Adelaide newspapers

Re your article “Is there a political journo left on the Tiser?” The Advertiser is not known for its political reporting. Yes, it does have a state government “exclusive” most days – but virtually all of these come gift wrapped and with a card from the office of the Premier, Mike Rann. blah blah then…

No decent political coverage, no decent business reporting in the Tiser? Perhaps there should be a special South Australian rate for new Crikey subscriptions from South Australia. Croweaters need to get their news somewhere.

There is a new newspaper in Adelaide, weekly rather than weakly, called the independent and actually running good coverage on many issues. Maybe you can use the esteemed pages of Crikey to promote the new venture in order to encourage those things dear to your heart; competition, diversity of media, independence…..

Mind you, the editor of the new rag is Alex Kennedy, previously on Olsen’s staff, and never shy about using her editorial power to promote her friends’ interests.

Not perfect, but in Adelaide 20 sheets of blank paper would be a huge improvement on the ‘Tiser, and The Independent is better than 20 sheets of blank paper.

Joe Hoogland

John So’s re-election

I voted for John So for several reasons. He was recommended by the local, now former councillor, Kate Redwood, who lives several streets away. It’s a shame she wasn’t re-elected. But primarily, the fact that he visited our primary school, and handed out a cheque at a school assembly, was very important. It wasn’t the money that was important, it was that he bothered. He also walked on the launch walk of the Walking School Bus program, along with local member Bronwyn Pike. I think Kevin Chamberlin was also on that walk. North Melbourne Primary School actually now has one of the most successful Walking School Bus programs around, all due to government support at all levels (I think its typical Fed/State/Local deal).

I can’t imagine Gary Morgan visiting a school. I could be wrong, but John So, wealthy businessman, comes across as a humble person.

David Blake

Packer’s Crikey ban

Why don’t you do a headline sms service for anyone who requires it and can’t gain access to Crikey till getting home.

It jogs the memory when “The Sex Pistols” had a number one single in the UK late seventies “God save the Queen”. The song was banned on the radio and the name of the song couldn’t be even printed on the top singles list. So the UK had this strange situation of having a number one single for a number of weeks but with a blank next to the number.

“Never mind the bollocks here’s a Crikey SMS!”

You’ve gota friend in Jesus!

Ian Renard in the 1960s

I am not so sure that the student radicals of the 1960s got a better press than they deserved at the time–we received much negative publicity as my memorabilia attest. However, it is true that a retrospective view does romanticize the radicals of the period as passionate (true) and wise (well, that’s another story) whereas the conservatives of the time are painted in a far less positive light. During the 1960s I was president of the Melbourne University Labor Club and was a member of the Melbourne University Union Council along with Ian Renard and Alan Stockdale. The Liberal Club certainly supported the Vietnam War over the period, while we ‘student radicals’ of course opposed it. Given what actually transpired in Vietnam where a Communist dictatorship with severe human rights abuses rather than any kind of democracy came to prevail in the South, who is to say now that we radicals of the time were right and the Liberals, including Ian Renard, were wrong?

Although we occupied opposite political positions at the time and had fulsome battles on the Union Council, I always found Ian Renard a very decent person worthy of respect, as did other colleagues on the left. I certainly wish him well as Chanellor of the University of Melbourne.

Douglas Kirsner
Deakin University

Jackson, Walker and Qantas

Crikey’s aviation correspondent Pemberton Strong notes (Thurday 25 November) that Qantas “board and senior managers basically fly very cheaply or pay nothing at all.”

A couple of years ago I was on a Qantas flight waiting to push back from the Sydney domestic terminal, when who should come bounding aboard after scheduled departure time but Qantas chairman Margaret Jackson and one Ron Walker. Maybe they’d been discussing Qantas’ sponsorship of the Grand Prix or suchlike in the Chairman’s Lounge and forgot they had a plane to catch?

Anyway, Ron then made his way through Business Class trying to re-arrange the seating so that he and Margaret could sit together. It might sound churlish, but even though I had a vacant seat beside me, I let Ron and Margaret know that as a full-fare paying Qantas customer I expected to travel in accordance with my passenger preferred seating profile.

This may have been a purely vengeful act for the time I couldn’t get my favorite table at St Kilda eatery Donovan’s. On that occasion, Ron and his wife appeared, sat at ‘my’ table, ate one course, and then left. I noted that Ron was drinking white and Mrs Walker red, so two bottles came out, even though only one glass was drunk from each. I guess wealth enables this, just as it allowed Ron to park his Bentley in the no parking zone outside the front door for an hour.

