Yesterday, Crikey readers waded into the upcoming preselection scrap in Wentworth. Of particularly interest were the chances, or lack there of, of Labor upstart Tim Murray. Elsewhere, readers went in on Resources Minister Matt Canavan’s anti-hipster dam rant, which they found slightly less than convincing.

On the battle for Wentworth

Niall Clugston writes: When Malcolm Turnbull first contested the seat in 2004, many commentators predicted that Peter King would win. He came third. Now Michael Sainsbury is talking up the chances of Labor’s “credible candidate”, Tim Murray. Murray sounds well-qualified to deal with China, but what about Wentworth? According to Sainsbury, attending the fundraiser of a gay politician amounts to “burnishing his credentials” with the gay community. Sainsbury also mentions “very credible independents”, but fails to comment on the credibility of the potential Liberal candidates, who include a former ambassador. To win, Murray would have to come second in primary votes and then get enough preferences to get over the line. It’s not clear that people who voted Liberal all their lives would preference Labor.

Anonymous writes: In a nutshell, yes. I live in Wentworth, grew up here and returned here after 20 years abroad, and today am the perfect Liberal profile of a high-earning, private school-educated professional. That said,  I am a swinging voter who has voted Labor most of my life, until the Gillard/Rudd fiasco rendered the party undeserving of my vote, and Malcolm Turnbull’s intelligence convinced me to vote Liberal.

The situation now is that the Coalition have done precisely what Labor did: they’ve left me simply unable to justify giving them my vote. The cynicism, the hypocrisy, the climate change denialism, the tolerance of bloody-minded ignorance, thirst for vengeance, sloganeering and sense of entitlement, and most recently the outright stupidity of their party room herd mentality — no way, Jose. Enough is enough. Shorten himself doesn’t deserve my vote either, but I’ll give Labor a go in Wentworth and nationally because I can’t imagine they’d screw it up any more depressingly than this bunch of turkeys. I am not alone in my opinion within the circles in which I move.

Laurie Patton writes: It never pays to write off wild-card results in situations like this. In 1978 a little known rugby coach named Alan Jones ran for the previously safe Liberal seat of Earlwood when long-standing member, Sir Eric Willis, retired. Jones lost, twice.

On Canavan’s dam crusade

Wallywonga writes: The nationals in Queensland have been prattling on about tapping North Queensland rivers since Bjelke-Petersen days — while it might be a justified emotive response for rural folk not to waste water, they just aren’t apparently very good at mathematics, engineering, or reason. What Cavanagh is also telling us with this little outburst is that, far from slinking away, the right factional power brokers in Canberra are still determined to push us further to the right, and will keep needling away with their anti environment protection, anti PC sentiments.

Zut Alors writes: There I was, lounging in my West End salon, digesting the avocado with grilled cheese luncheon treat and about to pontificate on the evils of irrigated agriculture, when Matt Canavan saved me — in the nick of time — from being a cliche. And he is right: I know nothing about farming. Nevertheless I am not sufficiently ignorant to accept The Courier-Mail’s interpretation of a CSIRO report over the report itself.

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Peter Fray

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