MARK BUCKLEY. Some Home Truths

There are some things which are true, and some which are not. There are many things which are debatable, or contentious, or even undecided. But the true things will always be true. Our media habitually believes that stupid, nonsensical, or just plain wrong opinions deserve to be treated with the same weight as those things which are true.

Let us take vaccination as an example. Vaccination is always beneficial, and anyone who disagrees needs to have a tin-foil hat fitted. Their opinion is wrong, every day of the week, and whenever a modern citizen is exposed to measles, or some other disease of your choice, the blame lies squarely with whomever is not vaccinated, or their parents. Because the vaccination (2 doses) prevents infection in 99% of cases.

The Port Arthur mass shooting did occur. I cannot believe that anyone truly believes that it did not happen, but if they do they are wrong. So no time should be spent on allowing people who wilfully believe untruths, to be heard. They are wrong, and they’re wasting our time.

Climate change is happening. Don’t ask me, ask the climate scientists who study the matter. Between 90 and 100% of those scientists agree climate change is happening, and it is caused by human action. But perhaps even more compelling is the opinion of global insurance companies. They don’t usually entertain fairy stories, so when they start to factor climate change into their calculations of premiums payable on property, you know the grown-ups are convinced. And they have been convinced for at least 15 years.

When a politician claims to deny climate change, don’t believe him or her. They believe, but they are using their powers to block remedial action, for base political purposes. They are actually betting our future generations’ lives, on the base ambition of hanging on to power.

Remember when same sex marriage was seen as the gateway to all sorts of moral and sexual dangers. I think the possibility of bestiality was even floated, by a wild-eyed zealot. It is clear that the community supports the concept of same sex marriage, hence the overwhelming vote in support. Most of us support the notion of couples who wish to marry, no matter their names, or genders. Who else’s business is it, anyway?

So why are we still listening to the voices of the hysterical, who seem to think they are vulnerable to random outbreaks of homosexual lust, or even the terrific humiliation of having to bake a cake, which might have a representation of two people, of the same sex, in the icing. It might just be their names, not even an image. Mercy me!

Should I ever be elected to a position of unreasonable power, I would mandate that homophobic bakers must bake one homo-cake annually, upon pain of having to watch The Rocky Horror Show on high rotation.

There are certain things that right-thinking people know to be true. People fleeing persecution deserve to be treated with humanity and dignity, for as long as it takes to adjudicate their cases.

The only difference between people fleeing their homelands, by boat or by airplane, is that the boat arrival was much harder, and probably more expensive, in both blood and money. So there is no reason to discriminate between them.

People who, by virtue of their circumstances, or their health, or their level of education, or their exposure to childhood trauma, or by the very fact that they are unemployed, or affected by addictions, or their age, or even where they live, are entitled to be treated as all citizens are entitled to be treated. So throw away robo-debt, increase Newstart, stop the rorts in the Job Centres, and actually create some real jobs.

Stop wasting money on private schools. If you’re too good for public schools, or your kids are, then pay for your own education. And for everybody’s sake, please stop allowing churches to pay no tax.

A couple of words sum it up: Humanity and dignity. So any government who treats the disadvantaged unkindly, and without respect, deserves to be thrown on the scrapheap of history. We do not live in a jungle, we live in a society, one which we have spent a long time shaping. I was once proud of the type of society we built.

These days, with our neo-cons, our so-called libertarians, our dry economists, we have lost the plot. Balanced budgets, when we have over 100,000 homeless people, are a disgrace. We pay taxes for a reason. We want services, and we want our leaders to act for the common good. That is what the word “Commonwealth” means.

The last ‘known known’ on my list is that power corrupts. We need transparency, and any politician who denies us the right to see the workings of our governments, is immediately suspect. They must be hiding something, if they won’t let us, their employers, see what they’re doing.


Mark Buckley is a writer based in regional Victoria. He has a particular interest in politics, history and ethics in public life.

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8 Responses to MARK BUCKLEY. Some Home Truths

  1. Charles Lowe says:

    Seriously, there is a profound epistemological problem here.

    Like everyone else, I, too, love what Mark has written.

    The words “home truths” pose the epistemological problem.

    It’s a bit like the expression ‘common sense’. How dreadfully rare can common sense turn out to be?

    Who is to establish just how truthful “home truths” are? How do we do that? What needs to be invoked in any proposed process? And – why should we anyway?

    After all, politicians can legitimately claim (no matter how many of us hate and despise them doing so) that their election or re-election gives them a mandate for all they do. So, if they’re narcissistic or psychopathological or machiavellian or paranoid – hey – it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t count: “Nevertheless I’ve been re-elected. And now, bugger off: I can and I will now act in any manner I choose (to maximise my career ambitions).”

    Sure, we could (as I have previously proposed) have a Constitutionally-endorsed (or legislatively endorsed) ‘fact-checking’ facility. However “home truths” are, themselves, simply NOT facts!

    I’m reminded of the U. S. Founding Fathers’ second sentence of their remarkable Declaration of Independence:
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” What a magnificent assertion.

    One, no matter how awesome, which this supine collection of former convict colonies is simply culturally incapable of replicating.

  2. John Drysdale says:

    There a millions who think exactly the same as Mark.
    I am one of them!

  3. Rob Stewart says:

    Great post Mark. I can feel the passion and the anger. I too have been witness to the destruction of our society, the lies, the tortured manipulated statistics (the economic fundamentals remain sound….etc, blah, blah, blah). I also bear witness to the obfuscation, the hatred and divisiveness, the sociopathy of neoliberalism and its spineless, paranoid, greedy and cowardly acolytes.

    The truth is that from the moment neoliberalism vomited up the likes of Reagan and Thatcher muttering lines such as “there is no alternative” and that there is “no such thing as society” the democratically concerned everywhere should have mobilised massively and raged against the machine. We didn’t. Too lazy. Too comfortable. Too complacent. No understanding of history. There was no coherent counter narrative as the seeds of neoliberalism germinated. And now we are reaping what was sown.

  4. Allan Kessing says:

    It is truly amazing the way language seems to be rapidly losing meaning.
    It is not just a problem due to the bien pissants of the “can’t say that” brigade according to their current Line.
    It occurs more & more frequently because so many people are locked into unsubstantiated beliefs, whether political or what they call religious faith.
    As Mark Twain wrote, “Faith is what you need to believe something that you know to be untrue”.

  5. Felix MacNeill says:

    Thanks Mark – it’s been a while since I was genuinely 100 per cent in agreement with anything I’ve read!

  6. Jim Kable says:

    This is so bloody true on every point that in the kind of Australia we have become I feel I must be hallucinating or actually dreaming while reading this statement – a Charter of Truth. I call for Mark Buckley to be made Prime Minister for Ethics and for the implementation of a process for a thorough clean-out of the Augean Stables we know as our National Parliament!

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