Letters to
the editor

Victim of its ‘success’

It is heartening to read of the growing irrelevance of right-wing think tanks, particularly the IPA (Mike Seccombe, “Exclusive: IPA has lost all funding from ASX 100”, October 1-7). This is quite the reversal of fortune. It seems like yesterday that the Abbott government was falling over itself to implement the IPA’s agenda, a 75-item wish list of “radical ideas to transform Australia”, including such gems as repealing the “carbon tax”. But with the neoliberal economic experiment having been fully administered, the great pity is that the IPA finds itself a victim of its own success. 

– David Lisle, Mullumbimby, NSW

Rightly at risk

John Roskam has some very concerning ideas regarding progressive thinking. He appears to be so far to the right that he would indeed be at risk of toppling over. It’s no wonder his precious IPA – whose “cultural issues” include climate denialism – is losing popularity. Moderately intelligent Australians prefer the truth, not absurd critics challenging scientists. Time to bugger off, John, and take your cronies with you.

– Carol Erskine, Lismore Heights, NSW 

Damaging thoughts

All hail the death of the IPA. Its apparent demise could not come soon enough. IPA “thought” did all it could to destroy the moral fabric of Australian society. It tore down the very idea of a fair go and ushered in Australia’s pariah status on the world stage, a broken moral compass on human rights abuse. The IPA fomented an unabashed lack of integrity, horrendous refugee policy, climate inaction, disgraceful persecution of First Nations people, social injustice and a misogynistic view of women’s rights. Economic and fiscal policies saw it squander Australia’s wealth over the past 30 years, a future vision forfeited in favour of an endless party for all its mates, and now Australia will suffer the consequence of these decades of financial mismanagement from a clueless treasury, a rudder-less Reserve Bank and too much debt for all the wrong reasons. Having created ever greater wealth disparity through its policies and done much to destroy effective government services, the timing couldn’t be better for John Roskam to shut the door on what’s left of the IPA and, in doing so, shut down the influence of Murdoch and Rinehart on our system of government and the soul of our nation.

– Ian Ossher, Dover Heights, NSW

True independence

Bridget Archer’s decision to support integrity before her own political duties is a tonic for those who feel that altruism is too big an ask for our times (Karen Middleton, “Exclusive: Archer prepared to quit Liberals over integrity bill”, October 1-7). Seeing the proposed integrity commission seemingly being throttled pre-partum by the pollies delivering it is heart-stopping in itself. Remember that a fundamental principle of justice is that no one may be judge in his/her own case, along with the fact that the unborn commission will be subject in its creation to a highly authoritarian and vertical political power culture that has commonly placed the political interests of its members above those of the general population. Neither of our dominant parties are renowned for their unbending devotion to abstractions, such as honesty. I don’t know how you can create a truly independent integrity body at the top of society, but confining it to people without obvious and compelling conflicts of interest would be a more promising start.

– John Hayward, Weegena, Tas 

Without regrets

It is beyond belief that Peter Dutton could claim to have a softer side (Editorial, “Peter patter”, October 1-7). He has responsibility for the atrocity that was offshore detention during his periods as Immigration and Home Affairs minister. During this time people died, were raped, went mad and developed chronic illnesses. For many years on Manus Island there was no dentistry and the principal medicine was Panadol, even for broken bones. Reasonable requests for medical help were denied. People were fed maggoty and rotten food. He has never expressed the slightest regret for this most shameful chapter in Australian history. Not one act of compassion was allowed. His wife may want to believe she did not marry a monster but a reasonable assessment would call this wishful thinking.

– Di Cousens, Upwey, 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 October 8, 2022.

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