Welcome to the war

Welcome to the war. The media war, that is. Against Julia Gillard.

The way the media reports the results of opinion polls would have one believing that nothing else has happened in the world. Julia Gillard could find a cure for cancer yet we’ll only read about the poor opinion polls against her. I’m not saying that the dissection of the opinion polls are media beat ups, rather, they beat them up out of all proportion at the expense of something newsworthy.

Of course, the media are free to write whatever they want, however, I never see what they write as being in everybody’s best interests.

Nominally, I’d like them to focus more on policies that are important to this country and let the reader make up his or her own mind about how such policies will effect their lives or livelihood. At present they are focusing too much on writing about personalities, such as Gillard versus Abbott. Why not more focus on ALP policies versus LNP policies? And why all the focus on who they are voting against rather than what they are voting for? Their only mentions of policies are that climate change is rubbish and that the price on carbon will ruin us all, and of course, such articles always degenerate into the echo of “it’s all Julia Gillard’s fault”.

In the end it doesn’t matter who is Prime Minister. Sure, some are better than others. Some can be out of touch with ordinary Australians or make fools of themselves on the international stage, but the PM is only a figurehead. What matters more is which party is in Government, not who sits at the head of it.

John Lord provided a list of what electorally significant policies are ignored when readers of the media get sucked into their war against Julia Gillard. While having it hammered into them that Julia Gillard is doomed, and accepting it, they ignore what this Government has provided them and hence:

They overwhelmingly reject the need for a price on carbon. This in spite of the fact that it is bedded down and working well. They are prepared for the opposition to rip it up in favour of a plan that economists and environmentalists say will not work. And they are even prepared to go to a double dissolution.

They overwhelmingly reject the need for a broadband network of the standard the government is building and would be happy with a Mickey Mouse network that the experts say is inferior.

They overwhelmingly reject the need for a better and more equal education system for their children and think that the Gonski report is not worthy of implementation despite it receiving loud applause from academics and the public. Remember the Coalition had said they are happy with the current system.

They overwhelmingly reject the need for an NDIS and are happy with the status quo. Again this policy has received widespread community support. The Coalition while supporting it say it is not in their immediate plans.

They would overwhelmingly forgo any possibility that gay folk would ever achieve marriage equality.

They would overwhelmingly forgo any possibility that Australia might ever become a republic with its own head of state. Not even a plebiscite.

They overwhelmingly think it’s fine for families to lose their school hand outs that help to pay for school fees etc.

They overwhelmingly accept that a large portion of the population (3.6 million and mainly women) will have their taxes increased.

They overwhelmingly say that they are not interested in a 3% increase in their superannuation.

They overwhelming think its fine for the Opposition to rip up the Murray Darling agreement.

They overwhelmingly reject the Government’s handling of the economy which most observers believe to be amongst the best in the world. If not the best.

They overwhelmingly want to get rid of the mining tax despite it having the potential, repeat, potential to spread the wealth of the nation.

They overwhelmingly could not care less that between 13,000 and 20,000 public servants will lose their jobs.

So they have decided overwhelmingly to reject all this even without an Opposition card on the table.

Now I could probably go on and some might also add some other policy areas but these suffice to make my point.

And of course we have a judge finding that members of a political party (The LNP) conspired with James Ashby to use the courts to bring a false claim against the speaker of the house with the eventual intent of bringing down the government. Do I take it that this means nothing to the electorate?

None of those important issues ever make it to the front page, unless the old “it’s all Julia Gillard’s fault” tag can somehow be twisted into the story.

To give you an idea of how focused the media is on the latest poll results, I have been provided with a list of the most viewed articles across the Fairfax media sites. The results speak for themselves.

Most viewed articles on Brisbane Times

  • Beware knives of March
  • Rudd resurrection is no fantasy: just ask Walt
  • Poll a ‘wake-up call’ for Labor
  • Final nail in PM’s coffin
  • PC WCs no wee matter

Most viewed articles on WA Today

  • The discount fuel docket illusion
  • Fighting the stigma of mental illness
  • Final nail in PM’s coffin
  • Poll a ‘wake-up call’ for Labor
  • Beware knives of March

Most viewed articles on The Sydney Morning Herald

  • Beware knives of March
  • Final nail in PM’s coffin
  • Poll a ‘wake-up call’ for Labor
  • Bully-boy Malaysia immature and Australia’s reaction so limp
  • Rudd resurrection is no fantasy: just ask Walt

Most viewed articles on Canberra Times

  • MP says legal costs no threat to keeping his seat
  • Beware knives of March
  • Obama-style fight ‘could save PM’
  • Stalemate as queen bluffs all
  • Och aye, PM could be on a hiding to nothing

Most viewed articles on The Age

  • Poll dents faith in Gillard
  • Poll a ‘wake-up call’ for Labor
  • Final nail in PM’s coffin
  • Beware knives of March
  • Rudd resurrection is no fantasy: just ask Walt

And that’s just the Fairfax group. Do we dare look at what the Murdoch media are writing about? Probably its usual anti-Gillard tirade with splashings of trivia about a reality TV show or a woman born in Borneo with three nipples.

Where are the important issues? Where is the policy debate? And in regards to the LNP, what are their policies? Can we please see them, or do the media just want to continue their war against Julia Gillard?