Media Circus: Demonising Students Edition

Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne cancel Deakin University visit as students mount nationwide protests

Mr Pyne told the ABC’s Lateline that the AFP were concerned about his and the Prime Minister’s safety should they attend the event in Geelong.

He also said the Prime Minister took the decision “so that students can get on with their studies unmolested by the Socialist Alternative”.

“The advice from the Australian Federal Police was that they were concerned about our safety, but also that they were concerned about the safety of the innocent bystanders who might be impacted upon by the Socialist Alternative,” Mr Pyne told Lateline.

“And it’s a great shame, of course, in the modern era that this would be the case.”

Oh no, it’s Reds Under The Beds time again! They really are determined to turn back the clock, aren’t they?

I have, naturally, added this post to HaT’s Abbott Watch series.

What news story/commentary/analysis has grabbed your attention lately?

As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis or pointed twitterstorms etc in new media. Discuss any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).

Categories: education, media, parties and factions

Tags: , , ,

25 replies

  1. Ross Gittins, The Sydney Morning Herald’s Economics Editor: What’s Inside Joe Hockey’s Head?

    Do you like paying tax? No, I thought not. Well, I have good news. The harsh measures in last week’s budget were directed towards one overwhelming objective: getting the budget back into surplus without increasing taxes to do it. Indeed, Joe Hockey is working towards the day when he can start cutting income tax.
    The catch is this: you may hate paying tax, but don’t be too sure Hockey’s efforts to avoid tax increases and eventually make room for income-tax cuts will leave you ahead on the deal.
    Why not? Because to avoid increasing taxes – and avoid cutting the big tax breaks some people enjoy – Hockey has concentrated on cutting back all manner of government spending. And most people – maybe all families bar the top 10 per cent or so – have more to lose from cuts to government spending made, than they have to gain from tax increases avoided.

    via mimbles on FB

  2. I think the thing which strikes me out of all of this is the way Christopher Pyne is apparently seriously worried by the Socialist Alternative party, a group which has never in its history posed a serious challenge to the two major parties in the least – for them it’s a rare thing if they manage NOT to lose their deposit on their candidates in elections.
    But then, this is just another example of the “Greatest Hits of Past Liberal Governments” that the current bunch are remixing. I mean, we have a “Life Wasn’t Meant To Be Easy” budget, straight out of the Fraser Years. The refugee policy is “We Should Be Able To Decide Who Enters Our Country” which is Howard (when it isn’t White Australia Policy 2.0). Abbott is channelling the best of Menzies “I Did But See Her Passing By” monarchism, and Pyne is now bringing out Menzies-era “Reds Under The Bed” and “Red Menace” for the remixers. About the only thing we can hope for is that from the Holt era, they chose his buoyancy and will therefore continue to sink like a stone in the polls.

  3. Pyn’s strwmn hs pnt – th lft’s strnghlds r n stdnt nns… wtnss nmlb’s nn pssng mtn clbrtng Thtchr’s dth nd Syd’s nn pnly sttng thr lft wng stnc nd thy thy wn’t b hlpng rght-wng, r vn nn lft wng, stdnts.
    [Each new sock takes a while to give away your tells, but you really can’t help yourself, can you? Goodbye until next time, you won’t be missed. ~ mods]

  4. Does this mean the Socialist Alternative is a party I can vote for at the next election? Excellent news! Not as catchy as PUP, but it has a nice ring to it.
    I am somewhat saddened we won’t see photos of Tony and Christopher being herded away from a bunch of shouty young people. I can picture Tony’s blue tie being ripped off by his AFP bodyguard in the fracas, and a kindly student offering to restore it to him via Facebook.
    I’d look at photos of that.
    Not in the news, because it’s Tony being shifty: we got sent an invitation to consult with The Government about the NQS. Cutting funding for 15 hours per week of kindergarten in 5, 4, 3…

  5. And, of course, there is Abbott’s wink, also on Faine’s program.
    By the way, I wish everyone (from all sides of politics) would stop using references, implicit or otherwise, to taking one …, bending over, dropping pants, etc in any kind of political rhetoric. It is homophobic and/or a rape analogy (which one, or both, depends on context). (Not directed at anyone in particular – although there is a specific piece of political commentary which has been the back-breaking straw on this one, it’s something I see at least a couple of times a day.)
    (See also, being screwed, and other synonyms – more rape analogy than homophobic, but again, depends on context.)

  6. Interesting news from the Grauniad – apparently Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances got a $60,000 scholarship to complete her Bachelor of Design at a private institute. I mean, I can see why she’d need the scholarship, poor dear, since her dad is apparently impoverished on $500,000 a year these days. Nothing whatsoever to do with one of her Dad’s mates being on the board and recommending her for the job. Then again, this particular mate has apparently taken pity on Tony’s penury while he was in Opposition, and supplied him with suits and other clothing. All in the interests of charity, I’m sure.
    Relevant links:
    <a href="</a&gt;
    <a href="</a&gt;

  7. Abbott’s wink-and-leer routine made me want to hurl. Someone on another forum (Essential Baby, I think) called him a pustule on the backside of humanity, and I can’t argue with that. Sleazy, disgusting PoS.
    I used not to think I could loathe anyone more than John Howard. How wrong I was.

