The Daily Advertiser letters to the editor. June 19, 2017

PROUD: Author and historian Sherry Morris has received an OAM last week. Letter writer Brendan Smith has questioned the awards.
PROUD: Author and historian Sherry Morris has received an OAM last week. Letter writer Brendan Smith has questioned the awards.

Honour class divide?

The recipients of the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours list are to be congratulated – those honoured citizens are good people. The awards were instigated to honour all classes of citizens. 

However, at first glance there appears to be a serious lack of diversity among those so honoured; especially in the defence forces and those of tertiary persuasions. The defence force elite Officer Corps were rewarded handsomely, with 63 recipients. In comparison, only 31 ‘other ranks’ were honoured. Of those 14 who received Australia’s highest award, the AC, half (7) were awarded to those holding Professorships. There were 22 more Professors named in the lower AO division. 

It is now painfully apparent Australia has adopted the ‘class’ system that was once employed in the British Imperial era. Neither officers nor professors names are listed in the ‘lower deck’ section of the honours list – a system instigated to honour all classes of citizens

Brendan Smith

Cootamundra

The Punch and Judy show

There is a great puppet show presently showing in Macquarie Street, Sydney. It is based on the novel supposedly written by the former premier, Mike Baird.  It’s a drama called “Death of Democracy in Gundagai”. It features those two well-known puppets John “Punch” Barilaro and Katrina “Judy” Hodgkinson. However, don’t get me wrong and think this is just another kid’s show - it’s not.  It is a very serious drama that tells of the effects of forced council mergers has had on the lives of both the Gundagai and Cootamundra communities. 

Without giving too much away, it tells of how the citizens of both towns have had their lives disrupted by having their democratically elected councillors turfed out of office and replaced by administrators who would, no doubt, make North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-Un look like an amateur. All this at the behest of an uncaring, hypocritical and arrogant state government. 

It also tells how damaging and detrimental it can be and the overall effect it has on townships when they are forced from a democracy into a dictatorship. Gundagai is already losing its uniqueness and is rapidly becoming a suburb of Cootamundra. The script for the show is written entirely by that masterful puppeteer, Gladys Berejiklian. She also does the choreography and the voice-overs. In other words it is a one-woman show.  It would be remiss of me if I didn’t acknowledge the life-like performances of both marionettes, Punch and Judy.  I urge everyone to see this fine drama.

Greg Field

Gundagai

Is your health at steak?

The New England Journal of Medicine has just released a study showing that almost a third of the world's population is overweight or obese. 63 per cent of Australians are overweight or obese, according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Worldwide, over four million deaths per annum are attributable to additional bodyweight.

Animal-based foods are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. According to the Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel, vegans are less likely to suffer from many chronic diseases, including diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes and some forms of cancer. Research shows that the average vegan is about 18 per cent thinner than his or her meat-eating counterpart.

We can prevent deadly diseases just by exercising and eating healthy vegan foods rather than meat, eggs, and dairy products.

If you’re concerned about your health—not to mention cruelty to animals and environmental destruction—please opt for tasty vegan foods. Order a free vegan starter kit from peta.org.au for more information and free vegan recipes.

Ashley Fruno

PETA Australia Associate Director