I wrote this article, which was published on Webdiary, nearly six years ago – just before the 2007 election. I stand by everything in it, including the original final paragraph.
Being an atheist, I do not think we have souls. However, for the sake of the Faustian analogy, let me take the position that Philip Ruddock once had a soul. One interesting question is, to whom did he sell it?
Ruddock was a founder of the parliamentary branch of Amnesty International. He was an advocate of Australia’s increasing its foreign aid budget, and he took part in several peace missions to Cambodia when that country was enduring its civil war. He was also a member (one of the few Liberals) of the Parliamentarians Against Apartheid group. With such principles, it did not surprise me when, in 1988, he and a few other Liberal MPs defied their then leader, John Howard, and crossed the floor to support Bob Hawke’s resolution opposing any immigration policy based on racial discrimination.