15. 15LETTERSMissing Mags
LADY Thatcher, as she was then, made huge gains for small business by starting, with MP Sir Michael Grylls and Alan Cleverley The Small Business Bureau which gave small business the best endorsement they could get.
Meetings and functions were often hosted by her at 10 Downing Street and she helped drive this sector, herself, and made a huge difference, as with most things she turned her attention to. Britain will miss her and so will the Small Business Bureau. No other prime minister other than John Major (and Mrs Major) followed up her work in this important sector.
Keith S Bales
Fantail Dve, Bibra Lake
The Ed says: A personal friend of fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet, a supporter of apartheid and someone who regarded Nelson Mandela to be a “terrorist”. A lot more could be said but for brevity’s sake that should suffice.

A disgrace
YOUR paper is a disgrace. I am one of the 50 people who have invested in the Heirloom development in the Fort Knox building, which you clearly hope falls over to prove some point about building heights in Fremantle.
By contrast, the people who have invested more than $25 million in this spectacular development have a vision for and a commitment to Fremantle’s future. You choose to attack the mayor (because he doesn’t agree with your “vision”) because he was caught out musing on specific projects which he shouldn’t have got involved in (I’ve let him know I thought that was a mistake).
Regardless of this slip up, he has a vision for Fremantle unlike your constantly negative, carping rag. Fremantle will eventually re-emerge as a vibrant alive community due to projects like Heirloom, despite your efforts.
David Jones
Holland St, Fremantle
The Ed says: C’mon Dave, read it again—the Chook describes Heirloom as a “linchpin” and “transforming” the Fort Knox warehouse as well as quoting others describing it as “landmark” and a “gateway icon”. Of course we hope the project succeeds­—but we’ve still got a job to do as a newspaper. Please see page 5 for our more detailed response.

YOUR front page (Herald, April 6, 2013) made my blood boil!
Fremantle council considers buying apartments in Fort Knox development for “affordable housing” in an effort to populate the CBD? Why not spend the money on the Henderson Street Warders’ Cottages? Since the whole street was evicted in 2011 nothing has been done to preserve or protect these buildings, and it has become blatantly obvious just how much we as tenants did to keep the area clean, the trees alive—the street alive! (sadly all but two trees were removed to “make way for renovations”!).
I regularly kept the Upmarkets accountable for the amount of rubbish their businesses generate by collecting it from our front gardens and the street and delivering it back to them, gave out blankets, food, bus fare and compassion to Freo’s walking wounded, opened our home to the public during heritage week, talked drunken pub-goers out of driving, called the police or rangers to break up violent or abusive behaviour, called ambulances (and got stuck with the bill) when the police were a no show.
Yes, Fremantle CBD desperately needs a live-in population, but the dwellings are already there, empty and abandoned!
Council should not be looking at acquiring new housing before it takes care of what it is already in existence!
Disgusted and disillusioned
Melanie O’Dell
Stockdale Rd, O’Connor
The Ed says: Mel, we’ve already reported on the council’s plans to buy the cottages from the WA housing department (which is the outfit that booted you out and then did nothing with the place). But as to whether the cottages will be used to house low-income people or become short-term tourism accommodation is undecided.

Freeloader shame
SUNDAY afternoon my husband delivered a ute full of boxes containing clothing, kitchenware and books to the back entrance of the Red Cross in Willagee.
Monday morning I drove past to find most boxes missing and clothes strewn on the pavement.
Shame, shame, shame to whomever stole these items. What kind of people steal from the Red Cross?
It’s tragic that people can sleep at night knowing they have stolen from a charity organisation, whose role in the community is to assist others in need. Very bad karma.
Leigh Gordon
Millington St, Ardross 

What about pensioners?
WHAT is wrong with our government? Allowing all these asylum seekers in, looking after them, and forgetting all about the pensioners who for years have paid tax, and get nothing in return.
The  recent $30 per fortnight increase doesn’t even cover the cost of a meal.
That is an insult to all our seniors who should receive some respect. Is this a joke?
Jay Walsh
Cockburn Rd, Munster

