I apologise to the Northern Territory Attorney-General, John Elferink, for the offence to him caused by my column published in the January 2014 edition of Balance. Mr Elferink has specifically taken umbrage at the superimposition of the article (which included criticism of a comment he had made) on a photograph depicting a crowd of people delivering the Nazi salute. As Mr Elferink courteously but firmly explained to me, it was offensive to associate him in this way with the Nazi regime, notwithstanding the following express assertion in the text of the article:
I am [not] worried that we are sliding towards fascism. I have no doubt that John Elferink is sincerely committed to securing the peace, order and good government of the Northern Territory, and moreover, I accept that his concerns [regarding the administration of the Serious Sex Offenders Act 2013] are both clear and proper: the protection of the community, and the protection of the public purse.
Despite that statement, the fact remains that I caused offence. Like the Attorney, I believe in robust debate, but on reflection I agree that to publish my article in conjunction with the photograph as I did was an error of judgement on my part, and has been personally hurtful. It was not my intention to wound, and I am embarrassed to now realise that this was the effect of my publication. For that I unreservedly apologise.