Saturday, 21 May 2016

Community leaders issue statement Duncan Storrar - "a line crossed"

A group of community leaders have issued a statement, expressing deep concern at the way Duncan Storrar was vilified by the Murdoch media and saying "A line has been crossed".

I've already done much raving myself over the whole issue and the way it challenges democracy, so there's not much more I can add to that. 

The letter is entitled "Civil society statement of concern", and is supported by 35 community leaders representing the poor and disadvantaged.
Australian community leaders have publicly expressed concern about Q&A audience member Duncan Storrar’s “extreme” targeting by the media, singling out News Corp Australia newspapers for their “abuse of power”. 

The Civil Society statement of concern, published on Friday, said Storrar’s question to the panel about tax-free thresholds had been “appropriate and civil”, but had opened him up to an “onslaught of personal investigations, attacks, intrusion into his privacy [and] family, and ridicule”. 

The letter noted that Storrar had identified himself as having a disability, and singled out the Australian and Herald-Sun newspapers for their coverage. 

“The patent disregard of the impact of this reporting on an individual is an abuse of power. 

“We believe it’s time to ask why a member of the community is being targeted in an extreme way for simply asking a question about the fairness of a tax cut on a national broadcaster during an election campaign. 

“The issues involved go beyond one individual and represent a turning point for the open debate, discussion, criticism and dissent which underpin our free society.” 

It ended by calling for political leaders to protect public participation by voters, particularly those on low incomes, who have a mental illness or a disability, or are vulnerable or marginalised. The Guardian 

 Letter here.