Lead by example

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Let’s hear it for a boring government” (yesterday). With regard to Crikey‘s editorial, does Crikey pledge to keep its political coverage as dull as possible? Will it only publish stories which are bland and plodding? Will it strive to make politics as uninteresting as possible, in the national interest?

John Gleeson writes: Here’s a few suggestions for a boring, sensible Turnbull government :

  • Articulate what you stand for and exactly what your policies are by means of party political broadcasts (remember them?), and stop the febrile, shallow sound bites on the run; not to mention government by leak.  That way you will lead from the front.
  • Dismiss election debates for the time-wasting, politics as showbiz irrelevance that they are, especially after the contemptible, ridiculous Reagan library debate demonstrates how awful this electioneering is.  And don’t forget to say why they are an insult to our intelligence when challenged to a debate.
  • Who knows, perhaps treating the electorate as thoughtful adults may do you and the party a positive power of good.  After all, treating them as idiots cost the last incumbent his job.

Don’t be Hastie

Joe Boswell writes: Re. “Hastie retreats from confirming creationist beliefs” (yesterday). Your article says that when Hastie was repeatedly asked if he believed in creationism he refused to answer, claiming his views are irrelevant to his candidacy. “There’s no religious test in this country for public office.” Of course he’s right — there is no religious test — but it’s a reply so disingenuous he has clearly found his true calling as a politician and should go far. His views on creationism are highly relevant. I cannot be the only voter who wants to know whether a candidate is capable of judging important issues with an open mind by considering objective evidence and using intelligent reasoning, or else is likely to follow blindly some received authority no matter how strong the contrary evidence. Rejecting creationism does not guarantee the former, but believing it strongly indicates the latter. Hastie should answer the question.

Jock Webb writes: I was educated in the Anglican church, though by very well-read men who would have thought creationism (as in recent creation) an utter absurdity. They knew it wasn’t quite like that (they were also intelligent). I was however confirmed in the Presbyterians, possibly the result of being descended from the Pilgrim Pastor John Robinson. I would like to quote a wonderful Scots songwriter called Brian McNeill in his song “The Yew Tree” on the subject of Knox’s church. “The price of their soul was a gospel sae cauld, it’d freeze all the joy in your heart.” Pretty right really.

Peter Fray

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