The Guardian 27 July, 2005

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Letters to the Editor

Campaign against racism

I believe Tony Blair is thinking of introducing more anti-terrorist laws. The proposed laws will include stripping people of British citizenship if they are of bad character. Now there may be a problem there. For instance, the London bombings were reportedly perpetrated by British citizens. Where do you send them? Will there be a special place on the planet called "terra terror"? Or will all those detention centres that have proliferated lately be used for those undesirables? NSW Premier Bob Carr is very keen to follow in Blairís steps and was quoted as saying that he would study the British legislation very carefully.

Iím not saying that a country should not take reasonable precautions about admitting crooks (of all descriptions). Australia has got legislation already in place for this purpose.

What Iíd like to see is a consistent campaign against racism and racial vilification for starters. A lot of people nowadays seem to be getting away with blatant racist views which were not publicly acceptable only a few years ago. Now they seem to be emboldened by the fact that the government is in effect promoting fear of terrorism and does very little to calm down emotions and work diligently to promote harmony and respect towards different ethnic groups.

A lot of prominence was given to the views of Andrew Fraser, the Associate Professor of Public Law at Macquarie University. He says he is against migration from Africa (except the whites from South Africa) because they are dumb; he is against Asian migration because Asians are too smart and will become managers and professionals and, consequently the ruling elite.

In his view, Australia should be populated by white skinned, blue-eyed, bronzed individuals of European stock. Heard these ideas before? Of course we have. Unfortunately it is the sign of the times that such views are publicly expressed. Some time ago people would not shake hands with somebody like this person.

Itís not an academic discussion, either. Yesterday I was catching a bus in Ashfield (Sydney). For those readers who live outside Sydney Ashfield is a vibrant multi-cultural suburb. A van driven by a young man was driving past and all of a sudden there were shouts coming from it: "Stop Asian invasion". Thatís how racism condoned finds its ugly expression in suburban streets. And thatís where it can turn into violence against ordinary people.

Jan Lee
Ashfield, NSW

The toad must go

It is quite some time since I raised the question of John Howard being truly Australian. I expressed a personal opinion indeed that he wasnít a member of humanity but was rather a creature spawned by the policies of the coalition party.

Since then nothing has changed except that I have revised my opinion of the PM

My opinion is now that he is a poisonous puffed up little toad. Hence his toadyism towards those he sees as being in a higher position like the would-be world ruler, king toad alias president Scrub.

The little toad, being in a smaller pond likes to exaggerate and thinks he is really big time when the king favours him with a kind smile, a pat on his little head and tells him what a good little toad he is carrying out his orders.

The toad (ours) in his pompous posturing and utterances on the world stage make true Australians cringe and wonder why they should be represented by such an obnoxious little squirt.

The toad must go and the sooner the better.

Bert Appleton
Woy Woy, NSW

East Timorís oil

Our PM, John Howard, recently claimed that Australia is being fair and generous in its latest oil deal with the poorest nation in our region, East Timor.

The truth is that the Australian government is being generous to itself at the expense of East Timor. Under international law and the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, all the oil and gas presently being drilled in the Timor Sea comes from East Timorís half of the Sea.

The reason why Australian leaders have forced the Timor government to accept delaying a decision on the maritime boundary between our countries for 50 years is that they know that if an independent international agency made the decision, Australia would have to cede to East Timor the present profits being generated.

This small nation suffered greatly during the 24 yearsí brutal occupation by the Indonesian military. It also sacrificed greatly to support Australia during World War II.

It did not deserve the betrayal by Australians during this occupation. And it certainly does not deserve being put in a bad light because it has protested at Australiaís grab for the profits from its oil and gas resources while being told how generous Australia is.

Andrew (Andy) Alcock
Information Officer
Australia East Timor Friendship Association (SA) Inc

Made life a misery

John Howard has made life a misery for the worker, the wages are so low one may be better off on welfare. Iím earning wages in Brisbane that I was earning in NSW 12 years ago.

Yet the cost of living goes up and wages go down, if things get worse than they are I might move to Cuba.

At least the people and working class in Cuba are better looked after by comrade Fidel Castro and the Communist Party and not forgotten and abandoned, like John Howard has done to the people of this country and squeezing us all into part-time jobs where we have no security.

via email

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