Steve Moriarty writes: I simply can’t believe that Christian thinks that Rudd’s idea of, dare I say it, an Industry Policy, is a bad idea. Check all the successful modern Asian and some of the European economies such as Sweden etc and you will see that an industry policy and a strong manufacturing sector is the pre-requisite for a stable, healthy and dynamic economy. Most if not all with a trade surplus I might add. So typical in Australia to think that industry policy = protectionism/tariffs. A modern Industry Policy is nothing of the sort. In part it requires considerable thought and risk in developing a strategic vision for a country. Ahh, therein lies the problem for Christian and Co. He of course would just prefer to sit back and let “the market” choose. Perfect for those lazy thinkers who are the real fairies at the bottom of the garden. I suggest you get out in the global economy and see how many governments are assisting their private sectors companies to build world class companies. Of course we could settle for more of the Howard approach – less manufacturing, more job losses, lower wages, declining exports and increasing imports making Australia a “noodle nation” if ever I saw one.

Zachary King writes: Re. Christian Kerr’s comments on Rudd’s manufacturing madness (yesterday, item 8). Your headline was worthy of A Current Affair or Today Tonight – are you angling to replace Naomi? Instead of contributing to the hype, how about waiting for an actual policy announcement? Surely of all people Kerr should realise that the dangers of believing ideologically driven media reports. Obviously not, as he based his entire beat-up on a forecasting of Rudd policy from The Australian based on Rudd’s employment with Goss over ten years ago. Better than using his star sign perhaps, but only marginally. Lazy reporting and idle speculation is not what I read Crikey for.

Robin Wingrove writes: When I opened up Crikey this afternoon and scanned the headlines the one titled “Kevin Rudd and his plans for Manufacturing Madness” fairly leapt off the screen at me. The thought immediately crossed my mind, “it has to be my dear old mate Christian,” so I wildly wheeled my way down to the article wondering to myself “it must be Christian, it must be” until once there I was reassured that it was indeed his eminence himself. Just how more predictable can he be? Especially with his retort of “rent seekers”. Hasn’t he noticed that Canberra is full of them right now beating down the doors of the Coalition and Government departments?

Grant Bussell writes: The idea that Australia might once again adopt a planned approach to industrial development is welcome. Of course, Christian Kerr and the neo-cons will conjure up memories of Gosplan in the Soviet Union, conveniently forgetting that every substantial business plans most of what they do. I worked in the federal industry department under John Button, and observed the extraordinary changes that he implemented across the steel, computing, aerospace, communications, motor vehicle and textile clothing and footwear industries, and hope that the Australian Government is still capable of such feats. It’s somewhat disheartening knowing that the APS has evolved into something that does little more than outsourcing and advertising. Of course, the Howard Government does have industry policies. When Howard decides that he needs a “green” press release – and throws $60 million at a big solar farm, he’s doing industry policy. It’s picking winners, and it’s not economically rational, but it is industry policy. Same as when he turns back a boat full of ethanol from Brazil because his mate runs Australia’s biggest ethanol producer. Or he decides that the planned reduction of tariffs on our motor vehicle manufactures shouldn’t go ahead. These are all industry policies – it’s just hard to distinguish them from a knee-jerk.

Nigel Paterson writes: If Kevin Rudd is trying to drag us to the 1970s, isn’t that 20 years later than where we are at now, with John Howard trying to make us live in the 1950s?

Virginia Laugesen writes: So what if Julia Gillard speaks like an ordinary Australian? I think she sounds great. It’s like listening to your neighbour over the back fence – a normal person – instead of some private schooled twat lawyer destined for politics. I love her “take me as I am” policy and would happily listen to her for hours. Both what she is saying and how she says it are welcome changes to our political scene. I hope she’s around for decades to come and that she doesn’t change a thing about her speech or personality just to please the idiotic media.

Greg Ponchard writes: Was Christian Kerr ever a News Limited journo? Often lately he is sounding like one. Could it be that a Rudd/Gillard leadership team has him running scared that Labor can now actually win the next Federal election?

Steven Johnson writes: Crikey’s campaign to adhere Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard with appropriately amusing nicknames is all a part of the Australian way. But, certainly in the case of Rudd, why bother? He has more nicknames than the devil. With so many monikers, my prediction is that none of them will stick.

CRIKEY: And here are today’s Rudd/Gillard nickname suggestions:

  • Rud ‘Yard Coupling – Andrew McDonald
  • Neat and Tidy – Gerard Gleeson
  • Ruddard (as in rudder’d – giving Labor direction, so long as the ship remains under steam) – Clinton Jacka
  • L. Rudd Gillard – Fletcher O’Leary
  • Kevin Rudd = Ralph Wiggum; Julia Gillard = Michael Jackson (with red hair) – Sean Ryan

  • Boris and Natasha when they do well, Rocky and Bullwinkle when they screw up: “Hey Rocky – watch me pull a 6% swing out of my hat with a decade of half-hearted and intermittent policy development.” – Guy Rundle
  • I like something MTV sounding. It will appeal to the aspirational demographic they are after: K-Lard – Bruce Ressia

Paul Meakin writes: In response to John Parkes’ comments on medals yesterday: “But of course we all have to get medals for going there anyway. I don’t have a problem with supporting and rewarding our soldiers but the fuss made about medals is almost indecent. There was a time when medals were awarded for exceptional service, not just being there.” The Australian Government Honours Website identifies some 53 Australian Honours, Awards and Medals. Only 11 of these are awarded for actual acts of Bravery, the remainder are generally for exceptional peace time service, service for a designated long period of time or for service in a particular area designated as hazardous or warlike. So most medals are awarded for just being there!

Mike Burke writes: I share John Parkes’s skepticism about the Australian military’s role in Iraq. I particularly share his cynicism about the fuss being made about medals, although he perhaps overcooks his argument by suggesting that there was ever a time when medals were not awarded just for “being there”. It was ever thus. Nevertheless, the award of medals (as opposed to decorations for exceptional service) in the modern Australian military, ie post-Vietnam War, has become a farce – almost an comic opera of Gilbert and Sullivan proportions. I, and most of my contemporaries with a similar length of service, have four medals (and various clasps) of which I probably earnt two. The others are simply for different permutations of precisely the same service.

Rod Quinn writes: Re. “The glorious uncertainty of Test cricket” (yesterday, item 26). Firstly, the Tied Test was in 1960, not 1961. Alan McGilvray – and others – left the Gabba because the match was heading to an easy West Indies win: Australia was 6-92 at tea chasing over 230 to win. It was never going to be a “tame draw”. Nine stayed with the coverage in Adelaide not out of any loyalty to a great match, but because it was easier to leave the Gabba at 7.30, not 7.15. Nothing changes in their decisions in that department. And can critics please stop bagging the ABC for an understandable programming decision nearly 40 years ago? Nine learnt nothing of the Greg Chappell outcry by doing the same thing to Mark Waugh’s debut hundred in Adelaide in 1991 and Glenn McGrath’s first Test fifty in Brisbane…not to mention the infamous decision to leave their coverage of the Test in which Shane Warne was about to equal the world-wicket-taking record, preferring to screen a meaningless episode of The Price Is Right instead.

James Bryan-Hancock writes: Jeff Wall and Michael Roberts commended nine on their coverage of the second Test – what for, doing their job? I’m betting the post match coverage was only televised because the cricket finished between the neat half-hour timeslots, if they hadn’t filled in those fifteen minutes their whole schedule would have been off. I truly hope we can expect at least this level of coverage for the remaining matches otherwise a few hundred thousand cricket fans and I will be wishing the series was picked up by pay-TV instead. Is it wrong to expect that sport matches will be shown from beginning to end? I don’t see Nine cutting off Temptation if it runs long.

Wayne Bennett writes: Re. “Terry Wallace’s Toddler Tiger Army” (yesterday, item 28). Francis Leach is only dirty on the AFL father/son rule as his beloved St Kilda have been a rabble for that long that they have struggled to have any players get to the 100 game qualification, and those that have made it haven’t had brilliant footballing children. I’m sure he will love the rule in a few years time when Rob Harvey, Stewie Leowe and Nathan Burkes kids are all 15-18 year old superstars and certain top 10 draft picks able to be picked up on the cheap.

Jim Hart writes: Re. the comments on Mayne vs Milne: so good to see so many telling so few that we are so over it and they should be too. Crikey’s greatest asset is its independence; its greatest weakness is its self-importance.

Chris Colenso-Dunne writes: Lucille Martin may be sick to death of Stephen Mayne’s reaction to Milne’s assault last week (yesterday, comments) but I’m sick to death of the malevolent cheer leaders and fellow travellers seizing this opportunity to stick it to Mayne. Milne’s push was only very mild was it and Milne was a lot shorter than Mayne so that makes it all right? Bollocks! All those now putting the boot into Mayne for his outraged reaction were once just little sh-ts screaming out their contempt in the playground. Too spineless ever to stand up to the bullies, too clever by half to join in, they always get their kicks from denigrating the victim, by accusing him or her of being a fairy; indeed, as with Mayne, of asking for it.

Stephen Mayne writes: The original reports incorrectly attributing the “Thanks buddy, thank you” line to me, rather than the Walkleys floor manager, were by AAP and ABC online, not Margaret Simons, as I wrote yesterday. Apologies.

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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