Sunday and the hidden hatchets

Just finished watching Sunday program – had a think about it – and
about your comments on a hatchet job – vs a puff piece or somewhere in
between – somewhere in between wins out, with a positive spin for
you. Not that I am any expert, but as an ordinary consumer of the
‘Sunday’ show I consider the piece on you and your family and business
as very positive. I was very impressed with its depth considering it’s
a Packer show – Steve Price came across as a mischievous, pugilistic,
plonker. As an ex-Victorian it was great to see Virginia Trioli
still at it. Now what? Are you expecting an invitation into the Packer
stable because you have something really filthy on them? Can’t wait to
see your view. And Happy Mothers Day Mrs Crikey.


Independence is hard work

I read a quote once that said “the dictionary is the only place where
success comes before work” I would have to say that I believe that the
Crikey team are living proof of that fact. I wish to congratulate you
on a job well done in the production of your material and the success
that you are deriving from your efforts. Being independent is one
thing, having to work ridiculous hours to maintain independence is
another. Having the guts to continue in the face of adversity and
oxygen thieves like Steve Price is something you and your team should
be proud of. I don’t necessarily agree with the spin that is put on
some of your material, but that is what makes it attractive, the
existence of the hidden agenda is always there in the mainstream media.
With you guys there is nothing hidden about any agenda it is there in
your face for all that wish to view it. This is a position of nobility
that you should not change for as long as you can maintain your
existence in cyberspace.

Well played

Singapore and foreign investment

This morning on the ABC talking about Singapore’s purchase of the
utilities, you spoke about Australia needing foreign investment.
Australia urgently needs new greenfield investments – but Singapore’s
purchase is not one!

When the Foreign Investment Review Board used to give a good analysis
of all foreign investment, only 2% was greenfield. The rest was
purchase of existing businesses or real estate – none of which creates
exports, and usually job losses occurred as manufacturing is wound back
(eg Electrolux in Orange).

Can’t speak for you, but I want Peter Costello to run Australia Inc as
a profitable enterprise. In a week or two he will undoubtably talk
about how successful he has been – and many journalists will echo this.
The harsh reality is that in June 1996, three months after Howard came
into office, Australia’s total net foreign liabilities were $275

By 31.12.2003 these net liabilities (what Australia owes foreigners,
and has to be serviced, less what the rest-of-the-world owes Australia)
have in 7.5 years rocketed to $468 billion, an increase of $193
billion. This may have stimulated the housing and retail sectors, but
these equity and debt liabilities have to be paid for by every
Australian, directly and indirectly.

The last year Australia had a Current Account surplus was 1973. If USA
interest rates ever take off, Australia will be in deep trouble as no
one is offering a strategy to make Australia Inc a break-even
enterprise. Does it matter? Yes — because international liabilities
are not forgiven, but the cost is passed down to the younger

Singapore invests in sure things in Australia because it plans its
future as a creditor nation –not like Australia. Last year when I was
in Korea the papers were full of Government plans for Korea’s foreign
income for the next ten years. Last financial year our exports of Goods
and Services totalled $148 billion, but our imports totalled $167
billion. Then we had to pay the Interest and Dividend bill of $22
billion, giving a total loss for the year of $41 billion! Doesn’t seem
good management to me! Peter Costello is also unlikely to mention the
billions of unfunded Federal contingent retirement liabilities as that
would rule out any talk of tax cuts – but the liabilities are still

You have often spoken out on corporate governance. Cabinet should be
like a Board of Directors, with Peter Costello the Finance man. His
losses make Amp and HIH look chickenfeed! When the Budget comes out,
please take him to task on running Australia Inc.

Harry Wallace

Triple J moving left rapidly

Re: ABC left wing leanings, I believe the new current affairs show on
Triple J “Hack” broadcast weekdays at 5.30pm should be named “Socialist
Hack” for its obtrusively pink subject matter and story angles. Listen
to any two days of Hack and you’ll see consistently pro-trade union,
pro-free education (for students not taxpayers), anti-business,
anti-Howard, pro-open boarders, and anti-US its stories are.

Country NSW Triple J Fan

Is the ABC really left?

It seems to me that the Liberals have very short, or convenient,
memories. The ABC has been unpopular with incumbent governments of
either persuasion. Governments don’t like their policies questioned;
question time in parliament is a joke, and a bad one at that.
Commercial media is on a tight leash, and favour right wing
governments. So who is there to ask the question, the ABC. In Menzies
day if you questioned liberal policy you were branded a communist,
Howard’s government says ‘leftist’ but if they were truthful they would
continue the Menzies line.

Gary Carroll

Farewell “Chippy” Frillingos

Crikey is a Victorian publication, however, from an NSW point of view
Peter Frillingos would be one of our down to earth icons. He may have
written for the peoples paper rather than an esteemed broadsheet, but
the guy was all class, true to himself, his readers and his contacts
and friends he was all I would ever want of a journalist both
opinionated, informed and factual. Oh that there were more like him.

David Stanford

Peter Costello’s republican future

Treasurer Peter Costello’s decision to consider his future at the end
of the year (Sunday Age, 09 May 04) may be force upon him if the ALP
wins the federal election; which is likely given the Iraq fiasco.

While Costello has been a good Treasurer, republicans like him are
bearly tolerated for leadership consideration in the Liberal and Nation
Parties by rank and file members who are predominantly constitutional

Likewise if elected Malcolm Turnbull will have a long career on the
opposition backbench too. He is hated by many Liberals for being the
ARM leader and attacking the PM during the successful retain the
constitutional monarchy referendum in 1999.

Adrian Jackson

The distressing outcome of rape cases

I have been quite shocked at manner in which the Bulldog rape case was
handled by the police and the Justice System. The Four Corners
documentary the other night showed that a ‘Sexual Predatory Behaviour’
exists amongst some sportsman. After watching the documentary, I
asked myself the question, “What is the definition of Rape? How on
earth does one prove rape!”

How come the police waited 10 days before interviewing the players. At
what point did the prosecution get involved – I would like to think
immediately. So who was really in charge of the case – the police
or prosecution?

For me, the most terrifying thing to come out of this mess, is that the
Australian justice system has sent a clear message to rapists.
Keep your daughters and wives in-doors.


Woman and the AFL

With all the problems the AFL is currently facing with alleged sexual
assaults you’d think that they’d be doing everything possible to help
their image. With “Woman’s Weekend” upon us to celebrate Mother’s Day I
was impressed to see a FREE Woman’s Forum at Telstra Dome on Tuesday
4th May

Problem is its 11pm on Wednesday 5th May… who says the AFL is behind the times?


AFL sponsorship

Eddie is not the only one guilty of blatant sponsor-calling. For
years Rex Hunt has been calling out “Player A gets the ball in front of
the ‘Company X’ sign” when anyone and everyone at the ground can
clearly see that the sign is actually for Company Y, and that the
Company Rex calls out is actually a 3AW sponsor.

Yossi Goldfarb