Australia’s PM problem
It is worth adding to your report (Morrison takes the helm in Canberra, 31 August) that the new prime minister, Scott Morrison, was the man who brought a lump of coal to parliamentary question time, in order to demonstrate its safety to a startled audience – many of whom already knew that coal is quite safe until it is burnt. His new chief of staff is an ex-employee of the Minerals Council of Australia, and adviser to Rio Tinto. The newly appointed environment minister represents a Western Australia mining constituency, while the energy minister has publicly denigrated “the new climate religion”, and made it clear that reducing emissions must not be allowed to stand in the way of cheap electricity. The chief scientific adviser appears to be Tony Abbott, who has convincingly refuted arguments about climate change by describing them as “absolute crap”.
It makes one nostalgic for the good old days, when Margaret Thatcher told the UN: “What we are now doing to the world, by degrading the land surfaces, by polluting the waters and by adding greenhouse gases to the air at an unprecedented rate – all this is new in the experience of the earth. It is mankind and his activities which are changing the environment of our planet in damaging and dangerous ways.” Philippa Morris Gravesend, NSW, Australia
• Ben Doherty’s article (Morrison takes the helm in Canberra) should have quoted the bookies’ odds on how long he will (not) last. I sit here in disgust at the ongoing selfserving, power-driven debacle for the prime ministership of Australia and the populist extreme right path some of our politicians would prefer the country to follow.
Consequently, I’d like to vote for AI (artificial intelligence) as prime minister. It has to be better than the current crew of egomaniacs attempting to annihilate each other for the position. Pamela Neeson Fremantle, Western Australia