ISSUE – NO. 674

22 March 2024

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News has just been released about the program for the taxpayer funded Melbourne Writers Festival, which will run from 6 May to 12 May 2024. The 2024 MWF will be analysed in detail in the next issue of Media Watch Dog – which will come out after Easter. However, the latest MWF looks like yet another leftist stack.  Take, for example, the segment “Year in Review: Australian Politics” which will take place on 11 May.

The panel comprises David Marr (formerly of The Guardian, the ABC and Fairfax Media), Laura Tingle (ABC and Nine’s Australian Financial Review), and former Labor Party staffer and Age and Sydney Morning Herald  columnist Sean Kelly.  Oh yes, they’re all “in conversation” with Michael Williams – editor of The Monthly.  Not a political conservative among this lot.

Stand by for a familiar leftist literary festival panel where Laura essentially agrees with David who essentially agrees with Sean who essentially agrees with Michael who essentially agrees with Laura who essentially agrees with herself. Yawn.

La Tingle will front up later in the day to deliver the John Button Oration titled “Off-course Discourse” – whatever that might mean.  This is how the segment is presented:

Esteemed journalist Laura Tingle examines why the quality of our national debate has deteriorated and what, if anything, we can do about it. Supported by the Melbourne School of Government and the Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne.

Later in the blurb, the late ALP Senator John Button is also described as “esteemed”.   So, it’s Esteemed Tingle orating on the late Esteemed Button.  Sounds somewhat pretentious, don’t you think?

In any event, it seems that La Tingle is going to lecture on the need for “a robust and nuanced debate”. You know, the type of debate which will not take place at the leftist stack that is the 2024 MWF.

Also, the speaker will call for “civil discourse”. Could this be the same Laura Tingle whose idea of civil discourse was to put out a late-night tweet on 9 October 2020 accusing Scott Morrison’s Coalition government of “ideological bastardry”?  Sure is.

Ellie’s (male) co-owner can barely wait until the Button Oration takes place in Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre on 11 May – a theatre concerning which Hendo has fond youthful memories. MWD will keep you posted.


On Saturday 16 March, The Weekend Australian carried a front-page story titled “ ‘I won’t shut up’: Conway’s blast for anti-Israel activists”. The story, by Cameron Stewart, revealed that the singer-songwriter, Deborah Conway had been cancelled from appearing on the ABC Radio Victoria’s Evenings program.

It seems that Ms Conway, who is a supporter of Israel’s right to exist within secure borders, was invited to be interviewed on the program. But she was cancelled when the regular producer, who had been absent, returned to work and found out about Conway’s scheduled appearance. After Conway drew attention to the story, she was re-invited onto Evenings.

This demonstrates, once again, the problem with the ABC as a staff collective. An ABC producer should have enough knowledge of the intensity of the debate in Australia over the Israel/Hamas war not to cancel talent for political reasons. Clearly, this matter should have been referred to senior staff – even to ABC Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief, David Anderson – for resolution. After all, Mr Anderson is paid to run the ABC and make important decisions.

However, this is yet another example of ABC journalists making decisions independent of senior managers – who clearly, for the most part, do not run the staff collective that is the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.


Did anyone hear the recent exchange between ABC Radio Breakfast presenter Patricia (“Please call me PK”) Karvelas and David Crowe (Nine’s chief political correspondent for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald)?   The date was Wednesday 20 March and your man Crowe was doing his weekly political gig on RN Breakfast.  Let’s go to the transcript – towards the end of the interview:

Patricia Karvelas: News just breaking. Donald Trump has claimed former prime minister and US ambassador for Australia, Kevin Rudd, is nasty and not the brightest bulb. And it’s quite the statement. This is in an interview with Nigel Farage, during a Sky News program, which Nigel Farage says his friends in Australia at Sky News wanted asked. Wow!

David Crowe: It’s another sign of just what a wild ride we’re in for this year. So, this is really just a personal attack on, on Kevin Rudd. We haven’t seen, you know, the back story here in terms of anything that Kevin Rudd has done that has antagonised Donald Trump in this way. But as we saw when Donald Trump was president, things come out of the blue. And that’s what happened here. It’s a sign that if there is a Trump victory, he’ll want Kevin Rudd out of Washington. But there’s a long way to go yet before the presidential election.

