“Promise land” (Karen Middleton, May 11-17) left me even more despondent (is that even possible?) about probity and pork barrels, and prompts me to think: “My Kingdom, my Kingdom, a car park/Scout hall for my Kingdom”.
– David Eckstein, Lilyfield, NSW
Looking to the future
Paul Bongiorno’s “Mother of all misfires” (May 11-17) raised a big question for democracy. “It’s difficult to know where the government ends and News Corp begins,” a Labor campaign worker says. If donations have to be declared, how much is the free advertising and attack-dog promotion worth to the government? There is a counter-position for the opposition with its union support, but we know how much that is and it is specific to seats. So who is going to seriously call this out for examination? There is also the question of fact and fiction in the press and advertising leading people to make decisions on incorrect information. All this is beginning to sound like the processes of a quasi dictatorship such as the Philippines. We are supposed to have institutions that look at this. Where are they? Without these processes of checking and exposure over the past 20 years, Australia has been put 20 years behind the world in many areas of the economy. We were 13 years behind in 1993. Can someone after this election please make the necessary changes for all of us to catch up and create a future for our children before we dive to a Third World nation? Without long-term strategies and plans we have no future. Let’s have them put to the nation in a longer period than five weeks. This is a plea from an old man with too much experience to waste. We need real direction; kick for the goal is the Australian way.
– Trevor Pratt, Eaglemont, Vic
I have a degree of sympathy for Israel Folau and many of his fellow Pacific Islanders. These folks are the victims of the worst aspects pertaining to “Western civilisation”: once a tolerant, peaceful people turned into hardcore, evangelical Bible-bashers by the European Christian missionaries who brainwashed an entire society with their hateful intolerance.
– David Duncan Kerr, Ravensthorpe, WA
No climate for action
While Anthony Albanese (The Week, May 11-17) may contend that members of his well-educated and well-informed electorate may not know where the Adani coalmine is, it is more likely that Mr Albanese either doesn’t know or no longer cares that his electorate wants real action on climate change. And that doesn’t mean more coalmines.
– Colin Hesse, Marrickville, NSW
Women’s team missing
After your editorial and articles championing women’s equality in the May 11 edition (Editorial, “Equal measures”, May 11-17), you crashed in the last-page final sprint with your article on the Mitchelton-Scott cycle racing team – only the men, despite the sole (bracketed) reference to a women’s team admitting that they had achieved a Grand Tour victory first. A balancing article on the women, please, resourced even less than the men and with more prominent Australians.
– Chris Clarke, Kambah, ACT
Call to fix social security
One of the minor parties in this federal election advocates removal of the means test for the pension. It is the systematic maladministration of the means test to sabotage people’s access to the aged pension, and other dysfunction in the social security system, that needs to change (Clementine Ford, “Pain in the Next”, May 4-10). Reintroduce procedural fairness, clear the log jams, mend a broken system, ensure that the process for applications of no great complexity takes weeks not years, and treat deserving citizens with respect – that is my message to aspiring politicians. Add to that a commitment to raising Newstart, which has fallen well behind the aged pension, disgracefully so.
– Jim Allen, Panorama, SA
Coalition taken to task
Voting in the coming election should be easy for people following the maxim “never reward bad behaviour”.When you consider the Coalition’s performance in government – no action on climate change; resistance to the banking royal commission; resistance to same-sex marriage; funding favouring private schools; proposing tax cuts for the big end of town; treatment of Centrelink customers; treatment of asylum seekers; no adherence to ministerial responsibility for departmental performance; changing prime ministers with no explanation given; mismanagement of water resources; support of fossil fuels; denigration of renewable energy and electric cars; racist and sexist overtones; no action on stagnant wage growth (and the list goes on and on) – why does all that not constitute bad behaviour? If people would not accept such behaviour from their children, why accept it from those meant to represent us well and professionally?
– Alex Chisholm, Springwood, NSW
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on May 18, 2019. Subscribe here.