The Helen Liu case:

Margaret Simons writes: Re. “Helen Liu v The Age: could management end up in the clink?” (yesterday, item 2). It seems we spoke too soon when we reported yesterday that after almost 12 months, Justice Lucy McCallum would this morning deliver judgment in the extraordinary and important NSW Supreme Court case in which Chinese Australian businesswoman Helen Liu attempts to identify journalists’ sources.

The lawyers were girding their loins yesterday evening, ready to get the judgment at 10am. Then it was suddenly announced that the judge would instead be attending a ceremony for the Supreme Court Lobby Opening, and judgment would therefore be delayed until Wednesday, at 10.30am.

The back door of The Lobby:

Jim Hart writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday, item 9). Crikey published:

“Reports of the showdown at The Lobby Restaurant last week talked of the venue being surrounded on three sides by glass windows. That’s not entirely correct, a Crikey operative notes, and the detail raises an interesting question …”

I’m glad someone else is asking why didn’t they leave the Lobby Restaurant through the back door. And we don’t need Google Maps to know there is one, unless everyone imagines the groceries and the staff come in through the front?

I’m no security guru but I’ve seen enough docos to know that (a) the cuff-mutterers know in advance where all the doors are, and (b) they use the least conspicuous one. Unless of course it’s more important to be seen. Questions arise:

  1. Was that big chap with his arms around the PM trying to be Rufus Youngblood? (Insert historical reference for readers born after 1966.)
  2. In dropping her shoe was the PM subconsciously channelling Mrs Petrov? (Insert historical reference for readers born after 1954.)

Chris Davis writes: You don’t have to be a security expert to know that since 1968 kitchen entrances/exits are the most life-threatening way for politicians to go and should be avoided.

Nuclear weapons:

John Richardson writes: Re. “Only faint hope for a deal with Iran on nukes” (yesterday, item 14). More like no hope from my reading of the situation, Charles Richardson.

Tragically, few would seem to care …. few seem to be bothered by the grotesque hypocrisy displayed by Western governments in their dealings with Iran: the US has effectively committed acts of aggression (war crimes) against Iran through its boycott initiatives, just as it did against Japan more 70 years ago; Israel goads and encourages US belligerence against Iran, while no one seems to give a fig about the fact that it holds a nuclear arsenal of 200-plus warheads and unlike Iran, refuses to submit to the constraints of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Meanwhile, our mob see nothing wrong in encouraging the US and Israel, just as they see nothing wrong in our supplying India, another country that point blank refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, with our uranium. Faint hope indeed ….

Tom Richman writes: Libya and Iraq scrapped their nuclear weapons program and got attacked, while North Korea and Iran continue with theirs and have, as yet, only suffered harangues. No wonder the latter two regimes maintain a reluctance to disarm.

Papua New Guinea:

Niall Clugston writes: Don Wormald (yesterday, comments) quotes Sir Michael Somare as saying that Australia gave independence to Papua New Guinea a generation too early. But by world standards, 1975 is late, putting Australia in the same league as semi-fascist Portugal.

If PNG was unprepared it was the fault of Australia, which spent decades treating the country as merely a source of raw materials and a buffer against invasion.

The current crisis, however, can hardly be described as due to a lack of education. It is rather due to Somare, a highly experienced politician, refusing to accept that he cannot be prime minister without support of the parliament.


Gautam Raju, Co-Founder and Creative Director, OurSay Australia, writes: Thanks for your comments and interest in our latest OurSay John Richardson (January 27 , comments).

Strangely, this is the first time we have come across yourdemocracy. We actually got the tag line “Democracy is not a…” from Randy Schutt who used it in his book Inciting Democracy.

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