Patricia Karvelas: Wow!

Yeah. Wow squared!! But – what a load of absolute tosh. As usual, PK has Sky News on the brain – Donald Trump’s interview with Nigel Farage aired on GBNews, not Sky. And in a case of tosh squared, David Crowe claims that he did not know “anything that Kevin Rudd has done that has antagonised Donald Trump” and that “things come out of the blue” with Donald Trump.

How about these historical tweets:

That was 2 June 2020.  Then, there was this on 27 February 2022:

For the record, it is not correct to state that Fox News “backs Putin”.  Sure, for a time, one Fox News “star” – Tucker Carlson – presented as soft on Putin.  But he was shown the door by Fox News management in April 2023.

Earlier, appearing on ABC TV’s Q+A program on 30 October 2017, Kevin Rudd took a Q+A approved question from an audience member Chloe Humphries – about Donald J. Trump.  Mr Rudd responded by laughing, but avoided answering as to whether Americans were “happy with Trump being in power”.  Then Comrade Jones took over and the following exchange took place:

Tony Jones: But I dare say, you’ve read the papers, you’ve spoken to people, of course, in Harvard and in New York. There’ll be very much an anti-Trump feeling from the people you mix with, I dare say. But what about the broad feeling about the country? Do you think he’s actually more popular than we believe he is looking at it from a distance?

Kevin Rudd: I think the general consensus amongst anyone concerned with the public policy process, domestic or international, thinks he’s nuts. [audience laughing]

Tony Jones: That was pretty succinct….

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For the record, Gerard Henderson regards Kevin Rudd as having done a good job so far representing Australia in the United States.  However, David Crowe must have been dreaming through 2020 and 2022 if he believes there is no back story in former President Trump’s reported criticism of Ambassador Rudd.  Indeed, they were raised in the public debate when it was announced in late December 2022 that Kevin Rudd would become Australia’s ambassador in Washington DC. Yet your man Crowe – Nine Newspapers’ chief political correspondent – was unaware of the back story. Can You Bear It?


The leftist Black Inc. (proprietor Morry Schwartz) has just published another Quarterly Essay (editor Chris Feik). This one is written by leftist writer Lech Blaine about Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton. It’s titled Bad Cop: Peter Dutton’s Strongman Politics. This is one of those typical Quarterly Essay products which can be judged by its cover.  The one-time policeman Peter Dutton is a “bad cop”. Get it?

What to do to flog Bad Cop? Well, first up reach out (as the cliché goes) for a gig with the ABC – where this kind of book is sure to get sympathetic coverage.  The launch day was Monday 18 March 2024. And that very morning your man Blaine received soft coverage on ABC TV’s News Breakfast where he was interviewed by co-presenters Michael Rowland and Bridget Brennan.

Initially, Comrade Brennan described Bad Cop as “a really fantastic piece”. And she concluded the interview by stating, again, that “it’s a fantastic piece” and added: “Fantastic, congratulations”.  How FANTASTIC is that?  Let’s go to the transcript where the co-presenter leads off with the first question which is followed by a somewhat confused answer:

Bridget Brennan: How did you find it, delving into Peter Dutton?

Lech Blaine: It was – yeah, it was pretty fascinating for me. Like, I, uh – I pay a lot of attention to politics, obviously, write about it, uh, a lot. But it’s when you really sit down and concentrate on someone and, sort of, piece together their career that a lot of information which mightn’t have seemed, um, as relevant or as interesting earlier in their career, yeah, when you piece it all together, it becomes really, uh, revealing. And kind of, yeah, interesting I think. Like, in a fresh way.

Michael Rowland: Yeah, well there’s a quote, uh, towards the end of the essay where you write:  “Dutton is a hard man with a glass jaw. He feels entitled to the highest prize of Australian democracy. Yet, he resents attention and accountability. His siege mentality gets exhausting. You are with him or at war with him.” So, I mean, how much does that, in your view, define his political persona?

