LIKE Don Fraser (Short Takes, 20/4) I find the letters running down Prime Minister Scott Morrison, pictured, not only disrespectful but boring in the extreme. The Prime Minister, whether you like him or not, surely deserves to be shown respect. Can you imagine the outcry from Barry Swan and some of the other usual Labor-supporting suspects if Bill Shorten was PM and was called "Silly Billy" or "Billy from the unions"? All hell would break loose.
It seems to me that some spend all their time dreaming up things to criticise the prime minister for. There's an old saying that nobody can be everything to everyone. Judging by some polling figures recently released showing Scott Morrison as the preferred prime minister over Anthony Albanese, he must be doing something right.
Could you find it in your hearts to give credit where credit is due from time to time instead of this constant bagging of Mr Morrison? I'm the first to admit that he has made some mistakes and does deserve to be criticised on occasion, but no one is perfect, are they? If you take the blinkers off you might just be a bit more open-minded to the way our great country is being run.
Ian King, Warners Bay
Tackle the aged care problems
AT 92 I should not have to worry about aged care, as I should be long gone, but I refuse to go until I can shoot my age again at golf. As a result I have been waiting nervously for the Morrison government to announce its program to the clear recommendations of reform by the royal commission on our care.
The government has had the reports for over six months with the first report headed Neglect as it recorded the abuse and neglect of the aged in care during the watch of this government. This was surely enough reason to put plans in place to act, but like so many of my friends I am concerned that Mr Morrison and his useless Minister have only indicated it would make extra funds available in the budget despite the report making funds a third-rate issue behind reform and regulation.
It appears to me that this government has not changed their opinion of the aged from that expressed by Joe Hockey as he called us leaners on the budget, so our removal by death or any means is a top priority rather than stopping the abuse and neglect recorded. As I wait to know if I am to eke out my inevitable last days with care and dignity or neglect I urge Prime Minister Scott Morrison to take some inspiration from his favourite footy team, the Sharks, and realise that he can only win by kicking some goals by implementing the reforms rather than losing the respect of supporters by just kicking the issue down the road in the hope the next Dutton government will have the problem, we will die or the public will forget it parents as they continue to die from abuse and neglect.
Frank Ward OAM, Shoal Bay
God was with them in the trenches
JOHN Arnold (Short Takes, 27/4) suggests that because in his opinion God does not exist, that religion should play no part in ANZAC services, which makes them not services but commemorations or functions.
The padre was a significant and necessary part of the World War I forces. I know because Captain William McKenzie (aka Captain Mac and Fighting Mac), the Salvation Army padre with Australian forces in Gallipoli and later in France, was my great uncle. He carried out funerals every day and was in the trenches with the diggers every day and every night bringing them comfort and prayer, even during battle. He found that the diggers' religion and faith was not only important to them but also instrumental in their coping and surviving.
The Seven Network some years ago thought Captain Mac and his message was relevant, and produced a documentary, The Boys' Friend, which was broadcast on Anzac Day. I acknowledge that many of us do not have belief or faith in any god or religion, and that is OK. However, I believe it very appropriate that the religion that the diggers relied upon has a part to play in ANZAC services. It is not about what we think is appropriate today, but what was important to those we honour on ANZAC Day.
Doug Hoepper, Garden Suburb
Stay dogged about 'pettiquette'
IT has been revealed that over 40 percent of guide dogs handlers across Australia have reported an increase in their guide dogs having to deal with distractions from pet dogs and owners in the past 12 months.
On International Guide Dog Day on 28 April, we at Guide Dogs Australia were focusing on what the community can do to help guide dogs carry on their important work safely and undistracted.
International Guide Dog Day is about recognising the important role guide dogs play in supporting people worldwide with low vision or blindness to achieve their goals and live independently.
The past year has thrown everyone challenges and while pets brought so much joy to Australian homes during the pandemic, reduced socialisation and training of pets during lockdowns can lead to poor 'petiquette'. Pet dogs that are off-lead, or uncontrolled even when on leads, are a common distraction for guide dog handlers.
Also, people with dogs not making themselves known before approaching a handler and their guide dog can be a 'petiquette' issue - with 40 percent of handlers telling us they experience this weekly.
This can lead to situations where the safety of guide dog handlers and guide dogs is put at risk due to disorientation and other factors, and also causes much anxiety. While you or your pet dog may not intend any harm, for someone with low vision or blindness, a distracted guide dog can be hazardous. In the wake of International Guide Dog Day, we are asking everyone to keep their pet dog on a leash in the presence of guide dogs. By keeping control of your own dog, you can help create a safe community, not just for guide dogs and their handlers, but for everyone. If you see a working guide dog in public while you are with your dog, give the handler space and never pat, feed, whistle or otherwise try to distract a working guide dog.
Dale Cleaver, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT CEO
Question what's behind headlines
IN reply to Michael Gormly (Short Takes, 28/4), he didn't say that calling me a "denialist" spouting furphies was no more than his unfounded opinion, but that's exactly what it was. His search online for "natural disasters becoming more frequent" certainly returns numerous reports claiming such an increase in weather event frequency but they are all from activist groups or ill-informed charities such as the Red Cross. But the facts differ. In the October 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) SR15 report, the IPCC admits there is low confidence in the sign of drought, flood and tropical cyclone trends since 1950 at global scale.
The UN has a graph in their own 2020 report, Figure 5 page 10, showing that climate related disasters have declined by 15 per cent in the last 20 years since the year 2000. Fires have also declined 25 per cent around the world since 2003. The Insurance industry is concerned with money and any increase in premiums results from inflation and people having more possessions, nor climate change.
Peter Devey, Merewether
STEEL City beer ('Bigger picture for Steel City beer', Newcastle Herald 24/4) is a nod to our past, but some comment that this is not so ('. That's a bit like saying we no longer respect the Anzac spirit because it happened so long ago. Novocastrians will always pay a nod to our proud heritage as a steel city. Our fathers and their fathers before them helped make this city what it is today. Who isn't proud of this reference? The very fact Newcastle is blossoming into the modern city of today is a nod to our past workers who shed blood, sweat and tears and deserved a nice cold beer at the end of day. Here's to steel city, then and now.
Greig Hardman, Merewether
JOHN Rumble (Letters, 16/4) thinks it's good news that Jodi McKay doesn't support a ban on new coal mines "despite certain fellow members of her left wing faction whinging and whining". What makes him think she's a member of the ALP Left? She's a member of the right wing, courtesy of a decision of the ALP national executive to anoint her as MP for Newcastle and dispense with a rank-and-file preselection, all courtesy of the worst of the worst of the Sussex Street ALP machine. The $64,000 question is why is she even an ALP member?
Keith Parsons, Newcastle
COULD someone please explain to me why healthy, young health workers are refusing to have the AstraZeneca vaccine, but it seems ok for much more vulnerable, older people who are probably more at risk of having a blood clot, are only being offered AstraZeneca ('Two deaths unlikely linked to vaccine', Herald 30/4)? Since there are no active cases of COVID-19 in Australia the wisest outcome could be to wait for safer vaccine like Pfizer.
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
BILL Slicer (Short Takes, 23/4), even being vaccinated doesn't stop you from getting COVID-19 or transmitting the virus, it only stops you from getting as sick.
Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay
IT doesn't make any sense to leave Australians in India and not bring them back. Waiting another three weeks will not improve the situation in India. Leaving them in India, or should I say abandoning them, is not good for our reputation of a caring nation. We have the hotels to accommodate them, so let's bring them back from a country that is not following the same rules as Australia in a pandemic. Shame on our government and shame on the so called medical experts who are assisting the government with best practice advice. We are failing to help our own people.
Peter Selmeci, Murrays Beach
YES, I agree, let's buy back our ports that the Liberals sold to China. But first let's borrow the money from China to pay them for these ports, after all we are broke. We are in debt to the tune of up to about $1 trillion.