Clarification

Stilgherrian writes: Re. “Turnbull and the barking mad NBN debate: numbers needed” (yesterday). As careful readers have noted, Spain’s broadband rollout was fibre-to-the-premises, not fibre-to-the-node, which is the whole point of the example. Spain went straight to FTTP because there were no cabinets in which to put the nodes of FTTN. Even more careful readers will have noted that the rejected Telstra FTTN proposal priced at $15 billion was from 2009, not 2007. The current NBN scheme was announced on 7 April 2010.

Smoke and mirrors

John Richardson writes: Re. “Zygier scandal: the journo in a deadly game of spy v spy” (yesterday). While Tom Hyland’s hypothesis that ASIO may have used journalist Jason Koutsoukis as a catspaw in a deadly game with Mossad, latest reports from the ABC suggest that Zygier was actually in league with ASIO and had already advised the organisation of Mossad’s nefarious activities involving the use of Australian passports before he was detained.

In alerting Koutsoukis to what Mossad was up to, perhaps ASIO was trying head off the planned Israeli operation to assassinate the Palestinian arms trader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, although, as Hyland suggests, it’s unlikely we’ll ever find out.

While Labor’s newly minted Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, was today hosing down suggestions that there should be an enquiry into ASIO’s activities around the affair, perhaps the most difficult question that hasn’t yet been asked of ASIO or the federal government is: what did they do to try and extricate Zygier (a dual Australian/Israeli citizen) from the clutches of Mossad and if they did nothing, were they culpable in his suspicious and sinister demise?

Leadership long haul

Peter Lange writes: Re: “Leadership long haul: can journos last three weeks? You bet” (yesterday). Regarding the article on leadership speculation yesterday — and every single day for the last two years, it seems like forever.

Does anyone really think, if Kevin Rudd were prime minister and Malcolm Turnbull opposition leader, the polls and headlines would not be saying the same about Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott respectively?

Denise Marcos writes: Yesterday’s Crikey editorial splashed with The Sydney Morning Herald headlines hypothesising a Kevin Rudd comeback exemplifies contemporary Australian print media. It’s more cost-effective and time-efficient to speculate than research or report.

Peter Fray

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