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He’s quiet for a reason

The Opposition Leader is not lost for words (Letters, The Sunday Age, 28/3), I can think of three good reasons why he might seem a bit quiet at the moment:

■Scott Morrison is the master at hogging the limelight. Whether he’s behind the wheel of a truck, riding in a tank, building a cubby house or announcing something to do with a vaccine (multiple times), he is the master at using up all the available oxygen. Trying to get attention in this environment can cause an opposition leader to seem whiny and negative (e.g. Michael O’Brien).

■Labor tried a big agenda, lots-of-policies strategy at the last election, which failed spectacularly – why would they try it again?

■“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”.
David Nelson, Clayton South

No queue jumping there
In contrast to the politicians in Australia who jumped the vaccine queue (Letters, The Age, 3/4), Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, stated that she was willing to “wait my turn”.
Marcia Roche, Mill Park

Surprise, surprise …
Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge agrees universities are facing “challenging times” and said some had become “very heavily reliant” on international students (“Failing grades”, Insight, The Age, 3/4).

Well, you don’t say. It’s amazing what effect cutting funding to universities over successive decades can have. Then to turn around and blame universities for finding funding elsewhere is hypocritical in the extreme.

The Liberal Party (heavy on white wealthy men educated in private schools) has never understood that a good education is a right of all Australians, and by diminishing its importance for everyone it also diminishes Australia’s ability to contribute in an increasingly uncertain future.
Dianne Powell, Ivanhoe

We must deal with this
Your correspondent (Letters, 3/4) supports the notions being put forward by Chris Uhlmann that an Australia divided against itself cannot stand (Comment, The Age, 31/3).

Uhlmann casually refers to Abraham Lincoln’s reference to the same problem. However he omits one important point – the US addressed, albeit violently, the issue that stopped it from moving forward.

While this country has not had slavery on the scale of the United States, unless we address and acknowledge past injustices we can never unite under a common acceptance of what justice is.

Uhlmann and his supporters cannot expect that those who have been the victims, past and present, will meekly submit to his system of justice that is deeply rooted in that past and that continues to discriminate against them.
Graeme Gardner, Reservoir

Punishing the victims
If 26,000 women and children escaping family violence are turned away from housing services in Victoria annually (″⁣More needed to stem family violence″⁣, Editorial, The Sunday Age, 28/3) why aren’t they being supported to stay in their own homes, near their own schools and communities and why aren’t the abusers removed from the homes? Another case of victims being punished and powerless?

It would be cheaper and safer if women and kids stayed home and an ankle bracelet or the lockup kept a violent partner at bay.
Susie Cole, Prahran

A conflict of interest
Your correspondent warns of a ticking time bomb as home ownership rates decline (Letters, The Age, 3/4). I suggest that danger is greatest to the Coalition. Liberal Party founder Robert Menzies understood well the link between home ownership, conservative values and voting conservative.

Today’s Coalition senior parliamentary ranks suffer from a major conflict of interest with many owning at least several homes.

As with the perils of untackled climate change, excessive house prices must eventually bite the Coalition where it hurts most.
Mark Freeman, Macleod

Mere window dressing
With the reshuffling of portfolios and allocation of new titles and groupings, the Prime Minister may give the impression of addressing his ″⁣woman problem″⁣. This is mere window dressing without specific action to close the pay gap, improve female superannuation and provide free childcare for working women.

The budget should see further funds to reduce domestic violence, provide more shelters and support for victims and provide education programs from prep onwards to promote respect for women.
Brushing these problems away with a smirk and a change of topic will no longer suffice.
Peter Barry, Marysville

No apology is necessary
I don’t believe that Daryl Somers needs to apologise for the nature of the comedy on Hey Hey It’s Saturday. It was reflective of its time.

However there is a lesson to be learnt from Kamahl stating that the way he was treated on the show was hurtful to him (his face was covered with white powder to “make him white”, among other things).

Anyone who might say “Awww, come on, it’s just a bit of harmless fun” simply doesn’t get it, it was not “harmless” at all.

Society has moved on, and that’s a good thing.
Julian Guy, Mount Eliza

Treat us as adults
Can politicians please treat us as adults and give us honest explanations as to why our vaccination rollout is underperforming?

If the reasons are valid and practical, as told to us by your journalist (“Target hard to reach when supplies short”, The Age, 2/4), most of us would be more accepting and understanding while waiting for our turn.
Wendy Poulier, Ferntree Gully

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