Sunday, May 3, 2015

On The Revival Of Principle

For as long as there have been politicians, the greatest problem society has struggled with has been the question of how to attract outstanding candidates to a life in politics. Given the moral and ethical compromises necessary to build a successful political career, and the fundamentally corrupting nature of power, how can we encourage talented, upright people of integrity to engage with politics and thus change the system for the better?

So it’s a slice of luck that the current golden age of political commitment has come along to inspire a new generation of would-be statesmen and women. Where once young people would look at their elected leaders and bemoan the way their principles melted like ice in the sun once subjected to the realities of democracy, now they can see the modern political breed and say to themselves, if I enter politics, I’ll never have to give up my firm commitment to torturing children.

That was always a bit of a sticking point for talented youngsters seeking their way in life. So many of them wanted to devote themselves to public service, but were afraid that realpolitik would hold them back from expressing their deep moral belief in the virtues of child torture. “If I stand for election,” they would ponder, chewing their lips in trepidation, “electoral imperatives and party-room manoeuvring may force me to water down, or even abandon, my ambitions to torture large numbers of children, preferably foreign ones, in island prisons.”

No need to worry any more, MPs of the future! As the success of a generation of red-hot parliamentary operators proves, principle and pragmatism CAN co-exist. The days of an honest devotion to the practice of systemic child abuse being incompatible with ultimate electoral triumph are over.

For this we can probably thank the previous Labor government, and their willingness to stand up for values. We all remember when Julia Gillard and Chris Bowen came before the Australian people and said, “Enough is enough. No longer will this government be guided by shabby expediency when it comes to deciding whether to imprison innocent children in offshore camps with no regard to their safety. No, from now on it is the dictates of our conscience that will guide us in regard to the facilitation of physical, mental and sexual abuse against people of all ages from other countries who wish to improve their lives.”

And since then, well, almost every pollie from either major party has picked up that ball and run with it. Of course there are some standouts when it comes to leading by example, like Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott, but even those you might have imagined would never sacrifice short-term political gain for freedom of conscience, like Malcolm Turnbull or Wayne Swan, have embraced the new paradigm of idealism.

So to the younger generation, I say: don’t be afraid! If you want to help shape the world from the corridors of power, don’t hold back for fear of having your deeply-held beliefs compromised. Don’t think that just because you’re dependent on broad public appeal for your position, you’ll be asked to give up fighting for the right of your country to brutally destroy the lives of children. The truth is, despite what the cynics tell you, you can make a difference, as long as you are steadfast in your principles and never forget the reason you entered politics in the first place – a sincere and honest desire to condemn children to live blighted lives bereft of hope in far-flung hells on earth while suffering daily degradation, agony and psychological trauma.

So get out there, kids, and make your dreams come true! And, obviously, stop other kids from doing the same. 

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