Freelancers and social change | The Saturday newspaper

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Freelancers and social change

Tony Windsor nails the problem perfectly (“Rorters, rooters and the country’s lost decade”, April 23-29). There’s a culture of greed that pervades groups that do well. Determined to keep their privileges, their franking credits, the low wages paid to employees, their real estate investments, they ignore these people who struggle to pay their rent, buy food and have their children looked after in decent shoes. There is hope with the independent candidates. If they gain some power, we could see a federal ICAC with teeth, senior care with decent food, affordable or free child care, properly funded public schools, real climate change policies , funding for scientific research. Is that too much to ask? Forget ocean cruises, let’s get rid of poverty.

– Gael Barrett, North Balwyn, Vic

Read between the lines of Clive

I know that Clive Palmer’s advertisements are not aimed at readers of The Saturday newspaper but I totally disagree with a quote from a Labor MP that “his message is perfect” (Rick Morton, “I write all the ads personally…it’s easier for me”, April 23-29 ). These advertisements quoting Barnaby Joyce and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells might well harm the Coalition, but it would be surprising if many people even read the full-page advertisements signed by Craig Kelly with their criticisms of other parties. Anyone who actually believes Kelly will be our next prime minister should be in an asylum.

– Peter Nash, Fairlight, New South Wales

The federal government should act on the detention of children

“Failing the children” (Esther Linder, April 23-29) comes at just the right time. John B. Lawrence asserts that current practices of youth detention in the Northern Territory would not happen to white children. This, tragically, says it all. The federal government should exercise its legislative sovereignty over the territory to ensure that the recommendations it accepted from the 2016 Royal Commission on the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory are implemented as a matter of urgency. What are they waiting for?

– Margot J. Giblin, Battery Point, Tas

An area without integrity

The government’s misrepresentation of independent research to demonize Labour’s proposed switch to renewables (Mike Seccombe, ‘Claiming the Costs’, April 23-29) highlights a fundamental lack of integrity. We urgently need to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energies. To effect this transition, we need a government whose actions are demonstrably directed towards achieving this end, and whose words can be trusted. Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor once again failed to live up to either expectation. In a democracy, we entrust our representatives to act in good faith to promote our best interests. That trust has been gutted by this government over the past nine years; it must be rebuilt. We urgently need an effective federal ICAC and much stronger truth in political advertising rules. Without it, our democracy will descend into a battle for dominance among the wealthiest and most connected – another Hunger Games.

– Chris Young, Surrey Hills, Vic

The union team is gaining momentum

Gotcha moments, which are remembered far longer than they deserve, denigrate political discourse. John Hewson regrets the journalistic questions posed by often inexperienced media cronies on one side of politics to corner the leader on the other (“Economics with Truth,” April 23-29). Gotcha politicians rely on the “blunder” written and discussed throughout. Hewson cites the example of the economic numbers on jobs and the exchange rate demanded of Anthony Albanese in the first week of the campaign. Having done all about leadership, our prideful government politicians hardly realize what a leader really is. She or he is the person with the vision, leading a team and relying on the member with the relevant fictional portfolio, like Katy Gallagher. The Labor leader should take comfort in his week of isolation to know that the experienced team he leads are there, answering questions.

– Joanna Jaaniste, Lilyfield, New South Wales

Diplomacy and our Chinese plates

The editorial (“Pacific requirements,” April 23-29) examining the Solomons crisis hit the nail on the head in concluding that the Morrison government did more to bring the country to war than any other in the history of this country. Given the AUKUS deal and the US trade war, China has every reason to act defensively and diplomatically in the Pacific. By contrast, on Anzac Day, Peter Dutton’s response to the crisis was “the only way to keep peace is to prepare for war”. Such language fits well with our American alliance, a country that has continuously waged war for the past two decades, while China has waged war for the past 50 years. A more diplomatic approach to China could involve restoring ABC funding for its voice in the Pacific and using the new regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership for collective Pacific diplomacy. And Dutton could just stop acting like a bull in a Chinese store.

–David Wilson, Newport, Queensland

rules of the week

My Saturday newspaper going to the page is undoubtedly the week. The satirical comments are sharp and extremely witty. The gem of the last issue was Albo’s Covid-19 self-isolation postscript; that it would have really helped his campaign if it had been applied a fortnight earlier. It was a real LOL read.

–John Mosig, Kew, Vic

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This article first appeared in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on April 30, 2022.

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