Mr Mashall can never be totally free

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January 11, 2013

Dear Sir,

I wish to answer the Letter to the Editor in yesterday’s Royal Gazette by Larry Marshall Sr, but where to start? I wish to answer it, not because there is a chance of changing Mr Marshall’s mind, but because there is so much that is wrong with his thinking.

Let us start with his list of ‘it is wrong to deny a man the right to movement, conscience, speech, assembly, association, and to deny a man the right to a decent wage’.

Our society, every society I know, cannot allow the total ‘freedom’ Mr Marshall thinks he deserves. If we were to rid ourselves of Regiment conscription tomorrow, Mr Marshall would still not have the freedoms he bleats on about. You don’t have total freedom in prison, in the workplace (try your right to freedom of movement and go off for a day on the water when you are supposed to be at work). You don’t have freedom on the road, on your neighbours property; you do not have the freedom to rape, kill, speed, own two cars, steal, abuse and on and on — without paying the consequences.

All Mr Marshall need do is to go to one session at Magistrates’ Court to learn we actually don’t have the freedom he goes on about. How many laws do we have on the books? That is the number of times our ‘freedom’ is curtailed.

We do have the freedom though, to choose to serve our country in another way if we do not want to join the Regiment.

Mr Marshall indicates a soldier in the Regiment does not receive a decent wage. Wrong. I am given to understand a private soldier receives approximately the equivalent of $50,000 a year. I say ‘equivalent’ because this is a part-time army. Their time in the Regiment is made up of hours here and there and one weekend a month. I am told a private will receive approximately $900 a week at their two week camp. This is a part-time job that does not require any skills, but for the hours given, it is a good paying job.

As for Mr Marshall believing it is not right that the top officer in the Regiment is paid better than a private; what world is he from? Every business I know about, there are wage scale differences. No janitor is paid the same as the CEO.

Mr Marshall writes ‘so we continue to draft gang members and then teach them to be more efficient in assembling and firing a high powered rifle’. How many gang shootings have been done with a high powered rifle to date? Here’s another good question; how many of the guilty gang members who have shot and killed someone — how many of them have been in the Regiment? None?

There is no problem in trying to change a law if you think it unfair — but until it is changed, you do not have the freedom to abuse that law. It is that simple.

Let me finish with one quote. People who clamour to be ‘free’ (which usually means rid of their obligations) forget Goethe’s warning: “Everything that frees our spirit without giving us control of ourselves is ruinous.”

MARK EMMERSON

Paget

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Published Jan 12, 2013 at 8:02 am (Updated Jan 12, 2013 at 8:02 am)

Mr Mashall can never be totally free

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