Battle of the eastern burbs

Alastair Lawrie writes: Re. “Wets gunning for Hockey’s seat as Abbottstanis go down the gurgler” (yesterday). To clarify, there have been a number of out gay Liberal parliamentarians, including Andrew Olexander in Victoria, both Bruce Notley-Smith and Don Harwin in NSW, and Senator Dean Smith in the Commonwealth parliament.

However, if he is elected this weekend Trent Zimmerman will be the first out LGBTI member of the House of Representatives of any political persuasion, leaving us well behind similar countries such as New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and even the United States. All previous out LGBTI Commonwealth parliamentarians have been senators.

On East Timor

Matthew Cummins writes: Re. “We need to hold East Timor spies to account” (November 26).  Thank you for  last Thursday’s excellent editorial on the perfidy of our government in their relationships with one of the poorest nations in our region. I have been waiting and hoping for a reader response to the awful fact that our government tapped into the Timor cabinet in order to establish what the worst deal they would accept would be, and thus enhance Australia’s commercial position. In short, we used our friendship and our spying agencies (the ones asking for ever more powers to spy on us) to help Australian oil resource companies steal from our poorest neighbour.

East Timor needs this extra revenue from a fair border settlement to fund the very life and death issues facing each of its impoverished families. We want it to bolster the share prices of some already very healthy companies. Crikerians, please give this matter some attention and write into our favourite online paper or better still, write to the prime minister to register your desire for a just settlement of this oil rights/border dispute.

Israel and Palestine

Jock Webb writes: Re. “Abetz and Scott trade barbs over ABC Israel coverage” (yesterday). Here we go again. When it comes to the outright theft of Palestinian land, which the case with every single West Bank settlement, Israel has no legitimacy. Say what you like about Israel, terrorists, whatever. That land is illegally occupied. As an occupied territory, does that not give the Palestinians a right to fight back? I would suggest that this annexation and theft of Palestinian land, the destruction in Israel itself of houses and land which have been in a family for centuries and the persecution by settlers (another synonym for thieves) amounts to a behaviour which goes down the path to racism such as the Jews so frequently complain of. I despise not Jews themselves, but Israel as a nation, because I expect better and they do not hold themselves to account. Then their cronies moan when someone shines the light in. Inconvenient truth?

Turkey and ISIS

Ignaz Amrein writes: Re. “Erdogan’s links with Islamic State under pressure” (yesterday).  Considering this view of sections of the Turkish government — “ISIS is a reality and we have to accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organised and popular establishment such as the Islamic State; therefore I urge my Western colleagues to revise their mindset about Islamic political currents, put aside their cynical mentality and thwart Vladimir Putin’s plans to crush Syrian Islamist revolutionaries,” — there is really no reason why the US and its allies can’t oblige to this demand, they, after all have absolutely no problem of being allies of Saudi Arabia.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey