Tomorrow, New South Wales has their state election, a battle that is tragically a 50/50 split between the Liberals/Nationals and Labor. I am not a huge fan of Labor entirely, having criticised them at times for their fumbling with Adani, their relative quiet over the asylum seeker debate, and other bits and pieces when they come up. But despite my personal purist stance, which I won’t bother denying, realistically one cannot compare Labor and the Coalition parties and say “they are as bad as each other” honestly. The difference is night and day, and while I maintain my criticisms of Labor are legitimate, can the state of NSW and the country afford another term of Coalition governance?
According the Sydney Morning Herald, that prime example of the absolute decline of journalistic integrity, apparently we can, and the Coalition “deserves a third term to get the job done”. They have unequivocally come out in support of Gladys Berejiklian, saying “the best outcome at the election tomorrow would be a third term for the Coalition and Premier Gladys Berejiklian”, and capping it off with “While the Herald thus chooses Ms Berejiklian…” The rest of the paragraph is not even worth completing, they are essentially telling their readers to vote for Gladys or the world will end. Bullshit.
This is not some opinion piece, this is the stance of the paper, and if you think there is any legitimacy to it, then you’re not paying attention. Fairfax has been on the decline since Greg Hywood took over, with mass cuts and firings (coincidentally coinciding with great benefits for Hywood himself). He is also a major critic of the ABC, saying that it has an “unfair advantage over commercial media” – that’s a good thing, damnit. When you trash one of the few respectable papers in the country, an independent public broadcaster is a necessity to maintain our democracy, and your terrible standards are the fault of your intentional management, not some perception of “disadvantage”.
Then the Federal government tore back regulations regarding media ownership. One of the greatest failings in America is the monopolising of media organisations, its centralised ownership. As always, Australia somehow believes copying our half-autocratic “ally” will be of benefit. And so the merger between Nine and Fairfax was allowed to take place, resulting in even further degradation of our media diversity and integrity. More cuts and firings to Fairfax, along with the complete axing of some of its subsidiaries, followed immediately. It would be implied as obvious, therefore, that the top dogs at Nine would be very pleased with the Coalition’s gift.
Now, in the week of the NSW state election, the Sydney Morning Herald comes out in full support of the Liberal government, and of Berejiklian as Premier. That is no coincidence – this is a calculated bastardisation of our democracy. There are advertisements on their website saying “Vote 1 Coalition” – they are buying the support of the media and controlling it! Anyone who tries to call the Sydney Morning Herald “left-wing” from now on is clearly delusional – they have been bought by corporate and political powers that want nothing more than to further private interests.
- $70 billion dollars and counting of public assets have been ‘leased’ to private companies, some contracts lasting up to almost 100 years. Electricity prices have spiked not because of renewables, but because of privatisation.
- Hospitals have been privatised, and they plan on extending that to the rest of the state. Healthcare is already being hit on a Federal level, and companies like Healthscope are more interested in profits than ensuring the public has access to even mildly adequate healthcare.
- They plan on allowing the development of cheap and probably dangerous apartments that will inundate already densely populated areas with more people, and do not have the supporting infrastructure, to go ahead.
- WestConnex, the giant and obscenely expensive highway stuff up that has been proven ineffective, is to be owned and run by private interests, therefore charging people tolls for the privilege of experiencing traffic on a road their taxes already overpaid for.
- Environmental catastrophe in the form of land clearing (comparable to Brazil’s outrageous practices) and the fish deaths in the Murray-Darling are the direct result of Coalition corruption and water mismanagement.
- The demolition and reconstruction of the stadium in Sydney are not only proof of the Liberal’s clear Sydney-centric policies, but is purely about splurging cash on more useless development projects. A refurbishment of the stadiums would have cost $18 million – a miniscule amount compared to what has been proposed for rebuilding – that doesn’t even account for further corruption and additional costs that are bound to be incurred.
- Money is being thrown at private schools while the public system is left to struggle with minimal resources and, in some areas, actual failing infrastructure.
This is entirely unacceptable. The Coalition absolutely does not deserve a third term, and for the Sydney Morning Herald to say that they do in that wretched excuse of an “article” is very alarming. Anyone reading this who will be voting tomorrow in New South Wales, vote for Labor, the Greens, or a decent Independent in your electorate, and make sure your preferences fall to those. The Liberals and the Nationals cannot be allowed to form government again, not even a minority government with the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party.
Discrepancies in the Labor Party can be argued against when they are in power to move towards an even more progressive and publicly aligned vision, but until then, removing the stain that is the Coalition from NSW Parliament is a priority. It’s easy to claim a budget surplus when you sell everything, but with the upcoming debt as a result, NSW cannot afford the Coalition.