Letters to
the editor

Alt-right thin-skinned on Anzac Day

Great editorial on the attack on Yassmin Abdel-Magied (“The farce post”, April 29-May 5). You left out, though, that she is intelligent, articulate and dark-skinned – three other things the alt-right can’t stand, particularly in women. The other irony is that for people who bang on about the outrage industry, freedom of speech and the like to refer to others as “snowflakes”, they certainly became outraged at not much at all. I’m sure the Diggers are very proud of the way they threatened and abused a young woman. All the best to Yassmin who, from where I sit, presents as a very decent person.

– Gavin Dimery, Dusodie, NSW

Yassmin’s courage should be lauded

I wish it had occurred to me to make the same comment Yassmin Abdel-Magied made on and about Anzac Day. I cannot see how it was in any way disrespectful to the Anzacs or those Australians who have fought in all subsequent wars. Rather, I believe they fought for freedom and equality, conditions that are denied those asylum seekers, not “illegal immigrants”, incarcerated in refugee camps on Manus and Nauru. We should be congratulating, not vilifying, this courageous young woman, for her stance on humanitarian issues.

– Helen Salkeld, Adelaide, SA

Legal aid money still not enough

Attorney-General George Brandis might now be full of praise for the community legal sector as “a very, very constructive interlocutor” (Karen Middleton, “Cash money”, April 29-May 5) but he has fought tooth and nail to avoid a reversal of cuts that remains insufficient to prevent thousands of vulnerable people being turned away from free legal help every year. Both Brandis and Minister for Women Michaelia Cash have until recently denied the cuts they are now seeking credit for reversing, with Cash having previously described claims of cuts to ABC Radio National as “a false and misleading campaign of misinformation”. What we are now seeing is damage control from an attorney-general who remains unviable. The community legal sector deserves congratulations for winning back limited funding, but its welcoming of the Brandis announcement should not come at the expense of a public reckoning of the continuing inadequacy of funding to meet legal need. That must include an accounting of how the announcement fails to meet the 2014 funding recommendation of the Productivity Commission, and the significant degree to which it falls short of the community legal sector’s own federal budget submission. It is also worth noting that the gag on community legal centre advocacy introduced by Brandis remains in place within the national funding agreement.

– Darren Lewin-Hill, Northcote, Vic

Rundle matches Gadfly’s sting

I never thought that Gadfly’s crown as king of witticisms would be under threat. Richard Ackland’s classic references to President Pussy Grabber and Murdoch’s “Catholic Boys Daily” apart from being magically satirical and accurate are along the lines of a younger John Clarke. I feel now that Gadfly has been usurped by Guy Rundle’s acerbic description in reference to “the News Corp complex, which provides a sort of lost dogs’ home for right-wing cultural warriors with nowhere else to go” (“Masters of delusion”, April 29-May 5).

– Rob Park, Surrey Hills, Vic

Saving the reef again

There is a Great Barrier Reef to kill because in 1970 the Queensland Trades and Labour Council placed a ban on oil exploration there, a decision poet and activist Judith Wright called spectacular (Gadfly, “Work for the coal scheme”, April 29-May 5). Were a union to ban Adani, the fines under Julia Gillard’s Fair Work Act could bankrupt it.

– Humphrey McQueen, Canberra, ACT

Not a stock response

Mike Seccombe’s otherwise excellent article on the Coalition’s farcical and fraudulent Emissions Reduction Fund (“La la land management”, April 29-May 5) fails to ask a fundamental question: Why do farmers clear-fell? In Queensland at least the answer is clear: to produce meat. Politicians, and perhaps The Saturday Paper, are too scared of public disapproval to face the unpleasant consequences of animal agriculture. Livestock contributes more to greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport combined, and until we curb our taste for meat, efforts to address climate change will not succeed.

– John Revington, The Channon, NSW

Many steps to health

Three years ago a surgeon wanted to give my wife and me new knees (Michele Tydd, “Health and home”, April 29-May 5). I told him we live in a pole house with 65 steps. He said that he was building a pole house for himself “as that is the best thing for knees”. Result: together with exercises, we don’t need new knees.

– Edward and Helen Black, Church Point, NSW

Pushed to limit by headlines

I agree with Helen Kaminski (Letters, “Not amused”, April 22-28) regarding headlines in The Saturday Paper. They are at odds with the usually well-written articles, and are groan-inducing at best and incomprehensible at worst. Our family of three well-educated adults are so irritated by them we buy the paper only occasionally now, and have let our subscription lapse.

– Libby Gleeson, Devonport, Tas

More puns welcome

I, for one, love your puns such as “The farce post”. I don’t think they detract from the serious content of The Saturday Paper. Do you have a “punner-in-chief”?

– Michael Tayar, Abbotsford, NSW

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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 May 6, 2017.

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