Labor:

Glen Frost writes: Re. “Despite hypocrisy, Rudd is only stating the obvious on reform” (yesterday, item 1). I thought the most interesting part of KRudd’s media pitch was his inclusion of “small businesses” as the sector Labor needs to appeal to.

In fact it was the exact phrase that Barry O’Farrell used when he was recently elected in NSW (although BO’F was saying that the Libs wouldn’t be influenced the big end of town and how small businesses were the true Liberals).

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People keep talking about this “light on the hill” all the time — what if the real “light on the hill” is actually being managed and run, quietly and efficiently, by a small businessman?

John Hunwick writes: Re. “Essential: delay the surplus and share the resources boom” (yesterday, item 10).  For goodness sake — let Labor return the budget to “surplus”” I just could not bear to listen to the unrelenting ranting and raving from the NO-alition that once again Labor had broken a promise.

The print media would set out to crucify “Juliar” yet again and there would be absolutely no chance for any decent political discussion on topics that really mattered.

New South Wails:

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “ICAC learns rough kissing meant no breakfast with Tiffanie” (yesterday, item 3). In commenting on a current corruption hearing in NSW, Margot Saville lists a string of Labor politicians and states: “Their actions were light years away from the ideals of public service or even acting in the public interest, and they thoroughly debased the high ideals that should come with public office.”

Light years? Angela d’Amore was found to have misused parliamentary allowances; John Della Bosca had an affair and lost his driver’s licence for speeding; Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid have found guilty (so far) of nothing other than being in possession of a swarthy complexion and a non-British name; Milton Orkopoulos had a secret life of illicit pleasure; Ian MacDonald is the subject of unresolved allegations involving an alleged pr-stitute who objects to rough kissing and ugly men.

There is plenty of evidence of personal failings, but this doesn’t amount to a “tragedy for the taxpayers of NSW”. And it’s hard to see how a “reform” of “party structures” could eliminate such failings.

And what about the “high ideals” of journalism? Like sticking to the facts?

Murray Darling:

John Richardson writes: Re. “New Murray-Darling Basin Plan draft leaves all parties unhappy” (yesterday, item 5). Sounds like another way of saying that: “Craig Knowles and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority have done a pretty good job in coming up with a fair and balanced report, that takes account of the interests of all stakeholders.”

Of course, it would be nice if a few of the self-interested Neanderthals pushing for a spot on the stage on this issue actually took the time to read the report, before burning it, or is that too much to hope for?

Climate change:

Justin Templer writes: Re. “Australia can speak with authority at Durban climate talks” (yesterday, item 14). Erwin Jackson, deputy CEO at the Climate Institute, tells us that “For the first time in the history of the international negotiations, Australia can speak with authority and join other nations in taking credible action.”

This is laudable — but akin to Australia pronouncing during the first World War that we do not shoot deserters. Admirable sentiment — but did not prevent 35 million casualties.

Lobbyists:

Roy Ramage writes: Re. “The Power Index: lobbyists, mining magnate Hooke at #5” (yesterday, item 6). This article amply demonstrates how democracy has been hijacked in Australia. Australians get the opportunity to punish or reward their politicians every three years. Lobbyists vote every day.

Liberal Party adviser Ian Smith’s breathless admiration for this lobbyist’s “brilliance” in costing taxpayers, says more about the Liberal Party than the contempt demonstrated for the Australian electorate. It reinforces community disdain for all things Canberra.

The last crass example of lobbyist hijacking was when the coal industry convinced our wise pollies that clean coal could be had for $155 million. Let’s hear the lobbyist’s report on what that has gained for us peasants in voter land.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
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