fish in a net


I wrote an article about how John Laws is a lumbering misogynist from the Jurassic … and how I’d like to  kick his bum up the street and then, I thought, I couldn’t be arsed.

I just could not supply the required outrage to prosecute the case against him.

Not because of a lack of empathy for Carol, the caller who rang Laws on radio 2SM and related her harrowing personal tale of how she had been sexually abused since age six and was asked: “You weren’t provocative?” No woman should ever be asked that. And readers of The Hoopla agreed.

It was just that I already knew that John Laws was a disgrace to broadcasting. “Laws does not deserve kindness,” says industry insider, Dan Bradley on Radio Today. He found Laws’ interview “insensitive, inappropriate, indefensible and deplorable”.

Why Laws remains on air is a mystery.

Going after him, I decided, would be like shooting fish in a barrel. 

fish in a net

We’ve known Laws is a sexist from way back when he required his “handmaidens” to wear skirts.

Our suspicions about Laws’ lack of moral compass were confirmed when he and his then stablemate on 2UE, Alan Jones, were caught up in the 1999 “cash for comment” inquiry and it was found they had accepted millions of dollars in hidden sponsorships to spruik their clients – telcos, banks etc. – all in the guise of considered editorial. Thus betraying the trust of every single one of their listeners.

Laws took to ringing a “faggy little cowbell” on air whenever he was about to read an advertisement – misleading his listeners yet again. His appalling behaviour forced the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to change the rules on disclosure on “integrated advertising”.

None of his bullshit surprises me.

If the simple advice is “don’t listen” to Laws and Jones? I’ve been taking it for years.

We all have bigger fish to fry.

Instead, we can turn our energy and scrutiny to the shadowy forces at work in the guise of public “think tanks” who seek to influence public life, by foul means or fair.

Does the odious “cash for comment” culture persist in the national public discourse?  Do you know where “opinion” is coming from and who is paying for it?

Perhaps these ideas will provoke outrage too…

  • Privatise the ABC, SBS and the CSIRO.
  • End all public subsidies to the sports and arts.
  • Repeal the mining tax and Fair Work Act.
  •  Abolish the Clean Energy Fund, the Department of Climate Change, Foreign Investment Review Board, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission and, yes, ACMA.

These are just a few policies from the right-wing Institute of Public Affairs and can be read, in their eye-opening entirety, below.

Who and what is the IPA? “Free people. Free Society” is their motto. You can read the manifesto here, which also contains the words “liberating”, “exciting”, “independent” and also, oddly, “the rule of law”.

The IPA and its backers are keen for change of government and say of  Tony Abbott: “We hope he grasps the opportunity to fundamentally reshape the political culture and stem the assault on individual liberty”.

Clive Hamilton, climate change activist, recently pinged the IPA in an article on the ABC site, the Drum, and says it is “notoriously secretive about its funding.”

He mentions Exxon, Shell, Caltex and BHP Billiton among climate change deniers believed to have stumped up sponsorship. The 480 comments on his article also cite Big Mining, Big Oil, Big Tobacco, Big Arms Manufacturing and Big Packaging as also seeking to lobby and influence public policy in Australia.

“Despite its refusal to divulge, we can make a good guess at where a large part of its (the IPA’s) recent funding has come from – right-wing mining billionaire Gina Rinehart,” wrote Hamilton. 

And if you want to read more about Rinehart’s obsessions, this is the best (long) article I’ve ever read. It comes from the William Finnegan at  New Yorker.

Former Canberra lobbyist, Paula Matthewson writes : “Think tanks have too long hidden behind the cloak of independence and should be subject to more scrutiny. They should be recognised as active players in political debate, and not the dispassionate observers that they pretend to be.”

Right now – when we are about to dump millions of tonnes of toxic dredge spoil on the Barrief Reef and then transport uranium through our precious World Heritage area, all for the benefit of mining companies – Laws, Jones, Hadley and Sandilands are merely a fishing net full of toxic tiddlers.

Watch out instead for the IPA and their like – the white pointers in the shallows. Their bite can be fatal.

white pointer

Here is the full wish list of the IPA’s policies (next page)… and possibly the meanest and most pointless of all?

No.73: Defund Harmony Day. It’s like pulling the wings off orange butterflies.

(Thanks to reader John for this link re: concerns that the IPA and conservative think tanks like them are dominating the public airwaves and opinion on the ABC.)

“1 Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy. But if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefits will be undone.

2 Abolish the Department of Climate Change

3 Abolish the Clean Energy Fund

4 Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

5 Abandon Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council

6 Repeal the renewable energy target

7 Return income taxing powers to the states

8 Abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission

9 Abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

10 Withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol

11 Introduce fee competition to Australian universities

12 Repeal the National Curriculum

13 Introduce competing private secondary school curriculums

14 Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

15 Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’

16 Abolish television spectrum licensing and devolve spectrum management to the common law

17 End local content requirements for Australian television stations

18 Eliminate family tax benefits

19 Abandon the paid parental leave scheme

20 Means-test Medicare

21 End all corporate welfare and subsidies by closing the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

22 Introduce voluntary voting

23 End mandatory disclosures on political donations

24 End media blackout in final days of election campaigns

25 End public funding to political parties

26 Remove anti-dumping laws

27 Eliminate media ownership restrictions

28 Abolish the Foreign Investment Review Board

29 Eliminate the National Preventative Health Agency

30 Cease subsidising the car industry

31 Formalise a one-in, one-out approach to regulatory reduction

32 Rule out federal funding for 2018 Commonwealth Games

33 Deregulate the parallel importation of books

34 End preferences for Industry Super Funds in workplace relations laws

35 Legislate a cap on government spending and tax as a percentage of GDP

36 Legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of budget deficits and the period the federal government can be in deficit

37 Force government agencies to put all of their spending online in a searchable database

38 Repeal plain packaging for cigarettes and rule it out for all other products, including alcohol and fast food

39 Reintroduce voluntary student unionism at universities

40 Introduce a voucher scheme for secondary schools

41 Repeal the alcopops tax

42 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
c) Encourage the construction of dams

43 Repeal the mining tax

44 Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states

45 Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold

46 Cut company tax to an internationally competitive rate of 25 per cent

47 Cease funding the Australia Network

48 Privatise Australia Post

49 Privatise Medibank

50 Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function

51 Privatise SBS

52 Reduce the size of the public service from current levels of more than 260,000 to at least the 2001 low of 212,784

53 Repeal the Fair Work Act

54 Allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them

55 Encourage independent contracting by overturning new regulations designed to punish contractors

56 Abolish the Baby Bonus

57 Abolish the First Home Owners’ Grant

58 Allow the Northern Territory to become a state

59 Halve the size of the Coalition front bench from 32 to 16

60 Remove all remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade

61 Slash top public servant salaries to much lower international standards, like in the United States

62 End all public subsidies to sport and the arts

63 Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport

64 End all hidden protectionist measures, such as preferences for local manufacturers in government tendering

65 Abolish the Office for Film and Literature Classification

66 Rule out any government-supported or mandated internet censorship

67 Means test tertiary student loans

68 Allow people to opt out of superannuation in exchange for promising to forgo any government income support in retirement

69 Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built

70 End all government funded Nanny State advertising

71 Reject proposals for compulsory food and alcohol labelling

72 Privatise the CSIRO

73 Defund Harmony Day

74 Close the Office for Youth

75 Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme

and folks… there’s more…

25 more ideas for Tony Abbott


John RoskamChris Berg and James Paterson

Following on from our 75 ideas in the last edition, John Roskam, James Paterson and Chris Berg offer 25 more ideas to reshape Australia.

