PM’s vaccine favouritism justified, but tendentious

Gough Whitlam was unfairly criticised in 1974 for not rushing home from overseas the moment cyclone Tracy hit in 1974 (“PM defends $4000 weekend flight as nature of the job”, September 8). Such unjust criticisms of political leaders have continued down the years. We are not permitted to see our children and grandchildren in lockdown in three capital cities, but that doesn’t mean I resent Scott Morrison having an occasional trip outside Canberra. We should all try to be magnanimous rather than mean as the dreary but necessary lockdown continues. David Morrison, Springwood

Forget that he is a politician, the heck with maintaining appearances, and remember what he is. I think that anyone who begrudges the head of the national government time to visit his family in the second year of a pandemic is just plain mean-minded. Bruce Graham, Waitara

The Prime Minister’s job is demanding and relentless on his physical and mental wellbeing. We need our leaders to enjoy the odd “preferential” treatment. “Hawaii”, they holler. Such utterly predictable thinking. Garrett Naumann, Cammeray

Show some compassion for a man who has spent the last 18 months working 18 hours a day in the interest of the Australian community. George Fishman, Vaucluse

Give the man a break. But why did the PM have to go to Sydney to do it? Isn’t his home the Lodge in Canberra, just as the White House is for the US President and No.10 for the British PM? Sorry, I forgot, he is the Prime Minister for NSW, not Australia. Richard Schodde, Garran (ACT)

Does the Prime Minister not realise that by justifying a bad look with the comment “it was within the rules”, makes it a doubly bad look. Trevor Zabow, Coogee

Morrison fails to understand the symbolism of a “shared sacrifice” and falls short in another test of leadership at a time of national crisis. Criticism of his behaviour is not a “cheap shot” – it’s an example of a lack of empathy. Adrian Eisler, Eleebana

There have always been travel exemptions granted to the wealthy, elite and those with the right connections. However, the PM popping home for Father’s Day has ignited the smouldering embers under many of us (“If you’re not bound by the rule, you can’t understand their impact”, September 8). He knew that this trip would be a bad look but didn’t care. The rest of us have endured restrictions and have missed contact with what’s left of the lives of those we love for way too long. It’s hard to believe the Prime Minister cares about that either. Lyn Savage, Coogee

Deaths v dollars, the COVID conundrum

There has been much circular argument and commentary about lockdowns and their consequences (“Underlying health conditions? That’s most of us”, September 8). In essence though, it is all circling around a value judgment of the balance between deaths and dollars. Those who argue that we should open up “for the sake of the economy” because of the general economic and social pain being experienced seem invariably to be those who are at least risk and who have the most to gain economically. As David Berger wonderfully points out, they soften the consequences of opening up in terms of extra deaths suggesting it is only the weaker animals on the edge that will be picked off by the COVID-19 predator. John Slidziunas, Sydney

Berger sees the economy not in human terms but as some evil excessive profit-making enterprise to benefit the few oligarchs. The economy is actually the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of Aussie workers and their families not having secure public sector jobs. In NSW alone at the moment 200,000 small businesses and their one million staff are suffering extreme financial distress. Their health and wellbeing and that of their families depends on us opening up and getting the economy going. Tony Nicod, Collaroy

It’s true that the daily press conferences note when those who have died of COVID-19 had underlying health conditions, but they also note an even more important fact – that the vast majority of those who have died or who are in ICU are not vaccinated. Berger, in northern Australia, may be able to sit across the table from his son’s girlfriend, but many of us in other parts of Australia don’t have that luxury. I live just 8km away from my parents, who are both in their eighties, but I have not been able to see them since June. Both my siblings live overseas and I have no idea when I will be able to see them again. There is a real possibility that my parents will never see them again or ever get to meet their youngest grandchild. Yes, this is my individual experience, but my experience is just one of millions of similar experiences. “Opening up” when we achieve the vaccination targets is not just about the economy but about society being able to resume, about children being able to return to school and sport, about young people being able to meet others in real life, about families being able to share celebrations and about the mental health of people of all ages. That’s not selfish, that’s caring about society as a whole. Sophie Jones, Camperdown

HSC a test for everyone

Teachers and parents share the anxiety of students regarding the form and timing of the HSC (“Unis, HSC leaders disagree on exams”, September 8). While NESA’s past record, including the handling of the pandemic-affected 2020 cohort, is commendable, the question of confidence in the fairness of this year’s response is genuine and affects every HSC student and those seeking to support them. Any efforts to ensure hope for the students need to be genuine and transparent. Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls

Advocating for victims

Jenna Price outlines many of the problems in our criminal justice systems and how they stem from a “gender inequality culture” (“A question of survival, case by case”, September 8). Concurrently Grace Tame has called for all governments to adopt nationally consistent definitions across a range of laws, particularly the same definition of consent. While we are looking at possible structural changes, one of the most positive actions governments could take would be to create the role of the “victim’s advocate”, preferably paid for by the state. Similar to the role of a children’s advocate, a victim’s advocate would represent the interests of the victim in a way that the prosecution cannot. Having their own representative would assist victims by protecting them against the worst of the “what was she wearing …” type of arguments, and would help instill some much-needed confidence in the criminal justice system. Pauline Croxon, Undercliffe

Passport paradox

How about first repatriating the thousands of citizens still stuck overseas before allowing residents to leave and return at will with the luxury of home quarantine (“Vaccine passports available in weeks”, September 8)? Alynn Pratt, Grenfell

So, I’ll be able to lunch at a favourite trattoria in Venice, but not at Le Bouchon bistro in Crows Nest?
John Flint, St Leonards

Steelers’ zeal

Your correspondent talks about a lack of pride in the “red V”(Letters, September 8). This is partly because the Illawarra Steelers never had a red V. As a long-term Illawarra supporter, it irks me to have to watch players running around in a St George jersey with Illawarra tacked onto the bottom of their badge. The Illawarra also has a proud rugby league history, including providing St George with many of their former top players. If the club wants to respect the joint venture, the red V must go. Either that, or cut Illawarra loose so that we can fight to get back into the competition under our own proud name. Andrew Cronin, Robertson

Delightful Bragg-art

Billy Bragg proves once again that he is never lost for words that describe the times (“Can’t keep angry man locked down”, September 8). His comment that “the real struggle in society is between individual freedom and the concept of the greater good” is particularly apt. One compares the success of Australia in mitigating the worst effects of the virus versus the diabolical impacts the virus has had in the land of the free where the individual is paramount. Bragg also gets bonus marks for his seamless reprisal of that wonderful British phrase, “working arsehole to breakfast time”. The working man’s poet, indeed. Mark Beacom, Beecroft

Au revoir to a star

Adieu, Jean-Paul Belmondo (“French New Wave star went on to appear in 80 films”, September 8). I’ve just revisited the trailer for Breathless: the bad boy, the pretty girl. Cinema-verite (non) but true all the same. And so delightful.
Pam Connor, Mollymook Beach

What a Guy

Judging by Guy Sebastian’s convoluted, confused and confusing “apology” to his fans on social media, is he now a dis-influencer (“Singer’s jab apology hit by backlash”, September 8)?
George Zivkovic, Northmead

Return to sender

Craig Kelly obviously needs a good dose of his preferred medicine to treat the anti-vaxxing parasitic propaganda he spruiks that’s infecting our phones (Letters, September 8). I’m happy to muster Kelly into the yards at drenching time with my cranky old bull Clive who’s also been diagnosed with a high parasite load. Vivien Clark- Ferraino, Duckmaloi

Seal of approval

Welcome words of wisdom from Jeremy Howard (“Better masks key to keeping Delta out”, September 8). Perhaps he can also solve my dilemma of wishing to do the right thing but finding that my full, long beard prevents any chance of a good seal at any point around my face? John Elder, Brisbane (Qld)

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on
States have to wait for Pfizer boost after figures confirm NSW got extra
From hayes_jimmy: ″⁣Let’s leave the bickering to the pollies. Australians just need to take whatever vaccine is available to us ASAP, they are all good and offer the greatest protection against COVID. Let’s all get vaxxed so we can enjoy this summer.″⁣

  • To submit a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald, email Click here for tips on how to submit letters.

Source by [author_name]


China launches 16 commercial remote sensing and weather satellites

China has carried out its ninth orbital mission within...

Subscribe and support independent journalism

The country needs a greener economy but energy specialists...

Gunman surrenders after taking hostages to demand own money from Beirut bank

A gunman took up to 10 people hostage in a seven-hour standoff while demanding a Beirut bank let him withdraw his trapped savings to...

FBI director breaks silence after Trump raid as threats of violence escalate

One post called for the assassination of Attorney General Merrick Garland, another suggested to “kill all feds” while others encouraged users to post the...

Munster stars for Storm as Panthers held scoreless for first time in seven years

Both played under Green during his time as Queensland coach in last year’s State of Origin series. Munster was Green’s five-eighth. On this night,...