Rundle wholly justified

John Kotsopoulos writes: Re. “Abusive language” (yesterday). Sorry Andrew Reid, but the pastor tried to set up Kevin Rudd on gay marriage. To say that the pastor’s literal take on the  Bible and was “consistent with Bible teachings” is a fundamentalist view that while literally true proves nothing.

As Rudd pointed out, the Confederacy used a literal reading of the Bible  to sustain its argument in favour of slavery that lead to the American Civil War.  This war lasted from 1861 to 1865 and caused 600,000 deaths. The pastor likewise had no right to use the Bible for political ends. Guy Rundle’s rebuke, while arguably inelegant and robust, is wholly justified.

Rudd’s response to the ugly and insistent  provocation that challenged his Christian credentials was a slashing case of a superior intellect marshalling superior facts.  Bravo to him.

Housing affordability should be an election issue

Andrew Brooke writes: Re. “Unsung policy issue: what will they do on housing affordability?” (yesterday). Thank you, Crikey, for raising house prices as an election issue.  Buying the median Australian house now requires seven times the median household income — with both adults working. A generation ago it cost three times the median household income — with just one adult working. These price rises are heavily fuelled by “negative gearing” tax breaks for investors, plus first-home-buyer “assistance” grants, which just drive up prices further, and debt. Lots of debt. So much debt that homeowners have less disposable income than ever to spend on education, consumption or investment — hurting the broader economy.

House pricing is also the number one (or number two) political concern for young people (depending upon the survey). Yet mainstream media won’t touch it. My three letters to my local MP and Senators got one reply. The ABC’s “Vote Compass” omits it entirely. And the parties wonder why young people aren’t engaged with politics.

Speaking loudly and carrying a big hat

Beryce Nelson writes: Re. “Rundle: on the trail with Bob Katter, the mad visionary, part one” (yesterday). That is the best article I have ever read on Bob and the way he operates in a poitical campaign setting. You just can’t help liking him no matter how crazy it all gets. After a big NP party conference in Townsville in the late ’80s he offered a lift to two of his female parliamentary colleagues — me and one other. Talkng nonstop, he drove the wrong way up a major street in Townsville quite calmly — we weren’t — and then took us, still shaking, to the airport, where we reminded him that he was supposed to be on the same flight as us back to Brisbane. He had forgotten. Oh, those were the days.

David Anthony writes: Just let Guy Rundle know that Bob Katter’s memory is playing tricks on him. The bridge over the Bogie River was named after Bob Brunker (not Mike Branca). I’m not exactly sure of his relationship to the former mayor of Bowen and Whitsunday councils, Mike Brunker, but I always assumed it was Mike’s grandfather. Mike’s father is “Sugar” Ray Brunker.

Romani, cives

Neil Hunt writes: Re. “Lex Romanorum” (Tuesday). While it’s true that there were elections in the Roman world, the Senate itself was an appointed body, open to certain ranks of society. However, to join together both arguments, in order to join certain of those ranks, elections were held. For example, in 211BC, Scipio (later called Africanus), the general who eventually defeated Hannibal and ended the Punic Wars, put himself up for election as a quaestor, which was the most junior of the magistrate ranks that entitled the elected person to sit in the Senate.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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