It’s not a carbon tax, it’s a carbonanza!
Crikey readers have their say.
Jul 15, 2011
Crikey readers have their say.
"Before the last election I promised there would be no carbon tax and I meant it. However, after the election, to retain office it was necessary to do a deal with both the Greens and the three independents. They were convinced that action had to be taken on climate change, and I knew that it had to happen preferably sooner rather than later. At that point I deeply regretted my pre-election pledge not to have a carbon tax but decided it better to 'do the right thing' and break my earlier pledge. I am sorry it happened that way, and apologise for it. Now that we are moving forward to taking action that will help save the Earth I am even more convinced that breaking that pledge was what our country (and the world) needed to do in dealing with the greatest moral crisis of our time. I deeply regret what people have now called a lie, but believe in my heart that, under the circumstances of the election result I have done the right thing."Clytie Siddall writes: Martin Gordon (yesterday, comments) wrote, "CO2 is pollution -- better revisit biology texts on that one". Biologically speaking, too much of anything is toxic. I've even been told that too much chocolate is bad for you, but I'm pretty sure I can find a specialist non-nutritionist to disagree with that. Rupert and BSkyB: Michael R. James writes: Re. "BSkyB bid falls over, why should Foxtel's Austar bid proceed?" (yesterday, item 1). In his article Stephen Mayne pointed out that The Australian had an article complaining about "Inappropriate' lobbying by ABC bosses". What he did not note is that the article was the lead item on the front page, with the title in large capitals spread across the full page width. More importantly there was no notification to the reader of the obvious conflict of interest in that one or more of News Corps units (News Ltd in Australia, BSkyB in UK) have a controlling interest in Sky News who are bidding for the Australia Network contract. No notification on the front page that is. There was a small paragraph towards the end of the article on page 98. Oh, ok, it was page 4 but it may as well have been p98 as Morgan’s recent sectional readership survey (reported in Crikey) revealed "readers across all mastheads (…) take a good look at the front news section (86%)" but the number who continue reading inside page items drops dismayingly. This is a tactic employed by The Australian relentlessly day in, day out. The front page is mostly opinion and mostly distorted or arguable facts. We all know Denis Shanahan’s wondrous ways with opinion polls! Further, this omission to make the conflict of interest clear and upfront is at the least a transgression of the spirit if not the letter of a publishing code of conduct. It is an entirely typical case of naked abuse of power by News Ltd. However I note that, while employees are instructed to avoid or declare any potential conflict of interest in their recently revealed Code of Conduct (Items 20.1-5), there is nothing about the organization’s obligations in this regard. Presumably it is covered in industry-wide codes. Meanwhile as Mayne noted, Wednesday night’s forum with Julia Gillard in Brisbane was organized by Sky News and The Courier-Mail. Madonna King reported on her Thursday ABC 612 morning show that the ambience was unrelentingly hostile. By contrast Tony Abbott’s crowd couldn’t cope with a single dissenting voice and turned on a thuggish display of bullying. It seems many people need to think about a code of conduct in the presence of the Prime Minister of our country, despite the appalling standard set by Abbott and his cheerleaders at News Ltd. Not surprisingly this ugly behaviour may be counterproductive. At Gillard’s meeting they took a poll as people moved into the auditorium and again at the end as they left. One of the attendees who admitted ambivalence on Gillard at the beginning told King that the numbers considering Gillard in a favourable light doubled on the exit poll. She said that Gillard can handle this unruly and unseemly behaviour and by itself it impressed people. Suppression orders: Brian Mitchell writes: Re. "Barns: why a suppression order ensures a fair trial" (yesterday, item 15). Not to put too fine a point on it but Greg Barns is full of s*it. There is no credible evidence to support lawyers' claims that media exposure affects jury decision-making, much less decision-making by judges. There have been all sorts of studies done over the years that show juries actually make decisions based on the evidence presented in court, even when the accused is outrageously famous (or infamous, as the case may be). Suppression orders are used because judges have the same prejudice towards the media that Barns, a senior barrister, has. These closeted individuals instinctively distrust the media and the way it covers courts, so they slap suppression orders on coverage as often as they can, in the arrogant belief that they know what's best. The fact is, open courts and open coverage of what goes on in them are the best defence against judicial abuse. But our courts are increasingly closed off and the open reporting of what goes on in them is increasingly limited. Judges and lawyers treat the justice system as some sort of private club that anyone without a law degree has no place in, other than as a cringing supplicant or as an observer. This is fundamentally at odds with our traditions and is frankly contemptuous of the average person's intellect and honesty. Personally, I'd like to see video cameras installed in every court room in the land so anyone, at any time, can go online and check out what's going on in the trial of their choice. I'd also like to see transcripts of every trial made freely available online. The more accessible, open and "normal" we can make the justice system, the better off we'll all be.