76 Have State Premiers appoint High Court justices

77 Allow ministers to be appointed from outside parliament

78 Extend the GST to cover all goods and services but return all extra revenue to taxpayers through cutting other taxes

79 Abolish the federal department of health and return health policy to the states

80 Abolish the federal department of education and return education policy to the states

81 Repeal any new mandatory data retention laws

82 Abolish the Australian Human Rights Commission

83 Have trade unions regulated like public companies, with ASIC responsible for their oversight

84 End all public funding to unions and employer associations

85 Repeal laws which protect unions from competition, such as the ‘conveniently belong’ rules in the Fair Work Act

86 Extend unrestricted work visas currently granted to New Zealand citizens to citizens of the United States

87 Negotiate and sign free trade agreements with Australia’s largest trading partners, including China, India, Japan and South Korea

88 Restore fundamental legal rights to all existing commonwealth legislation such as the right to silence and the presumption of innocence

89 Adhere to section 51(xxxi) of the Constitution by not taking or diminishing anyone’s property without proper compensation

90 Repeal legislative restrictions on the use of nuclear power

91 Allow full competition on all foreign air routes

92 Abolish the Medicare levy surcharge

93 Abolish the luxury car tax

94 Halve the number of days parliament sits to reduce the amount of legislation passed

95 Abolish Tourism Australia and cease subsidising the tourism industry

96 Make all government payments to external parties publicly available including the terms and conditions of those payments

97 Abandon plans to restrict foreign investment in Australia’s agricultural industry

98 Cease the practice of setting up government-funded lobby groups, such as YouMeUnity, which uses taxpayer funds to campaign to change the Australian Constitution

99 Rule out the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment for electronic gaming machines

100 Abolish the four pillars policy which prevents Australia’s major banks from merging

PS: Many people have referred me to this Youtube of Stuart Littlemore in 2001, then host of Media Watch, talking of the IPA… so here it is, for your perusal. It is, quite simply, stunning.



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  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Thanks Wendy for being our eyes. So glad you and the other Hooplarians are here.

    Scary stuff … and recognise quite a bit of it already in LNP policy statements.

    Would really like to get back to real Oz style Westminster system of governing instead of the West Wing we keep seeing these days.

    Feeling quite disheartened at present.

    • Reply March 24, 2013


      Petition the ABC to stop the bias to the IPA:

      • Reply March 24, 2013

        Darren of Australia

        So, you Lefties can’t even see the ABC bias to the far Left?? ffs!!

        • Reply March 24, 2013


          Lefties? ABC? clearly you’re a cable watcher or something mate. When was the last time you saw Q&A or even The Drum or Insiders stacked with “Lefties”? Most of their invited panelists and speakers are ex-Howard ministry types or IPA employees. If they’re neither, there’s a 70% chance they’re Murchoch paper columnists. I’m proud to consider myself left of whinging white blokes like you, but none of these people speak for me or mine.

          • March 25, 2013

            Darren of Australia

            You’ve got to be joking! the shows you mentioned are chokkers with Leftists.I am amazed that Left wing people can’t see just how stacked with Leftists the ABC is.Maybe it’s because they are extreme Left and anything less looks Right?? for cable etc I don’t have it.

        • Reply March 25, 2013

          anne louise

          Darren – Couldn’t get a reply link for your comment below. Name the lefties which abound on abc programmes.
          Name even one.

          • March 25, 2013

            anne louise

            Darren – you’re not Christopher Pyne are You? (71 days and all that?)

        • Reply March 26, 2013


          More delusional Tea Party drivel.

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Help. One thing at a time Wendy. It’s all scary but have to disagree with you that there are bigger fish to fry. He and Alan Jones are out there in the public eye and anyone who denounces what they do is performing a public service IMO.

    Rape is large on women’s agenda. Toxic spills. Well it doesn’t concern me as personally – – or my friends — or the younger female generations in my family. It’s bad yes. But rape is worse. Far worse. It goes to the heart of our relations with men.

    It’s a lead-in to the male psyche. We need to change the vernacular that surrounds rape and we need to change it now.

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Earth to Rhoda, “THE male psyche”, you say? What are you, the female John Laws? There is no such thing, anymore than there is a single female psyche. Over and out.

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    Wendy Harmer

    I am not disgreeing with you Rhoda…at all. But you will see from what I have written here that when there is NO recourse for you as a listener – when ACMA is abolished – things will go worse.
    As for the idea that rape is “worse” than something else? I never put that argument. No-one can rank atrocities and should never attempt to do so.
    But read this list of “policies” and you will see that many protections for women,men,children and our custodianship of every living thing are stripped away – and that our ability to speak up – on any issue, including rape – will be muted.

    • Reply March 25, 2013

      Jenna M

      Good on you Wendy. I agree with you, having license to free speech is not license in commercial media to use it to flog your own right wing or mysoginst agendas.

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    Ann-Maree from Taree

    I have become increasingly alarmed at the apparent infiltration of our ABC by this organisation. I see why now!!! Big fish indeed!!!

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Now all of those would be well and good, modelling of the USA, though unfortunately those exact models are those causing it’s inevitable downward spiral to the opposite of the empire it once was, specifically due to extreme fundamental right wing.
    I hope you and your colleagues continue writing about this.
    Thank you.

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Take your point Wendy. Just that rape goes to the heart of our relations with men – a primal thing. We should get it sorted. That John Laws can get away with this? Means anyone can.

    Let’s not make raped women think it not important as toxic spills. Because it is.

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    @Earswiredopen – and your point? Do you approve of John Laws? If you don’t then what should women be saying to rapists and their supporters.

    • Reply March 23, 2013

      Wendy Harmer

      Rhoda… this is not an “either/or” argument. It cannot be framed as such. The disapproval of John Laws is evident in this article, and in the comments of readers.

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Wendy – it is becoming increasingly important for information and references to get to people who have open minds. Mainstream media will not be doing it. Please keep it up.

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Jeez Wendy , Your scaring the crap out of me.

    Sounds like a recipe for carnage on the streets.
    Maybe they’ll create walled cities for the wealthy& then round up the poor & as Billy Connolly once suggested , eat the poor thus killing two birds with one stone ; no social security & no food shortages , voila , utopia for the wealthy.

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Wendy you said you couldn’t be arsed. I read that as meaning you had more more important fish to fry than rape and what it means to that woman who spoke to John Laws. Any woman who read that might take it the wrong way. That’s all I mean.

    Not having a go. I applaud everything you do. Love this forum. You’re the real deal. I know that. Just saying.

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    Wendy Harmer

    Thanks Rhoda. Appreciated, WX

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Thanks Wendy for helping to spread the word. Barry Tucker has been telling us about this IPA agenda for a while now.

    Did you mention that this is the think tank that feeds the LNP policies? Prominent Liberals like Peter Reith sit on its leadership group.

    And the ABC regularly has members of the IPA on its flagship shows like Q and A and Insiders. (Just so you know)

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Hardly” independent” or “public” and I’d like to see 75 points the other way~with a question ~who sets this or another “agenda” about domain assumptions on what is “public” and what is “private”? I note that “Australian vaccination network” which is anti-vaccination is being required to have a warning placed on their website by N.S.W Consumer Affairs until the court case is settled about whether they can still can use that name. When can someone say public when they mean private interests?

    Meanwhile thanks Rhoda for your advocacy. Shooters and Fishers, a new party in W.A have gained an upper house seat. How easy it is to catch things when they are in a confined/limited space.

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    I’ve heard it said that its not the problem that the MSM is biased and influenced by the likes of the Liberal Party and IPA. It’s because it reaches an audience that is not smart enough nor educated enough to make conclusions on how such policies as the IPA affect them. Lots of sheep in the Australian population. The. ALP must communicate to the populace without the use of the MSM as a tool. And the ABC must not be privatised.

    • Reply March 24, 2013

      Darren of Australia

      Yeah right mate..the majority of Australians don’t want Socialist ideals as they already have a life thank you!!

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    sue Bell

    so what actions can we take as a group, any ideas on organising to make the populace aware of the possible destruction of our democracy by this evil group of people who believe they have the right to rule?

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Sadly, I was naive enough to believe that IPA spiel when I was looking for soneone, anyone to help me fight the government for my individyal freedom.

    The IPA never even responded to my communication.

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    Tim Murphy

    Full disclosure, I stopped reading the list at about point 20.

    That said I have 3 questions:

    1) is the IPA made up of Australians?

    2) is the IPA a collection of comedians?

    3) does any one in the IPA have an iq greater than 50?

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    The list Wendy has published here is frightening, and important, and I rarely disagree with The Hoopla’s writers. However, this piece makes me angry.

    More than 25 percent of women are raped and assaulted in their lifetimes, and normalising victim-blaming (which is what Laws has done) leads to people continuing to tell their daughters and grand-daughters that if they wear the short skirt or are drunk or provacative then they ‘deserve it’. Then women don’t report assaults, and then men continue to get away with it … and then it keeps happening.

    So I call bulldust on this. I also call bulldust on the right response to Jones and Laws being to ignore them – because all that it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing. And doing nothing is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I warmly congratulate those who are fighting the Laws issue on behalf of all of us. And I think we’re all grownups here – meaning that we all have the capacity to be outraged by (and take action on) more than one thing at a time. There is no either/or. There is both. Wendy, you have made a mistake.

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Yes agree with you Jennie. I think we should go for John Laws and put him out of business. He’s a lecher.

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    Wendy Harmer

    I don’t believe I have made a mistake Jennie. I have in no way denigrated the efforts of those who choose to battle John Laws. I am just opening up the war on a wider front.
    I re-iterate, if there is no ACMA, there is no way to bring Laws, Jones et. al. to account.
    And that’s worth me writing about.
    You will also find that much of the IPA’s agenda has an enormous impact upon women, because they are the front line of low paid work.

    • Reply March 25, 2013


      I hate to sound ignorant, but with the recent media reforms failure, was the Media Advocate that was being recommended supposed to be like and ombudsman-type role that would’ve given us somewhere to go if ACMA is failing?

      • Reply March 25, 2013

        anne louise

        Yes Wantfullpicture, that’s what I thought.
        (……….because ACMA will continue to be failing us.)

  • Reply March 23, 2013


    Ok Wendy, for those of us who appreciate what you are telling us and would like to do something about it, how do you suggest we take action? What do you believe is the most effective way to put forward an alternative voice to what the IPA stands for?

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    Wendy Harmer

    My goodness, that’s a good question! I think that every time a person appears in the media under the label of the IPA, we should be informed and ask how they come to be there. We should press our pollies, superfunds etc. on their connections. I wish I had a “press button here” for this but, to quote Edmude Burke “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance” Hope this encourages your own research and action.

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    Jack Richards

    Gina Hancock is living proof that money can buy neither class nor happiness.

    She is convinced that she’s some sort of messiah and has had some eternal truth revealed to her. After all, was it just a coincidence that she was an only child; that Communist China made her the world’s richest woman; that she saw clearly enough to reject leftist lecturers at University; that she is rejected and hated for bringing “the truth” to her own land? No co-incidence at all: she is obviously the “chosen one”.

    The only thing that is standing between her and personal happiness and her leading Australia to a brilliant and radiant future are all those heretics who can’t recognise the messiah when they see her, work against her, and corrupt even her own children. If only she could buy up every paper and TV station, every business and be proclaimed “Queen for Life” then everything would be good, she’d be worshipped, and she’d finally find the happiness that has eluded her since Rose walked in to her father’s life. She lies alone in bed every night thinking, “If I just buy one more Newspaper, one more TV station, make another quick billion dollars, then finally I’ll be happy.”

    She is a complete loon and a vexatious litigant. She has enough money to crush anyone and has no compunction about hiring the slickest spivs in the legal profession to harass to bankruptcy anyone who dares challenge her diseased and totally ignorant ideas about anything.

    She is a huge parasite on this nation – as was her father. How is it that she makes more in an hour than most of us make in a year from iron ore that belongs to every Australian and Indigenous Australians in particular. She’s never dug up so much as a wheel-barrow full, never done a day’s work in the hot sun – but, by a quirk of paper-work, collects more money in an average month than most people could spend in a couple of lifetimes. But despite that, she still begrudges paying other Australians a liveable wage and thinks we should all work for her for $2/day like the Africans. If it was possible, she’d drag Western Australia across the Indian Ocean so that she could take advantage of all that cheap labour. Failing that, she wants WA to secede so she can run the whole show just as she sees fit; just like Idi Amin ran Uganda.

    What a pig! What an absolute PIG!

    • Reply March 24, 2013

      Darren of Australia

      Whilst I also think of GR as a type of pig (truely) at least she has created a lot of employment for this country — have you?

      • Reply March 24, 2013

        Janet G

        Sorry 457 visa employment I think you mean. Notice one of the policies is to make the 457 visa unrestricted in the IPA proposed different economic zone of northern australia.

      • Reply March 25, 2013

        Jack Richards

        Don’t you mean that the Chinese Communists have created a lot of jobs by buying “our” iron ore from companies like Rio Tinto who pay her for the right to dig up the ore on her father’s “claim” over land belonging to Indigenous people who still get to live in “traditional” humpies in traditional camps complete with every social problem you can think of?

        Exactly how many “Australians” do you know who work in these mines? And how many do you know who would if there was a policy of employing Australians and providing liveable conditions?

        As Gina and the other multi-national thieves and swindlers know, it is much cheaper to have a token FIFO workforce bolstered by as many 457 Visa “guest workers” as you can get.

        Why is it that there is no effort made to “value add” the product? Where are the blast furnaces and rolling mills that would employ tens of thousands turning Australian ores into Australian metals?

        They’re all in China being made for a take home pay of $40/week sans any benefits – just like all those other iconic “Australian” brands that now have a tag reading “Made in China”.

        The only people Gina directly employs are her body-guards and a small army of suited spivs clogging up the courts with all her vexatious actions against anyone who doesn’t pay her sufficient homage or has crossed her like her own children and her former step-mother.

        She doesn’t employ anyone. She is just a monstrous tape worm in the gut of society growing fat while the body around it starves to death.

    • Reply March 26, 2013


      Jack Richards, so being an only child is a ‘bad’ thing now? It means that we’re all going to grow up rich (I wish!) and litigious? As an only child I find your comment deeply offensive and ignorant. I know 2 only children, 3 including myself. And I, nor the other 2 are in any way rich, spoiled or litigious. I’m so sick and tired of the prejudice and stereotypes surrounding only children. If only my life was half, nay, a quarter as good and as indulged as those with siblings. Stick your ignorant comment where the sun don’t shine.

      • Reply March 26, 2013

        john jay

        I believe Jack Richards is a bitter, troubled man.

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    anne louise

    Jack Richards, I agree with you, and although her physical appearance is irrelevant, just seeing or hearing her repulses me.

    Laws, Jones et al are small fry when you think about the implications of the above. But they are the entree to this whole realm of thought. I concur with Bill. Their audience cannot distinguish between constructive policy and extreme right Rhinehartism. And that is where the LNP find their constituents,

    Ann-Maree of Taree – I agree. In a way I am slightly relieved to see that I was not imagining the warping of the culture at the abc. For months I have been wondering at the emergence of lighter, shorter (tabloid) Gillard- government- critical content. The focus of hosts and reporters seems to have shifted. They have become patronizing, judgemental. And I’ve been thinking to myself “this guy has sold out”.

    The list of subjects addressed by the IPA is long and serious, and most of the topics speak for themselves – I can understand them.

    But I don’t understand . . . . . what is the implication of reducing the coalition front bench from 32 to 16? Is that the only way they can get rid of Julie Bishop? Or what. Please explain, someone?

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    I think you will find a majority of Austalians would agree with a majority of this list.

    You guys have to be honest that this is a very very hard left blog and your views sure ain’t mainstream!!

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    sue Bell

    Hard left? honestly Saskia you have no idea of what hard left is. This list of IPA intentions would totally destroy the values Australians have had since the early days of the colony, it tramples on the values established with Eureka, free selection, federation, and the rest of our history. If you want an oligarchy I suggest you go and live on an island with Gina and the rest of the pack of bastards who don’t care about our country or our people. Strangely enough you may find that money is not everything and neither is power, it is community and compassion that we need.

    • Reply March 25, 2013


      sue Bell – well said. Saskia obviously does not understand that there are many people in this great land who doubt the sincerity of Mainstream Media!

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Had to laugh, Saskia. Left of what? Hard? We care that an old man doesn’t know that rape is a crime. We care that an oil tanker might spill its load onto the Barrier Reef. We care if journalists aren’t impartial when reporting the news.

    You might more properly call the views of conservatives, hard right – and do you know where that path leads to? I hope so.

    Listen to the talk on a conservative blog and then come back.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Slate magazine for a while had a section in which readers were asked to put questions they would like answered. My question would have been why these very wealthy individuals, who already have more money than they can possibly spend in their lifetimes, are so keen to pursue their “right” to have even more that they work to destroy the fairly limited protections those of us who do not measure our worth by our wealth have. I mean, what could Gina Rinehart, for example, possibly want that she does not already have? What could she do with the extra money she would make by the repeal of any mining tax? All I can think of is the right to make more of Australia over in her image.
    It is astounding that these mind-numbingly wealthy people can be so arrogant as to believe that anyone who does not share their worship of profit ought to be mere fodder for exploitation. The existence of their apologists is less puzzling: presumaby they expect to be rewarded for advocating for their leaders’ agenda.
    When greed extends to desiring to possess literally everything, whether or not you can possibly make use of it, regardless of the damage you do to other people, including your family, or the world, you are a seriously dangerous person from whom the rest of us are entitled to seek protection.

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Jack Richards

    The great question without answer is: How much is enough?

    I’m a senior citizen living on a super pension and the last of my savings. My car is 18 years old. I’m a widower with 3 grow-up kids. I live in an isolated place 45km from the nearest town. My only company is the black Labrador I rescued from the pound last year after my 14y-o yellow Lab died of old age.

    But I am a lot happier than Gina Hancock. My kids love me and I see them often; my dog loves me; and I have mates I have known since High School. I can go to town and talk to people in the street; go to the club and have a meal; and just be a face in the crowd.

    I am so much “richer” than Gina on every scale except bank balance. Her life is like the last days of Hitler in the bunker. Three of her four children seem to hate her, and the other one fears her. She hasn’t got a friend in the world; she can’t go anywhere without a phalanx of armed security guards; there are crazies who want to kill her on sight; and she knows that the whole country will feel only schadenfreude if some tragedy befalls her. The only people who associate with her are looking for a profit and selling their time like prostitutes while the true upper classes look upon her as a gauche and gormless colonial buffoon. Her father lived in a “mansion” that was actually a Temple to bad taste – and she had it bulldozed out of spite after years in court fighting Rose and cooking up allegations that Rose had poisoned the shameless, greedy old goat.

    Despite her wealth, she is probably the poorest person in Australia. Her life is one of unrelenting loneliness, suspicion and fear. I doubt she even owns a dog.

    She’s got the biggest bag of lollies and she ain’t gonna share.

    That other buffoon, Clive Palmer, has every toy that money can buy. But he is bored, so what does a rich man do when he’s bored? He gets the Chinese to rebuild the Titanic so that he can sail across the North Atlantic in “period dress”. That will alleviate his boredom for a week – a childish dress-up party on a useless new boat. Really it just beggars belief.

    I wonder what I would do with $30 Billion? I’d give most of it away to medical research, build houses for the homeless, establish the world’s best private school and university for the people of the Pilbara, give all my workers a big bonus, fund research into high-yield crops – the list is endless. But all she does is take people to court; while Clive buys even bigger toys.

    It really is time there was a whole new deal and everyone started getting a fair share instead of the whole cake being eaten by just a handful of gluttons.

    • Reply March 24, 2013

      Janet G

      What a marvellous way to look at life, Jack. On of the wisest of the ancient Grrek philosophers said all we need for happiness is health, a friend and a garden. My best wishes to you and your wise family

      • Reply March 25, 2013


        FVor someon so happy Jack seems eaten up by envy of Gina’s millions.

        Feel free to start upan enterprise employing Australians Jac. They will thank you for the opportunity. Then you can see what real financial wealth is and distirbute it accordingy.

        Manwhile, I’m not happy at all about many of the IPA plan points but to say the ABC is dominated by them or that it is a “shadowy” entity is simply aburd.

        • Reply March 25, 2013


          Really wish there was an edit facility for comments ;)
          I don’t know what’s happened to my typing this year….

