Calling out Frydenberg
Josh Frydenberg, when minister for the Environment (Mike Seccombe, “Exclusive: Frydenberg pushed AGL to sack boss”, July 10-16), instead of implementing policy, played politics by pressuring AGL board members to sack Andy Vesey, then chief executive, over his plan to close the Liddell power plant in the Hunter Valley in late 2022. This was peculiar behaviour for the minister charged with responsibility for the environment. Because of his actions, my long-deceased maternal grandmother would have described him as a “grubby little man”. There are too many self-serving grubby little men and women in the current Australian government. We would be much better served if there were none.
– Meg Pickup, Ballina, NSW
PM on the subs’ bench
Plaudits are due your editorial (“Bully for you”, July 10-16) for succinctly stating the unsuitability of Scott Morrison as prime minister. Devoid of ambition or action for Australia, there is little that is reasonable in the manner Morrison conducts politics; simply described, it is purely self-serving. “Controlling the narrative” is his modus operandi. “Whatever it takes” is his methodology. “Divide and rule” the consequence, confirmed by largesse accorded his supporters and the denigration of sectors such as welfare, refugees and academe. “My way or the highway” treatment is a feature of control freaks, though a vain hope to control the agenda without an agenda. As he has become increasingly sidelined in the pandemic response, no longer centrestage, Morrison is akin to a bystander whose role is non-essential, floundering for relevance. His judgements notably fall short. The “Morrison miracle” exists as an unwelcome aberration. Fortunately, Morrison has failed to make Australia in his own image. His legacy instead is a fractured country whose standard of living has been sacrificed to the altar of narcissism.
– Rod Milliken, Greenwell Point, NSW
Your editorial brings to mind “The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention” in which Professor Gillian Triggs was questioning the then minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison. The contempt with which she was treated by the minister was unforgivable and disrespectful. A leopard doesn’t change his spots.
– Vicky Marquis, Glebe, NSW
Out of the action
In any dire situation, bringing in the military has always been the final resort of a beleaguered government (Paul Bongiorno, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”, July 10-16). The appointment of Lieutenant-General John Frewen to lead the vaccine rollout is a clear signal that Scott Morrison has either run out of ideas, has lost interest, or simply doesn’t care about where Covid-19 in Australia now goes. Apart from setting up a handy scapegoat it is also recognition that the federal government has become largely irrelevant in the battle, just as it has in that other existentialist crisis, climate change. The real action has always been and continues to be directed by the state premiers aided and abetted by business leaders and the odd former prime minister. However, before he departs the field entirely, Morrison might like to consider extending the military’s remit by setting up dedicated quarantine facilities. That way he can go back to working on how to spin any successes in his own favour.
– Phil Fitzpatrick, Tumby Bay, SA
Congratulations on your cartoon on Lieutenant-General John Frewen and the vaccination rollout, or lack of it (Kudelka, July 10-16). Scott Morrison should know that having someone in a uniform in that role makes no sense. It should be a doctor and administrator. I would have paid Dr Norman Swan whatever he asked. The military is deeply compromised in this country because it has been misused to fight American wars, to reinvade the Northern Territory, and to harass and ill-treat asylum seekers. The last person to be managing vaccinations should be a soldier. The first is a doctor.
– Stephen Langford, Paddington, NSW
The argument against
I’ll bet I’m not the only reader who was bewildered after digesting Janek Drevikovsky’s fascinating article on competitive debating (“Harassment continues in university debating”, July 10-16). If Australia is by far the most successful country at the World Universities Debating Championship, and if quite a few debating luminaries become federal politicians, then why is the level of debate in our national parliament so embarrassingly feeble? If one wants a bellyful of non sequiturs, cliché and vacuous gobbledegook, just listen to ministers Hunt, Fletcher and Porter, all former debaters who now seem unable to construct a coherent thought, let alone a convincing one.
– David Clarke, Battery Point, Tas
On a theme
Dear LR, I reckon you’ve ruffled some feathers this week (Liam Runnalls, The Cryptic, July 10-16). Thanks for the 12 four-letter birds.
– Gemila Gus Burgess, Reservoir, Vic
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on July 17, 2021.
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