Also, I use the word "gaol" in earnest.
This article by Bob Ellis is revolting. It’s revolting and it’s nonsense and it incensed me with rage.
What’s most depressing is not that Matthew offered his resignation to David Borger, his Minister, but that David Borger accepted it. I helped write David Borger’s maiden speech and thought then he was made of less pliable fibre, and stuck by his friends.
Perhaps Borger simply understands that to do drugs and to put other people who do drugs and sell them in gaol is a bit hypocritical. Or perhaps Borger is as soulless as Bob, but understands that NSW voters at least know that keeping a drug user on the job is a sure sign of corruption.
The thing is, Bob doesn’t seem to understand that at all. It’s like he never did ethics. He doesn’t even seem to think that the drug charge is a serious one. While others drug users are getting put in gaol for up to a year, Bob seems to think that Matthew should use his connections and get off scott free. Because he’s the chosen one.
Save Matthew Chester, save the world.
Or maybe not. Maybe if he wanted his job he shouldn’t be doing illegal drugs privately and publically denounce them. Hell, even if he was a staunch advocate of the legalisation of ecstasy, he still shouldn’t do drugs until they become legal. He’s in a position that demands great respect and trust. He shouldn’t abuse it by breaking the law. That’s why it’s called the law. No one is above it. If it’s acceptable to do it, it shouldn’t be illegal. If it’s illegal, he shouldn’t do it. End of story.
Bob then proceeds to compare this illegal deviant to someone who’s just strange — sniffs a chair — or sexist — with the borderline text messages — both real cases which, while serious, are nothing compared to this, which is illegal, and which the tax payer spends a huge amount of money policing. He then compares all of those behaviours to having bad breath, which isn’t even a choice, and no one should be judged on.
Bob talks about this guy like he’s some sort of Labor Buddha — able to achieve what no one else can. I don’t care if he’s brilliant, or that the Liberal party is using this arrest as a “move” to get him out of politics. That’s the whole thing — it’s a perfectly valid maneuver to get him out of politics. If he really was some Labor Buddha he wouldn’t be doing drugs. Because here’s the thing: Maybe politics is all rotten to the core, but we don’t know about it. And whenever we find out, I as a voter want the politicians nailed to the wall.
In fact, as a voter the drugs issue is more important than who wins the election, because not only do I get to decide that anyway, but whoever wins is just the goddamn process doing what it should. A drug user and his wife in parliament, and an ex-worker asking his boss to put “mateship” above ethics... That’s a pretty big deal.