OK apologies, so the picture is terrible, but it’s fourth hand — Snapped on a Phone camera, Posted on Twitter or Instagram, televised on Australian TV then a snap shot taken from the frame on my PC.
Grainy photos are important to adding some value to the ‘busted’ angle of this story, as it shows two key figures in Australian politics exiting the home of Vernon Jordan who has recently hosted a luncheon with President Obama. The figures are Australia’s recently ex-Prime Minister, Tony Abbott & the owner of Fox News, News Corp and a vast network of political media outfits masquerading as news organizations, Rupert Murdoch.
First a bit of history — Australia has had 5 Prime Ministers in 5 Years — ind.pn/…
Australia’s term of government for the lower house is 3 years, the elected officials vote the Prime Minister in and there is no maximum term for the Prime Minister so long as s/he holds the confidence of his/her party.
From 1996-2007 Australia had the same Prime Minister (Conservative Party*) as leader. 11 years. John Howard was a firm friend of Rupert Murdoch. One could say life was grand for Rupert.
In 2007, Kevin Rudd (Progressive Party*) was elected Prime Minister of Australia over John Howard.
In 2009 Rupert Murdoch appeared to engage his media empire to set about tearing down Kevin Rudd and also set about Destroying any meaningful resolutions that could be reached at Copenhagen.
At the end of 2009, Australia intended to take a legislated emissions trading scheme (ETS) to Copenhagen. This would have been a BIG DEAL. The party in power (Kevin Rudd’s Labor Party) & the Leader of the opposition conservative party (Malcolm Turnbull) at the time had reached an agreement on the make up of this ETS. At the 11th hour, with the help of Murdoch’s media machine, Tony Abbott, an ex-journalist who once worked for Rupert Murdoch’s ‘The Australian’, challenged for the leadership over the emissions trading scheme. Tony Abbott won the Conservative party leadership at this challenge with a margin of 42 to 41 votes. The Emissions Trading Scheme was trashed as the party in power no longer had the bipartisan agreement. No wonder Copenhagen was a bust.
At the time this sealed it for me — we don’t live in a Democracy — the party in power (over 50% of the seats) Plus 48% of the opposition party wanted an ETS prior to Copenhagen. Rupert Murdoch did not, so it looks like he successfully manipulated the situation to defeat a combined bi-partisan agreement of over 75% across both sides of Australian politics.
In 2010, before Kevin Rudd’s party first term as Prime Minister was complete (after the ETS debacle), he was voted out and a new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard was voted in by her colleagues. Julia then went on to beat Tony Abbott’s party in an Australia Federal Election in the same year.
In 2013, after 3 years of Conservative media attacks, in particular Rupert Murdoch’s political media empire, Julia Gillard was voted out by her colleagues as Prime Minister and Kevin Rudd reinstated just before the election.
The below is a section of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper mastheads leading up to the 2013 election. Not hard to guess whose side his media empire is on.
In 2013 Kevin Rudd lost the election and Tony Abbott and the Conservative party won.
This is what Murdoch's paper’s front pages looked like.
Late 2015, Malcolm Turnbull challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership and is currently Australia’s Prime Minister.
So Conservative in power = good, Rupert Murdoch behind him/her, PM stays in power 11 years.
Progressive = bad, Rupert Murdoch sets the media empire after them, the last 4 PMs have only lasted 2-3 years.
But it is 2016 and Rupert Murdoch’s chosen one, Tony Abbott, was removed/voted out of the Prime Minister-ship a few months ago and Malcolm Turnbull, whom Rupert Murdoch had put so much effort into removing from the opposition leadership in 2009, is back in the seat.
So what does Rupert Murdoch do?
Search News Articles “Abbott Obama” and I got this :
Tony Abbott (according mostly to Murdoch papers above) had a meeting with US President, Barack Obama — a bit strange seeing he is no longer head of state, Prime Minister of Australia.
The stories above paint this as a great & important thing for Tony Abbott and not so good for current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
So Australian media picked up & ran with this in the 24 hour news cycle — Abbott big international player man, Turnbull riled.
But as the next few days wore on, it was determined that it wasn’t a one-on-one lunch with Barack Obama but 50 people in the same house as the US President, having a bit of lunch.
OK, so the papers blew this up, no big deal, right?
But on TV tonight we get the full story and please click this link as the video will not embed — there is a transcript at the link as well.
Important : Please watch the subject of this story found at this link
Remember the Rupert Murdoch cheer squad newspapers barracking for Tony Abbott. They reported this luncheon as follows and continue to stand by this reporting.
It is not often a sitting president will make time for an Australian backbencher, but in Abbott’s case the President made an exception.
... A certain current Prime Minister may feel a little put out by this — Daily Telegraph, 1 February, 2016
Other Australian news outlets (non-Murdoch) picked up on the story, saying it looks like Tony Abbott is not going to sit back and let Malcolm Turnbull govern in good faith…
DAVID KOCH: Sydney’s Daily Telegraph says a private meeting between Tony Abbott and Barack Obama is another sign the former PM has no intention of sitting quietly on the back bench. — Channel Seven, Sunrise, 1 February, 2016
But when contacted, Vernon Jordan, a famous civil rights activist who hosted the luncheon responded as follows :
VERNON JORDAN: There were no private meetings with the President. There was a cocktail party and then we sat down to lunch. There were 100 guests, not 50. I know because I pay the bill. I wish it was 50.
MEDIA WATCH: Was Mr Murdoch there?
VERNON JORDAN: Yes, yes, sure.
MEDIA WATCH: Was Mr Abbott a guest of Mr Murdoch?
VERNON JORDAN: Yes. He was Mr Murdoch’s guest at the Alfalfa dinner, and because he was in town he came to my lunch as well and we were delighted to have him. — Vernon Jordan, Lawyer and Civil Rights Leader, Statement to Media Watch, 5 February, 2016
They left the luncheon at the same time (obligatory grainy picture) :
If Tony Abbott manages to unseat the Australian Prime Minister once again with Rupert Murdoch’s assistance, I will only think of him as the caption above states :
Prime Minister of Australia Guest of Rupert Murdoch
*Note : Like the US, UK, Australia is predominantly a two-party system. Where the conservative party is called the Liberal Party, the progressive party is called the Labour Party. Terms Liberal, Labor were not used to avoid confusion as the Liberal Party in the US is supposed to be the progressive party, as I understand it.