Je suis Karen

Alison Alexander writes: Re. “Meet Karen, your friendly neighbourhood radical” (Friday). I’m afraid the Libs are right in warning us of radicalisation. I attended an Anglican girls’ school where we learnt the most shocking radical songs. There was one which ran:

 I love a sunburnt country

A land of sweeping plains (the environment!)

Of rugged mountain ranges (even worse!)

Of droughts and flooding rains (climate change!!)

I love her far horizons,

I love her jewel sea,

Her beauty and her terror (terror!!!)

The wide brown land for me.

You see where it all started. Such songs should definitely be banned.

Jock Webb writes: Based on the increasing scale of orange (mildly Ulster protestant to extreme?) I would think that Cory Bernardi would be in need of intervention as would most of the Australian Christian Lobby. What a load of cobblers. Half my mates from uni would fall into this category and bloody near everyone who marched in the Vietnam moratorium marches. I mean they didn’t go there for Askin to say “run the bastards over”, they were trying to bring an end to a very stupid war. Some of them no doubt hold senior positions in our society. This document is ludicrous.

Start me up

Roy Ramage writes: Re. “Libs love start-ups more! No, Labor loves start-ups more!” (Friday). It is somewhat gratifying that both Labor and Liberal might at last be cottoning on to innovation and bold new ventures.  Sadly others have blazed this path before and it has mostly come to naught. Having worked in trade and defence I was continually disappointed that when Australian companies and Australian defence forces had the option to buy an Australian product or service the decision most often went to a foreign company. Especially if it was software. It was profoundly disappointing to see the money going overseas and stunning when an American company jumped in and bought the local product outright as it posed a threat to an existing US business. There are five areas to help startups that politicians and our Canberra bureaucrats can work on — Legal and General, red tape costs, access to markets, limited understanding of the markets, access to staff, access to infrastructure.

It is not an overly complex mix. In the area of costs I once allowed a startup to use a spare office for one year at no charge while we answered the phone making it look like they were bigger than three people. That company today employs 16 people and has opened a Sydney office. The payoff for our company is we got to use their software to leverage our product. So if our pollies and our Canberra folks can work on getting the above five rules working together we might, just might get a few companies up and attract some of our brains back home. My bet is that a trip to China or the US to look at competing products will outweigh driving into an Australian suburb to see a small business start-up.

Show Sco Mo the money

Cameron Bray writes: Re. “ScoMo’s new strategy: work, save, invest, rinse, repeat” (Thursday). Is it only me or does the slogan “Work, save, invest” have an unhappy echo of “Travail, Famille, Patrie”?

Peter Fray

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