Crikey’s Friday arvo email

My oh MY Mr Mayne, weren’t YOU a fiery little fellow in today’s Sealed Section? And what a good thing it is too!

When I first subscribed to Crikey, I just LOVED your strong opinion,
carping and moaning. You screamed and ranted about scandals, tore your
clothes, gnashed your teeth and beat your breast. You made me feel good
about unearthing and kicking all those bad bastards out there.

Lately however, over the last few months, (probably with all the dramas
in your life), you have mellowed and just reported the facts.
Still juicy. But not quite the same.

But, joy-oh-joy, today – He is back! Yes indeedy, we got a good
dose of the fiery, pernickety, whingeing Stevie that we all love so
much! Dunno what did it (a see-you-on-Saturday-night wink from
Mrs. Crikey perhaps?), but whatever it was, I am delighted!

The spice is back in Crikey’s rants!

Clive Small and Boilermaker Bill

Gotto comment on this one. On the exact same day as I read your Item 11
on Thursday, 29 April I completed reading the book “To Protect and to
Serve” by Tim Priest and Richard Basham.

Here is Boilermaker Bill, a typically insightful political observer,
completely losing all credibility by supporting Clive Small, a well
known and publicised media tart and liar, as well as a hopelessly
incompetent Police Officer.

If anyone wants to know about the grand successes of Clive Small they need only read the aforementioned book.

As for Boilermaker Bill, for his credibility’s sake, I sincerely hope
his gushing letter about Clive Small was sarcastically intended. In
light of his past record, I am happily giving him the benefit of the

Keep up the good work.


CRIKEY: Read Boilermaker Bill here – Boilermaker hails a Small victory for the good guys

Laws and Jones – Deja Vu?

The current stoush between the two ‘masters of the radio waves’ puts me
in mind of the ‘battle for the bush’ fought between rival Sydney poets,
Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson in the pages of the ‘Bushman’s Bible’
the Bulletin, back in the 1890’s.

Lawson and Paterson were both regular contributors of poems to the
‘Bully’ and each had contrasting personal visions of what life in the
‘Great Australian Outback’ was all about. Paterson’s was the romantic
“Clancy’ view, while Lawson’s was the ‘battler against harsh nature’

It wasn’t long before they, together with editor, JF Archibald, saw the
commercial value in pitting their literary skills against each other in
order to provoke reader reaction and thence sales of the paper. This
they did by writing alternating poems of allegation and response to
each other over successive issues of the Bulletin.

As Paterson himself later observed, they “slam-banged away at each
other for weeks” and apparently did quite well out of it financially
before the reading public wised up refused to give further credence to
either point of view.

It occurs to me that both Laws and Jones would be reaping a ratings windfall out of the ‘Flint Affair’.


O’Brien misses a great opportunity

This Laws-Jones story is great fun, but did you see Kerry O’Brien miss
a fantastic opportunity in yesterday’s interview with Laws.

O’Brien: Have you asked the other guests if they’re prepared to
publicly corroborate your recollection of the dinner conversation?

Laws: Of course they are, because it’s the truth … My wife’s inside. Go ask her.

What sensational television if Kerry had been more alert. He should
have stood up, gone to the kitchen where Caroline was warming up the
leftovers from Otto, and put the question straight to her. The camera
would have captured the full expanse of the Laws mansion, and Caroline
would have been caught on camera. Laws could not have complained, given
the invitation.

I’ll bet Kerry is kicking himself.


Laws and Jones

Let me preface my remarks by saying I have the same low opinion of both
of the above. All the media make me sick. It seems that the
“Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend”. Because Alan Jones is considered the
bigger evil, suddenly, everyone is draping themselves around John Laws.

I would view any claim made by either of these “paragons of virtue” especially about each other, with a jaundiced ear.

I mean, how can people forget the “bagging” John Laws has given the ABC
over the years and as soon as they look to be on his side, “Kerry
O’Brien” is the greatest thing in journalism since “Bob Woodward”.

He even quoted “Crikey” the other day, again, because it suited his
purposes, I wouldn’t have thought you would have been on his “Required
Reading List”. I wonder why he didn’t quote you during the “Cash for
Comment” affair?

Unless the matter is cut and dried, public opinion wise, John Laws has
made an art form of seeing which way the wind is blowing and then
claiming the popular position as being his all the way along.
As for the “media’ jumping on the bandwagon, you only have to listen to
the way Mike Carleton” talks about John Laws now? I can certainly
remember “Mike” lumping JL and AJ together as “Redneck” broadcasters.
JL isn’t the only one with a memory.

