Correction:

Bernard Keane writes: Friday’s article “Australia says no to people-smugglers — via Youtube” quoted Sandi Logan as saying “this is not an ad campaign, it’s an information campaign targeted…” Mr Logan was misquoted by me. His statement was that the videos were part of an “information plan”. Advertising campaigns are subject to specific internal government approval requirements.

The Oz:

Barry Donovan  writes: Re. “The Australian’s grand obsession: itself” (Friday, item 4). Eric Beecher may be right about The Australian‘s self-obsession on some issues but he is wrong when he describes it is the country’s “best newspaper”.

His (and my) old paper The Age may have its problems today but I’d still put Michelle Grattan, Michael Gordon, Tim Colebatch, Shaun Carney, and Paul Austin up against anyone The Oz is providing now on political coverage in Canberra and Melbourne.

Then we can look at Australia’s best cartoonists/artists in Ron Tandberg, Mike Leunig, John Spooner etc. The Oz does have Peter Nicholson but he’s an old Age boy anyway.

Yes, The Oz does lead the way, usually, with its media section and Patrick Smith ( and Wayne Smith for rugby union fans) give good sports columns.  But “best paper” — please, Eric.

Ray Sanderson writes: So online publisher Eric Beecher of Crikey thinks that The Australian is this country’s  best newspaper (Cut and Paste 12/6/10) but The Australian truncated his comment.

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Beecher actually said, “Partly by default and partly by design, The Australian is this country’s best newspaper. But its great strengths are compromised by many flaws and seriously compromised by one big obsession. The flaws are idiosyncratic, erratic and often harmless. The obsession is fervid and relentless. The Australian’s great obsession is with itself.”

Mis-quoting would be below the country’s best newspaper, wouldn’t it?

Afghanistan:

Martin Gordon writes: I was not surprised by the recent contribution about withdrawing from Afghanistan. Democracies are reluctant to go to war, given the current war was the site where the 11 September 2001 attacks were run from, and given how odious the Taliban and Islamic fascism are I am surprised by the range of their apparent allies (an unholy alliance if you like).

Orwell and later Hitchens, and even Robert Buick rightly pointed out how many in the west and the political left have usually sued for peace, with the ultimate effect of helping totalitarianism, terrorism and civil unrest.

Surely this is against our interests, values and humanity? The loss of our troops is regrettable but losing this struggle will cost us much more in the end.

Leonora:

Holly Flottmann writes: Re. “Why Leonora? ‘There are a range of considerations’, apparently” (June 10, item 3). Leonora is a lovely town with great people. Why is this such a bad thing? If the accommodation is good enough for Australian residents how come it is not good enough for asylum seekers?

I am glad we are able to offer safe refuge to people who have been through such dreadful times. That they can afford to pay people smugglers fees is testament to their ability to work and save. Qualities Australia will benefit from.

WA needs just this quality of people in our mining sector and their induction at Leonora can only benefit and prepare these people and benefit our great country. I would dearly love to see asylum seekers in our mining workforces, earning $100K a year and spreading the bread to their desperate families. Just what is the issue here?

I say get a practical grip you nay sayers!

RSPT:

David Lenihan writes: Re. John Shailer (Friday, comments) wrote: “With his latest $4,000,000,000 infrastructure bribe to voters in WA and Queensland to come from the tax, apparently it is only for Australians in states where he has been wiped out in the latest opinion polls. Too bad about the rest of Australia.”

Last time I looked most of the mines in this country are in the two states dear John is whinging about. Also dear John it is the RSPT that will benefit all Australians, nothing to do with the money he is giving WA and Queensland.

The Queen’s birthday:

John Matthew Bennetts writes: Surely, having just celebrated both the opening of the ski season and the birthday of a queen other than the Queen of England and… Australia… it is time to rename the June long weekend as Ski Season Weekend and forget about whoever might or might not have a coincident birthday.

Failing this, move it to Midwinter’s Day and adopt some of the quainter habits of the Northern Latitudes during their mid-winter solstice.

Peter Fray

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