Our helpers, left to their fate with the ghouls

Sue Carlyon, Kingston (Tas)

We may be eyewitnesses to a major turning point in world history, the decline and fall of the United States of America. Over the past 20 years, it has become an increasingly isolated nation with huge resources faced off by two equally powerful nations (China and Russia) and an entity (Europe) that challenges it industrially, economically and socially, in terms of Europe’s ability to retain a reasonable level of cohesion. The wealth of the nation is inexorably sliding into the hands of the already rich and the downfall of democracy is unrolling before our eyes.

Kevin Farrell, Beelbangera

Post bonuses expose mediocrity, PM’s hypocrisy

Australia Post is in the news again (“Australia Post hands out $92m in staff bonuses”, August 27). Some suits got an over-nourished performance bonus. Mine for one month in 2008, as a lad mail sorter (aged 60), was $96. I spent it foolishly at their shop front.

Mike Fogarty, Weston (ACT)

Australia Post is able to pay $92 million in bonuses to executives who earn between $200,000 and $500,000 yet is unable to pay its base workers correctly. Where is the PM’s outrage at this? The most vulnerable workers at Australian Post can’t be guaranteed correct pay while enduring roster and delivery day modifications in attempts to save money, yet executives can get a bonus in these COVID-19 times. The executives need to check their base pay because they may also have been underpaid.
Robert Mulas, Corlette

Australia Post executive bonuses averaging $82,000. A little more than the $20,000 that brought Christine Holgate down. I wonder what Mr Morrison will have to say about that when he picks himself up off the floor.
Kathleen Hollins, Northmead

Australia Post handing out $92 million in bonuses shows the bullying that Holgate had to endure from the Prime Minister had nothing to do with bonuses and more to do with the fact Holgate refused to agree to the privatisation of the parcel division. So much for the arrogant stance taken on the floor of Parliament.
Zuzu Burford, Heathcote

Letters from one Sydney suburb to another now take up to 10 days. Incredibly, senior management of Australia Post receive congratulations on this pathetic performance. Those watches seem like a bargain now.
Sally Spurr, Lane Cove

Salary in freefall

I was saddened to read that Qantas executives salaries have been drastically reduced during the pandemic (“Qantas flies low as exec pay comes down from the clouds”, August 27). In particular Alan Joyce’s take home earnings have come down from $24 million in the 2016-2017 financial year to a mere $1.7 million last year. Poor man, he must be totally devastated.
Dimitris Langadinos, Concord West

Flight of fancy?

As Qantas and governments are setting vague times for when we will be allowed international travel again will the federal government issue an extension on my passport of two years (the time that it’s been unusable) or will they offer me a 1/5th refund of the fee that I was charged in 2019?
Alan Rosendale, Dulwich Hill

Crown jewels

Welcome Ziggy (“Crown names Switkowski chair”, August 27)! Farewell sleepy time gal Helen Coonan, while good old reliable Jane Halton steps in as chairman pro tempore. Crown recruiters could dredge up any number of ex-departmental or government enterprise heads or indeed, former coalition ministers, in the sure knowledge that they wouldn’t rock the boat.
Michael Frawley, Downer (ACT)

Party in the back

Judging by the number of mullets adorning the heads of our rugby league players, at least some Sydney barbers are open and plying their trade. For the sake of all of us who like to watch the game, could they please put away their clippers and combs and shut up shop till the hideous fashion disappears again.
Coral Button, North Epping

Opening up won’t be easy, we have a long way to go

If we are going to have to live with COVID-19 for some time it makes sense for state and federal governments to set up temporary hospitals to deal with the upcoming problem. A number of indoor stadiums in each major city could be set up to take pressure off the hospitals.

As society opens up the need to pay subsidies for wages and lost business income will reduce. That money could then be channelled into the temporary hospitals.
Phillip Kerrigan, Mortlake

What a delightful addition is Dr Marianne Gale to the talking heads that appear at 11am each morning to both praise and admonish the citizenry of our state. Dr Gale’s unique characteristic is a genuinely friendly and effervescent delivery style usually topped off with a winning smile. A little bit of sugar does help the medicine go down.
Trevor Somerville, Illawong

Everyone is looking forward to getting back to normal life (“State plans tentative trials for reopening”, August 27), but one group appears to have been forgotten. Residents in aged care facilities have been denied visitors for weeks. If they have been fully vaccinated, why are their fully vaccinated family members still unable to visit? Phone calls and Zoom meetings are a poor substitute for face-to-face contact and confusing or impossible for those suffering from dementia.
Heather Bell, Kiama

I’m very concerned about how our leaders and health professionals talk about people with underlying health conditions, like we are disposable people to COVID-19 after we open up. I have several underlying health condition. When they talk at press conferences about recent deaths of people with chronic health conditions in hospital, it feels like they are saying: it doesn’t matter, they were not healthy, it’s not like they were like you or I. But I am like you in every way, except for my third gifted kidney.
Helen Bakewell, Chatswood

Failure to communicate

Waleed Aly makes it clear that the Tampa moment was one that should make all Australians hang their heads in shame (“Looking through a lockdown lens”, August 27). The cynical way in which the Howard government manipulated and politicised what was a desperate bid by more than 400 people to flee to a place where they could be free of persecution was absolutely disgraceful. Cold, hard-hearted and cruel. John Howard, Phillip Ruddock and Alexander Downer – the primary actors in the Tampa incident, who have gone on to lead illustrious lives – should never be forgiven.
Donna Wiemann, Balmain

