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Rick Morton’s analysis of federal political and public divisions is thought-provoking (Rick Morton, “The political forces inside the anti-lockdown movement”, July 31–August 6). He cites examples such as George Christensen urging anti-lockdown civil disobedience, and contrasting interest in reviving the Liberal Democrats party. My own additional concern is that the Morrison government’s Covid-19 mess plus minimal climate and environmental action is setting a defiant example that is encouraging the disobedience. So let’s hope the election campaign will produce alternative leadership that is visionary, principled, positive and popular.

– Barbara Fraser, Burwood, Vic

PM doesn’t understand the reality

An article that is long overdue (Karen Middleton, “Vaccine bottleneck”, July 31–August 6). Of course, home care is a misnomer. It is not homes that are being cared for but the persons who live in them and are often locked down in them. I have been trying for more than 18 months to get someone, anyone, to understand the complexities of it all ever since one of my carers was trapped in Bali early in the pandemic. I tried to take up the banner again when another of my carers was in isolation for 14 days because her partner was a direct contact of someone infected with the Delta variant. I have four personal care services each week with each service provided by a different carer. If any one of those is unable to work a particular shift, then another carer fills in. That is up to eight essential workers in and out of my home each month. My service provider does not facilitate the vaccination of its employees, and at this stage not one of my carers is fully vaccinated. They work full-time out in the community and they are required to organise their own vaccinations. Those of us who are immunocompromised are at greatest risk. I listen to each new happy-chappy announcement the prime minister makes with increasing despair. He does not understand how the real care systems that underpin Australian society operate. It would be useful if the National Covid Vaccine Taskforce could identify the multitude of health and wellbeing programs that holds us all together, and give the prime minister a few lessons in logistics. A crash course in leadership would be useful, too.

– Lesley Carbery, Cobbitty, NSW

The selfish country

The most important sentence in John Hewson’s article (“Why Scott Morrison can’t tell the truth”, July 31–August 6) is “Morrison’s sole focus is to win the next election”. Morrison does not care whether ordinary people are vaccinated or whether residents in commercially run aged-care homes and their carers are vaccinated and properly looked after. If the people more likely to vote for him are assured of tax cuts, franking credits and outrageous rises in the values of their properties as well as greater expenditure on private schools, all will be well. The unemployed or casually employed, those on Centrelink benefits, the homeless and those who will never own a home can be ignored. The contradictions, obfuscations and total lack of coherent policy can be glossed over. Selfishness and lack of care for others is the new norm. Poor fellow my country.

– Gael Barrett, North Balwyn, Vic

End cruelty to refugees

Starkly revealed in the anguish of the refugee in the Melbourne Park Hotel is an often ignored outcome of our refugee policies (Sarah Price, “A family living in fear”, July 31–August 6). He has no power to help his threatened family from whom he has been separated for eight years and who now live in a Taliban-resurgent Afghanistan. For decades the representations from voices such as the UNHCR and human rights agencies right down to the efforts of many petition-signers to change policy and practice have yielded painfully slow concessions that are replaced by ever harsher measures once the alleged threat to our borders reoccurs. How do we call a lasting halt to the merciless cruelty of our treatment of those who come here by boat?

– Genevieve Caffery, Greenslopes, Qld

Labor must have something to offer

Labor’s new-found preference for pragmatism over purity, as outlined by Paul Bongiorno (“Don’t blame me, it’s the other bloke’s fault”, July 31–August 6), needs to look beyond supporting the government’s tax cuts. Labor can only justify abandoning its principles if it has something better to offer. It must go further than merely trading on the Coalition’s failings in regard to the pandemic and deal with areas such as environmental and resources policy, aged-care reform, proper funding of the NDIS, enacting an integrity commission, for instance. More than enough ammunition there to shred the Coalition’s sails and sink its empty vessel.

– Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale, Vic

Plain language appreciated

Many thanks for Manuela Callari’s clear, concise explanation of the development and functioning of mRNA vaccines (“Lipid service”, July 31–August 6). Although it is nigh on impossible to persuade the Covid sceptics of the reality of the pandemic and the safety of these newly developed mRNA vaccines, having the science explained in layman’s terms is very helpful in educating the public about the importance and potential of this scientific advance in fighting future disease-causing viruses. I look forward to The Saturday Paper publishing more articles of this kind.

– Joy Ringrose, Pomona, Qld

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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 August 7, 2021.

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