Despite the strong words coming from the Coalition’s corner about Australia taking a stand against China, it must be asked what effect such a stand would have — if it ever happened. Crikey readers were not holding their breath for a result (and some pointed out that the game is rigged either way. Elsewhere, readers continued to mull over the implications of the Pell decision.

On China and free trade

Alexander Turnbull writes: I honestly don’t understand how arrogant you can be to announce those figures and not realise how fucked you are. Imagine being in Mughal official in around 1740 and thinking “we have figures that show that our calico and spice account for a huge part of the Britons’ imports, so all we need to do is tell the East India Company to play by the rules. After all they need us a lot more than we need them.” Now imagine instead you’re talking about the country that for almost all human history has been the paramount regional power. Seriously ask any peripheral state how being the supplier of a economically crucial commodity to a much larger power worked out for them…

R. Ambrose Raven writes: Ah yes, “free” trade. Free trade snake-oil merchants promote an ideology supposedly promoting individualism, free enterprise, lowered taxes, deregulated economies and labour markets, small government, and a servile state and privileges the profit-seeking sector at the expense of public interests and welfare. Why should we, the 99%, care about free trade when 90% of the profits are pocketed by the corporate sector?

On the Pell decision

Mark Dunstone writes: I think you raise a valid point about there being innocent people imprisoned in Australia, and a need for this to be addressed. However, the bigger point about Pell’s trial is that he was able to use, to the fullest extent possible, every opportunity to have his case thrown out: at the royal commission; at the police investigation stage; at the indictment stage; at the jury trial; and at the appeal. And these were done with Pell exercising the raw, unbridled power and privilege he had. Power and privilege not available to many accused.

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

SALE EXTENDED: Save 50% on a year of Crikey

They weren’t bluffing. Facebook flicked the switch and Australia woke up to a newsfeed without news.

So where do you come to understand and talk about the news now? Come to our place.

Get a year of Crikey for just $99 — usually $199 — when you subscribe today with the promocode DONTGETZUCKED.

Hurry, offer ends midnight Tuesday.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey