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Our publishing system can only handle so many words in each story so we’ve had to break up the political letters into two parts. Enjoy.

Crikey,

Regarding the Australian Liberal Students Federation, I note that you have been slightly impolite about this organisation and received a letter of rebuke from the secretary of the organisation. In his defence he has indicated that is organisation is Libertarian.

The Libertarian Party of America has a number of interesting party platforms. They include the reduction of government to only providing defence and justice. The provision of all other services would be by the private sector. This would involve thousands of toll roads in every neighbourhood. Things such as factory regulations, health standards and minimum employment ages would be abolished.

The Libertarian Party of America however much to the lunatic right it stands on these issues has a social policy which involves complete legalisation of drugs and prostitution and the freedom to publish pornography. The removal of minimum ages for professions would mean that child prostitution would in a number of cases be legal.

Clearly such a party is un-electable as it combines major party platforms which will offend just about anyone. If the ALSF in any way was similar to its American counterpart then your criticism would be made out.

Tom M

Crikey: Only in America, as they say.


No Magic Pudding budget for illegals

Stephen and Co,

The letter with this title is insulting both to Australia and to those who suffered in real concentration camps. If Australia had a Magic Pudding of money, instead of a very leaky budget, we just might be able to provide everything that the illegal immigrants, and the non-productive industry which has grown around them, demand. It would be a strain even then.

But they are provided with food lodging and medical services. It is acknowledged that some arrive with a list of medical and dental treatments they demand courtesy of their unwilling hosts.

The worst excesses in the camps to me are the alleged forced prostitution of women and children. This was engineered by some of the inmates who should be dealt with firmly. Amazingly, one of the nursing staff who complained about the authorities actions in this matter said that this sort of thing was “part of their culture”. I hope that we retain enough sanity in public policy never to excuse that sort of practise.

It is possible to accept others for who they are without being a mere doormat.

John W

Crikey: If we showed a bit more compassion with our refugee programs the whole illegals problem would be less of an issue.


Kojak, Pauline and the Why Me mentality

Pasquerelli and Hanson represent the primordial cry of “Why me?” Always content to blame someone else for the problems besetting the Australian electorate, they like to take it out on “the politicians”, “the immigrants”, particularly “the Asian immigrants” and “the Aborigines”.

Mr Pasquerelli, like your newly refound Party leader (would have been interesting being the fly on the wall when you kissed and made up!), all you do is criticise. You fail dismally to offer a viable alternative. Ultimately, the electorate will see through you and your PHONy pals and realise that you have no substance.

Brian

Crikey: Yep, it does look like a policy free zone in the PHONy party.


How to write a letter to Transurban

Attn: The Manager

I would like to dispute the following charges that have been billed to my two accounts.

The charges are minimum usage fees as follows (account numbers have been changed):

1573441 $25.00

1573482 $10.11

My pin code is 621026.

When the accounts were opened, Citilink had a plan to open the western link and then the southern link before the end of 1999. The southern link did not open completely until late 2000.

This of course affected the usage patterns of these e-tags as the main use that we would have would be the east-bound part of Citilink to travel from the city out to Kew and Hawthorn. With delays occasioned by the recent tunnel problems and the consequent speed reductions, it isn’t time effective to use the eastern link out of the city to go to the places we need to go.

You have of course had our money interest free since May 1999. It is insulting to charge a non-usage fee when you have been unable to provide the service you promised and on which the original payments were made. I believe that taking advantage of a provision in your service agreement with me when you have not provided the service on which the agreement is based is close to unconscionable conduct under the Victorian Fair Trading Act and the Federal Trade Practices Act.

I would ask that the fees be reversed.

Also, the first charge of $25.00 is incorrect. As some $6.00 of tolls have been paid in the previous twelve months, the maximum fee that Transurban would be entitled to charge is approximately $19.00.

Please provide confirmation in writing within seven days that the fees will be reversed or I will take the matter up with the relevant authorities.

Yours sincerely, Joe

Crikey: That’s the way, stick it to the world’s biggest and most lucrative tollroad for ripping off their customers.


One Nation should try to unseat Beazley

ON should try to unseat Kim Beazley Kim is no friend of ON, he gleefully adopted politically correctiveness as his new religion and passionately denounces us as racists, rednecks, gun hugging disfunctional yobbos etc.

Kim only has a narrow margin in his WA seat, and if all candidates could be persuaded to put him last, he could be in danger of losing his seat.It would be severe dereliction of duty if ON doesn’t run a candidate against him at the forthcoming federal elections.

Beazley once compared ON to the klu klux klan, and abandons all reason and restraint when discussing ON, being on a non stop religious crusade against us. Kim never bothers with any reasoned arguement about maybe globalisation and multiculturalism are going too far, he simply becomes a hysterical zealot against ON.

Not so surprising, when you consider Kim’s background, as one of our university trained or indoctrinated elites, a former university lecturer and ALP aparatchik, I doubt Kim has ever raised a sweat or worn overalls.

Kim and many of his ALP mates are on a lifelong gravy train, going from womb to tomb in a publicly funded and vastly wasteful sheltered workshop.

Pauline Hanson at least was a success in the real world, her fish and chip shop ran at a profit and paid taxes.

IMO, the ALP needs a better leader than Kim, someone with actual real world experience and the ability to calmly reason things through using intelligence rather than emotion.

Arthur

Former One Nation Candidate

Crikey: Unfortunately Arthur, Kim has moved from his marginal seat and now has a margin in excess of 10 per cent. The more candidates the better we say and you might get some publicity out of it but don’t kid yourself that you’ll be able to help knock him off or give him a scare.


Grand Prix accident

Dear Mr Mayne

Your material is often terrifically interesting. Diversity of opinion is always welcome. I’m not sure though where you get off flogging your political party in every second article on your site. Unless you want your esteemed organ to have the independent credibility of the old Catholic Worker, the WeakGreenLefty and whatever barrow the young Libs peddle their ideas from, I suggest you decide whether you are a participant or a commentator. To do either, well, is commendable. To attempt both simultaneously is both cranky and doomed.

My guess is that you’ll get more subscriptions than you will votes. Votes are ultimately inedible so I’d urge you in the opposite direction. Your comment that we need alternatives to the alternatives to the major parties is highly debatable anyway. The political spectrum from loony left to loony right is a stacked and packed as Sydney airspace on Friday arvo.

Cheers, Gordon Wakelin-King

PS Two things I’d love to see investigated by someone with the background knowledge to make sense of the material: Jonathon Shier’s CV and The IPA

Crikey:Unfortunately Gordon, our journalistic model from day one has been to be both commentator and participant. Didn’t we try to run against Jeff Kennett and then stood in the Burwood by-election. Didn’t we back independent Bill Hill in Benalla and independent Denise Brailey in the WA election. And haven’t we stood for 10 corporate boards and written about the experience? Anyway, the political party will have a separate URL so there’s no danger of every second article being some party political diatribe. I’d also point out that the Greens are claiming they could win five Senate seats. When Crikey went head to head against the Greens in Burwood, we got 6.7 per cent they got about 6.3 per cent.


I’m going to swear at you and rant rave

It is your mining and banking (sic) correspondent who has a cringe mentality !!

For christs sake stop looking at all foreign investment as bad as you chase the hansonist vote for your own ego !!

I’m a woodside shareholder and I’ll sell to Shell if i fing well want its none of any other cs business so f off !!

What a joke you promoting shareholders rights at the same time as your national socialist agenda !!

Your observation of HIH as one of our few companies with offshore earnings is farcically ignorant on any analysis !!

The questions on the bHP billiton issue relate to relative value (and id love to hear more about a break fee i saw mentioned somewhere).

The other issue related to nationalistic approaches to finance if you want a real cringe issue is the bullshit BHP have peddled and all the media have swallowed on a huge premium for being London listed. Garbage ….. BHP have traded at a discount because on any FORWARD discounted cash flow valuation they have fing deserved to trade at a discount to Rio etc ….. but despite your commerce degree (did you spend it all in the bar). I wouldn’t have now come not to expect you to seriously take up any issue rather than chase journalistic fluff …… I now regret my subscription !!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Beath

Crikey: Love a good combative letter Mark so well done. You may not believe this but I actually support the Shell takeover and Paula has already accepted the offer for her 100 Woodside shares. The fact that a contributor puts another view is not necessarily mine as we’re a broad church here at Crikey. I think foreign ownership of our banks and media should also be allowed. My big issue is with Australia’s failure to cut it in the globalised world not to stop globalisation per se. Anyway, hope you’ll cease to regret your sub with a few things that unfold in the weeks ahead. What do you do for a crust as you’re pretty well informed? Do you want to be a guest contributor explaining your vision for Australia just like we had a guest Dr Stupid last week?


State reliance on gambling dollar too high

Stephen

As an economic researcher who blew the lid on the “gambling led recovery” in regional areas, I have no scruples about recouping some of the economic rent gained by Tabcorp etc. My great concern is that if it goes into general revenue, it will only feed the State Government addiction to gambling funds which is already up to 16% of total revenue. The existing problem is that such reliance makes it very difficult for governments to reform the industry because lower gambling expenditure hurts State Revenues.

There is little doubt in my mind that present gambling taxes levied on the industry are not covering the social costs, particularly of EGMs. In line with this thinking, the Productivity Commission has already recomended a reduction in the number of EGMs but the States have been remarkably quiet on this issue. Victoria has at least countered with regional caps for a limited number of areas to be phased in over an incredibly long 5 year period. Without assurances, regional caps on machine numbers in some parts of Victoria might mean that machines will simply be transferred to other areas.

One way out of all this is to continue with the levy, ensure that there is no corresponding increase in the “price” of gambling for the punters, and allocate the funds to areas other than general revenue in order to avoid State Government addiction (something like the old lottery funds for a Sydney Opera House or the construction of schools or hospitals. Some couod be diverted for work with problem gambling, INDEPENDENT gambling research and the implementation of a public health policy for gambling similar to what I have just seen discussed in New Zealand.

Regards, Ian Pinge

Crikey: I reckon they should tax the shit out of gambling to make it uneconomic for the operators and then also progressively reduce the maximum number of machines allowable. Hit em high and hit em low.


What about the poor old RSL

Dear SM,

Your comments re $4000 slug on pokie machines implies the big guns will be paying out from their profits.. More likely the slug will be passed on to operators, many of whom will not be able to sustain the extra costs and will subsequently lose their machines or go under. Why? Because of existing committments already undertaken by such clubs eg RSL’s Bowling clubs etc.such committments often include welfare programs,as well as the usual costs involved in servicing loans undertaken to improve facilities so that they could have the machines in the first place. It would seem that some of these clubs are better able to provide local communities with programs and services that directly impact in the local sphere than $120 million being slurped up by general revenue and being dissipated who knows where. Unless any amounts can be hypothecated to a dedicated and community beneficial cause, what is the point, the money is best left circulating in local communities from whence it came.

Denise

Crikey: Yes, the poor old RSL. They only make several tens of millions a year from pokies. It’s very easy to talk about the worthy people who rely on gambling revenue, but the money doesn’t come from thin air you know. The majority comes from people with a gambling problem who can least afford to drop all that cash in a mindless machine. Our marketing insider at one of the pokies companies describes these people as the “desperate optimists” and they are the key to Tabcorp CEO being worth $30 million.

Peter Fray

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