Cheaper porn

Look, I know I’ve previously painted the Nationals as whingeing, handouts-addicted communist dinosaurs. But to be not entirely unfair, people in the country are among the most vulnerable when it comes to Corporate Greed vs The Little Guy. And the main point of regulation is a mechanism to balance when the free market doesn’t deliver social equity. Well, that’s the point of regulation in my little fantasy world, anyway.

It’s all a question of what you define as equitable, innit? I don’t believe there are great social justice issues involved that justify me being forced to pay higher prices for my internet connection in order to give people in Gilgandra and Yarloop cheaper broadband so they can download porn faster. But that’s just me.

So perhaps it’s worth listening when country types start complaining that relaxing the media ownership laws could well result in some regions being dominated by a single owner (there’s an older article from The Age or here in the Financial Review, if you have a subscription).

On the other hand, I fail to see how this would make much of a difference since people in the country seem to get all their information on the outside world from watching A Current Affair and Landline anyway. (And of course porn sites they accessed through their me-subsidised broadband.) The number of rural-raised people I met at university who said, “Wow, I’ve never a Jewish person before! Where are your horns?” . . .

Of greater concern to Nationals MPs, it seems to me, is the potential that a single dominant media player might have considerable power over the results of elections, as David Crowe and Neil Shoebridge seem to be saying in the Fin. You wouldn’t want to have a situation where Nationals MPs can’t get elected without sucking up to the media barons . . . any more than they do already. But fortunately the Nats can legislate to make sure this never happens! Isn’t democracy beautiful?

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