It's odd that the right always accuses the left of being city-based latte-sippers, because in their obsessions, the right always reveals itself to have a distinctly city attitude. Their suggestions reek of concrete and safety and next-week's-salary.
Take, for example, the persistent idea that the government should not be in broadcasting, and therefore should defund or dismantle or privatise the ABC.
Yeah, thanks for that suggestion. Because it reveals you to be the same bunch of insular, solipsistic twerps whose only trips away from Collins Street are on organised tours to the wine country, where you can pretend to have a palate and come back with the stuff sold at the cellar door that wouldn't rate in any competition, but you'll coddle it and cellar it as if it were gold, when its barrel-mate went to Aldi without a label.
Because you're so easily deluded. But let's get back to the ABC.
The soft city wankers have a monolithic view of the ABC, because in the cities, all they see is through the prism of obsessive compulsive disorder:
- The ABC is funded by government, which is evil.
- The ABC performs journalism that doesn't always support the (frankly) pud-pulling obsessives of the CIS and the IPA, and is therefore evil.
Since, to the ivory towers of the think-tanks, both these things are evil, they're constantly calling for the ABC to be defunded on the kind of American party-political basis that gives the Tea Party its power in the USA. That is: they're total nutters exploiting a tiny base to a disproportionate profile, rather than being drowned in the nearest farm dam, as they rightly deserve.
So let me relate, yet AGAIN, that the ABC's role as emergency service broadcaster is not some commercial activity that will be subsumed by the magic of free market economics.
When I was sitting in the presumed path of a serious in-the-crowns (if you're a soft city wanker, look up crown-fire and eucalypt and don't pester me with questions) bushfire, I wasn't listening to 2GB. Just trust me on that: the only time I choke my gullet with the paid patsies of commercial radio is when it's imposed on me by a taxi-driver who forfeited his tip by his choice of radio station.
The ABC was one of my three prime information sources – along with my family, reading computer feeds under my instruction, and a radio scanner that was telling me what fire-fighters were saying over their radio network.
(An aside: many fire-fighters on the ground are far more anxious, freaked-out and generally pessimistic than their headquarters. Which is natural, but also worth noting in the hierarchy of information. Even the “closest” information can be improved with a higher-level filter.)
Over this coming summer, any number of communities will find that their best information comes from whatever frequency their local ABC transmits on.
The IPA, the CIS, and the random nutters with Tea-Party inspiration would deny that. For them I can only hope that they find themselves in the path of a fire-storm, with nothing but the Macquarie National Network, syndication, and please to complete the irony, a product endorsement from Alan Jones as their information source.