David Headon and Bruce Gall seem to think the Australian national anthem is some sort of racist song to be ignored, ridiculed or condemned. (Letters, November 4).
It's a pity they didn't do their homework before insulting the entire nation.
Not only is our anthem unique in the world, adopted as it was in a national plebiscite in 1977 to replace God save the Queen, its 100-year-old lyrics were rewritten in 1982 to make them politically correct, totally inclusive and widely reflective of the modern nation Australia was then and still is today.
I was the public servant who facilitated that process. The 20 or so Australians it was my privilege to serve as they revisited McCormick's Advance Australian Fair included some of our nation's highest achieving politicians, diplomats, sportspeople, artists, migrants, media personalities, feminists and Aboriginal leaders who put their all into the year-long task.
How Headon and Gall can accuse the Indigenous trio of Charlie Perkins, Neville Bonner and Galarrwuy Yunupingu of being "racist" in the face of their commitment to a national anthem that could serve every Australian escapes and saddens me.
Australians all, let us grow up.
Frank Cassidy, Kambah
Too "woke" for this world
My word, Canberra's virtue-signalling sanctimoniacs were out in strength in the letters page on Wednesday (November 4). David Headon believes the Wallabies are, strangely, cowards for not humbly prostrating themselves before the All Blacks for some mystically obscure racist reason also linked to the playing of Advance Australia Fair. Bruce Gall claims our anthem "ignores Indigenous Australians".
Perhaps Bruce is unaware of the song's first two words and their powerfully non-discriminatory declaration "Australians all". Further, he is so full of self-loathing that he has to criticise with particularities a general statement glorifying our, and his, good fortune in living here.
Still, there have been cases of nations rightfully deciding their national anthem needed dusting off. My favourite example is Egypt which some years ago realised that the line "Oh my weapon, how I long to clutch thee" was a bit over the top.
Bill Deane, Chapman
Anti-Trump media bias
Again, the bulk of the press in the US and here got it wrong in the lead-up to the US election and during the count.
Apart from News Corp and Sky, the large majority of the rest ignored or played down Trump's achievements at home and abroad, didn't realise the full impact Democrat energy, trade, border and tax policies would have on millions of Americans, and the way they vote, tried to pretend that the street violence wasn't mostly from leftist mobs in Democrat run cities, and couldn't see the contrast between Trump's energy and drive and his opponent's obvious age-related limitations.
We constantly hear that an impartial, professional press is a cornerstone of democracy. Well, too many of the current lot fall well short here and in the US.
Doug Hurst, Chapman
Nothing to see
Once again we had the ignominy of all four of the ABC's TV channels in Canberra (2, 20, 21 and 24) devoted almost entirely to coverage of a single subject, this time the US election, on Wednesday night between 6 and 8 pm. Was this really necessary? I'm sure the outcome of the US election is fascinating - for a limited few - but there are many, many viewers for which it is an absolute turnoff.
Couldn't at least one of the three main channels have shown normal programming, including a full locally-produced news bulletin at 7pm?
Don Sephton, Greenway
The next diversion is?
With the footy season over I'm wondering what diversions the Morrison government will promote to distract Jill and Joe Average from questioning its performance.
It certainly won't be cricket which has been likened to watching paint dry. The Sydney to Hobart has now lost the two main contenders and we can no longer call on Billy Thorpe to brighten up our days with, "It's almost summer". So, as 2020 concludes and the New Year approaches, I imagine even Santa will struggle complying with pandemic travel restrictions.
John Sandilands, Garran
With the replacement of the kerbside car parking lane on the lake side of Emu Bank Belconnen from the Belconnen Art Centre almost to the Skate Park by a super wide bike path will the ACT government reduce the rates and land tax to recompense those eateries and businesses whose clientele no longer have parking spaces.
Paul O'Connor, Hawker
M Silex (Letters, November 2) can be assured that no Canberrans think ACT climate action alone will have any impact on global warming. Nor is it "virtue signalling".
Rather it is our wish to show that our small jurisdiction can survive and thrive on renewable energy. I suspect our vote also reflects dismay that our nation-wide, operational, and effective carbon minimisation scheme was shredded by Abbott (cheered on by our current incumbent).
We know that had that scheme survived we would by now be a practical demonstration to the world that a nation can remain economically sound whilst well into the transition from fossil fuel.
In another 10 years we could have neutered the world-wide fossil fuel lobby and their political cheer squads, with a vibrant zero emissions economy.
G Williams, Gowrie
Hospital is great
The ACT Health System comes in for quite a lot of criticism but I write to say how lucky I think we are to have it.
I recently had a health emergency having left home feeling perfectly well that morning.
I ended up being taken to Canberra Hospital by ambulance, given a CT scan and operated on by two female surgeons for several hours that night.
I spent a week in hospital where I was treated with nothing but kindness and respect in a situation where the yuk factor certainly applied.
My thanks to the nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and others involved, and to my ophthalmologist for his assistance, when the emergency which had nothing whatsoever to do with my eyes, suddenly occurred.
Julia Richards, Kambah
I won't be watching the State of Origin matches but I do remain curious as to what the television cameras will be focussed on during the playing of the national anthem.
Will it be on the proud indigenous players should they rightly choose not to join in, even though they have paid attention to the words? Or will it be on the more recently arrived players who will be mumbling and faking their way through along the lines of "... something something something... girt... something something..."
Or maybe it will be on our illustrious Prime Minister who will doubtless be somewhere up in a corporate box chanting something obscure about sharks.
Peter McDonald, Hughes
Time to be (really) Green
Canberra trusted and voted six Greens into the ACT Government. Lets hope that they are genuine grass-root Greens (as they told us on their corflutes) in the ilk of Brown, Milne and Lecouteur and not pseudo-Labor stooges.
Surely six Greens will oppose Barr's "Dutch" proposal for West Basin to reclaim land with landfill.
P. R. Temple, Macquarie
Energy choices poor
Given discussion about getting rid of natural gas I decided to get quotes to replace my ducted gas heating with electric heating. The stock answer was that I would have to replace it with a reverse cycle air conditioning system. I already have a very efficient evaporative cooler and do not require additional cooling. Apparently heating only is not an option. I would guess that there are others in the same predicament.
John Williams, Rivett
I was surprised at how unsurprised I was by President Trump's inflammatory and unjustified decision to claim he had won the US election despite all of the evidence being then I figured it out. After four years of this clown you would only be surprised if he acted rationally for once.
M Moore, Bonython
Do your bit
There is a lot of grass on public spaces. More rain is expected. It's unrealistic to expect Parks and Gardens to mow it all before it becomes a bushfire hazard. If you have a mower, how about adopting a patch near your home? The government could help by endorsing the idea and encouraging the dumping of cuttings in green or normal waste bins. What about it Canberrans?
Paul Mason, Cook
TO THE POINT
MASTERFUL SELF DECEPTION
A man who believes you can reduce the impact of the pandemic by testing fewer people would have no trouble believing he can win an election by not counting every vote.
Lance Lawton, Cooma, NSW
When the celebrities decided to lend Biden a hand in the closing stages of his campaign, surely the biggest double act on the night was Lady Gaga and "Gaga Joe".
Alex Wallensky, Broulee, NSW
Paulino Leon of Tucson, Arizona, has "bought canned food" and has "set things up" so he can stay in his house "for at least two months"... and he has got his guns ("Americans settle in to wait as a "landslide" turns into a slow grind" (November 5, p6-7). What a sad commentary on the hyper-adversarial state of politics in today's USA.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Americans! Why do we bother Fawlty?
Brian Wenn, Garran
THE LOW BAR
No wonder Coalition politicians have a lot of time for Donald Trump. His personal ethics and political strategies make them look good.
Alex Mattea, Sydney, NSW
STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES
The USA decision isn't clear yet, but it is clear that Forrest Gump was dead right: "stupid is what stupid does".
John Howarth, Weston
A PAINFUL TRUTH
A rare honest statement from Trump: "Winning is easy. Losing is hard". No wonder people in power often use all kinds of dirty tricks to ensure they do not lose their hold on power. Losing is too hard for them to accept. Trump has unwittingly admitted that.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
New Zealand will legalise euthanasia soon. They also legalised gay marriage (amongst other things) before us. It seems that what the New Zealand's government does in a day our government does in a year.
Mokhles k Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
WARDEN OUT OF DATE
Here's hoping haranguing over whether she has or has not read The Female Eunuch is not a taste of what's to come for Elizabeth Lee. ("Purring voters in Canberra's soft lap", November 1, p16) Ian Warden tars her without even knowing the answer. The most galling part is, of course, generations of women have moved on from Greer to more inclusive thinkers. Join us, Ian.
Erin Cook, Waramanga
SECRET SHREDDER BUSINESS
Well done Gladys. $250 million pork-barrelled into Coalition seats and the evidence put through the shredder. Ros Kelly went for far less. Time to retire Premier.
R F Bollen, Torrens
LEOPARDS DON'T CHANGE
I'm bemused by those who suggest that if the Liberals want to win in Canberra they need to change their outlook on such things as climate change, marriage equality and abortion.
These people are Liberals precisely because they are climate change deniers and so forth. It's like telling dogs that they should be cats.
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
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