    • Reply March 25, 2013

      John Jay

      Jack you are under the influences of the dark forces of jealousy and communism.
      It was God who put the iron ore in the ground and God who chose Mr. Hancock to mine it, then his lovely caring daughter Gina to follow in his footsteps.
      Both create and share great wealth with this country and donate to many charities.
      Of course this is not reported in the anti mining media.

      • Reply March 25, 2013

        Jack Richards

        @John Jay. Pack up your rosaries, bibles, holy water, lucky charms, and catechisms and crawl back to that foetid liver-fluke Akerman and his band of demented storm-troopers.

        You might be interested in deep philosophical questions about whether Batman could beat Superman in a fight or whether it is ethical for the Invisible Man to have a consensual sexual relationship with Wonder Woman, but the rest of us live in the real world.

        You need to either get a life or self commit again.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    I’m so pleased to see that the concerns over the IPA are starting to emerge in more forums such as this. And what you haven’t mentioned here is how they are being allowed to dominate the conversation on the ABC. I find it very disturbing that our public broadcaster sees fit to allow commentators from the IPA to have infiltrated almost every fact of their News programmes. From The Drum to ABC News Breakfast they appear, described as an ‘independent think tank’ when they are nothing of the sort. They are pushing a specific agenda which they hope will be achieved when they install Tony Abbot at the lodge, to the detriment of us all. I hope you continue to expose them here Wendy because the more people hear of what an Abbott lead govt would have in store for us the more afraid we should be.

    • Reply March 24, 2013

      Darren of Australia

      Susie, it’s called Democracy.Why shouldn’t Right leaning views be aired on the ‘peoples’ ABC? Do the Right not pay any tax?

      • Reply March 25, 2013

        Jack Richards

        Yes Darren, I can’t wait for an Abbott Government to lead us boldly straight back to the wondrous year of 1957. Back to the good old days of full employment, mothers in the home, church on Sunday, the working class knowing their place under the benevolent rule of the Pitt St Capitalist and the Country Party’s landed squires.

        I remember those days well. I’ll have to practice raising my hat and tugging my forelock again and relearn how to say “Sir” and “Ma’am” again in my most obsequious voice.

        I can’t wait for the re-introduction of full-blown “trickle-down” economics. As we all know, it’s in all our interests if a small group of our social betters pay no tax and own all means of production, distribution and exchange as they will provide employment and the benefits will “trickle down”. Unfortunately my experience of trickle down economics has been more like getting the bottom bunk below a Gina Hancock with a bad case of enuresis – that’s all the “trickle down” I’ve ever seen.

      • Reply March 25, 2013

        sully of hay

        only poor white trash far right idiot rednecks who idolize their betters and think the a. l. p. is a communist party pay tax on their meager incomes.
        the powerful far right big end of town pay a bevy of flunky accountants to make sure they pay next to no tax.
        next time you pay gst, just think what percentage of your income has gone into that tax than say if your beloved gina bought the same item.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    IPA back the Coalition & their ppl regularly appear on TV/radio and back lies told by pollies they support. These lies are often not challenged, possibly because the interviewers are not across the detail.

    As an example of how blatant some of these lies are, on Friday, Tony Abbott was interviewed by Sabra Lane on radio.

    She asked him about being heckled at the forced adoption apology. He said that he did nothing wrong as the language he used was the language used in the report (the exact opposite of the truth) and the heckling occurred just because it was an emotional day; implication was it was the mothers overreacting.

    The report has a section on language and its very clear that the words he used were words that caused offence (birth mothers and relinquish).

    Its such a blatant lie and gives insight into how certain people operate. IPA guys then follow along defending him.

    From the transcript:

    SABRA LANE: Mr Abbott, if it wasn’t for the spill yesterday chances are you would have been front page news given the apology to the forced adoptees and their families in Parliament yesterday. There were many who took exception to your language in the audience yesterday.

    TONY ABBOTT: Well I appreciate Sabra that it was quite an emotional group in Parliament House yesterday. I very much understand that and I very much feel for them and that’s why the apology was very important. But the language that I used yesterday was precisely the same language as that used in the Senate report which they are so rightly grateful for.

    SABRA LANE: You think those in the audience got it wrong?

    TONY ABBOTT: No, I’m not saying that. They’re entitled to be feeling very passionate. They’re entitled to be feeling I think very wounded and that’s why the apology was so important.

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Frankly Feisty

    Oh Shit! So overwhelmingly depressing.

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Lidia Lipkiewicz

    This article should be made compulsory reading for every Australian student (and their parents) How do we make it happen? (

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    PM Newton

    Worth asking the same question about Gerard Henderson’s Sydney Institute as well, particularly as Henderson insists on referring to the ABC as the “tax-payer-funded ABC” whilst refusing to disclose who funds him.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Forgot to mention Clive Hamilton is a member of The Greens and a catastrophic anthropogenic global warming alarmist, who has repeatedly been caught out lying about the subject.

    The ABC and SBS should be privatised. They are left-wing media outlets which do not have any conservative presenters. Can you explain why that is?

    The Depatment of Climate Change should be abolished. They recently published a paper “The Angry Summer” which claimed alarm, yet no where in the paper, did they show how carbon dioxide which is not a pollutant, contributed to it. They also have been shown to have lied often, when the data shows that extreme WEATHER events have not been increasing in frequency.

    Climate change denier. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. That wording suggests there people who deny a climate exists. You have to admit it seems ridiculous. What people are sceptical of, which people like yourself deceitfully conceal, is that a rise in CO2 emissions will cause catastrophic climate change.

    If you actually looked at every dataset, which I’m sure you haven’t, the rate of warming has plummeted dramatically. 0.05C in nearly two decades. IPCC predicted 0.2C-0.6C per decade. The Climate Commission has never stated this as it is does not benefit their political position.

    • Reply March 24, 2013


      Chad……Don’t believe everything Bolt tells you!

    • Reply March 24, 2013


      Chad. Chad. Chad. Come on. You can’t be serious. Can you? Where do you come up with this stuff? Oh, Chad.

    • Reply March 25, 2013


      Chad – just go away with your immature rantings. For a start, everyone knows Clive Hamilton is a member of the Greens and has stood for Parliament for the Greens- but hey, that does not scare us. Read his books before sprouting rubbish.

    • Reply March 25, 2013

      anne louise

      Chad, you haven’t been watching or listening to the abc lately have you?

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Alan Knight

    The IPA used to be funded by Western Mining. In recent years they have been less open where they get their money from but its believed to include cigarette companies. However, they are most certainly not a research group in the true sense. They are funded to find information which confirms their deregulated market ideology. Like the Centre for Independent Studies, they are a bit like right wing stalnist parties, seeking to infiltrate their agendas and skew political debate. See:

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    It is good to see someone shinning the light on the IPA, thank you. Their influence on Australian politics needs more publicity; the name seems fairly innocuous, as do the other Right Wing Think-tanks, to the general public who don’t realise how much impact they have in an already unbalanced media. In 2012 the IPA and its main spokespeople scored 19,641 press mentions, according to Media Monitors.

    I wrote to the ABC re. IPA’s over-representation on shows like ‘The Drum’, and got the standard reply about “balance, and variety of opinions etc; I fail to appreciate the balance when an IPA speaker is sitting alongside a failed ex-Coalition Politician.

    I heard that the Head of IPA, John Roskam, was integral in helping fuel the fire that led to Malcolm Turnbull’s demise as Liberal Leader, and ultimately the scrapping of the original ETS by both major parties.
    Who knows what other mischief they get up to – they don’t seem to be very accountable. We still don’t know who is financing James Ashby?

    They should be universally condemned for their shameful position on the smoking laws alone.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Thank you Wendy .If only the rest of the media would talk more about THESE faceless men but that is not going to happen when 70 % is owned by Murdoch and he is the guest speaker at the IPA’s 70th anniversary dinner being MC’d by Andrew Bolt.Sad how our democracy (and its reliance on an informed rather than brainwashed electorate) is being hijacked by a privileged few for their own agenda .They speak of freedom of speech being threatened by this government yet ironically these people sensor and manipulate the truth in their news in a way which any communist political despot would be impressed with . Thank god for social media and for site like Hoopla .Sadly those that most need to hear the truth probably are not your readership but those that read the daily telegraph .:(. Thanks again Wendy for a light on something many a prepared to keep under the radar

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Before I read this I had never heard of the IPA. This is some scary shit. The shameless bias and right wing propaganda that I am seeing and reading on all main stream media outlets, including the ABC, now makes perfect sense. You are right Wendy. Laws is just another distraction from this heinous white anting of basic human rights. Repeal all anti dumping laws???? What the Holy F*ck???????? Thank you Hoopla.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Spread this story around folks. It needs to be heard widely (and regularly).

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    The IPA was one of a number of groups which came together to form the Liberal Party of Australia, and became an important fund raising body for the Liberal Party in Victoria.
    The reason Abbott wil not come out with any policies is because you;ve listed them here and they are more draconian than the Teaparty in America.
    We absolutely need new media laws. The way Murdoch was crowing last week about how new media laws in Australia need to be stopped and the govt needs to changed was appalling.
    People need to open their eyes to how dangerous the possibility of a Liberal govt is going ot be in Australia. If you’re poor, prepare to become even worse off.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    It’s more than the IPA. Tony Abbott and Cory Bernardi, amoung others, are regular visitors to the Heritage Foundation in the US. The Heritage foundation don’t just support the policy recommendations the IPA does, they also push an anti abortion, anti contraceptive, anti gay rights agenda. The mixture of Libertarian ideology and fundamentalist religion is truly scary. I fear for our country and its egalitarian roots.

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Harland Sanders

    How is the IPA any worse than the ACTU or any of the Labor/Greens/Eco-Catastrophists Think Tanks?

    Once again the Left’s Totalitarian streak reveals itself when faced with opinion it doesn’t like.

    Debates don’t occur when everyone agrees with each other.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    discount propecia online

    Thanks Wendy – good work

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    One main difference Harland Sanders is that they never get called the “faceless men” and they certainly don’t get the same treatment in the press as ACTU get.In fact very few people know about them yet they appear to have a lot of power in setting the agenda of the people who want to become the next government ..

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    oh and Harland ..debates also don’t occur when at least 70% of the media is owned by one man and the national paper is edited by an old university friend of Mr Abbot who meets with him regular … thank god for places such as this .If you on the other hand only want to hear opinions similar to your you may feel more comfortable reading the paper i just mentioned There is more than enough of the media that represents your view.Let us enjoy some fact and truth here in peace .

    • Reply March 24, 2013

      Darren of Australia

      PruJ says that debates don’t occur and blames the supposed overwhelming Murdoch influence for.Well what the hell is this site, and many many other Leftist sites??? A mass debate??

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Janet G

    Institute of “Public” Affairs! What a misnomer! It should be Institute of Private Affairs. This think-tank is about the libertarian ideal, where taxation is considered theft and the only use of government is as a defense force.

    Now, many would not consider taxation a nice thing at all, but without taxation there would be no civil society. Society would degenerate into a ”might is right’ free for all.

    We only just manage to keep these wolves from our doors as it is. To invite them in as ‘public policy’ is unthinkable.

    Perhaps that is why the Coalition does not put forward any policies, considering the election is so imminent. They do not have any. The whole idea is not to have any and to dismantle the ones that are there.

    So long environment, the disabled and their carers, the old and enfeebled, the young etc.. We only have room for the wealthy and those willing to be enslaved to them.

    Good article, Wendy! As Leonard Cohen sings- there is a crack in the wall and it is letting the light in.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    That question that was asked a few posts up about how come the IPA might suggest fewer ministerial posts~ my suppositions are:
    1) less ministerial posts means less government, legislation and regulation:
    2)greater sphere of influence by the private sector:
    3)In media trash and concentrated interest: barrel holds fewer big fish~so easier to concentrate and target, and/ or in the vernacular “shoot and fish”~ should a government decision be made which is for the public benefit but against vested private interests

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    June Just

    Amazing that an organisation which talks about personal liberty would make it so hard to access freedom. In their case freedom to undermine our freedom. Is this so very different to religious zealots who also claim the freedom to ignore other’s rights? I didn’t notice where abortion fits into their agenda.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Mr Turnball isnt a fan either…..

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    How can these young turks who appear in the press…

    Have any idea of life skills outside of their apparatchik status

    Cowboys of Collins Street …

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    So the IPA is a right wing think tank. Not the only one. And then there are the left wing think tanks such as The Australia Institute and the Evatt Foundation.

    In a democracy one should counter and balance the other.

    Interesting that the Centre for Independent Studies has been pushing the idea of getting single mothers into the workforce once their kids are old enough. Seems our PM got on board.

    • Reply March 24, 2013


      `Rhoda, I agree with you about the left wing think-tanks, and just wish the ABC would give them equal time with the IPA. They would have a bit of catching up to do.

      As for the payments to single mothers, I just hope something can be announced in the budget that will be of assistance. I guess they can’t be given too much or the Opposition will go back to demonising them as they did when Howard was PM, and before they found so much sympathy, and so many crocodile tears.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Yes Rhoda, in a democracy one should counter and balance the other.

    That’s the very problem, at least 70% of our press and the television networks, including the ABC, are only providing us with the one view.

    Do you think that’s okay?

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Meanwhile, I am left with questions~ around being respected because you are independent(meaning no vested interests) and a public intellectual(meaning you give away what your think for a living~ disclosing what and how you think) in public, in this country?

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Lachlan Mckenzie

    Again inciteful and well written. To question and suggest any woman provokes attack is clearly and completely wrong but a 6 year child??? Either time in a Psychiarptric facility or in jail with criminal charges is the correct action in this instance. I understand your tack though that someone has keot him there to make further such wrong statements and that we really do need to understand who they are and what they are doing to Australians by supporting and funding and poutting forward such people as not only John Laws, but Allan Jones and Andrew Bolt and company and are also heaviky invested in supporting Tony Abbott to become our next Prime Minister (shudder)……

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Is the last place to go for expert comment in universities~ and will we hear that same old putdown~ “you have no experience in the real world?”. Well I can confidently suggest these people have little power except how their skills, intellect and experience can influence younger generations~ and at least they are less likely to be deluded and corrupted by money as their main experience in the real world..

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    The Huntress

    I haven’t actually read the comments yet, but is this a joke? I’m struggling to take it seriously and can’t think of any other explanation.

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Harland Sanders

    Your 70% of “the media” is clearly wrong.

    Try the “Newspaper Media” instead.

    And your impassioned call for being left alone in your echo chamber is hilarious, especially believing it is filled with “fact and truth”. LOL

    Further more, you wonder why the IPA doesn’t get the same press scrutiny as the ACTU?

    Well it is quite simple, the ACTU own the ALP, the IPA just offers advice which is freely ignored.

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Bob Faser

    The IPA acts as if they are the intellectual heavyweights of public discourse. Essentially, they haven’t got over the fact that they read Ayn Rand in high school without falling asleep. In some way, that’s no mean feat, but it doesn’t qualify anyone to be a political guru.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Okay, so now I finally get the point here. Thank you Lachlan. Hasn’t changed my thinking though. Why NOT aim our bullets at John Laws et al. They are the public face of these think tanks so let’s deface it.

    I mean to say – how could anyone countenance what John Laws said – or defend him. If you get rid of him the right wing will have to find another motormouth that can sweet talk those doing it hard in the suburbs and twist their thinking.

    We need to get John Laws off the air waves. He’s too smooth by half. Wendy, I think you’re wrong on this. We can’t control these think tanks. We have to outsmart them.

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Maybe the members of the IPA should all move to and become citizens of the USA, sounds like they would be much happier there.

  • Reply March 24, 2013



    Apparatchiks are very different to genuine intellectuals…

    Its akin to being ideologically devoid of decent ideas but corrupted by.self interest and absolutist principles

    Its all black and white with little grey……

  • Reply March 24, 2013



    They constantly complain of nanny state yet still live in Melbourne….


    Hard to leave one of the most liveable cities in the world

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Hipster libretarian

    Timmy is a hot homocon….

    Those bored housewives in Toorak tell me

    Cutie and im sure available for the right function at a price….

    $$$ Free market alright!!

    Wink wink

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    They have far right tendencies and supporters

    Hilarious in modern middle class multicultural Melbourne


    Seems other orgs use their office and status to gain credibility

    That included the A.D.L but were refused by the I.p.a..

    This is what happens when libs from The Howard era are on the a.b.c board…..

    Nice to have that connection with the I.p.a

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Menzies House is repugnant….

    The comments about Marriage Equality…

    Very poor form….sad really

    Even Tom Elliot thinks their ideas are weird as heard on their


  • Reply March 24, 2013


    Watch The Contrarians and see P.V.O engage in bl….oodsport with Wilson…

    He doesnt take them seriously why should anyone else??

  • Reply March 24, 2013


    The IPA list is certainly extensive, probably the result of a wish list from paying contributors. Put together, it looks like they are proposing dismantling of many of the mechanisms of government in favour of the private sector, along with opening up the entire country’s assets and resources for sale to the highest bidder, no matter where they are from. If you are super rich or are a foreign multi-national or other nation, go for it. If you’re an ordinary slob like me, ask the IPA why they are trying to remove support for ordinary Australians, remove checks and balances to regulate the excesses of corporations and generally sell us to the highest bidder.

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    Perhaps a different angle to take would to let these characters talk all the more. The more they spruke their stuff the clearer their intent will be to all. It’s working with TA – the more he opens his mouth … Well that’s a sentence that doesn’t need finishing. So let the IPA rattle on with their version of ‘no to everything’ and they will be seen for what they are.

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    Thank you so much Wendy for this listing of where the IPA suggest they want our great nation-continent to end up, i.e. 51st state of a Tea Party led USA.

    It is frightening to see how IPA/LNP desire to totally dumb down the population, as obviously Howard did not go far enough for them. I for one shall be using this list to continue to promote return of the Gillard government on Sept 14.

    Wow, your article has really brought in the loony-tunes, these far-righters are running to defend their flat-earth view of everything and nothing! It would appear that the Tory ideology of ‘letting the individual take care and responsibility for themselves’ is honed to the max here.

    Keep up the great information strand Wendy, no doubt there are many Hooplarians eager to use it in the fight to keep Australia out of the Tea Party hands.

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    WOW! This really blows my mind. What kind of society do they want to live in??? How do these people sleep at night? I guess they figure they have the money/power to insulate themselves from any negative effects?

    May as well get rid of government altogether… The Gina Rineharts of Aus will employ their own private armies. Everyone else will become serfs, forced to work for next to nothing with no rights. Some kind of 1984 scenario with all the media owned by one conglomerate. Scary!!!

    Great article Wendy. I really appreciated reading about this rather than a rehash on John Laws.

  • Reply March 25, 2013

    sally b

    Have been reading articles on the IPA site for a few years – actually looking for some reasonable, intelligent voices from the Right to balance my strong lean.
    It’s hard going…well, ok, i actually gave up.
    Chris Berg is a regular contributor to The Drum (ABC) and while i didn’t find him rabid, there’s too much stuff i really want to read, and only so much time.

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    Universities can no longer be trusted as bastions of disinterested research Ro Watson. When talking to academics, you now need to ask who funded their research, even if it’s published. Academic journals even find it harder to get reviewers now – because the research they are reviewing may contradict the interests of their own source of funding.

    University funding and academic job security are top priorities if we want to be able to rely on the research carried out there.

    Great story Wendy – the list would be laughable if it wasn’t real. And it’s great to have The Hoopla to call out threats to civil society like IPA and John Laws.

  • Reply March 25, 2013

    Hipster libretarian

    They denigrate Melbournes reputation….

    Open an office in Sydney or New York

    Furthermore their anniversary dinner will have Murdoch as a guest…

    $400 ish dollars buys you a seat…


  • Reply March 25, 2013


    Where does “Darren of Australia come from?”

  • Reply March 25, 2013

    Hipster libretarian

    One last point…

    Ted Lapkin ex staffer worked in the Republican party

    Now an adviser to a Liberal Minister…

    Darren,ipa troll anyone??

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    Jack Richards, I love you too!

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    Miranda~ I think this has always been the case~ the fundamental question of researchers to assess bias and personal interest~ who is funding this project/your research. I find it easier to listen to people who disclose their support openly. And I agree about public universities being funded well by the public purse….

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    One can only stutter ‘but, but, but, but……’

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    I suppose in all this I am concluding that good public policy is based on sound research.

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    When the Government announced the removal of Logos on cigarette packets in 2010 IPA’s Tim Wilson was out the next day storming the airwaves for the Cigarette Companies, doing thirteen radio interviews, an opinion piece in the ‘Australian’, and finished the day on the 7.30 report being interviewed by Kerry O’Brien. He wasn’t asked how much ‘Big Tobacco’ was paying him. Meanwhile Bob Brown struggled to get a mention.

    The Cigarette, Mining and Oil Companies etc. don’t have to risk being mauled by the mob, when they can hire a pressure group like IPA. Its media savvy guarantees a positive sound bite, millions of dollars of free publicity through opinion pieces in our major newspapers, and ‘credible commentator’ status on all major current affairs TV and radio programs.

