Here is a prediction for you.
I suspect that, over the coming months, the rhetoric over ABC will get louder, largely from News Corp. but also parroted by the Coalition. It is, after all, what the Abbott led government and News Corp. together do best; alienate and incite public frustration towards an individual or group whether or not it’s actually due.
At the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if Maurice Newman and the Business Council chime ever louder the “findings” that the main problem in doing business in Australia is average wages.
This will all be in the lead up to the Senate reshuffle after which will make life a lot simpler for the current government to make whatever changes they want.
The hope will be that the Australian public is suitably primed for the “revelation” that we need to lower minimum wages or provide more power to employers or something similar and the government must act to save Australia’s prosperity. Also, the government must respond to growing discontent within the supposed public about “waste” of public funds in the ABC…
That’s my prediction for the changing landscape over the next twelve months.
As others have noted, the current government seems somewhat focused on attacking dissenting arguments against their party ideology. The Climate Commission being the first to face the firing squad, however this doesn’t seem to be the last.
Being a household name, decades old, the ABC isn’t such an easy target, which is why it’s now experiencing what the ALP did for the past six years; sufficient negative spin until the public grow to dislike it.
Without free media about to print dissenting ideas, the Coalition can continue the façade of a hardworking party too busy to talk and let friendly media sing praise in its absence.
Of course, and I hope this message reaches senior Coalition ministers, this will be a doomed action and will do litter but obliterated whatever remains of the Coalition’s reputation.
For Pandora’s box has been opened and inside is a world spanning network of servers, better known as the internet.
Just as with retail, as I’ve mentioned recently, the internet has democratized news media. People are no longer restricted primarily to large companies with the revenue required to print or transmit ideas within their certain idiom.
Nowadays even a casual blogger like myself can achieve a respectable readership, being referenced, reposted and contacted by professional journalists and editors if the quality of the work is good enough and is of high enough interest to their readership.
With or without funding, even with or without the ABC, we will have the same people writing and reading the same material. Worse for a government wishing to limit criticism, doing just that is likely to do little but incite further criticism and largely from respected writers already with an established audience.
Snowballing this further, by attacking media outlets, it is likely to make them more attractive and rebellious, increasing their readership further.
To talk quickly about the other prediction; minimum wages, it might be good for business in the short term, but just like Work Choices for Howard, it will not win another term for the government and would soon be undone. It will be a disastrous blip in space and time for all Aussies, including the Coalition.
We live in an age, and with technology (albeit slow, thanks Turnbull), that makes it impossible to limit media. People are even making it on their phones.
If free media is highly critical of the government, it would pay for the given government to ask themselves why they are such an easy target and why it is so difficult to defend themselves against such criticism (otherwise, limiting such media wouldn’t look so appealing). In short, the party ideology is out of step with the general public if not reality as a whole and this is where the effort needs to be spent on upgrading the party if they wish to remain relevant.