More Problems for Victoria Police

Sir: “Drunk and disorderly” is no longer an offence in Victoria, the state government recently changing the law because it was significantly contributing to Aboriginal arrest statistics. A major drop in Aboriginal arrest and incarceration figures for Victoria is soon expected. However, the police are anxious about how in future they must cope with those, irrespective of race, who are drunk and disorderly. Difficulties can be expected at New Year’s Eve events.

Victoria Police has also recently recorded quite a jump in the number of male administrators who identify as “gender neutral”. Sceptics are suggesting this is due to an additional $1300 annual clothing allowance that male clerical staff are now entitled to if they fill out the paperwork and re-identify. Yes boys, change gender and Victoria Police actually pays you more. No wonder there is a rush.

Christopher Heathcote


ABC Classic Logorrhoea

Sir: I agree with Helen Jackson (Letters, September 2023). I also long for the sweetly measured commentary of the now departed Colin Fox and Marian Arnold and their ilk on ABC Classic. Unlike the current crop, these beautifully voiced presenters understood the importance of rendering informatively brief interludes that heightened the enjoyment of the headlined musical delights. We are now forced to suffer the logorrhoea of announcers harping on endlessly about the effortless levitation that each of them gained from the timeless musical offerings that explicate their own ethereal beauty.

These interruptions now include social media feedback that habitually breaks the enjoyment of the main event. Instead of suffering effusive announcer advertorials by listening to ABC Classic live, I nowadays go online and fast-forward through the habitual disruptions that break the spell of musical flow. Let’s turn down the volume of the braying of the ABC Classic chat-festers.

On another note, “The Sydney” eligibility (“Composing for the Future and Reflecting on the Past”, by Catherine Broadstock, also September 2023) could be extended to New Zealand and Pacific Island composers to be more regionally inclusive. Even Indonesia, our mammoth northern neighbour, could be approached. Such a regional field would add colourful cultural flavours to The Sydney and enhance Australia’s international reputation. It would also be a useful antidote to Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi parochialism.

Joseph Ting


Inventing Ancestral Privilege

Sir: The recent cartoon depicting No campaigners as—it would appear to be—Nazis has an inverted irony. It was the Nazi Party in pre-war Germany that sought to separate its citizens on the basis of so-called “race”. Only then it was the majority that was given sway over the minority.

We now have an absurd reversal on largely meaningless terms. The minority, indeed, a minority of a minority on ethnic grounds, have sought to be given a kind of super-voice to parliament over and above that provided amply by our representational system. The end of balanced and disinterested democracy!

The basis seems to be claims (often highly diluted) of ancestral longevity. We have to pretend ancestry has some material policy or moral significance to allow us to disregard the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

In practical terms how could this achieve anything but a feel-good for city folk? It could do nothing to the few Aborigines in remote communities who have absented themselves from the modern world. If something practical could be done it would have been done by now. But still the parlous heritage of B1 and B2 (Whitlam and Coombs) lingers to the dreadful disadvantage of too many in the bush.

David Green


A Positive No

Sir: One problem with the polarity of goose-step Yes or No voting is that No is a word with negative connotations and Yes positive. Molly Bloom said, “Yes, I said with my eyes, Yes Yes …” Imagine if she had said, “No, I said, No No!”

Now notice how it feels when the words are reversed for the referendum like this: Vote YES if you want to keep the Constitution as it is and NO if you want it changed and support inclusion of the Voice amendment.

And what happened to the Undecided or Abstain options?

Joe Dolce

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