Saturday, December 24, 2005

Remembering Van, and others

An opinion piece in The Age caught my eye this morning. The Government has forgotten Australian values and what is right, writes Tony Cutcliffe.

Following is an excerpt:

"The haunting tones of Ave Maria took on a new meaning at a recent Christmas event, an unavoidable reminder of Van Nguyen's last moments before his execution in Changi prison. Nguyen's death will soon pass into the sepia prints of our memory. As Shakespeare might have predicted, the goodness inherent in his redemption and brave death has largely been interred with his bones. We remember Nguyen, factually, but incompletely as "the convicted drug smuggler".

Disappearing less quickly is the political infamy that lingers stubbornly in our national subconscious. Many will long remember an Australian Government and a complicit Federal Opposition that allowed this state-sponsored killing to proceed behind a curtain of tokenistic protest and synchronised regret. It will be remembered that Van Nguyen's neglect does not stand alone.

It sits amid a tide of moral ambiguity and diplomatic obsequiousness that shrouds our readiness to abandon citizens in their moment of need."

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