More diversionary tactics from the Prime Minister

According to a clearly rattled and increasingly furious Prime Minister, the reason he does not want the promised federal integrity commission is because ICAC was nasty to Gladys Berejiklian and picked on her boyfriend. Well, that has only occurred in the last few months. What stopped you from establishing a federal ICAC since you promised it more than 1000 days ago, Prime Minister?
Stephen Williams, Wandin North

Fear of what an accountability body would find

Is Scott Morrison stymying all debate about establishing an accountability body because it would be able to question his government’s allegedly corrupt use of taxpayers’ money for pork barrelling? Why does the Prime Minister have the disrespect to call NSW’s ICAC a “kangaroo court”? It is fear.
Therese Footner, Wendouree

Elected leaders are not exempt from scrutiny

Scott Morrison declares – under parliamentary privilege – that the former NSW Premier was “done over” by the ICAC investigation. This is a ludicrous accusation. Does he think it is not appropriate for an independent judicial body to address credible concerns – backed by substantial evidence – of questionable behaviour by a sitting politician? Are our elected leaders exempt from scrutiny?
At the very least, Morrison’s strident and at times shrill attack on proposals to include politicians in any federal anti-corruption commission suggest that he and members of his government are scared of potentially being held accountable for their actions and decisions. What do they fear may be exposed? Methinks he doth protest too much.
Bob Malseed, Hawthorn

Learning from the master in the United States

There is no way we would have heard Scott Morrison’s expressions “done over by ICAC” or “kangaroo court” if Gladys Berejiklian had been from the left side of politics. Morrison’s contempt for ICAC, along with his failure to condemn threatening and riotous behaviour, is straight from the Donald Trump handbook. We can only hope that they will soon be reunited in the dustbin of history.
Peter Knight, St Arnaud


Unfair victimisation

National Disability Insurance Scheme Minister Linda Reynolds’ comment that the NDIS should not be a “welfare scheme for life” indicates her underlying assumption that disability is temporary. Whilst this may be true in some cases, most disabilities are lifelong.

My adult son has severe autism, is non-verbal, and virtually totally dependent on carers for personal care and community access. His NDIS plan covers mainly his accommodation in a disability group home and his day placement.

While annual NDIS reviews emphasise evaluation and outcomes, we really just aim for tiny gains and maintenance of whatever wellbeing we can hope for given the severity of my son’s challenges. Linda Reynolds could do well to scrutinise the profits made by private providers and external consultants to NDIS, rather than victimise people with disabilities that the scheme was devised to help.
Cheryl Soafkin, Kew East

Our right to stand

Re “Daniel to fight Liberals on climate and integrity” (The Age, 26/11). The derogatory comments by Liberal MP Tim Wilson in regards to independent candidate Zoe Daniel and independents, in general, show a total lack of understanding of good governance. Such arrogance will not win seats, Mr Wilson.
Anne Kruger, Rye

Which MPs, please?

Tim Wilson talks about “single-issue candidates hoping they can get a hung parliament to create uncertainty and hold the nation hostage”. I did not realise he had such intimate knowledge of the preselection criteria for the National Party.
Anthony Clifford, Wendouree

Deserting our ’family’

Scott Morrison repeatedly stated, in regard to dispatching security forces to the Solomon Islands, that the Pacific Islands are “family to us” (The Age, 26/11) and that we will always help them in times of need. Utter rubbish. He blatantly ignored the desperate pleas from the Pacific Islands at COP26 for strong action over climate change and has abandoned them to drown in rising seas.
Bruce Hocking, Camberwell

The high cost of YESS

Andrew Charlton (Opinion, 26/11) posits the case for “attracting the most economically valuable migrants to Australia”. YESS (young, employable, skilled and single) migrants should be preferred. Has the impact of the loss of skilled personnel on the source country, which in many cases can ill-afford such a loss, been considered?
Marcia Roche, Mill Park

Truth and context

Where does cancel culture end? Whilst I would not want to live in an area named after a slave labour plantation – “Moreland to change name over slave link” (The Age, /26/11), John Batman’s tarnished reputation in Tasmania during the Black Wars is surely equally appalling. Do we change all dubiously named places, or do we acknowledge the truth and reluctantly accept them in the context of their time?
Vikki O’Neill, Ashburton

Wake up, Australia

It seems I have been asleep the last 200 years and have awoken to the time where theocracy once again rules. This Religious Discrimination Bill is backward and will lead to intolerance of others. Surely people should be hired on the basis of their qualifications, experience and suitability to the job descriptions and not by what goes on in their bedrooms.
Maria Liew, Woodend

ALP, take a stand

I note the report that the federal opposition has yet to finalise its position on the religious discrimination bill (Opinion, 26/11). Which begs the question, is there any issue of importance to the electorate on which Labor has finalised its position?
Geoff Feren, St Kilda East

How does faith help?

I have yet to be convinced that (any) religious faith makes for a more competent teacher of say, mathematics, biology, English, science, geography etc. So why is it necessary to discriminate?
John Simmonds, Fitzroy

Poor, oppressed Pies

I am often vilified because I barrack for Collingwood Football Club. Is there any chance of a parliamentary bill which will protect me?
Scilla Dinnison, Camberwell

A lack of innovation

Re the shortage of timber pallets (The Age, 26/11). Why is the industry not looking at using recycled plastic waste or similar to make pallets and stop using forest conservation as an excuse not be innovative or forward thinking about this?
Sharyn Turney, Sherbrooke

An unfair punishment

The actions of the bin-diving, sanctimonious hypocrites (ably assisted by The Age and other media), in destroying the career of a top-class cricketer and all-round good bloke, are far more disgusting than anything Tim Paine might have ever done.
John Laurie, Riddells Creek

Duty to be accountable

I agree that Tim Paine showed “appalling lack of judgment” in sending an explicit text to a colleague in 2017 (Editorial 25/11). Although he was cleared of breaching the Code of Conduct, he has acknowledged his actions did not meet the standard of a cricket captain, or the wider community. Cricket Australia’s current chair is to be commended for acknowledging that the previous board made a mistake in clearing Paine.

None of us is perfect, but community expectations now call on men and boys to behave respectfully towards women and girls. This also obligates organisations to hold their employees and members accountable when they have behaved disrespectfully or abusively. Powerful sporting bodies have the potential to positively influence young men and women and contribute to the prevention of gender-based violence.
Heather Clarke, Princes Hill

A pretty foolish move

If there is one reason that Tim Paine should never have been made captain of the Australian cricket team is that he is not smart enough. Any well-known person who sends a suggestive text or email and thinks it will never surface somewhere obviously is lacking judgment.
Robin Schokman, Doncaster

Dude, great to see you

Duncan Fine (Opinion, 26/11) is spot in in warning of the need to avoid the creeping Americanisation of Australian English. It has been an increasing problem since the advent of television, but seems to be accelerating this century. There are many annoying examples to add to his short list, but two will suffice here: “dude” and “bud”. If you do not like “mate”, then what is wrong with the person’s name or “friend”?
Phil Johnson, Box Hill

Tell that to the Italians

Duncan Fine’s column bemoaning Australia’s mindless adoption of American culture certainly struck a chord with me. However, I am not sure we can claim espressos as uniquely Australian.
David Mitchell, Moe

UK good and US bad?

Duncan Fine cringes at Australia’s adoption of such Americanisms as Black Friday. Is he equally irritated by the Union Jack on our flag and a British woman’s head on our coins?
Greg Pyers, Sailors Hill

Price of non-vaccination

Re “Disproportionate response to the unvaccinated” (Letters, 25/11). What is disproportionate is the status of COVID-19 patients being treated in intensive care units, on ventilators and dying from the disease. Almost all are unvaccinated.
John Togno, Mandurang

The misuse of language

Your correspondent (Letters, 23/11) says the “anti-pandemic bill” protesters are not “fascists”, but people who desire “freedom from government overreach – and to go about their lives in peace”. Whilst I agree that it is dangerous to misuse the word “fascist”, it is also dangerous to misuse the word “freedom” as any student of history knows all too well.
Justin Shaw, Ringwood East


Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

Corruption commission

If NSW’s ICAC is a “kangaroo court”, PM, what does that make Parliament? A pigpen?
David Cayzer, Clifton Hill

Thanks, PM, for vigorously denigrating ICAC. You provided proof of the need for a similar federal body.
Geoff Schmidt, Richmond

Berejiklian was apparently “done over” by ICAC. The shredders must be running night and day in Canberra.
Tim Durbridge, Brunswick

What happened to Berejiklian was her own doing. ICAC did not force her to resign, whatever the PM says.
Julia Thornton, Surrey Hills

Why is Morrison scared of a well-funded, federal ICAC with big teeth? The answer is obvious.
Grant Nichol, North Ringwood


Does Morrison’s vocabulary include any words apart from “Mr Speaker”?
Katriona Fahey, Alphington

The religious discrimination and voter ID bills: solutions desperately seeking problems.
Ross Hudson, Mount Martha

God has no place in government or politics.
Bob Greaves, Mount Eliza

Tim Wilson sarcastically describes Zoe Daniel as “a puppet candidate” (26/11). How droll. Isn’t the PM a master puppeteer?
Sally Davis, Malvern East

Is China’s treatment of Peng Shuai also Morrison’s fault? Just about everything else seems to be.
Murray Horne, Cressy

Our choice is Albanese’s no policy or Morrison’s self-harm.
Malcolm Cameron, Camberwell


Firms using Black Friday in their advertisements should give part of their profits to volunteer firefighters.
Doris LeRoy, Altona

Re the “freedom” protesters. Without freedom of speech, we wouldn’t know who the idiots are.
Walter Valles, Clayton South

″⁣Oil is trading close to its long-term historical average in real terms″⁣ (26/11). Why then am I paying $2/litre for petrol?
Craig Tucker, Newport

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