Well, quite a lot – needless to say. Comrade Blaine reckons that writing about the Opposition leader was “a fantastic experience”. As it turned out, however, the author’s view of Mr Dutton – as told to News Breakfast – was somewhat dull and bland.

Blaine told viewers (if viewers there were) that Peter Dutton is “a Queensland federal politician”. Really.  And that he has “an animosity towards Nine Newspapers”. Due, no doubt, to his alleged “glass jaw”. Fancy that.

Later on, Blaine told Brennan that Peter Dutton “does have some political strengths” and acknowledged – in response to a Rowland question – that he has a soft side in private. Also, Blaine declared that the Liberal Party leader has “a very, very, single-minded vision to become the prime minister of Australia”. Quelle Surprise!

As reported in the previous Media Watch Dog issue, Lech Blaine has a gig at the 2024 Sydney Writers’ Festival – a taxpayer funded leftist stack which commences on 23 March.  According to the SWF blurb, Comrade Blaine will depict Peter Dutton as the “Pied Piper of Outer Suburbia”.   It’s a one-off speech. No other view will be heard.  The 2024 SWF was analysed in the previous issue of MWD.

After that, your man Blaine will be flogging Bad Cop by doing soft interviews with leftist commentators in front of audiences who belong to the Sandalista Set. First up, it’s “Lech Blaine in conversation with Chloe Hooper” in Melbourne’s inner-city Carlton.  Then with John Birmingham in Brisbane’s inner-city West End.  Then with Ebony Bennett at the leftist Australia Institute in Canberra (this is an online occasion).  Then with MWD fave David Marr in Sydney’s inner-city Glebe. You get the picture.  Unlike Peter Dutton, Comrade Blaine does not intend to travel to the outer suburbs where he might be confronted by the Dutton-voting hoi polloi.

Oh, yes.  Comrade Blaine also received a soft interview with Phillip Adams on ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live on Thursday 21 March.  He used the occasion to describe Peter Dutton as “the thinking man’s Pauline Hanson”. Clever, eh?  Or just lightweight abuse?  And he bemoaned the fact that Mr Dutton did not agree to do an interview and that Dutton does not readily engage with the ABC.  Blaine also claimed that Peter Dutton can only see Aboriginal people through the prism of law and order – including Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price it seems. Really.

This appears to be another occasion where the Quarterly Essay has morphed into “The Sneerer’s Essay”.  As in: “Read all about Peter Dutton as the Pied Piper of Outer Suburbia and the thinking man’s Pauline Hanson who can only see Senator Price through the prism of law and order”.  What a, er, “fantastic” analysis. Can You Bear It?


While on the issue of Nine, did anyone hear Charles Croucher (Nine Network’s chief political editor) doing the “Politics” gig on ABC Radio National Breakfast?  The date was 21 March. When discussion turned to the Australian-American Alliance, your man Croucher said this:

Charles Croucher: …In the past, when faced with authoritarianism or a rise of people that would challenge democracies, democracies have banded together…We’ve done it in the 40s, we’ve done it throughout the Cold War. But, in those days, we had Roosevelt and Churchill. Or we had Reagan and Thatcher. These leaders that were steadfast in their commitment to the Allies and to democracy….

Turn it up – with respect to President F.D. Roosevelt.  In 1940, Britain stood virtually alone against Adolf Hitler.  Sure, it had the support of the Commonwealth nations – including Australia, where Prime Minister Robert Menzies committed the Australian Imperial Force to the European theatre.

However, in 1940, the Soviet Union was an ally of Germany – consistent with the Nazi-Soviet Pact which lasted from August 1939 until July 1941. And, in 1940, the United States was neutral – and remained so until Nazi Germany declared war on the US in December 1941 – shortly after Japan’s attack on the US at Pearl Harbor. And France had been defeated and surrendered to Germany. So, Churchill stood virtually alone.

Indeed, FDR went to the November 1940 United States presidential election with a promise to maintain its military neutrality.  In October 1940, President Roosevelt declared that “American boys are not going to be sent to any foreign wars”. In short, FDR refused to go to war against Hitler to defend Western democracies.

Certainly, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were always “steadfast in their commitment to the Allies and to democracy”.  But not President Roosevelt – his administration was officially neutral between September 1939 (when the Second World War commenced) and December 1941 (when Nazi Germany declared war on the US).

Australia’s Robert Menzies stood with Churchill in the early days of the war. But not FDR – when it came to committing military forces.  Yet, apparently, Network Nine’s chief political editor does not know this.  Which raises the question: Can You Bear It?

[No. Not really – now that you ask. Your man Croucher should have got the hint from the fact that the US, under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, was neutral in the First World War between August 1914 and April 1917. It played little role in the defeat of Kaiser’s Imperial Germany in November 1918 – which was led by British and Commonwealth forces (including Australia) – MWD Editor].


On 20 March, ABC TV 7.30 ran an important, if somewhat depressing, analysis concerning the future of steelmaking in the South Australian city of Whyalla. This is how reporter Angelique Donnellan introduced the segment titled “Green Steel Pipe Dream?”:

Angelique Donnellan:  Steelmaking has been the backbone of Australia’s modern economy. But with the global industry accounting for around 8 per cent of carbon output, a day of reckoning is approaching for domestic steelmakers. Whyalla’s Liberty Steelworks in South Australia must adapt to survive a low-emissions future. Steelmaking emits huge amounts of carbon dioxide because coal is used in the manufacturing process.

Here’s hoping that Liberty Steelworks survives. A nation like Australia should be able to make its own steel.

The 7.30 report reminded Media Watch Dog of the time when Craig Emerson – then a minister in the Gillard Labor government, now the head of Emerson Economics and a columnist for the Australian Financial Review – did the Emerson Whyalla Dance. But first some background.

In April 2011, Wayne Hanson, secretary of the Australian Workers Union’s South Australian Branch, said that Whyalla would be wiped off the map by the Gillard government’s proposed carbon tax. The Whyalla wipe-out warning was taken up by the (then) Opposition leader Tony Abbott as part of his campaign against a carbon tax.

Then, in July 2012, Dr Emerson (for a doctor he is) performed his bizarre rendition of “Horror Movie” by the Skyhooks – with the lyrics changed to “No Whyalla wipe out, there on my TV”.  The artistic song and dance performance took place during an ABC interview in the Parliament House courtyard.  The learned doctor’s message was that the Whyalla Steelworks, owned by OneSteel, would not be wiped out.   In 2012 OneSteel was renamed Arrium.  And in 2016 Arrium went into voluntary administration.  In 2017 it was acquired by the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG).

GFG currently has plenty of problems on its hands – one of which is Whyalla Steelworks. GFG has announced that the steelworks will be carbon neutral by 2030.  But this requires switching from coal to hydrogen as fuel for the steelmaking process. It’s not an easy task.

What to do?  Well, MWD advises to get the AFR columnist on the job.  MWD reckons that if your man Emerson sings his “No Whyalla wipe-out” song on ABC TV again – then Whyalla will surely not be wiped out.

However, so far Craig Emerson has not discussed the threat to the current Whyalla Steelworks, partly due to meeting Australia’s carbon emissions reductions standards, in his AFR column. It’s a case of all quiet on the Dr Emerson Front. Can You Bear It?



Media Watch Dog readers are well aware of The Guardian Australia/ABC Axis which sees lotsa comrades from The Guardian appearing in commentary slots on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.  These include The Guardian Australia’s editor Lenore (“I’m just so embarrassed that our founder in Manchester made his money from the slave trade – but it was a long time ago”) Taylor.

But MWD digresses. The Australia Institute is an avowedly leftist organisation. So, it’s not surprising, then, that Australia Institute comrades also readily find their way onto the Conservative Free Zone that is the ABC.

Right now, The Australia Institute is celebrating its 30th anniversary year with a number of self-congratulatory gigs in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra – but not in Brisbane, Hobart or Perth.  The “star” of the event is Yanis Varoufakis. He is described by The Australia Institute’s executive director Dr Richard Denniss (for a doctor he is) as a “renowned economist, author & former finance minister of Greece”.  Really. However, the Australian Financial Review editorialised on 15 March that Varoufakis is a “Marxist economist” who “specialises in prophesying the end of capitalism”. Quite so.

The truth is your man Varoufakis was the Greek finance minister only between late January 2015 and early July 2015 – less than six months.  He failed to deliver on a promise to negotiate Greece’s debt and to lift any austerity measures imposed on Greece by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

What’s all this got to do with the Australia Institute/ABC Entente? – MWD hears avid readers cry. Well, it’s this.

On Monday 11 March 2024, Hendo watched Comrade Varoufakis’s appearance on ABC TV’s Q+A program where he received a soft time from presenter Patricia Karvelas – along with much support from the baying mob that was the inner-city leftist audience.  There is only so much that Hendo can take from a failed former Greek finance minister bearing advice –  so he turned on Late Night Live.  Lo and behold, there was Y.V. talking on Phillip Adams’ little wireless program on ABC Radio National.  It would seem that LNL was in pre-record mode.

Then on Wednesday 13 March, up bobbed the failed Greek finance minister on ABC TV’s main channel.  On this occasion, according to the National Press Club, he was speaking at the NPC “courtesy of the Australia Institute”.  The ABC films the National Press Club talks.

Having reached Peak Varoufakis, Hendo switched off the TV and headed out for a (somewhat early) G&T.

It turned out that on LNL, Y.V. handed out (free) advice to Australia in general and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in particular. Among  Y.V’s gems of advice was this:

Yanis Varoufakis:  As I was flying into Australia this time round, a week ago, once again, like everybody who flies into Australia, you see the arid land under the aeroplane. The sun beating down on it. And you realise that this is a huge resource for solar energy….

Turn it up.  The visiting former failed finance minister wants Australia to be replete with solar panels from Broome, on to Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) and on to the edge of Australia’s capital cities.  Y.V. did not mention that literally many thousands of kilometres would be required for the transmission of such solar energy – and seemed unaware that much of the land below him was owned by Indigenous Australians or subject to a native title claim. Apparently, Y.V. has not had the courtesy to ask Indigenous Australians whether they want large parts of isolated land smothered by transmission poles and wires and Chinese-manufactured solar panels.

Throwing the switch to abuse, Y.V. went on to describe nuclear energy as “a fool’s wager”. He also declared that the “United States has started a new Cold War against China”.  Oh, yes, he described Donald J. Trump as “despicable”.  But did not criticise the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.

Meanwhile, on Q+A at the same time, The Australia Institute’s 30th Anniversary guest was giving advice to the Australian government via Ed Husic, the Minister for Industry and Science in the Albanese Labor government, at whom he pointed an angry finger.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Yanis Varoufakis: And everything I’ve heard from you [Ed Husic] today on this issue is a cop-out. It is your responsibility to tax the resource industry, to …you know, just do away with HECS. It was a terrible reform by the ALP under the Dawkins reforms. It was a catastrophe for the universities. The quality of university education has suffered as a result. The buildings are much nicer, because vice-chancellors receive a million bucks in order to be real estate developers, while the levels of university education are plummeting. Social housing. You talked about increasing the supply of housing. Absolutely. What are you doing about that? It’s not going to increase on its own. You need to build social housing.

Ed Husic: That’s exactly what we’re doing.

Yanis Varoufakis: Yeah, and you’re not doing it.

Ed Husic: No, no. Well, you can say we’re not doing it and that’s fine to be living a life fact-free.

Minister Husic was correct.  Marxist economists like Y.V. invariably live a fact-free life.

And now for an inconvenient truth (to borrow a cliché).  In the June 2023 Greek election, Varoufakis’ MeRA25 party failed to pass the threshold to gain a place in the Greek parliament and, consequently, Y.V. failed to be reelected.  The bar was only 3 per cent and MeRA25 scored a miserly 2.5 per cent or thereabouts.

So, there you have it.  The Australia Institute/ABC Entente gave a platform to Comrade Varoufakis to lecture Australia on politics and economics – despite the fact that fewer than 3 per cent of the Greek population agree with his Marxist policies.

The Australia Institute/ABC Entente in operation.

[Good stuff. Perhaps this should have gone in your (hugely popular) “Can You Bear It?” segment. By the way, have you noticed that on Yanis’ website he says that, after a couple of years on the staff at Sydney University from 1988-2000, he quit Australia due primarily to “that awful little man John Howard” – and returned to Greece.  So, Australia’s loss became Greece’s loss.  However, I note that Marxist Yanis Varoufakis still holds an Australian passport – Can You etc. –  MWD Editor.]



