Saturday, November 30, 2013

Online Govt Critics: Shrinking Margin of Safety

My reading on this subject of the government purported attempts to curb 'free speech' on the Internet has been sporadic but in the gist socio-political commentators online are afraid that they are being forced to play in a small play pen.

My knee jerk reaction is these commentators saw their margin of safety to comment or criticize the government shrinking. I think only those who have seditious intention need to worry. Of course it also begs the question what is seditious?

If I am not wrong, the Alex Au's case of being hauled to court over his remarks about the judiciary only gathered 170 signed supporters. Even ten times the number of supporters would not be enough for the government to pause and reconsider. You need a public push back at least equal to the Population White Paper to do that.

To me time is the greatest revealer of people's intentions. Many smart people are more than able to disguise their true motives but all lies eventually show up in inconsistencies. What the government and readers need to do is simply to wait but always to have enough fire extinguishers on stand by. Everyone who is out to influence the public does well to remember Lincoln admonition: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

Really, we just need to make it safe to wait. The public cannot afford to care if critics have their margin of safety. People should stand by their words or just shut up; safety in consonance with accountability.

In intelligence work, officers often take a long time to be go from suspect to confirmed if someone is a terrorist. But the public is quick to judge a person and often wrongly. We can't help going with first impressions especially when it has no direct and immediate impact on us. I think the public's margin of safety is more important than those of the socio-political critics. It is not just the government interests that is in question here but all of us. And if the government has erred, time will make that clear too and we must and will push back.

No comments:

Post a Comment