Standing up to Murdoch

Roger Somers writes: Re. “Crikey says: comment should not be cheap*” (yesterday). Thank you, Crikey, for a great editorial. How this country puts up with 60+% foreign ownership of our print media by a man who has admitted bribing police and whose organisation has been involved in abhorrent phone hacking and who promotes evil wars if it works to his financial gain is beyond me. I suppose many of us are attracted to gutter press for titillation and if the strong right-wing political biases correspond with our own we buy the rag. But I don’t.

I think the inane attacks on the ABC online by a certain senator from SA will go nowhere when there are such an abundance of good independent journalists there and elsewhere. I would willingly pay ix times my contribution for the ABC if they had more science and proper information on such things as climate change without the obligatory counter outpourings from deniers.

Some uses for Foxtel

Neil Hunt writes: Re. “Maintaining a digital private life (and why you’ll never need Foxtel)” (yesterday). There is more to Foxtel than movies and sport, but for most people, the movies and sport are what is the best feature of Foxtel.  Nowhere else can I get live international cricket, or things I love like live cycling or weightlifting.  I also love the fact that there are almost a dozen documentary channels. My kids adore the kids’ channels, and my wife love the choice of movies.

How do you propose that my wife, or 8-, 6- and 3-year-old children access the VPN? Yes, I could set something up for them to stream to the television, but why bother? My 3-year-old knows how to turn on the TV and switch to one of her channels, she would not be happy if I had to connect to a VPN to get some television for her. Are you telling me that they’re licking the windows because I pay for the convenience of pay TV?

If you don’t want to pay for it, then don’t, but do not imply that those of use that want it are stark raving mad. Put up with your slow, encrypted link pretending you’re in the United States. I’ll stick with my Foxtel and a happy family.

Downer and East Timor

Peter Matters writes: Re. “The war on whistleblowers — it’s come to Australia” (yesterday). I well remember at the time of negotiations between Australia and Timor-Leste that the fact that some underhand dealings had gone on could clearly be surmised by reading between the lines. The drover’s dog could work it out that it was in Australia’s interests to further the economic viability of the brand-new and desperately poor nation on its doorstep, yet while the then-Australian foreign minister was in charge of the negotiations, the result very, very clearly indicated a rough deal for the Timorese and a profitable deal for the multinational companies, each of whose annual profits no doubt amounted to several times Timor-Leste’s national budget.

Seeing that the Australian foreign minister was then in charge of Australian negotiations, it appeared to me very odd at the time that the result should put billions of dollars into the pockets of powerful companies at the expense of the Australian taxpayer under the obligation to help put Timor-Leste on its feet.

Alexander Downer’s remarks at the time that the negotiations were strictly of a commercial nature had a very bad smell about it.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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