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Beyond reasonable doubt

By RosemaryJ36  

While a far from perfect system, trial by jury has certain important features which should be taken into account in making our own judgements on issues which affect our own lives.

Firstly, the system requires that the jury be comprised of the ‘peers’ of the accused – that is people from a similar enough background to that of the accused to be able to assess the evidence using similar standards to those which governed the circumstances of the accused’s actions.

And, secondly – and more importantly – the unanimous verdict reached by the required minimum number of members of the jury must be “beyond reasonable doubt” – and here the critical word is “reasonable”.

This means that the discussion by members of the jury must not be founded in emotional responses to the reported actions of the accused but on a logical examination of the facts, and must result in a decision requiring certainty that the accused intended to commit the offence and was, in fact, properly identified as the perpetrator.

And to establish the case against the accused, the prosecutor depends on the facts as evidence of the intent and action on the part of the accused.

The system falls over backwards to protect the accused, who is regarded as innocent until proved guilty, by avoiding publicising any previous criminal history until such time as the jury finds the accused guilty and the judge then proceeds to consider the history of prior offending in deciding an appropriate penalty.

The scientists have presented the world with a case against fossil fuels in relation to the cause of global warming, which is predicted to inflict considerable damage through its effects on the world’s climate.

The issues here are, firstly, whether the world’s climate is actually experiencing increasing temperatures – and, with evidence of polar ice melting and ‘hottest days on record’ being reported, few of us are in doubt on this point – and, secondly, whether the burning of fossil fuels by human beings is the most significant factor responsible for rising temperatures.

The climate scientists have also predicted that, if we fail to reduce emissions, we will experience increasingly frequent and severe weather events, including floods, droughts, fires, storms, landslides and inundation by rising oceans.

Here the word ‘increasingly’ becomes highly significant.

Do we just report events as they happen, allowing the list to lengthen until we are convinced that the scientists are indeed correct?

The alternative is to examine closely the evidence and arguments so far documented and decide, on the evidence, is the wisest course of action to accept the advice of the scientists and start following their recommendations, before temperatures have increased beyond our power to subsequently lower them, or, again, can we safely ignore the possible harmful effects on our descendants and postpone action until we feel the proof is strong enough to require that action?

What is holding us back from making that decision?

We have governments in many countries which see maintaining or improving current living standards as being their first priority.

Or they believe the actions deemed necessary will cost too much and adversely affect their country’s economy.

Or we have governments which simply refuse to accept the facts presented by the scientists because to do so will require them to accept they have been wrong or, in some cases, they have a deep-rooted but misguided ‘faith’ in what they have accepted as directions from some supernatural being in which they have placed their trust.

They make no attempt to provide evidence for their insistence on denying the truth of climate change and they seem impervious to the damage and destruction that is currently occurring as predicted.

To ask what it will cost to take the recommended action on the climate emergency is the old – ‘how long is a piece of string?’ question.

Far more pertinent is to look at what is occurring currently in Australia and ask – how much will it cost to rebuild lost homes, redevelop agricultural – and other – businesses, restore trade and – for the bereaved – assure them that governments are doing everything in their power to ensure no more lives will be lost unnecessarily because of a lack of proper forward planning?

It appears that too many politicians, once elected, feel no further need to consult their electorates or outside experts.

How can people, with no or little scientific knowledge or experience, be allowed to make decisions which require expert knowledge?

A halfway-decently qualified, apolitical public service would make it an unlikely event, but when political advisers and contracted consultants guide the policy, their highest priority is not necessarily the public interest!

I lived through WWII in the UK under an apolitical National Government, established to ensure that all expert advice was utilised as effectively as possible and the war effort was the paramount issue.

Winning the war was the only priority and civilian life was directed to assist that end.

The elements have declared war on us and we are not using resources efficiently in order to fight back, because our present government refuses to accept that it is priority number one.

We need proactive policies, not delayed reactive policies.

We need someone in charge who is better at leading than in creating slogans.

The answer to “Where the bloody hell are you, Prime Minister?” is clearly “Hiding from the truth!”

To be fair – many are also asking “Where is the Opposition?”

If they have coherent plans to put forward, now is the time, because they sure as hell are getting no opposing plans from the so-called government!

Latest announcement from the PM, as I write, concerns troops staying in Iraq.

OK – the rest of life must go on, but without more, careful attention to action on the climate emergency, life won’t go on for our great grandchildren!

Once more – this is my Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

Will you join me and get out on the streets – maybe Australia Day would be appropriate? – and tell those whom we rashly elected that they need to go because they are not governing for us!

The clock is ticking.

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5 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    Why are our troops in a foreign land, where they are liable ( I know and perhaps you do) to get involved in murder, assaults, theft, torture? Other nations do not have armed intruders in Pitt St. Sydney? Why should be along with USA intruders involved in international crime? Those troops could be used here, now, in Australia, doing something for our community, here.

  2. Old bloke

    The MO of conservative governments world wide is to make the electorate afraid of something. They have successfully made us afraid of terrorism, despite the evidence that there is a greater probability of slipping on a supermarket floor and injuring yourself than there is of being the victim of a terrorist action. These governments with their MSM helpers work at keeping the population fearful. This is the stuff of Hollywood movies and is easily portrayed on the screen. But to keep a population constantly fearful of a changing climate will not work electorally. It is harder to convey such a fear in a movie because it is a relatively slow moving process. A terrorist attack occurs in minutes and is easily turned into a goody versus baddy story. Climate is not animate, not a race, not a skin colour, not a religion and cannot easily personified for hate. So, stick with the white hats versus the black hats and that will work especially if you have worked for decades to dumb down the population to the point that they will only respond to simplistic ideas.

  3. TuffGuy

    IMO the biggest problem these days is that politicians seem to think they are not elected to serve the Australian people, their constituents. they seem to think they are there only to push their own agendas and feather their own nests and look after big business.
    Nothing this current government does is for the people or their benefit. They will lie through their teeth and tell us how good things are for us but the reality is something radically different – we are all being screwed by their fascism.

  4. Arthur Tarry

    The Economist newspaper recently had an article saying that the Tory party in the UK was the most successful long standing political party in the world because of its success, over a long period of time, at being ‘in govt’. It went on to say that its MO to stay in Govt. was to do whatever was required ie:the ends justified the means. The conservatives in Australia modelled themselves on these Tories, hence their MO of doing and saying anything to cling to power regardless of the truth, ethics, morality or indeed facts. They have only one responsibility – stay in power to keep the others out. I expect a rapid ‘about face’ on climate change, done without a hint of embarrassment or any sense of hypocrisy or regret. They have sniffed the air, so the squid is changing colour. They are, from my point of view, beneath contempt.

  5. DrakeN

    “They have only one responsibility – stay in power to keep the others out.”

    The whole purpose for establishing the Liberal Party in the first place.

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