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What thinking Australian’s are thinking, Saturday, May 7.

The budget speech from the blue corner was a bit ham-fisted from a business-oriented conservative government. From the red corner, a well-crafted speech from an opposition socialist leader who has never succeeded in business promoting welfare and leaners.

Warren James, Tweed Heads, NSW

Just when I thought it was time to find a comfortable spot to hibernate until the election is over, things are starting to get interesting after the Opposition Leader lit a fire under the Morrison-Turnbull budget.

D. J. Fraser, Currumbin, Qld

Bill Shorten’s speech in response to the budget showed that he is particularly good at character assassination. That such a person has a chance of becoming our prime minister is a frightening prospect.

Wiert Mensinga, Atherton, Qld

About 150 years ago, Confucian bureaucrats, trying to come to terms with the West’s technological and economic supremacy, coined the slogan “Chinese learning for substance, Western learning for application”.

China is still trying to impose that model. Xi Jinping is the emperor. The state and its citizens — they cannot be separated — are hoovering up resources and intellectual property, commercial and military, all over the world: buying and spying and lying.

China does not play by our rules, but it exploits our rules to execute its policy. Its eventual aim is to be a globally dominant autarky. Then it will make the rules and we will obey. The Kidman properties are part of that strategy. Australia would not have made a cent out of the deal.

Jim Wilson, Beaumont, SA

And my own missive (they edited my reference to the Wayne Goss 1996 comments about people waiting on their porches with baseball bats)

The litany of mistakes by Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and Mathias Cormann is embarrassing. Can anyone imagine John Howard or Bob Hawke being so decisively caught and bowled — and run out? The Libs have only weeks to turn this dog-and-pony show around.

Jim Ball, Narrabeen, NSW

And this one from another former radio stable mate (I was at 2GB/2UE, Greg at 4BC)

In the analysis of Donald Trump, it is worth remembering that US presidents rarely shape events; they are usually shaped by them. It is amusing that the party that had no problems with Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle being a heartbeat away from the Oval Office are so repulsed by the “vulgar” Trump. More vulgar than LBJ? JFK’s and Bill Clinton’s promiscuity? Richard Nixon’s criminality? George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq? Vulgarity has many forms and is not unknown in politics. It’s also true that the balance between the congress, executive and courts is a deliberate impediment to any one of them being too powerful.

Greg Cary, The Gap, Qld