The MP pay rise:

David Lodge writes: Re. Yesterday’s editorial. Your editor’s comment at the beginning of today’s Crikey contains a non-sequitur. The final sentence assumes that higher parliamentary pay will lead to “smarter” politicians. There is no evidence of this. Our Prime Minister is already being paid a base salary commensurate with that of the Chief Justice of the High Court. I would have thought we would have serious problems if we could not get smart politicians at those pay rates. The same argument could apply to the Chief Justice. If we offered $33m per year, would we have a “smarter” Chief Justice than Murray Gleeson? I don’t think so. You will probably find that if you increase the pay of politicians too much, it will attract the opposite of what we want in our representatives.

Ian Farquhar writes: Your analysis is fundamentally flawed for two very basic and obvious reasons. Firstly, it assumes that the role of running a government and running a corporation are comparable. They’re not. Secondly, it assumes that good salaries attract the best talent. I humbly submit that this is a pure conjecture unsupported by any reference to reality, as a quick perusal of the CEO salary charts will clearly demonstrate. Indeed, I believe one US-based study noted a negative correlation between CEO compensation and company performance.

Shirley Colless writes: Can you do a calculation on the percentage increase in politician’s salaries over the past ten years compared with the percentage increase in their smartness? And I don’t mean their ability to upgrade their wardrobes.

Andrew Lewis writes: Are you really arguing that higher salaries would mean smarter politicians? It is an interesting exercise to compare John Howard’s salary with Alan Moss. I’m inclined to think that is fair, if not a little generous towards Mr Howard, considering how little value he has added to this country. However that is a partisan view point. What cannot be argued is that you are comparing salaries with a total compensation. Now adding in a little superannuation would bring Mr Howard’s salary up to roughly $400k give or take $20k. And you forgot to add in the use of Kirribilli House, which JH and his followers have argued is “his” residence while PM. Of course let’s not talk about additional complexities such as the perks that come after the job, such as free air travel forever for himself and Hyacinth and who knows how many of his family (is it the gold card?), office space and an assistant until he dies and much more besides. No doubt some of your more learned colleagues are aware of other things I have left out. And don’t get me started on the many and varied reasons why a pollies pay should not be measured against a business person’s, or any average employees for that matter. Next organ grinder to say “Pay peanuts, get monkeys” may just inspire me to write a diatribe on why pollies pay should never be considered on the same basis as everyone else’s. There are many good reasons, believe it or not.

The sandwich and milkshake test:

Karl Goiser writes: Re. “The sandwich and milkshake test: what $150 buys an MP for lunch” (yesterday, item 5). I am astounded at the absolute hypocrisy of the government in this pay rise issue! A comment by a back-bencher yesterday morning was to the effect that it’s OK because it was decided by a tribunal. So it’s OK for pollies’ pay to be decided by tribunal, but not for the rest of us! How dare they! If they want and expect us to believe in their WorkChoices system (work-choice-less more likely), then they must use it themselves. Why isn’t it good-enough for them? Because it is rubbish and they know it. I say either they give the rest of Australia the availability of a “remuneration tribunal” or they negotiate AWAs where they trade receiving an extra 50c an hour against all their perks! Maybe representatives of the Greens and the Democrats could sit on the tribunal?

Rod Metcalfe writes: And don’t forget the tax cut effective of 1 July. That adds a bit more to the $150 a week.

Barry Richardson writes: In the 1980s Herald & Weekly Times director John D’Arcy commented that Eric Beecher’s contribution as Editor-in-Chief was to report where the best croissants were in South Yarra. Quarter of a century later it is good to see that Mr Beecher has advanced to reporting what is on the menu in Canberra. Everything old is new again.

Alan Hatfield writes: In their article on MP salary rises yesterday, Sophie Black and Christian Kerr somewhat gratuitously ended their first option for spending $150 in a restaurant with the comment: “Total bill: $149 (not including a tip but then, politicians are known tight a-ses…).” I’d be quite keen to hear their rationale for tipping at a $150/head restaurant and not, for example, tipping the shop assistant at Myer who helps them buy a $500 suit. Apart from it being a habit we seem to have inherited from the British class system (chucking a few coppers to the lower orders to encourage them) through the north Americans who seem to be endlessly engrossed in establishing their personal wealth, standing and importance to all who will look, it really is totally at odds with most Australian values. Well, the older values, anyway. It is too close to treating the tippee as a serf whom we deign to give a few coppers to. It is also indicating that money is the only sincere way of indicating appreciation. I suspect it’s slowly becoming more and more entrenched in our system, too. But I have yet to hear a rationale for it – in the Australian context. Better still, what’s the rationale for NOT tipping those many service providers that do not currently receive tips?

Going a fudge too far:

Peter Rule writes: Re. “Kevin Rudd goes a fudge too far” (yesterday, item 1). It’s an interesting take on Kevin Rudd’s “stolen” or “leaked” briefing paper. You imply that because Kevin left them behind they couldn’t have been stolen. But this is nonsense. As soon as “whomever” assumed ownership-rights of the papers (which they did by deciding to keep them) and intended not to return them (I assume they haven’t returned them yet) then they committed theft. It’s not Kev’s conduct that determines theft, it’s the conduct and intention of the perpetrator that’s key. As silly as it all is, it’s a bit harsh to say he was dishonest in suggesting they were stolen: clearly they were.

Frank Golding writes: Christian Kerr rehashes a grubby story from that impartial journal of record, The Australian. Kerr says: “Yesterday, Rudd’s first instinct appears to have been to lie – to lie to The Australian that a document he had left behind was “stolen”.” Let’s see: 1) Rudd left his paper behind. 2) Someone took it. 3) Someone gave it or a copy of it to the Coalition leadership. Now what part of that short narrative is a “lie”? Did the paper belong to the person who took it from the table? Was Rudd reading from that other person’s paper and not his own? If Rudd had left his wallet, would it be a “lie” if Rudd objected to someone picked it up and gave it to a third party to use as they see fit?

Bryan Francis writes: Christian informs us that Kevin Rudd is “stupid”, “ignorant”, “sloppy” and lies when he claims that his notes were stolen, claiming that television footage clearly indicates that the folder was left behind on the lectern. The footage in point of fact vindicates Rudd’s position. If it had been his wallet or mobile phone and the article was not returned no one would suggest it was other than theft. There are no degrees of theft Christian. The folder was taken in the clear knowledge that it belonged to Rudd. It was not returned. Your vitriol and spin are once again misplaced and unwarranted.

David Lenihan writes: I could imagine the glee when he read the article in the Oz, written by that well known “Labor blaster”, Shanahan, hardly a contender for unbiased journo of the year. Kerr is in good company as he rambles along, nit picking and waiting to sink the boot into Rudd at every opportunity. Whatever Shanahan writes, if it’s anti Labor and anti Rudd, I surely do not take it as gospel. Now the same applies to Kerr. There would have to be a great deal of justification to have faith in anything either of them write, more than secret sources, certainly not unnamed tip-offs or “Labor Insider” (the cleaner perhaps?). What sort of truth is in an article described as, a version of events. A version according to whom? You want to talk sloppy Christian? Have a good look at your version of political life.

Tom Switzer is a good bloke:

John Ruddick writes: Peter Reynolds (yesterday, comments) writes The Australian’s opinion page editor Tom Switzer is responsible for a, “very nasty right wing agenda.” I met Tom in 1992 and can report this: He voted for a republic. He passionately opposed the Iraq war before it commenced (Robert Manne acknowledges this). He is a dual Australia-US citizen and while he didn’t vote in 2004 because of disillusionment with both, he leaned Kerry. His best man was a Korean and a groomsman a Latino. He’s had two Muslim girlfriends and plenty of gay friends. He bushwalks more than most “climate crisis” experts. He publishes the left’s doyen – Philip Adams. He does like Howard but he is personally closer to Rudd. This is why some get upset. Tom has brought The Australian‘s opinion page alive and as a result he gets over 100 unsolicited articles a day. Sadly most have to be rejected and one or two opinionated individuals become disgruntled. They felt sure they were about to be discovered as the next Laurie Oakes but because of Switzer’s “very nasty right-wing agenda” they remain unknowns. Earlier today Tom rang and asked in his trademark curious tone of voice, “who is Peter Reynolds?” “Beats me,” I said.

The hidden Aboriginal scourge:

Hannah McGlade writes: Re. “The hidden Aboriginal scourge: white s-x predators” (Tuesday, item 2). This is a really good article, it needed to be said and I agree there is a misconception it’s only Aboriginal men doing the abusing. I am aware in the past in WA of non-Aboriginal men who married Aboriginal women operating pedophile rings involving drugging and photos of Aboriginal kids. The police don’t really want to know it’s too long ago and its white men we’re talking about here. The abuse at the homes and missions is never the matter of legal settlement when it comes to Aboriginal people. I don’t think Aboriginal people would even know the Catholic process, “Towards Healing” it’s an empty PR exercise and Aboriginal people who were systematically abused as children don’t seem to be the intended recipients.

Chris Hunter writes: I partially agree with Chris Colenso-Dunne (yesterday, comments) about those rough beasts, the drunken Irish stockmen, that them and their likes should be identified and shamed — damned convicts! But shouldn’t we also keep in mind the whole picture of human suffering — that perpetrators too were (are) often the victims of prior cultural and economic breakdown? Were the convicts fundamentally bad or mostly driven so? Who or what will we identify and shame? The convict? The squatter (drover’s boy)? The black ringer partially tainted through his white association? The sadistic missionary? The tracker tracking his own — “Yes boss?” The administrator? The whole genocidal circus? Is God to blame? In the end you must take a deep breath and look openly into the mirror and ask the real question — how much of a bigot am I? The answer will come. It marks the beginning of the healing process — for all of us.

Paul Gilchrist writes: Nigel Devenport (yesterday, comments) says he expects a slapping for asking why remote Aboriginal communities exist. Well, he won’t get one from me, because it sounds like a reasonable question which must be asked. Even allowing for the false myths which Robert Gordon described (yesterday, comments), it is obvious there are problems. I would like someone to describe the ideal remote Aboriginal community. Given an ideal case, with unlimited resources and unlimited goodwill, what should a remote community look like? Would there be a completely traditional lifestyle, supported by traditional hunting without any outside support? If not, what support is needed and who should supply it? If we can’t confidently answer questions like these, does anyone really know what they want to do? Other indigenous communities, such as Pacific Islanders or Native Americans seem to preserve and value their traditions, while also taking (ideally, the best) from Western society. Why shouldn’t Australian Aborigines do the same?

Chris Hudson will be a celebrated inmate:

Stephen Matthews writes: Re. “Why bikie Chris Hudson is a dead man walking” (yesterday, item 2). Concerning biker Hudson’s prognosis according to the good professor Veno. He, Veno – like the good citizen he is – has obviously spent no time in jail… unlike me. Hudson will be a celebrated inmate… and will be most welcome in most sections. The Aborigines, the Lebanese, the Asians will all be interested to adopt him as their own … and will provide protection against those few Finks who could be tempted to grandstand. There is no respect in jail for the legal profession so Hudson can weave his own hero story with his lawyer-victim a celebrated statistic: mark that CRIMS 1, LAW 0. Any retaliatory grandstanding by a would-be assailant brings considerable risk since the jail authorities will be rewarded for keeping Hudson safe in the general prison as distinct from protective custody. There is considerable dishonour in protective… and the odds of his dying there are much greater.

Drinking water:

Paul Rasmussen writes: Re. “Keep the cr-p out of our drinking water” (yesterday, item 6). It is of some interest to us here in the Hawkesbury LGA that drinking recycled water is such a big issue – we have done it for years. The town water supplied to most of the households in the Hawkesbury City comes from the Hawkesbury Nepean (HN) River. It is extracted at North Richmond, NSW and then treated and distributed to households. The HN river water is over 80% sewerage treatment plant discharge water – 97% of the fresh clean river water is diverted to Sydney and what now flows in the HN River is substantially STP water. Once this water flows to North Richmond, it is extracted by the water treatment plant there, treated and distributed to HOUSEHOLDS for drinking, washing etc etc purposes. Sure this water has been “cleaned” by the STP processes and the water filtration plant, but it is still STP water. Not good enough for the City, but OK for the regions? Sounds a bit like the Broadband plan? Are we becoming “two” Australias?

Alan Kerlin writes: The credibility of ANU Professor Peter Collignon’s arguments on water recycling and his attempts to stir up “poo phobia” are degraded on three points: He says we can’t rely on available technology to safely treat effluent for reuse, but fails to acknowledge that this same technology (and usually to a much lower treatment standard) treats the water already coming out of his tap. He argues that Canberra’s water catchment is “pristine”, when not even the very headwaters of the Snowy River on the side of Mt Kosciuszko is safe to drink untreated due to the spread of Guardia by animals like foxes. He talks only of Canberra’s water (the stuff he has to drink), with no regard for every other township between Canberra and Adelaide that drinks the water that went through his toilet. This simple act of flowing downstream and around a few bends does not purify water, Peter. It is time that Peter stops bolstering his arguments with his official title and admits that he has a personal hang-up about it. He’s a poo-phobe.

David Hand writes: A feature of this ongoing debate is that opponents of water recycling call it “recycled sewage”. This term is meant to conjure some sort of revulsion to the proposal and therefore indicates a lack of true objectivity by the professor who seems to have already made up his mind. To those of us who are at the mercy of the media for our information on this important issue, it would be nice if your commentator was less shrill and more emotionally neutral, arguing from a position of reason, supported by facts, rather than fear. The professor seems to want me to be afraid that “evil corporations” will visit my house, attach the outlet of my toilet to the inflow of my drinking water and charge me an arm and a leg for the privilege. His comments on overseas experience say nothing of the political influences by activists such as himself within all those solutions, suggesting that rejection of measures being discussed here are purely technical. Nowhere does he present any studies from anywhere showing that science has proven recycled water cannot be achieved. I saw in the news that Goulburn’s biggest dam has risen from empty to 3% full this week. The uncertainty of future rainfall patterns in the light of climate change means that the possibility of running out of drinking water is real. As with climate change, none of us have actually visited Australia in 50 years time and so at best we are limited to risk assessments. I am satisfied that the risk of running out of water is real and therefore I support any true research into measures that might be taken to avoid this, whether by academics, politicians or even “evil corporations”. *In the interests of encouraging a more open declaration of conflicts of interest in this debate: I do not have any contracts, consultancy arrangement or research grants from any companies that may derive major financial gains from building sewage water recycling plants (eg engineering companies such as CH2M Hill, Veolia Water etc) nor from institutions that may be involved with the large sums of monies that will be needed to finance these types of projects (eg Macquarie Bank, Babcock and Brown, and/or water infrastructure funds). I have not previously owned a small parcel of shares in AGL (which is in a business partnership with ACTEW and thus derives profits from water supply and use in the ACT in conjunction with ACTEW and the ACT Government).

Broadband WiMAX:

An IT watcher writes: Re. “Telstra tells: Optus’ WiMAX proposal is not the answer” (yesterday, item 12). The Telstra CTO you so generously gave a free kick to in yesterday’s Crikey said at least two outright lies, and several other details were cleverly fudged. Lie 1. ”no one has actually deployed a commercial service with this standard yet” Simply not true. I know of at least one: it covers the Isle of Man. I believe there’s another just across the sea in Ireland, two in London, one being set up in Milton Keynes, and several on the European mainland. Other services, while not commercial, have been set up as community services for remote parts of Canada and the US. Sure, it’s new tech. But generally, when planning for the future, you don’t use old tech. Lie 2. ”In addition, unlike WiMAX, the Next GTM network comes with the voice and video telephony capability built in” – Actually, WiMax has been specifically designed with QoS built in – a technology that makes data “play nice” with telephony. Fudge 1: ”advertised (wireless) peak speeds (such as 6Mbps) are subject to random variations… when a fixed line is advertised as offering 6Mbps, all customers within the nominated coverage area will achieve those speeds.” Literally true – because no-one would advertise something they couldn’t provide (though it’s usually subject to the small print). But it might be read by the uninitiated as saying that ADSL2+ over a phone line doesn’t degrade with distance. It does. Look at this chart, which shows exactly how quickly ADSL2+ degrades with distance from the local exchange (and creating a new exchange is much more expensive than sticking up a wireless tower). Fudge 2: ”Furthermore, radio is a shared medium, so all users in the same area need to share that 6Mbps (or whatever happens to be available where you are).” Technically true, but the 6Mbps figure is a total red herring. The fact is that a Wimax tower can be configured to speeds up and beyond 100Mbps. It just depends on how much hardware you put on a tower, how big is the backhaul pipe to the exchange, and how much power you put through it. That’s the bandwidth you’re sharing with others in the cell. So the power and bandwidth can easily be upgraded if a cell starts getting overloaded. The only reasonable point he made was about the relative economies of Wimax versus its rival technology HSPA/UTMS (supported by Ericsson, who not coincidentally have also been criticising the Opel plan). Some studies, commissioned and paid for by Wimax rivals, have cast doubts on the economy of Wimax compared to the alternatives. But this presupposes that Opel, for some bizarre reason, have got their sums horribly wrong and are going for a much more expensive technology for no apparent reason. Does this sound likely? Or is it more likely that this is just sour grapes from Telstra, whose regional Next G monopoly is under threat from government-assisted competition?

