Paul Harders writes: Several of your readers (Brad Ruting and Ange Kenos – 22 December, comments) have criticised Warnie as a role model. What I can’t understand is why sportspeople are expected to be anything other than the best sportspeople they can be. Warne was certainly that, as talented and dedicated a sportsman as you will find anywhere, and for that reason alone, an inspiration. It is the meeja’s obsession with scandal that has turned him into anything else, and this obsession with the private lives of people we look up to is responsible alone for turning good role models into bad ones. I always hear the pathetic whine that “the public has a right to know”. Err, don’t you mean “my boss has to sell space in this rag to advertisers so I need to cater to the lowest common denominator”?

Bill Watson writes: Ange, you’ve missed the point about Warne. All of Warnie’s failings (text, smokes, beer, poor judgement and a wandering d-ck) make him just like you and me; he is after all human. Few of us achieve the scale of his failings but even fewer have not been guilty of any one of these failings. Unlike the rest of us, his failings are played out for all to see. This is probably punishment enough being fodder for tabloids and broadsheets (and Paul Barry). His failings make him one of us, not aloof and could well be the bloke down the road or at the pub. That’s why he is loved by many Australians: he is just another bloke. Warne is a truly great cricketer bringing joy to many and, despite his failings, has been an inspiration to many young cricketers. He might be less than perfect, but he is entitled to our praise and respect as a cricketer. After all, anyone who beats the Poms is truly great.

Jay Walker, former Australian correspondent for High Times magazine, writes: How offensive that Noam Chomsky should be tarred with the same brush as David Irving and Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s conference of Holocaust “revisionists” (“David Irving goes free” – 21 December, item 13): “Chomsky’s work is not at the same level of offensive looniness as Irving’s, but some of it is not far off”. Chomsky responded to this sort of looniness in Chronicles of Dissent way back in 1992 when asked: “It’s been said that Noam Chomsky is somehow agnostic on the issue of whether the Holocaust occurred or not” he replied: “My “agnosticism” is in print. I described the Holocaust years ago as the most fantastic outburst of insanity in human history, so much so that if we even agree to discuss the matter we demean ourselves.”

Jefferson Ross writes: Re. “Hats off to the noble Greens.” These brave troopers had a rousing success in the Victorian election, despite the ALP’s despicable campaign of slander. For the voting public, the Greens are clearly establishing themselves as a credible Opposition to the reigning bipartisan plutocracy. Your resident eco-Pollyanna, Mr Kerr, appears to dismiss the entire concept of third- party opposition, on the old grounds that it splits the Left vote and so ushers in the rightmost tyrant. If the ALP were anything but a technicolour travesty of a people’s party, Mr Kerr might have a point. Sadly, as things stand, the only party with any integrity on social justice is the Greens, and a longer-term view is required.

John Bain writes: I enjoyed the lookalikes feature (22 December, item 1) – but one that never seems to get a mention (is it just me?) is George W Bush and Ricky Ponting… I reckon shots of Ricky circa Ashes 2005 and any shot of GWB circa Iraq make them look like twins…

Ed Rush writes: Re. Lookalikes. The Bulletin a few months ago carried an astonishing lookalike photo of Julia Gillard. She was the absolute spit of actor Jodie Foster.

Stuart Snowden writes: Re. Sexiest pollies. As an Australian living overseas for several years, but a regular reader of Crikey (currently struggling with a Japanese keyboard in Tokyo) I have to ask – did people not look at Kate Ellis closely? I would move electorates on the odd (and slim) chance that she went doorknocking…

Peter Fray

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