Nation News: Thursday 26 March 2015

This article continues to review of The Australian newspaper, this time for Thursday 26th March 2015. Again the focus is on national, ethnic and religious affairs.

Sarah Martin. “Net war key for Islamic State.” Pages 1 and 2, news, 15 + 40 column cms. A forum on extremism on social media at the ANU heard that the Islamic State is adept at online recruitment. The Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, stated that the government needed to use every tool at its disposal to combat terrorism. (But immigration mechanisms were not mentioned in the report). In February Attorney General George Brandis announced an $18 million program to monitor and censor online recruitment by terrorist groups. Educational programs were also described.

Gina Rushton. “Third teen caught at airport.” Page 2, news, 45 column cms, including picture. Counter terrorism authorities detained a teenage boy on his way to fight with Islamic State. He was the third detained in a one week period. About 200 people have been intercepted on route to fight with terrorist groups.

Rachel Baxendale. “Islam forum speakers shrouded in secrecy.” Page 2, news, 30 column cms. The Islamic Research and Educational Academy refused to name the speakers invited to address a meeting in Melbourne scheduled for next weekend. A five-year old is an announced speaker. The article pointed to some associations. One announced speaker, Islamic convert Sheik Isa Graham, previously spoke at the Hume Islamic Youth Centre once attended by Jake Bilardi, the 18-year-old who became a suicide bomber, and at least two other individuals who joined Islamic State overseas. Victorian Police said that they expected a multicultural liaison officer to attend the event.

Michael Owen. “APY corruption ‘all down to whitefellas’.” Page 4, news, 45 column cms. At a hearing of the South Australian Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Ms Lesley Johns, a former consultant to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands Corporation (APY) claimed that the Corporation board was not corrupt but that “many whitefellas have got away with highway robbery”. The APY receives about $200 million a year. The APY has been the subject of controversy and government inquiry over allegations of financial impropriety raised by The Australian newspaper.

Ean Higgins and Mark Coultan. “China go-between slams Foley ‘yellow peril’ play.” Page 4, news, 125 column cms, including large picture. Jim Harrowell, president of the NSW branch of the Australia China Business Council, has criticised NSW Labor Party leader Luke Foley for raising security concerns should Chinese interests purchased the state’s electricity infrastructure. Foley suggested that Chinese owners could spy on military and parliamentary activities. Former foreign minister, Bob Carr, long-time labor premier of NSW who has championed Chinese relations, declined to comment. Fred Nile, head of the minority Christian Democratic Party in the NSW parliament, was more concerned about Chinese purchase of the network than Canadian or New Zealand. Foley stated that no foreign government, “friend of foe” should be permitted to buy the infrastructure. He declined to name a “foe” government. NSW premier Baird stated that the government’s intention was not to sell the assets but to lease them.

AFP. “Barack’s issues with Bibi ‘not personal’.” Page 9, news, 48 column cms. The Wall Street Journal (also owned by the Murdoch media chain) reported that leaks from the White House accuse Israel of spying on US-Iran nuclear negotiations with the aim of preventing a deal by informing US legislators. Israeli official denied the report. The Obama administration supports the two-state solution, which Netanyahu disowned during the recent Israeli elections. An Israeli professor, Jonathan Rynhold, commented that the frosty relations between the two governments was dangerous for Israel. “[W]ill the US always use its (UN) veto for Israel?”

Roger Boyes, reprinted from The Times. “Western vision of strongman leaders will keep Africa weak”. Page 10, opinion, 62 column cms. The Times of London is owned by the Murdoch chain of newspapers, as is The Australian. Boyes criticised Western powers for promoting strongman leaders in Africa since the 1960s. Another cause of poor leadership was arbitrary state boundaries drawn up by European colonial powers. (By “arbitrary” Boyes means that state boundaries did not correspond with tribal boundaries, increasing ethno-cultural diversity and making it difficult for Africa to develop nation states along European lines.) Strongmen have been bad for African stability and development. There were over 60 coups between 1960 and 1990. Many leaders stole from the public purse on a massive scale. Boyes describes the extreme and comic case of Sani Abacha of Nigeria. Western aid helps the population but takes pressure of governments to find solutions. Boyes ends by giving advice to Africans and their leaders.

Greg Sheridan. “Fraser was no saint for Vietnamese refugees.” Page 12, opinion, 87 column cm. Sheridan continues his criticism of the late Malcolm Fraser, who died the previous week. He disagrees with the perception that Fraser generously accepted 50,000 Vietnamese refugees from Vietnam. Instead, he claims, Fraser at first resisted accepting the refugees but bowed to US pressure to do so. Sheridan refers to an article by Rachel Stevens in the Journal of Politics and History in 2012, which identifies four phases of the debate over Vietnamese refugees. In the first and second phases Fraser opposed large intakes. Sheridan provides some personal information. In 1975-1977 he was an undergraduate student activist for B.A. Santamaria’s National Civic Council, which was strongly involved in lobbying the government to accept Vietnamese refugees. Sheridan sees this phase of activity as “one of the main political activities of my life. I was heavily involved . . .” This fits Sheridan’s statement elsewhere that he has been promoting Asian immigration since his first days as a journalist, and that he welcomes the cultural genocide of Anglo Australia that resulted from that immigration.

David Uren. “Fertile grounds for big country.” Page 12, opinion, 74 column cms. Uren argues for the benefits of rapid population growth through immigration. The main benefit has been to the economy, which has averaged GDP growth of 2.5 per cent over the last six years of enlarged intakes. However, most of this growth is due to larger population, not to increases in per capita income. Since the intake was expanded in 2008, per capita GDP has fallen from 2.2 to 0.7 per cent. In other words, incomes are stagnating due to high immigration. Fears of population growth are irrational, Uren thinks. Those fears should be countered by firm leadership, not by hiding the facts, as he accuses prime minister Tony Abbott of doing.

Bill Leak. Cartoon. Page 13, humour, 52 column cms. The cartoon depicts a woman in Islamic dress looking at her baby and saying to her husband, who is of Middle Eastern appearance: “Come here Abdul. Quick! He’s just issued his first fatwa!” The cartoon light-heartedly mocks a popular stereotype of Islamic culture.

Jack Malvern. “Recovery at last for Nazi-looted El Greco.” Page 15, news, 43 column cms, including small photo. A valuable painting stolen by the Gestapo in 1938 from the Jewish industrialist Julius Priester, has been returned to his hiers.

Iain Shedden. “Folk of all kind, just enjoying the music.” Page 15, news, 132 column cms. Shedden previews the Canberra National Folk Festival, 2-6 April. Shedden does not mention that Anglo-Celtic folk music performers and Europe-derived music predominates at the Festival. There is no official ethnic dimension but the event is implicitly Anglo Australian, perhaps because the large non-Anglo population arrived too recently to become engaged in folk music or perhaps because those new cultures do not have traditions that fit the event. Shedden does note the “sense of community”, the “organic nature of the festival” that adds to its appeal. This is an example of a de facto ethnic event not being identified as such.

Summary. This issue had 796 column centimetres of content dealing with national, ethnic and religious affairs, which was 8.7 per cent of the news section, including advertisements (i.e. 18 pp.). Most coverage was given to Islamic terrorism and related matters (3 articles). This is understandable given the recent attacks on Australian soil and the intelligence warning that further attacks are likely. In that context, it is noteworthy that Rachel Baxendale, who reported the ANU security forum, did not remark the Immigration Minister’s failure to include immigration restriction as one obvious method for limiting risk. There was an article reporting investigation of corruption in an Aboriginal corporation, an article reporting criticism of NSW Labor leader’s expression of security concerns about Chinese interests purchasing NSW’s electricity infrastructure, another article concerning US-Israeli relations, an opinion reprinted from The Times criticising Western states for imposing strong man leaders on Africa, an opinion by Greg Sheridan criticising the late Malcolm Fraser for not being sufficiently enthusiastic about Asian refugees, David Uren extolling rapid population growth through high immigration, cartoonist Bill Leak mocking Islamic culture, a report of a valuable painting stolen by the Nazis in 1938 returned to its Jewish owners, and a story about an Anglo-Celtic folk music festival in Canberra that does not report its Anglo ethnic character. Overall, this issue again indicated heavy filtering of ethnic news and opinion likely to enhance Anglo consciousness.

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