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Sep 20, 2013

'Albo' has to go

Crikey readers talk auto subsidies, the finer points of champagne (or sparkling wine) and whether Anthony Albanese is a bit too informal.

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That’s Mr Albanese to you

Jim (don’t call me Jimbo) Hart writes: Re. “Albo v Bill: Butler, Feeney rally troops for Labor leadership” (yesterday). What’s with the constant reference to “Albo”? Is Anthony Albanese applying for a job as a breakfast announcer on commercial radio? Is he perhaps dreaming of life as a footballer who is renowned principally for his benevolently cleavaged girlfriend? If, on the other hand, he wants to be taken seriously as a potential prime minister then he and his Labor pals should leave the nicknames for the party rooms, where at least it makes a change from “Maaaaaaate”.

Should we save the car industry?

Mark Andrews writes: Re. “Crikey says: Abbott’s extortion exam” (yesterday). It’s easy to call for canning car industry subsidies, but “because we don’t like being dictated to” isn’t much of an argument. I’d like to see some deeper analysis.

As you may know, Holden is located in a relatively disadvantaged area of Adelaide, and an estimated 40,000 people would be affected by the closure. The proposal of $275 million equates to a cost of $687 per person, per year over the next decade to maintain social security in the region.  That sounds like good value to me on compassionate grounds alone, without considering the indirect economic benefit (multiplier effect on salaries for example) and purported strategic benefits of a car industry that we hear about (and many other countries seem to subscribe to it, which makes me think there is some truth in it).

In these times of stimulus, where the US fed is pumping $85 billion per month into their economy, I ask: how is “propping up the car industry” different to the Building the Education Revolution or other stimulus measures, which you have strongly argued for and have been hugely successful?

John Richardson writes: So, General Motors is threatening to up stakes and leave town unless muscleman “we’ll stop the boats” Tony Abbott comes up with a taxpayer-funded bribe to get it to stay. Surely it’s time for our Treasurer to have a chat to the gang from Detroit about the evils of a “culture of entitlement”, or, as it used to be known in the good old days, their “cargo-cult mentality”?

Nitpicking bubbles

David Roe writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday). I think maybe the point is that the Brown Bros sparkling wine in question comes from vineyards in the under-appreciated but nonetheless fine wine region of King Valley, situated within the electorate of Indi. And quite likely is more drinkable than much of the overpriced branded Champagne that is produced in industrial volumes by some of the well-known French houses (yeah, those ones).

Incidentally, champagne only comes from Champagne and sparkling wine comes from lots of places. Not that Rupert gives a toss.

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