Listen to other people, Chris Uhlmann? Talk to, not at them? Oh dear, someone inside our toxic political-media bubble best have a quiet sneer in the poor fellow’s ear. Everyone who’s anyone in our babbling, celebrity-obsessed age knows that democratic participation these days is measured solely in decibels, screen time, opinion polls and “likes”. Uhlmann’s hope that electors and elected might ever again get to share nuanced, respectful, two-way conversations, free from the uninvited imposition of some self-appointed, morally arrogant media “umpire”, real world or virtual, is admirable but delusional. It’s the Information Age: voters and politicians don’t shape our democracy, anymore. Only our loudest shouters do. Jack Robertson, Birchgrove
Uhlmann tries to present an understanding and sympathetic description of the Canberra Convoy, but perhaps he might show some concern for the residents of the ACT who were subjected to verbal abuse by the crowd. Perhaps also show some sympathy for shoppers at Dickson like my daughter who, along with her two-year-old, was roundly abused by these deplorables just because she wanted to go to Woolies. Do I have any sympathy for people screaming that Parliament is full of paedophiles? no. Do I have any sympathy for a woman who says she lost her job because she refused to be vaccinated? no. Was our approach to the virus correct all the time? Of course not. And will I listen to the screamers, purveyors of conspiracy theories and those seeking salvation by waving flags upside down, issuing incoherent pretend legal documents, demanding that the Australian Electoral Commission be replaced by some vague group of chosen ones or those asking for all governments to be sacked by the governor general and be replaced by some of them? no. Tony Sullivan, Adamstown Heights
Liberals have lost touch in stronghold
As someone who has lived in the Willoughby electorate for many years, I’m not at all surprised that the independent candidate is polling so well (“Gladys Berejiklian’s seat hangs in the balance”, smh.com.au, February 16). The cashed-up Tim James was imposed by a small group in the Liberal Party over the hardworking Liberal and well known local ex-mayor, Gail Giles-Gidney. All power to Larissa Penn, who is a local woman in touch with the real needs and interests of so many in the changing demographic of Willoughby. Liberals – beware the next state election. Anne Garvan, Chatswood West
Dominic Perrottet says he believes the almost 20 per cent swing to an independent in one of the safest blue ribbon Liberal seats in NSW can be put down to “local issues”. Think again, Prime. By parachuting Tim James into Willoughby from outside the electorate, the NSW Liberals have shown that they are not listening to the people who actually live there. Sue-Ellen Smith, Naremburn
Very dear nurses and midwives, you have my support for your industrial action (“Nurses strike across state to put conditions under microscope”, February 16). You looked after me with kindness, skill and care when I came in with alarming COVID-19 symptoms the week before last. I am 71 and yes, I do have underlying health issues. But I didn’t get worse. I felt a lot better after I left RPA. I am glad you have gone on strike. We need people like you more than we need anyone else in these times, especially the politicians who think older people with underlying health issues are expendable. We support you. Rose Costelloe, Cook (ACT)
In 2020, Australia Post chief Christine Holgate resigned after giving four employees “bonus” Cartier watches with a combined worth of $20,000 (“Post chief defends $170,000 ‘bonuses’“, February 16). She was forced to do so after the Prime Minister said in Parliament said that if she “wished not to stand aside then she could go!” This was peanuts compared with the more than $78 million in bonuses paid to 2706 Australia Post employees in 2020-21. Will Scott Morrison tell the current chair to step aside for awarding such expensive bonuses? Diana Wyndham, North Sydney
Christine Holgate was publicly castigated over seemingly well-deserved and upon reflection, modest rewards to four executives who helped streamlined Australia Post, reviving business and securing jobs. Seems there should be a “please explain” plus a belated apology being posted from the PM’s office. Steve Dillon, Thirroul
No way, no vax
Novak Djokovic’s public and unambiguous declaration that he remains staunchly anti-vax, even to the point of withdrawal from grand slam tennis, makes the attempt to get him into Australia on a “medical exemption” an obvious farce (“I’ll give up on majors over jabs: Djokovic”, February 16). Exemptions are not loopholes, they are for people who would get vaccinated but cannot because of a condition that reasonably prevents it. In light of Djokovic’s position we cannot even consider any future application from him to enter Australia, even with a medical exemption, because it would clearly be disingenuous and a mockery of two years of a hard fight by all of us who did get vaxxed against a deadly disease that continues to put intolerable strain on our health system. To let him in on any grounds would be yet another blow to those overworked nurses and doctors who protested this week. Graeme Smith, Daceyville
Ross Gittins says education “is worth debating in the coming weeks” and that the education sector “could do better” (“Education: our ‘fair go’ footing”, February 16). For starters, if Tony Abbott had told the truth about matching Labor’s funding for schools following the Gonski recommendations in 2013 and the money had flowed to schools as Abbott had promised, then the education sector would be doing better.
