Rudd’s China connection:

Rob Williams writes: Re. “Exclusive: Rudd, Swan, Burke and the colourful Chinese connection” (yesterday, item 1). Very good stuff. It’s a good thing we have Crikey otherwise we would all be like the proverbial mushrooms. The Liberals should have a field day with this.

Honouring our Indigenous Australians:

Chris Hunter writes: Re. “Tony Fitzgerald: The realities of fighting racism in NT” (yesterday, item 15). Tony Fitzgerald’s remarks about Aboriginal esteem, and the lack of an ADC office in Alice Springs, remind us of just how far we have to travel before “sorry” becomes meaningful. Of course, the hard part of the apology was always going to be in the logistics. An ADC office at the Alice would be a good start. But there are additional ways of raising spirits than renting offices and providing services. Sure, administration is vital, but when it comes to pride, we non-indigenous Aussies have the process down to a fine art. In every town or city we have statues and memorial parks to remind us of our past military heroes. Now if there is such a thing as an Aboriginal highway in Australia then probably the sealed road between Darwin and Alice Springs is it. North of the Cullen river lies the remains of a WW2 abattoir and stockyards. It remains hidden, just off the Stuart highway. This was the place where Aboriginal stockmen drove and then slaughtered the cattle that provided the meat that fed the northern Army — that defended Australia. Why not provide a monument to these men? I have met such a person and listened to his story, many years ago. Above the Cullen River, in a park off the highway, beyond the flood plane, a meaningful site should be created to honour this highly important contribution. A place for all travelers to stop, refresh, and contemplate. A place of national pride.

Kyoto and climate change:

Garth Wong writes: Re. “Kyoto and climate change” (yesterday, comments). So why criticise our politicians when they managed to get a great deal for Australia when setting the targets for emission levels. I would praise them for their negotiation skills and for achieving an advantage for Australia. I am cognisance of the ‘need’ to demonstrate to the rest of the polluting third world that we have to also do our bit to reduce emissions, but what practical effect will achieving a 90 percent reduction in our emissions be when Australia’s emission are only 0.015 percent of global emissions.

Mark Hardcastle writes: Peter Clarke (yesterday, comments) might consider that we cannot prove that smoking is safe simply by pointing out that cancer research has lead to an industry. That science can create a self-reinforcing industry, doesn’t always mean such science is fraud. Ben Gilna (“Crikey essay: The fiction of impartial Australian science”, Wednesday, item 5) identified the conflict between independent science and industry profits; yet climate science has won through in spite of the opposing interests of the dominant industry. There is a long and ugly history of the dominant industry suppressing climate science, buying representation, subverting policy, delaying action, and muffling scientists. In-fact the debunked claims about global-cooling or Martian-warming are promoted by industry funded campaigns. Surprising then that people concerned about industry power would latch on to these claims while rejecting the science.

Israel:

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Our “passionately pro Israel” PM throws compassion out the window” (yesterday, item 10). One of the strong features Crikey exhibits is the eclectic mix of its contributors. Most of the time most writers have the ability to engender readers to think. There are of course exceptions and the author of this little misrepresentation is prime time material in this field. When can we expect some real facts to emerge from Mr Loewenstein? Obviously an Israel lover he is not. He has this right in the privacy of his own home to believe what he likes but it is more than just “chutzpah” for him to justify his “position” by squirting fantasies on the pages of Crikey. One (crooked) side does not a story tell.

Eliot Spitzer:

Anthea Parry writes: Re. “US08: Spitzer pokes a gaping hole in the institution of marriage” (yesterday, item 4). Guy Rundle seems to think Eliot Spitzer has “deeply humiliated” his wife by telling an assembled crowd about his dalliances with prostitutes. How so? Surely Eliot Spitzer is responsible for Eliot Spitzer. He ought to be deeply humiliated by his own behaviour, but as far as I know his wife hasn’t slept with any ho’s lately — why should she be feeling humiliated? Betrayed, pissed off, out for blood – sure. But last time I checked, women are not responsible for a man’s behaviour just because they happen to be married to them. She’s done nothing to be ashamed of — why should she be described as “humiliated”?

Rudd’s razor gang:

Magnus Vikingur writes: Re. “The razor’s edge” (yesterday, comments). I believe we as members of the public are actually the employer of the present government including Kevin Rudd. (Am I dreaming?) He really is the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. Can someone out there find him a heart for God’s sake? He may have temporarily re-instated the care’s allowance but now the grant for Bonnie Babies, the grief counselling service for families of stillborn and miscarried babies is in doubt as well. I am gobsmacked. This man needs to go along with Health Minister Nicola Roxon. As far as I’m concerned these people are living under a cabbage and seem to have no idea what is going on in our community outside their inner circle in relation to health care. I cannot express my anger enough!

Backpackers:

Andrew Dempster writes: Andrew Spiers (yesterday, comments) wrote: “Many people would be distressed and a valuable part of the tourist industry crushed if Joseph had his raving way.” In fact, Joseph is spot on, “offensive” perhaps but in no way “ignorant”. I live in Coogee, within a couple of minutes walk from five backpacker hostels *and* hotels ranked 2 (Coogee Bay Hotel) and “top 50” (Beach Palace) in the recent violence league tables. Every, and I mean every, Sunday morning, and most Saturday mornings, between 3am and 3.30am, the streets are filled with yowling, howling, screaming, swearing British and Irish voices. Those hostels could not close fast enough for my liking, especially as they offer nothing to the tourism industry — these people live on a pittance and spend money only on cheap rooms and grog.

Mark Webber and the GP:

Philip French writes: Re. “Mark Webber is a great driver. Really” (yesterday, item 19). Andrew Maitland writes well and seems to know his motor racing – he is the only journo I’ve read who really does Mark Webber justice. Webber’s career may well have foundered because of one fateful decision – what a shame, but at least he had a shot at it.

Tony Barrell writes: Who will get the carbon offsets bill? The host country or Bernie Ecclestone? Or is F1 some kind of untouchable core activity that has climate change immunity?

Get over it:

Matthew Weston writes: Just a quick reminder to all of those wonderful people out there who believe in one political party or the other. The voting public of Australia voted in, and then voted out John Howard. They made that decision rationally and decisively. All of those true believers who cast bile in the direction of those who disagree with there respective party position would be well placed to remember this. The voting public of Australia are not blinded by the party line you all push, and what’s more, deserve more respect than you all dish out with your attacks for or against the previous prime minister. The sheer contempt that you all hold them in is the real problem with Australian politics. Your snide remarks about politicians are as much an attack on the supporters as the supported, and speaks volumes of the gap between the voting public and those that comment on them and politics. To argue that Phillip Adams has anything to do with many of those who voted ALP is as stupid as claiming that Andrew Bolt speaks for each and every Liberal.

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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