The Health Services Union & Canberra:

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Will Thomson probe cause the HSU to implode?” (yesterday, item 1). Andrew Crook’s article only demonstrates that the Dobell trouble is grist to the mill for anyone with an axe to grind against leaders of the Health Services Union.

The idea that a NSW police investigation of misuse of Craig Thomson’s credit card would turn into a Royal Commission into the union’s accounts, extend to Victoria, and lead to the HSU’s “total wind-up” is a fantasy.

Crikey‘s coverage is redolent of anti-union prejudice, as if wrongdoing by one unionist extends to the whole.

As a former member, I think what’s scandalous about the union’s leadership is its sudden outrage about a problem that has long been public and that, since it was blatant and well-documented, they should have known about from the start!

Andrew Haughton writes: Re. “High-speed hypocrisy all round in the pursuit of Thomson” (yesterday, item 2). Our federal politicians continue to demonstrate that they are driven by personal ambition and personal rancour. The well-being of Australia comes a very distant second. They all deserve our contempt and I believe that increasingly they have it.


Kythé Mackenzie writes: Re. “iQuit, says Jobs, leaving Apple in the hands of an unknown” (yesterday, item 6). I’d like to hope that Apple’s success was due to good design in the true sense of the word. True, good design should be incredibly saleable as  there are  very few modern properly designed objects. There is a huge amount of “stuff” made and very little is “designed”.

The word design is  often misused and/or misunderstood. Good design covers function, efficiency, cost, looks. As soon as I used an Apple computer in the early ’90s, I knew that it would be huge, provided the management could match the product.

Apple should  be applauded  for building and selling something really valuable in stark contrast to Microsoft’s legacy. Good luck to Jobs if he has become rich, he really deserves it and is a true visionary.

Here’s to good design.


Zachary King writes: I can assure you, Linda Ethell (yesterday, comments), that my objections to Gillard are based on two things, neither of which have got anything to do with her gender:

  1. Her shocking incompetence (a trait shared by about 95% of federal pollies, on all sides);
  2. That noise she makes when she communicates.

With all due respect to our Prime Minister, she sounds like an pelican with a sinus infection struggling to swallow a barramundi. And it’s getting worse.

In the house she used to tear her opponents to shreds but now she is in charge and has obviously been coached to slow down, it’s like the patronising dial goes all the way up to 11.  I think this is real reason no one understands the carbon tax — every time the PM tries to explain it to me, I just want to put a metal pot on my head and smash it with a wooden spoon until she stops.  As the job requires momentous amounts of communication, it’s a serious concern.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a fair whack of misogyny rolling around as well, but it’s not like the two issues are mutually exclusive.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey