The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is a body formed to push a right wing agenda. let us say that their agenda is very right wing. The believe in the smallest of government, individual liberty, private wealth, low taxation, and the market economy, unencumbered by government regulation.
I write about this group because I see a chasm between who is being represented int he main stream media. The IPA floods the media with opinion pieces which oft are printed. There is no balance of contributions from the left.
The extreme right are not divided by policy. They know exactly what they stand for and who stands with them. Why are they so overrepresented in the media? And by "overrepresented in the media I refer to the more benign, even independent media of the ABC and Fairfax. I know that some of you will laugh when I say that the ABC and Fairfax are independent, but at least they show some duty of care to the truth. Unlike the Murdoch press, for instance.
My question is, where is the counteracting left voice to balance the debate in the media? Again, by media, I emphasise that I do not include the Murdoch press, who have disavowed any claim to decent or truthful reporting?
We need writers of the left who can engage the audience, and promote themselves as representative speakers who can get published alongside the likes of Chris berg and Julie Novak. otherwise we are just writing to ourselves, and are incapable of reaching a broader audience.
it is not enough that people can write comments on these contributions and opinion pieces. We need to be setting the agenda, garnering the debate. We need to be writing opinion pieces speaking up the role of Government and unions, of human rights and the environment. The IPA and associated groups are setting a dangerous agenda of conquer and divide. They would find some republicans too left for their liking. And yet they are able to garner this broad audience by presenting themselves as some sort of respectable group.
We need to engage that audience and break down the mindset that allows this right wing freak show to have such a hold over our independent media. We need a cogent and united left voice speaking for the interests of all Australians, and internationally, for all people exploited and victimised by the scandalous right. I just don't see it happening here in Australia. I see Socialists standing outside universities talking about Refugees and Gay Rights when our planet is burning from carbon pollution. i see our unions falling into corruption and becoming increasingly irrelevant to most peoples lives.
The rich are getting richer. This means that we are failing. We ought to be able to tell a better story. In six months it is likely that Tony Abbott will be Prime Minister of this country. he will dumb the carbon tax and dumb the mineral resources rent tax. he will cut health and education and slash wages whilst increasing taxes on the poor. He will cut pensions and benefits. Where is the left engaged in this? What is the left going to do about it? We need a strong and united voice, and we need to be getting into the mainstream media to get our message across. Our message can hardly be more radical than the IPA's radical right wing agenda. So why aren't we doing it? Where are our thinkers?, our speakers?, our writers? It is time we made a difference to the current dialogue in mainstream Australia.