There is one matter on which Labor and the Coalition, Turnbull and Abbott, and every media organisation represented in the press gallery are absolutely agreed: you can have a public debate about a matter of national importance, but only if you know the result in advance. If you don't, it's all a bit shambolic. Only if the result is managed in advance can the 'debate' be managed in an orderly way.
Articles from Politically homeless
Press gallery journalists continue to assert that their years of experience are valuable, and that they draw on it to the benefit of readers. It should be valuable - but the actual value of press gallery experience is one of those PolSci101 nostrums that vanishes upon closer inspection. There is simply no evidence to support it.
Not ready for a ministryFor years, Little Jimmy Briggs was touted as a rising star in the Liberal Party - particularly by journalists who've been around the press gallery long enough to know better. Just because the Liberal Party holds someone in high regard it doesn't mean they're much good: Ross Cameron, Tony Abbott, and Peter Shack, among others, got the Rising Star treatment.
I think the NDIS is one of the great nation-building initiatives, and said so here in response to what I thought was an ill-considered attempt to talk it down.I gave examples where tinkering scuppered policy outcomes, and have worked on public-sector projects where short-sighted, rapidly changing objectives increased costs and depressed outcomes (and depressed good people trying
Ian Macfarlane knew better to entrust his political career to the Nationals. As head of the Cattlemen's Union in the 1990s, he had shown a real skill at getting seemingly unreconcilable interests to come together and form some sort of agreement; a case of political skill preceding political ambition.
As we head into the end times for Mal Brough, let's consider how his career represents several things wider than him: machismo, keeping Aborigines "in their place", opportunity costs, and the price of loyalty. Oh, and of course, piss-poor standards of political journalism.Act I: Taking the creaseBefore first entering parliament for the electorate of Longman (now held by Wyatt Roy) in 1996, Brough had been an army officer. The press gallery singled him out for Big Things.
After Paris, after Beirut and the Aeroflot Russian airline flight and ... and all the other outrages, apparently we have to burn someone. Who, and how, are the questions to be answered. At this difficult time it would be preferable to join hands in unity; but burning nobody, no way, is no longer an option. Pretending that it is an option means that you can overlook a choice "we" seem to have made but not acknowledged.
In the 1990s Laurie Oakes claimed that the "national broadcaster" was not the ABC but the commercial media outlet he worked for, Channel 9. Since then, commercial television and radio have declined in Australia. Oakes wouldn't make that claim now, or he'd be ridiculed if he did. People have other options for spending their time than watching TV or listening to the radio: