I refer to your article in the edition of 18 November titled “The Story that never was.”
The article refers to the “Reith affair” and the reporting by a reporter of the Melbourne Age. The reporter makes mention of remarks purportedly made by Mr Abbott and subseqently denied by the Minister. The method of reporting you have outlined is nothing new in the reporting of the Australian political scene. But I must add this is not the first time Mr Abbott has denied remarks made by him which have appeared in newspapers.
However, my letter to you concerns another aspect in the “Reith Affair.” You would agree that the people of Australia have lost confidence in our major institutions; for example the people no longer trust the leaders of Parliament, the leaders of the Public Service, or the leaders of the ACTU. The main interests of the leaders of our institutions are self-indulgence.
Such behaviour is not pertinent to Minister Reith and the Howard Government. Consider the “Colston Affair” and the Keating Government. The same situation occured. However, in the “Reith Affair,” it was so ironical that here we had a Minister who has spent so much effort in attacking every allowance some workers receive and branding them as “perks.”
In my view, the “Reith Affair” has further lowered the trust of the Australian people in the institution of Parliament.
Glen Waverley, Vic