Roy and HG at the ALP national conference

Given Channel 7’s lack of success with Roy & HG at the tennis, plus
the absence of all those Sunday morning current affairs programs right
now, I say Seven should move them to Sydney and get them to cover all
the clap-trap etc at the ALP national conference. Maybe get more camera
shots of delegates dozing off, ripping into each other on refugees etc,
or goodness-knows-what-else.

I don’t mind what the ratings would be, but at least the duo can have
all Sunday morning to themselves (well, until the tennis coverage
starts).  And… such a show could still be called “The Dream”…
for obvious reasons.

Let’s see what other readers think.


Too hot to handle at Hi-Fi bar

Very interested in your attendance at the Dandy’s gig on Tuesday night
and your observations on the gig. Nice to finally see some music
industry stuff in Crikey!  I was across town at the Hi-Fi bar on
Swanston Street watching UK band Muse where a seemingly vastly
over-sold venue with little ventilation was bursting at the seams!

A couple of people passed out or fainted in ‘the mosh’ and in the usual
Australian way were virtually ignored by punters around them and given
little space to breathe. However, the real problem was the bathrooms
had the cold water taps removed, so only hot water was administrable in
the bathrooms and if you wanted cold water from the bar, it was $3 for
a tiny bottle! Of course any request for a glass of water was denied by
bar staff!

I know its the oldest trick in the book and the Hun has reported on it
100 times, however its still disappointing to see in this day and age.


Kevin Andrews’ “kick-ass” Who’s Who
In answer to Kevin Andrews’ “kick-ass” Who’s Who press release concerning the ALP’s National Conference, I say so what!
Andrews’ implicit accusation that a linkage between the union movement
and the ALP should be paraded as a thing of shame and embarrassment
fails to consider the deep and relevant purpose for such a linkage.
Unlike he and his fellow dyed in the blue colleagues whose own
political mantle becomes more conspicuously misapplied and irrelevant
each passing day, the ALP should remain proud of the fact that its
continuing association with the labour movement should form the
centrepiece of its philosophy.
As for the presence of party apparatchiks, where there is politics
there will always be influencers. Should we allow these influences to
run amok and undermine the common voice? Of course not but to make such
a holier than thou observation without regard to the Liberal party’s
own particular closet (dare I mention ethanol?) is hypocritical at best.
I concur. The press release is comprehensive but it begs the question
as to whether the time and effort that was invested in this little
endeavour was at the expense of the taxpayer.
Perhaps the honourable member should commit more effort to improving
the standard of living for the Australian worker rather than
undermining it in his role as Industrial Relations Minister.
I can only put my hand faithfully on my heart and trust that the Prime
Minister’s Ministerial Code of Conduct will once again stand high upon
its righteous pedestal.
Jeremy Apps

Kevin Andrews’s slackers

Apparently they’re pretty slack in Kevin Andrews’ office. If they’re
going to take the time to sit around researching ALP members, you’d
think they’d put some effort in.

Imagine my surprise and bemusement to find that I have been listed as
“Organiser AWU” in Andrews’ “kick-ass” list (I’m actually a lawyer).
I’m sure the AWU, if they cared about what was on Andrews’ list, would
be equally surprised.

It looks like Andrews’ staffers have just searched Australian sites
using Google and found an old erroneous reference to me as an AWU
organiser, and then unthinkingly repeated that error. I did the same
search and on the same page as the listing as an AWU organiser (and
student union president) found references to Terri Butler the writer,
Terri Butler the crisis manager, and Terri Butler the owner (and
possibly driver) of a Power Ford racing car.

This sort of laziness by Andrews and his staff sure does help explain
why the federal government’s “workplace relations” laws are so
atrocious. Maybe the dross Howard government ministers come out with is
all a result of their ministerial staffers having nothing better to do
than surf the web.

Terri Butler

What makes a good Australian of the Year?

Do you reckon Little Johnny gave Tugger the prize just to piss off
Germaine Greer?  I thought us egalitarian, team working Aussies
weren’t supposed to care about noncy awards. Individual accolades are
for poofs, and all that.

I remember The Parrot attacking the choice of Mandawuy Yunupingu when
he got the prize, describing it as tokenism and so on. The guy only
brought Aboriginal contemporary culture and music into the mainstream,
did great work for black-white relations and – with his equally
prominent brother – promoted indigenous education and achievement in
the Top End, after all. Not a patch on Whispering Jack, who I’m told
was still a British citizen when he got the nod in 1988.

And with regard to Mayne’s loathing of the Australian love of sport: at
least we appreciate it in different forms. They’re obsessed here in the
UK too, but with one thing: football. On the pitch ten months of the
year and in the papers for the other two as well. It’s on the back
pages of the red-tops every single day and not a stranger to the front,
with a steady stream of speculative essays on the latest sales and
purchases of players when there aren’t any games on in June-July …
except for every second
year, when it’s either the World Cup or the European Championships. Oh,
and don’t get me started on the David Beckham phenomenon.

Of course, the rugby was a welcome diversion and the awards flowed with
a fervour that would embarrass even the PM – Sir Clive, Martin Johnson
CBE, Jonny Wilkinson OBE and MBEs for everybody else, even the physio
and luggage-hander – but all that will be forgotten by the time Euro
2004 kicks off.

Besides, what’s the biggest day of the year in the US? Independence Day? Thanksgiving? Try Super(bowl) Sunday.

So let’s all calm down, we’re not perfect but we’re not that bad either.

Wade O’Leary

Just get rid of the Australia Day honours

A number of my friends believe it would be a good idea to eliminate
from the Australian of the Year and similar honours lists all those who
are paid, often quite handsomely, for the work they do. Otherwise not
just sporting heroes, film stars, well paid pollies would be jostling
at the starting gates but also other contenders such as CEOs and others
with massive bonus, performance or entertainment incentives [ie.
providing fodder for the tabloids]. These would take up most of the
positions at the barrier leaving those wonderful and deserving people
who improve the hopes and dreams and lifestyle of the unknown majority
without a chance. The PM’s secretary could be recompensed in other
ways, perhaps being in the background of his Christmas card, but those
who are on hefty if not obscene salaries for doing their work or
following their chosen vocation should regard the moolah as sufficient
reward and leave the gongs to those who operate above and beyond the
call of their career.

Anthony Carroll

The Hookes media hype

The media takes the bat to David Hookes private life and family. 
My hook is that anybody deserves as much publicity as David Hookes. But
then the money angle would not work. There is more money in blowing up
the story out of proportion as there is on an ordinary Joe.

David Hookes was an aging cricket commentator who once played cricket.
If an ordinary ‘Joe’ got hit with a fist like David did, would the
public hear of the aggression that was meated out? No. It would be on
page 16 under a small heading, “Man dies on pavement”. There is no
compassion. There is only sensationalism in the money eyes of the media.

We get the Hookes hype as if David Hookes ruled the world. He was a
commentator and part of the media. How would his death been treated if
he was an Olympic shooter. If Michael Diamond does not make it to the
Olympics will the publicity be anything like we have for Hookes? There
is no money in shooting. If the media knew what morality was, Steve
Waugh would not be Australian of the Year.

Tweed Heads

Was Hookes a real “westie”?

During the orgy of sentimentality and sub judice comment that comprised
Nine’s coverage of Hooksey’s funeral, I was intrigued by the statement
that the late cricketer came from the western suburbs of Adelaide.

This was obviously meant to give “Hooksey” a working class boy made
good credibility, but it also struck me as a typical piece of Packer
media Sydney-centric ignorance.  Coming from the western suburbs
has resonance in Sydney, but Adelaide??  Perhaps I’m wrong, but
I’ve always though of western suburban Adelaide – they included Glenelg
– as fairly genteel.  The northern suburbs – Elisabeth, Salisbury
-  that’s Adelaide’s “west”.


Peter Fray

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