Tuesday , October 26 2021
Home / Latest News / Silly point: Joyce defence of Porter ridicules parliamentary rules

Silly point: Joyce defence of Porter ridicules parliamentary rules

Joyce suggests that Porter would have a “bit of time on (his) hands” now that he is on the backbench – just like Mr Joyce himself had for three years there. If this is true, why are we paying full pay for all those other parliamentarians on the backbenches? – Beth Hansen, Alstonville

Lucky for Porter that a cabinet minister is not held to the same lofty standards of behaviour and integrity as NRL players. Perhaps ministers are not seen as role models. – Tony Judge, Woolgoolga

French pique is understandable

Richard Ogier is correct (“We’ve trashed a relationship with a strategic ally”, September 21). In effect, we have slapped the French twice across the face, firstly in trashing the relationship and secondly in the loutish and inconsiderate way that the message was delivered. The French both value and expect good manners from each other and their allies; and consideration of and respect for the feelings of others is one of the glues that holds French culture and civilisation together. The appalling behaviour of our government towards the French will have negative consequences for Australians for many years to come. Yet another example of this Prime Minister’s all tactics and no strategy approach. – Pauline Croxon, Undercliffe

France has withdrawn its ambassador and complained of Australia’s “lies”, “duplicity” and “betrayal”. The French are plainly furious. But within hours Scott Morrison’s spin doctors had sent out the talking points to all ministers and backbenchers. France, the PM assured us, was merely “disappointed”, not angry. “Disappointed” is how I feel when a barista gives me a flat white instead of a latte. It’s not how I feel when I am ripped off by a mate. The fact that Morrison is so good at the message and so hopeless at things that require skill and sustained effort (like diplomacy) is further proof that he is all sizzle and no sausage. – Mike Reddy, Vincentia

David Salter points out that as yet no specific evidence of any military threat to which nuclear powered submarines might be a necessary response has been shown (Letters, September 21). However, if, as Neil Ormerod suggests, the fallout from the AUKUS agreement thrusts Australia into a position where we are forced to take real and decisive action against the proven threat of looming catastrophic climate change, then it will have been worth it. – Meredith Williams, Northmead

Isn’t it ironic that with AUKUS and the nuclear subs deal, Morrison spruiks the high-tech benefits of collaboration in AI, quantum technology, cybersecurity and missile technology while at the same time his government denudes the university sector. Where does he think the Aussie collaborators will be educated? – Pierre Mars, Vaucluse

I’ve heard and read a number of people dismissing French complaints about abandoned submarine contracts as tough luck to those who did atomic testing at Mururoa Atoll. Ironically, there is no mention of the tests conducted on Australian soil at Maralinga by one of our new partners in a submarine contract. – Mary Schultz, Willoughby

Bang goes my holiday in New Caledonia. – Patricia Slidziunas, Woonona

It’s a race, but it’s also a gamble

The odds are short that 5000 (and possibly up to 15,000) well-dressed and fully or partly vaccinated racegoers will gather at the prestigious Everest race next month (“Everest capped at 5000 people if jab target hit”, September 21). I can purchase my ticket online already. The odds are much longer that I will finally be allowed to visit my 98-year-old relative who languishes with dementia in a nice aged care facility, being denied a single social visit for many months because my local area still has some COVID-19 cases. Will she last long enough to outlive the odds? If only Peter V’landys could advocate for the aged care industry as well. – Carey Buls, Saratoga

Racing NSW is no stranger to controversy when it comes to The Everest, with the 2018 stoush over the Opera House sails creating a stir. Let’s hope the risky notion of allowing thousands of punters to be at the race is as unlikely to succeed as allowing thousands of climbers on the real Everest. – Joan Brown, Orange

A betting person might like to wager that NSW will lift lockdown on Friday, October 15. Strangely enough, there will be a horse race on the next day. – Nola Tucker, Kiama

So thousands of people can attend The Everest and, still, we aren’t allowed to play lawn bowls. I am disgusted with some of the decisions being made during this emergency. Apparently, the lawn bowling community doesn’t have enough influence where it counts. Money talks in NSW. – Jan Waddington, Mona Vale

