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Censorship By Australian Taxpayer-funded ABC And University-Backed The Conversation

By Dr Gideon Polya

30 April, 2012

Censorship violates human communication and fundamentally subverts science-based rational risk management that is crucial for societal safety. Censorship plays a major role in the transformation of  Western democracies to neofascist, corporatist  Murdochracies (Big Money buys public perception of the truth and hence votes) and Lobbyocracies (Big Money buys politicians, parties, policies, public perception of reality, and votes). As outlined below, censorship is entrenched in Murdochracy and Lobbyocracy Australia , with major perpetrators  including the taxpayer-funded ABC (the Australian equivalent of the UK BBC) and the Australian universities–backed and academic-based web magazine, The Conversation..

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC) is a taxpayer-funded broadcasting organization and is the Australian equivalent of the UK BBC. In addition to news reportage, the ABC (TV, radio and On-line) has a key role in Australia 's cultural life through involvement in the Arts (especially music and films), public education and  public discourse in numerous areas through numerous programs. Affectionately known to its supporters as "Aunty", the ABC has an important role in a country in which most of the print media are owned by either the Murdoch or Fairfax media empires and Rupert Murdoch's New Limited has 70% of the daily newspaper readership. False, unethical, biased and indeed criminal reportage has led to calls for a boycott of Murdoch media world-wide (see "Boycott Murdoch Media": https://sites.google.com/site/boycottmurdochmedia/   ).

The ABC has traditionally trodden a path of "balance" between the 2 major political groups in Australia , namely the Liberal Party-National Party Coalition (traditionally Right) and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) (traditionally Left) (collectively known as the Lib-Labs or as the Liberal-Laborals). However  a huge shift to the Right by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has turned it into a  pro-Zionist, pro-US, pro-war, pro-fossil fuels, anti-environment Alternative Liberal Party, Another Liberal Party, an Apartheid Labor Party, an Apartheid Israel-supporting Labor Party, an American Lackey Party and the Australian Lying Party.  This Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist  (NAZI)-impelled rightward shift of the ALP has meant  that the ABC now typically positions itself between the Right Labs and the often Extreme Right Libs. While the news service and commentary of the ABC and of the multi-cultural,  taxpayer-supported SBS (or Special Broadcasting Service) are a quantum jump above the trivial, parochial, right wing and politically biased offerings of the commercial media networks, they increasingly reflect a major neocon American and Zionist influence leading to an appalling record of mal-reportage, lying by omission and lying by commission to the detriment of Australia and to the benefit of a racist, genocidal, nuclear terrorist US and its  racist, genocidal, nuclear terrorist rogue state offshoot, racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel.

In the public interest I have set up a website “ABC Censorship” dedicated to recording censorship and mal-reportage by the ABC (see “ABC Censorship”: https://sites.google.com/site/abccensorship/ ) . In particular,    the ABC Radio National Late Night (LNL) program is an interview program compered by one Phillip Adams who, while "middle of the road"  and self-declaredly “progressive”, also writes for the extreme right wing newspaper “The Australian”, the Australian national flagship of the pro-war, climate change denialist US Murdoch Empire that has secured 70% of city daily newspaper readership in Australia.  The ABC regularly censors out various listener comments to the LNL program, presumably because they contain facts or opinions the ABC does not want its listeners to know about or think about. Commenter criticism of racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel or of the racist, genocidal US Alliance gives a good chance for a comment being censored. As a social experiment and for the historical record, I have set up a website that documents comments I make to all  ABC Radio National Late Night Live (LNL) programs and records which comments are censored. This provides a documented record of what the ABC does not want its listeners to know about or think about  (see “ABC Late Night Live (LNL) censors listener comments”: https://sites.google.com/site/abccensorship/abc-late-night-live-1  ).  

The Australian universities–backed and academic-based web magazine, The Conversation, is a very welcome initiative in Australian media. It invites and publishes articles by academic scholars  and other experts and invites reader comments. The reader comments are typically non-anonymous and often from professional people with relevant expertise.  Unfortunately, I have already encountered many instances of censorship by The Conversation of comments posted by me. It is likely that this abuse goes much further than censorship of just one widely published, 5-decade career Australian scientist. I have a resolute mantra “Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity”. I would be complicit in such censorship if I remained silent. Accordingly, I have created this website “Censorship by The Conversation” to systematically record such censorship in the interests of free speech, Australia , Humanity and indeed of The Conversation itself. Unfortunately The Censorship apparently “wants its cake and to eat it too”  - in (a) wanting to censor out things it evidently does not want its  readers to read, know about or think about” and (b) not wanting others to be aware of the censorship -  because it has terminated my experiment by  “locking my account” i.e. by preventing me from posting further comments on articles published by The Conversation (for details of this censorship and my responses to  it see “Censorship by The Conversation”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by ).

