Q&A’s TPP fail

By Leith van Onselen

Last night’s Q&A program aired on The ABC was pathetic.

Despite having Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, on the panel, and negotiations for the highly contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal drawing to a close, chair Tony Jones failed to allow one question on the issue, despite assurances that there would be a discussion.

As shown in the above video extract, at the 52 minute mark of the program an audience member grew frustrated at the lack of discussion and called-out demanding their question on the TPP be addressed:

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I’m sorry the show is nearly over and you haven’t talked about the TPP, the biggest trade deal… This deal is going to effect ..(indistinct)…

Amid boos from the audience, Tony Jones replied:

TONY JONES: The show is not nearly over and we have a question on that subject if you’d just hold your horses?…

All right. Okay, thank you. You’ve made that point. We’re going to come to that question in a minute, so Andrew Robb…

What then proceeded was a ten minute discussion about an autistic boy being deported, which took up all of the remaining time on the program.

So instead of using the show as an opportunity to grill Andrew Robb on the TPP – a very important agreement that could adversely affect the price we pay for pharmaceuticals (amongst other things) and the nation’s sovereignty – precious time was wasted on more trivial issues, including Tony Abbott’s beer drinking.

Epic fail Tony Jones and the ABC.

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    • agree, q&a lost the plot 3 years ago when Tony got so progressive he progressed up his own arse

    • “That’s ABC communists for ya!”

      That’s ABC corporatist for ya! – Fixed

      Skippy…. Kinda like the 4corners bit on university’s…. lower compliance [ testing {actually everything}] leads to larger profits [in the short term].

  1. Trying to protect his own job.
    Oddly enough its Clarke and Dawe that may be more of an endangered species these days with politicians like Hockey displaying an almost unique ability to write and perform their own skits. Difficult to comprehend at times. Its as if the interviewer is present but not at all there.

  2. “chair Tony Jones failed to allow one question on the issue, despite assurances that there would be a discussion.”
    Dons my tinfoil hat!

    The evidence that this ‘internationalisation’ of Aus by selling it out to the benefit of a very small very powerful elite group mounts! Like Barnaby Joyce Jones probably got a ‘quiet’ word in his ear some time before the programne was to go to air.

  3. The pharmacy guilds are being quiet on this. The gossip (and it is just unconfirmed gossip) im hearing suggests the guilds are deliberately not addressing the issue of the TPP and pharmaceutical costs because they are closing ranks to oppose the govt on changes to the pharmacy restrictions for the re-negotiation on the agreements that is currently taking place. I think the big one at the moment is the govt wants to remove the restrictions that exist on where a pharmacy can be opened and/or move to. It seems they dont want to say anything that would cause the govt to harden their stance in negotiations.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      The Pharmacy Guild is THE most powerful rent seeker in the nation, no word of a lie.

      • Hence the need to bring in the American fix via walmartification… that will fix them ev’bal rentiers… eh.

        Skippy… walmartification… Life of Liberty and Freedom… and lower prices… next on the menu is the AMA and their socialistic tendency’s…..

    • “I think the big one at the moment is the govt wants to remove the restrictions that exist on where a pharmacy can be opened and/or move to.”

      That’s exactly the opposite of my understanding. I’ve read several articles suggesting that Abbott will not touch the pharmacy union.

    • +1 the show is a failure. Best it be canned. TJ is a nice grey fox but the wankery instead of true debate on this show makes it unwatchable and irrelevant.

  4. “Mr Jones, here is the list of questions we will answer. We will not be addressing the TPP in any way or your funding will be cut.”

    Liberal party spin doctor.

    • Why the hell would Indonesia want Robb and Jones? They are hardly likely to spend 10 years rehabilitating Indonesia prisoners of their own initiative knowing their reward will be a horrific death.

  5. I was sitting there tweeting about QandAs cr#p panel with Hinch and treasonous Robb.
    I was bereft, continually tweeting and asking when they’d ask Robb (dropping the nom de plume of TRAITOR ROBB) about the TPP but all we got was the endless commentary about his depression (not to diminish the disease)

    And I love Dave Hughes but what a waste of a panel spot

    What about the Shadow TRade Minister or Ludlam

    Turned it off in disgust

    I note they didn’t show any tweets about TPP, usual tweeters (JB_AU) in the QandA echo chamber

    • The most interesting shows are the ones where they get one or more pollies from the cross bench parties. They overdosed a few weeks ago by putting Lambie, Larissa Waters and John Madigan together which kind of defeats the purpose.

