Australia is getting smashed on the submarines issue from all at the G20. What happened to timely advice from Foreign Affairs and PM&C? Are current public servants not up to it? Morrison should have been directed on the appropriate route to take regarding this difficult political situation with France. Maybe they did proffer good advice which was ignored?
We, the public, wont be informed. We see the government being stampeded into the new arrangement as a response to China's growing dominant behaviour which is scarily disturbing. We have long memories of France's influence in the Pacific. Remember the Rainbow Warrior? When New Zealand had the temerity to pass a sentence of jail on the French bombers.
Subsequently, France convinced the EU not to buy NZ sheep and milk products. What arrogant behaviour towards a small nation which was not at fault. Then atom bomb testing on Mururoa by France caused an outcry for years particularly from Pacific nations including Australia and New Zealand. Arrogance ruled again. Maybe that is partly the problem, French arrogance. One can also read that Macron is facing elections shortly and must be in serious doubt about his future.
Morrison is certainly in doubt about his.
M Milliken, Holt
Shamed by our leader
Going back to Menzies there are only two PMs who have made me ashamed to be an Australian - Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison. Watching the eloquent speech delivered by the French ambassador at the Press Club on Wednesday November 4, made me ashamed to be an Australian when His Excellency explained the background to the submarine saga. I was moved to write a personal letter of apology to the ambassador and through him to the French President and the French people.
The right-wing populists have had their turn in inflicting their views on Australians. There are plenty of guest rooms at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Estate, where surrounded by luxury and excess he plans his comeback in 2024. Wouldn't it be great for Australia and the world if Morrison, Dutton, Joyce and Abbot moved permanently to Trump Land to join their soulmate?
John Davenport, Farrer
Dragged down on world stage
Proud people of Australia can we please have a new PM? Scott Morrison has dragged us down to rock bottom on the world stage, bringing us only shame and embarrassment with his coalition of dodgy dealers, his diplomatic disasters, and climate con jobs.
His attitude is a national disgrace.
Joan Milner, Gowrie
Canberrans in confusion
Your editorial "Manuka's dispute isn't just about profits" (November 4) raises the interesting idea of closing Franklin Street in the evening only, but sagely notes that such a compromise wouldn't be easy to enact. After all, the ACT government believes Canberrans would be 'confused' by school speed zones that only apply during drop off and pick up times.
Ian Douglas, Jerrabomberra
Huge environmental cost
The ACT government has finally revealed that 60,000 tons of fill will be needed to raise London Circuit to build Stage 2A of the tram route ("Plans for light rail extension submitted" October 30, p3). To visualise this vast amount, think of 24 Olympic swimming pools, and the 6,000 diesel-spewing dump-truck loads needed to transport the fill. A line of 6000 dump trucks parked bumper-to-bumper would extend from Parliament House, across the lake, along Northbourne Ave and the entire length of the Barton Highway, past the Yass Post Office.
Expressing righteous concern over the ocean of greenhouse gases produced by this counter-productive effort, the ACT government, taking their lead from Messers Morrison and Taylor, will no doubt promise vague "carbon offset" arrangements that never appear as a cost to the project. They will ignore the inconvenient fact that the accelerating transition of transport to electricity means that the greenhouse gases produced by Stage 1's construction will never be balanced by reductions in transport emissions. As well as reducing the utility of Canberra's public transport network at huge expense, Stage 2 is an environmental disaster. Electric buses or trackless trams on a Woden-Civic transit lane could provide cheap, fast, efficient and emissions-free transport now.
Kent Fitch, Nicholls
No common sense on tram
There have been many letters in this and other publications arguing against Stage 2 of the tram, and exhorting the ACT government to embrace common sense and change to the alternative of electric buses. That argument was given added substance when the Auditor-General demonstrated the inadequacies of the business case for Stage 2.
Yet there has been no defence by the government of its persistence with Stage 2.
Now we are confronted with an invitation to comment on the looming debacle of raising London Circuit by six metres to accommodate the tram line. History shows that any participation in this part of the exercise will be pointless. We will be told that it is a case of short-term pain for long-term gain. There will certainly be the pain of major traffic disruption in the short term. But there will also be long term financial and environmental pain, coupled with the failure of the government to achieve its target of increasing public transport patronage.
The government's failure to explain why it insists on going ahead with Stage 2 can only be put down to the fact that a credible case for it cannot be made apart from its concession to a misplaced Greens ideology. The government's development agenda could be accommodated with electric buses anyway.
Graham Anderson, Garran
Texts prove PM's case
The boot is now on the other foot, and its the French President Emmanuel Macron that now appears to have lied . Leaked "private" texts between Macron and PM Morrison indicate that he was fully aware of significant issues with the $90 billion conventional sub deal , he had previously denied any such knowledge. Both the PM and Macron, have by their respective unacceptable behaviour , substantially reduced their credibility and standing on the world stage. Politics is indeed a dirty business. Zut alors!
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
Poetry in commotion
The clumsy fella from Down-under
Sought a sub, the sea to go under
He lied to the French
And to deaden the stench
Tore Australia's good name asunder
Murray Upton, Belconnen
Different strokes in the Pacific
Interesting to read about the Greenpeace report (November 5) that contains evidence of LNP Australian government aid to the Pacific associated with bullying actions by the government to ensure Pacific countries did not call for stronger climate words in regional fora leaders statements.
What a difference on the Pacific between LNP and Labor governments. In 2006-07 I was an advisor to Labor Shadow Aid Minister Bob Sercombe. We produced a discussion paper Our Drowning Neighbours which was greeted by enthusiasm when I spoke to Pacific foreign ministers. Subsequently the Rudd Labor government implemented its South Pacific Climate Strategy. PM Abbott abolished this and then we had LNP governments subsequently doing the "Pacific Step Up" in the face of Chinese entry into the region. One could laugh or cry.
Roderick Holesgrove, Crace
We should fear glider missiles
The Pentagon is concerned about China's fast growing military strength ("Pentagon rattled by China advances", November 2), and in particular about China's hypersonic nuclear weapon, capable of orbiting and a controllable gliding trajectory.
The statement of a general that the weapon "does not pose a direct threat to the United States", and that the glider-missile is "just one weapon system" is disingenuous, to say the least. The weapons are an escalation. Three nations have developed them, the United States (Waverider), Russia (Avangard) and now China. They are not as fast as an intercontinental ballistic missile (8 kilometres per second), but they are fast (3 kilometres per second). Because they are manoeuvrable they cannot be intercepted.
If you believe in deterrence theory, the glider-missile is a great advance: if you do not, the nuclear-armed glider-missile is a potentially catastrophic development.
Harry Davis, Campbell
WA police's patchy record
Greg Symons (Letters, November 5) may be teary-eyed at the police video of the rescue of Cleo. It was a first-class piece of policing but why was it videoed unless for PR purposes? Training? I don't think so.
Unfortunately the WA Police have a far from unblemished record of pursuing people who are clearly innocent. The Patrick Waring case, subject of the SBS documentary Every Family's Nightmare springs to mind. Although found innocent of a malicious rape accusation his family lost their home in legal costs and have never been compensated.