It’s reasonable to ask now that Sarah Ferguson be arrested for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. She confronted a suspect the police had been ‘monitoring’, accused him, upbraided him, harassed and pursued him, and gave him time to make arrangements to flee the country and vanish overseas. She should be put in gaol for this, and our laws adjusted to prevent this hectic hyperbolic vigilantist prurience recurring ever again on our shores.
That being said, some words might also be said in praise of Captain Emad. Though motivated by base gain, he saves lives, and children’s souls, from tyranny. None of the Australian citizens he got here on dodgy boats think ill of him. He is their saviour. Children who might have been criminalised or used as whores in ‘detention facilities’, ill-educated, maddened and soiled of soul or dead by now of disease or drugs, are going to good schools in Australia, planning useful careers and fruitful marriages, and Captain Emad and his sinister unseen cronies are to be thanked for that. We may think of these smuggled children as Emad’s Victims, but they do not.
Sometimes human happiness needs a swindler or two to bring it about. Oskar Schindler, who harassed and seduced his female Jewish slaves, or some of them, and made millions out of a subject people’s forced labour, is nonetheless a hero too. Unless we accept that complexity we have no moral sense; or else, like Scott Morrison, no philosophical intelligence.