Cassandra Parkinson writes: Re. “Turnbull duped us with his promise of a respectful government” (yesterday). It strikes me that Malcolm Turnbull might not want to do much at all before the next election. Perhaps he has no ideas, or he’s running scared of his own party, or he’s merely incompetent. After all, his performance on the NBN suggests that he’s not crash hot at putting policy into practice and the Godwin Grech affair exposed serious political misjudgement.

Perhaps Malcolm has a Machiavellian agenda that he plans to unleash after the election: conservative or progressive, take your pick (and your chances).

Or maybe he wants to reverse roles in this election. It’s almost as if he’s pretending to lead an indignant Opposition, withholding its policies until the campaign begins. But this is supposed to be a government for heaven’s sake and a look over here strategy can’t disguise the policy vacuum.

There are loads of possibilities, but none of the evidence points to a half way competent leader.  Now, we just need some courage from Shorten on the tough issues — refugees and privacy — and there might be a battle worth having. Wishful thinking, I suppose.

Them gains

Jackie French writes: Re. “Memo to the rent-seeking zombies: you should pay CGT when you sell your damn house” (yesterday). A home is not an asset. It is a human right. Just as caring for our young, our old, and our sick is what we owe our fellow humans. All else is just embroidery.

On trust

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Why does the public trust refugee advocates more than pollies on offshore detention?” (yesterday). Politicians generally have earned very little of our trust. This government in particular, made up partly of Abbottniks — 19th century reactionaries — and partly of conservatives claiming a God given right to rule, does not deserve even a smidgeon of it. But then, neither does the gutter press and the radio shock jocks, who are but a demagogue’s puppets.

Peter Fray

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