MPs Christensen and Kelly say things on social media that are demonstrably false, and, on COVID-19 matters, dangerously so. The Prime Minister and acting Prime Minister think this is fine, it is just "free speech". And they're right, people can say whatever they like, it's what comes next that counts.
Christensen and Kelly are part of the LNP government, Australia's management team, analogous to the management team of a big company, say BHP. Imagine the scene at a BHP management meeting where somebody pipes up with his view "steel floats on water".
Would the CEO say "Free speech rules, you may be right. All our future decision making will allow for the fact steel may float on water. We might save a fortune on export costs"?
It is much more likely the CEO would tell the idiot to take his crazy notions elsewhere because he didn't have the smarts to add anything to the critical task of managing the company. Messrs Morrison and McCormack, facts are facts. Get rid of the dead wood and get on with managing the country, not the politics.
A T Adams, Ainslie
There used to be a presumption against, and rules regulating, the acceptance of medals and honours from foreign polities; such awards raised questions of divided allegiance and called for special approvals.
Has President Trump's offer of a United States Legion of Merit to our Prime Minister been granted official Australian acceptance and been conferred? May we know how questions of divided allegiance have been dealt with and what Australian procedures have been followed to permit acceptance of this foreign award? The citation should be an interesting read.
Lawry Herron, O'Connor
Bruce Wolpe ("The day democracy was attacked", Forum, January 9, p25) fosters imagining about perversion of democracy in Australia, based on Trump's dis-United States of America.
No such problems here Bruce. Our perversions are more subtle. Perhaps you could imagine: A prime minister being dismissed by an unelected individual representing the nominal head of state and being replaced by that individual's chosen appointee.
A vote of no confidence in that appointee being rejected by that unelected individual. Media headlines immediately prior to a subsequent election dishonestly purporting to reveal information, supposedly gleaned from a Swiss bank, of gross impropriety by the dismissed government. Australia fortunately doesn't, yet, have a swarm of arms-toting yokels prepared to physically attack parliament. So far, more subtle means have been adopted.
However, while we continue on our present path, we should be very worried. Following Wolpe's message, Ebony Bennett, in the same edition, gives strength to this concern when she writes, very cogently, of our democracy's fragility under the headline "There is no reason this couldn't all happen here".
Colin Samundsett, Farrer
I applaud The Canberra Times for being non-partisan and publishing letters from all perspectives. However, I have just read, with dread and almost disbelief, the latest contribution from Victor Diskordia (Letters, January 13).
While I have my issues with the excesses of identity politics and political correctness, does Victor really believe universal rights, egalitarianism and multiculturalism are "leftist" and therefore to be deplored?
Gary Mack, Queanbeyan
Words that matter
Congratulations to the letters editor for the great job on Wednesday, January 13.
What a selection, and such panache with the headlines. "Way to go Michael" summed up why our deputy prime minister would want to defend the actions of the mob trashing the US Capitol.
Then "Double standards", the tech giants censoring the POTUS and the woke left calls for civility and law and order. I am pleased to learn, however, that the swamp is going to be refilled, and that the angst about Trump is a waste of time. Just move on. Shame about the dead.
But the gem: "It's not that simple". Who would have thought we are just prisoners of Google Marxism and that the big tech companies are leftist authoritarians bringing us universal rights, egalitarianism and multi-culturalism. But is there anyone better at identity politics than Trump? No wonder there is a call to "Close the Open".
Mike Buckley, Barton
Toughen dog laws
Tara Ward, the managing solicitor at the Animal Defenders Office, is correct when she advocates that the current dog laws need tweaking ("Tough dog laws need tweaking: advocate", canberratimes.com.au, January 10). They need tweaking because they are not tough enough as they allow previously offending vicious dogs back into the community, more than likely to reoffend.
That is unacceptable and also contrary to vast community sentiment. Under the current laws the registrar is obliged to have a dog destroyed when it causes the death of a human or animal unless the attack was provoked, which is highly unlikely to occur in a public place.
Any dog that is vicious enough to attack, kill and maim a human or animal, has no place in our society and should be destroyed unless the attack was provoked, in which case it should be considered on its merits prior to the dog being released back into the community.
In 2020 in the ACT, unprovoked dog attacks and harassment ran at about two per day. That is far too many.
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
Tough stand needed
I sent my first ever letter to the editor a few weeks ago following a vicious and prolonged attack by an uncontrolled dog on our dog Jackie, whilst walking on Oxley Hill.
I wrote that letter because I was concerned for the safety of people, particularly children, as it was not the first attack that has happened to us there.
The attack resulted in serious injury to Jackie requiring emergency surgery at a cost of $1600. It was so horrific that we no longer walk our dog anywhere.
Since then we have become aware of many more such attacks by dangerous dogs in Oxley. Whilst the dangerous dogs have not yet been found, we have been impressed by the actions of Domestic Animal Services in trying to find them. So when I read the article ("Tough dog laws need tweaking: advocate", canberratimes.com.au, January 10), quoting Tara Ward at the Animal Defenders Office about the need to lessen the laws around dog attacks, I felt sick.
She has no idea what she is talking about; a dog that is on the loose and attacks indiscriminately should not be allowed to stay in the community.
I acknowledge that destroying a dog after it attacks doesn't help the victim but it does mean there will be no further victims. As a suggestion, why not make it mandatory for all dogs to be muzzled outside their residences and for dog breeds deemed dangerous be muzzled at all times.
Chris Dainer, Oxley
It's high time Cricket Australia and international cricket authorities took a stand against bouncers intended to injure and intimidate batsmen ("Tourists lose keeper and all-rounder to brutal bouncer barrage" canberratimes.com.au, January 10).
Test cricket fans want to see the world's best players playing world-class cricket; not a procession of international players returning home because they've been injured.
Few parents will want their children to be taught a game where the risk of injury is so high and respect for one's opponents so low.
C Williams, Forrest
I am perplexed by Nicholas Stuart's analysis of the Trump phenomenon ("Don't dismiss frustration of voters", January 11, p37). It doesn't mention race, religion or guns. The messages of the chants and banners at Trump rallies and the Washington riot are mostly things like "Make America great again", "take our country back", "Freedom" and "Stop the steal."
I see this as about a perceived threat to America from immigration of people not of northern European ancestry, of religions other than a brand of Christianity which requires a belief in a literal interpretation of the bible, and also a belief Trump is so popular with Americans that he could only have lost due to massive fraud.
The "freedoms" they want include the freedom to harass and discriminate on the basis of race and religion, access to guns capable of mass killing, freedom to ignore medical opinion and laws designed to limit the spread of disease and freedom to trash the environment.
Such people are threatened by a president with traditional Christian values and a vice president of non-European ancestry.
Stuart recommends the ALP starts courting people like these.
This is dangerous stuff. He must be aware, from the history of Europe in the first half of last century, what this approach could lead to.
Max Brown, Mawson
TO THE POINT
EXPEDIENCY ON SHOW
The Republicans crossing the floor to vote with the Democrats to impeach Trump in the final week of his presidency is reminiscent of the Parisians who joined the Resistance as Allied tanks rolled down the Champs Elysées in 1944.
John Murray, Fadden
American President Donald Trump should stick to having nectarines. Rather than being "Im-Peached" again.
Michael Calkovics, Lyons
SHEEP DIP MAFIA?
If the sheep who follow, and vote for, Craig Kelly want to drink the sheep dip, they should be allowed to do so. Likewise, if the goldfish followers and voters want to drink the aquarium disinfectant why should they be stopped? In fact, a double dose would be twice as good.
Andy Hogan, Bonython
I think the appellation "leader of the free world" should be the result of a vote and not, by default, the President of the USA. I nominate Angela Merkel.
George Beaton, Greenway
I LOVE IT
What other paper, except possibly The Times (of London) - would have correspondence on words first used in the 1300s? (Letters, January 11).
Brian Gosling, Holt
COME BACK SCOTTY
I have little time for the artful mendacity and spin of Scott Morrison but after two days of Mr McCormack, acting and untutored PM, spewing his right wing reactionary sludge, the cry goes out: "Come back and clean up, Scotty".
David Perkins, Reid
WHAT A RIP-OFF
I had to drive to Fyshwick on Wednesday and filled up with unleaded petrol for only $1.179 a litre, considerably cheaper than my local servo which has been charging $1.299 a litre. My old boss used to say he didn't mind being robbed, but he hated being robbed, kicked and jumped on.
Max Rowe, Hawker
WHO DID THIS?
The person or people responsible for the ABC's self-promotion which encourages parents to pack up their children's camping trip and to take the kids home to sit in front of television, should be sacked.
Graham Downie, O'Connor
SAY THAT AGAIN?
Nick Michell (Letters, January 10) complained about a cyclist swerving to avoid him at the last moment while he was walking along Athllon Drive on the roadway. Has it occurred to him that walking on the road is inherently dangerous to pedestrians? Surely he should have been walking alongside the road not on it.
Michael Lane, St Ives, NSW
WHO'S TO BLAME?
Nick Michell of Mawson (Letters, January 10) writes to inform us that he was walking on the wrong side of the shared path and nearly collided with a cyclist. Apparently this is everyone's fault except his own. 2021 is off to an interesting start.
Warwick Bradly, Weston
SLOW TO ACT
No charges have yet been laid over the weekend hooning. Just lots of rubber.