Justin Templer writes: Re. “Rundle: the GFC, WikiLeaks collide … and the world just shifted” (yesterday, item 1). Guy Rundle writes that WikiLeaks has put a fatal crack in the legitimacy of the state and that “something is happening”, pitching “the global power system into a potential crisis of legitimacy.”

I especially like this bit: “the second wave of the global financial crisis, breaking strongly in Europe, hitting WikiLeaks’ rolling wave of information storms, changing the relationship between state and power.” You need to swallow an anti-nausea tablet and don a lifejacket just to read this stuff.

Rundle ought to recognise that these apparent cracks in the legitimacy of the state are not something new. Julian Assange, cheeky Aussie that he is, has rudely harnessed modern technology and some willing leakers to dump large numbers of secrets on the world. But these secrets have always existed, eventually they get out and this megadump is just a temporary rip in the net.

The hole will be fixed by a bullet or the criminal code — this time next year WikiLeaks will not exist. Or if it does it will be a lost piece of static in the ongoing maelstrom of unauthorised information.

Rodney Topor writes: For a long time now, individuals have been told that privacy is dead, stop worrying about privacy, learn to live without it.

What WikiLeaks reveals to governments and corporations is that their privacy is also dead. They also need to stop worrying about privacy, and learn to live without it. Of course, this will be very difficult for them, will require a different way of operating, will take a long time to change, and will result in a lot of chaos during the transition.

Prosecuting, or even stopping WikiLeaks won’t have any effect now.  Some alternatives will arise. Privacy is dead for individuals, corporations and governments. Learn to deal with it.

Gavin Greenoak writes: A decisive piece of writing and analysis from Guy Rundle. This is journalism at its best. Thank you.


Will Hetherton, Head of Public Affairs, Future Fund, writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday, item 7).  Tips and rumours yesterday reported the Future Fund’s Chief Investment Officer was in Brisbane on a work day being entertained at the cricket and suggests asking questions about the Future Fund’s entertainment policy.

In fact, he was on annual leave and was not being entertained, other than by the cricket.

Yes we Cancun:

Glen Frost writes: Re. “Cancun Calling: space oddity” (yesterday, item 14). Greg Combet is talking confidently at Cancun (Mexico) about Australia having, and achieving, a 5% target for carbon emission reduction. As we know our politicians never commit to targets unless they know, in advance, that they can achieve them (see Sir Humphrey’s Guide to Ministerial Communication).

With direct action carbon-emission reducing programs being cancelled or wound back, like the home insulation and cash-for-clunkers deals, I was perplexed as to how Mr Combet was so confident Australia would meet this 5% reduction target…

Now I’ve found the answer: The Economist’s “The World in 2011” (page 38) runs an article by Julia Gillard. Julia writes that the NBN “will also reduce carbon emissions, according to a 2007 study, by 5%.”

The NBN is so much more than a techie’s dream…

Energy prices:

Roger Clifton writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday, item 7). Crikey‘s “Tips and rumours” bewailed that a carbon tax or ETS would inflate energy prices. Yes, we do need to increase carbon-based energy prices, not “inflate” them. That is the point of the exercise, to tax carbon emissions out of existence.

It is the very competitiveness of industry which will ensure that under the pressure of a carbon tax they will seek and find alternative non-fossil power.  Lobby the ALP next week for nuclear perhaps. Similarly, it is they who should lobby for and ensure the emplacement of a rebate system for exporters.

Benjamin Law on Insiders:

Brian Mitchell writes: Re. “Benjamin Law: I’m not even sure I really like rainbows” (yesterday, item 4). David Marr is a regular on Insiders. Therefore Insiders is not exclusively heterosexual. Women regularly appear on the show. Therefore Insiders is not exclusively male. Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt appear regularly on Insiders. Therefore Insiders is not exclusively homosapien.

I don’t recall seeing an Aboriginal or Asian panellist, nor anyone under 40, so your correspondent is correct in that at least, that Insiders appears to be exclusively white and middle-aged.


Alan Kennedy writes: Re. “Hulls and Donnellan to mull over Vic ALP deputy role” (yesterday, item 9). Crikey, I do love your  work but the relationship is in trouble when I see a breathless piece on the deputy leadership of the opposition  in Victoria.

I have sat quietly as my newsletter was consumed with cyber mile after cyber mile of coverage of Victorian election. I said nothing when, after weeks of this banal stuff, you editorialised that state elections don’t matter, with the exception of NSW. WTF? I thought.

Even NSW is only interesting as a blood sport , seeing how many ALP arse clowns are replaced by Christian right arse  clowns whose only policy will be to be crusading foot soldiers in Abbott’s jihad against Gillard.

So enough already. No more  deputy opposition leader stories. To lovers of history apologies for the mixed historical metaphor in reference to NSW. But these are troubling times when such trifles must be ignored.

Bob Brown:

Karen Cook writes: Re. “Bob Brown to The SMH and Sheehan: R is for Right of Reply” (yesterday, item 10). Thanks for printing this response without editing, its why I subscribe to you because you’ll publish what the mainstream media won’t. No wonder people are turning away from the old media, they are so predictable.