The Independent Senators appointed by the President of the Republic are currently in the news for all the wrong reasons. One of them, albeit a temporary one, has responded obscenely to criticism, including deployment of lurid phrases, which I decided not to quote.
The said President has on occasion shown himself to be petulant in the face of criticism and not tolerant of opinions different from his. I wonder how he would like it if, following his chosen Senator’s lead, his opinions were dismissed by reference to genitalia and bowels.
Will the troubling caucus approach, to which a majority of Independents seem to be amenable, embrace the lurid utterances of their temporary colleague?
The current controversies began with the issue whether Independent Senators should attend a private meeting with the Government to have proposed legislative amendments to the remit of the Strategic Services Agency explained to them.
It is in response to that invitation that we learned that there was now an activist co-ordinator of the Independent bench, who asserted that invitations to Independent Senators must come through him.
There followed other statements and reported events which suggested that the majority of Independent Senators might be willing to act as a caucus led by the activist.
Last Sunday’s column expressed my disagreement with this. For those who missed it, I had also earlier expressed the view that if any Government had sensitive information it wished to communicate—such as the gas price agreed with an investor, a valuation of State controlled assets or matters of national security—a private meeting might be justified.
I do not know the facts concerning the recent meeting with two of the Independents, who did subsequently vote for the amendments. I reserve comment on it.
However, by way of example, the rumoured terrorist threat to shopping malls might have aspects to it that could not sensibly be put in the public domain but which might have to be shared privately with members of Parliament on a need to know basis.
The fall out from the conduct of the Independent Senators is continuing in ways other than language referencing genitalia and bowels. The integrity of one of the two Independents, who attended the private meeting, was impugned, leading now to a Committee of Privileges charge against his detractor.
Outside the cabals of zealotry, I am sure that sensible opinion is very concerned about the mouth washing both by and against Independent Senators. The credibility of the Senate is bleeding out.
Significantly the chambers, domes and plots of so called civil society have not condemned the foul mouth antics. Do these citizens speak out only when it bears down on their pockets or perceived status?
Meanwhile the streets are full of the blood that the unceasing murder rampage is depositing there. My column deals less frequently with this murder toll than previously.
This is because, as I have had cause to remind those previously wilfully blind as to where we were heading, of my prediction of “a breakdown in ordered legal control in the face of banditry and anarchy” made as long ago as 2003.
I have repeatedly suggested causes as well as some social engineering solutions naturally arising out of our diverse cultures.
Let me make another prediction: If the full story is ever told about this Senate, some dark dots connecting nepotism or friend friend and contact thing will be revealed.
There is of course a link between credibility bleeding in the Senate and the blood in the streets.
The wilful blindness and the craven, greedy postures of so called civil society are, as already delineated, the result of a long and continuing repast on the fruit of a twisted socio-economic system and of corrupt governance.
In words equally applicable to our current murderous predicament, I asserted in 2004 that “conventional social order is on its way to being fully overthrown.” I described at that time the malignant influence of fete, indifference and greed unmitigated by social conscience.
“There is still random mortality for all. The sycophants whose children may be next in the morgue provide the curry goat and premium drinks and put on grovelling shows of respect that last as long as they can get some advantage for their business or themselves.”
Minister Edmund Dillon, like his predecessors, has on his hands an acting Commissioner of Police who obstinately refuses to acknowledge an abysmal detection rate and smilingly reaches for every excuse why the criminal elements operate with impunity.
Minister Dillon is the latest person finding himself in a Ministry of National Security hamstrung by culture and outdated constitutional provisions, which make the office that he holds an empty command.
Other Ministers also bounced their heads not only against the limitations on the office, but against the paramount hold wealth, hidden power and influence peddling has on our politics.
There are urgent realities to be faced.