Correction:

Grant Chapman, President, Liberal Party of Australia (South Australian Division), writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday, item 6). By Crikey! How many facts can you get wrong in two short paragraphs?

The South Australian Liberal Party is not in dire financial straits. It has a healthy cash balance following generous responses to an active fundraising program during 2010.

The party organisation is planning to move to smaller offices in the Adelaide CBD which will both match its space requirements more appropriately and allow it to more efficiently assist the state parliamentary team on North Terrace than does its current Greenhill Road location. This also will enable the Liberal Club to more profitably use the unneeded space at its Greenhill Road property.

This decision has been discussed at both Liberal State Council and State Executive. I request that you publish this correction of your grossly fallacious comments on this matter.

Retailers:

Tony Shirren writes: Re. “Meet the new ally in the Retail Coalition’s war on GST exemption” (yesterday, item 16). As much as the constant Harvey Norman adds irritate me, Gerry Harvey does employ a lot of Australians who in turn pay tax and help the economy running as well as GST on all imports , so I think it’s only fare that we should pay the same amount of tax on goods we bring in with our online purchases.

Climate change:

Nigel Brunel writes: Re. David Hand (yesterday, comments). Good email but one clarification. You say “climate science cannot yet describe the process by which carbon emissions have led to global warming.” I don’t agree — in the 1860’s — John Tyndall identified the greenhouse gases responsible for trapping heat — basically it proved that  molecules of GHG’s oscillate in such a way they interfere with the (longer wave-length) radiation reflected back from the earth — in effect — trapping it. This is what causes the warming.

Channel Ten:

Alan Kennedy writes: Re. “Shareholders should wake up to Channel Ten’s long-term plan…” (yesterday,. item 17). Another breathless piece about Channel 10 and the grand plans of  Murdoch the younger and Packer the younger as if they know what they are doing. Does no-one remember One Tel?

These two clowns presided over one the great corporate failures of recent times. Oh and did I mention Lachlan’s Rajasthan Royals which was hit over the boundary in the India Twenty20 league for “irregularities” regarding the company’s shareholdings and ownership structure.

“It was unanimously decided that franchise agreements with Punjab and Rajasthan be terminated forthwith based on legal opinions obtained by the BCCI in the matters,” a statement from the cricket board said.

Now they are back again weaving their special magical corporate skills in Chanel10. Apart from the  dreadful concentration of media, there is the future of  Ten’s Channel One once Foxtel’s man on the board Jamie wields his axe, plus questions about the future of the much-vamped, revamped news division. Add to this the loose cannon of Gina Rinehart who people think wants to use Channel 10 as some sort of mouth piece for her rent seeking whinges on the mining tax.

If I had Ten shares I would have unloaded them last week. Nothing good will come of this alliance.

Elections:

Justin Pettizini writes: Michael Stanley’s totally wrongheaded analysis (yesterday, comments) of the “election” of Australian prime ministers is yet again significant evidence of the need to teach civics or Australian politics in schools. Australians do not vote a prime minister into office. We vote for a local member who may or may not be a member of a political party.

The political party (or potentially any other grouping of members) elects its leader.  The governor-general commissions the leader of the party that she thinks can command the support of the House to be Prime Minister.  As John Howard was fond of saying when he was desperate not to be overthrown by his party “The leadership of the Liberal Party [and with it the Prime Ministership] is the gift of the Party”.  The only difference with the Rudd situation is that the Liberal party didn’t in the end take the gift away from Howard.

Peter Fray

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