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The Australian media and its silence on fascism

It may seem a like a small thing, but it gives I think an indication of the softly softly approach the media of the Australian ruling class take to the fascists in Australia and elsewhere. On Wednesday last week I sent this brief letter to the Canberra Times. It is now Monday and it hasn’t made it into the paper so it is a pretty good bet it will not be published. I wrote:

“Eighty year ago it was Jews who were the target of Western ‘civilisation’. Today it is Muslims.”

It is not as if the Canberra Times doesn’t have space for one sentence in its letters page. It even has a section called To The Point specifically devoted to short contributions of less than 50 words and runs seven or eight such contributions every day. At the moment they are taken up with the big issues like a debate about pedantry and pedants which has now infected the bigger letters page.

Clearly the decision to not publish my one sentence letter was political. This decision not to publish is part of a wider softness on fascism in the mainstream Australian media (the Fairfax and Murdoch newspapers and the wannabes like The Guardian Australia  and the Saturday Paper). If you read about the Reclaim (white) Australia movement in our mainstream media the rabble are not called racists. The fascist faction within them, groups like the United Patriot Front, are not called fascists or Nazis, despite the fact some of them turn up to Reclaim (White) Australia rallies with swastika tattoos all over their bodies. Others are more circumspect with 88 (code for Heil Hitler) carved on their necks. The more intelligent ones hide their Nazi affiliations behind anti-Muslim  rhetoric and wrap themselves in the Australian flag. They sometimes let slip their inner fascist with T-shirts and tops.

Despite the fact the fascists have been heavily involved in the Reclaim (White) Australia rallies, despite the fact that one of those fascists, UPF leaders Blair Cottrell, wants Hitler’s Mein Kampf as part of the school curriculum, and despite the fact the targeting of a religious minority with lies and fear campaigns was a classic Nazi tactic, not one of the capitalist media has called out the fascists or expressed concern about the role of these Nazis in the Reclaim (White) Australia movement.  None has pointed out the obvious – that the extreme nationalism, the ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi’ mindlessness and the Islamophobia are part and parcel of not just Reclaim but the fascists. They share some common ground ideologically and, on their demonstrations, literally. [Any exceptions to this generalisation about the media’s soft treatment of the fascists, if they exist, just prove the rule.]

Why then are the Australian media soft on the fascists?   Some of it has to do with not wanting to offend its readership, and this is as true of the more serious capitalist newspapers as it is of the likes of the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph.

They don’t want to alienate their working class readership, some or even many of whom, depending on the newspaper, will be sympathetic to Reclaim White Australia.  This sympathy could be challenged if a significant left wing figure pointed out the problems workers face are not caused by Muslims but by capitalism and mobilising against the real enemy.

Sound far fetched? In the UK new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, has done exactly that and as a consequence support for the openly racist party, UKIP, has fallen.

Working class people, distracted by the lies of the racists like UKIP, are now returning to Labour because its new leader has pointed out the real problem is capitalism. Corbyn has promised to renationalise the railways, to increase spending on public health and education and transport, to save hundreds of billions of pounds by cancelling the nuclear Trident program, to oppose war and welcome refugees, to give a few examples.

In terms of readership the Canberra Times is already on the ropes. Paid Monday to Friday readership has dropped 20%in the last survey period, from around 25,000 to about 20,000.  It does not want to accelerate that decline by telling the truth about the racists and their fascist friends in Reclaim (White) Australia.  The same is true of overseas developments. The Front National in France is a fascist organisation. The capitalist media call it far right instead of Nazi.

Golden Dawn in Greece is clearly a fascist organisation. Apart from its policies and tactics, it has a stylised Swastika on its flag. It is the classic example of the concentric rings approach of fascists – a respectable middle class wing and a lumpenproletariat fighting wing. These concentric rings exist in embryo in other countries, including Australia where the ‘respectable’ but politically frustrated Hansonites and the  thug wing of angry young and old men are not yet merged but are shaking hands in the welcoming public house of Reclaim (White) Australia.

There is another reason for the Australian media’s failure to tell the truth about the fascists. They know that in the future they may well be allies against a working class on the ascendant. More likely however is that as capitalism slides into deeper recession or depression, the ruling class may well need the fascists to smash the organised working class, which means smashing unions and the left, all the way from the revolutionary socialists to the Labor Party types.  We should not forget that the first inmates of Hitler’s camps were communists and then socialists and trade unionists, enabling the Nazis to cut working class wages by up to 50% to help restore the profitability of big business. That is why the media doesn’t call out the wannabes Hitlers as Nazis.

The lessons of history are clear. We on the left need to try to mobilise big numbers of working class people in a united front against the Nazis. This can best be done successfully before they grow.  Part of that means us telling the truth to the working class about the fascists and outing them as the Nazis they really are.

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Comments

Pingback from The Australian media and its silence on fascism – WRITTEN BY JOHN PASSANT | winstonclose
Time December 14, 2015 at 7:55 am

[…] Posted by John, December 14th, 2015 – under Media, Nazis, Fascists,Reclaim (white) Australia, United Patriots Front. Comments: none […]

Comment from Catherine van Wilgenburg
Time December 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Good to hear today that fascists in Europe have been outed and declined in votes. Let’s call it out for what it is- that capitalism is losing ground and people are standing up as evidenced in the global rallies about climate change.

Comment from Colin Mallett
Time December 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Excellent synopsis. Opens a lot of discussion points. Increasingly we see new social media driven outlets …a new media emerging. At some point some of the mainstream media will want a share of that ‘market’.
In spite of the current limited players and obvious links to big business the landscape is changing.
For the moment they can make the most of an old fool challenging AntiFa and coming off second best and ignore the real violence perpetrated by ignorant racists further up the beach. Channel 7 can run their pathetic stories about everyday mums and dads in Reclaim Australia. Pauline Hanson treated as some intellectual on race relations. The way vile racist comments from senior politicians are presented …… MSM fuel Fascism. They provide the Platform gladly.
The lessons for the Left and Progressives is firstly not to be so influenced ourselves by MSM coverage. Anyone who has ever been on a picket line or in a rally, March or sit in knows full well the coverage will be corrupted. None of us should ever ‘buy’ it.
For mine the answer is developing the ever strengthening alternate voice. Not just the printed matter either. Video and Photography plays an important part in carrying the message.
Being Networked in the fast message, quickly forgotten world is also critical.
Relying on the MSM to carry the message on Fascism is fraught with risk. Making them come to the market we create less so.

Comment from peter piper
Time December 15, 2015 at 8:15 am

‘The Canberra Times didnt print my letter, therefore they must be fascists’
If you get 5 mins spare from your busy day, look up ‘narcisistic personality disorder’. Not every thing is a slight against you! Thanks for the early morning laugh anyway.

Comment from John
Time December 15, 2015 at 8:45 am

You pathetic little man. I didn’t say or imply what you allege and I suspect this is your own ego affronted. I used it to introduce a discussion about why the Australian media is soft on fascism, an important issue you of course cannot and dare not engage with.

Comment from jaycee423
Time December 15, 2015 at 9:25 am

John…this may interest you…in like sympathy.
http://forum.midmurraylap.org.au/viewtopic.php?id=189

Comment from jaycee423
Time December 15, 2015 at 9:43 am

Of interest .in sympathy.

http://forum.midmurraylap.org.au/viewtopic.php?id=189