On ad-averaging at SBS

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Slippery slope: former SBS stars slam ad-averaging proposal” (yesterday). The government of headless chooks — supported by Murdoch’s baying hounds — will be gone sooner rather than later. The future of both broadcasters should be assured, firstly by financing them by a means similar to Medicare; secondly, by selecting both the ABC and SBS boards by a panel made up of senior judges and academics with the express aim of securing for both the role of “keeping the bastards honest”.

Are we really Charlie?

Liz Thornton writes: Re. “Rundle: Europe’s post Hebdo hangover” (yesterday). I can admit to wept and wrote “I Am Charlie” when I heard of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Last year I bought an ancient townhouse in Midi Pyrenees. My plan is to live there full time if this Abbott government oversees the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmanian forests etc. I love the French for their “up yours” attitudes, lengthy lunches and retaining a passion for fresh food.

To shoot anyone because he insults my religion is tragic. Cartoonists were playing with fire and knew it. I assume like me, they were atheists,who believe religion just exploits the feeble minded. I may have been wrong as the whole nasty issues are out of Pandora’s Box and it may be that once again countries who deal in weapons (and who doesn’t?) will benefit from an increase in anti-violence measures which ensure that innocent people die. I’m sorry that I had not thought through “I Am Charlie” a little more. My sadness is more about the billionaires who reap rewards through sales of weapons.

How Muslims see the West

Glen Frost writes: Re. “Eight factors that shape how Muslims see the West” (Wednesday). Excellent article. Those of us who have family, friends and/ or business contacts from various Middle East and Asian nations know this is how not just Muslims, but many non-Western nationalities perceive the west. In addition to Dr Burchill’s points, I could also mention the perceived extended influence on nation states like Iran, by the West (ie Britain, Russia and the USA) over the past two centuries, not just the past two decades. I can already sense the critique of “apologist” coming my way. Not so. Having lived with IRA terrorism and bombings for 20 years in the UK, I do know three things; our governments consistently try to deceive us (now proven thanks to WikiLeaks, NSA/Snowden etc), you can’t defeat terrorists, and governments will (in the end) negotiate with the terrorists to make peace. The British threw everything at the IRA, and they didn’t die, surrender or disappear. There came a point in the 1990s when a majority of ordinary British people said “enough — we want peace with the IRA”. It just took the political will to do it.

Peter Fray

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