Correction

On Friday Crikey wrote that Age senior arts writer Andrew Stephens had taken redundancy. He hasn’t.

Two heads, one brain

Richard Barlow writes: Re. “Rundle: desperate Labor tries to claw back the left as it bleeds Green” (Friday). I am mystified as to why Guy Rundle views the (Conservative) Coalition as one party and Labor and the Greens as two separate entities engaged in a death struggle. It seems to me the question is who will be the senior partner in the (Progressive) Coalition. From Guy’s reading it is the Greens who will be the Liberals and Labor will be the Nats. He may be right. What all of them will know, given the Lib Dems experience in the UK, is that playing away from your ideological home is political suicide.

On parallel imports

Australian Children’s Laureate 2014-2015 and Senior Australian of the Year 2015 Jackie French writes: Re. “Publishers try to hold back the tide on parallel imports” (Thursday).  You just don’t get it! You are kidding yourself if  you think you will be able to buy a cheaper Wilbur Smith novel if the law is changed. Overseas publishers will always be able to print books more cheaply because they can pay workers a pittance. BUT: at least 50% and usually more of the costs you pay for a book are  bookshop costs.

Think hard: why do you pay more in Australia for an Apple computer than in the USA, even though they are made in the same factory,  or more for a return ticket to  London than you’d pay in England? A book- or a computer costs what the seller thinks the market will pay. And can you really buy a book cheaper overseas? Go check, now the Aus$ is down.

When the overseas editions of my books are (illegally) sold in Australia I get between 0 and 3 cents per copy. Often it is zero as there is no affordable way to ensure I am actually paid, nor any copyright agreement with many countries to give me any legal right to be paid.

This is not just taking a slash at the face to Australian literature. We are talking about dippy half truths, lack of any deep cost benefit analysis, and one of Australia’s major export industries  that is going to go ‘phut’.

Peter Fray

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