ACT Labor and the Canberra Liberals are clearly out of touch with community opinion on whether vested interests should be able to buy publicity at the AWM ("Greens, Labor split on war firms support", canberratimes.com.au, May 5).
Greens MLA Jo Clay's recent speech in the Assembly calling for commemoration, but not glorification, of war at the memorial, and an end to the funding of that commemoration by those who profit from wars, has majority support. In a recent IPSOS national opinion poll, 59 per cent of Australians agreed with her concerns.
Clay also indicated that Lockheed Martin - a company that relies on wars and threats of wars for 89 per cent of its total sales, and includes weapons of mass destruction among its products - is of particular current concern. Its name and logo is promoted within the memorial.
There are some places that should be beyond corporate promotions. The AWM is one of them. Companies for whom war is a money-making venture should not be recognised right alongside our commemoration of those who have fought for higher values. In ignoring these concerns, the AWM Council is also out of touch with the community, a huge number of whom have deep family or other links with the memorial.
Mr Sogovare doth protest too much. He should just let the matter go. But perhaps there is more to the generous "loan" from the Chinese than meets the eye.
Unfortunately for Australia the Solomon Islands situation was one where Australia was never going to be able to throw as much money at them as the Chinese.
We may also have naively dismissed any thought as to who this money should have been thrown at.
Can you imagine the uproar if Australia was to engage in the same practices as the Chinese in getting "business" done?
But if this is the CCP modus operandi, then I guess there would be no feelings of guilt - "just getting the job done!"
M Flint must have a very strange idea of how consultants work when employed to replace public servants (Letters, May 4). I worked for many years as a public servant, and very much appreciated the immensely valuable corporate knowledge that many of them built up during their working careers, and which was passed on to more junior staff.
I have also been involved for many years as a consultant to a wide range of governments.
I believe I have always given them good value for money. However, I have also worked for and with the "big four" consultancies, where I saw the routine allocation of highly inexperienced junior staff on inflated salaries to important tasks advising governments.
Without any prior knowledge of the subject matter, their first job is to milk the public servants assigned to manage their project of the necessary facts and figures, then find out what the government wants them to say in their report, and then ensure there is unfinished business that requires an extension of the contract.
Outsourcing has been a costly disaster everywhere it has been imposed, stripping the public service of corporate knowledge and wasting taxpayers' money on a politically inspired myth.
What's wrong with Australian democracy as currently practised? Past elections have been robust affairs, but not now.
Even the media seems to have lost interest, sleepwalking for the most part, incurious about what details may lurk behind slogans. One leader has taken to delegating media questions to followers, with no follow-up allowed, before he quickly dematerialises, lest anything of substance can be required by way of answer. Are we sure that this is democratic?
Surely this is not what Gough, Bob, or Ming the Merciless would do? A cabbage could provide better answers, as Ming would have pointed out.
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