Manning in perspective

Andrew Haughton writes: Re. “Manning and whistleblowing in an age of persecution and indifference” (yesterday). Bradley Manning faces life in prison for releasing information that many believe is for the public good. Second Lieutenant William Calley commanded American soldiers who r-ped and murdered somewhere in the order  of 347 to 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians on May 16,1968 at My Lai. He served three-and-a-half years’ house arrest.

BCA not so selfless after all

David Hardie writes: Re. “The Business Council’s giant passive-aggressive fridge note” (yesterday). I hate to pour cold water on your assertion that the BCA’s promotion of education as a “good bit”. On the contrary, its view of education is an extension of the agenda to promote its own self-interest. There is no notion that there should be any philanthropy in primary or secondary education (that is beyond the normal donations for the old schools’ rowing program, etc). No notion that there should be an investment by the Australian business community in terms of a great commitment to apprenticeships. No mention that they should be investing more in training, either in-house or via external contractors. No notion that they should be investing more via philanthropy in the tertiary sector. Nothing. All the BCA wants is someone else to make the investment so that business can reap the dividend.

A final solution for asylum seekers?

Julian Riekert writes: Re. “‘Let them all come’ is ‘stop the boats’ for unthinking progressives” The current (Coalition and Labor) migration policies on boat people seem to be based on maximising deterrence to stop people boarding boats. They strive to outdo each other by making the consequences of fleeing well-known benevolent charities like the Taliban more and more prejudicial — bans on ever settling in Australia (which is, of course, outside its own migration zone anyway), resettlement in PNG or tent cities on Nauru. Why don’t we demonstrate our real concern for refugee welfare  by setting up humane euthanasia centres on Christmas Island and in Darwin and putting down all of those who endure unthinkable hazards to reach our shores? Surely that would deter others from taking the risk of drowning while demonstrating our humanity and compassion for their plight? It would certainly also demonstrate our understanding of, and compliance with, our international Refugee Convention obligations. Agreed?

Peter Fray

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