Derryn Hinch: ‘I am genuinely hypocritical’

Derryn Hinch, the human headline, has stood up in court and said that he is “genuinely sorry” for breaching a suppression order and revealing details of the criminal history of a murderer facing trial.

But he also says what he did is morally right.

I think he is just being a big ol’ hypocrite.

If he believes he did the right thing, then he should get up there and say that. To suddenly be all contrite and apologetic in what looks like a rather transparent attempt to wriggle out of a punishment is just hypocrisy.

The laws were put in place by a government elected by the people. If I were to unilaterally decide I don’t like a particular law, I have no right to just go around breaking it. Especially if by breaking it I am going to have a negative effect on other people’s lives. I should either work to get it changed (through campaigning and so on), move somewhere else, or just suck it up as a side effect of living in an otherwise pretty good society.

There are exceptions, for example a law might be put up by a “bad” government against the will of the people. If I was darn sure it was a bad law, and I knew that most of the people were against it, AND I was a heroic person (which I am not), I might elect to break the law as a method of social change. The classic example is Gandhi and his “assault” (see what I did there!) on British oppression back in the 1930s.

The heroic part is how I know I’m going to go to gaol or get some sort of punishment. But I’ll take that punishment on the chin because it serves as a rallying point, and if the mood for social change is right it can be a spark that causes enough of a fire to make the politicians notice and change the laws. Then I’ll get let out of prison (hopefully) and get streets named after me and stuff.

If Mr Hinch believes that the law is wrong, and believes that society agrees with him, then he should stand up and say so. Otherwise he should not break the law in the first place, but campaign against it through other means. He had a radio show for crying out loud; it’s not like he didn’t have a voice of far more influence than you or I will ever have (unless you, dear reader, are a celebrity of some sort, in which case I’d love a little shout out in your Twitter feed or whatever!).

Anyway, we’ll see what happens. It sounds like the judge is intelligent enough to see this as fake genuine sincerity (i.e. he’s not a four-year-old!), so maybe Mr Hinch will have some time in gaol to reflect on how sorry he really is.