Bill Shorten

Tony Abbott’s influence peddling for $11,000 a pop and the Labor Party to set up their own propaganda website

What’s with the title? Well the real story with this post is the influence of the internet from a media viewpoint.

Labor’s new website

An email went around today from George Wright who is the National Secretary of the Labor Party asking people to donate for a new website which he characterised as being “A bit like Labor’s own Crikey“. The justification given for the new site was this:

“You’ve told us you want more factual information about what Tony Abbott and his government are doing and you want the opportunity to have your say. You’ve told us that you can see the Labor message isn’t making it through the mainstream media and we have to produce our own news service.” (It was already highlighted in the original email)

“I agree. The catch is we don’t get the big corporate donations the Liberal Party gets and we need to hire someone experienced as an editor so we can do this properly. It’ll be their job to write useful, interesting articles for the site on issues like cuts to pensions and the Commission of Audit.

And this: There will be handy facts, interesting articles and video. It will be no nonsense and it won’t be filtered through the mainstream media.” (Click here to read the full email)

So it “won’t be filtered through the mainstream media” But will it be filtered through the Labor Party management to make sure any corruption issues are not published? Of course it will.

There is nothing wrong with political parties having their own sites pushing their own agenda but if the new Labor Party site tries to claim that it is independent news then it won’t last long and will do more bad than good for the party.

Why are the Labor Party going down this path? They need their own site with their own material which their supporters can use to link back to the stories and help drive the agenda on social media such as Facebook and Twitter etc. It is the power of the Internet that is driving Labor with this strategy.

Tony Abbott’s $11,000 breakfast

For a lazy $11,000 we can all have breakfast with Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday the 27th of June and then hang around and have afternoon tea with the ministerial chiefs of staff. So if you already had plans make sure you cancel them and I’ll see you there.

liberal fundraiser


The article said “The Liberal party federal director, Brian Loughnane, has offered “business observers” a breakfast with the prime minister, Tony Abbott, and access to his ministers’ chiefs of staff for $11,000, at the same time as New South Wales Liberal party members face scrutiny in the Independent Commission Against Corruption over influence peddling.”

“The $11,000 price tag – including GST – is pitched just below the $12,000 threshold at which political donations have to be disclosed to the Australian Electoral Commission.”

And “In 2010, the Labor party cancelled a $5,500-a-head business fundraiser with then prime minister Julia Gillard due to the possibility it would become a “media spectacle”. (Click here to read more)

Will Tony Abbott and the Liberals go ahead with the $11,000 breakfast? I think it depends on what happens with the media, both the MSM and social media. If there is enough of a backlash I think the breakfast will be cancelled.

It is obviously not a good look for the Liberals and I suspect we will hear more about it but the thing is that the above story was not found by me in one of the major Australian media outlet sites. Why not I do not know but it is certainly newsworthy in the current environment and even though the Liberals have managed to dodge the Australian MSM so far on this one I have no doubt it will gather traction on social media and other sites.

The story was on the new Australian website, The Guardian – Australian Edition, for the English newspaper and website company The Guardian which is only a new player in the Australian market. A regular follower of this site sent me a message via Twitter with a link to the story and I have picked it up to run in this story. Why? It shows the mainstream media in this country being totally sidelined which is going to happen more and more in the future and put pressure on the MSM in Australia to lift their game otherwise they will not survive. It also shows how the online community are working together using social media to get the message out and help driving the agenda.

It does not matter whether you are setting up a site to push your political agenda or you think you have dodged the mainstream media on an embarrassing story there is nowhere to hide with the internet. As “Concerned Aussie” said in a comment in a pervious post “t read or trust the controlled news (eg C7, yahoo7) any more. eventually all the lies and liars will be outed.” That’s right, the “internet truth train” is coming and there is nowhere to hide.

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12 replies »

  1. So what….both are entitled to do it.
    You have your own website… and anyone can go to breakfast, lunch and high tea with you or any other person of note if the offer is made and if they wish to part with their money.
    Is there any website that is not pushing its own barrow and putting their own slant on what they write.
    Anyone who is happy to drop money on the table to mix with politicians of any persuasion is either a big noter or dopey.

  2. Thing is Shane, while the internet truth train might be coming, on the other track is the already highly mobile super fast internet lie train that is full to overflowing with sheeple. Just ask yourself how many times have lies been perpetrated and spread via social media and given credence there and then flowed into the mainstream media where no retraction is ever issued.

  3. I would rather have breakfast with Shane than Tony Abbott.
    I believe that Shane would have many interesting subjects and experiences to discuss, whereas Tony Abbott would continue the repetative saga of policies and politics.

  4. In a true democracy the people would not have to pay to speak to the elected members, regardless of rank.

    • If the Labor Party had the purse strings of Gina, BHP, Ruthless Murdoch and other unsavory characters they would not need the extra money to fund a website to tell the Australian public what the LNP gets for free!!

      • What? Do the words “slush fund” not mean anything to you? At least if people go along voluntarily and pay for this experience that is their choice unlike the use of members union dues for party political purposes. You do realise all those “industry super funds” are run by the unions don’t you and have all their cronies sitting on the boards raking in huge pay cheques and investing members funds in union rorts like the desal plant in Victoria..

  5. @ badjack re: “So what….both are entitled to do it.”

    yes and no, it is a very gray area.

    regarding the alp website, as long as they declare who they are and what their agenda is then fine. referring to both crikey and independentaustralia, long ago i looked at those sites and found that most if not all the articles were vehemently abbott bashing and rudd, gillard and climate change praising. they appeared not to be independent as they tried to present themselves. or at least the writers seemed biased. be honest, tell people exactly who you are and your purpose and then let people decide. history shows me that’s not the case with them.

    regarding the abbott breakfast, this is wandering into dangerous territory. irrespective of how much $ you have to burn, ask yourself WHY anyone would spend an obscene $11,000 on a breakfast. the blunt answer would be to rub shoulders with people in power and potentially gain financially from it. in other words influencing government policy, winning government contracts or having a new “mate” on the inside. do you honestly think these patrons would not want anything in return for their $11k? do you think abbott and co will take the money and not give anything back? imo it’s just a smorgasbord for more corruption. bon appetit.

    @ climate realist

    re: “internet lie train”. yes you’re right. but i think that people are slowly starting to wake up and don’t blindly believe everything they read. there are also some pretty cluey people out there who can often expose the BS being perpetuated, so fairly quickly (eg: via reader comments) the lies will be outed. but yes, it is dangerous and needs to be watched.

    @ jonde

    i agree, breakfast with shane! that’d be a good fundraiser.

    • yes things get corrected pretty quickly in the on line space, except some sites don’t allow comments or vet ones that don’t suit but the worst part is when the MSM pick up and run with one of the lies and never correct it but indeed embellish it even further. A case in point, the alleged wall punch of Tony Abbott.

      And you have gone along with the “$11,000 for breakfast with Abbott” line yourself when it is pretty obvious that it is a much longer program than that and if it was a left initiative it would be widely praised as an opportunity to “network.” I have been to these type of breakfasts as an industry association rep and they are very valuable opportunities to find what the latest developments are.

      I went to one in 1995 with Simon Crean there as the governments rep and found him to be a very likeable easy going open person and thought one day he would make it to PM, and I’ve been a Lib voter all my life! Then he got the party leadership and he morphed into another droning Labor puppet following the same tired old garbage that they are still pumping out to this day.

      • yes you are right in regards to the program being more than just breakfast. it seems that is only a major drawcard and abbott’s only involvement. there is morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea too with lots of other influential people. great. but let’s not get caught up in minor details – it’s an $11,000 purchase to get close to the government.

        re: “opportunity to network”. for what purpose? to make new friends? have a relaxing day? no. let’s not beat around the bush. it’s basically to buy your way into something as per my post above. you wouldn’t spend that kind of money unless you expected a return of some kind.

        re: “find what the latest development are”. they can be found on government websites, media, etc. government tenders can be found in national newspapers. why pay $11k for that, unless it is something that is NOT available to others yet, or at all?

        even if the money was to go into consolidated revenue it would be wrong. but that money funds a political party.

  6. You all act as if you didn’t know that all polititians are crooked and in the game for what they can get out of it.Shane has taken on the roll of whistle blower and is doing a pretty good job but after being abroad for a few weeks I am quite embarissed to say I am Autralian when everone knows that for one, the leader of the opposition is a alleged rapist and his history in the AWU has enabled many crooked union officials to continue without any convictions. Roll on the royal commision when people like Gillard and Shorten will be pupping their pants if the word justice has any meaning in this lucky country. I have every intention of being apolitical but why has O’Farrel had to resign over a bottle of wine and Sinodis has stood down over an allegation about the company he keeps and old Shorten curlies is sitting up there as bold as brass accusing the government of every dirty deed in the book. He is just an hypocrit. Allan from Myalup WA.

  7. Allan, we know.
    You intimated that we act as if we didn’t know, then you said we all know.
    The fact that comments are posted should be the leading clue, don’t you know.

  8. In regard to this breakfast, it is a way to get finance for the party to exist.
    It is in the same book as the unions finance their Parlementarians.

    So in fact all people on the front-bench of the labor-party are ex-union bosses.

    The people, who go to mr Abbotts breakfast are in business.

    So if the above is wrong, then the parties should be publicly funded?

    One thing i do know, that businesses are accountable to the Taxation-department for their financial behaviour.

    The trade-Unions are accountable to nobody!

    Something not quite the same somewhere.

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