Predictive text engaged
I found it, in hindsight, a somewhat personally prophetic comment of Tony Abbott’s that was quoted last week in The Saturday Paper when he was discussing hate speech with Alan Jones (The Week, October 11-17) – “By all means let Australians who want to say stupid things to say stupid things, but there’s no point importing troublemakers from overseas to stir people up.” It seems, and rightly so, not the Australian government’s decision to exclude the importation of Vladimir Putin for the G20 summit. Perhaps Mr Abbott should point out his multifaceted approach to verbal diplomacy when the time comes to either shirtfront or have a robust conversation with Mr Putin over the MH17 disaster.
– Paul Gallagher, Wamberal, NSW
Alberici on standby
Our bullyboy PM will be having a one-on-one with Vlad Putin at the coming G20 – the technical term is to “shirtfront”, which means for the layperson, a robust discussion. Abbott aims to out-bully the master! I would advise against it, unless he were to take with him ABC Lateline’s Emma Alberici.
– John Fryer, Ryde, NSW
Surely a betting opportunity
I’ve been waiting to hear the odds for the coming G20 “shirtfront” v judo stoush, but our betting agencies are strangely silent. Tom Waterhouse, where are you?
– Jim Banks, Pottsville Beach, NSW
Power paying off for some
Sophie Morris’s article – “Xenophon’s ploy to price carbon”, October 18-24 – highlights the rigmarole Australia has to go through to maintain and retain its action on environmental changes occurring in our world. “In the three months since Australia axed its carbon price, emissions have started to climb. Hugh Saddler, energy analyst with Pitt & Sherry, says emissions from electricity generation were 1.3 per cent higher in September 2014 than in June. ‘Demand went up, low emissions generation went down, so coal-fired generation went up and emissions went up,’ he summarises.” Australia has been at the forefront of adaptation to serious problems with a proactive and sensible stance, and to now see the scrambling around to retain parts of achievements is demoralising and baffling. We should be thankful there are people still trying! To have to play juvenile games with Canada, to see ideology win over transitioning to what is needed for the future is leading to confusion, disappointment and growing anger. With most furore being around electricity prices, a senate inquiry reporting in March will “assess how much network monopolies are cynically overinvesting in assets and driving up retail prices” (Martin McKenzie-Murray, “Balance of power”, October 18-24). Which lobbies, aligned with the government, are benefiting from Australia’s refusal to play a meaningful part in finding solutions?
– Robyn Lipshut, Tatura, Vic
Focus on our foreign relations
Sophie Morris’s excellent analysis on the volatile nature of environmental politics includes the observation by Christine Milne that the environment minister has “zero clout in cabinet to get a deal done which includes retaining the RET”. At the end of July I wrote a letter to Greg Hunt with a few ideas I had on Australia’s position at the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meetings in Lima in December, and Paris in 2015. I have had no response. During a follow-up phone call in early October I was told my letter had been referred to Julie Bishop’s office, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and I should follow it up with them. I have done so and still no reply. So now Australia’s international contribution to climate change has nothing to do with the environment – it’s all to do with how we are seen in the world through foreign relations. Clearly climate change ain’t climate change.
– Bill Johnstone, Marrickville, NSW
In search of a purpose
It seems that since the end of the communist threat the Liberal Party has lost its raison d’être (Rob Oakeshott, “Brown paper lags”, October 18-24). Now that our NSW premier actively promotes The Daily Telegraph and is therefore “in Baird with Murdoch”, it’s clear they are reduced to nothing more than the political voice of business.
– David McMaster, Cremorne, NSW
Spinning out the congratulations
I would like to thank the publisher of your fine newspaper for the level of truth and intellect displayed every time I acquire it. It reminds me of the “good old days” when I read great investigative newspapers such as Nation Review. It’s great to finally have a foil to the daily menu of spin and divisive rubbish available generally.
– Alan Ramskill, Arncliffe, NSW
Echoes of terra nullius
It’s impossible to remain silent after reading Oliver Mol’s ignorant piece (“Stuck in the middle”, October 18-24) regaling us with his pointless trip north from Adelaide. As he passed through the land of the Adnyamathanha, the Arabunna, the Aranda and others, he connected with no one. The gang are pictured wandering across the sacred spiritual surface of Lake Eyre. There’s no word of the mound springs or the waters that have enabled the trade routes since antiquity. Not even a question is raised as they trade grog to alcoholics in return for “happy Abo” snaps. One hopes his experience of dead silence or the “love you” to his girlfriend eventually lead him to some minimal respect for our country, its peoples and its ancient tradition.
– Leonie Kelleher, Hawthorn, Vic
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Oct 25, 2014. Subscribe here.