The Guardian 12 October, 2005

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Letters to the Editor

I disagree!

I disagree with Caroline Overingtonís elitist article in the Inquirer Weekend Australian October 2. She is completely out of touch with the real world of the working poor, the casual and part-time workers and people living on a pension or limited income.

The HILDA report [The annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey commissioned by the Federal Government] she quotes from supersedes a previous Senate Report on Poverty and Financial Hardship, March 2004. Ethics have been marginalised by contrived statistics and "expert" reports. The political tools of both major parties support global crucifixion economics. The press is silent on the decline of globalism in South America and France where the voice of the people is being heard.

The lies told of unemployment and the immorality of politicians claiming high employment when there are already more than 50 million unemployed in the OECD countries. There is no "choice" Mr Howard, in this global economy, workers are at the mercy of vulture corporations seeking the lowest wages.

How can the HILDA report say "that most people who become poor donít stay poor for long", when there are increasing numbers living below the poverty line with no hope of a safe, secure long term job? Where is their evidence?

Skills shortage was caused by the lack of investment in training over the last decade. The corporations and the government created this underclass and now they are trying to victimise those who canít find a secure well paid job so they can buy a home etc.

Is it ethical to rob other countries who are also victims of skilled worker shortages since they embraced the deregulated global market economy too?

Mary Jenkins
Organisation of Underemployed People WA Inc

I have a problem

Oh my god! I think I need some advice. ASIO could be at the door any minute. I know Mr Howard says we should not say anything that attempts to justify terrorism. I am struggling with my family tree and I find that half my relatives are French and the other half Irish!

Now, just to be sure, I can say favourable things if I find any French rellies who might have been collaborators, but not about those in the Resistance? So far so good.

Now the Irish side. My family are Catholic. I think that I should stop there. I am bound to get into deep water. I know now that violence by a government is okay, torture is even okay. (You would not believe the wrong stuff I was taught by the nuns!)

Now should I mention the war? Dad was in the bombers. I think one or two civilians got killed. I guess that was okay because he was in a plane. I think you can even kill villagers at a wedding if you are in a plane.

I am really worried. I already told you about the nuns. Well, we used to defiantly cover our heads in church, sometimes even with a scarf. At the time I did not realise how bad it was. So you see I have a problem. I wish I had never started that family tree. I should have been born English so I would have a rightful place in this country.

Elaine Smith
West Haven, NSW

Political Donations

I recently read on the ABC website that Mr Howard has supported proposals by Senator Abetz to increase the disclosure threshold of political donations from $1,000 to $10,000. "With the passage of time obviously [there are]changes in money values, the last time the disclosure figure was set was more than 10 years ago", Mr Howard said.

Increasing this amount by 10 fold because of inflation is a joke.

He went on to say, "I think there is also an argument that in the nature of political contributions, relatively small amounts should be given with a degree of anonymity." A thousand dollars could be seen to be a relatively small amount, ten thousand most definitely is not.

Australia is heading down a dangerous path. A path that was forged by the United States, in which big business gives political "donations" in return for the ignoring of misdeeds, lucrative government contracts, and the like.

Mr Howard has chosen to head further down this path of graft and corruption and if things continue, donít be surprised to hear the Member for BHP debating the Member for Telstra in the Australian Parliament.

Chris B
Brisbane, Qld


One wonders how far the oil lobby is into the veins of power, there is so much misinformation spouted from all quarters. I can find no evidence that ethanol damages conventional automobile engines any more than high-octane petrol does. I can however find lots of evidence that supports its use.

We can be leaders in this agricultural product not a generation behind as is becoming usual for Australians.

Philip McLaren
Newport Beach, NSW

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