Not all Muslims

Ken Lambert writes: Re. “Let’s hope porn connoisseurs can stop anti-terror laws — as Muslim leaders won’t” (yesterday). The Muslim community in Australia is not a monolithic united force but rather a disparate ethnically based array of groups each with their own agendas, fears and aspirations. The best will be moderate mainstream and progressive. The worst are the Mufti-led extreme making outrageous statements about uncovered women as meat, wiping out Israel etc.

In between will be Muslims who are scared of their own potentially radicalised youth being attracted to the crazies in Syria and Iraq.
Abbott’s task is to embrace the moderate mainstream, reassure the scared, and assist them to suppress the extremist tendencies without surrendering any of our reputation for tolerance and free speech. This does not mean that the PM of the liberal democracy we are should pander to cries of victimhood by those playing the identity politics of ethnicity or religion.

Why the federal budget plan is in dire need of a business plan

Les Heimann writes: Re.”Budget sales bungle built in from the start” (yesterday). “Grand sale, Grand sale,” was the well-known catch cry of one Franco Cozzo and his much loved Italian furniture store in Brunswick. He knew how to sell and to whom he was selling. He also knew his product. This government is different when it comes to selling its budget. It doesn’t know who to sell it to. The public or reluctant senators, or both. The spruikers — particularly the Treasurer and Finance Minister — don’t know just what it is they are selling. Is it prudential behaviour or reduction in dependence or philosophy? When it comes to developing a sales pitch, this mob just don’t have one and that’s quite reasonable given they don’t understand what they are flogging and who their market is. All this is a stark reminder of how flummoxed this lot really are; with no genuine or real leadership — like someone who opens a retail establishment and can’t understand why no one comes in. No business plan, no SWAT analysis, no market research and no understanding or conviction when it comes to product.

The other problem is that the current government still thinks it is in opposition. All one hears from ministers is that everything is Labor’s doing. It’s nothing to do with them as ministers but they will fix it. Meanwhile the economy deteriorates and unemployment rises. Panic will soon be evident with more thrashing about, cutting things everywhere and creating more unemployment.
Someone said today “we need to put more money in people’s pockets so they will spend it, that’s good for Australia”. Too right it is!

Innocent until proven otherwise

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Bill Shorten and the News Corp method of blackmail” (Friday). Bill Shorten deserves congratulations for taking the bull by the horn. However, the fact that he has considered it at all necessary to take this action, is a terrible commentary on the state of our democracy. It is high time that the community itself decided that crude blackmail by insinuation, practiced by a totally unscrupulous billionaire with the power of both money and publicity to back his blackmail, will in the future be ignored and therefore rob the effectiveness of that sort of dirt.