Letters to
the editor

The word of Scott Morrison

Mike Seccombe’s insightful piece about the Liberals’ destructive New South Wales factionalism offers a distillation of Scott Morrison’s character, illustrating why he should never have been prime minister (“Has Scott Morrison lost control of his party?”, December 11-17). This is a man who thrives on division and is utterly incapable of compromise. He craves power and will achieve it by any means. This is why his term has yielded no policy that benefits Australians because doing nothing, telling the punters what polling tells him to say, and focusing solely on power for power’s sake has been his highly successful modus operandi. So far. This is someone who has such faith in himself he believes God speaks to him through eagles and his hands are tools of healing to be laid on at will. There is no part of Morrison’s self-assessment that accepts the people’s democratic will over his own divine right to rule. There is no humility, no compassion, no gentleness in him and nothing he will not do to secure his own dominant position.

– Alison Stewart, Riverview, NSW

Towards a government of integrity

Tony Windsor provides articulate detail of the forces stacked against electoral success for the independents and advice on how to proceed (“A letter to future independents”, December 11-17). Windsor’s detail of the power and dodgy tactics impending against them should make us all ask why we have endured this for so long. It is the subliminal question driving the independents and should not be underestimated in additional postscript advice to them. The tipping point of the question concerns issues of integrity, climate and misogyny but really it is integrity. A government of integrity would have a valid and viable climate change policy. A government of integrity would have in place practice and policy against misogyny. Integrity is clearly the heart of democracy. Integrity is the paramount electoral issue affecting all others and is the postscript to the independents.

– David Wilson, Newport, Qld

Tim Wilson’s argument

I’m glad The Saturday Paper printed Tim Wilson’s letter (“Wilson’s credentials on climate change”, December 11-17), because it eloquently demonstrated why this government is incapable of addressing climate change. Wilson is a “qualified carbon accountant”, which means he can fudge the figures to prove Australia is meeting its carbon emissions targets in a canter even while those emissions are rising. He claims Australia doesn’t need an independent climate change commission because we already have the Climate Change Authority – the body he once wanted to abolish. Wilson claims “technological innovation and deployment” is the best way to address global heating, but his government has eviscerated Australia’s scientific and technical research capacity. He puts forward the usual canard about Labor’s “economy-wrecking tax” – the levy that succeeded in reducing emissions and had negligible impact on the economy. Wilson claims he has “taken the challenge of global climate change seriously”. He must be joking.

– David Clarke, Battery Point, Tas

An ideological lens

It was terrific to be told by Tim Wilson of his climate qualifications and that he takes “the challenge of global climate change seriously”. However, his use of inflammatory language such as “subversion and treason” and “economy-wrecking tax” when discussing climate policy suggests his Institute of Public Affairs mindset still dominates his thinking. If Wilson is so well informed, he would know that the OECD’s Effective Carbon Rates 2021 report concluded, “Carbon pricing is a very effective decarbonisation policy. Countries with higher carbon pricing scores … can strongly reduce emissions and move towards a greener growth path.” Qualifications are one thing, but radical neoliberal ideology is another.

– Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Vic

Thanks on the Pell diaries

I was pleasantly surprised to find the article by Peter Craven in the latest edition (“The prison diaries of Cardinal George Pell”, December 11-17). It was an interesting read, and not an article I expected to find in The Saturday Paper, which has seemed to only publish opinions or news that is critical of organised religion. So thanks and keep up the good work.

– David Kilmartin, Panorama, SA

What was Peter Craven’s point?

What is the point of Peter Craven’s article on George Pell’s journals? It offers neither a critical review of the diaries nor an examination of the circumstances in which they came to be written and published. The heavy quoting of the diaries does not, as I had initially hoped, reveal with irony the self-deceptions of the powerful, or the self-serving morality of our religious leaders, particularly those of the “political and religious right”. The piece reads instead as a defence of Pell’s character: he is “extraordinarily tough” and “tough-minded”, “impressive and patently sincere”. Are hagiographies really all that may be published to avoid accusations of media bias?

– Ainslee Meredith, North Melbourne, Vic

US misrepresents on human rights

White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s claim that defending human rights was “in the DNA of Americans” (Jonathan Pearlman, “US diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 escalates friction”, December 11-17) is hollow and deliberately ignores an abysmal record.

– Carmelo Bazzano, Epping, Vic

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 December 18, 2021.

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