The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

The Intervention – The Katherine Klusterfuk

The impact of The Intervention on remote aboriginal communities outside of Katherine is, as a local community worker lamented, some kind of madness, extreme. There are no winners here.

Self-respecting liberal Howardians should be appalled at the crushing of individual liberty and initiative of decent law-abiding indigenous Australian citizens, especially the dismantling of employment projects in order to facilitate quarantining of income. CItizens who find their families once again under direct government control while the media brand loving and caring fathers as alcoholic child molesters, peadophiles and wife bashers. Kind and decent humans made to feel substandard, disempowered and demoralised.

And Kevin Rudd should be ashamed for allowing it to continue.

Help is needed, but it has to be shaped from the hearts of minds of everyone – it can’t be imposed from outside.

That is all.

The Intervention

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Howardians, Indigenous, ,

Germaine Greer and tall poppy parochialism

You couldn’t help but notice that Germaine Greer is in Australia promoting her latest provocative essay on the significance of rage in the social dysfunction of many indigenous men in many aboriginal communities.

Rather than engage with her argument that white Australia has failed to recognise a significant contributive cause to the poor state of aboriginal communities and that progress will be difficult until we deal with it, the MSM and our finest journalists choose to dodge the issue by pushing the conservative ‘individual responsibility’ line and defending Howard’s Intervention.

In her Age op-ed today Tracee Hutchison is critical of Greer, not for what she is saying, but because she doesn’t live here anymore so therefore she shouldn’t comment on life in ‘the colonies’.

Greer grew up here, has friends and family here, regularly returns here and no doubt reads widely about events in Australia using the same sources as does Tracee in her comfortable suburban residence so who’s to say she isn’t well-informed, even if you don’t agree with her?

Parochial piffle passed off as journalism worthy of the editorial pages! More like thinking man’s Bolt. Bolt-lite for the intellectual reader.

Like her or loathe her, one thing we can be sure of – Greer will be the subject of future historical consideration of Australian intellectual and political culture. The same can’t be said of Hutchison’s ‘journalism’.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Indigenous, Media, ,

Leading by example

Some may think Kevin Rudd’s proposal to freeze parliamentarians’ salaries is a political stunt, but it’s a great idea. It ups the ante on those who would preach the need for wage earners to make do with less for the good of the economy — it’s bad for inflation or something. So come on all you top end of town salary men and coupon clippers — set the example and practice what you preach.

Brendan Nelson also showed some refreshing leadership today in his washup of his performance at yesterday’s historic formal apology to the stolen generations.

Dr Nelson said the critical response to his speech was democracy in action.

”It’s democracy, thank goodness we can live in a country where each of us can have our point of view,” Dr Nelson told the Nine Network today.

”Unfortunately some people chose not to agree with some of the things that I said yesterday and they have a right to do so.”

Dr Nelson said he presented a ”deep-felt sorry” and the nation must now move forward to address indigenous disadvantage.

He welcomed the Prime Minister’s invitation for him to co-chair a joint policy commission to tackle indigenous disadvantage.

”Whatever we achieve as a nation, the extent to which we lift the living conditions, health and life expectancy of Aboriginal Australians will be the measure by which we are ultimately judged.

”The responsibility of government … is to see we do everything we can to address the emotional needs, the housing, the health, all of the other requirements that are so necessary for these people who have suffered and been removed from their families.

”That is our responsibility and compensation … is making sure that all of these services are well-funded.”

Makes a change from Howardian dog-whistling and dismissive ridicule of all dissent. But then the Libs always were much better with honorable notions in opposition than they practice in government.

This could be interesting.

Filed under: Indigenous, Politics

The dogs bark and the caravan moves on

Tandberg - The Age

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s eloquent and moving apology to the Stolen Generations marks a momentous day in Australian history. It was received with overwhelming consensus by the Australian people, drawing a line in the sand after 11 years of stubborn refusal by the Howard government. At Parliament House and around the country were many moving and emotional scenes of relief and gratitude that the moment dreamed of by so many had finally arrived. Kevin Rudd established himself as one who is prepared to show national leadership and extend the hand of bipartisan cooperation.

The only sour note was Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson’s inappropriate litany of sexual abuse offered as some kind of justification for Howard’s ill-considered Intervention, and the intemperate tantrums of some parliamentary hard-liners. Nelson’s speech started out well enough but became confused as he rambled on about fallen diggers , moral high ground and good intentions, presumably playing to the dissident among his own party, and ended up saying words to the effect that we are sorry that some bad things unintentionally happened, but we’re not sorry we did it.

