Freedom to ... infect each other and punch animals?

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Freedom to ... infect each other and punch animals?


Credit:Michael Leunig

Those protesters in our city streets have never faced a national crisis before, and thus have no idea about social responsibility (‴⁣⁣Very selfish boofheads’: Police taskforce to hunt down 3500 protesters”,, July 24-25). The enemy we all face is this virus, but we do have weapons against it: the lockdown, the mask and the vaccine. If they refuse in the name of personal freedom to pick up these weapons to protect themselves, their families and their communities, I wonder how they would go defending this country against a more destructive enemy, such as a nation state? This is not the first national emergency this country has faced and it won’t be the last. Those individuals protesting on Saturday – fuelled by misinformation and fear – should hold their heads in shame, particularly that dreadful act of punching an innocent animal. Lyndall Nelson, South TurramurraUrgent, urgent – vaccine needed to combat stupidity. Anne Bradley, Manly

A crowd of thousands of unmasked conspiracy theorists, supposedly fighting for their “right” to super-spread a deadly disease, have ruined our entire country’s recovery and put many lives at serious risk. These habitual narcissists are the very people most likely to be carrying the virus. I fear especially for the lives and well-being of the police officers forced into close contact during this assault – many with masks ripped off in the fray: how many of them are fully vaccinated? Sally Morris, Leichhardt

These sookies marching against the health lockdown look like thugs. I could not see one legitimate decent person, while very ill COVID-19 victims in hospitals are struggling with this new Delta variation. These thugs should be shifted off to Van Diemens Land and see how they handle the virus together there. Eunice Curran, Tarrawanna

The Sydney protest against lockdown looked more like a riot than a demonstration. The violence was clearly out of control, with even a police horse being punched. The rioters were neither wearing masks nor keeping any sort of distance, social or otherwise. There is every likelihood that at least some rioters were infectious and infected others given how widespread and transmissible this Delta variant is. By their actions, there is every chance that these rioters will prolong the very lockdown they were marching against. Mark Porter, New Lambton

Most of the boofheads are not wearing masks. Thanks for helping the police with their inquiries.
Terry Hughes, East Maitland

I completely support the critics of Saturday’s march by “very selfish boofheads”. The protesters do not understand the threat of COVID-19. If they have a problem with the lockdown, they should raise it with their elected representatives and not on the streets. Graham Russell, Clovelly

A shout-out of sincere thanks to the 5,308,500 sensible Sydneysiders who avoided the wanton stupidity on Saturday. To the 3500 wannabe William Wallaces shouting “freedom”, I trust that that freedom extends to being free of all government intrusions into your lives, including public transport, schools, water and sewage services, and hospitals. Wayne Eade, Mudgee


Credit:Matt Golding


Smoke and mirrors over reef is a murky business

The federal government’s reaction to bleaching on the Great Barrier reef is all about “nothing to see here” and ensuring no political outfall (“Public pays to delay the inevitable”, July 23). This is the same with our record on biodiversity, land clearing, emissions reduction, and water and bushfire management. The sham of lobbying countries such as Hungary, Russia and Nigeria to avoid an endangered listing is how the Morrison government engages] with climate change – window-dressing for the next election. Tim Hand, Balmain

Sussan Ley achieved her objective and UNESCO has delayed its decision on the critical status of the Great Barrier Reef. Ley’s lobbying was also successful in showcasing the morally deficient, shortsighted and selfish strategy to which our Australian government will sink in regards to taking responsibility, or shamelessly failing to, for this World Heritage site. There is no victory here while Australia continues to be an international laggard, failing to set urgent and ambitious emission targets. Shame on us. Christine Hannan, Moss Vale

Standard procedure for the Morrison government – show before substance. A pyrrhic victory if ever there was one; as if not acknowledging the parlous state of the Great Barrier Reef means that everything will magically get better. When, if ever, is this government going to come to grips with the issues that really matter – and do something? Michael McMullan, Five Dock

Environment Minister Sussan Ley has succeeded in her recent European lobbying stint. Australia’s global credibility as a responsible custodian of World Heritage sites and cultural artefacts continues down its slippery slope. However, the scientific evidence remains irrevocable. As does the rest of the world’s opinion of our nation’s lack of action. Australia ranks last, that is 193 on the list, regarding countries in accepting their global responsibility per capita to curb the production of CO2 emissions. Great result, Minister. Cleveland Rose, Dee Why

Which other country has a Minister for the Environment who travels overseas during a serious pandemic, on taxpayers’ money, to lobby against one of our national treasures being saved for posterity? If you want to break it down to something our present government may better understand: “It is a huge money earner for Queensland and all of Australia.” Prime Minister, it is not all about the money, especially when it is the irreplaceable Great Barrier Reef we are talking about. Wendy Lowe, Enmore

Only one thing can redeem PM

It was with unusual perplexity that I made my way through Peter Hartcher’s analysis of Scott Morrison’s chances of winning back voter favour before the next election (“Morrison’s reckoning has arrived”, July 24-25). Wading through ideas on the PM’s lack of empathy, defensiveness, propensity for wobbly or no planning, as the reasons he is losing the “lurve”, finally we reached a comment I could embrace. Ultimately, that what was required was “unerringly competent execution” of the current COVID escape planning undertaken by the Doherty Institute. Hartcher described it as the opportunity for a policy and political reset by the PM. I’m sorry, but we do not care about Morrison’s empathy, defensiveness, political rebirth or policy reset. We want a plan and we want that “unerringly competent execution”, or nothing will save this prime minister. Shirley Prescott, Forest Lodge

