In Defence of Principle

The abandonment of principle in the cause of political convenience is fraught with danger.

In Defence of Principle
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo / Unsplash

It’s a shame that it’s often necessary to remind usually sensible people that unless they are prepared to uphold principle, then they have lost almost all credibility.

To often, the ‘values’ people purport to stand for are jettisoned at the first sign of inconvenience.

You see it all the time in politics and increasingly by those who choose to share their opinion on social media.

I am actually enjoying my return to Twitter where I regularly remind the loose, the loonies and the liars about their own hypocrisy.

There are often tell-tale signs that let you know what you are dealing with.

Those who put pronouns in their bio for example. It’s a public show of wokeness and a rather pathetic demand that others respect their self-determination.

The other indication all is not right is the bio claim ‘living on stolen land’ or the like. It’s a claim that doesn’t pass even the flimsiest of examinations.

After all, If that truly is the case maybe, instead of squatting on the land they say they stole, maybe they should just give it back?

I certainly don’t live on stolen land and I suspect you don’t either.

I bought my land and even get to pay for it every year in the form of taxes, rates and levies.

Of course we can all choose to ignore the hypocrisy but when these pious clowns come out of their trolling cave, it’s fun to give them a whack for their hypocrisy.

However, every now and again, people with usually sensible views, disagree with my own. Personally, I think that is perfectly fine unless they are undermining a principle which they usually uphold. I had a discussion along those lines recently.

It was in response to the Ukraine government permanently banning a number of opposition parties, including one with the second highest vote in the country and holds nearly 10 % of the parliamentary seats.

The allegation is they were too sympathetic to Russia and therefore had to be banned.

A Ukrainian court upheld the government decision although journalists were not permitted to attend the hearing.

Notwithstanding the partisan nature of some of the claims, even if true, banning the second most popular party that gives a voice to many in the parliament is the stuff of dictators, not a democratic nation.

I said as much and stand by that criticism.

My Twitter critics said that some opposition MPs called for Russia to nuke Kyiv and that justified the action. Now I don’t know if they did or not. From my perspective nothing coming out of the Ukraine or Russian propaganda machine can truly be relied upon.

However, even if an MP did say something reprehensible, it still isn’t grounds to ban a political party that enjoys wide support.

I was rather surprised that one of the strongest responses came from Drew Pavlou who openly campaigns against the Chinese Communist Party. In my mind, banning an alternative view is exactly what the CCP does.

Just because the bad action takes place in a different corrupt jurisdiction doesn’t make the principle any less bad.

Now I understand that people will disagree with my view. That’s their right and I respect that. But consider for a moment what it truly means.

At its simplest, it’s a case of, if a government doesn’t like what their opposition says,  they can ban them.

Of course it’s happened before in Western nations.

In the UK, Sir Oswald Mosley was interned without crime and shortly thereafter his political party was proscribed because it was seen as a threat to the political establishment. Many didn’t like his advocacy of a peace deal with Hitler.

It was even tried here in Australia when Prime Minister Menzies tried to ban the Communist party. That proposal failed in a referendum.

But let’s take this one step further.

Some would suggest we have political parties in Australia that seem to act against our national interest and appear to hate our country.

I'd proffer that one of them is The Greens political party.

Just this week, their leader refused to be photographed in front of the Australian flag suggesting Australia was illegitimate.

One of his angry underlings, Lydia Thorpe, openly said she was only in parliament to ‘infiltrate’ the ‘colonial project’.

I took that to mean undermine the nation which has been built on the back of our European settlement.

I also suspect the fat pay packet might have a bit to do with why she stays in the Australian parliament, even though she claims not to be Australian and that the parliament ‘doesn’t represent me or my people’ and  that ‘we need voices like this to question the illegitimate occupation of the colonial system in this country.”

Wow, sounds pretty subversive to me.

In the corrupt land of no principle, groups like the Greens would be banned by the ruling dictator, just like in the Ukraine.

Now no-one wants to see the back of the Marxist Greens more than me but first principles prevent me from calling for their ban.  Just like I say it was wrong for cult hero Zelensky to ban his major opposition party.

It’s also wrong for Zelensky to effectively concentrate all Ukrainian media into a state controlled broadcaster.

Imagine if a government here did that and folded everything into the ABC. It would be a nightmare of relentless propaganda… much like the Ukraine is today.

Now I know that many will say war changes all and that in times of conflict we cannot afford to uphold old values when faced with new enemies.

I disagree with that.

Sure, we have to adapt to new challenges and threats but we should never surrender the essence of our democratic system under any circumstances.

We’ve all had a brief taste of what government can do to our liberty and freedom.

Legally denying voices against a government and their actions, no matter how much we may disagree with them is not something any freedom lover should be endorsing.

That view can be summed up in the words of Pitt the Younger's

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."

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