Weighing up the national interest against the Nationals’ interests

With the Nats being so recalcitrant, surely it is possible to call for a conscience vote on achieving net zero emissions by 2050? With Labor and the Greens already in support and the Liberals just wanting to get on, it would be a great opportunity for our MPs to directly represent their constituents. – Glenys Quirk, Forster

This policy paralysis in the face of a looming disaster is indicative of how distant the Nationals have become from their traditional grassroots supporters and how desperate they are to cling onto power at any cost. – Simon Wright, Orange

It is time for Morrison to call Joyce’s bluff and go with a genuine emissions reduction policy. As neither party can govern on its own, let’s see who blinks first. – William Roberts, Randwick

Couldn’t Mr Morrison just ask Mr Murdoch to give Mr Joyce a call? – Peter Bourke, Rockdale

Ross Butler (Letters, October 18) makes excellent points about the recent leadership shown by the states in comparison with the lack of action shown by our federal government. However, the scandalous incompetence of our federal government does not mean our federal system is to blame. It simply means that this particular federal government – Scott Morrison’s B-team of lazy relaxers (“I don’t hold a hose, mate”); re-treads (McKenzie, Ley, Joyce); rorters (McKenzie again); and reactionaries (Christensen, Canavan) – is not up to the job of leading our nation into the future. – Pam Timms, Suffolk Park

The Nationals’ deputy leader, David Littleproud, says his party will take its time to “get it right” in relation to emissions reduction. Yet on the same page it’s reported that mango growers are producing less due to changing weather (“Fruit farmers weather the destructive force of climate change”, October 18). The Nationals are incapable of “getting it right”. – John Cotterill, Kingsgrove

I support the NSW plan for VAD for individuals; I do not support the Nationals’ VAD plan for the planet. – Vijay Randev, Stanwell Park

Perhaps the solution is net zero Nationals. – Pat Casey, Lawson

Time is over for political donations buying favour

Michael Yabsley knows what he is talking about (“Liberal veteran attacks ‘insidious’ fundraising”, October 18) and we can all be grateful to him for his leadership on this issue. It’s no exaggeration to say this is seriously weakening our democracy. Major donors can and do skew the system, often in the face of expert evidence, to force political outcomes that defy understanding. Think coal.
Yabsley’s warning should be heeded and his leadership widely supported. – Glenda Gartrell, Waverton

(“I’ve raised millions for the Liberals, but donation rules must change”, October 18) Now he tells us. – Chris Edye, Pymble

Thank you, Michael Yabsley, for pointing out the bleeding obvious. The chances of an opinion piece, even by an insider of the system, changing current political practice is zero (even by 2050). Until one of the major parties, openly and honestly, goes to an election with a policy that sorts this out once and for all, it will persist. The party that actually does this may be surprised by the support received at the ballot box. – Neil Buchanan, Waitara

The protocols around political donations need a total overhaul. However, perhaps a bigger danger to the integrity of our democracy than direct donations to political parties is the fact that individuals such as Clive Palmer are allowed to spend unlimited amounts on advertising that can be often misleading. There is little doubt that Palmer’s enormous spend on attack adverts was a major contributor to the Coalition wining the 2019 federal election. – Alan Morris, Eastlakes

Yabsley hits it on the head. The monies raised this way should be made illegal. If I gave someone a million dollars, then I’d expect a favour back. Our political system shouldn’t be influenced by individuals or companies. Taxpayer-funded elections for the major parties, capped at $5 million, are all that it should take for a party to convince us why it should be in control of government. – Peter Miley, Chatswood

The fattest poachers only ever turn gamekeeper when the holes in the fence are getting too small to squeeze through. Are party bag men finding the ICAC diet a bit too stringent these days? – Jack Robertson, Birchgrove

Sandy Killick writes that “voters are growing ever more intolerant of elected parliamentarians using public money for political ends”. We are shouting, stamping our feet, gnashing our teeth; we want it to stop (“Integrity in public life: Not too much to ask”, October 18). Saying “everyone does it” is laughable. NSW is lucky to have an Independent Commission Against Corruption that investigates such matters. The time for pork barrelling is over. – Bea Hodgson, Gerringong

Jab well done, by most of us

Well done, people of NSW. Congratulations to the 92 per cent of the eligible population who have achieved a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the more than 80 per cent getting a double dose. It would be marvellous if every single-dosed person would get their second dose, and we could encourage more of the hesitant to get a shot. – Ian Falconer, Turramurra

Why is it that the unvaccinated will soon be able to mingle with the vaccinated? Why did the 80 per cent of us do the right thing and now see the 20 per cent who did not be rewarded with entry to venues from December 1? Those who remain unvaccinated have done so by putting their rights ahead of the greater community’s health and safety. It is simply not fair that so many sacrifices have been made by so many who must now sit by and watch the spike that is sure to come due to the selfishness of others. – John Partridge, Balgowlah Heights

We can now rejoice and plan happily at the end of months of tough lockdowns because of COVID-19. But there is no rejoicing for those who have lost loved ones or others who tragically lost their lives because of this pandemic. – Mary Julian, Glebe

