LETTERS 9.9.17

Building ageism
COMMENTING on “Homeless Gem” (Voice, September 2, 2017).
The article was about Jewell House to be considered for short-term housing.
A WA health department spokesman said the YMCA’s lease was terminated because “the building was more than 40 years old and had reached the end of its useful life”.
Or reading between the lines, does this mean more money can be made by selling/demolishing the Jewell House building?
I live in an over 100-year-old house that has had a few renovations done including pumping and rewiring and it has a lot of life left in it.
It is a disgrace to read a more than 40-year-old building has no value.
What a wasteful society we live in.
Mili Stevens
Ruby street, North Perth

Eyes on the meter
I REFER to your article regarding parking in East Perth (“Parking trial kyboshed”, Voice, September 2, 2017).
Some years ago I stopped going to East Perth when metered parking was introduced.
It wasn’t only on Royal Street but all surrounding streets including those on the border of Claisebrook Cove.
A couple of weeks ago I overcame my reluctance to visit East Perth in the hope of finding some free parking.
I drove around many streets but it was all metered parking.
I eventually went into the multi-storey car park.
This cost me $7.00 for two hours.
I enjoyed a nice lunch at the Royal and purchased several items from Bella Boutique, which used to be a favourite of mine.
However, I will not be re-visiting soon as the parking situation is prohibitive.
One has to wonder whether the profit for the council offsets the need for a vibrant community—which this can be!!!
Nora Kavanagh
Elizabeth Street, Maylands

Happy birthday, Voice
CONGRATULATIONS on becoming a millennial, and congratulations on doing it without growing a bushranger beard.
As the Washington Post masthead says ‘Democracy dies in Darkness’.
While it is tempting to continue the alliteration and say that the sentiment is dystopian (the millennial word of the year) drivel, there is an element of truth in what they say.
For democracy to work, it is important that people are informed before they make a decision.
The Voice has played its part for our local community.
Congratulations on reaching the 1,000th  edition.
Sally Lake and Dudley Maier

Litigious culture
I CAN fully appreciate what Mr Malkovic implies in his letter “Verging on a lawsuit” (Voiºce, September 2, 2017).
This “who is responsible” argument has percolated to the top of many community aspirations in the past and the old stinger, all about a potential insurance liability, eventually stops people cold from doing what they wanted to do.
The fact of the matter is, that insurance companies instil within us the notion and idea about the “what ifs” in a complex world of busy people.
It is their business to sell policies to us…so what better way to do that, than making us fearful.
Making us question everything we do, making us fall prey to the “what if”.
The community has had a role to play in this over time as well, with more and more people becoming litigious and wanting to blame someone or something else for their own actions.
So it is not straight forward story by any means.
I could start to argue the point about verge side collections and how we put stuff out in a manner that deviates away from the actual instructions given to us by the council.
That bit of branch sticking out a little bit too far, that piece of electronic equipment that is faulty and now thrown out, and now that verge side garden growing a particular plant that my child is allergic to.
My god, where does it all end?
If we start to allow insurance companies dictate terms to us, nothing would get done.
What they love most is when we are doubly insured…when one party has a policy and the other party takes another policy “just to be sure”.
Pony rides at school fairs, dunking the teacher, air rifle shooting at the show…all gone the way of the dodo because the policies have made it just too expensive to run the attraction.
And now verge side gardens have been brought up as a massive killer and harmer of responsible citizens, no doubt the policy increases will make council reconsider what was a generous and pleasant offering.
If we all start to delve into the whole saga of “what if” and the subsequent convoluted, mind numbing and expensive insurance policy that results, then we may as well forget the age old test of “what is reasonable and what would a reasonable man do? “
I pay my insurance premiums just like anyone else.
There is a role for insurance companies in society and they can be very helpful when someone is in real need (and have the certified policy written up of course).
However, I have seen an insidious incremental argument built up over the last 20 years that takes the community on an insurance ride that often stops good intentions, allows the naysayers in and ultimately makes our society different from what it should be.
Colin Scott
League Street, North Perth 

Australian “democracy”
IN answer to Aaron Olszewski’s letter (“Locals can restore faith in democracy”, Voice, September 2, 2017), the Museum of Australian Democracy is a misnomer because we are not a democracy.
Any similarity to democracy we have in our right to elect representatives (not elect the government as erroneously put forward as the answer in an Australian citizenship question) to federal parliament ends where we do not have the democratic right to popularly elect a head or preferably elect a head by and from each state forming a national executive council like the Swiss, an option shamefully not offered by the Australian Republican Movement at referendum to our loss.
The survey you are referring to is biasedly loaded by falsely assuming we are a democracy in the first place.
A common ruse by the status quo.
Our politicians and the mainstream news media, especially our national broadcaster the ABC which by statute is supposed to be accurate and impartial in their reporting and opinion, falsely claim we are a democracy.
The bigger the lie, and the more often it is repeated, the more people will come to believe it, in both senses.
We enjoy hard won parliamentary freedom which prevents the crown from dissolving it usually under force if arms, not parliamentary democracy as we are led to believe.
It has given dubious powers to all not-popularly-elected prime ministers of the British Commonwealth and the queen falsely states we are democracies in speeches they write for her.
We are deprived of democracy with a queen as nominal head-of-state by undemocratic royal ascendancy and a not-popularly-elected majority party or coalition leader elevated by undemocratic royal asset to prime minister and head of government with his or her appointed cabinet of ministers of the crown and commander-in-chief of the Australian armed forces by default.
The PM can be dumped and replaced by his or her party midterm in government as has occurred in the three previous governments without us going to an election.
The PM has the power to appoint a royally approved ceremonial governor general as representative of the crown, without power of supply and only honorary C-in-C of our armed forces.
Maybe the “grassroots” proposal of yours is a good common law start on our bumpy journey to a true incorruptible(?) democracy.
Gordon Westwood
Coode St, Maylands, 

Ron’s “final” letter
TWO can play when opportunity knocks (Ron Willis wins letter of the week, Voice, August 26, 2017).
Here’s my last offering to Voice mail.
How many times have I vowed such?
The modus operandi of the free and fiercely independent Perth Voice allows beneficial community news on one page, while damaging offence worthy of ass kicking can appear on the next.
Comes to mind a time when the Voice published an uncredited photo of the Lord Mayor’s car parked outside a King Street hairdresser.
An associated report led to a soft apology that ought to have been a front-page splash.
Our planet is in peril. It needs all the windows we can muster to focus on our woes.
One of these, in this its 1000th edition, is the Perth Voice.
True to form, in the 999th edition, a front-page picture-caption bungle.
Unlikely to complain, former mayoral aspirant, Cr Reece Harley.
Ron Willis
First Avenue, Mt Lawley

Congratulations, Colin Scott! You’ve won our letter of the week competition and a $50 lunch voucher from The Terrace Hotel Restaurant, 237 St Georges Terrace for your thoughts on the litigious culture sweeping across Australia and the nanny state. If you would like to be in the running for letter of the week, make sure you email us your ripper at news@perthvoice.com.

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