Four Corners

Four Corners

Proud Country
ABC  |  October 1, 2018

Four Corners brings you a story from the heart of the drought, a portrait of the land and its people, where the lack of rain is biting hard.

It's pushing some to breaking point, but many in this proud country community are doing all they can to give others the strength to carry on.

The people of Quirindi live and work on rich black soil country that they like to boast is the best in the land. Except when it hasn't rained properly for more than a year.

They opened their homes and their lives to reporter Michael Brissenden. Along the way, he encountered characters so large, they could have walked from the pages of Banjo Paterson story.

From the thriving hub of the Country Women's Association, to an unexpected local victory on the dusty rugby field, he found people trying to find a sense of purpose and some joy under the relentless sun.

Some are finding practical ways to make life that little more bearable with the donation of a haircut or a new pair of jeans.

Despite their best efforts, you can sense the quiet desperation sitting just below the surface.

Four Corners brings you a story from the heart of the drought, a portrait of the land and its people, where the lack of rain is biting hard.

It's pushing some to breaking point, but many in this proud country community are doing all they can to give others the strength to carry on.

The people of Quirindi live and work on rich black soil country that they like to boast is the best in the land. Except when it hasn't rained properly for more than a year.

They opened their homes and their lives to reporter Michael Brissenden. Along the way, he encountered characters so large, they could have walked from the pages of Banjo Paterson story.

From the thriving hub of the Country Women's Association, to an unexpected local victory on the dusty rugby field, he found people trying to find a sense of purpose and some joy under the relentless sun.

Some are finding practical ways to make life that little more bearable with the donation of a haircut or a new pair of jeans.

Despite their best efforts, you can sense the quiet desperation sitting just below the surface.

The sophisticated corporate campaign to future-proof the Crown.
"What you get now is a very packaged royalty...It is a very professional operation in spin management, media management, media operations." Author
For almost two weeks Australia has felt the full force of a royal charm offensive. The visit by the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, has been a triumph for the Royal couple and the House of Windsor brand.
"I think the marriage...has injected a real shot of adrenaline into people's interest in the Royal Family." Tabloid royal correspondent
It's a world away from the scandalous 1990s when the Royal family was embroiled in a rolling series of crises, indiscretions and PR disasters leaving them out of fashion and out of step with the times. Some were even talking about the end of the monarchy itself.
"All bets were off with the Royals in the nineties. Spectacular own goals, things that 50 years earlier would have had discreet veils drawn over them: Camillagate, Squidgygate, Tampaxgate, all those terrible, terrible, gruesome little scandals." Author
On Monday Four Corners charts how the Royals have rebuilt their reputation and changed the way they manage "The Firm".
"From those ashes, a lot of lessons have been learned. There's obviously had to be more deliberate management about how people behave, what they're saying, what they're wearing." Global advertising consultant
"It was the Royal family accepting that things needed to change if they were to survive. Survival is the name of the game for the Royal family." Author
The program reveals a highly controlled operation with spin doctors and media management at the forefront.
"You don't see it but... what we see and read about the Royal family is pretty much controlled by them." Former Private Secretary to the Royal household
The Royals are increasingly bypassing traditional media and finding new ways to get their message out by joining the ranks of social media "influencers". Those combined efforts have resulted in one of the most spectacular rebranding exercises in modern times.
"In many ways, they've brought innovation. They're brand innovators to the Royal family." Global advertising consultant
This new image has helped divert attention away from questions over the funding and financial interests of the Royal household.
"We don't know where the money is invested. We don't know where it's spent. We don't know what the income is. We only know what they tell us." Former UK MP
As the palace prepares for the next generation to take the throne, Four Corners examines the very corporate campaign to future-proof the Crown.

Four Corners: Windsor Inc.