Alicia Dawson (Letters, October 18), the peace you enjoyed was the peace I endured. It ensured I could not see my son, daughter-in-law and young grandchildren in Berlin. The sound of silence was deafening. – Helen Atkins, Hamilton South

Live and let die

Mark Porter (Letters, October 18) makes a quasi religious/philosophical argument based on the intrinsic value of human life to oppose voluntary assisted dying. While he may find reassurance in this line of theoretical reasoning, those in terminal distress probably will not. – Peter Taylor, Berkeley Vale

Mark Porter invoked the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”, which reminded me of the poem of Arthur Hugh Clough, which suggests: “Thou shalt not kill; but need’st not strive officiously to keep alive.” –Derrick Mason, Boorowa

I’ve had a boatful

We have a country crying out for skilled workers, yet we continue to lock up thousands of asylum seekers, both offshore in PNG and Nauru, and onshore in detention centres and under house detention (“A life in limbo: This family fled the Taliban but – still – they are not free”, October 18). These women are denied the right to work and barred from studying by our shameful immigration policy, which is about to get worse if legislation is passed this week. In the past, thousands of asylum seekers have been welcomed into our communities and have been great contributors to our society. Where did we go wrong? Why can’t our leaders solve the problem and give jobs to those now denied work? Is there any shred of compassion left? – Doug Hewitt, Hamilton

After reading of the three women who fled the Taliban, I have to ask what is it with our government’s obsession with refugees arriving by boat? How else are they supposed to flee persecution? Train? – Patrick McMahon, Paddington

Get it? I did!

I still shake my head in disbelief thinking of the ironic statement made by an ABC television newsreader one evening quite recently when she said the words: “Australia’s much loved iconic koala is facing extinction”. Enough said, don’t you think (Letters, October 18)? – Paul Wachter, Elanora Heights

Trading places

Let me try to understand this. China sees Australia as America’s “lap dog” and pulls out of trade deals with Australia. Then America moves in and picks up some of those deals with China that Australia lost. America enters into a deal with Australia to get US nuclear-powered submarines, scrapping the deal we had with France. Now France is upset and this could damage our attempts to get some of the trade deals with Europe that we lost with China. You have to admire the Americans. Their alliance with Australia has got them new trade deals with China and a major subs agreement with Australia. Clever marketing. And what does Australia have? A promise of something in 20 years’ time while it flounders, trying to rebuild exports. – Ray Moore, Castle Hill

Under the gaze

Careful monitoring of children returning to classes after lockdown is essential (“School’s back and even the eager kids can be scared”, October 18). However, we must not ignore the emotional and physical stress being experienced by young people, who may have only briefly been in their job, being ordered back to the office. They now have the stress of travel times, early rising and being under the physical scrutiny of their superiors. Their dress and demeanour is constantly appraised, every utterance is dissected for hidden meanings and this is all done unconsciously by those above them, who are experiencing the same stresses of being back in a structured environment. Are any companies mindful of these issues and working towards smoothing the return to “working normally”? – Marjie Williamson, Blaxland

Rules of the day

Raelene Boyle and others deserve their gold medals retrospectively (“Boyle railing for retrospective gold like swimmers”, October 18). But those won by an athlete who did not break rules at the time (testosterone was not banned in 1972) and/or knowingly take a performance-enhancing substance, thus was victim of circumstances, should not have theirs taken away. – Jenny Greenwood, Hunters Hill

The multitude of us

Santilla Chingaipe’s statement – “These aren’t African-Australian stories; these are Australian stories” – about Australia’s African roots, reflects the conundrum facing those whose ancestors are from minority groups (“The Guide: Our African roots”, October 18). To try to gain some traction in the perception of themselves as Australians in the public domain, their ethnicity is invariably mentioned. – Thiam Ang, Beecroft

Pregnant pause?

Good to see Premier Dominic Perrottet is doing his bit to reduce unemployment (“Premier’s wife is pregnant with couple’s seventh child”, smh.com.au, October 18). They’ll be needing more home help, I presume. – Pam Fichtner, Dunbogan

It is exciting news that Mr and Mrs Perrottet are expecting their seventh child. With the added burden of household duties that I am sure Mr Perrottet will take part in, will he also have enough time to run NSW? – Ted Richards, Batemans Bay

I was “encouraged” to quit my hospital appointment after I had my second child. I doubt that Mr Perrottet will regard a seventh child as reason to stand down. He will probably find time to keep up his running as well. – Dr Carolyn Quadrio, Randwick

Quizzical looks

Yesterday’s nine-letter word was “deflector” (“Puzzles”, October 18). Quite topical, as it describes a person who tries to deflect the blame for wrongdoings from themselves. Examples might include: “I don’t hold a hose.” – Evan Bailey, Glebe

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
“Dan Tehan opens door for UK workers to fill pandemic hole”
From Catherine Miller: “There are hundreds of thousands of Afghans desperate to move to a safe place. I’m sure there are many skilled workers there; why are we not considering them first?”

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