The article about SPPA in today's Australian (20 April 2010) is an indication of the profile public dissatisfaction is giving the population issue. The Australian is a self-admittedly big population advocate, and so it is interesting to see how the new party, Stable Population Party of Australia, has been reported.
Predictable but unacceptable slurring
The online version is quite acceptable, but a printed edition this morning uses the headline 'New party slams immigrants'. See, Stephen Lunn, "New Party slams immigrants," (April 20, 2010).
William Bourke says that this in no way represents either the article or his lengthy discussion with Stephen Lunn yesterday.
It looks like that Mr Murdoch's editors are trying to paint him in a certain way.
The Australian got the Party's name completely wrong
The Australian did not get the name of his party correct either. The name of the party is not the 'Sustainable Population Party', but the Stable Population Party of Australia. The newspaper apparently cleared this up later in the online edition, but all those people who only read print media will not be able to find the party which they may desperately wish to find. And a lot of people who otherwise might join may not because of the way the Australian has represented the party.
The article itself covers the basic facts about the party, notably the population stabilising policy of balancing emigration with immigration. It also quotes William's factual statement that "population growth might be a single issue, but it cuts across national policy agendas from health, housing and education to water, climate change..." but over-emphasises the fact that it also cuts across immigration.
Why can't the Australian be more positive about what the people want?
In fact the article could be saying so many positive things, such as how the Stable Population Party, by trying to stabilise our population at as low a level as possible, offers hope of an amnesty on starving out and breaking indigenous animal populations, of mortgage martyrdom, of anxiety about old age and rising costs, of a consolidation of community and democracy, and ultimately, as the baby boomers begin to die off in 20 or 30 years, of green space and freedom becoming available to Australia's growing population of cage-reared children, sedated and bloated with fast food.
The Australian is - unfortunately for Australians - interested in marketing Australian property to the world, through its property dot com, realestate.com.au, so positive reporting here would conflict with their business policy.
Dick Smith, FOKE, and Stable Population Party of Australia in Sydney last week
The Party leader encountered a very positive reception at a venue last week.
On the night of the 15th of April 2010, population campaigner Dick Smith spoke to the Friends of Ku-ring-gai Environment (FOKE) group where they had gathered at an environmental event on Sydney's North Shore.
FOKE's main concern is inappropriate development in their suburbs (high rise etc).
The event was packed with 170 seated attendees and a similar number standing.
Dick spoke well and introduced William Bourke of Stable Population Party of Australia to the crowd near the end.
Mainstream media were in attendance including 60 Minutes (who had been with Dick Smith all day), SBS TV, and North Shore Times (News Ltd).
William Bourke was interviewed by SBS TV and around 50 people came up to him after the event for a chat. Most of them departed after getting a SPPA membership form.
Looks like Dick Smith is leading the democratic population policy campaign and helping Australia find political alternatives to the growth lobby.
Makes a good counterpoint to Murdoch's mammoth Australia campaign.