federal election
(Image: AAP/Dan Peled)

Peter Dutton’s war on fighters returning from extremist hotspots around the world has taken on new life this week, and the country will suffer for it. As readers pointed out, the power the government seeks for blocking return or stripping citizenship threatens the fundamental legal rights of all Australians. Meanwhile, readers debated such broad topics as the broken visa system, the broken welfare system, and the broken wages system which allows underpayment to thrive.

On the foreign fighters bill

James O’Neill writes: There are some quite fundamental legal issues at stake here and the Australian government, in what is now a common stance, is ignoring them. It is a point to bear in mind when next you hear some minister rabbiting on about “the rules based international order” usually in the context of criticising another country for their alleged infringements. The hypocrisy is sickening.

On the ‘visa game’

Ben Aveling writes: The LNP don’t actually care. They just want to be seen as tough, because, in Dutton’s own words, “Secure borders are fundamental to securing public backing for skilled migration to fill skills gaps”.

Philip Stott writes: Ah, but Australian businesses are gaming everyone. Creating a new sub-class of working poor. Our equivalent of undocumented workers in the US.

On Newstart

Robert Smith writes: Why can’t we both help people find a job and increase Newstart. It doesn’t have to be either/or, prime minister. Labor also knows there is not enough sympathy for an increase in the voting public for “dole bludgers” so they can’t run hard on the issue. It’s OK for the government to buckle to the demands of retirees but not to allow the unemployed to live decently.

On George Calombaris

Malcolm Grant write: If your entire business model is based on underpaying staff or making them work for free, then it’s not a business, it’s a vanity project. Why should other people subsidise your hobby? When Jamie Oliver’s restaurants here stopped making money, he made the sane business decision and shut them down. People like Georgie boy and Neil Perry constantly play on their celebrity to make a pile of money out of spin-offs like recipe books and appearances while the people actually producing the food have their wages “miscalculated”.

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