A coup in the party machine
Stephen Mutch’s piece (“How Scott Morrison became a tin-pot dictator”, April 9-15) on the origins and current state of the Liberal Party’s “moderate” faction should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in how our traditional parties of government really work. Doubtless there’s a similar piece to be written on the ALP and probably the Nationals. Perhaps most shocking is Mutch’s claim that the moderate faction has “morphed into a professionalised, essentially privatised operation, run by a small coterie of business lobbyists”. Is it any wonder that we see the Liberal Party not only oppose a federal ICAC but that it delivers endless policies and jobs that support the existing system and those who profit from it. In short, it looks like a protection racket. Our political system is
in serious danger.
– Colin Hesse, Marrickville, NSW
Something is rotten …
While I am sympathetic to disenfranchised Liberals such as Stephen Mutch and Catherine Cusack, the party was rotten long, long before Scott Morrison showed up on the scene. I am reminded of the classic tweet: “ ‘I never thought leopards would eat my face,’ sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party.”
– Alan Williamson, Blue Mountains, NSW
Scott Morrison had one job
In his commentary (“They know he’s a bullshitter”, April 9-15), Paul Bongiorno wrote “Morrison stopped governing months ago and has been swamping the media with taxpayer-funded ‘government’ ads that are blatantly about returning the Liberals to power”. Has Scott Morrison ever actually governed? Or has he just made ill-considered captain’s picks and browbeaten his acolytes and minions into governing for him? Morrison has certainly authorised “government” ads that in reality are bragging about the few accomplishments of his lazy, corrupt “government”.
– Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin, ACT
Death knell for Liberal Party?
John Hewson’s column last week (“Disunity is still death”, April 9-15) raises an obvious question: Could the predicted death be that of the party itself? True, Scott Morrison’s rancour-riddled leadership has rolled out the welcome mat for independent candidates, their grassroots support coming from disenfranchised Liberals. Equally true, electorates that have chosen independent representatives have tended to stick with them, and in the case of Indi, pass on the baton. Friends in that region tell me the seat has become blue-ribbon independent. Or should that be teal-ribbon independent? Momentum is everything and, should this trend sweep across the Coalition’s liberal-minded heartland, is it possible that we’ll see the kind of party rebirth Robert Menzies crafted from the ashes of the United Australia Party back in 1944? Built on integrity, fairness and public service, its members stood by these principles. That is, until it was hijacked by the current band of rent-seeking adventurers.
– John Mosig, Kew, Vic
Park Hotel’s political victims
Your editorial (“Political prisoners”, April 9-15) captures the callous cynicism of Scott Morrison’s handling of asylum seekers. His “stop the boats” policy operated in direct, open contravention of the Refugee Convention, to which Australia has been a signatory since the 1950s. Far from being any “moral vanity”, this has been ruthless populism masquerading as a xenophobic crusade to win easy votes. The claim to be saving lives by preventing drowning, while failing to offer any safer alternative, was simply hypocrisy. Morrison’s approach has shown a complete absence of compassion or of understanding that Australia, as a signatory to the Refugee Convention, must protect and support those seeking asylum from war and persecution. Releasing the Park Hotel detainees on bridging visas now does not provide them with asylum. It is a political fix before the election: these detainees remain in legal limbo and wholly subject to the whims of the Immigration minister.
– Chris Young, Surrey Hills, Vic
In hot water
Let us hope that our ingenious scientists succeed in finding and protecting special “climate refugiums” in which some marine life may survive global warming until humans stabilise the climate again (Richard A. Lovett, “Seeking refuge”, April 9-15). However, it is obvious that every country must co-operate with that global action for it to succeed. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warns it is now or never for climate action and it must become central
in every society. Australia especially must show how we can do that in our imminent federal election.
– Barbara Fraser, Burwood, Vic
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on April 16, 2022.
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