ABC and the Kennedys

The Kennedy Awards committee writes: Re. “Tips and rumours: ABC a no-show at Kennedys” (Monday). We have an extremely positive relationship with the ABC. In fact, our chairman is the highly respected ABC finance journalist Peter Ryan. As a benevolent organisation, the Kennedy Foundation has been helping current and former ABC journos in severe hardship. For two consecutive years, ABC journos have won the Kennedy Award for NSW Journalist of the Year. The ABC had close to three tables at the 2015 Awards, and dominated the presentation ceremony. It was a night of incredibly high spirits and good will. Adam Harvey of 730 won the Paul Lockyer Award for Outstanding Regional Broadcasting, Radio National took out Radio Current Affairs, Caro Meldrum Hanna and her teams won the awards for Sport, Consumer Affairs, Television Current Affairs and Investigative Reporting before she won the Journalist of the Year. A tighter budget prevented the ABC from renewing its category sponsorship for this year’s awards, but we enjoy a great relationship with the national broadcaster and appreciate its strong support.

On pokies

Brian Hopper writes: Poker machines are the bane  of the nation. Years ago I was a recovery officer for a bank in South Australia and saw the destruction they caused. It has made me despise the bloody things. I have/ had a cunning plan. The machines light up like an Alan Jones switchboard after a refugee rant with accompanying up-beat “ta-dah” sounds when you win any amount (even if it is $1).  This feeds straight into the “win/ reward” section of the brain.  To dis-link this and lessen the addiction this needs to be changed, and can be done so easily with a programming change.

Make a “win” be accompanied by a changed sound (suggest B followed by low E… whatever… ) and sequence of slow lights. Don’t fight the machines (and accompanying well-funded lobby) … reduce their attraction! I wrote/e-mailed Nick Xenophon’s office several times a few years ago and was fobbed off by an office gate-keeper.  I tried but it was clear I was not going to get my message through to the senator. The industry knows the reward trigger, and they have known for years.  We can beat them with science and smart thinking.  If the lobby fight the change, they risk having to admit that the reward sounds are part of a manipulation of peoples brains. I would LOVE to hear the interview with the lobby spin doctor when he defended that one! This strategy is low risk and simple…it just needs a champion.

Rorters gonna rort

Jock Webb writes: Re. “Stop the rorts” (yesterday). Peter Matters is correct i most of the problems he has raised. He is, however, suffering from hallucinations if he thinks Abbott is going to do anything. The problem with Abbott is that he never was nor will be a fit person for the office of PM. You cannot run a nation on squawking and vituperation. Though Keating was good at vituperation, he had some kind of vision of the future that was relevant. Abbott has surrounded himself with dunces. Given that the LNP was only out of office for six years, this is inexcusable. Either the whole bench are fools or the captain has been studying Australian cricket as his selection model. Flat track bullies, useless against the swinging ball. I maintain, as an ardent critic of most governments, a disliker of Julia Gillard and a pretty good Howard hater (nothing to do with party), that Abbott leads the most incompetent government in 40 years (maybe more). It is shameful to watch their antics and money grubbing. They have demeaned our country and its people. Meanwhile we watch Abbott sabotage the reforms for Aborigines and find no truth in him. They are not worth their pay and anything they would earn in the corporate world would be related to scheming and influence peddling when they leave office.

On citizenship legislation

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Citizenship bill: bureaucrats can override courts and ignore allies” (yesterday). While I am not a lawyer, surely the current on the hop citizenship legislation must be unconstitutional? While history will tell us that when a government is on the skids, the first thing they think about for bamboozling the electorate, is to dream up a National Security crisis. It is disgraceful that we should be made subject of such shenanigans now.

Nic Maclellan writes: Bernard Keane noted that in preparing the new citizenship bill, “no consultations had been undertaken with other countries about the impact of the bill, which might “dump” convicted or suspected terrorists on countries in which they held dual citizenship.”

Maybe our securocrats were reluctant to consult with their counterparts in London, Wellington, Beirut etc, in case it gave them the idea to get in first!  Surely, there are some faceless bureaucrats in London just itching to revoke the UK passport of dual UK/Australian citizens? Then they could send them in this direction, in an imitation of 1788. The UK could create a new class of jihadist ticket of leave men (who were not permitted to carry firearms or board a ship, restricted to a specific district in Australia and required to repay the cost of their passage to the colony).

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Peter Fray
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