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June 20th 2012 print

Philippa Martyr

One-woman army

I see Gina Rinehart raising an invisible two fingers to the Gillard government, the ABC, and indeed an entire host of people who I wouldn’t cross the street for if my life depended on it.


One of the things I love about Gina Rinehart is that whenever I see a picture of her, I can see something that other people can’t. 


I can see her raising an invisible two fingers to the Gillard government, the ABC, and indeed an entire host of people who I wouldn’t cross the street for if my life depended on it. At the front of this invisible horde are the panel on Q & A who traduced her recently. (To paraphrase the man who was easily the least attractive of them: if I woke up in a motel with any of them on the next pillow, I’d flee the building screaming, shortly before scouring myself raw in a very hot shower and taking an emetic, and quite possibly the pledge.) 

This week Wayne Swan continued his blathering about those wretched people who earn more than he does. Not only do they have the gall to earn more than he does, but they go and use it to make more money, employ people, and produce an entire class of cashed-up non-Labor voters who go and spend money on things that they want to spend it on. 

Outrageous. Clearly this behaviour must be stopped. Not only is Rinehart employing thousands of people – which, as we know, is actually the role of government in this country – but she is actually daring to have an opinion on the nation’s future. And to prove it, she is buying shares in Fairfax, that bastion of free speech and level-headed reporting. In short, she is undermining democracy. 

Having opinions on the nation’s future is, as we know, the undisputed right of panel members of Q & A, members of parliament, senior trade union officials, their partners, their partners’ friends, the people they go to dinner parties with, and the people who live near them in their comfortable inner-city enclaves. 

It is clearly not the right of people who live in the electorates of Dobell, for example, or Lyne, or New England. Nor is it the province of the thousands of people who drove to Canberra in August last year to call for an election, and it is especially not the right of people like Angry Anderson

By the same inexorable Australian Labor Party logic it is also not the right of people who own very large and successful businesses, who have risked millions of dollars in those businesses and who would like to see them continue. 

The hilarious implication – and secret terror of every Melbourne hipster – is that Rinehart will turn Fairfax into some kind of 24-hour Mining Channel, with endless re-runs of Red Dog and Wake in Fright, interspersed with ads for blue singlets. You won’t be able to so much as pick up a copy of the Age without finding your hands stained red with dust, as you search in vain for a single article that isn’t about the Hancock family, while averting your eyes from the topless pictures of Andrew Bolt on page 3. 

I don’t know about you, but given the uniformly mindless dross scraped up, warmed over, rehashed and then served as ideological bubble-and-squeak on the ABC (even drizzled with its jus of self-righteousness and dark-green sea foam), I long for alternatives. In fact, I long for the much-anticipated sale of the ABC under the most enthusiastic sort of Liberal government, and dismantled by an equally enthusiastic Mark Latham. During the Renaissance, it was the independently filthy rich – the oligarchs, bankers and popes – who sponsored the finest artists of the age. Let a new Renaissance bloom at the touch of button 2 on the remote: I hope Rinehart buys the entire Fairfax group, and then casts hungry eyes on the ABC itself.


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