The shameful history of naming names

Gordon J.  Sharp writes: Re. “How I got my first SMH byline as an act of homophobic intimidation” (Friday).  To the best of memory in the 1950s the Fairfax Sunday papers did not routinely report the men arrested and charged with homosexual offences — usually mutual masturbation in public lavatories — but Ezra Norton’s Sunday Truth and Packer’s Sunday Telegraph reported names, addresses and occupations and sentences for the poor sods caught in the City Circle lavatories. Young policemen were used as bait to keep the arrest numbers up.

Prostitutes — all women in those days — also got a complete listing.

Those charged were invariably brought to court on the otherwise slow day of Friday,  nicely timed for the Sunday tabloids court reporters.

In those joyous days all the Sunday papers gave lurid details of divorces — unless your name was Fairfax — and the juicier details of Wills in probate.

Perhaps Chips is a little younger than I.

On the importance of punctuation

John Falconer writes: Re. “Rundle: high on Jesus in a failed Las Vegas dream” (Friday). 1,000wordswithoutaparagraph!atleastheputspacesbetweenthewords!

On the Chinese menace

Keith Binns writes: Re. “Tassie dairy sale gets the tick as China milks free-trade deal” (Thursday). Can one of your experts help me because I’m a little confused? China is one of our biggest trading partners, we’re happy to sell Chinese our biggest dairy farm, we have a strong Chinese presence in Australia. But we have to spend squillions on defence. (Bugger education, health and the poor.) Because of our fear of China. Que? That does not compute. Can one of your expert commentators help, please.


Peter Fray

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