John Hampshire writes: Hugh Bradlow tells an absolute porky here: “By contrast, when a fixed line is advertised as offering 6Mbps, all customers within the nominated coverage area will achieve those speeds.” Sadly, when Telstra advertises its copper wire ADSL2+ service as 20Mbps it knows full well that’s a theoretical maximum. At least Telstra has enough sense to use 20Mbps instead of the 24Mbps claims that seem standard for other ISPs, but in either case — unless you’re living inside the phone exchange, as the saying goes — most people would be happy to crank up 8-10Mbps. This is not to mention the fact that however good your end may be, downloads speeds are controlled ultimately by the originating server’s capabilities and the weight of traffic along the chain to your machine.

Mike Smith writes: Telstra’s CTO says: “For a start, the advertised peak speeds (such as 6Mbps) are subject to the random variations that are endemic in radio systems. The number of customers who will actually achieve these speeds in the coverage area can be relatively low. By contrast, when a fixed line is advertised as offering 6Mbps, all customers within the nominated coverage area will achieve those speeds.” If you look at Telstra’s Bigpond site, you find this: “20Mbps plans not available to all customers or in all areas. Speeds based on Telstra tests. Actual speeds may be less due to a number of factors including network configuration, line quality & length, exchange type, customer premises interference, traffic and equipment. About 70% of customers on the 8Mbps plan can access speeds around 6Mbps or more. About 50% of customers on the 20Mbps plan can access speeds around 10Mbps or more. Some existing customers may need to purchase newer modems to achieve up to 20Mbps speeds.” Telstra are quite happy, then, to sell 20Mbps and deliver 10Mbps or less to 50% of their customers that subscribe to this. How is this different to WiMAX?

Nigel Brunel writes: Let’s cut the bullsh-t. There never has been and probably never will be decent broadband in this country as long as we have Telstra or the other soul-less Telco’s driving the ship. The only thing we will ever have is “Fraudband”. The Government (taxpayer) should invest and set up its OWN company to run a true FTTN system round the whole country (wireless where not possible) and pay for the whole lot itself – then offer extremely cheap rates to the entire population, sign them all up and then float the company off and make a huge profit. Get the Future Fund to do it and keep the profits. Stuff Telstra, Optus and the lot. They do us no favors – they’re run by idiots and don’t deserve to have our business.

Dave Horsfall writes: Kevin Cox (yesterday, comments) mentions the availability of Internet access via power lines. This technology is known as BPL (Broadband over Power Lines), but it has a major drawback. Specifically, the power lines themselves act as antennas, and both radiate energy that can (and does) interfere with various services, and in turn is susceptible to interference from same. It definitely is not the panacea that the BPL industry would have you believe.

Alister Air writes: Tim Deyzel (yesterday, comments) is not quite right when he says that “If you’re downloading a “1 Meg” file on a “1 Meg” link this probably means a 1 Megabyte file on a 1 Megabit link which (if the link is humming perfectly) should take exactly 8 seconds [(1,048,576×8)/1,048,576]”. Your 1 megabyte file is broken up into many pieces (“packets”), each of which is then wrapped in a TCP/IP envelope, and these envelopes need to travel on your internet connection as well. The envelopes allow the file to travel in pieces and be reliably reassembled at their destination. Your 1 megabyte file may well take up 1 megabyte on your disk, but will take up a little more than 1 megabyte (or 8 megabits) of your available bandwidth due to the (necessary) overhead of the TCP/IP envelope.

Name withheld writes: PRs using Crikey to promote the interests of their clients should identify themselves as such. Antonio O’Neill (yesterday, comments) from Launchgroup represents Unwired, a WiMax spectrum owner that missed out on the Government broadband largesse.

The banker and the bookie:

Greg Cantori writes: Re. “The banker, the bookie and a failure of responsibility” (Tuesday, item 4). A casino that unwittingly allows a punter to gamble with stolen money is not committing a crime, and should not be forced to return the money to the original owner. Money itself is not “goods” – it is the promise of the issuer (ie. the Australian Government Treasury) to provide a specified exchange value for goods or services. People generally avoid holding large amounts of cash as it cannot be legally marked or identified (who writes down their banknote serial numbers?). To take the example to a more familiar level, what if the thief bought milk and bread from the local corner store using the stolen cash? Should the shopkeeper be forced to reimburse the owner the money spent at the shop? If you answer yes, then by the same logic, you must force the thief to return the milk and bread – hopefully unused. Clearly this reimbursement scenario is unenforceable and impractical.

