“We are told the devil is the father of lies, and was a liar from the beginning; so that, beyond contradiction, the invention is old: and, which is more, his first Essay of it was purely political, employed in undermining the authority of his prince, and seducing a third part of the subjects from their obedience: for which he was driven down from heaven, where (as Milton expresses it) he had been viceroy of a great western province; and forced to exercise his talent in inferior regions among other fallen spirits, poor or deluded men, whom he still daily tempts to his own sin, and will ever do so, till he be chained in the bottomless pit.
But although the devil be the father of lies, he seems, like other great inventors, to have lost much of his reputation by the continual improvements that have been made upon him.
Who first reduced lying into an art, and adapted it to politics, is not so clear from history, although I have made some diligent inquiries. I shall therefore consider it only according to the modern system, as it has been cultivated these twenty years past in the southern part of our own island.
The poets tell us that, after the giants were overthrown by the gods, the earth in revenge produced her last offspring, which was Fame. And the fable is thus interpreted: that when tumults and seditions are quieted, rumours and false reports are plentifully spread through a nation. So that, by this account, lying is the last relief of a routed, earth-born, rebellious party in a state. But here the moderns have made great additions, applying this art to the gaining of power and preserving it, as well as revenging themselves after they have lost it…”
(From The Art of Political Lying – An essay by Jonathan Swift, 1712)
I have usurped this rather long passage from Mr. Swift on the mendacious nature of politicians because it remains as insightful today as it was when first written 300 years ago. A quick glance through today’s tabloids will reveal among other tasty titbits a wrathful Mr. Rudd (former Prime Minister of Australia) revenging himself, again, on those he blames for his loss of power. No need for mirrors if your name happens to be Rudd!
For any Ruddites who happen to pass by my posts rest assured I’m not going to launch into a diatribe against the man of the coiffed hair. No, my discussion is on another political lie, the one about the integrity of the NSW Police Service.
After publishing my most recent post The Human Rights Revolution,I received a rather pointed comment from a repeat visitor to my blog, a person who goes by the acronym PTT. PTT advised me in the language of the coward to watch my step. In fact his exact words were:
Look you abo piece of shit. You were warned, you failed to listen, now we’ll see how tough you really are – you still have family in Canberra remember
I’m not sure who PTT is, but his/her comments reminded me of a statement I received early on in this process from a former NSW Police Officer. This statement details a number of instances of human rights abuses committed by serving NSW Police Officers against Aboriginal Australians. The following links are to three heavily edited pages from a lengthy hand written statement detailing a number of serious human rights abuses witnessed by this person against Aboriginal Australians. I have edited the pages solely for the purpose of removing any identifying or personal information. The three pages are in the hand of the person making the allegations.
The statement (page 1, page 2, page 3), includes an allegation of the unlawful killing of an Aboriginal person by two serving NSW Police Officers and of serious assault committed on a inebriated Aboriginal female by NSW Police at La Perouse, a Sydney suburb with a high concentration of Aboriginal people.
The lie here is that we are all told that there is no racism in Australia and that Aborigines bring all their problems on themselves. That statement alone is racist. The issue underpinning this lie is one of disrespect. The media is quick to publish articles about police brutality when it is committed against white people, but is reticent when the victims are black. How can this be if the Australia we all call home is truly egalitarian?
Egalitarian Australia is nothing more than an enduring myth to justify the nepotism and corruption commonly referred to as ‘mateship’. ‘Mateship’ in the form of watching each other’s back and turning a blind eye to little infractions of the rules probably had a place in the trenches of Flanders or Gallipoli, but it has no place in a modern police service.
One of the allegations outlined on page 3 of the statement is that an overtly racist police officer was assigned to duty in a patrol area containing a high percentage of Aboriginal Australians. I cannot comment on why this occurred, because I do not know, but the fact that it did occur still warrants comment.
While an individual racist might be able to be written off as someone possessed of a particular pathology or aberration not representative of the whole, this argument fails when the racism is allowed to run unchecked. When mates back mates and turn a blind eye to those little racist infractions the whole system becomes corrupted and what was once an aberration becomes institutionalised. Once institutionalised, it becomes the norm; once it’s the norm, anything and everything becomes acceptable or at least justifiable.
I am unable to say if the allegations contained in the three pages linked to this post are provable. What I can say is that if we look at the recent history of the NSW Police Service and it’s apparent disregard for even the most basic window dressings of the ‘rule of law’, then events like the one’s portrayed in this former police officer’s statement become more believable! In fact they become in a way the norm, if this has become the norm. God help us!