Old boys’ club lives on as women leaders cast aside – Michmutters

Old boys’ club lives on as women leaders cast aside

The political stench emanating from Macquarie Street over the past several weeks has reached a stage where the glue that binds governments together – trust – has all but disappeared. It is symptomatic of a government that has reached its use-by date, run out of ideas and is festering in its own arrogance. Time for the other mob to have a go. Grahame Riethmuller, Redbank

Senator has every right to shun oath to Queen

Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate, Senator Lidia Thorpe, approaches the table to be sworn-in, in the Senate at Parliament House in Canberra.

Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate, Senator Lidia Thorpe, approaches the table to be sworn-in, in the Senate at Parliament House in Canberra.Credit:alex ellinghausen

The absurdity of requiring citizens of this sovereign country to swear allegiance to Britain’s monarch was never more apparent than during the swearing in of Lidia Thorpe as a senator of the federal parliament (“Thorpe stirs debate with ‘coloniser’ Queen”, August 2). As a person of Aboriginal heritage, she took exception to that requirement, and rightly so. But whether of Aboriginal heritage or not, we should all take exception to such a requirement. For goodness sake, let’s get on with it and sever our constitutional links with Britain, not so much by becoming a republic but by simply cutting those legal ties, remaining the Commonwealth of Australia and keeping our de facto head of state, the governor-general , in much the same fashion as we have today. BrianRoach, Westleigh

I’m with Thorpe. What next, swearing allegiance to King Charles, that bastion of fidelity and faithfulness? This country was invaded, and it is well beyond the time we get behind the prime minister and the government to reaffirm this fact and give the original inhabitants of this wonderful land their rightful place and heed their Voice. Al Clark, Belrose

Thorpe has convinced me that, whether new or old elected representatives, they need to take a deep breath before diving into controversy. Grandstanding will not win votes from a cynical population of voters. This stunt does not help our Indigenous friends. John Dear, Mt Kuring Gai

The expression for reconciliation of Indigenous people is commendable (Letters, August 2). However, we need to be careful. Inserting a Voice into the Constitution is a step too far. If it fails it may be extremely difficult to remove it and the Constitution is binding. Parliament should implement a Voice by legislation. Barry O’Connell, Old Toongabbie

The opponents to the proposed Voice to parliament amendment to the Constitution are mainly those who voted no in the republic referendum of 1999. These people seem to regard the Constitution as a sacred document. The reality is that it is a century-old set of words arrived at by a bunch of white male politicians. It was written at a time when Britannia ruled the waves, women couldn’t vote and Aboriginal people weren’t counted in the census. While the Constitution has served us well for 121 years, there are bits of it that are no longer fit for purpose. Just as Australians since 1901 have accepted plans, computers, open-heart surgery, and an Aboriginal Australian of the Year, they need to accept that the proposed amendment to the Constitution will make it more reflective of contemporary Australia and the attitudes of most Australians. Mike Reddy, Vincentia

Dutton doesn’t cut it on fuel excise

Peter Dutton is playing politics again in “holding the government to account”, aka taking a fighter’s approach rather than a sensitive collegial one, regarding the ending of fuel excise cuts that the Coalition only now decides they want to continue (“Dutton braces for fight to keep fuel excise cut”, August 8). Isn’t that the sort of political politics his side played that sent government debt on its downward spiral even before the pandemic hit? Have Dutton and co also failed to note that their embarrassing result in May was the electorate holding them to account for just this sort of destructive politics? Charmain Brinks, newcastle

How quickly the Coalition has reverted into opposition mode. While voters question what the Liberals stand for or believe in, they oppose the climate change bill that Australians clearly want and gear up for a fight on continuing fuel excise cuts, despite voting only recently for them to end on September 28. Any hope that they might act in the best interests of the country seems to be fading away, as they slip back into opposing anything and everything that the government proposes. Alan Marell, North Curl Curl

Turn off the gas

The negotiations over securing gas supply seem to be ignoring the climate-driven renewable solution to the whole issue; we need to use less gas and this is a prime time for massive government investment to do so (“Gloves are off: Government versus the gas giants”, August 2). Negotiations between politicians and corporations around the edges of gas pricing will not reduce the use of this dangerous fossil fuel that is causing global warming. We are less than six months past the terrible signal of the Lismore floods, that climate change must drive economics; there is no other option. The focus of the negotiations has to be the big picture of preventing the climate catastrophe by shifting to renewables or we will get deeper into troubles much greater than gas bills. Barry Laing, Castle Cove

China winning economic war

You’ve got to love analysis such as Senator Jim Molan’s second Pearl Harbor (“Preparing for the wrong war?”, August 2). And the best part is that it could always happen tomorrow, so you can never be wrong. But my simple question is: do you really believe that President Xi and his entire backing group of him are complete psychopathic megalomaniacs to carry out such destruction? In addition, what would be the point? Surely one of the economic lessons of World War II is that what Germany and Japan could not achieve by military means, they did by economic means after 1945. China doesn’t have to use its military to achieve hegemony in its own “sphere of influence”. ”, it has and it will inevitably continue by economic power. Tony Mitchell, Hillsdale

Ignore at your peril

Good luck to Ernie Merrick in his wide-ranging job (“Merrick to work as Australian football’s key disruptor”, August 2). He would be aware it is not a soccer-friendly world out there in Australia. The recent 2022 European women’s football championship, the gripping final of which was played to a packed Wembley Stadium and a huge global TV audience, was a superb tournament though largely ignored by mainstream media in Australia. Women’s sport in general, and soccer in particular are, of course, used to this domestic tunnel vision. Hundreds of thousands of girls are registered to play despite scarce funding for grounds, change rooms and coaching. The World Cup’s next year… go Ernie. David Payne, Hurlstone Park

Liberal MP Alex Hawke and former Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrive for Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday.

Liberal MP Alex Hawke and former Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrive for Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday.Credit:alex ellinghausen

do the maths

Scott Morrison has finally been sworn in to the 47th parliament, having failed to attend the first sitting week. His excuse from him was that he accepted an invitation to attend a conference in Japan, before he knew the sitting dates of the new parliament. Section 5 of the constitution states that parliament must be agreed no later than 30 days after the last date appointed for the return of the election writs. For the 2022 federal election that date was June 28. New parliaments invariably open on a Tuesday, so to meet the 30-day constitutional deadline, it was clear that the opening of parliament would be on July 26. Morrison only had to do the arithmetic to know he would be absent from the opening ceremony if he accepted the invitation. Norman Monshall, Allambie Heights

Class dismissed

When did the minister last teach a class, if ever (Letters, August 8)? I have been teaching for more than 45 years and it is not possible to repeat lessons like a formula that fits all. Teachers not only teach content but they need to take into account the individuality of students and vary their lessons according to their needs, cognitive levels and classroom dynamics. Stop finding inane fixes for teacher shortages. Identify the problems and consult teachers across all sectors and socio-economic areas to arrive at solutions that are best for our children, our future. Rita Zammit, Concord

Bingo! Swap three hours a week for a complete NAPLAN-driven system, start to finish. Who needs the dedication of those inspired teachers, leaving in droves, and those who would have been teachers but have seen the writing on the wall? Kate O’Rourke, Elizabeth Bay

Too old to be saved

Yes, you can be screened for various life-threatening diseases and, if seen, treatment can start and your life is saved (“Lung cancer screen can save lives”, August 2). But it seems that health departments only value your life to age 74. Older than that, you must ask for, and pay for, those screenings. Is this a form of ageism? Yes, it is. Marjie WilliamsonBlaxland

No polite term

I am no lawyer, but the misuse of public money to benefit the least-worthy recipients has to be called something stronger than “could be corrupt” (“Pork barreling could be crime, declares ICAC”, August 2). Greg Thompson, Bega

sunburnt country

Your correspondent is right to commend the current prime minister for wearing a broad-brimmed hat (Letters, August 2). Given the rate of skin cancer and the vulnerability of exposed faces and ears, I am surprised that former PM Scott Morrison was not called out years ago for setting a bad example by wearing a baseball cap, particularly in the Australian summer.Brian Kidd, Mt Waverley (Vic)

yacht snub

More than Dutch courage, the request to dismantle a decommissioned bridge to accommodate the passage of another Jeff Bezos’ vanity projects provided a bridge too far for the egalitarian Dutch – a win for a principled population (“Bezos’ yacht left stranded after bridge row” , August 2). Janet Argall, Dulwich Hill

Put up, and park the lot

Why not move all statues to a purpose-built statue museum? Then charge the people a dollar and a half to see ’em, as the song goes (Letters, August 2). Ted RichardsBatemans Bay

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au.
I was a banker, now I’m on welfare – I had no idea how hard it would be
desde be: “Agreed. I was made redundant in my 50s which gave me no amount of stress and humiliation. I was lucky enough to be able to start my own business and I am now earning more than I ever did on a salary. But not everyone can do that so I can understand how difficult it could of been for me. We as a nation need to treat all with dignity and give those on JobSeeker enough to sustain their lives.”

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