Australia’s worst air disasters
Graham Stephens writes: Re. “MH17: more Australians dead than September 11” (Friday). Your article has missed the Ansett-ANA Vickers Viscount VH RMI crash. It was a flight from Mt Isa to Brisbane via Longreach in western Queensland and killed all 24 on board after an engine caught fire.
Maria Hawthorne writes: You’ve forgotten the 1940 Canberra Air Disaster. Only 10 people died, but three were cabinet ministers and one was the chief of general staff. It could be argued that the reshuffle forced on Menzies led to Curtin becoming prime minister. But hey, it was in Canberra, so it didn’t really matter.
MH17’s flight path
Tony Wheeler writes: Re. “MH17: why a commercial jet was flying over a war zone” (Friday). I assume someone has checked with the ISIS guys that they don’t have any handy anti-airline weapons? Qantas isn’t the only airline flying directly over the ISIS war zone in Iraq. I pondered that one as we flew more or less directly over Mosul a couple of weeks ago.
Niall Clugston writes: It is inappropriate to label the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner as “terrorism”. There is no evidence so far that the civilian aircraft was knowingly targetted. It should be remembered that the USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988 in Iranian airspace. The US government has never apologised, and the captain was awarded the Legion of Merit. Let’s not have double standards.
On the politics of the carbon tax
Martin Gordon writes: Re. “Carbon repeal: condemning our children for cheap political points” (Thursday). The last few days have seen the columns being full of fulminations in favour of keeping the carbon tax. Whatever difficulties the Coalition has presently with the Senate, they will pass, even if many measures don’t. Keating and so on had similar experiences with the Senate. The carbon tax has been a huge liability for the ALP. Its position of reintroducing a tax in the future will be a hard sell. Despite the compensation already paid, people will not welcome a new substantial burden. As economists well know, people may express a willingness to pay for something, but really won’t part with anything like the money. People’s commitment to actually paying for emissions reductions is less than their words.
While the Coalition is struggling with its budget sales job, the ALP is running quite a fear campaign now on all manner of things now. If the tables are turned the ALP may be in a lot of bother. The next election may not be a lot about vision but contrasting fear campaigns (Politics 101 is often not a edifying exercise). Rehashing memories about long forgotten and never implemented budget measures, versus a Labor Party imposing a big (old?) tax. To add a Keating-esque flourish, the Coalition could commit to passing such a ALP tax plan. Shorten could find himself in one of the “rabbit in the headlights” positions.
Not all old white men
Roger Richards writes: Re. “Where are our business leaders on climate change?” (Friday). I agree with Richard Armstrong. I am in my mid-70s and am pissed off at being blamed for the actions of the ignorant young environmental vandals who have obtained control of this country’s carbon-emitting present. Last night I returned from a couple of days in South Australia, where we are belatedly organising for our shop there to go solar. Sadly the poor crow-eaters have no non-Murdoch local press alternative. The Advertiser is simply deplorable. It is so full of anti-climate change lies and fawning reverence to that American phone hacker. Where, oh where, are our forward-thinking, real statesmen? At least Ricky and Clive say they are keen on renewable energy. Let’s keep them to their word.