If Scott Morrison in his first significant act as Prime Minister had not denied the public education sector any share of the billions he gave to private schools, the education sector would be doing better, especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Let’s not forget that if we want to understand why at every level of education in Australia it is not a “fair go”. It seems apparent to me how we can improve educational opportunities for our young. It’s about how we vote in May. David Eccleston, Molong
Glad to read Sarah Nguyen’s letter and share the sentiment wholeheartedly (Letters, February 16). I was very proud when City of Sydney voted to follow Inner West Council in installing the “Racism not welcome” signs. The signs are serving their exact purpose in major locations – they are showing we prioritise the conversation that racism does exist and we want it to change to grow as a multicultural society.
People who think racism does not exist in Sydney think it’s only there when it’s blatant and don’t see it in the casual racism that others face every day. If you feel personally uncomfortable and upset with a sign that you walk past that says “Racism not welcome” it’s worth asking why. Bridget Poon, Glebe
All talk, no change
Your correspondents have eloquently described the “enormous generosity of spirit” of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (Letters, February 16). Where is the true reciprocity and commitment to “change their ways” from non-indigenous Australians? Working together to close the gap is not generous. It’s the minimum. Given the history, an Apology is not generous. It’s barely a starting point. An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander precinct in Canberra is not generous. It is minimum acknowledgment. Where is the requested and much-promised constitutional recognition? Where is the requested truth telling, especially about the 70 years following illegal possession of Australia in 1788? Where is the requested offer of negotiation to deal with these wrongs? David Hind, Neutral Bay
Lighten up, folks (Letters, February 16). We should be grateful that Scott Morrison didn’t try a rendition of Tiny Tim’s Tiptoe through the Tulips or The Goons’ The Ying Tong Song. Ryszard Linkiewicz† Woolooware
Running a hope
Your correspondent says American football makes croquet look exciting (Letters, February 16). As a long-term player of croquet and observer of American football, I can assure him croquet is far more exciting. Perhaps he meant American football makes crocheting look exciting. Bob Doepel, Greenway (ACT)
“Westlessness” (“Post pandemic, the West is suffering from ‘collective helplessness’”, February 16)? Thufferin’ thuccotash! Alicia Dawson, Balmain
A bridge too far?
The Harbor Bridge had toll gates and keepers at both ends of the harbor (Letters, February 16). The premier Neville Wran jumped at the suggestion made by a regular user that time would be saved and importantly costs halved by removing one end gate, and doubling the charge. Should we reverse that decision? Roy Lawrence, Wahroonga
Tower to the people
I suggest Premier Dominic Perrottet buy the Crown Barangaroo tower and convert it to social housing (“Blackstone to cut costs and change focus”, February 16). Other states might follow suit with Crown assets – high rollers out, disadvantaged in. Steve Johnson, Elizabeth Beach
The digital view
Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
‘A glorious waste of time’: Corruption watchdog bill unchanged after years of consultation
from Scott55: “Labor and the Greens cannot debate nor vote on the bill until the Coalition government formally introduces it for debate which they have not done. Does the AG understand how Parliament works?”
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