Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson

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HUMAN RIGHTS

The hypocrisy of calling out China’s abuses

Thank you, Thanush Selvarasa (Opinion, 8/12) for reminding us of the shameful treatment you and so many other asylum seekers have received here in Australia – indefinite detention year after year, temporary visas that prevent a person from getting a job, being treated as criminals. All this continues to happen in our name while we dare to accuse China of ignoring human rights. Such hypocrisy.
Rosemary McKenry, Castlemaine

Incarceration of innocents in our country too

It is commendable that Liberal senator Eric Abetz supports the US’ boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in protest against China’s human rights record, including its internment of one million Uighurs. It is such a pity he does not express the same sentiment towards his own government’s incarceration of refugees in its detention camps, for goodness knows how long.
George Djoneff, Mitcham

Australia, ever the US’ loyal, obedient lapdog

So “alleged” human rights abuses in China are now considered to be fact, even though no evidence has been provided, just because the world’s bully – the United States – says so. Sadly, Australia, as its loyal lapdog, loses its sovereignty by joining a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Both the US and Australia have a history of disgraceful, human rights abuses against, respectively, native Americans and Australian Aborigines. China should ban us from competing at the games. The well-orchestrated lies about China continue and our media stays silent.
Ken McLeod, Williamstown

The political benefits of a February election

The Prime Minister can have a boycott when he is not having a boycott. All he has to do is call the federal election to coincide with the Winter Olympics. Our politicians will then have a good “reason” not to go to Beijing. Both Australia and China can then save face.
David Jones, Essendon

Free publicity for China, with no strings attached

If I were that neat, precise Chinese fellow who fronts the international media on behalf of his government, I would be thrilled to bits with the instant coverage my propaganda announcements are being given by the world’s media. I could not be happier that I had tricked them into repeating my press briefings and my facile denouncements, evasions, threats, name-calling, insults etc. Free publicity, with no strings attached. And whenever I appear. Long may they spruik my relentless propaganda. Xie, Xie!
Barry Lamb, Heidelberg West

Prepare for protests for our own Olympic Games

Australia is protesting human rights in China by imposing a diplomatic boycott on the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. This is another case of the pot calling the kettle black. While asylum seekers are still locked up we can expect similar protests against Australia at the 2032 Brisbane Olympics. Free the asylum seekers now.
Eileen Ray, Ascot Vale

What I really want on Human Rights Day this year

December 10 is Human Rights Day. We could celebrate by releasing all medevac asylum seekers from hotel detention, call them by their names, rather than numbers, and give them support and hope. We could grant little Tharnicaa Murugappan a bridging visa so that her family could return to the Biloela community that wants them, honour promises made to those who supported Australian troops in Afghanistan by increasing and expediting visas, and give hope to those who sought our help and protection. We could honour our international obligations and act with humanity rather than calculated cruelty. I would love to see that for Human Rights Day.
Anne Sgro, Coburg North

THE FORUM

Such shameful views…

I am the daughter of a Hungarian Jew who came to Australia in 1939. Like so many migrants and refugees before him and since, my father made a significant contribution to this country and was grateful for the welcome he received and acceptance he found. His parents were not so fortunate and perished at Auschwitz towards the end of the war.

Perhaps my background influences my reaction to the appalling behaviour of George Christensen in condoning views which link the horrors of a death camp to quarantine hotels. However, people of all backgrounds will see his behaviour for what it is: opportunistic fear-mongering.
Maryanne Barclay, Frankston South

…call for an apology

George Christensen now thinks that Auschwitz and the Holocaust are something to laugh at, a passing joke. Is his education lacking or is he devoid of all common decency and humanity? Unfortunately I think it is the latter. A cursory study of 20th century European history, or better still a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Elsternwick, would wipe the smile off his face. The Parliament of Australia deserves better representation and the Jewish community deserves an apology.
Peter O’Brien, Heatherton

Too little, too late, PM

George Christensen has overstepped the line so many times that most people have lost count, and up to now he has got away with it. It is notable that now he is retiring, and with barely 10 more sitting days of federal Parliament before the election and his vote unlikely to be required by the government, Scott Morrison has decided he can assertively condemn the outrageous behaviour of the member for Dawson. What was that about the standard you walk past?
Brandon Mack, Deepdene

Uniting a divided country

Never before has Australia been so divided when a simple thing like travelling interstate is now a minefield negotiating different testing and isolating requirements in each state, which can all be subject to change at the whim of a premier. How can I, as a fully vaccinated Victorian, have a different risk profile by simply crossing a geographical border? It defies common sense.

Surely it is time to put politics aside and standardise all entry requirements across the country. This will achieve a powerful message that, after almost two long and difficult years, “We are, I am, we are Australian”.
Mandy Morgan, Malvern

Real teeth needed

Re “Mother demands a lockout apology” (The Age, 8/12). The problem with the Victorian Ombudsman, well-intentioned as she may be, is that she, and every other ombudsman, can only recommend or suggest, and is unable to enforce any law. All outcomes are only achieved via the consent of the warring parties.

If our Ombudsman’s investigations are to have any real teeth, the ability to actually enforce any applicable law is a necessity.
Gary Oraniuk, Geelong West

Who knew two years ago?

With the benefit of hindsight borders may not have closed, but as I still keep yelling at the television: “There was (is) a pandemic”. Who knew how COVID 19 would impact on everyone?
Diane Maddison, Parkdale

151 million doses? Really?

This week I received a letter from the federal government concerning the COVID-19 vaccine booster. It stated: “With over 151million additional doses secured, boosters are freely available to everybody who is fully vaccinated.” Even if the vaccines purchased are active against the Omicron strain and even if they have an exceptional expiry date, then it still works out roughly to six booster shots per person.

Hopefully the government has over-purchased with a view to donating, say, at least 100million doses to those countries that are still trying to immunise their population. If that is not the case, what a massive waste of vaccines and money.
Dr Anthony Palmer, Southbank

Veils and masks, please

A cute photo and article of the bridal party going from their hotel to the ceremony on the tram (The Age, 7/12). There is just one problem: passengers on public transport are legally required to wear masks to safeguard others. Did the wedding party have some medical exemption or were they members of the entitled clan, regretfully seen daily on trams and trains, who think the rules do not apply to them? It is disappointing that The Age promoted this law breaking for a photo opportunity.
Victoria Watts, Brighton

Lessons from lockdown

Rather than celebrate the pending orgy of consumption that pent-up demand and a post-lockdown Christmas will inevitably bring, we should learn from the lockdown that we can live more simply with less “stuff” and actually be more happy that way.
David Gentle, East Ivanhoe

The privilege of freedom

I wonder how many of the “freedom” protesters will read Thanush Selvarasa’s heartbreaking account of being held in detention by the Australian government (Opinion, 8/12). Every day those protesters are at liberty to march around our cities, chanting about being deprived of their freedom. Meanwhile refugees are still locked up and, like Thanush, want only to call their mothers and tell them “I’m free”. He waited eight years to do that. Do any of the protesters ever stop and think about the supreme irony of their privileged position?
Karen Scobell, Blackburn North

A tragic, fatal wait

Fifteen minutes to answer a triple-zero call – “Triple-O calls ignored as a life ticked away” (The Age, 8/12). Are our life and death emergencies important to the business model that is now apparently in place?
Roger Green, Ferntree Gully

Why didn’t help come?

I read the heartbreaking account of Nick Panagiotopoulos dying in this supposedly civilised and sophisticated state. Obscene is not enough of a word to describe the awfulness of this man’s fate. The Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority, a dismally dysfunctional organisation. A travesty of government neglect is not too harsh a way to describe it. Vale Nick. A family deprived.
Ross Dyson, Harry’s Creek

End of joy and hope

In recent years, Aung San Suu Kyi (World, 8/12) has been under considerable pressure from the United Nations and individual foreign governments for apparently not preventing genocide and other atrocities against minority ethnic groups in Myanmar. The recent military coup and her subsequent imprisonment, trumped-up charges and court sentencing confirm the tight rope she has been walking during her years in government. When I visited Myanmar in 2016, the joy and hope for the future were palpable. This has now all been dashed by the generals.
Howard Connor, Sale

Give statue prominence

Why is the Nova Peris’ statue being moved from Federation Square to Essendon’s training facility at Tullamarine – “No statue of limitations for these hero women” (The Age, 4/12)?

