Crikey writes: Re. “How to cover international news without paying (much) for it” (March 13). Crikey’s correspondent described journalism academic Colleen Murrell as a former foreign correspondent. She was a foreign news editor for a decade, but not a correspondent.

What Abbott has against remote communities

Rosemary Lynch writes: Re. “Rundle: what Abbott means by ‘lifestyle choice’” (Wednesday). Having seen Tony Abbott strut his stuff in 1976 outside the Liberal Students’ Conference at Macquarie Uni, I have watched his rise and rise with trepidation.

Abbott’s right-wing Catholicism I have always presumed was yet another front, of the I-wish-I-could-be-good variety. Even his Jesuit sojourn was a puzzle. I don’t know who he is, but maybe he doesn’t, either. His contempt for human dignity has been apparent to me for decades from that day in January 1976 at Dunmore Lang College.  I just don’t think Rundle is right on his premise that a fundamentalist Christianity urges Abbott on.Ruthlessness for the issue of the moment, maybe.

I don’t think that his Christianity has anything to do with it. Many people who live in remote areas may be Christians. Many of them find no contradiction between their Christianity and their traditional beliefs in relation to living on country. So Abbott’s espoused Catholic position does not enter what is  an economic argument, based on a bankrupt genocidal economic and administrative position.

If Colin Barnett is carrying the can for withdrawal of federal funds, then the accountability for that withdrawal lies with Abbott, Hockey, and Nigel Scullion. If Barnett is taking an easy shot at most vulnerable communities, disadvantaged by communication, isolation, poverty, and racism, then nail it down, journalists! Keep it going, Crikey!

What’s so bad about stamp duty?

Ben Aveling writes: Re. “Spare us from politicians mouthing housing affordability platitudes” (March 9). It’s often said that stamp duty on housing is a bad thing because it discourages people from moving quite as often as they otherwise might.

But why is that such a bad thing? When people move, they lose their connection to their existing community. Until that connection is rebuilt, if it is rebuilt, everyone is a little bit poorer for it. So long as governments need to raise money somehow, if it means people don’t move away from the people they know quite as often, is that such a bad thing?