Don’t forget the travel perks

Guys,

When composing this list of retired pollies on pensions earning private sector salaries you should also add the generous concessions that are granted to retired pollies, such as Gold Travel Passes for Life when people like us have to use our hard earned wages to pay for public transport.

Take retired Senator Don Jessop (retired 1986-1987) who now practices as an Optometrist, his profession before entering parliament. The poor guy is issued with a free travel pass each year at the tax payers expense and makes good use of it making old ladies and the infirmed stand whilst this fat prick milks the public purse.

Richard

CRIKEY: Good point Richard although I’m not sure that free travel for Jessop is actually denying old ladies their seats.

Stop bashing Sydney Crikey

Guys

I am a Crikey subscriber and I find it more and more difficult to want to
renew my subscription when you hear comments on Sydney by your office. First
of all it is the most populated city in the country and would be a great
source of subscriptions to your company if you laid off the constant Sydney
bashing you seem to enjoy. Just look at today’s article on the Swans ( oh ,
by the way, I am a Carlton supporter ). Second of all with the crap that ”
Pricey ” gave you , why would you support him over ANY person? He has done
nothing but bash Victoria since arriving in Sydney.

Don’t get me wrong I can and so can all Australians handle most digs at
themselves but unless we talk AFL to you or anything Victorian you guys
don’t seem interested unless it is some kind of scandal.

Sydney is rated one of the most beautiful cities in the world where as
Melbourne does not even rate a mention in anyone’s survey. Is it possible
that Victorians are jealous? Please try and remember that you have
subscribers in Sydney next time you bash our city.

Hanging on at this stage, Marty

CRIKEY: I remember getting to Sydney Daily Telegraph and wanting to do all these comparison stories with Melbourne when Sydney gal Kathy Lipari said “We don’t care about these things in Sydney, all we have to say is two words: ‘The Harbour’.”

You’re right that us Melbournites have an inferior complex and we’ll try to be nicer in the future.

Dean Mighell following Tassie ETU heavy

Remember that under-performing senator from Tasmania, John Devereux?

A former head of the Tasmanian Electrical Trades Union and Tasmanian ALP
heavy, he was then installed in Canberra as a Senator, never to be heard of
again until he started top bite the hand that had been over-feeding him.

From ALP senator he began a transformation and ended up tip-toeing down the
Greens path of tulips with Bob Brown. He finally resigned from the ALP and
sat on the cross-benches as a green-beige independent.

He then stood at the next election and bombed in the polls. Remarkable that
the Tasmanian voters had voted him into the Senate because he was high on
the ALP ticket and not because of the force of his previous contribution or
new found Green alliances.

Ego: it’s not a dirty word. It’s reality if you cut your teeth working for
ETU.

Elspeth Electrician

CRIKEY: Dean Mighell will sink like a stone trying to link with the Greens. How does a bloke who wants to maximise smoke stack jobs link up with the party that wants zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Sells Coles before they go bankrupt

Hi Stephen,

RE: Sell Coles Shares Before Management Bankrupts The Company

I don’t even own Coles shares and feel inclined to shop elsewhere.

I just love the garbage Coles is saying about how the mum and dad
shareholders will be better off long term due to higher dividends and
capital growth. even a ten year old could figure the math on that in their
head and no that can’t be true –

Moreover, why else cancel the card if Coles management doesn’t think it’s
lose lose for the smaller shareholder and win win for management and fund
managers (who both bet on short term performance bonuses.)

Better yet is the utter disconnect between funds and investors. the same
people who have invested in super funds are largely the same people who
have bought Coles’ shares.

The real sucker in all this was the Coles shopper who missed out on the card.

Given this failure to do the maths and reach the reaction of 500,000 regular
Coles shoppers can only lead one to the conclusion that the current Coles
management is as thick as a brick and its time to sell Coles shares before
they fall even further,… so I wonder who will end up owning Coles in >24
months.

can’t wait to the AGM….

Simon M

CRIKEY: Coles Myer needs to be able to promise lower prices across the board to justify this move.

The Sue Knowles rort

I don’t know who Kingsley Pearce is (see bottom of Sue Knowles letter), but he is
diabolically correct (and doing slimy PR for the
hateful Knowles) when he writes:

“Senator Knowles clearly did not spend any of her mail
allowance on the re-election of another senator. In
fact what Senator Knowles did was clearly within the
law and, therefore by inference, within the guidelines
for her parliamentary allowance.”

As a former long-term constituent in the Stirling
electorate, I can swear to having been on the
receiving end of countless taxpayer-funded bulk
mailings from Senator Knowles which extolled the
virtues of (not herself nor other Liberal senators
but) House of Reps candidates, both incumbent and
non-incumbent. This, of course, places rival
Independent candidates at an unfair disadvantage. It
is also a blatant and unjustifiable abuse of the
senator’s electorate and electoral postal allowances.

Mr Pearce is however correct in his awareness that the
Liberal and Labor parties unite to make sure this type
of rort is not in breach of administrative guidelines.
This merely means that both major parties regularly
collude to get their snouts deeper into the public
trough. Yes, the lawmakers have ensured that the
postage theft is in fact “clearly within the law”.

Brian

CRIKEY: Totally agree that it is a disgrace the way Senator Knowles splashed her allowances around in return for junket votes.

Malcolm Turnbull’s long-held ambition

Back in the early ’70s I was Secretary of the Double Bay Young Liberals. Of course in those days we were (mostly) small ‘l’ liberals.

It was in ’73 or ’74 that a young Eastern Suburbs resident, a first year law student at Sinny Uni, fresh out of Sinny Grammar, joined our ranks. He was an excellent
debater whose intellect seemed to be exceeded only by his ego. He let it be known that his ultimate goal was to become Prime Minister and he would stand for parliament
when he was offered a safe seat.

As the years have gone by I have watched his progress, as a columnist (The Bulletin), a Rhodes Scholar, a leading Republican, and consort to the Deputy Mayor of the
world’s greatest city. And now, following the failure of the republican referendum to get up, and thereby quashing his chances of becoming President, he seems to have
returned to his roots in the Liberal Party. Any safe seats up for grabs?

Name Withheld

CRIKEY: He’d certainly be much better than Chikka and with $80 million in his back pocket the Libs could do with his financial support in NSW.

Abbott a rare Catholic among the prollies

In reference to Wendy Wedge’s piece. ‘Howard Borrows from the Wedgies
…’:

Wendy poses the question: why did Tony Abbott defend Justic
Michael Kirby. The answer could, of course, be his personal
relationship with Kirby, or even his love of the legal profession.
One suspects, however, that the answer lies with Senator Heffernan’s
hatred of the Catholic Church. Tony Abbott, one of the rare Catholics
in the overwhelmingly protestant Liberal Party, is a most
enthusiastic supporter of an end to the separation of church and
state.

Gavin McGuren

CRIKEY: Interesting theory, maybe the Mad Monk is not as bad as everyone says.

Wendell Sailor just like Wayne Carey

Hello Stephen

Regarding the Wayne Carey situation, let me offer a quick contrast
with a superstar from the rugby codes.

Wendell Sailor: is a genuine superstar. I know that because my 7 year
old son has a poster of him on his bedroom wall (from Courier Mail) and
the caption reads “Superstar of Sport”.

Over the years he’s faced court several times for nightclub fights
including once particularly dignified episode where he spat in the
face of the female patron that he was arguing with.. He admitted it.
He scored a contract to play in England for the 2000/2001 off-season.
During that stint he was arrested for picking up a street-prostitute
(undercover cop). Details included how he was haggling for a discount
on the basis that he was a “poor African student”. A few weeks later
he returned to the Brisbane Broncos and resumed his 600k+ contract.

During 2001 season he negotiated a new (reportedly) 750k p.a contract to
switch to rugby-union and play for the Queensland Reds starting 2002.
He “writes” a column in the News Corp Courier Mail, and was recently the
poster-boy for the World-rugby-7’s and also appears in several TV adverts
for the rugby-union.

Sure… no reports of “team-mate’s wife” but sexual-misconduct aplenty …
no media circus and certainly no problems with him attracting sponsorship
or negotiating big $ contracts.

p.s. News Corp owns 50% of the rugby-league club he was playing for
(Broncos) and also owns and/or major sponsor of the Rugby Union
super-12 competition.

Name Withheld

CRIKEY: Some excellent points here. Just goes to show how sports stars can get away with things that ordinary people can’t. The only problem occurs when it affects the onfield situation like Carey did.

In defence of Carmen Lawrence

I accessed the Crikey website to join – having given it considerable thought
over recent months. Living and working in London, Crikey has provided me
with an opportunity to catch up on the political news in Australia in a
usually unbiased and humourous manner.

However I find myself unable to bring myself to subscribe after being
subjected to the most ridiculous claptrap I have read for many years. The
piece provided by the clearly ignorant James – is a totally biased and
selective piece.

I have had the good fortune to have worked with Dr Lawrence and I
can assure you that she has spoken out against party policy on many
occasions. He may not remember Dr Lawrence’s views on the treatment of East
Timorese refugees but those of us who can actually read do remember! There
have been many occasions like this when it has not been convenient for the
party to hear dissenting views. Perhaps if James the self-proclaimed Labor
Party expert actually did some research and did not seek to find so-called
evidence to defend his own short sighted and uninformed position, he would
find his own position wanting, as do your readers.

Those who actually know anything about the Labor Party will be well
aware of the many attempts to discredit Dr Lawrence – she has stood firm
against these to her credit and that of her many, many supporters. A closer
look at the events surrounding Penny Easton’s death and the subsequent Royal
Commission and perjury case, will show any literate reader the true picture.

Dr Lawrence is an enigma to many who do not like her intelligence,
competence and forth right nature. I can understand why someone such as
James would feel the need to discredit her in the misleading manner he has
done so – because an honest look will find her an honest, capable MP just
trying her hardest to do the job she was elected to do. God help us – if
only there were many more with the same objectives in our Parliaments. So
get out of her way and let her get on with it!

Name Withheld

CRIKEY: Crikey agrees it was a pretty harsh attack on Dr Lawrence and wishes her the best in trying to reform the Labor Party.

Stop trying to defend Carey

Typically, all the apologists are coming out of the woodwork in the wake of the Wayne Carey scandal. The number of morons who have phoned 3AW in recent days
suggesting Carey should be judged by a different set of standards because of the pressure of the football world has been shocking.

Equally, the number of football commentators who have bitten the hand that feeds them by getting stuck into the mee-dee-ya for “beating up the story” and “crucifying a
football legend” is breathtaking.

Look at the facts. Carey is arguably the greatest footballer in the land. He’s got form for sexual indiscretion (remember the breast-pinching court case a few years ago?).
He married his longtime girlfriend in January last year. He chose the toilet at a party attended by his wife, his best mate and his lover’s husband and much of the team. He
resigns from the Kangaroos in the most dramatic of circumstances after 12 years, risking sponsorships and the very future of the club.

And certain commentators around town, Sam Newman among them on the Footy Show, seem to suggest this is not a story.

What is it about footballers and hard core football supporters? They like to see the big men fly but don’t seem to care if the big men don’t fly right…

Jamie

CRIKEY: Totally agree Jamie. If the media exposed more sports stars for their appalling behaviour they would not keep trying to get away with disgraceful behaviour.

Leave us smokers alone

Todd Harper is undoubtedly a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle
black when he refers to the tobacco lobby as sleaze. Indeed, anti-smoking
campaigners are some of the most vicious bigots in the World today. They
are attempting (and suceeding) in creating an underclass out of 20% to 25%
of the population of Australia.

The ostracism, segregation and humiliation heaped upon smokers by Harper’s
ilk is reminiscent of White Australia, where the way someone looked was
seen as a legitimate basis to exclude them from bars, restaurants, buses
and workplaces. The anti-smokers want to exclude a large segment of
Australian society from interaction with the balance because they don’t
like the way they smell. Sight and smell are two of the five senses and
just as someone should not be discriminated against on the basis of how
they look, neither should a class of people be discriminated against
because of how they smell.

The argument that second-hand smoke is a health hazard is a serious con.
The 1993 US EPA SHS study was rejected as a fraudulent concoction by the
US Federal Court in 1998. Its Australian equivalent met a similar fate
before Finn, J. in the Australian Federal Court in 1996, and the largest
ever study on SHS by the World Health Organization, published in 1998,
found no valid evidence of a link between SHS and disease in non-smokers.
If it is not a legitimate goal of society to protect its citizens from
engaging in enjoyable, but harmful (nay, even reckless) activities, such as
skydiving, mountain-climbing and so on, it is not a legitimate goal to
force people to stop smoking, either directly or indirectly. Similarly, in
a free society, it is not a legitimate objective to create a system of
apartheid against more than 20% of your fellow citizens, simply because you
don’t like the way they smell!

Brad

CRIKEY: Don’t agree with you at all Brad but you’re welcome to a soap box here on Crikey. As someone who has had three collapsed lungs and reacts badly to smoke, I’m all for Apartheid.

This journo is appalled by Carey coverage

Stephen,

Firstly, your summary of that idiot Sam Newman was spot on. He’s quite
possibly jealous that it’s someone else’s dick that has received front page
coverage.

The whole Carey affair raises many questions, but none more so than the
conduct of the media. The whole reporting of this affair has been gutter
press.

Is it really necessary to go into great detail of the personal lives of
these PEOPLE! Yes Carey is in the public domain, but that does not deprive
him of the right to privacy. Nor does it condone the right of the media to
act like a papparazzi for people who are assoociated with Carey and Anthony
Stevens. The fallout here is immense.

I completely agree the fact that Carey, the greatest Kangaroos player ever
and arguably the best AFL player ever, decides to quit his club on the eve
of the season for PERSONAL reasons, is a huge story. However, there was a
time when such issues were reported with sympathy and respect.

Still, the circulation sales and viewing audiences MUST take precedence to
morality! No doubt the next few days will still contain copy on the soap
opera.

There is always someone’s butcher’s cousin’s milkman knows a bloke who heard
from a checkout chick at Coles that Carey did… and yet as the truth
unfolds it is the gossip that everyone wants to believe or report on.

I can’t wait for the day the Hun has page 3 girls!!! It seems imminent. Add
then I might buy it.

No one can condone the actions of Carey and Stevens’ wife. It is
deploreable, but it is their business to sort out. Not the media and the
public to judge. This could happen to any of us yet our lives wouldn’t be
transparent at a time of immense personal turmoil.

Mick Martyn can hold his head hight after his appearance on TFS. He’s far
from an articulate man and very camera shy. Many could learn from his
concern for mates. Particularly Carey.

Your piece on what the wives could gain form a divorce settlement was
equally as tasteless. I’m sure this web site was created for better purposes
than tabloid-style speculation.

Regards,
A pissed off and disapointed Roos fan, and a member for the fourth estate

CRIKEY: The Herald Sun is said to have added 65,000 to sales from the Carey coverage and The Footy Show rated its socks off. I agree that the Herald Sun went over the top in terms of the size of their coverage. Regarding the divorce speculation, it was something that a lot of people were asking themselves but agree it wasn’t our finest hour. That said, as a website committed to “disclose, disclose, disclose”, it is an element of the story no-one else had examined.

