On ABC cuts

James Stuart Fraser writes: Re. “Razer’s Class Warfare: defend the ABC with politics, not anecdotes” (yesterday). When I a boy growing up in country Victoria  the only real communication we had was the ABC.We lived in a rural area where it was important to know what happened in the rest of the state. We remember when the grand final was on  and we were shovelling sheep shit and the old man had the radio on the grand final. If it had not been for the ABC, we would not have heard it. Since then, the ABC has gone onto bigger things and produced some amazing shows like Countdown and Landline. The list goes on and on. The ABC  is the lifeblood to people that live in the bush. It can also be said people who came from the bush watch ABC  because it is informative, entertaining and without a shadow of a doubt the best in this country. Why cut the  budget when they produce some of the best programs on TV? Times may have changed but despite all the pressure that has been placed upon them politically they have still done their job without bias. The ABC serves all of Australia and we should be proud of her and not allow politics to rule her. She is not you or me. She is what makes Australia Australia.

Same story, different decade

Geoffrey Heard writes: Re. “Rundle: in Ferguson, no justice, no peace” (Wednesday) While agreeing with almost all the mighty Rundle wrote regarding the cold blooded murder in Ferguson, I did test his conclusion (which I had pretty much come to myself) that the announcement of the verdict was delayed to suit some political agenda, in fact, probably to worsen rioting. I received a succinct response:

Rodney King, Police Officer Verdict Announced at 3:15 PM. 11,000 arrested, 7000 fires, 3100 businesses damaged, 2300 injured, 53 dead. Over a billion dollars in financial losses.

Rundle (and I) might have presumed.

Go easy on Shorten

John Kotsopoulos writes: Re. “Shorten’s higher ground proves elusive” (yesterday). Bernard Keane’s criticism of Bill Shorten’s alleged lack of vision is a bit harsh.  As a newly minted opposition leader his chief task for the present is to differentiate his party from the government.  He is doing that very well going by the shrill denunciations coming from the other side of politics. Vision statements invariably lead to immediate calls for policy detail, detailed costings time frames and iron clad policies from one’s opponents. With the media’s fixation on adversarial politics it is far too easy for a government to use this as a get out of  jail card to cover its lack of performance and for minor parties to pick off soft voters.

The Greens party have also used adversarial tactics to great effect to garner support from people whose motives can never be questioned but who lack an understanding of the importance of pragmatism as a means of achieving an effective policy outcome. Labor can never be Green enough nor compassionate enough for the Greens.  It doesn’t seem to faze them that this attack from the left often allows the coalition the inside running to bring about far worse outcomes.  A prime example is the debacle we have now that masquerades as an  environment  policy. No, the vision thing can wait.  Holding the government and Tony Abbott to account is the main game.

Peter Fray

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