Does your view of the world tally with what the media are telling you?

May 3, 2018

I awoke this morning to Radio National telling me that United States President Donald Trump could be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize.

What the … is black white? Had I awoken in a dystopian parallel universe?

Last week, the creep was bombing Syria. This week he’s the world’s greatest peacemaker and British bookies are slashing the odds on Trump and Kim Jong-un getting a Nobel Prize!

Of course, in reality, most of this is hype. The negotiating is happening between the two Koreas and it appears hopeful. Kim Jong-un met the Chinese previously — no mention of them — and Trump doesn’t even have an appointment. But we’re all being asked to believe that this self-aggrandising, narcissistic, foul-mouthed misogynist is actually a brilliant deal maker?

Talk about fake news. Everything that normal working-class people believe in is being turned on its head and we are expected to approve or support things that are the diametric opposite of what we really think. All in an attempt to have us unquestioningly support the anarchic enterprises of the rich and powerful.

For example, the federal government, and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in particular, would have us believe coal is good for the world, despite the fact that 97% of climate scientists say the opposite and 70–80% of Australians believe climate change is occurring due to human activities.

The Australia Institute’s latest survey shows that 60% of Australians now think that coal power should be phased out by 2030.

Yet what is making the headlines all over Australia right now? Alinta Energy has put in a bid to buy AGL Energy’s aging Liddell coal plant.

Why? Because the government wants AGL to keep the facility going rather than invest in renewables and keep electricity prices down. It’s all about what is best for their mates and investors, not about the health of the planet or our collective future.

Remember the mantra: tax cuts for the wealthy are good for everyone, unions are bad, banks are good — nobody really believes that now surely? — and African gangs are rampaging throughout Melbourne!

But here are the facts:

Trickle down economics is fake: it never existed anywhere,” according to that august body, The Financial Review, last August. Even Warren Buffet, the third-richest person in the world, agrees that wealth in the last 40 years has tended to surge upward, not downward.

The International Monetary Fund agrees that tax cuts largely only exacerbate inequality. They increase the wealth of upper income households but lead to government cuts making life for poorer households worse. Sort of obvious, don’t you think?

Meanwhile ACTU studies show that unionised workplaces are safer, with 70% of workers in unionised workplaces more likely to be aware of occupational health and safety hazards. Also, numerous studies have been done worldwide, showing that where workers have a choice to join a union in their workplace, especially during a struggle, a significant majority will do so.

Finally, the latest Crime Statistics Agency report shows there are only about 150 young Africans involved in crime out of an immigrant African population of 94,000. In fact, Victoria’s overall crime rate fell by 9.9% last year.

All these facts and debates can usually be found in Green Left Weekly. This is where you can actually find out what is happening in the world.

We, like all media, are not without our bias. We’re pro-people, pro-environment, pro-working class and a lot of other progressive causes as well. We don’t hide our bias. We wear it as a badge of honour because we believe that another world is possible and worth fighting for.

So next time you’re thinking about the cost of a subscription or what you’re going to spend your tax return on, remember there’s no fake news in Green Left Weekly, only pro-the 99% facts. But we need your help to keep up this effort.

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