What queue?
THERE is no VIP room. We are all people and we are all equal.
Imagine if you or your child was born in another country, in a persecuted minority such as a Hazara person in Afghanistan, or a Tamil person in Sri Lanka. Or a stateless Palestinian or Kurd, no safe place to call home.
Imagine watching your family killed one by one in front or you by the Taliban, or the Sri Lankan army, the Israeli or Iraqi government.
Nowhere safe to go.
Imagine watching someone in front of you blown to pieces, yourself splattered with human flesh.
And then compare this with your life here: Sipping lattes, drinking beer, summers at the beach. Be nice if we, here, in this lucky country, our government and the shock jocks and xenophobes recognised it is the luck of the draw where you end up being born.
What did you do prior to being born here to have such a blessed life in Australian? What did the Hazara, Tamil, Palestinian, Kurdish people do for such a rough deal?
Be nice if we could offer those fleeing a life of torture and trauma compassion, understanding and generosity. On June 22 at 1pm in capital cities across Australia you can show your compassion in a Welcome to Australia Walk. Because we are all people, and we are all equal.
The media makes a big deal about asylum seekers arriving by boat. It not illegal to seek asylum in Australia even if you arrive by boat.
How about a media frenzy and government sound bites every night on TV about the true ‘illegals’—visa overstayers who just think it’s good here but whose lives are not in danger in their home country make up far greater numbers of illegal people. We never get that story on the news.
Andrea Callaghan
Collick St, Hilton

Lens it be
IT is not often Perth can claim to be first in showing one of the 2013 Oscar-nominated documentary films.
A wonderful opportunity therefore to see here in Perth 5 Broken Cameras by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, in which a Palestinian farmer watches from behind the lens and records a first-hand account of non-violent resistance in a West Bank village.
Showing at 6.30pm on Thursday April 18 at the Fox Lecture Theatre, UWA, Nedlands.
Marta Szedlak
Ewing Ave, Bull Creek

I WAS recently walking along the track above the beach at Cottesloe after visiting Sculptures by the Sea. The sky was a brilliant cloudless blue and complemented the shimmering sea to perfection.
I couldn’t help thinking that we live in a wonderful, safe and beautiful country and that perhaps the crime problem is being over hyped by the media.
My sense of wellbeing was shattered in a split second. Right there, before my very eyes, barely one metre from where I stood, was a gang of criminals brazenly offending in broad daylight.
The perpetrators were clearly old enough to know better but couldn’t have cared less they were shamelessly offending in full public view.
The three elderly people sat on a bench overlooking the ocean, each with a glass of wine in hand, smiling and having a quiet chat and chuckle amongst themselves. Had it been a movie, it would have been a lovely, heart-warming scene. Yet sadly, in real life in Australia, what they were doing was illegal.
It goes without saying that being a law-abiding citizen, I myself would never dream of engaging in such illegal activity. Unless maybe it was my birthday, or possibly Christmas, or … perhaps a few other days in between. Surely people over 70 can be trusted to have a quiet drink on a foreshore or public place. So can those over 60. And probably even those over 50. In fact, very few of us are still yobbos at age 45. Perhaps we can have a legal “public drinking” age of 40 or 45.
Francois Carles
Walker St, Fremantle

The Lucky City
HOW lucky are we? I was reflecting last night, in the week before I turn 50, what an incredible month I’d had.
First, Blues and Roots, within cycling distance of my home—not cheap I grant you, but when you have the chance to see the likes of Paul Simon, Santana and Iggy Pop, and discover bonus bands you’ve never heard of, all in all a reasonable price. And right on my doorstep.
Then last week, the Street Arts Festival. Which was at whatever price you felt each performance was worth. I always love this event, but this year it reached another level with the Tango Fire Show on the Esplanade an absolute highlight.
Then last night, the hawkers’ food market down at Bathers Beach. A perfect Freo night, beautiful sunset, the Leeuwin off the coast, people enjoying the food and spicy smells, and what I like to think was great music to complement the vibe (I was playing it!). After our performance a fire twirler from Darwin wowed a couple of hundred kids. A beautiful night.
As the sublime Leonard Cohen put it when I saw him a couple of years ago, “we are so privileged to gather in moments like these when so much of the world is plunged in darkness and chaos”. Absolutely. We moan and gripe about what’s happening and not happening in Freo, but, I ask myself, where else in the world would I rather be than here? Nowhere. How lucky are we?
Nick Turner
Farrier Lane, White Gum Valley

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