Letters to
the editor

Nauru’s children not forgotten

Since the Nauruan and Australian governments do not allow a range of journalists to visit and report on conditions endured by asylum seekers on Nauru, they are in no position to complain about the Four Corners program (Martin McKenzie-Murray, “Culture war in offshore detention”, October 22-28). The report was straightforward, in no way sensational, but completely damning of both governments. Even murderers in Australia are given an end date for their imprisonment, yet for these innocent people detention is endless. They are used as pawns to discourage others. To see young people lose hope, give up the desire to learn and to contribute to society is devastating. To realise they contemplate and even attempt suicide is worse. They cannot return to their own countries to face persecution and imprisonment. Nor should they go to another country that is corrupt and has to be bribed to take them. Australia has treated the refugees on Manus and Nauru so badly we owe them refuge, compensation and rehabilitation. For pity’s sake bring them here. 

– Gael Barrett, North Balwyn, Vic

Nothing from Dutton

Coalition indignation over the minister for immigration not being invited to trot out the party line on the recent ABC Four Corners program is all a bit pathetic. I mean, what would be the point? Perhaps he could have provided a little obfuscation to balance things out a bit. He really is quite good at obfuscation. It’s probably why he got the job. In fact, the miffed Peter Dutton has had rather more airtime than he deserves. All he has ever brought to the table is the most implausible rubbish, such as the pious hand-on-heart line that “we are only trying to save people from drowning”. If the questions get a bit tricky, he falls back on that overused immigration department gambit of national security. For the rest, well, that’s up to Nauru; we don’t know anything about that. The Four Corners presentation was serious and deeply troubling. It left many of us feeling very uneasy about what our country has become. Mr Dutton could not, on his past performances, have made a worthwhile contribution. 

– David Payne, Bermagui, NSW

Free to choose topic

When you write “This is an editorial about Gillian Triggs making a dangerous error. It should not be, but it is. Finally, her critics have got their way” you are being utterly disingenuous (Editorial, “Triggs warring”, October 22-28). Nobody forced you to write about Gillian Triggs and nobody was stopping you from writing the editorial that you claimed to prefer. Please do not insult your readers’ intelligence in such fashion. 

– Greg Young, via email

Kudos for precision and accuracy

Applause for Mike Seccombe on his wonderful piece on Bob Day and the collapse of the “empire” he built while feeding the Family First group before hapless would-be home owners and contractors (“Day’s lost savings, October 22-28). Sadly, in this day and age, there is almost no good journalism, nothing worth reading and certainly nothing worth buying a newspaper for. Mike’s clarity, unbiased appraisal and factual piece should be shown to those who wish to enter journalism or those who purport to even be journalists as a clear example of precisely how to present news, precisely. 

– Roy Edwards, Secret Harbour, WA

Business as usual for Day

Interesting, Senator Bob Day’s building empire goes belly up and he states he will quit federal parliament as a result. Then reality sets in – if he does that he may have to survive on a building worker’s wage. Then a brainwave appears in the form of dollar signs if he changes his mind and remains in parliament. Amazing how enticing that political money trough looks when faced with reality. Was Senator Day’s demise in any way attributable to the involvement or interference of the dreaded CFMEU? Or was it because he ignored the union’s advice and wisdom? So much for the wonderful advice from the employment minister to the unemployed: “Start your own business.” But, first become a politician. 

– Wally Reynolds, Perth, Tas

The Trump horror show

Donald Trump’s belligerence in the third and final United States presidential debate belies his narcissistic inability to accept that he is likely to lose to a woman in the biggest contest in the world (Martin McKenzie-Murray, “This man is a dangerous thug”, October 15-21). Trump is willing to imperil America’s tradition of peaceful power transfers by refusing to abide by the result if he loses, the most probable outcome in November. He is a grave threat to the underpinnings of a great democracy. If this occurs, Trump’s intransigence sets a dangerous precedent in undermining the legitimacy of fairly conducted democratic elections around the world in the future. The Republican presidential nominee puts himself – his vanity, his self-obsession, his need to project dominance and therefore his need to win – far above everything in life. Trump continues to rant that the race for the White House is rigged against him, widespread fraud could be perpetrated at the polls, and that there is a conspiracy among Hillary Clinton, international corporations and the media to sabotage his candidacy. If Trump holds true to his refusal to accept defeat, it is testament to his fear of being labelled a loser as the ultimate humiliation. Need Trump be reminded that pride screeches loudest before the fall as the world continues to watch on in horror. 

– Joseph Ting, Carina, Qld

Letters are welcome: [email protected]
Please include your full name and address and a daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length and content, and may be published in print and online. Letters should not exceed 150 words.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on October 29, 2016.

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