Niall Clugston writes: Re. Yesterday’s Editorial. (yesterday, item 2). Thank you for your editorial correcting the “errors” in the coverage of Egypt.

Egypt is obviously a utopia. In other countries, the disappearance of the police might well lead to a breakdown in law and order. But in Egypt crime is virtually unknown, and “it is government agents and plainclothes carrying out much of the looting and property destruction”. I suppose they are also responsible for storming the jails.

The other bit of good news is that a secular liberal democracy is only a few street protests away. Egypt can have an instant revolution like instant coffee — just add hot water and stir. The absence of leaders and parties is not problematic at all.

And there is no possibility that Islamists could come to power. That’s like saying that Hamas would take over the Gaza Strip. Ridiculous!

Flood levy:

Victoria Collins writes: Re. “Why the flood levy is financially dumb” (28 January, item 22). How is it that Crikey gives any sort of credence to the views of Tom Elliott?

As the son of John Elliott, former President of the Liberal Party of Australia, and a radio broadcaster on 3AW on a Sunday on the Father & Son show, it can be safely assumed that Elliott Jr. will be spouting the Liberal Party line at any given time when given space to air his views in Crikey. As was the case with his piece on the Gillard government’s plans for a Flood Levy.

I know the concept of “balance” is au caurant in journalism at the moment, but since when has Party propaganda been an example of that? As that is what Elliott’s piece came across to me as.

I expect better from Crikey, which is why I agree to part with cold, hard cash for it on a yearly basis. If such an obvious bias in your choice of authors cannot be remedied by the next time I have to make a decision about putting my hand into my pocket to take out the money to support your enterprise, then such enterprise will not be supported, as, for the life of me, I cannot think of anyone else on your journalistic roster who is such an obvious mouthpiece for the Labor Party, if we are going to talk  about “balance”.

And, no, I do not consider Mungo Maccallum an ALP-supportive journalist, as just as many of his pieces have attacked the ALP as supported it.

Matthew Brennan writes: May I suggest to Tom Elliott that “economic efficiency” is, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. For example, the medieval despots, when given a choice between “tax” and “borrow”, would I suggest, to a psychopath, put the financial advisors to the sword, and send out the army.

NSW prostitution:

Geoff Robinson writes: Re. “Libs’ brothel policy: s-x prices to rise in Sydney” (yesterday, item 13). Chris Seage’s policy would strengthen the hand of brothel owners in bargaining with their employees. Common sense would support a policy that brothels be subject to existing health and safety laws and planning restrictions.

However the fact that some in the community find prostitution morally offensive should not constitute a violation of planning laws. Being a vegetarian doesn’t give me the right to demand closure of butcher shops in my suburb.

The Coalition policy is a classic muddle, they don’t like the idea of prostitution but recognise it won’t go away so they have opted for a policy that will penalise workers in the industry.

Young parliamentarians:

L M McIntire writes: Darren Gilchrist (yesterday, comments) wrote to correct me and Sol Salbe for ignoring the fact that Wyatt Roy is the youngest parliamentarian yet elected in Australia.

The matter we were taking issue with was not who is now the youngest elected but whether Lara Giddings was then the youngest when she was first elected in 1996.

She wasn’t — nor was Wyatt Roy who was only six years old.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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