  6. TPP should have been first cab off rank

    I was yelling at the telly again…

    Autisic boy was ultimately a non-issue – absolute commitment from both sides that minsterial intervention will and always has – intervened in such cases. Bloody cuddly wombat story ultimately.

    Yep – the ABC is soooo left wing biased.

    Krudd Loosing it (ABC)

    Separate Disastrous interview – during which I said to wife – he’s gone – he’s going to get knifed (ABC)

    Gillard Hammered On carbon (ABC)

    3d – got any examples of a hard interview of a Liberal on News, Sky etc?……

  7. Almost as bad as a few weeks ago when they have Kelly O’Dwyer (Lib) and Ed Husic (ALP) on the show.

    I was rubbing my hands with anticipation to see O’Dwyer tear stips of Husic for not support her Parliamentary Inquiry into FIRB enforcement.

    Not a single bloody question!!
    Instead we got a bunch of harebrained shlock from Nanna Mouskouri and extended discussion about the fiscal problems of – GREECE. Apparently we don’t have anything in Australia worth discussing so it all must be good.

  8. frag outMEMBER

    I gauged the extent of it within a few mins and turned it off before getting upset. Panel had no idea from the first question asked of them.

  9. QandA.

    What a disgrace. It’s backed by Labor, Greens and now LNP.

    Vested interests beat everything. Ethics, integrity, Australia’s future, what’s right. All come dead fucking last to self interest.

    Well done Australia for being the biggest suckers on the planet.

  10. The left are so tied up in knots, all they can deal with is micro issues.

    They have been taught by the best micro issue party, the Greens. Exactly what I’ve been talking about. Left wing morons killing Australia.

    Want to fix Australia? Get rid of the Greens.

    God help this country.

    • You DO realize that the Greens cant do anything on their own? At worst they are only accomplices to whatever Labor does.

      I think you need a reality check.

      • Not true Paul. They had the power last term and did nothing useful other than destroy Labor (actually that is pretty useful, but they didn’t mean it).

        They had the power when they voted no to opening up housing land. They have the power to get the ear of the media and the retarded idiots can’t talk about anything but gay marriage, carbon and micro issues. They are killing Australia. Actually it’s the clowns voting for them that are killing Australia.

      • “They had the power when they voted no to opening up housing land.”

        What was the legislation they voted against?

      • @Paul.

        “Ted Bullpit generation…any new party that has policies about “gays” and “carbon”.


        I couldn’t care less who you or anyone else sleeps with. I just couldn’t care less. Never have done. It’s so irrelevant to who someone is. Yes, gay marriage should be law but it shouldn’t be shackling all else from moving forward.

        As for carbon, it’s an issue sure but it’s not the only environmental issue by fucking light years. Don’t assume I’m a redneck because I don’t agree with the absolute garbage priorities of the dirty stinking filthy corrupt Greens.

    • “Want to fix Australia? Get rid of the Greens.”

      You’re aware of course that the Greens are against the TPP and metadata retention.

  11. surflessMEMBER

    Tony Jones and ABC have failed to hold politicians accountable, especially last night with Andrew Robb MP. Q and A is now just tabloid TV, like Today Tonight or A Current Affair, should see Tony Jones ‘selling’ miracle cures!

  12. David E.H. Smith

    TPP & Global Treaties
    Corporate America, Wall St., Congress; Deluded, or, Delluding; IGNORAMUS et IGNORABIMUS?
    Blaming & Punishing Info Deprived Americans, Canadians, et al. Global Treaties Not about How Much Trade, but, How to & Who to Trade with and ‘Undermine’ AIIB.

    The limited number of direct beneficiaries of the TPP, TTIP (China -Canada Investment Treaty) & the other global treaties (ie. the global corporate leaders & their ‘preferred’ shareholders), are most desperate to keep from the prying, due diligence eyes of the of the potential global un-preferred shareholders’ & the harmless NON shareholders.

    The fact of the matter is, the flurry of global treaties have very little to do with trade. The treaties are about ‘preferred’ trading partners who are successfully attempting to legitimize for the signatories of the treaty/’Arrangements’, settlements of the TPP’s ‘contrived’ disputes, et al, by enabling the parties to alleged ‘disputes’ to use non adversarial settlements whereby,
    the corporations & preferred shareholders ‘merely’ shift all of their costs from themselves to the harmless NON shareholder & the un-preferred shareholders, ie. the general public/individual taxpayers.

    These costs include the costs of determining:
    1) which harmless non shareholders will have to pay corporations & some SHAREHOLDERS (‘preferred’ SHAREHOLDERS) for the corporations’ ‘mistakes’, contrivances, unrealistic, &/or, any expectations, etc.,
    2) how high (win-fall) the punitive penalties, awards, damages, etc. will be
    without the harmless NON shareholder being represented throughout the determination
    of, not, if the NON shareholders are guilty, but, ‘merely’ how ‘guilty’ the harmless NON shareholders are with no means/opportunity to appeal the decisions by way of the Treaties’ (‘Death-Star-Chamber’) new superseding, cyber jurisdiction Tribunals,
    3) et al.
    For Further Information, see,
    ‘TPP & Global Treaties & Anti AIIB’ below.
    Also see;
    ‘The Submission’ to The SUPREME COURT of CANADA:
    “The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of AMERICA, Australia, Canada, the EU, et al
    the harmless Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al”
    ‘The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?’
    (see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com)
    IS HOLLYWOOD PART of the (TPP Global Treaty & Anti AIIB) PROCESS, or, OUT-of-the LOOP, too?
    – L.A. Times, Apr. 7, 2015, blog

    It may regrettable that the simplest & most basic information & questions that can lead to a much more secure & profitable relationship between the potential signatories of the TPP & China, et al, has not been shared with Defense Secretary Carter for his humble consideration. Perhaps, he may consider answering some of the enclosed questions in order for us to get a better idea of what his understanding is of how the TPP & other Global Treaties can be vastly improved inclusively & thereby, minimize, &/or, eliminate the dangerous problems below that have led some to understand that

    ‘What the TREATY of VERSAILLES was to the 20th century (ie. provided the basis for World War II) PALES in COMPARISON to the TPP, CETA, C-CIT, NAFTA, et al, in the 21st’.

    Unless, of course, the long term economic destabilization and subsequent (secret) military weapons development & appropriations are the intent of DefSec Carter, et al, in the secret (Death-Star-Chamber) ‘arrangements’ of the TPP & the Global Corporate Treaties/Agreements.
    But, how many ‘savvy’ Americans & their global corporate associates are ‘poised’ to make windfall profits from their international cross investments, ‘nest-feathered’ lawsuits & preplanned treaty ‘arrangements’ at the direct expense of the harmless non shareholders, ie. 95% – 99% of America  , et al?
    While the good sales folks of Wall St. may prefer to tell their ‘Enron-able’ customers  who  were also the victims of ‘The Preliminary Foray of The Wall St. Meltdown’, et al, that it’s just some Unions that are fighting back, how much of the Fighting Back of Unions against the Secret, Unethical & Anti-Democratic Arrangements of The Global Treaties’ ‘Death-Star-Chamber’ Tribunals, can be understood in the context of the harmless NON Shareholders, including Union members, fighting to Survive (not ‘thrive’) Against the Uncaring, ‘Profits at Any (body else’s) Costs’, SHAREHOLDERS & their Colluding, Global Corporate Leaders?
    –  Washington Post, blog, Mar. 25, 2015
    FULL Article, see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com
    Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 friends who will share it with 10 others…

  13. Used to love Q&A but stopped years ago. It’s a complete joke and nothing of substance ever gets discussed or achieved

  14. LOL! Bread and circus for the masses.

    You guys are idiots if you think Q&A is the height of intelligence in this country (or even worth watching). The ABC is part of MSM… it’s all drivel.

  15. I doubt you would have liked the discussion even if it had made it onto the agenda. Andrew Robb is resolute in his approach, and unwavering in his belief that it will be to the benefit of the country. Q&A is not genuinely intended as a forum for serious political discourse. It is populist trash. You would have better hope of SkyNews addressing the issue – you should press your cousin on the matter.

  16. “…unwavering in his belief that it will be to the benefit of the country.”

    You’re more generous to him there than I would be. I’d describe him as unwavering in his belief that it will be good for his financial backers and his post-politics career.