In his opinion piece (‘This is why I don’t tip in restaurants’’, canberratimes.com.au, September 3) Paul Phillips provides a very poor justification of his position.
Mr Phillips argues that the issues of wage theft and underpayment in the hospitality industry will stagnate or worsen if customers continue to indulge in the ‘‘imported practice’’ of tipping.
Drawing such a link between the two phenomena is misguided.
I find it highly unlikely, if not an absurdity, to suggest that any illegal decisions by managers to underpay their employees are based on an assessment that their staff are receiving excessive tips. I think Australian businesses are fully aware such an argument would not hold up in court.
Underpayment and wage theft occur for the same reason they have always occurred. Managers and corporations can get away with it. The solutions to these issues are correspondingly consistent: robust laws and robust monitoring of those laws. Pretending that tipping has any kind of meaningful role to play in the problem is unhelpful.
If Mr Phillips is so keen on promoting equitable payment for employees, I suggest he focuses on that rather than creating a false correlation to satisfy his own conscience.
Laura Hannigan, Braddon
Mean and petty politics
From Barack Obama’s eulogy to John McCain ‘‘So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but in fact is born of fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that’’.
Warwick Davis, Isaacs
Hypocrisy on Manning
Denying Chelsea Manning entry to Australia would be another act of gross hypocrisy when so many in the Coalition government failed, in spectacular fashion, to pass the people’s character test last month and would no doubt also fail to explain satisfactorily why it was acceptable for a convicted and jailed fraudster to enter Australia twice to undertake paid speaking engagements.
Sue Dyer, Downer
Can it really be any coincidence that the percentage of people who believe the current drought may be related to climate change is so similar to the percentage of people who do not want to vote for the Coalition in the next election? Without a genuine plan to deal with climate change the current federal government is simply making itself irrelevant when it comes to dealing with what could be the major issue of the 21st century.
John McGee, Evatt
The week that has passed has shown the extent to which the wreckers went to get the votes required to despatch a sitting Prime Minister, through deceit and bullying.
I wish the newly installed Prime Minister Scott Morrison well but I fear that he has rewarded the very people who were instrumental in unseating the former Prime Minister Turnbull. He has rewarded, to name a few, Cormann, Cash, Dutton and the vengeful Abbott.
Abbott is the same man who appallingly called a dying man, the late Bernie Banton who died of asbestosis in 2007, ‘‘...not pure of heart’’.
Abbott’s actions in recent years have shown that he is exactly what he called the sincere Bernie.
Abbott’s appointment as an envoy will only give him succour to do the same again and will not extinguish his desire, at any cost, to be PM again.
Wolodja Dankiw, Holt
Dutton and integrity
Peter Dutton says he is a man of high integrity. According to the Australian Dictionary — ‘‘Integrity: moral uprightness, honesty.’’ You can make up your mind, but I know I have made up mine. I don’t think it’s a term I would use to describe his behaviour.
Hugh McGowan, Holt
Why Rudd was deposed
Bill Anderson (Letters, August 28) thinks Turnbull’s removal seems gentle when compared to Rudd’s.
He says: ‘‘The vicious and public character assassination of Kevin Rudd by his ALP colleagues...’’
I beg to differ on two grounds.
Rudd returned from the climate-change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 virtually catatonic. Decisions never left his office. Public servants and colleagues delayed putting things up until he went away and Gillard had the helm. She made the decisions.
He was deposed after six months of inaction.
The ALP to its shame and detriment never made this public. There was no character assassination. A flow-on perhaps from Beasley’s cowardly ‘‘small target’’ and Rudd’s inability to claim his successes (especially his response to the GFC) or combat criticism from the opposition (eg schools infrastructure).
Rudd and Abbott deserved to be deposed because they were incapable of doing the job, albeit in different ways.
Tony Stewart, Hughes
Volatile new element
I wonder if other members of the public could please confirm my discovery of a new rare element and help me identify its proper place in the periodic table — perhaps amongst the volatiles?
I call it Pri-Ministerium because it is highly localised, inherently unstable and has a very short half-life. Blink and you miss it, so the speak!