The Morrison /Joyce Coalition needs to convey more than empathy, vaccines and a plan out of lockdowns. They also need to enable stranded Australians to return from overseas. Additionally, climate and energy policies, an effective integrity commission, progress on the Uluru Statement and a humane solution for refugees trapped in our immigration system are long overdue. Martin Frohlich, Adamstown Heights

Peter Hartcher is worried about Scott Morrison’s chances of re-election but feels he can pull through if he shows a bit more empathy and has a plan to get us through the virus. Unnecessary concern, Peter, the marketing man will be fine. Standard practice should do. For starters, flood the media with a nice little dirt file on the ALP plus some particularly unflattering photos of the Opposition. Add warnings about “boat” people storming our shores, inflation caused by greedy workers wanting wage rises/penalty rates and, to clinch the deal, appeal to the hip pocket of the self-interested by stressing possible risks to tax dodges, franking credits and negative gearing if Labor wins. That should do the trick. Why not? It’s worked in the past. Nola Tucker, Kiama

Against the odds

Julia Baird correctly states that Gladys Berejiklian’s survival after the Maguire affair is “astounding” (“The era of staying silent must end”, July 24-25). In fact, Berejiklian could just as easily have fallen from grace due to a variety of other mis-steps, including constant transport system bungles, the unnecessary demolition and rebuilding of perfectly decent stadiums, her tolerance of pork-barrelling and her handling of the Ruby Princess debacle. She will, most likely, survive her gross mishandling of the Delta wave of the virus. It prompts an interesting question: why has Berejiklian survived, and largely avoided the shameful treatment other women have endured at the hands of male politicians and men in the broader community? There are some intriguing theories that need to be explored. As a reader of Baird’s excellent books, I look forward to her future analysis of Berejiklian’s success. Pam Timms, Suffolk Park

Treasurer got it wrong

In yet another story on our housing crisis, David Crowe (“Most fear young locked out for good”, July 24-25) produces the figures that would suggest we are in a demographic war, with those owning a home content to see younger people miss out on the opportunity. The ever-rising house prices, referred to as a boom, has created an absurd situation that has even alarmed lending authorities and the RBA, but apparently not our governments. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has stated that its a good thing for house prices to go up rather than down, but he would hardly say the same for say food prices, let alone energy, where he has claimed that low gas prices are essential for our economy. But ideally being able toafford homeownership is just as essential as food or energy, since renting a house makes it almost impossible to manage retirement. Don Owers, Dudley

The inane statement by Josh Frydenberg that “overall it’s a good thing for the economy when house prices go up as opposed to going down”, reveals a complete lack of empathy for the hundreds of thousands of Australians who will never afford to be homeowners and if they do manage to scrape together a deposit will have to spend a considerable proportion of their income on servicing their mortgage. This is not necessarily good for the economy, as their high housing costs means that have little disposable income. Alan Morris, Eastlakes

Indigenous inclusion

Michael Davis’ review of the book Farmers or Hunter-Gatherers? The Dark Emu Debate by Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe (“The counter-balance to Pascoe”, July 24-25) is balanced and fair, but the claim that the points made in Dark Emu are not “revelatory” is disputable. It may not have been revelatory to academics in their ivory towers, but it certainly was to me and the vast majority of the general public. We owe Pascoe a lot for bringing it to light. Nevertheless, I agree with Davis’ conclusion that “this quest for knowledge about Indigenous cultures is vital in the journey towards reconciliation, and a deeper, more meaningful inclusion of Indigenous peoples in the nation”. Andrew Macintosh, Cromer

We can learn a lot from Bruce Pascoe, Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe. The most important thing is for this knowledge to help us appreciate and respect our First Nations people and that it also leads us towards a more meaningful reconciliation. Josephine Piper, Miranda

Send in the clowns

I suggest The Beatles Here Comes the Sun as, “Little darling(s), it’s been a long cold lonely winter not seeing the kids and grandkids, who are stuck in lockdown.” Megan Carey, Dalmeny

Stephen Sondheim’s song comes to mind when I watch the news: “Send in the clowns. Don’t bother, they’re here,” and further: “Well maybe, next year.” Nicholas Harding, Newtown

Lockdown lament: you can have one of my funeral songs, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Lina Romay version). John Maguire, East Corrimal

I’m leaning (physically and metaphorically) towards Dr Hook’s I Got Stoned and I Missed It. Bryan O’Keefe, Kembla Heights

Alive and Kicking, by Simple Minds. Enough said. Helen Macfarlane, Surry Hills

My theme song for the lockdown would be Those Were the Days by Mary Hopkin. Glenn Larner, Freshwater

I’m all in. You can’t go past REM’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine). Stephen Driscoll, Castle Hill

For singles, it’s obvious: A World of Our Own by the Seekers. Jan Syme, Newington

The digital view
Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on
Scott Morrison’s reckoning has arrived
From rb: Totally agree! I’m a rusted on Liberal voter and dread a return to Labor government. But leadership is strong, humble, inspirational and clear. ScoMo is strong but none of the others. Look at NZ’s Ardern in contrast. Even when ScoMo’s apologising, he’s lecturing us.

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