Liberal Party Campaign Launch

According to the word count on my computer program, the Prime Minister’s speech at the Liberal Party’s campaign launch today contained four thousand four hundred and four words.

The only words that referred directly to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people were the following:

…. I want to be Prime Minister again so that we can achieve a lasting recognition in our constitution of the first Australians, the indigenous people of this country. The Northern Territory intervention has been a veritable watershed in the history of this country. It has brought an end to 20 to 30 years of failure in the area of indigenous policy, and it offers us the great thing that indigenous people need and that is the opportunity, whilst preserving their special place in the affections and the history of our nation, the opportunity to share its bounty by becoming part of the mainstream of the Australian community.

A repeat of the promise to recognise Indigenous people in our Constitution as the first Australians, and a misleading piece of self-congratulation about the Northern Territory intervention – hardly much of an indication of any intent to give priority to the gaping and long-standing inequalities between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. I wonder if Kevin Rudd will do any better on this front at his launch.

If we’ve just gone through “20-30 years of failure in the area of Indigenous policy”, I’d like to know how Mr Howard would describe the preceding 77 years going back to Federation (or the 113 years before that).

It is a curious and (presumably) unintended irony to offer to “preserve the special place in the affections and history of our nation” of Indigenous Australians whilst at the same time indicating that the only way they can share in our nation’s bounty is to become “part of the mainstream”.

Quite how the Northern Territory intervention actually provides the opportunity for Indigenous people to become part of the mainstream is also not actually explained. Given that it specifically singles out Aboriginal people for paternalistic control of their lives to a degree far greater than any other Australian, it seems to be the very opposite of what one would think mainstreaming would be.

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14 Comments

  1. the only long-term policy that is possible in a parliamentary society, is the phrase: “vote for me”.

    i don’t condemn the devisor’s of parliament for not coming up with a better means of managing a nation. it was only ever meant to be a means of settling demarcation disputes.

    but people who take an interest in politics ought to educate themselves in what history and discussion have provided as alternatives to an eternity of listening to: “…four legs good!”

  2. And Al will be quoting Robbie Burns next,and want to be heard as distinctly as him,whilst having a shot at grouse in the Scottish Highlands!? No anti- child labor ideas happened in Britain ,nor here..the Debating Society..is invariably the same and all details that prove not to be that case are conspiratorial. So even when the Senator here provides,if nothing else a view of the long years of Federation,Al Loomis is right,always right..he is Al Loomis.So where is Howards government monies to sweep the chimneys of Australia!? For Christmas!?Because he is being sooooooo generous to Northern Territorians you would have to think its a winning stratagey and apply it universally! Send in the troops and contractors for appropriate places for dunnies for everyone,and, under the influence of Geo.W.Bush will Pakistan have chimney sweeps and Christmas stockings! Perhaps seeing Saddam has gone Musharraf looks like a good Santa Claus type for our kids.Not mine,but ours!I personally think George must have bad eyesight,happened after Spot the dog died.Remarkably appearance similarity with Howard!

  3. It’s pretty clear that the indigenous Australians who are supposed to enjoy this special place in the affections and history of our nation are the noble savages depicted on tea towels and in children’s history books. Historic relics.

    The other ones, the ones currently being interventioned, are to become mainstream. If they want to daydream about standing around on one leg gazing into the distance while they’re working the checkout that’s fine, but there’ll be no more of this lost, displaced, stolen or looking sad nonsense.

  4. Politicians far too often are complaining about each other hoping to get the top job or so while their real concerns to the electors is minimal.
    This nonsense about recognising Aboriginals in the preamble is precisely that, “nonsense”, as Section 128 referendum can only amend part of the constitution and the “preamble” is not part of it!
    The same with the “republic” referendum, it cannot be achieved by referendum.
    .
    Aboriginals were better of prior to the 1967 con-job referendum that caused them to loose citizenship and be delegated to being an inferior coloured race, as that was the real end result of the con-job referendum.
    .
    The Northern Territory intervention is and remains unconstitutional and the wrong way to go about, all Australians, regardless of being Aboriginal or not has the same right to be provided with health, education, etc.
    .
    What we really need is stop all the talking about helping Aboriginals for their own good and start acting in a real positive way that all Australians (including Aboriginals) are better off.
    .
    As was reported the desecration of Aboriginal “sacred site” underlines that the concern to Aboriginals customs and traditions is ignored.
    .
    to me Aboriginals are and should be regarded as like any other Australian and shown the same respect provided to others, including respect to their customs and traditions, provided they are within relevant laws.
    .
    See also my blog at http://au.360.yahoo.com/profile-ijpxwMQ4dbXm0BMADq1lv8AYHknTV_QH
    .
    If Ministers of the Crown really started to work as a Minister, appointed to advise the Governor-General as to his administration of the Commonwealth of Australia, rather then just push their own political agenda, then we might all be better off and we would not have cases such as the latest revelation about Tony Tran having spend years in the so called concentration camps “Commonwealth Detention Centres”, and perhaps Andrew might just pursue why the Commonwealth Ombudsman refused -Continue

