Welching on Wilkie:

John Kotsopoulos writes: Re. “Welching on Wilkie: Labor plays percentages on pokies” (yesterday, item 1). Andrew Wilkie only has himself to blame if his attempt to rein in problem gambling on the pokies fails. Nowhere have I seen any evidence from him to support his particular approach to this vexing issue. Assertions are not facts.

His entire strategy has been to hold a political gun at Prime Minister Gillard’s head while she cops all the flak from the clubs lobby. Not good enough Mr Wilkie. Good policy requires more than good intentions and political leverage.

John Taylor writes: Bernard tells us that two thirds favour mandatory  pre-commitment. This is another one of those statistical anomalies because  the real evidence is that although 66% are in favour, 79% are against and 36% say if I can’t blow it one way I’ll blow it another, so nanananana to you.

Kim Lockwood writes: It’s actually welshing on Wilkie, not welching (Item 1 headline). Origin obscure. (Welch is given as an alternative, but only because of common (mis)usage.)

Health waste:

Dr Sharmini Kumar writes: Re. “Tackling health waste is about more than ‘a few bad apples’” (Tuesday, item 3). I wholeheartedly agree that waste in the health system should be discussed; however, it seems pointless to discuss it without even mentioning the role of the increasing influence of medico-legal concerns and patient expectations.

There are many factors involved in decisions or over-investigate, and these two are highly relevant in Australia at present.

Australian dietary guidelines:

Keith Thomas writes: Re. “Who owns the new Australian dietary guidelines?” (yesterday, item 12). I’m all for diversity and also giving activists and vested interests a platform but, please, can you get the most outraged to tone their breathless rants down into articles and to pay sufficient attention to structure, logic and reasonableness?

Geoff Russell should probably have been listed in the introduction as “vegan activist” as well as “animal … activist”.  From the beginning his contribution shows all the signs of a hasty, unedited letter to the editor from a furious, self-centred (obsessed?) person whose fragile prejudices are under imminent threat. He should learn to make his case without words like wanky, bloody (twice), bugger (twice) bullshit (twice).

Perhaps he needs a leisurely marbled steak and a glass of red wine to calm down so he doesn’t inflict his ill-considered views upon us.

Seven won Brisbane:

Debbie Turner, Publicity Manager Seven Brisbane, writes: Re. “Last night’s TV ratings” (yesterday, item 17). Just a correction to Glenn Dyer’s Television Ratings column which stated:

“News & CA: Nine News won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Seven news won the rest. A Current Affair won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Today Tonight won the rest.”

In Brisbane, according to OzTAM, 7 News won the 6pm timeslot on Tuesday January 17.

  1. Seven News–  251,000
  2. Nine News — 245,000

Peter Fray

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