Letters to
the editor

Representatives are not listening

I enjoy reading your editorials as they write of things as they are. None more so than “Four sore years” (March 3–9). How succinctly worded. Both our major parties seem incapable of governing and the major issues facing the country are left in limbo while our elected representatives argue like schoolchildren in the playground. What has happened to our refugees, living in tortured limbo? What has happened to work against the effects of climate change? What has happened to our Indigenous people in spite of the consensus at Uluru? Answer: a lot of talk, but absolutely nothing in terms of positive action. I, for one, am disgusted by almost all of our elected representatives. I can number on the fingers of one hand the politicians who seem to remain focused on the welfare of the country. I rather suspect I am not alone in this thinking. But our representatives don’t seem to actually listen to the rank and file. They certainly don’t hear.

– Joanna van Kool, Crows Nest, NSW

Seeking some answers

Are the politicians playing a game? It is more serious, a deadly competition. You are correct in listing in your editorial all the important issues and problems being ignored and the way trivia is exploited to distract voters. For many, not all, politicians their purpose in being elected is not to improve the country, to rectify injustice, to help eliminate gross inequality, but to achieve power over others and to snatch as much of the spoils of office as they can. We have had greedy, even dishonest, politicians in the past, but perhaps not so many or so blatant. Any segment of the population that cannot provide crucial votes, substantial donations or lucrative post-politics employment is totally ignored and neglected. How can we get decent policies for our First Australians, properly paid and secure employment for workers, adequate social security payments for the needy? How can we stop the creep to dismantle health care for all, the neglect of education? How will we rescue the asylum seekers from barbaric treatment?

– Gael Barrett, North Balwyn, Vic

The Saturday Paper playing its part

The Saturday Paper’s fourth-anniversary editorial is a mandatory read. As a foundation subscriber, I’ve known and understood from the first edition that Australia is better, that we can do better as a nation and that your paper is an important vehicle in moving us along on this critical path.

– Ellie Bock, Mena Creek, Qld

Thanks for being there

Wow, jiminy. What a fabulous summation of the past four years of non-government. What a cathartic, tense-shoulders-lowering, I’m-not-alone-after-all read. Thank you.

– Ray Ryan, Vermont, Vic

Pryor draws praise

I am so glad that Geoff Pryor has found a home at The Saturday Paper. His cartoons are always insightful and often highly amusing. His draftsmanship is superb in an age when many cartoonists are content to make do with a few scribbles. Pryor’s depiction on Saturday of a tongue-dislocated Shorten has gone straight on to the fridge door.

– Mike Puleston, Brunswick, Vic

Labor policy-making very complex

As a Queensland Labor branch member I wonder if any of your letter writers have ever been involved in the nitty-gritty of Labor policy development with the input of so many true believers, all of which comes to conference for the final commitment? The picture of a small group in a closed room deciding everything is laughable (Letters, “Caucus at the heart of ALP problems”, March 3–9). The ALP is a huge unruly beast where party discipline is always a struggle. Holier-than-thou statements from some pure ideological stance just don’t cut it. Each electorate has its own concerns and any aspiring member must attend to that, a responsibility that comes to be particularly onerous for the leader of any party. No more messiahs, just give me the leader who can do the hard yards. That’s why I have faith in Bill Shorten.

– Pam Lever, Maleny, Qld

Trickster in the newsroom

Hey, I think you should know that a 14-year-old schoolboy seems to have found a way of entering The Saturday Paper’s offices and changing headlines just prior to print. The sneak has been doing this for a long time, and I’m surprised no one’s noticed. By way of proof, just look back over the past issues: inane, juvenile, pun headlines, totally out of sync with the articles’ content. If you ever catch him, could you explain that at times there’s an obscene tension between being urged to chuckle (tee-hee-hee), and digesting weighty information of an often gruesome, disturbing and profoundly important kind. Tell him that one of the defining features of an “elite” is the luxury to look absently and amusedly upon the pain and suffering of others, and that his headlines only encourage such detached smugness. But go easy on the kid.

– George Myconos, Footscray, Vic

One step beyond

Even if I could be conned into trusting the boss of the new Home Affairs Department, Michael Pezzullo (Karen Middleton, “Trust me”, March 3–9), there is no way I could ever trust his minister, Peter Dutton.

– Barry Welch, Bridgeman Downs, 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 March 10, 2018.

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