An avid Media Watch Dog reader has urged Ellie’s male co-owner to focus more on Sky News presenter Liz Storer. So much so that he has identified a recent John-Laws-Style-Deliberate-Mistake when MWD referred to Sky News’ The Late Debate (starring Caleb Bond, James Macpherson and Liz Storer) as “The Great Debate”.  Good point. It’s always late but not always great – as this segment attests.  In any event, MWD has risen to the occasion and will run a Liz Storer Moment segment from time to time.

In previous MWD issues, attention has been drawn to the fact that Ms Storer believes that fresh food is included in the GST. It isn’t.  And that NATO is responsible for the decision of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine.  It isn’t.  Perhaps in a late hour it was a case of Liz Storer channelling Tucker Carlson, who was stood down by Fox News not so long ago. Thank God.

On 19 March, believe it or not, The Late Debate focused on the announcement by the Australian Football League that it would establish a Tasmanian football club based in Hobart to compete in the national AFL competition.  Ellie’s (male) co-owner, who has lived in Tasmania, is not sure whether this will eventually occur.  However, the new Tassie Club now has a guernsey – or as Victorians used to say, a jumper. All that’s missing is two score of good Aussie Rules players and a new oval in Hobart.

But MWD digresses.  MWD just loved it when there was a Storer (who professed to be a Greater Western Sydney fan) outburst about the new jumper.  Let’s go to the transcript:

James Macpherson: …The Tasmanian Mercury’s got on the front page, photographs of the new Tasmanian Devils AFL football team jersey. But there’s the jersey, you can see it on the front page. Liz, we’ll give you first crack at it…do you like the jersey or do you hate it?

Liz Storer: It’s so ugly, it’s so ugly. Look, I don’t know who sat down and pitched what ideas.  …the person who pitched the outline of the state with a “T” for Tasmania in the middle won out…. I know they haven’t played football before, but have they seen a jersey before? Because that does not hold water when you look at the other teams.

Caleb Bond: I mean and look, part of the problem is of course that Tasmania has the highest rates of functional illiteracy in the state. So putting…the “T” on it is probably –

Liz Storer: Caleb –

Caleb Bond: But the green is absolutely awful. It’s –

James Macpherson: But these are their traditional colours. They [Tasmania] have worn these colours when they’ve played state [football] –

Caleb Bond: Sure, but you don’t have to make it the main part, like the yellowy sort of colour is a better colour. Yellow and red, right? You could have played up on that and sort of made the teal colour…

And now for some facts.  Liz Storer claims that Tasmania “hasn’t played football before”.  In fact, Tasmania has been playing Australian Rules Football since the late 19th Century – and, in the words of the song, that’s a long, long time. Moreover, the proposed “Devils” jumper is similar to the traditional Tasmanian jumper and can be traced back to seven decades at least. As Macpherson understands.

As to the suggestion that the Tasmanian jumper should not be basically green but should have a “yellow and red colour”. Well, MWD understands that Mr Bond may know lots about horses – but not so much about football.  The Gold Coast Suns AFL team already has a jumper which is essentially yellow and red – as Macpherson tried to say in between interruptions.  For the record, when your man Bond bagged the colour green he was wearing a green tie with a green handkerchief placed in the top pocket of his suit.

MWD’s suggestion: The Late Debate needs more knowledge on the panel – lest it becomes “The Last Debate”.  But not too soon – because Liz Storer is sure to provide lotsa copy for MWD with a little help from` Caleb Bond. By the way, at the end of the football discussion, both Ms Storer and Mr Bond declared that Tasmania was truly a great place. Except for AFL jumpers, it seems.



There has been enormous interest among Media Watch Dog readers concerning the Big Question Of Our Time. Namely, did Phillip Adams AO etc quit the Communist Party of Australia in 1956 at age 17 following the Soviet Union’s crushing of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956? – as he once said.  Or did he quit the CPA circa 1970 in the wake of the Soviet Union’s crushing of the Prague Spring in 1968? – as he once said.

