Howard’s autobiography and Q&A:

Marcus Vernon writes: Re. Yesterday’s Editorial. Former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard was superb on Q&A last night — articulate, confident, courteous, willing to listen to the views of others, calm under pressure, a superb memory and able to apply humour when appropriate. Admire him or not, buy his new book or not, there is no doubt we were watching a statesman in action.

It’s why millions of voters — your fellow Australians — voted him and his government into office at four elections in a row. There is no chance the motley bunch of wannabes currently in office will come anywhere near that record, nor will they leave this nation in the solid economic and social condition that was John Howard’s legacy. And all politicians of all hues should learn from the confident way in which he dealt with Q&A host Tony Jones’ questioning.

Howard was more in control of the facts as he knows them to be than was Jones, and the host looked diminished as a result. A great result. Thanks John. Come back soon.

Barry Everingham writes: What a self serving load of clap trap. And what a chorus of castrati those Liberals turned out to be: Costello didn’t have the balls to challenge, the ministry didn’t have enough balls to tell Howard to go and Howard knew who really had the  balls and went along with her advice.

Niall Clugston writes: I think Crikey should have a competition to suggest alternative titles John Howard could have used for his memoir, Lazarus Rising.

My suggestions are: The Vampire Diaries, Dead Man Walking, Man of Steel, or Jesus Christ Superstar.  All of these would presumably be ruled out because of copyright. However, he could always have plumped for the more mundane Eyebrows Rising.


Rob Pickering writes: Just in response to Chris Virtue (yesterday, comments), running your documentation business on a 3G card is fine if you’re just downloading data, or even uploading a small amount of data for a single PC. Try doing it when you have multiple people in the house all trying to access network resources, it very quickly slows to a crawl.

As for running cables being for mugs, this is not about running cables at all, did you complain when the water company terminated the pipes at your house? Or when the electricity company dropped that line in from the street? I don’t think so.

We also forget that the sheer reality of this is that the NBN is an INFRASTRUCTURE project, you don’t directly pay for the roads to be terminated at your driveway (and there’s plenty of people in the country who don’t even get that) but you expect that anyway.

As well as this, it’s not about people in Sydney, or Melbourne being able to access fast broadband via 3G, how about those people in other centres around Australia who can’t even get decent ADSL or a cell phone signal let alone stream data across their networks.

The country has gone mad with talk of a cost benefit analysis for the NBN, it’s simply ridiculous, as an infrastructure project it should be undertaken similarly to a large road installation, or public transport and installed for the benefit of all Australians, not just the people who live in the good areas.

Adam Paull writes: Chris, I think you’ll find that if everyone in your neighbourhood followed your lead and signed up for wireless, your internet connection would be slowed to such a speed that you’ll look back at your dial-up connection with envy…

I don’t consider myself a mug. I run both a “naked” ADSL2+ cabled connection and a backup wireless broadband setup for my home-business, and I can assure you that the cable is not just many-many times faster and more reliable, it provides download limits over 100 times more than my wireless plan allows. And yes, I also rent.

Wireless internet technology has capacity limitations that will take years of research to conquer, if at all. When you also consider wireless’ flaky reliability, restricted bandwidth plus the fact that communities are increasingly objecting to mobile towers in their backyards, it becomes clear that a cable is the only sensible way to get those precious 0s and 1s into your home.

Rundle’s America:

Virginia Gordon writes: Re. “Rundle’s mid-terms: meet the Vanilla Ice of Republican politics” (yesterday, item 2). Guy Rundle is at his best when writing for Crikey. Yesterday quoting Philip Roth, he continues his filmic writing as if a Harry Dean Stanton in Paris, Texas.

I am loving it a lot for all it contains beyond and around the politics. And an excellent meaty Monday edition all round Crikey. Lots of good reading, well done.

Peter Fray

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