New England, saddled with Barnaby

Roger Noakes writes: Re. “Rundle: Barnaby’s giving it his all for a hopeless cause” (Wednesday). Another brilliant article by Guy Rundle. Barnaby should be flattered that he was given such thought, insight and analysis by the talented Rundle. Barnaby Joyce is a creation of the mainstream media and is foisted on us as a brand name for rural jest and buffoonery, the Molly Meldrum of country politics as a bag of verbs wandering around in search of a noun. He’s the light-hearted talking head for journalists to go to after the serious politicians have given their quote on the issue of the day. We are supposed to be enlightened by his incoherent mutterings and that there is some great wisdom to be had from this man from the land.

So suffer the poor voters of New England since Tony Windsor has resigned. He was a once in a lifetime politician, and poor Barnaby will never fill his shoes. Most people I know, professionals and landholders, think he’s a twit. The annoying thing is for anyone who holds a torch for what has been before is that he’ll get in quite comfortably, but it will always be Barnaby and the Nationals that will get more out of the New England  than the voters will from him.

Fair and balanced?

Greg Edeson writes: Re. “Death of the doyen: life after Gratts, Kelly, Oakes” (yesterday). Matthew Knott writes: “Grattan, the scrupulously balanced workhorse …”

Not sure who Knott was reading during Michelle Grattan’s blatant campaigning and agitation for Rudd’s return, but it couldn’t have been the Gratts he so lovingly describes.

That won’t fly

Stephen Priest writes: Re. “No s-x appeal in sight at Lindsay candidates’ forum” (yesterday). I was enjoying Margot Saville’s article until I got about three-quarters of the way down and read this: “That’s self-defeating. I live near the third runway and have learnt to deal with it. Man up.”

“Man up”. Really? Really? I was so shocked, I had to read it twice. It appears she’s suggesting that if those in Lindsay were a little bit more manly, the airport might be more palatable. This begs the question, is it really more manly to live by a runway? Is this how we’re defining masculinity these days? Proximity to runways? How very odd.

It’s a shame such a bizarre comment blights what was otherwise a very entertaining and informative article.

Peter Fray

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