News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship

Years 11-12 News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship
45:11
The sophisticated corporate campaign to future-proof the Crown. "What you get now is a very packaged royalty...It is a very professional operation in spin management, media management, media operations." Author For almost two weeks Australia has felt the full force of a royal charm offensive. The visit by the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, has been a triumph for the Royal couple and the House of Windsor brand. "I think the marriage...has injected a real shot of adrenaline into people's interest in the Royal Family." Tabloid royal correspondent It's a world away from the scandalous 1990s when the Royal family was embroiled in a rolling series of crises, indiscretions and PR disasters leaving them out of fashion and out of step with the times. Some were even talking about the end of the monarchy itself. "All bets were off with the Royals in the nineties. Spectacular own goals, things that 50 years earlier would have had discreet veils drawn over them: Camillagate, Squidgygate, Tampaxgate, all those terrible, terrible, gruesome little scandals." Author On Monday Four Corners charts how the Royals have rebuilt their reputation and changed the way they manage "The Firm". "From those ashes, a lot of lessons have been learned. There's obviously had to be more deliberate management about how people behave, what they're saying, what they're wearing." Global advertising consultant "It was the Royal family accepting that things needed to change if they were to survive. Survival is the name of the game for the Royal family." Author The program reveals a highly controlled operation with spin doctors and media management at the forefront. "You don't see it but... what we see and read about the Royal family is pretty much controlled by them." Former Private Secretary to the Royal household The Royals are increasingly bypassing traditional media and finding new ways to get their message out by joining the ranks of social media "influencers". Those combined efforts have resulted in one of the most spectacular rebranding exercises in modern times. "In many ways, they've brought innovation. They're brand innovators to the Royal family." Global advertising consultant This new image has helped divert attention away from questions over the funding and financial interests of the Royal household. "We don't know where the money is invested. We don't know where it's spent. We don't know what the income is. We only know what they tell us." Former UK MP As the palace prepares for the next generation to take the throne, Four Corners examines the very corporate campaign to future-proof the Crown.
How a cashed up gun industry has Australia's firearms laws in its sights.
"This is the gun industry lobby redux. They're back. And they're ready to spend." Gun law researcher
They're the new force in Australian politics - a lobby group funded and directed by major firearms sellers and manufacturers and they're taking aim at Australia's politicians.
"We're looking to enter a new era of engagement...We want governments to be held accountable for the decisions they make." Gun industry spokesperson
Their campaign represents a newly emboldened firearms industry set on changing Australia's gun laws.
"You've got an industry which is prepared to leap in. And they've got a lot of money." Gun law researcher
On Monday Four Corners investigates how the gun movement in Australia is reawakening and examines the new tactics they're employing to make their presence felt on the political scene.
"The campaign they were running had nothing to do with guns. The idea I think was to inspire people to move their vote to protest vote with minor parties." Campaign manager
The industry openly declares it wants to influence how governments are formed and the policies they enact.
"We were aiming for a government which couldn't be formed by majority." Gun industry spokesperson
Four Corners investigates the industry's political allegiances and how these connections are being used to chip away at gun laws around the country.
"There's been a lot of whittling away around the edges, trying to water down the effect of the law, to do anything possible to reduce the effect of the law for the convenience of shooters and the benefit of the arms industry." Gun law researcher
Some political allies say that gun ownership is not simply a matter of convenience, it's a national security issue.
"I want more firearms sold because I want more firearms, you know? I want more people involved in protecting our country." Politician
Those who delivered the national agreement to limit firearms after the Port Arthur massacre say Australians need to sit up and take notice.
"There is a muscling up by those making money out of a trade of guns into this country, and we need to watch that very closely." Gun control advocate

Four Corners: Big Gun's

News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship

Years 11-12 News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship
44:42
How a cashed up gun industry has Australia's firearms laws in its sights. "This is the gun industry lobby redux. They're back. And they're ready to spend." Gun law researcher They're the new force in Australian politics - a lobby group funded and directed by major firearms sellers and manufacturers and they're taking aim at Australia's politicians. "We're looking to enter a new era of engagement...We want governments to be held accountable for the decisions they make." Gun industry spokesperson Their campaign represents a newly emboldened firearms industry set on changing Australia's gun laws. "You've got an industry which is prepared to leap in. And they've got a lot of money." Gun law researcher On Monday Four Corners investigates how the gun movement in Australia is reawakening and examines the new tactics they're employing to make their presence felt on the political scene. "The campaign they were running had nothing to do with guns. The idea I think was to inspire people to move their vote to protest vote with minor parties." Campaign manager The industry openly declares it wants to influence how governments are formed and the policies they enact. "We were aiming for a government which couldn't be formed by majority." Gun industry spokesperson Four Corners investigates the industry's political allegiances and how these connections are being used to chip away at gun laws around the country. "There's been a lot of whittling away around the edges, trying to water down the effect of the law, to do anything possible to reduce the effect of the law for the convenience of shooters and the benefit of the arms industry." Gun law researcher Some political allies say that gun ownership is not simply a matter of convenience, it's a national security issue. "I want more firearms sold because I want more firearms, you know? I want more people involved in protecting our country." Politician Those who delivered the national agreement to limit firearms after the Port Arthur massacre say Australians need to sit up and take notice. "There is a muscling up by those making money out of a trade of guns into this country, and we need to watch that very closely." Gun control advocate
Steve Bannon’s new world disorder.
As the Liberal Party tries to piece itself back together after the chaos of last week, Four Corners brings you an interview with the man hoping to overthrow the entire political class.
"I think that Australia is going to be a hotbed of populism."
Steve Bannon put Donald Trump in the White House and rewrote the rules of modern politics along the way. Described as the most dangerous political operative in America, the strategist, renegade Republican and professional provocateur channelled the anger and disappointment of those who felt left behind by globalism to install Donald Trump as president.
"There's a lot of anger out there and I think that this anger can be harnessed."
Now, he's taking his cause to the world in a crusade to "save" western civilisation, as the leader of a global populist-nationalist movement. He calls it a revolution.
"Populism is about getting decision making away from a set of kind of global elites...and get it back to working class people."
In an age of upheaval, he sees opportunity. After playing a key role in Britain's Brexit campaign, he's been forging links with right wing nationalist groups across Europe, including the French National Front.
Australia is next on his radar. He's identified Australia as ripe for his brand of revolution and plans to bring it here.
"Australia is at the tip of the spear on this."
In an interview with Sarah Ferguson, Bannon outlines his manifesto for change and why it resonates with people around the world.
"It doesn't matter how many liberal journalists come in here and say 'Oh this is a bunch of fascists, this is a bunch of Nazis, this is a bunch of racists.' This... is not going to stop."

