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Censorship in Australian universities

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Australian censorshipCensorship is the antithesis of truth-seeking and sabotages rational risk management that is crucial for societal safety – but how can society addresses this major problem if censorship prevents it from perceiving the problem in the first place? Indeed censorship is a huge but largely ignored problem in the Western democracies that have become Murdochracies, Lobbyocracies and Corporatocracies in which the One Percenters rule because Big Money buys politicians, parties, policies, public perception of reality and votes.

This perversion is most clearly evident in Australia where an American citizen, Rupert Murdoch, has captured 70% of daily newspaper readership and where the US, Zionist and Corporate lobbies rule the roost. Thus in 2010 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had evoked the ire of the Americans (by demanding destruction of the US-protected Afghan opium industry), the traitorous racist Zionist (by objecting, albeit in the most obsequious way, to Apartheid Israeli kidnapping of Australians in international waters and to Apartheid Israeli forging of Australian passports for terrorist purposes) and the 79% foreign-owned mining industry (by demanding a huge super profits tax on Australia’s huge mining industry). 

The Americans, Zionists and mining corporations made their displeasure clear and the latter committed to a $100 million campaign against the Rudd Labor Government. On 23-24 June 2010 PM Kevin Rudd was ousted in an overnight, US approved, pro-Zionist-led Coup and replaced by his pro-war, pro-Zionist, pro-coal, pro-gas, pro-iron ore, US lackey deputy, Julia Gillard.  This un-democratic transition, involving a foreign-backed ousting of one of Australia’s most popular PMs, had cost the mining industry a mere $23 million in advertising and lobbying. Yet the foreign backing of the Coup is utterly ignored by overwhelmingly US- and Zionist-beholden Australian media (see”Pro-Zionist-led coup ousts Australian PM Rudd”, MWC News, 29 June 2010).
 
While journalists working for media corporations have to censor by omission and commission or be sacked, the same should not be true of journalists working for taxpayer-funded media organizations. Yet, as shown below, the taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC, Australia’s equivalent of the UK BBC) and the taxpayer-funded and universities-backed web magazine The Conversation, have an appalling record of malreportage and censorship.  The Australian political scene involves the governing, pro-war, pro-Zionist, anti-environment, US lackey  Australian Labor Party (the Labs, 35% of the vote), the pro-war, pro-Zionist, anti-environment, US lackey, opposition Liberal-Party- National Party Coalition ( the Libs, 45% of the vote) and the pro-peace, pro-environment, anti-racism  Greens (10% of the vote). Because Australia has a compulsory, preferential electoral system, the overwhelming second preference of the Green voters for Labor is counted in the electoral process and this means that in terms of the election outcome-determining “2-party-preferred vote” the Libs and the Labs are about 50%-50% at the moment. The taxpayer-funded ABC is meant to be “balanced” but in reality favors the Labs over the Libs.
 
In Australia, as in the other Western democracies, there is not much to choose between the 2 major parties. The Australian Labor Party used to be the party of humanitarian reform but, like its British Labour Party equivalent, has become a pro-Zionist, US lackey, neoliberal party that represents the One Percenters. The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has become an Alternative Liberal Party, Another Liberal Party, the Australian Laboral Party, an Apartheid Israel-supporting Labor Party and an Australian Lying Party. The apparent bias of the ABC towards the Labor Party that is evident in its unethical campaign against the Catholic conservative Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, actually serves the conservative Liberal Party well – it is predicted that replacement of unpopular Tony Abbott as Leader of the Opposition by the immensely popular and inclusive Malcolm Turnbull would give the Liberal-National Party Coalition a landslide victory at the next elections. 
 