Censorship is anathema to scholars because it subverts the process of scientific search for truth (the critical testing of potentially falsifiable  hypotheses based on uncensored information) and the science-based process of  rational risk management  required to minimize safety threats. Evelyn Hall writing under the pseudonym of Stephen G Tallentyre in “The Friends of Voltaire” (1906),wrote the phrase often mis-attributed to Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" (see Evelyn Beatrice Hall, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Beatrice_Hall ). Crucial to defence of free speech and the public right to know is reporting censorship. Below is a letter variously sent to MPs, media and scholars in Australia .  

Letter: “ Dear etc

Censorship by the ABC & The Conversation.

The taxpayer-funded ABC and the Australian university-backed and Australian academic-based  web magazine The Conversation have both utterly betrayed a fundamental intellectual principle by egregiously censoring  informed, scholarly views. As set out in the letter (below) which is  being published worldwide and sent to Australian MPs, media and scholars, this unacceptable censorship has serious implications for the standing, public funding and both local and overseas student perception of universities and other institutions  backing The Conversation, notably  (according to The Conversation) the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Western Australia, RMIT, and CSIRO.

Yours sincerely, Dr Gideon Polya.

Dear etc,

Rational risk management crucial for societal safety successively involves (a) accurate information, (b) scientific analysis (the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses) and (c), informed systemic change to minimize risk. However this is routinely perverted by (a) censorship, self-censorship, lying, intimidation and obfuscation, (b)  anti-science spin involving the selective  use of asserted facts to support a partisan position (e.g. re injustice, war and climate change denialism), and (c) blame and shame that inhibits reportage and hence increases risk of adverse events

Censorship, lying by commission and lying by omission subvert rational risk management but are dangerously entrenched in the Western Lobbyocracies in which Big Money buys public perception of reality, politicians, parties, policies and votes (e.g. it cost the Mining Industry a mere $22 million to remove a popularly elected Australian Prime Minister). However taxpayers and MPs must stop censorship by the taxpayer-funded ABC (notably by “Late Night Live”, LNL) and the Australian university-backed and academic-based webzine The Conversation which both censor informed, scholarly opinions.

For details Google “ABC Censorship”, ”LNL censors”, and “Censorship by The Conversation” (from which I have now been blocked from commenting). Why should overseas students attend Australian universities linked to censorship?

Yours sincerely,

Dr Gideon Polya (contact details).

PS “ABC Censorship: https://sites.google.com/site/abccensorship/ ; “LNL censorship”: https://sites.google.com/site/abccensorship/abc-late-night-live-1 ; “Censorship by The Conversation”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by .” End letter.


The taxpayer-funded ABC is an important institution in the intellectual life of Australia . The Australian universities–backed and academic-based web magazine, The Conversation, potentially has a comparable role. However censorship by both the ABC and The Conversation subverts and perverts this role. The free speech of Australian intellectuals and academics is already constrained   (e.g. see Gideon Polya, “Current academic censorship and self-censorship in Australian universities”, Public University Journal, volume 1, Conference Supplement, “Transforming the Australia University”, Melbourne, 9-10 December 2001: http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/57092/20080218-1150/www.publicuni.org/jrnl/volume/1/jpu_1_s_polya.pdf and Gideon Polya, “Crisis is our Universities”, ABC Radio National Ockham's Razor, 19 August 2001: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/crisis-in-our-universities/3490214 ). Google the phrase “Why you should study in Australia ” and you will find over 1 million results, headed by numerous reasons offered by the Australian Government  as to why overseas student should study in Australia . However universities  which are complicit in censorship are neither fit  for scholarly researchers  nor for students .  Decent, responsible people must speak out to defend  free speech against society-perverting censorship. Please tell everyone you can – only free speech can defeat the insidious evil of censorship.

Dr Gideon Polya has been teaching science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/ bengalfamine_programme.html ). When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/ .


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