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Readers’ views on GM’s treatment of Holden, the DJs Foodhall and Vietnam conscription, 50 years on.

STEVE HARRISON: It seems the GM corporate leadership is rewriting the history books, forgetting to point out their fortress balance sheet was underpinned by a $50 billion USA Federal government bailout that saved GM from financial ruin (GM adds salt to the wound, InDaily, 15 January 2014). Incredibly the US Federal government ended up losing $10 billion on the bailout when it sold its share in the company. Thanks to this, GM has made more than $21 billion in profits since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009.

One can only hope GM cleans up the Holden site at Elizabeth and gift it back to the people of South Australia. It is the least they can do, considering we have more than paid for it. I am sure if we put our collective heads together in a bipartisan way, we can come up with some excellent new uses for the Elizabeth site.

B. SCOTT: Dear Kevin Naughton, please stop with the GM bashing. Partnership? What partnership? 27,000 Commodores sold last year out of 9,700,000 total GM sales. Holden has long been a flea on the dog’s back. If you owned it and had to operate in that union environment with ever decreasing markets for your main product, you’d shut it down too. You’d have to be mad not to.

Time to start focussing on the future. Buying jobs isn’t a sustainable solution. What are our governments doing to restructure the industry so Toyota don’t go next?

R.C. WARN: As a former Adelaidian now living in exile in Canberra but a frequent visitor to the ‘old town’ , I have observed the destruction of much that made Adelaide Adelaide ( … moving the RAH to the blighted, non-leafy end of North Terrace so developers could grab the high-value current site; the destruction of Adelaide University’s unique and iconic Union Hall; the vandalism of the Glenelg foreshore by developers so millionaire could get a sea view – just water, after all … I could go on).

I thought the move to the ‘new’ DJs building was a negative step – the old building had the ‘DJs class’ we were used to – the next one looks like ‘John Martins Light’. Closing the Foodhall is a truly outrageous step – so that Rundle Mall can have a few more ladies knickers and shoes? Extraordinary. Who did DJs ‘survey’?

RICHARD ABBOTT: Call me old fashioned, but I believe that the upholders of our judiciary system to all be beyond reproach. So the question now arises. What credibility doe this recent drink driving conviction of a Supreme Court judge bring to bear on the countless drink driving campaigns(‘Ashamed’ drink-driving judge fined, InDaily, 15 January 2014)?

Surely the answer is that greatest support for reducing the incidents of drink driving would be for the judge to now publicly fall upon her sword and stand down from her position of judgement.

GEOFF SAUER: Jim Forbes says that the conscription system (1965 – 1972) was fair (Conscription 50 years on: Menzies’ last Lib stands his ground, InDaily, 7 January 2014). How can a system based on a lottery of birth dates be fair?

In 1969 my birth date did not come up, but that of a fellow student whose birthday is the day before mine did come up. He was still a student in 1972 when the ALP was elected federally, and conscription was discontinued. A fair system, if one can apply “fair” to the idea of conscription, would be “one in, all in”. In the event, history shows that little was achieved by Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War assisting the US, save for much pain inflicted on the Vietnamese people, 426 Australians killed in battle, and the legacy of a significant number of veterans with medical, psychological and other problems.

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