As for Alan Jones “The Pick and Stick” man.

What two things do, Jeffrey Archer, Robbie Waterhouse, “Tricky” Trindall and Renee Rivkin have in common?

How can anyone with more than two neurones to knock together miss the
breath taking hypocrisy as he jumps from one horse to another in mid

Although, what really does it for me, is whenever there is a decision
taken at State government level, that ruffles his feathers, it is the
fault of the Carr government. When it is a Federal level decision, it
is the Competition Commission or some other statutory authority, never
the Federal Government.

Steve Jackson

In defence of Prof Flint

I am not surprised to note how personal the attacks on Professor Flint
have been. I presume it is a result of the thoroughly deserved
caning that the likes of his detractors received in ‘The Twilight of
the Elites’, and the republicans ignominious defeat in 1999. However,
The playground insults of the trendy Left and their fellow travellers
do little to further their adolescent causes.

I suspect that much of their puerile resentment stems from their
inability to comprehend, let alone match, the erudition, wit, and
urbanity of the Professor.

Dave Horkan

Piers is getting more unbearable

Piers is getting more unbearable if that is at all possible. His last
few articles display so much Arab-bashing, that I implore you to
re-focus your attention on this man whose hatred of things Arabic knows
no bounds.

Today (May 2) he was at it again ranting about Mark Latham and spraying
everyone else who is opposed to his and the Sun-King’s view of the
world. In today’s ‘Sunday Telegraph’ he ironically displays his own
ignorance in this quote.

‘Such ignorance (having a go at Mark Latham in the previous paragraph)
is matched only by that of the al-Jazeera reporter who thought Senator
Hill represented the gutless, cut-and-run Spanish Government.’

Two things in this quote: it was not an Al Jazeera reporter. It was a
reporter from a local Iraqi paper: but Piers doesn’t care: he sees an
opportunity to make a swipe at the Arab Al-Jazeera network so why not
have a go. They’re only Arabs after all. The second issue: Piers just
conveniently ignores the popular will of the Spanish people: according
to Piers they’re just ‘gutless’. The term ‘gutless’ would be more
appropriate for his great hero G.W. Bush who got his daddy to fix
things so he didn’t need to do his military service in the 70’s.

Your loyal Arab-subscriber

SMH story about Tchaikovsky

Your unnamed classical music tragic is wrong on two counts. The
composer’s name is Stravinsky, not Stavinsky. The Rite of Spring
is not “unclassifiable” – it’s a ballet.

But I agree with the unstated idea that whoever wrote the original piece should be transferred to the shipping news.

Richard Pennycuick
(Another classical music tragic)

On the sugar debate

About time someone put the boot into these clowns.

My brother moved his family to Elliot Heads near Bundy about 18mths ago
and set up a small tourist business. He was followed by my widowed
mother soon after. Last October I visited the area and was astounded by
one thing more than any other.

It wasn’t the vast tracts of land under the plough, it wasn’t the
brilliant beaches and weather, it wasn’t even the disproportionate
number of white Anglo rednecks I met at the local boozer, or the even
the rum.

What it was I was so amazed at was the number of late model BMW’s and
Mercs I saw. There was at least one, sometimes two, in almost every
homestead attached to a cane field.

These are the same arseholes who bitch at the pittance the aboriginals
are given in an attempt to drag them up the level us white guys enjoy.


Farmers and subsidies

Well bugger me, Crikey you have a point. How dare anyone in this country be afforded the right to a subsidy?

I am glad that you pointed out that it is only the farmers that get
this wonderful thing you call a subsidy, as I thought subsidies
underpinned our car industry as well. We could also mention the
subsidies to university students or ex-Ansett workers, as well as the
protection afforded chemists and newsagents. And as for the
single parents, pensioners and unemployed people…. They have no
right to exist on their subsidy and should do the only honourable thing
and throw themselves on the nearest sword!

You could have attacked the whole subsidy thing but you chose (as most
city folk seem to), the soft target. As a dairy farmer I find it
somewhat strange that people like yourselves think that we should not
be earning little more than we did 30 years ago (not indexed -subsidy
included). Have you tried to live on what you where making
30 years ago lately? Young people are walking off the land
in droves and the average age for farmers is in the high 50s. You
do the sums. Who’s growing your food in the years to come?

Dale A

Sugar …

Read and appreciate your stuff on sugar.

Barry Ninham
Regensburg, Germany

CRIKEY: For more feedback on the sugar subsidy see our story in politics – John Howard’s sugar bail out scandal

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