Letters to
the editor

PM repaying blue-collar backers

Mike Seccombe’s article “Who Morrison is looking after” (June 13-19) rightly points out the failed opportunities and inequities of the HomeBuilder scheme. The falling percentages of public housing and young home ownership are damning statistics. If people are still not convinced, try to recall how often Morrison referred to “tradies”, “utes” and “footy” during and after the election. And the references to “fair dinkum power” (denigrating renewables) and the claimed inability of electric vehicles to tow a boat (which is completely false). And confirmation surely came with the employment by Scotty from Marketing of TV’s star of The Block Scott Cam.

– David Gallan, Tathra, NSW 

Memories of the Dismissal poll

Mike Seccombe writes that “It’s hard to be precise about when the political migration of the tradies began, but Ian McAllister dates it to the mid-’80s”. I can offer an earlier example – the Dismissal election of December 1975. I spent election day handing out Labor how-to-votes at a booth in the middle- to low-income suburb of Kambah in the Canberra electorate. I particularly noticed that every tradie brusquely refused the ALP party card and went on to vigorously take the Liberal offering. The Libs won the formerly Labor-held seat with a 10.4 per cent swing, two-party preferred. By the end of the day any optimism I still had that the injustice of the dismissal would be corrected at the ballot box evaporated.

– Rob Wills, West End, Qld

Looking for wiggle room

Mike Seccombe’s search for Scott Morrison’s top priority once again leads back to the prime minister’s self-interest, which may explain his big poll lead over his government. It may have also led him to indulge the universal conservative claim that his forebears were morally blameless in their arrogation of the entire continent from its original occupants. Normally, he would handball such a contentious claim to the numerous cabinet colleagues who would have no qualms about the proposition. His vigorous wiggling away here, however, may help prepare him and his pack for the much greater quandary of balancing their commitments to both the preservation of a viable planet and to their paymasters in extractive industries.

– John Hayward, Weegena, Tas 

Hope for duo’s Canadian resettlement

What courage and resilience have been shown by Salah and Mustafa (Hannah Ryan, “Working it out”, June 13-19). However, I feel hopeful that they will be resettled in Canada. I have been involved in supporting a stateless family in a successful private sponsorship to a new life in Canada. The parents arrived on Nauru in 2013 and were granted full refugee status in 2014. In 2017 I met the woman when she was transferred to Australia for the birth of their only child; it was two years until she saw her husband again. Through a “group-of-five” Canadian citizens’ sponsorship, the united family are now permanent residents with the prospect soon of citizenship. The Refugee Council of Australia has raised substantial funds from the appeal through The Saturday Paper last December and is helping sponsor a number of refugees brought here from Manus and Nauru but languishing in limbo in Australia. Interested readers who would like to become part of private sponsorship groups can gain the information they need from the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

 – Professor Caroline de Costa, Cairns, Qld

Show some humanity for family

Very distressing to read Salah and his son Mustafa are the last refugee family remaining on Nauru, waiting patiently to join Mustafa’s brother and mother in Canada. As Salah says, “I haven’t committed any crimes…” Mustafa’s dedication to bodybuilding is remarkable, transforming from a wiry 15-year-old to a successful bodybuilder in seven years. Both have ambitions to attend university. Hopefully, our government will show some humanity and compassion to these fine men innocent of any crime. Surely, it is time for our politicians’ ridiculous cruel boast of “We stopped the boats” to end and let justice prevail.

– Susan Munday, Bentleigh East, Vic

For services to irony

Richard Ackland (Gadfly, “Honour roll”, June 13-19) draws attention to Tony Abbott, Bronwyn Bishop, Phil Ruddock and Graham Richardson, all right-wing conservatives, all recipients of Queen’s Birthday Order of Australia Awards. Abbott’s gong for “significant contributions to trade, border control, and to the Indigenous community” is galling. His contributions to border protection and the Indigenous community were nothing short of disastrous to those affected, blighting our international image. “Stop the boats” increased the hardship experienced by already traumatised people seeking asylum in Australia. His work with Indigenous communities, including spending a week annually running the government from a remote community, perpetuated the deficit, despair and disadvantage experienced since whites arrived. He attributes the disproportionate incarceration of Indigenous people to a higher rate of offending, not discrimination by the justice system. I can only imagine the harm caused by someone so out of touch with reality. How debased is this award system?

– Meg Pickup, Ballina, NSW

An alternative to News Corp

I simply cannot resist responding to Gadfly’s musings concerning the fate of us “Cane Toads in the boondocks coping with a diet restricted to The Curious-Snail and The Catholic Boys Daily” (“Paper trials”, June 13-19). I’m pleased to advise that The Saturday Paper makes for a very fine alternative indeed.

– Ellie Bock, Mena Creek, 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 Jun 20, 2020.

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