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A shining example to all
Passionate Desmond Tutu spent decades fighting successfully for social change against South African apartheid and for his dream of a Rainbow Nation (“Apartheid fighter, moral giant, Tutu dies”, The Age, 27/12).
With a wide education in teaching and theology and a family man, he was friendly, fearless and full of infectious fun. The world should follow his superb example of activism and leadership to complete his dream for racial justice, and now to also help solve our pressing dream for climate justice.
Barbara Fraser, Burwood
Vale Desmond Tutu
As a South African-born naturalised Australian who escaped apartheid in 1982, I offer my most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as to the people of South Africa, at the sad news of his death this week at the age of 90.
Desmond Tutu, the Nobel laureate who embodied the struggle against apartheid for much of his life, will be remembered for many commendable things, but when he described voting in South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994 as “like falling in love” he hit the nail on the head. At long last his country’s once politically disenfranchised fellow countrymen and women were free to vote in one united and unifying parliamentary election.
Vale Desmond Tutu, you were undoubtedly the conscience of your Rainbow Nation.
Eric Palm, Gympie, Qld
Heartfelt thanks to Nick O’Malley for some Christmas cheer (“Fast movers capitalising on our slow uptake of electric vehicles”, The Age, 27/12). And well done, Behyad Jafari and the Electric Vehicle Council – for persevering with their common sense advocacy of long overdue introduction here of emission reduction standards. Such standards will require importers to include quotas of low or zero emissions vehicles in import shipments.
ithout them Australia is being shunned by manufacturers of world-class fuel efficient vehicles, and buyers are paying inflated prices for new electric vehicles that do reach our shores.
John Gare, Kew East
Bird in plains sight
It’s newsworthy when a near-extinct European vulture is brought back from the brink through a captive breeding program (“Vulture once persecuted now protected”, The Age, 27/12). But somehow it’s ho-hum when one of our own unique species, the critically endangered plains-wanderer, is struggling to survive because a captive breeding program run by Zoos Victoria is competing with recreational quail shooting promoted by the Game Management Authority. Both agencies are supported by taxpayer funds.
The GMA hands out hunting licences without checking whether shooters can distinguish the ground-dwelling plains-wanderer from the one quail species they legally slaughter. Zoos Victoria says the plains-wanderer is highly unique in an evolutionary sense, being the sole member of its family and having no close relatives. The Zoos Victoria website shows the beautiful markings of this bird, but sadly, there is bipartisan backing for the shooters.
Joan Reilly, Surrey Hills
A shorter read
I sympathise with Sean Kelly’s sentiments regarding the enduring attraction of the humble paperback and the contest of time today that pervades the impetus to read. As he affirms, short books may well be the key, but so is the tried and trusted output from an admired author.
As much as I enjoy modern technology, it is a pretty sterile experience trying to curl up in bed with an iPad. And surely there is greater satisfaction with finally turning to the last creased page of a much-loved book, than with scrolling down to the last small-fonted panel on a glowing smartphone?
Peter Waterhouse, Craigieburn
I think David Crowe has buried the lead in his front page piece (“Palmer tops unpopularity polls”, The Age, 27/12). The real story there is that our Deputy Prime Minister is less popular than both Pauline Hanson and Craig Kelly.
Ian Millar, Mordialloc
McGuire a visionary
Frank McGuire (“ALP’s factional hit on wrong target”, The Age, 27/12), rightly points out the illegitimate outcomes of factional games. That said, his now stymied 10-year political career has, as he records, delivered quality outcomes for his Broadmeadows electorate, evidenced in medical and educational “cleaner, greener industries”. At a time when a suburb’s perceived “worth” is too often defined superficially by the buoyancy of its house prices, McGuire has issued an eloquent corrective. A few more members of parliaments with the vision and dedication of McGuire would benefit Australia immeasurably.
Jon McMillan, Mount Eliza
Party to a dilemma
For many years I have wanted to be involved in the politics and considered joining one of the major parties. But the scourge of factionalism has always got in the way until recently when I decided to join the ALP. However, at my first MeetUp with party members in November, I was informed that I would have no voting rights for two years thanks to the activities of Adem Somyurek and his factional allies. I was prepared to accept this because I thought that federal intervention was going to put an end to this scourge. However, as Frank McGuire’s article demonstrates, it’s alive and kicking. So here is my dilemma. Do I commit myself to a party riven by factionalism but one that has policies I believe will improve the lives of Australians? Or do I sit on the sidelines and do nothing?
Ivan Glynn, Vermont
Facts and falsehoods
Your correspondent (Letters, 27/12) suggests we will need more fact-checkers for the next election. The fact checking has already begun, with the book Lies and Falsehoods: The Morrison Government and the New Culture of Deceit, by Bernard Keane. Inexpensive as books go, but very interesting holiday reading.
Helen Moss, Croydon
Candidacy is proper
Many in politics are challenging independents to prepare detailed policies. Kerry Echberg (Letters, 27/12) laments that the Greens have had to develop many policies, becoming a “proper party”. Representatives of either Labor or the Coalition must stick with their own party’s policies, which have to be sold at election time to more than 50 per cent of voters. This results in “modern” Liberals voting for climate measures far weaker than they know are necessary, or Labor MPs “supporting” offshore asylum seeker processing.
Independents should not be expected to form detailed policies on every topic, but to explain their priorities, and consult their electorates as promised. This has a greater chance of getting real change, than supporting “proper parties”.
John Hughes, Mentone
The notion of personal responsibility is a classic ploy of conservatism. All each of us has to do is look after ourselves and not care about anybody else, and everything will be fine. Really? How is this supposed to work for COVID control? Seems like proponents of personal responsibility have learned nothing from history. Self centredness is no substitute for common sense and effective leadership.
Julie Hopper, St Helena
AND ANOTHER THING …
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a man of courage, compassion and integrity who devoted his life to fighting for the persecuted and oppressed. He was a model for how a man of God should lead.
Chris Young, Surrey Hills
Vale Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A leader among leaders.
Glenise Michaelson, Montmorency
It is far more important to be respected than liked. The PM appearing in high-vis, hard hats and sitting in trucks would suggest he is going all out for the latter.
Michael Brinkman, Ventnor
Despite the problems facing our country the national leader has the gall to market himself on TikTok.
Phil Alexander, Eltham
Nearly 60 per cent claim they don’t know or don’t like Craig Kelly. No wonder he gives himself a chance.
Bernd Rieve, Brighton
No looking in the rear vision mirror and mere personal responsibility required? Thank goodness road laws are with the states.
Arthur Pritchard, Ascot Vale
Predictably, our testing system is overwhelmed, social life and the economy are being stifled. It was false economy for Frydenberg to deny free rapid tests – fix this now!
John Boyce, Richmond
Looking forward to another year of explanation, common sense and sensibility from Ross Gittins. Thank you for your clear and considered commentary.
Wendy Tanner, Footscray
My highlight of the year was watching Sam Kerr do what Tony Abbott said he was gonna do.
Greg Lee, Red Hill
An hour after reading Chris Pollock’s musings on hot cross buns (Letters, 27/12) I walked into a supermarket. Guess what was on display beside the entry.
Scotty Maxwell, Diamond Creek
An optimist: someone who buys a ticket to day five in a Test match.
Francis Bainbridge, Fitzroy North
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