Kevin Rudd and 7.30 Reportland:

James Burke writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits” (yesterday, item 11). Richard Farmer has forgotten a third audience for Wednesday’s 7:30 Report: people like myself who have been dismayed by Rudd’s performance but hope he may yet do better. And the brief glimpses of anger were manna from heaven — not only because of the rare entertainment value, but because of the subject matter. Rudd was told that people thought he hadn’t done enough on global warming, and it made him angry.

Nurture that anger, Kev.

Abbott is a half-baked weirdo consumed by paranoid delusions. You’ve allowed him to get away with this for too long, mainly because people are attracted to politicians who sound like their mates (even the weird paranoid ones) rather than their GPS navigators. Instead of merely boring, start boring in: on the core idea driving the Coalition at this moment. Namely, that the vast majority of scientists on the planet are part of a conspiracy to usher in One World Government.

I speak daily with ignorant working-class racists obsessed with interest rates who, despite their Murdochian newspaper habits, are shocked by the Tea Party call for revolution —  in opposition to health care provisions they regard as God-given. Abbott, Minchin, Joyce, and the rest, are part of the same stinking amoeba as the Tea Party loons. It’s time to make that clear.

Peter Burns writes: Re. “Ruddquake: That’s not a meltdown. THIS is a meltdown.”  (yesterday, item 1). It was so good to see some passion in Kevin Rudd on the 7.30 Report on Wednesday night. I thought he was quite restrained in not reaching out and giving the rude and arrogant Kerry O’Brien a thump on the nose; I know I sure felt like doing it as he continually interrupted Rudd’s answers to the very questions he put to him. It’s time for Kerry O’Brien to hang up the mic, put away the pancake make-up, and write his memoirs.

But back to the PM. For the first time in yonks, he showed some emotion about something and it improved his stocks enormously. Compare last night’s articulate passion with the shoot-from-the lip mutterings of the Mad Monk, the increasingly shrill spruiking of Hockey, and the hysterical ranting of the mining lobby. Rudd’s looking and sounding less like a bureaucrat and more statesmanlike than we’ve seen for a long time.

Methinks the recent sniff of defeat has stirred the fight within him.

Resources Super Profit Tax:

Rod Metcalfe writes: Re. “Come in Spinner: shrieking hysteria won’t stop the mining tax” (yesterday, item 5). I am not sure about all this hysteria around the RSPT and its effects on superannuation. The 15% surcharge on superannuation contributions in the 1990 may have been small beer in comparison, but personally, did me more damage than the RSPT is ever likely to do. Does anyone in the media remember that great big tax? It hurt.

Nuclear power:

Jim Green, Friends of the Earth, writes: Re. “The government’s strange flip flops on nuclear” (yesterday, item 10). Further to Bernard Keane’s article on the Labor government’s nuclear policies, arguably the most objectionable flip-flop concerns the government’s plan for a national nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory.

Government ministers have refused repeated requests to meet with Traditional Owners opposed to the nuclear dump plan. The government bases its dump plan on an anthropological report which it refuses to publicly release or even to share with affected Traditional Owners. And for good measure the Rudd government plans to override the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1984 in order to impose the nuclear dump.

Compare that grubby racism with the soaring rhetoric of Kevin Rudd’s National Apology in February 2008.

Banks’ fee gouging:

Tim Falkiner  writes: Re. “Fee gouging: banks may take it up the class (action)” (yesterday, item 19). I studied contract law in 1967.  My lecturer, a prominent QC, made it clear a contract cannot apply a penalty. It has always been apparent to me the penalties imposed by the banks were illegal. The big corporations just seem to do what they like.  The starved reel cheating device on the pokies is even worse. We seem to have very poor consumer regulation in Australia.

Keith Binns writes: There are people who still use banks? Talk about failing the IQ test.

Pedant’s dinner party:

Ian Smith writes: Re. “After the Brown-out, just who is David Cameron?” (Wednesday, item 21). One does hate to be a pedant ….   However, Crikey Intern Nicole Eckersley’s otherwise excellent and entertaining piece on the new British PM makes one rather glaring faux pas.

Those spiffing young chaps in that marvellous picture are not kitted out in dinner suits as Nicole would have it. No, they are in tails (and bespoke tails at that!) — quite a different thing.   If one is going to lampoon the upper classes one simply has to get these things right.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey