Leave John Howard alone 

Crikey’s boring biased continuing diatribes against John howard are really starting to irk me. The wink wink assumption that he is a boring old fart that every body hates flies in the face of all opinion polls produced month in and month out and basic logic.

You are both ageists and guilty of refering to his physical attributes. It would be the same as the press referring to you as the tall brash gangly dork who is loose with the truth and facts every time somebody quotes you in the press.

By getting excited about Mark latham because he is young does you no credit. You might as well get excited by Cristopher Pyne he is young, articulate, can crap on as much as Latham and generally held his ground week in and week out against Latham on Lateline.

And Pyne still hasn’t broken anyone’s arm yet probably because he is like Mr Bean and has an undistinguished brawling history anyway.

Gough Whitlam and Jim Killlen where the most articulate and witty of past Australian politicians and probably about the worst Minister of the crown I can remember at my age (46 years).

If you’re going to criticise Howard talk about his policies not his physical attributes and age as that’s just downright offensive. Have a look at yourselves in the mirror - you’re not so great yourselves.

Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you’re wise and your logic is about as well formed as Steve Irwin’s.

Who’s Laura Tingle married to again? Says it all really. It’s all just agenda pushing without declaring your interest.

David Stanford

Don’t leave John Howard alone 

David Stanford’s adoring piece on Howard was pathetic. Howard is a boring man and most Australians cringe when they see him at his jingoistic photo shoots with Australian servicemen and women doing George W Bush’s bidding. Who will ever forget Howard’s despicable behaviour during the referendum campaign on the Constitution. His behaviour over the children overboard saga? His silence when Pauline let her cannons loose? His backing up in the House of the outrageous Heffernan allegations about Justice Kirby? His prevarication about our role in the war in Iraq..and then Bush blew his cover? His rorting of the system by living in Kirribilli House? His pigeon holing of the role of the Governor General ?His inhumane treatment of children in detention centres? The list is endless. Mark Latham has got up the nostrils of that conga line of suckholes – which means they must be scared of him.That’s the best news out of Canberra for a long time.

Barry Everingham

Howard’s boring cricket commentary 

What’s the betting that in the runup to the Federal Election later this year there will be no televised Great Debate between the main protagonists. After his cringeworthy performance in the ABC Radio Cricket Commentary box at the SCG this week, the PM will NOT be keen to go head to head with the challenger.

Poor Harsha Bhogle and Peter Roebuck strove manfully but in vain to draw something insightful out of this so-called “Cricket Tragic”. Try as they might to wind up the Clockwork Lemon, all they got was a series of deadly dull and tired old platitudes from a deadly dull and tired old man. He was uncertain, nervous and wary that he might expose his shallow grasp of the game he purports, Ming-like, to love.

Without his army of spindoctors and wordmeisters, the only thing of interest the poor old buggar could blurt out was a clue as to the date of the aforementioned election.

Latham, on the other hand, stole from the PM’s Little Election Primer and was alert but not alarmed, totally relaxed and comfortable and an interviewer’s dream. All that was missing was the white picket fence!

Insightful,articulate and pleasantly funny he batted through his innings in effortless style….reminiscent of that other Mark.

Bring on the election. Bring on the Great Debate!

Hal

‘More stupid stunts from Sea FM

Hey Crikey,

 

Just a comment about Gold Coast Sea FM’s recent “Scary Stunt” competition held at Dreamworld. I happen to know one of the contestants who entered and made it to the final three. These contestants had to eat raw fish and were covered in worms among other things while being blindfolded. Despite all of this, Sea FM only gave a prize to the winner. No runner-up prize or anything. Apparently it’s because they are on a “Gold Coast budget”. They could have at least given them a CD or something like that for their efforts. I believe that Sea FM are tight arses and should get their act together.

 

Regards, The Fat Monkey

The PM and the RMIT graduation ceremony

 

You published the following from one of your subscribers in a recent sealed section:

 

“Dear Crikey,

Re: the video of the PM at the RMIT Graduation ceremony last week.