Sydneysiders shafted on AFL coverage yet again

Everyone bagged Channel 7 for years for their lack of attention with showing
live AFL games into Sydney on a Saturday night. Now, with the rights held by
Channels 9, 10 and FOX Sports, they still will not show the Night Grand
Final live tonight – they are all delayed telecasts from 10.30pm onwards on
CH 10 and FOX Sports. What a joke. FOX Sports has plenty of spare channels
including CH14 dedicated to the AFL which has decided to show a replay of
another night finals game. Can you believe that! Plus, CH10 originally
promoted it earlier in the week as having the game live at 8.30pm in Sydney
and Wollongong and Canberra – isn’t that misleading? Not even their sister
stations in Wollongong or Canberra are showing it live. Why bother having a
grand final available to 3 networks and none show it in Sydney or NSW. Does
the AFL ever get the TV rights correct? The biggest potential market in the
world outside Melbourne and no show. How is marketing the AFL? No wonder
Sydney siders think the AFL have no idea on satisfing demand in this state.

CRIKEY: I was surprised they showed it live in Melbourne when only 38,000 turned up to the game. It should have been live around Australia with the exception of Melbourne unless it sold out.

Telling Telstra to f*** off

Hi Crikey,

I just telephoned Telstra on their Billing Line on 13 2200 to cancel some
handsets and got their new interactive system where you have to tell a
computer what you want and, hopefully, will get the department you want. A
great way to feel like a Dork.

As I just installed a new handset with hands-free, I did not appreciate the
fact that I had to lift the handset and talk to a recorded voice.
After finally getting through and lodging a complaint, I wondered how
accommodating the system would be.

So I rang again.

(Paraphrasing)

Telstra: Welcome to the Telstra customer (sic) service line. We are
trialing a new…………..

Please tell me what you want………

Me: F*** you.

Telstra: Sorry, I didn’t hear you………..

Me: F*** you.

Telstra: I am having difficulty getting that, please wait and I will
connect you to an operator.

Then you get a live person.

Cheap entertainment but very embarrassing for Telstra. I am sure that more
creative minds than mine can come up with more entertaining scripts.

Keep up the good work, Mike

CRIKEY: Very childish Mike but those goddam call systems do drive you mad.

Sydneysiders shafted on AFL coverage yet again

Everyone bagged Channel 7 for years for their lack of attention with showing
live AFL games into Sydney on a Saturday night. Now, with the rights held by
Channels 9, 10 and FOX Sports, they still will not show the Night Grand
Final live tonight – they are all delayed telecasts from 10.30pm onwards on
CH 10 and FOX Sports. What a joke. FOX Sports has plenty of spare channels
including CH14 dedicated to the AFL which has decided to show a replay of
another night finals game. Can you believe that! Plus, CH10 originally
promoted it earlier in the week as having the game live at 8.30pm in Sydney
and Wollongong and Canberra – isn’t that misleading? Not even their sister
stations in Wollongong or Canberra are showing it live. Why bother having a
grand final available to 3 networks and none show it in Sydney or NSW. Does
the AFL ever get the TV rights correct? The biggest potential market in the
world outside Melbourne and no show. How is marketing the AFL? No wonder
Sydney siders think the AFL have no idea on satisfing demand in this state.

CRIKEY: I was surprised they showed it live in Melbourne when only 38,000 turned up to the game. It should have been live around Australia with the exception of Melbourne unless it sold out.

Telling Telstra to f*** off

Hi Crikey,

I just telephoned Telstra on their Billing Line on 13 2200 to cancel some
handsets and got their new interactive system where you have to tell a
computer what you want and, hopefully, will get the department you want. A
great way to feel like a Dork.

As I just installed a new handset with hands-free, I did not appreciate the
fact that I had to lift the handset and talk to a recorded voice.
After finally getting through and lodging a complaint, I wondered how
accommodating the system would be.

So I rang again.

(Paraphrasing)

Telstra: Welcome to the Telstra customer (sic) service line. We are
trialing a new…………..

Please tell me what you want………

Me: F*** you.

Telstra: Sorry, I didn’t hear you………..

Me: F*** you.

Telstra: I am having difficulty getting that, please wait and I will
connect you to an operator.

Then you get a live person.

Cheap entertainment but very embarrassing for Telstra. I am sure that more
creative minds than mine can come up with more entertaining scripts.

Keep up the good work, Mike

CRIKEY: Very childish Mike but those goddam call systems do drive you mad.

Howard’s hypocrisy on Kirby

Hi Crikey

To understand the bias inherent in little Johnny’s so-called leadership we
only need to contemplate some alternative scenarios.

1. A senator stands up and accuses Kerry Packer/ Don Bradman/ Bob Menzies of
devil worship. Does Howard a: wait until the accusations are investigated
and string out the allegations through ambiguous statements b: come down
like a ton of bricks? I suspect the latter. Privelege was designed to
prevent litigation affecting the business of parliament, not as a licence to
slander.

2. Tampa was actually loaded up with white Zimbabwean farmers and their
blue-eyed children escaping violence. Does Howard a: send in the SAS etc etc
b: make special case and offer the hand of friendship?
I have my suspicions as to the answer.

Dave

CRIKEY: Very well said David. Howard’s actions in not slapping down Heffernan immediately was a disgrace.

