Letters to the Editor

Forbidden Truth

Sir: It so boosts my morale that you published William Rubinstein’s piece on Aboriginal infanticide (December 2021). He writes what we are forbidden to even mention.

In June 2018 I sent the Melbourne Anglican a letter responding to articles which vilified the church and Anglicans in colonial Victoria. Part of my letter went:

“Citing instances of appalling racism and violence by some whites, [you] present a narrow outlook which denies the work undertaken to aid Aborigines by concerned lay-people and clergy, sometimes at personal risk in testing circumstances. It is morally offensive, and historically wrong, to accuse these many Anglicans of participating in genocide. Death and misery among Aboriginal peoples is precisely what they strove to prevent. Consider their efforts to halt infanticide, and of stopping young girls being pushed into prostitution.”

That last sentence was chopped when my letter was published, a change made without my knowledge. When I grumbled over this to a clergyman I knew, he dropped his voice and said such matters must never ever be mentioned within today’s church. Because it now holds that Aboriginal cannibalism, infanticide and sexual exploitation just did not happen.

Christopher Heathcote


Wellbeing in Hospitals

Sir: Congratulations to Raymond Burns for his excellent article, “The Cult of Wellbeing Infecting our Schools” (December 2021). “Wellbeing” is also destructive to mental health services and the emergency departments of hospitals.

We once knew the difference between being sick and being well and the rights and responsibilities germane to each condition. Then in 1948 the WHO defined “health” as not just “the absence of disease”, but as “a state of complete, physical, mental and social well-being”. The Oxford Dictionary defines well-being as “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy”. Thus, if you lose money at the races and are no longer comfortable and happy, you might proceed to hospital—you are no longer healthy, and it is the responsibility of those who work there to repair your wellbeing.

The nation’s emergency departments are now stuffed to the point of dysfunction with people (free of mental disorders) wanting to be admitted “for care”. Many have self-inflicted social problems. Threatened with non-admission they may “deal the suicide card” (mention suicide)—the courts punish staff when “patients” self-injure—so it is safest to admit any such “card dealers”.

Saxby Pridmore


More to Do

Sir: Quadrant has provided stability and hope to me ever since I discovered it in 2020. It was amazing to learn that I and a very few in my acquaintance were not the only people to see the panicdemic for what it is. Quadrant articles have corroborated much of what I already think and feel, analysed the situation in ways I’d never thought of, and provided valuable information.

However, I am disappointed that Quadrant has not laid out more of the legal arguments against the present tyranny. There have been some such pieces, but much has been missing.

Why has more not been written about the Nuremberg Code, which states that someone in a medical experiment must choose to be so, “without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion”?

Why has more not been written about the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, which counts infectious diseases as disabilities, and forbids discrimination against a person because he might someday have a disability? Why has more not been written about the Privacy Act 1988 and the Biosecurity Act 2015? All are Commonwealth legislation, which supersedes state legislation according to Section 109 of the Constitution.

Why has more not been written about the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and the Public Health Act of New South Wales? Why have we not been told about the Australian Immunisation Register, and how we can fill out a form forbidding our information being shared? Why have these—and, I imagine, other—legal matters not received greater stress in these pages?

Most Quadrant readers know that this tyranny is wrong, morally and by all the traditions of Western liberty. But to answer the arguments of others, and to fight for our positions, we need to be able to explain why they are wrong legally. The best way to fight for liberty is by also fighting for the law. Both should be precious to us; we are not rabble-rousers, but concerned citizens.

Rebekah Meredith


Light Bulbs

Sir: I note the views of Aynsley Kellow in the article, “How Many Ministers Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?” (October 2021). He presents one perspective. However, your readers should also be aware of the following inaccuracies and distortions presented in the article.

The article states, “Halogen bulbs, which offer a significant 30 per cent energy reduction on incandescents, are banned in Australia from September this year.” This statement is false. Halogen lamps, that have suitable LED replacements, will start to be phased out from some point in 2023. Halogen downlight lamps, oven lamps and bathroom heat lamps are not proposed to be phased out. Most mains voltage general purpose halogen lamps have suitable LED replacements and will be phased out. Grandfathering will allow halogen lamps that are already in the market to be sold out. These lamps won’t disappear overnight.

Import data from 2020 shows consumers have mostly already voluntarily walked away from halogen lamps. It is likely that only around 2 per cent of lighting points are being maintained with inefficient halogen and incandescent lamps that will be phased out. The voluntary transition the writer seeks has mostly already occurred.

The article further states, “The bulb ban has therefore been costing consumers at least €20.42 billion annually (€14.89 billion for CFLs plus €5.54 billion for LEDs)”. The writer should have included the net benefit statement to complete the picture. That is, the bill savings obtained by replacing incandescent or halogen bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs are significantly greater than the increased cost of newer technology lighting products. For example, the cost to run an LED for four hours per day including the annualised cost of the lamp is around $3.50 per year. The equivalent cost to run a halogen lamp is around $17 per year.

The article states, “Heat given off by a light bulb means that less heat has to be provided for the same level of thermal comfort, with less needed from the heat pump or other source.” Downlight halogen lamps are designed to vent most of their heat back away from the filament so the majority of the heat is vented into the roof cavity and not into the living space.

The heating provided by a filament lamp is far less efficient than a heat pump (e.g. reverse cycle air conditioner). Further, the heat generated by incandescent light bulbs is inconsequential compared to the heat needed to warm a home. Yet the cost of running halogen lamps is not inconsequential for some households.

Richard J. Mulcahy
(Chief Executive Officer,
Lighting Council Australia)


Our Old Books and Us

Sir: Thanks to Christopher Akehurst for the account of his family Bible (December 2021). His concluding thoughts that the volume is not “owned” by him, as such, but that he is just its steward at this stage of its (so far) 422-year life articulate what I’ve felt about books in my own library.

The book which particularly spoke to me in this way is relatively recent: Dickens’s two-volume American Notes (1842). As I unwrapped my online purchase, I admit I felt the thrill of owning a first-edition Dickens, but I soon began imagining the first owner: hurrying home from the town bookshop to open, not mine, but his or her purchase of Mr Dickens’s new books in pristine condition; and being so happy with the wonderful shape and texture and smell.As I read, I could not escape the feeling that the excited first owner was there too, turning pages as I did and willing the writing to never end, as I did.

A physical book with a history of ownership can never be read alone, and I wouldn’t want it to be otherwise; that first owner passed down stewardship to me; and as I read, I am in their debt and in their company and in the company of previous stewards, as much as I am in thrall to the sublime prose of the words on the page.

Robert T. Walker

Leave a Reply