What moral compass?
In recent days and weeks we have been challenged by a number of moral issues, do we continue to export live cattle, is action on climate change something we must take immediately and what is the best solution to the arrival of those seeking asylum?
For me the answers are simple, no we should not send animals to be tortured. Yes action on climate change must happen now and across the board and the best solution to the issue of asylum seekers is a humane resettlement program that verifies people’s claim to refugee status as fast as possible and does not export the problem to countries who have scant regard for human rights and the international instruments that ensure them.
So why have these issues not been dealt with so easily and efficiently, as the Dalai Lama suggested today, “Ultimately, I believe most of these problems are due to lack of moral principle in the country and relationship with neighbours.”
So where has our moral compass gone? Well it would appear it is not being held by any of our major politicians. PM Gillard has not yet confirmed she will meet with the Dalai Lama and in defending that decision ALP elder Bob Carr went further than a no show “No, the case for not seeing the Lama is stronger: behind the self-effacing shuffle and the grins he has a mischievous agenda in pursuit of theocratic power.”
A mischievous agenda? The happiness of humanity is now somehow sinister? Well when you consider that both major parties in Australia are now trying to out do each other on who can ill treat refugees the best is it any wonder that they see someone like the Dalai Lama as the enemy.
A lack of a moral compass in a society is exactly what allows politicians to play politics with serious issues, it creates debate on issues that seem clear cut, it keeps them rolling on the 24 hour news cycle and without a real policy amongst them it keeps lazy politicians in business. Who needs morals when fear and misinformation can help you be the Prime Minister, Opposition leader or an out of touch Bob Carr who is seen as knowing something.