Monday, June 18, 2012

Rabid and Redneck Right

My morning post got me thinking about all the things that are under serious threat from the rabid and redneck right.

For over 30 years I was a loyal Qantas customer - never considered alternatives and even thought of myself as a Qantas "rusted on".  If Qantas didn't go somewhere then I usually didn't go there either.  I used them domestically and internationally and viewed the flying kangaroo as a symbol of Australia's great success in the world.  I was proud to "call Australia home".

That started to change in the late 1990's as their leadership became much more rabid and it changed forever last year when the pompous little Irishman grounded the airline and its passengers - all to give the unions a good kicking.

Now I mostly fly Virgin - actually my new motto is "Anyone but Qantas".  And the experience has been eye opening.  Virgin and some of the alternatives actually provide a much better product and service - and they treat their customers and staff with respect and dignity.

Similarly I was a reader of The Australian from the very early days.  I shunned the Murdoch tabloids and usually picked up The Australian most weekdays and always on the weekend.  And then Chris Mitchell became weekday Editor and it all went downhill in a flash.  His readership now comprises the entire Australian compliment of inward-looking, right wing and seriously up-themselves, geriatric, white males.  Otherwise known as Australia's power elite ;-)

The Australian is now focussed exclusively on appealing to old white conservatives who masquerade as Liberals - and the people who pay to advertise to them.  It's not at all representative of the people or the nation.  If I were Julia then I would stop all Federal Government advertising going that way - tomorrow.

There has also been a similar transformation underway within the Liberal Party - which is now owned and operated by the same old white conservative males.  The unfortunate thing about that is - most rusted on Liberal voters out in suburbia haven't yet noticed.  They certainly will when the muppets start flexing their muscles - after the next election.  It won't be just the unions who get a good kicking.

And so to the Fairfax disaster.  So sad that it has come to this.  The only quality newspapers in recent times have been from the Fairfax stable with The SMH and The Age.  Much of the content was not up to scratch and that has contributed to the huge decline in trust by readers.  Analyse the failure by all means but make sure you identify all the contributors and don't just blame the old conservative white males who are running the place.

I am not sure where it will all end up - but I do know that this relentless march to the right can't continue.  There will be a backlash - the only questions are "When" and "How Large" will it be?

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