Labor losing middle Australia:

Travis Gilbert writes: Re. “Labor is losing middle Australia” (yesterday, item 8). In response to “Labor is losing middle Australia” it does seem rather ironic that the long term consequence of the Hawke-Keating era strategy to bolster the right faction in order to make Labor appear more electable as a “party of the middle ground” may end up costing it votes from the very cohort of the Australian population it was designed to appeal to.

To paraphrase from an old adage “If you don’t stand for something, no one will fall for anything that you say”.

Time for the Gillard Government to come up with a narrative and how?

The royal wedding:

Andrew Elder writes: Re. “Royals a bunch of right Charlies over Chaser ban” (yesterday, item 13). Nobody’s being censored, all that’s happened is that some celebrities have cut deals with some media and not others.

If The Chaser was going to satirise anyone’s wedding I thought they’d have a go at the lavish effort of Kyle Sandilands a few years ago, which was attended by a panoply of guests ripe for a piss-take. That event was tightly controlled in terms of media access and the sums involved would have been beyond the ABC’s budget. When Melanie Howard got married, her father was Prime Minister and that event was also tightly controlled in terms of media access: Chas didn’t sneak in so much as a canapé, nor did Chris or Julian get to kiss the bride.

If Greg Barns is seriously claiming that all weddings and personal ceremonies should be open to absolutely everybody, he’ll only make a republic that much tougher to sell.


Niall Clugston writes: Re. Yesterday’s Editorial. It’s a bit contradictory for Crikey (and other media outlets) to deplore the absurd conspiracy theory and then run the release of another Obama birth certificate as a lead item.

The Bureaucracy of Gitmo:

Chris Johnson writes: Re. “The bureaucracy of Gitmo: Franz couldn’t have made it up” (Wednesday, item 2). The image of John Howard clutching a souvenir Vuvuzela at Sydney Airport pretty much explains why he and George W had a meeting of the minds. And why Howard placed such blind faith in the Bush administration’s military operations, even turning his back on the cold-blooded misery of Australian citizens caught up in the sickening Gitmo “games”.

Yet, like a lost child, he followed George W through the plummeting credibility of US peace-keeping and intervention activities in Afghanistan, Europe and Somalia. He endorsed fake claims about weapons of mass destruction, cheered George’s bizarre landing on the deck of a war carrier to announce “the war against terror is over — but endless” and ignored those obscene images of Abu Ghraib torture and abuse.

But amidst all the bungling Howard was chuffed to be involved. He beamed as Bush draped the US Medal of Freedom around his neck and tucked the US Kristol Award under his arm. An award described by US lawyer Stephen Kenny as “regrettable” because “John Howard had been the leading ‘aider and abetter’of President Bush in his serious breach of human rights in regard to the US military facility in Cuba.”

Any wonder George W called Howard “a man of steel”. Cold, hard, unflinching qualities must have been mandatory. In my view, the Howard regime terrorised Australians far more than anything Al-Qaeda wreaked on us.

Financial planning reform:

Garth Longhurst writes: Re. “Shorten delivers on financial planning reform” (yesterday, item 1). So product based commissions and volume bonuses won’t be paid to financial planners or dealer groups.

Will this mean the top 4 banks, AMP and industry super funds will pass these savings onto the consumer? Or have they just inherited another massive income stream at the cost of the average Australian?

Gail, Mike, Ralph surprise no comment yet — unintended consequences.


Duncan Ball writes: Re. “Donald Trump’s pimpin’ new role in wingnut history“(yesterday, item 3). I bit of an editing problem, guys, in an otherwise excellent article: “…even the perennial media favourite story of deadly typhoons ravaging the entire east coast and killing a dozen people.”

Typhoons don’t hit the east coast of the US, as far as I’m aware. Hurricanes do (and I think they’re the same thing but with a different name) but I think the recent deaths were from a tornado.

Frozen pensions:

Bill Owen writes: Re. “Gillard’s parents back fight against ‘unjust’ frozen UK pensions” (yesterday, item 2). Ava Hubble, in her article, did not mention the fact that UK citizens who emigrate to settle in other European countries — or in the USA — do NOT get their UK age-pensions “frozen”!


Michael R. James writes: Re. “Housework’s got to be done, but must it make us ‘happy’?” (yesterday, item 14). Joan Rivers school of housekeeping philosophy:

“I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.”

It is possible that Rivers has monosomy X (known clinically as Turner Syndrome) or, more likely, given “her” hyper-aggressiveness and resort to serial cosmetic surgery in an effort to appear more feminine, XXY (HHah) (Klinefelter’s syndrome).

Professionally speaking, it is obvious that those burdened with the Y chromosome should have a disability pension that pays for a housekeeper. Well, I’d vote for anyone with that policy. (Go on Bob Brown, it’s a winner.)

A eugenic test would have to be applied: only those households with equal numbers of Xs and Ys would qualify (XY≥3:1 would not, sorry Mel.). It goes without saying who would have the last Hah Hah.

Peter Fray

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