Who needs Newspoll? Just survey the readers of Crikey is what I say. They predicted last Friday that the figures in this morning’s Australian would put the two party preferred vote at Labor 56% to the Coalition’s 44% and that is what it turned out to be. The final predictions by the entrants in our little contest and the actual Newspoll figures are shown in the following table:

The Crikey abacus is now hard at work calculating our contest winner which will be announced in tomorrow’s email.

The serious ABC – I know we like to think that websites like the ABC will be our salvation when that frivolous News Limited chooses to turn its contributions into pay-per-view versions but I thought you might be interested in this offering:

And before we criticise the ABC editors for their selection, just ponder this list of what people actually were reading the most on the whole ABC news site at the time:

There clearly is no Murdoch or Fairfax monopoly on being lightweight.

Hawk eye for the home court. A social game of tennis is about to take on a new meaning. Listening to the commentary during the last week on the Paris Grand Masters tournament I was amazed to hear one of the experts tell how the Hawk Eye electronic system was now being installed on the private courts of wealthy Russians. My mind boggles although I will admit the system would have come in handy when I used to play social tennis on a Tuesday evening many years ago on the Kingston courts with Alan Ramsey, Jim Spigelman and the late Richard Carleton.

A Scrabble judge – The satirical site The Spoof this week reported riot police being deployed in Wolverhampton as crowd trouble broke out during the Scrabble match between bitter rivals Ted Hankey and Scott Waites but it was certainly no joking matter back in those tennis playing days when Mungo McCallum was taking on the now Sydney film critic Evan Williams, Harriet Swift (then Valerie Binns) and myself in our weekly games.

If the judges of the Indian High Court had been present then back in the 1970s they would surely not have made their finding this week that Scrabble was just a game. Their honours were considering whether Scrabble should be subject to excise duty. In their wisdom they decided that it was, because Scrabble was “not a toy, not a puzzle but a game”, and hence not exempt from excise duty. They clearly had not been advised of how Messrs McCallum, Williams and Binns used Scrabble as a way of impoverishing a friendly host who thought, like their Honours, that Scrabble was a game.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey