Are we still spying?

Rod Holesgrove writes: Re. “Crikey says: Abbott should say sorry. Now ” (yesterday). Your intro in the November 20 issue assumes, as do all other media outlets, that tapping the Indonesian President’s phone and that of his wife’s only occurred in  2009 under the Labor government.  However Snowden’s material is not current, and it cannot be discounted that with the advances in technology this form of spying is not proceeding at a greater intensity now under the Abbott government.

Lord of The Ring

Ian Lowe write: Re. “Ring Cycle: if you can watch 16 hours of opera, read on” (yesterday). Your article says: “The Ring is just the prelude to the three mighty operas which follow, with openings of Die WalkureSiegfried andGotterdammerung to follow.” No, The Ring is the entire cycle; the first opera is Das Rheingold. Tell the critic to write it out ein hundred times.

Self-inflicted wounds

John Richardson writes: Re. “Spooks harm the national interest in their great Anglophone game” (Tuesday). So, Indonesia has recalled its ambassador because we’ve been caught out doing stuff that we’re not supposed to get caught out doing?

Whilst Tony Abbott, great Scott Morrison et al can get as hairy-chested and high-minded as they like about asylum seekers and bugging, they shouldn’t forget that if Indonesia really wanted to embarrass Australia, it could leak some very interesting back channel material on our alleged duplicitous behaviour over East Timor and the Timor Gap oil and gas negotiations.

The problem with Australia’s political establishment and our amateur spy brigade is that the “protected” status afforded us by our masters on the Potomac inclines us to think that we really are up to playing the “great game”, inevitably leading to embarrassment for all concerned.

Peter Fray

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