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Congratulations to the following winners: Lisa Walters, Jeff Trounce, Helen Rowe, Gerry Ferretter, Fraser Brown, Elizabeth Ure and Charlie  Goodman.

The Gillard/Rudd/Abbott/Turnbull ménage des quatre:

Peter Barnhurst writes: Re. “Yearning for a politics above the sub-atomic level” (yesterday, item 1). Politics has become a predominantly marketing industry. Both major parties are desperate to “sell” their message and use all factions of the media to this end. Opposition parties, of all political persuasions, would seem to spend every waking hour opposing anything the government of the day proposes.

As a taxpayer I despair of how our funds are wasted, principally in opposition politicians focusing almost completely on removing a government we elected (including minority or coalitions: we voters know the rules). One can imagine those daily meetings in which politicians are actively involved in planning for their own political destiny regardless of federal or state issues.

And let’s not forget the truth: such a pliable commodity in the hands of our pollies, who, God bless them, never actually lie but seem to be able to suggest black is white without actually saying so.

And the populist media contribute in no small measure. Most political decisions are just that, a decision, which is what we elect people to make. But of course there are alternative options in most instances, but which are invariably taken into consideration. However, this is merely the starting gun for the media to start whipping up a frenzy of opposition. I think most of us regret the all invasive 24/7 culture of most of the news media.

Ah for the good old days!

John Richardson writes: While Bernard Keane might think that the electorate’s obsession with the Gillard/Rudd/Abbott/Turnbull ménage des quatre is lamentable, the fact is that the majority of Australians were enormously unsettled and confused by the Rudd coup, in particular given the treacherous machinations behind the scenes of the then largely unknown Karl Bitar and Mark Arbib, along with Labor’s perennial “kingmaker”, the notorious Graham Frederick Richardson.

And while Bernard might feel frustrated at a sub-atomic level about the whole thing, the fact is that the electorate is keenly aware that neither Gillard nor Abbott can or should be trusted with the keys to “bougainville” however, what really makes them weep is that the situation is allowed to continue.

Hugh McCaig writes: Bernard Keane hits a new high in negativity. What would Bernard Keane have the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers do in question time as a counter to the constant and wildly silly assertions which the Coalition’s spokespeople make in their questions? I’m fed up with his negativity regarding Prime Minister Gillard and the work of the government. As a minority government it has been effective.

Bernard how about recognising the effective task of getting the economy back into surplus; the work on climate change; the mining tax; creating jobs; the NBN as a tool for the future; the immediate work on the winding back the middle-class welfare of the health insurance rebate; working towards a national disability insurance scheme.

We don’t need Crikey comment to be in lock-step with News Ltd publications — we long for objectivity in opinion comment!

Les Heimann writes: Monday night’s ABC Four Corners pre-publicity touted to spill all about Kevin Rudd’s fall from grace. However, I got the distinct impression that this rush job was the result of a realisation of the “gotcha” moment when our PM could not escape the question concerning a “victory speech” written weeks before she toppled Rudd.

Clearly this marks the beginning of the end — most astute media people will of course now have the “evidence” needed to push much harder — and push they will.

David Hand writes: Re. “Last night’s TV ratings” (yesterday, item 16). One powerful insight about how badly Gillard has been hurt by Four Corners is the way Crikey has handled it.

“Nothing in it”, “Boring effort”, “Non-event”, “Ignored”.

I summarise the past ratings of the program.

  • 13 Feb — 725,000
  • 06 Feb — 703,000
  • 07 Nov — 689,000
  • 31 Oct — 812,000
  • 24 Oct — 622,000
  • 17 Oct — 635,000
  • 10 Oct — 767,000
  • 03 Oct — 744,000
  • 26 Sep — 616,000
  • 19 Sep — 550,000

Source: TV ratings section published by Crikey

So Monday’s edition was the fourth highest out of the past 10. How did Glenn Dyer report it? “The audience all but ignored Four Corners’ breathless, boring effort on the Labor leadership.”

Guys, that’s called spin. Spin from Crikey looks as stupid as when it comes from politicians.