 

My RMIT contacts suspect that the same video has been played for the last three years. The problem is that no-one has ever bothered watching/listening so no-one can confirm if it is.”

 

Crikey, your RMIT contacts are dead wrong. How could they be right when the PM goes to the trouble of saying how old RMIT is each time? This year it happened to be 116 years, ie, RMIT was established in 1887. And by the way, people DID listen because they clapped at the end of it. Maybe your RMIT contacts are duds, or just partisan?

 

Mahyar Goodarz

Project Director

Graduation Office

RMIT University

 

CRIKEY: Apologies to the hard-working staff in the RMIT graduation office.

What’s wrong with pathology in Australia

 

Dear Crikey, my website may be of interest for those who are wondering what’s gone wrong in the Pathology world and how patients may avoid paying pathology bills, because the service was incomplete. Check it out here.

 

It’s all mine – Dr Malcolm A Traill. 

Woolies are bullies

How about this for Woolworth’s being bullies: Safeway a.k.a. Woolworth’s are sending just about every independent fuel retailer broke with their discount fuel scheme.

For every purchase of $30 or more at a Safeway supermarket you are entitled to a discount of $0.04/litre of petrol.  Now this might not sound much but for an industry which survives on margins typically less than that it is disastrous.

Of course there are laws in this country which prevent huge corporations from vertical marketing, subsidising a discount in one industry with sales in another but Safeway (and now Coles I presume) are getting government exemptions on a site by site basis.

This is neither good for the industry or good for the consumer (in the long run.)  Another example of short sighted governance?

Andy

David Oldfield feeding on fear

I went to Dubbo recently. I was told by one of the locals that ‘some people around here say that all of the aboriginal people should have been killed in the first place’- ‘because they cause too much trouble’. This local person also claims that there is ‘reverse discrimination’ whereby he feels non-aboriginals are discriminated against.

About a month ago I went to Kempsey and was told about a man in his fifties that had ‘gone out and (quote) ‘slaughtered’ aboriginal people – and stolen their property in the Kempsey-Armidale region – which he currently owns now.

David Oldfield’s rantings on aboriginal people serves to inflame racist myths and crimes, which sadly appear to abound and prevail in country areas.

David Oldfield feeds upon this hatred in a cynical and dangerous way to promote himself.  This is a very serious problem.

CRIKEY: Read some of idiot Oldfield’s views on cultural sensitivity from the closing days of sittings on Macquarie Street in early December here.

The ABC and the asylum seeker issue

A refugee advocate was recently told by an ABC journalist that ABC management has insisted on reviewing all stories about asylum seekers. The journalist said that management killed a detailed story on the Nauru hunger strike that was ready for broadcast just before New Year’s— not out of concern that it might not be factual, but because they didn’t want to offend the government. Is it possible to put this out to your readers and ask if this is true, if anyone else has any evidence that ABC management has adopted the practice of vetting editorial decisions on this or other politically sensitive topics? (And if so, do the managers involved call themselves ‘Party Secretaries’ as those with similar responsibilities do in China?)

Perhaps this is why no one in the media seems to have picked up on the apparently well-founded rumour that Group Four, the private prison management company that will be taking over the running of the detention centres from ACM, has secretly ordered that all asylum seekers be removed from Villawood in Sydney to Baxter by the end of February. That’s when Group Four is scheduled to take over. I’ve heard this from an ACM employee; other ACM employees have confirmed this to other people I know.

In Villawood, asylum seekers have reasonably convenient access to community support, legal advice and visitors. In Baxter, they have none of this, and can’t even see the horizon, for the complex is surrounded by walls. Baxter’s inmates, from all accounts, live on the edge of despair. There are few visitors as it is out in the desert and the procedure for arranging visits complicated. There are fears for the mental health and indeed the lives of those long-term detainees should they be forced into the desert hell of Baxter, for some are borderline suicidal as it is. It would be good to find out if this move is indeed on the books and who is responsible — is it the Department of Immigration or Group Four, and if the latter (as our ACM sources claim), then why the hell is a private prison management company from Europe allowed to make such a major decision?

‘Bleeding Heart’

Peter Fray

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