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What Thinking Australians Are Thinking

How dare cartoonist Bill Leak portray all old people as wheelchair-bound, gullible and forgetful old fools (11/8)? Is there a watchdog I can complain to? And why hasn’t there been a Twitter storm over his outrageous bias against the entire demographic of senior citizens?

Ian Mastin, Woodgate Beach, Qld

Like others, I experienced frustration trying to complete the census online. It was therefore quite funny to read Bill Leak’s cartoon featuring two old men discussing their experiences. Has Leak just committed ageism? A closer look suggests that he may have also committed baldism. Look out, here come the protesters.

Anthony Dillon, Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, NSW

It took one heroic young man, Mack Horton, to start a movement towards a drug-free Olympics, something the old men of the IOC have neither the guts nor the inclination to do.

Greg Kater, Sanctuary Cove, Qld

If an Australian Olympian can shirt-front China, why can’t the Foreign Investment Review Board?

Peter Sesterka, Hawker, ACT

Australians don’t need any more evidence — the Turnbull government couldn’t run a chook raffle. Chief statistician David Kalisch appears to have been a poorly informed and passive “client” for the census system. Perhaps he should wear symbolic responsibility for buying a lemon? Perhaps some of his $700,000 salary should be used to fix the system.

And the two ministers — whose role could be seen as analogous to that of company directors — have failed their responsibilities to the government and the voters. Our banks upgrade their secure online systems regularly without any of this hassle.

Tony Andrews, Warrawee, NSW

Perhaps some good can come out of the census fiasco. Twiddling with firewalls at the ABS will not fix the core problem in the same way that sandbagging houses is not the way to hold back a flood. Ideally, the traffic should be blocked as it comes into the country rather than at the final destination.

If the government can get the various carriers to block data at short notice, anyone subject to one of these denial-of-service attacks could be protected. These attacks aren’t new, and they are often linked to extortion, so a solution that helps everyone should be the goal.

Bill Cumpston, Adelaide, SA

Much of the disquiet in the community over the census does not come from changes to the questions asked, or even the conditions of storage. It comes from the fact that what was once a community event, with a neighbour knocking on the door to deliver the census form, answering questions, and returning a week or two later to retrieve it, has morphed into an impersonal demand from an online bureaucrat.
Esma Mary Job, Olinda, Vic