  8. I thought Howard was the high water mark for my loathing, too. Now that Tony has effortlessly breached that mark, I’m worried about his successor down the line. How awful is he going to be?
    I am enjoying the negative press Tony is getting. The wink, the scholarship, the lies about the budget: it’s such a pleasant change from the “everything he does is magic” theme that was playing before the budget. And is such a short space of time.
    I should let this go, but I can’t. We are horrible people. Just horrible.

  9. That bit about people liking the attack on young people sickens me. Have none of the people who approve of this ever been out of work? Have they no idea how hard it is even if you’re not on your own? Do they think under-30s just live with their parents? There are so many assumptions with that idea I hardly know where to begin. It’s sickening.
    There are questions about whether Abbott will be a one-term PM today. With the rider of “one term Government” I say, MAKE IT SO.

  10. That Drum article is wildly confusing. The chart is one of the worst charts I’ve seen in a while, and there’s nothing about the survey methodology, except that it was conducted “online”.

  11. The attack on young people in this budget has got me really pissed off, because I know it means that I could all too easily be joining the crowd of young people who aren’t going to be able to pay their rents until they get a job. But that’s ok, because there are so many jobs around, right? So when I get back from my long-saved-for-and-scholarship-subsidised study trip to Europe in October, and can’t get youth allowance until uni officially starts again in March, and can’t get the dole because I haven’t been searching for 6 months, it’s either get a job real quick or move back to country NSW to the parents…
    We had our own protest here in Brisbane (smaller, sadly, than some others). Yours truly, carrying the edge of the banner. Because Lord knows, the wealthy Lib pollies aren’t going to stand up for us.

  12. But that’s ok, because there are so many jobs around, right?
    I know, right? Where are these magical entry level jobs appearing from? This is the bit that really shits me, because I know so many uni graduates with high marks who can’t get jobs, and more than one current student who is reluctantly considering turning to sex work for lack of other options because surviving during uni is expensive enough as it is, and… what the fuck are people meant to do without money for six months and/or with more expensive education bills in their futures? Not everyone can rely on a rich and/or reliable mum and dad for somewhere to live or employment connections.

  13. I’m guessing that where possible, they are expected to live on credit of some kind. I presume moving young Australians towards a model where they are tied to the job market for life, without much if any bargaining power, by huge debts incurred in young adulthood is essentially the point.

  14. I remember a discussion about Jeff Kennett’s plans for Victoria. One commenter believed that Jeff’s purpose was to ensure there would always be a vulnerable workforce who would have to take shitty jobs, while at the same time his children would face less competition for university/jobs etc.
    Is the attack on students more of the same, then? We’ll be guaranteed cheap workers who fear losing their jobs, while Tony’s children will get a clear field?
    It’s frightening that we keep electing people to power who are so obviously committed to protecting and promoting their own interests.

  15. Not only people who are committed to protecting and promoting their own interests, eilish, but also people whose motto seems to be ‘kick them while they’re down’ as well. Because, as we all know, not being privileged or wealthy is immoral.

  16. Love it. A protest against Whitehouse’s mystery scholarship:
    (They put up fliers asking for applications for the next scholarship. There’s only one question on it: “Who’s your daddy?”)
    And a note, the “vandalism” referred to in the article was only stickers applied to the windows at Whitehouse. The stickers said bullshit.

  17. kittehserf: I did, and I was quite annoyed at general feminist commentary completely ignoring the disability rights aspect, despite that fact that kids with disabilities have their bodily autonomy violated and are abused at far greater rates than typical kids.

  18. What got me was that they had done a unit on consent, this child was clearly distressed and indicating her distress and the teacher just kept going. The ‘oh we should have sent a note home’ excuse shows just how little thought they put into this. I can understand teaching boys with disabilities how to shave their face, and generally the importance of hygiene but why they think shaving armpits or legs or wherever else is important for any girl/woman is beyond me.
    Lauredhel you are absolutely right, this would not have happened had the girl been CAB, but because she has a disability obviously her wishes didn’t come into this at all.

  19. Urgh, I haven’t read any other commentary on it, Lauredhel, and that just adds to the WTF????? of it all.
    What does CAB stand for, Mindy? Acronym lists don’t seem to have any relevant meanings.

  20. Sorry Kittiserf it is Currently Able Bodied, in recognition of the fact that we are all just an accident, illness or old age (or any other factor) away from having a disability.

%d bloggers like this: