The hard truth about terror attacks

Greg Poropat writes: Re. “Belgium terror attacks: what we know so far” (yesterday). How many of your readers know of, let alone remember, the IS bombing at Hilla in which over sixty people died? It’s not unreasonable to assume that only a tiny minority do.

This atrocity happened barely two weeks ago yet it’s essentially unknown and unremembered. Sixty human beings died at the hands of the same enemies of civilisation who were responsible for the Paris and Brussels outrages but this awful event received minimal media coverage, no expressions of outrage from any of our politicians and unlike Paris and Brussels, no public laying of wreaths or spontaneous outpourings of emotion for strangers dead in a far away land. Why? Hilla is in Iraq and the dead were Iraqis.

From the comparative media, political and public responses to these events, it seems that an Iraqi’s death at the hands of IS is worth less attention than a westerner’s. It’s not unreasonable to infer that this reflects a subconscious but generally-held value that an Iraqi’s death in these circumstances actually is worth less than a Westerner’s. If that’s right, it leads to some ugly conclusions about the delusions we suffer about ourselves. Perhaps it’s time for some honest introspection about the kind of society we think we are compared to that which we really are.

Don’t be fooled

Ian Hunt writes: Re. “All hail the economic panacea of company tax cuts” (yesterday). The gaffer curve is implicit in these claims. Turnbull is encouraged, though, by the SACOSS concession that cutting company tax rates might improve growth. Growth, of course, is really wonderful. It will increase profits, jobs and wages. These claims have been modelled by Treasury and Treasury claims that the biggest growth dividend comes from company rather than personal tax cuts. Whether the modelling is sound is another question.

In Treasury’s ideal world, taxes are low and markets take care of everything. That this is the nonsense Treasury believes must make us take their modelling with a grain of salt. As Bernard and Glenn show, the empirical evidence is next to non-existent. Still, mainstream media will support the Coalition because it is for business. Owners of property have nothing to worry about.
Why would anyone trust this government? They are getting their double dissolution election through a tricky sidestep of Senate moves to block the restoration of the ABCC. They try to confuse the public by telling us that these are all measures to deal with union corruption. They are not. They are measures to put Fair Work Australia under ministerial control and to deprive workers in the construction industry of their civil rights.

The real purpose of this legislation was revealed by Senator Michaelia Cash when she rebuked Senator Glenn Lazarus for thinking it was about corruption and a national ICAC would be better. Lazarus was firmly told that these laws are about control of unions. Would any rational person re:elect a government given to tricks and deception?

A journey into the mind of Abbott and Turnbull

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Turnbull slaps down Abbott on climate as intra-party war rages on” (yesterday). Tony’s reactionary outlook is caused by the bagful of 19th century hang-ups he is carrying around with him. Malcolm’s innate conservatism is illustrated by the conviction of his kind that they are born to rule. Their individual performances as prime minister prove — quite apart of their mutual relationship — that neither of them are fit to hold down the top job, for their outsize ego trips far exceed their abilities.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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