Progressive liberals can step up if they choose to

I know he’s got more spider than a whirling dervish, but how gullible does Scott Morrison think the Australian people are? A few weeks ago, he told us that Anthony Albanese was pretending to be something he wasn’t. Morrison also told us that what you see is what you get with him. Now, days before the election, he tells us that his current bulldozer persona will be suspended and that a new Scott Morrison will emerge after the election, like a butterfly emerging from a pupa. John Gray, Belrose

If synchronized eye-rolling and head-shaking existed as an international sport, Australia’s female voters would be world champions after hearing of a powerful middle-aged man desperately promising to change his entrenched modus operandi after the election. Sue Dyer, Downer (ACT)

Thanks for your honesty, Scotty. Bulldozers are useful in landfills and for knocking down native vegetation. Not much used in parliament. Vann Cremer, Auburn

The Prime Minister’s ‘change of approach’ seems desperate. He needs to know that his goose is done. Unlike his loft. Scott Poynting, Newtown

I wonder which campaign focus group advised the prime minister to admit to being a bulldozer politician who will change his tactics and be more conciliatory? Was it the Fourth Estate, the polls, concerned cabinet members or the National Party, the developing cracks in the “mirror on the wall” or more of Jen’s advice? Whatever the reason, someone needs to let him/them know that a “born again” politician is an Australian furphy. Graham Tooth, Kings Point

Excuse me, Mr. Morrison. Changing the way you and your government do things isn’t so much about the time we’re in, but the skin you’re in. Your tin ear, your bombastic outbursts and your cynical machinations are infamous nationally and on the global stage. Cleveland Rose, Dee Why?

From bulldozer to feather duster in one week? Brett Evans, Hunters Hill

PM wrong to keep subs secret

Scott Morrison has managed to annoy the electorate in many ways, but one of his most heinous acts has been his willful failure to inform the opposition leader about AUKUS (″⁣Labor not made aware of Biden’s bipartisan demand for AUKUS″⁣, 14 May). He apparently ignored a request from the US to notify both political parties of the future submarine deal. Then why did he ignore this demand? Bad manners? resentment? Fundamental lack of integrity? How Tucker, Kiama

Peter Hartcher outlines the extreme secrecy surrounding the AUKUS deal. But can someone please explain why secrecy was needed over a deal that was announced publicly a short time later, committing unprecedented amounts of our money and affecting generations of Australians? Isn’t that the kind of decision that should be debated in parliament? Alexandra Barratt, Glebe

I thought we were governed by a parliamentary democracy, and that requires honest communication between parties. There are, and were, major international implications (ie with France) for Australia following this decision. All for a moment in Scott Morrison’s reelection campaign? Joy Pegler, Picnic Point

Now it turns out Scott Morrison was deceitful about the submarine deal and AUKUS. In my view, anyone who is now aware of this latest information and continues to support him is complicit in his abuse of power. Graham Lum, North Rocks

Success of Payne-Wong

The clear winner in the debate between Marise Payne and Penny Wong was the civil discourse (“Coalition loses debate on national security and China”, May 14). While there were political differences, they were obscured by a shared sense of optimism. Missing was the macho-type male fights in the schoolyard that gave off all the heat but no light. This one debate showed that ideological opponents can express their views without belittling or cornering their opponent. Trevor Somerville, Illawong

Reform the drug laws now

If anyone doubted the effectiveness of drug law reform, they should look to Portugal (Letters, May 14). All drugs were decriminalized in 2000. Drug-caused deaths have fallen sharply, HIV infection has fallen and drug use has declined among 15-24 year-olds, who are the most at risk for drug use. If we follow Portugal, our courts and prisons will be less crowded and the drug lords will be out of work. Decriminalization is now worth a try, because nothing else works. Lindsay Somerville, Lindfield

Holgate rant from PM

Your correspondent (Letters, May 14) gives us a telling list of ScoMo’s misdeeds. I would add his rant against Christine Holgate under the protection of parliamentary privilege as the most pertinent indication that he is unfit for any management position. A reflection of the man’s character. This outburst alone is reason not to vote for him. Gary Hare, Narrabeen

Stuck in the shark ages

Fitz and I are normally at the other end of the spectrum on issues, but I have to praise his excellent diatribe against our morally deprived “great white shark”. Fitz’ Saturday column (“Greg, you and your Saudi support are a disgrace,” May 14) said it all, but why don’t other more powerful Australian and even world figures align Greg Norman on this breakaway golf tour. Phil Johnson, Dee Why?

I don’t always agree with Peter FitzSimons’ criticism of Greg Norman, but this time it’s absolutely spot on. How can a sane person think that a planned murder is just a mistake? I think Greg Norman may have been out in the sun just a little too long. Peter Miniutti, Ashbury

Health care sick

The chaos in emergency departments has never been this bad in my 50 years as a doctor, but there is silence from the major health players (“Not Enough Beds”: Ed’s Ambulances Struggle,” May 14). The sharp end should be to restore the Commonwealth’s contribution to financing the state-run public hospital system to 50 percent. The ALP is committed to covering 50 percent of growth, but not taking the base below 45 percent. The coalition has committed to neither. At 50:50 there will be enough beds for ED to be cleared and ambulances on the road again. It will end the unscrupulous disparity between private and public access to timely specialist care, either for essential elective surgery or for outpatient medical consultation for serious, chronic and complex diseases. Chaos and inequality can be cured, but it may be that the power-balance independents, two of whom are outstanding mid-career doctors, can write the script. Graeme Stewart, Palm Beach

Future and past differ

Your correspondent (Letters, May 14) predicts the future by continuing the trends of the past. We now know the need to improve living standards in developing countries and for disadvantaged Australians while reducing net consumption. Scientists and engineers around the world are developing the circular economy that could reverse many previous trends, with emissions reduction at the top of a long list. Any leader who suggests we need to get back to where we were before COVID leads us astray. David Hind, Neutral Bay

Biloela: it’s time

Vote for Labor to ensure the Murugappan family can return safely to their home in Biloela. Don’t let them down. Judy Copeland, Willoughby

Can Scott Morrison’s newfound empathy extend to the immediate release of the traumatized Murugappan family to Biloela? Vicky Marquis, Glebe

New chapter

Richard Glover’s musing on literature in the modern age (“Banning books is a damn terrible idea,” May 14) was spot on. The titles he mentioned immediately evoked those gems from the past. As a retired teacher, I would like to know how the modern cohort can extract the fine details of human interaction from the kind of books that seem to be the “modern” trend. Carolyn VanderVeen, Bonny Hills

Scottish question

Your correspondent (Letters, 14 May) wishes a Scott-free Australia next Sunday. We respectfully ask him to amend his wish – ScoMo-free perhaps? The Scotts (Peter & Jean), Killcare

Lazy on Albanian

Bravo, Con Vaitsas (Letters, May 14). Seppo Ranki, Glenhaven

The digital display
Online commentary from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday smh.com.au

Politicians’ wages have increased by a third in ten years, but a wage increase in line with inflation is too much?

By djc789: The Liberal Party needs one or two terms on the opposition benches to get to grips with the reality of an electorate increasingly divided. The main issues to be solved center on social justice as Australia drifts into a country where the rich of the minorities are getting richer and the rapidly increasing majority of the poor are getting poorer. (Shades of the USA?) As we drift further to the right, the Libs become totally irrelevant.

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