This edition of Yoursay kicks off with a little debate on the quality
of Crikey ‘s content, plus organ donation and the David Hookes
Foundation, Smokey Jim Bacon, Ansett and more.

Excellent Barry Banker on NAB’s key messages

Crikey – the press barons’ stranglehold on both sides of politics: you
are so right.  Again today it is clearly in play as “dual
nationality” Latham back flips on star wars.  Crikey is needed now
more than ever.  That also applies to the high quality both of
succinct writing and the
informed level of pieces that you choose from some of your contributors.

There’s few other places in OZ where I can expect to find such forthright publishing.

Brian Baynam

A little decorum please

While your content has been as engaging as ever (though you could
improve your “real news-to-gratuitous commentary” ratio) your copy of
late has been leaning heavily towards tabloid twaddle.

Alliteration abounds, pithy epithets are the order of the day, the
cliches of journalese are flowing till we’re all blue in the face. We
know you have to pump out the stuff, but a little less hyperbole might
a long way.

For instance, you clearly think its hilarious to habitually refer to
Michael Lee as “Captain Wacky’s Cabin Boy”.  OK, so you instantly
bristle rusted-on Keating admirers like myself.  We’re used to the
vitriol. But really is this anything more than just puerile, prattish
name-calling, offensive to anyone who actually has some modicum of
respect for both these people? The snickering gay undertone to
this cheap shot is also seriously off-colour, and way off the mark for a publisher with pretensions to influence.

By all means be a larrikin, blow that whistle, show some healthy
disregard for celebrity, some good ol’ Aussie cynicism towards anyone
who would dare to stand for public office. Give us the inside oil, the
goss that’s been genuinely leaked by real yet anonymous sources;
deliver us all the speculation that’s fit to float… but please spare
us the Young Liberals banter.

Michael Hutak

A Geeen perspective on Crikey’s “give everyone a spray” motto

As a Greens hack and dedicated Crikey subscriber, I would like to thank
you for your shots at the Greens. I know it is done without fear or
favour, and in the spirit of “the public has a right to know”. I know
you will have a shot at any party whose arse is visible above the
Some of your correspondents such as ALP hack Boilermaker Bill are over
the top on the Greens (they feel very threatened now), but Crikey
readers are a discerning lot and can spot bias a mile off.
What is gratifying to us Greens is actually how trivial your stuff on
the Greens usually is, and how frequently the Greens turn out to be
vindicated. On other occasions you give us a good kick up the arse when
we need it, and that’s to everyone’s good.
I know some Greens get very incensed about you, as I’m sure some Labs,
Libs, Nats, One Nutters, Dems etc do. Shows you’re doing your job.
Keep up the good work!
Mike Puleston

Less abuse and more analysis for Bolt

You and some of your correspondents are fond of colourfully bagging
Andrew Bolt and that is your right. But how about holding back on the
abusive rhetoric and attempting some critical analysis of his work.
Then we will be able to see clearly why he is so wrong, out of touch,
hysterically rightwing.

Bernie Slattery

The FTA and our car manufacturers

As you know, all four of our “local” car manufactures are foreign
owned, and about all they’re good for is providing jobs to (primarily)
low-skilled workers.

Mitsubishi runs one of the world’s least efficient & profitable car
plants in Adelaide, and it’s high time the Australian taxpayer stopped
subsidising their inefficient operation.  I’ve heard the only
reason Shitsubishi were given money last time they threatened to leave
(which, if I recall correctly, was more than was needed to keep Ansett
afloat and saved less jobs), is because cars are part of the CPI and
airlines are not.

Holden sources most of its “grunty” (fuel inefficient) motors from the
USA.  There’s no real technical innovation going on there. 
Good sales pitch to the blokesinutes “office bogan” market though.

I am annoyed that the Victorian state government gave $500million to
Holden to “create” 400-500 jobs at their engine plant.  Surely
there are better ways to create jobs.

Toyota does some impressive bookwork to ensure that they don’t make a
“profit” on any car they make here (over pay for a Japanese made
engine), as company taxes being so much lower in Japan…

Ford are making a reasonable local comeback and they do make a
reasonable V6 here, but that doesn’t mean they deserve a handout
either.  I need to chat to my contact in the local car industry to
find out the current Ford gossip

I’m sure you’ve seen the “Trade & Assistance Review 2002-03” from
the Productivity Commission.  Very interesting reading. The
farmers get stuff-all government help compared to the four foreign
owned car manufacturers.

Let’s not forget that a lot of the Australian Design Rules are a hidden
form of car tariff, given that most European and Japanese cars are
significantly safer and more fuel-efficient than the Australian made
ones.  (I won’t claim the European cars are more reliable; they’re
not.  Japanese cars are.)  There’s a side rant about why it took so long for Toyota to get Australian Design
Rule approval on the Prius, which boils down to “it generates less fuel
taxes so it’s bad”.

Driver of an reliable, safe, fuel efficient (and imported) Subaru

Suitable ambassadors for organ donation

Watching the smiling faces of Mrs David Hookes, Sam Chisholm. John
Singleton and Kerry Packer on TV last night talking up organ donation a
few thoughts went through my head.

