Woeful leadership in plentiful supply
The sane media in the United States is in full alarm about Trump, not because of his policies, such as they are, but because he appears to have a mental disorder, and they fear for what may come next. We have a different problem: a government so bereft of morality and even perspective that in pandering to their donors they have disconnected from even a pretence of governing for the people. But our media should also be in full alarm – not only The Saturday Paper.
– Don Macrae, Warrandyte, Vic
A bunch of sore losers
Martin McKenzie-Murray’s “Inside President Trump’s Camelot” (March 11-17) front-page diatribe reflects more on the author and his dislike of President Trump. Perhaps he should look in a mirror. It is disappointing that the cattiness and spitefulness by the so-called “chief correspondent of The Saturday Paper” was allowed to be printed, let alone on the front page. I think The Saturday Paper can do better than this and probably without Martin McKenzie-Murray. President Trump is the democratically elected president of the USA. This endless bitching by the press and the unsuccessful Democrats needs to stop right now.
– Dr Lynley Hewett, Nedlands, WA
Perfect cast for a musical reboot
Thank you, Martin McKenzie-Murray, I now have the lyrics on repeat in the soundtrack of my mind! I can see a new Broadway musical coming, starring Alec Baldwin, and POTUS will only have himself to blame. After all, “A law was made a distant moon ago here”. And the chorus line featuring Bannon, Spicer, Conway and the ensemble of whoever is left in the cabinet will be belting out the lines: “Camelot! Camelot!/ I know it sounds a bit bizarre/But in Camelot, Camelot/ That’s how conditions are.”
– Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW
Human Services heartless to the end
Your editorial (March 11-17) drew my attention to the response made by Kathryn Campbell, secretary of the Department of Human Services, to the suicide of Rhys Cauzzo. Her verbatim response was totally lacking in empathy.
– Mark Porter, New Lambton, NSW
Population, not policy, driving house prices
Mike Seccombe missed another chance to lay blame for the house prices at Howard and Costello’s feet (“The truth about house prices”, March 11- 17). It was under Howard that our immigration rates trebled, and under Costello that the baby bonus was introduced, with a call for parents to have “one for Mum, one for Dad and one for the country”, resulting in the highest population growth rate in the developed world. If economists recognise the role of population growth in increasing demand, there must be a problem, yet no political party, including the Greens, wants to address it. In order to lower demand for housing, we need to reduce immigration and remove incentives for large families.
– Karen Joynes, Bermagui, NSW
Voters invest, governments sell off
The government maintains Australians could reduce welfare dependency by providing independent retirement incomes from investments such as superannuation, negatively geared property, the sharemarket and the like. These policies carry risk, some considerable to the inexperienced. Governments, both state and federal, have selected their “quick fix”, wholesaling profitable assets (investments) that would have sheltered Australians, such as energy-producing assets and many more. We now find ourselves with overpriced energy; a precarious energy future, devoid of authentic policy beyond 2017. Opportunistic, capitalist, market-based corporations and syndicates that acquired at bargain prices these monopolistic type assets are capable of dictating government policy. Can any political party claim to include “statesmen”, with proficiency in policy and leadership parallel to those of last century? People with vision and the tenacity to implement significant policy beyond the next election period or without expecting average workers to pay for all the mistakes? After disposing of such intellect, we now seem to be governed by groups of apparatchiks experienced in the art of verbal diarrhoea intended to subjugate their objectors, before entering their proboscises back into the proverbial trough. Perhaps the past offers more guidance for our politicians.
– Wally Reynolds, Perth, Tas
Billionaires call out the bulldust
Last week on ABC’s Lateline, Greens leader Richard Di Natale was asked his opinion on South Australian premier Jay Weatherill’s recently announced battery/gas-fired power station initiative. Di Natale said just listen to the innovators, two billionaires who told the politicians, “you guys get out of the way, we’ll fix it”. I really can’t remember a situation remotely like this, where political bulldust has been exposed in such a comprehensive manner. Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg’s latest pathetic bleat is that the initiative will result in more expensive electricity in the other states. One of those billionaires, Mike Cannon-Brookes, a more unassuming young man one can’t imagine, was asked his opinion about clean coal and said it would be best if we didn’t talk about rubbish. How long has PM Turnbull (of all people) been pushing that line? Further, the disgraceful negative attitude to fast-track renewable energy options by states such as South Australia has been evident for three-plus years, including two totally wasted years under Abbott and another year or so under the gutless Turnbull. No wonder some think about the possibility of a benevolent dictator to manage our country!
– John Fryer, Ryde, NSW
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Mar 18, 2017. Subscribe here.