Government secrecy

John Richardson writes: Re. “Govt secrecy has reached a despicable level” (yesterday). The parallel might seem fanciful, but in his wonderful autobiography Ringolevio: A life played for keeps, Diggers founder and radical Emmett Grogan, recounts an incident where he was arrested by the San Francisco police as a result of being on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. Within 24 hours the police were obliged to release Grogan as a result of hundreds of men presenting themselves at the Police Station, claiming to be the real Emmett Grogan and demanding to be arrested. While it’s sometimes easy to suggest that others should do something really brave to stand-up to tyranny, I would be so bold as to suggest that the federal government’s threat to charge “whistleblowers” for speaking-out against systemic abuses of asylum-seekers would evaporate instantly a few of the detention centre workers stood-up in defiance as a group. And if it didn’t, it would certainly disappear the moment the general public stood-up, just as was the case in Flinders Street, Melbourne a couple of months ago, when a spontaneous protest put paid to the madness of “Border Farce”. What chance did Peter Dutton have of surviving that storm?

On climate change

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Rundle: Direct Action puts Australia in the ‘arseholes club’ of climate policy” (yesterday). Unless the greedy, ignorant and short-sighted managements of multinationals and other big companies can be persuaded to switch their current first loyalties to their shareholders to total responsibility for the well being of us, the people, our small planet will be reduced to a half dead garbage dump within a few decades. Said managements are too stupid to understand that if they proceed with their current policy, they will be destroying their own market — the customers.

Farewell to backyards

Keith Binns writes: Re. “Won’t somebody think of the children?” (yesterday). Many others are living without a backyard even if they have a free-standing house because of the “House and No Land Package” so beloved of developers. We claim to be worried about obesity but build dwellings where children have nowhere to play other than the street. When you hit the back fence when you open the back door there ain’t much running about going on.

Speak Strayan

The Fully (sic) team write: Re. “On alcohol and Australian speech” (yesterday). As it says in the description we provide all contributors, Fully (sic) is a blog that celebrates the fascinating nature of language, as well as challenging popular conception or media presentation of language issues. In the past week, this meant we felt it our responsibility to respond to inaccuracies reported in The Age and other media outlets. We stand by the content of our post.

One point we would like to address, however, is that while Aidan Wilson once wrote a piece for our blog critiquing Frenkel’s work, he did not contribute in any way to our post published 29 October 2015. It was a collective effort from the current team at Fully (Sic) and any claims that Aidan Wilson is responsible for the authorship are incorrect.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey