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As one who opposed Gough Whitlam’s 1975 Racial Discrimination Act, I see my fears come true, as Nick Cater indicates in his analysis of this legislative nightmare (“Grievance industry sees bigots everywhere it looks”, 23/8).

An immigrant in my early teens, I had experienced almost every virtuous element of the social, economic and political stability and conditions this country offered, including being able to attain tertiary education and progress in the practice of the law — before the ethnic cloud started busting out all over the place in 1975.

I saw this as the work of a narrow section of non-representative, self-declared leaders within ethnic communities, impregnating the naive and ignorant minds of a new brand of politicians ushered in by Whitlam.

A society robust in its pursuit of common ground, friendship and tolerance is now fractured and progressively diffused, with no relief in sight.

George Carabelas, Mt Barker, SA

What, in this pluralistic society, where every minority view demands equal recognition of its validity, constitutes a reasonable assumption that someone might be offended? The only reasonable thing to assume is that every view we hold will offend someone or other. And sooner or later they will start a campaign to silence us.

Our thoughts are not a simple function of cause and effect, but of our free will and the moral awareness it confers. This is as true for all. Section 18C is a travesty of the principal of free will on which our laws are founded, and an invitation to the further erosion of free speech.
Mark Sutherland, Tewinga, NSW

John le Carre penned a succinct comment in his wonderful book The Honourable Schoolboy. Used to describe a rather fanatical Christian missionary, it defines the dreaded PC police of today: “She could spot a sin before it was committed.”
Simon Marsto

Perhaps there would be less agonising about the medal tally had there been less pre-games medal counting. Expectations were talked up beyond reason, so naturally the public were disappointed in the results.

Maris Dabars, Murray Bridge, SA

Some correspondents have noted that Australia’s Olympic medal tally is not commensurate with the level of public investment. That sounds rather like the recent lament that NAPLAN results have plateaued in spite of increased spending on education. Could it be said that the nation’s schools are performing to Olympic standards?

Garry Collins, Stafford Heights, Qld

Olympic chef de mission Kitty Chiller deserves a medal for managing our team. It must be akin to mustering rogue cattle. Most eventually walk on quietly but you never know when a few will break away from the mob.

John Bain, South Bunbury, WA

If AFP women can’t stand up for themselves in their workplace, how can they help people in the wider community? I recommend people read Bettina Arndt’s article (“Always beating up on men”, 20/8) and work out the probable truth of the matter.

Cecily Wilson, Paddington, Qld

It is no surprise that the $6 billion a year in Aboriginal welfare payouts are achieving nothing. When people’s independence and respect are destroyed by excessive welfare programs, that’s what happens.
Greg Kater, Sanctuary Cove, Qld