Helen S Mackenzie writes: Re. “So much for liberalism” (yesterday). Guy Rundle makes what has been a common mistake since statehood for the Northern Territory was given recent momentum, in claiming statehood will result in extra senate representation for the NT. This is not so. Section 121 of the Constitution states: “The Parliament may admit to the Commonwealth or establish new States, and may upon such admission or establishment make or impose such terms and conditions, including the extent of representation in either House of the Parliament, as it thinks fit.”
Don’t celebrate too soon
John Richardson writes: Re. “Lessons unlearnt as Abbott grapples with Howard-era rejects” (yesterday). “Now, with Bishop gone, Abbott has to rebuild his government again.” Gone, Bernard? Gone? Not on your Nelly Bernard. We wish! Having gamed her parliamentary entitlements; abused the trust of the Australian people; arrogantly insulted our intelligence by at first refusing to apologise and then making only a faux attempt after realising the game might be up, Bishop may have gone from the Speaker’s chair, but she’s still sitting comfortably on the soft leather benches also paid for by the taxpayer, whilst her forked-tongue master runs-around claiming that the problem has gone-away and it wasn’t her fault anyway. The outcry over the Bishop scandal should be maintained until she is forced to remove her offensive vestige from the parliament altogether. Until that happens, no-one can even begin to think that either the government or the opposition are serious about genuinely improving standards of political behaviour in this country.
Bible vs science, the ongoing argument
Jock Webb writes: Re. “Born this way? Well, kinda …” (yesterday). I find Richard Middleton as confused as he finds Peter Matters. The bible is filled with contradictions, including the inability to decide the time of Jesus’ birth. It is a strange guide. I have always thought that much of the Jewish food rules and laws of behaviour were the perfect blueprint for a small group struggling to survive. The concepts of marrying a sibling’s widow prevents much needed children being fatherless. Many kosher cooking rules are sensible hygiene.
As to homosexuality, science shows that there is a significant genetic basis for same sex attraction, but we also know that there is more to it than that. Once again the old Jewish and therefore Koranic strictures are likely to be based on the need to procreate as much as possible. I find it hard to imagine that you would ever find archaeological support for such ideas and you can bet the religious texts won’t discuss it. Culture often has its basis in the life and times of its formation.
Peter Best writes: Re. “Making the punishment fit the crime” (yesterday). “Going about 15 mph over the speed limit gets you a multiplier of 12 days, and going 25 mph over carries a 22-day multiplier.” They don’t use mph in Finland and they don’t use mph here. Why use mph, which will be meaningless to a large percentage of Australians? Can it be true that Chokyi Nyingpo has converted the Finnish figures into Imperial to post it in Crikey?