In the blogosphere the usual suspects were yapping and complaining about the indignity and futility of it all, how it was all a sop to the bleeding heart lefty elites. After all, the Stolen Generations is just a myth. By today, the standard no-sorry narrative had become that Sorry will change nothing. They are wrong – if nothing else, the apology has pleased the vast majority of Indigenous Australians who have been calling for this day for more than decade for white Australia to recognise the pain and suffering they have endured. One obstacle has been removed on the path toward a meaningful reconciliation. Anyone with a shred of compassion could not help but be moved by the emotional outpouring witnessed at yesterday’s ceremony.

I’ve seen Archie Roach perform a number of times over the years – most recently at a local event late last year. There was hardly a dry eye in the white audience. Archie’s powerful and heartfelt singing conveys something of the depth of pain the stolen generations have suffered and the profound attachment Indigenous people have for the land, their families and people – something so deeply cultural that the rest of us can at best hope to appreciate and respect it, let alone fully understand.

In Federation Square, singer-songwriter Archie Roach, one of the best-known members of the stolen generations, dedicated his performance to the mother he was separated from, and to his own children. “This brings a new start in life for us, the way it should have been,” he said.

It was a joyous and unique day in Australian history, marking the beginning of a new era in which ordinary Australians no longer have to feel the shame for our government’s unwillingness to acknowledge the harm we have inflicted on successive generations of our Indigenous brothers and sisters. The dogs may bark – the stone-hearted, the curmudgeonly misanthropes who believe only in wealth and personal vanity – but the caravan is well and truly moving on.

But where was John Howard? Watching the proceedings from the comfort of Wollenscroft, wistfully regretting that he didn’t do what Rudd did yesterday? A man so concerned with his legacy can now add the epithet – the man who couldn’t say sorry.

Filed under: Australian values, Big Picture, History, Indigenous, Politics

New skin – same old snake

My first reaction to Howard’s new pitch for ‘symbolic’ reconciliation with indigenous Australia was that he was proposing a referendum on “Do you believe in Aborigines?”. What I’ve seen and heard of Howard’s speech is loaded with half-apologies and conditional half-commitments underpinned by a reaffirmation that Assimilation is the only way. So what’s changed, apart from some half-hearted half-arsed expressions of limited regret and the promise of a bright future?

David Ross from the Central Land Council on ABC television last night explained it best: ‘It’s like a snake that sheds its skin. It has a new skin, but it is still the same old snake.’

So Howard has moved over 11 years from No Reconciliation to Practical Reconciliation and now to the new, improved Symbolic Reconciliation – but still no actual Reconciliation. We can now have Reconciliatory Assimilation! It is worth reviewing Howard’s milestones with indigenous Australia in order to evaluate whether this latest proclamation is genuine or a desperate one minute to midnight poll-driven repositioning for Howard’s re-election pitch, along with his ‘new’ five-point plan’ for the future. What was that other 10-point plan? Oh yes:

More than 200 years after white settlement the High Court handed down a landmark decision recognising the legal integrity of Native Title which allowed indigenous access to traditional land for customary usage. Howard’s first and most profound major indigenous policy was his infamous 10-point plan which provided ‘bucket loads of extinguishment’ to prevent Aborigines taking over the Hills Hoists in countless suburban backyards across urban Australia – effectively legislating away the High Court ruling.

Howard’s next major policy achievement was to disband ATSIC, while doubtless in need of reform, was the sole political vehicle for indigenous Australia.

In response to further deterioration in Indigenous Affairs, Howard and Brough declared war on aboriginal child abuse by using the Army to invade aboriginal communities. The accompanying legislation failed to mention child abuse, but somehow managed to have a lot of powerful mechanisms to seize traditional land from indigenous communities into the hands of the Commonwealth. This conveniently removes any serious impediment for mining companies seeking access to uranium contained in land controlled by indigenous communities. Given the central role the uranium industry has in Howard’s vision for our economic and energy future one could be forgiven for being skeptical about the real reasons for Howard’s intervention.

And now Howard announces his new-found desire to formally recognise indigenous Australians, but only in a symbolic way – yes, we believe in Aborigines! We will have Symbolic Reconciliation placed firmly within a non-negotiable good old-fashioned 19th century Assimilation agenda – indigenous races are essentially inferior stone-age civilisations – the best we can do for them is to deliver them to Jesus and gradually breed them out and turn them into genetically superior white folk. A kind of free-market eugenics, no less.

Will the electorate buy it, as Crosby-Textor are no doubt suggesting? Can Howard reconcile Indigenous and White Australia? The policy speech is riddled with hidden agendas, and if past form is anything to go by, Howard is still the same old snake.

Filed under: Federal Election 2007, Indigenous, Politics

Howard steals indigenous assets

Crikey’s Darwin insider Henri Ivrey writes about Howard & Brough’s latest indigenous policy abomination – a plan to seize all community assets valued in excess of $400k and rent them back to their communities, regardless of how well-run and effective they are. They are enacting their final solution for Australian Aborgines by stealing their land, undermining their fragile communities, and offering only mainstream assimilation in return. Are there no limits to the bastardry and ineffectual policy making of this morally bereft parcel of rogues? Apparently not. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Ideology, Indigenous, Politics, Wingnuttery

Howard’s final act of indigenous bastardry

ABCThe Federal government, in a farcical traversty of parliamentary process today passed a shonky piece of legislation which closes the circle on Howard’s decade long determination to legally extinguish native title. Although mentioning children but a few times, the 500 page legislation enacted in the name of saving indigenous children paves the way for one of Howard’s other long cherished dreams – an unfettered expansion of the uranium industry, from mining to waste storage.

Denounced widely by indigenous leaders (where is Noel Pearson these days) and dismissed by those who have been working in indigenous affairs as containing no provisions for actually improving the quality of life in our indigenous communities, the legislation grants the Federal government the right to determine any future usage of their land, including the granting of mining leases.

The head of Reconciliation Australia and former Fraser government Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Fred Chaney says the Commonwealth’s Emergency Response Bill for Northern Territory Aboriginal communities tramples on Indigenous property rights. He says that he is shocked by the legislation rushed through the House of Representatives in the last week – it could see successful communities and families returned to dependence.

“[It] is contemptuous of Aboriginal property rights, is contemptuous of the principle of non-discrimination,” he said.

“[It] is authorising an absurd and unattainable level of micromanagement of Aboriginal lives, which is far beyond the capacity of the federal bureaucracy to deliver.”

Mal Brough either knows he is committing the biggest scam on indigenous people since colonisation or he is just plain stupid. Both, likely.

Hopefully Rudd’s bi-partisan support for this audacious act of heartless bastardry will be his first non-core undertaking. The situation will only worsen under the new legislation and will not improve until a consultative and collaborative approach to indigenous affairs is developed.

Filed under: Australian values, Indigenous, Law, Politics

How to stop indigenous child abuse? More police!

Rather than addressing the causes of criminality in indigenous communities Minister Mal Brough is doing what any self-respecting narrow-minded reactionary would do. Got a problem with crime? The answer is more police! Oh, and more prisons. Gotta get tough. Stamp it out! That’ll learn ’em good.

The shorter Mal Brough on ABC’s Lateline:

‘No I am not worried by the failure of the Indigenous Emergency to improve the government’s standing in the polls. This is not about politics. It’s about making sure the indigenous kiddies are protected and safe in their communities. The best way to do this is to have more police and police stations so the kiddies have somewhere safe to turn to.

This will be a joint Federal/State repsonsibility. We’ll supply soldiers and doctors but the States will have to pay for the police and make it all happen. The States have neglected the situation for far too long and we’re going to set them right!’

Brough clearly has no understanding of policing child abuse. Abused children do not just walk in to the nearest police station to report the crime. It is more frequently discovered by community workers, teachers, etc. But hey, this is not about politics, this is doing something in an emergency!

Filed under: Australian values, Indigenous, Politics

Helen Caldicott on nuclear waste for the NT

“In light of the fact that the railway line between Adelaide and Darwin was constructed by the Halliburton Corporation and has subsequently been bought by Serco Asia Pacific, a company involved in the transport and management of British nuclear waste, I have three questions:

  1. Will the Prime Minister publicly pledge (in a core promise) that none of the Aboriginal land his government is expropriating in the Northern Territory will be used (with or without the consent of its traditional owners) as a nuclear waste repository?
  2. Will the Prime Minister publicly pledge (in a core promise) that neither he nor any of his ministers will have any association – direct or indirect – with any company, corporation, or other entity involved in the nuclear power or nuclear waste industry for ten years after he and/or they leave office?
  3. Will the Prime Minister direct his Minister for Health to publicly cite where in the medical literature it states that land dispossession is a valid treatment for child sexual abuse?”

Helen Caldicott.

Filed under: Economics, Environment, Indigenous, Politics, Technology

Noel Pearson on the denialism of the reactionary Right

Some Lax Cats have been arguing that the appalling state of indigenous Australia is entirely the fault of the left by cherry-picking a speech made by Noel Pearson at Griffith University in which he clearly states that both [Left and Right] need to take responsibility for the fact of racism, and work to answer and counter it. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ideology, Indigenous, Media, Nonsense, Politics

The Dog’s Bollocks

What they say

The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

This is the person who tried to analyse Hayek. This is actually a person who needs a shrink. – JC

Shut up slim. You’re an idiot.
Just you stay honest and keep that thinking cap on. – GMB

Insightful perspectives on politics and discussion of matters epistemological? I’m sold! - Bruce

Add to Technorati Favorites

Flickr Photos