The Long Arm Of Rupert Murdoch
Friday, August 24, 2018 at 4:07PM
Bill Barclay

Let no one be under any illusion - the events of the last few days in Canberra were triggered by no-one else but the long-time Chair of News Corp. He arrived in Sydney just ten days ago on his annual visit from New York - an arrival that usually precedes a seismic shift in the fortunes of those at the top of The Australian,  and all his other multifarious media interests, including city tabloids, provincials, radio and television (Sky).

He is considered to have become fed up with Turnbull, and initiated the spill through his editorial control over content of all his interests - Australians are well used to this phenomena, and seem to fall into line exactly like Trump's 'base.' He is reported to be have daily discussions with Trump, so have no illusions about where he stands on the political spectrum. Alan Jones (remember - WallabiesI coach) on 2GB is one of his favourite acolytes, and he exerts huge influence - especially in outer Sydney, at least as great as that of Hosking here. .

Reports so far indicate that Dutton was his choice to replace Turnbull, with Tony Abbott as agent provocateur and Morrison may be a contentious choice inasmuch as his editors long labeled him an economic 'wet' during his term as Treasurer from 2015. He is steadfastly opposed to any of the Turnbull's policies on same-sex marriage, and he is a fervid supporter of the coal industry which will tell you where he stands on climate change. No-one in the Coalition these days stands a chance of leadership by adopting any other position, and this along with his having instigated the 'closed ('Sovereign') borders' policy, he has yje luke-warm support of the true right.

But Dutton would have expected the numbers and will be extremely disappointed - the 45/40 score-line will mean that he will always remain a danger to Morrison, particularly as he is widely believed to be strongly supported by Tony Abott. He will likely dispense with Dutton in the Immigration portfolio if only to placate international criticism, and the antagonism of human rights groups - and even pin-pricking from New Zealand.

Note that Morrison was (1998 to 2000) employed by the NZ Government, and based in Wellington to create the Office of Tourism & Sport. While here, formed a close association with Murray McCully, and was reportedly responsible for the "100% Pure New Zealand Campaign" - wait to see if any 'deep-diving' Kiwi reporter picks up on that piece of 'background.' 

Short of a change of government brought about by defections from the corps of 'odds and sods' on the Federal backbench, don't expect any major change in policy towards this country. Antagonism will be the order of the day I suspect for some time while we await the inevitable arrival of Bill Shorten, or another putcsh - probably led by Abbott.




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