Among Australia’s Aboriginal population there’s exploding anger about marginalization, neglect and now outright racist martial law. Graffiti ("SLAVE TRADER") on the memorial stone to Robert Towns, after whom Townsville was named, is eloquent testament to local Aboriginal and Islander resentments in North Queensland.Australians, be they white, black or green, are not stupid. More and more people are seeing Howard’s cynical wedge politics for the racist and right wing extremism it really is. Howard’s working his way down a hit-list of vulnerable minority groups in Australia, treating then contemptuously as sacrificial pawns to his empty ambition of staying in power longer than his hero Robert Menzies.
Howard has already demonstrated that he’s prepared to stop at nothing to win an election. Tampa… Children & Truth Overboard… Refugees… he's willing to sacrifice anyone. Now, ironically, just as his little trained pet AlexanDUH Downer has been contemplating trying to haul Robert Mugabe through the International Criminal Court over his genocide of Zimbabweans, Howard turns his guns on Australia’s own citizens. It's now indigenous Aussies' turn to feel the stinging hypocrisy of Howard’s appalling prejudice. Aborigines have already been criminally neglected for 11 years. Now, six months out from a difficult election, Howard needs a fresh scapegoat. So he resorts to a gutless little game called “Blame-The-Victim” or “Kick-Them-While-They’re-Still-Down”. He gets to dress up as The Very White Knight, charging in with a legislative lance tipped with the deadly poison, Prejudice. That unmapped and darkest region of our souls. Guaranteed to pacify mindless swinging voters and devotees of the late John Laws:
Howard is taking back power and Land Rights from Aboriginal Land councils. Good-bye to the spirit of MABO and Reconcilliation. While other nations have said the ‘S---y’ word and moved on, Australia performs a callous U-Turn into its own sordid past - like a dog returning to its own vomit. Not in my name, Mister Howard.
It would be less racist if Ducklips applied the same criteria to white middle-class people living in Parramatta, Cronulla, or Saint Kilda… but those folks might actually fight back through the Media (=“Johnny’s Kryptonite”). Oops. They might object to Johnny’s Behaviour Police entering their split-level homes, checking what’s on their hard-drives, controlling how they spend their money, or reading their personal e-mails. Ooops. Howard says his martial law will apply to all people living on Aboriginal lands… but I’m sure there would be many white families judiciously overlooked by wary police and soldiers. Oooooops.
But today, it all the pieces of the jigsaw suddenly fell into place. I heard this report on Australian radio, in which Senator Heffernan (from Howard's Un-liberal Party) suggests that the Northern Territory has the potential to become Australia's foodbowl of the future, due to its water resources. Heffernan spoke well and convincingly, and under normal circumstances I may have applauded some of the strategies about logical use of limited water resources caused by Climate Change.
But hey, what rotten indecent timing on the part of Howard! What an offensively greedy corporate-minded strategy! The very moment when this region gains potential value as a profit-making food-growing concern, Howard takes steps to snatch it back under the pretext of child-abuse. Why else does he suddenly begin to care about child-abuse when he's spent ELEVEN years ignoring all the reports?? Now we understand. Any plausible excuse for a land-grab. I should have seen it coming, but I'm not devious enough, even though I passed Conspiracy Theory 101.
It's OBVIOUS. He denied it all, of course, which immediately confirmed that it IS a land-grab. Then he had the gall to indicate that the Aboriginal Land Councils would be compensated if, after 5 years, he decided not to give the land back. Which, clearly, he wouldn't. His smarmy words AND body language loudly shouted "Gotcha, ya black bastards! We whitefellas want the profits from Northern Territory food exports to Asia". .Now watch property values rise... for them wot's got the bucks.
Just as John Coward always chooses to attack the most defenceless minorities - society's low-hanging fruit - so this time he has chosen to attack the most defenceless state. In fact, constitutionally, the NT isn't even a state, so is even more at his mercy. And do you think for a moment that the NT's chief minister Clare Martin will choose to defend Aborigines Human Rights in favour of large-scale economic development?
............................... Howard's idea of cultural equality.
Howard’s propaganda Spin-Machine has pretended until now that the Federal Government is co-operating smoothly with Aborigines as a happy team. Butterflies & rainbows, etc. Trouble is, one Aboriginal generation’s already been stolen without apology, and now Ducklips Howard is attempting to steal the next. But now that his propaganda cover is exposed, he will be personally guilty of knowingly being in possession of stolen goods. Therefore he won’t have the lame excuse of avoiding “Sorry” because “...our predecessors did it in the distant past... it wasn't my responsibility”, etc.
Like many right-wing projects, Howard’s pre-emptive invasion of his own people is being done largely under the covering fire of 'do-gooder' religious organisations. Many of these (unlike Howard) do boast a track record of useful work, albeit at the cost of infecting Aboriginal culture with religion. Howard, by contrast, shamelessly co-opts these well-meaning organizations in order to achieve far more sinister purposes. His actions will increase communities’ dependance, not decrease it. Wrong Way, Go Back. What beats me is that he genuinely believes he’s correct.
Although Noel Pearson recommended to Howard that Aboriginal Communities be consulted and agree to any changes before they’re implemented, Howard’s draconian “Black Children Overboard” plan has no such restrictions. It therefore effectively constitutes Martial Law.
(I cynically note the glaring hypocrisy of Ducklips who dared just 6 months ago to criticize Thailand for its coup and martial law.
Before he gets kicked out of power, Howard is pushing to get maverick historians like Geoffrey Blainey (the same guy who coined the phrase "the black-armband interpretation of history") .to revise the schools’ history curriculum... doubtlessly in favour of the whitefella's image.
Whose version of Australian History is taught in schools? Did your teachers ever show you this map? Surely Australia’s history been whitewashed enough already.INDIGENOUS people are being jailed in increasing numbers 16 years after the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody recommended prisons be used as a last resort. Another Howard tragedy... but so not surprising.
........ (Click here for details and photos of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy)
……….......................… Make that eleven… and the last.
Election 2007, when you too can maul Howard, is coming to a ballot-box near YOU. It’s become a FunkyPix2 tradition to include a pic of a shark mauling John Dubya Ducklips. Mm, very satisfying.
And while we’re on the topic of schools, here’s FunkyPix2's Anti-Howard Joke-of-the-Week (thanks, A&B!):
Prime Minister John Howard was visiting a primary school and he visited one of the classes. They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asked the Prime Minister if he would like to lead the discussion on the word "tragedy". So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a "tragedy".
One little boy stood up and offered: "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a 'tragedy'". " No," said Howard, "that would be an accident”.
A little girl raised her hand: "If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy."
"I'm afraid not," explained the Prime Minister "That's what we would call a great loss."
The room went silent. No other children volunteered. John searched the room. "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of tragedy?"
Finally, at the back of the room, a small boy raised his hand. In a quiet voice he said: "If the aeroplane carrying you and Mrs Howard was struck by a "friendly fire" missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy."
"Fantastic!" exclaimed John Howard. "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"
"Well," says the boy "It has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss, and it probably wouldn't be a fu**ing accident either."