Outstanding expatriate Australian journalist John Pilger has written thus of the Alternative, pro-Humanity Australian weekly publication Green Left Weekly: "Australia has the most restrictive media in the western world. Censorship by omission denies Australians their democratic right to make sense of whole stratas of political and foreign policy. That's why Green Left Weekly is a beacon, doing a job of honorable journalism, as an agent of people, not power.” The problem for decent, informed people is how to get through the Wall of Silence of both the corporate and taxpayer-funded Mainstream media but massive media censorship largely prevents this. University academics have 3 key responsibilities  of teaching, research and informing the public but these are compromised in Australia by intimidation, institutional codes of conduct inhibiting free speech and now by national legislation to censor Australian academics (e.g. the Defense Trade Controls Bill currently awaiting Senate ratification and the draconian Australian Anti-Terrorism laws; see “Why defense bill threatens Australian research and innovation”, ABC Saturday Extra, 13 October 2012; Gideon Polya in “Current academic censorship and self-censorship in Australian universities”, Public University Journal, volume 1, Conference Supplement, “Transforming the Australia University”, Melbourne, 9-10 December 2001 ; Gideon Polya, "Crisis in our universities", ABC Radio National , Ockham's Razor,  19 August 2001). 

Australian Mainstream media pervert rational risk management by censorship by omission, censorship by commission, lying by omission and lying by commission. The following Open Letter sent to Australians MPs, media and academics exposes how taxpayer-funded Australian media are part of this neoliberal perversion of democracy.

OPEN LETTER
Dear etc,
 
Open Letter to MPs, media & academia: Censorship and anti-Coalition and anti-Jewish defamation by the taxpayer-funded The Conversation and the ABC.
 
The iconic Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC, Australia’s equivalent of the UK BBC) is taxpayer-funded ($929.9 million in the 2009-2010 Federal budgets). Likewise, the academic–based, universities-backed  web magazine The Conversation is taxpayer-funded with its key funders and backers including  CSIRO, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT, University of Technology Sydney and  the University of Western Australia (a further 13 universities also fund The Conversation). Yet both the ABC and The Conversation betray the public trust through gross malreportage, censorship, Gillard Labor bias and defamation of both the Coalition and of anti-racist Jewish opinion.
 
Thus searches of the ABC for the terms “Abbott is a misogynist” and “mad monk” (both false assertions applied to the Leader of the Opposition) yield 7 and 90 instances, respectively, and searches of The Conversation yield 42 and 15 instances, respectively. Implicit in such abuse is the false implication that conservative Catholic women and the majority of Australian women currently giving 2-party-preferred support to the Coalition are “self-hating women” and “mad”.
 
Searches of the ABC and The Conversation for “Lord Monckton” (a non-scientist climate change denialist)  yield 171 and 48 instances, respectively, whereas searches for “Peter Wadhams” (the Cambridge  University Ocean Physics professor who estimates that all Arctic summer sea ice will disappear by 2015)  yield only 1 report each, and searches for “Peter Seligman” (the University of Melbourne professor, top bionic ear electrical engineer and author of the key renewable energy book “Australian Sustainable Energy – by the numbers”) yield zero (0) reportage.
 
Both the ABC and The Conversation have an appalling, continuing record that variously involves sidelining, blocking, censoring and unretracted publication of defamation in response to anti-racist Jewish opinion critical of human rights abuses in the Middle East and elsewhere. The obligatory responses of all anti-racist Jews and indeed of all anti-racists in general, to the WW2 Holocaust (30 million Slavs, Jews and Gypsies killed) are “bear witness” and “never again to anyone”. Repeated defamation of decent anti-racist Jews defending Palestinian, Arab, or Muslim human rights as unbalanced, Nazi-like, racists, anti-Semites or self-hating Jews is utterly repugnant and unforgivable and can be seen as symptomatic of a new kind of anti-Jewish anti-Semitism directed at anti-racist Jews.
 
