Kony 2012:

Mary Noonan writes: Re. “Send in the sock puppets: social media manipulation and Kony” (Friday, item 1). Bernard Keane, at least this documentary did one thing — one bloody thing that the useless United Nations has never done. Bought this truly terrible plight of these truly traumatised children to the world’s attention for the first time in 20 years.

We’ve all known about it since the 1980s and we’ve all done a big fat nothing except sit on our hands, me included. If it was oil everyone was after then the Western powers that be would have swooped in 30 years ago. It’s bad enough having to negotiate Middle Eastern politics on egg shells. Why try to negotiate oil deals with war lords?  That’s been put in the too-hard basket, along with these kids.

I’m sick and tired of snide negative people shooting down anybody that tries to do a conscionable act. Guess what Bernard, they just might be doing it for the kids! Fancy that for a thought?! And if they are well-educated Westerns so what? They have the power to do something that well-educated, socially connected Africans should be doing. They too are sitting on their hands and arses while these kids are living a hell on earth.

The University of East Anglia:

Glen Frost writes: Re. “Come in Spinner: how much of uni branding spending is wasted?” (Friday, item 12). I would like to add a comments to Noel Turnbull’s very interesting article.

The uni I studied at in UK, the University of East Anglia (aka UEA), although (in)famous for the Climategate email scandal, is a highly regarded Uni for creative writing, development economics and environmental science.

When I studied there (1988-91), the motto was “Do Different” — a great motto, very inspiring, everyone loved it. A few years ago, a new chancellor (an academic) arrived and thought a new motto was required (I’ve been told this is an alpha male thing). The new motto? “Make a difference” — not quite the same. It sounds like “candyfloss” to me.

Calling in the people in sharp suits, or ponytails, or beards, or funky T-shirts or whatever uniform “creative” people wear these days is, at best, a 50/50 bet; and the odds for academics are just as bad.

The public interest:

Jenny Kelly writes: Re. Friday’s Editorial. Crikey suggests that the media will need to demonstrate that the details of the current Gina Rinehart proceedings is in the public interest, however it is clear that Crikey does not understand the principle of open justice. In Re  Applications  by  Chief  Commissioner  of  Police  (Vic),9 the Victorian Court of Appeal said:

“The principle of open justice is deeply entrenched in our law. It rests upon a legitimate concern that, if the operations of the courts are not on public view as far as possible, the administration of justice may be corrupted. A court is ‘open’ when, at the least, members of the public have a right of admission. From this it  may be thought ordinarily to follow that the media, in their various forms, are also entitled to communicate ‘to the whole public what that public has a right to hear and see’.”

Indeed.

Peter Fray

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