Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pokies 'n' stuff

"Damn you Andrew Wilkie"

There's been much comment in the mainstream media about the Commonwealth Government's revised plans for pokie reform - most of it shit.

Sure, there's been endless tripe about what it means politically but I'm not aware of any journo having a good, hard look about the proposed trial itself; will it work, is it a good idea, what are the policy implications.

You know, the stuff journalists should be doing.

Being of an inquiring mind, I've managed to find this post by Tom Cummings who has done what just about every single journalist in Australia has failed to do; produce a coherent, well written analysis about what the proposed trial may mean.

I urge you to read it.

But the question rises again; why is this sort of heavy lifting being left to bloggers? Or more to the point, why is political journalism in this country so deeply shallow?


Anonymous said...

Ramon, since I started taking notice of political blogs, at your suggestion, I've found the contrast with the news-media-proper to be striking. To the point where sometimes you might see actual policy and policy ramifications being considered or discussed. And it was starting to feel so much like something I would never see again. So thank you.

But the thing that still bothers me about all this is - why can't even the non-advert-driven ABC (outside of the odd Four Corners report) manage to focus on anything beyond "the game"? It can't just be budgetary, can it? I mean, they still have more to throw around than some independent blogger, right?

And on the pokies: There's not much that I like less than seeing a political party compromise a principled position on an important issue because of the lobbying efforts of some interest group ... unless, of course, I'm a part of that interest group. And there's few things I find more principled than someone who opposes something I'm convinced I don't want. And this is why Tony Abbott is going to be our next prime minister, isn't it?

Melbourne Girl said...

Ramon, a comment or post about our Canberra Cinderella please?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...



Where do you want me to start?

Melbourne Girl said...

Start at the beginning and go to the end. As you see it.

No, really, I would just like to know what you 'make of it.'

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Hmm, let's see.

First a "riot" where nobody was injured, arrested or (to date) been charged.

Second, a "Government cover up" that everybody seems to have an opinion on.

Third, the opposition calling for "crinimal charges" to be laid despite the AFP saying that if anybody knows what laws have been broken, they'd appreciate it if they could enlighten them.

The words "giant beat-up"do spring to mind.

Melbourne Girl said...

They did spring to my mind as well, Comrade. Blurdy media.

squib said...


Melbourne Girl said...

squib!!! Have you gone yet???

Anonymous said...

In the past, I've sometimes hijacked comment threads (I'm guessing people are mostly finished with this one) to ask advice from the wise TSFKA readership on problems that I couldn't properly discuss with people I "know". I hope nobody minds too much. This comes courtesy of a friend who is in a very tough spot:

Say you owned a fairly successful business that was a very small cog in a very large industry. Now say you had in your possession documents that showed widespread corrupt, unethical and almost certainly criminal behaviour in that industry. There's no telling what would happen if you went to the authorities. Theoretically, the knock-on effects from the ensuing scandal could cause a substantial restructuring of the Australian economic landscape. Realistically, the chief offenders would probably just get away with (what to them would be) a slap on the wrist and a little egg on their face. Also, it wouldn't be the first such case to fall over due to evidence being ruled inadmissible or a prosecution bungle. The only thing that is 100% certain is that the industry retaliation would destroy your business and personally bankrupt you. What would you do?

I have absolutely no idea. All advice welcome and appreciated.

Perseus said...

Alex - I would do whatever benefited me the most.

If all they'll get is egg-on-face, I'd keep my mouth shut until such time that it would benefit me to open my mouth.

Anonymous said...

Much appreciated Pers.

The problem here is that it's not even obvious what would be beneficial. If you do nothing, a lot of your competitors would close down (which would be good for business, but may not help you sleep at night) but there's also a good chance that you would end up bleeding to death over several years. On the other hand, taking action would be like putting a shotgun in your mouth.

It's not certain that the culprits would only get egg-on-face. They might get sued into oblivion and it could lead to new industry regulations. It's just that history says the odds are terrible.