Mortal dangers difficult to calibrate in times of COVID

I’d like to believe that Murdoch has had a late-life epiphany regarding his attitude towards climate change, that through his global media empire he can do something for the greater good. However, the cynic in me suggests that this apparent change of heart is more in line with his fear that businesses with a conscience will take their advertising dollars elsewhere. Oh, how I’d love to be in the room when those editorial miscreants of misinformation are informed of a strategy to gently steer the ship in a different direction. – Peter Singer, Arrawarra Headland

With a humiliating about-face forced upon them in their interminable war against the laws of physics and observable reality, will the myopic Murdoch myrmidons of the global warming denial cult now resort to the “Nuremberg defence”, or just deny that they were ever deniers and rely upon the gullibility of a Pavlovian audience? – Chris Roylance, Paddington

Surely, the about-face from the Murdoch press over setting climate change targets must be the straw that breaks the back of Morrison and his motley crew of deniers as they cling to Australia’s current outdated and dangerous approach. This suggests that a camel can have its back broken at the same time as keeping its head in the sand – an intriguing notion – but Morrison has shown that he can change tack on any course if he sees political advantage in it. – Nedra Orme, Neutral Bay

This de-facto admission of proprietor control and direction, so often denied, is quite chilling. Journalism is an honourable profession and quality journalism is one of the underpinnings of a vibrant modern liberal democratic society. Witness how it is suppressed in autocratic and totalitarian societies where journalists routinely are jailed or die at the hands of the state. The Murdoch press unfairly robs its journalists of honour. – Denis Hannigan, Toowoon Bay

What happened to the mantra that News Corp media were never organised at a central point, never just reflected the demands of the Murdoch family, that each outlet was independent and made up its mind on each issue at the local level? Is this an admission that the reverse was true? – Tony Mitchell, Hillsdale

Since the attempted introduction in 2009 of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme by the then-Rudd Labor Government, the Murdoch press has waged a relentless war of opposition to any real action. This, together with the Coalition (which it invariably supports), has – except for a short period under Malcolm Turnbull – had a destructive influence on the actions that Australia should have taken for over a decade. Both, it would seem, have followed this path, not for this country or for the planet but for their own influence and power. – Brian Milton, Avalon

That the Murdoch media are changing their stance on climate change denial, intend establishing a media blitz to spruik their new position and have briefed the federal government, lays waste any claim that they are a news company. They are nothing more than the campaign arm of big business and neo-liberal politicians. – Peter Hull, Hat Head

It just goes to show that you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows; just have no shame. – Joe Weller, Mittagong

Welcome, Rupert Murdoch, to the 21st century! – Maree Nutt, Newport

How will Scott Morrison perform his now-certain about-face on global warming without revealing his sycophantic relationship with Murdoch? – Frank Kelly, Crabbes Creek

Too little too late, Rupert. You’ve had 30 years to make a positive difference. – Rose Peel, Lilyfield

No jab, no face-to-face school

It’s time for a hard conversation about free choice and discrimination in schools. Specifically, it’s time to end the freedom from consequences for those who choose not to vaccinate their children. We should discriminate for the health of students and teachers: for eligible children, vaccination against COVID-19 should be a condition of enrolment for face-to-face school next year.

Why support discrimination? Because the choice not to vaccinate has consequences for other people. Vaccines protect very well against hospitalisation and death, but only partially against infection and illness. A vaccinated child is protected, but could still catch it, get sick and pass it on. It’s hard to understand a parent choosing to deny their own child that protection; it’s wrong to allow their choice to put others’ children at risk.

There is a tiny subgroup – fewer than 5 per cent – who are ineligible for medical reasons: they should be exempt from this condition. But their medical exemption should not be exploited to excuse others’ non-medical choices. Freedom for yourself is fine. Freedom to infect my children or their teachers is not. – Dr James Richard Nielsen, Concord

So, NSW Health will provide priority access vaccinations at Qudos Bank Arena for Greater Sydney-based school and preschool staff this week. Yes – teachers are this week being given “priority access” to the less-preferred vaccine, which is already widely available at pharmacies for walk-in customers. No, this is not a practical joke. Say what they will, at a time when large consignments of Pfizer have arrived in Australia, alleviating supply problems, offering teachers priority access to AZ only demonstrates, once again, that the wellbeing and safety of teachers and students remains a low government priority. – Irene Buckler, Glenwood

Employees in many industries are facing mandatory vaccination to keep their job. They have a right to expect that the people who are compelling them to be vaccinated are leading by example. The Premier should confirm that all Liberal and National Party MPs are vaccinated before compelling others to have the jab to keep their job. It’s only fair. – Tony Judge, Woolgoolga

Zeal expires too

Forgive me for not loudly applauding the Morrison government for procuring 4 million doses of Pfizer from Britain (“How old links clinched Pfizer haul”, September 6). If the government had done its job properly last year, it would not now be necessary to undertake this global bin-diving exercise to secure almost-expired vaccines from countries with the foresight to order enough in the first instance. – Anne Ackroyd, Melba (ACT)

By hook or by book

Your correspondent (Letters, September 6) laments the lack of click-and-collect for library books when alcohol and other seemingly non-essential items can still be obtained. Northern Beaches Council has gone one better by using Library2U during lockdowns. We just choose our books from the online catalogue, and after a day or two they are delivered to our door. I wonder why other councils don’t use this option. It keeps the library staff employed and certainly sugarcoats the rate-paying process for grateful residents. – Gail Dengate, Dee Why

Panorama shot

I was fortunate to attend a small wedding in a park on Saturday (“Wedding bells are ringing a bit louder”, September 4-5). Despite the last-minute planning and simple outfits, the brides were happy and the ceremony was just as meaningful. The greatest challenge was getting a socially distanced photo of the wedding party. – Sally James, Russell Lea

QR data mining

You knew it. I knew it. Everyone knew it. COVID-19 QR code check-in data would also be used for issues other than health by law enforcement and the government (“Police in strife for using QR data on crimes”, September 6). They must think all their Christmases have come at once. – Tim Egan, Mosman

Weasely does it

Just how cynical and dishonest can Prime Minister Morrison get in regard to his oft-claimed empathy with women’s loud call for action on the matter of abuse, that he then follows by weaseling out of any real action that might match his claims (“Morrison forces women to keep playing ‘whack a mole’”, September 6)? Not only did Morrison and his government weasel out of disclosing to the public for over a year the damning results of the Respect@Work inquiry report into workplace sexual harassment, they weaseled the words that they had accepted all 55 recommendations “in part or in principle”. We now see only six of the 55 recommendations have made it into law. Six! In light of this, I can well imagine concerned women rightfully viewing Morrison’s opening yesterday of the National Women’s Safety Summit as yet another cunning act of deceit. – John Millard, Mullumbimby

Time for whack a poll

As if the federal government’s “sports rorts” and lack of concern over companies keeping millions of dollars in COVID-19 subsidies while making large profits is not bad enough: we learn how the NSW government’s “Last-minute legal shuffle ‘left trains near collapse’” (September 6) and the two effectively conspired for “NSW to spend $3.5b less on public schools than planned” (September 4-5). In the corporate world, any one of those offences would have been severely dealt with by shareholders, if not by the courts. What must it take for the electorate to react similarly? – Peter Allen, Castle Cove

Room with a brew

Some young women in Dulwich Hill have been practising their creativity during lockdown. (“The art of lockdown: creativity allows escape in troubled times”, September 4-5). It brings a smile to my face every time I walk past their little semi and read the daily message chalked on a blackboard on their front verandah. Today’s message was “Hip Hip Hooray: Our weekend plans: Putting a drink in every room of our house and calling it A Pub Crawl!” Well done, girls! – Mary Lawson, Marrickville

Lyrics for our time

With apologies to ABBA (Letters, September 4-5), how about?
COVID me, COVID you (ah hah)/There is one thing we can do.
COVID me, COVID you (ah hah)/We just have to face this so we get through.
Masking up is never easy I know, but if you have to go,
COVID me, COVID you, It’s the thing we must do.

Jenni Stapleton, Kiama

Half human, half horse

With all this ivermectin about, the spring racing carnival fields might have some strange-looking entrants this year (Letters, September 6).

Tony Doyle, Fairy Meadow

Tiger down

As an old Magpie, I demand Scott Morrison call a royal commission into the Wests Tigers (“End game?“, September 6). – Andrew Stark, Erina

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on
“Police using QR check-in data to solve crimes”
From Andrews: “I am impressed that our criminals comply with the QR code requirements. That’s very public-spirited of them.”

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