On Paul Syvret

Barry Welch writes: Re. “Bolt and Blair turn on one of their own for thoughtcrime”  (Thursday)

It is no surprise that Bolt, Blair and their ilk have once again demonstrated that they only support free speech if it supports what they are saying. Paul Syvret is 10 times the journalist and 100 times the human being that the likes of Bolt and Blair can ever hope to be.
Educators are very aware that parents making derogatory comments around the kitchen table about a child’s teacher will have a significant effect on the student /teacher relationship. Derogatory comments by parents about a race or religion over a meal will similarly impact on a young persons ability to develop mature views.

On Trump and the Supreme Court

Richard Barlow writes: Re. “Syria’s chemical weapons pose an impossible quandary for Trump”  (Thursday)

I think Donald Trump could replace all of the Supreme Court Justices and he might believe that he has locked in a generation of conservative judgements, but it is Congress that decides the number of Justices, so like Roosevelt in 1937 , a future Democratic President could seek to ‘stack the court’ by adding extra judges.  That would be the thermo nuclear option.

On the parliament press gallery

Steve Blume writes: Re. “Hinch’s Senate Diary: my lunch with John Howard” (Thursday)

“Outside the lift door, at the top floor entrance to the Canberra press gallery, or media gallery as I guess I must now call it (the National Media Club?), is a full-sized cast-iron end to a Furphy water tanker.

I’m told it was first presented to the journos by an earlier Furphy boss at the Old Parliament House to recognise that the brand name had joined the journos’ lexicon for false rumours, as spread around the water barrel since Gallipoli days.”

There might be Hansard reporters who will confirm my recollection, which is that the cast-iron Furphy end in the Press Gallery in fact was owned by a Hansard reporter/supervisor and it sat upstairs in the Hansard area on the Senate side of the Old Parliament House for many years.

When the move was made to the ‘new’ Parliament House he donated it to be displayed in the new Non-Members Bar (now a child care centre) adjacent to the staff cafeteria and when the Non-Members closed the Furphy end was moved to the Press Gallery. It might well be a different Furphy end, but I doubt it.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

12 weeks for $12