Good news for some Crikey readers. I’m going. For a week or so, anyway. But before I go, I’d like to thank Sayed Kashua for writing much of this piece for me. Kashua is the latest bright young Israeli-born Arab controversialist. And last Thursday his column in Haaretz — “I stand accused”, it was called – kicked off like this:

“Hello.”

“Yes, dad, what’s happening?”

“Listen up, have you been reading the reactions against you?”

“Off and on. Why, what’s up?”

“People are cancelling their subscriptions because of you, that’s what they’re writing there. Be careful, in the end the paper will shut down.”

“No. It’s not because of me. Gideon Levy, he’s the bastard.”

Substitute “Charles Richardson” for “Gideon Levy”, and you could have a conversation from the Crikey bunker. Could – but wouldn’t. Crikey’s management are bright enough to know that when you stir, you can stir clockwise AND anti-clockwise. In fact, they know that if you’re going to stir properly, you should go in both directions. And that’s exactly what Crikey does.

Some cleverdick over at The Spin Starts Here observed last month:

“Ben Oquist” is just a program on Bob Brown’s computer in Parliament that randomly cuts and pastes Christian Kerr’s items into an email and sends it back accusing him of anti-Green bias.

They’ve pulled out the big guns today. Christine Milne has fired back. I’m still standing. As I said yesterday, I’ve been around politics long enough to know a campaign when I see it. I’m happy to dish it out the Greens – and happy to take it. But they shouldn’t play purer than pure about their own activities.

Just take dekko at this Bob Brown media release from June that’s up on their site:

Today Tonight and the Exclusive Brethren

Channel Seven’s Today Tonight program will soon feature a story on the Exclusive Brethren, which is likely to appear on Monday’s program…

Gee. And how did they know that? A little bird told them? And they wouldn’t’ve been sicking journos onto the Brethren – let alone pushing Seven to actually put their report to air ASAP – would they?

There’s another release that talks about how the nasty Howard Government “attack on Wilderness Society threatens democracy”. Haven’t the Greens threatened democracy – the freedom to choose your own religion, no matter how batty it may be – with their proposal for a Senate Star Chamber inquiry into the Exclusive Brethren?

They’re a political party. They shouldn’t posture as the saviours of the world. Blindly swallowing the spin of the Greens is as foolish as accepting the precepts of the Brethren.

Stephen Mayne always says Crikey is like Las Vegas. We love to host a fight. I look forward to getting back in the ring for the next round.

Peter Fray

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