Crown cronyism

Alan Baird writes: Re. “O’Farrell breaks promise, gifts $250m to Packer in two days” (Friday). For someone who dabbles in the doings of the sharemarket, Stephen Mayne has remained remarkably “at arm’s length” regarding the shenanigans from Crown, O’Farrell and the unlamented dross from the NSW ALP Right, following role model Richo. In addition to the process being totally bent compared to even the good ole USA, all this largesse is lavished upon a totally unproductive gambling “industry”, which even in tax terms, is probably as profitable as the Olympics. A damned good article.

We took our eye off the ball 

Regan Forrest writes: Re. ” Media briefs: climate correction … ‘magical Murray’ … living on a prayer …” In your “Front pages of the day”, you pointed out that it’s been “77 years since a Briton won Wimbledon”. I’m sure this has come as a huge surprise to a certain Virginia Wade (OBE), a Briton who held the women’s trophy aloft at Wimbledon in 1977. While Murray’s achievements are of course worth celebrating, I find this airbrushing of Wade out of sporting history quite baffling. Does it have to be a man to win for it to count?

To be honest, I would have thought Crikey would have been a bit more on the ball on this one (pardon the pun).

The true jobs figures 

Marcus L’Estrange writes Re: “How Rein built her $254m business and why, this time, she’ll keep it” (yesterday). Myriam Robin missed a key point that no government should contract out any employment services to anybody: Teresa Rein’s Ingeus or any Job Services Australia member. Given the job figures the whole practice is absurd and immoral.

No one in their right mind should believe in the ABS “Labour Force Australia” monthly unemployment figures of 680,000 (v 136,000 advertised / not advertised vacancies)) because the monthly Labor Force figure is based on a political definition of unemployment, not a real one. We also have 1.75 million Australians in receipt of one of the four different dole payments.

Serious planners, journalists and economists should only use the ABS “Persons not in the labour force” (2 million plus) survey as the only true measurement of unemployment. The dodgy monthly unemployment figures have lead to a massive, expensive empire in Job Services Australia, which churns the lucky few at the top of the 2 million unemployed queue and keeps the rest, the reserve army of the unemployed, in check and engaged in bread and circus nonsense of looking and training for non-existent jobs.