Crikey writes: Re. “Benedict hands in the hat: Popes by the numbers” (yesterday). The original version of this article stated Pope John Paul II had been made a saint. While he has been beatified he is yet to enter sainthood. It also stated he died on June 4, 2005. It was actually April 2, 2005. Also 37% of Popes haven’t died martyrs. It is closer to 11%.

Crikey writes: Re. “I take ecstasy — talk to me about the drug debate” (yesterday). The original version of this article stated Gemma Thoms died at this year’s Big Day Out festival. Her death occurred in 2009; the inquiry was held this year. We apologise for the inadvertent error, introduced during the subbing process.


Peter Lange writes: Re. “Bottoms up: the non-crisis of Australia’s alcohol consumption” (Monday). Bernard Keane’s ongoing pursuit of “wowsers” and the “health promotion industry” as an affront to liberty does him no credit. The underlying tone is one of “how dare they tell me how to live my life!” While I respect his pursuit of liberty, the idea that there is a dichotomy between banning something and unrestrained access is false.

The third way is to recognise that adults may make an informed choice to indulge in risky behaviours, however, the rest of us should not have to pay for the consequences. Make the cost of participating in these behaviours reflect the cost to society of caring for the consequences, as we have almost reached with tobacco. Still want to smoke/drink to excess? Sure, but it will cost you. Less will participate, yet liberty to do so remains.

Oh and when attempting to calculate harm it’s important to take into account the effect of past consumption. We’re paying for the treatment of cancers caused by smoking decades ago, not now. There is a lag in such rates. The drinking habits of our youth now will be paid for in the health costs of the future.


Katherine Stuart writes: Re. “I take ecstasy — talk to me about the drug debate” (yesterday). One cannot help being just a little incredulous about the adjective “recreational” to describe a drug user who is prepared to risk serious danger to his health and even death to “replace confiscated drugs via a deal with a shadowy figure hanging out near the urinals” at a Big Day Out.


Marilyn Shepherd writes: Re. “From the shadows, ‘loathsome’ Labor Lunchalot fronts ICAC” (yesterday). The media may have fits over Macdonald and Obeid, but the ICAC should not be conducting a witch hunt if they have actual evidence of a crime.

Before Saville hyperventilates she needs to remember the AWB royal commission that has not seen a single person charged with what we all know was the crime of stealing $300 million from starving Iraqis and bribing Saddam Hussein so our farmers could get premium prices for wheat and be the sole providers of that wheat at inflated prices.

There is coal under almost every square inch of NSW, how can it be corrupt for any person to know where it is?

Saville should also remember that not one crooked member of Wall Street who collapsed the entire world economy will ever be charged so going after a couple of small time pollies is a bit ridiculous.

Now bribing other countries to build jails on their land for us to jail innocent people from other countries is illegal, but they are doing it anyway.