  5. continued

    to investigate my complaint on 22 September 2002 as then people like Tony Tran might just have been found then to have been wrongly held in detention!
    I made numerous complaints and Andrew received numerous copies of them, yet as the Supreme Court ruled on 12 November 2007 regarding a suspected terrorist, he was unlawfully detained, etc.
    Andrew, read back my numerous email of which you were provided copies (Rest assure I have copies of them to prove they were forwarded to you) and ask yourself what did you do to seek to stop that rot?
    .
    Why wait until a Court and/or the Commonwealth Ombudsman declare the illegality of this when all along you for one could have pursued matters where I already exposed the illegal conduct for years?
    .
    It is not the issue if you are right or wrong in your criticism upon others but what have you done about it yourself?

  6. Gee! Al! You may have touched one of my weaknesses,and with so much brevity that,it is plainly obvious my English isnt efficient. Whereas this other character here,whose Questions to the Senator are but ,character assasination,with stuff that my mother couldnt afford to put on her face,render,the abilities and discernment of the Senator down to uselessness!? But,if I am not mistaken in my reading,where the long-winded name has made a mistake about the Senator,is, that if he had already established an illegality that would operate to be shown as that in a courtroom,then,any actions of a political nature by the Senator would be entirely that anyway!? So,he then accuses something of the Senator s behaviour that doesnt quite meet his standards, that he himself could of pursued!? That is, find the same willing lawyer who proved the illegality of the issue,and, take government on!? I bet he would cry foul at that,but,seemingly,if there is anything that is both believable and understandable in the long-winded names letter,is that it would appear he understood the laws pertaining to the named Tran, more implicitly than a Senator, who was finding difficulty with the government over more than one issue..and perhaps their connectiveness. So if the long-winded named person ,here, had any common sense,he would of went to the ethnic group of Tran who may have dedicated lawyers ready to apply whatever it takes. I suspect, that Andrew, just didnt know what the long-winded wanted..as the same could be said about his entry here! Perhaps the Senator,could ask the long-winded name person, to seek some other legal opinion,that is capable of understanding him,so the Senator,who isnt a lawyer,can effectively see… if he has ,in fact, been wrong in comprehension,time use or whatever,in not taking the long-winded named person seriously! Instead of leaving it here as a quandary ,that in presentation already….is difficult to grasp. Do I make myself clear!?

  7. How could you send people into traditional lands who would be clueless enough to dig a toilet in a sacred site without asking anyone?

    There was also no mention of immigration or refugees. Only a half-hearted dog whistle with “to continue to decide who comes to this nation,”

    How about a policy to turn the pacifc island gulags into schools/medical centres and staff them? Offer some scholarships to locals to replace our people after a couple of years.

    Then say “we’re really sorry, that was a disgusting thing to do”.

  8. John Howard is good at repeat promises!

    Voters could be forgiven if they think they are non-core promises, having NOT been implemented last time.

    Mind you, I think the ALP has been making spending promises it won’t be able to keep, if it truly wants to contain inflation.

    John

  9. If we’ve just gone through “20-30 years of failure in the area of Indigenous policy”, I’d like to know how Mr Howard would describe the preceding 77 years going back to Federation

    I might be well off base here, but, I reckon it was a slip of the tongue and he meant 30-40 years. I can well imagine Howard considering everything, starting from the 1967 Constitutional amendment to count them as Australians, to be a huge mistake. He and the Nats probably prefered the days when the pastoralists could shoot them as vermin on the sly.

  10. The only people I know of who are referred to as “Mr such-and-such” are very eminent (mostly arrogant) doctors of medicine – in addition to the Prime Minister.

    Any reasonably experienced person would know that both “illegal law” and “decorative policy” is constantly practised in this country at every level, across every portfolio.

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