Karina Morris (Letters, May 18) characterises the PM's "rhetoric" on the staged program of recovery after COVID-19 restrictions as being too muscular.
The PM's arguments that we can't stay "under the doona", and that we can't afford to be "too timid", make her wonder about the gender composition of the PM's team of advisers.
She suggests his approach is "a testosterone-infused response to a critical health issue".
I must disagree with Ms Morris'. Is a well-considered, flexible "road map" out of the COVID-19 restrictions really "a testosterone-infused response"?
Clear leadership, based on expert medical and other advice, appears nothing short of useful to me. To suggest that a strong leadership stance is, in some way, either inappropriate, or masculine, is to denigrate the capability of any person, whatever their gender.
Moral courage and strength are not gendered; nor is the COVID-19 pandemic. Would we call New Zealand PM, Jacinda Ardern, toxically masculine for taking well-informed, strong leadership decisions?
We have been fortunate enough to "flatten the curve" - so far. We know that the disease has not just disappeared. We also know that we can't stay confined to our homes forever. Advice from many experts, male and female, suggests a cautious, gradual return to greater normality.
The "under the doona" metaphor employed by the PM is an effective way to convey these ideas to the populace. People get it.
Dr Karen Macpherson, Fadden
Jevon Kinder (Letters, May 18) agrees climate change "sceptics" are stubborn, but says that climate change "believers" are stubborn also.
In fact, recent history shows that the latter assertion is not so. Until recent decades, many climate scientists, the vast majority of scientists more generally, and almost everyone else, would have regarded the idea that humans can alter the climate as far-fetched, even absurd.
However, with the relentless accumulation of scientific evidence, almost all of these groups, including a large majority of the population even in countries like Australia and the US, now accept the concept.
To describe those who accept the overwhelming evidence of anthropogenic climate change as stubborn is as silly as describing as stubborn those who accept the germ theory of disease, the concept of continental drift, or the idea that earth circles the sun.Paul Pollard, O'Connor
Thus "believers" have shown change and acceptance in the face of evidence. This ongoing respect for evidence is the opposite of stubbornness.
To describe those who accept the overwhelming evidence of anthropogenic climate change as stubborn is as silly as describing as stubborn those who accept the germ theory of disease, the concept of continental drift, or the idea that earth circles the sun.
Like the concept of climate change, these ideas were also once outlandish and opposed by stubborn conservative thinkers.
Paul Pollard, O'Connor
Obey the law
The Canberra Times has published various letters which raise questions about the rights and wrongs of cyclists and pedestrians. The answer seems obvious to me: obey the law.
Perhaps it is time to revisit the basis of a letter I wrote to the paper on December 2, 2016. Nothing seems to have changed.
Rule 250 of the Australian Road Rules "Riding on a footpath or shared path" states: "The rider of a bicycle riding on a footpath or shared path must - - - (b) give way to any pedestrian on the footpath or shared path." Note 2 says "give way means the rider must slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision."
Rule 258 "Equipment on a bicycle" states: "A person must not ride a bicycle that does not have: - - - (b) a bell, horn or similar warning device, in working order."
The ACT Road Rules Handbook, under the heading "Cycle Paths" states: "If approaching pedestrians from behind, ring your bell to let them know you are coming, slow down as you pass and give them right of way".
Patricia Worthy, Kambah
Too clever by half
In his article "Economic choices stay the same" (May 9, p39) Simon Cowan from the Centre of Independent Studies asserts that we need skilled migration because neither government nor business enterprises can afford to train and develop skilled workers.
Further, it has to be that way because "...if there was a benefit to business in providing a certain type of training, they (sic) would be doing so already".
So, though he doesn't explicitly say so, Australia has to rely on poaching workers that other countries have trained. To my mind that makes Australian businesses leaners, not lifters.
What is to be the fate of the Australians who thus miss out on training and are displaced by migrant workers?
The unemployment queue and being labelled a "dole bludger" of course. It's a pity that outcome doesn't seem to concern the likes of smart folk like Simon Cowan.
Bronis Dudek, Calwell
Try diplomacy and tact
Actually, Trevor Wilson, (Letters, May 9), in Chinese eyes Foreign Minister Marise Payne was being aggressive when she raised the idea, subsequently supported by the PM and others, that a swarm of foreign investigators should be allowed into China to check the validity of their claims in regard to the coronavirus outbreak.
To Chinese, the concept of "face", the esteem and status which one holds, rests on hair-trigger sensitivities that are foreign to westerners. The mere suggestion they may have mishandled a situation is extremely insulting.
As a young probationary inspector in the Hong Kong police taking my first morning shift parade of about 40 constables, I was met on my arrival by the shift sergeant with a sharp salute and the comment "Cold morning, Sah!"
