Peter Slipper:

Roger Davenport writes: re. “Huge win for Labor as Slipper takes the chair” (yesterday, item 1). Well what a surprise, the Speaker of the House of Representatives resigns before the Parliament closes for the summer recess.

The Collation cries foul play, unprecedented etc, etc, they had not seen it coming, not cricket.

Obviously we could not expect them to remember the Mal Coulson deal done under John Howard, which allowed the Coalition to get controversial legislation through the Senate, including the sale of Telstra.

Both sides will use any trick in the book to get the upper hand, morals take a back seat when it comes to taking a  political advantage

What will our Prime Minister do with this advantage she has won, yes the pokies legislation becomes less of a problem.

However, the most pressing issue she needs to resolve is the offshore processing debacle and the stand-off by Tony Abbott put to rest.

It will be interesting to see what the Coalition will do when the issue is sent up to the Senate.

Flannery v Hadley:

Phillip Gray writes: Re. “Ray Hadley v Tim Flannery … and ‘David’ the neighbour” (yesterday, item 5). I read with some curiosity Ray Hadley’s (who?) view that Crikey is lightweight, and Flannery may be having some sort of “episode”.

Perhaps he should just realise that he is an unknown in Western Australia — we have our own on air jockey underraters, who have to keep stirring some poor old possum so that their radio overlords don’t give them the big bum’s rush.

How many people would part with their hard earned to hear what contrived drivel Ray may want to sprout (as against free-to-air redneck ranting)? I am happy to subscribe to hear what Crikey has to say. I am also greatly heartened to hear what Professor Flannery has to say — he is a most measured and reflective speaker and has the ability to communicate.

Western Sydney is not Australia — it is only a part of a wonderful land that is screaming out for genuine defenders of its environment, people, and true sense of place in a world that is now on a complete knife edge.


Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Flames of revolution in Yemen flicker ever closer” (yesterday, item 15). Not sure why Charles Richardson believes “the early signs from Libya’s transition look pretty good”.

Apparently because of a nominal nomination of an interim cabinet.  Or is it because Saif al-Islam Gaddafi hasn’t yet been murdered like his father? (The war band that captured him being better disciplined.) But no, because Richardson, citing Voltaire, believes a cowardly murder and an incompetent cover-up is a “real advantage”.

If this is “liberation”, then I’d prefer a stable dictatorship, particularly if I was part of a religious/ethnic minority, or secular, or female.


Stilgherrian writes: Re. Michaela Banerji (yesterday, comments) wrote that “to look at the way that margarine is manufactured would make a mother weep, and never buy it again … happily providing butter to her family instead.” I strongly suggest she spend a couple of days on a dairy farm and make a fair comparison. Oddly enough, farming isn’t quite as delightful as portrayed in the TV adverts.

Baillieu one year on:

Henrie Ellis writes: Re. “Baillieu govt one year on: a ‘let ‘er rip’ approach to environment” (yesterday, item 12). Will the real Ted Baillieu please stand up? Far from being the amiable, decent, “compassionate conservative” that his spin doctors portrayed him as in the lead-up to the state election last year; a tactic that no doubt influenced many swinging voters, he has at last been revealed as a captive of the far right of his own party and the hayseed mafia in the National party.

He has neither the force of personality to stand up to the likes of Peter Ryan, the Deputy Premier, regarded by many as the “real Premier”, nor resist the importuning of environmental vandals allied to his own party. He has handled industrial relations in an amateurish way and wedged himself after giving the Police Association what Ryan wanted.

He has trashed any educational credentials he might have had by slashing funding to arguably highly successful programs in literacy/numeracy and vocational training in schools while reneging on teachers’ salary promises.

All opposition leader Daniel Andrews has to do is portray him as a weak, duplicitous premier beholden to the “top end of town”  and putty in the hands of the doctrinaire special interests that infest the coalition parties.

Forget the polls, currently he is looking like a one-term Premier with feet of clay, for sadly despite many new faces in the coalition ranks, his ministry is bereft of talent and potential future ministers on the backbench are scarce on the ground. Ted, the honeymoon is over!


Iain McCoy writes: Re. “Rundle: Europe’s stuck, nothing changes in Italy, and the Pope must die” (yesterday, item 4). Guy Rundle’s claim yesterday that: “China’s provinces are really 20 separate Greeces, leveraged to f-ck off the books and in imminent danger of collapse.” I’m intrigued by this suggestion. Any sources/references?

Climategate II:

Tamas Calderwood writes: Re. “New Climategate emails reveal life is tough for scientists” (yesterday, item 3). Graham Readfearn claims that Professor Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph has “withstood extreme scrutiny since it was first published in 1999”. Interesting, because it was never explained why they used a “trick” to “hide the decline” of the tree ring data when it didn’t agree with the instrument data. The three investigations that “cleared” all the scientists never bothered with details like that. They just assumed all the science was correct. How could it possibly be wrong?

I understand that this new round of emails will be dismissed by global warmers, just like all the other un-alarming climate facts such as the lack of warming since 1998 and the lame 0.7º warming in the past 150 years. But as the world does nothing while Australia forges ahead with its brave tax, the government’s stock will continue to sink because most people are wise to the fact that our carbon tax is a meaningless but expensive con that cannot possibly affect the climate.

So as it is so succinctly put in Climategate II email <1682> Wils: “What if climate change appears to be mainly just a multidecadal natural fluctuation?  They’ll kill us probably …”

Well, I wouldn’t go that far …  but there will be hell to pay — and it won’t be because the press were such meanies in reporting these climate shenanigans.