We expected The Bulletin to uniformly praise Kerry Packer, but that’s not exactly how the rest of the country saw it – as the bulk of the letters to Australian newspapers revealed in the days after his death:

“What Kerry Packer’s public life shows is the distortion of values in our society. And a political danger.”
Robert Corcoran, The Age, Dec 29

“Kerry Packer would be the first to laugh at the idea that he was a great Australian… To ascribe qualities to him that he never possessed does his memory no justice”
Dr Joseph Toscano, Herald Sun, Dec 29

“Kerry Packer was larger than life, physically and metaphorically… Although it is an end of an era, Kerry’s legacy will last forever.”
Morris Mansour, Daily Telegraph, Dec 28

“Neither politician nor public servant, why was Kerry Packer selected for a state-funded memorial service?… Surely his distinction lay only in the stoicism of his death.”
Denis Sullivan, AFR, Jan 3

“If Mr Packer had paid income and capital gains tax at, say 50%, considerably more social good could have been achieved.”
Brent Howard, Herald Sun, Dec 29

“Since Kerry Packer was known as a man who who contributed significantly to charities… the state funeral awarded to Packer should be seen as a gesture of thanks by a grateful government for saving it considerable sums of money.”
Charles Ironside, Courier-Mail, Jan 3

“Kerry Packer, thank you for your inspiration. You seemed to be a man committed to making Australia a better place. RIP”
Will Owen, Herald Sun, December 29

“All this post-Christmas talk: ‘the most powerful man in the land,’ ‘a heart for the average people,’ ‘generous beyond what others can imagine,’ ‘inspiring devotion in allies.’ And just as I was enjoying the message of Jesus there came the sadness of Kerry Packer’s death”
Chris Little, The Age, Dec 30

“Silly me, wasn’t Kerry Packer’s only claim to fame World Series Cricket?”
Peter Lloyd, Daily Telegraph, Dec 28

“I wonder if Kerry Packer has taken over heaven’s communication system already?”
F Hainsworth, Courier-Mail, Jan 1

“If James Packer wants to make a greater contribution to Australia than his dad, he should immediately close down all the casinos he’s inherited.”
Barry McCarthy, SMH, Dec 30

“My 79-year-old father died at the same time Kerry Packer. Unlike Kerry, my father never tried to escape from his tax paying duties… So, Mr Howard, where is my father’s state funeral? I guess he didn’t meet the criteria of living a life of wealth and power.” Marc Kay, SMH, Jan 3

“I, too, have been forthright, as was Kerry Packer, and called a spade a spade. It only ever landed me in trouble.”
Ron Elphick, SMH, Dec 30

“Will the Packer family offer to reimburse the taxpayer for several hundred thousand dollars expended on the coming state funeral for the late Kerry Bullmore Packer?”
Byron Kaufman, Canberra Times, Jan 8

“And so Kerry Packer has shuffled off this mortal coil after having enjoyed a most privileged life… We need to be careful not to make out Mr Packer’s demise to be that a Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela has passed away.”
Malcolm Venn, The Age, Dec 29

“Being born into a position of extreme wealth and power does not make one a great Australian.”
Simon Wheatley, SMH, Dec 29