Politics, climate change, big business and the press in Australia

Political developments in Australian politics over the last months have been quite revealing. They raise some important questions concerning the power of big business and the press, and the status of democracy in Australia.

1) Numerous reports in the Australian press dealt with the so-called “climate-gate” scandal. Several thorough investigations have now found that there was no scandal, the reputation of the scientists involved is intact. However, reports in the press on these investigations and their outcome have been minimal.- There can be little doubt that the “scandal” has had a significant impact on Australian politics, contributing to the downfall of the Rudd government and Turnbull as leader of the opposition (Tony Abbott rode the waves by claiming that man induced climate change was “crap”).

2) There have been wide-spread press reports on the government’s intention to spend 30 million $ of taxpayers’ money on countering a press campaign by the big oil companies spending 100 million $ on a propaganda campaign against the announced big oil tax. How many reports have there been making it clear to the public that these 100 million $ are tax deductible, in other words that the Australian taxpayer has to pay for it?

So, who is running the country? A democratically elected government or the combined power of big business and the press?