BACK in the olden days, succeeding those even older times when, according to Thomas Hobbes ‘… the life of man (was) solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’, authorities exacted vengeance upon alleged malefactors by hangings, brandings, whippings, blindings, beheadings, garrotings, etc.
Justice was seen by the public to have been done. Had any member of the public been denied the opportunity of actually witnessing such administrations of ‘justice’, there remained the opportunity, the satisfaction, of observing for some considerable time the remains of these malefactors suspended from a gibbet. They could then point out to their little children what pathetic fragments remained, and indicate to them that such would be their fate should society so determine.
Thank God we’ve come a long way since those days.
Nowadays, thanks to the blinding light of our media, anybody who is seen to be at all flawed, that is anybody except thee and me, can be exposed to the full glare of publicity – and pinioned there, while the slavering mob reviles, damns and excoriates the alleged malefactor.
And so now we find our present Governor-General has been so exposed for what flaws he might possess, forgetting that something similar happened nearly 2000 years ago to the only flawless man who ever lived. They mocked him and cursed him and flayed him and stripped him of his raiment and his human dignity – just as we are now doing to a good, upright man. An imperfect being, yes, one who has never pretended to be perfect, but who has been acknowledged to give so much to suffering mankind in so many ways for so many years.
Just as Peter Hollingworth saw the suffering face of Christ in so many during his years of service, I for one, who am not of the Anglican persuasion, saw that same suffering face pinned in the unrelenting glare of the media the other night. And I wept for him.
Okay, media, our fourth estate, keep it up. Suspend Peter’s poor tattered remains from the gibbet for all to see – for all to see who might one day be found to be flawed.
But, if ever we are asked to be Governor-General, let us first look deeply into our own souls.
KEVIN F. KILBY Mudgeeraba, Qld