Friday, June 14, 2013

A note on Government, injustice & the public interest

One of the things that eroded my views of the Howard Government were the growing human injustices associated with the war on terror and then with immigration. More recently, the current Government has followed the same path, in part driven by the opposition. Most recently. we had the case of the bodies left in the water and then Sayed Ahmed Abdellatif (here and later here).

The combination of rules and politics can often lead to human injustice, especially when combined with a blind belief in the divine right of the public interest. The problem is not new in Australia, we have seen it all before, nor will it go away. Often, the nature of the injustice only becomes clear with the passage of time, in the light of subsequent events. Often, those who resist the trend are condemned. Sometimes, later events show that they were wrong. Perhaps more often, later events show that they were right.  

I have no solution to this problem beyond the need for caution and constant vigilance. It just is. However, be careful as soon as a Government starts talking about the public interest as a justification for particular actions. These are code words for we are right and you must agree or at least obey.

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