Last week Cardinal George Pell of Australia was sent to prison for child abuse .The American people, having elected a compulsive liar to be their President, are daily watching a real life West Wing show in which corruption piles upon corruption in a White House now covered with the dark slime of greed.
When low people get into high places bad things happen.So how do they get there?
Answer – by exploiting the goodness in people.
These individuals are con artists. They tell people what they want to hear in order cheat their way to a position of power where they think they are untouchable.
But just when it seems the world is going to hell in a handcart you suddenly see democracy’s safety mechanism click into action. It is called the rule of law.
Pell has been sent to prison.
Trump’s former campaign manager and his personal lawyer are already convicted and sentenced and others of in Trump’s entourage are facing jail time.
Here in New Zealand we must protect the rule of law at all costs because if we allow it to be bent, folded or manipulated , especially by our own government, then corruption will undertmine the rule of law in our land an d none of us can be assured of justice.
Last week I interviewed on camera one of our country’s finest investigative journalists -Ncky Hager. ( I will post it soon on NZPTV)
Nicky and fellow journalist Jon Stephenson wrote “Hit and Run “ in which they claim the SAS conducted what amounted to revenge attack on two Afghani villages, killing six civilians ( including a small child) and wounding 15 others in an operation where no insurgents were encountered and there was no return fire.
There is currently a government inquiry under way but it seems to me the way it has been set up greatly favours the accused because secrecy has been given greater weight in its set up than transparency.
Yes, some information which may endanger our serving soldiers ought to be heard in camera – but blanket secrecy ought not to be tolerated because it keeps truth in the shadows. And whenever that happens the scales justice are tipped and the rule of law undermined.
Last year I attended a Select Committee hearing on the CPTPP.
I nearly didn’t go because it was an exercise in sham democracy . The government had signed the Treaty so anything I, or any other New Zealand citizen, said could not change a single word of it. And because Labour and National agreed on it the Treaty was celarly going to be ratified by parliament.
Yet I turned up to give my 5 minutes worth to the law makers . I told them that what they were about to do was to endorse a treaty that contained an item that ran counter to our fundamental belief that everyone is equal before the law.
Because, you see, the CPTPP gives more rights to international investors than to domestic investors in that it allows international investors two ways to sue our government if they are unhappy. Namely the can complain in our domestic courts and also overseas in so-called Investor – State Dispute Settlement tribunals.
Domestic investors , on the other hand , are only allowed one course of action and that is to use our domestic courts
That some people should have more rights than others, Iargued runs counter to our fundamental belief that we are all equal before the law.
We must speak up on every occasion where the rule of law is put at risk, for it is the only protection good citizens have against corruption be it by bad individuals or wired in to our system by bad law.