Outspoken Nationals MP George Christensen has really out done himself this time with a very short, sharp and straight to the point post about Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
In response to an article from the ABC titled ‘I used to do it personally’: Duterte boasts about killing while mayor, George wrote “A leader who personally sees off drug dealers? And the problem is?
The post from Christensen has attracted sharp criticism from even his most adamant supporters.
“And the problem is… Witch burning was more civil. At least they were accused of something and subjected to some kind of process” wrote Andrew Williams.
“Jesus Christ George going a bit of message here” wrote Eddie Watson
“You would be fine with the Lord Mayor of Gladstone walking around with a gun and killing people who he thinks have broken the law” wrote Malcolm Grant
“the problem is a little something called ‘the rule of law’, maybe you should read up on it? wrote James Ghossein.
But whilst the majority of the comments were in outrage over his post, he did find some support.
One raised the fact that many in Duterte’s nation support his actions, “A huge majority of Filipinos love what he’s doing, that’s what matters after all he is their president”, wrote Gerry Ongpauco.
Another commentator seemed to be in support of a much tougher stance on drugs “A real war on drugs not left wing aproach (approach)” wrote Leesa Sochacki.
If there is one thing that Christensen’s post is sure to do, it will bring to the surface the very serious drug problem we face in Australia and the lack of suitable sentencing for drug manufacturers, dealers and traffickers.
Just last month in Brisbane Jenna Louise Driscoll was sentenced in a district court in Brisbane for drug trafficking and to make matter worse bestiality, yet despite committing both crimes is now free on a two-and-a-half-year probation for the bestiality and an suspended jail term of two-and-a-half-years for the drug trafficking.
Whilst this month a Perth District court sentenced Elizabeth Mary Dear, 52 to just three-years-and-three-months jail for 42 charges of selling the hard drug heroin over a period of two years. Not only was Dear a prolific drug dealer but she was dealing whilst on a committee of the West Australian Substance User Association (WASUA) which aims to help people with drug problems. The court found no evidence that her clientele were associated with the WASUA, but nevertheless, a sentence of under four years for over two years of hard drug dealing does not meet community standards.
It is when our judicial system so blatantly let us down that people will fire off extreme statements like George Christensen did tonight, can you blame his frustration. Whilst in Australia we support the judicial process and believe one of our greatest liberties is the right to a fair trial, something which is clearly not taking place in the Philippines at the moment, we all feel let down by a system that is just clearly not working.
As of 20 minutes ago George Christensen has responded to the post with a clarification. Read it in full below.
Do I even think Duterte has done that? No. He’s just blustering to look macho which is a big thing in Filipino society.
The real issue is the war on drugs. Yes, I’m supportive of legalising marijuana. But the shit ends there. The rest of the stuff – crystal meth especially – destroys lives, relationships, families, communities and whole societies when it gets out of hand.
We’ve done our namby-pamby War on Drugs in the West and it’s been a complete failure.
The Philippines is taking a hardline approach. Their drug abuse stats are about the same as Australia’s but it’s compounded by the fact that corruption is that endemic in the Philippines that the drug trade has merged with politics. They call it “narco-politics” over there.
All allegations against individuals, particularly government and legal officials, on the drug front are being taken seriously and suspects are being rounded up for questioning.
Where they resist, it’s often armed resistance, resulting in death.
The stuff about extra-judicial killings has been found to be nonsense. A recent report has shown there is no proof of extra-judicial killings. There has been isolated cases of vigilante action but no more so than seen under previous administrations.
But while extra-judicial killings are out, it seems judicial killings may be in. There’s a big push led by people like Speaker “Bebot” Alvarez and Senator Manny Pacquio (yes, the boxer) to reintroduce the death penalty and I am certain as day turns into night that drug trafficking and production will be one of the capital crimes that people will swing for.
The point is, if we are serious about curbing the blight of drugs, we need to step up the fight. I don’t advocated for armed politicians shooting drug traffickers in the street but I would love to see a round up of all known and suspected traffickers and producers and some serious questioning and interrogation by police.
I would also like to see greater penalties for drug producers and traffickers (not the low-level dealers who are often addicts themselves). The Singapore-style punishment system of caning seems too good for some of the scum that profit off of the misery of others with the drug trade.
And for the addicts? Families tell me time and again they need their children or loved ones to be forcibly placed into rehabilitation. The only other consequences are jail or death. The same people wah-wahing about Duterte’s successful drug crackdown, would say forced rehabilitation is a breach of human rights. Well, it isn’t a human right to partake in substances which destroy your brain and turn you violent against others, especially loved ones and family.
It is clear that we need strength to tackle our drug problem here in Australia. So instead of Western sneering at Duterte and the Philippines, perhaps we can learn from them.”
In typical George style he has managed to bring a serious issue to the attention of all, sometimes an extreme statement followed by a clarification is exactly what is needed in politics to bring about real change. There is no doubt that whilst The Unshackled covered this breaking news in a balanced way, the left won’t be so kind. The usual crowd of left-wing journalist will be outraged and the political commentators and activists will call for George’s head. It is clear that the rampant drug use that brought about the action from Duterte, is beginning to take hold here. Many rural towns are suffering from extreme ICE epidemics and simply giving all involved in the manufacture and distribution of elicit drugs a slap over the wrist is doing absolutely nothing to bring the epidemic under control.