LETTERS 8.2.14

12. 816LETTERSRespect is flagging
I AM one of those Australians whose grandfather fought not only in WWII against the fascists, but also closer to home in PNG and Bougainville to prevent Japan’s invasion of the Australian mainland.
Whilst I am a republican, and no great enthusiast of the Union Jack in the Australian flag (I am not being disrespectful to the Diggers—my Scottish grandfather was a republican as well, as were many Diggers) I remain amazed at the crude use of the flag every Australia Day.
It is common to see people wearing the flag as a dress, the flag printed on boardshorts (sitting on the flag), printed on thongs (stepping and standing on the flag) or on a range of other sundry products such as paper barbecue napkins (wiping your greasy hands on the flag).
Surely all of this sitting on, stepping on and wiping is a form of disparaging the flag, and if you accept that we must respect the flag because the Diggers fought under it—is highly disrespectful to the Diggers.
If those in other nations burn the Australian flag, conservatives and ardent monarchists boil over into a foaming lather of outrage and xenophobia—yet if someone wraps their bum in the flag and sits on it, all is well and good.
The hypocrisy is mind-blowing.
Bruce Campbell

Two-way street
I REFER to the photo of three men dressed as nuns, calling for a change of time for the Pride parade, which appeared on your front page (Voice, January 25, 2014).
While some members of the homosexual community are quick to take offence at anything perceived to denigrate them and despite this high level of sensitivity, it is remarkable the organisers of the Pride parade have not called for an end to or at least distanced themselves from the highly offensive practice of men dressing as and denigrating nuns.
This stale stunt of dressing as nuns by some of those participating in the Pride parade has gone on for years and is a deliberately provocative act without the slightest concern for its highly offensive nature to many in the community.
The failure  to end such offence does nothing to foster respect for the homosexual community.
Those who demand respect need to realise that respect is a two-way street: It has to be given as well as received.
Michael Sutherland
MLA Mt Lawley

Unfunny freaks
THE Perth Voice is a good publication if you want to be kept up to date with Pride parade.
As for me and my house, we would like to see the parade’s demise.
By all accounts that could be on the way, since attendance figures have been plummeting. Day or night makes no difference—the gay lifestyle is losing its momentum.
Good old-fashioned male and female intimacy surpasses the same-sex debauchery which some have decided to experiment with.
The Order of Perpetual Indulgence freaks are not all that funny. But given the state of the Catholic church with all its bad publicity, they are no more indecent I suppose than the established religion that enslaves a vast percentage of the world’s population.
Weird sexual activity and Catholicism—all products of the diabolical one who appears as an angel of light.
Raymond N Conder
Central Ave, Inglewood
The Ed says: Maybe, Ray, fewer gays and lesbians are marching in what started as a protest parade because it’s plain old bigotry that’s losing momentum. We like to think so.

Not in habit of apologising
THE Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence dress as Sisters because we are Sisters, who belong to an international order of activists and carers formed more than 30 years ago.
We work to raise public awareness of the ongoing discrimination that members of the LGBTIQ community endure daily.
We respect and honour the work that nuns within organised religion do, whether they identify as lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual. Like conventional nuns, we take vows of charity and service, and minister to our community, providing services that most organised religion excludes us from.
We wear antiquated, outdated religious habits which parody the antiquated, outdated views still held by established religions and those people that propagate hatred and bigotry.
In a world where we are not free to marry our partners, where violence and hatred are a daily threat, the Sisters are a visible reminder of the strength within the LGBTIQ community, and the support we receive from our allies.
We’re asking for tolerance as LGBTIQ people, but not on the condition that we are normalised by the heterosexual culture. Our flamboyance is part of our culture, and we’re not apologising for it.
And Jesus is gay too.
On behalf of the Perth Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
Mother Gretta
Neil Buckley, Perth

Ruined day
NEWS of a tiger shark being snared and shot ruined Australia Day celebrations.
With his policy on sharks premier Colin Barnett makes us all hypocrites. How can we any longer express outrage to the barbarous Japanese over their persistent hunting of whales?
Resign, before you encourage more damage to our embattled environment.
Otto Mustard
Mt Lawley

Let them buy their own cake
SO it’s official—Perth city council is headed by Marie Antoinette (Voice, February 1, 2014).  But it’s interesting to note the French revolutionaries didn’t tear down the Versailles, they just gave its arrogant owners the guillotine.
Ellie Savory
Wilberforce St, Mt Hawthorn

Show respect
THE photo on the front page (Voice, January 25, 2014) showed some gay blokes dressed up as nuns in a humorous pose for the camera to highlight the gay Pride organising schedule.
The article must have had the desired effect on me because I read the story and could remember a similar article about 12 months ago. In the back of my mind I had the passing thought that it’s a pity a section of the community (nuns) who well and truly fly under the radar regarding publicity, should be the public objects of satire, whatever the overall publicity desired effect may be.
Nevertheless I do understand that for aeons, humour has taken the form of people dressing up as nuns, nurses, policemen and all sorts of public-spirited professionals. The letter to your Voice Mail section of February 1 2014 “Nun of that” brought up that very issue, in that the correspondent sought to draw attention to the issue of men wasting their time dressing as nuns, when they could be tackling their publicity needs in a different manner.
I thought the author did a good job giving her thoughts about the issue without belittling anyone nor denigrating the gay pride issue. Fair enough I thought. However, it was your response in “The Ed says” that had me gobsmacked.
It was a very cheap shot at nuns, to say what you said and how you said it. You must know it is entirely without foundation to print that nuns go around saying “gays will go to hell”. I don’t know what you were on when you compiled your “Ed says” response but whatever it was, stop taking it. Someone has to show some respect around here but apparently you have forgotten the meaning of the word.
Colin Scott
Deague Ct, North Perth

Stand up and be counted
AT long last, the WA local government advisory board has issued the call for submissions on proposals for local government boundary changes (Perth Voice, February 1, 2014).
Whatever one thinks of the process to date, at least the LGAB is doing the right thing in (a) calling for submissions rather than wait for the Bill that would remove that requirement to be passed by the parliament and (b) doing so for all proposals, not just those made by the WA Government.
I don’t envy the LGAB its task in assessing these proposals as there are so many conflicts between them. Now is the time for all of us affected to let the LGAB know how we feel. The Board is required to consider all submissions and to have regard to; community of interest, physical and topographical features, demographic trends, economic factors, the history of the area, transport and communications, matters affecting the viability of local governments, the effective delivery of local government services.
There are FIVE proposals that affect the City of Vincent:
• Proposal 16: The City of Vincent proposal for all of Vincent to join City of Perth
• Proposal 14: The City of Perth proposal for Perth to take over the southern part of Vincent (including Leederville centre and key assets)
• Proposal 01/2013: The State Government proposal for most of Vincent to join the City of Perth (but not the riverside Banks Precinct area)
• Proposal 6: The City of Bayswater proposal that would take over the riverside area of Banks Precinct
• Proposal 03/2013:The State Government proposal for Bayswater/Bassendean, which would also see the riverside area of Banks Precinct removed from Vincent.
You can find details of these proposals by scrolling down to the bottom of the LGAB web page (http://dlg.wa.gov.au/Content/LG/AdvisoryBoard/CurrentInquiries/MetroInquiries.aspx) and selecting ‘Vincent, City of’ from the drop-down menu. I encourage all those who can to make submissions on all five proposals.
You don’t have to comment on the whole proposal, but it is important to have as many submissions as we can on those aspects that affect Vincent.
If you want Vincent to remain as an independent local government (as the plebiscite last October showed was the wish of most Vincent residents), you should say so clearly in your submissions.
If you feel unable to go into detail, you could, for example, simply state in each case that (a) you object to any proposal that splits the Vincent community, on the basis of the established community of interest, and (b) your preference is for Vincent to remain as it is rather than be amalgamated with the City of Perth, on the basis of the lack of demonstrated benefits to the Vincent community.
To make a submission you can; complete the form attached to the information paper on the LGAB website, adding attachments if necessary, write to the Local Government Advisory Board, c/- GPO Box R1250, Perth WA 6844, email: advisory.board@dlgc.wa.gov.au or fax: (08) 6552 1555. The submission period closes at 4pm on March 13, 2014. Time to stand up and be counted, folks.
Ian Ker
Vincent St, Mt Lawley

What’s in a name?
WHAT do we gain in our naming games?
Our premier rushed off to the UK to ask the Queen if it’s OK to use her name for our new waterfront development. Could our church leaders, politicians and Perth city councillors form an unbiased committee and dream-up some names that recognise the ancient culture that existed here before the British landed?
Most of the prime sites in Perth were given to the churches and the British government. No land in our city was handed over or managed in trust by the government for the indigenous Noongar people.
Could Wagyl Cove accommodate Elizabeth Quay on Billabong Point? There’s not one street in central Perth city that acknowledges our indigenous people, their spiritual beliefs, culture or art.
We’ve been here for 185 years and it’s about time we woke up.
John Blampey
Dumbarton Cres, Menora


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