Gerard Henderson speaks his mind

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “The story behind Henderson Australia Day honours” (yesterday). Thank you for publishing Gerard Henderson’s long and informative defence of his wife, Anne Henderson AM. It’s good to see, in the twenty-first century, a gentleman leap to the defence of his better half, for such she clearly is. However, I cannot but think that this confusion could have been cleared up if Henderson’s husband had decided to call their think-tank the Henderson Family Institute, instead of the Sydney Institute. This would have also explained the involvement of their dog, Nancy. At the risk of waxing excessively prolix, I would also like to query the emphasis on Liberal Party membership. I had always understood that Anne Henderson’s husband supported the Democratic Labor Party.

Peter Price writes: Gerard Henderson wanted his letter in full saying he wouldn’t accept an “it’s-too-long excuse”.  It looks like you knuckled under. But it was still too long.

Sean Hosking writes: Gerard. You were doing so well. I got to the very end of your letter in the novel position of agreeing with you. Laboured and loaded with obsessive detail, of course, but not one mention of leftist lovies, no latte sipping chattering inner city types, no reference to Hitler analogies, no pedantic corrective observations on the DLP or what Menzies had for breakfast on June 1 1957, and no sanctimonious references to your being subject to the market discipline of running a “small” (corporate subsidised) “business” called the Sydney Institute.  A strange feeling of unease came over me. God, I was agreeing with you. You were right, there was something a tad “bitter, unprofessional” and sexist in Glenn Dyer’s piece. Then I got to the end and you can imagine my relief! Completely unexpected. An arbitrary, bitter and totally uncalled for attack on Guy Rundle. your “favourite Marxist comedian”. At the last moment with the finish line in sight the temptation of a lifetime to thrust out a leg and trip up a “chatterer” got the better of you. My fragile world order was restored.  I thank you for that.

It’s time for conviction politicians to speak up

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Rundle: if Abbott goes, Labor will have to do some serious soul-searching” (yesterday). Labor must reinvent itself, thus sayeth Guy Rundle (and others). Really! From what does Labor move and to where needs it travel? The people decide who they want and, in Australia, do so knowing what various choices they have. It’s the vibe that works. Unfortunately, as Max Gillies said recently, it’s a lot harder these days to impersonate political leaders because they don’t speak from the heart anymore; Keating was the last of them.

Of course he meant conviction politicians now too fearful of speaking their minds or feelings given the media’s behaviour and their slavish bias (mostly). The PM’s National Press Club speech on Monday did outline exactly what Abbott stands for and what he wants to do. Amazingly, not one media “expert” has picked up on it. “Our taxes are not too low, we are spending too much. We want to lower taxes.” In a nutshell folks. A government led by right wing tea party types such as Abbott, Hockey, Cormann etc all have a clear and simple mind set. Down go social welfare payments and down go taxes. Small government and everyone to themselves. This is the very modern Liberal philosophy.

Labor’s philosophy hasn’t and doesn’t need to change. Look after those who need our help and build a nation that is egalitarian, fair-minded and prosperous. Labor is not averse to raising taxes if needed, providing industry assistance, creating assets (instead of selling them) and protecting peoples dignity and livelihood. People know this, they get the vibe. However, Gillies is right. Please let’s hear the real conviction, the truthful statements and a sharing of concerns from our politicians.

Peter Fray

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