Signs of growing anger
Louisa Jordan’s support for multiculturalism (Letters, July 22-28) will resonate with all those who anguish over the crude and cruel rantings of One Nation supporters. Unfortunately this support is not based on reality. Australia has always been multicultural but never successfully, as should be obvious by our early history and now by the findings of the “Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage” report. There are even indications, such as the death of Indigenous teenager Elijah Doughty in Kalgoorlie, that distrust and anger is increasing, pushing us down the same tragic path as the US. Most at risk of exploitation are those in minority groups, which includes migrants, with evidence of virtual slavery-like conditions or wage-cheating that is largely ignored by governments obsessed more with market performance than human wellbeing. In fact it was this obsession that led the Howard government to almost tripling our immigration rate, effectively ensuring high unemployment and the rise of populists parties such as Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.
– Don Owers, Dudley, NSW
Broader world view required
Obviously The Saturday Paper doesn’t have the resources of the BBC, but a myopic mindset at the paper produces a narrow coverage of important issues. Gadfly’s tedious reference to Donald Trump as the Pussy Grabber is a reflection of an in-house insularity. The BBC (24/7) carried an online United States article called “Where Trump is seen as saviour” covering the impoverished circumstances of whites in Jamestown, Tennessee. I will add here I am not a Trump supporter (or a pussy grabber) but the comprehensive information given by the BBC shows why people in desperate economic circumstances considered voting for Trump, as it made sense to them and not urban-based Australians living in material comfort. Poor whites are subsisting on welfare payments and food bank parcels provided by church charities. Some people are existing on one meal a day. It is akin to the Depression years for many. If The Saturday Paper could reproduce some accounts of the BBC’s coverage of the US malaise then it would inform readers far better than other newspaper competitors.
– Des Files, Brunswick, Vic
Welcome Ten Flags Tony
Notice to all politicians: you know you have reached the pinnacle of incompetence when you are given a nickname by Gadfly.
– Richard Adams, Goonellabah, NSW
Over the Abbott habit
Three of the previous four issues of The Saturday Paper have featured our former prime minister in the main photograph (Mike Seccombe, “Notes from the Abbott insurgency”, July 1-7; Karen Middleton, “Planning for Abbott’s exit”, July 8-14; Mike Seccombe, “How the church is splitting Liberals”, July 22-28). Is this attention necessary or deserved for what some may see as a political has-been? Please give your readers more interesting and relevant front-page images.
– Bradley Stevenson, Kaleen, ACT
Driven to distraction
Richard Cooke, Karen Middleton and Sean Kelly, well done. Your pieces this week (“Extremely loud and incredibly gross”, “The rise and rise of Peter Dutton”, “Green exit hams”, “Bland man’s bluff”, July 22-28) showed how much our national energy is wasted on distractions, officiousness or petty contests. Yes, the sad part is we are not giving attention to what is important. Perhaps the saddest is all this claptrap is measured in our GDP.
– Jonathan Silberberg, Newcastle, NSW
Remembering Simone Veil
Simone Veil was a French and European heroine and role model. She was a Holocaust survivor who worked tirelessly for European unity and especially Franco-German reconciliation. She was the first president of the European Parliament and as French health minister introduced the first law in France to legalise abortion and that country’s first anti-smoking legislation. Soon after her death French President Emmanuel Macron announced she would be interred in the Panthéon, one of only five women among 76 men. The failure of the Australian press, with the exception of Le Courrier Australien and The Australian Jewish News, to mention, even in passing, her death on June 30 invites a disturbing question. Is the Australian press, including The Saturday Paper, anti-French, anti-feminist or anti-Semitic?
– Juliet Flesch, Kew, Vic
Peter Craven’s noising off about Noises Off (“All the wrong noises”, July 22-28) hits just the right note of exasperation experienced by me and some other discerning theatre-lovers who sat through and came away from this production in total disbelief. This travesty of a production of farce slithered and slipped into irredeemable slipshod irrelevance early on, rather like the sardines slithering about on their plate throughout the play. The laboured sing-song delivery and playing for laughs by the entire cast thankfully dissipated into such absurdity in the final moments that I suddenly, along with accompanying members of the audience on either side, broke into hysterical laughter. It was only when the actors gave up on their labours and appeared to relax that some unintentional humour emerged and I was able to laugh at an evening and a great deal of money wasted in this way.
– Patricia Wiltshire, Montmorency, Vic
Up to the challenge
That was a doozy (Mungo MacCallum, The Cryptic, July 22-28). Took me several hours, you wily old cryptician.
– Simon Thorpe, Mallacoota, Vic
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Jul 29, 2017. Subscribe here.