Aly succinctly identifies the failures of the attempt to impose Western systems on Afghanistan by foreigners and our inability to see that it is a failed strategy. Is this not the same attitude that the British tried when it imposed western laws and culture on the people of Terra Australis from 1788?
Micheal Traynor, Bellambi

In all my years of reading newspapers (I am now 80), I have never come across an article so sensitive, honest, sincere, thought-provoking, and yet so concise, as this one. Our politicians, but even more so, ourselves, should take the time to read it, digest it and allow it to influence the way we formulate and critique our foreign policies. Try to see things through the eyes of the other, seeking a balance, before making judgments. What a privilege it must be to be one of Aly’s students at Monash University.
Gary Hare, Narrabeen

Healthy ecosystem

Our Environmental Protection Authority has been ordered to take steps to protect the environment from its biggest threat, climate change (“Judge orders EPA into action”, August 27). Does that mean it is being told to actually do its job? And is someone saying there might be a broader principle at work here? Where are these quaint ideas coming from?
Meredith Williams, Northmead

Dying for ‘freedom’

Tanya Davies seems very eager for people to be able to look at their loved ones gasping for breath through a ventilator behind a perspex wall, or see them languish in some hallway waiting for space in either the ICU or the morgue (“My fellow Liberals, this is fake freedom”, August 27). And all in the name of Liberal “principles”. That’s a liberty I can do without.

It would be nice if those who shout indignantly about freedom would mention the responsibility that goes with it. Davies should remember that toe-tags and headstones never mention a person’s principles.
Adrian Connelly, Springwood

Poor role model

Spanish swimmer Sebastian Rodriguez is a convicted terrorist (“How a convicted terrorist sent to prison for 84 years ended up in the Paralympic pool”, smh.com.au, August 27). He managed to avoid his 84-year prison sentence by manipulating the early release laws through extreme fasting that cost him his legs. Since his release from prison, well before he had served his time, he has become successful Paralympic athlete. We should not be praising him or putting him up as a role model.
John Whiteing, Willoughby

Different worlds

Mark Coure may say that the closure of the Oatley-Como bridge is to help “flatten the curve”, but everyone on this side of the river knows the truth (“Confusion for communities divided by arbitrary lines”, August 27). When residents of the other side said they wanted us to need a passport to enter The Shire, they weren’t joking.
Jennifer Whaite, Oatley

NDIS deserves better

Your excellent daily coverage of the Tokyo Paralympics unavoidably throws an uncomfortable spotlight on the inequitable, poorly patched-together version of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which has cast adrift about 4 million Australians with disabilities.

For a government which has suddenly embraced the concept of deficits, there’s no excuse for not fully funding this vital initiative.

Bruce Hulbert, Lilyfield

Bhutan on the blitz

The remote Himalayan country of Bhutan vaccinated 300,000 people in a week. How hard can it be for us to vaccinate the same population in western NSW?

Gregory Nelson, Avoca Beach

Root on a roll

Australia beware. In the third Test at Leeds on Thursday, England’s captain Joe Root (121 runs) outscored India (78 all out). This was his third century in three Tests in this series.

Kersi Meher-Homji, St Ives

Cut it out

By now the pandemic should have made abundantly clear the relative unimportance of haircuts and the HSC.

Tony Doyle, Fairy Meadow

Construction criticism

I deliver construction materials in Sydney. The common theme this week on most sites is no masks, no distancing and no QR codes.

James Hocking, Cronulla

The doctor is out

Tony Abbott was given the sobriquet “Dr No” for his negativism and obstructionism. Step forth “Dr Dolittle”, Scott Morrison. With apologies to the original.

Andy Germolenko, Goulburn

Coughs drop

While there are many of us who are heartily sick of lockdowns, there are many of us who are not heartily sick of not being sick.

Geoffrey Williamson, Woollahra

Ex marks the spert

There are so many “experts” providing advice on everything COVID-19 these days I am reminded of the definition an “ex” is a has-been and a “spert” is a drip under pressure.

Chris Hennessy, Ballina


Locked-down, and with so much time on their hands, Herald readers continue to express their disappointment and anger about the state and federal government’s COVID-19 Delta variant response.

Many correspondents this week were quick to jump on the rubbery figures floated by the Prime Minister and Premier on what percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated before we will be allowed to get back to some kind of normality.

The consensus is all citizens over the age of 16 must be included in vaccination figures for them to be meaningful.

The media blitz by Gladys Berejiklian earlier in the week did not pass unnoticed as she sought to push the positive news of progress on vaccinations, rather than the negatives of sky-rocketing COVID case numbers.

The mental wellbeing of children denied access to school, their friends and the benefits of socialising for such a long time has many writers concerned.

Finally, we received many letters mourning the death of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. The last word belongs to Terry Cook of Ermington: “It was great to see Charlie Watts displace COVID-19 and politics from the forefront on the letters pages today. A wonderful tribute by the letter writers.”

Peter Bottrell, acting Letters editor

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