The first was whether the quartet might be going into the business of
purchasing and selling body parts, as a new string to their existing
business bows. After all everyone is looking for a new growth sector
these days. And as we live longer and our parts wear out, donated
organs will be in ever increasing demand.

The second was the interesting role of Mrs Hookes. Wasn’t this smiling
woman the dumped wife media (apart from Derryn Hinch) have been so
reluctant to talk about? Here she was smiling and happy that Hookes
organs had been donated (not that this is not a very good cause). Of
course, as immediate family Mrs Hookes and not the girlfriend drinking
with Hookes on the unfortunate night he lost his life, would have been
asked by the hospital for permission to remove organs.

Did she give permission to remove a sensitive part of Hookes’ anatomy
first, followed by ”take everything, arms, legs included” or did she
limit her permission only to vital organs? It could be the ultimate

A woman

Preaching from the converted

The other day Australia’s richest man and richest woman came out to lecture us about our civic duty:
Kerry Packer on the value of organ donations. Janet Holmes A Court on
the need for us to pay for our roads. What a hypocritical, cynical
display of self-interest.

Kerry Packer one of Australia’s most conspicuous consumers, famous for
gambling millions of dollars in a single night at casinos. Widely known
to disdain paying anything other than the bare minimum of taxes. And
what social causes has he ever got behind publicly? Well, he gave the
ambulance service a fleet of vehicles – after they saved his life. Oh,
and he now comes out to lecture us about the need for organ
donation.  Again, after an organ donor saves his life.

Next, Janet Holmes a Court accuses Australians of suffering from a
syndrome where we feel we do not have to pay for anything. This from a
woman who has inherited her wealth and power from her late husband.
Robert Holmes a Court, in turn, owed his wealth in part to dishonesty
and blatant theft from his years as a key player in the WA Inc
improprieties of the 80s.

So, who is it that believes they have a right to prosperity and
convenience at the expense of others without earning or paying for it?
Oh, and just who is going to pocket the money that we are coughing up
to pay for our roads as good citizens? Oh, it’s you Janet, is, it?
Well, we need to keep lining the pockets of our best and brightest. If
you and Kerry are to live forever, with the aid of our organs, you’ll
need our wealth to support you as well. We do not need to be lectured
on social responsibilities by these greedy creatures that lead lives
taking from society and are so unwilling to give anything back.

Kieran Curtain

Cancer and Bacon’s new insight

I often find it annoying that victims of all sorts of things get
heavily into the issues once they have been personally involved.
Smokers who get cancer and their relatives, parents whose children are
killed on the road, victims of crime, Understandable in a way but these
things have been going on for a long time. Why did they not get
involved before it happened?  Lots of young people have died on
the roads, other peoples’ children of course, other smokers’ relatives.
There is an element of selfishness in this; before it happened to me it
wasn’t very important!  It was. Get involved before it becomes
personal and maybe it may never become personal. Thank you.


No sympathy for smokey Bacon

Am I the only one who does not feel sorry for Jim Bacon, having to resign from the profitable position
of an Australian Premier? Why is he resigning? Problems with his lungs, caused by what? Smoking.

Sorry for at least 25 years we have known smoking causes cancer and ultimately death. He admitted, he
was resigning as a result of his heavy smoking over 30 odd years. 
Now he needs treatment and most likely the Australian Tax Payers will
have to pick up the bill. Surely there is a duty of care by those who
stand to be elected to represent us, to ensure they are of a fit body
and capable mind?

This has interesting complications now for hiring of new staff. A very
very public official who was elected to do a job by the Tasmanian
people, can not perform the duties he was employed to do, because of a
choice he made to take drugs.

So why would an employer want to hire someone knowing they are a drug
taker and will not be able to perform their duties long term? – how is
possibily discrimination?

G. Longhurst

It’s time to ban smoking

With Tasmania Premier Bacon sadly stricken with lung cancer it’s time
to ban the cultivation and importation of tobacco products into
Australia, as they are the real WMD in our community. Lets hope
Tasmania leads the way on this legislation.

Adrian Jackson
Middle Park

Our simplified the tax system

It offends me that every Australian is worse off in terms of living
standards – post GST (refer taxpayers Australia data – latest
magazine). As a Tax Agent with Accounting and Economics qualifications
I am offended by Government middle class welfare and think we should
get back to basics.

Tax should relate to income. Wasn’t the simplified tax system supposed to make it simple?

Welfare: whatever it is: What you want to call it: family payments Part
A or Part B: Childcare allowances; Baby bonuses etc they should be
outside the tax system. Government Departments all talk to each other
anyway so why have this complex system where people have to make
elections or claims through the tax office or Centrelink?

Why doesn’t it just happen?


No sympathy for sheltered Ansett workers

You guys sound like a bunch of total whingers over Murdoch getting out
of Ansett. He had the good sense to sell his stake in a company that
was riven by political and union interference over which he had no
control. Don’t you read your own coverage?

Oh how my heart bleeds for those poor, poor Ansett workers that got
nearly all their “entitlements” courtesy of the Australian taxpayer
after bludging for years in a union-sheltered workshop.

Grow up Crikey

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.