While I watched my husband die slowly and badly over several weeks I saw a palliative care doctor once, for 10 minutes. And all she offered was that my husband was strong and could continue for a while. It was the nurses who stayed with us through the ordeal and offered what help they could. They are the ones who see and understand suffering that cannot be alleviated. They are also the ones who have supported the introduction of VAD laws. Doesn’t that tell us something? Jan Edwards, Randwick
VAD will not end all suffering for the terminally ill. It will, however, shorten it. Moore makes assumptions that VAD would change “the resources available for palliative care, the patient-doctor relationship, family dynamics and our understanding of dementia and suffering in general.” How would VAD, as expressed in the current law being proposed in the NSW Parliament, do any of this? Gillian Baldwin, Windradyne
Janet Peters’ observations regarding the Christian world view are perceptive but incomplete (Letters, November 16). While she rightly points out that it’s impossible for Christians to separate their political standpoints from their world view, she fails to add that this is true for everyone. We all have a world view that shapes our thoughts and actions. Nobody comes to a sensitive issue such as VAD – or indeed any issue – from a neutral standpoint. And nobody can shrug off their world view and pull it back on again to suit the occasion. This is true of Christians, but also secular humanists, atheists and everyone else on the planet. Proponents of VAD need to understand that they come to the table with as much world view baggage as everyone else does. Lydia Smith, Orange
Why is petrol so dear, PM?
Yet another “constructive” election campaign from our “leader” (“PM clutches for Howard’s trusty old playbook”, November 16). Is it at all possible to get some policies, or perhaps at least someone who believes in something, anything, other than a win for themselves. Brenton McGeachie, Queanbeyan West
The Prime Minister says, in starting yet another scare campaign, that he will keep the cost of living lower than Labor. If the current record high petrol price is a demonstration of him keeping prices down, clearly he has failed already and calls into doubt any claims about what he will do in the future. Ross Hudson, Mount Martha (Vic)
If Scott Morrison is the underdog, he’s certainly worked hard for his spot by consistently ignoring what the electorate wants. We want real action on climate change, we want a strong federal anti-corruption body, we don’t want pork-barrelling, we’re sick of his secrecy, and he doesn’t deserve our trust. It seems that the only way we’ll get what we want is to comprehensively vote him out, so I hope he is the underdog and remains so. Charles Kent, Hunters Hill
If Morrison reckons he can do something to keep downward pressure on petrol prices, why isn’t he doing it now? Len Keating, Balmain East
Courage needs reward
I am not sure if there is a bravery award for civilians. But I reckon one should be awarded for Rod Staples, the former NSW Transport head, and Brendan Lyon, ex-partner of KPMG, who lost their jobs for their refusal to compromise their reports on the integrity of the rail network posed by Transport Asset Holding Entity (TAHE) (“Transport chief told ex-premier about safety risks of $40b rail corporation”, November 16). Thanks to them, a light has been shone on the former and current premier and the weak-kneed public servants for their roles in compromising the safety of passengers for a political sleight of hand. Thiam Ang, Beecroft
What about Porter?
Scott Morrison’s hypocrisy is exposed again (“Morrison backs Senate inquiry into ABC complaints”, November 16). Apparently “nobody is above the scrutiny of the Senate”. Nobody, it seems, except critical allies such as Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter. Morrison’s government has blocked a direct inquiry into Porter’s declaration of funds from a “blind trust” that former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull suggested equated to declaring “my legal fees were paid by a guy in a mask who dropped off a chaff bag full of cash”. Alison Stewart, Riverview
Morrison said the ABC is not above scrutiny for how they conduct themselves using taxpayer money. If the same logic applied to Parliament, there would already be a much-needed federal ICAC. Ann Eskens, Crows Nest
Welcome to the world of local government, Rik Hart (“Administrator lashes state agencies”, November 16). It is a basket case, no thanks to state governments past and present. So if you as an administrator have had issues with the Office of Local Government, you can only just imagine what problems mere ratepayers such as me have had. Lack of responses, delayed responses, responses sent to the local MP but not me, responses to emails I did not send, responses to multiple matters in the one email. Given a satisfactory response is as scarce as hen’s teeth, I sometimes wonder if I’m a basket case myself. Anne Wagstaff, Oatley
Time to honour clock
Hooray for the rescue and repair of the 1930s Shell art deco clock tower (“It’s opening time for Sydney’s art deco heirloom”, November 16). It’s welcome recognition for our remaining art deco building treasures. Let’s include the equally visible “interwar commercial” viability of The Metro Minerva and Roxy Parramatta, each still awaiting their future by millionaires’ philanthropy and the NSW government. The Shell Tower reopened is an ideal pointer to these 1930s arts and hospitality tourist attractions. Paul Brennan, Woollahra
Truth about schools
As an aspiring young teacher in 1962, I attended a talk at a Newcastle education institution which presented results from research carried out at the time that concluded boys achieved better in a co-ed environment but girls achieved better in a single-sex situation (Letters, November 16). In the 1990s, I attended an international educational conference in Sydney, and one of the sessions I attended outlined recent research findings from the UK which showed — you guessed it — that boys did better in co-ed schools and girls did better in single-sex schools. Time for some “new” research on this topic? Brian Collins, Cronulla
Perhaps TS Eliot had the best summary of the COP26 meeting: This is the way the world ends … Not with a bang but a whimper (“COP26 deal sounds the death knell for coal: Johnson”, November 16).
Pauline Paton, Centennial Park
Ship is sailing
My ancestors came to Australia in the 1850s; before that they had been weavers — silk weavers, specifically — in Paisley, near Glasgow (Letters, November 16). They must have thought they were secure and safe but the mills of Manchester had other ideas and industrialised their craft. Suddenly they were on a boat out here. The same thing is going to happen to coal. The miners and towns depend on it, and must feel reasonably secure too. New mines are being opened, country despoiled at an amazing rate. However, if you know history, you know about the rush that happens at the nadir of any pursuit. Coal mining is going to die. It and the use of global-warming fuels have to stop. If Australia hasn’t a vision for the future and create alternatives, we will miss this boat. Jon Sloan, North Narooma
OMG Robert Hoskings and Bill (Letters, November 15 and 16), we’d like to throw in another goal for Herald citizen writers. As a couple in our mid-60s we, too, have had regular letters published in the Letters page and Column 8, had a “toon and a headline to accompany letters and been quoted in a Peter FitzSimons column, but can also cheekily boast about our ‘double-bungees’ ” – individual letters been printed on the same day – twice! Lorraine and Robert Hickey, Green Point
I suspected there was some fine point missing from my resume. More work to do to have a letter and Column 8 item on the same day: time to knuckle-down to some serious scholarship. Pam Connor, Mollymook Beach
Very impressive Robert, but I’ll bet I haven’t been published many more times than you haven’t. George Manojlovic, Mangerton
Recent letters suggest that your correspondents tend to be proud when their letters are published and disappointed when they’re not. Over many years of corresponding with different entities, including councils, politicians and of course the Herald, I haven’t viewed it in this way. Simply having the freedom in our democracy to participate is appreciated. Whether a letter is read by the recipient only or numerous people, I value the ongoing opportunity to contribute. Harry Polley, Dural
The digital view
Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
Morrison goes back to the future with interest rate, trust tactics
From Gary B : “The Coalition gained a mandate at the last election to do nothing. They have delivered and exceeded expectations. Stand on their record? Hope they do, and that it is never repeated.”
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