LETTERS News Weekly
, April 12, 2014
Canberra Observed (News Weekly, March 15) concludes by asking why the Australian government should prop up Qantas.
But there is an important question which was not broached: is Qantas, for want of a better title, a “strategic national asset”?
If the answer is yes, then the government has not only a right but arguably also an obligation to take an interest in Qantas — possibly even an economic interest extending to a strategic equity stake (a better option than a simple debt guarantee).
As for what constitutes a national asset, we need to consider at least the broader economic effect of Qantas — bearing in mind that Qantas is a very large part of our domestic aviation economy.
It may also be useful to consider Qantas and the domestic aviation economy in a similar way to the domestic automotive industry.
The answer to these questions is not a foregone conclusion, but cutting Qantas free to “sink or swim” in the cut-throat global market before considering these questions is not reasonable.
Mount Waverley, Vic.
Re your editorial, “Putin’s power-grab in Ukraine” (News Weekly, March 15):
The Cold War is over. Russia today is a vast improvement over the Soviet Union we fought back then. The European Union is markedly worse than the Western Europe we were then defending.
The Christian religion is officially promoted in Russia; in the EU, it is officially persecuted. The EU has dropped the torch of Christendom. While it is far from perfect, Russia is the only country that has made any attempt to pick it up.
The West should not be seeking to force Ukraine into the EU. EU liberal fascism is a much greater threat to world security than real or imagined Russian autocracy. We should be encouraging a stronger Russian sphere of influence to counterbalance the EU.
Last November I published a book, Australia’s Secret War: How Unionists Sabotaged our Troops in World War II (Sydney: Quadrant Books).
It deals, as the name indicates, with instances of strikes and sabotage in strategic industries, including wharves, dock-yards, coal-fields and munitions plants.
The book was reviewed by Patrick Morgan (News Weekly, November 23, 2013).
I received a great deal of information from ex-servicemen, unionists and others, and interest has been such that the publishers inform me that it is going into a fourth printing after only three months.
This has encouraged me to try to compile a second volume, probably taking in the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as World War II.
I therefore ask any ex-service personnel and others with information in this area, whether from first-hand experience, unit histories etc., to contact me, giving their name, branch of service, rank and serial number with an account of the relevant incident.
All material printed will be acknowledged.
(Dr) Hal G.P. Colebatch,
27 Portland St,
Nedlands, WA 6009.