Thursday, October 07, 2004

The world of Garth George

Sometimes, when reading Garth George's editorials in the Herald, I am truly disturbed. In today's one, for example, he despairs over the way police culture has changed so that now, instead of "looking out for one another", the police "dob in" their own over "minor misdemeanours". Lest anyone forget, the very attitude that George is praising is why we are now having to investigate a series of rapes committed by police officers in the 80's - which they covered up at the time by "looking out for one another" and refusing to "dob in" their own over a "minor misdemeanour".

Then he gets onto the army, and here it gets really disturbing. For a start, he seems to thik that the abuses were acceptable at the time:

What people like Mr Burton don't seem to understand is that the alleged physical, psychological and sexual abuse took place in an Army, a society and a culture far different from today's, and any attempt to judge the behaviour of a group of testosterone-charged young men in an Army camp of the 1970s by the PC mores and expectations of today is not just stupid but downright dishonest and unjust.

Contrary to George, those objecting to abuse in the army are not judging people by "the PC mores and expectations of today", and we have not criminalised serious assault in the last ten years out of "political correctness". The behaviour in question was criminal at the time, and was regularly prosecuted.

But the most surprising bit is that he accepts that the allegations are true, but doesn't think that it matters:

I have no doubt that much of what these whingers allege about the hazing and harassment is true. But so what? Even if 500 of the 5000 complained, it would still be only 10 per cent, which would seem to be a pretty light failure rate for a hard school such as the Army.

I'm sure that if even 1 per cent of the people in his neighbourhood were being treated in this way - beaten into unconsciousness, systematically brutalised, and sexually abused - or if it happened to him, George would be using his column to scream about it. Yet because it's the army, it's all OK, and those who object to being treated in this manner are just "whingers".

The sorts of excuses we are seeing from George and his ilk are truly disgusting. They seek to normalise and justify a sadistic macho culture in which those at the top of the pecking order can systematically brutalise those beneath them. This attitude should have died with feudalism, and the sooner George and friends die of old age and take their poison memes with them, the better.