Duke Nukem is a fictional superhero in a computer game. He is a macho alien-killer who periodically says politically incorrect things such as, “Your face, your ass, what’s the difference?”. Duke has nothing to do with Australian politics, yet he seemed to have nailed it with his question.
Recently the Victorian Labor government, despite public opposition, allowed “recreational” hunting in wetland areas populated by many protected species. In NSW the Labor government, lowered the fines for corporations if those corporations illegally mine or drill for coal seam gas. The fines previously which exceeded $1 million now stand at $5000. In the same time the penalties for trespass, in relation to the environmental protesters, were raised from $550 to $5500.
In the meantime the Liberal Tasmanian government introduced a range of strange new offences for “obstructing” business operations by protesting. The Adani mine got approval from the Queensland government, who are Labor but were allegedly pressured by Liberals. So Duke’s comparison between the front end and the rear end brilliantly sums up the alleged opposing Labor-Liberal duopoly. Although Duke may have been talking about the elephant or donkey-people in the USA or the Tories vs Labour differences in the UK.
In democratic countries, which for the time being includes Australia, governments are made up of public servants. People who were placed in a position of control to use that control to benefit the public. The Australian federal and state governments seem to have forgotten this, as soon they have seen those different coloured washable plastic pieces waved in front of their faces by the people and corporations they actually serve.
Governments are pushing laws through the parliaments which are unethical and unpopular. Unpopular means that the majority of the public or the population, which these governments supposed to serve, are against these laws. The unethical means that the standards of the society or the population are higher than these laws. So if the public/population are against these laws what does it matter if some government can gather a groups like the Shooters or people like Freddy Nile to help them pass a legislation? This just shows that all those in favour of these laws are working against the public, not serving us.
If a law is allowing an unethical activity, then it becomes a duty of the citizens to stand up against it, demand and bring about change. Since we are powerless to recall corrupt politicians from the parliament, who lost our moral support, we must take other forms of actions. Perhaps approaching the Supreme Court is one of these actions. It may work until the governments, like the NSW government, start crippling the courts, when those oppose their plans.
In the meantime it is important to understand if we cling on to laws as a lifesavers or look at those as moral guidance, just like some look at the Bible, we will end up eradicating ourselves. If the only reason someone does not kill others because it is against the law then that person might as well do the deed. There is no difference between intending to kill, but stopping short because of the law and the actual killing. On the other hand if one has a deeper understands of life, Universe and everything there is no need for arbitrary set of rules.
What we have has nothing to do with democracy, as it was conceived by the citizens of ancient Greece. Back in those days they had gods to control their lives not media empires. There were philosophers like Socrates wandering around challenging people with questions such as “what is justice?”. Today we have job contracts and mortgages hanging over our heads like Damocles’ sword, to make us think twice about protesting and speaking out against the “undue, corrupt & disgusting influence of the financial industry on public life” (Revolution by Russell Brand).
Ps. But we should also consider that if switching from Lib to Lab, from Rep to Dem leads to fundamental change we are the asses. If a government makes an ass out of us we may forgive that, if it happens again we should start worrying, but if it keeps happening we should either get a saddle or kick their asses…