just be recognised as yet another rich foreigner. Alas George is not just any rich foreigner.
George has “progressive” (I’d put him firmly in the socialist bracket) views and isn’t afraid to use his wealth in intriguing ways to promote his views. Now, I don’t begrudge the man his views, and I don’t begrudge him the right to advocate his views or to spend his money how he sees fit…rather, I just think it’s important that Australians are brought up to speed on who and what he is before he gets his hooks in to the Australian media, especially given the timing of his announcement.
Over in the US, George funds many “progressive” groups. He funds some non-political things too, but in the category of politically-active groups, the ones he funds seem to all do three things:
1) Defend the Obama administration and any other “progressive” politician. This includes attempting to cover up the scandals and failures, or if that isn’t possible, excuse them.
2) Viciously and mostly-falsely smear anyone who opposes “progressives”. The play book for this is very long. They’ve gone as far as paying people to pursue fake sexual harassment claims against people until such people stop actively opposing them.
3) Deny vigorously that George Soros has any influence over their activities. This might be believable if they didn’t all do it.
The timing of George’s little entrance in to the Australian media is interesting. George tends not to be overtly involved in owning bits of the media as his non-media interests seem to do a good job, and by having a less-obvious stake in some media outlets he can have them maintain the appearance of impartiality when they side with this other groups, so I’m not entirely sure why he’s being so overt about this purchase, but I have a theory which I’ll get to in a moment.
But first, Nine and Britain’s Daily Mail recently announced that they plan on jointly launching an Australian online version of The Daily Mail to compete with The Guardian’s Australian website. From a political perspective, Nine is reasonably respectable brand and, overall, has seemingly balanced reporting even if a few reporters to lean one way or the other…there is no blatantly obvious institutional bias like there is with the ABC and Fairfax. The Daily Mail has, despite being in Britain, been ahead of the pack on many stories, and broken other stories, about problems and scandals within the Obama administration. It would probably be fair to say that, with The Guardian catering for the left-wing audience, the Australian version of the Daily Mail would (when not indulging in tabloid fluff and entertainment stories) cater to a centre-right audience given their UK history and Nine’s existing brand.
George Soros’ entry in to the Australian market is worrying from the perspective that we already have two overtly left-wing television broadcasters (ABC and SBS) and more left-wing newsish websites and papers (Fairfax, Guardian, The Conversation, Mamamia) than I care to count. The he could be trying to pull Nine out of a state of relative balance or prevent the Daily Mail from being the ideological opposition to The Guardian in Australia that it is in the UK is worrying.
And while I think that is probably part of the game plan from Soros, I think it might also be a warning shot across the bow of The Daily Mail’s British operations as well. At the moment, the Obama administration is in chaos, mainly due to Obamacare being a disaster, but for other reasons as well, and there is a good (not certain by any means, but certainly a better than average) chance that the Republicans…and not just Republicans but truly conservative Republicans could take the House and the Senate in next year’s mid-term elections, potentially giving them the power if they have enough numbers, to override Presidential vetoes and undo much of Obama’s mess. This would be bad for George Soros as Obama is doing a pretty good job from a progressive point of view, especially with Obamacare…it’s a system designed to fail so that progressives can swoop in with a single-payer (aka, entirely government run and taxpayer funded) health system, and all of the associated socialist programs and policies which that can bring with it in the name of “health”. It’s a gigantic socialist government power-grab, and it’s on its way to working, unless Conservatives can stop it soon.
I suspect that part of the reason George Soros is being so visible in his purchase of part of Nine, is that he wants to scare the executives at The Daily Mail, and make sure they know that he could probably buy them out if he wanted to, and if they want him and his groups to leave them alone, then perhaps they should just stop being so good at reporting stories before much of the mainstream US media notices them.
Regardless of the motive, his entry in to the market is a concern, and one which those of us on the conservative side of the aisle should keep an eye on.
December 5th, 2013 at 02:03pm
An email to 2UE’s George Moore and Paul B. Kidd
Good morning George and Paul,
Quentin Bryce’s comments about a republic shocked me a little bit. While she is personally entitled to her view and I agree with her to a point, I can’t see it being worth the expense with our relatively small population.
What shocked me though is that she said what she said while holding the office she holds. To have the Queen’s representative advocate replacing the Queen as head of state is untenable. Quentin Bryce should resign. She can not faithfully represent the Queen if she holds the view that Australia should be a republic.
November 23rd, 2013 at 09:19am
I’m very pleased to see Tony Abbott start his speech by acknowledging that the power of government does not belong to him or to Kevin Rudd, or any political party, but that it belongs to the people of Australia, and he is there to govern for them, to the mandate for which it was elected (or as Tony put it “a government which says what it means, and means what it says”).
It was nice to see a short speech from Tony, although I do wonder if the line about Labor’s low primary vote was necessary. Tony tends to speak at his best when he is succinct, so it was very nice to see him keep the speech short and sweet.
A big victory to the Coalition tonight. It’s going to be a big three years ahead. There are still some seats to be decided and most of the Senate. I should note, regarding the Senate, that current ABC modelling is incorrect…it has only got one new Senate seat for the Coalition when the AEC quite clearly shows them holding at least three quotas across NSW and the ACT alone. I trust this will be fixed in due course as the Senate is clearly not the focus of tonight.
I, with great gladness and happiness, welcome Tony Abbott and his team as the incoming government, and I look forward to the three years which are ahead of us. It is my sincere hope that this new Liberal/National Coalition government surpasses the expectations of Australians and brings about more terms of government afterwards…but nothing can be taken for granted, and tomorrow, and more importantly once the Governor-General swears-in the new government, it is time to start governing in a clear, coherent, and transparent manner.
To the success and stability of an incoming, Tony Abbott-led, conservative government.
(And just before I go, a special congratulations to Fiona Scott, the candidate of much sex-appeal in the NSW seat of Lindsay, who has ousted Labor’s David Bradbury. Clearly the nonsensical claims of misogyny against Tony Abbott didn’t wash in that electorate, or in many other places for that matter.)
September 7th, 2013 at 10:25pm
And I thought Rob Oakeshott’s lengthy speech last year was painful when he rambled on and on and on about all of the factors which did and didn’t lead to his decision to support Julia Gillard as Prime Minister after the last election. Kevin Rudd’s speech tonight is worse.
He has said that he, in accordance with the rules he set down, will not contest the Labor Party leadership, so I suppose he knows that this is the last chance he has to get free national airtime. He could be there all year speaking.
Still, he did say once before that he wouldn’t contest the Labor Party leadership, and look where he is today, and his last statement just now that “you won’t hear my voice in public affairs for some time” tells me that, unfortunately, you can’t rule out a Kevin Rudd comeback in about two and a half years time.
I should not that I was very annoyed with the cheap shot Kevin Rudd took at his Liberal opponent in the seat of Griffith, Dr. Bill Glasson, but he’s stopped talking now so if I can avoid seeing him again (years, preferably) for a while, I’ll let it slide.
I did get a chuckle when 2GB cut away from Kevin Rudd’s speech and, during the commercial break, ran a commercial for Foxtel containing the fictional politician “The Member for Waffling” who was saying “waffle waffle waffle”. It seemed apt.
September 7th, 2013 at 10:00pm
And with that, Tony Abbott is now Prime Minister-elect.
Time for a celebratory coffee or three I think.
Three cheers for Tony Abbott!
September 7th, 2013 at 09:41pm
Everyone has now called the election for the Liberal/National Coalition. I am personally pleased to see Barnaby Joyce successfully jump from the Senate to the House Of Representatives by winning New England with a massive majority.
Elsewhere it is good to see Tony Abbott increase his lead in Warringah and Zed Seselja (almost certainly) retain the Liberal Senate seat in the ACT, taking over from Gary Humphries. Angus Taylor has easily won Hume, and Wyatt Roy has easily retained Longman.
Peter Beattie looks very unlikely to win Forde, making his return to politics one of the shortest in living memory.
Eden-Monaro will probably come down to postal votes and I doubt we’ll see a final result for a few days. Liberal’s Peter Hendy leads Labor’s Mike Kelly on first preferences, but is behind on estimated final preferences. It will be a close one.
Alas in the two ACT seats, the Labor incumbents have retained their seats, but both Liberal candidates appear to have closed the margin a little bit.
Kevin Rudd is behind by about 1,000 votes on first preferences in Griffith, but appears to have retained it clearly on estimated final preferences. I suspect the preference flow won’t be as clear-cut and we won’t have a final result there for a couple days. Overall it looks like Katter’s Australia Party and The Greens have one seat each, with one independent.
Most of the Senate is still too early to call.
September 7th, 2013 at 09:37pm
We only have about 2% counted so far, so it’s too early to really call it in my view, but Labor and Liberal have almost a full quota each with nobody else close, although the Greens are sitting on about 0.6 of a quota. It looks set to remain one Labor and one Liberal senator for the ACT. Kate Lundy for Labor and Zed Seselja for Liberals.
September 7th, 2013 at 08:57pm
Barnaby Joyce looks set to sweep to power in the seat of New England on first preferences alone. He currently has 52% of the vote, with nobody else over 14%. Almost half the votes are counted.
On first preferences, the National Party have gained a 27% swing.
September 7th, 2013 at 08:49pm
The coalition is on track for a big victory, and are likely to hold somewhere in the order of 90 or more seats. Adam Bandt has held his seat of Melbourne for the Greens, while high-profile candidate Clive Palmer looks very unlikely to win a seat of his own, although it’s possible that one of his 149 other candidates might claim a seat…maybe. Bob Katter is a long way behind on first preferences in Kennedy with the Liberal National Party’s Noeline Ikin ahead by about 5,000 votes, but preferences look set to hand Bob Katter a narrow victory.
Locally, it looks like Labor will retain both ACT seats. The Liberal Party will retain Hume quite easily. In Eden-Monaro, Peter Hendy is slightly ahead on first preferences but probably slightly behind after preferences are counted.
In Warringah, Liberal Party leader (and Prime Minister-elect, if I dare call it at this time) Tony Abbott has comfortably won his seat, and increased his margin on Labor candidate (and former school friend of mine) Jules Zanetti.
It appears to be a very big victory for the Liberal Party tonight in the House Of Representatives. The big question now is how the Senate will pan out, but it is such a convoluted system that we may not have any solid numbers for days. That said, if anything interesting happens during the night, I will let you know.
September 7th, 2013 at 08:38pm
Australian Electoral Commission now says the Coalition have won 76 seats, which is enough to form a majority government.
I’ve just deleted my previous post where I incorrectly attributed this to the ABC. I’ve got so many tabs open here in this browser that I lost track of which one I was looking at.
September 7th, 2013 at 08:16pm
Unfortunately the margin in Fraser keeps getting bigger and has been doing so for some time. With about 23% counted, Andrew Leigh leads Elizabeth Lee by about 5,000 votes and the margin is growing. The good news though is that the Two Party Preferred margin has been closed slightly which makes the seat slightly more attainable in the future.
2CC have called this seat for Andrew Leigh.
September 7th, 2013 at 08:08pm
Former Howard government minister Mal Brough looks set to win Fisher, the seat currently held by Peter Slipper.
With 47% counted, Mal Brough 16,803, more than double anyone else. Peter Slipper has 550 votes.
September 7th, 2013 at 07:58pm
Early results out of the seat of Melbourne show a big lead to Greens candiate Adam Bandt, indicating that the Greens might manage to hold that seat. He currently has about 47% of the vote with Labor on 24% which should, even if Mr. Bandt doesn’t get over 50%, get him across the line on preferences.
Eden-Monaro is close, with Liberal candidate Peter Hendy holding a 3% lead on first preferences (43-40) over Labor’s Mike Kelly, but with preference predictions looking like they might just keep Mike Kelly in the seat.
Hume is very comfortably going to Angus Taylor for the Liberal Party with 53% of first preferences and nobody else even coming close.
September 7th, 2013 at 07:52pm
Well it is very clearly a big victory for the Coalition with the overwhelming number of seats already looking like they’re heading to the Coalition.
My prediction at the start of the day was Coalition 91, Labor 59, and no others. Right now it looks like the Margin could be bigger than that, and exit polls were predicting a bigger margin than that as well.
Locally, my local candidate for Fraser, Elizabeth Lee, is 319 votes behind incumbent Labor MP Andrew Leigh with 3.45% of the vote counted. There is a good swing on…probably not enough of a swing but it’s a good early sign. Based on how many people marched in to the polling places without taking any how-to-vote cards, I don’t think previous preference distributions are a useful indicator in Fraser.
September 7th, 2013 at 07:38pm
In order to vote for a sensible and stable conservative government, I quite happily followed the Liberal Party’s “how to vote” card for the House Of Representatives, and would thoroughly recommend that people do the same for their local Liberal or National candidate.
I did, however, have to vote below the line for the Senate as I was not comfortable with the full set of preferences. I’m not keen on the Bullet Train Party getting the second set of preferences, so I replaced them with Bob Katter’s party which would be a much more sensible bunch, and I had to push the Voluntary Euthanasia Party as far down the list as possible while keeping Labor and The Greens last. As such, this is how I adjusted the Liberal Party’s senate preferences for my below-the-line vote.
The other benefit to voting below the line is that, due to the complexity of it, the counting is done by computer, not a human, which has some benefits when you consider how convoluted the Senate preferential voting system is.
September 7th, 2013 at 10:53am