A dithering government

Geoff Heard writes: Re. “Do-nothing Mal even less productive than Abbott” (yesterday). You could have stated the truth a little more baldly: with the reins of power in his hands, Turnbull is showing himself to be indecisive, weak, and as a result, useless.

He should have taken on the recalcitrant rights and dared them to bring down the government and split the Liberal party and the Coalition. A really smart move would be to take the position of the preserver of the party’s tradition (real) liberal position, and stop the “me too” out of control growth of surveillance and repeal (or whatever) the powers of the immigration people to cancel passports of Australians overseas (or anywhere) without trial.

A bolstering of (the very low cost and efficient compared with the US health care model) Medicare instead of appearing to attempt to undermine it should have been high on the agenda. Adding dental services to Medicare would have been a terrific step too which would have left the right wing nuts high and dry in public opinion of they attempted to oppose it.

And then there’s the gay marriage thing. Just bring it on and let the rights hang themselves.

As it is, the best result for the nation, based on performance, would have to be for Turnbull’s troubles as PM to be resolved by Labor being returned to power with Green and Independent/small party support. After looking wishy-washy for a while, they are showing some spine, some good policies, and some responsiveness to the electorate, and that should be rewarded.

If Turnbull leads the fractured Libs/Nats to victory, will anything change? He will still have the seismic  fractures to deal with and he has shown no ability to handle that OR to handle government. As King, Turnbull has a very expensive suit. The question is, does the suit have a king in it? On performance, the answer is a decisive “No!”

On a double dissolution

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Rhiannon: what a double dissolution could mean for progressives” (yesterday). There hasn’t been a double dissolution since 1987. By comparison with today’s brood, the leaders of those times were lions.  The chickens will squabble over the pecking order, but they will not put the whole henhouse at risk. The constant discussion of double dissolution is just empty squawk.

On Labor

Keith Binns writes: Re. “Labor-Coalition-Greens” (yesterday). Dear Chris Davis, It was Labor, to their shame, that brought in mandatory detention of asylum seekers in 1992. All on their little lonesome. And it is the job of particularly a Labor opposition to oppose situations which are deliberately cruel and illegal. Yes, illegal. We are still signatories to the UN Declaration of  Human Rights (You know, the one the Australian Dr Evatt helped draft) and the one on refugees. Anyone has the right to arrive on our shores by any means and ask for asylum. To detain them as we do is in contravention of those treaties. Labor’s bleating about this (eg at Mardi Gras) does them no credit and shows that they are still in denial about the evil of the system that they are helping to perpetuate. And that is why they will never get my number one vote.

Peter Fray

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