On the disconnect of Canberra

Lulu2503 writes: Re. “The terror of Toy Town” (Friday)

I have lived in Canberra for 30 years and I, like Bernard, love the place.  And I would be among those who would defend it against Canberra-bashers, such as Desmond Graham. But I agree with what Bernard writes here – that we’re disconnected from the rest of Australia. But that’s because of its particular history and demographics. There ARE people here who struggle, are homeless, worry about losing their jobs (especially when the government of the day decides to cut back on public services), needing adequate health and medical facilities — not everyone can claim to having a breezy life here. So to call it Toy Town, perhaps, is stretching it somewhat.

As regards the Andrew Barr “I hate journalists” comment, it was perhaps too strong a statement, but I understand where he’s coming from, having myself once been manipulated by a Canberra Times reporter to pose for a photo with a couple of immigrant/refugee women for what I presumed was to be a story on the opening of a new migrant support service, but instead used the photo to illustrate a story about poor, isolated migrant women in the Territory. It caused public shame for the women and their families to be represented as such, and destroyed their trust in me as a volunteer support worker. However, I still subscribe to the Canberra Times, as it is the only newspaper (correction: local rag) here (yes, Bernard, I believe it could have become like the Washington Post if Michelle Grattan had not been edged out), and because I support the continuance of a free press (only I wish the CT would desist from twisting people’s views and comments to create sensational stories).

On wage cuts and Superannuation

Brian Crooks writes: Re.”Scenes from a wage case” (Friday)

How stupid are the conservatives and their retail and small business mates, the only way for a spending resurgence is by increasing incomes, this generates higher sales, more jobs, more tax paid by both workers and companies, cutting incomes is like cutting your leg off because you have a sore toe.

The same goes for Labor`s stupid attack on small superannuates, slashing their income has the same economic effect, you might notice neither Shorten or Bowen suggested doing anything about the politicians rorting of their super at taxpayers expense. All one cosy little nest of vipers when it comes to their corrupt little deals.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey