Justice Vital

Justice Vital for Human Welfare

Says Waikanae Professor

By Alan Tristram
12th December 2009

Professor Tony Taylor, of Waikanae, says it is vital for human societies to recognise justice as a basic human need.

He was speaking at a Paraparaumu Library ceremony marking the 61st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The ceremony, on International Human Rights Day, included the presentation by the Kapiti branch of Amnesty International of Professor Taylor’s book, “A Cockney Kid”, as well as 60 other books to the Kapiti Libraries.

In his address, the emeritus Professor told local Amnesty members that activists need to heed the biblical prophet Micah’s advice “to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly.”

He said the event gave him the chance to acknowledge publicly the courage of Amnesty members.

Essential to act for justice

But, said Professor Taylor, it is essential for every single individual to speak out and to act so that justice can be safeguarded.

And he reminded listeners of the saying attributed to political philosopher Edmund Burke’s that:

“The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.”

Professor Taylor, who is a retired Professor of Psychology, taught at Victoria University for many years and is the author of more than 300 international papers and publications.

His latest work is an autobiography titled “Cockney Kid: The Making of an Unconventional Psychologist.

It’s the extraordinary story of a London child who grew up in Dickensian conditions, joined the Royal Navy in WWII, became a probation officer after the war, then immigrated to New Zealand and ended up becoming an academic.

Nearly 200 people turned up for the launch of the book in Paraparaumu last month, leading his publisher David McGill to comment: “This has to be one of the biggest book launches I’ve ever been to.”