Ramsey’s loss, will be ours also

How appropriate that Paddy should be writing Ramsey’s obit as a
journalist. Especially apt considering that Paddy was rightly
ejected from the once august pages of the SMH for doing nothing
more than writing the most cynical and prejudiced polemics to grace
their pages. Paddy’s diatribes rarely contained anything other
than inflammatory opinion designed to upset the maximum number of
people. Ramsey at least seems to have a common thread going
through his columns, even if they are other people’s threads.

While many may call for Ramsey’s head, his loss will be ours
also. Ramsey fills a niche that needs filling. I like the
fact that he quotes liberally from international sources. It
helps to show up what a mindless little fish bowl most of our
journalists live in. The fact that the newspaper lets him get
away with it is their problem. I would never stop buying the SMH because
of Ramsey, while at the same time I refuse to buy Thursday’s
publication due to the rubbish on the op-ed pages that day (I refuse to
say her name). Tuesday looks likely to be the next day to go.

Paddy’s comparison between Ramsey’s mistake on Wednesday with the
Albrechtsen case just boggles the mind. Paddy says “consider the
ABC … efforts to crucify .. Albrechtsen for a similar but
less egregious error.” Anyone can correct me if I’m wrong, but
Ramsey seems to have correctly quoted someone who said something
incorrect, whereas Albrechtsen was caught misquoting an individual and
still hasn’t admitted to the error. One story peddled an
untruth that was actually stated by another person, the other created
completely fictitious remarks. That Paddy can’t see the world of
difference between the two is a question only Paddy needs to wonder

In any case, the thrust of Ramsey’s column (and Moyers remarks) is
still true. America’s populace is informed by the fairy tales of
Christianity, and many hold those fairy tales to be self-evident
truths. Consequently, their politics and foreign policy are
completely distorted. We should all be scared about
this. I know I am.

Of course, getting riled by a Paddy McGuinness article is not a sign of intelligence.

Andrew Lewis

Distinguishing McGuinness from Ramsey

OK, I’ve been disappointed by some of Alan Ramsey’s recent efforts, but
when I read your quote of McGuinness’s words my jaw dropped. But
it was only when I read it more closely that I realised that it had
been written BY Paddy, not ABOUT him. A real case of “Hello Kettle,
this is Pot”. Paddy’s now a conservative general commentator- his
mantle as Australia’s premier analytical economic writer passed to Ross
Gittins a long time ago.

Failure to check sources is inexcusable, whether you’re Alan Ramsey,
Janet Albrechtsen, or whoever, and misquotes are relatively easy to
check these days. Still, we need people prepared to stick their necks
out in the interests of freedom of expression and free debate, and if
they trip up, so be it.

The Moyers article raises serious issues about the role of religion in
a secular state, and it’s a pity that Ramsey did not even flag an
Australian connection by mentioning Hillsong, Family First, or Cardinal
Abbott’s anti-abortion crusade. What are Paddy’s views on these issues?

You don’t have to watch too many TV history documentaries to realise
that most of the wars fought in the last millennium have been driven by
mixing secular politics and religion, and based on this bloody
experience our forefathers made strenuous efforts to separate church
and state. And now we’ve got a bunch of people who are dead keen to
stir them together again. I’m sure that there are a number of people
who would prefer these issues to receive no coverage at all. At this
stage Ramsey’s report card needs a ‘must do better’ rating, not an

But then, maybe the real issue is the reportedly splendid Ramsey beard.
Does Paddy just have an acute case of beard envy? We should be told.


Bitter McGuinness

I realise PP McGuinness is something of a protected species at Crikey,
but must we all really ignore the bleedin’ obvious possibility that
Paddy might – just might have a tinge of bitterness about his old

Consider the facts: McGuinness was either pushed, or read the writing on the wall and jumped, from the SMH and Age last
year. He subsequently indulged himself in a series of rants to Crikey
about Fairfax’s falling standards, incompetence etc. Gee, that’s
original – bagging the organisation that just sacked you. It had to be
their fault, not his.

The Paddy piece in the Oz on Alan Ramsey contained what at first
appears a gratuitous brown-nose of the appalling Tim Blair, but really
on closer inspection is a job application for the Bulletin.

And the complaint about “gutter abuse of the Prime Minister and loony
prejudice as well as consistent misrepresentation of the facts” was a
beauty. Anyone old enough to remember Paddy’s looney rants on Paul
Keating’s psychological state of mind, ethics etc (presumably no-one at
Crikey) would have got a laugh.

Paddy McGuinness is rightly out of regular columnist work because he
had deteriorated into shallow predictability. Perhaps Alan Ramsey has
gone the same way, but we let’s not have Paddy advising us on
columnists’ virtues.

Let McGuinness continue with the government-subsidised Quadrant, let
the PM give him other jobs, let him and his fellow pack-members
continue burnishing each other, but let’s not pretend he has anything
of interest to say.

(Disclosure: The Australian‘s Opinion editor Tom Switzer writes for Quadrant from time to time. Paddy sometimes writes for Tom.) Crikey, show us you don’t have favourites: publish this!


Alan Ramsey’s possible demise

I have watched with growing concern as voices not in tune with the Government are being sidelined incrementally both in SMH and
the ABC. Margo Kingston is hidden on-line, David Marr does not have a
regular spot and now the prospect of Alan Ramsey being replaced by
Michael Duffy (isn’t he the one that hosts ‘Counterpoint ‘ on Radio
National?) reduces the spectrum of views expressed. On the ABC, Dr
Michael McKinley is now rarely heard since he spoke out against the
Iraq war.

Whatever happened to balance in broadcasting? As an independent voter
we need all opinions expressed ,and especially ones that are critical
of government. I have been a SMH subscriber since I can remember but if
Alan Ramsey is replaced by another conservative apologist , I for one
will cancel immediately . The pendulum is swinging too far to the
right….and those who favour this should be aware of the danger of
Fascism as it’s extremity.


Ramsey: well constructed and thought provoking

I have only started to read Alan Ramsey in the last few months. His
articles are usually well constructed and thought provoking. Woe betide
us if we have no room for variety in the press. A respectable list of
enemies should be an asset. I suspect Michael Duffy may have similar
ability, judging from his ABC radio show. Surely there is room for
both. Janet Albrechtsen is one of the reasons I dumped The Australian
(again). Her weekly demolition of her own straw men was tedious and
wearing. I don’t oppose her appointment to the ABC board because she is
to the right; I oppose it because she is a dreadful observer of
society. Good start.

Graham Morgan