Former Chief Justice says spin-doctors prey on gullible public
Former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, Sir Gerard Brennan, is using today's launch of a Jesuit book on ethics in politics to criticise politicians who communicate lies and half-truths to a believing public.
"We need reminding of our gullibility. But what explains our gullibility and our passivity when we discover that we have been deceived? It seems that we expect no higher standard of honesty from our public institutions," he said.
"That raises another question: are we sufficiently mature to accept the truth and reject spin-doctoring and suppression even if that involves the acknowledgement of errors and mistakes? Perhaps our own standards of integrity are no higher than the standards we apply to our public institutions."
The book, which is titled Honesty Matters: The Ethics of Daily Life, is published by the Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre. It contains papers given at the Jesuit Lenten Seminars around Australia in 2005. Contributors include Morag Fraser, John Schumann, GJ OKelly, Julian Burnside, William Maley, John Eddy, John ONeill, Michael Kelly, Robert Fitzgerald and Drasko Dizdar.
"These are troublesome papers, as they should be," said Sir Gerard. "Supine acceptance of deception is a marker of moral decline".
Dishonest politics a threat to morality, says former Chief Justice (Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre 1/12/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre | Honesty Matters
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Jesuits scrutinising honesty crisis in public life (CathNews 21/2/05)
Lectures assessing post September 11 human rights compromise (CathNews 9/3/04)
Jesuit says dishonest politics making Australia a terror target (CathNews 16/3/04)
Jesuit talks looking at role of religion in world conflict resolution (CathNews 16/7/03)
Jesuit Seminar urges Govt to forget 'illegal' Pacific solution (CathNews 18/3/02)
2 Dec 2005