Letters to
the editor

Morrison’s sole focus

Geoff Kitney offers an excellent summation of Scott Morrison’s many leadership failures, which have imperilled our lives, widened inequality, normalised corruption, favouritism and extreme libertarian ideology, and diminished our country’s reputation (“Scott Morrison redraws the rules of the pandemic”, January 8-14). No wonder panicking Australians have lost faith in government. Incompetent, inept, but harbouring a vaulting ambition, Morrison simply could not care less about actually governing. He devotes himself solely to persuading voters to return him to power. His main strategies include indulging and enabling allies and squirrelling away taxpayer money for pre-election pork-barrelling. His other important strategy is as publicity stuntman, accompanied by his photographer, bowling cricket balls, fondling barramundi, rustling up curries, engaging in mateship rituals and always spinning the facts to benefit himself. A prime minister who cares only for his career is a dangerous beast, with little concern for those his behaviour affects.

– Alison Stewart, Riverview, NSW

The life of Mehdi Ali

How many more Christmases and new years must Mehdi Ali (“A life on fire”, January 8-14) be forced to watch as life passes him by? Our government refuses to grant those who reach our shores and are assessed as refugees the right to resettle here. The Saturday Paper, through enabling asylum seekers and refugees to tell their stories, has continued to be a strong voice for those who have lost their autonomy under a cruel regime. At the same time we are robbed of the contribution such people would make to this country. But after so many years and so much inflammatory rhetoric, how do we convince fellow Australians that people such as Mehdi Ali, who have been forced to flee their homes, are not a threat because they came by boat? Will the media focus on the detention of a champion tennis player in the same hotel be the impetus for us to look again at those held there for much longer?

– Genevieve Caffery, Greenslopes, Qld

Human rights ignored

Thank you, Mehdi Ali, for sharing the pain of your incarceration. You appear to be foregrounding two fundamental issues – your indefinite detention, and the conditions of your detention. You may not be aware that Australia constantly struts the world stage to pronounce its human rights credentials. In 1948, it was indeed a foundation signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In light of your current condition, how hollow do such internationalist gestures ring? Sadly, Mehdi Ali, until we can have a decision-maker or politician front the International Criminal Court in The Hague, your plight will not be easily resolved. Rest assured, there are Australians feeling your pain.

– Peter Doelle, Mount Gambier, SA

Omicron and policy failures

Thank you, Chris Wallace, for highlighting the vulgarity displayed by the prime minister and the New South Wales premier in the current Covid-19 crisis (“Laissez-faire to middling”, January 8-14). For each to think that playing Russian roulette with people’s lives was good policy to manage the Omicron variant beggars belief. The incompetence of both ideology-driven governments has transformed a well-managed public health problem into a catastrophe. Perhaps a more suitable heading would have been “Laissez-farce to muddling”.

– Meg Pickup, Ballina, NSW

Not all men

Max Opray’s piece “Man and his petrols” (January 8-14) contains tired and sexist stereotypes reinforcing the fashionable narrative that paints all men as responsible for every evil of the world. Professor Bob Pease notes that “masculinity is about a sense of invulnerability and a capacity to control”. Controlling behaviour and invulnerability are human qualities, not male-only qualities. Have you never known a woman who attempts to or is able to control a person or situation to suit herself? Have you never known a woman who is hard, tough or stoic and who hides her vulnerability? Ryan Alexander of No Meat May goes on to tell us all men need to be encouraged to have a “concern for nature ... based on taking care of the planet and others around you”. To suggest all men are incapable of concern and care for the environment or others is untrue. Have you never known a loving father, husband, brother or male friend? I hear humans talk in glowing terms about such relationships all the time. I know men who forgo vehicle ownership out of environmental concerns, who cycle, use public transport and take trains instead of flying. I know men who clean their houses with vinegar and bicarb soda and repair green shopping bags for reuse. I know men who collect the rubbish of others. When one uses the general term “men”, to which of the four billion of us are they referring? We know language matters. Tarnishing all men with lazy and sloppy scholarship does humanity a disservice and perpetuates the popular notion of all men as the whipping boys du jour.

– David Andrew, Paddington, NSW

History will decide

Many articles in The Saturday Paper criticise Prime Minister Morrison (August 25, 2018–present). I think this is totally unfounded. History will put him up there with great leaders of the past. Internationally, Neville Chamberlain and Richard Nixon and, locally, William McMahon and Billy Snedden.

– Peter Pike, St Georges Basin, NSW

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 Jan 15, 2022.

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