Robert Manne reveals his inner Leninist

The Left’s back to front projection a text book Alice looking glass

Robert Manne is at it again, accusing the Murdoch press for the very thing the ABC and Fairfax do so well. Whilst News Limited and Fairfax are private companies and should be able to do what they like, the ABC is paid through my taxes and shouldn’t.

Andrew Bolt deals with some of Manne’s silly ideas. To the fear mongering notion that “NEWS Ltd owns 70 per cent of the circulation of major newspapers in Australia”, Bolt points out that

A more accurate way of putting it is that 70 per cent of Australians who buy a newspaper prefer to buy one published by News Ltd, rather than its competitors.

Indeed. To the charge by Manne that Murdoch “has a powerful set of ideological beliefs and is determined to maintain tight control over the political line of all his papers on issues that interest him” Bolt reveals this as a delusion. I call it a case of such wild projection by a Left dominated brain, that it could be straight out of a Lewis Carroll looking glass story.

Yet, curiously, the papers of this dictator employ journalists or regular columnists as divided on those issues as me and Jill Singer, Piers Akerman and Phillip Adams, Janet Albrechtsen and Susie O’Brien, Dennis Atkins and Tim Blair; Paul Howes and Henry Ergas… At the last election, his papers were split, 50-50, on which side to support.  If this is “tight control over the political line”, then the ABC and Age must be positively Stalinist, especially given that the Age does not employ a single on-staff conservative columnist.

Manne, in his article, continues in his deluded way stating,

The Australian has conducted a prolonged and intellectually incoherent campaign against action on climate change and undermined the hold in public life of the central values of the Enlightenment, Science and Reason. This has helped make action by any Australian government on the most serious question of contemporary times far more difficult than it ought to have been.

Isn’t it The Australian that has often offered Manne the opportunity to express his views?

In an invitation to discuss openly with Henry Ergas on a range of issues that included a discussion on climate change in The Australian, unfortunately, Manne at that very test, showed that his understanding of the “Enlightenment, Science and Reason” was very shaky, and gives us a clue as to why this makes the “most serious question of contemporary times far more difficult than it ought to have been.


I have always thought Manne is his own worst, and pompous, enemy. I remember he started his discussion on global warming with the claim, “When I was a boy, part of the English syllabus was called ‘clear thinking’.

In an excellent comment by manalive in a Catallaxy File on Manne’s article, he makes the following observation:

I remember that, in fact the recommended text book was called Clear Thinking by R.W.Jepson, I still have a copy.

The most important fact is that there is a consensual view among qualified scientists about the cause of climate change

In the chapter Common Fallacies Jepson writes: “…argumentum ad verecundiam is appealing to reverence for some respected authority, or some venerable institution….these arguments are all irrelevant…” Robert has forgotten that bit.

Whether it’s a fact that there is a consensual view has been disputed but is irrelevant and a theory about what may or may not happen in the future (Manne’s “profound effects”–presumably the IPCC “projections”) is by definition speculative.

2 Responses to “Robert Manne reveals his inner Leninist”

  1. Robert Manne reveals his inner Leninist | Cranky Old Crow Says:

    […] Robert Manne reveals his inner Leninist Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. David B. in Newtown, Sydney Says:

    Good article Andrew. Manne is a mediocrity, an intellectual sardine in the tiny and foetid pond that is the Australian green left. Lazy, repetitive and gutless.

    People have been puzzling for years why so many reasonably intelligent people are communist/socialist. A good read on this subject is F.A. Hayek’s “The Intellectuals and Socialism” – written in 1949!

    Read it here:

    By the way, it’s Murdoch not Murdock.

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