Lemmings:

Andrew Lewis writes: Having gone after Glenn Dyer, I now have to upbraid Les Heimann (Friday, comments) for comparing Crikey with a lemming.

I tells ya, lemmings are fine little creatures, leave them the hell alone.

On the other hand, his points about the boat people and other issues are well made.

For all the media coverage of this non-issue, you would have to assume that we are about to be invaded. We aren’t, it’s a non-issue and if you want to take the Prime Minister to task on the subject, it should be asking questions along the lines of “Why are you playing in to the hands of the opposition and xenophobes across the land by even talking this subject up? Why don’t you come out honestly to the Australian people and say ‘This is a non-issue, and my government is actually interested in addressing important matters of state. Please, people of Australia, get your hand off it.’?”

Yeah, I know, I’m dreaming. No politician ever got elected by over-estimating the intelligence of the average voter.

On a side note, Michael Calautti’s contribution (Friday, comments) was also first class. I hope he is right. I was wondering when Australians would wake up to the idea that an iPhone 7 is really just an iPhone 6 with an extra light on it, and probably not worth $900.   I hope we are finally approaching satiation, and can now consider things that are actually worthwhile rather than the next new gadget.

Cappo and social inclusion:

John Hunwick writes: Re. “Farewell salvo: Cappo slams SA’s ‘self-serving’ bureaucracy” (8 September, item 3). Social Inclusion Commissioner David Cappo is to be highly commended for his efforts in relation to social inclusion.

He is right to point out that much of any failure can be directed at the bureaucrats and their culture of self-serving. The fact that he tried against tremendous odds should award him high commendation. He is correct in commenting on conversations with Premier Rann in deploring the obstructionist approach by departmental heads and their underlings.

Regrettably the problem is not limited to social inclusion but extends into the area of environment and natural resource management. Here too SA suffers from departments that have no real idea what natural resources management is out to achieve, are quite unable to appoint the sort of people who are capable of achieving the desired results, and who consistently hide behind bureaucratic procedures to avoid being transparent and accountable despite their unending rhetoric.

Of course many of the right people don’t or are not invited to apply for jobs associated with the environment, those that do are the incompetent ones left after everyone else has left with packages, and once appointed they fall in line with perpetuating the departmental ethos of self-serving to the point where no one outside their organisation cares any more or bothers to complain.

Anything Rann has achieved in the area of the environment (e.g. renewable energy) is despite departmental heads and their barely disguised refusal to actually do anything. So enjoy your retirement, David Cappo, and sit back and watch things get worse unless there is some concerted shake-up of the problems you have so accurately identified

Peter Fray

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