    Thank goodness they wasted their money over cigarette packaging.

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    Reading that list of proposals makes me feel I am in a nightmare! Don’t they believe in the value of anything?? I already knew I don’t want Tony in charge, and now I am even more worried than I already was. Admittedly, a couple of the proposals have some value, but the vast majority are so far right-wing and unfriendly as to terrify!

  • Reply March 25, 2013

    Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    Darren of Australia. You have must have been living on some other continent for the past 5 years.
    ABC has been steadily getting rid of any ‘lefty’ journalists and front of camera men/women, the last and best of them all was Kerry O’Brien. They weren’t game to sack him, just obscured him to where his acute handle on pollies was no longer visible.
    The IPA is a very dangerous organization. The people who run it do not have any social conscience. They couldn’t care less whether the average Joe or Josephine is okay. They just look after those at the ‘top end of town’.
    I just feel sorry for those that live in the ‘top end of town’ who believe in philanthropic deeds being lumped in with the ‘greed is good lot’. They are a rare breed & likely to be extinct sooner than later.

    • Reply March 28, 2013

      Darren of Australia

      Never mind, you’ve still got Tony jones.

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    This one is a doozie: “94 Halve the number of days parliament sits to reduce the amount of legislation passed”
    Are they worried Australia might make too much progress?
    Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion but what intrigues me is that more left-wing people rarely complain about lack of voice (despite all News Ltd papers being firmly stacked in favour of The Right); they just buy a different paper of speak up themselves.
    More right wing people regularly complain about lack of voice or balance, yet independent assessments rarely reflect such an imbalance in the ABC.
    And, Chad, in answer to your question about left-wing journalists, I believe (as a journalist with slightly left-of-centre leanings but also a small-business owner who supports free trade) that there is a tendency for may journos to be left wing because part of our job is considering both sides of an argument and presenting a balanced report of a situation; going through the research to do this leads to a broader understanding of issues and a tendency to empathise with the less fortunate members of society. A key feature of most right-wing policies and viewpoints is they often lack that empathy and thing they should just ‘get over’ their illness, ‘just get a job’ or ‘just get an education’ and get on with it.
    Not always that easy.

  • Reply March 25, 2013

    Maureen P.

    Dear Darren of Australia,

    Is your name available as a bumper sticker? Or one of those little flags that you stick on the front of the car or next to the window?

    I’m thinking of changing my name to Maureen of Australia…doesn’t have quite the same ring as yours, I know and I might then become as popular as you appear to be, and I don’t think I’m ready for that yet!

    • Reply March 28, 2013

      Darren of Australia

      I don’t give a shit what you call yourself.

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    Good grief, the IPA are a scary lot.

    I am always grateful for services like the Hoopla where I can expect a fair and tenacious coverage of current affairs (and I’m not being paid to say this…).

    The bastardisation of the mainstream media horrifies me and what many people accept as unbiased coverage is perplexing.

    I do gain some hope from my teenage daughter who has a well developed PR detector and seems able to develop opinions based on credible sources, BUT I fear she is in the minority.

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    This morning I listened in outrage and shock at what is happening and has been allowed to happen over the past thirty years in the US by the lobbying and infiltration of right wing fundamentalists in that country. I am shocked again reading this article. Thank you Wendy. I hear the right wing/left wing bickering going on and just despair sometimes that it comes to this. We as a nation need assert the absolute imperatives of rationality, reason, fairness, justice, compassion, over money driven self interests, and religious extremists that want to take us captive to their self serving beliefs.
    Balanced reasonable, fair minded Aiustralians have to speak out against religious extremists (whether Christian or other) and economic extremists, be they left or right.

    • Reply March 25, 2013


      I’m glad you said that about religious extremists. because the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into the US has gfone all the way to the top in the White House , the DOJ and schools etc.. Incredibly dangerous and has caused a lot of damage which will not stop.
      Anyone who wants to know more can check this book out, for one:
      The Muslim Mafia by D (I think) Gaubatz. See Amazon, I saw it there.

  • Reply March 25, 2013

    Nel Matheson

    The IPA is a very powerful lobby and in order for us to deal with organisations such as this, there needs to be exactly this, public articles and debate. Secrecy feeds their power, so break it down, talk about the people involved, understand their motives and political agendas, and collectively we can defuse their ambitions. You can see where powerful vested interest groups have led the USA, let us not be in any doubt that it can and will happen here unless we are truly vigilant.

  • Reply March 25, 2013


    Astonishing. Scary reading. Just read the New Yorker article about Gina Rinehart – why am I not surprised she would support the IPA? Read a lot recently about The Tea Party. Their strategies in USA are eerily similar to Abbott’s since he could not convince the independents to put him in power. What are we coming to here? Thanks Wendy.

  • Reply March 26, 2013


    Ted Bailleau leaving politics…..forces at play here

    John Faine said on air that Tim Wilson was the next gen being groomed for politics…


  • Reply March 26, 2013


    Great spirits always encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds…..

    Thanks I.P.A


  • Reply March 26, 2013



    The Pharmacy guild is nastier and more powerful

    Get real !!

    Google Kos Sclavos

  • Reply March 26, 2013


    people behind the Tea Party are the KOCH Bros. Murdoch also and any worms {White Rich Old Men}
    Gina certainly has donated heaps to the IPA and we need to look at how they all skirt the declaration for lobbying
    The Koch Bros are way up in front when it comes to BAD. They manufacture the Guns and armaments that we send to Iraq , Afghanistan. They are behind the powerful Gun lobbying in U.S. and they want a bigger say in Australia I am sure

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    yes men

    Glass jaw Tim…..?

    ridiculous hypocrisy

    Sad and pathetic…..

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    Annie Also

    I read the list out loud. With each rising number my throat became drier and drier in fear.
    I then read it again to try and see if each point could be ‘considered’ in an intellectual and reasoned way.
    I decided to see if I could find any that I could at least, consider.
    I found three.
    But after reading these comments I see the ‘reasoning’ behind this list has nothing to do with a ‘great, fairer, kinder, more prosperous, egalitarian Nation’ and more to do with ‘keeping the power where the money is’. (“Follow the MONEY”)

    This list needs to be exposed to the greater populace for consideration and awareness that if ANY of these proposals are in any way close to what Abbott says during the election campaign then ….be afraid…be VERY afraid ( and don’t vote for the mongrel.)

  • Reply March 28, 2013

    Lee Murray

    Brilliant – and frightening – piece. Thanks Wendy.

  • Reply April 1, 2013


    Thanks for shining a light on the evil doers…

    We can now keep a watch on them AND we shall!!


  • Reply April 1, 2013


    I am surprised the smart Chaser team or those other lovely and intelligent comedians have not done a parody about them yet?

    Why not?

    Cmon peeps…. Comedy Gold here with these charlatans!!

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Danny Lewis

    Thanks, Wendy – especially for the Media Watch vid.

    I’ve just remembered why I loved Stuart Littlemore so much.

    You come a very close second ;-)

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