WikiLeaks and authority:

James Holyoake writes: Re. Yesterday’s Editorial & “Rundle: the trouble with being Assange” (yesterday, item 2). Ah, good ol’ Crikey. Up comes the name Rupert Murdoch and there is a gnashing of teeth, then the eyes glaze over. As with any maiden aunt overwrought at Yuletide, the diagnosis is to have a Bex and a good lie down. Your London correspondent, Guy Rundle, contained himself admirably to get to the guts of it.

As he pointed out, somebody at The Telegraph clearly did not trust his/her employers — rightly, it seems — to come clean with all the goods. That it was leaked to the BBC and not another newspaper in the fairly incestuous UK pool is also significant, in my view. It is really irrelevant whether the opinions of the Government Minister were obtained by two journalists posing as “giggling young mothers” at his constituency office. He failed dismally to state his volatile views in a public forum, yet unburdened himself to two complete albeit attractive strangers? Hmmm … that sounds like a good way to govern.

Rundle and others have hit it on the head. The public has presumed for yonks it is taken for a fool by those in authority, but rarely has been able to prove it. From now on, all decision-makers will have a niggling thought at the back of their mind “will this leak?”, even down to to paraphrase Guy.

That can only be better for democracy — and the legacy of Julian Assange (or should that be of US Army Private Bradley Manning, spending a pitiful Christmas in solitary confinement in Quantico gaol, Virginia, accused of giving the whole caboodle of cables to WikiLeaks?).


Peter Wotton writes: Carolyn Whybird (yesterday, comments) appears to misunderstand the state of the the copper network if she thinks that “Most of our current copper wire system would be still perfect in hundreds of years from now.”

Rather, it would appear that the rapidly deteriorating state of the insulation of the wires would require much of the network to be replaced within the next 10 years. In hundreds of years time, the copper network will have gone back to nature.

In any case, why would you spend the massive amounts of money needed to maintain an old fashioned , slow, superceded system which simply cannot be upgraded almost indefinitely as the fibre network can.

Pedant’s patch:

Carly Moore writes: Re. “2010: the media … a year of leaks, iPads and forgotten passwords” (yesterday, item 17).  In yesterday’s Crikey, I had to look twice at Andrew Dodd’s piece on the media in 2010 — Samantha Rice rather than Stephanie Rice. Then I spotted NSW MP Angela D’Amore listed in Media Briefs as Joe Tripodi’s wife — his actual wife might be upset — D’Amore is his sister-in-law…

Kim Lockwood writes: Re. “And the Gold Wankley for worst media stunt of the year goes to …” (yesterday, item 18). Json Whittaker wrote: “Aussie journos treaded carelessly …” Treaded? Huh?  Whatever happened to “trod”? On the plus side of the ledger, at least you’re now using “led” instead of “lead” for the past tense of the verb.