Murdoch ‘ruperter’ Greg Brown has been a subject of essays in this series a couple of times1,2. In this one3, he is helped by the unlucky Olivia Caisley while he acts as stenographer for Barnaby Joyce in one of the latter’s foaming-at-the-mouth rants against the Greens. This makes a change from Joyce claiming Labor is the source of almost every ill, I suppose. Joyce has maintained that the bushfires are all the fault of the Greens in stating that: “The problems we have got have been created by the Greens. We haven’t had the capacity to easily access [hazard] reduction burns because of all the paperwork that is part of green policy. We don’t have access to dams because they have been decommissioned on national parks because of green policy. We have trees that have fallen over vehicles [?] and block roads, so people cannot either get access to fight a fire or to get away from fires. And we can’t knock over trees because of Greens policy.”3 In this rambling drivel, Joyce seems to forget that the Coalition have been in government federally since 2013 and since 2011 in New South Wales. If Joyce means that local councils have been taken over by Greens, then he seems to think they have much more power than the numbers indicate. In late 2016, there were 128 local government areas in NSW4, and of those, only 5 have sitting mayors who are members of the Greens, and the Greens have 58 councillors scattered around only 32 of those local government areas5. Given that each of those 128 local government areas have something of the order of 10 or more councillors, it seems Joyce believes that those 58 out of over 1280 wield an inordinate amount of power.
Wondering why Greg Brown didn’t pull Joyce up on such a laughable rant, is to misunderstand the raison d’être of the Murdoch media. It is not a news organisation which reports fair and balanced news, but to make sure that democratic principles are trampled under foot and, in so doing, to attempt to make sure the Coalition is re-elected at every election. To this end, letting buffoons like Joyce get away with lies such as this one is a small price to pay, despite the fact that it may not be in the long term interest of Murdoch’s media business, especially when the revolution comes.
Joyce also whined about the Greens attempting to score political points by saying the government’s inaction on climate change had contributed to the fires that have killed three people. Two of those dead were denigrated by Joyce as probably being ‘Greens voters’6. Joyce continued ranting in the Brown piece: “There is nothing we have done in the Australian parliament that has brought about the absolute devastation to many people’s lives”. This is debatable as the repeal of the ‘Carbon tax’ has led to the decline in Australia’s emissions being turned around such that since 2015 emissions have been climbing and, given the current trajectory, there is absolutely no chance that we will meet our Paris climate accord target7. It is also laughable that Joyce should complain about someone trying to politicise climate change, given that when the Coalition was in opposition, they politicised it by dumping Malcolm Turnbull and replacing him with the climate change denier Tony Abbott.
Joyce is flailing around for someone to blame, now that the climate change chickens are coming home to roost. It has been the Greens over the last couple of days, and before that, the dead. It will be someone else tomorrow. All this flailing around is aided and abetted by Greg Brown, the recidivist ‘ruperter’.
- Brown, G & Caisley, O., 2019. Greens policies increasing bushfire threat, Barnaby Joyce says. The Australian, November 11.