Too gruesome to conceal
Karen Middleton’s scathing analysis of Scott Morrison’s character and modus operandi (“The naked emperor”, August 27–September 2) raises the question again of how such a person was able to rise with relative impunity to the top job. An important answer lies in the abject failure of the mainstream media. The Saturday Paper, among a few others, has consistently held elected representatives accountable. Despite this, and a few other dissenting voices, Australia labours under a media that actively supports conservative politics and is captured by vested interests. Kept ignorant of disgraceful, questionable and corrupt dealings, people were persuaded for almost a decade to vote for a party and then a man so utterly unsuited to leadership. It has taken the unassailable weight of behaviour too gruesome to conceal to defeat them. Good policy has been abandoned and the country has suffered terribly. We urgently need an investigation into how our democracy for so long has been subverted with the servile assistance of the majority of the media.
– Alison Stewart, Riverview, NSW
Lack of accountability
Karen Middleton says we shouldn’t be surprised about Morrison’s power grab of several ministerial portfolios. This post-election revelation was a new low for Morrison and, in the long-term, the downhill trend in MP integrity surprised no one. The Australian electorate had already made integrity an election issue. What is a surprise, however, is that there has been little condemnation of Morrison’s multiple ministries from Coalition MPs. Their acquiescence can be explained by three years of entanglement in integrity issues covering sports and car park rorts, sandbagging of political power, decline in the public service and preselection interference. They collectively contributed to a rotten government and exposed the lack of accountability in current parliamentary practices. Without reform our democracy is at stake.
– David Wilson, Newport, Qld
Rick Morton’s essay on the crisis in our health system infrastructure (“Critical conditions”, August 27–September 2) hit very close to home for us. My parents, aged 88 and 90, were admitted to hospital in early June suffering heart conditions and other age-related conditions. They received acute care for a few weeks and were then sent to an aged-care hospital to await nursing home placement, with no availability until August. Their facility was in Covid lockdown most days. Mum contracted Covid and was sent back to the main hospital where she passed away on July 22. Dad remained locked down in the aged-care hospital sharing a room with a positive Covid-19 patient who was unable to be isolated due to “bed block”. We were quietly advised by a hospital social worker that Dad would be better off out of there. Grieving and frightened, we took him home where he is praying to not have to go back into a hospital he describes as a “hellhole”. All Australians deserve better treatment than this and we are grateful to the under-resourced and overworked hospital staff, who also deserve better.
– Sue Dellit, Austinmer, NSW
As you say, “Morrison has moved through Australia’s political system like barium sulphate” (Editorial, “When the Hurley burly’s done”, August 27–September 2). He has also given most Australians, even his Liberal colleagues, loose bowels. While no laws may have been broken by his secret self-appointment into multiple ministries, for many it was yet another example of Morrison’s operational style. Former Liberal minister for Tourism Fran Bailey this week said Morrison was sacked as managing director of Tourism Australia because he refused to disclose how ad agency Saatchi was chosen. Then the theme was “Where the bloody hell are you?” Now it’s “Why the bloody hell are you still here?”
– Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Vic
The John Hewson article “Meshuffling deckchairs” (August 27–September 2) hit the nail on the head about the role of media in a democracy and how the media is not performing its role. This sounds like a mirror of the previous government. Bring on Crikey versus Murdoch. It might provide sufficient impetus and debate for the government to sort out the structure and behaviour of media in Australia. This would provide a more solid base for the major instruments of our democracy to survive, as others fall apart.
– Trevor Pratt, Eaglemont, Vic
John Kudelka’s cartoon (August 27–September 2) slyly captures the Achilles heel of Anthony Albanese. While he and his party are currently riding high in the opinion polls, there is growing alarm at Labor’s rash endorsement of new fossil fuel developments that will add mightily to our all-scope greenhouse emissions. Drought and floods not seen since the end of the Younger Dryas climate period are far worse than predicted and will only become far more devastating in the coming decades unless we act far more responsibly now. Albanese and Madeleine King appear to have been captured by fossil fuel interests and lulled by deceitful self-serving blandishments about offsets and carbon capture. It is a cruel blow to the solar plexus for those who voted for Labor, the Greens and teals, who expected more respect for science from the new administration.
– Peter Barry, Marysville, Vic
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on September 3, 2022.
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