I casually replied "Oh, just a bit fresh, sergeant", inspected them and then dismissed them to their various beats.
After they had dispersed a watching superintendent called me over and told me that my contradiction of the sergeant had caused him to lose face in front of everybody. This wasn't a good thing for his morale and general discipline.
We should have congratulated the Chinese on their efforts in controlling the outbreak and asked them if they had any advice we might find useful.
I think we would have found them most helpful. It's called diplomacy.
Bill Deane, Chapman
Good, bad and ugly
When I come to reflect on the year of the coronavirus there will be three themes that capture it.
The good: 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore walking 100 laps of his garden to raise over $60 million dollars, and all the health workers battling the virus.
The bad: the White House team led by their Commander-in-Tweet and Trump's endless game of blaming everyone else for the problem through his poorly written tweets and incoherent ramblings.
The ugly: Urged on by Donald, the armed protesters entering the Michigan state capitol building on April 30.
Chris Mobbs, Hackett
The lift risk
Little thought seems to have been given to office workers returning to traditional high rise buildings in the latest COVID-19 planning.
While the planned return to work in a safe manner is laudable, how are, say 2000 people, going to use lifts while keeping to the four square metre regulation?
Building managers will no doubt try to crib on the single person per lift idea but even if two people are allowed (and health outcomes are compromised) the queues at 8.30 am could snake for kilometres (at 1.5 metres per person) for each building.
With elevators being called "moving coffins" in Europe and North America, businesses are rethinking the traditional CBD high rise model.
Forms of social distancing may be required for a long time for COVID-19 or any future pandemics.
Where is the leadership and sustainable urban planning?
Glyn Prichard, Murrumbateman, NSW
Tax system broken
The article "Build-to-rent Amaroo development taking applicants with up to eight weeks' free rent included" (May 14, p4) highlights another aspect of the ACT's very broken tax system.
While it might seem the company that owns the Marquee development is being generous in offering this in tough economic times, it is passing on to renters only a portion of the massive tax advantage it gains from having 107 apartments and some commercial and retail tenants on one property title.
One set of rates and land tax fixed charges results in over $2.5 million of annual tax advantage (84 per cent) over the normal 107 separate titles, just on the apartments.
That equates to about six weeks of rent on every apartment every year, all of which will go into the company's pocket once it stops sharing with the honeymoon renters.
Peter Bradbury, Holt
TO THE POINT
Paul Edwards's (Letters, May 15) point re the meaning of English terms is flawed in a couple of respects. He says trains are "composed of" carriages. Not so, trains have more than carriages. They need a locomotive. To be "composed of" means all the elements. Trains do, however, "comprise" carriages. Carriages are included in the set of things making up a train.
Terry Werner, Wright
TOO MUCH LIGHT
I wish this coronavirus would get lost and let our air pollution return. I am fed up with the sun glaring down, the sky the colour of a Dali painting, and the full moon shining like a giant searchlight.
John Holland, Dickson
A visiting English friend has asked: "If Wagga Wagga is pronounced 'Wogga Wogga', why isn't Parramatta pronounced 'Porromotta'?"
John Milne, Chapman
I'm afraid, Bob Stirling (Letters, May 13) you are up against the use of social media by people who surely turned off halfway through their English teachers' explanations of the relevant rules. I add to your angst the attempt to reduce a plural to the singular by the use of "pant" as in pants leg, or a pair of pant, where the word pants is a diminutive of pantaloons, a plural.
Kevin Bell, Kambah
I wonder if a well known ACT developer will be on the ballot paper at the next ACT election? It seems to have most of the say about development in our town centres.
T E White, Evatt
Could the younger relatives or children of W Budd, Nicholls (Letters, May 18) please visit them and show them how to use device discovery on their phones? Technology I didn't grow up with is difficult for me too. We need younger people to help us out.
Caitlin Oliver, Campbell
TRUE TO FORM
Despite the recent, and encouraging, display of democracy from Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton has been true to form with his proposal for increased ASIO powers in showing that this government is just as scary as ever.
Brian Smith, Conder
SOCIAL DISTANCE FAIL
Your front page (Saturday, May 16) was dominated by a photo of three restaurant co-owners excited to be opening their doors to in-house dining under the relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. Seeing them all leaning on the bar shoulder-to-shoulder makes me wonder if they were a little unprepared.
Ian Duckworth, Griffith
NO SURPRISES HERE
With market values rising, business subsidies flowing, obscene profit levels, and eye-watering executive compensation, business groups would prefer a subservient workforce to beg for their meagre pay. ("Business body wants minimum wage frozen", May 16, p20).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
If you aspire to be the Prime Minister it is very helpful if your name is Bob or Malcolm. It would be better still to be Scot free.
Cynthia Moloney, Yarralumla
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