On Dyson Heydon

Ken Lambert writes: Re. “Heydon must go” (Friday). I just wonder how many fake invoices for faux-existent services Heydon has had issued on his watch? Oops, I have my Heydons and my Shortens mixed up. I also wonder what “donations” Heydon has received from big builders for services rendered in his professional capacity? Oops, got my Heydons and Shortens mixed up again. Should I give up now or should I give a lengthy explanation? And we all know how dodgy high court judges can be, don’t we? Why being an ex-high court judge probably puts one in the pink batt or solar panel salesperson league for honesty and integrity, just a cut below politicians and union leaders.

On Santamaria

Geoff Edwards writes: Re: “How the Liberals got from ‘subsidies for sodomy’ to ‘let the people decide‘” (Thursday). Jeff Sparrow was unfair to B A Santamaria in describing him as a “complete weirdo” and a “homophobic old creep”. Certainly, Santamaria held very traditional Catholic views about sexual morality, but that was only part of his platform. When I interviewed him in 1993, he despaired of the advance of economic rationalism in policy circles. On economic matters, progressives nowadays would be proud to have him on their side.

Leave Abbott alone

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Behind the Abbott chaos: no agenda and a failure to do the basics” (Friday). For the sake of Australia, stop your preoccupation with Abbott. Firstly, being a 19th century ‘Sleeping Beauty’, roughly awakened in the 21st, he cannot be expected to be able to cope. Secondly, he and his team will succeed without anybody’s help to throw the election. Thirdly, we need to tackle so many aspects of the crisis hanging over us, which have not even been publicly mentioned — and need to be tackled urgently — but for our preoccupation with the the dance of the political puppets in Canberra.

Les Heimann writes:  While one would find it easy to agree with Bernard Keane that the Abbott government is “agenda poor”, on deeper reflection I suggest our current PM has a very strong agenda indeed.Do the sums. Tick off the very substantial number of actions taken, not necessarily just legislation, that favour multinational business. Add to this the development of dictatorship elements by stealth under the guise of security. Then include all those nasties attempting to make a truth out of ending “the age of entitlement”. Overlay the classic extremist views on climate warming, freedom to be a bigot and a whole lot more. Clearly with more to come including bribes, no not bribes but false promises of tax cuts and other fairyland goodies for the next election. Tony Abbott is very much a modern tea kettle blowing steam for all the neo conservative free marketeer tea party members. And that is his agenda. I remember the same author bemoaning the previous Labor government(s) lack of narrative. What would you say now comparing the two governments will and ability and record of change; I think the lesson is clear.

We are also witnessing the demise of the moderates within the Liberal party as Tony Abbott constantly dares them to do something; and they don’t. The “ultra dry” faction is very much on top and the “wimps” group are simply cowardly. If the wimps wanted to really bring it on they would openly declare war on the marriage bill, led by a couple of front benchers daring to be sacked. But that won’t happen … will it?

No fun, not ever

Mark Freeman writes: Re. “Scarves and attire” (Friday). Cheers to the Senate President for discouraging sporting fan attire. The Senate is our house of review and I expect all members to take their duties seriously and to act and dress in the same manner. The frivolity of sport should be left at the door. This is even more important in the aftermath of choppergate and the ongoing revelations of obscene costs incurred by MP’s collectively. Bronny may have stepped down but to the majority in Australia our pollies are still very much in disgrace and displays of humble asceticism are very much in order.

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