Such as: “The fear of anything not quite-white was palpable in much of our community.”

Isn’t fear the seed of all forms of racism? We inherited this fear in Australia in our ancestral diet. It is no different wherever it manifests, whatever its colours: it fuels aggression and masquerades as reason and in the kitbag of morally under-nourished politicians it is murderous.

And isn’t fear of otherness also the cradle of inter-faith distrust - triggering what Bob calls the “unwarranted uneasiness in our Judaeo-Christian psyches”?

Thanks Bob, it is timely to be reminded that right and wrong are the equi-distant moral forces that govern all of us whether we’re underlings or rulers - and in the messianic euphoria accompanying Barack Obama’s Inauguration pledge to bring back dialogue, it is also well to remember the alternatives: distrust, lies, moral surrender, war and death of the soul.

It isn’t only climate change that threatens human survival. It is also moral anaesthesia.

George Bush, John Howard and Tony Blair took us to the brink of that abyss.

Barack O’bama isn’t our lifeline, he’s our conscience writ large - awake at last.

Adrienne Jones,  Eltham, Victoria.
Dear Editor,

A few lines in response to Celebrate Dubya Day of January 19.

Confesssions upfront: Bob Hawkins is a friend and longtime colleague of mine, hence his political views are well known to me.

I know better than to disown that familiarity. Much of what he says is passionate rant - at the heart of which, I have so often found to my discomfort, are indestructible truths.