Correction: Re. “What do shareholders know about Fairfax’s property dealings? Less than they should” (Friday). Tom Hywood was employed by MMP prior to both Greg Hywood’s involvement with Fairfax and Fairfax’s initial purchase of MMP.

A spokesperson for Fairfax told Crikey: “Tom was employed by MMP in April 2010 – at that time Greg Hywood was CEO of Tourism Victoria. Greg joined the Fairfax Board in October 2010. Fairfax acquired 50% of MMP in July 2013 and Tom’s employment at MMP was disclosed to the Fairfax Board. Tom Hywood was never an employee of Domain.”

However, Hywood’s Linked In account says he was a Key Account Manager for domain.com.au from December 2012 until August 2014.

MMP acts as the sales agent for Domain in Victoria.

The multi-function pie in the sky

John Nicholson writes: Re. “Rundle: leaking the ‘Multi-function Polis’, or how I won the 1990 election for Andrew Peacock” (Friday). It is, I suppose, somewhat expected that Rundle’s somewhat hysterical defense of his activities re the MFP would largely ignore essentially racist objections to the MFP. The unfortunate Bruce Ruxton couldn’t help himself, insisting on referring to it as Jap City. Andrew Peacock was prompted halfway through the election campaign of 1990 (by the current Trade Minister Andrew Robb) to attack the concept of MFP. Peacock was opposed, he declared, to “any development which would establish an enclave”. One could not but recall Peacock’s performance during the “Blainey Immigration Debate” when he thought he could detect some electoral advantage by siding with the anti-Asian lobby and was subsequently ridiculed by many cartoonists. MFP may well have been an inadequate concept but much of the opposition to it was dishonest and scandalous. Rundle’s protest over who won the popular vote is a continuation of his sad and self- justifying recollections, and highly amusing. Does he really think this was a unique event? It has happened often in the history of many democratic elections — it even happens in American presidential elections!

Pat Kirkman writes: Thank you. So that was what the MFP was all about. I remember way back in these glorious days having to search out information on MFP’s. What was available was glossy, otherworldly and totally baffling. Another “pie in the sky”.

On Russia and Ukraine

Chris Davis writes: Re. “How the West can broker a deal with Russia on Ukraine” (Friday). Given the Ukrainians have split about 50:50 over the last decade on alignment with the west or the east, doesn’t it make sense to leave Crimea with Russia, and Donetsk etc too, then the majority in the Ukraine will favour alignment with Europe? That should make for a more harmonious society?

The real story in Queensland politics lies behind party lines

Glen Fergus writes: Re. “Labor strips back to basics as Newman pledges big bucks” (January 13).  Campbell Newman is a strange accident of history — effectively the first ever* Liberal premier of Queensland, a state that has always voted Labor or Country Party.  (Yes Newman is LNP, but at heart he’s blueblood Liberal from dynastic stock; he was Liberal Lord Mayor of Brisbane for seven years from 2004.)  If polls are a guide, a perverse outcome of the January 31 state election may be a return to type.  A wipe-out of Liberal-leaning Brisbane LNP members — including Newman — would leave the old National Party rural rump with strong majority in a much reduced LNP government.  There would then be no chance that a seat would be found for Newman, who would have presided over the near-death of a government with one of the largest majorities in Australian parliamentary history.  Who would then be premier?  Mention has been made of the likeable but multiply-failed Lawrence Springborg, but current Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney from rural, coal-rich central Queensland looks certain to have the numbers.  Word from the public service is that he’s been running the show under Newman anyway.  Even with his strong south east Queensland base, Newman never seems to have had the numbers to progress personal policy interests. I wonder if Queenslanders know for whom they vote.

*The late Gordon Chalk — who once drunkenly poked a 10-year-old me in the eye — was Liberal premier for a whole week in 1968, between the death of Jack Pizzey and the appointment of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen.  Chalk might have changed history by taking his party out of coalition and testing the matter on the floor of parliament, but squibbed.  Earlier Liberal-leaners Samuel Griffith (1883, 1890) and Arthur Morgan (1903) long-predate the formation of the modern Liberal Party.

Peter Fray

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