Gimme Liberty
November 18, 1953 — The South Coast Bulletin

The Mossadegh Project | November 29, 2016                                                

This ponderous sole editorial is from The South Coast Bulletin, an Australian newspaper in Southport, Queensland. Without citing a single example, the editors excoriated former Premier Mossadegh for having been a merciless, repressive tyrant. Not quite!


It may seem strange to link this man’s name with any idea of democracy as we know that form of government, but, strange or not, the link is strong by the very contrast of his methods with our own form of government.

When he had the opportunity, this man played dictator with all the strength he had, and with all the force he could muster to support him. Of mercy he had no idea as far as the outside world could judge. Now he is in the awkward position of wishing for that very quality which he himself would have been the very last to show. We need hardly remind readers that the world has seen others like him in the past twenty years; few of them have shown a very convincing belief in dictatorship when they were receiving some of their own treatment.

Nevertheless, this is not an attempt to give a biography of a dictator. Most of these fellows receive their just deserts in time, and we need not distress ourselves unduly about them. What must surely come home to those who I think about the events going on in the world about us is that we in this land are very fortunate in the conditions under which we live. We have all sorts of grumbles about all sorts of things. We complain of our hardships, real or imagined, but we are free to complain. There is no fear that some one will tap us on the shoulder and inform us that we are wanted for criticising the government, or that we have been thinking dangerous thoughts, and so must be arrested. There are some parts of the world where people are far less fortunate and here any real interest in government affairs is extremely unwise.

If any one wishes to see just how free we are, he should observe the doings of the members of some of our militant unions. The same newspapers which tell us of Mossadeq tell us of their doings as well. Could there be a greater contrasts [sic] in the conduct of the affairs of two countries?

We think there could not be a greater contrast. But there are two things to remember: we may turn liberty into licence by abusing it and by “using” our freedom to the serious harm of the public; we may become so careless because of our great liberty that we will think it no longer needs careful guarding. Both of these would be very serious errors with possibly grave consequences for us.


Related links:

Mossadegh Tries To Walk Out On Trial | AP, November 24, 1953

Mossadegh Screams | The Times Record, November 12, 1953

Fighting Words | The Sydney Morning Herald, November 14, 1953

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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