A 5-decade career scientist still teaching at a good Australian university and committed to informing my fellow citizens about gross abuses of humanity and the environment, I have been variously sidelined, blocked, censored and defamed by both the ABC and The Conversation. Representations to ACMA and the ABC and to The Conversation and its key institutional backers have proved sterile. Freedom of speech is sacrosanct but censorship in general - and censorship and defamation of an anti-racist Jewish minority in particular - should not be subsidized by the taxpayer. I am resolute in my opposition to these abuses as the son of a pre-WW2 Jewish refugee to Australia. Unfortunately, racist Zionist-beholden Labor firmly backs those doing the censoring and abusing of anti-racist Jews, ignoring the humanitarian stance of outstanding anti-racist Australian Jews from Sir Isaac Isaacs (Australia’s first Australian-born Governor General) to Professors Peter Singer, Dennis Altman and Eva Cox (Google “Jews Against Racist Zionism”).
 
Labor has now slashed university research grants (this cutting $500 million over 4 years) and is rushing  (against Green and Coalition objections) to get the Senate to pass the Defense Trade Controls Bill (2011) which, according to Universities Australia (representing 39 Australian universities), “As currently drafted will significantly impact the training and research conducted by universities” and will interfere with the 3 key university purposes of teaching, research and informing the public. Universities committed to or subject to censorship are unfit for students, including the over 240,000 full fee-paying overseas students crucial to Australia’s $16 billion pa education export industry.
 
Of course censorship in general is inimical to rational risk management that is crucial for societal safety. Thus, for example, the ignored estimated accrual cost to Australia of the War on Terror and the Iraq and Afghan Wars (associated so far with an ignored 9 million Muslim deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation) is $125 billion, an ignored, huge commitment that could have been spent on education, health and on saving the lives of sick Australians, an ignored 66,000 of whom die preventably each year under Labor, 9,000 being Indigenous Australians.*
 
Universities apprised of censorship and defamation by The Conversation must withdraw any financial support subject to its reformation. The University of Melbourne is arguably Australia’s top university but funds The Conversation, has failed to act on my complaints, has otherwise a very poor record of censorship, and should face national and international exposure and sanctions in the interests of its staff and students, Australia and higher education. I also suggest that targeted cuts in taxpayer funding will make the ABC conduct itself decently. in the public interest.  I have never voted for the Coalition but can never vote for a neoliberal New Labor that continues to betray and shame decent Labor voters – I accordingly also recommend that pro-peace, pro-environment, pro-education, pro-science and pro-equity people vote 1 Green and put Labor last until it reverts to decent, humanitarian values.
 
Silence is complicity. This has been written in the public interest.
 
Yours sincerely,
Dr Gideon Polya
(contact details).
*Gideon Polya, “Endless War on Terror. Huge cost for Australia & America”, MWC News, 14 October 2012.

Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. We are obliged by love of country and of humanity in general to oppose censorship by omission and commission, the more so when these perversions threaten mass destruction of human life through perversion of rational risk management.
 
The Australia-complicit US War on Terror has so far killed 9 million Muslims through violence or war-imposed deprivation but the fiscal perversion involved – funding wars abroad rather than health care and preventive medicine at home - has been associated since 2001 with huge numbers of preventable deaths in countries of the US Alliance (12 million Americans, 1.1 million Canadians, and 726,000 Australians). Remorselessly increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by the US, Canada and Australia disproportionately contributes to global warming and a worsening climate genocide that is predicted to kill 10 billion people this century if man-made global warming is not addressed (Google “Are we doomed?” and “Climate genocide”).  According to the 2012 DARA Report (commissioned by 20 threatened countries)  5 million people die each year from climate change and carbon burning and 100 million will die thus by 2030 if man-made climate change and carbon burning are not urgently addressed. Already 18 million people die avoidably from deprivation every year in the Developing World (minus China) on Spaceship Earth with Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist One Percenters in charge of the flight deck.
 
What can decent people do? Decent folk must (a) inform everyone they can and (b) urge and apply sanctions and boycotts against neoliberal parties, politicians, media and universities complicit in the War on Terra through remorseless greed and dangerous censorship by omission and commission. Please tell everyone you can.


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