There is probably no other person in high public
office in our nation who has done more for the poor,
the underprivileged, or the disadvantaged than Peter
Hollingworth. (Admittedly, others may have talked more
or even spent more - even if that were courtesy of the
The sad thing is that many of those who know this
proved willing participants in what Terry O'Gorman QC,
of the Council for Civil Liberties said was nothing
more than a witch hunt.
This has had little to do with concern for victims
of child abuse but everything to do with bringing Dr
Hollingworth down - and thereby demonstrating that the
judgement of the Prime Minister was flawed.
The proof of this can be seen in the lack of concern
for the victims of infant school teacher turned MP Bill
D'Arcy, whose claims for compensation were fought all
the way to the High Court by the Queensland government,
unlike the maligned and the less well endowed Anglican
Church which is settling claims made against it.
Nor do we hear much about the strange decision of
the Queensland government to shred the records of the
Heiner child abuse inquiry.
The witch hunt was an egregious example of double
standards, one unparalleled in recent years.
So when most of the allegations were found in the
recent Diocesan Report to be absolutely groundless,
the pack just moved on to a new one without apology
or even correction.
They were determined never to let go, so for the
sake of the office, Dr Hollingworth will now resign.
It would be foolish for the republican movement to
take any comfort from all of this. We - and strangely
they - do not even know what sort of republic they want!
And the public will not see millions again diverted
from schools, hospitals and other pressing needs for
this folly - especially when they have already funded
them to produce their two highly flawed models.
Indeed, the people have made it very clear they do
not want to change their constitution or their flag.
Nor should any changes be made to the present system
under which Governor-General - and Governors- are appointed.
Prime Ministers and Premiers of all parties have always
made a genuine effort to recommend an outstanding person
for the position.
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