Knights’ favours

Margaret Walker writes: Re. “Crikey Clarifier: the knights (and dames) of the occasional table” (Wednesday). Being governor-general of Australia may well represent an “extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement”, but they also get a very generous salary ($394,000 for Quentin Bryce) and a host of other benefits both during and after their tenure. Do they really need more recognition?

The anachronism of having a title for the wives but not for the husbands just adds insult to injury.

Erna Werner writes: 

Arise Dame Ana Chronism.
And let your husband remain forever a prol.

A levy for transport makes more sense

David Thackrah writes: Re. “Should public transport be free? Victoria makes a case” (yesterday). Responding to the conversation of collecting fares on public transport, the fact is the process is time wasting and does not cover operational costs. If state authorities were really serious they would roll the emergency levy, the ambulance levy and a transport levy into one charge on council rates collections every quarter. Councils would then have adjustments made to the grant funding from the state, and the account would be “settled” with recording done in one go. The current cost of collecting a separate emergency levy defies not only logic but logistics.

Attacks on govt on RDA perfectly warranted

William Fettes writes: Re. “Government risks looking out of touch as it clumsily sells free speech” (Wednesday) It was sad to see Bernard Keane exhibit continued defensiveness around Labor’s mention of Holocaust denial, as if the attack were a “Godwin special” inaptly directed at his idiosyncratic views, rather than a genuine matter aimed at the lackadaisical views of the Abbott government.

Contrary to Keane’s misplaced personal umbrage, the attacks meted out to the government in Parliament have been perfectly warranted based on obvious and legitimate questions arising from how George Brandis has chosen to delegitimise the RDA and redefine vilification in his draft language to exclude many forms of extreme racial language unmoored from any consideration of accuracy, proportionality or good faith.

Peter Fray

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