Who’s REALLY running Australia?

By Glenn Murray

A big-biz alliance told Abbott what policies it wanted

Recently an alliance of big businesses put together a wishlist of 100 policies they wanted our government to implement. I’ll discuss these policies in a second, but for now, think of them as a recipe for making the rich richer.


Look how many he adopted…

So far, the Coalition has adopted or endorsed, or is considering, more than a third of these big-biz policies. (The previous Labor government adopted one too.)

IPA policies adopted or on the cards


That alliance is the IPA

The alliance I’m talking about is the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) – a lobby group for big business, founded in 1943. The IPA publishes ‘research’ papers and articles that are funded by big business, to serve the interests of those businesses. These papers and articles are then channeled to the news media.

Although the IPA is not obliged to disclose who it lobbies for, they have disclosed some of their donors, over the years, including:

  • News Limited
  • BHP-Billiton
  • Western Mining Corporation
  • Monsanto
  • Telstra
  • Tobacco companies including Philip Morris and British American Tobacco
  • Oil & gas companies including Caltex, Esso, Shell and Woodside
  • Tasmania’s largest logging company, Gunns

If you’ve seen or read any anti-climate change talk over the last few years, it’s probably come out of the IPA. According to the IPA’s Executive Director, John Roskam, climate change denial is one of their favourite games:

Of all the serious sceptics in Australia, we have helped and supported just about all of them in their work one way or another…”

They’ve also lobbied to have world heritage protection stripped from 74,000 hectares of Tasmanian forest.

And just in case you’re wondering if maybe they’re doing it because they honestly believe they have science on their side… they’ve also campaigned against plain packaging for cigarettes. So, no, genuine science isn’t really a factor.

For a more detailed insight into the lobbying activities of the IPA, check out John Menadue’s great article: Think tanks, cash for comment and the corruption of public debate.


What policies are the IPA responsible for?

The IPA’s ‘wishlist’ was published in two parts. You can find the originals here and here. Below is a summary of the policies they lobbied for which have since been adopted (or look like being adopted):

  1. “Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it” – Abbot has vowed to do this.
  2. “Abolish the Department of Climate Change” – Abbott has already done this.
  3. “Abolish the Clean Energy Fund” – Abbott is trying to do this.
  4. “Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act” – Abbott is trying to do this.
  5. “Abandon Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council” – Abbott has said he’ll do this.
  6. “Repeal the renewable energy target” – Abbott is trying to do this.
  7. “Withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol” – This is on the cards.
  8. “Introduce fee competition to Australian universities” – Abbott is trying to do this.
  9. “Repeal the National Curriculum” – Abbott’s not openly trying to do this, but he has appointed IPA member, Kevin Donnelly, to lead a review of our curriculum.
  10. “Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)” – Abbott hasn’t done this, but he is trying to cut $3.3m from it in the budget.
  11. “Eliminate family tax benefits” – Abbott hasn’t eliminated them, but he’s trying to lower the threshold for part B in the budget, and he’s also trying to freeze the payment rate for both parts until 2016.
  12. “Abandon the paid parental leave scheme” – Abbott hasn’t abandoned it, but he’strying to wind it back in the budget.
  13. “Means-test Medicare” – Abbott hasn’t introduced this, but the Coalition has considered it.
  14. “Eliminate media ownership restrictions” – Abbott is considering it.
  15. “Eliminate the National Preventative Health Agency” – Abbott is trying to do this in the budget.
  16. “Cease subsidising the car industry” – Abbott has already done this.
  17. “Formalise a one-in, one-out approach to regulatory reduction” – Abbott cites this as the basis for his reduction of ‘red and green tape’.
  18. “Reintroduce voluntary student unionism at universities” – Abbott hasn’t done it yet, but he’s in favour of it.
  19. “Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including: a) Lower personal income tax for residents; b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers” – Abbott is considering it (preparing a white paper).
  20. “Repeal the mining tax” – Abbott is trying to do this.
  21. “Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states” – Abbott isdoing this. He’s promised a one-stop shop for environmental approvals.
  22. “Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold” – Abbott hasn’t introduced this yet, but he’s definitely in favour of it.
  23. “Cut company tax to an internationally competitive rate of 25 per cent” – Abbott hasn’t gone quite that far, but he’s dropped it by 1.5% to 28.5%.
  24. “Cease funding the Australia Network” Abbott is trying to do this in the budget.
  25. “Privatise Medibank” – Abbott is doing this.
  26. “Reduce the size of the public service” – Abbott is trying to do this in the budget.
  27. “Repeal the Fair Work Act” – Abbott isn’t trying to repeal it, but he’s trying to undermine it.
  28. “Allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them” – Abbott is trying to do this.
  29. “Encourage independent contracting by overturning new regulations designed to punish contractors” – The Coalition was talking about doing this, but I don’t know if they did.
  30. “Abolish the Baby Bonus” – The previous Labor government did this.
  31. “End all public subsidies to sport and the arts” – Abbott is trying to make big cuts to sports and the arts in the budget.
  32. “Rule out any government-supported or mandated internet censorship” – The Coalition has done this (p.7).
  33. “Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built” – Abbott hasn’t done this, but he haswatered down the NBN, and is now delivering something far inferior, which includes key involvement for Telstra (which Labor’s NBN eliminated).
  34. “Reject proposals for compulsory food and alcohol labelling” – Abbott hasn’t done this directly, but he’s backing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which would put it at great risk.
  35. “Privatise the CSIRO” – Abbott hasn’t done this, but he’s slashed its funding in the budget.
  36. “Extend the GST to cover all goods and services” – Now that Abbott has cut $80b from state school and hospital funding, the states may be forced to consider expanding the GST.
  37. “Negotiate and sign free trade agreements with Australia’s largest trading partners, including China, India, Japan and South Korea” – Abbott is doing this.
  38. “Rule out the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment for electronic gaming machines” – Abbott has done this.

So of the IPA’s wishlist of 100 policies, 3 have been publicly endorsed, 6 are being considered, 10 have been partially adopted, and 19 have been fully adopted.

Note that although the government has ruled out the sale of Australia Post, they were definitely considering it, so some would say it should be included in the list above too.


Couldn’t it just be coincidence? Nope, Abbott’s in the IPA club

It’d be comforting to think it was all just one big coincidence, but sadly it’s not. You see, Abbott’s part of the IPA club. He even spoke at the IPA’s 70th anniversary, along with Rupert Murdoch and Gina Rinehart:

It’s quite a brown-nosing performance, so just in case you can’t bring yourself to watch it all, here’s one of the most telling bits:

The IPA, I want to say, has been freedom’s discerning friend. It has supported capitalism, but capitalism with a conscience. Not for the IPA, a single-minded dogmatism or opposition to all restraint; rather a sophisticated appreciation that freedom requires a social context and that much is expected from those to whom so much has been given. You’ve understood that freedom is both an end and a means; a good in itself, as well as necessary for full human flourishing. I particularly congratulate the IPA and its marvelous director, John Roskam, for your work in defence of Western civilisation.”

And remember, this is the organisation with such an appreciation of “social context” that it campaigns against plain packaging for cigarettes. And the director who is so passionate about the defence of Western civilisation that he continually publishes propaganda and psuedo-science to try to discredit the climate-change scientists who are trying to fight the single biggest threat to that civilisation.

Still not convinced? Then try this on for size…


He even appointed ex-IPA Director as a Human Rights Commissioner

When Abbott won the election, Tim Wilson was a Policy Director at the IPA. Three months later, he was our newest Human Rights Commissioner. Even though the IPA had publicly called for the Commission to be abolished… while Tim was still a director! And despite the fact that Tim clearly wasn’t qualified for the role. Check out his Tweet below (from his time at the IPA, before his appointment as Human Rights Commissioner).

Tim Wilson's anti-free speech tweet

And just in case you’re wondering if that’s Photoshopped, it’s not. Here’s the original…


Liberal & the IPA have been pals since 1942

You get the picture…


Murdoch’s in the IPA club too

Rubert Murdoch is a donor and outspoken champion of the IPA. In fact, his dad, Keith, was one of the its founders (p.2).

Murdoch spoke at the 70th anniversary dinner too:

Although he talks a lot of rhetoric, his true colours still shine through in gems like this:

The market succeeds because it gives people incentives to put their own wants and needs aside to address the wants and needs of others…

What’s fair about taking money from people who have earned it and giving it to people who didn’t?…

too much welfare can be bad for a single mother…

we must have a press free from government intervention…

income inequality is not the right way to measure the fairness of our society”


So is one of his top columnists, Andrew Bolt

Herald Sun columnist, Andrew Bolt, is another club member. In fact, he MCd the 70th anniversary event.

Here’s his introductory speech:

Like Murdoch, he talked a lot of rhetoric, but his speech was probably more telling:

I will also thank, for a visit I had one night, at a very low moment, Tony Abbott…

it wasn’t just the IPA that won the debate… against the sort of laws that we use to stop me. The Liberal Party is promising to repeal some of the worst of the Racial Discrimination Act, and the IPA will, of course, be leading the charge to ensure that the rest also follows, and that the Liberals do not take the easy option there…

It’s hard to over-estimate the impact of the IPA. It’s very hard…

the IPA’s been on the right side of all the arguments for freedom, since it was founded 70 years ago. Freedom from government socialising the economy…

Politicians operate in a cultural space… It is up to bodies like this to define where that cultural space is and should be, and to expand the boundaries.”


And when you look at the Murdoch press, you can tell

Murdoch and Bolt’s speeches were both met with much applause. They’re clearly of the IPA, for the IPA. And thus of Liberal, for Liberal.

So it’s no surprise that their media contributions are also of the IPA, for the IPA, of Liberal, for Liberal. Bolt’s last comment above illustrates this very clearly. Let’s just look at that again, so we make no mistake how Murdoch and Bolt see the intertwined roles of the IPA and the media:

Politicians operate in a cultural space… It is up to bodies like this to define where that cultural space is and should be, and to expand the boundaries.”

In other words, ‘we need to brainwash the public, so our politicians can do what the IPA wants them to do’.

That philosophy goes a long way towards explaining some of the horrendously biased (often fictional) stories that pass for news in Murdoch’s newspapers. (And don’t forget, Murdoch controls 65% of all capital city and national daily newspapers, which are by far the most influential in setting the news agenda.)

Take these vastly different portrayals of Labor versus Liberal lies, for example:

Lib vs Lab lies


Or these outright lies about the carbon tax being responsible for gas price increases (click or tap the image to zoom in):



(Links: news.com.au story and IPART report)


Then there was this Daily Telegraph front page gem that not only pitted war veterans against disability support pensioners, but also used a stock image of young healthy people lining up to suggest that disability pensioners are all just healthy fakes, lining up with their hands out:

Murdoch Fake Photo

(Link to the Shutterstock image)


Or the Australian home page, on the morning after long-time Liberal Party staffer, Ray Carter, blew the whistle on the entire NSW Liberal Party at ICAC, claiming “everyone knew” about the slush funds that he used to launder illegal donations from property developers to the party. (Only part of the image is shown below. Click or tap to see the whole lot.)

Small Australian


And who could forget the parade of anti-Rudd/pro-Abbott front pages leading into the 2013 federal election?



Now let’s put all those pieces together…

Abbott has broken promise after promise after promise. On the eve of the election, he promised no new taxes, no cuts to health, no cuts to education, no change to pensions, no cuts to the ABC and no cuts to the SBS… He also promised to be a government of no nasty surprises and no excuses. He’s broken all those promises, and more, and he’s forging ahead as if we don’t matter. Meanwhile, he’s adopted or endorsed more than a third of the IPA’s policy wishlist. And the Murdoch press has backed him the whole way.

To me, it’s very clear what’s really going on… The IPA suggests big-biz policies, the Liberal party adopts them and Murdoch gets the public to accept them. Simple.

The only real question is why?


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Author:General Maddox

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6 Comments on “Who’s REALLY running Australia?”

  1. tony zimmerman
    June 1, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Thank you for this fantastic information! Now we know!

  2. 56andoverit
    June 1, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    The mafia and it’s not Italian.

  3. gusgrunt
    June 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    Murdoch is a Jew and I do not know about Bolt…… could be a Gentile lackey!
    It seems from recent facts that Bob Carr and Mal Fraser criticized the abnormal control that the Jews in Australia have over our political decisions…… particularly when we send our sons and daughters to fight wars for Jewish Banker interests.
    My point is that Australia is not Israel nor do we share the Abbott line that Australia is Israel.

    Quote…..“In so many ways, [Israel is] a country so much like Australia, a liberal, pluralist democracy,” he said, “A beacon of freedom and hope in a part of the world which has so little freedom and hope.”

    As an Australian I object to this statement and the crap that Abbott, either through ignorance or compliance, uttered on behalf of all Australians.

    Jew Zionism is a much larger picture in the control of the Australian political corporate circus than most understand and they, us, had better understand or suffer…… Gus

  4. downunder
    June 2, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    hello General Maddox……have you read the Iron Mountain Report? ……http://www.stopthecrime.net/docs/Report_from_Iron_Mountain.pdf

    written in 1967, a long document that discusses moving from war and replacing it with environmental concerns….aka climate change as the world uniting, controlling mechanisms!!! Important to read, after page 43, we get to the guts of using the environment as a control tool — taxation …. all the governments don’t actually do anything to
    avert environmental damage, but they sure know how to tax — it’s a con, so why are you
    buying into it????

  5. June 3, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    Who is running Australia?,,,, well,,,, there have been many theories on this and, just like the climate change debate, who knows which one is correct.

    BUT, there’s one thing for certain.

    Somewhere, hidden from the public view, there’s a room.

    A room with people in it.

    A room with people working with smoke and mirrors.

    A room from which decisions emanate.

    Decisions from a room where decisions are created for the good of all.

    And yet these decisions, made by people with smoke and mirrors, may be flawed.

    Is this possible?

    You be the judge then, as one of these decisions is portrayed here in cartoon form . . . . .




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