Brakes need to go on election spin for long road ahead

Let’s hope Morrison’s “the Australian Way” doesn’t end up following the same route as Thelma & Louise. Rod Tuck, Katoomba

I can’t help but wish all political parties would just get on with spelling out their policies and the specifics of their targets and strategies to transition each region to clean energy, and leave the critiquing of each other to the experts and the commentariat. Jill Napier, Phegans Bay

The PM has indicated that “technology not taxes” is the mantra for the next election. Perhaps the Opposition’s new mantra could be “truth not lies”. Eric Sekula, Turramurra

Do not fear hung parliaments to get stuff done (“Neither the last-chance saloon, nor silver bullet”, November 10). As some political scientists remind us, they are stable because you have to negotiate. Remember Julia Gillard negotiating a carbon price, which now, even Mathias Cormann advocates? Morrison’s men were mugged by reality in Glasgow. Far smarter to include climate-savvy independents in the next federal government to drive the “how” of urgent climate action.
Sue Young, Bensville

Terminally ill suffer while NSW leaders play politics

I’m a 68-year-old woman with terminal lung cancer living in regional NSW and I’m afraid: afraid of a drawn-out, painful death, afraid of leaving a legacy of suffering to my family and friends (“Delayed vote a byelection issue”, November 10). I’m afraid the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill will fail in NSW, the only state not to have passed these laws. Do Dominic Perrottet and Chris Minns have anything to fear? Only the backlash from electorates if they continue to disrespect the people of NSW by playing factional games and delaying the debate in the face of overwhelming public support. VAD laws will be passed in NSW; the issue is just how much more fear and suffering will I and others with terminal illness have to endure? Enough is enough. Janet Cohen, Camden Head

No matter what their personal views are, the Premier and Opposition Leader should take their leadership roles seriously. The assisted dying issue has majority community support, has been passed in all other states after sensible and reasoned debate, and NSW is to be denied this opportunity because it doesn’t align with the personal beliefs of these “leaders”. Shame on them both. Debbie Ditchfield, Vaucluse

The efforts by NSW parliamentarians to delay debate on the Voluntary Assisted Dying bill is shameful. Why can’t they respect the wishes of the overwhelming majority of NSW residents and get this bill through both Houses so that those with a terminal illness will have the legal right to choose to die peacefully with medical supervision. Dianne Elliott, Newport

Although not usually political, I certainly will put my hand up to help campaign in the byelections if the debate on assisted dying is delayed by the opposing MPs playing political games. I think it is somewhat bizarre that the high proportion of MPs who oppose the bill in Parliament is absolutely not representative of the population of NSW who support the bill. Kate Audas, Surry Hills

Premier, it is now time for you to stop pontificating, show leadership and allocate the time needed to debate and pass the VAD bill before Parliament. We understand you would never want this choice for yourself, but how dare you deny this compassionate end-of-life option to the people who support it. Ian Wood, Mittagong

It’s hard to believe that NSW still lags other states on VAD laws and forces terminally ill patients to suffer unnecessary pain and distress. We need compassionate leadership on this issue. Please, just this once, stop playing political games and respect the will of the vast majority of the people of NSW. Jill Gordon, Roseville

Blame penny pinching for tram shambles

Perhaps we now know how we end up with faulty cheap imports when, according to a transport spokesperson, they will look at amended plans for the next batch of trams and say, “Yeah, that looks different and will be structurally robust” (“Revealed: full extent of cracks in trams”, November 10). Why didn’t they see that they weren’t “structurally robust” when they perused the plans the first time? Or did they just look at the builder’s pretty brochure and the bottom line price? Before this duty-free-shopping government took office, local transport manufacturers knew the requirements for and the local quirks of our roads, rivers, railway and tramway lines. They also built structurally strong vehicles and craft. We now spend millions correcting platform widths, collision strength, height clearances and inbuilt defects. The only consolation is that the money “saved” by the government provides local employment to rectify the problems. Donald Hawes, Peel

Sydney’s inner west trams are cracking. Sydney and Newcastle had lots of trams once. Melbourne has hundreds of trams. Has anybody heard of those trams cracking? It beggars belief. Les Reedman, Cooranbong

Diplomacy bungle

Chris Ulmann asks why the PM was so unprepared for the blow-back from Emmanuel Macron over the submarine fiasco (“Torn apart by Napoleonic zeal” , November 10). It is simple; he knows nothing of foreign policy, diplomacy, defence industry or business. He decided to spend no time on it and ignored it while he persuaded the Murdoch press to get on board with his dud fig leaf of climate policies and spent a ridiculous amount of time in a pretend fight with the Nationals. One might have thought that concentrating on our defences and our diplomacy would have been his main focus, but sadly not. The results speak for themselves – we have insulted two nations and have no real action on climate or emissions, but that seems to have been the aim anyway. Tony Sullivan, Adamstown Heights