MWD  has called on Comrade Adams to release his ASIO file – which he says exists – to resolve the issue.  But one avid reader doubts that such an entity exists (see MWD Issue 673). While another has advised that no one could join the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) until reaching 18 years of age.  Which would mean that the ABC’s Man-in-Black quit the CPA in 1956 before he joined it on turning 18 in 1957. Which can’t be correct, can it?

Thanks to the avid reader who drew MWD’s  attention to the interview by Phillip Adams of Polly Toynbee, The Guardian’s  London-based columnist.  Comrade Toynbee was in Australia for the taxpayer funded leftist-stack that was the 2024 Adelaide Writers’ Week – where she plugged her new book Uneasy inheritance:  My family and other radicals.  Polly Toynbee is the daughter of Philip Toynbee (1916-1981) – a journalist and novelist of wealthy stock.  The interview took place on ABC Radio National Late Night Live on 29 February 2024.

Comrade Adams initially spoke to Comrade Toynbee about her comradely old man:

Phillip Adams: Now, your father [Philip Toynbee], I love him because he was the first ever commo [i.e. communist] president of the Oxford Union.

Polly Toynbee: Yes, indeed. He was a communist up until 1939 and the Hitler- Stalin pact, when a whole lot of people marched out of the Communist Party [of Britain] at that point. And [he] was never a communist again.

He was always a radical. He was a founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. He was a great protester and campaigner. He then became a sort of early ecologist in a way – and could see that the world would starve if we all went on eating meat. So, he became a vegetarian and he founded an agricultural commune with his house. Giving it away to a commune of a whole lot of people who increasingly just turned out to be kind of hippies crashing out – and were not much interested in doing the digging necessary for an agricultural commune. And the thing fell apart in absolute disaster. But it was a very ideological, a very idealistic idea.

Phillip Adams: Well, take the CND on its own. Heavens above, the scale of those marches was immense….

So, how about that?  Phillip Adams, who joined the CPA circa 1956, did not want to talk about Philip Toynbee quitting the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) almost two decades earlier in 1939 in protest at the Hitler-Stalin Pact.

Nor did your man Adams want to address the fate of the oh-so-wealthy vegetarian socialist’s agriculture commune which failed because its sandal-wearing Guardian-reading hippies were too stoned and/or drunk to dig for – say – spuds. [Just as well Polly’s old man never ran Britain with his left-wing socialist/communal/vegetarian/ sandal-wearing ideology. – MWD Editor.]

Instead, the LNL presenter turned the conversation to Britain’s CND which thought it was a you-beaut idea if the West gave up all its nuclear weapons and left the fate of the world to the communist totalitarianism dictators in the Soviet Union – that is, the heirs of Lenin, Stalin and Brezhnev. There is no fool like a unilateralist disarmament socialist fool – but at least Philip Toynbee quit the Communist Party in late 1939.


Because Media Watch Dog will be taking what journalists like to call a Well-Earned-Break (or WEB) over Easter, this is the last MWD for the month.

Due to extraordinary popular demand, Ellie’s (male) co-owner has decided to let the said canine choose her “Pick of the Month”. She has chosen MWD’s fave cartoonist Johannes Leak for this (dog-friendly) cartoon which was published in The Australian on Friday 8 March. It relates to the announcement that Virgin Australia will allow some animals on some flights sometime in the future. This cartoon is also very much a Hendo fave since he cannot bear men who wear singlets and shorts and no shoes (or even sandals) at any time.

Moreover, Johannes Leak’s portrayal reminded Hendo of this somewhat ungrammatical Irish poem of no known origin which was published in MWD on 16 February. The Leak cartoon plus the Irish poem provide a convenient unity ticket for dogs and pigs to call for higher standards among humans.

It was a year ago, September
a day I well remember
I was walking up and down
in drunken pride
when my knees began to flutter
and I fell down in the gutter
and a pig came by and lay down by my side
As I lay there in the gutter
thinking thoughts I could not utter
I thought I heard a passing lady say,
“You can tell a man who boozes
by the company he chooses…”
And with that, the pig got up and walked away



Until Next Time – after Easter.