Australian politics, society & culture

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

The Monthly publishes letters to the editor in the print edition as well as online, though longer offerings may be published on our website only.

How to submit a letter to the editor: Email letters "at" themonthly.com.au. Letters must include the writer's full name, daytime phone number and home address (for verification only), and may be edited for clarity or length. If you do not want your letter published, please mark it 'not for publication'.

  • July 2013

    Bill McKibben’s ‘False Profits’ (June) gives a valuable insight into the consequences for climate change of Australia’s role as the world’s leading coal exporter. But an important component was missing from McKibben’s essay. About a third of the coal exported from Australia by volume, but about half in dollar terms, is metallurgical coal. This is an essential ingredient in the production of steel. The reduction of the oxides of iron to the metal necessitates the reaction of iron ore with an element above iron in the periodic table; no other element but...

  • July 2013

    Hugh White ponders “the deeper question of whether independence for West Papua would in fact be better for its people”. And who is to decide that? Hugh White? Me? Maybe even the West Papuans? It’s nice to see a colonial attitude extant.

    Anthony Richards
    Balmain, NSW

  • July 2013

    In his article on rethinking our policy towards Indonesia, Hugh White (‘Northern Exposure’, June) states that “we will have to weigh the value of human rights in West Papua against the value of peaceful and co-operative relations with Indonesia”. This is framed within a discourse of strength, strategy and economics that seems to let Indonesia completely off the hook for its violent and greedy colonialist transgressions in East Timor and West Papua. Perhaps if we were to spend more time building a real and healthy relationship with Indonesia...

  • July 2013

    In my haste to flip past the cover picture of Julian Assange on your June issue I misread the coverline: “How Christopher Pyne puts up with himself”. I thought I had read: “How far Christopher Pyne is up himself”. After reading the article, I think my version would have been more appropriate.

    Les West
    Perth, WA

  • June 2013

    Judging by the outbreak of Lockheed Martin advertising, the F-35 project is not going so well. I’m not sure if you are aware, but some of the recent price tags for these planes appear to be pushing the boundaries of corporate welfare to a whole new level. At a hot $250 million each (and Australia has plans to buy 72 of them), the American-made F-35 has half the range and costs five times as much as at least one alternative. With a new school costing around $20 million and a small hospital $50 million, let’s go with something cheaper and safer, something we...

  • June 2013

    It was with great horror that I turned the page from Waleed Aly’s insightful article, ‘Hollow the Leader’ (April), to see an image of the F-35 Lightning II jet fighter. The advertisement feels like an utter betrayal. As a child of the anti–Vietnam war generation, I find war and everything related to it abhorrent.

    Never forget that as much as you might claim that editorial and advertising bear no influence on one another, the line can easily become blurred. I ask, how soon will it be before your dependence on the defence department and...

  • June 2013

    A line in Erik Jensen’s article about Kevin Rudd (‘A Dirty Business’, May) raised my eyebrows: “The public did not take kindly to the removal of an elected prime minister. They saw that as their job.” But it isn’t. On 7 March this year, the Australian ran a headline, ‘Victoria Gets Unelected Premier’. This is also not true. Denis Napthine is an elected MP and was elected as leader by members of his party. What was meant was that the electorate did not elect him as premier. But then the electorate never does, and...

  • May 2013

    Bob Katter (‘Barramundi Dreaming’, April) was “curiously reluctant to discuss his Lebanese lineage”. Could this be because he might be of Afghan lineage – as he often claimed while a boarder at Mt Carmel College, Charters Towers, in the 1960s? Also, his claim that there are hardly any homosexuals in north Queensland is extraordinary coming from someone who spent ten years in mainly male bastions such as boarding school, university college and the army, and whose own half-brother is openly gay.

    The article otherwise captures...

  • May 2013

    A full-page ad in the April issue declares that the F-35 Lightning II is “For Security. For Jobs. For Australia.” It should also have stated it was “For Lockheed Martin” and, even more importantly, “For Killing”. Twenty pages on was a half-page ad for Anne Deveson’s book Waging Peace. “How would the world look today if we devoted the same thought and resources to waging peace as we do to waging war?” How, indeed.

    David Hancocks
    Carlton, VIC

  • May 2013

    David Day’s excellent review of Madigan’s published diaries from Antarctica (‘From Cecil with Loathing’, March) neglected an important facet of the relationship between Mawson and Madigan. Not only did Madigan serve under Mawson in Antarctica, he spent most of his career as a lecturer in the geology department led by Mawson at the University of Adelaide.

    The relationship continued to be difficult, as discussed in Kristen Weidenbach’s book Rock Star, though both went on to make significant contributions to Australian geology...