January 13, 2004


Mark Latham in 2001:

Tariffs and other forms of protection are the economic equivalent of racism. They encourage Australians to think poorly of people from other countries and to believe that we would be better off isolated from the rest of the world.

Protectionism is not a viable option. No nation has ever prospered by aiming at economic self-sufficiency. No society has ever advanced its culture through an ethos of isolationism.

Mark Latham yesterday:

Mr Latham said the ALP would not support a free trade agreement with the US either if it did not provide sufficient benefits ... "We don't want the massive loss of Australian TV in cultural content."

Posted by Tim Blair at January 13, 2004 12:01 PM

And that would be a loss why? I'm not a big TV person to begin with, unless sport is involved, but I fail to see the problem. Our own local content is far from exceptional and the imported stuff is even worse.

No network is willing to rid itself of sponsor's dollars by bad programming no-one watches so there is the possibility that with greater access to overseas-produced shows the quality of TV may (and it's only a small may) improve. Good for us the consumer, bad luck for the crap production companies and bad actors.

Get rid of the protection and let the best (as decided by those that sit there and watch) survive while the dross gets cancelled.

Before it gets mentioned, Big Bro, Suvivor et al are all total crap but that seems to be what a large majority of TV audiences watch so they've only got themselves to blame when it keeps coming on. Besides a remote is a wonderful censoring device.

Posted by: Jake D at January 13, 2004 at 12:38 PM

TV and films are 90% shite now, and they still will be after the free trade agreement is signed. The reason why so many lefties are at best half-educated psueds is that they think that you can get your views form a TV programme or film

Posted by: Toryhere at January 13, 2004 at 12:53 PM

This "threat to Australian TV and film" is a complete beat-up. Both sides (Aussie and US) negotiating the free trade agreement have stated categorically that film and television subsidies/quotas are "not on the table".

I guess it's just a convenient platform for the "our stories told in our voices" crowd to have a go at Howard and Bush.

Posted by: James at January 13, 2004 at 01:16 PM

Given the success that Aussie actors, directors, and Australia-based movie studios have had in the US market, it's us poor Yanks who need the tariffs on you all! My kids are growing up speaking Aussie! Fortunately I've been inspired by another Aussie, and am having them play with a salt water crock . . . (btw, does Phil Adams know that that crock was made of plastic?)

Posted by: Lewis at January 13, 2004 at 02:00 PM

As your kids would say Lewis, "No worries mate!"

The insideous insinuation of Australiana into the world at large continues....MuhHahahahahahah!

Silly Islamokooks, they think the Jews are behind it all. You're enemies aren't Yankle and Goldstein, its Bazza and Kev!

Posted by: Jake D at January 13, 2004 at 02:25 PM

Do you remember David Wenham at the AFI awards going on about Australian stories told in Australian accents blah blah blah . . . .

And did you see David Wenham in Lord of the Rings: English story, shot in NZ, American film studio dollars.

Posted by: steve at January 13, 2004 at 03:01 PM

The disparity in the attitudes of our 'cultural elite' depends largely upon the issue and the place where one's snout is entrenched:

Howard = racist + evil by the left for daring to suggest that there is an 'australian culture'and not entering into agreements with foreigners

Howard = lapdog of the Americans for not preserving 'australian culture' by entering into agreements with foreigners

Go figure eh?

Posted by: nic at January 13, 2004 at 03:27 PM

"As your kids would say Lewis, "No worries mate!"

The insideous insinuation of Australiana into the world at large continues....MuhHahahahahahah!

Silly Islamokooks, they think the Jews are behind it all. You're enemies aren't Yankle and Goldstein, its Bazza and Kev! "

Laughed out loud at that one, thanks Jake D!

Posted by: Kae at January 13, 2004 at 03:49 PM

The loss of Australian TV?. Of, for fuck's sake. The single best thing I saw of Australian television when I was there was Imparja TV, and I'm guessing that documentaries about lesbian aboriginal policeman is the kind of crap only admired at Berkeley film festivals, not something that does primetime in New South Wales.

Posted by: Andrew at January 13, 2004 at 03:58 PM

I think a few people need to get some things straight:



If people are ENTERTAINED they will continue watching your tv show/or your movie will make lots of money.

If you're crap, you fail. Its a simple as that.

I can't see how people who are all for Australian actors working overseas and US films being produced in Australia to cut costs, want to somehow not have anything going the other way.

Besides, for a good deal on agriculture and/or manufacturing I'd be willing to get rid of the entire OZ Film/Tv industry. It'd be a small price to pay.

Posted by: Quentin George at January 13, 2004 at 04:06 PM

Australian TV. Culture.

*wiping my eyes*


.....oh, he's serious

Posted by: Johnny Wishbone at January 13, 2004 at 04:25 PM

Good observation, Nic.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at January 13, 2004 at 07:21 PM

Johnny Wishbone


I just wiped my tears too.
Oscars? Oh yes, we will have our own version but copy the Yankies

Emmy? Oh yes we will copy the Yankies too.

Where is Australiana? It is all Lefties bullshit to get more grants and live on the public teat.

Posted by: Deb at January 13, 2004 at 07:37 PM

You have all made me afraid . . . very afraid. Who are these beings called Bazza and Kev? Are they nocturnal? Do they eat flesh? Will our smart, new fingerprint and photo system at our airports stop them? Help me, please. I must save myself . . . . . .

Posted by: Lewis at January 13, 2004 at 07:49 PM

You people are disgusting in your inability to grasp the self-evident truths of multi-culturism and the need to protect quaint indigenous cultures from Yankee and Euro imperialism!

Let me lay this out for you:

1) Multi-culturism holds that all cultures are equally valid
2) Some cultures (e.g., Islam/Sharia, National Socialism) believe in their own superiority to all others enforced by violence if necessary
3) Ergo, Multi-culturism holds that Multi-culturism is false.

Why are you people unable to grasp such clear and logical concepts? Obviously, Muli-culturism needs to be violently jammed down the throats of all backward Uni-culturists!

Posted by: Dean Douthat at January 14, 2004 at 02:04 AM

Did anyone see an Australian series "Crash Burn"

When I saw the trailer for the ad I laughed my eyeballs out -

Finally an Australian series that was honest enough to predict its ratings future in the title.

Sorry if I upset any tender artists concerned with protecting my Australian culture.

Shame that most of you can't drive beyond Sydney's inner suburbs -

Oh, and by the way, "Neighbours" might be crap in your eyes, but guess what - watched in 3 countries like a religious experience.

Not a cent of Govt funds in that one. People want it here and abroad.

Ditto Mad Max. Croc Dundee. Oh, no Govt funds in those ones either.

Ouch. Must hurt to have so many (an entire population) "misunderstand" your art. Maybe we'll grow up one day and realise the truth you've shed on our Australian culture.

Maybe you'll grow up and realise we don't care.

Preaching is not entertainment. A unique idea, a compelling scenario, conflict at the very least, begins entertainment. If I see another memoirs story masquerading as entertainment in this country I will begin picketing cinemas.

I can't wait until the free trade agreement is signed. It will be nice to be served at a 2-cent restuarant by an ex-govt filmmaker.

Latte thanks, and hold your version of Aust culture.

Posted by: Simon Lawrence at January 14, 2004 at 02:24 PM