Sunrise v the Australian Christian Lobby:

Shirley Colless writes: Re. “Here comes the Sunrise disgust: gay marriage fires up ACL” (yesterday, item 2). I would just love to know who is paying for the tosh (I could use stronger words but they just might have to contain asterisks to get past the rude words censor) from the so-called Australian Christian Lobby about the desire of very ordinary Australians to provide marriage equality to people of the same gender — see I am having to work my way around a perfectly permissible term.

And it totally disgusts me, as a Christian, that these people hide behind the term “Christian”, as though Christ himself was a supporter of their  uncaring, pseudo-religious attitude to the pastoral care of a relatively small group of people who, if Jesus were physically present in the word today, would find themselves among all of the “weirdos” and “outcasts” of his society with whom he associated, whom he loved and for whom he pastored.

I’m no supporter of the Sunrise program, partly because I tend to be on ABC regional radio at that time of the morning, but I support that program’s right to support the need for the acknowledgement of the worth of human relationships, whether they be heteros-xual or homos-xual.  The true connection with Jesus Christ and the God he worshipped is in loving, caring, supporting and cherishing each and every one of us, whoever we are, wherever we might be whatever we might be. And I don’t think the so-called “Christian” lobby does anything else but disservice to Christianity.

Please, sponsors, don’t give way to this campaign.

Justin Templer writes: One thing is apparent from the comment coming from the Australian Christian Lobby regarding Sunrise and its support for gay marriage — committed Christians cannot spell and certainly do not understand the correct application of the preposition. I forecast a decline in enrolments for independent Christian schools.

The economy:

John Kotsopoulos writes: Re. “Forget the doom and gloom: GDP powers up” (yesterday, item 1). Unfortunately for Labor it won’t get much credit for the relative health of the economy from voters until the effects  of the pre-GFC credit fuelled spending binge washes through.

While nobody forced people to max out their credit cards and dissipate their home equity on unaffordable lifestyle purchases, Abbott and his minions in the media have managed to convince them that sobering cost of such profligacy is all down to the Labor government.

On this score if I see or read another comment from Gerry Harvey on the economy, I will throw up. It is price deflation in electronic goods, poor business decisions and the effects of  the pull forward of consumer spending with stunts like his 60 months interest-free nonsense that have caused his problems. Blaming the government or expecting it to help him is just a cheap cop-out.


David Salter writes: Re. Tom Burton from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (yesterday, comments). Tom is quite right. I over-simplified ACMA’s convoluted reasoning but the outcome is still the same. TCN, in collusion with the clubs, broadcast a patently political message disguised as the personal views of its sports commentators — and got away with it.

Viewers were deliberately misled and are entitled to expect the broadcasting regulator to respond on their behalf. But ACMA, relying on the inadequacies of the Broadcasting Act and the Commercial Television Codes of Practice, couldn’t bring itself to acknowledge the obvious: that along with TCN itself, the intended beneficiaries of the broadcast were undisclosed third parties.

That ACMA has taken no remedial action is a reflection on its timidity, or the weakness of the law — and probably both. Bernard Keane’s excellent analysis yesterday explored those points.

Henderson v Manne CDXII:

Gerard Henderson writes: I refer to Robert Manne’s claim (yesterday, comments) that I “slur” Mark Latham by citing the figure of $75,000 (fully indexed) as Latham’s annual taxpayer-funded superannuation payment.

The point that Robert Manne overlooks is that Latham’s only “achievement” in his parliamentary career was to diminish the generous parliamentary superannuation scheme for federal politicians who have been elected since 2004. Yet Latham himself currently benefits from the old superannuation scheme that he prevented others enjoying. The point is one of double standards. That’s all. I’m surprised that this seems to upset Mark Latham and Robert Manne.

As to the amount, Mark Latham himself wrote in Crikey on June 8, 2011 that he had an annual superannuation income of $78,000. If the $78,000 figure (which I rounded down to $75,000) is incorrect — I will amend it.

As to errors, my position has always been consistent. When I make errors, I correct them. The Drum Online is still running a piece about me by Robert Manne, which contains three errors in one sentence. Neither Robert Manne nor The Drum‘s editor will correct these howlers.

As Crikey knows, I have declined an invitation to respond to Mark Latham’s many articles about me over the past year — since I did not want to appear in the same newsletter as him.  I made an exception to this rule yesterday only after Latham’s particularly unprofessional and wilfully false imputation in Monday’s Crikey that I support criminal p-edophilia in the Catholic Church.