Bob Gosford:

Justin Templer writes: Re. “NT government and police — losing the plot on traffic crime in the bush?” (Friday, item 14).  I sometimes find the workings of Crikey passing strange; in particular, to whom you give the right to use the Crikey moniker. Take for example the Northern Territory “blogger” Bob Gosford who, presumably under your license, self-describes himself as “Crikey”. This then gives your imprimatur to what he writes — most of which is either total tosh or crushingly turgid.

In the school of great journalism Bob has a number of “must try harder” missed targets. Firstly, he likes to litter his ramblings with words like “appears to be”, “others believe” and “it could be argued” — come on Bob, take a view. Secondly, like a driver of one of the un-roadworthy cars on those poor roads he likes to write about, Bob lurches from the general to the particular and veers from one subject to the other.  As Bob tries to get it all off his chest in one verbal spew at one moment we are pondering the supposedly excessive number of police in the Territory, in the next whether Magistrate Birch was unduly harsh in his treatment of a local driver, poor “Henry”.

Thirdly, Bob seems to have some strange but generally unclear views on justice. It is likely that Bob believes “Henry” was harshly dealt with for driving unlicensed, uninsured and unregistered — but Bob is not quite clear on this and so we will never know (although we might guess through the ironic use of the closing words “Merry Christmas”). Just as well Henry did not hit anyone in his uninsured and very un-roadworthy car. Conveniently Bob does not deal with that idea.

Fourthly, Bob makes interesting use of statistics with a strangely priapic graph that attempts to correlate s-xual offences with driving offences. Ultimately it is not clear what the purpose of this graph is, but it is possible that Bob is suggesting that the coppers are spending all their time chasing people like “Henry” (see above) and not the s-xual predators. But read differently the graph might suggest that the boys in blue have s-xual offences under control and it is time to come down hard on dodgy drivers. To use Bob’s vernacular, some believe that it appears to be capable of being argued either way.

WikiLeaks:

Andrew Haughton writes: Re. “Rundle: Assange, the wikikids, a soldier, mum, an Icelandic ice-god … then it starts again” (Friday, item 2). Vice President Biden suggests that the United States may make it illegal to publish the names of US Military or intelligence personnel.

Would this mean that former Vice President Cheney could be prosecuted retrospectively for leaking CIA operative Valerie Plame’s name ?

John Robertson:

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Robbo’s rise a bit of a blur, but the NSW powerbroker stands ready to lead”  (Friday, item 12). Why does Crikey bother publishing Candace Sutton? She is little more than a press agent for a scarcely visible leadership tilt by NSW minister, John Robertson. As unveiled by Sutton in breathless tones, Robertson’s strategy is to wait for NSW Labor’s ship of state to be dashed on the rocks of next year’s election and then launch yet another mutiny to seize control over the sunken vessel.  A “stratospheric career” indeed!

Peter Fray

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