The best gift you can give, apparently, is the one you don’t own.
That seems to be the Australian Government’s attitude to the Murdoch media empire, which could gain about $1billion a year under the government’s proposed scheme to force Google and Facebook to pay media corporations for sharing their content.
The government claims it is pushing this law on the basis on fairness and equity, but who could honestly believe that, coming from the same schmucks who engineered Robodebt, and who put the scam-meisters of the gas industry in charge of Australia’s alleged Covid-19 response?
Since we know it isn’t about fairness and equity – and we know for absolute certain it isn’t about preserving diverse media voices because this government’s actions suggest it won’t be happy until the Murdoch media is the last and only media voice in the country – then it can only be exactly what it looks like: an enforced wealth transfer from the digital behemoths to the government’s best friend.
Little or no tax
This would make sense, based on much other evidence we have seen in recent years. For a start, the Murdoch media empire pays – as far as most commentators can work out – little or no tax in Australia. But then again, it’s hardly alone in that. Large swathes of wealthy corporates that operate in Australia use a handful of well-known scams to avoid paying their fair share of tax in this country. The fact that the government doesn’t seem to care about this suggests they are happy to transfer wealth from the pockets of ordinary voters and taxpayers to the offshore accounts of the rich and powerful, whether they own news media or not.
But then remember in 2017 when the government handed $30million in taxpayer cash to Mr Murdoch’s Foxtel? It was allegedly so Foxtel would broadcast more women’s sport, but I gather it was pretty much no strings attached, in practice. Unashamed and unabashed, this year the Morrison government followed up that free gift with another $10million, allegedly for the same purpose.
Seems to me the Coalition just can’t give enough of other people’s money to its best friend. And who can blame it? You look after News, and News looks after you. At least until it gets sick of you.
While News is your mate, your opponents get bagged in the press and on satellite news day after day, night after night, even if they haven’t done anything wrong. Meanwhile you can rort, rob, scam and demonstrate any amount of gross incompetence, and News will call you a hero.
Nothing for the ABC
Bear in mind the government is bending over backwards to make it clear that the ABC and SBS are NOT allowed to get any money from Google and Facebook under the new law. Why would that be, do you think? The Morrison Government is slashing and burning the public broadcaster on an almost daily basis, cheered on by the Murdoch empire, so even though its content is every bit as likely to be shared as the drivel that leaks from News, it can’t gain a benefit. More proof that the law is just another suck-up-to-News scam from the Coalition.
I’m glad Google and Facebook are saying no to this piece of garbage policy from a really dumb government. I reckon the Facebook environment will be a little better without contributions from News and Sky and the Murdoch empire in general anyway. Personally, I mostly refuse to read anything that emanates from a Murdoch source, and on the rare occasions when I do click a Murdoch link I get barred by their paywall, so what’s the big deal?
Stop giving News free gifts. Make it pay tax. Break its dominance. Stop taking its orders and doing its dirty work.
Google and Facebook suck, but I hope they win this one.