The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Libs back freedom of speech over public interest test

Comforting to read this in The Australian:

THE Liberal Party federal council has unanimously backed a call to reject the key recommendation of the Finkelstein inquiry into the media.

Mr Finklstein's report called for the establishment of a super regulator, the News Media Council, that would oversee print, electronic and online media.

The Liberal motion criticised the council and the public interest test for media ownership as an attack on liberty and free expression.

Moving the motion, Victorian delegates attacked the mooted moves as "de facto licensing of the press."

Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis called the plans a "shocking intimidation of the freedom of the press" and warned of an "insidious" and "subtle depreciation of freedom of speech" under Labor.

"Nothing is more central than freedom of speech," he said, foreshadowing a strong Coalition campaign on freedom of expression in the lead up to the poll.