In the increasingly pathetic sea of victimology encouraged by the likes of Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs and Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, it is a relief to find safe anchorage with the likes of Andrew Bolt, Janet Albrechtsen and Bill Leak. Long may they publish.
Peter Richards, Mount Pleasant, WA
Gillian Triggs, who somehow failed to investigate the detention of asylum-seekers while the failures of Labor’s policies were highlighted by the leaky boats arriving weekly, gives new hope to people-smugglers by again demanding they be given the prize of presence in Australia. She should resign and try her luck as a political combatant if she feels so strongly about her prescription for an early resumption of dangerous sea voyages.
Albert Gerber, Griffith, ACT
Brendan O’Neill once again highlights and underlines the irrational and nonsensical laws concerning offence (“History’s offenders put our progress on the affront page”, 13/8).
Quite simply, there is no way in which a rational and logical law can be constructed that takes into account the emotional state of any individual or group of individuals, at any single point in time, with regard to reading or hearing another person’s point of view.
People have suffered and died so that their offspring could put forward their views without fear of the legal system depriving them of their liberty.
It is quite simple: if one person or group can set out verbally or in writing their stated views or beliefs, then any other person or group of people should have the same rights to set out verbally or in writing their stated views or beliefs.
We either defend the right for free speech and communication or we do not. In the case of the latter, then religious doctrines, political manifestos or a personal opinion cannot be publicly presented simply on the basis that someone, somewhere, will be offended.
Gerard Flanagan, Biggera Waters, Qld
Apparently the Human Rights Commission doesn’t believe in free speech. Full of self-righteous indignation the Race Discrimination Commissioner has called Bill Leak’s cartoons racist and offensive.
The problem with this is that Leak didn’t create the problem, he simply commented on it. This, commissioner, is what cartoonists do. They comment not only on what is funny but on what is not. They make you laugh and sometimes, if they are as good as Leak, they make you think. Don’t shoot the messenger.
Julian Smith, Melbourne, Vic
Selling the family silver
The sale of NSW’s electricity assets has nothing to do with encouraging foreign investment and everything to do with incompetent governments selling some family silver to cover their losses (“China snub puts asset sales at risk”, 13/8).
The citizens of NSW, who paid for these assets that their government wants to sell, would be well served to look at the experience of South Australia where the same thing happened with the result that profits from the operation of the electricity system that would have gone into government coffers now ends up with Hong Kong billionaires, and the people are hostage to foreign owners.
Governments of all political persuasions seem to have the fiscal responsibility of drunken sailors on leave passes in Hong Kong and seem unable to find people of quality to manage public assets properly. When it all gets too hard the answer is to take the easy road, flog the silver and pocket the cash.
By all means allow responsible foreign investment, but do not give away control of vital infrastructure, land or ports to the Chinese or corporations of any other country.
David Bidstrup, Plympton Park, SA