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Q&A

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) swings into the ABC population debate

Have you noticed the sudden unexpected coverage about population on the ABC?  On the 12th of March, 4 Corners ran an episode called ‘Big Australia - Are We Ready.’, Directly following this was a panel discussion QandA on ‘A Big Australia’. Since then, population has continued to be one of ‘the’ major topics of discussion in the mainstream media, including ABC radio and the mainstream press such as Fairfax and News Ltd.

Q&A Critique & transcript for "A Big Australia" Monday 12 March, 2018

Growth lobbyists outnumbered environment and democracy proponents three to two on Last Monday's Q and A on ABC 1, with Jane Fitzgerald (Property Council of Australia), Jonathan Daley (Grattan Institute) and Dr Jay Song (Immigration professional who arrived here two years ago) and Tony Jones (Compere) vs Tim Flannery (Population scientist and author of the famous Future Eaters) and Bob Carr, (journalist, environmentalist, and former Premier of New South Wales). The show started with a brilliant question from audience member, Matthew Bryan. He read it off his mobile phone, with a steely emotional intensity that only someone blinded by dollar values could have ignored, and all the growthists did, of course. Nonetheless since the ABC almost never invites representatives of the non-growth side, we could call this an improvement. Read on for a commentary on some of the highlights and lowlights of this historic confrontation between truth and lies and ignorance.

Q&A tonight: Upcoming ABC shows on population and a Big Australia

I note that the ABC is planning to air Four Corners and Q&A programs on the issue of population and a ‘Big Australia’. The topic of a ‘Big Australia’ is a contentious issue in public debate. Several opinion polls show more than 50 percent of Australians believe Australia has enough people or should not grow any larger than 30 million people. On the other hand, the major political parties (including the Greens) are in lockstep marching to the tune of a Big Australia. Thus there is a major gap between elite opinion and the general public. In view of this the ABC has a special responsibility to ensure that its Editorial Policy number 4 — Impartiality and Diversity of Perspectives — is fully achieved in this case.

Progress to Dystopia

Watching Q&A is an increasingly confusing experience. It would appear, from the questions and the panel responses, to anyone with a perspective of more than 30 years that we have not just been marking time but gone backwards with respect to gender and sexuality, anti-racism and colonialism. There was a sense of enlightenment in the 1970s, when women burned their bras, anthropologists wrote about gender pathways, and women in the Middle East wore miniskirts and went to co-ed universities - but things have gone downhill since. From current discourse as exemplified often on the media and especially on ABC 1's Q and A, it's as if the easy-going youth cultures of the 60s and 70s never happened ! We are now being 'educated' about a grey future where the best we can aspire to is mutual tolerance, when once we had far greater ambitions. In the 70s, for young people, the sky seemed to be the limit in terms of understanding international friendship possibilities. This was long before the Internet but when international travel became more widely available and there was a bit of a pause in wars which have since become constant.

Yet again, ABC refuses to discuss population ponzi - by Leith van Onselen

Unconventional Economist, Leith van Onselen again takes the ABC to task over its shocking bias in reporting and discussing the impacts of Australia's population growth. In this case he exposes the failure of political guests and the moderator on Q&A to respond to the core of an importance audience question about Australia's population ponzi and housing unaffordability. Article first published on Macrobusiness on April 13, 2017 at https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/04/yet-abc-refuses-discuss-population-ponzi/.

Correspondence with Q&A on Syria and balanced reporting

For the record, the below is a partial record of correspondence between Susan Dirgham, National Coordinator of 'Australians for Reconciliation in Syria', and Q&A, the Australian television program. Like most Australian media outlets, the ABC almost invariably presents Syria in a squewed, ahistoric manner that supports the continued and disastrous interference by the US, NATO and its allies in the region, maintaining war.

Syria: World Vision's Tim Costello, SNHR and Irin war propaganda on QandA

The Syrian Network for Human Rights and Irin both purport to be disinterested information sources on conflict in Syria and boast that the UN relies on them as its primary source. But they are not disinterested. There is abundant evidence that they promote the 'rebel' or terrorist side of the conflict and that their funding is from organisations and countries aligned with US-NATO support for aggression in the region. They are in fact promoting war propaganda against Syria and it is amazing that people one would expect to be more discerning, take this on face value. In this article I try to find out why Tim Costello, of World Vision, came to accuse the Syrian government of killing more people than ISIS without taking into account that these deeds were actions by a national army defending its people from multiple assaults by violent gangs, including ISIS, many of them supported by US-NATO funding and arms.

Q&A: Human Rights and Wrongs on Population, Immigration, Refugees and Asylum-seekers

On Monday 31 March 2014, I watched the last half of Q and A, entitled "Human Rights and Wrongs." I was very annoyed by the hugely innaccurate information the panellists were operating with, which went uncountered by Tony Jones.

No politicians with ideas, please!

Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull like many other politicians seem to think of themselves as ideas men. Do we really need politicians with 'ideas' or are they a liability?

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