Political rorting on a grand scale

It has long been amusing to me the time that these pollies get their staff into putting together bogus reports to justify their overseas trips that no-one will ever read. Having read some of
them, that they can expect anyone to believe they in any way justify the waste of taxpayers money is beyond me. Most politicians wet themselves with glee and excitement when their
free trips are coming up. I remember one senior Labor party figure commenting to friends when he thought they had the last election in the bag, and that he had done the deal to be
Minister for Foreign Affairs, what a great life he would have travelling around the world First Class being kept in a manner to which he could easily get accustomed.

We all need to object vigorously to these nonsensical entitlements of politicians.

Anon

CRIKEY: A lot of pollies are very bright and hard working but the rorting and perks does seem to be really getting out of hand.

Hard work ranking the politicians

Dear Crikey,

I am sure there are some hard working diligent politicians who feel they are working for the community. Unfortunately none come to my mind and I can only think they
must be in that other Pacific rim country Utopia.

I think your greatest problem in ranking 1000 of Australia’s politicians will be in forming a percentage system to differentiate one from another to prevent you from ranking
them all equal worst in 1000th place.

Although I must admit at the moment “Little” Johnny, Bill “Nutbag” Heffernan, and “Lucky” Phil Ruddock are most up my nose at the moment. Perhaps an award can be
gifted to the lucky worst with live video streaming to catch the embarrassment for posterity.

Be warned, if the general public finds out about such a ranking, you’ll have to put on full time staff to handle the deluge of suggested rankings.

Keep it up.

Concerned Citizen

CRIKEY: Every time we start a new Crikey list the workload is more than anticipated so ranking Australia’s 1000 pollies would be a huge job but very worthwhile if anyone fancies helping out.

Carr government revenue rip-offs

In the leadup to the NSW election next year
I am desperate to put some pressure on the
current government on revenue issues. In my
simple understanding the GST plan was
designed to replace inefficent state taxes with
a general federal system that freed up business
to generate activity and markets to operate
unburdened the extra income generated then
flowed back to the states.

In NSW we still have payroll tax, land tax, stamp
duty on property, road levies, tolls being used
punitively on safe liberal seats in the north and
not at all on labor marginals in the west.

This is a disgrace the current Carr government
unfettered by an inefficent opposition is levying
these burdens on the taxpayer and we have
nothing to show for it bar a posturing Keating
style premier and Kojac on the streets.

This morning news showing state premiers
whingeing @ a paycut of $33m has tipped me
over the edge, I am livid and really want to see
this become an issue. The state taxpayer is
suffocating.

Batman

CRIKEY: The Carr government is the biggest spending and most reckless in the country. They should get nailed next year if the Opposition could ever get their act together.

Send Senator Knowles to Zimbabwe

Stephen,

While I think we should separate politics from sport, it does seem a little strange that while it is not safe for us mere mortals to travel to Zimbabwe, it is OK to send the
cream of Australia’s sporting talent in the form of the Australian Cricket Team. Who is more expendable?

I propose we send a parlimentary delegation to check out the situation in Zimbabwe. It should be led by Senator Sue Knowles. She is hanging out for a trip, and Bill
Heffernan could accompany her. He is at a loose end right now and I understand that he and Robert Mugabe share similar views regarding homosexuality.

Finally what about establishing a list of the brainless & clueless politicians? I propose John Anderson as a foundation member-sounding serious is not the same as
sounding intelligent.

Keep putting it up them.

Regards, Greg

CRIKEY: Crikey’s dream is to rank Australia’s 1000 politicians. Does anyone fancy kick starting this process.

How not to get vilified by Howard

Dear Crikey,

It seems patently obviously that there is only one way to not be villified, demonised or treated like a second class citizen by our current government. That is to be a white
anglo saxon protestant heterosexual who has a job and votes Liberal or is a mate of the PM. God help you and your reputation if your not. Just ask boat people, members
of the defence department, job seekers or anyone else without white skin.

Contrast this with the GG, an Anglican in the same faction as Howard’s Mrs. Lucky he wasn’t an Afghan, or he would’ve been guilty of the crime as well as covering it up
and been out on his ear. Wooldridge and Reith will answer to no-one in the end. If lucky the embarrassment to their new employers might lose them their cosy new jobs.

As for Heffernan, I am not at all surprised. I was unaware of John Howard’s slightly unbalanced mate until the last election campaign. To anyone who watched the ABC
programme, the Election Chaser, Heffernan was such a pea brain, he actually threatened members of the programme with “a punch in the head” in front of the camera.
That from an elected official who represents people in parliament. And Labor was worried IT didn’t field quality candidates in the last election. I don’t think the Libs did
much better.

Concerned Citizen

CRIKEY: That someone like Bill Heffernan can rise so far in the Liberal Party just says it all.

Lachlan Murdoch’s hypocrisy

In relation to the interview between Max Walsh and Lachlan Murdoch – the
veteran journalist allows Lachlan to hold forth about Fairfax attacks on him
and his family. Fair enough, although it is a bit rich to hear a Murdooch
complaining about low-brow personal journalism.

Be that as it may, it is even richer to have Max do this without raising his
own Bulletin cover story of about two years ago in which he accused the
Murdoch press of conspiring against the Howard Government and “prostituting”
their papers in doing so. He finally had a chance to put this very serious
charge to Lachlan. Needless to say, while taking a free kick at Fairfax, the
courageous Mr Walsh once again failed a basic journalistic test.

anon

CRIKEY: Anyone who publishes the London Sun can never credibly complain about journalistic ethics of others.

Kirby debacle a Costello plot

Who Benefits from Heffernan’s Farnarkle?

Answer:

1. P Costello

2. S Crean (In that order).

Here’s the theory, in the time-honoured tradition that ought to get me
promoted straight into cabinet, without any evidence whatsoever to back it
up (apart from reading Crikey and the newspapers).

a. Officials in the government know the anti-Kirby Comcar records are a
fake. They hate the Rodent, and prefer the Smirking Treasurer, so he (or an
acolyte) gets the documents just in case they might come in handy.

b. Knowing that a certain obsessively homophobic bonehead farmer from Junee
will not be able to resist such bait, it is fed in his direction. Tick tick
tick, wait for bomb to go off. Bang! Duly goes off.

c. Closet homophobic PM backs his bonehead mate and cannot resist drooling
over the prospect of knocking off a liberal-minded judge and replacing him
with his own social-neanderthal nomination. Lust almost brings the Rodent
undone.

d. Brilliant plan comes unstuck in the meantime, when bonehead smirking
treasurer plays billion dollar lotto, loses, and the word gets out. So
instead of bursting the Howard Dam, there’s just a crack in the wall
instead.

Keep chipping away on your side Simon, they’re chipping away as fast as they
can on the other side, too!

Regards, Amey

CRIKEY: If it was Richo and the NSW Right then it would be plausible but Costello is nothing like the political animal to get into this sort of stuff. A ripping yarn all the same.

The Coles Online rip-off

Stephen,

Since our baby came along we’ve been using Coles Online to do our grocery
shopping: not having to fight for a parking space, trundle a grumbly
toddler round the aisles and lug the stuff home made up for the $13
delivery fee. As you guys are in a similar boat I’d recommend it except
that Coles Online have just lost us as customers.

Without any notice the site no longer has any of the specials you’d
normally see when you visit the supermarket – or visited Coles Online up
until now.

Online customers receive a regular newsletter by email. While it gives
‘handy’ tips from the Meat department and recipes for muffins (and used to
point out “red flag specials”), no one from Coles Myer accounting has
bothered to tell customers they’re now signed up to a premium service with
prices to match.

It was only part-way into an online shopping expedition last night that my
wife realised there were no ‘red flags’ anywhere on the site any
more. Coles should realise that hunting out specials is just as much a
part of shopping online as it is in the real world. Figgins, Georges and
Coles’s own Let’s Eat are all failed examples of gearing pricing to the top
end of the market.

The site’s intro claims that “Within Coles Online you can purchase a wide
range of items that you can normally find on your supermarket
shelves”. The difference being, absolutely everything is now at the
premium price. We might as well do all my shopping at the local 7-11: it
would be cheaper.

Cheers, Mike

PS Given the chequered history of the Coles Myer card, there’s an
interesting note on the site: “Coles Online does not at this time accept
the Coles Myer Card for payment. Coles Online is not participating in any
sweepstakes, promotions, exclusive offers or any other activities or
services, in regards to the use of the Coles Myer Card.”

CRIKEY: Coles Myer is now run by two blokes used to enormous power and gouging customers, namely chairman Stan Wallis and CEO John Fletcher. To get profits up they have to lift prices and cut costs so none of this comes of any surprise. It must be part of the Fletcher-Wallis “magic”.

In defence of John Howard

Dear Crikey,

Why is Labor baying for John Howard’s blood when he tried to persuade Bill
Heffernan not to use parliamentary privilege to attack Michael Kirby when
Carmen Lawrence was found by a Royal Commission to have tolerated an abuse
of parliamentary privilege which led to an innocent woman committing
suicide?

The Marx Royal Commission heard critical evidence from her fellow State
Ministers, Pam Beggs and Keith Wilson, that John Halden MLC, Leader of the
Government in the Upper House in 1992, discussed in Cabinet making his
proposed speech implying that Penny Easton, the estranged wife of the head
of a WA Inc Quango, had an extra-marital affair with the Leader of the
Opposition, Richard Court. Mrs Easton committed suicide days after, having
been hounded by the press. All allegations were found to be completely
false.

Mrs Lawrence is a member of Simon Crean’s Shadow Cabinet. It is clear that
John Howard tried to discourage Bill Heffernan’s fateful speech. Dr
Lawrence did nothing in similar circumstances, and perhaps even encouraged
it. If Simon Crean were serious about upholding the institution of
Parliament, he would sack her immediately.

Matthew Blake
West Perth

CRIKEY: In politics there is always a “you did it too” defence but in absolute terms there is no defence of Bill Heffernan and Howard tried to defend him and still proudly proclaims him as a friend. He therefore gets tarred by the same brush to some extent.

Back to the drawing board for auditing

I believe that journalists covering this whole Andersen-Enron-HIH-Harris Scarfe-Sunbeam etc thing have yet to really nail down the core issue. It is my opinion that the entire profession has been completely discredited and must almost start from scratch again.

What happened at Andersen no doubt occurs in other audit firms; they’ve just been fortunate that the client has not gone bankrupt so publicly. I am not saying it is everywhere, but the key problem is that the audit profession has proved itself incapable of executing on its real function; to validate the accuracy of client’s financial reporting.

They may argue that this is not there fault; management keeps them in the dark etc. but my question then in how can they accept the fees knowing they have not really achieved anything? Its like they are just a proofreader.

The whole thing is rooted.

Current moves to separate out consulting arms and the general downplay of the seriousness of this issue by the heads of the Big 5 sorry make that 4 sorry make that 3(?) (a fearsome lobby group) are window dressing that will not solve the fundamental problems; that they add little of any value or assurance.

Just my opinion, but I think the journos are letting these guys off lightly; it will be off the radar soon and things will basically continue as they have been.

Asho

CRIKEY: I reckon the government should take over the hiring and firing of auditors for publicly listed companies because otherwise there is an insurmountable conflict.

The unions will never be toppled

Crikey,

Yet another piece from insiders supporting ‘reform’ of the Party. Reform
that enhances their power within the party by reducing Union Votes and
disinfacising ALP members. Pretending to be open and anti those nasty
little factions is a pitiful attempt to get up and running reform that would
benefit them. It is not going to happen fellas, if you have forgotten the
Labor Party was set up by the Trade Union movement as a political force to
enhance the lives of working people.

Now I know people in the party are scared of being linked to those nasty
unions but I can tell you it is the only force that will keep the party
honest. For people in the party who have dictated party tactics for the
past decade and continually betrayed the core principles of the ALP I think
you should give some others a go and stop bleating about aspirational
voters, american style primary voting and any other peice of dribble you
come up with.

Yours sincerely,
Hack no.1

CRIKEY: This hack sounds like he’s part of the problem. Corporates and taxpayers together contribute far more to Labor than the unions do and things like the 60-40 are blatantly undemocratic.

Why Michael Kirby is well liked by students

Dear Stephen,

Wendy Wedge asked today why Tony Abbott has been less than revolting over
the lamentable behaviour by Heffernan (Howard) towards Michael Kirby.
Tony Abbott was a student politician at Sydney University. Ever since his
own student days Michael Kirby has kept an active (and benign) eye on the
careers of student politicians. He would often attend Union dinners and
give polite and dispassionate advice to the ambitious young. I well
remember him gently (but firmly) correcting the speech of one Malcolm
Turnbull. This Sydney University student politics reason is why there is a
letter in today’s SMH from friends of Kirby, and why that letter crosses
party/gender/generation lines.

Name Withheld

CRIKEY: Interesting, more judges should do this.

Get to the physical evidence

In a few short months we have seen:

1. Someone playing with adobe photoshop to make the kids-in-the-water photos.

2. Someone else playing with the white-out to fake the Comcars docket.

Is anyone chasing up the physical evidence of this chicanery? Playing “what did Howard know and when” will get nowhere without a chain of evidence. I would have
thought both politicians and the media would be keen to track this stuff to its source.

Cheers, GWK

CRIKEY: Can anyone recall a government with less ethics when it comes the way it communicates key messages.

Poor old Melbourne is really copping it

Stephen,

I feel sorry for you poor buggers in Melbourne. you have really copped it lately.

First up you tell Jeff in a democratic fashion you are sick of him and you want him to go away, and then up he pops as a radio talk back host. And I thought he despised
the media. He was following in the footsteps of that other great transition from politics to radio by Graham ‘Richo’ Richardson. Richo has recently departed 2GB in the
shake up that that saw the Parrot move to 2GB ( and Pricey take the Parrot’s old spot on 2UE)and his radio career was less than than successful, first up on Breakfast
then more recently on Drive. I hope Jeff’s transition is more successful than Richo’s.

Then as a payback for sending us Pricey we sent you Stan. You’ re obviously wondering what you have done to deserve him?

Stan came to prominence doing the night time Talk Back on 2UE and there was a time when all the cabbies listened to him. Made getting into a cab late at night a daunting prospect with hearing Stan in full flight and his continual raves about dolebludgers etc.

Had a lasting effect on the cabbies too who ended up listening to the Love God on the easy listening MIX.

Along the way Stan started believing his own publicity and believed that he should have a daytime slot which 2UE couldn’t or more likely wouldn’t give him, so he went to
2GB doing the morning show where he was a dismal failure so they flicked him.

After also being flicked from Beauty and the Beast, Stan had nowhere else to go so Melbourne was a lifeline, and it looks that from reports this will be cut shortly.

I hope that in the afternoons that the ABC is OK in Melbourne because you don’t have much choice between Jeff & Stan.

The only future role I see for Stan is little Johnny using him for a Tokyo Rose style rant playing over the loudspeakers in the Woomera Detention Centre. After a few days
of non stop Stan the poor Afghanis would be pleading to go home.

Which brings us to Captain Kangaroo

Now we have had footy scandals here in Sydney, like when Souths were last in the competition and Julian O’ Neill shat In Jeremy Schloss’s shoe on a trip to Dubbo, but it
is not like shitting in your mate’s backyard and then cutting his grass as well.

And then there was League strong man Ian Roberts who bravely came out of the closet, but its not the same as coming out the ( water) closet with your mate’s missus.

And I don’t know how many times he shagged Kellie Stevens, but surely with all that spare time on his hands now, Wayne might like to pull out the pocket calculator and
divide the amount of money he is going to miss out on by the the number of times he shagged Kellie minus the divorce settlement to Sally. I’d like to see that

Might have been cheaper to go down to St Kilda (or wherever the Red Light district is) a few times and get the works at the best brothel in town.

Regards, Greg

CRIKEY: Given that Sally Carey is an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers she has probably already run these numbers and we are lucky that Virginia Triioli provides a good alternative to Stan and Jeff at the ABC each afternoon.

Pollies having it both ways

Re your revelations about the benefits the pollies assign to themselves..
The usual excuse given for this regular and excessive trough dipping is that
“you have to pay for quality..”.

Now, as a basically cynical and usually disinterested observer of the goings on of this class of “person” I can not really comment on their quality. But I have grave doubts…

However, this excuse is a direct contradiction of the other one they use to justify
their early access to their (tax-payer funded) super. This is that they are unable
to get work after politics…

If that is the case..(and we know from your wonderful lists that it is NOT..)
then the question has to be “Why are we paying so bloody much for the
services of the self confessed inept??”

This is a wonderful example of having it both ways..

Keep up the good work, sunbeam

CRIKEY: I personally reckon pollies should be paid more cash up front as salary but the perks and pension should also be wound back to community standards. All they are doing is putting their ulitmate salary on the bank card for taxpayers.

What about double dipping journos?

Steve,

Fuckin’ fabulous to see your list of pollies now reaping the rewards, in the private sector, of all that professional experience and knowledge and profile and expertise gained
– at public expense – while in public office.

Now, how about a list of all those commercial journos who were trained – at public expense – by the ABC, and who’ve gone on to exploit THEIR ‘experience, knowledge,
profile and expertise’ in commercial media? Presumably, too, Richard Carlton didn’t simply forfeit his publicly-accrued pension benefits when he walked away from Aunty
and accepted that six+ figure contract with Kezza?

Or does it all work differently for journos?

Jack

CRIKEY: Jack, I’m the first to stick it up the journos for hypocrisy and have published
lists of all their relationships, conflicts, defo cases, political connections and the like before.

However, ABC journos get shit super which they can’t access until they are 55
and they are not elected by the public. These are material differences with the greedy, double dipping pollies.

Watch for a sleazy campaign from the tobacco lobby

Dear Sir/Madam,

I note that the fraudulent article published under the headline “Watch for a
sleazy campaign from the tobacco lobby” was authored by someone styling
himself “Todd Harper – Anti-smoking campaigner.

I note that the fraudulent article published under the above headline
was authored by someone styling himself “Todd Harper – Anti-smoking
campaigner”.

Me, I do something for a living – half his luck being paid to be a
professional wowser.

Also, how could you run an article which quotes figures from “the VicHealth
Centre for Tobacco Control” – as if it were an impartial body dedicated to
the pursuit of truth?

Think about it. If there were no such thing as anti-smoking legislation and
QUIT campaigns, these clowns would have to go out and work for a living or,
more likely, pool their dole to share caffe lattes while consoling one
another over their ahem, “shortcomings”.

As for the quoted poll on whether people would attend/not attend hotels
after a smoking ban, any vaguely intelligent person would have to conclude
that even (ideally) random respondents in this day and age would be very
unlikely to respond in line with anything but the current politically
correct line – no matter what their REAL views/intentions might possibly be.

Also, a little detail on the number of respondents, location/selection
method/phrasing of the quoted survey would give it some tiny particle of
credibility.

Just as a f’rinstance – did the interviewing staff wear VicHealth Centre for
Tobacco Control ID? That would be very intimidating indeed to those who
would otherwise not give a rats posterior about the subject.

It might lead them to wonder if a wrong response could possibly land them on
the list of those to be visited come VicHealth’s future smoker/sympathiser
Krystalnacht.

From the obviously bogus figures quoted, I can only imagine the survey was
conducted within the offices of the “VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control”.

Yours disgustedly
David Benham

CRIKEY: Hmmm, suspect you’re both a puffer and an employee of the evil industry David but more than happy to run your letter in the interest of open debate. David has emailed to say he’s definitely a puffer but never an industry employee or paid lobbyist.

Political perks reveal double standards

Re your revelations about the benefits the pollies assign to themselves..

The usual excuse given for this regular and excessive trough dipping is that
“you have to pay for quality..” Now, as a basically cynical and usually
disinterested observer of the goings on of this class of “person” I can not really
comment on their quality. But I have grave doubts…

However, this excuse is a direct contradiction of the other one they use to justify
their early access to their (tax-payer funded) super. This is that they are unable
to get work after politics…

If that is the case (and we know from your wonderful lists that it is NOT..)
then the question has to be “Why are we paying so bloody much for the
services of the self confessed inept??”

This is a wonderful example of having it both ways..

Keep up the good work, Anon

CRIKEY: Well said. And what about the double standard of enjoying parliamentary privilege whilst subjecting the rest of the population to highly restrictive defamation laws.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW