Nov 092007

The Oz’s political editor, Denis Shanahan, has mounted his trusty steed, pulled out his colt and ridden pell mell into the fray on the side of conservatism with this nasty piece of misdirection.

As reported on ABC NewsRadio this evening, not one of the four car makers in Australia knows anything at all about any of them having ‘written’ to the Howard government “demanding a “serious review” of the $3 billion car assistance plan, the freezing of tariff cuts and “real assistance”, including a rebate to develop hybrid “green” cars.” Yet Shanahan writes that they did. What was submitted to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was an industry report from car manufacturers to PM&C as required in support of ongoing tariff reviews regularly undertaken by government, and already agreed to be honoured ongoing by the opposition, should it win government after 24 November.
The NewsRadio report stated that there was no specific letter written, nor was there any clearly stated claims by the manufacturers of fears regarding a Labor government coming into power, pattern bargaining, or industrial disputation. A representative of the four major vehicle manufacturers confirmed this during the report. What was mentioned in the report, apparently, was a desire for the current level of industrial harmony to continue under whatever political ideology took the reigns at the end of the month.
I think it’s quite well understood that Denis Shanahan will write anything to make the Coalition shine brightly and Labor appear toxic, however the line between poetic licence and prudential investigative reporting has been definitely rubbed out in the publishing of the above-linked article. Make no mistake, reader, this is a prime example of the lengths to which the MSM will go in order to present only a partisan view.
Given that this report to PM&C is ‘Commercial in Confidence’, one has to wonder just how Shanahan came by it.

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