Margaret Court:

Steve Slade writes: Re. “Rainbow flags rule out love match with Margaret Court” (Friday, item 5). Disappointed to read Doug Pollard’s peace on Court. Whilst we may not all agree with Madame Slam, surely she is, as are all of us, entitled to her own opinion?

Community seems pretty well split on the issue of gay marriage — a number of my friends support it, and conversely a number are rather ticked at why they see as the diluting of something they value (to keep the tennis thing going, would a tennis club admit cricket players who just wanted to play cricket and call it tennis ? Why not ! Shame on them for not moving with these post-modern design your own reality times ! Anyways, I digress …).

I’m all for having a decent debate on any issue, but when either party tries to enforce their viewpoint through a national event such as the Oz Open I reckon a fair amount of us start to get ticked off …

The automotive industry:

Bob Cole writes: Re. “Does automotive assistance work? We’ll know ‘in future years‘” (Friday, item 1). In review of the automotive assistance recently given I ask a more fundamental question.

That question is: in terms of times of trouble for this country what do we need industrially as a country to survive?

Therefore assistance should be given to industries that are deemed to be essential. This country is not being managed based on essential services and requirement but short term return.

The automotive industry in my view should be considered to be of an essential nature and that should deserve ongoing and future support as an essential industry. After all the local production is competing against companies and industries with full operations from overseas with substantial state support and this does not preclude inter company transfer pricing which almost amounts to dumping.

Matthew Brennan writes: I totally agree with Justin Templar’s comments (Friday, comments).

May I also add that if Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane are going to write an article, which I’m guessing carries the position that the Australian Trade Union movement is cutting off its own collective noses by pressuring the Federal Government to continue flushing tax payer’s money down the toilet on an industry that should really be quietly euthanized, then say so directly in plain English in the first paragraph.

Readers of Crikey may choose to disagree with such a position, but at least they will have some idea of what the position that they are disagreeing with is.

Employment:

Keith Thomas writes: Marcus L’Estrange’s intervention (Friday, comments) on the unemployment statistics is undoubtedly correct. It’s a pity he has to harp on this, the question is: why? Perhaps we are kidding ourselves; perhaps “jobs” is code for something else, so precision doesn’t really matter.

Everyone wanting respectable traction says the number one concern in the country is “jobs”. In fact, very few Australian really want jobs; most Australians would rather NOT work at all. What we really want is to sit around and pursue pastimes and interests while getting free money from someone else.

This reverence for “jobs” by politicians running for office, or seeking to boost their credentials in office, has a whiff of doublespeak. Politicians feel they can get approval – well above the payoff from their stands on almost issue other than “supporting our troops” — by promising “jobs”, although we all know that people want an income.

Is it, perhaps, that by saying we support a politician who promises jobs, we have a socially legitimate reason that we can parade before others for our support for that politician or an interest group, when the real reasons may be more base, less rational and more self-interested?

Harmonising state laws:

Niall Clugston writes: Re. Friday’s Editorial. According to your editorial on Friday, harmonising OH&S law across the states is “where government rubber is supposed to hit the road.”

Apparently we in New South Wales are supposed to accept lower standards for the sake of a tick in a bureaucratic box. Oh, and supposedly a few million dollars in savings.  Though I note that even by the Access Economics’ figures, the net benefit to business is negative. And how much did that study cost?

What is the point of harmonising state laws anyway? If state laws are the same, why have state governments? Abolish them!  But we can only do that by referendum or revolution.  Revolution is highly unlikely, and referendum is impossible.

So why waste money in unfeasible studies on irretrievable savings? Instead of pouring our resources into the dry desert of fruitless economics, why don’t we fix serious problems, like the injustice to Aborigines, and not worry which level of government provides the solution?

Peter Fray

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