So much for no surprises

Crikey readers talk the Tony Tax, Laurie Oakes' 1980 budget and the government's new Cambodian refugee plan.

No taxes, eh? Peter Centner writes: Re. "Coalition hypocrisy? Abbott and Hockey in their own words" (yesterday). All if this is lovely to read -- and we've all been reading this same guff from both sides of politics forever. Maybe political parties or their "directors" should face the same penalties as business directors for their mismanagement and blatant dishonesty. As well as the bureaucrats who prepare the data that we rely on to make our "informed " judgements and commentary on. Simply voting them out at the next election is not nearly enough of a deterrent . All this  being said  I think a levy may be appropriate if titled "the Labor Party deficit tax levy". On Laurie Oakes' big scoop John Stone, secretary to the Treasury, 1979-1984, writes: Re. "How to spin a budget: leaks, drops and the age of no surprises" (yesterday). Myriam Robin's story about (inter alia) budget leaks says that "In 1980 ... Laurie Oakes was leaked the entire budget". Laurie Oakes was not leaked "the entire budget", but only part of it. Significantly, that part did not contain anything that was market-sensitive (although of course it still made a good front page for Oakes, as well as, if memory serves me, a subsequent Walkley award -- thereby showing, incidentally, how little such awards can be worth). Cambodia a fate worse than death Judith Fowler writes: Re. "Cambodia not a safe place for Australian refugees -- or anyone else" (yesterday). Can the people of Australia be told the true story of the sale of refugees to Cambodia? As an old lady I am horrified at the plans to send these refugees to a fate worse than death.What kind of government do we have that will sacrifice 100 human beings just to prove a rotten policy.The real information must be exposed to the Australian people.

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