Crikey says: Re. “Is Slater & Gordon ABC Learning all over again?” (Wednesday). An earlier version of this article referred to Slater and Gordon’s 2014 and 2015 EBITDA rather than net profit. It also omitted to specify that the negative $40 million cash flow was for the first half, rather than the entire 2016 financial year. The article also incorrectly stated that Slaters had bled $160 billion in cash. The article has been amended accordingly.

No more troops

John Richardson writes: Re. “No, Kevin Andrews, we don’t need more boots on the ground” (yesterday). Crikey’s effort to put former Defence Minister Kevin Andrews in his place by discrediting the basis of his claim that Australia should put more troops on the ground in Iraq, would have merit if that was really the game that Andrews was playing.

Of course, the reality is that Andrews is just another of the knuckle-dragging religious extremists who hang-around with the Mad Monk, not only intent on raining fire and brimstone on Malcolm Turnbull, but also the rest of us.

The irony is that the more Andrews, Abetz, Bernadi and co attempt to destabilise and undermine Turnbull, the more they succeed in reinforcing his profile as a moderate and responsible leader in the eyes of the electorate.

On startups

Mick Devine writes: Re. “How a start-up darling dealt with a disgruntled user: posted his name on Wikipedia” (yesterday). Freelancer is a start-up? Ok, that’s like calling someone in high school a toddler. Freelancer was founded in 2009. Well past the start-up phase, I think.

On feminism

Cameron Smith writes: Re. “On Briggs and power” (Wednesday). Richard Middleton’s lament demonstrates exactly the kind of ignorance that the “hapless” young journalist from New Matilda (and Antony Loewenstein some time ago) was pilloried for. If one accepts that men experience immense privilege relative to women, then surely we (men) must not be surprised to be met with derision when we offer unsolicited feedback that amounts to “tone it down a little” on the actions of those seeking to redress this inequality.

Oh, and in answer to his last question, he would do well to start by eradicating the phrase ‘pussy points’ from his vocabulary.

On Essendon

Peter Ackary writes: Re. “Was Essendon caught up in an AFL sports medicine arms race?” (yesterday). No-one seems to have picked up the point made in the CASA decision. Point 148 notes:

“Professor Handelsman … contended that no adequate research had been done to justify any conclusion that the elevated levels of TB-4 in the Player A sample could have been caused by any of the other three possibilities proposed (by the players’ defence). He also contended that the elevated level was from a statistical perspective aberrant and suspicious. The Panel does not doubt Prof Handelsman’s expertise, but considers that his evidence was coloured by the view that he clearly holds an opinion (but for which there is no concrete evidence) that use of prohibited substances was endemic in the AFL league during the relevant season.”

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey