The Truth in our Public Life.

July 2, 2018

The Truth is defined as: “ That which is true by fact or reality. “ 

Most sensible people look at this and accept the statement as apparent. And it should be – bloody obvious! 

But, in our public lives, and, in saying that, Cranky Lizard refers to the institutions and persons who comprise our community and society leadership; in particular those persons who are voted by the majority will, into positions of leadership and trust. 

Cranky Lizard also refers to one the great institutions of our democracy, the fourth estate – meaning the media, both print and electronic – commonly referred to as “ The Free Press. “ 

By the expression of public will and the existence of a democratic system of living, trading and sharing our commonwealth these persons and these institutions occupy a particular place of trust within our lives. 

We place them in positions of trust, and we expect them to honour that trust. 

CRANKY LIZARD OBSERVES THAT IN OUR CURRENT TIMES THIS IS NOT THE CASE !! 

Some examples:- 

  • In recent news and current affairs articles, the “ Free Press “ has published images of an Australian Army vehicle, on operational service, flying a Nazi flag, the ‘ swastika ‘. The story and the picture were published as current news. These images were confronting, and considering the recent publicity given to the Armed Forces operations in Afghanistan and the unproven allegations of poor conduct levelled against the Australians, it is apparent these images were designed to create a poor impression of the Australian Army on active service. The facts around this matter are this – this image was taken eleven, yes, eleven years ago! The issue was severely dealt with by the Defence Authorities at the time, and the issue was complete. It is Cranky Lizard’s opinion that this story was deliberately published to mislead readers and observers and was an abrogation of public trust. 

 

  • Because of issues relating to the breaching of Section 44 of the Australian Constitution, the Member of the Federal Parliament in the seat of Longman was determined to be ineligible to remain in the Parliament by the High court of Australia and forced to resign. Hence bringing about a Federal By-Election in the Federal Seat of Longman on 28 July 2018. Cranky Lizard is aware that there are some persons, active in our community, door knocking homes and talking to them about the current Federal Government’s plans to substantially reduce funding for the local Caboolture Hospital…this is being said in the context of the current By-Election…and Cranky Lizard makes it very clear that these persons do not identify with any official political party involved in the election. They are just there, and they are not telling the truth. They know they are not telling the truth and it is a glaring example of disrespect for the truth in our public lives. The fact that these people, whoever they are, are deliberately misleading people in an attempt to affect their vote on polling day, is an abrogation of public trust. 

 

  • Cranky Lizard is also aware that organisations, funded by large unions, political parties plus high wealth individuals, give themselves obscure names and claim to act in the public interest over issues of funding for hospitals and education. These organisations target specific politicians with a view to removing them from Parliament, which is fine, regarding our democracy, but they mislead the electorate as to who they are, who is funding them and what their real purpose is!  Cranky Lizard asserts that these activities, these shadowy organisations are a further abrogation of public trust. 

 

So what? You may ask. Does this really matter? Cranky Lizard thinks it does – Cranky Lizard thinks it matters a great deal. 

We expect some integrity in our systems of governance – and elections of politicians are central to our system of governance. If we shrug our shoulders and accept this blatant dishonesty, then how can we expect politicians to be concerned about acting with integrity? If we have already sent them a message that we don’t care. 

But we do care! We should care! If we, the electors, the citizens or our communities, do not set standards of integrity in our public life, then how the hell can we complain about dishonesty in our institutions? 

It seems as evident as a dunny in the desert that we, as a community, must insist, even demand, public honesty from our elected officials, our public institutions and the ‘ Free Press.’ 

And this demand for public honesty must come from us at home, in our front yards, on our streets and in our parks; especially during an election campaign when political parties are vying for your vote. When we receive information from political parties, any political party – does not matter which one – look at the material presented, critically examine it and if it seems wrong or untrue, contact the people who authorised it and challenge them. 

Hold them accountable, to you, for what they say, or what they promise. 

When people come to your door, demand from them, the facts about their stories. What is the evidence to support their comments? Make them work for your vote. 

Cranky Lizard judges that the common belief that politicians treat their communities with some disrespect is simply because we have not held them accountable to us in the words they speak and the actions they take. 

We have allowed the standards of public debate to be eroded; we have not demanded public honesty. 

Cranky Lizard reckons that if we don’t set the standards for honesty in public life; then no one else will, and we shall have to live with the situation we have created. 

And that is just not bloody good enough! 

 

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