I did mean to post about Bob Brown's appearance on Q and A earlier, but just haven't had the time until now ...
Not surprisingly, he came out with some jaw-droppingly wrong-headed stuff. His ability to say the complete opposite of what is clearly the truth is truly awesome to behold. His rationale for pushing to clamp down on Murdoch papers is one example:
BOB BROWN: Yes, Gloria. I’ve copped a lot of stick over wanting a media inquiry to look at the very simple fact, ultimately, of having the Journalists’ Code of Ethics upheld in Australia, where so often it’s not. And, you know, unlike doctors or engineers or lawyers, there is no professional organisation which keeps them really in check and I think it’s sad.
TONY JONES: The fear in a lot of journalistic organisations is this will be a restriction of freedom of the press and of freedom of speech.
BOB BROWN: Well, it won't. It will actually help free up the press. The greatest restriction of the press at the moment is Rupert Murdoch. He restricts what you see. He restricts the opinion you get. He restricts what the topic base of the future is. He's got an enormous control, as a non-Australian and a multimillionaire, on what we see, think, hear or read. He has 70% of the papers produced in metropolitan Australia and he's got other very great interests in the media. Now, good on him. But that is very...
Astonishing. He's saying that restricting what journos can say will increase their variety of what is expressed. That's like saying the sun shines at night!
He also wheels out that chestnut about Murdoch controlling 70% of the papers. That's so dodgy. That figure refers to the circulation, and all it proves is that the people really like what Murdoch is selling. Brown just can't bring himself to give people credit for making their own purchasing decisions. If he had any respect for the majority of Australians, he would at least condemn them for their choices. But he'd much rather view them as puppets being manipulated by the diabolical Rupert. What a revoltingly smug and superior attitude.
Later on, he gets some mildly hostile questions from the audience. He firstly denies that he wants a one world government, then pretty much repeats his desire for one. And whenever he gets some criticism, which he clearly can't cope with at all, he blames Murdoch for it. In his tiny leftist mind he can only ever see people as dupes, never thinking individuals in their own right.
TIM ELLIOTT: The Greens and yourself have been repeatedly calling for one world Government with one vote, one value. Can you please explain to Australians why we should forfeit our sovereignty to the Chinese and Indians who have the numbers to impose their systems and values on us, all but abolishing social welfare, human rights, basic freedoms and turning Australia into a quasi police state.
BOB BROWN: Well, thanks, Tim. I’ve never called for world Government. You have been reading the Murdoch press again.
TONY JONES: No, actually, I suspect he’s probably read your Dear Earthian speech, the thrust of which is that the human race is headed for extinction and the only thing which would save us is a global parliament and a global democracy.
BOB BROWN: Well, I didn’t - I said we have to be aware that we’re on a planet which has finite resources. We're using 120% of the renewable living resources at the moment. We're headed for ten billion people by the second half of this century, according to the United Nations and everybody else on the planet wants to consume as much as we're doing and for that you need two more planets, which we don't have. It’s crunch time. This is a reality. And when it comes to looking at how we work this planet, we’re all in it together and it’s much better that you have a house united rather than divided. I’m not the first person who has spoken about this. Socrates said 2,500 years ago, Tony, that “I’m not a Grecian. I’m not an Athenian. I'm a citizen of the world.” Well, they made him to drink poison. You know this has been something that the tribalist instinct which says we're better than somebody else, and we just heard it, maybe the Chinese or the Indians - I don't subscribe to that. I’m an equal human being with everybody else on the planet. Abraham Lincoln knew that. Einstein knew that. Newton, in the 1760s, wrote about it. Twenty-two US states after the Second World War supported past motions that supported world Government. We have drifted a bit from it and I am talking about a world parliament which is represented. Now, if we're going to have the United Nations function...
TONY JONES: Our questioner has had his hand up for a little while and wants to respond, I think, to what you're saying.
BOB BROWN: Sure.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I mean, isn’t this emblematic of your opposition to freedom? I mean, you’re not denying that you want to take away our freedom to elect an Australian government. You want to control what opinions newspapers can publish. Aren't the Greens the new face of totalitarianism hiding in a koala suit?
BOB BROWN: Well, you are now quoting Miranda Devine from the Murdoch paper.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: No, I’m not at all. I don’t read Miranda Devine.
Imagine having such a jaundiced view of humanity? Truly sad -- but also scary. Very glad he's gone.