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#################### Geoff Seidner
Friday, 29 December 2017
letters the oz dec 29 2017...a tale of 2 letters...
It appears that Victoria Police denial (“No ethic gang link to crime, say police”, 28/12) is an example of ignoring an obvious problem and hoping that by denying it for long enough, the problem will go away.
The media has reported over recent months, with the exception of the ABC, it is plainly a problem created by youths of African appearance as police have been prone to admit on the rare occasions when CCTV equipment has shown obvious ethics links of the perpetrators.
Denying that a problem exists reinforces growing public perception that the police hierarchy have become captive to political correctness that has become rampant in Victoria.
Hugh Francis, Portland, Vic
I am delighted The Australian is taking a hard line on political correctness in Australia and publishing readers’ comments and articles criticising the trend. The latest news from Victoria emphasises how political correctness can be used to distort the truth.
Victorians can see on a daily basis the criminal behaviour of these African gangs, and yet Victoria Police are denying the fact. What will it take to force Victoria Police to admit the truth, I wonder?
Tony Young, Blackbutt, Qld
Steve Chavura sensibly concludes that “balancing inclusiveness with freedom of speech and other liberal rights” is a worthy effort (“Beware the martinets who would silence all debate” 27/12).
Yet, the issue remains unresolved purely for the reason that the conflicting forces identified as the cause of our conundrum are ill-defined or even misunderstood. Freedoms relate strictly to the formation, upkeep and compliance with the law.
Inclusiveness is an amorphous, indefinable, evolving societal phenomenon concerning ways of behaviour and expected levels of tolerance and human response to the many forms of communal issues that have been the bane of civilisations.
Whereas a freedom is a reference to the degree by which a legal system does not impose a prohibition of action, matters of social interactivity involving individual preferences with respect to daily life were never the province of the secular legal system.
It is the loss of control of the legal system, including the capacity to dictate what is essentially free and what is not, steering it into the morass of cultural wars that were fought and resolved by the citizenry itself, that is the exclusive cause of the conundrum which is impossible to resolve.
George Carabelas, Mt Barker, SA
Carabelas has written one of the great letters of recent times!
Card’s mixed evaluation
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price’s opinion (“Debit cards protect Aboriginal women and children”, 26/12) conflated the basics card with the cashless debit card. The former introduced in 2007 has been shown to make no discernible difference in rigorous independent evaluation published in 2014 and cost more than $1 billion to implement. So much for value.
The CDC, trialled since 2016 in Ceduna and the East Kimberley (not in Alice Springs), has had mixed evaluation. Price chooses to attack Elise Klein for her evidence-based critique of the CDC trial in Kununurra, but ignores a growing number of reputable studies that highlight possible unintended harm to Aboriginal children including in lower school attendance and nutrition and weight.
There are better ways to spend public funds to address what are ultimately problems associated with deepening poverty among remote indigenous Australians, despite the rhetoric of closing the gap.
Jon Altman, Fitzroy, Vic
ALTMAN IS PATHETIC!
Mao’s drug war
Supervised injection centres to reduce harm from heroin make as much sense as special roads reserved for drunk drivers (“What happened in the war on drugs? Drugs won”, 28/12). The war on drugs hasn’t been lost — it has never been properly waged.
China had freely available opium and heroin during World War II, courtesy of the Japanese. The result was 10 million addicts in Manchuria’s population of 30 million. Mao Zedong instituted the death penalty for drug traffickers, with detoxification and rehabilitation for users. Those who did not comply were jailed. He won that war.
Roslyn Phillips, Tea Tree Gully, SA
If Sally McManus wants to achieve any credibility, instead of attacking the definition of casual workers she should address the enterprise bargaining agreements struck primarily by unions that quite simply line union pockets to the workers’ detriment.
She could also elect to review other widespread rorting of worker’s superannuation contributions that line union and, in turn, Labor coffers.