Let's be blunt here. There are politicians in this nation who bleat about citizenship and Australian values and who have done nothing to increase the value of either. In fact, they have failed the mateship test. They have failed to show a duty of care towards a citizen - namely David Hicks. Although he is not the first - just the worst - case.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
There is the Black Trinity of John Howard, Philip Ruddock, and Alexander Downer.
For years, they have refused to lift a finger to gain the release of David Hicks from the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay used to circumvent the Geneva Convention. As the US Government conspired to avoid it human rights obligations, the Australian Government was complicit and these three men were the Australian activists who conspired to ensure the detention of David in this illicit hell hole.
Citizenship, mateship, Australian values. Forget it! These three devalue everything that Australians hold dear.
The duty of care towards a citizen. Forget it. Corruption at AWB gets more support and priority.
Mateship. Forget it. Just because Hicks is Australian did not make him a mate. He was evil - according to the demonisation antics of the Black Trinity. Australia had no law under which he could be convicted and imprisoned. So the Black Trinity took the most convenient option. Revenge, US style. Convict him in the United States. They have a law and, if it doesn't fit, they will make it fit to order.
Australian values. Forget it. Foreign governments - particularly and in particular the United States of America - can do anything they like with impunity to Australian citizens. Britain, however, values their protection of citizens more highly than this Australian government. Tony Blair got every last one of his people released from Guantanamo years ago.
THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT
Ministers from Mike Rann down continue the demonisation begun by the Black Trinity. Wonderful how Labor and Liberal coalesce and merge into one another sometimes, isn't it?
Caught Kevin Foley briefly on the telly last night saying "he's not a celebrity, he's not a hero." Duh, Kevin!
No, David Hicks is not a celebrity. He is not a hero. He is more than that. He is one of us.
He has been misguided and foolish - as are all of us at some time in our lives, to a greater or lesser degree. But David Hicks is one of us who has been treated abominably. He is one of us who has been a victim of revenge from two governments - from the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave; and from his homeland, Australia, the land of mateship, the fair go and being fair dinkum.
Are South Australian politicians so used to law and order debates and upping the ante on who is the toughest on criminals, that they just automatically mouth off?
Have they never heard of mercy and compassion?
We know the Black Trinity does not understand mercy and compassion. Corruption and privilege and special pleading for people of privilege is what is understood best.
So Rann and Co - who like to appear non-partisan, who appoint a churchman to the halls of government - look no better. No mercy for Hicks. No compassion for Hicks. Demonise Hicks. Belittle Hicks. Kick Hicks while he is down. Feet of clay, Mike and Kevin, feet of clay!