tip off

How about the People’s Lounge?

Crikey readers talk asylum seekers, going after the real criminals, and why we should all get to use Qantas’ Chairman’s Lounge.

Manus Island queue-jumpers get little sympathy

Gres Clarkson writes: Re. “Crikey says: Morrison exports his department’s failure” (yesterday). You claim the whole world will be watching Australia because of the asylum seekers (refugees who paid $10,000 for a one-way ticket) having dramas on Manus Island. A little exaggeration. Wherever the “refugees” go populations are against having them. There is no sympathy for them except with the rent-a-crowd people. They are treated better here than in France, in Calais. There is a long list of similar places.

People from the Sudan in our local church know that every time a boatload lands, all of their friends where they come from, waiting legally, know that they will have to wait longer for their visa to come if it ever comes. Your coverage does you little credit as it is a totally minor part of the whole problem.

Lessons in cruelty

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Rundle: in the race to be brutal, you have to finish the job” (yesterday). To sum up Guy Rundle’s article: the real guilt for the horror is not with one political party or the other but with us, the electorate — even if Murdoch’s brainwashing has contributed.

Let’s go after the real criminals

John Kotsopoulos writes: Re. “Media briefs” (yesterday). So Craig Thomson has been found guilty of misusing his union issued credit card. The huge investment of public funds to prosecute over a relatively small amount of money — $36,000 spent over several years and none of it taxpayers’ money — is hard to fathom. The nature of the purchases is irrelevant.

I challenge anyone to deny that using company credit cards to pad out salaries is rife in the private sector. Can we now expect a similar effort to rein in these frauds as well?

It’s our lounge, too

Geoff Plante writes: Re. “Qantas upgraded to bailout class: inside the plush pollies’ lounge” (yesterday). If we taxpayers are to guarantee the Qantas debt, we should at least have access to the Chairman’s Lounge for the duration of any guarantee.

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  • 1
    Guy Rundle
    Posted Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, Peter, that’s not really what I said. I said that actually the mass of the public have very little capacity for the actual, applied cruelty that running a concentration camp system requires - which is why governments always justify what they do in terms of ‘fairness’ etc.
    What the public seems to want is for asylum seekers and their conditions to be invisible. Any breakout from that counts as policy failure.
    That is not nearly as venal as actual cruelty, and gives scope for pushing back against the government.

  • 2
    Blair Martin
    Posted Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Hey there, Gres Clarkson - “There is no sympathy for them except with the rent-a-crowd people.” Am one of those you sneeringly demean with your cheap jibe - except if anyone is “renting” me to have “sympathy” for asylum seekers, then they are seriously late with the rent!

    It sticks in my craw to read your smug, self-satisfied labeling of your church and those within. The church I attend has none of that and I know which one of the two is more spiritually nourishing and character building.

  • 3
    Salamander
    Posted Friday, 21 February 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t been able to find a media report of the actual amount Craig Thomson was convicted of defrauding. If $36.000 is correct, media reports are highly misleading, with many implying 100s of 1000s.

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