Asylum seekers and queue jumpers:

Jenny Kennett writes: Re. “The queue — where is it, and how do you take a number?” (Wednesday, item 3). Given your definition of queue jumping, you’ve confirmed what I already knew — people seeking asylum via boat to Australia should be welcomed with open arms … they are pro-active and using great initiative to overcome their situation … we need more people with their courage … I’m proud to welcome them to our country!

Read The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif — true story of an Australian Citizen’s journey from Afghanistan to Melbourne — and his introduction to the terminology of Queue Jumping during his stay at Port Headland or Woomera (I can’t remember which).

Jim Hanna writes: Re. “Checking the docket on offshore processing” (yesterday, item 2). Reading Bernard Keane’s “Checking the docket on offshore processing” got me thinking about Tony Abbott’s asylum seeker mantra: “We know how to stop the boats. We’ve done it before.”

Tony, if the Coalition Government had a sure-fire way to stop the boats, please explain why your Government felt the need to spend $400 million to build an 800-bed detention centre on Christmas Island in your last term of office?

Wes Pryor writes: To which legislature, constitutional chapter or any other document does Stephen Lipshus (yesterday, comments) refer when he describes Australia as a Christian country?

We defer to “the blessing of Almighty God” to underpin an act of the UK Parliament (our Constitution), but that could be Allah, Jehovah, Lady Gaga or any other Deity thought Almighty enough to be called Almighty.

Debate on immigration will go on, but for the love of Dawkins can we avoid it descending into (further) erosion of a proud pluralistic, ecumenical, diverse tradition. That said, in the spirit of comedy, I do welcome the occasional bonker rant from some fundy or another, but it should be tagged accordingly.

Jackson Taylor writes: I, for one, am glad that Stephen can open his heart and accept others — if only when they assimilate to his proscriptive religious and cultural vision.  I may one day even accept Stephen if he decides to assimilate the rules of English grammar and spelling.

Oh, and if he can point out any real examples of his old, oft-repeated furphy about Christmas carols being banned in Australia I will donate $50 to a charity of his choice.

John Faulkner:

Andrew Haughton writes: Re. “Rundle: Faulkner, the election and the exhaustion of mainstream politics” (yesterday, item 12). The Gillard/Shorten assassination of incumbent Prime Mister Rudd may not have influenced Lindsay Tanner and John Faulkner to leave Cabinet. It certainly didn’t excite them to stay.

Peter Fray

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