Protecting Aunty

Peter Matters writes: Re. “The ABC board has failed” (Friday). While Abbott’s abuse of the ABC is true to form, Aunty’s reaction fortunately is not. When Gough Whitlam abolished the broadcasting licence fee, he did so with the laudable intent of freeing people like old age pensioners from what was in effect a flat rate tax. However, being a poor politician, he arranged Aunty’s financial needs to be met from the budget with the predictable result that the only body capable of “Keeping The Bastards Honest” was at the mercy of every incoming government — including Labor — to keep their foremost critic on a financially short leash.

If they have half a brain, the incoming Labor government will finance the ABC by similar means as Medibank is financed and also will arrange that the ABC’s Board will be selected by means totally independent from the government of the day, to obtain the best people without rusted-on political opinions.

Newsy Q&A

Pat Kirkman writes: Re. “ABC moves Q&A to news because it wanted to, not because the PM said so” (Friday). The Australian is right.  The popularity rises when there are no politicians on Q&A.  New and interesting people with no connection to political parties, questions asked and answered, and I mean “answered” without spin and obsfucation. One pollie can be one too many. The ABCs ratings would soar.

A post-coal future

Ignaz Amrein writes: Re. “A grim future” (Friday). I’m on the same page with Peter Matters. I recently read a great book about this subject by James Wallman called Stuffocation: Living More With Less. It is an easy, entertaining read and provides possible answers to achieve a more sustainable way of living without too much pain.

Matthew Cummins writes: Peter Matters is right to deplore the insanity of our pursuit of coal as somehow good for our economy. It ruins us twice: once when we wreck our ecology to dig it up and again when it’s burnt. And certainly the idiotic consumerism which fills our garages and kitchen cupboards with unused gadgets adds to this impending ecological disaster. But I wonder if he should have gone one step further hinted at in his last sentence. There are 7.5 Billion of us. Four or five times what we had just 100 years ago. Surely all our problems including consumerism itself stem from this unsustainable expansion? Put most of our foreign aid into educating girls, set our country on a path of ZPG as an example to other countries and build our new economy on this new model.

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