Citizen shut-out a simply heartless solution to crisis

Morrison is quoted as saying “we must never surrender the truth that the experience and value of every human being is unique and personal”. I suppose the Biloela family’s experience on Christmas Island is also unique and personal but I fail to see how it fits in with Morrison’s experience of having a “humble heart, not a pious or judgmental one”. Petrina Slaytor, Greenwich

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. Bring them home to Biloela. Ian Harrison, Centennial Park

It is pleasing that our PM has now condemned divisive identity politics. Presumably that doesn’t include him claiming that energy policy will not be made in the wine bars, coffee shops and dinner parties of the inner city. The PM must think that the average Australian has the memory span of a goldfish. Alan Phillips, Mosman

Funny how the loudest voices decrying identity politics appear to come from white, male heterosexuals – powerful men who, I’m guessing, have never been bullied or ostracised because of their colour, gender or sexuality. Without identity politics, the mind boggles as to where my standing as a gay man would be today. My thanks and admiration go out to all those gay activists who, decades ago, flaunted their sexuality, at great risk, to ensure the my standing in the community. Max Fischer, Wollongong

Perhaps the PM’s policy for protecting Creation is left to God rather than governments. That way, he has no obligation to have regard, compassion and responsibility for our rapidly dwindling iconic wildlife and environmental heritage. Sue Arnold, Ocean Shores

Morrison condemns identity politics for pitting Australians against each other. However, he and his Coalition colleagues routinely use “greenie” and “leftie” as terms of derision to describe those who seek to safeguard our environment. Surely the government is responsible for ensuring that future generations are entitled to a clean, unpolluted, habitable country. Alan Marel, North Curl Curl

Why save our history, anyway?

Historian Michelle Arrow (“Let’s press pause on nation’s memory loss”, May 1-2) highlights the importance for democracy of preserving our film and sound archives. The National Archives are suffering from years of government budget cuts, and the administrators spent more than $1 million trying to block access to the “Palace letters”. The public’s right to know will mean nothing if records have vanished. Diana Wyndham, North Sydney

Since when have Australians ever been interested in history? Once school is over, it becomes a dead space. People would rather see a futuristic film with lots of special effects or watch reality TV with its charade of famous people. They are more likely to get a Wikipedia page devoted to them compared to historians. Sorry if you expect governments to spend money to preserve our history; you are a group of tear-crying lefties of no interest to the public and the enemy of a federal government that thinks the less knowledge the electorate has, the better. Just look at how they have made arts subjects more costly under HECS. You are David but historical reality says Goliath always wins. I wish it were otherwise. John Rome, Mt Lawley (WA)

The National Archives is an important repository of knowledge for all Australians wanting to understand who we are and how we got here. Given their importance, the price of saving these precious records is a bargain and an investment, not just in the past, but for our future. Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls

Don’t roast the RFS

Your correspondent’s statement (Letters, May 1-2) that the “RFS has become an industry that needs to justify itself by making big noticeable fires” is both ignorant and offensive. The RFS cannot win — they are heroes during and after major fire incidents and villains when there is smoke in non-fire activity periods. All hazard reduction burns are not RFS burns. The recent burns closest to Mosman were conducted by Fire and Rescue or the National Parks, not by the RFS, who managed burns towards the west and the south. Mechanical clearing is expensive and can be more destructive than low-intensity bushfire hazard reduction. Hand-clearing is time-consuming and demands heavy physical work by firefighters, especially RFS volunteers. Small Indigenous-style slow-burns would be ideal but climate change and the impact of human development in fire-prone areas does not always permit long periods of cool burns. Vivien Clark-Ferraino, Duckmaloi

No diplomacy diploma

Former UK prime minister Harold Macmillan once said that the life of a foreign affairs minister was forever poised between a cliche and an indiscretion. On our China relationship, the Morrison government has been plagued by indiscretions (“Where are our grown-ups ? China loose talk is reckless”, May 1-2). Bob Carr comments that diplomacy was invented for managing competing challenges such as our alliance with the US and our productive trade with China. Federal cabinet ministers and government MPs have made statements which have annoyed China, which has responded with damaging tariffs. Sensitive diplomacy would allow us to be resolute about our values as a democracy observing the rule of law without being provocative. As Bob Carr notes, US sales of food and beverage to China have risen despite manifest policy differences. James Moore, Kogarah

For once, I’m in agreement with Bob Carr. It was Teddy Roosevelt who said, ″⁣speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.″⁣ Australia is unable to do either and has failed another maxim of Roosevelt’s — allow the adversary to save face in a confrontation. Openly criticising China through a megaphone might play well to Morrison’s electoral base but has led to loss of $20 billion in exports.
Rodney Crute, Hunters Hill

Fantastic development

Federal Housing Minister Michael Sukkar wants development levies dropped because developers will then reduce their house prices (‴⁣⁣Feet to fire’: Row erupts over house price crisis”, May 1-2). What a convenient illusion! Three-quarters of house and unit sales in Australia each year are turnover of existing dwelling stock. These sales essentially set the market price in each area. Additional development has a small downward impact on these prices. Subject to this small impact, developers charge the market price. The view that developers will reduce the price of their housing because charges are lowered, or even dropped, is a fantasy. Peter Abelson, Mosman

The empirical chaplain

If the Australian federation was founded on Judeo-Christian values, as your correspondent asserts (Letters, May 1-2), then two explanations at least are needed. The federation speedily enacted laws based on white supremacy, namely the White Australia Policy, while no mention was made of prior Indigenous occupancy of the country. Federation was created through the dispossession of the same Indigenous peoples. Which Christian values shaped the supremacist action and the dispossession? Christianity served as a chaplain to white supremacist European empires that, for centuries, dispossessed Indigenous people across four continents. Rev Dr Ray Barraclough,
Currimundi (Qld)

Answers, please

Can someone tell me what is going on with government requirements for drawing down from super accounts in the next financial year? Keith Russell, Mayfield West

Hear, hear

Attagirl, Brittany! (“Higgins calls on Morrison to lead sweeping change”, May 1-2). Edward Loong, Milsons Point

Obituary obsessions

Never mind the “had a fall/fell over” geriatric test; the real tell-tale of ageing is whether you’ve started scanning the death notice summaries. Tony Hunt, Gordon

Rock and roll

Clive Palmer may be guilty of copyright infringement and be forced to pay $1.5m (“Palmer has got to take it: $1.5m loss over copyright”, May 1-2), but that is a small price to pay in a multimillion-dollar campaign that sank Labor’s chances of winning the last election. Peter Miniutti, Ashbury

Palmer has made millions out of mining rocks for metals. Now he’s mined one heavy metal without approval and has been ordered to pay damages for copyright infringement. Ray Peck, Hawthorn (Vic)

Diamond in the rough

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their 10th anniversary (“The ‘seesaw’ secret to William and Kate’s carefully balanced marriage”, smh.com.au, April 30). I prefer their “never explain, never complain” approach to the carry-on of his brother and sister-in-law. Lindsay Dent, Campbelltown (SA)

The digital view
Online comment from the story that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
Government policy to blame for stranded Australians
From Donal O’Shea: This is so true, how our government
has abandoned its citizens in favour of local politics. The inhumanity is similar to our refugees policy and will always win approval from the ″⁣I’m all right, Jack″⁣ mob. It diminishes us all
as a nation and society. Some citizens are more equal than others. Shame, Australia.

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