Felicity Dargan, Chief of Staff to Family First Senator Steve Fielding, writes: Re. “Australian political history – farce without tragedy” (17 November, item 14). Guy Rundle’s history lesson contains some mistakes. He says Family First gave the Government a majority on its workplace changes. Wrong. Family First strongly opposed the workplace changes and voted against them, as well as voting against the sale of Telstra and recent migration changes. Rundle also states the last federal election was in 2006. It was 2004.

Megan Yarrow writes: Re. “Time for an injection of loyalty into the family law” (17 November, item 6). What a dangerous misrepresentation of the facts of the decision. Professor Bagaric fails to highlight that the High Court found that Mr Magill was entitled to recovery of child support payments. What the High Court refused was an entitlement to further “damages” for “deceit”. Would Professor Bagaric’s concept of damages payable for disloyalty extend to women who have remained childless because of a mutual agreement by themselves and their husbands, only to find themselves betrayed, alone, and their ex-partner a new father with somebody else? Feelings of hurt and betrayal are a fact of life in human relationships – you can’t put a price on a shattered ego.

Judith Downey writes: Re. “Great speech, Kruddy politics” (17 November, item 7). Christian Kerr should have been more respectful in his comments about Kevin Rudd’s speech to the Centre for Independent Studies. The speech gives us an insight to Kevin Rudd’s thinking which should generate admiration for his capacity to communicate truly complex matters within a coherent belief system. The speech also demonstrates great depth of analysis and considerable erudition. Surely these are wonderful attributes in any person and especially so in a political leader.

Willem Schultink writes: Re. “Pokies join the fundamentalist hitlist” (17 November, item 12). Oh dear, it seems that Charles Richardson has swallowed a lemon! What else could explain the sour diatribe about what he likes to call “fundamentalist”. The last time I checked the Family First party described itself as a party of mainstream family values. And membership is open to all – you don’t have to have any association with the Assemblies of God, or even with the Christian church. Charles neglects to mention that it is not only Family First that has misgivings about pokies. There are many others, including the Greens, who are unhappy about their destructive influence in society. Charles finishes up by referring to them as “hate filled bigots”. Perhaps a case of the pot calling the kettle black; his article is hardly a model of love and caring for others.

David Havyatt writes: Re. “Milton Friedman RIP” (17 November, item 13). Please Charles Richardson, enough with the brief hagiography of Milton Friedman. To claim “his great achievement was to rehabilitate the notion, now accepted almost universally, that inflation is primarily a monetary phenomenon” is to ignore the fact that the theory he espoused was all about setting money supply targets and a supposed direct relationship. Yes, he did remind us that monetary policy was important, but he was completely wrong on how to run the policy. And yes Friedman was a great libertarian, but his incessant drumming on establishing that the purpose of a corporation is the generation of shareholder value is responsible for much of the governance dilemmas of the 1990s and is directly responsible for the obscenity of “options”.

Jenny Haines writes: Re. NSW sleaze. Come on, Crikey. The sleaze is on both sides of the NSW House. The accusations are being made at Labor pollies about actions that are supposed to have taken place in their private life. While the public has a right to know about the character of the politicians that represent them, for the Liberals to use these accusations as the main plank of their election platform is sleazy, when what they are hiding is that they are a policy free zone. The next election in NSW is a very important one to the people of NSW and their living standards. There are far more important issues at stake than these sleazy accusations. Mind you, if Debnam keeps going he will overdo it and the people of NSW will see him for what he is!

Retired teacher Frances Malcolm writes: Re. “Bracks sells out Westernport, suggesting he’s got bigger fish to fry” (yesterday, item 8). A number of years ago when I was teaching Geography at what was then Hastings High, I was appalled to hear Rex Hunt describe the “cleaning out of the seagrass meadows” in the Bay as a great asset to recreational fishing in Westernport. Rex appeared to have no understanding of the function of the sea grass as the nursery for the young fish of the Bay. I am appalled that Tim Mirabella, with his long family history of fishing the Bay, and his supply to many here locally of the only freshly caught fish we have access to, is now out of business. Shame on Labor’s Rosie Buchanan to have betrayed this local primary producer and to have handed over the Bay to the hundreds of Melbourne blokes who sit out on the Bay in their cabin cruisers and do nothing to contribute to the local community and the provision of local food.

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