Brad Ruting writes: Kevin Rudd has never served in a cabinet or even government; only ever in opposition. He has a mere eight years of parliamentary experience. And he expects to be Prime Minister? What madness – ever heard of a guy called Latham? Rudd and Gillard, between them, have less parliamentary experience than big bomber Beazley. The latter isn’t perfect, but he’s probably the most vote-worthy of the lot (and that’s saying something). Still, it would be nice for democracy to, just once, have an opposition that fights the government on ideas and realistic, visionary policy proposals. I must be dreaming. Following Monday’s leadership vote I shall be congratulating John Howard on his 2007 election win.

Mungo MacCallum writes: You’ve got it slightly wrong. Glenn Milne’s drunkenness only gives drunkenness a bad name. It’s his journalism that gives journalism a bad name.

David Mansford writes: I’ve never seen blanket coverage of one stupid incident like Crikey’s coverage of Milne today. He is an idiot, yes, but ten separate items in today’s Crikey is a bit much. Nearly as childish as the Dwarf-man himself.

Dean Galloway writes: Imagine if Steven Mayne were female, or smaller than Milne. What if Mayne had broken his ankle when he fell from the stage, or even his neck? Would News Ltd react in the same cavalier fashion? Milne must be sacked, immediately. If I did such a thing I would be terminated on the spot, never to return. I would be effectively blacklisted in my industry and there would be no excuses. The argument that assault is A-OK if it’s public and the victim is a divisive figure is disgusting. Any journalists wondering why they are publicly regarded as one of the lowest rungs on the ethical ladder need look no further for the reason why.

Fred Mertz writes: Glen Milne above most journalists pursued Mark Latham relentlessly for a handshake that had been deemed as unnecessarily aggressive. So how does this hypocrite refer his own behaviour at the Walkleys? I believe it’s more than a little appropriate that this journo works for Murdoch.

Jefferson Ross writes: The Green movement should rise as one to thank Christian Kerr for his bracing lesson in political manliness. A split ticket is such a dreadfully cutesy thing after all. So why shouldn’t Peter Garrett dud the electorate by portraying this as a preference deal with the Libs, while carefully not mentioning the ALP’s full-strength arrangements with the DLP and the rootin’ tootin’ Country Alliance? If that precious Bob Brown complains about that, it just goes to show that he hasn’t got the pecker to play political hardball with the big boys. More like political dungball, honey.

Nik Trathen writes: Congratulations to Glenn Milne. How do you feel, Mayne – takes you two years of winding up a professional to get any kind of recognition in the industry… Just imagine if you diverted some of that wasted energy into actual journalism, rather that tyre-kicking and rehashing others’ stories..

J Versteeg writes: There were a number of people at the Walkleys who did not cover themselves in glory. Certainly number one was Milne and I need say no more on his role. However Stephen Mayne would have been seen to be more of a professional if he had responded without making the various references to the incident and in particular to Glen’s identity. Glen of course is well known in the journalistic fraternity, but in the the TV audience not so. Stephen did do a fair bit of self-promotion while holding the floor (Victorian elections and his Telstra board attempt), which was uncalled for and which would have got many people offside. The same goes for his statement on Radio National this lunchtime as well as his comments on Crikey today. Mine has issued an unconditional apology. Leave it at that and accept it gracefully. 

Rhiannon Keyte writes: Yes, there was “no excuse” for Milne’s behaviour. Except the booze, and the pills, and the disgusting (though hilarious) lack of manners. I doubt they have rehab for apportioning blame at this level. This “apology” says a lot about Milne’s work; which presumably isn’t his fault either. At least we now know what he’s on.  

Mike Hambidge writes: An editorial, three earnest articles and a breathless “how I faced the monster”. Crikey a credible member of the traditional media? Don’t make me laugh! Too much alcohol (with or without medication) can make fools
of us all and I’m sure Glen Milne regrets his performance at this week’s Walkleys. But much of what he said was right, and Stephen Mayne was out of place on (and off) the dais. Crikey is, despite some notable exceptions, still largely a rumour and gossip mill, and stage for an inconsequential pack of “yapping terrier pups”. I subscribe, still, because Crikey.com.au is a great idea, but – “where’s the Editor?”

Andrew Gill writes: Real Fijian men play rugby, not soccer!!! Seven News footage showed CMDRE Bananarama (well thats what I’ll call him while I’m not in Fiji) arriving at the annual rugby game, and he got a little testy when reporters got in his way as he was entering the stadium. He just really wanted to see the game!
Let’s just say that in Fiji, there are some things that are just above politics.

Chris Harrison writes: No, you weren’t the only one to hear Beazley refer to the ACTU as the ACT (Friday, item 8). I distinctly heard him too in a grab on ABC radio. Which leaves one wondering: Was it the slip that finally decided Rudd to challenge? Was it a Feudian slip showing Beazley’s lack of interest in the ACTU and what it stands for? Or was it Beazley’s remembering one of Barry Humphries’s characters from the 1980s, Lance Boyle, President of the ACUNT?

Chris Malseed writes: re the “two main weapons” Iraq, AWB – not really the point. Let’s face it, Oz admires a successful bit of bushranging (Laws/Jones taking banks etc to cleaners), not one casualty in Iraq, successfully sucking up to the Yanks, hence allaying deeply embedded electorate insecurities, bribing Sadbadassam with UN money and keeping cockies happy… but enough’s enough, time to clean up the act and image, Rudd;s a somewhat hectoring little fussbudget but appears to have the credentials, including standing up to Premiers and getting caucus to perform. Centrebet’s $2.75 quite interesting.

John Ley writes: Congratulations, Anthony, on your insightful and courageous article. Your point of view is indeed rare and vital to our democracy. We need more of these insights if Australians are to appreciate the issues in the tragic Israel/Palestinian Territories situation and the extent to which free speech in this country is being suppressed.

Martyn Smith writes: It is clear that Richard Farmer (Friday, item 2) has considerable reservations about a Rudd-led ALP. He may be correct for all I know, but there is no doubt that in his speech to the CIS recently, in which Rudd attacked the ideology of the Neo-cons head on, he was very persuasive. At least the man stands for something, unlike the incumbent who seems to have no real idea of what he stands for. As to the matters of the AWB and Iraq, they don’t really resonate with us because the “punters” here have “The good Christian attitude – How does it affect me personally!” Only one unfortunate Australian soldier has died in Iraq, and the AWB hasn’t cost the man in the street a cent, so why worry? Also, the cricket’s started. Yet the ALP is quite high in the polls, probably more due to Greg Combet and his anti-IR battle than to Rudd, but it all helps. IR does affect the man in the street. Rudd seems to be disliked in some quarters. It sounds as though he may have a bit of the mongrel in him, he may be a little arrogant. If so he is probably just the man to keep the bruvvers on message, kick a few heads and behinds, and to deal with the various problems a prime minister has to deal with. It will be interesting to see if the ALP decides to stay with Beazley, with enormous experience in losing, and in opposition, or be brave and give themselves a chance at the next election. Howard is clearly beatable, even Christian Kerr (item 7) is fed up with him, what more do we need to know?

 Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and c*ck-ups to [email protected] . Preference will be given to comments that are short and succinct: maximum length is 200 words (we reserve the right to edit comments for length). Please include your full name – we won’t publish comments anonymously unless there is a very good reason.

Peter Fray

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