Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, May 04, 2003
WHAT'S THIS? Dr Ron Brunton appointed to the ABC Board.

Far too talented a man to have his time wasted on such private head-banging. That's why he was excluded from the ABCWatch manipulative rort, oops, deliberative poll, before Uncle wrote to the Prime Minister with your preferred candidate.

Go on, you do remember.

Christopher Pearson.

Anyway, those of us here at ABCWatch extend our best wishes to Brunton. He'll need more than that, but he won't get it from the media.

Yesterday's Fin Review, which seems to share the general Fairfax aversion to journalism, even applies that cheapest of pre-emptive disqualifications "controversial" to him. It is the frst word in Toni O'Loughlin's item on the matter. Before she even says 'anthropologist', a term that is almost as likely to provoke the disgust reaction in a six-month old child as the image of a spider or the words 'professional historian'.

"On some things I'm conservative but on other things I'm not" says Brunton.

"I'm conservative in my view of human nature...but I'm strongly anti-racist and I'm hostiel to fascism. I'm hostile to the notion of specific rights for particular ethnic or racially defined groups of people but very supportive of human rights."

I am happy to report that Brunton's appointment got a very warm response from Labor's Lindsay Tanner: "Ron Brunton is a hard-line right-wing cultural warrior who has no significant background or expertise in public broadcasting."

Since Lindsay Tanner, were he ever to get into office, would appoint to the ABC Board a busload of failed Labor front-benchers and hacks with no experience of either public broadcasting or the world beyond Labor's Tammany we must regard his remarks as praise by faint condemnation.

The reporters at the Australian yesterday allowed Brunton to say a few words about public broadcasting on his own behalf: "I am very committed to public broadcasting" describing him as "a 58 year-old Sunshine Coast based anthropologist".

The Aus quotes the indefatigable Lindsay Tanner as saying "This would be like the ALP putting (former hardline builders labourers unionist) Norm Gallagher on the ABC Board". It is hard to know whether this is a cheer or a boo, since Labor governments put people like Norm Gallagher in Parliament, if they manage to stay out of gaol.

Still, the communards won't be happy, and that is some small achievement.

They didn't like Brunton's predecessor Michael Kroger either, and he did nothing to constrain the communards' campaigning.

Good luck, Ron Brunton. The world of quality, professional public broadcasting lies before us as we stand in the mire the communards have created.