02 May 2016

Election priorities

It is amazing what we do and don’t discuss these days in the course of election campaigns, or the "phony war" that precedes them. At the present time we seem to be endlessly fascinated by what is to happen to the threshold for the second highest personal income tax scale to cut in, a matter which will leave 75% of taxpayers unaffected and will have a trivial effect on most of the rest.

Meanwhile, we have young Australians in Iraq, without, as far as I can tell, the form of authorisation required by our Constitution, and without the protection of a Status of Forces Agreement with the Government of Iraq. The effect of this is that they do not have the appropriate authorisation from either government to kill or capture people or destroy their property, and would find it difficult if brought before a tribunal to plead the defence that they were obeying lawful orders. Then on Saturday night ABC TV News revealed that these people are not simply training the Iraqi Army “behind the wire” at Camp Taji, they are following close behind them as they go into combat. Meanwhile, the Government of Iraq is collapsing in a heap. Is anyone talking about this? Not as far as I can tell. There was a time when matters of war and peace captured some attention during election campaigns, but no longer, it seems.

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