As part of our women’s field hockey team at the 1996 Olympic Games, she was the first Indigenous Australian to win an Olympic gold medal. She was also a double gold medallist at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. The statue should not be removed. It deserves to stand proudly in a prominent location, where it is now.
Vivienne Fry, Beaumaris

Warne speaks sense

Andrew Webster asks, ’Why is Shane Warne so harsh in his criticism of Australian players?” (Sport, 7/12). We recently lost a home series to South Africa and effectively lost to an Indian B team that had so many injuries. We threw away a chance at the Test championship which was won by New Zealand. So why do you reckon? Maybe Warne actually knows how to bowl, and he saw what Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc actually did last summer.
Brett Byrne, Southbank

Seeking statesmanship

Normally I would rejoice at reading of factional warfare in the state Labor Party (The Age, 7/12), but with the currently inactive opposition – apparently policy-free – I suspect that the balance of power will not shift at next year’s election. How one longs to read of statesmanlike politicians instead of points-scoring factionalists at all levels of government!
Peter Valder, Toorak

Time-wasting nit picking

Senator Sarah Henderson has time to spare, trawling through staff lists at the ABC to identify employees who are lawyers (The Age, 8/12). The Coalition seems so obsessed with nit picking the ABC that it has lost its grip on reality. Who cares how many lawyers are employed? What about cost of living increases, climate change, health and education? Do not waste our taxpayers’ dollars tilting at windmills.
Pier Paolo De Carlo, Ascot Vale

Lack of diversity in MPs

Sarah Henderson is correct. It is obscene to hear of the number of lawyers at the ABC. The disproportionate number of women in the Coalition, and percentage of lawyers in it, does not represent an appropriate balance either and is disproportionate to the country’s needs. Parliament needs more science, technology, engineering and maths graduates, and the past two years have shown how important science is in addressing COVID-19 problems. Will either of the major parties address this problem before the election?
Howard Brownscombe, Brighton

Well, how about that

Wow, what a surprise. Novak Djokovic may be allowed to play in the Australian Open because of a medical exemption loophole. Like there was ever a doubt.
Geoff Lipton, Caulfield North

AND ANOTHER THING

Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

Christensen

By George, he was more useful to the people of Australia when he was regularly visiting Manila.
Dean Wotherspoon, Northcote

Christensen again tests Morrison’s principles and again they are found wanting.
John Walsh, Watsonia

George Christensen should be drummed out of parliament. Are you listening, ScoMo?
Greg Tanner, Elwood

How were Christensen and Kelly preselected by the Coalition, let alone elected? It doesn’t reflect well on those responsible.
Barry James, Lilydale

Politics

Is Morrison’s backing of Berejiklian as a candidate for Warringah a tactic to divert attention from the fact he’s up the proverbial creek without a paddle?
Daniela Spadaro, Pascoe Vale

Morrison warns us that a vote for Labor is a vote for the Greens. A vote for the Liberals is a vote for the Nationals. I know which one frightens me the most.
Audrey Stewart, Geelong

I don’t doubt the Prime Minister has the Department of Swine Herders and Coopers working feverishly on pork barrels.
Terry Mattison, Mentone

I am sad to say it, but Australia is a country without ambition because we have a PM without ambition.
Garry Biggs, Hawthorn

Furthermore

A non-vaccinated, hospitalised anti-vaxxer should speak, via video, at the next protest.
Arthur Pritchard, Ascot Vale

Why have we locked out people from some African nations but not from Britain or Europe? Nothing to do with race?
Barbara Lynch, South Yarra

Re the Beijing Games boycott. The US has much to be ashamed of in regard to its human rights history. Ditto Australia.
Geoffrey Mould, Brighton

Cathy Wilcox, political cartoonist of the year.
Maree Harrison, Nerrina

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