On Brandis’ secretive arts grants

Anne Coulthurst writes: Re. “Brandis to be able to fund arts companies in secret” (yesterday). Brandis’ secret grants and the government’s insidious attempts to control “the arts” (left-wing rabble, all!) is really nothing new. Following the High Court’s disallowing the anti-Communist legislation and a few days later the jury in the Power Without Glory 1951 trial finding Frank Hardy “not guilty” of criminal libel after a mere 17 minutes deliberation, PM Menzies decided that all those applying for literary grants had to undergo a security check by ASIO and get his personal approval.  This affected actors, writers, painters, film makers, etc for more than 30 years, long after Menzies retired.Today, it’s truly Back to the Future.

Spelling bee

Brendan Giffney writes: Re. “Cheer up, it’s not all that gloomy” (yesterday). I can only agree with Malcolm Weatherup on the difficulties journalists have with these foreign or strangely spelled names.Many years ago when working for the Sunday Telegraph I was called into the editors office and asked if I didn’t enjoy working for the paper. My puzzlement ceased when he showed me my story in which I had spelt Murdoch with a “k”.

On marriage equality

Chris Davis writes: Re. “Rundle: won’t someone please help poor Erica?” (yesterday). Lost in all the US marriage equality stuff is the fact that in the US LGBTI people face massive everyday discrimination in real matters of employment and housing. Whilst we are lamenting the Coalition government’s ability to give up their last vestige of bigotry we should be making louder noises about how well we do otherwise as a society and in law in every other matter. We aren’t there yet but we are light years ahead of many other jurisdictions.

Tim Stephens writes: Re. “Liberal war over same-sex marriage just what Abbott doesn’t want” (yesterday). It is obvious that Tony has a huge issue with gay relationships as they are counter to his religious and loony right wing beliefs. My only hope (and I am sure the wish of many others) is that he stays in power just long enough to go down in Australian political history as the ultra-conservative Prime Minister that legalised same sex marriage in Australia.

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