Today in The Saturday Paper I found this nice writeup of the innocuously-named “Institute of Public Affairs”, the hard-right corporate extremist think-tank who tell our government what they want – and then mostly get it. Not for nothing that it was founded by one Mr Murdoch, whose son is currently a director, and is a staunch supporter of that eminently respectable and respected journalist, Andrew Blot, and his right to lie about and defame and insult anyone who he feels encroaches on what he considers to be his lawn.
What do they want? Good question. However, it’s perhaps more illustrative to ask what they don’t want (this is not an exhaustive list by any means): any environmental restrictions to mining, any funding for renewable energy tech (even as the rest of the world skates past us in adopting and profiting from it), renewable energy itself, unions, media ownership restrictions, even mild reforms of the pokie industry, healthcare or education to remain public in any form, high wages – basically, anything that could delay or slightly reduce profit for a very small number of entitled narcissistic economic absolutists is considered a grievous sin. Thou shalt not hinder thy bottom line.
Why does the LNP listen to them? Simple: because they’re fat with tobacco, gambling (sorry, “gaming”), media and fossil-fuel money, full of influential captains of industry and contain more than a few Liberals.
Why should you be concerned? Because even after Tony’s mob went through each department with a flamethrower as soon as they were elected (I can only imagine Pyney flicking his Bic and giggling like an eight year-old), and even after this ideological fisting of a budget (many of whose line items were prescribed by the IPA itself), the IPA is concerned that their pet government hasn’t gone far enough.
Oh, and, perhaps more importantly, you should be concerned because having some extremist, well-funded ideological cabal telling our government what to do to best serve them – and having the government listen as they lie, bald-faced, to the most vulnerable in our society and screw them over – is the goddamned polar opposite of democracy. Abbott’s mob want education, healthcare, environmental regulations and everything else run American-style, to the benefit of profiteers – it appears they’re more than happy for politics to go the same way.