Letters 7.12.13

11. 808LETTERSOne-hundred lashes
OUR prime minister Tony Abbott will soon be reflecting on his first 100 days.
There’s a fascinating contrast between “Typhoon Tony” and the first prime minister Abbott, Canada’s Sir John who was born in 1821. A great-grandson is actor Christopher Plummer. Sir John is remembered for saying, “I hate politics”. Tony, of course, has long hungered for our nation’s leadership.
Sir John dealt with tensions between Canada and the United States, just as Tony has his problems with neighbouring Indonesia. Tony should bear in mind Indonesians outnumber us at least 12:1.
Ron Willis
First Ave, Mt Lawley

Railing against reporting
IT is always sad to see how modern journalism has morphed from reporting facts to printing inaccurate and often unresearched rubbish.
Last week you reported “Federal Perth Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan—who as WA planning minister rammed the Perth-Mandurah line past vehement Liberal opposition….”. (Voice, November 30, 2013). As this link (http://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/pages/StatementDetails.aspx?listName=StatementsCourt&StatId=2362) and further uncovering of facts would have revealed, the Perth Mandurah rail link was a Liberal initiative and funds were put aside for it during Richard Court’s government.
Labor took over the project when it came to power, adjusted the route and went over budget and over time completing it. The ridiculous rhetoric employed embarrasses your paper.
Mark Butler
Via email
The Ed says: Sour grapes, Mark! The Libs may have had a plan, but it was el-cheapo which sent poor Mandurites out to Kenwick before heading into Perth on the borrowed Armadale line rather than the direct freeway route it is today. We’re sure commuters appreciate the time saved. And in eight years the Court government built not one centimetre. Yep, the budget blew out by 17 per cent, but consider this: the $1.6 billion project bought 72km of track, two tunnels and 93 new rail cars. Colin Barnett reckons it’s going to cost him $1.9 billion to push just 15km of track out to the airport. We asked Ms MacTiernan for her recollection of the Libs’ opposition at the time: “It was like being at the Somme.”

Love lost in translation
PAINTERS punt ponte di amore? (Voice headline, November 23, 2013). Translation, please.
Sadly, we are not all locked in with an ear like Vincent Van G.
Yours, whatever the weather,
Rom & Rem Wolfe
Bowman St, Shenton Park
The Ed says: Painters punt (kick) the bridge of love!

Cruelty condemned
PRIME MINISTER Tony (Turn back the boats) Abbott stands condemned for his negative policy of making cheap political capital but of the tragic plight of asylum seekers.
These desperate refugees deserve humane treatment from all those concerned in their struggle for a better life in Australia. The vexed, complicated issue of clandestine migration is an international problem which requires a consensus bipartisan approach from all governments worldwide, affected by a universal problem.
The heart-rending search for happiness by millions of refugees from every continent, seeking a better life for their families, does not lend itself to continuous political point-scoring, hitherto illustrated by the inhumane policies of the Coalition.
Labor in opposition should show statesmanship and now offer to join with the government’s conservative parties in finding the best bipartisan regional migrant solution possible. This combination of ideas would best serve the Australian national interest, whilst being more sympathetic to the thousands of refugees desperate for our support. “For the earth is one world, and mankind its citizens.”
Fred Membrey
Cape St, Yokine

Well-read
HOW uplifting. From the other side of the globe, William Dixon Smith’s call for expose regarding the vandalised love locks (Voice Mail, November 30, 2013).
Typically of Perth, however, we shall most likely hear nothing more if it. What a pity that York UK’s local hero and reluctant private eye, Charlie Benskin, won’t be called in. He’s concerned only with homicides. With love locks, of course, one never knows where such might end.
Otto Mustard
Queens Cresc, Mount Lawley

A delight
ONCE again I feel compelled to share my delight at the recent performance of our own Fremantle Chamber Orchestra.
This professional group turned on a brilliant rendition of some of Beethoven’s best: The wonderfully lyrical second movement of Eroica was particularly entrancing and Mark Couglan kept us on the edge of our seats with his interpretation of the Emperor concerto, one of my favourite pieces of music.
Christopher van Tuinen extracted the best from this orchestra which was a perfect foil for Couglan’s piano virtuosity.
Thank you, young musicians for a great performance and thanks to those behind the scenes: the tireless work of Hans Hug and his back-up team as well as Perth Voice owners Pip Thomson and Andrew Smith who have supported the FCO for many years. I am looking forward to hearing Rudolf Koelman again in February.
Jono Farmer
Sewell St, East Fremantle

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