Preaching his values
Thanks to Tanya Levin (“Hillsong and a prayer”, July 13-19) for her analysis of Scott Morrison’s Pentecostalist affiliations. Australians have a right to know about their prime minister’s belief system, which is inseparable from the performance of his job as the nation’s leader. It would be good to see a follow-up article on the Pentecostalist belief in the long-awaited Rapture, the imminent end of the world, when the righteous few will be saved and the rest will perish in hell. This belief has strong implications for action on climate change. Does Morrison believe if it’s all part of God’s plan, there’s no need to bother?
– Mike Puleston, Brunswick, Vic
The clash of symbols
Craig Kelly said if Ken Wyatt wanted to pursue “words in the constitution that don’t really mean anything, that are symbolic, then that’s fine”. But if the proposal included an idea like the “First Nations voice” set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart then that was unacceptable to him, and he predicted it would be unacceptable to like-minded Coalition colleagues: “I think that idea is divisive.” (Editorial, “A matter of respect”, July 13-19) If representative democracy is about doing things that “don’t really mean anything”, then Kelly has certainly delivered for his constituents. I just hope they’re all keeping a record of his meaningless achievements for the next time they get to vote. How good is Craig Kelly?
– Brian Waldron, Woolloomooloo, NSW
So NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian admits self-regulation in the building industry has failed (Debra Jopson, “Faulty towers”, July 13-19). Wow, who could have predicted the profit motive among property developers would result in shoddy construction of apartment buildings? And we still have the prime minister promising to cut the dreaded red tape that is such an obstacle to economic wellbeing. Another case of wilfully blind conservative ideology triumphing over the interests of the people.
– Geoff Skillen, Cook, ACT
Dennis Atkins at the coalface
Not only was it a pleasant surprise to see the best journalist from my myopic Murdoch muckraker reappear in the quality press, but his first (of hopefully many) article was ironically on a topic verboten under the rigidly enforced editorial groupthink of his former employer – the nefarious activities of Queensland’s coal-spruiking claque (“Coal’s wake-up call”, July 13-19). So bravo, Dennis Atkins, and The Saturday Paper for running him. At a time when our largest commercial print media organisation is descending into little more than the propaganda division of the lunar right and their fossil fuel industry paymasters promoting global warming denial, it is a relief to still be able to support independent newspapers that respect the intelligence of their readership by providing fact-based reporting allowing informed decision-making, rather than the partisan Pavlovian nonsense regurgitated by the sycophants of Atkins’ former employer. One might hope Atkins’ ability to now report without fear or favour on coal will serve as a wake-up call to former colleagues to abandon their sinking ship of fossil fuel fondling fools.
But you can’t wake those who are pretending to be asleep.
– Chris Roylance, Paddington, Qld
Difference between theory and practice
Mike Seccombe reports on the Australian government’s convenient faith in “trickle-down economics” (“The reality behind Morrison’s tax cuts”, July 13-19). This discredited theory fits neatly with the belief and electoral practice of the Coalition that money is more useful given to the materially successful. The homeless either do not vote, or do not vote for the Coalition. The unemployed on an inadequate Newstart are unlikely to support the government. Those scrabbling to live from exploitative part-time jobs are too busy to develop a political position. Pensioners can be organised and bought so should get token support. Tax reduction is geared to give more to high earners, not to reduce income inequality. This fits in with Tanya Levin’s article on Scott Morrison’s apparent, selective, “Christian” beliefs. Praying for those in need of assistance is as far as generosity extends. Australians will need much more in the coming catastrophe.
– Gael Barrett, North Balwyn, Vic
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Jul 20, 2019. Subscribe here.