ACT government’s Orwellian ways with the truth

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John Hurt as Winston Smith in the film of Orwell’s novel “1984”.

Reader MARTIN GORDON, of Dunlop, sees the ACT government’s spin as Orwellian… “Rather than addressing the facts you create an alternative narrative (al la ‘1984’)”.

WHILE not disinterested in planning issues, I am often impressed with the energy and enthusiasm that columnist Paul Costigan brings to the state of planning and quality of life of Canberra. 

I had to agree with his reference to the ACT Labor/Greens alliance and its use of alternate facts to fend off criticism (“Stunned: the NCA’s lakeside land horse trading”, CN, May 7).

The now notorious Dickson land swap and the “non-building” of an Aboriginal drug and alcohol centre despite the money apparently being spent, the never ending tram propaganda (which at vast expense will save the city by destroying it). The reference to Orwell really set the tempo of the critique, however. The regime has in fact suspended belief in the existence of objective truth.

Rather than addressing the facts you create an alternative narrative (à la “1984”), and if it has to be changed weekly so be it. Orwell, although a socialist, came to despise the fact that socialists actually had contempt for ordinary people (that is us, the very people that their policies were supposed to help).

The risk of having such seditious thoughts is the risk of becoming, in Orwell’s words, an “unperson” having committed a “thoughtcrime”, which is essentially recognising objective truth, something the regime does not believe to exist.

I look forward to Paul’s next instalment!

Martin Gordon, Dunlop

Nichole reveals new insights

I ALWAYS look forward to Nichole Overall’s articles on our region’s history in “CityNews”. It is amazing how she manages to undertake the breadth and depth of research into our past considering her busy civic and charitable contributions on top of being a wife, mother and journalist. 

What often confounds me, is that whereas other researchers have trawled through similar territory over the decades, Nichole invariably reveals new insights and intriguing angles that make the reader want to find out more.

Her story, “Memories of the first pandemic to silence Anzac Day” (CN, April 23) was really well written and balanced. It ranged from setting a global and national context spanning over a century, to closing in on her favourite Queanbeyan in 1928 and the heartfelt address of the reverend Wearne, a stretcher bearer from the Great War. 

Thank you, Nichole, for highlighting the words he said to the mothers who had lost their sons. They resonate just as much today: “Think when the sheer loneliness of life grips you, when days drag, when funds run low – think of the sacrifice your sons made on Anzac’s shore, and learn to say: ‘It was for me’.”

This realisation bonded us as neighbours standing in recognition and remembrance at the end of our driveways on April 25. 

Nichole Overall’s article placed in true context the scale of our “sacrifices” in meeting current challenges on this Anzac Day.

Garry Reynolds, Spence

A chance for practical thinking

WITH Bill Stefaniak now putting his hand up to create a Belco Party, I think there may be a chance to create some practical thinking without political ideology.

I wish there had been that sort of approach before the light rail was started, but that’s another story. 

This approach may attract supporters of this new independence and I know through my own business experiences and my short stint at putting my hand up for local politics that there are some very business-savvy and well established people in Canberra who would morally, practically and financially support a fourth party, We really, really need this opportunity if we are to create practical change.

The biggest reality of our future is to identify what must be done to put the house in order. I’ve always believed in “doing the best with what we have” without embarking on new projects. 

Consider future stuff, but be realistic. Don’t overspend. Isn’t that how we’re supposed to manage our family and business? Doesn’t the community expect us to conduct good business? Pretty simple, really.

However, it will take some courage; courage to say what needs to be said. The people deserve the truth. We need a confident, no-nonsense leader. No factions. No individuals making their own arrangements. Leave political egos at the door. That would be a party I’d be keen to see, but you know what? 

I hope that what Bill is trying to do attracts some good practical and realistic people. The ACT sure deserves it.

Chic Henry, via email

Ode to Coe and COVID

On hearing the ACT opposition leader say (on May 7) that the pandemic has ended, an inner-north voter was moved to poetry…

The pandemic has ended I know 

Because we heard it from Coe

There’s no long road to slowly hoe

And no more virus as a long-term foe  

Because we heard it from Coe.


A nice surprise

IT was a nice surprise to see the column by Pat Power in “CityNews” (“In adversity, goodness and love triumph”, May 7) and I hope to see more of them if possible. He has a wealth of experience and always puts a very human and kind touch on matters. Thanks very much.

John Farrands, via email

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