Mayne’s mum corrects the record

Diana Mayne writes: Re “Stephen Mayne on his favourite Crikey scoops” (March 11). On the use of the name “Crikey”, it is wrong to say “his mother wasn’t happy with its blasphemous connotations”. That was his English aunt, an Anglican priest, who did express some concern all those years ago. True, I did pass that comment on at the time, but I regard “Crikey” as a great Australian expression with no religious connotations, so it was a good choice of name for the ezine. If you can’t quote your own mother correctly, hand back that Walkley, son!

‘All the rest’ at Faifax

David Whittingham writes: Re. “Regional newsrooms sliced in half as Fairfax ditches subs and photographers” (yesterday). The way Fairfax is going is so far opposed to all that I believed in when I became a journalist in the 1960s I cannot believe it. Perhaps starry eyed, I believed journalism was intended to give people the truth without fear or favour — was it C.P. Scott who said news is what people don’t want revealed, all the rest is advertising?  Between the time that I joined the Herald in 1973 and when I retired as a sub in 2002, I believed in these principles, and I think the people who ran the place did too. No longer, it seems. “All the rest’’ now rules.

Tips for Abbott?

John Richardson writes: Re. “Be wary of words” (yesterday). While Graham Perrett MP was quick off the blocks to correct Crikey’s dreadful reference to the “yellow peril”, popularised by the equally dreadful Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany more than 100 years ago, he remained strangely silent on the ignorant fictions being peddled by former ASIO head David Irvine, which gave rise to Crikey’s facetious misstep.

Given that Perrett claims to be “aware of the delicate balance of respect necessary to maintain a vibrant and successful multicultural society”, perhaps he could wander down the hall of Australia’s most “remote place” and offer a few tips on such matters to the Neanderthal posing as our Prime Minister?

Talk about irrelevant, useless and out of touch.

Peter Fray

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