Next generation shortchanged
Mike Seccombe describes the clear failure of current political life (“Turnbull and the boomer racket”, April 7–13) which is about to further entrench intergenerational inequity in a cynical manipulation to retain power, but not power based on merit. Boomer politicians benefited from extreme sacrifices by our forebears to have a free society, but this is forgotten as the young are saddled with unaffordable housing, a deteriorating climate and pilfering of agricultural resources. John Howard degraded our public schools, supposedly to give parents more scope for private tuition, which consumed vast resources instead. Having thus educated our children, opportunity is reduced as they pay off university debts, while we unfairly blame them if they can’t get ahead in a rigged system. We leave no forward-thinking energy policy, nor are we readying younger generations for societal change as jobs decline. Boomers become marginal in any meaningful mitigating role because of lost credibility. If that were not enough, Malcolm Turnbull’s boomer budget insults all those boomers who do actually care about intergenerational inequity – as if we haven’t noticed. Many have.
– Gil Anaf, Norwood, SA
Some boomers can’t be bought
Congratulations to Mike Seccombe. But Professor Ian McAllister’s psephological analysis may seem a little too great a contrasting of class and generational factors, realities that intersect. Neoliberalism has proletarianised youth, pricing it out of higher education, whereas not all baby boomers are apostates from what Donald Horne dubbed the days of hope of their youth. Not all older people are conned by the Coalition’s scare tactics into self-interested belief that the public purse should continue to be looted to subsidise “self-funded” retirees. The principles of some people cannot be bought. And sociological categories cannot always be applied haphazardly.
– David Faber, Adelaide, SA
More stories of injustice
Excellent article on “Extra judicial” process applied to non-citizens (Santilla Chingaipe, “Dutton uses visas as second criminal sentence”, March 31–April 6) covers one aspect of this injustice but there are people on bridging visas who are redetained having committed no crime. An African man was employed on a casual basis as a mechanic fixing high-end cars. He had experience as a mechanic maintaining fleets of cars for wealthy sheikhs in the Middle East before statelessness put his life at risk and he fled seeking asylum. His employer asked him to pick up a client’s car to take it to the workshop. The sight of a black man driving a luxurious car drew the attention of the police. Although he had committed no offence beyond unknowingly driving a car with an out-of-date registration, no explanations stopped the inevitable process that led to this man being put back in detention for 18 months. Another young man was in a nightclub. A girl told the bouncer he had touched her. The man, who was on a bridging visa, denied the accusation. Police were called and the man was placed in detention for 13 months awaiting a magistrates’ court hearing. The week before the hearing, all charges were dropped as film footage showed the young man had at no time been close to the woman, there was no evidence supporting the allegation, and the woman changed her story. The young man was detained for a further five months before the minister allowed his release. This is the reality of non-reviewable detention by a minister without restraint.
– Pamela Curr, Brunswick, Vic
Talking about sex
Jumping into bed is not the same as jumping out of an aeroplane. Clem Bastow (“The edge of consent”, April 7–13) importantly highlights that consensual sex is about sharing not competition; about respect not dominance; and, of course, about pleasure.
– Peter Smith, Windang, NSW
Donaldtrumpi moth at risk
May I add more to Gadfly’s report of the orange-yellow-headed moth found at the United States–Mexico border (Richard Ackland, “Trumpette #63”, April 7–13). I have learnt that this wondrous insect is self-destructive with a life span of four years although, purely through ignorance, it may, at any time, contract impeachimento, a fatal malady.
– James Prior, Sylvania Waters, NSW
Not a fan
I don’t expect you to publish this, but Jason Phu is a rubbish cartoonist.
– Mike Puleston, Brunswick, Vic
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Apr 14, 2018. Subscribe here.