Letters to
the editor

The hot topic

I find it tragic and shameful that it has taken the loss of lives, property and thousands of square kilometres of forests, including irreplaceable rainforest ecosystems, to make our political leaders realise that climate change is a real and present danger (Mike Seccombe, “Actually – it is climate change” and Paul Bongiorno’s “A burning issue”, November 16-22). Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack would rather not hear the truth about climate change and bushfires, labelling it the “ravings of inner-city lunatics”. Prime Minister Scott Morrison would rather lull us into dreamy complacency with his endless motherhood statements, slogans and circumlocutory salesman’s patter. In the meantime, Australia burns. And summer is still more than a week away.

– Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin, ACT

Smoking out the truth

Welcome to a first-time winner from cartoonist Jon Kudelka (November 16-22); may there be many more. Just one question: Michael Leunig recently suffered the slings and arrows of outraged readers elsewhere for a supposedly misogynistic cartoon. Is there any significance in Kudelka’s portrayal of Mrs Caveperson being the one who is pointing to the obvious that Mr Caveperson wants to ignore? Where is fire indeed.

– Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale, Vic

Cartoonist’s takeover

Congratulations, Jon Kudelka, not only did you hijack this paper’s masthead but you gained notoriety being featured in Mike Bowers’ weekly wrap-up on the ABC’s Insiders. Only time will tell if there is to be a political cave-in.

– Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW

Scott Morrison summed up

Was ever the entirety of a particular politician more accurately and succinctly enunciated than in Mike Seccombe’s description of Morrison: “Belligerent in rhetoric, authoritarian in tone, divisive in intent, unimaginative in vision, deceptive and insubstantial in content.” (“Bruised by boycotts”, November 9-15)Brilliant, Mike. Brilliant.

– Alan Learmonth, Meadows, SA

Concern on rights

Karen Middleton’s reference (“ASIO officers broke law on warrant”, November 9-15) to the High Court’s lack of powers to uphold the otherwise “inalienable” rights of Australians for lack of a bill of rights should be a matter of rising concern to the general public, but sadly remains a matter of widespread ignorance and apathy. It is not just the issues of freedom of opinion, expression and communication and the ability of reporters to fulfil their function to alert us to maladministration, falsehood and corruption. It also concerns rights under international conventions Australia has ratified, our anti-discrimination laws and the current push to favour so-called freedom of religion over all other freedoms assuming they will continue to be tolerated, should it succeed. Can we ask whether the High Court is unduly constrained or could it act more vigorously now if it chose to?

– Timothy Brown, Footscray, Vic

Discussion of death in Yuendumu

This is a thank-you for your paper, as I sit with a cup of tea, re-reading your article “Reporting racism” (Santilla Chingaipe, November 9-15). I’m still seething over an episode of The Drum last week that discussed the death of Mr Walker. Ellen Fanning opened with a report on how unsafe health professionals had felt before the murder, and they’d left the community. A young Aboriginal woman on the panel was crying as she made the case around Mr Walker’s appalling death. Ms Fanning went back to a report about how the community allegedly threw stones that cracked the windows of the ambulance as the health people left. I’ve written to the ABC to complain about racism: white people feel unsafe, so they leave the community, and that somehow explains the death of a young (black) man. The panellist made the excellent point that if the police feel so unsafe, why don’t they leave as well? Certainly Aboriginal people would feel (and be) safer. Thank you again for your excellent paper, although it’s lucky I’ve got good blood pressure.

– Theresa Howe, Floreat, WA

Different but the same

While I agree with Frank Carroll (Letters, “Right policies for a better outcome”, November 16-22) that had Labor whiskered in we may have had some better policy implemented, it would still have been neoliberally framed, therefore very limited. Jim Chalmers is unequivocal on this point. Labor does not recognise the fiscal/monetary operations reality; that is, the federal government spends first, then collects taxes to create the necessary space and balanced environment for it to keep inflationary pressure at bay. While we watch this fiscally constraining Coalition government punish the poor and claim to “balance the budget” (nonsensical for the currency issuer), Labor would still be adhering to this crazy
self-imposed constraint and surplus pursuit if in office.

– Paul Keig, Wahroonga, NSW

Reality check

I want to acknowledge my appreciation for being able to read a newspaper with a bevy of journalists who consistently and objectively write about what is actually happening in Australian politics and political persuasions, and the consequences of this for the Australian public today, tomorrow and into the future. This means a lot to me and to the people I care about.

– Julie Hollitt, Bawley Point, NSW

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 November 23, 2019.

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