After being deluged with letters about Paddy McGuinness and Mike Carlton we’ve put together a more general Yoursay dealing with the day-to-day concerns of our readers. Everything from politics and fashion to gambling and sport. Read on:

Out and about in Bennelong

After living for almost 7 years in the PM’s electorate I have received all sorts of crap addressed to me and get an “exclusive” column in the local rag but not once have I seen him in the electorate. That is until today. There I was minding my own business getting the week’s fruit and veggie and at the top of the escalator was this funny little grey bald man shaking hands.

I wonder if he is actually concerned with the challenge by Andrew Wilkie or is that in these days of event managed campaigning that he is at a loose end in the afternoon? It was very odd, a few kids, a few mums and a couple of old bald blokes much like him but without the suit and the blokes with funny curly things stuck in the ear!

I guess we will see the results of his “meet” the great unwashed in the local rag. Maybe that is why his web site is not up to date he has been too busy meeting his “fellow Australians”. Still won’t vote for him!

Ratsak Lover

Mike Kaiser? Secret Weapon?

Pahlease…stop the gush now…Having being the Liberal State Director in the 1995 Qld State campaign (the so called “unloseable” election for Goss) where the Liberal side of the Coalition won 7 of the 11 seats needed to change government, having then been campaign director for Mundingburra’s Frank Tanti the following January and winning that by-election campaign to usher in a change of government – and on all those occasions, having Mike Kaiser as my opponent….and seeing his “genius” up close and personal – hmmm, I must say the words “secret weapon” just don’t spring to mind. But what would I know?

James Barron

Latham’s quality time for dad’s parenting

I can’t fathom Mark Latham’s fathers’ day appeal for more quality time for parents, particularly men, when he is a father of very young children who is seeking the highest elected office in the land – one that is notorious for the time it takes a PM from family. Not bad from a person with young children of his own. If those are his genuine feelings, why is he putting his own personal ambition for high elected office before the needs of his own children at this time and not when they are grown and independent?

WD

Wentworth letterboxing

Just reading your campaign notes and the reference to Tanya Plibersek letterboxing on the wrong (ie Wentworth) side of the road in the eastern suburbs. Well wait for this… I live in Newtown – which must be 3 or 4 km from Wentworth but our street was letterboxed by Malcolm Turnbull on the weekend. Makes you question his credentials as a local guy when his people get their information about boundaries so terribly wrong!

Anon

Election campaign fashion crisis

There should have been a warning notice above the photo of Peter King and his wife Fiona Sinclair King in Saturday’s edition of The Courier-Mail – “anyone with even the slightest bit of fashion sense may be offended by this photograph”.

Ms Sinclair King was sporting a blazer, straw hat, short skirt (brave) and a pair of running shoes. Please explain! This is surely this first (and most enormous) fashion faux pax of the campaign thus far. Do other subscribers have other fashion offences spotted on the hustings?

George Street Fashionista

Crikey, what about the punter?

Crikey’s sporting correspondents amaze me in their penchant for seeing wealth ripped from the bloke who actually creates the racing industry – the punter. Enormous sums of money currently taken from the punter are being distributed between the TABs and governments to subsidise a lot of rubbish racing and to generate fat dividends for shareholders.

With Betfair having been open for some time, Fitzgerald and Outside should check the share prices of Unitab and Tabcorp. It doesn’t look like they are having too much trouble does it?

Race fixing is always on the cards. Anyone who reckons you need an exchange to fix a race does not watch a lot of racing. It is part of the game and one of the reasons it is called ‘gambling’. The Lonhro disappointment could have been profited-upon by a punter backing ‘the field’ on the totes. If you were ballsy enough to pull a sting, surely you’d be able to do the math?

Australia currently has an inefficient, monopolistic, expensive, anonymous, cash-based gambling industry. Perhaps the ‘racing industry’ deserves to trim down to survive. There are lots of other things to bet on that don’t cost 15%.

Don Paullo
(Aussie Punter)

Gambling commentators

What is it with gambling commentators these days….they just can’t get it right! The Age ran an article on Saturday by Colin Kruger which spoke about Betcorp’s Sportsbet service being used by the former Commonwealth Bank employee from WA who gambled away $19 million of CBA’s money through Sportsbet. It wasn’t with Sportsbet, it was with IASbet (International All Sports). I think Colin Kruger should join Patrick Fitzgerald with a spell in the paddock for a few months.

A.

Casting a line in Tassie

Evan Rolley, CEO Forestry Tasmania, only quite recently pointed out again, FT (Gunns Ltd. et al) were, for a few more years, unable to supply high value saw and veneer logs from any other source than Old Growth forests – a much abused concept, originally created in the USA.

