As you sit on the all-too-familiar opposition benches licking your wounds, contemplate the inescapable fact that they are all self-inflicted.
Ken Chapman, Hampton
Unfounded fear wins the day
How depressing. Short-term self-interest wins over sharing our good fortune and saving the planet. Unfounded economic fear wins over an honest program for change and the chance of a better future for our children and grandchildren.
David Court, Glen Iris
Who came up with that one?
Who in the Labor fold came up with a strategy of whipping up intergenerational warfare and labelling ordinary Australians «the big end of town»? Who decided to latch onto the newest form of bigotry that portrays a whole generation, regardless of any individual history of public service and social activism, as rorters and environmental vandals? It was as dishonest as the «great big tax on everything».
Bill Shorten predictably stood down as leader, but I wonder if Chris Bowen, Kevin Rudd’s champion, will take any responsibility for his repeated poor judgment. It was perhaps his hubris during the campaign, as much as anything, that lost the «unlosable» election.
Liz Levy, Suffolk Park, NSW
I followed your advice
Mr Bowen, as an elderly retiree, I thank you for your advice some time ago on how to vote if I didn’t like your policy on franking credits. I followed it and did vote for someone else. So did thousands of others. That hubris thing catches politicians out every time, doesn’t it?
Murray Ainsworth, Hawthorn East
Shorten didn’t let us down, we did
While Bill Shorten may not have become prime minister let it not be said he didn’t try. His party’s agenda was brave and bold. It looked at the next generations. He did not let Australia down. The Australian people, with their eyes cast only from one day to the next (the result of how right-wing agendas operate via scare), have let themselves down.
John Rome, Mount Lawley, WA
These are the real losers
There are always winners and losers in an election. The losers in this election are the disadvantaged, Indigenous people, the asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island, the many who are seeking to buy their first home, those who are unable to afford health insurance, those who cannot afford childcare fees, in fact all of those issues in our society, including climate change, that the Labor Party was seeking to address.
Rather than apportion blame to Bill Shorten for losing an «unlosable» election, we should acknowledge his effort for highlighting these issues that go to the heart of of our nation, and ask those who helped the Coalition retain power whether they now feel comfortable with the way they cast their vote.
Bruce MacKenzie, South Kingsville
Class warfare is the rule
Political commentators keep on talking about Bill Shorten’s mild redistributive policies as «class warfare» and «the politics of envy». But if anything «class warfare» is the rule and not the exception. And usually it is being prosecuted by the conservatives against those on low and middle incomes.
When the conservatives flatten the tax scales, those on low and middle incomes end up paying a higher proportion of all tax. When they cut corporate taxes and give high income groups a tax cut gift the price is paid in our public health and education systems, including the NDIS, mental health, public education and aged care.
The truth is that working and vulnerable Australians have to fight for social justice: not just wage justice, but also social insurance like the NDIS, and the social wage and the welfare state, as with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, pensions and Medicare.
The conservatives try and «divide and conquer» with talk of «a fair go for those who have a go». But don’t aged care workers, childcare workers, cleaners, teachers and nurses «have a go»?
The conservatives try and convince us to vote against our own interests and justice on the basis of carefully crafted propagandist mythologies.
Tristan Ewins, Box Hill North
Me, me, me
Last week I watched a short piece of street commentary where people were asked who they were voting for and why. Still having high hopes, I expected at least one person to come from a view connecting them to some kind of «what’s good for Australia» position.
I was shocked to hear from all these ordinary Australians a list of small election rewards they wanted. Like children, they all wanted a lolly. For each one it was me, me, me. The degree of self-interest at every level in today’s world is frightening. And until now, I thought Australia was a cut above the mob. I am ashamed now of my country.
There are really serious issues that need to be addressed and there is now no platform to build on. Until we act for the community and our place in the world we are not fulfilling our potential.
Carol Oliver, Musk
Labor’s big mistake
Labor will never be elected if it continues to put the big picture before selfishness. For example, lower power prices will always come before «climate change».
David Baylis, Mentone
Come out of hiding, Melissa
Now that Scott Morrison has a mandate to do nothing about climate change, it’s time for Environment Minister Melissa Price to leave the witness protection program and get on with doing exactly that.
Tim Durbridge, Brunswick
A Baby Boomer says sorry
We Baby Boomers are a disgrace. Relative to all other generations we’ve had a charmed run. Yet still we’re not satisfied. Instead of 30 pieces of silver we’ve sold out for taxpayer-funded franking credits and negative gearing to benefit a fortunate minority and rapacious self-interest. To our children, grandchildren, those yet to come, and our planet, I’m sorry.
John Feehan, Warragul
That wasn’t a miracle …
It is a strange irony for Scott Morrison to claim that the election result was a «miracle», when it was largely the result of an unrelenting stream of fear, misrepresentation and deceit.
John Langmore, North Melbourne
… but this was
This is a victory for the forgotten people: those with negatively geared multiple properties; the retirees with big superannuation nest eggs craftily arranged so they pay no tax but get a tax refund; those who might half believe that the planet is in imminent danger but are willing to risk their grandkids’ future rather than imperil their own immediate financial arrangements.
Yes, the great Menzian tradition would welcome them all as aspirational winners. But the most wondrous of Scott Morrison’s miracles in this election is how he convinced enough voters from the 50 per cent whose incomes are genuinely below the median level to vote his party across the line.
Their noble self-sacrifice ensured that Morrison’s forgotten people would continue to live in the manner that they so obviously deserve.
Peter McCarthy, Mentone
Australians are generally a conservative and simplistic bunch when it comes to politics. When faced with threat they prefer to stay with the devil they know than risk the angel of promise.
Scott Morrison, aware of how such a nature could be nurtured, set about destabilising those that might consider ending his government’s tenure. Morrison delivered a conservative and simplistic message that attached threat to change.
Bill Shorten, intoxicated by favourable opinion polls, was convinced that It’s Time Take-Two would provide the surge of electoral support required for a Labor victory. Overblown confidence in the party’s position led to the introduction of an array of policies that heralded radical change across numerous sectors.
What Bill Shorten failed to truly appreciate was that, while voters weren’t happy with the Coalition, they were distrustful of his style, and wary of his plan.
Jaroslaw Kotiw, Strathfieldsaye
The tax reform challenge
One lesson that is apparent from Labor’s failed attempt to win government is the difficulty of making change in the area of radical tax reform; this always creates winners and losers and the harsh political reality of such redesigns is that the architects get blamed by the losers, while deriving minimal or no credit whatsoever from the potential winners, in this case the younger generation.
So why should oppositions take the risk? Because the world is changing, and the tax system is failing to keep up, that’s why.
Maurice Critchley, Kenthurst, NSW
Give us some policy please
Scott Morrison: Baseball caps, hard hats, high-vis vests, shovel in hand, table tennis bats, billiard cues, sheep shearing and the list goes on and on.
Instead of all of this, may I be so bold as to ask you to come up with some meaningful policies for «all Australians» so that there is a real reason to vote for you, rather than not vote for the opposition at the next election?
Frank Stipic, Mentone
What a fizzer
Such an amazing outcome fizzer on Saturday night associated with an analysis and rationale by the commentators and the media pundits from all sides of politics about the «them and us» adversarial election campaign.
If this election had been run in more politically sophisticated and progressive democracies, e.g. Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and other EU nations, we would now be seeing a Labor-Greens coalition government in Australia and we could confidently go forward. Instead, Australia continues to stand still and voters are treated compulsively like political product consumerists. Such energy spent to retain what is essentially the «lucky country» status quo.
Henk van Leeuwen, Elwood
Triumph of the self
As I digest the results of the election I am reminded of the English philosopher Iris Murdoch’s contention that our basic motivation is selfishness. It saddens me that many people seem to have voted according to what is in it for themselves rather than what is good for our society, national and global.
I despair that so many people of my age (I’m in my 70s) appear to have voted so that their unfair tax advantages would not be affected. Self-interest has triumphed.
Joan Barlow, Mount Toolebewong
Not much to look forward toWe will be subjected to a further three years of half-formed meaningless sentences. What is much worse is that there will be no sensible realistic action on climate change, no humanity shown to refugees, no improvement in Newstart allowances, the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, the Murray-Darling river system and the Great Artesian Basin.
The ABC will wither along with every arm of education – except private schools – and the CSIRO will struggle.
We look forward to the reign of ignorance and selfishness.
Gael Barrett, Balwyn North
Respect all ‘diversities’
The respect for, and practice of, equity, diversity and inclusion are unquestionably desirable and admirable, but we must guard against them becoming a hypocritical masquerade for intolerance, where only certain «diversities» are considered acceptable, while other «diversities» are deemed beyond the pale.
Israel Folau is currently the most visible face of unacceptable diversity, and regardless of Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle’s protestations that he is not being sanctioned for his publicly and repeatedly declared religious views, other rugby players who have broken the code of conduct and received, comparably, a slap on the wrist, give the lie to that.
Rugby Australia and Ms Castle do protest too much.
Deborah Morrison, Malvern East
He’s a fundamentalist
Please stop referring to Israel Folau as a committed Christian. Christ’s message was acceptance of others – whatever their bent. Folau is a fundamentalist – and as we know that leads down a very slippery slope.
Christians cannot choose whatever bit of the Bible they want and proclaim it as «Gospel truth», ignoring the rest of the Bible.
And of course there is the slight matter of signing a contract and then ignoring its dictums.
Doris Leroy, Altona
I agree, Jonathan Scutt (Letters, 17/5), the tram terminus at the southern end of Elizabeth Street could do with some intelligent planning – it is such a lazy design.
Exit is only from one side of the tram, passengers are bunched up single file as they exit the tram and then have to face a crowded intersection, feeling vulnerable to traffic, only to be funnelled again into the station access gates.
At this entry and exit point to the city we require ease of access first and somewhere to sit down second.
Karen Sharp, Cheltenham
AND ANOTHER THING
The calm after the storm
And on the seventh day it came to pass that a blessed quietness descended upon the land.
Barrie Bales, Woorinen North
In Australia, we are so lucky to be able to vote and know that our lives will change little with the result. Not so for our grandchildren.
Gary Sayer, Warrnambool
Time for Australia to change its name from the Commonwealth of Australia to the Personal Greed of Australia. How disappointing.
Ross Hudson, Camberwell
Peter Dutton has said «without political judgment you can’t survive in politics»: a fitting political epitaph for Tony Abbott.
Joe Wilder, Caulfield North
Tony Abbott’s goodbye on Saturday night was among the more carefully planned extemporary speeches I’ve heard.
Ian McKail, Cheltenham
I’d like to know how I can get my commemorative lump of coal.
Andrew Dudesin, Ivanhoe East
Chris Bowen invited self-funded retirees who objected to his franking credit plans to vote against the ALP. Seems like his advice was heeded.
Peer Becker, Hampton
People fear change, and Labor served up far too much in one sitting.
John Groom, Bentleigh
We had the choice of preserving our franking credits or preserving our planet. The Boomers spoke.
Rory Ross, Glen Iris
Saturday proved that it’s not only the Americans and Brits who are happy to embrace fear and self-interest at the expense of common sense and fair mindedness at election time.
John Byrne, Randwick, NSW
There will be no government handouts to the wealthy on a dead planet. What a legacy to leave your children.
Jen Hooper, Box Hill
New Zealand, here we come!
Nicholas Teague, Ocean Grove