Rupert the upskirter

Rupert Murdoch the Upskirter

Billionaire mogul Rupert Murdoch has privately explained on many occasions that his media empire is built on “tits and bums”.

People around the world are familiar with News Group’s culture of phone-hacking of celebrities, sports personalities, politicians, police and army officers to obtain intimate revelations about their marriages and sex lives.

But there has been little reporting of its other specialty – upskirting.

For the uninitiated, upskirting involves pointing a camera up women’s dresses as they walk down staircases or escalators and taking pictures of their underwear (if they are wearing any).

The sick-minded paparazzi who practise this invasion of privacy and women’s dignity are paid large sums of money for upskirting photographs which appear in tabloid newspapers and gossip magazines.

But recently there was a change of editorial direction at The Sun aimed at placating the angry voice of radicalised women.

The paper ran a front-page attack on upskirting. With breathtaking hypocrisy it reported: “Web giants YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are hosting hundreds of thousands of sickening upskirting pics and videos. A Sun probe found dozens of perverts uploading images to the sites.”

So, after years of profiting from upskirting pictures, Murdoch’s favourite rag changed direction and welcomed legislation proposing to make upskirting a criminal offence.

Tory MP Christopher Chope

It deplored the temporary veto on the legislation by Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope, 71, but omitted any reference to the fact that Tory Justice Minister Lucy Frazer herself was an upskirting target in The Sun.

In September 2016 the paper carried a photo of upskirted Ms Frazer alongside an article saying: “An MP flashed more than she bargained for when she had a Sharon Stone-style moment in a short skirt at yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions.” [snigger, snigger]

When will the Murdoch press publish upskirted pictures of ageing slapper Jerry Hall, Elizabeth Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, Miranda Devine or Janet Albrechtsen? Don’t hold your breath.

Prison pains

The NSW Probation and Parole Service is part of Corrective Services NSW, formerly known as the Department of Corrective Services and before that called the NSW Prisons Department.

Under the Coalition government of Mike Baird and Gladys Berejiklian there has been unrelenting pressure to privatise the NSW Probation and Parole Service.

Major US and British firms in the “security industry” are circling like sharks because they have made millions from privatisation.

The privateers are in such disgrace in America that many States have banned all sell-offs to private contractors. This development seems to have escaped Liberal and National Party MPs in NSW where the privatisation of public assets is being prosecuted with arrogance and vigour.

In Britain in the past month, a House of Commons justice committee report on privatisation has found the privately-run UK probation service is in a shambles.

Committee chair Bob Neill MP said staff morale was at “an all-time low” while highly experienced officers “feel de-professionalised” by the new owners.

In many cases they are reduced to managing clients “over the telephone”.

MPs expressed concern that the current private model cannot “deliver an affective or viable probation service”.

In Whitehall, panicked mandarins are heading back to the drawing board, not to rebuild the old state-run service (that would be too expensive) but to plan something brand new.

That’s what happens when politicians and bureaucrats driven by neo-con dogma decide to “fix” something that ain’t broke. No wonder suicide rates and mental breakdowns are increasing among inmates.

Pass the plate for Tony Blair

NSW Labor is stuffed with right-wing supporters of Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister who took Britain to war in Afghanistan and Iraq and hollowed out what remained of the welfare state after Margaret Thatcher had taken it to the cleaners.

Tony Blair – where’s the money?

The zillionaire ex-leader is trying to take British Labour back to pro-City of London and pro-Wall Street economics and pro-Washington politics using Progress, his self-styled faction which was launched in 1996.

But Progress is fast running out of steam (and cash) as the British labour and trade union movement come to regard Blair and his coterie as a bunch of shameless grifters.

Former donors are walking away and the public are sick of subsidising the ambitions of Blair to regain No 10, to be president of Europe, the United Nations and eventually the world.

Multi-millionaire Lord Sainsbury, a maverick Tory, has announced his purse is now closed to Progress while others have withdrawn their donations more privately.

The situation has become so desperate that Blair himself coughed up $AU15,000 in March this year which is the equivalent of his and Cherie’s annual dry cleaning bill.