Four Corners: Populist Revolution

News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship

Years 11-12 News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship
39:12
Steve Bannon’s new world disorder. As the Liberal Party tries to piece itself back together after the chaos of last week, Four Corners brings you an interview with the man hoping to overthrow the entire political class. "I think that Australia is going to be a hotbed of populism." Steve Bannon put Donald Trump in the White House and rewrote the rules of modern politics along the way. Described as the most dangerous political operative in America, the strategist, renegade Republican and professional provocateur channelled the anger and disappointment of those who felt left behind by globalism to install Donald Trump as president. "There's a lot of anger out there and I think that this anger can be harnessed." Now, he's taking his cause to the world in a crusade to "save" western civilisation, as the leader of a global populist-nationalist movement. He calls it a revolution. "Populism is about getting decision making away from a set of kind of global elites...and get it back to working class people." In an age of upheaval, he sees opportunity. After playing a key role in Britain's Brexit campaign, he's been forging links with right wing nationalist groups across Europe, including the French National Front. Australia is next on his radar. He's identified Australia as ripe for his brand of revolution and plans to bring it here. "Australia is at the tip of the spear on this." In an interview with Sarah Ferguson, Bannon outlines his manifesto for change and why it resonates with people around the world. "It doesn't matter how many liberal journalists come in here and say 'Oh this is a bunch of fascists, this is a bunch of Nazis, this is a bunch of racists.' This... is not going to stop."
For more than three decades Cambodia has been ruled by one man, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who came to power in the country's first democratic elections after the horror years of the Khmer Rouge. Australia played a key role in the peace deal that ended the bloody civil war, but the once bright hopes for democracy have long since faded. Ahead of this weekend's elections, the Hun Sen regime launched a ruthless crackdown on the political opposition and free press. On Monday, in her first story for Four Corners, reporter Sophie McNeill travels to Cambodia to confront the man whose political opponents have been imprisoned and assassinated in mysterious circumstances. While steadily cementing their grip on power, Hun Sen and his family and cronies are accused of amassing enormous wealth through a corrupt and nepotistic system. Four Corners has uncovered evidence of how the regime's wealth has been used to buy properties and businesses in Australia, where some of Hun Sen's relatives have established a base for building support, sometimes through threats and intimidation. Since 2014, Australia has granted the regime $40 million in additional aid, in return for taking some of Australia's unwanted refugees, and the Turnbull Government upgraded ties with Cambodia last year. While the US has begun moves to sanction the regime by freezing assets and blocking visas, international observers accuse the Australian Government of cosying up to Hun Sen. While hopes for democracy have disintegrated, China has moved to dramatically expand its presence and power in the country. As Hun Sen prepares to tighten his grip on power after this weekend's elections, Cambodia's democracy campaigners say they feel abandoned.

Four Corners: Champagne with Dictators

News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship

Years 11-12 News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship
45:19
For more than three decades Cambodia has been ruled by one man, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who came to power in the country's first democratic elections after the horror years of the Khmer Rouge. Australia played a key role in the peace deal that ended the bloody civil war, but the once bright hopes for democracy have long since faded. Ahead of this weekend's elections, the Hun Sen regime launched a ruthless crackdown on the political opposition and free press. On Monday, in her first story for Four Corners, reporter Sophie McNeill travels to Cambodia to confront the man whose political opponents have been imprisoned and assassinated in mysterious circumstances. While steadily cementing their grip on power, Hun Sen and his family and cronies are accused of amassing enormous wealth through a corrupt and nepotistic system. Four Corners has uncovered evidence of how the regime's wealth has been used to buy properties and businesses in Australia, where some of Hun Sen's relatives have established a base for building support, sometimes through threats and intimidation. Since 2014, Australia has granted the regime $40 million in additional aid, in return for taking some of Australia's unwanted refugees, and the Turnbull Government upgraded ties with Cambodia last year. While the US has begun moves to sanction the regime by freezing assets and blocking visas, international observers accuse the Australian Government of cosying up to Hun Sen. While hopes for democracy have disintegrated, China has moved to dramatically expand its presence and power in the country. As Hun Sen prepares to tighten his grip on power after this weekend's elections, Cambodia's democracy campaigners say they feel abandoned.
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