The juxtaposition of two excellent ABC TV programmes, The Killing Season and Scott Bevan’s documentary on Arthur Phillip, provides a stunning contrast between the enlightened, honourable, and humane first Governor and the largely unprincipled, self-serving rabble that passes for government these days.
Whilst the focus of The Killing Season was naturally on the behaviour of Labor politicians and apparatchiks, for me the ultimate nadir was being reminded of the then Leader of the Opposition’s attempted taunt that the Prime Minister’s father had “died of shame”. In a chamber renowned for muck-slinging - real or fictitious, it doesn’t seem to matter - has there ever been a more despicable utterance?
It is a sad reflection on modern society that the residents of Warringah (of whom I am one) should have since re-elected such a person to represent them in Parliament, and that the mis-named Liberal Party should see fit to have such a person as its parliamentary leader. What is utterly un-surprising is that a government led my such a person should drag this country ever deeper in the mire of totalitarian philistinism.
There aren't too many ways available for venting one's anger or frustration at some of the things happening in the world around us. One such escape valve is the good old Letter to the Editor, even if only a small proportion of them gets published. It is often well-nigh impossible to keep the discussion short enough for the newspapers. So rather that have them expire in some Editor's Trash bin, we'll preserve them for posterity here. Inevitably, though, some nuances will be lost for those unfamiliar with the background or the letter or article to which we are responding. But each is undoubtedly a miniature literary masterpiece, though you may find the themes become somewhat repetitive.