Caught in spin cycle

Apparently, it’s the Labor Party, languishing in opposition for the past decade or so, that must address rising levels of economic inequality, feelings of powerlessness and underprivilege and resentment at Sydney’s divisions (Letters, September 21). The Coalition is adept at deflecting responsibility for its own failures of governance but being able to persuade a gullible electorate to blame an opposition is nothing short of diabolically brilliant. Those who reward this deception will only have themselves to blame when wages continue to flatline, home ownership and job security remain the preserve of the wealthy, hospitals and schools overflow and unrestrained pork barrelling and patronage go stratospheric. – Alison Stewart, Riverview

Anyone who believes that miners, tradies, construction workers and engineers are still Labor’s blue-collar base is seriously misguided. These workers are today’s aspirational upper-middle class and associate themselves as “small business people”. Today’s Labor base are those mainly in caring professions such as teachers, healthcare workers, aged and disability care, those in precarious employment situations and students. The majority being female. It is time that Labor wakes up to its real base and fully focuses on progressive policies that support and address their needs. – Mark Berg, Caringbah South

No, “gender and racial issues” are the very reasons “people struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table” (Letters, September 21). – Trina Supit, Stanmore

The current Labor Party dilemma was first identified by Kim Beazley snr at a state conference in the early ’70s when he thundered: “When will you middle-class perverts stop using the Labor Party as a cultural spittoon?” – Mike Kenneally, Manly

Road rage

Have I understood this correctly? The NSW government has sold the remainder of the WestConnex motorway to Transurban for $11.1 billion; $5 billion of which will be splashed around in the western suburbs as an election sweetener, with no mention of social housing (“Western suburbs to get $5b cash boost”, September 21). So, once people are allowed out of their “LGAs of concern”, they will pay more to drive to work in other suburbs. So glad the latte divide is just a figment. – Jenny Forster, Manly

Little wonder we’re confused about saving the planet when motorways become the state government’s cash cow. Under my own suburb, in the heart of the Premier’s electorate, the proposed Beaches Link is set to destroy hundreds of mature trees and pollute Middle Harbour, while nearby smokestacks will overshadow nine major schools. The government that proudly promotes its green power credentials flatly refuses to listen to compelling alternatives to tollways. Ah, come to think of it, it’s not confusing at all. – Peter Farmer, Northbridge

Hooray. The NSW government says it is ploughing $5 billion into western Sydney. I and 5 million other people look forward to the day when we read: “Parramatta’s unique Roxy Theatre now rescued, restored, refurbished and reopened in its original 2000-seat art deco design.” – Paul Brennan, Woollahra

Trust deficit

About 40 years ago, I sat in a restaurant in Bucharest, Romania, getting introduced to distant second cousins, when the father of one said to his sons: “Keep your voice down. That person over there looks suspicious.” As a young Australian at the time, I found it difficult to comprehend what I was hearing. Scared of talking openly? But such was life in the era of Romania’s president Nicolae Ceausescu. This came to mind when I read Saman Shad’s article (“Shaming lockdown sinners has to stop”, September 21). The trust that normally exists between neighbours and friends in Sydney has been eroded since David Elliott, the NSW Police Minister, asked members of the public who saw people breaking health restrictions to contact police. As a result, we saw the shaming of a former Liberal prime minister, Tony Abbott, who was fined for not wearing a mask after a member of the public took his photo. I am sure Elliott could not have foreseen what his comments could have led to. However, it is a good example of being careful of what you wish for. – David Vale, Cremorne Point

“The more we dob … the more we erode trust.” So, when do we dob? When do whistleblowers report? Why do police offer a reward for information? What is the purpose of a dash-cam? My question is, why would you trust someone who can’t behave civilly and do the right thing? – Geoffrey Anderson, Richmond

Judgment and self-righteousness breed resentment. Kindness and compassion can change hearts. – Corinne Fagueret, Lane Cove

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
‘Higher ambition’: Moderate Liberals urge government to raise climate targets
From JAM: “Interesting term, ‘moderate Liberals’. Maybe we need more of them.”

  • To submit a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald, email letters@smh.com.au. Click here for tips on how to submit letters.

About admin

Check Also

‘The system is buckling’: Elective surgery cut back as health workers warn of mounting strain

In an effort to alleviate some bottlenecks, Ambulance Victoria has asked St John Ambulance volunteers …