As such, fisherman Evan left the line unbaited and continued with the graball netting – for the time being. Where these high value logs are going to come from, in a few short years, is a mystery. To my knowledge, no Eucalyptus regnans, delegatensis or obliqua plantations have been established, requiring a minimum of 80 years to achieve the required value.

There are now billions of genetically engineered Eucalyptus nitens (globulus) trees in monocultural plantations, virtually only suitable for pulp production. I believe there are some blackwood plantations, so far not nearly measuring up to expectations, perhaps requiring genetic modification. The rest of the also misnomed Minor Species are treated as such, of little interest in the world of global business and profit.

However, in the course of sweeping their devastating path through Tasmania’s forests, FT applied their own selective logging technique in places – that is a harvesting method of wild native forests, leaving, where suitable, a crop of same age, same species trees behind. Everything else, including understory is removed. An ethnic cleansing in the pure meaning of the word, overcoming in theory the planting process with nevertheless the same result.

I suggest, these are the bait containers, Evan Rolley is cultivating in his worm farm, whilst filling his 360 000 tonne log quota, where ever he can. What happens after these “instant old growth plantations” have been depleted, will not be of concern to the present CEO of Forestry Tasmania.

Now both, Mark Latham and John Howard, have baited their hooks with Old Growth and twiddle their respective lines, with great fishing weather ahead. It is once again open season on numbers. The perennial argument of jobs versus a “renewable” resource, continues to be confronted by the reality of an 80 year old tree is cut down in 30 seconds by one man with a chainsaw and the replacement crop is designed to be harvested mechanically in 12 years, cutting 40 jobs out of 50 in this industry.

However, that is only one small aspect in the scene of chasing maximum returns for minimum effort. The most important part is the effect on our water resource, the environment and ecology we all and generations to come depend on. That indeed includes the flora and fauna we share this planet with. It is this flora and fauna, that enabled man to reach his dominant position and development. To kill it off, is to cut the limb we are sitting on.

R.D.Roos
Launceston

SBS beats Seven in Olympic coverage

Dear Terry Television, I was less than impressed with the Channel 7 coverage of the Olympics. Heavily staged managed and packaged around adverts, it left me with the impression that the other 200 countries were just there to make up the numbers. The coverage was obviously pitched as the “Aussie gold rush.” I think it was on the last Friday Joanna Griggs said something like: “the gold rush dried up today” [sic]. Bad luck for any Australian competitors that gave their all that day but didn’t win a medal.

I think the SBS coverage was much better and gave a greater appreciation of the breadth of the event. Even if it did cost them $5M and means that they cannot afford to show the English Premier League this season as speculated in the article in the press this week (The Australian, Media Supplement 2/8/4).

On Channel 10s “The Panel” this week and it was speculated that Channel 7 employed 28 commentators on its Olympic coverage, of which, only 6 were in Greece. I had suspected this previously, as I had listened to a number of events on the radio. In all of these broadcasts, the commentary from the venues featured tremendous background crowd and event noise. The usual
hubbub one’s hears from football match. Much of the Channel 7 coverage lacked this sound of authenticity. I doubt that each event featured a “cone of silence” type commentary box. When I recall some of Brice McAveney’s calls of track events it made me think: “was Bruce, the Channel 7 Chef de mission, actually there?”.

Can you advise?

Ambivalent from Adelaide

Seeing the soccer without FoxSports

Frank Lowey, I am very pleased with the changes in soccer Australia and hopefully we can now build a strong position in international rankings, but I realise this will only come if it’s built on strong amateur foundations.

I have played amateur soccer for forty years almost continually and ended up in veterans soccer (25 years in the UK and 15 years in Oz) so I know what’s happening down at the grass roots and fully realise getting young kids interested when they are very young is the key!

To get kids interested you have to show the game at its best to the kids, one of the best means is television and one of the best leagues is the Premier League, I’m sure you would agree.

I am fully aware that Fox Sports is one of your sponsors (a bit of a problem here!) Can you please tell me and many many many ordinary soccer fans unable to afford Foxtel what is Australian Soccer Associations opinion on this situation were no current soccer (or very little) is shown on free to air television.

I am sure a clear statement denouncing the current situation would show the Australian soccer loving public (don’t forget most of us or our parents come from Europe) if you are fair Dinkum!

SBS has been promoting its self as the soccer channel and quite frankly has done a good job, it needs assistance (financial and lobbying) the politicians will not help!

I wait with bated breath for an answer!

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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