Liberal leadership anagrams:

John Goldbaum writes: Re. “Lunch with a leading Malcolmtent” (yesterday, item 3). The stupid 5 cent fuel excise cut email leaker left a cryptic clue in the form of an anagram. Sleek spill op gone awry. The answer is PeopleSkills. Still harbours leadership ambition. Kills his two rival birds with one stone. What better motive?

“Mean” testing:

Martin Gordon writes: Re. “$150K households” (yesterday, comments). What economic or logic credibility is there in sudden-death cuts-offs in a $100,000 means test for solar panels, $150,000 for baby bonus, none for child care, $100,000 and $150,000 for Medicare levy surcharge? Did anyone actually sit down and design these in full knowledge of their illogical nature? Means testing is not about being mean! Labor has cut science, water piping for communities such as Goulburn, seniors bonus payments all together, $700m of innovation funds for high tech companies, but funded a new think tank for its mates and funds for its arts mates. While Rudd is turning off the tap to Goulburn (and probably other places as well) the funding for our 2018 World Cup hosting bid continues, I assume to be played on green grass, a touch ironic. A journalist recently described Rudd as follows “his actions are vintage Labor, with predictable socially divisive effects creating camps of haves and have-nots.” A spot on observation. The tax cuts and education funds were broadly consistent with Coalition promises last year, except without the
“working families” propaganda. My entire adult life has had a focus on getting people into work and unemployment down; this government has an agenda of actually putting more people out of work, with little to show for it as most of the economic indicators such as interest rates are going the wrong way.

Reasonable Minister demands:

Rosemary Swift writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday, item 7). Crikey published: “The latest demand from the office of Ageing Minister Justine Elliot … all briefs to the minister that involve her attending/officiating at an event are to include a map of the location with instructions on how to get there from the nearest CBD.” Really, this is getting ludicrous. What on earth prompted you to publish the “tip” about Justine Elliot wanting directions to events she attends? It seems like a perfectly reasonable request to me. And if the information is provided with the brief, so much the better — she gets the complete package all at once, thus streamlining the process. What exactly is this contributor’s problem? Is the Minister to be deliberately kept in the dark about where she’s going? Or is she supposed to already know how to get to every venue in the country?

John Boyd writes: As an former moderately senior public servant, I recall that a brief for a minister to attend an event of some sort would include details of how to get there, a detailed timetable of the proceedings, including who would meet the minister, whom else she would meet, etc… All perfectly reasonable, I thought…

Conflicting interest v reality:

Jim Hart writes: Re. “Are Jaspan and Walker triangulating against St Kilda?” (Yesterday, item 16). Come on Crikey. It’s one thing to have a go at The Age if you think they are unfairly giving Port Phillip Council a hard time over the “white witch” story. But to suggest a conflict of interest simply because Andrew Jaspan lives in St Kilda? Back to Earth please. Next I suppose you’d like every article on state politics to carry a disclosure if the writer is a resident of Victoria.


Magnus Vikingur writes: Re. “Qantas trip a Fawlty Towers fever dream” (yesterday, item 12). I have something unusual to report about Qantas. Last Saturday I caught my usual red eye from Perth. Despite the check in queue extending beyond the terminal doors the flight left on time and arrived on time (this is not a typo). However: On a previous flight the mayhem in the terminal was the same and my midnight flight left at 2am. There was a large overseas tourist group on a domestic connecting flight and most had at least four large bags. That overloaded check in. The facilities at Perth airport cannot handle the passenger loads. That day three 747s were leaving back to back delaying them all including my flight. So, I’d like to give Qantas a little credit as Perth airport’s facilities have not kept up with the increased population of WA due to its booming economy. It has become all too common on a normal given day for the check in queue to almost mingle with the Taxi queue outside. In the terminal is an artist’s impression of the proposed improvements to the new check in counters but it relies heavily on passengers’ self check in kiosks. From what I have seen, most people don’t know how to use them so I can’t see that improving check in speed. Self service is not the answer. More check in counters is.


Lloyd Lacey writes: Re. “Lookalikes” (yesterday, comments). Sir, If you continue to publish the juvenile series of animal and cartoon comparisons with political figures I will cancel my subscription. They are beneath you and are contemptuous of your readership. It is enough that I have to put up with the condescension of the Courier-Mail without finding that Crikey is becoming aligned to the Semper Floreat of my youth.

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