Letters to
the editor

Independents and social change

Tony Windsor nails the problem perfectly (“Rorters, rooters and the country’s lost decade”, April 23-29). There is a culture of greed pervading the groups that are doing nicely. Determined to keep their privileges, their franking credits, the low wages paid to employees, their housing investments, they ignore those people who struggle to pay rent, buy food and keep their children in decent shoes. There is hope with the independent candidates. If they gain some power, we might see a federal ICAC with teeth, aged care with decent food, affordable or free childcare, government schools with adequate funding, real climate change policies, funding for scientific research. Is this too much to ask? Forget the ocean cruises, let’s get rid of poverty.

– Gael Barrett, North Balwyn, Vic

Reading between Clive’s lines

I know that Clive Palmer’s ads are not directed at readers of The Saturday Paper but I totally disagree with the quote from a Labor MP that “his messaging is spot on” (Rick Morton, “I write all the ads personally ... it’s easier for me”, April 23-29). Those ads quoting Barnaby Joyce and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells may well damage the Coalition but it would be surprising if many people even read the full-page ads signed by Craig Kelly with their criticisms of the other parties. Anyone who actually believes Kelly will be our next prime minister should be in an asylum.

– Peter Nash, Fairlight, NSW

Feds should act on child detention

“Failing the children” (Esther Linder, April 23-29) is timely. John B. Lawrence asserts that the present practices in youth detention in the Northern Territory would not happen to white children. This, tragically, says it all. The federal government should exercise its legislative sovereignty over the territory to ensure that the recommendations it accepted from the 2016 Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory are acted on urgently. What are they waiting for?

– Margot J. Giblin, Battery Point, Tas

An integrity-free zone

The government’s misrepresentation of independent research to demonise Labor’s proposed shift to renewables (Mike Seccombe, “Claiming costs”, April 23-29) highlights a fundamental absence of integrity. We must transition urgently from fossil fuels to renewable energy. To make this transition we need a government whose actions are manifestly directed to achieving this end, and whose words we can trust. Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor have failed, yet again, to meet either of these expectations. In a democracy we entrust our representatives to act in good faith to promote our best interests. This trust has been trashed by this government over the past nine years; it must be rebuilt. We urgently need an effective federal ICAC, and much stronger truth in political advertising rules. Without these our democracy will descend into a battle for domination among the richest and best connected – another Hunger Games.

– Chris Young, Surrey Hills, Vic

Labor team steps up

Gotcha moments, remembered for much longer than they deserve to be, denigrate political discourse. John Hewson regrets the journalistic questions posed by often inexperienced media buddies of one side of politics to wedge the leader on the other (“Economical with the truth”, April 23-29). Gotcha politicians rely on the “gaffe” being written and talked about for the duration. Hewson points to the example of the economic figures on employment and cash rate asked of Anthony Albanese in week one of the campaign. Having made it all about leadership, there is little realisation by our hubris-stoked government politicians of what a leader actually is. She or he is the person with the vision, leading a team and relying on the member with the relevant shadow portfolio, such as Katy Gallagher. The Labor leader must be comforted in his week of isolation to know that the experienced team he leads is there, answering the questions.

– Joanna Jaaniste, Lilyfield, NSW

Diplomacy and our China plates

The editorial (“Pacific demands”, April 23-29) reviewing the Solomons crisis hit the bullseye in concluding the Morrison government has done more to put the country in the line of war than any other in this country’s history. Given the AUKUS agreement and America’s trade war, China has every reason to act defensively and diplomatically in the Pacific. By contrast, on Anzac Day Peter Dutton’s response to the crisis was “the only way that you can preserve peace is to prepare for war”. Such language fits well with our US alliance, a country that has continually waged war for the past two decades, whereas China has fought one war in the past 50 years. A more diplomatic approach in relation to China could involve restoring ABC funding for its voice to the Pacific and using the new Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership for collective Pacific diplomacy. And Dutton could simply stop acting like a bull in a China shop.

– David Wilson, Newport, Qld

The Week rules

My Saturday Paper go-to page is without doubt The Week. The satirical comments are razor-sharp and extremely witty. The last issue’s gem was the postscript to Albo’s Covid-19 self-isolation; that it would have really helped his campaign if it had been enforced a fortnight earlier. It was a genuine LOL read.
– John Mosig, Kew, 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 April 30, 2022.

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