BBC to hire another bludger wearing a black suit and lanyard

The once revered BBC is advertising for an “Innovation and Transformation Strategy Manager”. When will the ABC and the Art Gallery of NSW hire one too? The advert says:

“The BBC has recognised the need to pursue big, bold innovation, to deliver new forms of value against unmet user/audience needs and to support the reinvention of the BBC for the audience. To do this we are embarking on an ambitious and exciting programme of Innovation Challenges as part of the Innovation Review (working title). Our aim is to build an innovation capability within the BBC to help ensure we can create the best products and services for our audiences. A central enabling team will produce best practice tools and techniques and will become a ‘centre of excellence’ for innovation across the BBC. These assets will be used for the programme of Innovation Challenges and will also be made available to be reused across the organisation.”

Public speaking awards

The late Keir Hardie

Lord Callanan, the former Tory European MP Martin Callanan, rose in the House of Lords in his new role as Minister for the Department of Exiting the European Union, to lambast Opposition peers. Callanan shouted “the Labour Party’s position on the EU, given the statements of Keir Hardie on the radio this morning, is a disgraceful shambles.”

A rather odd statement gave that Keir Hardie, one of the founders of the British Labour Party, died in 1915.

Perhaps he meant Keir Stamer QC, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, and the politician most likely to be the next leader of the Labour Party.

*     *   *

Ms Gina Miller, the celebrated (and very wealthy) London fund manager, addressed the “People’s Vote” rally against Brexit in Parliament Square shouting:

“It’s about our shares!” followed by an embarrassing silence. “I mean, it’s about our shared future.”

Well said.

The Way Things Were

Two items from the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, June 21, 1929, Page 6:

“MOTHERS AS UNIONISTS

“At the National Conference of Labour Women in England, Mrs Porteous of Durham commended the idea of a trade union for mothers with, of course, the right to strike. The Daily Telegraph suggests that the lady will not find the propaganda easy, for mothers are perverse creatures. They are not earning any money, though they may be doing half a dozen jobs, but few of them are conscious of self-sacrifice. Mothers are made that way. They really do prefer the end pieces of suet pudding, and they really do think it more important that father should have his ‘baccy’ than that mother should have a new hat occasionally. Their sacrifice is voluntary, and all the eloquence of Mrs Porteous will fail to enlist under her matriarchal banner the millions of mothers whom logically she might expect to rally. Life is not logical. If it were it would be unendurable.”

*   *   *

“AFTER TWO TRIALS – DIVORCE PETITION GRANTED

“Perth, Thursday.

“After two trials in the Divorce Court, the State Full Court today granted the petition of Ethel May Ives, a wealthy Perth widow, for divorce from Aubrey Leonard Ives.

“Mrs Kingsford-Smith, wife of the aviator, was cited as co-respondent. The petition was dismissed by Justice Burnside at the first trial in March 1925, and the Full Court ordered a new trial.

“Mr Justice Northmore next dismissed the petition, although he agreed that impropriety had occurred.”

The Lucky Country

The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors released analysis showing Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij had topped the table of Australia’s highest-paid chief executives, taking home $36.84 million – almost 435 times the fulltime average wage.

What Liberals really think

The Downer family

Georgina Downer, daughter of Lord Downer of Baghdad and grand-daughter of Sir Alexander Downer, Liberal Immigration Minister in the Menzies government, is hoping to win the seat of Mayo at a byelection in the Adelaide Hills on Saturday, July 28. A shining example of Liberal Party entitlement, Ms Downer sent a social media message to voters saying:

“The ABC is a despicable use of taxpayers’ money.”

A few hours later she updated her message to read:

“I misspoke. I support the ABC.”

Which do you believe?

2 comments

  1. My career began in a highly professionalized London probation service whose work earned great respect from magistrates, judges and the bureaucrats in the Home Office.
    Privatisation is toxic, ignorant of any notion of public service let alone respect for the values of professional autonomy. I learned and practiced in the spirit that probation was about justice and second chance not a preoccupation with control, punishment and cost effectiveness.
    Thanks Alex,
    Stuart

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