Letters to
the editor

Getting through to Rupert

Mike Seccombe asks “How do you cure a cancer like Rupert Murdoch?” (November 14-20) The short answer is by refusing to buy, or read online, his newspapers; and refusing to watch Sky News. As a scientist with broad interests, I could be labelled a polygamous correspondent. I write letters to several newspapers, including this august journal, and the Murdoch press – in particular The Daily Telegraph and The Australian. While my views on climate change (a subject well known to me) and the disastrous Trump presidency are occasionally printed in the Telegraph, usually with minimal editorial changes, I have found it almost impossible to have my views published in The Australian. If my letter contains opinion, even fact, that does not align with Mr Murdoch’s world view, it is emasculated, eviscerated or entirely rejected. Mr Murdoch fights a debate skewed by a plutocratic self-interest.

– Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin, ACT

Former PMs had their chance

I buy your newspaper every week to support independent print media. I also understand that print media is battling to stay afloat because younger readers get their news off the internet and the advertising revenue has gone to the internet tech giants. But please, as one of the old breed that buys newspapers, I was embarrassed by your front-page headline “How do you cure a cancer like Rupert Murdoch?” Your insinuation is that a reader such as myself is not capable of reading a News Corp publication for its content. As for the two former Australian prime ministers leading the chorus against Murdoch, I would ask: Why didn’t they do something about it when they had the chance?

– Stephen Gee, Strathfield, NSW

White Australia Policy still

Sadly, Arash Rahnama, you are representative of millions of other displaced persons the world over (“A letter from detention: Help before my soul is gone”, November 14-20). I want you to know not all Australians are as callous as have been successive governments of our country. Your letter is heart-rending. As a Christian you must be perplexed by the deficit of empathy for the plight of people in your situation – and this in a country that espouses the tropes of “Western civilisation”. There is nothing civilised about your treatment. As a 1950s refugee myself, I can only conclude it is our different skin tones that account for our dissimilar reception in this country. During an era of racial exclusion (the White Australia Policy) we were encouraged to come. You, conversely, are being treated dismally. Although this is no comfort to you, it appears the ghosts of racism still haunt us. Were you white you would not be languishing in detention.

– Peter Doelle, Mount Gambier, SA

A program of bullying and brutality

The letter from Arash Rahnama highlights the plight of the asylum seekers cruelly incarcerated by our government. Persecuted by other regimes, as his family was, he sought our help, as have other refugees. Instead they have been treated with savagery and brutality by guards who are obviously bullies. The injustice of detaining refugees, who have committed no crime, for up to 11 years is monstrous. If Australians have any shred of conscience, the asylum seekers must be brought into Australia, rehabilitated and allowed to lead normal lives with as much assistance as they need. The present policy is shameful.

– Gael Barrett, North Balwyn, Vic

Impossible choice

Richard Cooke has skated over some thin ice (“Squaring the Oval Office”, November 14-20) regarding the United States elections. Voters there were given the choice between two mediocrities. One poised to continue accelerating the decline of the empire and destroying the nation’s ecosystems while avoiding the invasion of more foreign nations; the other showing concern for the environment both in the US and worldwide while threatening, in the second debate, to go to war with Russia and Iran and possibly start World War III. Although the decline of the empire is inevitable, it appears US voters have chosen to slow it down, in giving Joe Biden a majority. What a ghastly choice for Americans. It would be tantamount to Australians having to choose between Peter Dutton and Michaelia Cash.

– Joy Ringrose, Pomona, Qld

The song remains the same

What rhymes with colonial theft? “Utterly bereft” … of morality, decency and humanity. To say “I think if we say we’re one and free …” demonstrates that the New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, is no more a poet than she is an orator. The entire national anthem is a relic of colonialism and should be scrapped. The one word Gladys might more accurately have chosen to delete is “fair”. Thank you, Lidia Thorpe, for your piercing speech before you were so rudely cut off by the colonialists. And thank you also, The Saturday Paper, for this important editorial (“What rhymes with colonial theft?” November 14-20).

– Elizabeth Chandler, Napoleon Reef, NSW

Letters are welcome: [email protected]r.com.au
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 21, 2020.

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