Tobe Frank: Give airtime to other issues, please! 22



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To be frank, I think we’ve got our priorities all mixed up.

How is it that we can dedicate so much time on the airways, on the tube and in the press to trying to save Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran and yet so many more serious issues, closer to home, with far greater consequences get diddlysquat…nothing…two fifths of…

It’s not that I want these guys to die – I don’t. It’s barbaric and belongs in the dark ages. I don’t believe in capital punishment (at least not for these types of crime, which is a bit hypocritical, I know) nor do I believe in the protracted drawn out process that gives people false hope for a chance of clemency.

But I am also sick and tired of the whole issue being splashed all through the media. At the end of the day, these guys got caught and convicted of a crime they committed in a country known for its harsh penalties, including death. Yes, it is sad that the lives of two Australians, two humans, will be brought to a premature end. Yes, it is a shame that they appear to have been rehabilitated and could serve the world, or at least those incarcerated in the Bali prison, a better purpose alive than dead, but do you know something? But do you know what? There are plenty of other Australians and humans suffering far greater atrocities than this.

I think there are so many more worthwhile causes, people, organisations, issues, injustices and so on to put out energy and media bandwidth into. Maybe they don’t sell as many papers, ads on the airways or result in as many clicks, shares, likes or otherwise, but I’m sure they would do more good for the broader community than focusing on the lives of two blokes that, if people are really honest with themselves have no bearing on their everyday life.

What about trying to find young William Tyrell? What does he get – a 20 second update once a week! What about the seemingly escalating violence on our streets and in our homes? Poverty, animal cruelty, male depression, youth suicide, homelessness, jobs for the ageing and so on. One of the world’s superpowers is making more and more scary noises about widespread invasion into countries that were once provinces whilst assassinating political opponents. Or, the drugs and the side effects that landed these two in hot water in the first place. Where are all these issues? Way down the running sheet on the nightly news, I tell you. Very little airspace at all at present. We know what Andrew and Myuran had for breakfast, but not why a mentally ill grandfather murdered his pregnant granddaughter and her son, before turning his gun on himself. Just another day in paradise is it?

I wonder what would happen, where we would be if the countless hours, money and energy that it being poured into covering the last days of these two drug mules, were in fact poured into drug rehab, education, prevention, awareness, monitoring, police manpower for more investigations etc. There’s a good news story right there. There’s an easy way to save more than a couple of lives – some from the needlepoint and others before they taste addiction in the first place.

Will it sell papers? No. Apparently we’re more interested in watching interviews with countless numbers of friends, support crew and anyone else with the remotest connection to either Andrew or Myuran or their 5th grade school teacher’s cousin’s dog.


Do you think there is a solution? Is there any way to refocus or dedicate more coverage to more issues closer to home? Share with us below. 

Tobe Frank

Tobe Frank is a recently retired 62 year old gentleman with many views. He has grand ambitions for his retirement he just isn't sure what they are yet and is constantly looking around to find them. Tobe shares his views on Starts at Sixty regularly as one of our columnists.

  1. I totally agree Tobe. All this media hype is just encouraging the Indonesians to prolong the inevitable. Chan and Sukumaran will be executed anyway so lets concentrate on more important issues.

  2. You said it Tobe Frank – there are good news stories, but seemingly no-one is interested in the good news. I don’t believe in the death penalty and abhor the duality of a country which will execute nationals of other countries whilst expecting clemency for their own nationals. The peopled who murdered innocent women and children are free, but drugs are another matter. But despite all this, they did break the law in a country with skewed but strong penalties.

  3. I agree that we are tired of there not being enough coverage of other issues ….. but it has worked … there is another delay while the President decides to ban the death penalty. That is the aim. These men deserve punishment (I am referring to all on death row in Indonesia and other countries) … but death by firing squad. Life in prison .. let them work on making prisons better. Prisoners should be able to feed and clothe themselves by earning. No giving them an easy life .. a world of their own making within Prison walls. No one lives without confines of rules.

    1 REPLY
    • What has worked Lisbeth? These two will die anyway, the president wont want to lose face! He’s just enjoying all the publicity he’s getting.

      1 REPLY
      • Well Joc are you a clairvoyant? Where there is hope…..! Also you guys who do not care if these 2 are killed, are you aware it then makes you an accessory to murder?? If we can do anything at all to protest against these barbaric systems, our efforts may be paid off one day. We need to look at the bigger picture! Our internal problems have a place in the news but we also are World citizens and we need to address these issues as well.

  4. Agree 100%, I of course feel for the families of these young men, but at the end of the day they are criminals, they just happened to get caught this time, does anyone give a thought to the lives and destruction of AUSTRALIAN families, had they been successful, NO OF COURSE NOT they knew the risk, so be it .
    I am sick of hearing about these men, personally will be glad when it is all over.

  5. I made the 1st comment & have come back to the site—and what do I see & read—–reply after reply about the Bali 9 pair.
    This is exactly what Tobe Frank was pointing out—-far too much time dealing with these 2—what about the little Tyrell boy ?? what about HUNDREDS of other topics/people who are more worthwhile than all the media space spent on Indonesia.
    If more time–and a lot more recent–was spent on finding this little one–who knows!!! he might have been found by now.

  6. Totally agree, the younger generation have not remeberedthe Barlow and Chambers case, they were both hung in 1986 for heroin trafficking in Malaysia… It was a huge case and they were still hung… I am tired of do-gooders who say they have rehabilitated. how do they know that… they are inside prison, what else could they do… they cant do trafficking etc in there… wait until people are on the “Outside” to say if they are rehabilitated please…
    I don’t believe in death penalties only in severe cases of murder and peodophiles …

  7. YES, very well said. I differ on one point (slightly): Chan and Myuran knew the possibility of the death penalty, still opted for a quick pay day; at the expense of many lives of misery. Joko Widodo at least is following his country’s law, sending a strong and clear message to ALL DRUG TRADERS, and is doing something to protect the weaker / drug users. I dislike this method but do believe it is correct and appropriate in this case. As you pointed out many other salient issues are being overlooked, hopefully William Tyrell will be found. I am 63 and I DO KNOW a drug user and see the devastation caused.

  8. So stop buying the papers….don’t read the rubbish they print…It’s not’s cheap sensationalism. Read a good book, go for a long walk, go fishing, ride a bike ( one with a motor). Talk to your friends, mow the grass, rescue a dog and take it for a walk, voluteer for something useful, plant some trees, dig in the garden but just don’t buy the effing stupid daily rags. It’s us that has to change, individually and collectively. The papers won’t change as long as you keep buying them.

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