America and Guns: The Culture Runs Deep
It looks like Racing Victoria has pots of cash to splash on land three times the size of Flemington Racecourse for its ″Project X″ development (″Racing plans new hub with land purchase″, 27/5). To enhance its horse welfare image, a better use of the land would be a horse sanctuary – called ″Project C″ for compassion – for all injured and maimed racehorses on the track and as an alternative for unfortunate people who are sent to knackeries because they can’t run fast enough.
Charles Davis, Hawthorn
Death is their Joyce…
Most Australians will welcome a new National Party leader, especially if that leader advances climate policy (“Spillover of national leadership is yet another battle in climate wars”, 5/26). If Barnaby Joyce remains at the helm, the disparity between the Nationals’ trailing position and their voters’ desire to fight climate change could well lead to the party’s demise. The election results enabled our nation to prioritize our environment. Now is the time for Australia to end the ‘climate wars’, achieve full support for net zero by 2050 and increase our 2030 targets. Let’s go.
Amy Hiller, Kew
…Or maybe not
Although the Nationals retain all of their seats and gain an additional senator, leftist Nationals MP Darren Chester now intends to challenge Barnaby Joyce for Nationals leadership because Mr. Chester believes Joyce is responsible for the loss by the liberals of wealthy downtown voters in favor of the ″teal″ independents. It amounts to defending the leadership of the party with a vision of turning the Nationals into a 100% affiliate of the Liberal Party, more interested in appeasing Wentworth’s awakening. It’s a recipe for political oblivion because, as John Anderson and Mark Vaile learned in the 2000s, product differentiation from the Liberal Party is key to the Nationals’ survival.
If the Nationals know what’s good for them, they’ll keep Barnaby as their leader.
Matt Tudor, Morwell
The libs could run out of steam
Columnist and cartoonist Cathy Wilcox (27/5) has shed light on the traits of Peter Dutton, and what we see does not bode well for the Liberal Party. It will take two terms for the Liberals to decide to change leaders and become competitive again in the elections.
It was very disappointing to read that a lawsuit forced the Melbourne University Student Union to overturn a motion calling for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions and scholars “that support the oppression of Palestinians” (5/27). What we need now is more political debate, not less, especially among educated young people. And we should not allow charges such as ‘anti-Semitic propaganda’ and ‘dangerous and reviled’ to distract from the fact that this motion was about the State of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, not an attack on culture. . and the religion of the Jewish people.
Judith Crotty, Dandenong North
It seems to be generally accepted by the Liberal Party and some scribes that Josh Frydenberg was the most talented and capable member of the coalition government. As former treasurer, he bequeathed the Labor Party the largest budget deficit in history and the highest rate of inflation in 24 years. He also had the political savvy to fully support Scott Morrison. This does not say much about those who remain and now find themselves in opposition.
Phil Alexander, Eltham
Let’s talk with China
It is time for the new government to reset relations with China, whose offer of dialogue is a small olive branch that we should accept; his declaration of non-desire for a military base in the Solomons must be taken at face value. We can maintain a proud and independent Australian position and negotiate with China to repair the relationship to our mutual benefit. Much better than continuing the old fashioned way.
Bernie Chandler, Donvale
Voters and non-consumers
By equating voters with consumers looking for products, Dave Sharma (26/5) reveals one of the main limits of the Liberal Party’s state of mind. The concept ″consumer″ concerns a specific transaction between a person and a product to be sold. The word “people” conjures up such diversity – life experience, age, gender, cultural background, education, geographic location, opportunities for personal development and, most importantly, inalienable universal human rights wherever we are.
As the devastating effects of climate change show us, at a deep level, people are organically interconnected to everything. When a political party sees its policies as mere commodities to be sold to enough consumers to get them re-elected, a decent and benevolent democratic society can easily disintegrate into an autocracy run by empowered elites, and a standard of living for all.
Jennifer Gerrand, Carlton North
No sense in destruction
Victoria’s Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas is determined to increase deforestation by threatening in a bill to jail people who want to preserve what remains of our native forests by entering a logging site forest. In a world where forests are being depleted at an alarming rate, it surely makes no sense to participate in this destruction. Trees, in addition to providing homes for creatures, are also important in reducing global warming.
Don Owen, Hawthorn
Dutton’s Carp Diem
Clearly, Peter Dutton still believes in the magic pudding economy. He predicts “a rise in interest rates, the cost of living, inflation and electricity prices” under the Labor Party. Which of these is federally controlled? How would he reduce them if he was still in government? The negative review has already started.
Raymond Snyder, St Kilda West
Sorry what ?
During a layover in Chattanooga, we decided to have dinner at the family restaurant next to our motel. I asked for the drinks menu but was politely told it was a family restaurant so they didn’t serve alcohol. I looked over to the next table and the old man had a gun in a holster strapped to him. On this road trip through the south, we were regularly confronted with bizarre sights of openly carried firearms.
Anne Maki, Alphington
Will the new and kinder Peter Dutton travel to Biloela to welcome the Murugappan family?
AND SOMETHING ELSE
Peter Duton? The Liberal Party is signing its own death warrant.
Rosemary Lithgow, Maryborough
Peter Dutton came out on apology to the Stolen Generation. It was a defining moment that no recast as benevolent and compassionate can change.
Susan Ball, Carlton North
Annika Smethurst describing Tim Smith as Tony Abbott’s disciple (Commentary, 5/27) creates a very disturbing mental picture and I may never look at Da Vinci’s painting the same way again.
Frank Flynn, Cape Paterson
I think I’ve heard more from our current foreign minister in one day than I’ve heard from his predecessor in 2 years.
Tim Douglas, Blairgowrie
While driving through Nebraska several years ago, I noticed a large billboard advertising memberships at a new gym. The bonus offer included a “free handgun for all members over 18”. Only in America.
Joyce Boucher, Williamstown
Maniac with guns, dead innocents, offered prayers, repetition.
Tim Nolan, Brighton
The sixth commandment says you shall not kill. The second amendment says you shall kill.
John Walsh, Watsonia
America cannot ban or eliminate mental illness, but it can ban gun ownership.
John Groom, Bentleigh
I wonder how many NRA members support the cancellation of Roe v Wade?
Robyn Carey, North Fitzroy
The company that operates NBN complains that rival wireless service providers are threatening its viability. This is called competition.
We don’t have maternity beds for new mothers in public hospitals (The Age, 5/27) but we can give the rich an $18 billion tax cut. Where are our priorities?
Jeff Moran, Bacchus Marais