Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bring back Queensland's Upper House!

Bligh's green, white, purple polka dot papers on lobbying don't mean a pinch of shit.

Reinstate the Queensland senate, and while you're at it, legislate to stop Murdoch et al profiteering from political advertising. (from ‘The Persuaders: Inside the Hidden Machine of Political Advertising’ by Sally Young, 2004):

"... Since political advertising boomed in 1972, News Ltd has grown into one of the world’s largest media companies. Its stable includes Australian newspapers such as the Herald Sun, Courier-Mail and the Australian as well as overseas holdings including film production, television stations, music record labels, book publishers, and more than 170 other newspapers across the globe...

As Terry Lane noted in The Age about government advertising, it is all ‘Good news for the media moguls—more than $300 million a year straight from us to them.

What is even more amazing about this is that Australian media companies often charge politicians more than other commercial advertisers. Political parties seem to pay up to fifty per cent more ‘for advertising time than do private companies’. This is because political advertisers don’t know precise election dates until they are called so they are unable to book in advance. Once they do know the election date, they want advertising time urgently and are willing to pay dearly for it. For all of these reasons, they are often charged a very expensive rate...

If money were to change hands directly from the political parties to media barons, this would be viewed as an extremely worrying case of politicians trying to buy patronage and favourable coverage in media outlets. But purchasing advertising in media outlets is a way of financially supporting the media barons which has not been given much thought. It’s tended to escape our notice that our politicians are giving public money directly to the media owners whose support and attention they crave..."

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