You call that art?

Opposition Whip, Senator Stephen Parry, is dumbfounded at what is called “art” these days. Like n-ked children. You might as well have “Ecstacy Tablets On Canvas No 304” or “Ruminations on an AK47 Assault Rifle” and call that art too, he noted in a media release (reproduced in Crikey yesterday). We asked Crikey readers to suggest other “art” possibilities.

Owen Richardson writes: A room-sized perspex box in Civic, inside which public servants work on legislation for 35 hours at a time.

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Jan Loh writes: P-ss Howard?

FuelWatch: Yes, but is anyone even using it in WA?

Tim Molesworth writes: I know we’re all sick of the FuelWatch debate by now, but an interesting investigation to see on Crikey would be an investigation of the website statistics of the WA FuelWatch scheme. All my WA friends say nobody actually bothers to use it – it’d be interesting to see if that’s the case. Of course, you’d have to look at statistics from a couple of months ago, since people from around the country would have looked it up recently to see what all the fuss is about. Can’t get that info myself, but would be good to see…

US08: Why Hillary waited..

Linda Manning writes: Re Guy Rundle’s “Hillary lives to die another day“. Rundle wrotes: “What was she waiting for? Reports say she was still holding out hope that she could round up enough super-ds, and mount a credentials challenge on the Michigan seating. And then what? And then what?” Bobby Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan on June 5th 1968 – maybe she is waiting until after the 40th anniversary of that event to announce her withdrawal. Not nice, but strategic.

Qantas polices customer service

Anonymous Qantas traveller writes: Ben Sandilands writes in “Frequent fury: Qantas and customers on war footing” (yesterday, Crikey) that “An Australian airline has started using security and police to protect itself from outraged punters who don’t get what they paid for.” My experience while checking in at Canberra airport a couple of weeks ago shows that Qantas also try to use the Australian Federal Police (rather than calling a manager) to resolve customer service issues, even when the customer is not swearing or being abusive or aggressive. In my case, a check-in officer summoned four Australian Federal Police officers to remove me and my eleven-month-old baby from the check in counter when I asked (and insisted) that I be allowed to speak with the manager in order to resolve a dispute regarding checking in a baby stroller. Having quickly ascertained that my baby and I did not pose any security threat, the police suggested that as this was a customer service issue, rather than a security matter, it would perhaps be more appropriate to call a manager rather than the police, in the first instance. At the request of the Australian Federal Police, the manager was finally called and the situation was resolved.

Interest rates immobile? Don’t know about that

John Taylor writes: Glenn Dyer says (Crikey, yesterday) current interest rates will be around for a year or so. Macquarie has today (or yesterday) had an issue of hybrid notes at a FIXED rate of 3.5% above the 5-year swap rate. Not being dills it would seem they think high interest rates will be with us for at least 5 years.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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