Sunday, April 13, 2008

What's good for the Spitzer...

... is good for the Swan.

I endorse the following sentiments:

I’m getting a bit tired of politicians scoring groove points by admitting to behaviour they now condemn, excusing themselves by claiming they were simply young and stupid back when they were completing their honours degrees. Why are the “earlier lives” of politicians more sacrosanct than young lives being lived today? There’s no statute of limitations on the crime, just lack of evidence, which has now been provided via a confession and the depositions of several witnesses. Either Swan and Nelson think that smoking marijuana is a criminal offense, or they don’t. They can’t declare that just because it’s in the past it doesn’t matter.


As we speak, young people are facing court for the crime that Wayne Swan admits to having committed. Like he was – and, presumably, still is – many of them are fine people who have no intention of ever causing society any harm. Like the young Wayne Swan, many of them are students with bright futures ahead of them. But whatever their lives have to offer Australia may be poleaxed by a conviction that tells a story it shouldn’t, the very same story that Wayne Swan, through sheer good fortune rather than superior character, is able to tell us about himself today.

This admission by the Federal Treasurer, and the reception of that admission by both sides of Parliament, should not be dismissed as just some titillating Canberra curiosity, but rather as a watershed moment in how Australia views drugs and those who choose to partake in them. If not, then it should be catalogued as the moment of staggering Parliamentary hypocrisy that it is.

Well, maybe not the bit about Swan not intending society any harm.

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