Abbott’s plan misses the unions

Robert Chapman writes: Re. “PromiseWatch 2013: what they’ve pledged with 226 days to go” (yesterday). Tony Abbott in his speech after Julia Gillard announced the date of the election said he was going to bring back the Australian Building and Construction Commission to control unions.

In his next breath he said he’s going to have more cranes over our cities and we need to have bulldozers on the ground.

Maybe he needs reminding if he has plans of cranes towing over our cities it’s the members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union that he plans to attack for political expediency through his new version of the Australian Building and Construction Commission that operate them.

John Taylor writes: Peter Slipper: stunt. Bob Carr: stunt. Nova Peris: stunt. Morris Iemma for Barton: stunt. Election date eight months ahead announced one day before Craig Thomson arrested: stunt.

They ought to be in pictures.

The real estate journalism world

Adam Schwab writes: Re. “Lies and propaganda: property media standards going, going, gone” (Tuesday). Terry Ryder raises a very valid point regarding the accuracy, or lack thereof in property reporting. However, he let himself down in singling out Demographia as the best illustration of the failings of real estate jornalism. While the Demograpohia survey is far from reliable (even a property sceptic like myself doubts Demographia’s calculation of income), the findings of the Demographia survey don’t appear horrendously wrong.

Ryder would have been far better to look more closely at the actions of groups like the REIV (which Crikey has repeatedly exposed) or the HIA, or even the banks, which peddle grossly incorrect information to naive home buyers.

Most amusing would be the REIV’s regular habit of telling Sunday newspapers the clearance rate from the prior day’s auctions, and a few days later “downgrading that clearance rate”. The following week, do the same thing and try to claim that the clearance rate has increased, only to downgrade it again a few days later.

Peter Matters writes: With very few exceptions since WWII both low and high density residential development has been of appalling standard — motivated by greed rather than social responsibility — badly designed and executed as well as grossly overpriced. Sponsored by developers and estate agents, property journalism has been of much the same standard. Total lack of detached advice to the public as well as ill-advised government pork barrelling has added to the calamity.

Be assured that infinitely better — and at the same time 20-30% cheaper residential accommodation — could be provided. To explain in detail how this could be done requires more space than available in this submission.

To conclude: “To profit on property speculation, is grossly immoral”. This remark is not quoted from Karl Marx but from Winston Churchill.

Teachers and The Tele 

Alan Baird writes: Re. “Tips” (yesterday). The waiving of intellectual standards for entry to tertiary education for diploma of teaching degrees is revealed! Teachers miffed to be missing the Herald Sun? Quelle fromage! When I was called by The Daily Telegraph in Sydney I had to explain to the caller that I could not “take” The Tele ‘cos it is such an appalling rag. Even at a reduced price. The Hun is a clone.

Hendo v Latham v Hinch

Mark Latham writes: In his making of Human Headlines, Derryn Hinch (comments, yesterday) has not yet worked out how to tell the truth. Referring to the phrase “Shame, Shame, Shame” on the Paul Murray program, he said “I never ever said that”. And then, just to make it clear, “I did not ever say that”. Now we know this was untrue. Hinch used it in a motion picture. He misled Murray’s viewers and yesterday, he tried to do the same to Crikey‘s readers. Shame, Shame, Shame.

Adam Duncan writes: Re. “Latham’s Henderson Watch: Gerard reinvents history class” (yesterday) Much as First Dog on the Moon is generally the funniest thing in Crikey, he, alas, has been outdone by the ongoing irrelevance that is the Latho v Hendo catfight. Old white guys going mano e mano with wet tram tickets, just wish it was in a jelly pool so we could have some YouTube highlights.

Bro Sheffield-Brotherton writes: I’m sure that there has been something more boring in world history than Mark Latham forensically pedanting Gerard Henderson in Crikey. However, whatever it was I’ve obviously completely erased the memory of it to protect my mental health.