Keith Bedford writes: Re. “Possum: so, how many mining dollars are spread through the economy?” (yesterday, item 2). I clearly remember the election in 1949 when Menzies with the aid of the banks defeated the Labor Party.

I saw at the time the election was not really about the banks it was about the fact Menzies was offering to release the Australian economy from the austerity of wartime controls. Menzies did this and the economy  boomed and ran away so he institutes a credit squeeze to cause a  recession, credit became scarce and interest rates soared to 25%, the highest we have ever seen, businesses collapsed and unemployment increased.

Public works in Queensland ground to a halt, the electrification of Brisbane urban rail stopped and did not proceed for twenty years. If Chifley had not died I doubt that Menzies would have had such a long run and Australia would have been the better for it.

If Australians are taken in by the Murdoch press and mining company led campaign they will suffer for it because they will be a craven lot and deserving to be treated as the inhabitants of a real Banana Republic.

They should have some guts and not be influenced by this great torrent of lies.

Denise Marcos writes: Re. “Iron ore’s raging thirst could consume an entire industry” (Tuesday, item 1). Due to the proposed RSPT major mining companies have vowed to leave Australia lest they be forced into bitter penury. Rio Tinto, BHP et al are spending millions of dollars advertising their imminent departure to a guileless public.

Should the tax legislation be passed it appears that plundering of our water tables and national parks will cease. The mining magnates are bound to keep their word about quitting, aren’t they?

Michael Tatas writes: Regarding the RSPT, John Carmody (yesterday, comments) mentioned that “the rate of 40% will be levied on the profits in excess of 6%”. Well that’s not what First Dog’s cartoon told me on Wednesday, June 9.

First  Dog says that they are taxed at 40% for profits about 6%, and then 28% again on what’s left, raising the effective rate to over 50%

So who’s right?

If I can’t rely on a First Dog cartoon for all my learnings of government policy, then all is lost.

Steven McKiernan writes: The best bit about Duncan Roads’ reported gargantuan conspiracy theory (yesterday, comments) is if New Zealand become a State of Oz we get a second chance at advancing to the second round of the World Cup.

The nerd vs. the bruiser:

“Drovers Cat” writes: Re. “Nerd who can’t land a blow v bruiser who punches own lights out” (yesterday, item 1). It has always been true — just more true at this time — that polls are a great opportunity to vent and send a message of protest/disapproval without actually knocking your party of choice down at the ballot box.

A lot of people got behind Kevin especially on the touchstone 2007 issue of ETS and now see him walking away. Hence the results. But if they are saying through the polls “we are angry and disappointed you’ve done that” to Kevin, they’re saying “…and it’s YOUR fault” to The Obstinate Abbott, which is about all he is good at doing, and who truly screwed the ETS anyway. And they’re parking their vote at the nearest green or “other” they can find, but that may as well be the Equal Opportunity for Aardvarks Party at the moment.

Let’s face it, you have to wonder about the collective psychology of an electorate so angry about so much, it is even prepared to half-believe a bunch of self-interested, dressed-down billionaire miners trying to achieve that usual larrikin pastime of self-appointed elites — avoiding tax — with the help of the Liberal Party’s Pravda, The Australian.

Interesting times, indeed.

Is the PM a licensed financial advisor?:

John Goldbaum writes: Is Kevin Rudd licensed through ASIC or does parliamentary privilege give him an automatic waiver from the law? He provided financial advice to Peter Dutton in Question Time yesterday to “keep your investments onshore!”

The Australian:

Jeremy Butler writes: Re. “The Australian’s grand obsession: itself” (Friday, item 4). The gross narcissism of the Australian is exemplified by the moniker “the heart of the nation” (the ass of the nation would be more accurate). It sacrifices real investigative journalism for narrow minded polemical commentary.

As for quality, it is a quantum leap below The Guardian. Thirty-two years ago when I left school I considered a career in journalism but decided against because I believed the mainstream Australian media was dominated by oligarchical press barons and lacked diversity.

The print and television media are even worse now. Thank goodness I decided to do medicine instead.


Hilary Vallance writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday, item 5). Crikey published:

Garrett and the bats out of hell. What is it with Peter Garrett and bat(t)s? His claims that the Botanic Gardens Trust has to meet “strict conditions” before they can proceed with the dispersal of flying foxes from Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens are increasingly seen as toothless and hollow by conservationists.

What you don’t seem to realise is that the grey-headed flying foxes have so far killed about sixty of the Gardens’ oldest and most significant trees. The Royal Botanic Gardens is not, as many seem to think, a pleasure park. It is the second oldest Botanic Garden in the Southern Hemisphere, it houses the National Herbarium and its scientific research programmes are recognised world-wide.

The bats have moved in because their habitat around Sydney is being destroyed at a terrifying rate. If they are not moved on, we hope to  places which then will be  declared sanctuaries, it will only be a matter of time before there is nowhere in the Gardens for them to roost anyway — everything will be dead.

Climate change (the last word for a while…):

Harold Thornton writes: Tamas Calderwood’s relentless Comical Ali-esque campaign (yesterday, comments) to convince Crikey readers that, when it comes to climate, black is in fact white continues with a thesis-length farrago. Forced by an avalanche of observational data to concede that the area of arctic sea ice has been shrinking, Tamas applies Magical Thought ^TM to conclude that this doesn’t matter. The average thickness, you see, has been increasing. Ignoring for a moment that the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre has measured the volume as well as area at record low and falling levels, this particular calculation is quite revealing about how Tamas science works.

A experiment will suffice to show the Tamas thought process. Take a glass. Put into it some small ice cubes and a large chunk of ice. Add warm water. Hey presto!* The small cubes melt, leaving the only slightly melted larger chunk. The average size of ice has increased! This, according to Tamas, proves that the total volume of ice in the glass has stayed the same or maybe grown. Conclusion: global warming is bunk.

*I’m only guessing that these are the magical words. They might be “abracadabra”, or, just possibly, “His Lordship Viscount Monckton Member of the House of Lords”. Perhaps Tamas could reveal more secrets of Magical Thought ^TM. I’m sure Crikey will give him plenty of opportunities.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey