August 01, 2013

Dr Marc Edge: Grubby's hypocrisy laid bare

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

You could practically see the smoke coming out of Grubby’s ears as he spluttered out a protest on his blog today over Radio Australia having “suppressed” – according to him – news favorable to Fiji’s dictatorship. 

He accused RA journalist Bruce Hill of bias and RadioAustralia not only of engaging in propaganda, but of committing a “blatant attempt to manipulate the news agenda.” Apparently the rank hypocrisy inherent in him making such claims simply doesn’t register with Grubby, who admitted last year to being on the payroll of Washington-based Qorvis Communications in its efforts to help polish the image of Fiji’s dictatorship. It needs a lot of polishing, too, after the events of the past eight months, which have seen the junta spike a draft constitution drawn up by a panel of experts and a video circulate on the Internet showing the brutal beating of two escaped prisoners. The latest public relations disaster to befall the regime has seen political parties forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars to the regime mouthpiece Fiji Sun to advertise the assets and income of their candidates while junta honchos continue to refuse to do the same. 

No wonder the regime has seized on any nugget of hope it can find. Grubby’s latest rant on behalf of the regime concerns a speech given earlier this week by Julie Bishop, the Deputy Leader of the Australian Opposition and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Speaking to the Australia Fiji Business Forum, Bishop promised to work toward restoring Fiji to its previous place in the world if her party is elected in the upcoming vote. “It is now time to rebuild the bridges,” she said. “Should a Coalition Government be elected at some stage this year I commit to ensuring that normalising relations between Australia and Fiji is a priority of an incoming government.” According to Grubby, this position is now “official” Australian government policy. He uses the word twice in one paragraph to reinforce the fact. Worse, Radio Australia failed to pick up on the significance of this sea change in official Australian policy toward Fiji.
Here was the first significant change in official Australian attitudes towards Fiji in the six and a half years since Voreqe Bainimarama’s takeover. .  . By conventional news standards the world over, it signaled a dramatic change in Australian official attitude and deserved to receive the widest coverage. But Radio Australia chose to ignore it.
Australian taxpayers, spluttered Grubby, are “entitled to know is by whose authority Hill, and the rest of the Radio Australia editorial team, chose to overlook a major shift in Australian attitude.” The incident, he continued, “raises grave questions about the editorial independence of Radio Australia,” and is “especially egregious in that it involves the overt censorship of an important speech.” Grubby admits that he “has long alleged a campaign of wilful and sustained bias against Fiji by Radio Australia,” but he insists that “previous instances pale into insignificance beside evidence that Radio Australia is willing to subvert the political process inAustralia and deny a voice to the alternative government."
It is more than a grave editorial lapse. It is also contrary to law. On the available evidence, it’s a case of the publicly funded broadcaster taking a partisan position in a manner that contravenes every aspect of the ABC’s Charter. This legally requires it – under an act of Parliament – to report without fear or favour in the interests of every Australian.
So let’s take a look at just how newsworthy this story might be according to accepted principles of news. There is some theory involved here, but suffice it to point out that the word “new” is the root of the word “news.”  This suggests that something old is not necessarily news, and Bishop’s position on working toward normalizing relations with Fiji is hardly new. A cursory web search shows that she articulated it in 2010 and again last year. Plus, as Grubby himself notes, Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme already had two items of “new” news on Fiji that day. I'm sure Grubby would admit that Pacific Beat has whole ocean of other countries to cover, and less newsworthy stories occasionally fall by the wayside. Plus, this was a speech by an Opposition politician, and Grubby has made his view perfectly clear that this species deserve very wary news coverage indeed, lest they actually be *shudder* playing politics.

There were other newsworthy bits in Bishop’s speech which Grubby and his regime masters . . . er, mistress might be less enthusiastic about. Like the part about just what the Fiji junta will have to deliver in order to bring free and fair elections next year and thus be welcomed back into the international community. She pointed out three in particular that are not likely to go over well with the regime.
  1. It is essential that oppositions and politicians have the freedom to hold the government to account.
  2. It is essential that an independent judiciary exists to adjudicate disputes and to interpret the law.
  3. A free and unfettered media might be a complete pain in the neck for politicians but it is essential to hold all the sides of politics to account on behalf of the people.
So don’t go getting your hopes up, Grubby. There is little likelihood of any of those three conditions being met any time soon. Even if the Coalition wins the election, Frank and Aiyaz have little chance of getting back into Australia’s “official” good graces anytime soon, the way they are going.


Robert Mugabe said...

Honorable AG and Minister for Everything
Greetings from Zimbabwe where I have just once again won free and fair elections. I am happy to share a little bit of advise with the government of Fiji which is in the process of arranging its confirmation in power through free and fair election in 2014. Trust, me Honourable Khaiyum, I am an old battle horse and have already won elections when you were still in school. So my advise should count for something. Firstly, never never allow election observers from places such as the EU, USA or other so called democracies into your country. These pesky do-gooders will report to the world what they perceive as irregularities (vote rigging, intimidation etc). Use election observers that are sympathetic to your winning the elections, use election observers you can control and manipulate. Secondly, use busses! I believe that there are plenty of busses in Fiji and they can be extremely useful in winning free and fair elections. You fill them up with your supporters and cart them around the country to vote for you. Simple but extremely effective. Thirdly, don’t forget to bamboozle the opposition into believing that they have a chance winning! They may boycott the actual event and this somewhat undermines credibility. My opponent here was foolish and power hungry enough to dance to my tune and now he is whinging about fraud and electioneering. But it is too late. Fourthly, manipulate the electoral role. I know that you have understood the power of controlling the role, but do not hesitate to be decisive and innovative when you do so. Dead people, people residing outside the country and those not yet born provide excellent openings to enhance election results in your favour. Here is Zimbabwe, we are not yet as sophisticated as you are in Fiji, we had to manually rig the role which was quite a bit of work. I understand that you as electioneering minister have already acquired the capability to do this by the click of a mouse. Use this capability to the fullest, it will pay! Last but not least, use your disciplined forces to guide the electorate! Boots on the ground at the polling stations is by far the most effective way to convince voters who are hesitant or even hostile to your course. Kick their arses, you will reap the rewards.

I am sure you will appreciate my advise, unsolicited as it may be. Let me extend my deepest regards to you and your family, especially to your aunty Nur. I wished I had such an innovative and visionary member of my family paying my salary because this would have allowed me to retire long ago. In the absence of such a wonderful aunty, I have to soldier on until I turn 100 and this is quite a challenge.

Yours truly

Robert Mugabe
Live President

Graham Fuc^#n Davis said...

Why are you f$%^#rs always having a fu$%en go at me. I am a fu&#en independent fu*#en journo and completely fu&$en impartial not like that c*&t Bruce fu*$en Hill.

I am calm and very fu#*en objective. The guy that fu^$en used to wear the fu*@en Humphrey fu$&en Bear suit said we were doing a fu@ên good fu@*en job and those fu@&en cu^%ts at the fu@&en AB fu#*en C didn't even fu$&en mention it.

If those pricks were in Fee fu%$en Gee my boy Franky would have fu@*en bent those fu@*en cu&^s over so hard they would never shit properly again.

I am fuc&en well fu$#en balanced. My fu$ên psychiatrist has f^#$en confirmed it, even if he is a scared wierld little chinese c&%t.

You cun^%s are all just fu#@en jealous so go f$#k yourselves and stick the A fu$#en B fu%$en C up ya fu%$en arse.

With warmest regards,
Mr Graham Davis