On Rundle

Victorian Trades Hall Council Secretary Luke Hilakari writes: Re. “Rundle: on the road with Di Natale, and why I will vote for the Greens” (Friday). Your article contained outrageously sexist comments about Liberty Sanger and grubby remarks about David Feeney that deserve both an explanation and an unreserved, heartfelt apology from both yourself and Guy Rundle.

What is truly appalling about Mr Rundle’s comments is they’re a recollection of actual events that your journalist Guy Rundle was involved in. Before senior politicians and members of the general public, Mr Rundle deliberately degraded and objectified Ms Sanger for his own amusement.

To dismiss these comments as the result of Mr Rundle being ‘high on election fever’ further trivialises a deeply ingrained misogyny in this country that starts with offensive commentary like this.

When Mr Rundle spews forth vile, sexist comments, that objectify one of the smartest women in Labor politics, he’s telling women that they shouldn’t be involved in the political process. That their intellect isn’t to be respected and their views are not to be listened to. That they are bodies first and people second.

When you published the comments, you helped normalise and endorse these views.

Liberty Sanger is an accomplished senior lawyer, talented political strategist and an insightful commentator. She is so much more than her relationship with Mr Feeney, and that Mr Rundle doesn’t see this is telling.

Mr Rundle is well within his rights to passionately dislike David Feeney. But this is not just about Mr Feeney, it’s also about Liberty Sanger and the enormous disrespect she has been shown by your publication.

This country needs strong, independent journalism, and your readers look to Crikey to provide it. They are right to demand better editorial standards. As Editor you should have ensured that this was never published.

Your readers, David Feeney and importantly Liberty Sanger deserve a fulsome apology.

Guess who’s back?

Ignaz Amrein writes: Re. “The worst result of election night: the return of Hanson” (yesterday). Bernard Keane is entitled to his opinion, but that’s all it is, an opinion. It makes perfect sense then that he sees the return of Hanson as the worst result of the election. Maybe, just maybe, the result of this election is a result of people getting sick of all the spin that is presented as policies, created by people who have no idea what it’s like to live in the real world. It is just plain lazy to dismiss just about anyone who doesn’t agree with “your opinion” as someone who is a believer in conspiracy theories. Journalists like Bernard, who appear to be imprisoned by their dogmatic world views, are really not that much different to people like Pauline Hanson. They all seem to be incapable to accept, that ultimately, we are all fellow human beings on a tiny planet in a huge universe and there is a lot more that unites us than divides us. Once we put the “all knowing” self aside and actually start hearing what someone else has to say, we can start creating a world we all can share without killing each other because of being different. The worst result of election night:  to be feeling compelled to interpret it with a dogmatic belief system.

Jeff Dale writes: Bernard Keane, By spewing such vile HATRED towards Pauline Hanson shows your HATRED towards her and supporters also. Australia need another 100 Paulines in power. The media attacks on Pauline HAVE FAILED TO STEM AUSTRALIANS GROWING  SUPPORT FOR ONE NATION. At any future elections PHON will have more funds and experienced campaigners to take seats in every state. Are you going to call every supporter a HATE MONGER? … You sir are a puppet of the rotten corrupted political system.

On the RBA

Roy Ramage writes: Re. “The RBA goes dark on inflation” (yesterday). In an era of no growth or at best slow growth since 2008, Jason Murphy asks if the RBA wants to keep inflation inside the “target range.” I suggest the RBA has little option in a world of zero percent interest rates and Jason should ask the following questions which might provide some clarity.

  1. What tools does the RBA have to fight either inflation or deflation? Monetary policy, fiscal policy?
  2. If the RBA currently does not have zero interest rates, can it cut further?
  3. As the Australian government issues its own currency does that mean it can purchase anything that is available for sale in that currency (AUDs) and that means all idle labour if it so wished?

Answers to just these three questions might enable us to have “stable expectations” in a global financial system that is anything but.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey