David Campbell:

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “The minister, the gay sauna and a reporter with scores to settle” (Friday, item 1). If indeed,as Andrew Crook wrote, “The minister’s private life had been an open secret in state government and media circles for years”, then the exposé of David Campbell is yet another example of the media’s vendetta against the NSW Government.

Rather than indicating an inept and scandal-ridden administration, as most of the media would have us believe, it reveals a “Fourth Estate” driven to a frenzy with bloodlust over a government facing probable if delayed defeat.

I wasn’t intending to vote Labor, but now I’m inclined to, as a token resistance against this offensive nonsense.

Kirk Muddle  writes: Re. “David Campbell typical of Ken’s double-life clientele” (Friday, item 8). After all of Chris Seage’s work within the sex industry in Sydney, surely he of all people would be aware that Kens of Kensington is NOT a brothel. It is a club when men who have sex with men can go to meet likeminded men with the possibility of having sex.

There is no exchange of money between these men for sex, and moreover, the rules of Kens (seen on line) clearly state that Prostitution is not permitted and will lead to your ejection from the site! In all theory, you could wander around the halls of kens for hours and leave as untouched as you arrived.

Please- after all the gutter tripe served up by the great impregnator, can we get some of the basics of this case right! Please!

Peter Wood writes: Chris Seage’s allegation about former minister David Campbell was a totally inappropriate invasion of his privacy. Seage should not have made it, and Crikey should not have published it.

Michael Johnson:

Pamela Papadopoulos writes: Re. “Khemlani’s the least of the LNP’s problems” (Friday, item 9). Michael Johnson’s (ex L.N.P) actions  is also indicative of the many non-elected advisors who within a very short period of time become lobbyists/consultants for various industry groups and organisations.

How can we trust any new prospective future political candidate when their intentions are only to make a quick money grab and use the networking opportunities in their political positions to further their own greedy needs?

That’s the question I’d like to ask the obscenely selfish, cliquey nature of the political yuppie class that have no regard for any-one but themselves starting with the seed being planted with student politics at University.

e-readers:

Bob Joyce writes: Re. “Kobo represents a new Australian inroad to e-readers”  (Friday, item 16). I have owned a Kindle since December 09, and I love it. Especially the wireless download. If you get stuck in an airport, or if it’s a wet day at the campsite, you can download a new book and be reading it within minutes. Amazon has a large range of books in Kindle format, including new releases, and at lower prices than paperbooks.

Kobo seems to have the equivalent “digital ink” technology, which closely mimics text on paper, and is very easy to read, but does not have wireless download. I will buy a Kobo when it becomes available, if only for the 100 novels with which it is preloaded. 100 classic books @ $2 each sounds like a reasonable deal to me.

Are there downsides to e-readers?  Several spring to mind.

I still need to buy paper books, because not everything I want to read is available on the Kindle. I cannot lend Kindle books to my friends without lending them the whole device. The battery sometimes runs flat at inconvenient times, although that is less of a problem since I bought a car charger. (The battery lasts about a fortnight of daily two-hour use). The small screen of the Kindle does not make for easy navigation when reading newspapers in their standard layout.

The real battle for dominance will be over file formats, with the format which has the largest number of titles, particularly new releases, likely to be the winner.

The current state of e-readers reminds me of the state of photography in the early 90s. Digital was clearly the way to go, despite the lower (but still acceptable) quality, yet many people, including camera retailers, refused to acknowledge or accept the change, allowing other retailers to steal a large part of their business.

If paperbooks and newspapers go the same way as film photography, then bookshops and newsagents will look very different in ten years time.

SBS:

Beryce Nelson writes: Re. “SBS cuts back on subtitling in ‘drift away from multiculturalism’” (Friday, item 3). To find out just why SBS is facing such savage cuts in staffing and supposed programming restraint, you only need to compare the Federal Government Budget allocations to the ABC and SBS over several years. It amazes me that SBS is still able to broadcast at all.

The fact that it remains the best television station in the country for quality foreign drama, domestic and international arts coverage, sophisticated comedy programming, intelligent debate of important social issues, and for providing excellent daily multilingual news and information services is a testament to the perseverance of SBS staff and management and certainly not because of adequate funding.

It is no wonder they moved into advertising etc. They had no choice.

It is probably definitely a case of “don’t shoot the messenger” — just give them enough money and support to do their prescribed task properly.

Sydney FC:

Grant Muir writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (20 May, item 6).  I read your “rumour” about Sydney FC’s supposed maltreatment of family season ticket holders for the upcoming season.

Disclosure: I’m a Season ticket holder and rabid Sydney FC fan, as well as running a Sydney FC fan website. I am however entirely independent of the club and its management.

A few points are worth making about the claims that Sydney FC were somehow doing a ‘bait and switch’ with families, all of this information, bar the last point is publicly available to anyone who cares to put just a little effort into finding it.

  1. Current season ticket holders have till June 10th to renew season tickets, keeping the same seats and getting the “Early Bird” price, there was absolutely no reason for anyone to renew before the draw came out, anyone concerned about the match times could, and should have waited for the draw to be published.
  2. This season the FFA handed Sydney FC 4 midweek games, they obviously have to be played after 7pm, Sydney FC has zero control over midweek fixture volumes, of the remaining 11 home games, 6 start at 7pm or later, only 2 more than last year, hardly a quantum shift.
  3. The “Junior Blues” campaign offers FREE memberships to local football association club members under the age of 12, it has absolutely zero bearing on family membership renewals, to equate the two simply wrong. They have absolutely nothing to do with each other. There is no “Hard Sell” for this programme since it’s a give-away not a sales pitch. Anyone getting a free Junior Blues membership is unlikely to need a family membership. Members were sent a couple of emails reminding them to renew, plus a letter this week, That’s hardly what I’d call a “Hard Sell” in terms of membership renewals.
  4. I met Edwin Lugt today and asked him specifically about the claims that Sydney FC were ignoring refund requests, his response was that only one family membership holder had asked for a refund and that had been give straight away.

Free Newspapers:

Jim Hanna writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (Friday, item 6). I ended my home delivery of the SMH and the Daily Telegraph with about six months remaining earlier this year. News Ltd, God love ’em, immediately sent me a credit for the balance of my subscription. The Fairfax organisation said they were keeping $50 as a “cancellation” fee, to cover the costs of closing the account.

I said “what if I had let my subscription run full course, who would have picked up the cost of closing the account then?” Lots of ums and arrs, but no reply. I told them I’d give $50 to a charity, “but on principle I sure as hell won’t let you bastards take it that easily.”

In the end, I had to give up because they were holding my money and were refusing to give it back, no matter how weak their answers were. And to think they’re now giving papers away all over town!!

Taxing our resource sector:

Roger Davenport writes: Re. “RSPT debate: Wayne Swan’s day of reckoning”  (20 May, item 9). The Governments, both State and Federal, have in the past balanced budgets by privatising everything they could lay their hands on. The profit from these sales has been squandered –– funding “feel good” policies and generating Pork Barrelling funds.

What now, nothing left to sell?

The Current Government has seized on the idea of Resource Super Profit Tax as a way to let them become modern day Robin Hoods and resolve the two speed economy. Everybody knows Australia needs both a skilled workforce for our mining and resource industries and an unskilled workforce to carry out the everyday tasks essential to modern day living.

The problem exists because local government, retail, fast food and general services cannot match the wages and salaries being offered by the Oil and Mining Giants. This makes it very diffiult to control inflation without persecuting the lower paid workforce, and the committee is still out looking for answers. No Company or individual likes shelling out money in taxes, and are entitled to a fair return for effort.

However there is one group who make their money without adding any benefit to the world economy. In fact the result of their actions often brings untold misery to many. I am talking about the Day Traders, Currency Speculators and Short Sellers. These people are the disciples of the God of Greed, the termites of the financial system by manipulating the markets.

The Prime Minister Rudd and Treasurer Swan these are the people who need to Pay the  Super Tax. Trades that are reversed within 24 hours should be taxed at 99 cents in the dollar.

Pedant’s patch:

Charles Richardson writes: Re. “Daily Proposition: You be the judge at this MasterChef restaurant” (Friday, item 17). Eloise Keating wrote: “Celebrity Chef Luke Nguyen owns and operates the award-winning Red Lantern restaurant in Surrey Hills.” Er, no. That should be “Surry Hills”. Different state. Very important.

Peter Fray

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