In his own words, ‘no-one can say I touched politics lightly’. He seemingly refuses to stop touching the Australian political landscape in ways which are, to my mind, inappropriate.
This latest ‘touch’ is in a great many ways so indicative of the man, his ideology and mindset, as well as his ardent belief that so-called elected representatives know what is best for the average Australian in every field of society. He writes of the belief Australians have, even the disregard, for career politicians who are devoid of real world experience, yet he ignores the fact that he was….still is in many aspects, a career politician who made his impression on Australian society, culture and ethos as someone who knew better than anyone else.
He forgets, or again, ignores the fact that but for the slimmest of electoral margins he’d have lost government in 1998, 2001 and but for the dog-whistling political style of his era, have been dismissed by the people in 2004. This is a man who fed on the fear of the people. The tenuousness of his political career is never addressed in such terms, yet this is the case. In the end, it was the people’s fear which saw an end to his control and manipulation of a society and culture that he admits to having deliberately shaped to his own beliefs.
On the issue of human rights, I believe categorically that a statutory charter of rights styled to the Australian society is an imperative. Those who claim the Constitution already provides for and makes sacrosanct our basic an inalienable rights haven’t read or understand the document. Clearly, as has been proven in recent days, the actions of politicians, as in the Howardian regime’s case especially where every controversial change was enacted ‘in good faith’, cannot be trusted. The Constitution is not understood by 99% of Australians and forms the basis for manipulation of the Australian society by politicians who make it their business to know and understand it’s foibles. Politicians by their very nature are not and can never be non-partisan. It’s a sad but true fact of the system we call democracy. We may elect them in free and open elections in this country, but in truth we only get the political systems created by the party machines. In Howard’s case, we wound up with the political system decreed by one man, and only one man. His party machine was dictated by him and his acolytes merely followed.
Judges, on the other hand, are what they are because they are non-partisan and impartial. Basic human rights are not a set of political ideals to be stated and formulated by politicians. Basic human rights are those decreed by the people, advised by the judiciary and obeyed by elected representatives. Only the judicial arm of government can properly administer, adjudicate upon and ensure the preservation of any individual’s basic human rights. We see time and again a politicians personal likes and dislikes being aired and exercised, all too often becoming law of the land. The Howard years have proven that beyond any doubts. Only the High Court of Australia can properly arbitrate on a set of basic human rights which must be decided upon by the people through plebiscite. That’s not likely to take place in my lifetime because the political system won’t allow it. It will allow the debate to carry on as another article of ‘good faith’. The longer the debate rages, the less the democratic system needs to pay it heed. Evidence the Republic issue as a case in point.
I will never accept that a politician knows what is best and most sacrosanct for me. A politician is only in the game for their own benefit. A necessary evil because, as Winston Churchill told us, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.” We’re stuck with it, but have no need to be protected by it.