Are Abbott’s days numbered?
Andrew Haughton writes: Re. “Will the Liberal leadership endgame play out sooner than expected?” (Monday). There is a certain progressive ritual in the passing of football coaches and political leaders. One of the necessary rites is the ” I’m in no trouble. We are a united government. ” This is accompanied by carefully phrased expressions of support from ministers and backbenchers. Let us await the next rite.
Right-wingers on the ABC
Ellen O’Gallagher writes: Re. “Right-wingers making up the numbers on Radio National” (yesterday). I must agree with the comments about Amanda Vanstone’s tedious radio gig — and this new one for Sunday mornings that will replace well-researched history programs. I am not averse to listening to reasoned criticism of policies or trends, but the wishy washy questioning-style of conservatives is nausea inducing. When the ABC is accused of bias it is quite possibly because its presenters ask pertinent and probing questions which make right wing people nervous. Listen briefly, if you can, to Amanda skating over whatever seems like it might actually get to the heart of an issue and omitting any of the possible tough questions that spring to mind. The real problem with this crippling of the ABC is that once destroyed, how will we get back the people and production teams that have produced its thought provoking programs up till now. It is always much easier to destroy something than it is to build it.
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Good alternatives to the current treatment of asylum seekers
Colin Smith writes: Re. “Where to now for asylum seeker policy?” (Wednesday). Might I just say that Jim Catt’s practical and decent solution regarding asylum seekers is essentially what Malcolm Fraser did when we faced a flood of Vietnamese boat people, and what the Greens are advocating. One can also find elements of it in the package that the expert panel recommended to Julia Gillard. The only point I would add is that accepted refugees need to be directed to parts of Australia where there are labour shortages and problems of population decline, and pursuant to community consultation and with good community liaison.
Petra Jones writes: I love Jim Catt. What sense he made, especially as I’ve been saying the same since since Labor was also trying to make things even more difficult for poor beggars of refugees. Fly them over when they’ve proved their worth and find them jobs when they get here. Of course, they’ll be the ones our job-seekers won’t or can’t do.