24 Jun 2007, Comments Off on “Stabilise, Normalise and Exit”

“Stabilise, Normalise and Exit”

Author: Helen

That’s Mal Brough’s military-style description of the Government’s plan for the response to the national state of emergency. Does it fill you with confidence?

The conservatives are controlling this issue in the MSM. Even the indigenous voice is given over to conservatives like Noel Pearson (and I think the government proposals go beyond even what he’d recommend) and Wesley Aird, a member of the Bennelong Society, which is a pro-assimilation front group with links to Western Mining, Quadrant, the Lavoisier Group, the IPA and others. Non-indigenous conservatives like Louis Nowra and Gerard Henderson dominate the airwaves and printed pages.

The “debate” will now go like this:

1. The Howard government and their supporters have offered a set of measures as a matter of emergency. This is undoubtedly a Good Thing.
2. Many people will examine the detail of the messages and suggest that many of them are half-baked, insuffiently funded, likely to cause further trauma, or likely to punish an entire population and maybe even make things worse.
3. The right-wing noise machine will say that this is proof positive that the pomo multi-culti leftist luvvies are Soft on Child Abuse (if not positively in favour of it.)

It’s time to take this paragraph by Chris Clarke, drop it into Word, format it in landscape with 28-point font and maybe a black border, and tape it to your refrigerator:

Saying that every time one discusses a bad thing, one is obliged to point out that it is a bad thing, and that bad things are bad, and that failure to point this out every single time is an offense punishable by witch hunt, firing, ostracism and the like? Fuck that noise.

OK. Also, saying “If the Aboriginal communities have been telling you this for several years, and only now you have suddenly sprung into action and declared an emergency, why now, John?“, will just be treated as shallow cynicism which won’t help anybody. So I’ll just ignore that fishy odour and say that it’s more important to ask: are the proposals workable? Are they likely to achieve the stated aims? Are they aligned at all with what Aboriginal elders, themselves, have been asking for for the last decade? But I’m sure that by asking these things, we’re putting ourselves up to be pilloried, as well.

And where are the indigenous women community leaders in all this? Why are all the Aboriginal spokesmen, well, spokesmen?

Kim at Larvatus Prodeo and Ken Parish at Club Troppo have kicked off a discussion which gives the issues involved a good workout. Ken Lovell at Surfdom highlights the militaristic and punitive aspect of the proposals. Lowitja O’Donohue and Malcolm Fraser point out on Crikey that paternalism has been well and truly tried before – and hasn’t worked. Tigtog highlights the disturbing aspects of the medical examination for all children.

The topic is getting traction in overseas blogs like Feministe and Echidne of the Snakes. (Her permalinks are permanently broken, so I suggest using “Find” and typing in “Howard”.) Lauredhel at Hoyden has more.

Cam at Polemica has published the actual Anderson/Wild report leading to the State of Emergency announcement.

I’m sure there are many good responses I’ve left out, so feel free to suggest others.
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

Comments (0)

  • Mark says:

    Not wanting to be a pedant, Helen (great post!), but I think you’ll find it was Guy rather than Cam at Polemica.

  • Helen says:

    I’m positive the one I linked to was Cam – can we have pedantry at 10 paces?
    I’ll be printing out the PDF today for public transport reading. The impression I get from other people and from the news reports is that the Howard / Brough response doesn’t really address what the report recommends. And what about the Breaking the Silence report? That came out last year and we didn’t have “send in the army”!

  • […] Excellent blogosphere posts on the issue at Cast Iron Balcony;  Kim at Larvatus Prodeo; Malcom Fraser and Lowita O’Donoghue co-patrons of the Stolen Generation Alliance at Crikey. […]

  • […] Cast Iron Balcony has a good addition to the Aboriginal lands invasion. […]

  • […] Cast Iron Balcony has a good addition to the Aboriginal lands invasion. […]

  • Helen says:

    Aaaiie, it was three hundred and something pages. i’ve printed out the first 48… Only two hundred odd to go…

  • gandhi says:

    It may be true that asking “Why now, John?“ will be dismissed as “shallow criticism”, but I think it is worth asking nonetheless.

    Howard will press on with his police action regardless. There’s no reason to give him a free pass on the political spin agenda.

  • Helen says:

    I notice on Blogocracy and other places they’re going for it. I hope things have moved on since Tampa and the electorate are less trusting.

    I heard Wesley Aird on the ABC last night and he was asked the question (I’m paraphrasing) why does this mean that the aboriginal communities have to have their land taken away from them?

    He replied that it was all about the right of every child to wake up every morning without the fear of abuse, rape, etc.

    As it the removal of aboriginal lands (Nothing to do with mining or uranium disposal, of course) is the direct fix for child abuse.

    Interviewer didn’t pick him up on it.

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