web analytics

The Failed Estate – An Australian Blog to follow

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 12th, 2013 - 10 comments
Categories: australian politics, blogs - Tags: , , ,

Jim Parker the failed estate

With the Australian election just around the corner the interest in Australian blogs will ramp up.  Can I recommend to everyone the Failed Estate Website.  It is a blog run by experienced journalist Jim Parker who will be recognised as the voice that we hear occasionally at 6:55 am during the week on National Radio talking about Australian business news.  He blogged semi anonymously as Mr Denmore for a while but outed himself in May 2012.  He is a Kiwi who moved to Australia many years ago.

His full-time role is in corporate communications in the financial services sector and part of his job is to speak to financial and other professionals about how the media works and what a tough gig daily journalism can be.

He initially blogged as Mr Denmore because he was afraid he may compromise his paid employment.  His employers became aware of his blog and were happy for him to continue as long as he did not compromise his paid role.

He writes powerfully and passionately.  On the state of the media in Australia:

There are two upcoming power battles in Australia. One pits Kevin Rudd against Tony Abbott. The second positions Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers against our democracy. The outcome of the first battle may depend on the second, yet we only get to vote in one of them.

That Murdoch wants a change of government in Australia is evident. He has said so himself, tweeting that the Australian public are “totally disgusted with the Labor Party wrecking the country with its sordid intrigues. Now for a quick election”.

Of course, the octogenarian, New York-based global media magnate is perfectly entitled to his opinion and is well within his rights to express it so openly.  But one’s opinions carry a lot more weight when they are magnified by a virtual monopoly newspaper business that amplifies his views through ‘news’ coverage that makes no pretension at being even-handed.

On the Boatpeople issue:

The Rudd government’s new PNG solution to the asylum seekers problem is aimed at shutting down a filthy trade run by cynical and low-rent opportunists who exploit the hopes and fears of the most marginalised for commercial gain. Yes, we’re talking about tabloid editors.

There are two dimensions to the refugees issue. One is managing the problem itself – a relatively marginal one for a rich economy that leads the developed world on most economic metrics. The second dimension – and the trickier one – is the theatrics around the issue, a charade kept alive by attention-seeking sections of the news media and the frightened politicians they goad into one piece of policy knee-jerkery after another.

The facts of the refugee situation – however many times they are raised – don’t seem to register. What matters for the dying institutions of our news media is that this issue is an emotive, eyeball-grabbing one, encompassing age-old fears of brown skinned hordes shattering our cosy, white bread suburban lives. As such, it’s tailor-made for endless rejigging on the front pages of the Tele and the Hun.

On the downfall of Julia Gillard and the return to power of Kevin Rudd:

Looking at social media, there is still much bitterness in the community about the media treatment of Gillard and corresponding revulsion at Rudd’s mealy-mouthed hypocrisy in calling for an end to the politics of negativity. And it’s hard to argue with that assessment of things.

My own view – and it is just my mere unschooled opinion – is that there is nothing inconsistent about on the one hand being appalled at the sexist treatment of Gillard, recognising her great character and significant policy achievements and arguing on the other that she was a poor communicator, tactically inept or least very badly advised.

Likewise, there is nothing inconsistent in recognising on the one hand that Rudd is an egomaniac, a control freak and an over-promiser, while on the other accepting that he at least has social democratic instincts and seems better able to communicate and cut through with the many people parking their votes with Abbott. He may come undone, but he at least for now appears to have wrong-footed a man that many of us dread far more than his own egomania.

Parker’s world views are clearly spelt out by his choice of Michael Joseph Savage as the picture for Mr Denmore.  The fact he can survive in corporate Australia yet maintain what in Australia are radical views speaks volumes about his quality.


10 comments on “The Failed Estate – An Australian Blog to follow”

  1. Sable 1

    Australia has one of the most concentrated media grouping in the world with Murdoch heading one half of the coin. I wonder however whether Australians trust their media anymore than we do.

    As to Gillard, she was placed in power by right leaning elements of the Labor party and holds a strongly pro American viewpoint, much more so than Kevin Rudd. She infamously backed the US/UK position on Julian Assange which placed in her conflict with the Greens, not a good move given the composition of the government.

    I have heard the drivel about sexism regarding her removal until the cows come home. It was I believe originally the work of a feminist journalist who had an axe to grind but its basically bullshit. Gillard was given the boot because she’s disliked by the the Australian public and in my view rightly so. She usurped a popular PM who had only been in office a short time and then implemented polices that ran counter to his elected mandate.

    • karol 1.1

      It’s hard to know who to support in Aussie Labour, because of the way all the debates are skewed by the corporate press.

      I guess if I was able to vote in Aussie, I’d vote Green.

      PS: Thanks for the referral to the failed estate blog, micky.

      • Sable 1.1.1

        If I was still enrolled I would vote for Kevin Rudd. I believe he is at his core a fundamentally good man who is faced with a very trying set of circumstances. Here in NZ I would only ever vote Green which of course is co led by an Australian (there must be some irony in that somewhere).

  2. karol 2

    Found this interesting site from one of the articles on The Failed Estate. The Conversation.

    About The Conversation: a News/current affairs/politics site, supported by academics in an attempt to raise the news media game.

    The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.

    Our team of professional editors work with university, CSIRO and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public.

    Access to independent, high-quality, authenticated, explanatory journalism underpins a functioning democracy. Our aim is to allow for better understanding of current affairs and complex issues. And hopefully allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversations.

    We have introduced new protocols and controls to help rebuild trust in journalism. All authors and editors sign up to our Editorial Charter. And all contributors must abide by our Community Standards policy. We only allow authors to write on a subject on which they have proven expertise, which they must disclose alongside their article. Authors’ funding and potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed. Failure to do so carries a risk of being banned from contributing to the site.


    • mickysavage 2.1

      Thanks Karol. The Aussie media reminds me of American media, some high quality proper investigation goes on but it tends to be drowned out by the dross of the likes of Fairfax and Newscorp.

      • Sable 2.1.1

        Agreed. They are very similar to the US. Of course this kind of journalism is alive and well here too in groups such as “unfairfacts” as I call them.

  3. NickS 4

    Speaking of Aussie politics, this is bloody good read:

    Doesn’t exactly paint Rudd in a good light, even sans all the other shit.

  4. tc 5

    Oz has 2 public broadcasting outlets that enjoy ratings increases during such times as the people seek balanced coverage. It does get drowned out but seek and ye shall find as ABC/SBS’s ratings show during important events.

    Murdoch’s being doing this for decades and actually the level of investigative/in depth reporting has increased through such outlets as Crikey.

    Labour has hinted it they may alter media cross ownership rules, especially after the shrieking from murdoch press over mining tax so getting between an old man with deep pockets in a hurry to claim what he believes is will always get ugly.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    2 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    2 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    3 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    3 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    3 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    4 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    4 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    4 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    4 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    5 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    5 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    6 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    6 days ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    1 week ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    1 week ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    1 week ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    1 week ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    1 week ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago