ABC Friends News

Howard – Cabinet Papers Reveal ABC Frustration

The release of the 2001 cabinet papers has revealed the high level of anti-ABC sentiment in John Howard’s government.

But they also show how Howard was frustrated by the broadcaster’s popularity.

According to reports, the cabinet papers show how support for the ABC in rural and regional areas, in particular, often threw up roadblocks to the government’s wishes for more cuts.

Just like Tony Abbott, John Howard had made a “no ABC cuts” pre-election promise, only to slash funding and axe the ABC’s overseas television services.

The Morrison government has its own secret agenda: it is refusing to outline its plans for the next ABC budget in spite of the impending election.

READ A GUARDIAN REPORT ABOUT THE REVELATIONS

According to a Guardian report:

The ABC’s relationship with the Howard government was never easy, and the 2001 cabinet papers,…reveal tensions between the government’s desire for budget cuts and fear of alienating its supporters who valued the national broadcaster.

Howard’s senior adviser, Grahame Morris, characterised the ABC as “our enemy talking to our friends” and Howard himself had accused the broadcaster of being left-leaning.

It’s just another illustration of how ingrained disdain for the ABC has become within the Liberal Party, which still does everything it can to undermine our precious public broadcaster.

The ABC has also broadcast a special interview with John Howard to explore the cabinet papers in general.

WATCH THE ABC DOCUMENTARY WITH JOHN HOWARD