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What Thinking Australians Are Thinking

If one reads certain repetitive evidence given under oath to the trade union royal commission, Sam Dastyari had the perfect reason for ­believing he had a right to send an account to someone he correctly believed would pay for a perceived benefit ­because the transmission of such ­accounts to compliant employers was standard practice in his leader’s past. Those who attempt to divert this argument to the broader issue of political party donations should realise no such donor gets an invoice in the mail for services rendered.

Wilson Tuckey, Ascot, WA

Before he got himself into a pickle over personal bills paid by Chinese interests, with connections to the communist ­Chinese government, Sam Dastyari had a reputation as a clever, shrewd, ­aggressive and knowledgeable ­operator. However, at Tuesday’s press conference, in an attempt to explain his bizarre actions, he came across as a devious, distrustful, shifty and elusive operator. By the end of the press conference, he began to resemble Mr Magoo.

Coke Tomyn, Melbourne, Vic

All Sam Dastyari has done is resign from his position of Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. That means absolutely nothing.

He has not explained why he asked the Chinese to pay his bills and until the entire situation is resolved, the smell of corruption will permeate the ALP.

N. Bailey, Nicholls, ACT

It is naive to believe that Chinese soft-power donations are given without strings, and disingenuous for Sam Dastyari to claim that he has never been asked for any favours (“Dastyari’s donor has party cell”, 7/9). It is also a bit rich for Bill Shorten to tut-tut over Top Education’s $1670 payment and talk of banning foreign donations when Labor has benefited so much from this source.

Sam Dastyari has highlighted a problem with his complete denial that he could be in any way influenced by a political payment. Perhaps he really believes this.

Equally it seems his colleagues believe that a trip paid for by Israel will not influence their opinion. Such hubris is disturbing. Isn’t it obvious that they expect a return on their investment?

Hans Knutzelius, Balmain, NSW

Sam Dastyari’s evasiveness during his press conference has increased concerns about his behaviour. The known facts point to Dastyari being prepared to act as an agent of influence on behalf of China. Doing so would be unexceptional were it not for the fact that he is a senator, elected to represent the state of NSW.

China’s actions in the South China Sea could be seriously detrimental to Australia.

That Dastyari has been prepared to lend support for China’s actions from his position as a senator renders him unfit to be in the Australian ­parliament.

Philip Temple, Larrakeyah, NT

Bill Shorten’s comment that Sam Dastyari is only 33 and deserves a second chance is just one big cop-out. Shorten never advocated a second chance for his political opponents caught up in similar circumstances, and nor should he. Dastyari has committed political crimes far more ­serious than Bronwyn Bishop’s helicopter ride. Tony Burke has been pretty quiet on the Dastyari dilemma.

Peter D. Surkitt, Sandringham, Vic