Great feedback from the Crikey readership over the last few days.

Crikey, you may well tip that Solly Lew will come unstuck, but his campaign is having some resonance. My mother has been a canny investor for over 20 years (indeed far more successful than me) and told me the other day that she and a friend would be voting for Solly. She doesn’t usually vote in company meetings, but would this time because he was going to bring back the discount card and had retail experience. On the basis of this statistical sample of one, Yannon has been forgotten and his wholesaling to CM doesn’t seem to be well known to small investors.

Maybe a methodical and extensive publicity campaign can work wonders on smaller investors. The discount card is a real hit (I must admit, I’ve saved heaps and shopped extensively in CM stores because of it) and the impression that Solly will bring it back is hitting home, especially in the absence of counter-information.

Russell Schneider

CRIKEY: Right you are. The average CML investor is more interested in picking up weekly savings of a few dollars while content with a share price that has decreased 25% this year and precariously sits above five year lows. As long as Solly keeps the card, there wont be an institution anywhere near the share register.

The Age Good Reputation Index

I must admit I am slightly surprised at Crikeys attempts to debunk the Good Reputation Index printed in the Age on Monday.

For a news resource who lives under the slogan of Cutting down the tall poppies, Bringing down governments and Bringing down company directors, it appears as though Crikey has decided to jump to the defence of big business by suggesting that the Index is not as kosher as first thought, and that companies can pay their way to a good reputation.

From where I sit, as the methodology in the Age pointed out, the index was created by Non-government organisations, not the Reputation Measurement company itself, which merely collated responses and statistics. Why debunk this bright idea?

I personally think the index is a fantastic way for the public to make sure big business is held accountable for their actions. I am therefore worried that Crikey has chosen to defend Big business rather than support the index and demand disclosure. If your core business is cutting down the tall poppy, why cut down an initiative which assists this by keeping big business honest? Perhaps you should consider changing your slogan to Crikey, Bringing down governments but too scared to stand against big business.

Simon Meridith

CRIKEY: The Index is commendable but the choice of Westpac as numero uno dubious. With the CBA and NAB at 26 and 29 respectively, social impact and ethical performance must be measured on the number of disenchanted customers and country branches closed. No wonder WBC released a A$2.192 billion full year profit.

Gun owners have life experience and deserve an objective view

It is quite a privilege to see the SSAA guestbook get so much attention.
It is also interesting to see the intellectual calibre of guests who joined
us after you posted our heartfelt scribings. I have been a part of the
SSAA guestbook for almost four years and count many of the posters as
friends. As pointed out so exquisitely by Hilary, we are not 100%
politically correct but we sure have some life experience between us.
After the three years of vilification over Port Arthur, many of us are
stressed to the point of physical sickness by the spewing hatred again
being poured from the media.

If Crikey readers care to come along to our clubs, they will discover we
are just as resentful as Noam Chomsky in Manufacturing Consent, whine as
bitterly as Susan Faludi in Backlash and feel as much victims as gays or
indigenous being picked on by their world. I suppose we should just get
over it and fight back with everything we have.

Sadly for us, our core values include self-respect as responsible citizens
of our community. It takes us by surprise when so many people we respect
as our neighbours accept these hateful stereotypes of us without blinking.

However, Crikey readers are generally well educated, cynical and smart
enough to deconstruct a debate for themselves. I recommend you get out,
ask yourself along to a shooting club and find out what makes us tick,
then read the media reports with clear minds. Whose image is being
constructed for a political agenda? Whose arguments are loaded with
emotion? What does the symbolism of public action say about the exercise
of social power?

And while your are at it, which academics have been exposed for fraudulent
or advocacy-based research? Was the research basis for the last buyback
independent? What measures of effectiveness have been made of the last
buyback, and how well have their results been examined?

Chris Allen

No to guns!

Why does the pro gun lobby think that we have some sort of
right to bear arms? It’s not in our constitution. Why do they keep acting
like we are taking away a member of their family rather than a murder

And for the information of those who say if a murder is committed
with an axe, knife, machete or vehicle then why not use the same standards
to ban these, because dear testosterone heads guns were and are designed for
one purpose, unlike the other weapons, that is to kill. Hand guns, as
opposed to some rifles which are used for sport shooting, are designed for
the sole purpose of shooting, injuring and killing people.

I do not see why people feel they need to own guns in todays society, for
all the media hype, home invasions are rare. It is more likely that you
house will be broken in to when you are not home and the thief will then
steal your precious gun.

Most murders are committed by people who do not have a criminal record and
are family members or friends. There is also a history of children getting
hold of their parents weapons.

Colin B

Holt, ACT

And again…

As a Uni student, the Monash shootings hit pretty close to home for me and
really made me stop and think. However, the guestbook at the sporting
shooters association really scared me. These are people with guns. I do
not belong to any of the groups that have been identified in the guestbook
that has raised the anger of the shooters, and already I am scared. If
they ever turn on “people like me”, I am leaving the country.

Sporting shooters scare the crap out of me.

Matthew Roberts

Soccer Australia; a sporting ‘Comedy Company’

Patrick Fitzgerald is spot on that Channel 7’s would-be deal is
commercial suicide for Soccer Australia(SA). It could well be the case that
Ian Knop’s tenure as SA Chairman collapses because of his insistence in
pursuing the deal.

The sad thing for football in this country is that at
the weekend’s AGM there are few viable alternative candidates to lead
the sport into the 21st century. Suburban lawyers, accountants, and
fruit farmers, who have a ‘love of the game’ make neither a dynamic
board nor confident future.

To Knop’s credit (Seven aside) at least he
has returned the sport to The Comedy Channel rather than as an episode
of The Sopranos, as it was under the ‘leadership’ of Tony Labbozzetta,
the bloke who can take the bullet for much of the financial state the
game is in.

For the record, Perth Glory and South Melbourne are not the most
powerful clubs. At the AGM, NSL clubs have just one vote each (except
for NZ’s Football Kingz). State Federations are the real powerhouses,
with votes roughly assigned to the number of registered players, and it
is this system that allows the administration to be based upon deals,
deals, and deals, rather than what FIFA patronisingly calls ‘the good of
the game’.

Until this set up is changed, the circus will continue to
roll into town and be the laughing stock of the (sporting) country.

Matthew Hall


Despite best intentions, Lochie remains on the elitist outer

I have never read so much crap in my life.

The Murdoch’s run the most biased newspapers the world has ever seen.
It is a well-known fact that none of their newspapers ever publish any article that either upsets their political friends or advertisers interests.

I note that this lecture was not published in their media, no doubt they feared the public scorn this would arouse.
They employ and use the most repugnant reporters as a matter of course.
I have yet to see in any of their feed-back section any reports that criticise printed, only feed-back that supports the authors point of view. I suggest your readers try for themselves.

Harry Butler

Tuncurry, NSW.

What I found extraordinary about Murdoch’s contempt for media elites was the fact that a guy who is a third generation media proprietor educated at an exclusive Ivy League college is unable to grasp the fact the he himself is a media elite.

Perhaps Mr Murdoch should actually read the book that sparked all this loose chatter about elites: Christopher Lasch’s “The Revolt of the Elites” (John Howard is another who has been very keen to throw the term around in a manner that misrepresents Lasch’s argument). For Lasch, the elites are the managerial class, a class who are highly mobile and who are global in outlook. Lasch’s fear was that these elites isolate themselves within their own networks and enclaves, abandon the middle classes and divide the nation (in Lasch’s case the US). Lasch called for a return to virtues like community, responsibility and religion.

In other words Lasch was an old-fashioned conservative for whom elites like Murdoch are far more dangerous to the community than are moderate intellectuals whose interests and motivations do not coincide with maximising Newscorps’ profits.

Nobody is going to accuse Lachlan Murdoch of being an intellectual, but it is entirely disingenuous of him to pretend he is not of the elite.

David Baker

Highgate Hill

And finally…

Listening to Lachlan Murdoch’s dismal speech and the
sight of a grinning Jamie Packer at the mention of
‘elites’ makes me really nervous about my News Corp

I only hope when the old man does go that
Wendy Deng is the one that has the upper hand. These two
spoilt brats look more like dimwits at every public

John Harmann

Monash shooting coverage unsurprisingly slow off the mark

After hearing of the Monash shootings on Monday (I myself was at Melbourne Uni
at the time) I quickly got on the net to find out any info. To my unpleasant
surprise The Age online had nothing on the story at 1:30 p.m., when the shootings
had taken place two hours previously. I appreciate the difficulties news sources
have in getting reports on stories like this, but why could a site like Ninemsn
get a report on this story online a full hour before the Age does, especially
when they both come from the same source (AAP) and when the Age is supposed to
concentrate on Melbourne issues? Did somebody screw up?

Frank Simmons

ASIO on the job

All this talk of intelligence gathering in Indonesia! How can you gather
intelligence when you have no one there! Two hundred million Muslims and not
one ASIO person based permanently in Indonesia – even after September

Who are they kidding ?


CRIKEY: With the ASIO budget increased to about $85 million a year, maybe a couple of graduates can be relocated to Indonesia.

Lay off Eddie Crikey!

Crikeys ongoing, unhealthy fixation with all things McGuire is starting to sound like a personal vendetta. Your constant swipes at Eddie McGuires business dealings and now Frank McGuires attendance at National ARM meetings are an indication of a miserable attempt to turn the communitys mind against a couple of successful businessmen who just happen to be brothers and who, between them, I suspect spend more time on charitable and voluntary activities in one week than the great Crikey leader does in a year (and Im being generous there).

Your comments regarding Frank McGuires attendance figures at ARM National Board meetings are, as usual, uninformed.
Crikeys suggestion that Frank is a fair-weather friend of the Republican movement is just plain bullshit. Until about a month ago Frank was also the Victoria State Convenor of the ARM, a position he has held for many years and he is still heavily involved with the ARM. In case Crikey missed the year 1999, through Franks efforts and leadership, Victoria had the highest YES vote of any state in the Republican Referendum.

At its inaugural Victorian State Convention last Sunday Frank was awarded a Life Membership of the ARM by the unanimous vote of the whole convention. Clearly ARM members have a far better understanding of his abilities, strengths and commitment to the Republican movement than a wanna be media tart. Oh and if Crikey is such a friend of the Republic why wasnt he at the convention?

Of course this letter will never see the light of day, Crikeys fixation with stifling any bad comments about itself is well documented.

Stephen Mead

CRIKEY: Great to hear from someone else with an unhealthy fixation with Eddie Everywhere.

ERG stuffing up again

ERG stuffed up on Friday when its subscriber e-mail alert about its
latest media release included the private e-mail addresses of the 889
people they sent it to.

Doesn’t this high-tech company know how to send e-mail?


CRIKEY: Lets hope 889 tokens arent issued when one makes a transaction at their ticketing machines. Not to mention a share price that has plummeted from above $4.00 in mid 2000 to $0.17 recently.

How to sell HIH assets

E-bay lists the Enron Ethics Manual for sale, current bid $60.

It prompts me to wonder if HIH’s liquidator has considered similar listings, after all HIH’s “Good Governance” manual should fetch a pretty penny, it’d be a “one owner, never used” listing.

Rainbow Warrior

CRIKEY: Still in box, excellent condition..

Mark Waugh goes out a hero

Mark Waugh is a genuine Aussie cricket hero – world record holder for
catches and gutsy, unselfish batting average over 41. With Australia at
odds 7-1 to win the ashes (England 1-10 against) why couldn’t the selectors
respect Mark, his amazing legacy and his legions of fans by letting us
farewell him at home?

Their media announcement implies Mark “promptly” dropped himself – it is churlish to say the least. I will be interesting to see how much of the
outraged feedback they get will be posted on the “your views” section of
the website.

It really stinks. I am bitterly disappointed for Mark and

Catherine Cusack

CRIKEY: No one would doubt Juniors fantastic contribution to Aussie cricket. Who could forget that fighting ton in the Caribbean in 1995 to wrestle the series from the Windies? However, he did comment approximately a year ago that he would continue playing until the selectors saw fit, thus negating a departure on his terms. What makes the Australian side so formidable is its continued strength and this currently necessitates Junior out and Boofa in.

And here’s one for you Stuart…

I was just wondering on what basis you decide to list contributions. I have made a number and have not seen anything on your website. Whilst this may reflect my insecurity or huge ego, I am unsure which, I thought that some of my comments would have made an interesting line for further investigation or comment.

Stuart Stevens

CRIKEY: Probably both your insecurity and huge ego.