Monday, October 18, 2004

from Alan Ramsey's column, Sydney Morning Herald, 10/16/04

Here are (extracts from) two letters from readers. The first said:
"In times like these I tend to reread Albert Camus' Notebooks  and one entry, from August 1937, haunts me. It reads: 'Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people's anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed; that they gamble - yes, gamble - with a whole part of their life and their so-called vital interests .'"

The second. "Yet another fear campaign. Next time someone utters that hoary old line, 'never underestimate the intelligence of the voter', the response should be - after you've stopped laughing - 'but never overestimate their social conscience'. Hugh Mackay has noted a hardening of the heart in recent years. Well, we've got the perfect leader.
"The notion this is the land of the 'fair go, mateship, the Anzac spirit', is a myth. Australia is an insular, insecure country, uncertain of its place in the world, clinging to old allegiances; a land of 'what's in it for me?' and 'bugger the rest of you'. Where real estate agents, stockbrokers, managers and hairdressers are lionised. Where extreme, ignorant, intolerant media opinions proliferate and are applauded.
"And overarching all this is Howard. When first elected, I thought this place would be too big of heart, too full of spirit, for such a small person. However, four (terms) on the trot, lies and twists et al, he is the man! J.W.Howard, this country's choice as leader. Think on that.
"Yours in utter despair."

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