The recent outrage surrounding Australia’s cricket team in Sth. Africa has disturbed the ethical under-pinnings of what it means to play fair or ‘within the spirit of the game’. Clearly, if you want to incur the wrath of the Prime Minister – tamper with a cricket ball!
But what about government ministers tampering with the truth?
Now that’s something that ought to stir a Prime Minister’s anger but it hasn’t.
The ABC’s fact check department (thank the gods for dear old Aunty) revealed this week that ex-PM Tony Abbott’s claim that 400 white Sth African farmers were murdered in the past 12 months has absolutely no basis in fact. The most reliable source of data suggests that 84 people on farms were killed in the past year and 59 of those were white.
While this is of serious concern it needs to be balanced against the more sinister tragedy unfolding around the world – Statelessness. The latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that globally there are 10 million stateless persons, of which a third are children.
Statelessness is usually the consequence of citizenship policies that are designed to exclude certain people on the grounds of ethnicity or religion. People who are regarded as outsiders by a majority, even though they may have deep ties to a region or country. Children are particularly vulnerable to these policies because many States around the world do not allow women to transfer nationality to their children, so when a father dies, disappears or is unknown, a child becomes stateless.
So, Prime Minister, there are things more worthy of your public display of anger than tinkering with a cricket ball.
Like tampering with the facts for one – worth at least 1 year’s suspension from parliament and banned from any leadership role for life I reckon.