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‘All completely disturbing’: Readers respond to Julia Banks’ Canberra boys’ club claims

KEEPITREAL: “Thank you Julia for this honest account and for staying true to yourself through all of this. How much better would Australia be if there were more people like you in politics.”

Gruffydd: “All completely disturbing, also a bit disturbing that it only seems that after MPs leave and want to write a book or do an interview or get publicity that they want to make a stand rather than when they are an MP.”

Julia: “Am even more disturbed at the state of politics and sexism in Australia now. Canberra sounds like my workplace in the ’80s. Will try and not get too depressed and focus on the inspiring strength of Julia Banks. ”

StBob: “Why not name names, particularly of sexual predators? If they tried it then with Julia Banks how many times must they have done it since then?”

Laurie: “Particularly the one that touched your thigh Julia. We’ll make sure he’s not re-elected. How could such a man remain in Parliament?”

USA v China, who would win?

As part of The Age and the Herald’s ‘superpower’ series on China and the United States’ struggle for world domination, the article ‘If the US went to war with China, who would win? It depends how it starts’ examined what would occur if China tried to attack Taiwan. Reader views were mixed on the chances of such a war ever being waged – and who would win if there was. But there was agreement that it would be a war like no other seen before. Some readers shuddered at the prospect, clear on their verdict: “As with any war, nobody wins.”

China-US superpower showdown: military strength.

China-US superpower showdown: military strength. Credit:Matthew Absalom-Wong

Havelock Road: “The penultimate paragraph is significant. In addition to the countries mentioned there is little doubt that the significant military arsenals of the EU, UK et al would be a factor on the US side. The CCP’s vassal states would not be able to, and would be reluctant to, contribute anything of significance.”

il gattopardo: “We all pray such a war never occurs, but should it do so, China would surely win. The US might have superior weaponry, but the Chinese have got the numbers and more on ground grit! Plus they’d be closer to their home soil, always an advantage.”

41 Mclaren: “China would surely lose, likely not only lose the war but likely lose the people. Taiwan would be fighting for their lives they probably already have only one scenario a very long drawn out insurgency campaign. Vietnam war (and perhaps Myanmar now) for example shows that fighting for your life is a very powerful motivator.”

Calis: “China would know very well the costs of taking Taiwan by force. Therefore, it is going to be their very last resort. So all should be fine as long as the DPP is not foolish enough to think they have the whole world’s support to declare independence. Many countries still remember the Korean War and how it ended; few would want to participate in a war against China today because that is going to put their own country at huge risk.”

MotorMouth: “The US has a network of allies, it won’t take on China alone. Australia, for example, would hopefully be in before the US even had time to ask. OTOH, China has very few friends it can count on in time of war, having got pretty much every developed country offside at some point or other. That makes the real question ‘could China stand against the world?’ and the answer to that is a very clear and obvious ‘no’.”

Easy: “I’m a huge critic of China and have been for some time but I don’t like articles like this, it’s warmongering. A war with China probably won’t look like this in any case, it will be a cyber and an economic war – it’s already started and we ain’t winning.”

Distopia: “A war between China and the US will last days. At the end there will be nothing left. Australia will be wiped out in 20 mins. Don’t even countenance a conventional or localised war.”

Mal: “There are no winners! Australia’s trade is already suffering from Morrison’s macho approach when we have little or no capacity to influence the outcome, but a great capacity to suffer if drawn into war at any level.”

Be Real: “The wars we are having now are tariff wars and cyber wars and most people know in this inherently entwined global economy that these are the only real weapons left. Imagine for a moment, if you can, the state of the Chinese economy once the whole Western world stops buying from them as a result of hostilities against Taiwan. Xi knows he would be heading for the Exit door if that happened.”

Tim BAN ALL DONORS: “Nobody wins, both nations would be crippled. And if it goes nuclear then the entire world loses.”

Back to the Paddle: “In truth nobody wins, just far too many innocent people killed or maimed in order to stroke some misguided egos.”

Are Sydneysiders behaving like teens?

Greater Sydney is in lockdown, however writer and musician Penny Flanagan laments the city’s seemingly relaxed approach, noting crowded shops and outdoors spaces. In her opinion article, ‘Sydneysiders are like a pack of teens taking advantage of Glad’s ‘cool mum’ parenting’, Flanagan says a “permissive parenting vibe” from the Premier has backfired. Is buying a custard cronut going out for “an essential item”? While some readers backed the sentiments – “spot on Penny” – others said they’re not seeing any illegal behaviour.

Sydneysiders out and about at Bondi on the weekend.

Sydneysiders out and about at Bondi on the weekend.Credit:Brook Mitchell

Paw Paw: “Some see buying coffee and donuts as unnecessary. Others see it as keeping local businesses afloat. A bit of balance is needed. If we take precautions like distancing in queues and wearing masks then I think it’s great that shops can keep serving customers and employing staff.”

Change the Tune: “Melbourne was in lockdown for 4 months last year – and I can assure you that with a coffee shop on the corner the street I live in has never been busier than at the height of stage 4 lockdowns. Nor the local parks.”

CoconutOil: “Everyone in that photo appears to be exercising to me. Common sense OUTDOORS. Masks indoors. No worries.”

Coastal64: “But more importantly… what’s a cronut??”

Lg: “This is what happens with a ‘Light Lockdown’ and weak enforcement of it.”

patrick.j.allan: “I think the risks in outdoor settings may warrant a less restrictive approach there. Having said that seeing people playing contact sports defeats common sense, suggesting we’re sailing closer to the wind than we should. If people casualise their approach too much then the numbers will swell and we all may lose more freedoms than we could have.”

brendan: “Definitely a Claytons Lockdown. With the big stores still open and more people ‘exercising’ than you ever see. Get serious Sydney!”

life.begins.at.49: “So, rightly criticising people going out during a lockdown, but then “I took my teenager for a driving lesson in the IKEA carpark”? Seems you’re part of the problem, too. How is taking the kid out for a driving lesson one of the allowed reasons to leave home?”

David Newham: “Maybe just maybe NSW has a more logical and measured approach to Covid-19 than the other states, you only have to reflect on VIC that locked down the entire state including towns hundreds of kms away for a Melbourne centric outbreak that didn’t leave the city. Last summer’s lockdown of the Northern beaches worked so to date my money is on the NSW government and their responses.”

Concerned citizen: “Your metaphor misses the point completely. She is not a Mum treating us like teenagers – she is a premier treating us like adults who can judge risk. Good on her for doing that.”

lachlanc: “Sydney is the fidgety classroom after the home time bell has rung, and COVID the teacher. ‘We can stay here all night .. Until you all behave, no one goes home!’”

Online readers of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age made 54,293 comments on 550 stories in the past week.

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