Letters 18.5.13

14. 779LETTERSSome deaths more tragic?
IT is interesting that prime minister Gillard sends condolences to president Obama over the unfortunate deaths of three persons in the Boston marathon.
Where are the condolences and sympathy for the unarmed non-combatants massacred daily by the defence forces and the allies of this country in Afghanistan? There are none.
Society regards soldiers as heroes and even decorates them. This country has no cause to complain when the kinfolk of these people retaliate, but this nation starts to squeal like stuck pigs. Furthermore when the brave soldiers of this land destroy their infrastructure, their homes, possessions and food sources it is a crime against humanity and makes them common war criminals.
How many of these gutless politicians such as Stephen Smith, John Howard or their relatives have the courage to put on battle fatigues and join the front line? History shows these disgraceful acts are never forgotten and a day will come when these very people will square the ledger.
George Bouzidis
Third Ave, Mt Lawley
The Ed says: The vast majority of civilian deaths throughout Iraq and Afghanistan have been caused by insurgents, not Allied forces. Insurgents deliberately target civilians by bombing mosques, markets, buses and other places people gather. Allied forces do not target civilians. It’s an important distinction.

Fresh eyes for old problem
DOUBTLESS a by-product of Michael Sutherland’s Kimberley study trip (Voice, May 4, 2013) will be solution of the Mt Lawley Bofo/Walcott turn-off problem, viewed with a fresh eye from far off.
Too many “experts” involved probably explains persistence of the rogue element—such Kimberley headaches solved in dreamtime BC.
Sir, perhaps your most humble offerer.
Lutah Salt
Kimberley Mansions
Swan River Colony

Safety first
IT seems Vincent city council participated in the Beaufort/Walcott Streets working group to assess the needs of the intersection along with reps from Stirling, Main Roads and the police, however the outcome doesn’t suit its current agenda and it is digging its heels in (Voice, May 11, 2013).
For Alannah MacTiernan to throw accusations that Michael Sutherland is only pursuing the signal alterations for his own political agenda is madness! This issue is about pedestrian safety at a major Perth intersection in the middle of Perth’s busiest café strip and to sit on its hands and not do anything means, sooner or later, Vincent will have blood on its hands.
Why not change the signals and assess the outcome after the act? What has it got to lose? Oh, other than pedestrian safety?
Jo McElvenny
Field St, Mount Lawley

Dressage for discipline
ROWDY scenes from parliaments overseas suggest examples of dignity and decorum in such institutions should be spotlighted (“Speaker wigs out,” Voice, April 20, 2013).
The black gown donned by Michael Sutherland, MP for Mount Lawley and speaker in the newly-elected WA parliament, is certainly a positive gesture.
Yet he is not a judge; rather disciplinarian.
While reflecting the solemnity and sobriety expected of a legislative assembly, the gown can, however, also be seen as somewhat extreme; even a deterrent to those who might like to visit parliament, see our lawmakers in verbal thrust and parry.
Does the stylish gown in question need to be so funereal? Why not introduce relief with touches of gold, or green or saxe blue, or a combination thereof? Mr Sutherland is fond of saxe blue.
While the assembly’s serious purposes should always be borne in mind, of course, its deliberations can surely be conducted with cheerful optimism.
The speaker’s gown, while avoiding gaudiness—even patterned with symbolic wigs and tights?—could act as a useful reminder, during heated debate, of the desired attitude.
Charlie Benskin
Kingston St, Nedlands

Routed in bureaucracy
AS you have observed (Voice April 20, 2013), the PTA has ploughed ahead with changes to buses along Beaufort Street and William Street without any consultation.
Residents of Perth/Northbridge around William Street need to be aware there will shortly be no bus services on William Street between Brisbane Street and the city, which hitherto has been served by several routes. All will now approach the city along Beaufort Street.
I was told that, having bus lanes in Beaufort Street, the PTA wanted to make as much use of them as possible, even dismissing a possible more sensible option to leave the No. 60 as it is.
David Durrant,
Wade St, Perth


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