Harry Jenkins and Chumbawamba:

Kieren Diment writes: Re. Yesterday’s Editorial. Far from being a one hit wonder, Chumbawamba are band of some 30 years standing with their roots in the British anarcho-punk scene.

Anarcho-punk music is punk rock that endorses anarchist politics (anarchism was discussed on Late Night Live recently.

I quite like the (presumably unintended) irony of the Speaker quoting this well-known group of anarchists, although like many former socialists in Parliament, it may be that through their signing up with EMI records in 1997, they have also sold out to the man.

Labor and the Unions:

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “NSW: desperate parties makes bold reformers” (yesterday, item 1). Bernard Keane seems to think that Labor would be better off distancing itself from unions.  However, it was unions that put Kevin Rudd in office in 2007.


Mike Carlton writes: Janet Albrechtsen’s tirade against John Menadue in The Australian today was a hoot. Doggedly listing all his vile left wing connections, she contrived to ignore that  he was Chief Executive of News Ltd for seven years and, therefore, Rupert Murdoch’s point man in Australia. An inconvenient truth, perhaps.

Auction clearance rates:

Robert Larocca, REIV Communications Manager, writes: Re. “Auction clearance rates: would you ask your barber if you needed a haircut?” (yesterday, item 23). It seems that when it comes to discussing auctions in Melbourne, Crikey is continually looking for a problem that does not exist. Today (and not for the first or last time), Adam has tried to suggest we are making things up, and again he has ignored the facts.

Every weekend the REIV publishes the results of every auction that is reported to it. We report the sale price, whether it was sold before auction, at the auction, after the auction, passed in or passed in on vendor’s bid. We then calculate, as we have done for some years, the clearance rate by adding properties sold before auction, at the auction and after the auction and divide that by the total actually reported.

Therefore the contention that “REIV tends to ignore the substantial number properties that are not reported — almost all of those no-results actually have a result — that is, they are passed in” is totally incorrect. We follow up each result and vary the clearance rate to ensure a full picture of the market is presented. No one else provides that service.

By separately reporting each variant and the overall result, it is as transparent as it can be; market watchers can either take our clearance rate or calculate their own. We use the same methodology each time to ensure weekly results are comparable over time.

Like it or not, our results are the most accurate and comprehensive. Last Saturday we reported 607 auctions. Our competitor reported 291. How can Crikey suggest ours are not correct and the alternative, with under half the results, is?

Oh, and we also publish each and every result for free on www.reiv.com.au on Saturday night. No need to wait for Fairfax or News printing presses.

Martin Foley:

Marcus L’Estrange writes: Re. “Vic Labor MP lets loose on Gillard’s ‘messy, visionless campaign‘” (yesterday, item 4). Well blow me down, I about fell off my chair. I got up off the floor to read Comrade Foley’s epistle to we humble ALP members in his Albert Park electorate.

Foley, a member of the Socialist Left, which is neither socialist or left, would be better to concentrate on the Victorian scene rather than weigh in on the Feds. He is for the privatization of public transport despite massive losses, is against the F1 GP in Albert Park but has done nothing within his faction or Government over the issue. He has stood by and done nothing whilst his faction progressively destroys state education with their mind bogling doctrine of Edubable. Finally, on policy issues, he voted against any ban on partial birth abortions and to add insult to injury didn’t even support a conscience vote on this issue.

Labor has only done well in Victoria because the Victorian Liberals are such a non event that anybody could defeat their electoral efforts or orgainization. Andrew Crook was wrong to say that Rob Hulls has retired. It was John ‘Judas’ Thwaites, then Deputy Premier, who retired after once being a key organizer of the Save Albert Park group but changed his stance on the issue and was rewarded for doing so by a  cabinet position or thirty pieces of silver.

Alastair McConnachie writes: I was intrigued to hear of the 2007 retirement of Victorian Attorney General and “Bracks-era Deputy Premier” Rob Hulls in Andrew Crooks’otherwise excellent piece. Rumours of Rob’s demise are, as Mark Twain would have it, greatly exaggerated. Hullsy the Other Human Headline is still safely ensconced in his roles of Deputy Premier, Attorney General, Minister for Racing and, as I understand it, Most Vociferous Cats Supporter in the Victorian Cabinet.

Same s-x adoption:

Soon-to-be ex-Crikey subscriber Lee Wallace writes: I had hoped that Guy Rundle (yesterday, comments) would have moved on since last week’s rant regarding same-s-x adoption but his delicate ego seems to have been severely bruised by the merest sign of criticism. (Doesn’t he have enough column inches without having to penetrate the Comments page as well? Someone seems to have a size problem).

But if Crikey wants to keep publishing such deliberately incendiary material then give me the old fashioned, straight-up bigotry of a Marcus Vernon over Guy Rundle’s contorted arguments, one that in his typical swaggering, macho man style happily entertains visions of breast-feeding lesbians while denigrating gay male parenting.

Since Mr Rundle can’t seem to stop fiddling with this particular bone, I’d like to take issue with his closing comments from last week. When he states, with rhetorical flourish, that his case against male-male adoption doesn’t mean that men should not be involved in infant parenting, and it doesn’t mean that the argument of infant development is certain, and it doesn’t mean that some children might be better off without their mothers; well Guy, unfortunately, that is what your almost Pythonesque argument does ultimately mean.

All of those things and that “this is Australia and, that means, no poofters”.