Cootamundra Herald letters to the editor, May 10, 2017

PLEDGE: Gundagai's Geoff Field has questioned the effectiveness of Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's (pictured) new citizenship pledge.
PLEDGE: Gundagai's Geoff Field has questioned the effectiveness of Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's (pictured) new citizenship pledge.

Tick-the-box fail

All new citizens must take the Australian Citizenship Pledge. They pledge their loyalty to Australia and its people whose rights and liberties they will respect and whose laws they will uphold and obey. 

However, in an attempt to weed out the undesirables the government thinks it is going to make it harder for those applying for citizenship by making the required questionnaire more difficult. This is an exercise in futility.  Even if they tick all the right boxes doesn’t mean they will become good law abiding citizens. Only a complete fool would tick the No in the Yes/No box to the following question: Will you respect and uphold our laws?  Strengthening this farcical test will have no bearing whatsoever on the quality of those seeking to settle here.  As an example of how useless the test is - if you gave notorious serial killer Ivan Milat a similar test I wonder what box he would tick if you asked him the following question: If you are let out of jail and set free will you promise not to re-offend again, Yes/No? 

And let’s not forget there could be criminals just like Milat among those applying for and being granted citizenship. The word all migrants/refugees that come to our shores seeking refuge dread most is deportation. Therefore, to weed out the potential criminals and no-hopers even after they have been accepted into our society, I believe that our citizenship pledge should be revised to read: Having accepted my citizenship I am fully aware that if, in any way, I break my pledge and be disloyal to Australia and its people and whose rights and liberties I will not respect and whose laws I will not uphold, I will forfeit my citizenship and be deported back to my place of origin.

So, it would be advisable for immigration minister Peter Dutton and PM Malcolm to stop fiddling around the edges and do something meaningful and constructive (as above) that will strike fear into the hearts and minds of those who come here and treat our culture, laws, and way of life with contempt.  The old tick-the-box trick simply doesn’t work.

Geoff Field

Gundagai

It’s about all mothers

Let's try to make this Mother's Day about mothers – all mothers.

If the kids bring you a tray of eggs, bacon, and toast with butter, it will come with a side order of cruelty to several animal mothers.

Eggs come from chickens who are crammed together inside wire cages with hardly any room to move. Part of the birds' sensitive beaks is cut off so that they won't peck each other out of the frustration created by this unnatural confinement. Male chicks don't lay eggs and are not bred to produce the excessive flesh desired by the meat industry, so they're gassed to death or ground up alive immediately after hatching.

Bacon comes from mother pigs who spend their lives, even when pregnant, confined to tiny stalls in which they can barely move. Video footage from sow stall sheds in Australia shows pigs screaming and biting the bars, frothing at the mouth, and suffering from injuries such as swollen limbs, lameness, and open wounds.

Butter comes from the appallingly cruel dairy industry, which keeps mother cows pregnant for most of their short lives and then tears babies from their distraught mothers a few hours after birth so that humans can steal their milk. Male calves are unwanted "by-products" of the dairy industry and are slaughtered within a few days of birth.

All these mothers, who would be devoted parents in nature, are deprived of all opportunities for nurturing – and when their bodies wear out, years before their natural life expectancy, they're culled for slaughter. They are just "food-producing units" in animal exploitation industries and suffer doubly: for what their reproductive systems produce when they're alive and then, when spent and slaughtered, for their meat.

Desmond Bellamy

PETA Australia