Psychiatry:

Dr Lois Achimovich writes: I do not appreciate the demeaning tenor of Dr Robertson’s response (15 June, comments) to Dr Ahmed, particularly the diagnosis of paranoia. The central point of Dr Ahmed’s post still stands – why is there such a low pass rate in psychiatry in Australia? After all, candidates must do six years of medicine, one year of residency and five years of psychiatric training before they graduate psychiatry. It cannot be that their intelligence is wanting. Is it the training? Or is it the fact that hospital psychiatry is boring, under-resourced with skilled teachers and lacking in intellectual challenge? “The Medicare-funded trough” can indeed be a welcome release, one which is apparently not open to a significant number of trainees. Don’t expect any sympathy from Dr Robertson. Dr Ahmed, it’s all your own damned fault.

Go spend some time in a community, Henry:

Liz Johnston writes: Re. “The Economy: It’s about productivity, stupid” (yesterday, item 30). Henry wants to get the bruvvers back to work in communities. What work? If you’ve ever been to a remote community you’ll know there’s precious little of it. I admire Noel Pearson and his passion and wish him well. Certainly the young are where all efforts need to be concentrated, and that includes caring for their health as well as their education. It’s hard to study if you’re malnourished and it’s hard to work a five day week if you’re in ill health as so many community people are. Go spend some time in a community, Henry. And if you have a modicum of empathy in your body you will stop trotting out your trite brutal one liners damning some very special people who need a helping hand not a hammering.

The cross city tunnel:

John Arbouw writes: Re. “Monopoly infrastructure: Some lose, some win … and some just gouge” (yesterday, item 29). Michael Pascoe’s assertion that the new operators would sue the government over the road closures misses the point entirely. The Cross City Tunnel went broke not because the government wanted to reverse some of the road closures but because the original traffic projections of 90,000 cars a day was Alice in Wonderland stuff. As well, the banks providing the debt will be paid out. It is the equity participants who will suffer. However, they all wrote off their investment last year so than any money coming in this financial year will be an extraordinarily good item on the balance sheet. Leighton will become the tunnel operators and it is normal to have some equity in these types of projects. In Leightons case it is 6% while two ABN AMRO funds, one in Holland and one locally will take the rest of the equity. The financial model this time around is based on a proven 35,000 cars a day. Hopefully this time around the tunnel will not make everyone so cross.

Does the ABC know the West exists?:

Former WA Premier Peter Dowding writes: Yes, I confess to love the ABC – Aunty is a lifesaver but there are times when, as a West Australian, I wonder if she knows the West exists? On 2 separate occasions she has made assertions that a short moment on Google would have corrected. Kerry O’Brien had words written for him for the 7.30 Report on Wednesday evening to the effect that Sgt Hurley was the first Police Officer charged with a death in custody. Of course it would have been easy to refer to the terrible death of John Pat in Roebourne 28 Sept 1983. The charges were heard in 1984 – see The Queen Against Terrence James Holl, Steven Alan Bordes, Ian Frank Armitt, James Young and Michael Walker: Proceedings, Supreme Court of Western Australia, No. 31of 1984. A few weeks ago, the “east centric” researchers advised him to say that the first strike of Aboriginal station workers took place in the Northern Territory when the Gurinji went on the grass (as it were). A careful researcher would have been able to learn that was not so, a much earlier and much more extensive strike took place in WA in 1946 when the entire Aboriginal Community of the Pilbara walked off the stations – all of them – and never returned. See the book Kangkushot: The Life of Nyamal lawman Peter Coppin. May be the sensitivity of the ABC arises from the fact that the said Coppin was one of plaintiffs successfully suing the ABC in the case Mitchell, Coppin and others v The Commissioners of the ABC and Middleton in 1958. Or maybe the research team have been a little slack!

Oops:

Yesterday’s typos (house pedant Charles Richardson casts an eye over the howlers in the last edition of Crikey): Item 18: “The long shadow of le TVA”. No, “taxe” is feminine, so it’s “la TVA” (taxe sur la valeur ajoutée).

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