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Jun 27, 2014

The tricky issue of fuel prices

Crikey readers have their say on World Cup controversies, singing politicians and the fuel excise.


Remembering Emerson’s Whyalla Wipeout

Luke Stevens writes: Re. “Abbott clan can hold a tune” (Wednesday). How could any remarks about singing politicians not mention Craig Emerson’s rendition of Whyalla Wipeout? Not only was it terrible singing, but torturously long and just a dimwitted idea to begin with. Did he run it by anyone when he decided to it? Maybe it was planned? I like to think he was driving to the office listening to classic rock when Skyhooks came on and a cartoon-like light bulb blinked above his head. So began the desperate look for a journo with a camera before common sense finally kicked in. Sadly it was probably five minutes too late to the dismay of his staff, no doubt considering the constant YouTube views as a horror movie of their very own.

On fuel excises and subsidies

Daniel Bond writes: Re. “Green-Labor stupidity on fuel excise could be prevented with an X” (Wednesday). What a strange article this was by Bernard Keane. He dismisses the Greens’ objection to fuel excise being directed to road construction by claiming that that’s just a “legislative sleight of hand” and the excise isn’t really hypothecated to roads — but in the very next sentence, defends the miners’ diesel rebate because fuel excise is hypothecated to road construction. Which is it? Keane thinks the answer to equity concerns about fuel excise increases is support for low-income earners through transfer payments, which is an entirely reasonable argument in favour of an excise increase package that the Coalition has not proposed and the Greens have not rejected.

Having correctly identified the Greens’ concerns as equity and the use of the additional funds, he then neatly solves the problem by fiddling with the rate of indexation, which has nothing to do with either of these issues. I enjoy Keane’s articles, but he seems to have left his formidable critical reasoning skills at home on Wednesday.

World Cup controversies

Matthew Saxon writes: Re. “From murder to match-fixing: top controversies in World Cup history” (yesterday). Nice list, but surely the 1978 Argentina v Peru match is a bigger controversy than this Suarez business and definitely more so than the disallowed England goal from the last World Cup (I, for one, had completely forgotten about that one). Hell, the England goal that was allowed to stand back in ’66 will echo through the ages far longer than the non-goal that denied them the opportunity of being knocked out by penalties or in the following quarter final, had they somehow snuck past Neuer.

While we’re on the topic of ’78, that match featured one of the great characters of football, the Peruvian keeper “El Loco” (Ramón Quiroga). Have a look here for probably only example ever (on film at least) of a keeper being booked for fouling an opposition player in their own defensive half!


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