Anthony Albanese
Labor MP Anthony Albanese with his former wife and Labor politician Carmel Tebbutt.

Crikey readers did not uniformly agree with Tom Ravlic’s call for politicians to be transparent about their personal lives. Elsewhere they found Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s action on climate change doesn’t compare that favourably with his Fijian counterpart Frank Bainimarama, and offered us a few alternatives to January 26 as the date for an Australia Day celebration. 

On Anthony Albanese and “getting ahead of the story” 

Robyn Gilbert writes: This article is a thinly disguised justification for media snooping around politicians’ private lives. Telling them just to tell all, then we’ll leave you alone — well it’s a win-win all around isn’t it? Except it isn’t.

Most of us don’t want to tell the media about changes in our relationship status. The fact that politicians campaign with family or use them in political advertising is not an excuse for digging around in those relationships. We need all the talented people in politics we can get, but media intrusion into family life just helps drive talented people away if they aren’t willing to undergo that sort of scrutiny. 

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I’m no conservative, but it’s not fair to hold conservatives up to a higher standard on the basis that they have spruiked “family values” and then failed to uphold those values. Homophobes should be criticised for being homophobes, not for meeting women on dating websites.

Ronald Tuckwell writes: It is not a question of the public having a right to private information. It’s about defusing the inherent nastiness of certain branches of the media.

On a troubling week in climate change

Ian Hunt writes: Scott Morrison’s dissonance is not so clear to me. Denialists all say that remediation is the way to go, either because it is too late to stop human-induced climate change or because the warming is not something we can or should stop.

Frank Bainimarama picked him up very well by pointing out that prevention will be better than remediation. This was followed by some painfully witnessed smooching over Bainimarama’s leadership on climate change — he probably wishes he could get a real climate policy from Morrison, rather than an empty compliment.

Roger Clifton writes: I am delighted to hear that Bainimarama shirtfronted Morrison. By telling Morrison to put the lives of Pacific Islanders above the interests of “any single industry” he is speaking for all islanders, not just Fijians. Less courageous leaders might be tempted to pocket the “assistance for adaption” for themselves and move their families to Switzerland. 

On the argument for abolishing Australia Day

Richard Shortt writes: May I respectfully suggest May 27 or August 10 as alternatives for Australia Day? Both dates are in the history of this great land with significance concerning true nationhood and unity. What do they represent? The holding of the Aboriginal vote referendum and the the signing of it into law, of course. Surely the only two days on which all Australians can stand up proudly and announce “we are one, we are a nation undivided”.

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Peter Fray
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