Up the stakes

Gambling destroys lives (“Bookies ‘thumb their noses’ at gambling laws”, November 10). Bookmakers don’t give a damn about that. What they care about is making money and laughing all the way to the bank. All that’s needed to stop their don’t-care attitude to the laws is to make the deterrent effective by upping the fines to a level that hurts, plus jail sentences for repeat offenders. None of that is rocket science. Anne Ring, Coogee

China falsehood

It is lamentable to read the false narrative repeated by Dr Jennifer Hsu that I “insisted” that Australian citizens of Chinese descent condemn the CCP before a parliamentary inquiry (“Chinese Australians need not be targets of suspicion”, November 10). In the witnesses’ capacity as experts on China and leaders in their field, they were asked – I did not insist – as to why they couldn’t bring themselves to condemn a regime with one million of its citizens in detention camps, that practices forced organ harvesting on prisoners of conscience, threatens the people of Taiwan, denies democracy of Hong Kongers and persecutes people of diverse faiths. In short, its human rights record is a shocker. It’s a pity that Dr Hsu cannot condemn such a regime.

I have been heartened by the overwhelming support from the Chinese diaspora for saying the things that they would like to say but are too scared, for fear of retribution by the dictatorship on relatives back home or by local operatives in Australia. Eric Abetz, Liberal Senator for Tasmania

Coal facts

Thank you, Matthew England, for your hard-hitting, evidence-based argument for Australia to “decarbonise the economy, for our safety and for our future prosperity” (“The coal hard facts: the economics and the science refute the so-called ‘Australian way’” , November 9).

Having spent my life working up successful, innovative, research-based approaches to science and technology education, I still dream of an informed Australian citizenry, capable of creative and critical analysis of pieces like this one. Perhaps then we could elect visionary politicians able to nurture and not obstruct our continuously crucial adaptation to change, particularly to change we have played a large part in making the hallmark of our planet’s present and future. Lynette Schaverien, Castle Cove

Critical thinking

Peter Butler, I am going to show your letter to my Year 4 class and have them critically dissect it (Letters, November 10). I predict lively discussion. When we examined two versions of the Columbus story and found that the true one was rather horrific, I asked them why I should teach them history if it was disturbing. They looked at me in disbelief and agreed with the student who said, “So we can teach our kids the truth!” There is your merit right there and the younger they are when taught to question what they are fed, the better. Sue Morgan, Menai

I really wish some of your correspondents would look at the easily accessible NSW Stages 1-6 syllabus before sending off letters complaining about topics neglected or the skills learnt in classes. The content bears no resemblance to the narrow, Anglo-centric courses studied back in the 1970s. Teachers and their students study a wide and inclusive range of people, cultures and events. Moreover, this has been the case for the past 30 years. Jennifer McKay, Ashbury

Boys will be boys

I think I can assure your correspondent that “gender stereotypes” are here to stay (Letters, November 10). Some of such behaviour is learnt, but ban toy guns from boys and they will shoot with their fingers. Girls will be girls and boys will be boys, with plenty of individual differences of course, and without two fully discrete types of behaviour. But the idea that we should try to raise our children in some kind of ideal gender-neutral way is asking too much of mothers and fathers.
David Morrison, Springwood

Leave it to the prose

Thank you, Shirley Prescott, for your beautiful letter (Letters, November 10). And what better description could there be of our political stage than William Shakespeare’s “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”? Justin Fleming, North Sydney

In 1971, the love of my life decided to sail back to Australia from England in a small gaff-rigged yacht. I presented him with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare to read en voyage. Inside the cover I wrote the following inscription: “So, either by thy picture or my love, thyself away art present still with me; For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move, and I am still with them, and they with thee.” After 50 years of marriage, here in Australia, The Works are still precious. Julia Woinarski, Broughton Vale

Thank you, Elizabeth Maher, for sharing the beautiful quote in your husband’s letter (Letters, November 9). Was anyone else just a little bit wishful of being so adored? Jo Rainbow, Orange

Up for sail

They are much cheaper than submarines, they provide accommodation, and they don’t occupy any land (“Rich enjoy pandemic tailwind on superyachts”, November 10). Mustafa Erem, Terrigal

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
‘Because it matters’: What is driving Penny Wong to get out of opposition
From Mark : ″⁣Please Penny, I know you have said you have no ambition to be PM, but this country desperately needs someone of your ilk to provide real leadership.″⁣

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