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‘The Australian’ tries to bring back conscription

16/04/2011

Every day in every way, the editors of The Australian find new ways to disgust. Not content with trying to bring down a government during an election; not content with waging a hate campaign against the NBN; now the Picture magazine of tabloids has turned a debate into a war.

The language they use is not provocative so much as down right misleading.

The Australian should no longer be called a newspaper. In fact, one should sue the company for as much as you can whenever it thinks it can call itself a newspaper.

You see a newspaper just reports the news. It does not attempt to draw a conclusion or force its readers to reach the conclusion it wants them to reach.

Let me tear this despicable waste of paper apart some.

Take the story entitled Unions join industry in carbon war . It is presumbly an account of how Paul Howes had a press conference and talked about his unions concerns re jobs. Go ahead. Have a look at the article. Try and find ONE quote from Paul Howes in the piece.

The entire premise of the story was about how Paul and his union have somehow made some kind of defensive pact with industry and there is not one quote at all from Paul in the story. The give a ”source” two quotes, give the guy from bluescope a quote, but they do not seem to be able to get one from Howes.

Well maybe I am being too harsh as that is actually the follow up article to this one AWU calls for steel to be exempt from carbon tax, which Greens concede will threaten jobs .

Now that is the actual report of what Paul Howes said. Lets have a listen to his own words. Try to pick up words like ‘war’.

“We think there is a special case to be made for steel,” the AWU national secretary said.

“Steel is going through a hard time at the moment, not because of carbon pricing. When the dollar sits at 1.05, all export-based industries are under a huge amount of pressure.

“But there is no solid argument we shouldn’t be making steel in this country.”

(from The Australian article)

Hmm I don’t actually see anyone donning army boots and passing out the ammunition after that sentence do you? I now am forced to go to another source to get more information on what Paul Howes actually said as that is the only quote in it from Paul. The rest of the article is the reaction of others. What’s more, they don’t even use the sentence that had that thing about job losses.

I am forced again to look to alternative news sources to get the full story as The Australian is not a source of news so much any more as a source of  slander, defamation, and gossip.

As it turns out, Mr Howes did NOT say if one job is gone our support is gone at the news conference. But it was reported that he did! He apparently said it BEFORE the news conference and even BEFORE he went into the meeting with his unions.

AM report *BEFORE THE NEWS CONFERENCE*

I especially was interested in hearing the views of the AMWU. It is after all manufacturing that will be on the coal face (pardon the pun) of reform here.

Mr Oliver says the Government will need to provide assistance to protect existing jobs and provide incentives to attract investment in new jobs.

He says the AMWU understands there will be a period of transition when jobs will be in flux.

We are concerned about the impact that pricing carbon will have on existing industries but we don’t see it as an either/or proposition. We are taking a total look at it from net jobs – that there will be a transitional period, there will be some jobs that may go and transform into new jobs,” he said.

If we can get it right then our main focus is certainly in the area of opportunities for new employment in the clean technology sector.”

Mr Oliver says he has been getting good feedback from AMWU members about reducing carbon.

“Our members get it. They understand we need to tackle climate change because the thing that has been lost in this whole debate is the environment and people understand that something needs to be done,” he said.

“If the Government gets it right, has the scheme in place to attract the investment, it can create the jobs for the future.”

(Source: ABC online Unions threatens carbon tax revolt)

See that is an interesting quote right there. if you listen to the radio grab, he even likened the carbon pricing reform to the reforms of floating the dollar and pointing out that the union had concerns then and they asked for and got policy to placate their concerns.

So off Paul Howes went to what was labelled a ‘crisis’ meeting. Seriously. Crisis?

Anyway out comes Paul and this is what he has to say.

“We think there is a special case to be made for steel,” the AWU national secretary said.

“Steel is going through a hard time at the moment, not because of carbon pricing. When the dollar sits at 1.05, all export-based industries are under a huge amount of pressure.

“But there is no solid argument we shouldn’t be making steel in this country.”

Hmm. No mention of one job loss. No mention of job guarantees.

Actually yesterday I was enjoying a little twitter banter between myself and @MathiasCormann on this.

Me to @MathiasCormann #auspol I dont think anyone cn guarantee anything. U cn say U will do yr best 2 ensure it, but U cnt guarantee

Mathias to me @AshGhebranious Labor cannot obviously not give a guarantee in relation to carbon tax and jobs. They’re flying blind on it! #auspol
Me back to @MathiasCormann #auspol Show me a politician that makes a guarantee and I will show you a liar

I must say I was surprised Mathias still talks to me as I keep requesting that the next time he finishes a TV interview, he tell the presenter he will be back.

Anyway, while in this banter definitely I and I believe Mathias were under the assumption that it was Paul Howes that called for a guarantee. I was really offended. What moron asks for guarantees???

“Today, the Prime Minister must make the guarantee that Paul Howes demanded, that not one job will be lost because of the carbon tax, to India, to China or to Indonesia”
Greg Hunt MP (opposition climate change spokesperson)
Oh. Well. Enough said. Actually no. Wait.
There. Never trust a pollie that needs to alter a transcript. You can’t change what you said Greg. Okay. Enough now.

Where was I?

Oh yes! The WAR!!!!

So out came Paul and the others and instead of demanding jobs or even saying it is there way or the highway the expressed the concern of the steel industries.

Now on one hand Paul has a very very important point. You see to make steel, you NEED coal. The papers tell us this. The TV’s tell us this. Science tells us this.
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content
But wait! There is more to the statement above.
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade.
Source: Steel
WTF?? All this huff and fluff about .2% – 2.1%??? What does this all mean to the steel industry! Enquiring minds want to know!
Well the Climate Change spokesperson, Greg Combet went through all this. I was a little shocked to actually see it in print in an article printed in The Australian! Mind you it was right at the end of the piece. Still. Beats not in there at all.

Here is the two paragraphs that put it all into perspective.

This week, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said under CPRS-level assistance and a $20 a tonne carbon price, the steel industry faced a $2.60 hike in the cost of making a tonne of steel, which currently sells at $800.

He said the aluminium industry would face an additional cost of $18.70 a tonne, out of a price of about $2500 a tonne.

Source: AWU calls for steel to be exempt from carbon tax, which Greens concede will threaten jobs (last two paragraphs)

Perspective is a wonderful thing. While the opposition and Tony Abbott make wild claims about jobs going off shore and the sky falling, the truth, when you look at it, is clearly very different.

So how much steel are we talking about? What is the likely cost to BlueScope over all this?

Well according to the PDF found on the BlueScope website last year BlueScope produced 4,724,000 tonnes of raw steel in 2010 for a revenue of 8.6 billion.

If we apply the  $2.60 a tonne thing, the carbon tax will cost BlueScope roughly 12 million or 0.14 % of their revenue  (12mill/8.6bill X 100/1).

Again. Lets put all of this into perspective.

BIG families on low incomes living in detached houses will be affected most by a substantial rise in electricity prices proposed by the pricing regulator.

Many low-income families in NSW will be forking out 10 per cent or more of their disposable incomes on electricity bills after increases of up to 18.1 per cent announced by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal yesterday. Its chairman, Rod Sims, said the electricity price increases would be difficult for many families.

(Source : SMH)

I have said it before and I will say it again. Perspective is a wonderful thing. While the steel industry grumble about a  lousy 0.14%, the average household in NSW will be hit with 18.1%.

Methinks business is not to keen to lessen the pain of the ordinary person and avoid the pain totally for themselves.

But at the same time, 18.1% increase in electricity prices in not a 18.1% reduction in your income. For an  annual bill of $2000 a year, the price increase is roughly about $40 dollars. If you are on a salary of $50k a year, that is in effect a rise of just under 0.1% (0.08 to be exact) increase. A little under what BlueScope is facing.

And quite frankly, if my cost of living rises by .1%, I do not start considering a move off shore.

It seems the real reality is a lot less nasty as the headlines preach. So why do they preach them?

One word.

Control.

Yes there is a war. It’s a war on how you are allowed to think and what to think. Arm yourselves with as much of the real facts that you can find and always question what you are told.

Do not believe what someone tells you is true until you check what they are saying. And if you fail to do so, then the only person to blame is yourself.

‘Beware’ and ‘be aware’  are two completely different things.

A. Ghebranious  2011 (All Rights Reserved)

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4 Comments
  1. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    SIGH! my what a world we live in.

  2. hillbillyskeleton permalink

    Combine this post with Katharine Murphey’s article today in The Age:
    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/public-defenceless-against-influencepeddling-arms-race-20110415-1dhtb.html
    And you get a rough idea why The Australian has decided that peddling lies in concert with the Opposition is their modus operandi. They want to demolish politics and just have a puppet government who no longer governs but carries out the wishes of vested interests.

  3. Pip permalink

    Well done Ash., the Australian doesn’t even try to pretend they’re “fair and balanced”.
    I’m linking this to CW as I’m sure they’ll appreciate your efforts.I’d only heard a snippet of the Howes comments but hadn’t gort around to folllowing it up.

  4. Pip permalink

    “gort”, = got :]

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