It has been a long year, my 16th here on Saturday. [A reader] of South Penrith is not impressed. In August he wrote, in defence of Pauline Hanson: "You remind me of a fruit bat, the only animal on the planet that doesn't have an anus. Instead it hangs upside down and spews faeces from its mouth." [Another reader] of Panania was of similar mind. "You may have helped crucify Peter Hollingworth," she wrote in March, "but you will never be big enough to crucify our great John Howard, Prime Minister."
[A reader] of South Tweed Heads shreds me often, and after I wrote on November 29 that all Simon Crean had shown, in two years as Labor's leader, was 'barely the ability to find his backside with both hands', she replied furiously: 'I enjoin you to find your backside, with both hands, and shove them up it as far as they can go.' She regularly denounces what she sees as my 'giving the worst PM we have ever had an easy ride to the next elections', an observation that would bemuse him.
Alan Ramsay on the agony of the long distance political reporter.