This is the last throw of the dice for John Howard. He is doing one big favour for the mining industry which he has faithfully served in public life for the past 30 years by rolling back Aboriginal ownership of their tribal lands.
Cynically, cruelly but utterly predictably, he’s doing it under the hypocritical colours of humanitarianism. (Very similar to the invasion and occupation of Iraq sold as “spreading democracy”). In his four terms as PM, he has starved indigenous health, education and housing of funds, abolished ATSIC and pointedly marginalised the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio. This particular pre-election pitch is aimed at Lateline viewers, readers of The Age and The SMH and ABC stalwarts, the demographic that constitutes Australian (small “l”) liberalism. These are the feeble-brained, hand-wringers who are congenitally incapable of separating the wood from the trees. They are types currently heard sobbing: “I’m no fan of Mr Howard, but at least he’s DOING SOMETHING!”
Yes, he is: he’s giving the mining giants the leg-up they need to start exploring, digging and quarrying in indigenous lands in the Northern Territory and then elsewhere. He is being aided and abetted by Kevin Rudd’s craven behaviour. Instead of falling into line with Howard’s agenda, he should have demanded complete details of the plan, the highest-level briefing, sought face-to-face meetings with Aboriginal leaders, state premiers, police and army officers and taken the lead in a national debate. Instead, he mouthed pieties such as “I’m taking Mr Howard at his word” and “I believe the Prime Minister when he says he is responding to a national crisis” etc etc. Has anyone realised that these are almost the same words used by Kim Beazley when he backed Howard during the Tampa scam? By his pusillanimous approach, Rudd has vacated leadership on the tragic issue of rescuing Aboriginal communities and given Howard the opportunity to play his sickening Father of the Nation role. Paul Keating, you were right about the Rudd team of fixers, hucksters, flyweights and spineless opportunists.
And as for mr ‘it’s time us black fullahs got over ourselves and start prioritising kids (and my ego while we’re at it). And if we have to chose between land and our kids I know what I’d chose” fuckface.
DO YOU NOT GET IT?
You are actually backing one of the most racist pieces of government action since the beginning of colonisation in Australia.
“Oh but it’s time to stop talking and have some action.”
OK so you wanna go and explain that to the women in these communities who have had absolutely no communication or consultation on this plan and all they’ve heard is that the army is coming in? You wanna go explain to them that noone’s gonna steal their kids? You wanna ssuggest that taking off into the bush during this time of the year is probably not too smart given how cold it’s getting in the desert?
Oh no, too late you can’t cause it’s too late.
Wake up Noel. We all know that the situation is untenable. We’ve been lobbying the pollies for ages on what to do. What he’s done now is not out of compassion. It wasn’t thought through. It has been executed appalingly.
And yes, we will hold you responsible. You have his ear, but you stopped listening to the people.
Bloody hell I’m pissed off.