Communications Manager of the Whitlam Institute Amy Sambrooke writes: Re. “Whitlam’s memorial — as big as the man himself” (yesterday). We’d like to make a correction about a story you included yesterday, which mentioned that Whitlam Institute staff were not represented at the Memorial Service of the Great Man. In fact it was quite the opposite, with the Whitlam family issuing invitations to all Whitlam Institute staff and Board members. It was truly an honour to attend such an occasion, as our staff and Board members can attest.

Politics with China more complex than they appear

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “China’s political fox hunt requires some shirt-front diplomacy” (yesterday). It is piquant that in the aftermath of the death of Whitlam, who broke Sino-Australian relations out of the ice of the Cold War, Crikey publishes Michael Sainsbury’s “bull in a China shop”. Sainsbury even goads Abbott to “shirt-front” President Xi Jinping. I do not expect anyone to “pussyfoot” around China, but any serious economist knows that the PRC government is bending over backwards in global economic co-operation. Sainsbury’s blinkered view only sees “ruthless negotiating tactics” over mineral prices. He also presumes the innocence of Australians convicted in China. He seems to believe that Rio Tinto should have fought harder for Stern Hu, even though Hu was taking bribes to cheat his employer. He ignores China’s century of humiliation and the US missiles aimed at it. On the contrary, he assumes that an armchair activist in Australia has a right to correct China by remote control. In short, his opinion is little more than Left Hansonism.

On the cruelty of the racing industry

Katherine Stuart writes: Re. “The official, Pythonesque response to Melbourne Cup deaths” (yesterday).  Curiouser and curiouser, since I heard Brian Stewart on ABC radio news — presumably for a different target audience — describing the death of Admire Rakti due to heart failure after the Melbourne Cup as a “very rare” occurrence in the industry. Can a “syndrome” be a “very rare” occurrence? That goes beyond Pythonesque to the realms of Alice in Wonderland.

Rebel Penfold-Russell writes: Re. “Yes I hate the Cup — and for damn good reason” (Tuesday). Thank you! Why should two magnificent stallions die because of this orgy of real estate agents and frocked up fatuous fashion victims, with wide belts and little skirt, all toppling on top of pedestals they later tumble from? Flogging a horse to death must surely be an issue in the case of yesterday, especially when the Japanese horse was punished with 58 kilos. You try running a marathon with that in a pack, and yet no one mentions it.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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