It also has a dangerous allotrope, ExPri-Ministerium. Left bereft by lost elections and fuelled by excess negative energies ExPri-Ministerium invariably seeks a return to its earlier, higher state. And, unable to easily co-exist with Pri-Ministerium, unless it is removed from the political crucible ExPri-Ministerium quickly attracts rogue particles, leading to the formation of toxic and corrosive critical masses that cause internal party meltdowns as factions collude, collide and fission. Finally and unfortunately, the inevitable fallout of recurring admixtures of Pri-Ministerium and ExPri-Ministerium appear to be the degradation of the body politic, a loss of public confidence and a corresponding tsunami of popular cynicism.
Rohan Anderson, Turner
Men and boys
Isn’t it telling that a 23-year-old army lieutenant commanding 40 males in an infantry platoon refers to them as ‘‘the men’’. And isn’t it appropriate that a middle-aged coach of 13 males playing for a professional rugby league side [the Bulldogs], refers to them as ‘‘the boys’’.
David Hewett-Lacon, Gowrie
Pension age decision
How nice to see that the Coalition’s plan to increase the pension to 70 has finally been out to pasture. Bloody ridiculous idea.
N. Ellis, Belconnen
We’re roos’ big threat
Paul Ratcliffe (Letters, September 5) argues ‘‘a bullet to the head’’ would be a more humane way to treat kangaroos during the drought.
He claims paddocks in Bredbo were strewn with dead kangaroos. But Ratcliffe claims, disengenuously, their deaths were due to starvation.
A more likely scenario is they were shot by the property owner, their friends or random shooters having a ‘‘good night out’’.
NSW now allows unregulated slaughter so mass killings are becoming the norm with ‘‘weekend shooting parties’’ now the rage.
Those Ratcliffe saw on the Monaro Highway verge have been killed seeking food and safety.
Ratcliffe blames kangaroos for denuding Canberra nature reserves but this is due to the drought.
Kangaroos prefer to graze tips and move on while the land recovers. How else have they managed to exist here for millions of years except by learning to live in harmony with the land.
Kangaroos are moving into our front yards, our sporting fields, and so they should. We have built over land they would normally fan out across during a drought.
We have signed the death warrant of those still thriving unless we allow them to co-exist with us in safety. Give kangaroos a safe pass, help them out, not give them a bullet to the head.
Carolyn Drew, Page
Governments seem to have a propensity for making legislation which, although well intended, is completely unenforceable and therefore completely useless. A good example is the proposal to force priests to report confessions of paedophilia.
A penitent goes to confession and confesses to such an offence. The priest knows that he is legally obliged to report it, but decides to not do so. Since the only two people who are aware of the offence are the penitent and the priest, what happens next?
Does the priest go to the police station and report that he has failed to report a confession of paedophilia? Unlikely.
Does the penitent go to the police and check to see if the priest has reported his confession? More unlikely.
So the priest’s offence of not reporting is likely never to be revealed. And even if somehow it was, there is then the problem that the identity of a penitent is supposed to be unknown to the confessor.
Even if the priest thinks that he knows who it is, any worthwhile lawyer would be able to demonstrate that the penitent’s identity was not established beyond all reasonable doubt. The prosecution would therefore fail.
The only things such legislation will achieve are wasting a good deal of courts’ time and boosting the income of the legal profession.
I am not and never have been a member of the Roman Catholic church.
Roger Quarterman, Campbell
Drawing a line
The Catholic Church says limiting confidentiality of confession would breach religious freedom. But many other so-called religious freedoms are already, properly, limited or banned by civil law. Many have far greater biblical ‘‘authority’’ and encouragement than the seal of the confessional — which was codified only many centuries after biblical times.
They include polygamy, a range of reasons for religious murder, and human sacrifice.
Indeed, the human sacrifice extreme was cited by the US Supreme Court in limiting religious exemption from civil law to matters of belief, not practice, when it struck out a religious freedom defence of polygamy.
Confessional secrecy was only developed to entrench the power of the church over ignorant and superstitious people by reinforcing the spurious prospects of extreme eternal reward and punishment in an imaginary afterlife. This to deter offenders who might otherwise have thought themselves eternally damned, and so free to reoffend, because the imagined afterlife punishment was already certain.
Mike Hutchinson, Reid
Much has been said in support of the ACT government’s determination to protect children from abuse by legally compelling Catholic priests to report penitents who seek forgiveness for their abusive behaviour. On September 11 there will still be 200 days remaining before the law becomes effective. If the law proves to be as effective as our legislators claim then there will as few as 28 Saturdays remaining for offenders to have their souls cleansed before the law is defied. That is a generous gesture to the offenders by our esteemed legislators.
Geoff Mongan, Campbell
Westpac move suss
Westpac has been fined $35 million by ASIC for loan assessment system breaches of responsible lending laws for thousands of home loans that should have not been approved because the customers could not afford the loan.
It is also expected Westpac and other banks will be fined further penalties when the royal commission into financial service is complete.
How ironic that this week Westpac increased the interest rate for home loans. Surely this isn’t action by it to recover the millions of dollars of fines imposed and that may yet be imposed?
The Reserve Bank hasn’t changed its interest rates. Why has Westpac decided now to increase lending rates?
Jack Wiles, Gilmore
Ring not so steely
Having been told for years now that the LNP has been telling us the country had a ring of steel around Australia and asylum seekers cannot breach our borders, could Peter Dutton please explain how a boat from Vietnam was able to penetrate this ring?
No doubt any explanation will be a real doozy that makes an attempt to blame Labor for such a breach of this ring of steel.
As Saint Pauline would say please explain.
D. J. Fraser, Currumbin, Qld
Dump the advisers
Politicians should dispense with so-called advisers, usually party aspirants, and accept the advice from the relevant department that is loaded with wise heads. The country might get back to policy and stable leadership.
Jeff Bradley, Isaacs
TO THE POINT
KIWIS RUFFLE FEATHERS
Why were no Australian journalists arrested for ruffling feathers by talking to refugees on Nauru?
Way to go, New Zealand.
M. Moore, Bonython
NO RULES FOR DRONES
In reply to J. Gray, (Letters, September 1). Yes we are well aware of the ‘aviation rules’ set by CASA. the problem is that the rules have been waived by the government for this so-called [Bonython drone delivery] trial, and the result of the trial appears to be by self-assessment by this American company.
N. A. Sheather, Bonython
WAGES DRY UP TOO
Maybe we need a special envoy to look into the wages drought?
Neil Wilson, Canberra
Westpac is a wonder. Interest rates rise one week and massive fines the next. Makes you wonder.
Nick Corby, Hawker
Spring in Canberra. Freezing fingers, freezing toes, Bishop lingers, Turnbull goes. Peter Dutton pressed the button; brought it on for Morrison. And I wander by the lake, And I wonder: is it fake?
J. Nicholls, Armadale, Vic
AU PAIRS THE ANSWER
I have a solution for the government’s off-shore detention problem in Manus and Nauru.
The government should train all the asylum seekers as au pairs. This will obviously solve the critical shortage we have in this highly skilled profession.
Ed Gaykema, Reid
ASYLUM SEEKER DRESSAGE
First the horseriding French au pair, now an Argentinian polo player.
Clearly, those asylum seekers on Nauru wishing to convince Immigration Minister Dutton of their visa-worthiness should be thinking about elite equestrian sports, maybe have a crack at dressage or show jumping.
Gaynor Morgan, Braddon
WALK-IN TOO SLOW
We have been informed that the Weston Creek Walk-in Centre, at 24 Parkinson Street, Weston, will be open by the end of 2019.
Perhaps the ACT Minister for Health could explain to the public why it cannot be open by the end of 2018?
John Milne, Chapman
SACK THE BULLIES
Scomo should take a teaspoon of cement to toughen up, show some leadership and sack the bullies he appointed to ministerial positions.
Peter Harris, Belconnen
In his recent photographs, Mr Turnbull looks 10 to 15 years younger than when he was in government.
I hope he enjoys retirement.
M. Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
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