Rundle in the UK

Cathy Coote writes: Re. “Rundle: the UK was destroyed long ago” (yesterday). Loved today’s Guy Rundle piece on the UK election. We read a lot of Will Self and Ian Sinclair at our place and it’s nice to see that kind of writing combined with insight into the UK political situation. Very nice!

Judy Horton writes: Guy Rundle is the writer to show to your children, a writer of knowledge, reason and skill. My life is improved by reading his journalism.

On the looming budget

Ain Kuru writes: Re. “Government faces fights on multiple fiscal fronts” (April 15). Shame, the article  sounded just like a piece of Labor Party dogma. I don’t like paying for crap like this. There conclusion drawn about tax receipts as a proportion of GDP by the ALP and Liberal Party and which party in government taxes more is the kind of rubbish I see on Facebook. I thought you guys were more intelligent than this!

On media, politics and power

John Richardson writes: Re. “Keane: media and politics are changing, and not for the better“. Bernard Keane writes is absolutely right when he highlights the fact that today’s so-called “professional” politicians focus on delivering their “talking points”, regardless of what question they have been asked. However, whilst the politicians and their party handlers might think they are being adroit at avoiding difficult questions or issues, it is their practised arrogance and clumsy ignorance that an increasingly alienated electorate is no longer willing to tolerate — which is why so many have stopped listening to politicians of all persuasions.

With the media engaged in a race to mediocrity and politicians no longer capable of passing the simplest of pub tests, everyone is walking away, while the real tragedy for Australia’s flagging democracy is that we are fast getting to the point where no-one will really care anymore.

On radio ratings

Iain Nellies writes: Re. “3AW the bright spot in the dying gasp for Fairfax’s radio empire” (yesterday). Radio ratings need to be taken with a huge dollop of salt. The old-fashioned paper diary method used to collate 80% of these figures works against their accuracy, no matter what the ratings provider tries to tell you. For instance, in Melbourne on almost every occasion that 3AW is recorded as having an increase in breakfast ratings,  surprise surprise, virtually all their other time slots go up as well and 774 goes down. Two months later, the reverse will often happen. 774 breakfast, and almost all its other slots will go up and 3AW will go down.

This happens time and again, and shows, without any possible doubt, that the ‘change’ in ratings over that period has simply been caused by the diaries for that period ending up in the hands of families who were more predisposed to listen to one station over the other, and who rarely move the dial anywhere else. In other words, while the long-run results (1-2 years) are valid for working out who’s listening to what, the short-run results tell us almost nothing.