My other recollection of the flight in question was that newly-appointed Victorian Education Minister Mary Delahunty and one of her mandarins or advisors were in the seats next to me, and Mary’s obvious delight at qualifying to travel up the front of plane had rendered her in a state similar to an excited schoolgirl for the duration of the journey to Melbourne.


The Qantas Frequent Flyer farce

Pemberton Strong’s excellent article regarding the less than user friendly Qantas Frequent Flyer programme misses one key issue i.e. the almost impossibility of getting a redemption seat anywhere near the time/date the poor punter wants!! Me thinks it time the consumer watchdog was let off the leash and allowed to savage Qantas again!!

Finally having flown Qantas and a number of other equal or better quality international carriers out of Australia, I continue to be amazed at why Australians don’t form closer relationships with quality airlines like Singapore Airlines, MAS, British Airways or Emirates. Qantas may still call Australia home but in reality, couldn’t give a bugger about the people who live here!!

Have a great weekend and I am still in awe of your granddad!!


Go the Poms

As always I read with interest what you have to say about both the union and league codes of rugby. This weekend could see a great shift in power in both codes-assuming Paul Honnis see’s you guy’s cant scrum. Super 12’s good viewing but when it comes to the physical stuff . England are back after the World Cup and Great Britain (Rugby League) are not far behind. But the greatest afront to your manhood will be when Vaughny and the boys turn you over next summer-we cant wait!

Rugby Fan

Is Nine delaying the cricket on purpose?

For the first time in quite a while I spent a fair part of last weekend seriously (as opposed to just having it on in the background) watching the cricket. Needless to say seriously watching the cricket involves turning off the inane TV commentary in favour of the ABC radio offering. Last weekend I noticed that the radio and the TV were out of synch – with the radio being about half a second in front. For example LBW appeals were heard on the radio when the TV showed the ball only just out of the bowler’s hand. This lack of synchronicity was just enough to be disconcerting.

Why is this so? Are both broadcasts delayed but by slightly different amonts? Is channel nine deliberately trying to prevent people turning off their commentators?


Ian Chappell’s cricket commentary

Oh please – what is all this going on about the demise of Chappell as a commentator for Nine’s cricket – if ever a man could inflict others with terminal case’s of ennui it is this man. An abomination to the craft of cricket commentary – the only surprise in all this is he wasn’t shown the stairs years ago.

Greg Johnson

PS/ Why are we so fearful of having the Englishman as an inclusion in the line up – at least he manages tonal variation which is more than I can say for the walking sleeping tablet.

The title ‘The Honourable’

Karen’s ‘correction’ of Qld liberal chick has only made ‘confusion worse confounded’.

First, the Australian title should always be spelled ‘The Honourable’, not ‘The Honorable’, although it can be (and usually is) abbreviated to ‘The Hon’.

Second, neither serving for seven years nor being elected three times confers any right to the title.

Third, the title is not automatically conferred on all Senators.

Membership of the Federal Executive Council does confer a right to the title. This covers not only Ministers but also Parliamentary Secretaries. The title is also conferred on the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate. So far as I know, in all these cases the entitlement is for life. Karen may be correct in saying that Paul Keating (and perhaps other Labor ex-ministers) chooses not to use it, but that does not mean that, as a technical matter of protocol, he does not retain it.

This is like people with PhDs. Some choose to use the title ‘Dr’ and some do not; some who do not themselves prefer to use it nevertheless sometimes find it applied to them regardless, which is still technically correct. I often see the title ‘The Hon’ applied to Labor ex-ministers, and this is technically correct so far as I know, whether or not it is by their wishes.

At the State/Territory level, the rules are not uniform, either for the initial entitlement or for the later retention. For example, in New South Wales it is true that the title ‘The Honourable’ is automatically conferred on all members of the Upper House (Legislative Council). On the other hand, again in New South Wales, retention of the title by ex-Ministers is not automatic but must be requested: some do, some don’t. Bob Carr, for example, didn’t (that is from 1998 to 1995, when he was an ex-Minister; when he became a Minister again in 1995 he automatically got the title back). Some members of the Federal Parliament are thus correctly styled ‘The Honourable’ on the basis of their past State Parliamentary service.

In the ACT system, incidentally, the title ‘The Honourable’ is completely absent.

It’s hardly surprising, after all that, that people get confused and sometimes call MPs ‘The Honourable’ even when it’s not strictly accurate. It shouldn’t matter.

One final correction for Karen, on capitalisation. It’s ‘The Hon(ourable) John Howard MP’, ‘The Hon(ourable) David Hawker MP’, and so on, but it’s ‘the honourable member for Bennelong’, ‘the honourable member for Wannon’, and so on.