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Note to the Australian government

If you are a national government wasting spending investing at least A$27.5bn (£18bn) of taxpayers’ money – over $1000 per capita – on building a government owned “National Broadband Network” because you think it is the job of the government do do this kind of stuff, and you then employ civil servants to ghost-write articles that can be published in the media under the bylines of lazy journalits, it is not a terribly good idea to include journals published by libertarian think tanks amongst your target publications.

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8 comments to Note to the Australian government

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    They’re politicians, for crying out loud! If you were to add up all the IQs of all the members of Parliament, you might just reach the average for one voter, maybe!
    Q. How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb?

    A. None- they love leaving people in the dark!

    Q. How can you tell when a politician is lying?

    A. His lips are moving!

  • Regional

    During the Twenties and Thirties the Tetney Beam Radio service linked the British Empire and for it’s time it delivered impressive data rates and was much cheaper than cable yet it was scrapped in favour of cable because the cable was manufactured in politicians electorates.

  • Sam Duncan

    Shameless. I particularly like the bit where he says that he doesn’t mind if one of their writers takes the credit. Well, of course not: it all adds to the deception, doesn’t it?

    You have to wonder how much of this sort of thing goes on here in the Old Country. A lot, I’d bet.

  • Paul Marks

    The French government tried this “subidize high tech” stuff – it did not work out well.

    As for planting stories with a lapdog press…..

    Here the Australian government seems to be following the example of the Obama regime with its pet “mainsteam” media (New York Times and so on).

    However, it appears, Australians are not natural totalitrians – and have messed it up.

  • Gene

    So here’s my question: Was this journal the only publication to publicly cry foul about this? I’m guessing not, because the last page of this mentions the September coverage in The Australian. Had that been the case, however, the smart move would have been to sit tight and monitor other publications to see if any of them actually published the thing under their own bylines. Then would be the time to tell this story, simultaneously embarrassing not only the governement but other media outlets as well. Win/win.

  • Tim

    $27 Billion? Try $60B, and that will be before the inevitable cost overruns that will come to light after the change of government. The project will be abandoned half-built somewhere north of $100B…

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    Tim: Of course. The “private sector contribution” will amount to nothing and there will be massive cost overruns, and I am sure the technology will be obsolete by the time the network is built. That’s what happens when you say “at least” with projects like this..

  • Gene: The truth is that a lot of “journalism” these days consists of repackaging press releases provided by PR agencies with a different byline to that of the paid to be partisan person in the PR industry who actually wrote it. Where everything is private, the journalist who puts his or her name on something written by someone else with an obvious agenda is negligent, but the PR person who wrote it is merely doing his or her job. When the person is a civil servant supposedly working for the government and being paid through taxes, it’s maybe worse.