tip off

Coalition with questions to answer

Crikey readers weigh in.

Ashby/Slipper

Dylan Taylor writes: Re. “Brough justice: Mal can’t slip the net on Slipper campaign” (Wednesday). Does anyone believe that the same journalists who have been pursuing Julia Gillard with “still more questions to answer” will assiduously apply the same principle to the opposition?

Wanna bet? I think the story will soon be buried under the debris of the silly season. That’s journalism in Australia today.

Unless Four Corners decides to abandon the poor suffering cattle and sheep and take on the LNP, whose ham-fisted attempts at conspiracy are only matched by their arrogance, the crooks and conspirators in this saga will be carrying on regardless and the Bolts and Joneses will be telling us the Prime Minister has “questions to answer”. Strewth!

Peter Rosier writes: Re. “Peter Slipper case: why Mark McInnes is grinning” (yesterday). Your piece on Michael Harmer overlooks a salient reference by Justice Rares in the case to that of the Bar Association of NSW v Clyne —  a matter that went to the High Court. Clyne, representing a client in the old Matrimonial Causes Division of the Supreme Court (I’m old enough to remember) opened a case with allegations against a solicitor, Mr ER Mann.

In the course of the case, Clyne produced no evidence whatever of the matters alleged. After a tortured ride to the High Court, Clyne was finally struck off the roll of barristers for such a blatant attempt to mislead the court and poison the evidence, and there he remained as the scourge of protected tenants and the tax man. It is difficult to think that the NSW Legal Services commissioner won’t at least have a read of the judgment in Ashby v Slipper.

North Korea

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “North Korea risks sanctions to signal its greatness“ (yesterday). As a recent visitor to North Korea, I don’t agree with Danielle Chubb that the rocket launch is mostly about demonstrating “greatness”.

The first motive is defence. North Korea has developed nuclear bombs and now apparently could hit US territory. Obviously the regime has no desire for another war of self-destruction, but wants these weapons as a deterrant.

The idea that it can be pressured into giving them up is fanciful. Disarmament hardly helped America’s enemies in Iraq and Libya.

Secondly, rather than being a “gross misdirection of resources”, launching satellites could be a way for the country to use its comparative advantage in rocket technology to earn much needed imports.

Chubb counsels not to “look at the country in fear” but rather be “very concerned”. Alternatively, instead of threatening war or economic blockade against a mostly harmless population, why can’t we live and let live?

7
  • 1
    Posted Friday, 14 December 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Niall Clugston has forgotten that on 26 March 2010 North Korea sunk South Korea’s Cheonan in an unprovoked attack, killing 46 people. That and other rogue behaviour shouldn’t be tolerated by the international community.

  • 2
    Malcolm Street
    Posted Friday, 14 December 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Gavin - that was my first thought too. Don’t expect this regime to act rationally.

  • 3
    Niall Clugston
    Posted Friday, 14 December 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Over the decades there have been many incidents on the borders of North Korea, which remains in a state of war with South Korea and America. I don’t see how this shows the regime’s “irrationality”, and I don’t see what specific policy against North Korea is being proposed. In fact, North Korea is “rational” because it pursues its strategy in the knowledge that little or no action will be taken against it.

  • 4
    Posted Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    It is not relevant whether by some process of argument North Korea’s actions may be characterised as rational. The issue is whether its treatment of its own people and its behaviour towards other countries may be accepted by the international community. The North Korean regime has taken numerous actions - multiple assassination attempts against South Korean leaders, multiple shellings, threatening rocket launches and other unprovoked attacks, drug dealing, etc - which are rightly unacceptable to the international community.

    So the international community rightly declines to deal with North Korea and admit it to most international exchanges. The immediate aim is to stop North Korea threatening its neighbours. Once it stops threatening its neighbours militarily and with the mass migration of its starving and terrified people it may gradually be accepted back into international exchanges including trade. A good recent example of this policy apparently working is Burma.

  • 5
    Niall Clugston
    Posted Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Actually, there are no general sanctions against North Korea.

    It is a close ally and trading partner of China.

    But if by the “international community” you mean the USA, then all it puts forward are empty threats and empty gestures.

  • 6
    Posted Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    The United Nations imposed sanctions on North Korea on 14 October 2006, resolution 1718.

  • 7
    Niall Clugston
    Posted Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Yes, as I said, not general but specific, relating to acquiring nuclear missiles. And how well did that go???

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