refugee medical review panel

Crikey readers had a crack at understanding the Morrison government’s apparent inability to learn anything from the failure of the Iraq War. As Bernard Keane put it, the conditions that allowed the disasters of Iraq are still present in Australian politics. Elsewhere, readers considered the implications of the Facebook-lead “Libra” cryptocurrency.

On Australia’s support of an Iran War

Ken Piaggio writes: It always amazes me that the right in Australia is so quick to make contribution to wars the responsibility of a “world citizen” based on poor intelligence/interpretation of intelligence, but they argue the opposite about making a world citizen’s contribution to fighting climate change, when there is irrefutable intelligence, because our contribution will make “little difference”.

James O’Neill writes: Does our government seriously believe that joining an attack on Iran will not have consequences with our largest trading partner by a very considerable margin? If so, they are even more stupid than present policies (with Labor support) would suggest.

Gregory Bailey writes: If it finally comes to the crunch and our esteemed leaders want to join some kind of US led force into Iran, then let the PM and the cabinet go into the front line with their own children. This would at least mean they are taking some serious responsibility for their decision to support what is increasingly becoming a rogue state. Let us hope there are some long-term thinkers in the Pentagon who will see the light at the end of the tunnel of stopping this US, Israeli, Saudi belligerence.

On Facebook’s Libra coin

John Hawkins writes: You are right to draw the distinctions between Libra and Bitcoin, particularly that Libra will not require massive energy-wasters like the Bitcoin miners. In contrast to the techno-libertarian advocates for Bitcoin, the Libra consortium claims to be supportive of anti-money laundering regulators. And on the basis of what they have said so far, Libra looks a lot less decentralised. The earnings of the Libra reserves will flow to the investors, not the users, so the description of the Libra Association in its eponymous white paper as a “not-for-profit” is problematic. I don’t think Libra poses that much threat to central bank’s monetary policies. Finally, at the risk of being labelled a pedant, the word “libra”, comes from Latin, meaning a pound weight, and is why “lb” is the abbreviation for a pound, whereas ‘liberty’ comes from a different Latin word “liber”, meaning free.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and cock-ups to [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit comments for length and clarity. Please include your full name if you would like to be considered for publication.

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